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Vegetables And Stuff

gym-diet

We tried this whole clean eating thing for a week, well, five days…OK 4.5 days. It was hard as heck. The goal was to not consume any refined sugars, simple carbohydrates, alcohol, meat, and dairy. Two reasons why we wanted to do this: 1) To inspire healthier than usual eating habits (we eat vegetarian during the week, but the food choices aren’t always healthy. 2) Force us to try new recipes and be more creative with staples we have around the house.

I wouldn’t say we noticed any significant changes. We didn’t all of sudden start running faster and our skin didn’t turn Jay Lo-esque, but there was a feeling that eating this diet made us more superior than most people…j/k! It was guilt free eating. ¬†What we were ingesting was actually good for our body. We felt good. My farts didn’t smell and I know that has to be a good thing.

Unless you’re rich and can afford to constantly buy prepared food from Whole Foods or M Cafe, then you have to cook the stuff yourself. I will say that eating a strict vegetarian diet is less costly than eating animals and processed foods. For a week’s worth of produce and fruits we spent about $35 at Super King. This was for three meals a day with snacks! Although organic would be ideal we can’t all the time because rent and financial aid payments.

If you decide to do this clean eating thing you’ll also notice that the recipes will be very simple and more emphasis is on combing ingredients to create certain tastes. Garlic is magical and chili peppers don’t always have to taste spicy. Spices are key. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

So, big takeaways: 1) Cheaper to eat fruits and vegetables specially if you eat with the seasons. 2) Planning and effort. You have to plan your meals and make time to prepare them. 3) Farts won’t smell. Junk in. Junk out.

Here are some recipes of food we ate during the 4.5 days:

Kale and Quinoa Fry
Cook 1 cup quinoa in 1 3/4 cup water for 15 minutes. Fluff and set aside.
Mince 3 garlic cloves and half an onion. Chop as much kale as you’d like. If you don’t like it as much, 2 cups is good. f you love it then 6-8 cups is plenty.

Saute the garlic and onions in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the garlic is close to browning. Add 1/4 tsp. chili flakes then add kale. Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water and cover until kale is a bit wilted. Add quinoa and turn up the heat a bit. Continue to stir and make sure most of the liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad
Soak 1 cup hard wheat berry overnight in the refrigerator. Boil wheat berry in 5 cups of water for 40 minutes. Strain while runnign cold water over wheat berry. Set aside.

Dice 1 apple (Fuji or Gala), medium onion, 3-4 stalks celery. Add 1 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.

Whisk 1/3 cup safflower oil, 1/4 cup apple juice, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, pinch salt and pepper.

Combine apple mixture with wheat berries. Toss with oil mixture. Refrigerate for an hour. Eat.

Breakfast Smoothie
Blend 1/2 cup oatmeal until it’s a powder. Add 1 1/2 cup coconut milk (we use the drinking kind from Trader Joe’s), 1 banana, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, and 1 tablespoon honey. Blend until smooth. Drink.

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March Recipes

Garbanzo And Spinach Cakes

1 can garbanzo
10 oz. spinach (I used fresh, you can use frozen)
4 stalks green onion
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 slivers ginger

Dredging ingredients
2 eggs+1/4 cup milk beaten together
flour
panko

I foolishly used fresh spinach, so I had to saute it then squeeze out as much of the remaining liquid. If you use frozen make sure to thaw and squeeze out the liquids.

IMG_0439In a food processor, add garbanzo, spinach, chopped green onions, chopped garlic, bread crumbs, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, ginger, and paprika. Blend together until garbanzo is finely minced. Don’t over process! You want there to be a little texture.



IMG_0443Shape patties about 1/4 in. thick. The thicker it is the longer it will take to cook through.






IMG_0442Prepare the dredging station. First, cover both sides with flour, then dip into egg mixture, finally coat in panko.






IMG_0444Pan fry in olive oil until golden brown on both sides. About 5-7 minutes on each side in medium heat.






IMG_0446You can fry them up ahead of time and freeze them. Reheat in a microwave. Best eaten right away.







Sweet Potato Pancakes

I use my basic pancake recipe less some milk and add 1 cup mashed sweet potato. I bake two small sweet potatoes wrapped in foil at 350 degrees for 45 mins. Peel and smash with a fork. Measure 1 cup.

Pancake Recipe

3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups flour of your choice
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup mashed sweet potato

Beat wet ingredients together. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Batter should be a little on the dry side. (If you take a spoon full of batter it SHOULDN’T smoothly flow, but rather drip on the pan.)

CIMG5198Butter a pan and cook the pancake like you normally cook pancake. Wait until the bubbles on the edges stop boiling before you flip over.


Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies

Simply delicious! I cool the batter in the fridge for half an hour cause I like my cookies to sit up. If you want them flatter, go ahead and melt the butter and spoon right away.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 stick softened butter
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pumpkin spice mix
1 package milk chocolate chips
2 cups mashed sweet potato

Beat eggs, butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, sweet potato, coconut milk, and milk together.

