A few summers ago, I spent several days mountain biking alongside a river in the southwest corner of Colorado. A friend and I settled into our cabin, then high-tailed it to the closest town to load up on food; we hadn’t brought a morsel with us. As we soon discovered, that was a bad idea.
There wasn’t a fresh-looking vegetable in sight, although the town’s one and only market stocked the largest packages of fat-marbled ground beef and the biggest buckets of lard I’ve ever seen. Needless to say, after a few evenings of cholesterol loading, our morning starts seemed to lose their zeal.
Let this be a lesson to you: Plan ahead. To help you eat well during your active weekend, here’s a menu from Eamonn O’Hara, executive chef at The Peaks, a resort and spa in Telluride, Colo. O’Hara is an expert in the art of fueling active people with food that’s healthful and hedonistic. (We’re not talking brown rice and steamed vegetables here.) This menu is designed to get you through a mountain-biking weekend in style.
Assuming that most rental cabins are equipped with little more than a burner, a small refrigerator and some utensils – and since even a Cordon Bleu-trained chef probably couldn’t muster up much culinary energy after a day on the trails – these dishes require little on-site preparation. Instead, you can do most of the cooking at home. What’s left for the cabin is simple, the results scrumptious.
O’Hara’s suggestions cover Saturday’s breakfast and dinner, and Sunday morning’s meal (be it breakfast or brunch). We’ve left lunches up to you, so while you’re gathering your ingredients, remember to pick some portable foods to keep you pumped on your rides. “The best choices,” says Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D., R.D., a high-performance nutritionist and author of The Be Healthier, Feel Stronger Vegetarian Cookbook(Macmillan, 1997), “arehigh-carbohydrate snacks with concentrated calories that are compact and easy to eat.” For muscle fuel, Kleiner favors dried fruit, granola bars, graham crackers, cheese sandwiches and peanut-butter sandwiches. Also remember to pack along enough liquids to keep you hydrated throughout the day.
With a little advance preparation, you can enjoy your weekend or day of mountain biking – and have your apple turnovers, too.