Must Have: Runner's World Cookbook

I love eating. I love cookbooks. I love my wife who loves cooking. Now, I personally don't cook, but that doesn't stop me from choosing recipes that look amazing to give my wife to make. ;)

It is a team effort. I am a great grocery shopper and dish washer. Okay we have a dishwasher, but I can load and unload it like no other!

But I digress.

This Fall, I had the opportunity to obtain a free copy of the Runner's World Cookbook (value $26.99) thanks to Runner's World. The book came in the mail and I was already drooling just looking at the cover.

Can you spot the drool marks or did I wipe it all off?

The Cookbook was actually released on October 1st, but with a crazy Fall racing schedule I didn't even get the crack the cover until Halloween. Fail on my part I know. But the first thing I did once I had time was calculate the Weight Watchers Points Values for all recipes.

Thankfully each recipe had the nutrition information on the bottom so it was an easy task.

The cookbook was edited by Runner's World nutrition editor Joanna Sayago Golub, who also hosts's nutrition Web series Quick Bites, and featured a foreward by Olympian Deena Kastor, who holds the American marathon and half-marathon record holder.

I loved when Deena wrote:

The Runner's World Cookbook can help you accomplish these dual goals - creating meals made with simple ingredients to fuel your training while helping build relationships with those you love... These recipes will satisfy, empower, and keep you running optimally-while meeting any dietary need or craving you have.

With that I was sold and couldn't wait to try out the recipes.But before I made it to the recipes, there was an informative introduction on "how to eat like a runner," which is something I am still trying to understand. Especially with what to eat when trying to heal, refuel or grow stronger.

The cookbook is a collection of 150 recipes covering breakfast, soups, pizza, burgers, desserts and so much more. There is also a color-coded Recipe Key at the top of each recipe letting you know if the recipe meets certain training goals (prerun, recovery) or dietary needs (vegan, low-calorie, etc).

Choosing our first recipe to make was a tough decision, but after a little game of paper, rock, scissors (the adult way to make a decision) we chose...

... and it was delicious!! Worth every Weight Watcher Point for sure.

The recipe was created by cookbook writer and runner Patricia Wells, who recommended it for either the night before a long run or a post-run recovery with it carbs goodness.

The Soba Noodles recipe is designed for post-run recovery and fast, which meant it could be prepared in 30 minutes or less.

We had a little journey finding the Soba noodles, but thankfully there is a great Asian market near our house that had them in stock.

Most of the ingredients went into a bowl to create the sauce, while the sesame seeds, peanuts and cilantro went in a separate bowl as the garnish (pictured below). The cooked chicken and soba noodles were separate.

Once the soba noodles cooked (which took about 5 minutes), you mixed in the sauce to make sure the noodles were all coated then added in the chicken.

Only then was it time to add the finishing touch ... the garnish.

Doesn't this look delicious? I hope so because it was.

Our dish did end up having a lot more sesame seeds than we saw in the cookbook picture, but we weren't complaining.

I was impressed with how quickly the recipe came together and the flavors were great. I would definitely enjoy having something like this the night before a long training run or after a marathon.

Normally I want to take carbo-loading the wrong way (aka allow myself to order pizza and french fries), but I think this cookbook will allow me to really explore the different avenues of true carbo-loading.

As I continue with Dopey Challenge training and start Boston Marathon training, I think this cookbook will serve as a great tool to properly fueling my body this winter. It has the "comfort foods" I am looking for in pizza and pasta, but with a healthier, more nutritious twist.

If you are someone who is wondering what to eat while training for a half marathon or marathon, I really recommend this book. It covers breakfast, lunch and dinner, while adding in smoothies and desserts. One cookbook will cover your entire training.

Now what to cook next?

Disclaimer: I was given a free copy of this book by Rodale, but all opinions of the Cookbook are my own!