Training

One-pot dinners for runners

The days are getting colder and darker and comfort food is beckoning. Time to get creative with hearty food that will nourish your body as your runs start to increase. Time to get in the kitchen to whip us these runner-friendly recipes. The best news? These recipes can all be made in one-pan so require minimal washing up and minimal effort. Simply chop, load into a pan and let the magic happen.

Sausage and lentil casserole

Runner benefits:

Lentils are packed with protein, which will help your muscles repair after a training session. They also contain fibre for a healthy digestive system and plenty of energy to fuel your run.

You can replace any of the vegetables with alternative options, but ensure you include fresh vegetables to boost your immune system to keep you running healthy. They also contain many other nutrients such as iron which is essential for transporting oxygen around your blood.

Ingredients (serves 4)

Vegetarian option: Replace sausages with a tin of chickpeas

  • 4 good quality sausages, use a chicken or turkey sausage variation for a leaner option
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • Bag of spinach
  • Tin of tomatoes
  • Vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Small bunch coriander
  • Seasoning
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Method

Finely slice the onion, celery and garlic and then fry lightly in a little olive oil. Meanwhile, chop the sausages and remaining vegetables into chunky pieces and add these to the mix after a few minutes.

Keep stirring as the meat starts to brown and then add the cumin.

Add pre-washed lentils and stir for a further minute adding the oregano and tinned tomatoes.

Cover with vegetable stock and stir occasionally, add more water or stock as the lentils start to absorb the liquid.

Once lentils, vegetables and meat are cooked through, add seasoning to taste and fresh chopped coriander. Serve on its own or with wholemeal bread.

Lentil and vegetable dhal

Runner benefits:

Turmeric contains anti-inflammatory properties which will help your muscles to recover after a run.

Sweet potatoes contain slow releasing carbohydrates to stabilse your blood sugar and keep you feeling full for longer. The kale is packed with vitamin C and iron to boost your immune system and blood health.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Optional chilli, 1 fresh
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 aubergine
  • ½ bag of curly kale
  • Salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Large handful fresh coriander

Method

Finely chop the onion and garlic and chilli (if you’re including it) and lightly fry in a little coconut oil until soft.

Add the washed red lentils and spices and stir for a further minute. Then add cubed sweet potato and chopped aubergine, stir and then cover with boiling water. Allow to simmer and top up with more water when it starts to absorb the liquid.

Continue until lentils and potato are cooked and then add kale and fresh coriander along with sea salt to taste and cook for a further few minutes.

Mixed bean chilli

Runner benefits

Beans are full of fibre to keep your digestive system in good working order. Garlic contains immune-boosting properties to help keep you healthy through the winter. Adding chilli will also help increase your metabolism so you burn energy more quickly.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 x tin kidney beans
  • 1 x tin chickpeas
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ butternut squash
  • Handful green beans
  • 1 x courgette
  • 2 x peppers
  • Handful fresh coriander
  • Seasoning
  • 1 x tin of tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp oil of choice
  • Chorizo (optional)
  • Crumbled feta (to serve)

Method

Chop the onions, garlic and chilli and start to fry in a little oil. Then add spices and a little water to soften it all together into a paste.

Add chopped vegetables and drained beans and stir everything. Add chorizo (if using this) and fry.

Once everything is coated with spices add the tomatoes and a little hot water to just about cover everything and allow to simmer until all vegetables are cooked through. Add chopped fresh herbs and seasoning to taste. Serve with crumbled feta or cheddar on top.