The Hungry Swimmer: Let’s Talk About Pasta 2.0

by Zoe Gregorace 2

February 24th, 2020 Lifestyle

Who doesn’t love carbs, especially in the form of pasta! As an athlete, carbohydrates are incredibly important, as they are our body’s preferred source of energy. As I mentioned in my previous article, carbs are not the enemy. I’m talking about complex carbohydrates, which are more nutritious and fiber filled as compared to simple carbohydrates. A balanced diet containing quality complex carbs includes whole grains, beans, oatmeal, sweet potatoes as well as some types of fruit. These are the types of carbohydrates that you should focus on incorporating into your daily diet. When it comes to pasta, choose whole grain or plant-based options as opposed to your traditional white pasta made from refined flour. These types of pastas are a form of complex carbohydrates and have more fiber and nutrients.

Here are some of my current favorite pasta recipes that will not disappoint!

Vegetable Stir Fry Noodles


  • Spaghetti (I used Explore Cuisine’s Edamame Spaghetti)
  • Handful of broccoli florets
  • Handful of kale
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • Handful of sliced white mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • Pinch of garlic powder
  • Pinch of ginger powder 

This combo hits the spot when you’re craving some lo-mein from your favorite Chinese take-out place. Not only is it simple to make, but it also has less sodium than your typical Asian inspired noodle dish. For this recipe, I used edamame spaghetti but you can use any type of noodles you want. While you cook the spaghetti, heat up a pan with some olive oil or cooking spray. Sautee the kale for a few minutes until it wilts a bit then add in the mushrooms, peppers and broccoli. Sautee the vegetables for about 5 minutes. Once the pasta has cooked, drain and then add to the pan with the vegetables. Add in the liquid aminos, garlic powder and ginger powder. Thoroughly combine and let the noodle vegetable mixture cook for a few more minutes to soak up the flavors from the seasonings. Once the noodles are coated in the liquid aminos, it’s time to enjoy!

Mushroom & Spinach Rotini


  • Rotini pasta (I used Blue Evolution’s Rotini with Superfood Seaweed, which uses durum wheat)
  • Handful of spinach
  • Handful of cherry tomatoes
  • Handful of sliced mushrooms
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Pinch of garlic powder


If you don’t have much cooking experience or are looking for a quick and easy pasta meal, you can never go wrong with an olive oil and vegetable combination. For this recipe, I threw together some spinach, sliced white mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. To sautee the vegetables, warm up a pan with some olive oil. Cook the spinach until wilted, the mushrooms until soft and the tomatoes until they’re shriveled. After cooking the pasta, add in a drizzle of olive oil and combine with the warm vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and garlic, continue to combine and enjoy!

Broccoli Pesto Casarecce


  • Banza Casarecce pasta
  • Pesto
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen broccoli
  • Handful of sliced white mushrooms
  • Handful of kale
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Red Pepper flakes (optional)

If you really want to jazz up your pasta, pesto is such a game changer. Some of my favorite pestos are the vegan kale, cashew, & basil pesto from Trader Joes and the Gotham Greens vegan pesto. For this recipe, I used the Banza casarecce pasta. I really like this shape because the sauce can seep into the folds of the noodle, ensuring that each bite has a bit of pesto flavor! Just as with the other recipes, you will need to heat up a pan to sautee the vegetables. I recommend adding the kale and broccoli first because these will take a bit longer to wilt. After a few minutes, add in the mushrooms and continue to sautee. While the vegetables are cooking, boil your pasta. After the pasta has cooked, drain and add into the pan with the vegetables. Add in the pesto and combine with the pasta and vegetables. Finish it off with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Check out my page for more recipe inspiration and be sure to share your pasta creations with me @whatzoeeeats.

About Zoe Gregorace

Zoe Gregorace is currently studying Nutrition Policy at the Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science and recently graduated from Tufts University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and was a proud member of the Tufts Swimming and Diving team (Go Jumbos!). During her 16 year career as a competitive swimmer, she developed a passion for sports nutrition. She enjoys writing on the topic of nutrition, health and wellness and posts her meal creations on her Instagram page @whatzoeeeats. As a former college swimmer, she strives to share recipes and nutrition tips to promote balanced eating and optimize sports performance.

Leave a Reply

1 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Grains are bad for you.


So substitute sweet potato noodles for the grains. Sweet Potato is not a grain and pasta 2.0 includes more than grains.

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!