Monday, November 24, 2008

Blythe's holiday turkey burgers

'Tis the season to put a holiday twist on everything. Up in San Francisco this weekend, Blythe put together a fantastic pre-party dinner of cranberry & feta turkey burgers on whole grain buns, organic green salad with cherry tomatoes and avocado, and oven-baked sweet potato fries. I had to post about this one because the turkey burgers were genius- why didn't I think of that?!?! Here's the pre-cooked burgers (i think we had too mcuh wine beofre we actually ate the meal to remember to take a picture of the finished product with all the fixins :)

For 8 good size burgers use:

2 packages lean or extra lean ground turkey (Blythe mixed one extra lean (99% fat free) with one lean (93% fat free)- perfect! )

3/4 cup dried cranberries (just throw in a couple handfuls)
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Mix 'em together and grill 'em up- about 8 minutes per side. These were PERFECT as is, but james and I were just talking and thinking they could be spiced up even more with chopped celery and onions (kind of like turkey stuffing burgers) or some spices (sage or rosemary?) would both go well.

Serve with oven-baked sweet potato fries of course!

and a picture with the cook!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Matisse & Jacks Cranberry Pumpkin Power Snacks

Just in time for the holidays... a healthy bar. Perfect for your pre-Thanksgiving day ride or run... or a good way to sneak a healthy snack on to the table during the holidays.

Last week before the 12 hour mountain bike race I baked 5 batches of Matisse & Jacks bars and tried a little something different with each one. The one that turned out the best and the ones that got eaten the fastest were the Chocolate Chip Power Snacks that I added Pumpkin and Agave Nectar too.

So last night I made another batch, but this time I used the Cranberry power snacks
to make it more of a Holiday/Thanksgiving bar. Here's the recipe... super simple. I think it took about 5 minutes to mix up and get in the oven.

1 box of Matisse & Jack Cranberry Power Snacks
1 heaping cup of pumpkin (all natural)
2 tbsp of Agave Nectar (i put in the microwave for 15 seconds before mixing it in.
4 tbsp water
Pumpkin Spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice) to taste

Put it in an 8x8 pan and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. When it's done let it cool for 20-30 minutes before ripping into them.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Dinner with Marky V

On Saturday night Beth and I headed over the Mac and Meredith's awesome beach house in Cardiff for good food, good wine, and definitely good company.

Marky V offered to cook us dinner and promised he wouldn't let us down... and he didn't.

the chef... so stoked on his halloween candy!

On the menu:
Grilled Salmon
Grilled tilapia
Grilled chicken
spinach salad
saffrron rice
grainy garlic bread

Everything was cooked to perfection and we stuffed ourselves. Beth and I brought dessert and wine.

When we were in Sonoma for Vineman we visited the UNTI winery and picked a bottle of their 2004 Syrah. We figured this was a good occasion to open it up and it was good. I think I drank half of it myself.

For dessert... you guessed it. Fro yo!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Matisse & Jack's Cranberry Power Snacks

once again we have been lagging on the Vo2 Maxxed blog front, but we have been busy. Beth has been racing a lot and also putting a lot of mileage in preparation for the Las Vegas marathon. I have been busy with racing and training also. Last weekend I raced the Xterra USA Championships and now I am getting ready for worlds at the end of the month.

I mentioned on my blog that I recently picked up a new sponsor, Matisse & Jacks. They make killer bake-at-home snacks that are perfect pre or post workout or whenever you just want a healthy snack. On of the best parts of the mixes is that hey are easy to customize and you can create your own concoctions based on what you like.

Here is a version I made just before heading up to Tahoe.

I started with the standard Matisse & Jacks Cranberry Power Snacks mix. The mix makes 9 bars. Here's the nutrition info per bar without any additions to mix.

mix (per bar)
160 cals
4.5g f
22g carbs
- 10 sugar
- 3 fiber
9g protein

The bars are killer made just following the instructions but occasionally I like to add some more protein, nuts, or try some random flavor. Here's what I added to this batch.

