When it comes to fueling yourself for a quality cardio session, carbohydrates are key, but when most people "carbo-load", they don't realize that not all carbs are created equal. Protein is also an important part of a healthy workout diet, especially if you plan on doing any weight training.

Let's take a look at a pasta recipe that provides a combination of protein and good carbs. It's quick to make, delicious to eat, and easily stored for meals on the go.

When people think about a healthy diet, pasta isn't the first thing that springs to mind. That's because standard semolina pasta is nothing more than highly-processed carbs that will do nothing for you except build a bulging belly. That's why for our pasta, we're using Quinoa pasta (pronounced keen-wah) instead. Quinoa is a seed that isn't just a good source of healthy carbs—it also has a ton of protein, two gram per ounce.

Ingredients for a single serving:

  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 3 ounces 90% lean ground beef
  • 6 ounces Quinoa pasta
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves
  • Salt to taste


  • Place tomatoes in pot on high heat, add ground beef once tomatoes start bubbling and stir for two minutes. Reduce to a simmer.
  • Boil 3 cups of water. Add noodles and stir.
  • Once the noodles reach your desired softness, drain then add to tomato mix.
  • Add chopped basil, stir again, then serve.

That's all there is to it. It's easy, it's delicious, and it's healthy. Just look at these stats:

  • 848 calories
  • 44g protein
  • 13g fat
  • 132g carbs

It's the perfect combination of carbs and protein, and eaten 60 to 90 minutes prior to a workout, it provides all the fuel you need to make your session a success.