It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
No, not Christmas just yet. But, close. It is taper time.
Time to frolic through fields of freshly baked bread, slither into family-sized boxes of crackers, and roast potatoes with every meal! All while running 30 minutes a day and spending afternoons on the couch cuddled up with a 32 oz water bottle.
Now, if that doesn’t sound like a marathoners’ heaven.
All exaggerating aside, “carb-loading” can be a confusing phase of tapering. It sounds a little counterintuitive to spend 12-16 weeks in a hyper-health focused training state only to indulge in bread and pasta during the final days. Ultimately, this is just another way you are preparing for your race; giving your body energy stores to use on race day.
Since I aim to have upwards of 80% of my diet come from carbohydrates during taper, I must get creative with my meals. I have never been a ‘spaghetti and meatballs’ type of runner- you can imagine my dilemma at the weekly pasta parties in school.
The carb-filled combination of roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, tortilla, and cheese is a regular in my taper diet. Not only is this recipe easy to prepare, but it contains a host of fiber and whole grains to fuel you for the long run (pun intended!). Add in lean ground beef for some extra iron or additional greens for another serving of vegetables.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadilla
Ingredients Yield: 1 quesadilla
- 1 whole wheat tortilla
- 1⁄2 cup sweet potatoes, diced (Editors note: We recently ate these at home and puréed our sweet potatoes to make them easier to evenly spread throughout our quesadillas)
- 1⁄2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1⁄4 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1⁄2 tsp. cumin
- 1⁄2 tsp. paprika
- 1⁄4 tsp. chili powder
- 1-2 Tbsp. olive oil Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Spread diced sweet potatoes into a single layer on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, add cumin, paprika, chili powder, salt and pepper, and toss until evenly coated.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crisp, flipping once halfway through to make sure that both sides get crispy.
- Once potatoes are done add another drizzle of oil into a medium pan over medium heat.
- Add potatoes, beans, and cheese into a tortilla and fold it in half. Place quesadilla into the pan. Let the tortilla become crisp and the cheese start to melt before flipping to the opposite side.
- Remove from pan and top with salsa, Greek yogurt, extra cheese, or avocado!
- 452 calories
- 61 g carbohydrate
- 16 g fat
- 20 g protein