Sunday, 20 July 2014

Will Cycle for Clipless Peddles & Collard Salad With Creamy Avocado Dressing, Beets, and Toasted Walnuts



"Big girl" peddles (or clipless peddles as some silly cyclists like to call them) scare me.  I should mention that I've just mastered (and by mastered I really mean riding Mary Poppins style at a snail's pace and occasionally changing gears) riding my road bike.  I have always wondered why anyone would want to careen down a hill with their feet stuck to their bike (or drive slowly on a flat, straight, road with no traffic for that matter).

After two years of being a ridiculously slow cyclist I decided it was time to give clipless peddles a try.  Plus everyone in our spandex bike gang (from ages 30 to 67) that I cycle with have clipless peddles.  So after listening to some advice at the bike shop (don't stop peddling!), watching countless youtube videos, and getting a pep talk or two I headed out to the lawn with my bike (pretty sure my neighbours think that I am crazy).  Naturally I fell when I was moving at a speed of about zero kilometres and my left foot wouldn't unclip from my peddle.  There I was spandex clad, lying on my lawn attached to my bike.  Awesome.

I left my regular peddles at the bike shop so I really had no choice but to figure it out especially since I had a cycling date with a friend the next morning.  After some more lawn practice I graduated to the road without incident and survived cycling at our local cycling track (despite the idiots people who think that a cycling track is a great place to bring their unleashed dogs).

In the end I would have to say that it was totally worth the bruised ego.  Clipless peddles are actually kind of fun and based on my first ride they make it much easier to cycle up hill and require less effort than my ordinary peddles.  Am I any faster?  That's yet to be seen.

What does all this have to do with collards or creamy avocado dressing?  Collard party after your first clipless ride?

Collard Salad With Creamy Avocado Dressing, Beets, &  Toasted Walnuts
(serves 2-4)

Salad
1 bunch collards stems removed torn into bite sized pieces
  1/2 C toasted walnuts
1 small beet (thinly sliced.  I used the mandolin)
1 small green apple (thinly sliced)
1/4 C crumbled feta (optional)
1-3 T hemp hearts (optional)

Dressing
(1-1 1/4 C)
2 small ripe  avocados mashed
1 tsp maple syrup
1 T white balsamic vinegar
1 T lime juice
3 T Vega Antioxidant Oil Blend  ( or use olive oil)

You can combine dressing ingredients in a blender or if you are like me and like to avoid hauling out kitchen gadgets simply mash the avocado in a small bowl. Add maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, lime juice and oil.  Mash until smooth.

This salad is best served immediately after it is prepared (not that I don't hoard it and eat it for days).

fancy shoes

Friday, 11 July 2014

Chickpea Coconut Milk Curry

curry in a hurry

Even though I have been falling in love with triathlon all over again (sprint distance versus half-iron distance kind of does that for me) I needed the motivation fairy to pay me a visit today.  It was my lucky day as she did indeed show up with her workout gear sneakily incorporated into her business casual attire ( I love this about her). 

Really good friends show up on your doorstep when you need them.  They drag you out to the lake at 6 am even though swimming is their least favourite sport and you swim far too close to them because you are terrified of just about everything in the lake (as an aside my wetsuit cord no longer sends me into hysterics when I feel it brush up against me in the water.  I feel like this is progress).  They save you from lake monsters (a.k.a turtles, ducks, geese, weeds, shadows).  They run with you even though they have 117 great reasons why you should bike or swim or drink coffee instead.  

This chickpea coconut curry recipe is kind of like a really good friend.  You can whip it up in less than 20 minutes when you need to eat right now.  You can add cubed white or sweet potatoes, vegetables such as green beans or peas, etc. depending on what you can rustle up in your cupboards.

The recipe serves 4 or in my case the recipe serves me breakfast, lunch, supper, and pre-workout snack (maybe not my best idea yet).  Enjoy!

Chickpea Coconut Milk Curry

(serves 4)

ingredients

1 T olive oil
1/2 large sweet onion diced
1 1/2 inch ginger nub minced
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp cilantro and lemongrass paste 
14 oz of crushed tomatoes
1 5.6 oz can of full fat coconut milk
1-2 T mild curry paste (I used Patak's brand)
1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained (nobody likes bean slime)

how to

In a large frying pan warm 1 T of olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes).  Add garlic and ginger and saute for 1-2 minutes longer.  Add coconut milk and crushed tomatoes.  Stir until combined.  Add cilantro, lemongrass and curry paste.  Simmer on low for approximately five minutes.  Add chickpeas.  Serve over rice.