Meals on the Run: Pasta with Avocado Sauce and High-Protein Chocolate Pudding

Today I’m excited to share two delicious vegan recipes from a new Runner’s World cookbook, both for dishes I had the pleasure of eating when I visited RW headquarters last month for their half marathon and race festival.

But first, an announcement …

That’s right: the Kindle version of my book, No Meat Athlete, was selected as a Kindle Holiday Deal for November, which means all month long, instead of the usual 10 bucks, it’s just $2.99!

This also means — aside from Oprah surely blowing up my slide-out keyboard LG phone soon — that you or someone you love can read it now and go into the holidays with a full head of healthy-eating-and-habit-change steam. And even if you don’t own a Kindle, you can still read via the Kindle app on any smartphone or tablet. You can’t read it on a slide-out keyboard LG phone, sadly.

To get the deal, check it out in the Kindle store, where you can get more details, see ratings, and read reviews. (Right now it’s #1 in both the Running & Jogging and Vegetarian categories!)

Most people who read my blog already own the book, I know, but if there’s a friend you can recommend it to while it’s so cheap, I’d really appreciate it. Thanks!

Meals on the Run

rw-pasta (1)

Want another idea for a gift you can feel good about giving? Runner’s World Meals on the Run, edited by Joanna Sayago Golub, is the “30 minutes or less” followup to The Runner’s World Cookbook (which coincidentally was released on the same day as my book, back in 2013), and I’ve got two recipes to share from it today.

Meals on the Run isn’t a vegan cookbook, but it does a nice job of catering to a lot of distinct dietary preferences. Of the book’s 150 recipes, a whopping 100 are vegetarian (and 51 of those are vegan), and they’re conveniently listed together in the back of the book, along with lists of Pre-Run, Recovery, Low-Calorie, Gluten-Free, 5-Minute Fix, 10 Minutes Tops, and Hydrating meals. Several recipes were contributed by elite runners like Kara Goucher, others by well-known food personalities Joe Cross and Mark Bittman, and many by registered dietitians and Rodale test kitchen.

I went to Bethlehem, PA in October for the Runner’s World Half and Festival, as part of a group of 20 or so other bloggers who were guests of Rodale (RW’s publisher). Along with all the other great parts of this weekend, which Doug and I detail in this recent podcast episode, I was really impressed by the number of vegan options that the Runner’s World PR staff had arranged for me and the other vegan or vegetarian bloggers. And not just that, but the care and concern they demonstrated in making sure that these options worked for us was truly appreciated.

Bow-Ties with Tomato, Basil, and Avocado Sauce

We ate the pasta dish below — Bow-Ties with Tomato, Basil, and Avocado Sauce — with Deena Kastor, American women’s marathon record-holder, who talked to us about positivity, motivation, and her learning to balance being a mother with her career as an elite runner. I thought maybe that amazing experience was coloring my memory of the pasta dish, but when I made it at home a week later, it was a hit with Erin and the kids. It’s one of those quick, healthy, fairly cheap, and delicious recipes that goes on a list of favorites I keep, and I think you’ll like it, too.

The avocado sauce is an interesting (and healthier) alternative to other creamy sauces, but in no way is it as strange as it might sound — the end result is reminiscent of a fresh, citrusy pesto. You can easily omit the oil if you like, as well, as the avocado provides plenty of healthy fat and depth of flavor.

Recipe by Pam Anderson

Thanks to its mono- and polyunsaturated fats, avocado gives this pasta dish a heart-healthy richness. When swapped with trans and saturated fats, unsaturated fats reduce levels of LDL, or so-called “bad” cholesterol. Vegan runners should omit the Parmesan.

Makes 4 servings

Total time: 25 minutes

  • 1 box (12 ounces) whole wheat bow-ties, fusilli, penne, or shells
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 ⁄2 cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 avocados
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 ⁄4 cup fresh lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
  • 1 ⁄4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. When the water boils, salt it and add the bow-ties. Cook according to the package directions.

Meanwhile, put the tomatoes in a small bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Add the oil and basil and toss to coat. Set aside.

Reserving 1 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta and cover to keep warm. Set aside.

Add the avocados to the empty pasta pot and mash with a potato masher or fork. Add the garlic and lemon juice and stir to combine. Whisk in the reserved pasta cooking water, creating a light sauce. Add the pasta and tomato mixture and toss well to coat. Add the Parmesan (if using) and pepper and toss again.

Nutrition per serving: 485 calories, 75 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 13 g protein, 16 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 231 mg sodium

High-Protein Chocolate Pudding

This next dish was our dessert at the Runner’s World lunch, served in something like shot glasses. I think it’s supposed to set like pudding, but the ones we had came out a little more like drinkable shooters, which worked just as well! I think it’s awesome that a big brand like Runner’s World would use soy milk and silken tofu in a dessert like this, when certainly it would have been just as easy (and more widely accepted, probably) to use dairy products, especially with amidst the “chocolate milk for recovery” craze you’ve no doubt seen on the web.

Recipe by Claudia Wilson, M.S., R.D., C.S.S.D., C.S.C.S.

Why bother with instant pudding when you can make your own creamy, chocolaty version at home in the same amount of time? An added bonus: It’s higher in protein, thanks to the addition of tofu. Using soy milk also keeps it dairy-free.

Makes 6 servings

Total time: 5 minutes

  • 1 cup plain soy milk
  • 1 package (14 to 16 ounces) silken tofu
  • 1 ⁄2 cup sugar
  • 1 ⁄2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • Ground cinnamon (optional)

In a food processor or blender, combine the soy milk, tofu, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and salt. Blend for 1 minute, scrape down sides, and blend 1 minute more, or until smooth.

Scoop into small serving bowls. Top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired.

Nutrition per serving: 136 calories, 25 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 6 g protein, 3 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 121 mg sodium

*Both of these recipes are republished, with permission, from Runner’s World Meals on the Run, edited by Joanna Sayago Golub, copyright Rodale, Inc, 2015.

Big thanks to Runner’s World for hosting us for the weekend, along with Altra, Balega, KT Tape, Ultima Replenisher, and all the other sponsors of this wonderful event. And by the way, although this book was given to me for review, I don’t get any compensation for recommending it, nor was I obligated to do so.

That’s all for now — I hope you give these recipes a try, and check out Meals on the Run. And don’t forget the NMA Kindle book deal! 🙂

PS, photo of me and Deena!

deena kastor



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  1. Alexandria Lange says:

    Definitely going to try these recipes – they look fantastic! Thanks for all the great work you do!

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