Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Quick VEGAN Meals for Busy Triathletes!?!

The most recent Trifuel newsletter had an interesting article in it entitled "Quick Meals for Busy Triathletes." I looked at the list and thought about how each one could be "veganized." So I thought I could do two lists: one that veganized what the author had suggested and one that had quick meals that I use myself. Take note that I have not tried out the first set of "recipes."

Veganized Quick Meals:
1. Mediterranean Surprise. Use some whole wheat noodles or use orza style pasta or even rice. I pretty much grab whatever type of pasta is in the pantry for this one. Prepare the pasta. When it is finished, stir in a small handful of nutritional yeast, a tablespoon of olive oil, a handful of raisins, a handful of almonds, and parsley/salt/pepper to taste. As a tasty bonus, you can throw some capers and garlic in. You can make a bunch of this and eat it all week, and if after a workout, you can take your shower while the pasta cooks.

2. Tofu/Avocado Grilled Sandwich. Quick, fire up a pan drizzled with olive oil. Put the bread on the pan and put the tofu on the bread. While all that grills to a nice toasty texture, slice one avocado and have it ready to slap on the sandwich and pack away or eat immediately. I also include sliced tomatoes and alfalfa sprouts on this one.

3. Soup. I call it soup. My wife calls it heated up vegetables with water on top. Whatever. Put a handful of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and spinach into a pot. For protein, also included cubed tofu (easy to find at grocery store produce section). Pour 1/2 cup water over the vegetables and tofu, and then heat for 8-10 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper, a bit of vegetable stock if you desire, then eat with a spoon out of the pot.

4. Dinner Burrito. Just because everyone else calls it a breakfast burrito. Scramble tofu (ie. crumble it with some nutritional yeast and mustard powder) with 2 tablespoons soy yogurt, 1 handfull spinach and 1 chopped tomato. Salt and pepper to taste, and then shovel onto a whole wheat tortilla. Sprinkle with vegancheddar cheese (or leave out the cheese all together) and consume.

5. Zucchini Pancakes. In a blender or food processor, blend 1 chopped zucchini, a handful of sliced red onion, a handful of whole wheat pancake mix, 1 Tbsp. ground flax, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1 handful vegan parmesan cheese. Pour this mixture onto a grill and make pancakes with it (duh, pour it in a pan and grill 4-5 minutes/side). Season with ketchup. Organic ketchup.

6. Tapas. Lovely little appetizers all put together make a complete meal. I slice 1 tomato and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, and parsley. I slice one pear or apple and eat with peanut butter. I cover one handful of walnuts with maple syrup and cinnamon. I eat. Side note: Veggie samosas can also be used with these tapas dishes.

7. Big Chef Salad. Mix onto a bowl or plate two handfuls mixed greens, 2 sliced vegetables of choice, 1 handful raisins, 1 handful walnuts, and a small drizzling of olive oil and vinaigrette. Slice tofu and throw it on top, then salt and pepper to taste. If you need more carbs, crumble whole grain crackers for croutons.

8. Mexican Delight. It's like the Mediterranean Surprise, but a delight is somewhat different than a suprise. Use quick 10 minute brown rice. Just as it is finishing stir in black beans, salt, pepper, and any other creative items from the fridge such as olives or leftover salsa. If I'm not showering while the rice is cooking, I throw 1 block of tofu into a pan, and sprinkle with curry or turmeric (which I guess makes it an Indian Delight) and add that as well. Yum.

9. Power Oatmeal. My favorite, bar none. To one bowl of raw oats, I add 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 tablespoon soy yogurt, 1 sliced banana, 1 Tbsp. ground flax and 1 sprinkling of cinnamon. Also 1 tablespoon Vega protein powder if it's handy. Pour boiling water on top and microwave on high for 60 seconds. Warning: very calorically dense and should be consumed 2 hours prior to or immediatley after a workout.

10. Reese's Peanut Butter Cup. My signature dessert. Use a small half bowl of plain, soy yogurt. Add 1 tablespoon peanut butter and 1 tablespoon dark chocolate pieces or cocoa mix. Close your eyes and imagine you just took it out of that little orange wrapper.

