To fuel a professional squad of bike racers like Team Garmin-Slipstream during the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and other events it can take upward of 7,000 calories per rider per day. That’s a lot of Clif Bars and energy gel to consume.
But most teams bank on “real food” for the bulk of their energy intake. Indeed, a meal plan for endurance events often must ride a line with nutrition, taste, and raw calories consumed. If the food is bad tasting or difficult to eat, racers will inevitably consume less of it, which affects performance on the course.
To keep Team Garmin-Slipstream well fed and fueled in the peloton, team nutritionist Dr. Allen Lim cooks up a variety of unique and palatable dishes each day in hotels or on the team bus. Here’s a sneak peek into Dr. Lim’s recipe box — prosciutto, cream cheese, balsamic vinegar, and even a sprinkling of sugar included in the mix.
Recipe #1: Power Potatoes
Ingredients: Potatoes; Olive Oil; Parmesan Cheese; Salt
1. Boil potatoes in medium pot for 10 to 15 min.
2. Pour boiled potatoes into strainer
3. Rinse with cold water; when cool, peel potatoes by hand
4. Place peeled potatoes in medium pan
5. Sprinkle moderate amount of salt throughout entire pan
6. Pour olive oil on top of potatoes
7. Grate parmesan cheese on top of potatoes
8. What doesn’t stick to potatoes becomes a salty, oily, cheesy paste that can be caked on by hand
9. Press remainder of mixture on potatoes
10. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil (easy to open, easy to hold)
Says Dr. Lim: “Boiled potatoes have one of the highest glycemic indexes out there, which means they rapidly increase blood sugar. Riders say these things are like rocket fuel.”
Recipe #2: The Rice Cake
1 cup cooked Calrose Rice, Mochi Rice or Risotto
3 eggs scrambled in olive oil
Fried prosciutto or bacon
Bragg Liquid Aminos (gluten free) soy sauce
1. Mix in large bowl and add other ingredients as desired
2. Place in brownie pan or large pan and smash it all down (best technique is to put saran wrap over one pan and use another pan to squash it down)
3. Sprinkle sugar over top to create a glaze
4. Cut into small square portions
5. Wrap tightly in aluminum foil (easy to open, easy to hold)
Says Dr. Lim: “These are such a delicacy in the peloton that some riders will use them to broker certain deals while racing.”
Recipe #3: Pocket Panini
Ingredients: Croissant or Hawaiian Sweet Bread; Cream Cheese; Jam; Canadian Bacon
1. Cut open the bread
2. Spread cream cheese on one side
3. Spread jam on other side
4. Place 2 pieces of Canadian bacon on the bread
5. Fold bread back together
6. Cut in half
7. Wrap each half individually in aluminum foil (easy to open, easy to hold)
Says Dr. Lim: “These are great on the road, and they really help contrast some of the other flavors we give our riders.”
—Stephen Regenold writes a blog on outdoors gear at www.gearjunkie.com.