Archive for August, 2013

Happy 3-Day Weekend!

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

Can it really be Labor Day weekend already? Where did this summer go?

Quesadilla

The weekend got off to a good start with a nice, light dinner of an easy quesadilla and simple fish tacos.

Quesadillas

Fresh artisan corn* tortillas
Light cheddar cheese
Salsa Verde, warmed
Avocado
Fresh limes

Make a quick quacamole-like topping by mixing the avocado with some fresh lime juice and a little salsa verde. Heat the tortillas over medium-high heat on a cast iron griddle, turning once. Turn the heat down to medium. Top one tortilla with a little cheese, the avocado mixture, and a little salsa. Place the second tortilla on top and gently press down. Allow to heat through a couple of minutes, then turn to lightly brown the other side. You want the cheese to melt and the tortillas to pick up a light, golden brown color. Cut into wedges and serve with some warmed salsa.

*If you prefer, you can use flour tortillas.

Fish Tacos

Fresh artisan corn tortillas
Cod filets, or other light flaky white fish
Salsa Verde
Avocado
Fresh limes
Fresh cilantro

Fish Tacos

You can either slice the avocado or use the quacamole-like topping as above. Warm the salsa a bit, if you like. Heat the tortillas on a cast iron griddle over medium heat. Cook your fish – you can steam it, grill it, saute, or whatever method works best for the particular fish. I had some beautiful cod fillets, so I just cooked them in a little olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and seasoned lightly with just a dash of salt. For most fish, cook to an internal temperature of about 145-degrees. Assemble the tacos by placing some fish in the center of the tortilla, then top with some salsa and avocado. Garnish with some fresh cilantro (which was missing from these last night) and a squeeze of fresh lime.

If you are not a fan of fish, these tacos would also be yummy with chicken … especially if that chicken has been marinated with lime, fresh cilantro, a little Serrano chile, and if you are so inclined even a little tequila, then grilled and cut into bite-sized pieces.

These can even be made vegetarian or vegan. Grill up some portabello mushrooms and slice, or grilled onions and peppers, or zucchini … I’ll bet even grilled sliced potatoes would be good in these. Of course, there’s always tofu. The possibilities are nearly endless!

Here’s wishing you a great weekend! I hope you get the chance to ride. I know I am certainly looking forward to logging a few miles this weekend!

 

Beautiful Monday Morning

Monday, August 26th, 2013

It is an absolutely gorgeous morning in Davis! I am realizing that this may be the last week that I’ll get to ride before work. Alas, it’s back to the gym … next week. Enjoy this beautiful day! I hope you get the chance to ride.

More Surprises Along the Road …

Monday, August 26th, 2013

What the ... ?

Fighting the wind today along Tremont Road, heading away from Davis towards Winters, I looked down and saw this …

It was windy, and I was cranky and not enjoying the ride too much today, so I was especially delighted and amused by this sight. I welcomed the excuse to stop for a moment to investigate.

A closer look …

Lotsa' Wild Watermelons!

 

 

 

Pre-Ride Breakfast

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Huevos Rancheros, sort of … 

Fried Eggs with Salsa Verde

Heat 2 corn tortillas on a cast iron griddle. Top the warm tortillas with a little cheddar cheese and leave on the griddle on low. Warm some salsa verde, either in the microwave or on the stove on low heat. Fry two eggs to your desired doneness. Top each tortilla with one fried egg, then spoon a little salsa over top.

How good were these? They were gone before I even had the chance to mix my own breakfast together. Hmm … I have a feeling these will be requested again.

My New Favorite Pre-Ride Breakfast …

My Special Blend

Place a handful of whole rolled oats in your bowl, then add about 1/2 cup of Trader Joe’s High Fiber O’s*. Spoon over two tablespoons of Qi’a and stir together. Serve with non-fat milk. This blend sits well in my belly during even the most rigorous ride and keeps me full for a long time. I happen to like how it tastes, too, because it’s not too sweet.

*A few months ago Trader Joe’s discontinued this product. I was so unhappy about that that I wrote to corporate! It is back on the shelves now, so apparently I am not the only one who missed it. It’s healthy, has a good blend of protein and fiber, and is loaded with heart healthy whole grains.

Qi’a  is an interesting blend of Chia, Buckwheat, and Hemp Cereal. I recently discovered this at Costco. The Cranberry Vanilla blend is a nice addition because it adds a little sweetness, 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, and 1.9 grams of omega-3’s.

Now you’re all set for a great ride!

A Pleasant Surprise Today

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

Along Road 29 between Davis and Woodland

I had a nice little ride today, 46.6 miles. The air is much better today, but there was still a bit of haze. It was a beautiful morning and I had a very lovely surprise a few miles into my ride. Tomatoes are being harvested, and the fields are being cleared. I heard it was a bumper crop this year. I rode past field after field of drying corn and sunflowers, and then just when I thought the sunflowers were done blooming for the year, I happened upon this lovely surprise!

 

Fajitas: Lime-Cilantro Flank Steak & Salsa Verde

Saturday, August 24th, 2013

To follow-up on last night’s post, here are the recipes you’ll need to make these fajitas.

Fajitas

Not to toot my own horn, or anything, but I was told that these were the BEST fajitas ever.

Grilled Flank Steak (recipe follows – best if you start to marinate the night before)

Salsa Verde (recipe follows)

1 red onion, sliced into strips

1 bell pepper, sliced into strips

1 avocado

8-12 shiitake mushrooms

1 package Artisan-style corn tortillas (I used blue corn tortillas here)

To assemble the fajitas:

  1. Prepare the salsa.
  2. While the salsa is cooking on the stove, grill the flank steak.
  3. Prepare the mushrooms for grilling. Rinse them well and allow to drain a few moments. Then skewer them, drizzle with a little olive oil, and grill.
  4. While the steak and mushrooms are grilling, slice the onions and peppers.
  5. For medium rare steak, cook until about 130 degrees. It is very important that you allow the meat to rest about 10 minutes before slicing. If you slice it too soon, the juices will run out of the meat and it will be dry.
  6. While the meat is resting, cook the onions and peppers in a hot cast iron skillet. You can cook them together, but since I cannot eat bell peppers, we had to cook them separately. You want the onions to caramelize a bit, but not get too soft. The peppers, you’ll want to get a little char on them, but be careful to not overcook them. They can very quickly go from bright, colorful, and tender-crisp to overcooked. Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm.
  7. While the onions and peppers are cooking, cut the avocado into slices or bite-sized chunks.
  8. Heat the tortillas either on the grill or in a cast iron pan.
  9. Thinly slice the meat. Thinly slice the mushrooms.
  10. To assemble your fajitas, place a corn tortilla on a plate, then top with a few slices of the steak, some onions and peppers, mushrooms, avocado, and a generous dollop of salsa.
  11. Chew, savor, smile, swallow, smile, repeat.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Red Onions

Bell Peppers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grilled Flank Steak with Lime, Cilantro, & Serrano Chili

Marinated Flank Steak

2 limes, freshly squeezed
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped
1-2 tablespoons of agave nectar
1 large serrano chile pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 pound flank steak
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Whisk together the lime juice, cilantro, agave nectar, and chile pepper in a bowl. If you want more heat, then leave all or part of the serrano seeds. I prefer to seed chiles.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper the flank steak and place into a zipper bag. Pour in the marinade.
  3. Refrigerate and marinade at least a few hours or up to about 24 hours.
  4. Remove from the refrigerator no more than 30 minutes before grilling.
  5. Grill to desired doneness (I like medium rare, at most), which for beef is about 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Remove from grill and let sit for about 10 minutes before slicing.
  7. Thinly slice against the grain.

Roasting tomatillos, serranos, & onions.

Salsa Verde

1-1/2 pounds of fresh tomatillos
1 bunch green onion
4 (or more) large serrano chile peppers
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro leaves
salt and pepper to taste

  1. Husk the tomatillos, rinse well, and set to drain in a colander.
  2. Trim off the root end and about half of the green stem of the onions.
  3. Cut off the stem end of the chile, slice in half length-wise, and scrape out the seeds.
  4. Rinse the cilantro well, drain, and strip the leaves off the stems. Place the leaves on a towel to drain well.
  5. Place the tomatillos, green onions, and serranos in a roasting pan, and drizzle with a little olive oil.
  6. You can roast the tomatillos, green onions, and serranos on a grill or under a broiler. You’ll want to get a bit of char on them for flavor, but not too much.
  7. The tomatillos are ready when they’re softened and a little bit charred. Remove from the grill or oven and set aside to cool a bit. You don’t want to try to process them while they’re piping hot. I destroyed a blender one time by not waiting. It was a very sad and expensive culinary discovery that my KitchenAid blender was no match for piping hot tomatillos. It melted the base! Very sad, indeed.
  8. For this amount of salsa, you’ll want to blend it in 3-4 batches. It doesn’t really have to be evenly distributed per batch at this point because it’s all going to end up in one skillet to cook.
  9. Cook on medium-high heat until the mixture begins to bubble, then reduce the heat to low. You’ll want to stir frequently to avoid scorching the bottom. I cook it until it’s slightly thickened, but still a pretty green color. The color will vary a lot from batch to batch due to the natural variation in tomatillos, how much char you have on them, and how long you cook the sauce.
  10. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This salsa is really easy and incredibly good either hot or cold. I love it on grilled chicken, carnitas, with rice, with tortilla chips, on eggs … it is am incredibly versatile sauce.

My fajitas, no bell peppers!

The Final Product!

 

 

 

 

Fajitas!

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Coming soon …Fajitas.

... with peppers ...

and without!

Rethinking My Rides

Monday, August 12th, 2013

I got a few good rides in this weekend. They were shorter, but more … intense? I think I need to mix things up a little more. Some long, paced rides. Some shorter, faster rides. Some intervals. Definitely more hills.

I also made some good food this weekend, but my camera isn’t working very well, so no photos.

I’ve got a long, busy week ahead of me, and more stuff to do before sleep tonight, so … Good Night Friends!

Been A While …

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Sunrise on a Davis Greenbelt

I have been so busy lately, that I’ve been neglecting CyclingFoodie. I’ve been riding almost every day:  every morning before work and weekends.

Just lots of stuff going on, some fun, lots of work, and some just stuff.

There is only time for a quick post this morning, because I’ve got to get going for work, but I wanted to share a couple of photos from this morning’s ride.

Morning scene from a Davis country road.

 

It’s not supposed to get too hot today, and there will be a “gentle Delta Breeze,” so for those of you who don’t like the heat for cycling, today is for you! I hope you have the chance to get out and ride today!

Here’s wishing you a beautiful day!