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Garden-friendly Dinner: Fueled by Plants

By Marni Sumbal

Do you have more on your plate than your mind can handle? Do you love pushing your body for fitness gains? Do you want to reduce your risk for illness to live a quality-filled life?

If you live a busy, active lifestyle, it’s critical to have a functioning body and mind.  It is up to you to keep your body’s foundation strong and to constantly tune it up to keep it in top-notch condition. To reach optimal health, fuel your body with plants.

A garden-friendly dinner will boost your immune system, fuel your muscles, keep your GI tract happy and enable your brain to think clearly. Consider using your oven for an easy meal that needs little attention to prep, will aid in your training and warm you up this fall.

Roasted Potatoes, Grains and Veggies

Use this list of suggested ingredients to create a veggie-filled dinner. Substitute amounts and ingredients to customize your own meal.

roasted potatoes, grains and veggiesWhole grains of your choice (I used wild rice, barley and spelt berries and made a big batch for leftovers)
Sliced mushrooms
Firm tofu, sliced
Frozen corn
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 extra large garlic clove, peeled and sliced
1 large white potato, sliced
1 large sweet potato, sliced
1 Tbsp sunflower oil
Spices of your liking (I used turmeric, oregano, garlic and a dash of salt)
Toppings (optional): Greek yogurt for dipping, shredded cheese on potatoes, nuts/seeds for a crunch, greens for a bit more color, salsa for spice.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cook grains according to package (it took me 1.5 hours to prep my grains so you may want to do this the day before or on the weekend and plan for leftovers).

On a large baking sheet, drizzle sunflower oil to lightly cover baking sheet. Toss sliced white potatoes in oil and sprinkle with spices. Add mushrooms and garlic, and cover garlic slices in the mushrooms so the garlic doesn't burn on the sheet.

Repeat the same thing on separate baking sheet with oil, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and garlic.

In a casserole dish, drizzle a little oil and toss tofu, corn and peppers (the casserole dish will keep the veggies soft without browning but if you like them brown, you can cook them on another baking dish).

Bake items prepared for steps No. 3-5 in oven with potatoes on bottom rack and casserole dish on the top.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown.

Add additional toppings, if desired.


Marni Sumbal, MS, RD, LD/N works as a Clinical Dietitian at Baptist Medical Center Beaches, and is the owner of Trimarni Coaching and Nutrition, LLC, providing one-on-one consulting in the Jacksonville, Fla., area. Marni is a Registered Dietitian, holding a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology, and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist (CISSN). As an elite endurance athlete, she is also a USA Triathlon Level I Coach and a 5x Ironman finisher. Marni is a 110% Play Harder, Brooks ID, Hammer Nutrition and Oakley Women brand ambassador. She enjoys public speaking and writing, and she has several published articles in Fitness, Bicycling, The Florida Times-Union Shorelines, Lava Magazine, Hammer Nutrition’s Endurance News, CosmoGirl and Triathlete magazine, and contributes to and Ironman online in addition to USA Triathlon.

To contact Marni, email, visit her blog or her website