Archive for the ‘Beverages’ Category

A Break from Paperwork

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

… because sometimes you just need a special treat …

Hawaiian Vanilla Company Coffee ... so rich, so smooth, so perfect for a cool, stormy Sunday morning.

Hawaiian Vanilla Company Coffee

 … so rich, so smooth, so perfect for a cool, cloudy A Sunday morning.

I know this will be shocking, but I would so much rather be out cycling today than doing paperwork.

Foxy’s Fall Century 2016

Sunday, October 16th, 2016

For the last 10 days I have been checking the weather forecast regularly and have gone back and forth between wanting to ride and wanting to bail on today’s Foxy’s Fall Century. The forecasts changed a bit daily – rain, no rain, but wind was a certainty each time I checked the Weather Channel’s site.

By the end of the workday yesterday I had convinced my self that riding today would be a bad idea, but I checked the weather forecast again when I got home and decided that I would reevaluate in the morning if I would ride or not. As of last night, the forecast was no rain until late afternoon and fairly reasonable winds until about 2:00, when they were projected to be 20+ mph. I began to think that if I started early enough that I could finish the ride before these 20+ mph winds started. So, I packed up all of my gear and went to bed with the promise that I would make my final decision in the morning.

I am so glad that I rode today.

What's a ride without a fabulous selfy?

What’s a ride without a fabulous selfy?

For a couple of weeks I’ve been trying to get friends to do the ride, but no one wanted to. I have not been cycling nearly enough this past year, so I wasn’t feeling particularly eager (or confident) to do this ride solo today. But I really needed to do the ride, so I was quite happy when another solo rider pulled up alongside about 10 or 15 miles into the ride and we got to chatting and finished the course together. I was very appreciative for the nice company.

After the ride, the lunch was good – lasagna, salad, gluten-free bread, desserts (ice cream sandwiches, macaroons, gluten-free chocolate cake).

Foxy's Fall Century - Lunch

Foxy’s Fall Century – Lunch

By the time I got home, I was a little hungry again …

Golden Milk - healthy and soothing.

My new go-to recovery drink is Golden Milk.

The weather held out throughout the ride. I did not get rained on this year and the wind didn’t get that bad. Actually, the winds were for the most part pretty favorable today.

I know I said this last year, but … next year … the full century is the goal.

Golden Milk

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

Golden Milk is being touted as a “wonder” beverage loaded with all kinds of healthy benefits (click here). This recipe showed up on my Facebook feed one day and caught my attention. I need to start upping my calcium intake, but I’m not a huge fan of plain milk. The additional health benefits (especially the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties) were very appealing. I confess that initially I did not read the entire article and just barely watched the video to get the recipe, so I missed that it’s made with coconut milk, not cow’s milk.

I’ve got to do some more research about this, but for now, here’s my version:

Golden Milk

1 cup milk (your choice)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
maple syrup or honey to taste

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake until well blended, then strain (if desired) and serve with or without ice.

You can also mix in a blender with a little ice to make your beverage smoothie-like.

I tried it heated up last night, but surprisingly didn’t really like it as much.

 

Fresh Fruit Ices

Saturday, June 6th, 2015
Watermelon Ice

Summer weather calls for cool, refreshing beverages. These fresh fruit ices are perfect after a ride, or just to sip in the shade on a hot day to cool off.

Watermelon Ice

1/4 cup frozen watermelon chunks
1 cup cool water
1/2 to 1 teaspoon agave syrup (optional, depending on the sweetness of your watermelon)

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

I think a squeeze of fresh lime would be wonderful in this.

Diced watermelon has only about 45 calories per cup and agave syrup 15 calories. So, as prepared, this beverage has only about 25 to 30 calories. Enjoy guilt-free!

Pineapple Ice

 

Pineapple Ice

1 1/2 cups cool water
1/4 cup frozen diced pineapple chunks
1/2 cup crushed ice

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Pineapple chunks have about 85 calories per cup, so this ice has only about 22 calories per serving. Pineapple is sweet enough on its own that you don’t need to add any sweetener.

You can do this with any fruit you like. I’ll certainly be trying fresh peaches, nectarines, cherries, and so on …

Enjoy!

Finally … A Chance to Ride!

