Archive for the ‘Fruits & Veggies’ Category

That Was A Convenient Breeze!

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

A quick check of the weather forecast early morning showed 2-4 mph winds until about noon, when it was supposed to increase to 10 mph. Although I started out pretty early, I didn’t get as early a start as I had hoped. My goal was to get out and back before the wind kicked up too much.

Why do I still rely on the weather forecasts? Sigh … it started getting breezy earlier than anticipated and I had a bit of a side/headwind coming into Winters. While I was refueling, I chatted with a couple of other cyclists who were surprised by the earlier-than-expected breeze. Alas, the wind is an excellent training tool.

As I headed back out I realized that my ride home was going to have a lovely tailwind of a breeze. That was really nice for a change!

Super Protein Smoothie

1/4 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen cherries
1/4 cup frozen green grapes
1/4 cup frozen mango chunks
1 scoop whey protein powder
2 tablespoons egg white powder
1 cup ice water (or more, if desired)

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Makes enough for two.

Super Protein Smoothie

Super Protein Smoothie

Yes, training has started for the 2017 Napa Valley Tour de Cure! Also, Davis Bike Club’s Foxy’s Fall Century is coming up in a few weeks. I’ve got some work to do to get ready. I’ve been off my bike too much this past year.

Happy cycling!

Liliko’i

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Just a sweet little thought to start your day.

Lilikoi - aka Passion Fruit

Liliko’i – aka Passion Fruit

… now off to work I go!

Tropical Salsa

Friday, September 2nd, 2016

Two (of the many!) things I loved about visiting Hawaii were the fruits and fresh fish. Here is a way to celebrate them both. Aloha!

Tropical Salsa

1 pineapple
1 Hawaiian papaya
1 mango
1 red onion
1-2 handfuls of fresh cilantro leaves
juice of 1-2 limes
salt & pepper to taste

Fresh Hawaiian Papaya

Fresh Hawaiian Papaya

Fresh Hawaiian Mango

Fresh Hawaiian Mango

Tropical Salsa

Tropical Salsa

Rinse the cilantro leaves in cool water and set aside to drain on a towel. Clean and prepare the fruit and onion for chopping.

To cut the pineapple, start by cutting off the crown (top) and the stem end (bottom). You’ll want to use a sharp knife and have a stable base to cut on – pineapples are juicy and can get slippery when you’re cutting them. Stand the pineapple up on one end, then cut the skin off the sides, cutting from top to bottom. Then, cut it into 1/2-inch slabs or slices, then into 1/2-inch or so chunks from there. Place into a large mixing bowl.

To cut the mango, slice in half by inserting a sharp paring knife into the stem end. You’ll want to make sure you’re cutting around the pit. Slice off one side, then the other. Using either a peeler or a paring knife, remove the skin. Then, cut the mango into 1/2-inch or so chunks. Add to the pineapple.

To cut the papaya, slice it in half lengthwise, remove and discard the seeds. Using either a peeler or a paring knife, remove the skin. Then, cut the papaya into 1/2-inch or so chunks. Add to the pineapple and mango.

Chop the red onion into about 1/4-inch chunks. Add to the fruit.

Chop the fresh cilantro and add to the fruit and onion. Add the lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

I like to let it sit a little before serving (up to about 30 minutes), but it’s great right away. It also keeps in the refrigerator for a day or two.

If you like it spicy … a Serrano chili or two is fantastic with this.

Here are a few serving suggestions …

Topical Salsa with Grilled Fresh Broadfin Swordfish

Topical Salsa with Grilled Fresh Fish

Tropical Salsa with Huli Huli Chicken

Tropical Salsa with Huli Huli Chicken … this salsa had a bit of Serrano Chili

 

 

Hawaii!!!

Monday, August 29th, 2016

I spent last week in Hawaii … What I thought was going to be a hiking and biking trip turned into a foodie trip due to rain. Oh, the fruit. I can’t wait to go back!

Day one shopping ...

Day one shopping …

Pineapples ... my mouth is watering .

Pineapples … my mouth is watering .

Dragonfruit!

Dragonfruit ...

Dragonfruit …

Lilikoi - Passion Fruit

Lilikoi – Passion Fruit

Sweet and tart lilikoi ... I want more.

Sweet and tart lilikoi … I want more.

Mangoes!

Mangoes!

Papaya ... oh, mya!

Papaya … oh, mya!

Yes we have bananas today! Apple Bananas, that is.

Yes we have bananas today! Apple Bananas, that is.

Fresh coconut ... o.m.g.

Fresh coconut … o.m.g.

Avocados and Rambatons (similar to lichee fruit).

Avocados and Rambatons (similar to lichee fruit).

Mangosteens

Mangosteens

Oh, and then there was the coffee, the chocolate, the vanilla, the fresh fish …  and … the beaches and warm rain and volcanoes and hot lava and cold observatories and …  those will have to be later blogs. I have to switch out of vacation mode and back into regular life mode soon. Oh, sigh … that was an amazing week.

Zucchini Lasagna Rolls

Monday, August 15th, 2016

Here’s another idea for the bounty of zucchini that happens this time of year.

Zucchini Lasagna Roll-Ups

Slice some large zucchini lengthwise into about 1/4-inch thick slices. Lay them out on paper towels, sprinkle with salt, turn over and sprinkle the other side. Allowed to rest to pull out some of the liquid. Blot the zucchini dry before grilling.

Meanwhile, mix together your favorite lasagna filling. I use a mix of ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, shredded cheeses like mozzarella, Asiago, Parmesan, spinach, a little black pepper, fresh herbs such as basil and thyme, and sometimes I will also add an egg. Mix all this together.

Spinach & ricotta filling.

Spinach & ricotta filling.

Grill the zucchini slices – brush with a little olive oil before grilling. Don’t overcook at this point, you just want them to have a nice grilled flavor and soften them up enough to be rollable.

Grilled to perfection!

Grilled to perfection!

You can either use a homemade marinara sauce or your favorite prepared marinara sauce. Put a little bit of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Start to assemble the rolls.  Spread a tiny amount of pesto on the strip and then a layer of cheese mixture, rolling up place them in the pan.

Spread with a touch of pesto.

Spread with a touch of pesto.

Top with the cheese filling.

Top with the cheese filling.

A toothpick can help to keep them together until you place them in the baking dish.

A toothpick can help to keep them together until you place them in the baking dish.

Arrange in your baking dish.

Arrange in your baking dish.

Top with marinara and cheese.

Top with marinara and cheese.

Continue until you finished all of the rolls. Top with more marinara sauce, some grated cheese like mozzarella, etc. Bake in the oven about 350. I think I baked in about an hour, maybe a little longer. One important thing to remember with any kind of lasagna dish like this is to let it rest about 10 minutes after you remove it from the oven before you start cutting into it. This will allow it to set up.

Yes, I know that this doesn’t have measurements, but this was about 3 or 4 large zucchini, one large tub of ricotta, half a pint of cottage cheese, 1 egg, a few handfuls of shredded cheese, a couple of pounds of fresh tomatoes, umm …. I based this on Mom’s recipe, which was taught to me that way! A handful of this, a splash of that. One thing I will say is that I could  have made just half the amount of filling. There was quite a bit leftover, but that’s OK, because there are lots more zucchini where these came from, so I see some more zucchini lasagna variations in the future.

It’s Zucchini Time Again!

Friday, July 15th, 2016

So many zucchini … so many possibilities.

Zoodles ... there's a special gadget that will turn your zucchini (or summer squash) into "zoodles" ... a low carb and delicious alternative to pasta.

Zoodles … there’s a special gadget that will turn your zucchini (or summer squash) into “zoodles” … a low carb and delicious alternative to pasta.

My first recipe with these was a Shrimp Scampi with Zoodles …

Garlicky, fresh, light and healthy!

Garlicky, fresh, light and healthy!

To make this, simply prepare your favorite scampi recipe and when the shrimp are about 3/4 of the way cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside (cover to keep warm). Add the zoodles to the pan, adding a splash of wine or lemon juice if needed, turn the heat to high and stir fry for a bit. You don’t want to overcook these, so remember to work quickly. Reduce the heat to medium, return the shrimp to the pan, give a good toss to distribute the ingredients evenly, then cover to warm through. You do not want to overcook this or the shrimp will become tough and the zoodles mushy.

And, of course, there’s always the classic Stuffed Zucchini!

Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Zucchini

This recipe will have to follow later … I’ve got to get to work!

 

Ono! So Simple. So Delicious!

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

When times get tough, the tough get to cooking. What’s better than super healthy comfort food?

Ono, curried cauliflower, greens & shiitake mushrooms.

Ono, curried cauliflower, greens & shiitake mushrooms.

Light. Healthy. Nutritious. Delicious!

Ono, also known as Wahoo, is lean and mild-flavored. You’ll want to be very careful to not overcook this fish.  I cooked mine in a little avocado oil with a grind or two of one of my favorite seasoning blends (use your favorite!). I quickly seared both sides then turned the heat to low, covered and cooked gently for a few minutes. You really don’t want to overcook this fish, so watch it closely.

The greens and mushrooms … not much to say except shiitake mushrooms are amazing.  Slice and cook them in a bit of avocado or olive oil on high heat. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt to taste. You’ll want to brown the mushrooms a bit, then put the clean greens (use your favorite blend of cooking greens) on top of the mushrooms, cover, reduce heat to low and allow to steam to your desired level of doneness. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

This batch of cauliflower I cut about a quarter of a large head into 1/4-inch thick slices and sauteed these in avocado oil on high heat. I wanted it to brown and caramelize a bit before adding the curry. I used a prepared curry powder (use your favorite!) and added just a bit of heat with some chili flakes. Turn the temperature down to low, cover, and allow to steam just a bit. I like my cauliflower very al dante, and not soft. Cook to your desired level of doneness.

This would be a terrific post-ride meal for a big ride like the Napa Valley Tour de Cure, don’t you think?

Enjoy in good health!

Rainy Night … Curry Night.

Sunday, March 6th, 2016

We are having quite the storm in Davis right now with lots and lots of rain (very welcome) and wind (not so welcome). It’s the perfect night for some super healthy comfort food.

In the oven roasting right now – fresh cauliflower, broccolette, and cipollini onions … a splash of olive oil, sprinkling of salt, a dash of cayenne pepper, and a healthy dose of curry powder. I’ll roast these on 325 degree Fahrenheit for about an hour or so.

I’ve got a simple curry sauce simmering on the stove just waiting for some additional ingredients. I’ve got frozen peas and corn thawing and draining right now and a girlfriend is bringing over some either chicken, pork, or lamb to cook up and add to the mix. I’m not sure what she’s bringing, so it will be a surprise.

To make the curry sauce, just heat a bit of either butter and/or olive oil in a saucier pan. Make a roux by sprinkling in a bit of flour and curry powder, then whisking together to form a paste. Gradually add some milk and/or stock and whisk until smooth. Simmer to thicken, whisking occasionally. Usually I would use chicken stock, but for some reason tonight I used vegetable stock. I don’t like that as much – next time I’ll stick with chicken stock.

We’ll be serving this with rice.

Mmmm … my house smells soo good right now.

A Glorious Day for a Ride

Monday, January 25th, 2016

Yesterday was cold, wet, and windy. Today was glorious. The air was clean and fresh, the sun was warm, and the breeze was gentle. It was perfect weather for an afternoon ride. Overall, this was a pretty good weekend!

I enjoyed a rare trip to the Davis Farmer’s Market.

Romanesco Broccoli ... something about the light at this display really caught my eye.

Romanesco Broccoli … something about the light here really caught my eye.

I had a craving for lamb, so I picked up a nice piece at my local Costco. I marinated it in some coffee, herbs, red wine, and balsamic vinegar. I cooked a bit of it last night and served it with spinach fettuccine, a rustic charred heirloom tomato sauce, and wild mushrooms.

Rustic Lamb Hunter-Style Pasta Dish ... what would you call this? It was amazing. The photo does not even begin to do it justice.

Rustic Lamb Hunter-Style Pasta Dish … what would you call this? It was amazing.

The photo does not even begin to do this dish justice. If I may say so myself, it truly was at least as good as any dish I’ve had in any restaurant.

The rest of the lamb marinated overnight and is now in a pot of Irish Lamb Stew made with Stout and Coffee. It smells delicious. I’ll be serving it shortly on a bed of Colcannon (simply smashed Yukon Gold potatoes with some baby kale mixed in). Photos to follow.

Sláinte!

It Balances Out

Monday, December 7th, 2015

If you eat like this most of the time …

Fresh Wild Rock Cod with stir-steamed veggies.

Fresh Wild Pacific Rockfish with stir-steamed veggies.

Veggies! Lots and lots of veggies!

… and just a little bit of this … 

Holiday Treats

Holiday Treats – homemade, of course!

Then it all balances out in the end.

Just remember … if you’re going to treat yourself and splurge on goodies, splurge well. Enjoy homemade, real treats. Use real ingredients. And be sure to enjoy every delicious morsel to the fullest. That is how you can splurge and be satisfied with just a bit and survive the holiday season without gaining a bunch of weight.

Oh, and cycling lots helps!

For recipes to these yummy treats, see my previous blog post.