Black Bean and Edamame Salad

Do you go through stages with food? I tend to eat the same meals over and over again for months on end, then suddenly the food I am eating changes to something different and I eat that over and over for months and the cycle repeats. Last Spring when I embarked on my new food journey I found Clean Eating Magazine and quickly fell in love with the whole food recipes.

As I was browsing through the recipes I was drawn to a photo of a black bean and edamame salad in the gluten-free recipe section. I can eat edamame right out of the shells by the handful so imagine my delight upon finding this recipe. I scanned the ingredients for the salad, I loved both the salad ingredients and the simple dressing.

Black Bean & Edamame Salad | herbivoretriathlete.com

Black Bean & Edamame Salad
Serves 4 | 12 minutes

Adapted from Clean Eating Magazine (March 2012)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 ounces ) unsalted black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen shelled edamame, thawed
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 cup diced red onion

Dressing:

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Nutiva Hemp Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Black Bean & Edamame Salad | herbivoretriathlete.com

Method:

In a medium bowl, combine beans, tomatoes, edamame, pepper, cilantro and onion. In a small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients until combined. Drizzle over top of bean mixture and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

**The original recipe calls for fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, and a small Anaheim pepper. If you like some heat to your food, feel free to substitute the red bell pepper for the Anaheim pepper. Also, if you eat dairy, the mozzarella would be a delightful addition!**

Nutritional Bonus: Edamame are a great source of protein and fiber; just 1 cup of soybeans packs almost 16 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber!

Black Bean & Edamame Salad | herbivoretriathlete.com

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Master Recipe: Reductions

Wait! Don’t let the word ‘reduction’ scare you away, it’s one of the easiest techniques to mater and will help you create deeply flavorful sauces for all kinds of dishes.

You simply start with a seasoned liquid, anything from balsamic vinegar to broth, boil it down to a fraction of its volume, and you’re done! What you will have is a concentrated sauce that’s naturally thick and redolent with flavor.

master recipe:
SAVORY REDUCTION
_________________________________________________
1) Sauté 1/4 cup chopped onion, green onion, and/or celery, plus 1 teaspoon ginger and/or garlic (optional) in 1 to 2 tablespoons oil or butter over medium-low heat until golden brown.
2) Add 1 cup broth, wine, or fruit or vegetable juice, plus fresh or dried herbs (sprigs work well) and/or spices.
3) Boil mixture, uncovered, until syrupy and reduced by at least half.
4) Strain, and discard solids.

Here’s a few reductions to get you started:

Demi~Glace
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 leek, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup dry sherry
6 whole peppercorns
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves

To make Demi~Glace: Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add leek, carrot, and celery; sauté 10 minutes. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, or until flour begins to brown. Add tomato paste, garlic, broth, wine, and sherry and simmer 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool 30 minutes. Strain mixture through sieve, and discard solids.
**Demi-glace is a classic French brown sauce with hundreds of uses, it can be spooned over roasted-vegetable dishes or used to flavor soups.**

Balsamic~Agave Drizzle
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon plus 1 and 1/2 teaspoon agave
3 allspice berries
3 whole peppercorns
1 sprig fresh rosemary

To make Balsamic~Agave Drizzle: Bring vinegar, 1 tablespoon agave, allspice, peppercorns, and rosemary sprig to a boil in small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 10 minutes, or until reduced to 1/2 cup. Remove rosemary sprig and spices; stir in remaining 1 and 1/2 teaspoon agave.
**Gastrique is a culinary term for the reduced balsamic sauce, it can be drizzled it over parsnip fritters.**

Lemongrass~Orange Reduction
2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon minced fresh lemongrass
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 and 1/2 tablespoons tamari

To make Lemongrass~Orange Reduction: Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and pepper; sauté 3 minutes. Whisk in juice, broth, and tamari. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
**This bright citrus sauce makes a tasty topping for roasted squash.**

master recipe:
SWEET REDUCTION
__________________________________
1) Combine 1 cup juice, wine, or balsamic vinegar
and 2 to 8 tablespoons agave, sugar, or maple syrup in small saucepan.
2) Add herbs (rosemary, thyme, lavender, and lemony
herbs are good choices) and/or spices (cinnamon,
nutmeg, cloves, vanilla).
3) Boil mixture, watching it closely to prevent
scorching, until syrupy and reduced by at least half.
(Sweet reductions will thicken as they cool.)
4) Strain, and discard solids.

