It’s meet week in the Ristic household, so I thought I’d share one of my favorite race day recipes.
Milan is not only a machine, he eats like one too- especially on race days. Because his event (60m hurdles) tends to be earlier in the day, he usually eats as much as he can physically intake in the morning, and then not again until after he’s through.
O.K., so that the racing half of him- needing an enormous “game day” breakfast. The Serbian half of him, doesn’t consider food to be food unless he’s consuming at least 51% meat. This usually rules out my eggs and waffles plan.
I wouldn’t say we are “clean eaters” but we are whatever tries to eat as much fresh food as possible. We don’t eat hardly any processed foods, a product of his national food background and my mother being a dietitian. This holds especially true on meet/meat days, he needs to feel full, but the food has to hold him a while as well, so we want to make sure we get him some sustainable energy with all that protein.
With such a tremendous meat requirement, we are usually left in dinner territory when deciding what we want. In an effort to keep it as early-morning consumable as possible, I turn to one of our favorites, which we affectionately call “Pan of Stuffs”.
This is one of the first things I started making for Milan when we first got married. We were poor, the ingredients were easy, and there was plenty of meat. The best part- I’d say start to finish, it takes about 20 minutes to get on the plate!
In a nutshell, its Polish Kielbasa, peppers and onion all cooked up together and served over mashed potatoes or grains (quinoa, lentils, rice) depending on how healthy you’re feeling. On meet day, mashed potatoes- they’re good luck, right?
I always start by mincing a couple cloves of garlic (1-3) depending on how much you’re making. I heat that up with some olive oil on a low heat while I chop up the veggies.
I always use (3-4) multi-colored peppers, and usually a couple of bell peppers. This time I used our “weird vegetable of the week” which happened to be a type of dark green mild Poblano pepper (3). I honestly didn’t taste a huge difference.
Hopefully, now that all of your peppers are chopped you are starting to smell the garlic. Add the peppers, before you get going on your onion.
I am not a huge onion fan, but I do like the flavor it gives off. I usually try to dice up about half an onion, and I add it just before I when I add the kielbasa.
Next is Milan’s absolutely favorite part- the meat. Serbia does a lot of smoked meat, which is why I started making kielbasa in the first place- I know it’s not the same, (and lets be real- I was 20 when we first got married. I’m pretty sure I was doing good to not be making ground beef tacos every night) But, it at least gives him a hint of that flavor he loves.
I usually use two (1lb) sausages, and I cut them into 1/4″ slices. (Big enough to to save time, small enough to be able to have a slice in every bite).
Once I get it all in there, I usually add a little garlic salt, pepper and paprika, just for an extra smoky taste. I let the onions and garlic do most of the talking!
I usually let it cook about 7-10 minutes because the kielbasa is already cooked, I just want to get everything brown and get some good cast iron pan-marks on the sausage.
Once it’s all done I lay deliciously huge spoonfuls over mashed potatoes! (We usually like a little Franks Hot sauce on top of ours too).
I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. In most households, I would say serves 4 without leftovers, but in our house, especially on meet day, the serving size is Milan, with a remainder of Meredith getting a taste.
I love any suggestions on any other “pre-game” meals you love to make!
What you’ll need:
- (2) 1 lb. polish kielbasa
- (3-4) multi-colored peppers
- (2-3) bell peppers
- (1/2) white onion
- (1-3) cloves garlic
- Carb/grain of your choice!
- (1 tbsp) olive oil
- Optional: garlic salt, pepper, paprika.