3 tbsp PB2. This is defatted peanut powder. You can mix it with water and make peanut butter without the fat but I just like adding it to yogurt or cottage cheese for some peanut butter flavor. They have a regular peanut butter flavor and a chocolate peanut butter flavor. Check it out... kind of weird but definitely good.

1 cup TJ's Greek yogurt 0% & 2 tsp of vanilla extract. This is my favorite yogurt and it's loaded with protein.

1 scoop Any Whey from Optimum Nutrition. The protein powder is made to be used when cooking and I have it's definitely the best any thing that's hot. It's completely flavorless.

I just poured the mix into a bowl and added all the ingredients. It couldn't be easier.

then into an 8x8 pan.

and then 30 minutes later... booyah! Killer bar for before, during, or after a workout.

here's the nutritional info for my bars.
195 cals
5g fat
24g carbs
14g protein

Friday, September 5, 2008

Cooler Fish Tacos

The weather has been great lately. Sunny and warm. Perfect for training and grilling out. Last week after a weekend of killer workouts and lounging by the pool Beth and I were in the mood for Mexican, but some thing cool (as in not too hot).

Beth and I both love lettuce cups as an appetizer and always order them when we go out to eat. A couple of months ago I got the idea of making fish tacos and instead of using red cabbage in the tacos I would use cabbage leave as the shell/tortilla/wrap. I am sure I didn't make this up, but I had never had cabbage used as the shell, it's usually butter/bib lettuce or something green. We both really liked it so we did it again. This coupled with Beth's gazpacho made for a killer dinner.

I also made some avocado salsa inspired by a recipe J.P. posted. I changed it up a bit but it came out awesome and we have been eating all week... on everything.

the avocado Salsa.

1 avocado
1/4 diced onion
1/2 diced jalepeno
2 cloves of garlic
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup tomato sauce (mexican hot style)
1/4 cup Trader Joe's 0% greek yogurt
handful of cilantro
salt & pepper
a little water to help thin it out and blend

things i added... the yogurt added some creaminess & protein and the sauce gave it a bit more spice.

DANGER! Beth helping out!

I could eat this like ice cream (or frozen yogurt).

I took care of the salsa and Beth whipped up the gazpacho and rest of meal was pretty simple. We just threw some mahi mahi fillets on the grill with an ear of corn (for garnish and small side).

After the fish was grilled and corn was charred it was time to eat.


Friday, August 29, 2008

Life on the run (and swim & bike)

Things have been crazy lately for me and Beth. We have been going nonstop. Beth started back at work full time and that coupled with the start of her marathon training (under the watchful eye of this dude) and I have been going as hard as I have all year. This means meals need a little more planning, thought, and prep work to make sure we are eating healthy and getting all we need for training... and of course eating what we like.

I have been in charge of cooking most of the dinners (what else is new!) lately because I am usually at home and done working out before Beth. I get my stuff done early in the morning and at lunch and Beth's schedule has her working out in the morning and evening. So here's a couple of things I cooked up last week. These are by no means any kind of of gourmet or complicated meals. They are just simple, healthy, and most importantly... quick. If you want more gourmet cooking checkout J.P.'s blog. He's cooking up some awesome stuff... and racing fast!

We also made a couple trips to El Caribe. Having a healthy restaurant right around the corner with killer food makes life easy when things are busy. Perfect food for post workout and fueling for the next day... and cheap.

Monday I cooked something new. Cornish game hens.

I split and cleaned the hens and then marinated them with some BBQ sauce and spices while I was at work. I got some cooking tips from J.P.. When I got home I threw them on the grill.

They came out awesome! I was kind of shocked. I mean I had hoped they would be good, but blew my expectations away. I can't wait to cook them again.

