How’s your day going so far? No complaints here – I’m continuing to taper for my race on Sunday, being careful not to push too hard and in general, just making sure my workouts feel good. I ran today and have my weekly cycling club meet-up tonight, but tomorrow will be spinning, Friday will be cross training, and Saturday will be a complete rest day. Fingers crossed, all of this will translate into a spectacular performance on the weekend and I’ll come home a very happy girl!
Ok, over to some food chat…
1. Recipe of the Week: Sometimes when I’m out on my long runs, I like to play mind games with myself to help the miles to pass faster. I wrote about some of my treadmill mind games a while ago, but I’ve got a new one that has been particularly amusing lately. It’s called “If money didn’t matter…” and as you might expect, starts off with asking myself the question “If money didn’t matter, what would your typical day look like?” From here, I think about my day from start to finish – the time I’d wake up, the first thing I’d do (a workout of some sort always gets this spot), what I’d make for breakfast, where I’d go to work, etc etc etc…
On the subject of work, I think I’m the type that would still have to do some sort of work, even if we didn’t need money to pay for life’s necessities. Many of my ideal jobs include a lot of the nutrition and fitness endeavours I’m currently involved with – just in a larger capacity. As far as food and recipes go, I love the idea of having a restaurant (something like Fresh, Thrive, Rawlicious, Live Raw Food Bar, Pure Food & Wine, Heirloom, and The Boathouse, all rolled into one). I’d spend my days creating all sorts of delicious, colourful, whole-food based meals, and at the end of the day, sit down to one of my creations and enjoy it for myself.
Some days, I secretly pretend that this little restaurant fantasy of mine is already real life. Using the memories I have from eating at some of the aforementioned restaurants, as well as inspiration from other sources like foodie magazines, blogs, and good ol’ Pinterest, I’ll fall into this meditative state as I slice, dice, julienne and spiralize every veggie in my crisper. (Not too meditative though – I’d like to keep all my fingers.)
The final product of one of these recent chop-a-thons looked like this:
We’ll name this one the Thai Veggie Bowl with Fried Egg and Cilantro Ginger Dressing. In true Angela fashion, it features an “I can’t make up my mind because they’re all so good” pile of vegetables, sprinkled with peanuts, tossed in homemade green dressing, and topped with a big fat egg.
I used a mandolin with a julienne blade for my zucchini and carrot, but if you don’t have one you could easily use a regular vegetable peeler, or a box grater (although you’d end up with smaller pieces). For those of you on the ‘hate’ side of the cilantro camp, no worries – you can easily swap the dressing for this peanut-ginger one and achieve a very similar delicious result.
2. Sweet Cinnamon Chickpea Snacks from The Good Bean. Over the weekend, I met up with my mum for lunch at a new-to-me restaurant in London called Organic Works Bakery. It had been recommended to me by a couple of friends and after looking at their menus, I was pretty confident that I wouldn’t be left disappointed. My choice ended up being The Works Salad (surprise surprise?) which looked like this:
I asked for marinated tempeh but they were all out, so I got organic locally-raised turkey instead. Still, it was a delicious, Angela-approved salad and the service was great as well. In addition to a huge array of breakfast, lunch, smoothies, juices, and bakery items, Organic Works also has a great section of their building set up with shelves of superfoods, gluten-free goodies, snacks, and grocery items you’d typically have to visit a health food store for. I grabbed a few of my faves and one new-to-me item:
The Good Bean is a California-based company that has been making roasted chickpea snacks since 2010. They started out with 4 flavours, then diversified and started selling fruit and no-nut bars, replacing the nuts with chickpeas to achieve a similar result to your typical snack bar. I’d read up a bit about them before purchasing my first bag of roasted chickpeas and The Good Bean stood out because of their commitment to using minimally-processed, all-natural, Fair Trade, non-GMO ingredients.
Back to the chickpeas, The Good Bean now has 7 different flavours. Sweet, salty, spicy – whatever your craving is, they’ve pretty much got it covered! I chose Sweet Cinnamon because I’m a sucker for cinnamon-spiced things. While I’d normally consider this an on-the-go snack, I wanted to try them yesterday in true Try Something New Tuesday fashion. For part of my breakfast, I made a fruit and yogurt parfait and tossed a few roasted chickpeas between the layers and on top.
Texture wise, they’re really nice and crispy, which is something I’ve had trouble achieving in the past with my own roasted chickpea recipes. If you’ve ever tried, you’ll know you’ve got to really dry out the beans, either by roasting them in a dehydrator or cooking them in the oven at a low temperature for a long time. I totally get that a lot of people don’t have time for this, so I like how The Good Bean makes it a lot easier to enjoy roasted chickpeas without adding a ton of crap to keep them crispy.
Taste-wise, the cinnamon flavour is much more mild than I expected. Having said that, the chickpeas don’t taste “beany” at all, so they worked really well in my fruity breakfast. I’m stashing the rest of the bag away for this weekend’s road trip to Niagara Falls, and I’m pretty sure my post-race appetite will be thankful for that!
So tell me…
- If money didn’t matter, how would you spend your days? Would you work? What would you do?
- What are your favourite grab-and-go snacks when you don’t have time to prep one yourself?