Pile on the carbs for the cyclist

onion squash with leek and quinoiaThe fact is of course, that this post would have been visible last night had I not tried to be clever.

Sanity Warning. Remember to hit ‘save’ before using the back key next time. I stomped off to bed in frustration and a flurry of fury last night; abandoning the ipad and leaving a trail of dangling power leads, adaptors and photo files having failed to do so and losing the plot in the process. It has taken me a good 15 hours, a swim, a walk, a 2 hour meditation on the beauty of the mountain on the opposite side of the valley and a little afternoon snooze to regain my equilibrium.

imageWhat I had been writing about was my lycra-clad lungs-on-legs husband, who left the house yesterday all togged up in his lucky orange Bic strip, his Oakleys, special chamois padded shorts and perky little fingerless gloves, on     his favourite Orbea road bike that travelled all the way here in its special box for his trip up the Sierra de la Contraviesa, Taha, Lujar (not all on the same day, I might add).  And what I had been describing was the manner of his return. First, the sound of the clanging gate, then the crunch of the wheels on the gravel, then the dog in the cortijo below us, then the tippy-tappy of the special shoes that look like they originated in The Smurfs; closely followed by gasping. And then he appears on the terrace all pink and dripping and infinitely satisfied. This time, he has (verified by the god which is the cycle computer) cycled 50k – mainly uphill – at an average speed of 15kph, expended 1200 calories, with a maximum speed of 65kph downhill in two and a bit hours.

Meanwhile all I had done was wander down into Orgiva, buy some bread, drink a coffee and consume a pan con tomate. Which is why his waist is only 2.5cm bigger than it was 30 years ago. And mine is not. And why he can consume vast quantities of carbohydrate and I should not.

Post-cycling eating always involves lots of carbs. Tonight it was roasted squash with quinoa. And other carbs.

imageDry roast 4 tablespoons of quinoa in a frying pan till it turns and smells toasty. Then carefully add 300ml boiling water and cook for just under 10 minutes till just tender. Then drain it and run cold water through it to prevent further cooking.

De-seed, peel and then slice any sort of squash into decent sized pieces and drop into a plastic bag.  Add leeks chopped into 5cm pieces and lots of chopped garlic, a whole red chilli sliced lengthways, and chopped rosemary. Add 30ml of good olive oil, a generous tablespoon of honey and season with black pepper. No salt yet. Rub all the vegetables around in the bag and then turn out into a heavy based frying pan or roasting pan on a medium heat. Cook for 15 minutes without disturbing anything in the pan and then carefully turn the vegetables. They should be sticky and caramelised. Now chop two large tomatoes and add to the pan, season with a little sea salt. Then add some chopped halloumi and about 15ml sherry vinegar. Turn up the heat and cook for 5 minutes more. Sprinkle of the quinoa and serve with smoked paprika roasted potatoes and squeaky green beans.

imageThat should satisfy any carbohydrate craving you might have, and the quinoa adds protein. – being the only whole grain that is a complete source of protein, unlike pulses that need to be combined with whole grains to offer their full nutritional protein loading.

6 thoughts on “Pile on the carbs for the cyclist

  1. My mouth is watering reading this recipe and credit to David’s endurance too. Sounds like the perfect holiday x

  2. Yet again I am drooling at your recipe! That’s definitely one for tomorrow night’s tea – and for a change I have all the ingredients in.

  3. Thank you, Dawn. I’ve been working on a vegan diet and this v helpfully explains the protein load of quinoa, which I’ve been using. Will certainly use your recipe.

    And while on line, you will smile to hear that I emptied an entire jar of my MOST expensive moisturizer attempting to ease the sore muscles of my husband when he returned from a round trip walk to the top of that high mtn in the Alpujarras……….it took him 8 hours to do it in one “go”. I recognize David’s astonishing feat.

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