Wednesday, 16 May 2012 16:00

Asparagus and Macaroni Salad

Asparagus and Macaroni Salad is interrupting the regularly scheduled story of Ironman Texas today.  I had another post ready to go but then I went to Food Republic and saw this picture on the site and immediately thought.....I need to repost that and let people know about this recipe. This recipe couldn't be any easier than what you see.  For those of us who don't eat cheese I am planning on substituting Nutritional Yeast for the Goat Cheese but seriously this looks so good and I hope you make it and let me know what you thought of it. Thank you to Food Republic and Jess Kapadia who put this recipe together.

Published in Lunch Recipes
Sunday, 15 April 2012 11:44

A Taste Of Puerto Rico

A Taste Of Puerto Rico is a cookbook that my Mom gave me years and years ago.  I think I cracked the spine on that book once.  I felt like I knew how to cook the dishes I wanted, and what I didn't know Mom knew how to make.  When Karen and I went to Puerto Rico at the end of March for the 70.3 San Juan race I was brought back to the kitchen of my mother. The flavors exploded in my mouth and I was determined to re-create everything I ate.  This included mofongo, tofu in criollo sauce, platanos maduros, and arroz con bichuela.  Those dishes would be a fried plantain dish.  Criollo sauce is a tomato based sauce with peppers and capers.  Platanos maduros are fried plantains that are squashed and fried twice.  Arroz con habichuelas is rice and beans, typically made with pinto beans but I love black beans. For a few weeks I kept playing over and over in my head how to make any or all of these dishes in one night.  Then while at the CPR/AED course yesterday I was inspired and when I got home I knew what I was having for dinner.  Part of the inspiration came from watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network where the highlighted restaurant boiled the plantains.  This idea made it easier to make the mofongo because I would not have to fry it.  Side note I have eliminated oil from diet thanks to Engine 2 Diet and consequently have lost 3 pounds in a week effortlessly. Here are the recipes for the various pieces to the dish I made last night.  All servings are for one person.

Arroz Con Habicuelas (Rice and Beans)

This is a take off on that since I used quinoa instead of rice, but if you were to use rice I would use long grain brown rice.

Ingredients: 1/2c Quinoa (cleaned), 1 1/2c Vegetable Stock, 1/4c Black Beans (rinsed and drained), 1/4c White Onion (chopped)

Nutritional Information: 259 calories, 2.5g Fat, 60g Carbs, 17.5g Fiber, 14.6g Protein


  • In medium pot on medium-high heat add quinoa and toast for 3-5 minutes.
  • In separate pot add beans, onions and enough water to cover.  Turn heat to medium-low and cover.
  • Add vegetable stock to quinoa, cover with lid and bring to boil.
  • Lower heat to simmer.
  • Allow quinoa to absorb all the liquid.
  • When all the liquid is gone turn off heat, remove pot and set aside.
Green and Mushroom Empanadas
Ingredients: 1/2c Whole Wheat Flour, 4-6 Tbsp Warm Water, 1-1 1/2c of Greens (I used Turnip Greens, Kale, Spinach, and Cilantro), 3 Baby Bella Mushroom (chopped)
Nutritional Information: 245calories, 1.2g Fat, 46.6g Carbs, 6.8g Fiber, 14.5g Protein Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 405*
  • In food processor add flour and turn on.
  • While blade is going drizzle water in until a dough is formed.
  • Take dough out of food processor and set aside on wax paper.
  • While dough is resting bring pot of water to a boil.  Once water is boiling add all the greens.
  • Once greens have wilted remove from water and place on towel.
  • Squeeze all the excess water out, add mushrooms and combine well.
  • Roll out dough into 3" circles.  Add in green/mushroom mixture and fold dough over.
  • Pinch with work and set aside on silpat on baking tray.
Ingredients: 1 Plantain, 4 Garlic Cloves, 1/2c Vegetable Stock
Nutritional Information: 260 calories, 0.06g Fat, 68.5g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 2.8g Protein
  • Bring medium pot of water to boil.
  • Cut plantain into large pieces and add to water.
  • Allow to boil until softened.  Approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • In food processor add garlic and vegetable stock.  Once plantains have boiled add them to food processor as well.
  • Pulse the ingredients until they are well combined and somewhat sticky (that is the starch releasing from the plantain.)
  • Set ring molds on same baking sheet as the empanadas and fill to top with mixture.
  • Place in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until tops begin to brown.
  • Once tops are browning extract mofongo from the ring mold and flip over.
  • Remove empanadas from the tray and set to broil.
  • Broil the mofongo for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
Serve all the pieces together on a plate and enjoy.
Nutritional Information (entire plate): 764 calories, 4g Fat, 175g Carbs, 29g Fiber, 31g Protein
Nutritional Breakdown (entire plate): 81.4% Carbs, 14.4% Protein, 4.2% Fat
Ideally you would like more fat and one way to do that would be to add a medium avocado to the plate.  The medium avocado would add 161 calories to the dish, but bring the nutritional breakdown to 71% Carbs, 13% Protein, 16% Fat.

