Pancake tower

Pancake towerI love pancakes! And I don’t like to restrict myself of things I enjoy, I just try to take a recipe and adapt it to meet my needs. These are my post run brunch special. I like to add the protein powder and to make my tower really big with a lot of toppings that it normally always falls over. The most important step in this recipe is the instagram post.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds/linseeds
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp sweetener (maple syrup, honey, agave syrup, 2 dates soaked in boiling water till soft and drained)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • Optional: 2 tsp protein powder (Vital http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/antibiotics/ chocolate protein is my favourite)

Toppings

  • Berries
  • Banana
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Maple syrup, honey
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Anything!

Method

  • Combine chia seeds and water in a small dish, leaving for 5 minutes to form a gel. (Here, you can replace this step with an egg if you choose to)
  • Peel and mash the bananas, add the oat, chia gel mixture, cinnamon, sweetener stirring until a batter is formed
  • Heat a non-stick pan and place coconut oil over medium heat
  • Add 2 tbsp of mixture and cook for 1-2 minutes before flipping. Repeat with remaining mixture
  • Stack the pancakes to create your tower or leaning tower of Pisa. Top with your desired toppings, take a picture, post to instagram, enjoy

Mexican burritos

Mexican burritosI love Mexican. It is my favourite cuisine. I always make it way too spicy for my Dad but me and my brother enjoy it so I just top his with extra yoghurt. I think this is a really fun way to present it but by no means do you have to do that. You can just use the wrap as a wrap and roll the mixture up. I like to have my ‘cup’ with some salad on the side. This meal is my post-race meal especially in the colder months. The bean mixture can be made in a mass and used over pasta, rice or in a buddah bowl.

Bean Mix Ingredients

  • 2 cans tinned tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp paprika, turmeric, cumin, ground coriander, garam masala
  • ½-1 tsp cayenne pepper or chili (if you like heat)
  • 1 can mixed beans, drained and rinsed
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2-3 big mushrooms
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • Wholemeal wraps

Toppings

  • Avocado with some lemon squished in
  • Salsa or hot sauce
  • Greek yoghurt, sour cream, cheese
  • Fresh coriander
  • Grilled corn
  • Lime slice

Method

  • Preheat oven to 160 C
  • In a bread tin place the wraps so that they sit in the tin and form a cup shape. Place in oven
  • Place a pan over a medium heat with coconut oil and add onion and garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes
  • Add in mushrooms and sauté until they begin to soften
  • Add in spices, tins of tomatoes, beans, tomato paste, salt and pepper
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes until it’s thickened and smelling awesome
  • Remove wraps from the oven. They should be able to stay in their shape when removed from the tin and crispy around the edges
  • Put bean mixture into the wrap cups, top with your choice of toppings and enjoy!

Buddah bowl

Buddah bowlThese bowls are so much fun. Really calling them a Buddah bowl is code for ‘whatever we have in the fridge’. I make this a lot because there is really no wrong way to go and it’s easy to make combinations that everyone can enjoy!

Ingredients

  • Sweet potato, chopped in chunks
  • Red cabbage, roughly chopped
  • Carrot, grated
  • Beetroot grated
  • Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Cooked rice/quinoa
  • Broccoli, any veg!
  • Turmeric
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • Hummus
  • Tahini miso turmeric dressing
  • You could also add some boiled eggs, meat, tofu, fish

Method

  • Place sweet potato into the oven at 180 C for 30 minutes. I like to bake my potato fry without oil but if you like it a bit moister http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/blood-pressure then add some oil.
  • Place drained chickpeas onto a baking tray and sprinkle with some turmeric, cayenne pepper, salt or any spice you choose. Roll them around to pick up all the spice and flavours and also place in the oven with the sweet potato for 20 minutes or until crispy.
  • Steam any vegetables or prepare other veggies you have decided to use
  • Place cabbage, beetroot, carrot and cooked grains, additional veg into a serving bowl
  • Add sweet potato and chickpeas when ready
  • Top with hummus, tahini dressing or your own versions! This bowl can be anything!

Smoothie bowls

Smoothie bowlsFor me as a plant based runner I use smoothie bowls to focus on getting lots of nutrition in, especially with greens. The colour may be a bit off putting but you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and I think you will be surprised. Again, you can make it however you want.
I would normally have this to start my day on a rest day or if I have an easy morning to enjoy.

