Wednesday, 28 August 2013 04:44

Quinoa Baked French Toast Breakfast Recipe

Quinoa is a staple in many diets today whether you are vegan / vegetarian or a carnivore.  Since it is not a grain it fits into the No Sugar, No Grain lifestyle but unfortunately it is not Paleo based on what I read.  That being said you can make your own choices on what you want to put into your body and I for one will choose to consume quinoa. 

I was inspired to get quinoa back into my diet after reading this article from Food Republic that showed 10 different things you didn't know about quinoa.  With this article in mind I made extra quinoa for this baked french toast recipe.  As it turned out I am beyond happy that I did so and now have a base for making this meal the night before and then re-heating for post workout recovery meals.  This is also a beginner's recipe so feel free to add fruit and honey to it.  Essentially treat this as any french toast breakfast you would make. Here is the recipe for the Quinoa Baked French Toast that I so thoroughly enjoyed on Tuesday morning.  Please note that this recipe is for twice as much quinoa as you are going to use for the breakfast recipe, but it is difficult to get quinoa correct with only 1/4c dry.  Make 1/2c and then use 1/2 for dinner like in this photo and then use the remaining for the french toast.

Quinoa Baked French Toast Nutritional Information:

394 calories, 50g Carbs, 16g Fat, 13g Protein, 4g Fiber

Quinoa Baked French Toast For Breakfast Or Recovery? Which Do You Choose?

Published in Breakfast Recipes
[caption id="attachment_8756" align="alignright" width="211"]triathlon diet - lifestyle - training - ironman These 4 Items Belong In Each Endurance Athletes Lifestyle But Not All Are Going To Be The Same.
Source: Nutrition Translator[/caption] Triathlon diet and/or lifestyle there are those that are seeking the magic bullet and turning to sites and blogs, like mine, for answers.  I get questions and comments on all of the social media platforms that I am on seeking advice.  The problem with this advice seeking is that sometimes you can read the emotion and what they are really seeking is the one size fits all answer.  Unfortunately that does not exist because we are all different and as a matter of fact each day for each individual is going to be different. Let me provide you with an example.  That example would be me and here is how the last week of my triathlon, diet and lifestyle unfolded.
  • Monday: Tired from the weekend of training I pushed my run to the evening to go with Karen.  The moment we started running I could feel my legs weight 1,000 pounds each.  That morning I had a 3 egg omelette with mushrooms for breakfast, toast with salsa verde and poached eggs for lunch and post run I had chocolate waffles with banana and almond ice cream.  I pushed my carbs to the evening because that is when I was going to be running.
  • Tuesday: Decided to not workout in the morning as I was tired and would do a recovery spin and some strength/core at lunch.  The ride and lifting went well and I felt good throughout the workout.  So good that I asked a Facebook group I belong to if anybody wanted to swim and run on Wednesday morning.  That day I ate for breakfast: toast with almonds, raisins, banana and honey.  Lunch consisted of an Asian slaw salad and dinner was a falafel waffle with a greek salad.  All was going well to date.
  • Wednesday: Nervous about the feeling in my legs I was contemplating skipping the run.  I jumped in the water and swam 1.2 miles in 44 minutes. It was slow and sluggish but felt good enough to run.  I put in 6.3 miles at a pace of 9:30/mi.  Just about right and my legs didn't hurt too bad.  I ate a well-balanced diet that day that was based on carbs early in the morning to take care of my workouts.
  • Thursday: Wanted this to be a recovery day so I planned on riding for an hour and running for 15 minutes off the bike.  I felt better than I thought and put in a 20 mph bike ride and then ran an 8:21/mi pace off the bike.  Where did this speed come from?  I was on top of the world that in the afternoon I went and did 40 minutes of core/strength.  Look out world.  I also started tracking my meals via My Fitness Pal again and that really helped.  That day I had my carbs in the morning to again help in the recovery from the workout as well as burning off those carbs throughout the day.
  • Friday(today): I woke up with muscle soreness in my back.  The reason was that this was the first time I had done a focused core/strength workout since prior to Ironman Texas......a long time!  The always scheduled 6:30am OWS was happening and I had decided I would run 6 miles out of the water with Drum.  As I drove to the lake I could feel my back and I thought that I would wait until I got out of the water to decide on the run.  Jumped in the lake and lo and behold I was (my version of) Michael Phelps.  That 44 minutes swim was now finished in 39:10.  A 5 minute improvement which is otherworldly in my book.  I decided not to run because tomorrow I am riding for 5 hours and on Sunday running for two hours.  My breakfast this morning was French Toast and my plan for the rest of the day is to focus on protein and less on carbs.
If the people who asked me what I eat, how, why, or when were to follow this routine they may either find it too easy or too hard and the reason is that they are at a different spot in their endurance lifestyle than I.  More than that though they have different stresses in their life that can also affect their decisions on what to eat and how to get their triathlon and diet lifestyle to coincide. So when I get these types of questions I do my best to provide a response that includes some sort of disclaimer that this is how I do it or that I am not a registered dietian or a sports nutritionist.  That the answers I am providing are from my own research as well as trial and error.  Yes, there are certain 'rules of thumb' when it comes to eating for the endurance lifestyle but how one person's body reacts to a specific diet is not indicative of how another's will react.  The way I provide examples for this triathlon diet lifestyle is as follows:

