Sunday, 29 September 2013

More Sourdough Bread Than Egg Bake

More Sourdough Bread Than Egg Bake

I love rainy Sundays.  They make me feel much better about spending most of the morning drinking coffee & hanging out at the kitchen table after a run.  Why would anyone want to shower and spend their day doing errands when they could spend it eating breakfast?

This More Sourdough Bread Than Egg Bake recipe is one of my go to recipes when I'm having company for breakfast/brunch.  It's really forgiving and works with just about any combination of eggs + bread + cheese + add ins.  

More Sourdough Bread Than Egg Bake
(serves 6-9)

ingredients

2 1/2 C sourdough bread cubed
4 beaten eggs
1/4 C red onion ( garlic scapes are also delicious)
4 ounces chopped spinach (add more if you're feeling green or skip it all together) lightly steamed or sauteed
1 C grated cheddar (or feta)
1/4 C parmesan cheese (optional)

Combine bread, eggs, onion, steamed spinach, cheddar & parmesan.  Pour into an oiled 2 quart ceramic or silicone baking dish.  Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes.

How are you spending your rainy (or sunny) Sunday?





Sunday, 22 September 2013

Will Run For Chocolate Zucchini Bread

Celebrate fall with chocolate zucchini bread! 

I don't know about you but after a big event (Montreal)I lose just about all motivation to train.  It's usually fear of my next event that eventually gets me out of the door.  That and feeling like a giant slug isn't much fun.

I've discovered in the past two weeks that eating and training  are not the same thing so you probably shouldn't exchange one for the other.

I've been reminded of just how intense cross-fit workouts are (four days later I could finally walk normally).

And I've come to realize that running the least amount possible between now & my next half-marathon at the end of October may not be the best strategy if I want to be able to climb the three flights to my classroom on the Monday after the race.

So even though eating and training are not the same thing here is a chocolate zucchini bread recipe.  You could put it in a cake pan and call it cake.  With a little frosting no one would know the difference.

So question of the day is how do you get back into training after a big event and/or the end of racing season?  


Chocolate Zucchini Bread
(1 loaf)

ingredients

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 C Cocoa (Camino is my favourite)
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 C melted coconut oil
1/2 C + 1 T unsweetened applesauce
3/4 C granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 C finely shredded zucchini (do not drain liquids)
1/3 C raw pecans
1/3 C chopped dates


Preheat oven to 350 F.   In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, dates, pecans and cinnamon.  In a medium bowl combine melted coconut oil, applesauce, sugar, and vanilla and zucchini.  Add wet mixture to dry mixture stirring until just combined.  Your batter will be thick enough to make you think that you might have forgotten something.  Pour batter into a greased loaf pan (silicone is my favourite) and bake for 50-60 minutes.


Share with your Granny & Great Aunt (if you are so lucky) over a cup of tea.

Maybe it's time to stop cursing all the zucchini on my counter

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Will Swim, Bike, & Run for the Montreal Demi-Esprit Triathlon


I'm not exactly sure when I decided that it would be a good idea to give a half-ironman a try.  Sometime after I completed my first sprint distance triathlon.  That's logical, right?

  We picked the Montreal Esprit triathlon because it was fan friendly, there was no open water swimming, there was a cycling track  and the run was flat.  What more could a girl want?

TRAVELLING TIP: When travelling to a french city make sure that your GPS 'speaks' french. Streets like rue de la Gauchetiere sounded more like rue du la gouche (sounds a bit like a sexually transmitted infection doesn't it). We got lost.  Then we got lost again.  Oh, and then we got lost.  Learn the rules about turning left and right (police officers will help with this by angrily waving their arms and shouting in french should you fail to learn the rules).

The race expo/briefing left a lot to be desired.  Learn. French.  What we understood from the entire briefing (it took about an hour) was that if you were really slow you could go to the special needs table and eat as much as you want and that EVERYTHING happened at the "air pin turn".  There was lots of speaking in french and very little english translation.

The swim took place in the Olympic Rowing Basin.  A basin is nothing like a pool. Don't be fooled.  Prepare yourself for a few weeds and cold murky water (and kayaks & some scuba divers too).  Oh, and prepare yourself for the sound of a whistle that will blow repeatedly because someone has decided to take a swimming tour of the basin.

No idea what I'm in for.


Triathletes are generally pretty nice people from what I can tell.  EXCEPT.WHEN.THEY.SWIM.  The triathlon started with a spartan or gladiator style swim.  I've decided that swim training will now consist of shoving as many people as possible into a bathtub where they will punch & kick each other until there isn't anyone left in the tub. Last person in the tub (and without a broken nose) wins!

If you think the world is out to get you mass start swims may not be for you.  There were more than a few moments when I was pretty sure that someone was trying to drag me to the bottom of the basin by the toes (really, they were just trying to swim overtop of me).  On the upside I wasn't worried about swimming off course (although some people did) or being attacked by fish or a water snake and I did make it out without a broken nose or broken fingers. 

SWIMMING TIP: It helps if you talk to yourself while swimming "I'm okay", "I'm okay" until you actually are okay & having some fun.

Donna, out of the water while I continue to battle it out in the basin.

The bike consisted of 20 laps of the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve which is the site of the Formula 1 Canadian Grand-Prix.  20 laps sounds much more manageable than 90K.  I was pleasantly surprised by the "hill" that I had read about.  It was more of an incline really.  The wind decided to make things a little more interesting by blasting you each time you made it to the top of the hill.

CYCLING TIP #1 Learn how to say your number in french.  They will call it out along with a french phrase that means you are done.  Luckily they call out your name as well.

CYCLING TIP #2 Learn to cycle in clipless pedals.  Everyone else is doing it (except me).  Pretty sure they are on to something.

Cycling TIP #3  Cycle in a position that doesn't make you look like Mary Poppins especially in gale force winds.   

CYCLING TIP #4:  Ask your cycling buddies if your cycling/tri shorts are see through (especially if you are wearing a one piece white leotard).  Clearly, many of my fellow triathletes are without cycling buddies or I missed the memo about showing off the crack of my behind.  And yes, I clearly wasn't peddling hard enough if I had time to critique other people's outfits.

watch out boys
Possibly the only time in the race when I didn't look like Mary Poppins 

The run.  The run started down a dirt trail lined with pylons.  You run until you are pretty sure that you are going to be eaten by a dog or a cormorant and then you turn around and run on a dirt trail until you make your way back to the basin.

The run was all fun and games until the last 11k or so.  Then it just wasn't pretty.  You run past the finish line three times before you actually get to finish.  Nobody likes that.

There were people yelling "l'arche pas" which sounds a lot like "marche pas" or in other words don't walk.  It's kind of mean for people to tell you not to walk when you are obviously running really fast or at least as fast as you could possibly go.  Oh, wait.  They were actually saying "don't quit, don't give up".

RUNNING TIP: Learn.  French.

7:31:26  
I was lucky to have a cheering brigade waiting for me at the finish line (thank you).  What wasn't waiting for me was a medal. I thought that I was too slow (and I had a pretty awesome race shirt so I wasn't complaining) but it turns out that finish line volunteers just forgot to give it to me.  Who does that (it's kind of important)?

congratulations to me & Donna & Mariane

I skipped the line for subway and post-race snacks (salad, watermelon, etc.) in favour of a bathtub, drinks, and a dinner date.  It was a pretty easy decision given that my subway coupons were in the car and I didn't really want to walk more than I had to.


What next?  I've heard (even though my fingers were in my ears and my eyes were closed) that there is still one more distance to cover.  Relay?

Finally, A big thank you to all of my training partners who convinced me that swimming when the sun was coming up was fun, that biking for four hours followed by a run was a great way to spend a Sunday morning/afternoon, that swimming to an island in the middle of the lake was something I could do and that 0 K was really not the new 8K.

A big thank you to my mom & granny who dog & (guinea) pig sat and cheered me on from home.  

And of course thank you to my biggest fan, translator & chauffer.  I'm sorry about the bike grease, the swimming/biking/running gear that seems to make it's way all over the entire house, sorry about wearing nothing but spandex for months, waking you up at the crack of dawn to find swimming goggles and of course I'm sorry for making you drive in Montreal.  

Monday, 2 September 2013

Will Swim, Bike & Run For Carrot Cake Oatmeal Bars

carrot cake oatmeal bars

It's almost that time of the year again.  You know, the time when you have to start wearing pants that aren't spandex & don't have an elastic waistband.  I fear that this may not go over well.  If I don't make it to work tomorrow it's because I'm thrashing around my closet looking for something to wear.

It's the time when back to school nightmares begin.  Although, I'm finding that with the Montreal Espirit Triathlon less than a week away I don't have time for back to school nightmares. I'm too busy having triathlon nightmares!

Note to self: DO NOT sign up for a triathlon 7 hours away on the Saturday of your first week back to school.  Even better don't sign up for a triathlon that will likely take you as long if not longer to complete than the time it took you to drive to the triathlon that is 7+ hours away. 

It's time to say goodbye to early morning swims and hello to packed lunches.

see you later sunrise

Carrot Cake Oatmeal Bars
(12 bars)

ingredients

2C rolled oats 
2 C milk (dairy, almond, soy, etc.)
1/2 C grated carrot
1/2 C grated apple (Macintosh)
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 C raisins
1/4 ground almonds
*1-4 T pure maple syrup 
coconut oil (for greasing the pan)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Place mixture in a 9 x 9 square silicone baking pan or a 3 quart casserole dish greased with coconut or olive oil.  Using silicone bakeware will make it really easy to get your bars out of the pan and will eliminate the need for cursing, stomping, and swearing or just eating the bars out of the pan.

Bake at 400F for approximately 45 minutes.  Allow to cool before slicing into bars.

*  I often forget to add the maple syrup but if you are feeding a picky eater (like your Granny) the more maple syrup the better! 



mix it up

breakfast to go