Essential Sports Nutrition



Race report (w/ pics) will be posted soon (likely Monday).
One more race to go at 1:15pm (8-corner, 80 min criterium).

I couldn't resist posting Kare's results now.....

After 5 x 14 mile loops (70 miles), in the middle of nowhere (well, somewhere outside of Winter Haven, FL), with strong winds and a huge field.....

Congrats Karel!!! Your first time on the podium as a category 1!!!! Way to go on your 2nd place finish!


Fun Food Facts + Kiwi-Cranberry Salad + Crock pot vegatable soup

Over the past 8 years of my "healthy vegetarian athlete journey" I have learned to have a really healthy relationship with food. I love how it makes me feel during my workouts, I love how food makes me feel during the day and I just love the look and taste of wholesome and healthy food. I can't say that I've always had these thoughts and I can't say that 24/7 I feel comfortable with my food choices. I am normal just like you and I have my ups and downs with food as I attempt to find out what exactly works for my body. However, I am 100% certain that my passion in life is nutrition and if I truely want to understand how food can make me a better athlete and healthier woman, well, I just need to eat good, healthy food as often as possible.

I thought I would post a few fun facts about food and drinks
*I didn't do the research to see if all of these facts are 100% true so don't hold me to them...
1. 50% of US pizzas are sold with pepperoni on them.
2. A coffee tree yields about 1 lb of coffee in a year.
3. A company in Taiwan makes dinnerware out of wheat, so you can eat your plate!
4. A hard boiled egg will spin. An uncooked or soft boiled egg will not.
5. 1-ounce milk chocolate (bar) has 6mg of caffeine.
6. A peanut is a legume, not a nut.
7. A recent study at Harvard shows that eating chocolate actually helps you live longer.
8. Almonds are part of the peach family.
9. Americans eat nearly 100 acres of pizza every day - that's approximately 350 slices per second!
10. Among older men, vanilla is the most erotic smell.
11. An apple, potato and onion all taste the same if you eat them with your nose plugged.
12. Apples are 25% air.
13. Avocados are poisonous to birds.
14. Banana's contain a natural chemical which can make a person happy. This chemical is also found in Prozac.
15. Budweiser beer is named after a town in Czechoslovakia (No wonder Karel is a beer drinker...but he doesn't like Budweiser!)
16. Buttermilk doesn't contain any butter.
17. By recycling just one glass bottle, the amount of energy that is being saved is enough to light a 100 watt bulb for 4 hours.
18. Canola Oil is actually rapeseed oil but the name was changed for marketing reasons.
19. Chewing gum while cutting onions can help a person from producing tears.
20. Chop-suey is not a native Chinese dish. It was created in California by Chinese immigrants.
*And that is just A-C facts!

Kiwi-Cranberry Salad
Handful spinach
A few cranberries
5 whole almonds (chopped)
1 kiwi (sliced)
A few baby carrots (sliced)
1 celery stick (chopped)
1 roma tomato
A few pear and apple slices

Crock pot Vegetable Soup

(Another Karel masterpiece!)

Red potatoes (cooked in hot water until soft, before cutting)
Red beans
White beans
Vegetarian soup flavoring powder(small pinch)
Yellow Squash

Cooked in slow cooker for 6 hours but 10x better the next day.


Banana Bread and great times

I've been in the mood for warm bread lately. No need to stop by Panera or indulge in a cinnamon roll. After I prepared dinner last night (huge colorful salad topped w/ tofu and veggie burger) I mixed together my ingredients for my banana bread and 15 minutes later our place was smelling SO good.
Enjoy my latest creation!

Fiberlicious Banana Bread
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup oats
2 tsp flax seed
1/4 cup skim milk
3/4 cup water
1 egg
1 tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tbsp honey
Dash of cinnamon and all-spice
1 capfull almond extract
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
13 whole almonds (chopped)
Small handful raisins (chopped)
1 large banana (mashed)

*pre-heat oven to 375 degrees
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Pour batter into large baking pan (either round or square). If using muffin tin, as well as round pan, pour 3/4 batter into round pan and the rest of batter into mini muffin tin.
3. Cook for 12-18 min or until bread is firm on top.