Disclaimer: your spouse and children may not share any affinity for these meals

Crystal's Top 5 Quick Vegan Triathlete Meals
1. Pasta with Tofu.
This is very similar to the Mediterranean Surprise, but a little different. I take half a block of tofu and either fry it in olive oil or just cut it up (depending on how hungry I am because this takes the longest amount of time). I start boiling the pasta. I cut up some onions and garlic for nose-gasms with the tofu once the tofu has browned on two sides. Once the pasta is almost done, I add in some tomato sauce with the tofu and onions&garlic. I simmer until the pasta is done. Strain pasta. Put sauce in pot with pasta. Eat out of pot. Veggie ground round can be used in place of the tofu.

2. Post-workout veggie dogs
Sometimes when I'm done a workout, there is nothing that I want more than some easy, accessible, salty protein. This is where the veggie dog comes in. I know some people find this disgusting, but when I'm all sweaty and hungry and there just isn't anything quick enough, I will sit down and eat one or two veggie dogs raw. Quick, easy, no muss, no fuss!

3. Post-workout smoothie infusion
I drink this in the morning especially. The ingredients to my "special" smoothie:
1 banana (preferrably a bit on the edge of being too ripe)
a few frozen mangos
a few frozen strawberries
(I buy my frozen fruit in bulk)
2 scoops of Vega protein powder
1 c. Soy or Rice milk (there are pros and cons to both of these beverages)
2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
Blend. Drink. Huge amount of protein from the supplement and the soy milk, good omega-3's from the flax (among so many other great things about flax), much-needed-for-triathletes potassium from the banana, and the great nutrition from the other fruits. Plus, it's tasty! The Vega can throw off the taste a bit, but you can hardly tell with the yummy mango and banana (I try to buy organic of both of these politically contemptuos fruits).

4. Pre-made meals
I found the easiest way for me to be vegan and eat quickly (and not get extremely sick of veggie dogs) is to prepare meals ahead of time. This can either be frozen in the freezer or just prepared on an "off" training day. Veggie Chili packed with lots of beans and eaten with a slice of break is a great example. The chili can easily be frozen and thawed to be eaten for lunch at work/school or after an evening workout. I also use lentil curry for this purpose.

5. Quinoa
Quinoa is one of my favorite foods of all time. It is packed with COMPLETE protein and many vitamins and minerals... it is a SUPERFOOD! What I have been known to do before is cook up some quinoa (takes around 15-20 minutes), add some Braggs, and salsa and eat it right there! However, a nice quinoa salad with raisins, almonds, tomato, with a lemon-based dressing is also nice.

These meals all contain foods that I consider staples at my house during training season. The off season is a time of leisurely cooking, but during training time, it is a special treat. Please comment if you have any quick favorites of your own!

Disclaimer: your spouse and children may not share any affinity for these meals

Monday, January 28, 2008

Obviously I lost steam on my food journal. One meal was more than enough. Sometimes I have trouble when I get too detail-oriented; it becomes a massive project and then I don't want to do it anymore. The long and the short of it is that I'm struggling a bit right now because all I want is carbs - lovely, heavy carbohydrates. I am like this every winter... perhaps all people who live in cold areas are. I am in serious hibernation mode. However, hopefully I will get out of it and back onto the cooking and eating healthy train... right after I have another peanut butter and banana sandwich...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Food journaling seems like it would be good for me to do right now as I finally get back into training. I am eating quite a bit of beans these days, which is lots of fun. I'm trying to cut down on my wheat-based foods and soy products, while increasing my beans and rice combinations. So far it is going pretty well. So maybe I'll start the food journal right now.

* 1/2c. PC Organic 7 Reasons Multigrain cereal (1)
* 1 banana
* 1/2c. Safeway Organics plain soy milk (2)
* Smoothie with 1 banana, 1 scoop Vega (3), 1c. soy milk (2), 1 Tbsp. peanut butter, 1 tsp sesame seeds
* 2 pieces of toast with 2 Tbsp peanut butter, 2 tsp raspberry jam

1. PC Organic 7 Reasons Multigrain cereal
Calories: 120
Fat: 1g (0.2g Saturated) (2%)
Sodium: 60mg (3%)
Carbohydrates: 24g (8%) - Fibre: 3g (12%)
- Sugars: 2g
Protein: 4g
Calcium: 2%
Iron: 10%

2. Safeway Organics plain soy milk (1c.)
Calories: 100
Fat: 4g (6%)
- Saturated: 1g (5%)
- Polyunsaturated: 2g
~ Omega-6: 1.6g
~ Omega-3: 0.4g
- Monounsaturated: 1g
Sodium: 130mg (5%)
Potassium: 380mg (11%)
Carbohydrates: 9g (3%) - Fibre: 1g (4%)
- Sugars: 6g
Protein: 7g
Vitamin A: 10%
Vitamin C: 4%
Calcium: 30%
Iron: 6%
Vitamin D: 45%
Thiamine: 8%
Riboflavin: 25%
Niacin: 8%
Vitamin B6: 6%
Folate: 6%
Vitamin B12: 50%
Pantothenate: 15%
Phosphorus: 25%
Magnesium: 10%
Zinc: 10%

