Good ol' Spaghetti + Meat Sauce

The perfect week-night dinner. If you keep a few staples in your pantry and freezer, like whole grain pasta, canned tomatoes, and ground beef, this recipe requires very little planning or shopping, therefore making it perfect for busy evenings when your brain is fried!  
Serves 5. 



  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil (olive or canola)
  • 1 yellow onion, diced (+ that compost-bound celery with the leaves)
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced (or pressed)
  • 1 lb. extra-lean ground beef, thawed
  • 3 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1-2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • 2x 796ml (28 fl. oz) canned diced tomatoes (with juices)
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
  • splash or red wine (optional, but delicious)
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 5 cups whole grain pasta, cooked
  • fresh spinach


  • tablespoon (tbsp.)
  • teaspoon (tsp)
  • knife
  • cutting board
  • garlic press (optional)
  • wooden spoon
  • Dutch/French Oven (or large pot)
  • can opener
  • colander



Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until tender and fragrant. Add the ground beef and stir/combine until meat is brown and crumbly. Add tomato paste and spices and combine. Add canned tomatoes, pepper and mushrooms and simmer for ~15-20 minutes. Add a splash of red wine and fresh basil leaves. Salt + pepper to taste. Serve over whole grains pasta and fresh spinach leaves.



Recovery Nutrition. Eating after exercise is just as important as eating before/during exercise. Within 30 minutes to an hour after activity, aim to consume a meal that contains carbohydrates and protein to replenish your body’s glycogen (carbohydrate) stores and rebuild muscle protein. 

  • Protein (i.e., extra-lean ground beef) 

For adequate recovery you need about 0.3g of protein per kg body weight (or 0.15g/lb.). So for the average adult that works out to be ~15-25g protein. Each serving of Spaghetti & Meat Sauce contains ~20-25g of protein.

  • Carbohydrate (i.e., whole grain pasta)

Ideally a 3:1 to 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein is recommended for recovery nutrition. That means that if you need ~20g of protein, then you need 60-80g of carbohydrates. Each serving of Spaghetti & Meat Sauce contains ~70g of carbohydrate. 

Photography by Raven Eye Photography. Athlete: David Oilund (July 8, 2016)

Photography by Raven Eye Photography. Athlete: David Oilund (July 8, 2016)