On Wednesday I made some carne asada and shrimp fajitas. I marinated some top sirloin, shrimp, bell peppers and onions in a healthy, all-natural Asada marinade that Beth picked up. I usually like to make my own marinades but this stuff looked good and I was in a hurry to get them marinating before heading to work. I was really stoked about this meal and it was quick, easy, and healthy.

When I got home from work I just threw the veggies and meat on the grill and broke out the salsa, organic whole wheat tortillas, and guacamole. I hadn't made mexican food at home in a while and this hit the spot. I need to get back at it. So from here on out I am stealing the Cotter's (another killer blog with good food) idea and having at least one taco (burrito/fajita) night each week.

On Friday night I was on my own for dinner while Beth was getting her swim on down at the cove with the Tri club. I bought some healthy turkey burgers from Costco this week and really wanted to give them a go. So after I got home from my ocean swim I fired up the grill. They are frozen patties but don't have any added ingredients and 35 grams of protein. Just what my scrawny butt needs. I just made a grilled turkey burger wrap and some grilled sweet potato fries. It was good.

Another thing that has been going on is some serious lunch packing. We both make and take our lunch everyday... and plenty of snacks. So right after dinner, before we clean up the kitchen, we go into full on assembly line, lunch making mode. We have been trying to make extra at dinner so we left overs which helps speed up the process.

Salads for 2.

a day of food for Beth.

one last thing. I restocked the mixed nuts supply this week on a trip to henry's. How long do you think it will take us to go through this (about 3.15 lbs)? I put the date on them to see.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Grilled Veggies and Summertime chicken

We love salads.

We both usually eat at least one salad a day... sometimes two. They are easy to make, mega healthy, and never get old because there are so many ways to change it up.

This summer I have been really into making grilled veggies(like almost every night!). I still get my salad fix at lunch and dinner it's time to throw what ever veggies we have on the grill.

Some of our favotites:
sweet potato (yams)
button mushrooms
portobello mushrooms
Bell peppers (all colors)

a lot of the time I will make grilled veggie salads and just throw all the grilled goodness on top of some mixed greens and top with some goat cheese and homemade dressing.

For the protein part of this meal I grilled up some chicken. I don't really have a name for the recipe/marinade I used for the chicken but it's been a staple for me and reminds me of good times in the summer living in Virginia Beach. We used to have big backyard BBQ's at my good friend Ricky's house. We used to surf all day, come home drink some ice cold beers and cook up tons of food. Ricky or his dad would always make their famous "broasted chicken". His dad was a killer cook and actually owns The Jewish Mother in Virginia, and Ricky now runs the place.

Here's the recipe for the marinade. You can use any kind of chicken you want. I think bone-in works is the best but I just had some skinless breasts on hand so I used those.

Summertime Chicken Marinade:
I don't use any measurements and pretty much eyeball everything so these are just guesses.

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp Tapatio Hot Sauce
1/2 lemon (squeeze out the juice and leave in the dish used for marinading)
1 lime (squeeze out the juice and leave in the dish used for marinading)
fresh ground black pepper to taste
canjun seasoning to taste

That's it. Give it plenty of time to marinade... at least 8 hours. Then Grill. Then get down.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cioppino...our olympic stew!

when you want a restaurant quality meal, but really want to ea tat home to tri geek out to the Olympics, cook some Cioppino!
We served this up with a summer salad while we watched the men's olympic triathlon streamed on the internet....It makes a ton of broth, so right before I put in the seafood, i took out half of the broth and froze it. that way, next time we want Ciopinno, just defrost and add fresh seafood! Or, just be cooler than us and actually have friends over and there's Ciopinno to share!


1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes,
¼ cup tomato paste
1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 can quartered artichoke hearts (no juice)
2 cups dry white wine
4 cups of fish stock (one of those large boxes is good)
2 bay leafs
1 pound little neck or manilla clams
3/4 pound mussels,
3/4 pound uncooked large shrimp
1 pound assorted firm fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or mahi mahi
3/4 pound scallops

2 slices whole grain or sprouted bread. toasted and cubed for "croutons"...or just go "big" with a sourdough loaf and dip that in- that would be DARN good.

