Archive for September, 2013

Whole Wheat, Oat, Pumpernickel Bread

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Winters, in front of Steady Eddy's

I got a nice ride in this morning with a friend. She’s got a brand new bike and we had a nice, pretty leisurely ride to Winters, out and around Lake Solano, and back. It was a little breezy, not quite cool, not quite warm, and it got really cloudy.

We got about 40 miles of riding and lots of good chatting in.

When I got home, I made a green smoothie with organic baby kale, kiwi, pineapple, banana,  nonfat Greek yogurt, and vanilla whey protein powder. It was interesting … not too sweet, a little tart, and really refreshing and satisfying. I accidentally made a huge batch, so I froze some. I’ve found that these smoothies actually keep pretty well in the freezer. If you get the mixture just right, it freezes like a sorbet and could make a light, healthy dessert. That works best with berry or peach-based smoothies.

This weather makes me want to bake bread, so I did! I made a multi-grain bread, based on this recipe, but just changed up a few ingredients based on what I had on hand. In place of the oat bran, I used steel cut oats. I increased the pumpernickel by a cup, used 1 cup of high protein unbleached white flour, and reduced the whole wheat flour by 2 cups. Otherwise, the recipe is pretty much the same.

Whole Wheat, Oat, and Pumpernickel Bread

I have a pretty good idea that breakfast tomorrow will involve toast. This batch made 4 rustic loaves. It would make 2 large loaves using loaf pans. I just prefer the rustic style. I love that crust.

Is the weekend really almost over? It feels like it just started! Before we know it, the holidays will be here, and then the 2014 Tour de Cure! Join me for the ride! Sign up here. Can’t ride, but still want to help? Donate here!

So, I guess I’m still feeling chatty after my ride today … thanks for spending a few minutes with me to read this!

In The Mood for Grilling!

Saturday, September 28th, 2013

Grilled Avocado

That was a really long week. Now it’s time for some good grilling!

Grilling avocado works best with slightly under ripe avocados. Quarter, remove pit, brush with a little avocado oil, and sprinkle with a little salt. Set aside until ready to grill. Place directly on the grill grates to get beautiful grilling marks. They only take a few minutes on the grill and can easily burn, so watch these carefully. You just want to heat them through and soften them a bit.

Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus on the grill is amazing and so simple. Rinse and trim the stalks. Toss with a little avocado oil, season to taste with a little salt. Grill in a disposable aluminum pan on medium-low heat. They’ll get a nice char, but be careful to not overcook and they’ll retain a nice, bright green color. I will usually also season with a little lemon juice and lemon zest before grilling, and then toss with a little good, freshly grated or shaved Parmesan cheese, but didn’t have any on hand for this batch.

Grill-Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes with Fresh Herbs

Wash and dry the potatoes, cut into even-sized chunks. Drizzle with a bit of avocado oil; season to taste with salt, freshly ground pepper, and chopped fresh herbs. Grill in a disposable aluminum pan until tender. You will want to move these around now and then to make sure they’re not sticking to the pan. You can make them crispy by turning the heat up a bit at the end to get a nice crust on them. These will take longer to cook than the asparagus and avocado, but cooking time will depend on the size of the chunks.

Turkey Burgers

Mix together 1 pound of ground turkey, fresh herbs, 1 whole egg, a handful or two of plain breadcrumbs, a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, and a grind or two of black pepper. Cover tightly and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Shape into patties. Grill on medium-low heat until the internal temperature reaches 165-degrees. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the patties, but plan for about 15 minutes on the grill.

So, to plan this meal, here’s your timeline:

  1. Prepare the burger mixture. Refrigerate at least one hour. Remember to always wash your hands well with hot, soapy water after handling raw poultry, meat, or fish.
  2. Prepare the potatoes, the asparagus, then the avocado. Set aside until ready to grill.
  3. Fire up the grill and give it time to heat up. Actual time to reach temperature will depend on your grill.
  4. Remove the burger mixture from the refrigerator, shape the patties and place on a platter and set aside. If you are not going to cook them within a few minutes, cover them and return to the refrigerator.
  5. Wash your hands!
  6. Place the pan of potatoes on the grill. For even cooking, make sure the chunks are in a single layer.
  7. Place the burgers on the grill. Turn one time and one time only! Depending on your grill and grill grates, you’ll probably want to spray or wipe a little oil on the grates to help prevent burning. If you use ground skinless turkey breast (makes the best, healthiest turkey burger!), these are very lean and can stick. It’s worth it, though.
  8. Check to make sure the potatoes aren’t sticking to the pan – turn them in the pan with a flat metal spatula.
  9. When the burgers are done (internal temperature 165-degrees), remove from the grill. Place on a clean plate and cover with foil.
  10. Grill the asparagus and avocado. Be sure to watch the avocado carefully. Place flesh side down first and turn when you have achieved lovely grill marks. Then grill briefly on the skin side. Again, cooking time will vary based on how firm the avocado is.

You can serve the burgers as is, or with the full works – bun, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, condiments of your choice. These burgers, when seasoned well, are wonderful on their own, too, without all the fixings.

This makes enough for four servings. If you have leftovers, these all keep well refrigerated for a day or two. If you have leftover potatoes, asparagus, and avocado, think about how amazing these will be in a fritatta … but that’s another post.


Beef, Lamb, Vegetable, & Barley Soup

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

I woke up to a chilly, very breezy morning in Davis, and we even had a bit of rain last night. It’s getting to be soup weather – just in time for Fall 2013 Quarter at UC Davis! This makes a large batch of soup and the leftovers will freeze well. This soup will be great fuel for studying, so load up on veggies this Saturday at the Davis Farmers’ Market and make a batch this weekend. Remember to freeze some individual servings to keep on hand for midterm time.

Beef, Lamb, Vegetable, & Barley Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large carrots, diced
2 large ribs of celery, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 pound of lean beef, cut into about 1/2 inch cubes
1/4 pound lean lamb*, cut into about 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 to 1 cup each: peas, corn, string beans, (fresh or frozen)
2-3 cups of fresh baby kale, coarsely chopped
8 ounces of barley**
2 quarts of beef broth
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
fresh herbs, chopped (parsley, rosemary, thyme, etc.)

Hearty, nutritious, and delicious!

Clean and dice the carrots, celery, and onion; set aside. Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook on medium-low heat until they’ve softened a bit. Remove from pot and set aside.

Depending on your pot, you may want to add just a touch more oil to prevent the meat from sticking. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the meat. You’ll want to brown it a bit.

Reduce heat to medium-low and return the carrot mixture to the pot. Add the remaining vegetables. If you’re using frozen vegetables, you’ll want to thaw and drain them a bit before adding to the pot. Add the barley and stir to combine.

Add the stock and tomatoes and give a good stir. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the barley is tender. Give a stir now and then. A little bubbling is OK, but you don’t want this to boil; that would overcook the vegetables. Cooking time will be at least an hour, even if you use a quick cooking barley.

While the soup is cooking, prepare the biscuits. When I’m pressed for time, I like to use the Trader Joe’s multi-grain pancake and waffle mix as a base for biscuits. This makes a nice biscuit on its own, or you can easily dress them up with just a few modifications. I increased the amount of milk called for by about 20% and substituted about half of that with non-fat Greek yogurt. For flavor, I used olive oil and about 1 teaspoon of my favorite Herbs de Provence mix. Mix and bake as directed on the package. They had great flavor and a nice, tender crumb.

For my vegetarian and vegan friends – you can easily make this vegetarian or vegan. Simply omit the meat and use vegetable broth. For added protein, you could add beans, which combined with the barley will give you complete protein. For texture and flavor, some shiitake mushrooms would be fantastic.

* If you’re not a fan of lamb, then simply omit it.

** I used Trader Joe’s 10-Minute Barley.

Need Comfort Food? Try these!

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

I’ll post the recipes soon …

Beef, Lamb, Vegetable, & Barley Soup*

Whole Grain Herbs de Provence Biscuits

* The soup can easily be made vegetarian (or vegan) by omitting the meat and substituting vegetable broth. I guess you could use a texturized vegetable protein if you want a meat-like texture. Even better yet, a nice, “meaty” and flavorful mushroom would be divine!


Harvest Moon Tonight

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Beware the full moon … the last full moon of Summer 2013. It’s hard to believe that UC Davis Fall Quarter starts next week! What happened to this summer? Poof!

Harvest Moon Rise, aroud 7:30 pm

A little later ...

... around 9:15 pm



I can’t decide which of the later pictures I like better, so I’m posting both.


Have a wonderful night. If you haven’t had a chance to peek outside at this gorgeous moon yet, now is a great time to do it!


Green Smoothie with Oat Milk

Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Green Smoothie with Oat Milk

Green Smoothie with Oat Milk

1/2 cup oat milk
1 cup organic green grapes
2 organic carrots (2-inch chunks)
1 medium banana
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
2 handfuls of baby kale (3 cups)
14 ice cubes*

Place all ingredients in your Vitamix in the order listed above. Blend as directed to your desired consistency and be prepared to feel super healthy and energized. Enjoy!

* I used ice cubes that had 1 organic green grape in each cube.

Napa Valley Ride

Monday, September 16th, 2013

We got a little bit of a late start on our Napa Valley ride today, so it was cut a bit short. The morning started out chilly and foggy, but the fog cleared before noon. The original plan was to head out towards Healdsburg and have lunch at the Jimtown Store, but we decided to turn around in Calistoga and just head back. We had a nice little bike tour of the Meadowood Resort in St. Helena, and then a lunch stop at the Model Bakery in St. Helena.

If you find yourself in St. Helena, do stop by the Model Bakery and try their English muffins. These are AMAZING.

I first visited the Model Bakery in the mid-late 1980’s. This is where I first discovered scones. The funny thing is that because they weren’t too sweet, and they were dense, I thought I was eating something healthy. Years later when I learned how to make scones, I realized most really aren’t that healthy because they’re loaded with fat. They are a delightful treat, and I was tempted, but then I saw the homemade English Muffins. I used to make homemade English Muffins and have never had anything comparable, until today. I humbly acknowledge that these are superior to my own.

Pesto and Tomato Pizza

Model Bakery is also famous in certain circles for their pizza, so I hear it sells out quickly. We were quite surprised (and pleased!) to find that there was some left by the time we got there. We tried the pesto and tomato pizza and it was wonderful. It was a little rich for me for cycling food, but if you are one of those cyclists who can eat anything and ride, this would make a yummy lunch.

We had one of the best espressos I have ever tasted, but the double espresso barely filled half of this demitasse cup. The gentleman serving coffee did not actually look in the cup when I asked, but insisted that this was indeed a double. Perhaps another guest grabbed our double espresso by mistake? Alas, it was smooth and delicious, and a perfect pairing with a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie.

A little caffeine ...


… a little sugar …

Now that will get you home!

Cycling the Silverado Trail, Napa Valley

The Model Bakery is located on Main Street in St. Helena, in the beautiful Napa Valley.



Green Smoothie

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie

1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup non-fat milk
1 big handful of baby kale greens
1 cup frozen fruit, your choice*
2 scoops whey protein powder
8 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a Vitamix blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy in good health!

* I used a mixture of pineapple, mango, and peach.

This was incredibly satisfying after 63 miles of cycling. Today was a beautiful day for riding – not too hot, not too cool, not too windy … it was just right! My new Klein performed beautifully, but needs just a few adjustments for fit. I love the Dura-Ace shifting – so smooth.

Tomorrow will be a Colnago ride – Napa Valley.

My New Ride!

Saturday, September 14th, 2013

Klein Q-Carbon Pro

Heading out soon on my new ride …

Aaah … the bike collection grows.

Different rides do need different bikes, you know.

Have a wonderful day! Here’s hoping you have the chance to get a nice ride in today. It’s going to be a great training day – warm, but not hot, and just enough of a breeze to feel it.


A Berry Smoothie Kind of Day

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

Just got back from the short Davis to Winters and back loop, about 41 miles. For some reason, I am really, really hungry today. I didn’t eat enough on our stop in Winters, so I had to grab a gel about halfway back. My favorite is still the Honey Stinger gels, in particular the Ginsting.

Now, it's time to recover with a smoothie.

Berry Smoothie

3/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
3/4 cup non-fat milk
1 1/2 cups frozen berries*
2 scoops vanilla whey protein powder

Place all ingredients in a blender.
Blend until smooth.

Makes enough for two smoothies.

This is so rich and creamy that you might think you’re having a high fat treat, but delight in knowing that it is very low fat and super healthy.

* As shown, with strawberries and raspberries.