He’s run the Greeley Tribune Marathon twice over the past year (approximately last spring and in October), and will tackle the NYC Marathon later this year team joslinJoslin is running to raise money for the Diabetes Center.
“Being a cook, it really framed my thoughts towards the nutrition aspect [running]Said Sisca, whose Bistro do Midi on Boylston Street will offer marathon runner-focused specials throughout the weekend, such as saffron tagliatelle with pine nuts and spiced ramps and a whole-wheat rigatoni duck Bolognese.
These dishes, like all the recipes he recommends for runners, are packed with complex carbohydrates and lean protein.
“At Duck Bolognese we use a lot of breast that’s a little more lean, but still full of protein,” Sisca said.
“It’s a good balance between protein and carbs for runners,” Sisca said, although the bistro has served duck Bolognese for years, “regardless of Marathon Monday.”
In addition to whole wheat pasta, other complex carbs include grains such as quinoa or brown rice, beans, fruits and vegetables such as sweet potatoes and carrots. And Siska stresses the importance of loading up on these carbs before a marathon the Wednesday or Thursday before.
“You also want to stay very well hydrated,” he said.
On race morning, Sisca said, it’s important for runners to put some food in their stomachs. “My choices are wheat toast and peanut butter,” he said, but added that runners should do what works best for them. After running, refueling is equally important.
Sisca said, “I know when I’m done with my long runs, the last thing I want to do is rush through, but quickly replenishing lost carbs and protein can help runners feel better over the next few days.” will help as they recover.
“Everybody says ‘How do you do a marathon?’ And I say listen, five years ago I couldn’t even run around the block,” Sisca said, explaining how her drive to live a healthier life inspired her journey toward long-distance running. “I have kids now and I want to make sure they live a healthy lifestyle,” Sisca said.
Below are three of the chef’s favorite dishes to prepare for long-distance runs—saffron tagliatelle and duck bolognese from Bistro du Midi’s menu, as well as a quinoa salad with cucumbers, carrots and lemon thyme curd.
While these dishes are packed with complex carbs and protein to aid runners, they’re just as delicious for those not making the trip from Hopkinton to Boylston Street.
1 pound ground duck
pound Italian sausage (casing off)
1 onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
3 rib celery chopped
5 garlic cloves chopped
1 tsp chili flakes
1 28-ounce can San Marzano canned tomatoes
3 sprigs thyme
1 bunch basil
1 bay leaf
cup red wine
1 cup chicken broth
cup chopped apples
cup feta cheese
cup parmesan cheese
1 pound whole wheat rigatoni, garganelli, or penne pasta
- Fry sausages in a hot pan with pork fat or canola oil. When the sausage is almost cooked, add the duck. Reserve fat, do not drain. Remove meat from pan.
- Pour fat back into pan. Cook onion, carrot, celery and garlic until soft, then add chili flakes. Add the meat back to the pan along with a sachet of herbs (cheesecloth). Deglaze pan with red wine.
- When the red wine is cooked, add the chicken broth and reduce it by half. Add canned tomatoes. Cook for 30 minutes, until the acidity is gone.
- Cook pasta. Toss with sauce, then plate. Top with apple, feta, Parmesan cheese and basil.
1½ cups flour
1 egg yolk
2 oz hot water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pinch salt
1 pinch saffron
- Let the water and saffron come to a boil for the saffron to bloom. Combine all purpose flour, egg yolk, salt and puffed saffron in a mixer. Mix until blended. Roll out into tagliatelle shape — long, flat ribbon to resemble fettuccine.
1 ounce parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves
liter olive oil
3 oz ramps (wild onions)
8 oz basil
8 oz parsley
1 bunch broccoli rabe, stems and tops separated
2 tablespoons butter
1 ounce pine nuts, roasted and chopped
- Boil the water. Quickly cook stems of ramps, basil, parsley and broccoli, then shock in ice water. Put the garlic in a blender and puree it lightly. Add ramps, basil, parsley, and stems, halving olive oil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper, and puree, except of course. Add olive oil until desired consistency is achieved.
- Cook the tagliatelle in salted water. Heat 2 tbsp water in a separate pan and add butter. Emulsify water and butter, then add 2 Tbsp pesto. Add cooked pasta and toss. Add broccoli rabe tops, season and add toasted pine nuts. Plate and top with Parmesan cheese.
Quinoa Cucumber Salad
1 cup quinoa
1¾ cups water
1 cucumber sliced
1 Roma tomato sliced (or heirloom if in season)
1 carrot chopped
1 avocado chopped
1 watermelon radish or red radish chopped
1 bunch coriander
1 bunch chives
1 bunch basil
1 bunch mint
ounce Chardonnay vinegar
1 ounce olive oil
1 5-ounce container of Greek yogurt
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 lime, juiced and zest
1 sprig fresh thyme
- Bring quinoa, water, salt and pepper to a boil in a pot. Cover and let it boil for 15 minutes. Then let sit covered for 15 more minutes. Remove the lid and mix with a rubber spatula.
- Add cucumber, tomato, carrot, cilantro, chives, basil, mint, vinegar and olive oil. Mix and add salt and pepper as per taste.
- Combine yogurt, lemon, lime, salt, pepper and oregano. Adjust seasoning.
- Top with plate yogurt and quinoa mixture. Top with sliced avocado, radishes, and more herbs.
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