A Belated 4th of July Recipe

6 07 2015

Most good food bloggers will recognize that a holiday is coming up and will plan an appropriately themed dish or dessert to post just before the actual holiday so that readers can actually make the recipe on said holiday. Unfortunately, I’m not that good. However, I do have a recipe that I tried on the 4th of July that I thought was quite successful: Patriotic Pizza!

Better late than never, right?

patriotic pizza done

This is somewhat a blend between a dessert pizza and a “real pizza.” I described it to someone as a “sweet, savory pizza” if that makes any sense?

Anyhow, it’s quite easy to make- you can whip it up in a jiffy if you have some pre-made dough around!

So, I may be late to the party on this one, but here’s to hoping that you’ll bookmark it for next year!

patriotic pizza pre cook

Ingredients:

Pre-made pizza dough (preferably not the kind that comes in a tube, but if you have to, that will do)

~ 1 cup blackberries

~1.5 cups strawberries, hulled and halved (or quartered, depending on how big they are)

1/2 cup sugar, divided

2 TBS chia seeds (optional)

2 TBS fresh basil, chopped, divided

1 log of fresh mozzarella cheese (you won’t need it all)

How to:

In a pot, put the blackberries and 1/4 cup sugar. Turn the heat to medium and allow the berries to cook down. Adjust the heat as necessary.

In a second pot, put the strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar. Turn the heat to medium and allow the berries to cook down. Adjust as necessary.

While the berries are cooking, roll out your dough. You can make it a rectangle or a circle, your choice. Place it on your pizza stone and allow to rise.

When the berries have boiled down into a liquid and are starting to thicken back up, stir in the chia seeds (1 TBS in each pot) and remove from heat. Add 1 TBS of basil to each pot.

Now, decorate your pizza!

Use the blackberry “jam” to make the blue part of the flag and the strawberry part to cover the rest. Cut the mozzarella cheese into stripes and “stars” and add them to the pizza. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes, or until the dough is cooked through and the cheese is melty.

Enjoy!

pizza

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Strawberry Basil Rice Cakes

2 04 2014

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this before, but I am IN LOVE with The Feedzone cookbook and Feedzone Portables.

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If you’re unfamiliar, both cookbooks are co-written by Allen Lim and Biju Thomas. Lim has his doctorate in integrative physiology and Thomas is a chef, and both share a passion for fueling athletes with real, fresh, whole foods. They share a love of cycling and have spent many days together on the road, cooking up delicious meals for pro cyclists and triathletes. I first heard about these two from my friend Jess, who introduced me to Skratch, which was my go-to hydration mix last season. Skratch is also the brainchild of Lim and Thomas, and since I love Skratch so much, I figured I’d give some of their recipes a shot. By the way, I still LOVE Skratch (especially PINEAPPLES!), and will use it occasionally on a shorter run in the heat of summer, or throughout the day before an evening workout.

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The Feedzone includes recipes for simple meals to eat before, during, and after a tough workout. My interest was definitely piqued when I read through the “Portables” chapter, or recipes for hand-held snacks that are meant for eating while riding. Um, what?

My mind was blown by the fact that I could eat a rice cake or muffin while I’m in the middle of my long ride instead of shoveling down some chews, a protein bar or a gel. Well, why not?  In my “regular” eats, I follow a similar “eat real food” philosophy, so why shouldn’t I maintain that while I’m working out?

RiceCakes

So, pretty much every weekend since the beginning of this year, I’ve spent Friday night prepping some kind of “portable” for my weekend’s ride. (Yes, I’m that cool that I spend my Friday nights in the kitchen- they actually don’t take that long to make.) And, you know what? I am hooked.

Bacon muffin

I’ve become a firm believer that real food is the way to go. I’ve had no bonking on rides (well, except that one where I was riding my heart out so we didn’t have to leave Jess and Courtney by the side of the road for hours), and I feel stronger on the bike than I ever have before.

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My go-to is still Allen’s Classic Rice cakes, but the banana and rice muffins are coming in at a close second because they are super easy to make (as are all the recipes, but some are a little more involved than others).

