Thursday, 07 April 2011 14:11

Athlete's Plate - April 7, 2011

 This week it is my pleasure to bring to you The Athlete's Plate catered to Jessica of Blond Ponytail.  Jessica was nominated by Amanda, whose menu can be found here. I have been following Jessica's blog for about a month or so and I can tell you that she is the definition of cool.  She is a three sport athlete who played softball at Stanford.  Yes, that Stanford....the Cardinal (you know the school whose mascot is a tree and is not plural and has nothing to do with the bird.)  I don't get it but maybe Jessica can help me out here, once she gets over the fact that Mr. Harbaugh has left his coaching position there.  But then again maybe she doesn't care because her husband is a coach at Pac 10 rival Wazzou....or Washington State University for those of you who don't follow college sports.  WSU is the school that gave stardom to Ryan Leaf but we won't hold that against Team Ponytail since that was long before they were there.  Especially because they have also been at Purdue (Mr Drew Brees) and Creighton (college  baseball powerhouse.) As I was going through Jessica's sight I kept thinking about how cool it was that she has been affiliated in some way with all these schools and college sports is a passion of mine.  I am a March Madness fan (Duke fan here but don't hold it against me the way EMZ does), College World Series follower (love Cal St-Fullerton), College Football (Clemson along with Lindsay) and even gymnastics (Go Georgia....I had to look that up!) So with that I decided to create a menu for her based on the schools that she has been affiliated with.  Jessica, I hope you enjoy the menu and that is spurs some innovation and creativity in the kitchen for you.

Breakfast: Purdue Boilermaker Breakfast of Old School Granola

Ingredients: One package of Old School Granola from Umpqua Oats, 1 medium banana Servings: 1 Nutritional Information: 415 calories, 7g fat, 84g Carbs, 10g Fiber, 9g Protein Directions:

  1. Cook the Umpqua Oats per directions on package.
  2. Slice banana and add to oatmeal and stir to combine.

The oatmeal contains pumpkin seeds, apples, cinnamon, cranberries, walnuts and almonds.  You could also add in sliced strawberries, blueberries, blackberries or any other fruit you can dream of.  

AM Snack: Creighton 'Blue'berry Jay Bar

Ingredients: 2c rolled oats, 1/2c almond butter, 1/2c earth balance buttery spread, 1c turbinado, 4tbs dried blueberries, 1/2c coconut milk, 2tbs dark chocolate chips [caption id="attachment_1664" align="alignright" width="250" caption="Awesome Energy Bars"][/caption] Servings: 12 Nutritional Information (per serving): 320 calories, 17g Fat, 38g Carbs, 3g Fiber, 5g Protein Directions:

  1. In a deep pot combine turbinado, earth balance buttery spread and coconut milk and bring to a boil.
  2. Once boiling add in almond butter and stir to combine well.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool a bit.
  4. Once cooled down add in rolled oats and blueberries
  5. Allow to cool completely then spread on a 9x13" baking dish lined with parchment paper.
  6. Once spread out add the chocolate chips and make a depression with a knife so you can cut the bars later.
  7. Place in freezer and freeze for an hour to make the bars solid.
  8. Remove from freezer and cut along pre-cut lines then place in a ziploc freezer bag.
  9. Remove bars as necessary.

Don't like blueberries, then add in raisins or dried cherries, dried pomegranates or any other dried fruit.  

Lunch - Nebraska 'Corn'husker Burger

(recipe from Sweettater)


Indredients: 2 cans beans (I used 1 black and 1 navy), 1/2 can corn, 1 carrot, grated, 1/2 onion, diced, 1/2 cup oats, 1 pinch cumin, 1 pinch coriander, salt and pepper

Servings: 4

Nutritional Information (per serving): 312 calories, 3g Fat, 58g Carbs, 12g Fiber, 14g Protein


  1. Saute onion and carrot with olive oil and garlic.
  2. Rinse beans and corn.
  3. Dump everything except 1/2 the corn in a food processor to combine. Pulse just a bit and leave chunky.
  4. Mix in corn.
  5. Shape into patties and dust with flour. Cook in a sprayed skillet for about 3 min per side.

I serve my veggie burgers on bib lettuce (also known as Boston Lettuce) or open faced on one slice of Ezekiel Sesame Bread.  

