How Runners around the World Are Cooking in Quarantine

While not the best of circumstances, the COVID-19 crisis has given me a good excuse to check in with friends all over the world. In addition to general life updates, I’m eager to know how they’re all coping, what restrictions they’re facing, what training looks like these days, and (because it’s me) how they’re cooking and eating while quarantined.

Maybe because I’m always on the prowl for new recipes, and maybe because my wanderlust is soaring right now, I was especially compelled by that last part. So I asked a handful of those friends for answers to the same 3 food-related questions:

  1. What does your pantry look like right this moment?
  2. What 5 foods are you relying on most right now?
  3. What’s one recipe you’ve loved most during the pandemic?

I’m dropping their responses below. Thanks to each of you for (virtually) allowing me into your homes and giving me some new recipes to get excited about. I can’t wait for our next opportunity to run, cook, and catch up in person!

Krista DuChene, Canada

Krista is an Olympic marathoner, the 2018 Boston Marathon 3rd place finisher, a mother of three, and a registered dietician. I met her back in 2015 when she did a training stint in Houston with our friend Mary Davies, and she’s since become one of my favorite people to see on the road racing scene.

5 foods: Milk, eggs, flour, frozen fruit, cheese

Favorite recipe: Chocolate pudding. “I went through my mom’s recipe box and found this favourite, which my brother in law made and then posted on his food blog. I included a pic of the recipe (my late mom’s handwriting).”

Sara Ivackovic, Serbia

Sara is a middle distance runner and rising senior at Rice University, my alma mater. I’ve loved getting to know her during my trips back to Houston over the last few years, and we’ve bonded over the unfortunate connection of having gone through the same major hip surgery (labral repair).

5 foods: Oatmeal (Quick Quaker), coffee (Instant Nescafe Gold), lemons (for fresh lemonade in the morning), kefir (a great probiotic and source of protein), Plazma cookies (VERY popular Serbian cookies)

Favorite recipe: Porridge. “My favorite meal of the day is definitely breakfast and everyone that knows me will tell you I LOVE making oat porridge, so here is the way I make it:

  • Warm up low fat milk in a small pot
  • Add oats, chia seeds, cinnamon, cacao, coconut, small scoop of vanilla whey protein
  • Stir until it becomes very creamy 
  • Put everything in a bowl and add a spoon of peanut butter and berries (I like frozen blueberries the most)”

Lisa Weightman, Australia

Lisa is an Olympic marathoner, mother, full-time IBM consultant, and wife to fellow Rice Owl grad Lachlan McArthur. We met in London right after she ran in the 2012 Olympic Marathon, shared brunch in Melbourne a few months later, and still get to catch up whenever our race schedules collide.

5 foods: Eggs, yoghurt, apples, chocolate, cheese

Favorite recipe: Salmon patties (her recipe below)

Teresa Mcgloin, Ireland

Teresa is a distance runner, mom, and member of Finn Valley Athletics Club, my adoptive Irish running team. She and I shared some lovely miles during my 2012 visit to Donegal, most notably a progressive long run on some dark, windy, rural roads one evening.

5 foods: Porridge, potatoes, fruit/veg, chicken/beef, eggs

Favorite recipe: Shepherd’s Pie. “Nice recipe I made recently is from the Donal Skehan website- a good Irish TV chef. I am working from home now so I usually make Shepherd’s Pie during the week or pasta bake, which would give us 2 days’ dinner and at weekends I’ll have steak or stir fries.”

Johanna Sällinen, Finland

Johanna is a middle distance track runner who competed for Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas before moving back to her native Finland. We connected during my stay in Turku in 2013, when she was kind enough to take a break from her studies to lead me on a run and feed me a delicious meal in her apartment.

5 foods: Porridge with berries and nuts, colorful fruits and vegetables (to cheer up my day and keep my immune system rocking), Perunarieska (potato flatbread), minced deer meatballs with mashed potatoes, banana pancakes for lazy Sunday mornings

Favorite recipe: Perunarieska (traditional Finnish potato flatbreads). “This recipe looks similar to mine. I love to make a little too much mashed potatoes and on the next day I’ll bake potato flatbread with them after my run (very often after my Sunday long run).”

Thanks again for sharing, y’all. Time to get cooking!

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