Sometimes I have great weeks and sometimes, I just stick to my normal routine. It seems as though when a new opportunity arises or I do something new, the day seems 10x better than the day before. I love experiencing new things, attending events, meeting new people and going new places. This happens to be a great week, even though last week was just as busy as this week. It seems as though the only time I feel a sense of "relaxation" and "de-stressing" is when I am training. Who would have thought that a 90 minute swim and a 8 mile run would make me relax.

As I sit here with Campy to my right and Madison to my left (I think Smudla is in the pantry laying on my grocery re-usable's her new secret spot..don't tell anyone), I am reminded of how wonderful life is.....
Enjoy some of my favorite experiences and memorable moments:


Plyo's, Granola and Food Porn

I've received a few emails regarding Plyo's. I'm going to have Karel demonstrate his Plyo routine next week (hopefully, if he's not too sore from his upcoming race this weekend). Here's a link to a video I did in 2008 on

Plyo video

I recently completed a whole new set of beginner and advanced plyo/circuit training exercises on and I will let you know when they are edited and published.

So, after you do your Plyo-routine.....Enjoy some home-made Pineapple-apple granola w/ your recovery whey protein, milk or yogurt.
I think I will find as many ways possible to re-create my granola recipe :)
Enjoy my latest healthy creation!

Pineapple - Apple Granola
3/4 cup oats
4 pineapple rings (canned or fresh) - I diced them myself
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 cap-full almond extract
Dash of cinnamon and allspice
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
1/8 cup raisins (chopped)
1/8 cup cranberries (chopped)
1/8 cup almonds (chopped)
1/8 cup honey roasted peanuts (chopped)
1 small apple (sliced)
1 tsp natural peanut butter
1/2 ounce dark chocolate (shaved)

1. Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.
3. Spread on non-stick pan (sprayed with non-stick spray) w/ spatula until smooth.
4. Bake for 12-18 min (you will smell it when it is 1-2 min. away from being golden brown).

Food Porn
I just received my latest issue of my favorite newsletter ever....Nutrition Action Healthletter.
On the back page there is a feature called "Right Stuff" "Food Porn".
The feature food for the Right Stuff is Pomi Chopped Tomatoes

The sum up the article: no BPA (bisphenol A - building block of plastic that is in most can liners and may increase risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease), contains only 10mg sodium per 1/2 cup and delivers 15% vitamin A and 25% vitamin C.
It was neat to see a boxed version of chopped tomatoes which contains very little sodium and no BPA. However, with my grocery budget, I will likely continue buying fresh tomatoes, as well as garden marinara sauce for my Zucchini fries and homemade pizza :)

The Food Porn article was titled "ILLSBURY"....I hope you enjoy the article as much as I did (March 2010).

If you've ever used store-bought frosting, you know how much trouble it is.
First you have to take the lid off the tub. Then you have to scoop out the frosting. Whew! You pretty much need to rest after every minute or two of effort.
No more. With Pillsbury's new Easy Frost No-Fuss Frosting, all you have to do is remove the lid from the elegant aerosol can, turn the can upside down, and press the nozzle.
In a couple of seconds your cakes and cupcakes are covered with sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils, water, corn syrup, corn starch and a few other ingredients (like artificial colors and flavors) that make them taste like Velvety Cream Cheese or Vanilla Dream or Decadent Chocolate Fudge.
The frosting is "also great for use on cookies, brownies, or graham crackers!" says Pillsbury. But that's just the start. Imagine being able to add more sugar and damaging fat to your doughnuts, muffins, Twinkies, Ho Hos, Ring Dings or Snow Balls. Or you can dispense with the intermediaries and pump the stuff directly into your mouth.
The serving on the label-just two flat tablespoons-supplies 140-150 calories, 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 teaspoons of sugar, 1 1/2 grams of saturated fat, and (get ready) 2 grams of trans fat. Two grams of trans may sound small, but it's more than you should eat in an entire day.
Companies are tripping over each other to take trans fat out of their foods, and the suits at Pillsbury launch a new item with trans?
Looks like the doughboy's out of control.

Enjoying the morning sweat

Exhausted, pooped, tired, beat, worn-out, drained, dragging & running on empty.

There are lots of ways to express how you feel after a few hard workouts. There are also ways to express how you feel during those hard workouts (or how you feel about the person who designed your workout plan) but I will keep this blog rated-G.

The last few days have been great as far as putting in quality training. I feel great during my workouts and I love the feeling after my workout is over. Although my day starts around 4:30-6am (depending on the day) I am so much more productive, stress-free and happy after a good morning sweat. Considering that I keep myself really busy during the day, alongside several Campy walks, I look forward to 6pm when I can start making dinner and enjoy the rest of the evening, relaxing with Karel and our furry little ones.

Even with a great run on Sat. I was feeling it on Sunday. I would use the word "pooped" when I woke up on Sunday morning. Thankfully, my 4 hour ride was mostly tempo watts so I just pedaled away as I enjoyed the cool temps outside.
It was super windy on Sunday and based on my watts, I was working fairly hard, even at a slow pace (mph). I decided to pass on a brick run and just take Campy for a long walk. Later in the day, we went to Laura's and I let Campy practice his 400-meter dash around Laura's fenced backyard.

Monday was one of those morning's where I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. Typically Mon is a day off when my hours get over 15-18hrs a week of IM training. For now, Mondays are usually an active recovery swim and if I choose to "exercise" on Mon., I am always craving the pool. I had a nice 4500 easy swim and after some hip/glute exercises to work my weak areas, I called it a morning.

Tuesday....oh Tuesday. Seeing that it is only Wed. I am still thinking about Tuesday. It was pouring rain and I had a run+bike on my schedule. Even though I have been riding the trainer for my interval bike workout (until it warms up) I was not feeling a cold run in the rain. Karel was getting ready for the gym at 6:30 so I told him I would go with him. I really wanted to see his plyometric routine (which I am hoping to video next Tues and post next week) and see if I could make any changes. After I ran 3 of my 4.5 miles, I watched Karel's plyo routine and joined him in his 2nd and 3rd round. Let me tell ya' I know why Karel is doing so well with his cycling this season. That was one tough routine! I introduced Karel to plyo's about 2 years ago but as he gained strength and balance over the years, he has really modified it. I kept my routine on the "intermediate" level and I was still feeling the burn.
After the plyo's I ran 1.5 more miles on the treadmill (tempo) and we headed home. I still had a bike workout to do and after that plyo workout, my first 20 min. of easy spinning was just brutal. Luckily, I felt better as the workout went on and luckily, I was able to stick to the watts that Karel had me do for my workout. My 1 hr and 15 min. workout included a tough pyramid set of 1 min on, 1 min off (up to 5 min on, 5 min off-easy spin, high cadence) but the hard part was after those 5 minutes. He had me doing 3 min on, 3 min off, then 4 min on, 4 min off and finally, 2 min on, 2 min. off. I think he just wanted to test me with that 4 min. on thrown in there on my way down the pyramid.

So here we are. It is now Wednesday and my quads, arms and body is little "toasted". I was tired waking up at 4:30am for my run/swim/lift combo (wed is my longest weekday workout, Thurs....nice, tempo bike) but looking forward to a hill workout on the treadmill.
7.2 miles (including 15 min warm-up, 5 min warm-down). I added a little speed with some hills.
5 min 2% incline, 7.5mph (good steady pace for me on the treadmill)
5 x 2 min @ 8mph, 1% incline w/ 1 min easy 7.5mph
5 min 2% incline, 7.5mph
5 x 1 min @ 8.5mph, 1% incline w/ 1 min easy 7.5mph

Off to the pool for Master swim (6am-7:30am)....
Main set #1:
5 x 100's 1:35
4 x 100's 1:30
3 x 100's 1:25
2 x 100's 1:20
1 x 100's 1:15
Main set #2:
9 x 200's (1-3 pull desc 1-3, 4-6 IM kick/drill/swim by 200, 7-9 kick free)
4200 yrds...checked off the list.

It's ok to feel pooped or exhausted with your workout routine. What's not ok is to work so hard during a workout and forget to recover from the workout (nutrition, sleep, relaxation, etc.). For many people, it is easy to recognize when you are tired from a few days of hard workouts as opposed to just not eating well to support your training. For some people, a 30-min walk on the treadmill on an incline may leave you pooped. Don't worry...we are all at different levels with our fitness and we are all different when it comes to goals, race schedules, athletic background and life commitments. If you are having trouble understanding your workout routine and nutrition, try keeping a workout/food journal to see if there are weakness's in your daily routine. Focus on timing your nutrition with your training so that you can properly recover from workouts and fuel for upcoming workouts.