How The Triathlon Diet Lifestyle Can Be Interpreted In 'Real' Life:

  • My results are not indicative of the results that you will have.  Similar to past performance does not predict future performance in the stock market.
  • There are guidelines that apply to everybody but not everybody will do it the same way.  This is similar to a golf stroke. There are certain mechanics but look at Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods and try to tell me that one is right and one is wrong and I will tell you both have won Major championships.
As you can see there is no one size fits all when it comes to training or nutrition for endurance sports especially an Ironman. I don't eat solids in an Ironman race but you may need to or have to.  I don't eat meat, but that may be something that you enjoy.  I choose not to race 5Ks and would rather train for and race for a 140.6 mile race.  Neither is right or wrong or better than the other except in that this is what works for me.  Figure out what you like and enjoy and instead of keeping up with the Joneses set the path for yourself.

Triathlon Diet Lifestyle Guidelines That I Believe Apply To All:

  • Cut out processed foods and eat real foods as much as possible.
  • Surround your workouts with carb based meals.
  • Listen to your body and if it needs to rest then rest and don't push it.
  • Recovering from your workouts is just as important as your workouts so get the proper nutrition into your system post workout.

Do You Believe There Are Universal Rules For Triathlon or Diet?

Published in Train
Thursday, 25 July 2013 08:22

Soup: It's Not Just For Bowls Anymore

Soup is something we associate with winter or cold dreary rainy days.  You turn to soup for comfort and to warm you up.  You see that bowl of soup and the steam coming off the top and immediately you are transferred to a different time.  A time when you were a kid and maybe that soup was tomato soup accompanied by a grilled cheese.

Never has hot soup been associated with summer.  Who wants to slurp on soup when it is 100* out with 100% humidity?  Just thinking about it is making me sweat but lucky for you soup doesn’t have to just come in a bowl or be chilled in order to be enjoyed in the summer. After a long time of trial and error, as well as forgetting about it, I came up with soup that can be served in the summer and be consumed without utensils.

How can this be done you are asking yourself and I am going to tell you.  You convert it to waffle form is how.  I had made a statement that anything can be converted into waffle form and along the way I have succeeded and where I have not the Waffleizer has succeeded.  After making that challenge the response I received was: SOUP.  Uh-oh, how was this going to happen.  I thought about the typical chicken noodle soup, and butternut squash soup but neither of those got me excited.

It was during the de-clutter of our old house that I came across a Fleur de lis and the light bulb went off.  French Onion Soup.  It had rosemary, thyme, garlic, onions, cheese and bread.  The bread would be the key as that waffle batter would be the interpretation of the bread in French Onion Soup, but from there it became a matter of making them with various taste tests.  Earlier this week it all came together and I was so excited that the first thing I put on the description on Instagram was:  I DID IT!

The flavors were perfect as every bite gave you something different. One bite would have a definite rosemary flavor while the other gave you garlic and onion.  It went on this way for the entire dinner and after each bite I fist-pumped like Tiger Woods that I actually turned soup into a waffle.  Of course my brain would take off and now I am on a quest to make a 4 course meal all in waffle form, but that is for another day. Today I present you the French Onion Soup Waffle:

Published in Breakfast Recipes

Vegan buffalo wings were one of the first things I needed to figure out how to make when I decided to go plant-based.  For me the smell of the hot sauce accompanied by the creamy cooling effect of the bleu cheese dressing was going to be the one item I missed the most and so it was imperative that I be able to make vegan buffalo wings and make them fast.  The first time I made them I was in heaven.  They had the aroma and flavor but what surprised me the most of this vegan version was the texture.  I used tempeh along with the buffalo wing sauce I had learned to make years and years ago. Over time I have used tempeh in various versions but had completely forgotten about how much I loved vegan buffalo wings.  That was until I saw Sarah from Fresh Fit N Healthy posted a picture of her version to Instagram and that got me to the grocery store to pickup some tempeh and get prepared to make my version for lunch.

