Triathlete Hillary Biscay is well known for her love of extreme events. She’s completed 66 Ironman races — once earning six top-five finishes in a single season — and she won the 2013 Ultraman World Championship, a three-day triathlon. She even named her clothing company Smashfest Queen. (“Smashfests” are those intense workouts that leave you feeling completely smashed.)
Since 2009, Biscay has also been a vegan. “The biggest changes I had to make were ditching a lot of the energy bars I had relied on,” she said, since most bars contain whey protein. It took some trial and error, but she now has new recipes in her arsenal. Plus, there are more vegan-friendly products on the market these days.
Biscay shared with us one of the meat-free meals that keeps her going between smashfests.
Day and time: This is a regular favorite for dinner, then leftovers for second breakfast or lunch the next day.
Place: At my house in Tucson, Arizona
What I’m eating: Gluten-free vegan pesto pasta with chickpeas
Whose recipe: I made it up! On that note, I don’t measure anything, so the amounts of all of the things in my recipe vary. If I have two cans of chickpeas, I use them; and I if just have one, then that’s what it is. It’s perfect for someone like me, as it is impossible to screw up no matter how much or little of each item you include!
Why I’m eating it: I try to eat lots and lots of nutritionally dense food that doesn’t come from animals. This meal is simple and quick and includes two of my favorites: garbanzos and pine nuts.
Brown rice or quinoa pasta
Fresh spinach and/or kale
While cooking the pasta, I brown the chickpeas in a frying pan with olive oil. Then I set those aside.
I can use the same pan to saute the onion (usually about half an onion) and add spinach and/or kale. I salt and saute lightly, then set aside too.
And finally I toast the pine nuts on medium heat. Watch these closely as they brown quickly!
When the pasta is all cooked, I mix in the chickpeas and greens. The pine nuts go on top. Easy peasy.