Smoothie base options

  • 1-2 frozen bananas
  • ½ cup frozen spinach
  • ½ cup frozen berries
  • Chunk of fucumber
  • 1-2 sticks of celery (include some leaves; they have a funny flavour but a lot of nutrients)
  • Mint
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Chunk ginger, peeled
  • Green tea leaves (just empty a tea bag here to get the benefits)
  • 2 tsp greens powder (I use Vital Greens)
  • 2 tsp protein Powder (I use Vital protein)

Liquid

  • Water
  • Coconut water
  • Milk, plant milks, almond milk etc.

Toppings

  • Nuts and seeds, extra berries/banana, cacao nibs, granola, coconut, chia seeds. Anything!

Method

  • Place all the base ingredients you choose in a blender with a liquid (I like my smoothie bowls thick so I don’t add so much liquid. Just add until you are happy with the consistency). Pour or scoop into a bowl and make your design with your chosen toppings!

Dhal

DhalThis has become my Dad and brother’s favourite dinner. It is so easy, filling and we nearly always have these ingredients lying around. I really enjoy this on the colder nights and when I really just want to put something in a pot and walk away… I think we all know this feeling!

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (you can buy a pre-made mix but be careful of the salt content! Or use a combination of ground cumin, turmeric, ground coriander, cayenne pepper, pepper, salt)
  • 700 ml water
  • 200 g red lentils
  • Optional: extra chilli, fresh coriander
  • Cooked rice/brown rice/quinoa
  • 200 g fresh cherry tomatoes
  • Steamed vegetables (broccoli, snow peas)

Black bean, brown rice and sweet potato burgers

I live with my Dad and my Brother, and I don’t want to freak them out with making dahl everyday all day and salads so I try to find a balance by taking something they really enjoy (a pizza, a burger) and replacing it with a vegetarian alternative and making sure they are satisfied as well as me (I imagine this the same as having kids 😉 ).This dish was perfect and so wholesome! I would eat this the night before a big training day or race. It’s full with good carbohydrates and good flavours, so also good for recovery!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups steamed mashed sweet potato (about 2 large sweet potatoes)
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups cooked brown rice* (or sub cooked quinoa with http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/antidepressants/ varied results)
  • ½ cup almond meal or I used oat flour
  • ½ cup finely diced green onion
  • 2 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper (to taste)

Method

Add all ingredients to a mixer and allow it to form a doughy consistency. It doesn’t have to be all mushed up I think it’s nicer tohave some whole beans or big bits of potato, but that’s me!

Create burgers and place on a baking tray with baking paper.

Place in oven at 170 degrees for 30-45 min depending on the size of the patties, flip after 20 mins.

Serve with some bread or with a salad, some avocado, more veggie and a big jug of water. So easy and the rest can freeze for the next days.

Nori seaweed wraps/salad tacos

Nori sweaweed wraps, saladThis is one of my all-time favourite meals at the moment. I make this base salad nearly every day. I use this as my lunch or dinner after training as the salty miso dressing is really nice and including the turmeric helps with the inflammation on the body. I enjoy the different textures of the salad and making the taco/seaweed rolls is really fun and forces me to slow down when eating. If I need something faster I will just put the dressing on the salad and enjoy like this.

Salad

  • 1 chunk of red cabbage roughly cut
  • 1-2 carrots, grated
  • ½ beetroot grated
  • 2 cm ginger, grated
  • Nori seaweed sheets/cos lettuce leaves—or both!
  • Anything. Make it more filling with some quinoa or rice, add some tuna/tofu, etc.

Place in bowl- ta da! you can make this salad and prepare a big batch for other meals to save time.

Dressing

  • ½ cup tahini/ nut butter
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • A few cracks of black pepper
  • 2 peeled garlic clove
  • 2 tsp red miso paste
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup boiling water* as much as you want for the correct consistency you enjoy

Chickpea base pizza

Chickpea base pizzaThis has become my signature meal. I make it at all my camps and in my home a lot because it’s quite easy to meet most diet requirements… and everyone loves a good pizza! I make this for dinner and usually I will pre-prepare the bases during the day in between training sessions so it becomes less preparations in the evenings.

