Food Prep Friday – May 24, 2013 Edition

I am fortunate to have a job with a schedule that’s usually very flexible. I prefer to get my 40 hours in by Thursday to give myself 3-day weekends most weeks. Since my Friday workouts are usually short (1 – 2 hours), I like to take advantage of the extra free time to plan my meals and prepare my food for the week. I find this helps me eat healthier, save time, and reduce my food spending.

Throughout the week, I maintain a shopping list that I add to as things run out in my kitchen or I find new recipes to try. Sometimes I get impulsive and add items I don’t need and later cross them off. I save my grocery trip until Friday, when I receive my weekly produce delivery from Farm Fresh to You. I edit my shopping list based on the items in my box.

This week, I received:

3 fuji apples
2 Hass avocados
4 apricots
1 clamshell of blueberries
2 bell peppers
2 HUGE eggplants
1 bunch of broccoli
1 bunch of carrots


Here’s my final shopping list for the week (I know I’m a huge nerd for using engineering paper).20130524-101635.jpg

After I completed my grocery shopping extravaganza, I came home and prepared…

1.5 cups of Basil pesto.  This is great to mix in with quinoa or spread on tomato slices.


5 cups of steel-cut oats and a boat-load of quinoa.IMG_3990

5 roasted sweet potatoes for snacking.  IMG_3992My first-ever batch of homemade almond milk.  It’s so easy, I don’t know why I waited so long to try it.  Oh She Glows does a great job of breaking down the process step-by-step.  The almond pulp by-product looks like it would make a nice addition to smoothies and oatmeal.


Most importantly, I prepared fuel for my long ride tomorrow!


Usually, I would also cook a couple types of beans, but I decided against it today because I still have some chickpeas and black beans from last week.


Raw White Chocolate Marzipan Fudge

I spotted this book, Raw Chocolate by Matthew Kenney and Meredith Baird, while shopping at the Whole Foods in Santa Rosa and had to have it.  Making chocolate treats at home is really fun because you can experiment with crazy flavors.

Thus far, I tried recipes for rocher (chocolate hazelnut truffles), peppermint creme bonbons, milk chocolate chai fudge, and maple walnut fudge.  Everything was easy to make and tasted delicious.

Today, I decided to try something different and made one of the white chocolate recipes.  Seeking instant gratification, a batch of fudge was in order as it’s prepared by quickly melting cocoa butter then combining all the ingredients in the blender before setting in the freezer for an hour.  The white chocolate marzipan fudge turned out sweet and creamy with just a hint of almond flavor.

I highly recommend picking up this book if you are a chocolate lover!

Meals on Wheels: Perpetuem Rice Cakes

As my training sessions grew longer, I started to realize that the energy gels, chewy things, drink mixes and other forms of over-priced sugar weren’t working out for me.  Even with constant refueling, my stomach was always growling with hunger because I was craving real food.  Worse yet, I felt like I was going to… ahem, explode… when I had to start running off the bike.  So I decided to start eating solid food while riding my bike.

First, I picked up some Picky Bars from Sports Basement to try.  It was a smart move by Jesse Thomas to plaster the logo all over his race kit (he’s the company’s CEO) because I never heard of these things until I watched him fly through the finish at Wildflower this year.  Picky Bars are made of dates, nuts, chocolate, other yummy things and just the right amount of cinnamon.  They made my mouth and tummy happy so I signed up for the Picky Club to receive a shipment of 18 bars every month.  I get 9 each of the vegan varieties, All-in-Almond and Smooth Caffeinator (you’re singing Smooth Operator in your head now, aren’t you?).

Then, one of my genius training partners recommended eating potatoes on long rides.  I pack 2-3 baby potatoes per hour on the road.  I prepare them the night before by boiling in salted water until they’re al dente then I lightly coat them in olive oil and roast them in the oven for a few minutes.  Let them cool overnight, throw them in a plastic bag, and you’re good to go.

On a long ride a few months ago, someone mentioned the rice cake recipes from The Feed Zone Cookbook.  They’re sticky rice based squares, not dry rice cakes you buy in the cereal isle of the grocery store.  I did a little googling and found a lot of pages with the bacon and eggs rice cake recipe (no thanks!).  Then, I found this apple cinnamon recipe and whipped it up immediately.  The result was delicious and easy to eat on the bike.  Rice cakes are great because you basically make a pot of sushi rice and throw in whatever you like.  I started experimenting in the kitchen and made a batch with coconut butter, coconut flakes, cacao nibs, and almond meal that turned out great.

Yesterday, I had the idea to incorporate the Perpetuem powder that’s been sitting untouched for months.  Unfortunately, I took the rice off the stove too early and it wasn’t sticky enough so it turned out more like rice pudding.  I’m spending a lot of time on the bike trainer these days  so I can still eat it while I ride!

How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat? Umm, like this!

Here’s the recipe I used.  I hope it will inspire you to come up with your own awesome flavors and share them here!

Perpetuem rice cakes

1 1/2 cups sushi rice
3 cups water
2 tbsp salt
2 cups (8 scoops) Caffe Latte Perpetuem
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts (I used raw, but you can use roasted if you prefer)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1 tbsp cinnamon

Rinse rice in a mesh strainer under running water for a couple minutes, until water runs clear.

Combine rice and water in medium sauce pot, over high heat.  Once water comes to a boil, add salt, reduce heat to low, and cover.  Cook until water is completely absorbed, about 20 minutes.  **Important: make sure all water is absorbed and rice is sticky before removing from heat**

Stir in remaining ingredients.  Transfer mixture to a greased 2 qt glass baking dish and spread evenly.  Allow rice to cool before cutting into individual pieces.

Check out this video a tutorial on wrapping your rice cakes.