Spiced Zinfandel Syrup with Fruit Compote
3 cups dry red wine
1/3 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
16 whole pitted prunes or dried plums
16 whole dried figs
16 whole dried pitted apricots
1/4 cup dried pitted cherries

Bring wine, 1 cup water, sugar, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean to a boil in large saucepan. Add prunes, figs, apricots, and cherries, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 1 hour. Cool. Remove cinnamon stick and vanilla bean, and chill 3 hours.

Other Master Recipe Posts:

{Source: Vegetarian Times, October 2012}

Are You Ready to Tri? Series: Training for a Triathlon

are-you-ready-to-tri-

Welcome back! This is the second installment of my, Are You Ready to Tri?, blog series. You can catch up by reading the Introduction and Triathlon 101.

This week the focus is on training for a triathlon. There are several things you want to keep in mind as you train for your triathlon; what distance are you racing, what’s your threshold, how many weeks/months before the race are you starting your training, etc. You want to establish good training rhythm, triathletes tend to be too intense and train too hard. This is very true for myself and I have to keep myself in check from developing training ADHD.

To train properly for a triathlon you want to use a systems approach; strengthen the chain, don’t break it! What I mean by this is you want to include your muscular, skeletal and cardiovascular systems in your training.

Let’s start with the stress/adaptation curve.

supercompensationcurve

When you train you accumulate both fatigue and fitness. Many people don’t realize that the fatigue that accumulates over the course of a training cycle itself hides the fitness gains that are made. However, fitness persists about 3 times longer then fatigue. This means that when all traces of fatigue are gone from a bout of exercise or a cycle of training, the fitness gained will persist for 3 times as long as the fatigue. That’s why most people make gains when they take a few days off from time to time.

So how should you train in order to gain the most fitness?

Mesocycle-which means month, is your chronic training load. Here we train hard for the first 3 weeks three times per week so that we never ever are completely recovered from any workouts. Then, on the 4th week we train only once or twice the entire week at a low intensity and low volume. During the 4th week we’re allowing fatigue to dissipate so that we can display the fitness we’ve gained from the previous 3 week’s of training. During this low intensity/low frequency week, the physiological indicators we’ve stimulate the previous 3 weeks “rebound” back up and above where they were before.

Microcycle-which means week, is your acute training load. Each week you will want to find a balance for both volume and duration. I suggest taking at least 1 to 2 days off per week for rest and recovery.

exercise_zones

When you are training for a triathlon you want to train at the zone that you are going to be racing in, so if you are doing a short distance triathlon, you should train in the zone you can maintain for the duration of your race. For a sprint distance triathlon this could vary from 1.5 hours to 2.5 hours depending on your fitness level. For Ironman distances, you would want to train at a lower zone since that distance is significantly longer. The first thing you will want to do is determine your target heart rate. To attain optimal cardiovascular fitness, exercise between 60-90% of maximal heart rate (50-85% of heart rate reserve). You can find a target heart rate calculator here:

http://www.exrx.net/Calculators/TargetHeartRate.html

Triathletes who are new to the sport, 1 to 3 years, will see the most gains when basing their training on endurance and form. Find your threshold and build your target intensity.

How many days per week should I train for each sport?

Ideally you should train for each discipline twice per week, that means running two days, swimming 2 days, and cycling 2 days. If you can fit in three days for each sport, that would be even better! However, for most of us, triathlon is a hobby, not a career. It is important to find balance and integrate training with your life, especially if you have a job and family to take care of as well.

What about increasing duration and intensity?

During the training season you should increase your duration and intensity about 10% per week. As always, listen to your body and don’t push yourself to do more than you are ready for.

What about bricks? When do I start those?

Bricks can be incorporated into your weekly training plan at any time. If this is a weak area for you, then incorporate them earlier on during your training plan.

I’m a weak swimmer (runner, cyclist), what do I do?