As I was getting ready to make the vegan buffalo wings I thought about the dipping sauce.  I am not eating cheese these days so how do I get to the bleu cheese dipping sauce?  I decide to use coconut yogurt and add a little bit of ranch (not dressing but the dry ingredients) to it and see how that went.  As it turned out it was good in terms of cooling down the heat but it was not that tangy bleu cheese that accompanies chicken wings.  I need to work on that recipe a bit but I will get there. Here is the recipe for the Vegan Buffalo Wings: [recipe]  

Do You Have A Favorite Vegan Buffalo Wings Recipe?

How About A Vegan Bleu Cheese Recipe?

Published in Lunch Recipes

Vegan risotto is not something you typically get excited about but while trolling through the multiple communities on Google Plus that I belong to I found a conversation regarding risotto and another regarding butternut squash.  I thought to myself that would be a great combination as the soft creamy texture of the butternut squash would go perfectly against the al dente texture of the risotto.  Along the way I saw crimini mushrooms in my refrigerator and the light bulb went off.  Why not add some crispy crimini mushrooms to add a third texture and flavor profile to this dish. As you may know risotto is typically made with chicken stock but seeing as I don't eat meat I chose to make a vegan risotto with just water.  Plain old water and nothing else.  I could have used vegetable stock but what I notice when I use stock is that the risotto turns a lighter shade of brown and I wanted the rice to stay as white as possible.  Of course when you add crimini mushrooms to your vegan risotto they have a tendency to lend some color to the rice but all in all you can see the mushrooms and the orange hue of the butternut squash.  One thing I know about food is that we eat with our eyes first and so making food more appealing via sight is just as important as making it taste great. With that idea in mind I am reaching out to you, the readers of my blog, for some help.  I am trying to get a cookbook published and one way to do that is to generate a lot of conversation via the social media platforms that I am involved in as well as on this blog.  One of the ideas I have been thinking about and working on is food photography.  If the food looks great in pictures then people will be more apt to +1, like, share and re-tweet them.  So, do any of you have any classes that you have taken that have helped you with food photography?  What kind of camera do you use?  I joined a group called Food Photography on G+ and am hoping to learn more about the art there.  I am also a big fan of Cait from Caits Plate as her pictures on Instagram and her blog are always top-notch.  Look at how simple this dish is and yet how great it looks in her picture:

Anyway, back to vegan risotto and the recipe. I posted this picture to both Instagram and a few communities on Google Plus and received requests to publish the recipe so here it is. I hope you enjoy the recipe and if you do make it please share your vegan risotto creation with me on any of the social platforms I am on: [recipe]

Will You Be Making This Vegan Risotto For Your Next Meatless Monday?

Published in Lunch Recipes

Cornmeal pizza crust is what this turned out to be but that isn't what it started out as.  I made a socca earlier in the week and wondered if I could make a socca using cornmeal instead of garbanzo flour.  Before I tell you the rest of the story, do you know what a socca is?  Essentially, socca is a pancake made from garbanzo flour but it does not require baking powder, eggs or egg whites or anything other that water and oil.  Yes the two don't mix but when they are combined together with garbanzo flour there is a magic that happens. The first socca I made was so tasty as I topped it with shredded brussels sprouts, yellow and green peppers and a terrific touch of a fried egg.  The creamy runny yolk combined with the crunchy texture of the vegetables and soft fluffy nature of the socca is never to be forgotten.  Never being satisfied with the status quo I wanted to make a socca with cornmeal. The following questions were the first ones that popped into my head:

  • Do you HAVE cornmeal?
  • Will it taste like corn bread and if so can you whip something up to use the cornbread with?
  • If it is horrible do you have the pizza delivery number near by?

After answering positively to bullet points 1 and 3 I decided to venture forth and see what happens.  If I needed an answer for bullet point 2 it was going to be peanut butter and call it a day. What turned out was nothing short of phenomenal.  I found that the cornmeal socca was really a great pizza crust and so was born the cornmeal pizza crust.  What I liked about the cornmeal pizza crust was that it was crispy all throughout which I have not found with the cauliflower pizza crust depending on how you made it that day.  The cornmeal pizza crust did not remind me of cornbread at all.  The flavor was terrific as it was aided by the olive oil as well as the garlic and Italian seasonings I used.  This cornmeal pizza crust was so good I may never make cauliflower pizza crust again, but never say never.  Or maybe I'll make Sarah's Eggplant  Pizza Crust but I think I'll always be partial to the cornmeal pizza crust (socca-style.) [recipe] [gallery type="slideshow" ids=",8432,8431"]

Have You Ever Made Socca Or A Cornmeal Pizza Crust Before?

