Carbs reloaded

Fuelling your runs needn't be all pasta and rice. Michelin-starred chef Anthony Demetre introduces some nutritious alternative carb dishes.

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Why eat it? Spelt is a cousin of wheat but doesn’t aggravate wheat intolerance and delivers a broader range of nutrients. As well as complex carbs for sustained fuelling, the 200g here also provides all your daily requirement of manganese, which plays a key role in digestion by helping our bodies metabolise carbs and protein, and also helps in the formation of connective tissue and bones. In addition, there’s a third of your daily fibre and protein needs ‘spelt’ out here, plus significant hits of magnesium and vitamin B3. All in all, US research at Cornell University places spelt in a class of wholegrains with enough phytonutrient firepower to make them as beneficial to your health as fruit and veg.

Roast young chicken marinated in lemon, honey and green chilli, spelt and broad bean salad

What goes in (serves 4)

  • 1 chicken, spatchcock style (backbone removed)


  • 150g whole preserved lemon
  • 20g garlic
  • 3g rosemary
  • 90g runny honey
  • 50g olive oil
  • 40g green chilli
  • Pinch of red chilli flakes

(Spelt salad)

  • 200g cooked spelt
  • 15g sunflower seeds
  • 15g pumpkin seeds
  • 40g queen green olives, pitted and chopped
  • 10g preserved lemon peel, cut into fine strips
  • 60g broad beans, small, tender and raw
  • Fresh parsley
  • Fresh mint
  • Salt and pepper
  • Rapeseed oil


  • 30g clear runny honey
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 80g olive oil

How to create it

  • Blend all the marinade ingredients together into a smooth paste and brush on to the chicken. Marinate over night, or for as long as possible.
  • Cook the chicken at 220C for 15 minutes, leave it to rest then divide into four pieces.
  • Fry the pumpkin and sunflower seeds in the rapeseed oil until golden. Then set aside. 
  • Combine the spelt, olives, lemon peel, parsley, mint and broad beans, and add to the seeds. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix all the dressing ingredients together. Combine some of it with the spelt salad and spoon the rest over the chicken.

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Discuss this article

This article was a little disappointing. As someone with a gluten intolerance (not coeliac) I was interested to see that the chef behind these recipes was coeliac, and it was indicated that the following recipes would be gluten free. Not only was there a recipe featuring spelt, which has gluten, and one quick google search will tell you its definitely not safe for coeliacs, but the polenta recipe contains 'flour' on the ingredients list without any instructions for it to be gluten free, or even suggestions for what gluten-free readers could use as an alternative.

 Also, 50g of quinoa to go between four people? That's a bit stingy...

Posted: 06/03/2013 at 07:01

Polenta is also what the 'running tribe' eat - ugali/pinole etc and is discussed in Born To Run book. Excellent source of energy for long runs and if you get the right recipe it can be made and taken on long runs no problem - especially good if used in conjunction with chia seeds and cinnamon.

Pity out of 5 recipes 3 are salads - not exactly inspiring for cold winter days!

Posted: 06/03/2013 at 08:31

It's also funny how you never hear of "gluten intolerance", or allergies in poor countries, same as you never used to here. 

Idle rich, anyone?

Posted: 06/03/2013 at 22:26

You don't hear about them because they have already died as babies. I take it your just idle then?

Posted: 19/06/2013 at 07:13

Nice first post Martin. That told him. (albeit 3 months later.)
Posted: 19/06/2013 at 08:17


What an ignorant thing to say - It's what we have done to the process of manufacturing wheat that makes people so ill, if you don't know anything about an issue, it's probably best not to voice an opinion about it! 

Posted: 19/06/2013 at 22:01

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