[flagallery gid=13 name="Puerto Rican Cuisine"]

Published in Lunch Recipes

Grilled cheese on a cold winter's day with tomato soup.  We all remember that don't we.  The way the cheese would be so hot that it would burn the roof of your mouth......the way the bread was sometimes burnt because Mom was focused on 100 other things.  The joys of childhood were just incredible.  I kid, I kid.  Seriously though grilled cheese was a favorite of mine.  Back in the day my grilled cheese was filled with bacon and tomato as well.  It was the tomato that would always slide out and burn your chin before you could get that FRUIT off of you.....yes people despite what the Government would have you think the tomato is a fruit. Anyway, back to our blog post.  I have been in contact with VeloPress about their book The Feed Zone.  I was fortunate enough to have been sent a copy.  I chose 731 recipes for me to remake and they chose 5.  That's ok......they are a great 5 for me to work on.  The first one I wanted to try was the grilled cheese.  Of course being a vegetarian I would have to change some of their ingredients up but fortunately there are great substitute products that I was able to use. Yesterday I worked from home instead of heading out because the Salvation Army was coming to pick up an old refrigerator and I knew that it was going to be grilled cheese time.  Trying to figure out what to go with it and Katie (of Run This Amazing Day) posted on yesterday's post about organic foods that she had made sweet potato fries for dinner and thus the meal was born. My review and grade of the recipe: Ease: Have you ever made a grilled cheese and have it be difficult?  Of course you have, but this grilled cheese was very easy to make even with ingredients you would never have thought to put on a grilled cheese, like cream cheese.  I Ingredients: The ingredients list is very small and all the ingredients are easy to find.  As you can see from the recipe (down below) all you need is bread, cream cheese, nutmeg, cheese, roasted peppers and olive oil.  I tossed asparagus into my grilled cheese as well.  The list was short and the cost of these ingredients is nominal at best so a grade of A. Substitution Ingredients:  Since I don't consume dairy outside of CorePower I substituted both cheeses with Vegan Cheese from Tofutti.  Tofutti makes a very good tasting cream cheese and I used American vegan cheese instead of Swiss.  There maybe some ingredients in the cookbook that are difficult to replace but in this recipe there weren't any and so with that the substitution portion gets an A as well. Overall:  I was at first a little hesitant about the cream cheese and nutmeg but it tasted great.  The cream cheese gets melted from the heat of the pan and adds to the gooeyness of the sandwich.  The roasted peppers lent a char/smoky flavor and the crunchiness of using olive oil as opposed to butter was second to none.  All in all because this also brought me back to being a kid again I give this recipe an overall A+.   From the cookbook and provided to me by VeloPress:   caption="Doesn't The Cheese Just Scream: Eat Me!!!!!"]feFeedZoneCookbook_RecoveryGrilledCheese_thomas_lim[/caption]

Try This Recipe Yourself!  Download the Recovery Grilled Cheese Recipe.

Nutritional Breakdown for My Version without sweet potato: 582 calories, 41g Carbs, 35g Fat, 14g Protein

Nutrtitional Breakdown for The Feed Zone Cookbook: 686 calories, 58g Carbs, 38g Fat, 32g Protein

  Next week will be the Eggs and Green Sandwich.