What Is Your Favorite Pizza Topping?

Published in Lunch Recipes

Incredible Hulk......remember him?  At this point The Incredible Hulk has been reduced to a supporting role in the superhero movies but back when I was a kid The Incredible Hulk, which starred Lou Ferrigno, was a show not to be missed.  I mean who doesn't go into fits of rage when people make you mad and make you want to rip off your shirt, turn green and have your jeans reduced to capris and then after you kick ass have all your clothes return to normal and your regular skin complexion come back as well?  I'd sign up for that. Anyway, this Incredible Hulk Vegan Creamy Pasta Recipe will not have that type of effect on you from the outside, but on the inside your body will thank you immensely.  This has healthy fats in the form of avocado, avoids dairy by using vegan parmesan cheese and coconut milk and is gluten-free with the use of quinoa pasta.  Now if you want to take this Incredible Hulk pasta and add in whole milk, regular parmesan cheese and durum wheat pasta then go for it as the process would be the same.  I toyed with the idea of having this be an Incredible Hulk Carbonara but truth be told it was right after a hard 7 mile run and the faster I got the food in my pie hole the better off I and Karen would have been otherwise I may have said:  You Won't Like Me When I Am Ravenously Hungry! What made this dish perfect for a post run was that the carb:protein ratio was the ideal 4:1 with 19 grams of protein and 77 grams of carbohydrates.  Did I mention that it was vegan?  That's right there are 19 grams of protein in the Incredible Hulk Vegan Creamy Pasta recipe without the use of meat.  It is not hard to get to your requirement of daily protein from vegetables and all you have to do is eat a balanced diet. 

Do You Remember The Show The Incredible Hulk?

Have You Made Creamy Sauce Without Dairy?


Published in Lunch Recipes

Rice Noodles have become a favorite of mine in the past few weeks.  It could be that rice noodles lead themselves to making Asian inspired dishes and to me those are very fast and easy to make.  Since I am 'surving' overload weeks I need to have foods that I can make really fast but still provide taste and meet my macronutrient needs.  My goals are to get ~65% of my calories from carbohydrates, ~15% from protein and ~20% from fat.  This means that if I eat 2,000 calories on a given day that I am eating 1300 calories (325g) of carbs, 300 calories (75g) from protein and the remainder from fats, but I ensure that they are healthy fats. 

 A few weeks ago I was perusing the Food Republic site (daily occurrence) and saw a picture of rice paper rolls and I knew I wanted to make some rolls, but while at the local Asian market I saw rice noodles and figured that I could make something with them.  Maybe a Pad Thai or maybe an Asian lasagna.  I had no clue what I was truly going to make but I knew I wanted the rice noodles in my shopping cart. A few days after picking up the rice noodles I had lunch with a great friend at a Thai restaurant and it hit me then that I could make Pad Thai with the rice noodles.  I figured that some rice noodles and vegetables would be an ideal quick and easy dinner but it had to have more than that.  I figured I could make some spicy nut sauce to add flavor and fat and so I put it into my meal plan. After I posted the picture of the dish to Instagram and Twitter I received a few requests for the recipe and decided to share it with you.  Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did. 

Do You Use Rice Noodles Or Rice Paper?

Published in Lunch Recipes

Tacos are a staple in my diet.  I would venture to guess that I eat tacos at least once a week and they are not always the same which is why I enjoy them so much.  The basic tortilla shell is the same but it is the filling that makes each taco different.  Of course, living in Texas there is an abundant amount of Tex-Mex restaurants where you can get some of the best tasting tacos you have ever had, but I prefer to make mine at home.  Why?  The answers are simple:

  1. I make my own tortilla shells and they do not include lard.
  2. I have chosen the ingredients myself and know what they are being cooked with.
  3. The combination of flavors is not what you typically see at a restaurant because you are only limited by your own imagination.

