Friday, September 28, 2012

Roasted Potato Salad with Avocado Pesto and Maple Chickpeas

Apparently September is National Potato Month. Who knew? (And who cares? Frankly, I find the fact that September 24 was National Punctuation Day much more interesting.) If you knew, and you care—or if you’re just looking for the best damn potato salad you’ve ever had—read on. Oh, and it just happens to be vegan.

But first, a little bit about Worlds. People keep asking me what I know. The answer is “very little.” Last week’s Team USA email said that the temperatures will range between 54°F and 62°F (October is Spring in New Zealand) and there’s a 58% chance of rain. (No problem…It was cold and rainy at the Colby Triathlon last weekend.) My race starts at 6:55am, which is about 20 minutes after sunrise and apparently the least windy part of the day. And I just discovered a gluten-free store about 3km from our hotel.

Now, back to the potatoes:

(Inspired by Diet, Dessert and Dogs)

1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Maple syrup (approximately 2 tsp.)
As many potatoes as you want (we used 6 or so fingerlings and 4 regular potatoes—we used goldens), scrubbed (or peeled if desired) and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 bunch basil (just the leaves)
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
2 tbsp. pine nuts
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 tsp. lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350° and dump the rinsed, drained chickpeas into a paper towel-lined baking dish.

2. Let the chickpeas air dry for a little while and then pat them dry with a paper towel.

3. Transfer the dry chickpeas to a bowl and toss with enough EVOO to coat.

4. Now roll the chickpeas onto a parchment paper-lined rimmed baking sheet and pop ‘em in the oven for 30-40 minutes (until they’re crispy).

5. Roll the crispy chickpeas into a bowl and toss with enough maple syrup to coat and then roll them back onto the rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes. (Keep an eye on them to make sure they don’t burn.)

6. Set the chickpeas aside and jack the oven temperature up to 400°.

7. Dump the potato chunks in a bowl and toss with enough EVOO to coat.

8. Transfer the potatoes to a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, flip, and then roast for 10-15 more minutes (until they’re poke-able and just starting to brown).

9. While the potatoes cook, make the pesto: combine the basil, about a tbsp. of EVOO, the garlic, the pine nuts and the avocado in a food processor. Process until smooth. Taste. Add a lemon juice (or not) to taste.

10. Combine the potatoes, chickpeas and pesto in a bowl and stir it up. (Note: if you have one of those fancy ovens that lets you set one rack to one temperature and another rack to another temperature, this will be a much more efficient process.)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Catching Up: Some Recipes (Wild Rice Salad and Peanut Butter-Chickpea-Chocolate Chip Cookies) and Some News

Summer is winding down. Soon it will be too cold and dark for outdoor core classes, the leaves will fall and yada yada yada. I’m not one to wax poetic about the seasons, but I am one to give excuses for my slacker blogging. I’ve been busy—busy coaching the fabulous women of SheJAMs and some amazing Sustainable Athletes, busy testing wetsuits (trying to find the best suits for women)…and busy getting ready for New Zealand.

Yeah, that’s the big news. Next month, I’ll be heading to Auckland to compete in the Sprint Triathlon World Championships. It’s an incredible opportunity and I’m very excited to be part of Team USA, to compete at an international level and to go to New Zealand, but—this is the part that I’m not very good at—it’s really expensive and I would greatly appreciate any financial support. If you are interested in supporting me, please use the PayPal button on the right. THANK YOU!

Now, onto the food:

Wild Rice Salad

This salad has come with me on airplanes, to barbecues and to conferences—different batches of course. Obviously, it’s delicious. If you’re new to wild rice, here’s what you need to know:
·          -It’s a grass and it’s good for you.
·          -It smells kinda funky when it’s cooking, but it tastes delicious.

(Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen)

½ cup wild rice
1 cup water
extra firm tofu, drained, patted dry and cubed
Carrots (4 or more), sliced
1 cup or so shelled edamame, cooked
3 tbsp. (or more) toasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp. miso (we use South River Chickpea Miso—it’s gluten-free)
2 tbsp. agave nectar
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 ½ tbsp. rice vinegar
about ¼ cup orange juice (or juice of half an orange)

1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Combine the wild rice and water in a medium saucepan. Cook (just like regular rice: cover, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down to low). It’ll take about an hour.

3. In a medium bowl, toss tofu with EVOO. Spread the tofu on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes. Flip and roast for another 20 or so (until it starts to brown).

4. Go do something else. The food doesn’t need you right now.

5. Combine the miso, agave nectar, sesame oil, rice vinegar and orange juice in a medium bowl. Whisk into dressing consistency.

6. Combine cooked wild rice, roasted tofu, edamame and carrots in a large bowl. Add the dressing and the sesame seeds and toss to combine. Serve. (It’s delicious at any temperature.)

Peanut Butter-Chickpea-Chocolate Chip Cookies

These are stupid-easy to make, loaded with protein and totally tasty...what more could you want in a cookie?

(Adapted from Texanerin Baking)

1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
½ cup plus 2 extra scoops (a little more than a tablespoon each) natural peanut butter
2 tsp. gluten-free vanilla extract
¼ cup honey
1 tsp. baking powder
heaping ½ cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine the chickpeas, peanut butter, vanilla, honey and baking powder in a food processer and whirl until smooth. (No need to be anal about the smoothness. The chickpeas break down pretty quickly so any chickpea haters will probably think you used crunchy peanut butter.)

3. Add the chocolate chips and whirl to combine.

4. Spoon globs of dough onto the baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the tops start to brown just a bit.