PM Snack - Washington State University Cougar Carrot Cake Cookie

(inspired by my trip to San Diego for IMCA and recipe courtesy of Cookie Madness)


 Ingredients: 1/2c brown rice flour, 1/2c soy flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/3 cup canola oil, 3 tablespoons turbinado, 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 large egg, 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest, 1/2 cup oats, old fashioned or quick (not instant), 2/3 cup shredded or grated carrots, 1/3 to 1/2 cup raisins, 1/3 cup toasted, chopped pecans or walnuts

Servings: 8

Nutritional Information: 242 calories, 12g Fat, 32g Carbs, 2g Fiber, 4g Protein


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, thoroughly mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon; set aside
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, granulated sugar, dark brown sugar and vanilla. When well mixed, add the egg and orange zest and beat for another 20-30 seconds. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until flour is absorbed. Stir in oats, carrots, raisins and nuts.
  4. Using a ¼ cup measure, scoop up big mounds of dough – they should be a bit larger than golf balls, but quite smaller than tennis balls.
  5. Place on ungreased or Silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes.


Dinner - Stanfard Cardinal CousCous Salad

(recipe adapted from Redbook)



  • 2 medium red beets, washed, trimmed,
  • 2 medium golden beets, washed, trimmed,
  • 1 tablespoon(s) extra-virgin olive oil,
  • 2 cup(s) Israeli couscous,
  • 1 can(s) (14 1/2-ounce) vegetable broth, plus 1 can water,
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) kosher salt,
  • 1/2 cup(s) dried cranberries,
  • 1/3 cup(s) red wine vinaigrette dressing,
  • 4 ounce(s) fresh goat cheese, crumbled,
  • 3 cup(s) arugula,
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste,
  • Toasted whole almonds, for garnish

    Servings: 4


Nutritional Information: 562 calories, 15g Fat, 91g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 16g Protein



  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Wrap beets in foil. Roast until a metal skewer inserts easily through them, about 50 minutes.
  2. While beets roast, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add couscous and toast, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add broth, water, and salt and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes; stir in cranberries.
  5. Cover and continue to cook 5 minutes, or until couscous is tender and all liquid has been absorbed.
  6. Transfer couscous to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Stir in 2 tablespoons of the vinaigrette dressing.
  7. Remove beets from foil and let cool until warm and easy to handle. Slip off skins and cut beets into thick slices.
  8. To serve, spoon couscous onto plates. Top with beet slices, goat cheese, and mâche. Spoon the remaining dressing over salads and season with pepper. Garnish with almonds.

  Nutritional Information for entire menu: 1902 calories, 58g Fat, 308g Carbs, 34g Fat, 51g Protein Nutritional Breakdown for Endurance Athletes: 63% Carbs, 10% Protein, 27% Fat   Jessica - I hope you enjoy this menu and any meal you make please take pics and post to our Facebook page.

Published in Athlete's Plate

As you have seen from my posts for Buffalo Tempeh and Black Bean, Zucchini and Olive Tacos or the Lentil Chipotle Burgers and Scallion Sweet Potato Pancakes I have been involved in a cookbook club.  This month we were asked to review Appetite for Reduction by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.


The layout of the book was excellent.  The table of contents was broken down into various types of meals that it was very easy to look for what you wanted to re-create and I enjoyed that.  It was how I was able to pair the four of the recipes into the two meals above.  In addition to having a clear format the instructions were very easy to follow.  For a person like me who starts to cook before actually reading the directions I never felt lost or behind as there were no surprises (like preheat the oven or add in 1c boiling water.


One area that could have been improved upon were the photos.  There are plenty of photos in the book but not for all the recipes.  This is good and bad as when I use a cookbook and the dish I create doesn't look exactly like the picture I start to over analyze my ingredients and how I used them.  On the flip side when the dish is complete and it doesn't look that good I like to have a visual example to compare to.  In this instance the pictures that did exist for the recipes I created were in the book and they were spot on.  The dishes looked exactly as I had created and the other dishes look phenomenal and have spurred creativity to create more dishes.


