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Foods For Cyclists - Your Favorite Foods, Made Better

from Kristine Napier - appearing in Bicycling

Chilly-day dishes with the right blend of carbs, fat and protein for cyclists

Cookie Fuel When winter chills our bones, even the most disciplined cyclist seeks comfort in the form of a hot meal. A heaping dish of macaroni and cheese feeds our sun-deprived souls and provides a warming layer of fat around our bellies. Of course, lounging in our cozy homes, it's not like we need all that insulation, but it's still hard to fool Mother Nature on a dreary January afternoon.

"Food is a celebration of life," says Kristine Napier, M.P.H., R.D., editor of American Dietetic Association Cooking Healthy Across America. Rich foods like hot chocolate and cookies make us feel good, she says, but there's no need to deny yourself. "Made with an eye to nutrition and dished out in reasonable portions, any comfort food can provide the healthy blend of carbs, fat and protein that a cyclist needs." Here are two of her favorite recipes.

Chicken Enchilada Pie*

20-oz. can mild enchilada sauce

3 large flour tortillas

1/2 pound chicken breast, cooked and diced

16-oz. can fat-free refried beans

1 cup chopped green pepper

1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)

4 oz. shredded taco cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a deep, 9-inch pie plate with vegetable oil spray, then coat the bottom of the dish with 2 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce. Place one flour tortilla on the bottom of the plate and top it with half the chicken and half the refried beans. Sprinkle with a half-cup green pepper and a half-cup chopped onion. Drizzle with one-third of the remaining sauce and sprinkle with half the cheese. Top with the second tortilla and repeat the layers, except for the cheese. Place the remaining tortilla on top and press the edges down into the sides. Spread with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting. Versus The Real Deal: This recipe takes out some of the chicken and adds refried beans, so each serving delivers more filling fiber (read: you'll eat less) and nutrients than if it had chicken alone. Serves: 6; per serving: 347 calories, 22 grams protein, 36g carbohydrate, 4.4g fiber, 12.4g fat, 5g saturated fat, 860mg sodium

Must-Have Chocolate-Chip Cookies

2 cups raisins

1 cup hot water

1 cup sugar

1/2cup unsalted butter (1 stick)

1 cup peanut butter

1 cup liquid egg substitute

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2cups oats (not instant)

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks

¼ cup nonfat milk (use as needed)

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine the raisins and hot water; set aside. Cream sugar, butter, peanut butter, egg substitute, vanilla, cinnamon and baking soda. Add flour and beat until smooth. Stir in oats. Drain the raisins and mix them and the chocolate chips in by hand. If the batter is stiff, add milk by the tablespoon. Drop batter by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes-for a softer cookie, remove at closer to the 8-minute mark; if you like crunchy cookies, bake closer to 10 minutes. Versus the Real Deal: Uses about half the fat called for in traditional chocolate chip cookie recipes. The oats and raisins add a touch of healthy fiber. Makes: 6 dozen; per cookie: 100 calories, 2g protein, 14g carb, 1g fiber, 5g fat, 2g saturated fat, 35mg sodium

*Used with permission from Power Nutrition for Your Chronic Illness by Kristine M. Napier

Used with permission from American Dietetic Association Cooking Healthy Across America by Kristine M. Napier

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