And there is always this: [youtube]I view tacos very similar to waffles.  I believe that waffles are a vehicle for carrying ingredients and tacos are a true vehicle for the ingredients that you choose.  When you think about it a taco shell is no different from a slice of bread so any sandwich you make, including PB&J, can be placed inside a taco shell or of course a waffle. I am going to post a meal that I had for lunch on Monday that was incredible tasting and rather simple to make.  One thing you may notice is that the entire dish is made up of two colors and that leads me to the #EnduranceFoodies theme for April.  Our chosen them is 2 color dishes.  All the food that is presented in the recipes can only be of two colors.  Do you want to participate in the next #EnduranceFoodies blog carnival?  It starts on April 15th so if you are inclined please contact me and let me know of your interest with the colors as well as a link to your blog.  These tacos are green and yellow and would have worked perfectly in the theme for April.

Tacos With Roasted Chickpeas And Hummus Recipe

Ingredients:  1/2c Organic Masa Harina (I use Bob's Red Mill), 100g Asparagus Spears (approximately 5 spears), 1/4c Dry Chickpeas, Lemon Juice, 1 Tbsp Nut Butter, 2 cloves garlic Servings: 1 Nutritional Information: 438 calories, 82g Carbohydrates, 6g Fat, 18g Protein, 17g Fiber Directions:

  1. The night before soak 1/4c of dry chickpeas in 2 cups of water.  (You can also use canned chickpeas if you want to save time.)
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350*
  3. In a bowl add masa harina and 1/2c warm water.  With your hands combine until a ball is formed then set aside for 30 minutes.
  4. Bring water with chickpeas to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook chickpeas until soft.  Approximately 20 minutes of soaked overnight.
  5. After chickpeas have cooked drain but do not discard the cooking water.
  6. Measure out 45g and place in a bowl and add your favorite spices.  (I used cumin, cinnamon, coriander and sage.)
  7. Place seasoned chickpeas on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until crunchy.
  8. While chickpeas are roasting take the remaining chickpeas and place in food processor with peanut butter, juice of the lemon and garlic.
  9. Turn on food processor to begin making hummus and add water in small increments to your desired consistency (I like my hummus a bit chunky.)
  10. Once hummus is made cut your tortilla ball in half and form two smaller tortilla balls.
  11. Place one ball between sheets of wax paper and press down with a flat surface (a small plate works). You may need to roll flat with rolling-pin.
  12. Peel back side of wax paper off first then flip into your other hand and peel off second sheet.
  13. Place tortilla into a hot pan and cook for 1-2 minutes per side.  Then repeat for the 2nd tortilla.
  14. Remove 2nd tortilla and add the chopped asparagus to heat through. About 3-5 minutes.
  15. Remove roasted chickpeas from oven.
  16. Assemble tacos by spreading hummus on each of the tacos then add in roasted chickpeas and asparagus.

I served my chickepea and asparagus tacos with champagne mango, but feel free to use another fruit if you choose.  Oranges would go well as the acid from the citrus will help cut the tanginess of the hummus.

How Do You Prepare Your Tacos?

If You Are Interested In Participating In April's #EnduranceFoodies Be Sure To Contact Me

Published in Lunch Recipes

Blog Carnival is back for the second installment and this time the blog carnival is centered on Mediterranean Cuisine.  The topic was chosen long before the report came out that eating a mediterranean diet is better for your health.

Essentially the study showed that there was a heart benefit to eating the Mediterranean diet but the downside to the report is there is no cause and effect so it is not 100% full-proof.  The Mediterranean diet has principal aspects that include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products.  This is not typical of all Mediterranean countries but they are the predominant aspects of the diet.

When I chose to do the blog carnival for March I thought that being able to have the #EnduranceFoodies choose the country they wanted to work with and this would provide all of you with various recipes from the region and all would be different.  The blog carnival grew from 5 for the recovery meals to 10 for the Mediterranean cuisine and hopefully after reading this you will want to join the blog carnival for April.  If you choose to be a part of the blog carnival in April please contact me.

decided to allow the other participants pick their countries first and then I would select from the rest.  I wound up with Malta which is a country consists of an archipelago situated in the center of the Mediterranean, south of Sicily, east of Tunisia and north of Libya.  After doing some research I chose to make Maltese Kaponata and I am thrilled with my choice.  The meal came out great tasting and had multiple uses.  I wound up with enough of the kaponata to not only make dinner but to make breakfast the next day, proving that if you have an imagination then you can create multiple dishes from one recipe.

Following is the March blog carnival Mediterranean Cuisine recipe for kaponata.  For the other, upcoming, recipes and links to those recipes you can find them below.

Published in Dinner Recipes
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