This table of contents has 6 pages of recipes with each looking better than the next in my opinion.  The beauty of this cookbook is that so many of the recipes can be paired to create a great meal.  For example, how does Veggie Pot Pie Stew served with Sweet Potato Drop Biscuits sound?  Or how about Tamarind BBQ Tempeh & Sweet Potatoes served with Polenta Stuffing?

One other item of note is that the recipes can be a little 'fancy' but there are also down home comfort foods in this book.  I think that is what appealed to me the most.  Some days I want to be in the kitchen whipping up a meal that would be great in a 4 star restaurant and other days I want to be the guy in the food truck.  This cookbook allows you to play both roles and be able to do so with ease as the recipes are not overly complicated.

Ingredients and supplies:

There were two items that stood out for me in the use of this cookbook.  As an endurance athlete I want to know what I am putting into my body in terms of nutritional information.  How many carbs?  What are the protein and fat amounts?  As I thumbed through the recipes I noticed that each one showed me exactly that information and it wasn't just the amount of macronutrients but also information on some of the micronutrients like iron and Vitamin A.

The second item was the idea of looking for and finding the ingredients without having to travel to multiple stores and the recipes I created allowed me to do one stop shopping.  I conducted my own experiment and went to Whole Foods for one of the meals and our local Kroger for the other.  I was able to find all the ingredients that I needed at both stores and that was a plus.  I always hear how hard it is to eat vegetarian or vegan meals because of all the special shopping that needed to be done.  I can say with honesty that you can find the ingredients to the recipes in this book at the local grocery store.


For me first trip into a Cookbook Club I was very pleased with this book.  The recipes, ingredients, pictures and additional information helped me get through the book with ease.  As I was writing this review, with the book next to me, I noticed a recipe that I must have been blind too but plan on making it tonight.  That for me is what is important.  I can keep going back to this book for not only recipes but for inspiration.  Other cookbooks I have used are just that.....books.  You read them and put them on the shelf never to be touched again.  I keep Appetite for Reduction on my kitchen counter because I am always using it as a resource of information.


If you are interested in trying out a vegetarian or vegan diet I suggest that you join this Cookbook Club even if for just one month. This book club gives you the opportunity to read what others thought of dishes before you attempt them.  You also get to see pictures of how different recipes came out and try to recreate on your own.

Click here to join the next month's cookbook review.  We will be reviewing Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook by Kim Barnouin



Published in Uncategorized

First of all, I would like to thank Jason for letting me do this guest post! My name is Matt and I blog over at The Athlete’s Plate. As a foodie and an athlete, I love to see how other people like me are fueling their workouts. I haven’t been reading Jason’s blog for that long, but “The Athlete’s Plate” on Thursdays is definitely my favorite post series that he does. He always comes up with a creative menu that gives me great meal ideas! I promised Jason that I would come up with a stellar menu this week, so let’s get to it! *As a side note, all of these recipes were created and cooked by me* Also, I'm not a vegetarian, but I have prepared a special vegetarian meal. Just for you Jason ;)

Breakfast: Spelt Pancakes For One 

 Ingredients (serves one)

  • 1/2 cup spelt flour (whole wheat or all purpose flour will work fine)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1 TBS melted butter (or oil)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or any other milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Toppings of choice


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the spelt flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and sea salt.
  2. Whisk in the melted butter, vanilla extract, and coconut milk.
  3. Preheat a lightly oiled cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Cook the pancakes for 3-4 per minutes per side, until golden brown.
  4. Add toppings of choice.


Lunch: Caprese Omelet 

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 ounces of fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 small bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions 1. Prepare the filling: Slice the tomato, rinse the basil, and slice the mozzarella. 2. Beat eggs well until they are light and fluffy and season them with salt and pepper. I like to add a few drops of water as well. I like to think that this keeps the omelet fluffy during the cooking process. 3. Heat the olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat and add eggs. Swirl your pan around until the egg coats the entire bottom. 4. When the eggs start to bubble a little bit, take your spatula and pierce the bubble, then tilt your pan to fill the hole with the remaining eggs. Repeat until the eggs are mostly set and reduce the heat to medium low. 5. Layer the tomatoes, basil, and fresh mozzarella on the omelet. 6. Cover for 60-90 seconds, then gently fold over with your spatula. 7. Slide the omelet onto a plate and enjoy.        