I hope that your daily nutrition habits support your current training/exercise routine and that you are enjoying your morning (or evening) sweat!

Any questions regarding training nutrition, let me know if I can help :)

What's your favorite indoor interval/high-intensity workout?


What happened to an Apple and Peanut Butter

My latest article on (and on the FREE Iron Girl Newslettter) was probably one of my most favorite articles to write. I want to be open and express that I am one who practices what I preach. I absolutely LOVE foods that are wholesome in natural and contain little to no ingredients. But, I also have off-brand Fiber One bars in my pantry, as well as Wal-mart Toasty-O's cereal, Nabisco Graham Crackers and chocolate Teddy Grahams. I did not get upset at Karel when he bought the Teddy Grahams and I don't feel as if 1/2 sheet Graham Cracker w/ a little PB, alongside a bowl of fruit, is horrible for my body. My fiber one bars are perfect for traveling (although I always pack lunches and other snacks). Also, 1/2 bar on the way home from a long morning workout at the Y helps me from overeating and craving everything in sight before I make my morning smoothie or bowl of oatmeal w/ milk. I have to admit, however, that Karel and I go through fruit and veggies (as well as low-fat dairy) so quickly that I have to get to the grocery store at least twice a week. As for the processed food in our tiny pantry (aside from oats), we usually have to put that food in the fridge because we just don't eat it that often.
Everyone is different and we all see food differently. For some people, if you crave it and then see it, you can't stop eating it. For others, you can stop after a little piece/serving of something that is not-so heart-healthy. Always be mindful of what you buy and put in your house and if you are avoiding foods that you are providing to others, ask yourself if there is a "healthier" option so that everyone can enjoy similar foods...just in different portions.

What happened to an Apple and Peanut Butter

We live in a society that is full of convenience foods. Who knew that a squeezable tube of yogurt, containing processed and artificial ingredients, high fructose corn syrup and sugar, could be a "healthy" snack for children on the go?

Do you have a time-crunched work and exercise schedule, leaving you just enough time to sleep? If so, it is likely that you are one of many people who eat processed foods at least once or twice a day. From Pop-Tarts, cereal bars and Lunchables to energy bars, 100-calorie snack packs and five-minute microwavable dinners, it is easy for our fast-paced society to find convenience in ready-to-eat, pre-packaged meals and snacks.

At one point in our history, a sugary and fattening foods with no nutritional value were recognized as candy. Individually wrapped treats such as Pixy Sticks, MilkyWay, Hershey's or Almond Joy, were once viewed as either a reward or an occasional indulgence. While candy and candy bars are still favorable items for a sweet tooth, the "health" food industry has become rather creative in promoting individually wrapped, sugary or sweet, processed treats.

Whenever you need a quick meal or snack, or want to cure a craving, there is certainly no shortage of bars at your local supermarket. From cereal bars, granola bars, energy bars and sport bars to meal replacement bars, protein bars and supplement bars, it is likely that you can find a bar, and a flavor, for every meal of the week. With 20+ items on the ingredient list of many commercial bars, not limited to: high fructose corn syrup, glycerin, partially hydrogenated oil, coconut oil, sugar, chocolate chunks, cocoa powder, salt, partially defatted peanut flour, artificial flavor, toffee bits, soy crisps, less than 1 percent of vitamins and minerals and a few dried fruits, nuts and seeds added in here and there, it would be wise to assume that your overvalued "healthy" and convenient snack (or meal) bar is nothing more than well-marketed candy bar.

Convenience, taste and portion control may be some of the reasons you favor a Larabar over green peppers and hummus for a snack. However, your athletic mindset may also lead you to believe that a sport bar will provide the nutrients you are lacking, foster performance gains and give an added boost to your day.

If more energy or boosts to your fitness level are in fact what you're looking for, manufactured products, even those made for the physically active, will not provide the necessary vitamins, minerals and satiating factors that your body would receive from real foods. While a meal replacement bar for breakfast is an excellent start for the non-breakfast eater, replacing whole foods for processed items, in an effort to loose weight or control/reduce calories, will only backfire in your quest to live a healthier and balanced life.