Mix flour, and baking soda together. Slowly mix into wet mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Set batter into refrigerator to cool for 30 mins.

CIMG5200I use an ice cream scoop to spoon the batter on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 30 mins. or until golden brown. Cool on baking racks so it can “crunch up.”


Southwest Brown Rice Salad and Buffalo style Cauliflower

Very easy recipe you can make to last the week.

1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup water

1 large sweet pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cucumber, cubed
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to tasted

Cook brown rice for 30 mins or until all liquid has cooked away. Lay cooked rice out on a large plate to cool.

CIMG5202Combine everything in a large bowl and set in refrigerator to cool before serving.



CIMG5203Click HERE for the Buffalo Style Cauliflower recipe.







Chocolate Coconut Bread Pudding with Bourbon Whipped Cream

I had this thing with bread pudding when I was living in Hawaii. I fell in love with the dessert after having it for the first time at Cafe Pescatore. For the next two months I did nothing but bake all sorts of bread pudding, experimenting and refining recipes. Below is something I came up with using croissant and coconut milk.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 cup milk
1 can coconut milk
5 eggs and 1 egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
6 large croissants, torn

beat eggs with sugar then add milk, coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add bread and let soak for 10 mins. Fold in chocolate chips and pour into greased 9×9 or 9×13 pan. If you like a thicker piece pour into smaller square pan. Bake for 40 mins. or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.

Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 oz. bourbon ( I use Maker’s Mark)

Add sugar to whipping cream and whisk until soft peaks form. Add bourbon and continue whisking until you get stiff peaks. Serve over warm bread pudding.


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February Recipes

It’s cold outside and we’ve all put in some hard runs¬†. Time to treat yourself to some hearty indulgencies! I’m a big believer in feeding our cravings, in moderation, of course. It’s when we suppress cravings that we tend to fall off the wagon hard! As runners we generally have a healthy diet which allows for some deviation. Nothing to feel guilty about. Below are a couple of things I cooked that I enjoyed making as much as eating. Bon a petit!

Bacon Mushroom Mac ‘n Cheese

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
6-8 slices of bacon cut into small pieces
8 oz. mushrooms – sliced
half of a small onion – chopped
1 stick of butter
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
1 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup shredded monterey jack
8 oz. (uncooked) elbow macaroni
salt
pepper
dried rosemary
dried thyme

Topping
3/4 stick of butter
2 cups panko
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Cook bacon until lightly browned then add onions, pinch rosemary, and pinch thyme. Cook until onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until mushrooms are wilted down in size. Drain excess fat and set aside.

Boil enough water to fully submerge pasta. Salt water and cook pasta as directed on the box. Drain when cooked.

While pasta is boiling melt butter in medium pot along with olive oil. Add flour and mix throughly. Cook for a couple of minutes to make sure the gritty flour taste is cooked away. Add milk and stir until thickened. Add more milk if roux is too thick. Add cheeses then salt and pepper to taste. Turn off burner then fold in mushroom and bacon mixture.

In a large glass bowl or pot combine pasta with cheese mixture. Grease casserole baking pan and add macaroni.

For topping melt butter and mix in bread crumbs and cheese.

IMG_0396Top with bread crumbs and bake until topping is golden brown.

 


 


 

Chocolate Cherry Pecan Bread

2 cups milk
1 stick butter
3 eggs
1 package yeast
1/4 + 1/4 sugar
teaspoon salt
5 + 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup pecans
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup milk chocolate chips

Egg Wash Mixture
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar for dusting

Note: I don’t have a mixer so I did everything by hand. If you have a mixer…good for you!

Warm milk to the touch. Too hot and it’ll kill the yeast. Combine warm milk, yeast, 1/4 sugar in a large mixing bowl. Let sit for a minute. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl and mix into milk mixture. Add 4 cups of flour, salt, 1/4 sugar, and melted butter. Mix until dough comes off the side of the bowl. If it’s too wet continue to add more flour (up to 1 cup more) to get the right consistency. Better for the dough to be slightly wet than dry. Use a fold and roll technique when kneading. Don’t over work the dough. Grease a large pan and place dough to proof for an 1.5 hours. (Use the extra 1/2 cup of flour to dust dough, hands, and work surface).

Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.

IMG_0410After initial rise, press dough down. Mix together nuts, cherries, and chocolate in a bowl. Flour tabletop and work in dry ingredients. Knead in nuts mixture a little at a time. Form dough into a ball when all ingredients are mixed in. Roll out into a log the length of the baking pan you’ll be using.

IMG_0411Place into baking pan and let set covered with a kitchen towel for at least 30 mins. and not more than an hour. Brush with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar and place in oven for about an hour or when top is golden brown.

IMG_0413Let the bread rest in the pan after you take it out of the oven for 10 minutes. The inside is soft and the bread will collapse on itself if you take it out too soon.