Local flavour: Fueling up
Athletic endeavors are often said to be won and lost on the treatment table as trainers get their players well tuned for the challenges ahead.
The same can be said for the dining table, as well, with the right fuel can giving an athlete the right conditions to excel.
In the case of the Vancouver Giants, those providing the majority of those meals are their billet families.
And to make sure they are feeding players the right stuff requires some coordination with team officials and, sometimes, recipe trading.
Elaine Larmour, the WHL club's billet co-ordinator since day one, says host families are gathered before the start of each season to meet with the club's coaching staff to go over ideas for what the players' diets should contain for both pre and post-game meals.
Most of the time, when it comes to pre-game dining, the meals consist of lean protein and pasta like her recipe for pasta with mild Italian sausage.
"I love to invent things, and I always like to serve chicken, but that and pasta can be kinda boring," Larmour says. "So, I came up with my own little Italian sausage that I just scissor cut and mix with diced tomatoes and parsley."
The sausage gets mixed into the pasta and the lean chicken breasts are served on the side.
Just as important as providing meals with variety is serving them at the right time.
In case of home games, Larmour says that means getting plates on the table at 3 p.m. before a 7 p.m. game.
3 mild Italian sausage links, cut into one-inch segments
2 large shallots or 1/2 red onion cut coarsely
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small tin, diced tomatoes
salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
whole grain/ enriched white pasta, evenly split
Sauté sausage links in tbsp. olive oil until slightly browned. Add shallots, onion and garlic. Sauté two minutes and add diced tomatoes.
While the meat mixture is simmering on low, cook pasta until firm, but not soft. Drain pasta and add to the sausage mixture. Toss in chopped parsley, Parmesan cheese and serve.