Heat oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, shallots, and salt and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ¾ teaspoon of red pepper flakes and sauté 2 minutes, Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes.

Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open. (Discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Remove bay leaf. Season the soup to taste.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

taking it to another level... an experiment.

I read a blog last week that was very inspiring, reassuring, and motivating.

Check out this post by Simon Whitfield.

If you guys don't know Simon Whitfield is one of the fastest triathletes in the world and an Olympic Gold Medal winner... and he's making another run at this year. Whitfield is definitely one of my favorite triathletes and he has one of the best blogs out there. Beth says I have a man-crush on him... maybe so! The dude is fast!

So his post was about the way he eats and it was a good one. He follows a very Primal/Paleo diet (as discussed on Mark's Daily Apple) which is much like what Beth I strive for (check out "Nutrition Mission" post). I have had people tell me that this kind of diet (low grain, high fat/protein, tons of fruits/veggies) is not sustainable or beneficial for an athlete but I have always disagreed. Since I have been eating this way (all this season) I have been feeling great, recovery better than ever, and have had the best races of my life.

a typical dinner these days. Grilled top sirloin and grilled veggie salad.

After reading Simon's post I am going to step it up a notch and add more good, healthy fat to my diet. I already get quite a bit from raw nuts, nut butters, flax seeds, and meat but I don't think I am using enough healthy oils. I also think I can up my protein intake a bit. So over the next month I am going to adding a considerable amount of fat to my diet and upping the protein intake.

I hit the store over the weekend and stocked up on some essentials.

Beth has also recently turned me onto Kombucha. So I am going to be trying to get a serving a day of the "miracle" juice.

that's about it... we'll see how it goes and I will post some more later on how it's going.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

a day on the mission...

I was thinking about a post of all the things I eat in a day but it's just too much trouble. I am too much of a grazer so here are some of staples... taken from one particular day. Not everything I ate on this day is in here.

Breakfast/Post ride. Protein shakes and smoothies are definitely a huge part of my everyday routine. I am big on post workout nutrition and eating/drinking within 30 minutes and 99% of the time it's a shake or recovery drink. I usually alternate between 2 different kind of shakes.

1. some kind of choclolate, peanut butter, banana concoction.
2. fruit smoothie with whatever fruit we have on hand.

some ingredients for a #1 shake

ready to hit the road. I usually slug it on the way to work.

a fruit version. In my favorite glass!

Some of my Lunch (at my desk).
- homemade egg salad: 1 egg, 3 whites, red onion, red bell pepper, celery, pickles, honey & grainy mustard, and spoonful of chive cottage cheese.
- 2 corn tortillas (ingredients: corn, water, lime)
- 100 calorie packet of Wholly Guacalmole
- Tapatio hot sauce

kind of weird but very good...

Now let's get to dinner. Last night it was grilled top sirloin, and a pile of steamed veggies (broccoli, brussel sprouts, mushrooms, sugar snap peas, zucchini squash and carrots)
I also made a small side salad. Mixed greens, strawberries, bleu cheese, walnuts, almond slivers and a balsalmic/honey mustard/agave nectar dressing.
close up of the salad.

and of course I topped the night with a glass of this....

One more quick thing... Beth and I both really sauces (bbq, steak, siracha, ketchup, mustard, etc.) with our food. This can be kind of tough. Most things in the grocery store have a ton of ingredients and usually have quite a bit of added sugar and random chemicals. Here are couple good ones though...
we basically live on mustard. at any given time there are at least 5 different varieties in the fridge. organic honey mustard from whole foods. good one.

Last thing... If you are trying to kick the soda or artificial sweetener habit I highly recommend some sparkling water. In my opinin crystal geyers is the best and they have quite a few flavors. drink up.