Swimming is my weakest sport for triathlon so I do an extra day of swimming each week. I run two days, bike two day and swim three days. If running or biking is your weak sport, spend extra time training for that portion.

What about transitions? Can I train for those?

Certainly. Choose one day that you are doing a brick workout and practice your transition between those two events. Simulate race day as closely as possible. There are lots of tips and tricks to make transitions as quick and seamless as possible. I can address those in another post if you are interested.

Most importantly, stick to your training plan! Don’t develop training ADHD!!

Any other questions? Did I miss something you’ve been wondering about?

Weekly Rewind~Top 5 Recipes Edition

rewindtop5

This week’s rewind is all about FOOD! These are the top 5 most viewed recipes on my site.

Homemade Vegetable Broth | Herbivore Triathlete

5th Place: Kitchen Scraps Homemade Vegetable Broth-I eat a lot of veggies and end up with a lot of vegetable scraps. I like to save money every way I can and I also like to have homemade versions of convenience items as much as possible. It is super easy and economical to make your own broth. I like to use veggie broth when I cook, either because the recipe calls for it, or to add nutritional value to things like pasta, rice, and other grains.

Meyer Lemon Blueberry Muffins | Herbivore Triathlete

4th Place: Meyer Lemon Blueberry Muffins-The Meyer lemon in these muffins give them an incredible lemon fragrance and flavor that is unbelievable. This recipe would be great with raspberries as well.

Strawberry-Goji Muffins with Mini-Chocolate Chips | Herbivore Triathlete

3rd Place: Strawberry-Goji Muffins with Mini-chocolate chips-The recipe for these muffins came from Let Them Eat Vegan by Dreena Burton. The goji berries are used in a creative way and lend a depth of flavor to this healthy muffins while the mini-chocolate chips add a delicious hint of sweetness and indulgence.

Soft Pretzel Bites | Herbivore Triathlete

2nd Place: Soft Pretzel Bites with Sesame Seeds-These pretzel bites are reminiscent of the big soft pretzels that you can find at the mall. They are super easy to make and highly customizable.

Cookie Butter Banana Bread  | Herbivore Triathlete

1st Place: Cookie Butter Banana Bread-It comes as no surprise to me that this is the most viewed recipe on my blog by a landslide! In my opinion, cookie butter makes everything better and this bread is no exception. If you haven’t made it yet, I highly encourage you to make it as soon as possible!

What’s your favorite recipe on my blog? What recipes would you like to see in the future?

Homemade Citrus Infused Household Cleaner

Citrus works great as a degreaser, stain remover and freshener.  Vinegar is also a great cleaning agent, breaking down mold, grease, mineral deposits and bacteria.  Combine the two and you have a great natural cleaner.

Citrus Collage // Herbivore Triathlete

This cleaner is eco-friendly not only because it is biodegradable and safe to use, but because it is making use of products that would otherwise be thrown in the trash.

Directions:

  1. Place the leftover rinds from any citrus fruit (orange, grapefruit, lemon, etc) into a glass jar.
  2. Pour white vinegar over top of the rinds until vinegar covers the rinds.
  3. Put a lid on it and let it sit for 2 weeks.
  4. Remove rinds, strain liquid through a sieve, and store in a glass jar.
  5. Use diluted 1:1 water to citrus vinegar in a spray bottle.

Remember the dishwasher detergent I made? I told you then that the vinegar works as a rinse aid and that citric acid is what keeps deposits and buildups off your dishes. I know sometimes I miss the lemon-y smell of store bought dishwasher detergent. Now, I’ve got a solution! Use this simple, 2 ingredient cleaner as the rinse aid. Perfect!

Check out my other Do It Yourself posts!

Are You Ready To Tri? Series: Triathlon 101

Are-You-Ready-to-Tri | Herbivore Triathlete

Hi friends! This week’s post for my Are You Ready to Tri? Series is Triathlon 101.