Base (makes 2 pizzas)

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (also can be known as Besan flour)
  • 0.5 cup water
  • crack of salt
  • I like to add some spices to make it a bit interesting—cumin seeds, curry powder

Toppings

  • Base: tomato paste, hummus (see recipe below), turmeric miso dressing (see recipe above), crack some salt on top and have plain with dip!
  • Veggies: anything!! Mushrooms, kale, tomato, capsicum, chilli, roasted vegetable, meats
  • Finishing touch: cheese, nutritional yeast, herbs

Method

  • Mix all the base ingredients together, stirring to remove lumps and creating a thick batter. Place baking paper onto an oven tray and spread the mixture thinly. Place in the oven at 180 C for 15-20 minutes or until cooked and slightly browned (if using for a plain bread to go with a dip or as a cracker you might like to cook for extra time to crisp up a little more).
  • Take out the pizzas and add your toppings
  • Place back in the oven for 10 minutes (or if using cheese until it melts)
  • Remove and enjoy with salad!

Love backpackers

I love that it puts a random mix of people in a room together—people that have taken their own path, endured their own challenges and are searching for something completely different to you; but somehow you find yourself in the same spot in the same dorm at the same time. I embrace these moments of other people’s company that you may never have interacted with otherwise.

Dad introduced me to this way of traveling. Cheap living, surrounded by only the basics, but the essentials and communal kitchens… yet another story.

I found myself at the Queenstown Base back packers the other week and it opened my eyes. It was a last minute desperate booking after mucking up a previous booking. I was in a room with 11 guys all around my age 20-24 years old.

I quickly remembered that I don’t lead the life of a normal 20-year old. As I looked around the kitchen that night I saw people eating Nutella on wonder white bread, box noodles or cereal for the 4th time that day; there I was chopping up some cabbage, beetroot, salad with tahini and spices… ok, so I am picky with my eating and love to cook in a way most adults will never understand. That night I went to bed at 9.00 P.M. (yes, I know), reading my book when the guys came in, got dressed, and said they’d be back at 3-4 A.M. and up at 7:00 for work the next day… WHAT?! Talk about endurance of another kind.

When I saw some of them the next day we talked about what bought them to Queenstown. For some it was escaping home in Europe and exploring the unknown Southern hemisphere, some it was for work, some it was to trek and some it was meant to be a short trip that has landed them bunny hopping backpackers as they seek work to apply for a visa to continue their stay. When asked what I was doing in Queenstown? It seems http://premier-pharmacy.com/product-category/hair-loss/ silly but I wasn’t overly looking to be known as “that crazy runner” so I simply replied I was here to see the mountains and explore…

The next day I was checking out at 10 A.M.. At 7 A.M. I walked out of the reception with flask in hand and dressed to run. The guy at the reception asked where I was running “up Ben Lomond (a 18 km 1500 m run up the local peak), I’ll be back for checkout”, the reply “mate, that’s an 8 hour hike, you’ll be charged for late checkout” … At 9:30 A.M. I walked back in, smiling, sweaty and slightly proud of a new PB on the mountain… I handed in my key and pillow case with a smile.

A few days later (after the Shotover Moonlight Marathon) I had 12 new messages to my Facebook athlete page. All 11 guys from the room I was in, plus the receptionist had found me on Facebook, asking how my race went and apologising for not understanding the early nights and finally remarking that they didn’t realise that “seeing the mountains” meant fast by foot. They then offered to show me Queenstown’s night life now that I was done (little did they know it wasn’t quite the end). This meant the world to me… people from two totally different walks of life, “living” in two completely different ways but now connected from those 2 nights in Queenstown backpackers.

I encourage anyone to take a chance and stay in these places, talk to people, find out about their stories and share your journey (perhaps leave out the distances). I left the backpackers with a realisation of the unique journey I am on and how different life could be. I wouldn’t change a thing, even if it meant barely sleeping and helping one of the roommates who stumbled into the room with a torn ACL at 2 A.M. (but that’s another story)…

Be open. Embrace the journey. Learn and share.

9 Dragons 50/50 Hong Kong

9 Dragons Promo shotSeeing the world and exploring what is out there is my ultimate goal in life. Am I searching for something? Not necessarily, but I always come back with something—something intangible, something that inspires me and challenges me to learn and grow.

My most recent trip to Hong Kong opened my eyes in a few ways, I found some motivation out there that has given me ideas for the future. I was in Hong Kong for the 9 Dragons 50/50 multi day race. The race consisted of a 50 mile (80 km) race starting on the Friday at midnight followed by a 50 km race starting on Sunday at 7:30 A.M..

