Regardless of the sport, every athlete will require carbohydrates. Whether you are thriving on a low carbohydrate diet of 50 grams or less per day to promote fat metabolism or you are cycling your carbohydrates up above 130 grams for anaerobic performance, you will want to incorporate complex carbohydrates from a variety of sources.
Winter squash varieties offer a nutritious complex carbohydrate source. The plant fiber in winter squash helps promote good gut bacteria while the b vitamins assist in converting food to fuel. This combination means your digestive system can help you get the most fuel out of your meal. These factors make winter squash the perfect, warm, pre-workout dinner before those cold season training sessions.
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped (suggest Vidalia onion for its sweetness)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 bunch kale, tough stalks removed, cut into half-inch slices
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup arugula
- 1/2 cup goat or feta cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
- Prepare the squash by peeling, seeding, and cutting into 1 inch chunks. Toss squash and onion with 1.5 Tbsp olive oil, transfer to foil lined baking pan. Roast for 35-40 minutes, turning occasionally. The squash will start to caramelize. If you want a sweeter taste, add additional minutes to roasting until you reach the desired level of caramelization.
- While the squash cooks, pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and lightly simmer on very low heat until it is reduced by about half.
- Saute kale in ½ Tbsp olive oil until slightly wilted, about one or two minutes, tossing regularly.
- Transfer kale to your salad bowl and allow to cool.
- When squash is ready, allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Then transfer to salad bowl. Top with arugula and cheese and toss well. The warmth of the squash will wilt the arugula nicely. Season with salt and pepper to taste.