Monday, February 28, 2011

Marathon Training Guide

I have attached the marathon training guide that I personally use. This is the 18 week guide before a marathon. I will run another marathon July 4, 2011. To train for that. Ill repeat weeks 12-17 twice and make sure I follow week 17 and 18 the two weeks before the marathon. Please- before training for any endurance event- see a doctor. You should have a physical done to make sure you are able to run (and most people are).

1cross3 m run3 m run3 m runrest6cross
2cross3 m run3 m run3 m runrest7cross
3cross3 m run4 m run3 m runrest5cross
4cross5 m run9 m run5 m runrest15cross
5cross5 m run10 m run5 m runrest16cross
6cross5 m run8 m run4 m runrest17cross
7cross5 m run9 m run5 m runrest12cross
8cross5 m run10 m run5 m runrest13cross
9cross5 m run8 m run4 m runrest15cross
10cross5 m run9 m run5 m runrest16cross
11cross5 m run10 m run5 m runrest17cross
12cross5 m run8 m run4 m runrest12cross
13cross4 m run9 m run5 m runrest18cross
14cross5 m run9 m run5 m runrest20cross
15cross5 m run10 m run5 m runrest22cross
16cross5 m run8 m run4 m runrest15cross
17cross4 m run6 m run3 m runrest8cross
18cross3 m run4 m run2 m runrestrestra

If anyone in the Sacramento area is looking for a training or workout partner, please contact me.

Allagash White

As I write this, another winter is almost past, and with it, another American Beer Month draws close, July to be specific. What’s that you say? You didn’t know July was American Beer Month? For shame, dear reader! After all, what better month than July, those in which we celebrate the founding of our great land, to call attention to the great diversity and wonderfully wide range of flavors that American craft brewers offer in their beer. With the end of winter near and spring lurking, I have the dream of lazy Sunday afternoons outside a pub or floating around a swimming pool (ill bring the beer Robye and you provide the pool). 

For my part, I’ll be enjoying some great domestically brewed beers all month. One that stands out among the many is the one I’m sipping now, Allagash White from Portland, Maine. It’s a great American interpretation of a classic European style, and it really puts the white in the red, white, and blue to sip something so delicious and know it was made in the USA™. Hey, not everything is made in China these days.

Allagash White is styled after those wonderful Belgian “Wit” (white) ales, the most celebrated of which is probably Hoegaarden White. Wit beers are made with a good percentage of wheat in the mash, and this makes them very refreshing and thirst quenching. If you like German styled Hefeweizens in the hot summer months, you’ll love wits as well. Of course, the Belgians are known for their eccentricity, and thus they add spices to their wheat beer: coriander and Curacao orange peel. You will also find these in Allagash’s wonderful white.

I have enjoyed Allagash White on draft at places like Manderes and Sports garage in Folsom. They have bottles at Burger and Brew, 55 Degrees and Holding Company, and lounge on 20 in Sacramento, Ca. I DO NOT recommend lounge on 20- it’s snooty and filled with douche bags you can also get it in four-packs at Bev-Mo, however, or even in corked 750ml bottles (like the one I’m drinking from tonight). No matter how it is packaged, Allagash White is always a treat. It’s great in the hot weather of American Beer Month, but don’t worry: you can enjoy it every bit as much in December (White Christmas?). Or demand a glass in March- like I plan on doing all month the ability to drink such a wonderful beer as this is, after all, guaranteed by the Bill of Whites.

Allagash White pours to a cloudy yellow-white color with a thick and rocky head formation. A steady stream of bubbles rises from the bottom of your glass as you drink, and as the liquid recedes with each sip a generous layer of Brussels lace is left clinging to the sides of the glass. The nose suggests spicy fruit and tart wheat.

When you sip, the palate releases a burst of flavors across the mouth like a detonating firecracker. Tart wheat forms the stage of the beer against which strong notes of orange, suggestions of fresh berries, and hints of coriander all make their appearances. The finish is rather tart with crisp wheat and a slight hop bitterness that leaves the beer appetizingly dry.

This is a perfect beer for simple summer sipping; it’s also wonderful with a light salad of fresh greens and assorted other vegetables. I personally like to pair this beer with orange tofu and rice, yum. But the absolute best time to sip an Allagash White? Why white now, of course.

Vegan Snickerdoodles

My favorite cookie is the snicker doodle. This fluffy and crunchy, sugary, buttery delight is a treat from the gods. If snicker doodles were around in the 1600’s I’m sure the Spanish would have conquered the country of origin and used them as currency (I would have). I made about 300 of these god like cookies over the holidays and gave them as gifts, brought them to parties and forced them upon my coworkers.
This recipe is quite simple. If you’re a vegan baker of any type, you already have these ingredients. If not, you might need egg replacer. You can buy it at your local co-op, store or Amazon.  I buy mine from the Sacramento Food Co-Op.
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Earth Balance (or other vegan butter)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Prepared Ener-g Egg-Replacer Egg
1 1/2 Cups Flour
1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Cinnamon Sugar, for rolling
Cream sugar, Earth Balance, and vanilla extract together. Prepare the Ener-G Egg by following the package instructions, and add it to the Earth Balance and sugar mixture. Mix all the ingredients together. Do all of this in a METAL bowl.
Whisk the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. When they are all incorporated, mix into the wet ingredients. Slowly mix together until a nice firm ball forms. Cover the metal bowl and chill for 30 minutes. Put two cookie sheets in the refrigerator.
Pre heat oven to 375 (adjust temperature based on elevation).
Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop out a ball of mixture. Roll the mixture into a ball and roll in the cinnamon and sugar mixture. Place on cold cookie sheet and slighty flatten. Repeat this step about 18 times!
Bake the cookies for about 10 minutes. Immediately remove from cookie sheet and place on a cooling rack. Cookies are best served the next day.
For an additional treat- heat up a cookie and serve with a scoop of coconut milk vanilla ice cream.

Vegan Enchilada Pie

The dish below is very similar to something you would expect to find in a carnivores home (less the cheese) but it is vegan. This is one of my favorite dishes to make for friends who think vegans only eat leafy greens and vinegar.  I recently made this for my best friend of 25 years (and she is a meat and cheese devotee) - she and her carnivores boyfriend LOVED it.
Remember- when making many vegan dishes, the goal is to eat well! Don’t be so focused on making a vegan dish look and take like a non vegan dish. Once you do that, you will be able to open you mind (and stomach) up to another level of food!!
Vegan Enchilada Pie

½ Large red onion chopped (1 small onion)
1 tbs minced garlic
4 tbs olive oil
1 package soyrizo
1 package vegan ground beef
1 tbs Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 red bell pepper (chopped )
1 small can green chilies
1 can tomato sauce (12-16 oz)
1 can vegan enchilada sauce (or you can make your own)
10 corn tortillas
1 can vegan re-fried beans
1 can olives (chopped)

In a large pan or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions, red bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes and cook until peppers and onions are very tender and have absorbed most of the spices and oil. Next add the soyrizo, vegan ground beef, garlic, green chilies and cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes.
When the mixture is almost done, heat the beans and mix with ¼ can of water, the beans should be slightly soupy but still hold their form.
In a large baking pan, oil the sides and put a small amount of the mixture across the bottom. Cover that with a layer of corn tortillas. Now create layers of tortillas, small amount of beans, and mixture. Create about 3 layers with the final layer being a small (and final amount) of the mixture. Pour the can (small can) of enchilada sauce on the top of the dish. Shake the dish about, so the sauce works its way into the pie.  Spread the chopped olives all over the top
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes covered and an additional 10-15 minutes uncovered. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
I like to serve mine with cilantro and vegan sour cream. Yummo!!
You can add “vegan cheese” if you like, but it is not needed. This dish has so many flavors on its own that the cheese would over poser it.  

Friday, February 25, 2011

Vegan Beer

Beer sweet beer, how you always make me happy when you touch my lips..mmmm…. But, in order for that beer to make it that far, it must be vegan. Many beers today are not vegan or vegetarian. Beer, in its most simple form is made up of four simple ingredients water, malt, hops and yeast. Once the brewing process starts, that is where the trouble can begin.  Many non-vegan items are used in the final stages of brewing.
Here is a list of the most common animal products that are used in brewing:
·         Isinglass – Clarifier that is very common in brewing. Comes from the dried swim bladders of fish. Almost all cask conditioned ale uses isinglass as a clarifier, although it is more common in England than the U.S.
·         Gelatin – Clarifier obtained from the skin, connective tissue, and bones of animals. Typically taken from cattle and frozen pigskin.
·         Casein/Potassium Caseinate – Protein found in cow milk used as a clarifier.
·         Charcoal – Used for filtering. A portion is usually produced from animal bones.
·         Diatomaceous earth – Used in filtering. Comes from fossils or sea shells.
·         Insects – Made into dyes and used for coloring.
·         Glyceryl monostearate – Animal derived substance used to control foam.
·         Pepsin – Also used to control foam; it is sometimes derived from pork.
·         White sugar – Flavor additive often whitened using bone charcoal.
·         Albium – Refers to any protein that is water soluble. Most common type in brewing is serum albumin, which is taken from animal blood.
·         Lactose – Beers labeled as sweet, milk, or cream stouts may or may not contain lactose.  Sometimes the description refers to the texture and not the ingredient.  It's best to double check these to be sure.  Milk chocolate is common in certain styles, but some so-called "chocolate" porters or stouts actually contain no real chocolate at all. Some malted barley is called "chocolate malt" simply to describe the flavor the roasting imparts.
For a complete listing of vegan friendly beers, you can visit and as always- use your best judgment and contact the brewery.
Vegan Friendly (just a few): Alaskan Brewery, Allagash Brewing, Anchor Brewing, Chimay, Doe Equis, Kona Brewing, Lost Coast
Non-Vegan Friendly (just a few): Madcap Brewery, Newcastle Brown Ale, Pacific Coast Brewery, Red Stripe,

