Most teen athletes make the mistake of focusing on calories when it is nutrient dense foods that should be the focus. Foods packed with vitamins and minerals are needed for a body that is growing and competing simultaneously.
My older daughter doesn’t look that easy to kill, in fact a boy she goes to school with said she looks exactly how he imagines Joan of Arc to have looked. She is tall and powerfully built and possesses a warrior mentality. But like most kids she is actually very fragile. Last year she was playing club volleyball and swimming, so she was clocking 2 plus hours of intense physical activity per day, and an extra 4-5 hours on the week-ends as an outside hitter for Absolute in Marin County.
In February, I noticed that she was looking a little green. Because I am her mother, I knew there was something not quite right with how she looked, so I took her to the doctor. Naturally, as mother always knows best, she was diagnosed with severe anemia. The doctor started her on medication and she left the next day for Colorado Cross Roads, which in the volleyball world is a pretty big deal and a place where I spend more time with my closest friends from California than I do in California.
All was well, until one of the players became ill with the Noro virus and the team slowly dropped like dominos. My daughter – a hold out was able to get home and miss the cocophay of vomiting in the bathrooms on the Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Oakland, but then succumbed to the illness and spent nine, yes “9” days in bed.
Because her immune system was compromised by the anemia her recovery was very slow. Her pediatrician had to prescribe drugs for cancer patients to stop the vomiting. So, needless to say, I watch this girl closely now. I can tell if she is dehydrated or even if she has a head ache. So, keeping my little warrior well fed is a number one priority. And since she just wants to eat burgers and french fries it can be a challenge to get her to eat her vegetables, so I created this recipe for her. Needless to say, she ate the entire pan and I couldn’t have cared less.
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas for the Teen Athlete
1 red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 medium zucchini cut into rounds
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and black pepper
1 package corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce (I bought a jar made by a local company and it was excellent)
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups Mexican shredded cheese
Garnishes: fresh cilantro, chopped avocado, pico de gallo, sour cream
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and place sliced vegetables in a single layer and roast for 30 minutes or until they look lightly toasted.
3. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.
4. Allow vegetables to cool so you can work with them. Then heat your sauce in a shallow pan until warm.
5. Add a small amount of sauce to the bottom of a large baking dish.
6. Place corn tortilla in the warm sauce and saturate both sides. Remove and fill with vegetables, black beans and cheese. Roll and place in pan. Repeat.
7. Once all of the tortillas are rolled, add the remaining sauce from the pan, sprinkle cheese and cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted.
8. Garnish as desired.