Published in Lunch Recipes
Wednesday, 28 March 2012 12:14

Polenta Fries and Sausage

Polenta fries could be my newest addiction.  A quick back story on Polenta.  Karen and I go to a restaurant called Sauce on the Square, located in McKinney, Texas on Valentine's Day.  They have terrific pizza and one day we noticed polenta with balsamic reduction and mushrooms so we ordered it.  It was beyond delicious and I have remade that dish here at the house.  A few weeks ago I decided to make it again and then last night while planning my meals for the day I thought that I should use the polenta and make fries with them. My next thought was what to make with it.  I thought immediately of roasted brussels sprouts but then something changed when I opened the refrigerator.  All the vegetables started screaming at me that they wanted to be a part of dinner.  I took out one vegetable and then another and before I knew it I had 5 in my hand and yet none were brussels sprouts.  I then opened the freezer knowing I had sausage in there, but not just any sausage it was Tofurky Italian Sausage. The dinner was coming together in my head quickly since this was Italian Sausage and Polenta is used in a lot of Italian dishes.  I was set and off to cooking I went.  It turned out awesome, filled me up and has me thinking about how I will use Polenta Fries again.  Have any ideas of how to use Polenta Fries in a meal? Here is my recipe:


Ingredients: 1/2c of Bob's Red Mill Polenta, 1 1/2c of water, 1 Tbsp Earth Balance Buttery Spread, 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil, 5 Asparagus Stalks (chopped), 1/2 c of red onion (chopped), 2 mushrooms (chopped), 1/2c Zuchinni (chopped), 1/4c Green Bell Pepper (chopped), 1/4c Red Bell Pepper (chopped), 1 Tofurky Italian Chicken Sausage**, Italian seasonings, Red Pepper flakes


Nutritional Breakdown: 726 calories, 73g Carbs, 28g Fat, 41g Protein, 18g Fiber


[caption id="attachment_5623" align="alignright" width="115" caption="Ingredients For This Product Below"]tofurky_italiansausage_vegetarian[/caption]


  1. In a pot bring water to a boil.  Once boiling add in polenta and begin to stir.  As polenta thickens add in buttery spread and stir until fully absorbed.
  2. Scoop out the polenta and place on a plate and form a square.  Place plate in freezer.
  3. On a griddle covering two burners (or separate pans) turn to medium-high heat.
  4. Place the tofurky sausage in one pan and begin to cook.
  5. In separate pan, or separate part of griddle, melt coconut oil and then add vegetables to it.  Sprinkle with Italian seasonings and crushed red pepper flakes.
  6. Remove polenta from the freezer and slice into fries and place on griddle or pan and cook until a crust is formed.
  7. Once crust is formed on polenta the vegetables will be done as well.
  8. Place vegetables in bottom of a shallow bowl and surround with polenta fries.
  9. Add the 'sausage' to the middle and serve.

I sprinkled some honey balsamic vinegar onto my vegetables, but this is not necessary. 



** Ingredients in Tofurky Italain Sausage: Organic tofu (water, organic soybeans, magnesium chloride, calcium chloride), vital wheat gluten, expeller pressed non-genetically modified canola or hi oleic safflower oil, water, shoyu soy sauce (water, non-genetically engineered soybeans, wheat, salt, culture), sun dried tomatoes, textured wheat protein, basil, black pepper, spices, granulated garlic, salt, chili pepper.


Published in Lunch Recipes
Thursday, 08 March 2012 12:44

Vegan Enchiladas Recipe - 100% From Scratch

As you know I run a feature called the Frugal Grocer and I need to create meals based on what I have in my refrigerator or pantry and nothing else.  I can be found searching the internet for various types of meals and usually go to Food Republic on a daily basis.  From their site Food Republic is founded on the idea that guys everywhere are putting food at the center of their lives like never before. This is the site for men who want to eat and drink well, and to live smart. I originally found a recipe for Rigatoni ai Carciofi because I have all the ingredients except for the packed artichoke hearts.  I do have a fresh artichoke heart in the fridge and may still make it but I had wanted to do something else with it.  That is when the recipe God's smiled upon me and showed me this Spinach and Mushroom Enchilada recipe. After looking at the recipe closely I knew I had all the ingredients except for how to make the Tomato Salsa with Chipotle and Habanero Chiles.  What I did have was tomato sauce, tomato paste, chipotle sauce (no peppers) and Habanero.  I also had avocados and tomatillos and one of my favorite items to make is a homemade salsa verde.  With all of this swirling around in my head I got to work on creating my own version of their recipe. Here is my recipe for each of the portions of the meal:

Spinach And Mushroom Enchiladas Plus Vegetable Enchiladas


Ingredients: 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1 Tbsp Canola Oil, 5 Tbsp Water


  • In food processor add whole wheat flour and pulse to reduce the amount of flour tossing.
  • Combine water and oil in a measuring cup to make it easier to pour.
  • Drizzle in a bit of water/oil combination at first and pulse, then turn on and slowly stream in water.
  • Dough will become a ball and that is when you stop.
  • Sprinkle a little flour on a working surface and cut dough into 3 sections.
  • Roll out each section and place on separate each tortilla with wax paper and set aside.

Spicy Tomato Sauce: Ingredients: 8oz can Tomato Sauce, 6oz can Tomato Paste, 3 Habanero Chiles, 4oz Roasted Red Peppers Directions:

  • In food processor combine all ingredients and turn on until completely combined.  Approximately 2 minutes.
  • Pour into separate bowl and set aside

Spicy Tomatillo Avocado Sauce:   Ingredients: 1 Medium Jalapeno, 1 Small Avocado, 3 Small Tomatillos Directions:

  • In food processor combine all ingredients and turn on until completely combined.  Approximately 2 minutes.
  • Pour into separate bowl and set aside

Enchilada Filling: Ingredients: Filling 1: 1 bunch of spinach leaves, 1 bunch of turnip green leaves, 8 crimini mushrooms (chopped) Filling 2: 1/2c Zucchini (chopped), 10 Asparagus stalks (chopped), 1/2 Medium Green Bell Pepper (chopped), 1/2 Medium Yellow Bell Pepper (chopped) Dry Seasonings for both:  Cumin, Coriander Seed, Garlic Powder, Paprika, Chile Powder Oil: 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil separated Directions:

  • In separate medium-sized pans heat up 1 Tbsp coconut oil until melted.
  • Add the mushrooms to one pan and cook until golden brown and then add greens until they wilt down
  • In second pan add in remaining vegetables and cook until just tender.

Final Step:

  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • In a baking pan cover bottom with spicy tomato sauce
  • On griddle place tortillas and cook until the firm up a bit.
  • Remove from griddle and place filling and roll up tortillas and place in baking pan.
  • Place pan in oven and cook for 10 minutes or until edges of tortillas begin to crisp up a bit.
  • Plate the enchiladas along with remaining sautéed vegetables.
  • Top enchiladas with spicy tomatillo/avocado sauce and enjoy.


Published in Lunch Recipes
Saturday, 25 February 2012 12:54

Italian Tacos?

 Italian tacos don't mean mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce.  Use this recipe to create homemade tortillas and an Italian inspired filling.  Before we get into the recipe for the filling I have to say that I have been looking for garbanzo bean flour for a few weeks now but especially since I made these homemade flour tortillas.  In that recipe I used brown rice flour which worked very well but I felt that the rice flour was too thin to create a GREAT tortilla.  The garbanzo bean flour (or even soy flour) is a little heavier in texture and closer to all-purpose flour and thought that would be perfect.  Despite my searches at Kroger, Sprouts, Target, Tom Thumb and learning from Jon that grinding dry garbanzo beans doesn't work I had just about given up. That was until I was getting the whole wheat flour out of the pantry when I saw the rye flour. is a little heavier in texture than brown rice flour and well Rye Bread is my favorite bread of all time.  Especially if it is a marble rye with pumpernickel....sorry to go off on a tangent. So I was curious if this flavor and texture would hold up to become a quality tortilla and sure enough it did.  The rye added a different type of nutty flavor to the tortilla, but more importantly it was more flexible.  I could really wrap the tortilla around the food and not feel like it was going to break.  For me that is a perfect tortilla. Here is the recipe to what I made for dinner last night:

Italian Tacos

Ingredients (Tortillas): 1/2c Whole Wheat Flour, 1/2c Rye Flour, 1 tsp Salt, 1 Tbsp Oil, 8 Tbsp Water


  • In a food processor place flour and salt and turn on.
  • Drizzle in oil and then water.
  • Mixture should turn to a ball but if it is still wet add more flour.
  • Once a ball has been formed cut with a sharp knife into 3 separate sections.
  • Lightly dust your work surface with flour and dust your rolling pin as well.
  • Roll out each ball into a thin tortilla.  It will look authentic because you won’t have perfect round edges.
  • On a plate lay down wax paper then the rolled out tortilla then wax paper and alternate with rolled out tortilla.
  • Once they are all done turn on griddle and bring to heat.
  • Place tortillas on griddle and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side.  You may see smoke but that is ok as tortilla is cooking.

Ingredients (Italian Filling): 1/4c broccoli flowerets (bite size), 1/4c cauliflower (bite size), 1/4c eggplant (diced), 2 crimini mushrooms (diced), 1/4c onion (diced), 1/8c garbanzo beans, 8oz canned diced tomatoes, 4oz tofu, 1 Tbsp Coconut Oil Directions:

  • In medium sized pan add coconut oil, eggplant, mushroom, onions and cook for 5 minutes.  Broccoli and Cauliflower should start to get soft at this point.
  • Add in tomatoes and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
  • After 15 minutes add in the garbanzo beans and tofu and cook for 10 more minutes.  All veggies should be very soft by now.
  • Allow for liquid to evaporate some and create a thickened filling.
  • Fill each tortilla with filling and enjoy.

Servings:4 (The recipe above made 4 tortillas so I'm using that as 4 servings) Nutritional Information Total: 685 calories, 35g Fat, 111g Carbs, 20g Fiber, 32g Protein Nutritional Information Per Serving: 171 calories, 8.75g Fat, 28g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 8g Protein Nutritional Breakdown: 50% Carbs, 36% Fat, 14% Protein   If you had this all cooked before a long tough workout it would be perfect for recovery with a 3.5:1 Carb to Protein ratio.  



Published in Lunch Recipes
Friday, 08 July 2011 14:27

My Athlete's Plate

Yesterday the Athlete's Plate went on hiatus but I had asked a question about what type of pizza I should make for my date night with Karen.  The winner was Kale and Mozzarella,which I discovered from this recipe on Marcus Samuelsson's site. After putting together the post from yesterday I had the idea that I should actually take pictures of what I ate during the day and create my own personal Athlete's Plate to share with you. Please keep in mind my training load when looking at what I am eating.  If you are training less or more than I am then adjustments to your diet will need to be made.  This menu may be too little or too much in terms of the carbs you need to keep your energy up. To help you understand a little bit more I will provide you with my training from yesterday and what I did leading up to yesterday's meals: Yesterday consisted of 3450y swimming in 1 hour and 16 minutes.  That was followed by 1 hour on the trainer with 35 minutes steady and then a 10k Time Trial with 2 miles of recovery.  A fast transition and off for a 20 minute run at 10K pace (7:40/mile.) Including yesterday's training this week I have logged 10 hours and 46 minutes of work.  This time includes 9200y swimming in 3 hours 22 min; 76.26 miles on the bike in 4 hours 18 minutes and 16.41 miles running in 2 hours 20 minutes.  Toss in 45 minutes of strength and core work and you have my week to date (Mon-Thurs.) I hope you enjoy my menu and should you have any questions do not hesitate to ask me. 

