Stuff I Like (And Paid For*)

 

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Introducing a new segment called Stuff I Like (And Paid For*) *not always retail. I include that I paid for it because athletes tend to say nicer things about those items they receive for free.

You’re reviewing WHAT? This edition of Stuff I Like (And Paid For*)*not always retail features a cookbook.  What that has to do with bikes and boards you’ll soon find out…

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The Feedzone Cookbook. Available at Amazon.

The Feedzone Cookbook by Biju Thomas and Alan Lim solves a few current problems I have identified in my life.  You see, due to the bikes and boards portion of this site I often find the need to eat. Lots.  In fact one might argue I only do any of those activities as a license to eat.  But I don’t like to eat crap (all the time). The baby situation presents the second dilemma: it needs to be simple and again, not crap.

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A Feedzone pasta dish featuring walnuts, bleu cheese and a mustardy dressing. Made with pre-cooked pasta – FAST!

So we’ve all been to Pineterest. It’s a wealth of great ideas for delicious dishes that are advertised as “so fast and easy” etc.  The thing is, many of the shortcuts popular on these sites are really not much shorter than making things from scratch. They often involve a lot of pre-prepared items that play host to hidden sodium and fat.  Other times they cut corners that take away from the taste.  In the end I’m willing to do a little more to eat something that is healthy and also tastes good.

Another HUGE pet peeve of mine is recipes that have not been tested. That’s why normally I stick to Alton Brown, America’s Test Kitchen and Cooking Light; they seem to test out their claims as well as write decent instructions. They are based in science and tested, but those recipes aren’t always aimed at the segment of the population who burn a second person’s daily calories working out.

Enter the Feedzone.  The focus of the book, written by veteran cycling chef Biju Thomas and renowned cycling physiologist Alan Lim PhD, is to provide recipes that are simple enough for a bachelor bike racer to make, mostly from scratch, taste good and are above all healthy.  A word of caution, though: most of these recipes are intended for people who are active endurance athletes, so there is a little more fat allowed. If you love to play outside, read on.

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That awesome granola that costs $5 a bag. Made from scratch for pennies.

The book is divided neatly into sections for each part of a typical training day; breakfast, ride food, après, dinner and the all-important dessert.  The breakfasts are aimed at those going out for long or difficult training and the après meals are what the rest of the world might call lunch.  The “portables” section caters to those of us who just can’t bring themselves to eat one more pre-packaged energy bar.  This section is so awesome they are about to fill orders for their second book on only this subject.

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Two kinds of “Portables” rice bars; one with fig and honey, the other with chocolate and peanuts. Neither one will freeze in your pocket or work out your jaw.

What I love about the book most is that the recipes are clean; the ingredients are few and tasty, and the meals leave you feeling full but not stuffed.  Brilliant touches like a vegetarian and gluten-free options for most recipes allow anyone to eat from this book.  They also do an excellent job of explaining the “why” behind the nutrition (because they thought these recipes through) and offering tips on how some of the items can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated or frozen. Because who wants to come home from a five-hour thigh-burner and cook a meal from scratch?

Also featured in the book are some instructions on how to make basic items like pizza dough and pie crust.  An “on hand” pantry list included makes it easy and economical to have staples on hand so that your shopping list is short even for a week’s worth of meals.

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Banana Rice Muffins. Great for before, during and after long hours. Also a great midnight snack while up feeding hungry babies.

I cook almost every night from one of three books and various internet sources, but by far this book is the most used.  And this is one of the “Stuff I Like” that I paid RETAIL for.  You can too here.

Although the book was written as a result of experience with cycling, it lends itself to just about any activity that involves burning fat.  In addition to using the book for meals, I powered my longer ski races on the portables and never once had that bloated, sugared out energy bar feeling.

Stay tuned for their next installment; a book only about “portables” pocket snacks for during activities. And check out Skratch Labs for a nice clean-tasting hydration solution that won’t break your bank or belly.

 

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