Although bars should only be consumed on occasion, there are definitely benefits of choosing a bar over a vending-machine snack. Eating a bar is much better than skipping a meal or snack. Bars are safer and affordable than weight-loss pills, convenient for rushed or delayed-situations (traveling, running errands, meetings, etc.) and require no calorie counting or measuring. Additionally, they do offer some nutritional value for people who have a poor appetite, no access to heart-healthy food choices or have occasional, extreme time constraints (ex. 6 a.m. - 7:55 a.m. workout followed by an 8:15 a.m. meeting).

Therefore, if you do need a bar, look for the following:
*Bars that are less than 220 calories for a snack and less than 400 calories for a meal bar. *Avoid bars containing high fructose corn syrup (look at ingredients)
*Avoid bars containing a high amount of sugar alcohols (may promote bloating or GI upset)
*Does not have a sugary-icy coating and is low in sugar
*Contains whole grains (at least 3 grams of fiber)
*The first five ingredients are quality (real) ingredients
*Does not contain partially hydrogenated oils (check trans fat on label)
*Contains no more than 2 grams of saturated fat (although no saturated fat is highly recommended) and is not high in fat
*Nutrition profile demonstrates a balance of healthy fats, protein and carbs (avoid sport bars for a snack/meal, which are typically high in carbohydrates and sugar)

Starting today, if you have a habit of choosing bars over real food, be sure to plan ahead with your meals and snacks. No matter how busy you are, appreciate the value of a consistent and nutritionally balanced diet in an effort to meet your daily and athletic needs. More so, by relying less on processed foods and more on whole foods, you will find yourself filling up on nutrient-dense foods and ultimately, consuming less calories throughout the day.
TIP: After looking at nutrition facts to evaluate the best bar for your nutritional needs, be sure to read the ingredient label to find out what you are actually eating.

Use the following guide to be a smart planner rather than a convenience eater

90 calories:
Instead of Chocolatey Drizzle Special K cereal bar
Fill up on ¼ cup skim milk + 1/3 cup instant oats + ½ tbsp. dark chocolate chips (all cooked together in microwave)

130 calories:
Instead of Strawberry Soy Joy bar
Fill up on ½ tbsp natural Peanut Butter + 5 large strawberries (sliced) on 1 multigrain WASA cracker

190 calories:
Instead of NatureValley Almond Crunch Roasted Nut Crunch
Fill up on 6 almonds + 10 peanuts + 10 pistachios on 3 ounces of plain Chobani Greek Yogurt

240 calories:
Instead of BananaNutBread CliffBar
Fill up on 1/2 cup sliced banana + ½ tbsp natural Peanut Butter on 1 slice Nature's Own Double Fiber bread + 1 tbsp chopped walnuts + ½ tbsp honey

330 calories:
Instead of Myoplex Delux Chocolate Chip Protein bar
Fill up on 1 whole egg + ½ cup quinoa (cooked in water) + 1 ounce mozzarella part-skim cheese + 2 tbsp salsa over 1.5 cup spinach and 20 green pepper strips + 1 tbsp hummus


Check out recipe section

Hello veggie lovers!
I've started to put my recipes on a separate page (see recipe section on the right side of this blog). I will one day put nutrition facts but for now, still working on posting all of my many creations. I hope you enjoy the healthy creations that you put into your body..fueling your lifestyle and your workouts. Enjoy!
*I'm not a big fan of long ingredient lists and I've noticed that many of my recipes have a lot of ingredients. I typically just add a little over everything in my place :)
Let me know if you would like me to post my recipes in a certain way, to make it easier for you to follow along. Do you like step-by-step w/ pics or the pics after the entire recipe is posted? In my food service course for my dietetic program I learned several different ways to write recipes so whatever is most helpful for you, please let me know. Thanks!