Snack: Chocolate Banana Protein Smoothie 


  • 1 scoop Chocolate Brown Rice Protein Powder
  • 1 medium frozen banana
  • 1 TBSP of natural peanut butter
  • 1 TBSP ground flax seed
  • 1 cup of coconut milk (or other nondairy milk)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon (optional)


  1. In a blender, add all of the ingredients and blend well.
  2. Pour into glass and enjoy! Tastes like heaven!


Dinner: Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Swiss Chard Quesadillas 


  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 16 ounces sweet potato, diced into 1/2-inch pieces (You may not need it all)
  • 1 large chipotle in adobo, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
  • 1 cup refried black beans
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground chipotle chile
  • 1 bunch chard, stems discarded, leaves sliced, washed well
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese


  1. Prepare the potatoes by covering with water in a pot and boiling until tender and can be pierced with a fork, about 10-12 minutes. Drain well. Mash them in a large bowl using a potato masher, adding chipotle in adobo, refried black beans, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic, onions, and green bell pepper for about 5 minutes, then add cumin, ground chipotle, and salt to taste for about 1 minute. Add chard and 1/3 cup water. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer until liquid is reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Drizzle one side of a tortilla with extra virgin olive oil. Turn over and spread a thin layer of the sweet potato mixture.Top with half of the chard mixture and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Top with remaining tortilla. Drizzle other side with olive oil.
  4. Heat in a skillet over medium heat, turning several times, until browned.
  5. Prepare the second quesadilla in the same manner.
  6. This recipe makes enough for two quesadillas. You will have leftover potatoes. Roast them for a nice side dish.

In a nutshell, this is how I normally eat on a day to day basis. I hope you guys enjoyed it! And remember to vote for the next “Athlete’s Plate Challenge” ingredient! [polldaddy poll="4527381"]

Published in Athlete's Plate
Thursday, 03 February 2011 08:00

Athlete's Plate - February 3, 2011

Thanks to John over at Training Smoker for nominating Thomas of the blog Georgia Snail.  Thomas' blog is full of life.  It is honest and he doesn't hide from the truth or his goals.      

I will say that Thomas' menu was the most challenging because he is on a quest to lose 30 pounds and has a list of items that he and his wife want to focus on eating.  Brown rice, sweet potatoes, spinach, romaine, nuts, fruits and veggies.  I would toss all of that in a bowl and eat it but then we wouldn't have the Athlete's Plate now would we?      

I set out to create a menu that may help Thomas lose those 30 pounds and get to Boston as well as race the races that he dreams of such as the JFK 50 Miler.      

In addition to this menu here you can always find dishes from me on Facebook by clicking [HERE]      

Now onto our menu:      

Breakfast - University of South Florida French Toast      

(Thomas went to college at USF)      


 Ingredients: 1/4c egg substitute, 1/4c HoneyMilk, 1 tbs cinnamon, Agave Syrup, 1tbs olive oil, 1/2c blueberries, 1 banana, 1c strawberries, 4 slices of Brown Rice Bread      

Servings:  2      

Nutritional Information: 465 calories, 10g Fat, 4mg cholesterol, 184mg sodium, 78g carbs, 5g fiber, 15g protein   


1- Wisk egg substitute, milk and cinnamon in bowl     

2- Dip bread to cover with mixture on both sides     

3- Heat olive oil in non-stick pan     

4- Cook until browned on both sides.     

5- Cut the bread in half and serve with fruit and agave syrup     

The house will smell wonderful.  I use brown rice bread because it is not a soft bread and holds up well to the mixture.     


AM Snack - Topless Sun(flower seed) Bathing Bar 

(Thomas' major at USF) 

  [caption id="attachment_493" align="alignright" width="225" caption="Pic courtesy of"][/caption]  

Ingredients: 4 c rolled oats, 1c brown sugar packed, 1c wheat germ, 1tsp cinnamon, 2c whole wheat flour, 1/2c egg substitute, 1c honey, 1c canola oil, 2tsp vanilla extract, 1tsp salt, 1/2c flax seeds, 1/2c sesame seeds, 1/2c sunflower seeds, 1/2c dark chocolate chips  

Servings: 24   

Nutritional Information: 339 calories, 17g Fat, 18mg cholesterol, 110mg sodium, 44g carbs, 5g fiber, 7g protein  


1-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x14 inch ovenproof baking dish.   

