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Video: Get more energy with a runner’s diet

  1. Transcript of: Get more energy with a runner’s diet

    MATT LAUER, co-host: This morning on TODAY'S KITCHEN , we're back to basics with a healthy runner's diet. When winemaker and restaurateur Joe Bastianich wanted to lose weight, he decided to take up running. Now he's preparing to run in this weekend's New York City Marathon ...

    Mr. JOE BASTIANICH (Winemaker and Restaurateur): Yes, Matt.

    LAUER: ...his second New York City Marathon . Joe , good morning. Nice to see you.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: Good morning, Matt. How are you?

    MEREDITH VIEIRA, co-host: Nice to see you, Joe.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: Meredith.

    LAUER: When you started running, it really did kind of change your outlook on food, didn't it?

    Mr. BASTIANICH: Absolutely. I think the big kind of transition for me was kind of thinking about food as eating for hedonistic or eating for pleasure as opposed to eating for energy or nutrition. And that was...

    VIEIRA: Which is what you do now.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: And that's really kind of changed my whole perspective on eating and cooking and everything I do, really.

    LAUER: So you're going to make a runner's stew.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: This is -- yeah. And I think the concept here is less about the specific recipe and more about just kind of putting great ingredients together in a way that make you feel good, make you feel energetic, make you feel like you want to get up and run. So this is a runner's stew. Olive oil , a little garlic. I threw in some sausage just to give it a little bit of extra flavor. I'm going to brown that. And then I'm going to simply add -- these are cannellini beans , white beans , out of a can. Cooked already.

    VIEIRA: And you're a big bean guy, right?

    Mr. BASTIANICH: I like -- I like beans . Beans , like the bigger -- the kind of protein that beans give me, the kind of energy, make me feel great. The bigger, the creamier the beans , the better -- they better they are.

    VIEIRA: The better.

    TEXT: White Bean Stew Swiss chard Canned tomatoes Extra -virgin olive oil Cannellini beans Garlic Salt Crushed red pepper

    Mr. BASTIANICH: So...

    LAUER: So you put the cannellini beans in there. What else is going into this?

    Mr. BASTIANICH: I'm going to brown the sausage and then just a little bit of tomato, canned tomato , for brightness and acidity. Chard, we have beautiful chard this time of year, so I blanched the chard in water.

    VIEIRA: Ah.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: I'm going to add that to maybe a little bit of consomme, some spicy pepper, and really that's it.

    VIEIRA: Ooh.

    LAUER: So now you hear people, runners, all the time talking about carbo-loading before a big race.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: Carbo -- yeah.

    LAUER: Does this have enough complex carbohydrates?

    Mr. BASTIANICH: The beans do.

    LAUER: Right.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: And the vegetables. Because it's always like about balancing carbs, so if you ate butter and pasta all the time, it wouldn't be the kind of diet you would want to go into a marathon with.

    VIEIRA: Right.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: So I think it's about combining carbs with things that make you feel good; leafy greens and vegetables, and you know, anything that's going to give you the kind of energy and protein that'll keep you running.

    VIEIRA: You got the carbs, but you don't have a lot of calories.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: You don't have a lot of calories. And that is it; you know, like, when you're training for a marathon, you're running maybe 40, 50, 60 miles a week, you're burning a lot of calories.

    VIEIRA: Right.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: So you want to be able -- you're going to eat much more than you normally would, maybe 3,000- 4,000 calories a day. But you have to eat good food that makes you feel good.

    VIEIRA: Good food.

    LAUER: Yeah.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: So you're not going to have cheeseburgers and fried chicken . So this is -- kind of bridges the gap between nutrition and yield of nutrients.

    LAUER: All right. Let's turn this one down...

    Mr. BASTIANICH: All right.

    LAUER: ...because we've got one here that -- that's already been cooked down.

    VIEIRA: And so it's done.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: So yeah, this is basically the cooked product. And it's -- you know, you can make it as kind of watery...

    LAUER: Looks good.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: ...or as tight as you like. So really, really delicious.

    LAUER: Here, Mere.

    VIEIRA: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Thank you.

    LAUER: I'm going to give you a little taste. You like sausage or not, Mere ?

    VIEIRA: No.

    LAUER: No?

    VIEIRA: Thanks.

    LAUER: You're not going to make it easy now. OK, here. There you go.

    VIEIRA: Thank you.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: So it's kind of like a stew or a brodo. Or you could make it more soupy if you wanted by adding in more consomme or more pepper.

    VIEIRA: (Talks with her mouth full)

    Mr. BASTIANICH: So it's some yummy stuff.

    VIEIRA: Mm-hmm.

    LAUER: And you serve this with -- obviously, you're a wine guy, I know that.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: Yeah. Yeah.

    LAUER: But you also -- you say -- although you never were a beer drinker...

    VIEIRA: So good.

    LAUER: ...once you started running and training, you crave beer now.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: I've begun to crave beer. So after a long run, if I'm going to sit down for lunch, I'd love to have like a glass of beer. And there's fantastic beers coming out of Italy . Obviously, Italian wine is my thing. This is a Birrificio called Baladin . And what the Italians have done is, like they do in wine, taken regional products, traditional techniques and kind of looked back at beer as being more of an agricultural product.

    LAUER: Oh, you can't, you can't.

    VIEIRA: I'm not a beer person.

    LAUER: Right, right. OK.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: You're not a beer -- so these beers are delicious, full-flavored, great with wine, with food.

    VIEIRA: And beer is food.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: Beer is food. Just like wine is grape -- fermented grape juice ...

    VIEIRA: Is -- yeah.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: ...beer, fermented oats.

    VIEIRA: The crew is so happy.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: Good stuff, no?

    VIEIRA: Beer is food.

    LAUER: Yeah, I was going to say.

    VIEIRA: They're like, `Yes, we knew it!'

    LAUER: You just made their day.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: And if -- and if I'm not drinking beer, I'd like, when I'm going to train, a splurge for a delicious, full-bodied red wine . This is a Malbec from Argentina .

    VIEIRA: Mm.

    LAUER: Which is delicious. You're running Sunday. What's the time you want to beat?

    Mr. BASTIANICH: I -- in my age bracket, I need to run 3:20 to qualify for Boston .

    VIEIRA: Oh, my gosh.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: So that's the goal. And if you see me out there, I'll be -- I'll be...

    VIEIRA: So you've become a serious runner at this point.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: Yeah.

    VIEIRA: Yeah, yeah.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: It's kind of become a part of my life. It's one of those things that once you kind of start with it, it becomes a part of your life, you need to do it every day.

    LAUER: Even now after -- it's been a couple of years, you know, you physically have changed so much...

    VIEIRA: Mm.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: Yes.

    LAUER: ...that I almost have to do a double-take when I see you in the studio.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: It's been a -- it's been a big change.

    VIEIRA: Yeah.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: Yeah.

    VIEIRA: For the best.

    LAUER: Well, good luck with the race.

    Mr. BASTIANICH: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    LAUER: And the stew is fantastic.

TODAY recipes
updated 10/28/2009 9:25:47 AM ET 2009-10-28T13:25:47

Recipe: Quick white bean stew with Swiss chard and tomatoes

Low in fat but high in protein, beans are one of Bastianich’s favorite ingredients. He uses white beans here, but he also loves making this recipe with chickpeas and flat gigante beans: “The bigger and creamier the beans, the better.”

  • 2 pounds Swiss chard, large stems discarded and leaves cut crosswise into 2-inch strips
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
  • One 16-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt

1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Add the chard and simmer over moderate heat until tender, 8 minutes. Drain the greens and gently press out excess water.

2. In the saucepan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook over moderate heat until the garlic is golden, 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add the beans and simmer over moderately high heat for 3 minutes. Add the chard and simmer over moderate heat until the flavors meld, 5 minutes. Season the stew with salt and serve.


Wine to serve with this dish: Earthy, cherry-rich Sangiovese:2007 Canneto Rosso di Montepulciano.

One serving: 274 cal, 16 gm fat, 2.1 gm sat fat, 13 gm carb, 11 gm fiber

Serving Size

4 servings/ Total time: 35 minutes


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