Plant-based diet + hearty vegetarian recipes

I think it is great when I read comments or receive emails from people/athletes telling me that they have adopted a more vegetarian-friendly diet. Even though, as you can tell, I do not 'preach' vegetarianism. Although I am an animal-lover, I don't mind if you (or Karel) has meat in your diet. However, I do encourage lean meat and other sources of protein. But, vegetarian or not, I am all about a plant-based diet. There are many ways to achieve a healthy diet, no matter what diet you choose, but when it comes to calling yourself an athlete (or fitness enthusiast) the micronutrients found in fruits and veggies are just as important as the macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat). Sure, there are plenty of vitamins in carbs, amino acids in protein and omega's in healthy fats, but when it comes down to keep you satisfied at meals, preventing shifts in blood sugar, adding nutrients and water to your diet and preventing overeating, nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits and veggies, are the way to go.
I wouldn't suggest fueling for an Ironman off only a salad and a bowl of fruit (because you are a vegetarian), however, add in some complex carbs, healthy fats and vegetarian protein, and you've got yourself one complete and balanced non-meat meal. Furthermore, as a competitive athlete myself, I don't encourage "high-carb" diets (bagel, pasta, bread, cereal, etc.). I believe you will get the most out of your workout and daily eating habits if you can stick to portioned controlled balanced meals with the addition of fruits and veggies. Also, since it is important to understand how to fuel your body for weight maintenance, regardless if you are running 40+ miles a week or biking 150+ miles a week, you will find that it is easier to control your food intake, cravings and portions by adding fruits and veggies to all/most meals and snacks, on a daily basis.
Since I've been a vegetarian (lacto-ovo) for almost 17 years, I know the challenges that come with being a vegetarian athlete. While some vegetarians just exercise for health benefits, I train to compete. Even hoping to qualify for Kona once again this year, I never see my vegetarian diet as a disadvantage. If anything, because of my vegetarian diet, I am really in-tuned to what I should give my body to have the best workouts possible. More so, because my health is my #1 priority, I really value the essential nutrients in fruits and veggies that will help ward off disease.
The more restrictive you are in your diet (vegetarian or not), the more difficult it is to obtain the necessary vitamins and minerals (and perhaps macronutrients as well) that your body needs to perform at its best. Regardless if you are racing or just trying to get to the gym on a daily basis, if you choose to eat meat or choose to be meat-free, be sure that you focus on a variety of foods in the diet. Always appreciate the foods you put in your body and be sure that the majority of your diet includes foods that will promote good health.

Who says a meat-free diet has to be boring or tasteless? Not in the Sumbal-household...
Enjoy my latest creations!

Hearty Vegetable Loaf

In large bowl:
1 squash (shredded)
1 zucchini (shredded)
6 baby carrots (shredded)
1 egg
2 tbsp fresh Cilantro & pinch of ground pepper, cayenne, basil
1/8 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup oats
1/8 cup soy flour
1 tbsp flax seed
1 cup brown rice (cooked)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
1/2 cup white beans
(optional: bread crumbs)

Spinach mixture:
1 cup spinach
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 clove chopped garlic
1/2 cup corn

1. Cook spinach mixture on medium-heat on burner for 3-4 minutes.
2. Combine zucchini mixture in a bowl. Mix well.
3. Add spinach mixture to zucchini mixture and mix well.
4. Add spinach-zucchini mixture to loaf pan and top with a pinch of bread crumbs.
5. Bake at 400-degrees for 30-40 minutes.

Mushroom pockets

1/2 container reduced fat croissant package
Spinach mixture: handful spinach, 4 mushrooms (sliced), 1 garlic (chopped), 1/2 tsp olive oil, sliced onion (about 1/3 cup)
Shredded cheese

1. Cook spinach mixture on non-stick pan on medium-heat for 3-4 minutes.
2. Spread out 4 triangles of dough (1-2 per person: 90 calories each, 4.5g fat, 2g sat. fat), pressing as flat as possible, on a large cooking sheet sprayed w/ non-stick spray.
3. Add a little spinach mixture to top of triangle. Add a little cheese.
4. Roll flat edge of triangle towards pointed edge.
5. Lay on cooking sheet.
6. Bake at 350-degrees for 8-12 minutes (or until golden brown).

Zucchini fries

1 Zucchini
Drizzle of olive oil
(optional: marinara sauce)

1. Cut Zucchini in half (long ways) and then in half (middle). Slice into small fries.
2. Drizzle with olive oil in bowl and mix well. Top with pepper.
3. Bake at 400-degrees for 10-15 min. or until fries are soft and a little crisp.
4. Dip in marinara sauce

Vegetarian dinner for two:

My plate:

Karel's plate: