By Rebecca Fallihee
As you’re trying to maintain a semblance of routine in your running and general life, it is likely that day-to-day normalcy seems distant right now. And if you’re like me, you’re reaching for optimism and joy where you can even as training and racing plans, family and work schedules, and life have been uprooted. This is exactly the time that calls for making meals from ingredients that are equally comforting, pantry and/or produce-keeper friendly, and still nourishing to feed our bodies well. Stress affects nearly every aspect of both our physical and mental health, and combating it with good nutrition can go a long way to help. I’m putting a hearty runner’s brunch or dinner hash in my meal rotation as a result. It’s comforting and delicious, but still full of the many nutritious foods we need.
More of a concept than a recipe to follow exactly, this hash pan also breaks up the meal routine–either turn it into a true hearty brunch after a long run or make breakfast for dinner. Depending on how you swing the add-ins such as choice of protein, it can also veer away from a breakfast-type meal entirely. You choose. We’re all about flexibility and rolling with it these days.
Though the outline below is a great way to use whatever hearty vegetables are on hand, I especially favor it with a mix of potatoes and sweet potatoes, beets, and mushrooms. If you’re at the store and have shiitake mushrooms available, they have ample scientific research showing immune system benefits over the more common culinary mushrooms—and a little handful provides a richer flavor as well.
A few more recipe notes to get you started:
- This comes together fairly quick if you prep ahead by dicing and steaming all the vegetables. From start to finish, it will take about 30 minutes total.
- If using olive oil, it really does not favor higher heat cooking. Heat takes the beneficial properties of olive oil and turns them into toxic metabolites in our bodies. If this is your oil of choice, I recommend using only a small amount (~1 teaspoon) to cook with and then add in the remaining oil near the end.
- If you’re without a scale to measure amounts, 3 pounds of vegetables was roughly 3 smallish potatoes, 3 beets, 1 small sweet potato, and a handful of radishes.
3 pounds of root or hearty vegetables, diced into 1-inch pieces
examples: potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, spring radishes, brussels sprouts
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive or coconut oil
1 onion, medium-diced
handful of mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely minced
1 tsp. dried thyme
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
a small handful of parsley or chervil, minced to finish
Ideas to serve alongside for a full meal:
eggs (your choice of cooking methods)
black beans or cannellini beans
1. Steam the vegetables in a steamer basket set in a pot of simmering water, covered, until they are fork tender. If adding beets to this recipe (which I highly recommend), steam them separately to not make the whole thing vibrant red. This will take about 12-15 minutes for each batch. Drain, remove, and repeat the same steaming process with the beets as needed.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high and add in the oil. Cook the onion until it is translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
3. Then stir in the garlic, mushrooms and steamed vegetables, rosemary and thyme, and season with salt and pepper. Flatten the vegetables with the back of a spatula to compact them a bit.
4. Cook the hash until it is brown and a little crispy on the bottom. Stir occasionally, and once the bottom is nice and crispy, flip it over to crisp up on the other side.
5. Once the whole mixture is browned to your desired consistency, sprinkle over the fresh herbs, and serve alongside your sides, as desired.
In addition to enjoying running for all the reasons you do, Rebecca is a board-certified clinical nutritionist and an avid eater, recipe developer, and green thumb based in Eugene, Oregon. Check out her website and nutrition/recipe blog for more: https://eggplantandolive.com/