Monday, April 13th, 2015

Today was my first opportunity to ride in a while. Too long. I got just over 50 miles in and it felt great! It was a beautiful day … not too hot … not too cold … a bit breezy, but not too much.

Quick water stop at William Pond Park, off the American River Trail in Sacramento.

I rode on the American River Trail from Old Town Sacramento towards Fulton, about 20 miles on the path, before turning around to head home. I was hoping that the wind I rode into would help me on the way back home, but …not so much.

Although, I suppose it’s a matter of framing. If I look at it from the perspective that I really need to train for my upcoming 2015 Napa Valley Tour de Cure Ride, then yes, it was indeed helpful because it made me work harder.

It was an interesting ride out there today. I encountered a snake crossing the path (shudder!) … wild turkeys … geese … squirrels … lots of wild life on the Trail today!

I was pretty hungry when I got home, but it was mid-afternoon so I didn’t want a very big meal. On the ride, I got to thinking about smoothies, and I haven’t had one in a while. This was a very light smoothie, very refreshing, and not super sweet.

Perfect Post-Ride Snack - Blueberry Cherry Protein Smoothie

Blueberry Cherry Protein Smoothie

1 cup filtered water, chilled
1 cup crushed ice
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen cherries
1 scoop whey protein powder

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Makes just over a pint of smoothie.

Whey protein is a great recovery food, so it’s often recommended after a ride or workout. This smoothie held me over a while, so I could get some chores and stuff done.

For dinner, I had some Rock Fish (a type of cod), shrimp, and tomatoes that I wanted to use.  I chopped and then sauteed the tomatoes in a little olive oil, added a bit of slightly crushed fennel seeds, herbs de Provence, and a little crushed red pepper flakes for a bit of heat. I simmered the tomatoes with the fennel and herbs until the tomatoes began to break apart a bit. I cooked these on low for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. In another skillet, I briefly sauteed the shrimp (just until they turned pink) and added them to the tomatoes. Then I sauteed the fish in a bit of olive oil. Then, I poured the tomato and shrimp mixture over the fish, gave it a gentle stir, and turned the heat down to low, simmering until the fish was fully cooked, tender and flaky.

To serve, I had some leftover homemade croutons, so I placed a few in the bottom of a bowl. I ladled some of the fish-shrimp-tomato mixture on top, being sure to include plenty of the juices, then topped with a bit of Feta cheese.

Rock Fish, Shrimp, Tomatoes, Fennel, Feta

This came out even better than I expected! The picture does not even begin to do this dish justice.

I hope you had an awesome day and got to get some great cycling and amazing food in.

I had a very short weekend after a very long week, and may I just say that I am looking forward to Saturday already?

Cioppino Party

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Last night I had some friends over for dinner. After the holidays, we’re all feeling a bit, dare I say, overindulged? However, last night was the final “holiday” party for 2014. It just had to wait until 2015 due to everyone’s schedules. So a light and healthy meal with just a touch of decadence was in order.

We had a few appetizers, the usual fresh vegetable platter, some cheese and crackers, and one experimental recipe – Roasted Crimini Mushrooms with Herbed Goat Cheese and a Balsamic Vinegar Glaze.

Roasted Crimini Mushrooms

Fresh Veggies

For the entree, I made Cioppino, mostly based on this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. I made just a few modifications, but tried to follow her recipe as closely as possible because I’ve never made Cioppino before.

Cioppino

3 tablespoons avocado oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
28 ounces of chopped fresh Roma tomatoes
1 1/2 cups dry white white
2 cups oyster broth
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
1 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 pounds mixed seafood: mussels, shrimp, scallops, calamari
1 1/2 pounds wild caught fresh swordfish, cut into chunks

Mis en place: assemble and prepare all of your ingredients.

In a large pot (at least 5.5 quarts), heat the oil over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, and shallots; saute about 8-10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, wine, broths, water, and bay leaf. Stir to combine well. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to gently simmer for about 30 minutes. This will allow the flavors to blend.

Add the mixed seafood, cover and cook for about 5-10 minutes. Add the fish, stir gently, and cook another 5-10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes.

Ladle into bowls and serve with a good, crusty bread. This recipe makes six generous portions.

Cioppino - light, yet rich and satisfying, this Cioppino will make you want to head back for seconds.

We served a 2011 Luna Canto, which paired nicely and stood up to the spicy kick of this Cioppino.

For dessert, I made a “Paleo” Apple Crisp that I know you’ll want to try.

 

 

Craving a Purple Smoothie

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

The day looks deceptively beautiful, but the air this morning was thick and cold. Not a good combination for breathing. My guess is that lots of fireplaces are going, lots of people are driving, and recent winds all coupled with the lack of rain are contributing to poor air quality. So, it was an indoor ride for me today. Thank goodness for the trainer!

After 90 minutes, I was thirsty, hungry, and craving something super healthy.  What I really wanted was a Magenta Mystery Smoothie, but I had no purple cabbage. So, here’s what I made.

Purple Smoothie

1 1/2 cups filtered water
1/2 cup dark cherries
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 raspberries
1/2 cup red grapes
1/2 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup apricot chunks
1/2 cup papaya chunks

Measure water into a large capacity blender, such as a Vitamix. Add the fruit. Start on low speed, then increase to high and blend until smooth. For a thicker smoothie either use frozen fruit or add ice cubes and blend until smooth.

Makes enough for one large or two medium smoothies packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Enjoy in good health!

Now it’s time to get ready for tonight’s dinner party! The last of the holiday splurges, but with healthy enough treats to meet at least most New Year’s Resolutions.

 

Stunning Autumn Days

Saturday, October 25th, 2014

I am so thankful to have been able to take the day off work Friday. The weather could not have been more perfect for a quick 46-mile jaunt on the American River Trail. I haven’t been able to do a lot of cycling lately, but I kept up with my riding partner pretty well today. The ride left me hungry and craving healthy refreshment.

Sweet, refreshing, and healthy

Just as we got home I grabbed a papaya; I have been craving them lately. A hearth-healthy snack, papayas are loaded with antioxidants like vitamin C, beta carotene, flavonoids, and fiber. They’ve got lots of health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory effects, promoting digestive health, immune support, just to name a few.

Papayas have even been featured on WebMD as Fruit of the Month!

This gave me the energy needed for stretching and a few chores, but I was hungry again soon. I haven’t made a smoothie in a while and that was just what I needed.

 

This smoothie will leave you feeling like a Super Hero!

Cherry, Mango, & Pineapple Smoothie

1/2 cup each: frozen dark sweet cherries, mango & pineapple chunks
1 scoop whey protein
8 ounces filtered water

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

I’m estimating that this smoothie has about 235 calories.

Enjoy in good health!

It’s time to head out for a little family picnic adventure on this lovely, rainy day!

So Blogging Far Behind

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

Do you ever feel so far behind that it seems you’ll never get caught up? I’m there. Life has been a roller coaster, full of ups, downs, twists and turns lately, but I’ve been getting some cycling in most days before work, weekend rides, and have been able to do a few new rides …

A rare afternoon relaxing in Carmel.

17-Mile Drive, Carmel – beautiful scenery, rolling hills, and fresh, clean ocean air.

Ride Ataxia NorCal – a ride to benefit FARA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to researching a cure for Friedreich’s ataxia (FA), a degenerative neuro-muscular disorder. We rode the 60-mile route from Davis to Vacaville, Winters, and back to Davis. The ride is sponsored by Outback Steak House so the post-ride meal … the ribs, oh the ribs …

Sacramento Delta Area – I’m beginning to explore this area again with a friend.

Cantelow – revisiting a hill I “conquered” several years ago which has defeated me this year until last Saturday. Finally up and over Cantelow again without any walking!

I’ve also gotten a few foodie explorations in, especially in Carmel. One of these days I will blog about the food … especially about La Bicyclette.

One of these days … I will get caught up.

Sunflowers!

It's another amazing sunflower year in and around Davis. They're just starting to bloom.

 

Pretty In Pink

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

I’ve been getting some regular rides in before work, but I have a terrible case of Writer’s Block. Perhaps a new smoothie will help?

Pretty In Pink Smoothie

Pretty In Pink

1 cup filtered water
1 ripe banana
1/2 to 3/4 cup each: frozen dark cherries, pineapple, and mango
1 – 2 scoops whey protein
6 – 8 ice cubes

Put all ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth, enjoy!

This makes enough for two large smoothies and is a great post-ride, pre-work snack.

Off to work I go … one of these days I promise I’ll blog about the 2014 Tour de Cure – it was the best one yet!