I was in Hong Kong two years ago, and I was aware and pre-warned that there were a lot of stairs however, I was dumbfounded by just how many stairs are in Hong Kong itself let alone out in the mountains. I had 2 ways I could have raced, 1) go out hard and try to hold on or 2) go out easy and reserve enough energy to push home—I chose option one and suffered the consequences, but found a respect for myself for acknowledging the pain and loving the feeling of giving everything.

I may not have won the race but it was a win for my mental state and win for gaining strength. I found something I wasn’t really looking for. On the trip home, I watched a documentary on the plane called “overfed and under nourished” about obesity in Australia. I thought back to my time in Hong Kong and how little I saw of obese people and I thought about the food I ate and watched others eat, the food that filled the menus.

This year I have started strictly following a vegan diet, no animal products and am enjoying the challenge of travel with this diet restriction (if it is a restriction) and as it turned out it’s not uncommon amongst the people on this Island. The things I noticed: http://www.montauk-monster.com/pharmacy breakfast is savoury with fruit to finish (noodles, vegetables, soup, chilli, herbs, meat/fish or tofu, rice, raw salad, eggs). This seemed crazy to me and not in my upbringing, but from a nutritional view-point it had everything: carbs, fats, protein, veg and fruits.

Matcha is as common as sugar. This high concentrated green tea is full in antioxidants and turns things into a green masterpiece— breads, cakes, coffees, muffins, even spaghetti. It seemed like the way we add chia seeds to everything to look healthy and then double the price, but matcha is also served as hot tea around Hong Kong and served with meals.

While there is no denying that the Hong Kong diet features heavily on meat it also uses beans and legumes. Soy in the form of tofu is the main source of vegetarian protein but red beans are used in savoury and sweet deserts giving nutrition to something that may have completely been referred to as empty calories or junk food.

I went to two well-known vegan restaurants: Mana and Home—Eat slow, live fast. It felt like another Melbourne café with sweet potato wedges, kale smoothies, turmeric lattes, falafel burgers but with some more local options of rice bowls with sesame seeds, meat/tofu, fresh veg, pickled veg and herbs and sauces to bring it to life… in Melbourne this would be a super food bowl, in Hong Kong this was just some of the local inclusions.

I love that I can combine my love for running and my love for food, together I can experience a country to its full potential and be consumed in their pride and culture. I am so lucky to have stumbled into trail running, to find new friends that enjoy trails, enjoy new foods and cuisines that can show and teach me different things. I enjoy challenging myself and my beliefs, exploring and being constantly amazed at what I find when not looking and truly love to bring it back home and share.

Tahini, miso and turmeric dressing (TMT)

I use this a lot for dinner and lunch dressings. It’s so nice, so easy and different! I love it also with falafels and roasted veggies and rice. I have also use paprika instead of turmeric and it’s still yummy and slightly spicy.

Makes 1 ½ cup, and lasts ages!

  • ¾ cup tahini
  • ½ cup hot water
  • 3 tblsp red miso paste
  • 1 tsp of turmeric
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 tblsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blitz until smooth. Transfer to a jar and place in fridge ready for use. It sometimes gets a bit thick from being cold so add some hot water to liquefy it before using it. So tasty!

Hummus

HummusI have a jar of this always in the fridge. Pre- or post run some hummus on a piece of bread, cracker or with some veggies makes an easy snack and packs a lot of nutrition!

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
  • 1-2 peeled garlic
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp Tahini
  • ½ lemon juice

Method

Place all ingredients in blender and blend till smooth. Serve with chickpea flatbread, crackers, chopped up veggies, in your buddah bowl.

Sweet potato and pumpkin bread

Sweet potato and pumpkin breadThis is a really nice alternative to bread. I enjoy this pre-run or post run with avocado and some lemon, hummus and tomato,
or peanut butter and banana. It is a dense bread so you don’t need so much of it!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups grated sweet potato or pumpkin or a mix!
  • 1.5 cups of any flour (spelt, oat, rye, oat)
  • Some spices: I use cinnamon, cumin, paprika, turmeric, thyme—½ tsp each
  • Optional: ½ cup nut (I have used walnuts which is yummy) this adds a nice change in texture!
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarb powder
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds or linseeds
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¾ cup water
  • Salt & pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 180 C, and prepare a bread tin with baking paper
  • Combine chia seeds, apple cider vinegar and water. Let sit for 10 mins (it will form a gel)
  • Add everything else into a bowl (sweet potato, flour, spices, baking powder, salt and pepper, bicarb powder and nuts if using)
  • Combine bowls, stirring well
  • Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes