Skip your next pre-race dinner--at a restaurant, that is. Instead of gambling on your pre-race meal with an unfamiliar restaurant, bring along a small rice cooker and make the best healthy pre-race dinner from the comfort of your hotel room. In this replay of our Instagram Live on December 29, 2021, I taught Triathlete readers how to do it using a surprisingly simple appliance: the rice cooker.
I use a basic Aroma brand rice cooker. This machine has just a few simple settings, and comes with a steamer basket for vegetables, fish or smaller pieces of chicken. When traveling for a race, it will be a lot easier if you pack pre-portioned ingredients in zipper bags or reusable storage containers and bring along – your meal prepping skills will come in handy here! The rice cooker will bring most anything to high heat or to a boil, so start thinking through recipes with that in mind. Some recipes you might want to consider for your rice cooker:
Basic Rice (of course!): Follow the package instructions for the type of rice you have. For most quick-cooking and white rice, it's equal parts rice to water. Specialty rices and brown rice may require more water or longer cooking time.
Fried rice: Cooked rice can be put back into the cooker in small batches with eggs, dried fruits and nuts, ir raw vegetables added for a very simple fried rice.
Lentils: This is one of my favorite ingredients to make in rice cookers! Small green, brown or red lentils are rinsed, then cooked in the rice cooker with two times the water, plus any favorite seasonings, chopped garlic or onions. Finish with olive oil or butter.
Oatmeal: Your pre-race breakfast is a lock with a hearty bowl of oats! When cooking oatmeal in the rice cooker, note this will take a bit longer than stove top, and you'll want to check to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom and then scorching.
Eggs: Scrambled eggs are an easy pre-race meal, as are hard-boiled eggs in a rice cooker. If you’re feeling fancy, add ingredients for a large, thick omelet.
Pancakes: Follow the package instructions, then use your rice cooker to make several batches of silver-dollar pancakes or one large, filling pancake.
For more tips and tricks, watch the replay of my Instagram Live below: