10/15/12

Crock Pot Steel Cut Oats

Crock Pot Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal

Required ingredients:

  • 1 c. steel cut (Irish) oats
  • 4 c. skim milk, soy milk, rice milk, or almond milk

Optional toppings:

  • Dried cranberries
  • Dried figs
  • Raisins
  • Fresh or dried blueberries
  • Maple syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Coconut milk
  • Banana
  • Strawberries
  • Walnuts
  • Almonds
  • Ground flax
  • Wheat Germ

In a slow cooker, combine all required ingredients and set to low heat. Cover and let cook for 6 to 9 hours.

Stir and remove to serving bowls. This method works best if started before you go to bed. Then your oatmeal will be finished by morning.

Tips
Add toppings right before you eat the oatmeal.

 

10/15/12

Overnight Oatmeal

Overnight Oatmeal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 cup milk (soy, almond, cows, etc.)
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 apple chopped
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds, or 1/4 cup walnuts
  • vanilla extract
  • cinnamon

Directions:  Combine all ingredients in a bowl.  Cover and place in refrigerator over night.  It will be ready to eat in the morning.  If using chia seeds, add about another 1/4 cup of milk since they absorb a lot of fluid too.

 

10/15/12

Quinoa and Vegetable Hash with Eggs

Quinoa and Vegetable Hash with Eggs

 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cups cubed and cooked sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt, pepper, and grated parmesan cheese

 

I also like to add a few extra garden vegetables if I have them on hand such as zucchini, summer squash, and spinach, etc.

Directions:

  1. place oil and onion in a skillet and sauté
  2. add cooked sweet potatoes and parsely, sauté until the edges of the potatoes are brown (if adding additional veggies, add them at this time too)
  3. add cooked quinoa, salt, pepper and cheese to taste
  4. in a separate pan, cook the eggs as you like.
  5. Divide dish in half and put on egg over the hash.
10/15/12

Corn Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour (see note to make it gluten free)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ butter, melted and then cooled
  • 1 egg

 

Preparation:

  • Combine all ingredients from salt up
  • Whisk remaining ingredients and add to dry mixture
  • Bake at 375 for 25 minutes

 

Note – to make this gluten free, take 1 cup of oats and put in a food processor until it becomes flour consistency.

10/15/12

Lentil Casserole

Lentil Casserole

Ingredients

  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 3 cubes vegetable bouillon
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 cups dry brown lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sharp Cheddar cheese, grated and divided
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, bring water and bouillon cubes to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 50 minutes, or until rice is tender and all liquid has been absorbed.
  2. Heat oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat. Cook zucchini and onion until tender, but still slightly firm, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin, oregano, lentils, and about 6 cups water gradually. Bring to a soft boil, and continue cooking until lentils are tender, 45 to 60 minutes, adding water as needed.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. Mix the cooked rice together with the lentils, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in 3/4 of the Cheddar cheese, and transfer mixture into a 9×13 inch pan. Mix remaining cheese together with the breadcrumbs, and spread evenly over the top of the dish.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven just until cheese has melted, about 10 minutes.

 

10/15/12

Spicy Beans and Rice

Spicy Beans and Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, undrained
  • 2 fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
  • 2 fresh green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 (2 ounce) can sliced black olives, drained

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a saucepan bring the water to a boil. Add rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, pour beans into a 2 quart casserole. Sprinkle with jalapenos, cumin, chili powder and black pepper.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese, green onions and olives. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes more.
  5. Serve beans over cooked rice.

 

10/15/12

Vegan Baked Beans

Vegan Baked Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package dry navy beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Place beans and water in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender. Drain, and transfer to a large casserole dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions, and cook until tender. Mix in garlic, and cook until golden brown. Mix onions and garlic into casserole dish with the beans. Stir in the tomato sauce. Mix in brown sugar, molasses, vinegar, bay leaves, mustard, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  4. Cover and bake 3 1/2 hours in the preheated oven, stirring frequently and adding water if necessary. Remove cover, and continue baking 30 minutes.

 

10/15/12

Information on Reducing Meat Consumption or Becoming Vegetarian

I often get asked the question of why I went vegetarian at the beginning of 2009.  Some of the other questions I get frequently are:

  • How do you get enough protein?
  • Will I lose weight if I become vegetarian?
  • What about getting enough iron in your diet?
  • It seems like a lot of work.  How do you do it?
  • Do you miss meat?

 

In the not too distant future, I hope to answer all the questions above.  If I answer them all at once, the article will be very long, and you probably won’t read all of it!  I hope you find these articles beneficial and informative.

My goal of this entry is not to push a specific diet on you, because I believe that everyone’s body is different and requires slightly different nutrition to function at the levels we, as athletes, demand from our bodies.  However, if you are interested in trying to become veggie, and just need a little bit of advice on how to do so both economically and efficiently, then I think this may help you.  If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to ask them through the “Contact Me” section.

Protein:  Depending on the level of vegetarian you want to pursue (lacto-ovo-, lacto-, ovo-, or vegan) will determine how easy it is for you acquire the protein that you need.  Most Americans eat way more protein than is needed.  Most athletes need 0.5-0.8 grams of protein per pound.  For example, I’m about 158 lbs.  So I would need anywhere between 79 and 126 grams of protein per day.  I would bet that most Americans (that may or may not be athletes) get the low end of their protein requirements in just the dinner they eat.

Just like carbohydrate and fat, not all protein sources are created equal.  Powerhouse protein sources, or “complete” proteins, are those that provide you with all 20 amino acids necessary to rebuild and repair damaged tissue.  Complete protein sources are found in such animal foods as chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk as well as soy foods.  In contrast, many vegetarian protein sources, including legumes and nuts, are missing several of the necessary amino acids needed to build.  Most vegetarian based foods need to be combined to attain all the essential amino acids; for example, tortillas and beans, rice and lentils, peanuts and wheat bread.  Fiber found in plants does make it slightly harder for the body to absorb the protein.  So aiming for the high end of the spectrum of protein requirement for your body weight would be suggested.  Vegetarian diets providing adequate energy and a variety of protein-containing plant foods will supply all the essential amino acids needed for efficient protein metabolism, thereby enhancing recovery from exercise and helping to prevent muscular injury.

Before I started eating vegetarian, I did a lot of research on different protein sources and which amino acids were found in each one.  After looking at several different websites, I found one that has what seems to be an exhaustive list of every food out there:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/

There are several graphs and charts on every food in their data base.  Since we are on the topic of protein, I’ll focus on the chart that gives information about the amino acids in each food and the scoring system.  Let’s use lentils as an example:

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4338/2

The graph that deals with the protein quality of the food contains all the amino acids our bodies can’t synthesis on its own (these are the “essential” amino acids).  You’ll notice that all the amino acids “bars” are full except Methionine+Cystine.  Also, the protein score is 86.  The way that this website scores the protein quality is anything less than 100 is considered incomplete.  To help us out, if any food scores less than 100, a link is provided below the graph to provides other complimentary food sources to give you all the amino acids.  Click the link under legumes, and several pages are given for possible things to eat together with the lentils.  One of these is rice.  Click the brown rice link and notice the protein quality.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5707/2

Brown rice only scores a 75, but the Methionine+Cystine amino acid bar is full, but the lysine is lacking (which is why it scores less than 100).  However, since the lysine in lentils is adequate, these two foods compliment each other well.

 

For information about consuming enough iron for endurance athletes, click here.

For information on Vitamin B12 and its role in athletes, click here.