Pre-Workout Breakfast - Brown Rice Cakes and Coffee

Ingredients: 2 Lundberg Brown Rice Cakes, 1Tbs Nutella, 1 medium banana, 8 oz black coffee Servings: 1 Directions:

  1. Spread nutella on the rice cakes
  2. Slice banana thinly and place on top of nutella (eat the remaining banana since there will be more after slicing)

Post-Workout Breakfast - Chocolate Raspberry Filled Pancake Cupcakes

Ingredients: 1 cup bisquick, 1Tbs cocoa powder, 2Tbs crunchy peanut butter, 2Tbs walnuts (chopped), 1 medium banana, 1 egg, 1c almond milk, 3Tbs Raspberry preserve
Servings: 3 (makes 6 pancake cupcakes)
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Line muffin pan with cupcake foil or spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In large bowl mash banana and then mix in peanut butter.
  4. In same bowl add bisquick, eggs and milk and combine well.
  5. Once combined add in walnuts and stir again.
  6. Fill up 6 spots about 1/4 of the way.
  7. Add in 1/2Tbs raspberry preserve to each.
  8. Top off the pancake cupcakes with remainder of batter.
  9. Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes.
  10. Serve with an orange and a little agave nectar on the pancake cupcakes.

Lunch - Mexican Egg Sandwich

Ingredients: 1 egg, 1 artisan flatbread, avocado/tomatillo spread (recipe at bottom), mozzarella cheese, 1 roma tomato, tempeh bacon (recipe at bottom)
Servings: 1
  1. Toast the flatbread and then spread the avocado/tomatillo mixture on both sides.
  2. Add cheese (will melt a bit from heat of bread) then top with tomatoes.
  3. In pan heat up 1Tbs olive oil and cook tempeh until slightly charred on both sides.
  4. In same pan cook egg to your desired consistency
  5. Top the tomatoes with tempeh bacon and fried egg.
  6. Fold in half and enjoy a great tasting sandwich.

PM Snack - Banana and Strawberry Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Sandwich

Ingredients: 2 slices Ezekiel bread, 1Tbs chocolate hazelnut spread, 1 medium banana, 4 strawbrerries
 Servings: 1
  1. Toast the Ezekiel bread until it is very crunchy.  I toast mine on the highest setting and then again at a lower setting for toast perfection.
  2. Spread the chocolate hazelnut on each piece of bread.
  3. Slice the fruit thinly and place on top of each piece of bread and then combine.
  4. Remaining fruit should be sliced on the plate and enjoyed as well.

Dinner - Homemade Pizza (Kale/Mozzarella and Fig/Gorgonzola/Walnut/Arugula)

Ingredients: 1 pkg of Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust (follow directions), 1 bunch of Kale, 5 slices of Buffalo Mozzarella, 1 roma tomato, 1 bunch of arugula, 5 fresh figs, 1/4c Gorgonzola Cheese, 2Tbs crushed walnuts, 2Tbs honey)
Servings: 4 (makes 8 slices)
  1. Follow the instructions on the package for Bob's Red Mill pizza crust but here is my trick. (I used the entire package with 1/2 as the base of the pizza and the other 1/2 as the crust.)
  2. After you have made the dough and created the pizza bake for 10 minutes so that you see the dough rise and start to turn golden brown.
  3. Remove from oven and spray the dough with cooking spray including the crust.
  4. Add toppings and then put back in oven.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is completely melted and almost disappears.
  6. Remove from oven and with a pizza cutter slice into 8 pieces.
Avocado/Tomatillo Spread:
In blender add 2 ripe medium avocados 1/2c of salsa verde (or 6 tomatillos), 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (seeded.)  Blend until well combined and spoon into a glass container and refrigerate for an hour or two to allow flavors to meld.  Use this spread on everything.
Tempeh Bacon:
Slice one package of tempeh thinly and add to a medium bowl.  In same bowl add 1/2c liquid smoke (choose your favorite smoky flavor), 2Tbs soy sauce, 3Tbs Worcestershire sauce, 1tsp dried oregano, 1tsp dried sage, 1tsp dried thyme, 1tsp garlic powder.  Combine well then cover  and place in fridge to allow to marinate for at least 3 hours.
This is what I consumed yesterday and felt great all day long in terms of hunger.  I never had hunger pains and no desires for anything sweet as I covered that with the fruit throughout the day.
So What Did Your Eating Day Look Like?
What Do You Typically Eat On A Training Day?
Do You Adjust Your Food Intake Depending On Your Training Load?
Published in Athlete's Plate
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