One of my favorite aspects of triathlons is the atmosphere and the people. I’ve found that triathletes are some of the kindest and most approachable people I’ve ever met. If you are new to the triathlon scene, seasoned triathletes always seem more than happy to answer any questions you may have or offer advice to help you have a great triathlon experience. I think that part of the reason for this friendly atmosphere is that triathletes are not experts. We all have our strong event and our weak event. My strongest/favorite aspect of triathlon is the biking portion and my weakest/least favorite portion is the swimming leg. But most of all, I just think triathletes are genuinely awesome people! 🙂

There are several different triathlon distances. The most common distances include; sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman and Full Ironman. There are super sprints and Ultraman Triathlons as well. The distances for a sprint triathlon are typically as follows; 750 metres (0.47 mi) swim, 20 kilometres (12 mi) bike, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) run. An Olympic triathlon (also known as intermediate or standard distance) consists of; 1.5 kilometres (0.93 mi) swim, 40 kilometres (25 mi) bike, 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) run. A Half Ironman is; 1.2 miles (1.9 km) swim, 56 miles (90 km) ride, 13.1 miles (21.1 km) run. A Full Ironman is the longest of traditional triathlon races and is the following distances; 2.4 miles (3.9 km) swim, 112 miles (180 km) ride, and a full marathon: 26.2 miles (42.2 km) run.

Triathlons are not necessarily restricted to these prescribed distances. Distances can be any combination of distance set by race organizers to meet various distance constraints or to attract a certain type of athlete.

In order to participate in a triathlon, an athlete is required to register and sign up for the actual race, usually this is done in advance but sometimes athletes can register the day of the race.

On race morning you will have to check in and pick up your swag bag and your race number, colored swim cap, and a timing chip. Volunteers will write your race number, age and distance on your arms and legs. The timing chip typically goes around your ankle. There will also be a bib number that you can either attach to a race belt or pin on your clothes as well as a number for your bike.

After registration is complete you should set up your transition area. athletes will generally be provided with a bike rack to hold their bicycle and a small section of ground space for shoes, clothing, etc. In a point to point triathlon, there are two transition areas, one for the swim/bike change, then one for the bike/run change at a different location.

Once you’ve got your transition area set up it is time to head to the pre-race meeting where athletes will be briefed on details of the course and rules.

The swimming leg is the first part of your triathlon experience. There are three types of swimming starts. The first type of start is the mass start. This is when all triathletes run into the water at the same time. In my experience this type of start has the most potential to cause swimmers to panic. Wave starts are more common in shorter races where a large number of amateur athletes are competitors. In wave start events smaller groups of athletes begin the race every few minutes. The final type of start is time trial starts, where athletes enter the water one at a time, a few seconds apart.

The swim course is usually marked off by buoys. There are kayaks and life guards out on the water for safety purposes. If you begin to panic or need to rest, you may stop if you need to without penalty. You may not use the kayak to assist in forward motion however. Make sure you wear the swim cap provided for the race, this will help make you visible to safety personnel.

After you exit the water you will enter transition one (T1). In T1 you will remove your wetsuit (if you are wearing one), cap, and goggles and pull on your helmet and cycling shoes. Make sure that you put on your helmet before you get on your bike!!

Remember, transition times count towards your overall race time, so you want to transition as quickly as possible.

After T1 it’s time for the cycling portion of the triathlon. Typically the cycling portion is on public roads and not closed to traffic. However, there is usually traffic control in place to help control traffic. The cycling portion of triathlon is my favorite! I would recommend that prior to race day you take your bike to the local bike shop to ensure everything is in working order and safe. I highly suggest that you have a seat bag with repair kit just in case you get a flat tire. It would be in your best interest to learn how to change a tire and practice before race day.

Once you’ve completed the cycling portion of the race, it’s off to transition two (T2). After getting off your bike you will enter the transition area, rack your bicycle, and quickly change into running shoes before heading out for the final stage.

There may be aid stations on the bike and run portions of the race, typically this consists of water or energy drinks. For longer distance triathlons there may be other food available such as coke, gummi bears, energy gels, etc.

The race ends once you cross the finish line! Typically there is a post-race party for all athletes. The celebrations vary from race to race but normally there are refreshments such as food and adult beverages. I’ve been to events where there was a band and raffles and other triathlon themed activities.

Next week I will talk about how to train for a triathlon.

Do you have any questions about triathlons? Anything in particular you would like to see addressed in more detail?