A few weekends ago, I decided to put my own spin on one of the layered rice cakes in the Portables cookbook. The original recipe calls for raspberries and mint, but because it’s strawberry season in Florida, I decided to use those instead. I also had some basil on hand, so I made that swap as well.

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The result was a sweet, refreshing, chewy rice cake which was perfect for the ride in the Florida heat. I loved they flavor, and I thought they were so pretty, I’d serve them as a dessert sometime!

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I do find that the layered rice cakes are a bit more crumbly/don’t stay together as easily as some of the others (maybe it’s my technique), but I was able to eat them pretty easily on the ride, so long as I didn’t take the entire thing out of the wrapper at one time. Side note: I took the book’s suggestion and bought Martha wrap (well, actually Courtney bought it for me since I’ve been sharing the spoils of my kitchen escapades with her), and it has been life changing. Well, maybe not life changing, but it certainly is the best way to wrap these babies!

Anyhow, I thought I’d share my recipe in case you’d like to start experimenting with rice cakes on your next long ride. Or, just because- since these things taste so darn good!

Recipe:

Adapted from Raspberry and Mint Rice Cakes, Feedzone Portables

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked sticky rice
3 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
about 1 heaping cup of strawberries, chopped into small, bite size pieces
1 TBS fresh basil leaves, finely chopped

How to:

Cook the sticky rice in a rice cooker or on the stove. When the rice is done, add it to a large bowl and stir in the sugar, lemon and vanilla. Stir until blended well.

Spread half the rice mixture into a square baking pan.

Spread the strawberries and sprinkle most of the basil on top of the rice.

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Cover with the remainder of the rice and garnish with the last of the basil.

Let stand for a few minutes and then cut into squares and wrap.

Note: these don’t last more than a few days because of the fresh fruit. I tried to eat one after about 5 days in the fridge and the juices from the strawberries just dripped out everywhere!





Pancake Friday!

17 01 2014

Since I like love to make pancakes and I’m always concocting some fun new twist on the traditional recipe, I figured I might as well share my kitchen adventures with you. So I’m going to *try* to make this a regular thing (or at least semi-regular?) so you can enjoy pancakes on the weekend too!

pancakescollageThis week, I was conned into making pancakes for my book club. Ok, not really conned, but Courtney suggested a “breakfast for dinner” theme for this month’s book club, so of course I was going to make pancakes!

Strawberry Orange Walnut Pancake

I decided to capitalize on the Florida’s winter fruits- it’s orange and strawberry season! Man, I’m pumped about eating lots of strawberries over the next few months! Oh, and stopping for a strawberry milkshake after a long bike ride!

IMG_4711Yum!

You won’t believe how awesome orange is in a pancake recipe. They’re super fragrant and light and fluffy! Don’t knock it til you try it!

Without further ado, Strawberry Orange Walnut pancakes with a fresh strawberry syrup.

Enjoy!

Strawberry Orange Pancakes 2

Strawberry Orange Walnut Pancakes

Dry:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (you could just use 2 cups all purpose flour and omit the whole wheat flour if you’d like)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp backing soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts + more for garnish

Wet:

2 eggs
1 small container of Orange Vanilla Chobani
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 TBS butter
1 cup OJ
1/2 cup milk (more if you need wetter batter)
1 TBS honey
orange zest

1 cup chopped strawberries

Syrup:

1 quart fresh strawberries
1/4 cup sugar (plus more to taste)
Juice from 1/2 an orange
pinch of orange zest

How to:

Combine the wet ingredients in one bowl. Combine the dry ingredients in another.  Add the wet to the dry, making sure not to over-stir, and then fold in the strawberries. Pour about 1/4-1/3 cup onto the griddle and let cook until bubbling starts to subside. Flip, cook for a few more minutes and voila!

For the syrup, just add your strawberries, sugar, juice, and zest to a medium saucepan and heat on low until the strawberries start to become a liquid. Allow to boil down and thicken up!

Strawberry Orange Pancakes 3