2- Mix the rolled oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, and flour together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, honey, canola oil, vanilla, and salt until evenly blended., and stir into the oat mixture. Stir in the flax seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and chocolate chips. Use your hands to mix the ingredients, and press the mixture into the prepared pan.3- Bake in preheated oven until the edges are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely in the baking dish before cutting into 2 inch bars.  


 Lunch - Quinoa and Starwood Sweet Potatoe Salad  

(he is trying to lose 30lbs and sweet potatoes are becoming a staple)   

[caption id="attachment_494" align="alignleft" width="275" caption="pic courtesy of"][/caption]  

Ingredients: 1 cup dry quinoa, 2 cups water, 1 large sweet potato, diced, 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced, 1/4 cup minced red onion or shallot, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided, 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup minced parsley or chives (garnish)
 Servings: 4
 Nutritional Information:335 calories, 9g Fat, 0mg cholesterol, 73.5mg sodium, 55g carbs, 7g fiber, 5.5g protein
1- Bring 2 c. water and quinoa to a boil; reduce flame to very low and cook 15 minutes, till done.
2-Peel and dice yam into 1/2" cubes. Bring a pot of water to boil, add yams, and cook 15 minutes, till tender (or roast in the oven at 400 till same result). Cool till handle-able.
3- Mix quinoa, cooked yams, and onion well in salad bowl. Whisk remaining ingredients together in a small bowl, then dress salad. Let sit up to an hour before serving.
PM Snack - Trail (Mix) Running (loves to run trails)
Ingredients: 1/4c chocolate covered craisins, 1/4c dried fruit (your choice), 1tb chopped nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts), 2tbs flax seed, 1tbs sunflower seeds, 1tbs pumpkin seeds
Servings: 4
Nutritional Information:195 calories, 13g Fat, 1.25mg cholesterol, .25mg sodium, 19g carbs, 4.25g fiber, 4gprotein
Directions:  Pour in bowl and divide by 4 so you don't eat it all at one sitting.
Dinner - Equinox Marathon Eggplant Parmesan
(Equinox Marathon is what got Thomas into running) 


pic courtesy of
Ingredients: Eggplant, peeled and sliced into rounds, 1 tbs Olive oil, 2 Roma Tomatoes, Low Fat Mozzarella Shredded cheese, Fresh torn basil
Servings: 3
Nutritional Information:145 calories, 11g Fat, 5mg cholesterol, 99.9mg sodium, 10g carbs, 4g fiber, 4gprotein
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Peel and slice the eggplant. Slice eggplant  in 1/4" thick rounds
3. Lightly brush olive oil on both sides of the eggplant and season eggplant with salt and pepper (can use dried oregano)
4. Bake eggplant for aprox. 10-15 minutes or until cooked completely.  Flip 1/2 way through cooking process
 5- Once eggplant is to your liking add tomatoe and cheese and cook until it melts.  You want the eggplant to be soft but not mushy.  Total cooking time with tomatoe and cheese will be around 12-15 minutes.
Serve with a small side of whole wheat pasta.  Be sure to use the sauce I made for John.
Dessert - Georgia Peach Trifle
(he lives in Georgia now)
pic courtesy of
Ingredients: 1/2c frozen peaches, 1/4c Nature's Path granola (your favorite flavor), 10 dry roasted non-salted almonds, 1/4c non-fat greek yogurt
Servings: 1
Nutritional Information: 203 calories, 11g Fat, 2.5mg cholesterol, 53.75mg sodium, 30.75g carbs, 5g fiber, 12.25gprotein
1- Blend frozen peaches and almonds until smooth.  May need to add water or milk.
2- Pour 1/2 peach mixture in glass followed by 1/2 greek yogurt and 1/2 granola.
3- Repeat step 2
4- Eat and enjoy


Thomas I hope you enjoy this menu as much as I enjoyed going through your blog.  If you make any of these dishes please post pics and your review on the Facebook page and/or this post.
Please email me your nominee for next week's plate.


Published in Athlete's Plate
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