Again- these are just a few (and some of my favorite)….too bad about red stripe =(

Indian Spices

I love Indian food and Indian spices. Here is my favorite “curry” spice mixture. This is my go to spice mix
1 part Coriander
¾  part Turmeric
2 parts Chillies
½ Cardamom
1 part Ginger (fresh)
1 part Cumin Seeds
½ part Fenugreek (ground leaves)

When I first started cooking Indian style foods, my biggest obstacle was the spices. I found an amazing website the breaks down many spices (origin, use, taste, etc). This website is one of my weekly visits:

Vegan Stir Fry

Vegan Stir Fry
I love to make stir-fry. It allows me to clean out my refrigerator at the end of the week and mix up all the aging vegetable in my crisper. This recipe can adapt to whatever you have on hand. If you change up the vegetables, remember to cook harder vegetables first (carrots, potatoes, etc).
    Brown rice or Rice noodles or a base of your choice
    ¾ pound fresh broccoli (left in medium sized chunks)
    3 tablespoons each  Sesame oil and Chili Oil
    1 tablespoon ginger root
    ½  cup onion, chopped
    2 green onions, chopped (separate the green and white bits)
    4 carrots, chopped (big bites)
    2-4 cloves garlic, pressed
    4 heads bok choy
    2 tablespoons Tamari
    3/4 tablespoon red pepper flakes
    salt and pepper to taste


Prepare the rice according the package directions.

Heat oil in a saucepan. Sauté ginger, onion, green onion (white bits only), broccoli, bok choy, and carrots for 3 minutes. Add the garlic in the last 30 seconds.

Add remaining ingredients and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the bok choy, carrots, and broccoli. The pan should have lots of onions, garlic and super tasty liquid. At this point I add the rice and fry the rice in all the yummy goodness.
I paired this dinner with a nice bottle of Pilsner Urquell

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Vegan Carob Muffins with Frosting

I made carob cupcakes with fluffy vanilla frosting for a good friend’s birthday. I knew I would be the only vegan at the party, so the cupcakes needed to stand out. I took a basic vegan chocolate cupcake recipe and made it my own (carob, with other changes)…I have attached the version I made. Oh- and yes—they were a big hit.

  • 1 cup coconut milk (NOT from the can- they type you would put on your cereal)  
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil and havelnut oil mixed together (total of 1/3 use more canola)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup carob powder  
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Preheat oven to 350°F and line a muffin pan with paper or foil liners.

Whisk together the coconut milk and vinegar in a large bowl, and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. Add the sugar, oil, vanilla extract, and almond extract, if using, to the coconut milk mixture and beat until foamy. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, carob powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add in two batches to wet ingredients and beat until no large lumps remain .
Pour into liners, filling 3/4 of the way. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Carob muffins are best served the next day after a full 12 hours of rest.
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
  • 1/2 cup non-hydrogenated margarine (earth balance)
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted if clumpy
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup plain soy milk or soy creamer
Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat for about 3 more minutes. Add the vanilla and soy milk, and beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.
Once I made the frosting, I put it in a large zip lock bag- I cut of a small corner and decorate the cupcakes!

Happy Baking

Vegan Nachos

Okay- there are a few things I LOVE- running, beer, and nachos.....Does being a vegan mean no more yummy nachos?? NO WAY!! Follow this recipe for quite a filling treat:

"Nacho Cheese"

  • 2 cups water (use the water you soaked the cashews in)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 4 ounces pimientos
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast flakes (or omit)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Soak the cashews in 2 1/2 cups of water for 8-12 hours (or overnight). This will soften the cashews and make the nacho cheese creamier.

  • 1 Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until completely smooth.

  • 2 Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and whisk constantly over medium heat until thickened, about 5 to 6 minutes. This will stick, so keep whisking.

  • Now the FUN part. Stack up a pie dish with a base layer of chips. Add warm black beans and a small amount of "cheese"- add more chips, beans and "cheese". Place in a broiler for 2 minutes. Add your favorite toppings, I use:  Green Onions, Avocado, Jalapeno (fresh and jar), red onion, cilantro, tomatoes, olives, vegan sour cream.....the choices are endless.

    You can skip the "pie dish" if youre not making a big sharing plate! This is also fun to put all the items in small bowls and let your guests enjoy your "Vegan Nacho Bar"

    Have fun and go crazy! This is best when paired with an nice ICE COLD lager! Yum


    Hey Sacramento Friends! This is my first blog, but it is long overdue. This blog will be my little piece of the new to share my favorite vegan recipes, restaurants, places to run, and just about anything else on my mind.