3. Vegan Smoothie Infusion (2 scoops)
Calories: 120 (40 calories from fat)
Fat: 4.5g (7%)
- Saturated: 0.2g (1%)
- Polyunsaturated: 3g
~ Omega-6: 0.5g
~ Omega-3: 2.5g
Sodium: 170mg (7%)
Potassium: 170mg (5%)
Carbohydrates: 10g (3%) - Fibre: 6g (24%)
- Sugars: 1g
Protein: 14g
Vitamin A: 10%
Vitamin C: 0%
Calcium: 4%
Iron: 30%
Vitamin E: 4%
Magnesium: 25%

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I have a confession to make... maybe even many confessions. This has been the worst holiday for me as a vegan or even as a health-conscious person. After 3 days of eating crappy food that I have tried to ensure (somewhat unsuccessfully) was vegan, I feel pretty much like crap. Yucky yucky yucky. The big one was that I ate an egg the other day, willingly, because I loved them before I went vegan. However, I paid for it later with a severely upset tummy and an even more upset mind. Yesterday I ate a traditional food that my mom made for my grandma and I wanted to try it. It had milk in it and my mouth felt weird afterwards with the back of my throat feeling like wheat paste. I have been thinking about doing a fast starting the day after tomorrow for 4 days (ie. until I go back to work). I am going to drink smoothies tomorrow and just eat raw veggies. Even a few days of that would feel pretty good. I guess we'll see. I definitely need to get out of this food funk. YUCK!

Today I read the funniest cartoon strip called "Totally Not Vegan." So I added their RSS feed to this blog. So freaking funny! The latest one is hilarious:

Friday, November 09, 2007

Lately I have become a cooking fool! I have accumulated more cookbooks and am trying out new recipes all the time. It is partially because I am the main cook in our household now and I am also the main grocery buyer. This makes me quite happy in a way. Here is what our meals look like this week:

- tofu scramble with tofu, veggies, and toast (brunch)
- samosas (snack)
- Green Goddess (from reFresh): broccoli, bok choy, kale, swiss chard, soba noodles, tamari sauce, tahini sauce, ginger

- smoothie with pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, 1 banana, frozen fruit, soy milk, hemp oil, and hemp seeds
- oatmeal with apples, sunflower seeds, soy milk, ground flax seeds, soy milk, organic maple syrup

- leftovers from the night before

- African sweet potato and peanut stew with kidney beans and rice
- Lentil curry with coconut milk and peas and rice
- Pasta with tofu and garlic toast
- Tortilla chips with hummus and salsa (as a snack)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Woah! I just read about a woman who makes VEGAN OMLETTES!!!! I must try this recipe soon!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Raw veganism has been an idea that has stumped me for a while. Maybe it's the fact that I love my cooked carbs and figure that it's enough. However, in the past month I have had a couple of very intense conversations with people about the raw vegan diet. With my anxiety acting up more than ever, I find myself drawn to the simplicity of the raw food/vegan lifestyle. I keep hearing about how great it feels and I can't help but want to try it.

However, warnings keep sounding in my head about how I would be able to get the 90g of protein per day required for my training. I would have to eat a LOT of nuts and hemp seeds to make that happen. I have been thinking, though, that incorporating raw foods into my diet slowly might work for now as I make my way to Ironman. So I took the liberty at contacting my local bookstore and getting the books ordered. They won't be here for a couple of weeks, but it's better on my conscience than ordering it from Amazon.

Raw Food, Real World: 100 Recipes to Get the Glow was recommended to me by my former roommate, Heather, who is trying to be mostly raw and absolutely loves it. I believe her since I've heard this numerous times from numerous people. I've also been part of a Raw Vegan Community on LiveJournal for almost 2 years now.

The Complete Book of Raw Food is the other book I ordered. I'm excited about having a good base for learning about preparation and that sort of thing.

I also found a great blog called Raw Food, Right Now. These people are very inspiring and committed to the raw food lifestyle.

I like trying things out to see how it works. I'm not sure how it will work as an athlete, but I guess I'll find out!