Wednesday, February 27, 2008

muffins for those who dont want muffin tops

i've been on a muffin rampage. bakin' up a storm over here in san diego. today i made these after my trainer session and run. i ran in the house like a crazy person and started mixing stuff up super fast. You would have thought it was T1 or something the way i was iron-cheffing because i wanted to get outside by the pool (75 and sunny!) to do some studying (gotta love grad school). James' roomate's gf was like, "are you going to use a recipe?". i told her no, because i vaguely know some sort of basic muffiny base (flour+sweetener+egg+applesauce+baking soda) and i just put in fruits, nuts, vegetables and spices that i like to flavor it up. sometimes this means that my concoctions suck, but i usually like them even when other people don't (hey, i like all the ingredients on their own, they must be good mixed up!). MORE FOR ME! and healthy tastes great, right?
today i made what i call:

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup splenda (or your sweetener of choice- good ole cane, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, HFCS if you want to slowly kill yourself)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 can canned pumpkin (NOT p. pie mix)
1/2 cup egg whites (or you can whole egg it up, make it the omega fortified kind)
1/2 cup no sugar added applesauce
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or just more cinnamon and some nutmeg)
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder

heat oven to 350 degrees. mix dry ingredients. mix in wet ingredients. actually, i just mix it all up at the same time but this is how they typically tell you to do it. spoon into muffin pans (like a 1/3 cup mix in each) and bake away. i think mine took 40 minutes, but it may take less. James' oven is wack (who says wack? sorry). just bake them until an inserted knife is dry-ish.
i made half the recipe as shown above, and in the other half of the mix, i threw in a cup of wheat bran and a 1/3 cup of blueberries and a little extra egg white to make some fiber bomb muffins..the blueberries and the egg were to balance the extra dry fiber (just balance out the wet/dry stuff when you bake and it should be good to go)

i think they came out pretty good. kind of like chewy pumpkin pie carrot cake which is what i was going for (see recipe name). they don't get too cake-y, they are more sponge-y and that's because if you look at the recipe, for every muffin, at least 3/4 of it is straight up fruits and veggies and nuts. just a little flour and egg glue to hold it all together.

last week. i made pretty much the same muffins but instead of pumpkin, carrot & raisin, i substituted 1 1/2 cups (or 3 whole) bananas...banana walnut goodness.

last night for dinner james made grilled swordfish steaks with avacado corn salsa fresca. and kitchen sink 2-pound salads as usual (last night they had sprouts, spinach, tomatoes, pickles, artichoke hearts, broccoli, carrots, red onion (which rachel ray thinks should be renamed purple onion and she tells you in EVERY show), red and yellow bell peppers, sugar snap peas, mushrooms and i think that's it). with some awesome miso dressing that we love. oh, and i put fiber one "croutons" on my salad. yes, i am a weirdo with fiber. can't get enough. maybe i am writing this so that james will post a picture from dinner and review all the wine he drank this week. wine is like rocket fuel for james. oh, and post about our favorite new breakfast-y find from trader joes too! please! i'll be nice and make you muffins...oh, wait...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Keeping it in the Family: Pollo Asado Tacos

Ok... so I had my Dad throw together a post for us. He killed it!

Make these... they are good.

Healthy Pollo Asado Tacos

Your food blog says "a different kind of fast food". This is NOT fast food. Homemade marinade and homemade salsa. Check it out. Turned out pretty good.

Simple: one carb smart tortilla (warm), pollo asada, cabbage, salsa fresca, cheese, EAT. (Note: Paper plate, for James)

You might have noticed that I have borrowed from the fish taco arena by garnishing with cabbage. It is crisper and cleaner tasting in this application. Also, if you use canned salsa, you might want to chop some onions, tomatoes, and lettuce for additional garnish.

Pollo Asada

5-6 chicken breasts
Pollo Asada Marinade (See Recipe)

Split/Filet each chicken breast to approx. 1/2 thickness, resulting in 10 - 12 pieces. I find that doing this allows the marinade to soak in and flavor the chicken better. Place the chicken filets into a 1 gallon Ziploc bag with the marinade. Close the bag and mix the chicken and marinade by turning over several times and agitating the mixture.Do this for several minutes. Open the bag and carefully squeeze out as much air as possible.Reclose and place in refrigerator for 2 - 4 hours, turning periodically.

Remove chicken from marinade and grill to desired degree of doneness.

Chop chicken filets prior to serving.

Off the grill.

Chopped and ready to serve.

Green goo marinade. (Note: Mario bowl, for Beth) Recipe follows:

Carne / Pollo Asada Marinade

4 garlic cloves
1 roasted, peeled, cleaned jalapeño pepper
1 large handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
2 limes, juiced
1 orange, juiced
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp. lime zest
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbsp. white vinegar
1/2 cup first, cold pressed, Extra Virgin Olive Oil
(Note: The zest contains most of the citrus flavor, so I hate to waste it. It only enhances that citrus zing.)

Roast jalapeño pepper on grill or stove top burner. Peel off all skin, cut off ends, halve, and clean out seeds and veins. Dice.

Press garlic and diced jalapeño pepper into a non-reactive bowl using a garlic press. Add cilantro, salt and pepper. Using a spoon, press / crush ingredients against side of bowl, to form a "paste".

Add lime juice and zest, orange juice and zest, and lemon juice and zest. Mix with spoon to combine. Add vinegar and olive oil, stir.

Pour into a large, 1 gallon. Ziploc bag.

Chicken in marinade. Place in refrigerator for 2-4 hours.

Dad's Salsa. Recipe follows:

Dad's Salsa Fresca

1 1/2 - 2 cups, seeded, diced tomatoes
1/2 - 3/4 cup diced red onion
1 Tbsp. roasted, jalapeño pepper
1 Tbsp. roasted, pabalano pepper
3/4 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 large, or 2 small limes, juiced
1/2 tsp. lime zest
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cut tomatoes into quarters and remove seeds. Dice tomatoes. (I like to use a 1/2 and 1/2 mix of vine ripened and roma tomatoes. The vine ripened for sweetness, the roma for body). Dice red onion. Roast peel and clean jalapeno and pablano peppers, dice. Mince garlic. Juice lime and zest. Chop cilantro.

Combine all ingredients in a glass bowl. Adjust seasoning and peppers (heat) to taste. Refrigerate until needed.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

POKEZ, pumpkin, & pancakes

in "other athletes that love food news"....
it looks like GZ over in boulder, co is getting down with some wok action...he's fast on the road AND in the kitchen! (maybe i'd be fast if i had kids to work as my little sous chef minions too! :) ...hmmm....james is little, he can pass as a kid, i need to put him to work.... actually not true since he probably cooks as much as me or we team cook which is most nights. anyway, back to the plan...


we usually go to el caribe tacos n juice at least once a weekend for fish tacos and salads...that place definitely deserves its own post in the next week or so....james would definitely classify it as epic.

but left all to my lonesome with j out of town, and far from el caribe, being downtown in my hood (james lives up in north county).....i had to pull out an old favorite for a good post 50-miler mexican meal since i finally wanted to eat after being sick...
POKEZ! POKEZ (pronounced poh-keeez and there is an accent over the E which i can't figure how to make with blogger) is kick ass mexican food made the right way in a little place downtown that looks like a dump...
i think some veg-o person owns it because there is no lard in the beans and everything on the menu can be ordered vegetarian, vegan, whole wheat, tofu, spinach, whatever.....
I went with a mahi mahi grilled fish taco and is about a third of what they gave me (had to save some for later..meaning like 30 mintues later)...

and waiting around while they cook up my food is not so bad. pokez is hipster heaven and there is plenty of ink and piercings to admire on the wait staff. i probably looked pretty cool in my sweet cycling getup. i especially like the skateboard/jukebox wall...

when james is not around, i also have a tendency to make odd dessert-ish foods in single servings. james is not so into dessert- he doesn't even like pie or cake. well, i am obsessed with pumpkin pie and love the easy things you can do with canned pumpkin. i also am down with the health benefits of pumpkin:
"Pumpkins are packed with beta carotene, an antioxidant with properties that can help improve immune function and reduce the risk for chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. A cup of cooked pumpkin has only 50 calories and nearly three grams of fiber, making it the perfect healthful addition to your meal"(from

so, i like to make mini pumpkin "pies" in little rammikens (love that word)
i use:
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 egg white
sweetener (your pick-splenda, brown sugar, i like SF maple)
sprinkles of cinnamon
sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice (you can buy this and its a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, etc)
sprinkle of rolled oats
i mix this all up (save the oats) in the rammiken with my mini whisk, sprinkle on the oats and then microwave for 2 minutes...that's it. delicious, desserty and essentially you're eating vitamin packed vegatables + protein (egg white) for dessert....
looks kind of gross, huh? but is swear it is TFG (totally f-ing good).
i also like to put the same spices and 1/3 cup of the pumpkin into my usual oatmeal....pumpkin pie for breakfast, what's better?

xterra athlete emkruse sent this killer pancake recipe where you can get your oats and dairy at the same time...

Oat Pancakes:
Old-fashioned oats - 1 part
Low-fat cottage cheese - 1 part
Egg whites - 1 part
Sweetener - optional

He says, "Pop all of this in a strong blender and mix it up until it's smooth. Then you just cook it up like a pancake.You can get the ingredients in more or less the same size package at the store so it's real easy to measure. FYI, I like to add 8 packets of Splenda to a blender full just to sweeten it up a bit. This is a great new breakfast option in our house, thanks to our friends Jason and Sherrie. You can add blueberries or better, you can even make banana pancakes and pretend like it's the weekend."

so, emkruse, we're on it....on valentine's day, while james was on the trainer, i cooked us up a delicious brekkie thanks to you! i made egg-white omelettes and blueberry pancakes. i followed emkruse's recipe but subsituted fage total 0% greek yogurt (13 grams of protein in 6oz!) for the cottage cheese because that's what we had on hand.
these got a big thumbs up from both me and james and the blueberries were a nice addition...and damn it we ate it so fast we forgot to take a picture!

that's about it...James just bought a bunch of food-related books from amazon, so expect some future book reviews (or clif notes if you're lazy) and i did make him some (like 100) awesome granola bars for valentine's day...there were four flavors: "ride" (xtra delicious and carby), "recover" (extra protein, more carbs), "fiber bomb" (serious fiber here), and "everything balls"....but the pictures are on his camera. maybe i'll post the recipe but make him post the review....

later! keep eating....

Monday, February 11, 2008 beth

this morning i discovered a couple of things. first, i found out that i can wear bib shorts on the trainer without anything else on top without even being completely indecent...all the necessary parts are covered! i wouldn't sport this look in a group sesh, but in private watching the Today show---fo sho!....yet another advantage to small boobies. (sorry dad if you are reading this...)

i also discovered how to motivate myself for a 35 minute run right off the soon as you're off the trainer, throw some oats and mix-ins into a rice cooker (1 part oats to two parts water)- today i spiced mine up with 1/2 a diced fuji apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sprinkled a couple chopped pistachios. turn that rice cooker on and run....when you come home, you will have PERFECTLY cooked oatmeal and think about it during the entire run...

can you hear it? it's me, i'm delicious!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Chicken Curry and Steamed Veggies.

Here's a quick one for you. While Beth is in New Orleans partying it up at Mardis Gras (she's actually there for a Psychology conference... good timing!) I am at home recovering and cooking for myself.

When I was at Trader Joe's yesterday I picked some of the new Curry Chicken Breast Tenders. They are just raw chicken tenders marinating in some bright yellow curry sauce. I usually by the Pollo Asado and Carne Asade that comes packed the same way and they are both killer. The good thing about these packages is that there is a lot of meat... typically 5-6 servings. So I portion it out and freeze it. Enough of that.

So I got home late tonight and already had some of the Curry chicken waiting in the fridge so I busted out the the grill pan, chicken, veggies, and steamer bag.

If you haven't tried the new steamer bags that Glad and Ziploc are making I highly suggest them. They steam all kinds for vegetables to perfection in 4-6 minutes and I have even steamed up some chicken in them.

I heated the grill pan, sprayed it with some olive oil and got the chicken going.

Then I threw a ton veggies (Brussels sprouts, green beans, mushrooms, broccoli, sugar snap peas, carrots, and red onions) along with some salt, pepper, and curry powder.

I topped it all with a some lemon pepper and a little bit of soy sauce (reduced sodium of course). It only took be about 10 minutes to whip this together and it was good. The curry chicken tenders are winner!

Go Eat.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

PB & J

this blog is going to be about food (and the occasional drink) that helps us go our fastest.
when james and i met (in august 2007), one of the first things we realized that we both love to cook delicious food that is mega-healthy and nutrient packed. every week is pretty much a fruit and vegetable party with some whole grains and lots of lean protein mixed in. we both have our vices....james can destroy a bag of kettle chips, bottle of jack, or a canister of nuts like none other, and i am working on separating myself from a golden spoon frozen yogurt addiction and letting go of the splenda...

but other than that, we eat lean, green, clean, and with plenty of caffeine...

right now, we're in a fish phase, (up to 5 nights a week-and james has been swimming fast...correlation?) and we're always in a salad phase...most nights, the dinner staple is a HUGE salad with about a dozen fresh ingredients, some lean protein and a homemade dressing.

this blog is about any of the random eatings, cookings, and drinkings we may do. from reviews of whichever pinot noir was on sale at the grocery store, to weekly soup and granola recipes (sunday is soup day), to post-race eats, to my favorite organic produce stand, to product favorites (like fage, almond breeze, clif z bars and PB2).....

no matter what we write about, it's all mostly an excuse to post pretty pictures of killer food.....(except when james uses the freaking tupperware...we may have to do a poll on that. i'm anti glad ware unless we are going to work, and james is decidedly pro....i guess he likes to keep it real and i like to front)...

okay, enough with the words...this is the kind of stuff we're talking about....
pumpkinx-flax-cranberry-pistachio granola

chicken chili

the guac

greek yogurt with figs, berries, and mangoes

salad...."the chron"

so what's PB & J?
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