Archive | September 2014

Vegetable Korma

Veg Korma

This month’s recipe is a vegetarian take on an Indian classic. It is super easy to prepare and while flavorful on its own, its mild spice leaves room for some ingredient experimentation. The addition of extra spices here shouldn’t hurt and using a curry paste, rather than a powder, could add some additional flavor, along with some heat.
While putting your own twist on this dish, take pleasure in knowing that most of the ingredients here are very beneficial to your health. In addition to this korma being composed almost entirely of vegetables, certain components stand out here, such as garlic, ginger and the spices making up curry powder for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.
The recipe serves six. I recommend serving it over rice or with a side of naan.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
3 carrots, sliced
2 medium potatoes, cubed
1 red pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger root, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
¼ cup cashews, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 14-ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup green peas
Juice of 1 lemon
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Heat the oil in a skillet and add the next four vegetables. Cook at medium-high heat, stirring often, for about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, jalapeno, cashews and curry powder. Continue stirring together for another 3-4 minutes.
Add the tomato sauce, coconut milk and green peas. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
Turn the heat off, add the juice of the lemon, the cilantro, and season well with salt and pepper. Stir together well and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes to allow all of the flavors to develop.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 235 / Fat: 14g / Saturated Fat: 2g / Carbohydrates: 28g / Fiber: 5g / Protein: 7g

Recovery Drink

Recovery Drink

Finding the right recovery drink can be tricky. While there are many on the market these days to choose from, not all provide anything more than a little electrolyte replacement with a lot of sugar and artificial flavoring. One ingredient that is missing from most of the recovery drinks sold in stores is sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. This alkaline substance, most often used to put out fires and kill odors, has also been shown to counteract the buildup of lactic acid in muscles that have been overtaxed during endurance events. Try this cocktail below after bouts of intense cardio and see if you can tell a difference in your recovery and muscle stiffness.

Ingredients:
4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons honey or agave
2 tablespoons lemon, lime or orange juice

Preparation:
Simply combine all ingredients in a bottle and shake well until mixed.

Homemade Fruit and Nut Bars

Fruit and Nut Bars

This month’s recipe requires minimal work and the payoff is one of convenience and great flavor. You can think of these bars as a homemade trail mix with the added step of mixing and baking. They are great to have around on the trail, in your gym bag or between meals when you need a nutrient-packed snack. They are a great source of protein and fiber and they lack the preservatives and other processed drivel of most store-bought fruit-and-nut bars.

Ingredients:
1 cup (9 ounces) pitted dates
1/3 cup dried figs
1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
1/3 cup dried blueberries
1 cup almonds, toasted
1/2 cup cashews, toasted
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
2 tablespoons oat bran
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons honey or agave

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
Puree fruit in a food processor fitted with the “S” blade until a sticky dough is formed. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until fully incorporated and nuts are broken up. Press mixture into pan.
Bake until center is firm and edges are golden, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut into 10 bars.

Nutritional Facts:
Calories: 210 / Fat: 8g / Carbohydrates: 36g / Fiber: 7g / Protein: 9g