Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pre-race pig out

Tomorrow I am competing in the North shore Spring Triathlon. Therefore eating today had a specific purpose...fuel me through a good, fast race. For this to happen I must not eat any of my allergens (wheat, dairy, eggs, sulphites) and also get a good balance of protein, carbs and fat. Off the menu was anything too rich, too salty or too processed. I also needed to reduce fiber intake and anyone who has done any kind of race before will know why!

Cornflakes and Rice Milk
I don't usually eat a lot of cereal, not for any particular reason, but I had this in my cupboard and I am currently on a quest to eat through some staples to make room for some new foods. These particular cornflakes are Nature's Path and were good and crunchy. I prefer the french translation of their name though "Flocons de Mais". Sounds more glamorous. Due to my dairy intolerance I drink and use various types of milk substitutes, mainly rice milk or almond milk. I usually buy whichever one is on sale for 2 for $5 or whatever. I actually don't miss milk at all as the substitutes are really good and they are slightly sweet so perfect for cereal.


En route to pick up our race day packages, my co Tri-competitor and good friend MJ hit up Gen sushi on Lonsdale for one of our favourite meals. We both indulge in this treat at least once a week, sometimes together, sometimes separate, at various establishments around town. We are very spoiled to have so many to choose from here and they are all good and mostly very cheap. Today we decided to share some rolls so we could eat more of a variety. I do have my favourites but branched out today. We chose to start with tuna and salmon sashimi. This is raw fish and we ordered it with spicy sauce on the side. I love this dish as it is so clean and simple and of course, tastes delicious. Before moving to Canada I had really not eaten sushi and had zero desire to eat raw fish but just try and stop me now, I'm "hooked" haha!
The slices were pretty thick but we devoured them fast. MMmmmmMMMM. We chose 3 rolls to share. Avocado roll which is my absolute favourite roll. The avocado was particularly soft today, just the way I like it. We also chose Yam Roll which had tempura batter on it but it was such as small amount that I ate it anyway and hoped the allergy gods were being nice today. Usually a small amount does not cause a problem. Our final roll was one neither of us had tried before, mango roll. We enquired as to what was in it as you never really know from restaurant to restaurant what the choose to put in. This one contained mango, cucumber and imitation crab. It was a huge roll and was covered in a bright mango sauce and topped with salmon roe. It was really good and the mango sauce was very fresh and tasty and did not seem to have been sweetened at naturel. We were both suitably stuffed and then headed off to pick up our race numbers for tomorrows race.

Pan fried chicken breast with caramelised onions and cranberries
Served with sauteed zucchini and oven roasted herbed baby potatoes
Drizzled with honey garlic balsamic reduction

I've been waiting to try this recipe from Clean Eating for a while. I went to the store to get all the ingredients and got to work. The original recipe did not have any potatoes but I wanted to add some starch to boost my energy intake. I quartered the potatoes and mixed them with olive oil, dried thyme and rosemary and salt and pepper. Wrapped them in a foil package and baked in the oven for 45 mins.
While they were cooking I started on the onions which also take at least 30 mins to caramelise properly. I also put the balsamic drizzle on to reduce down. This was also an addition to the original recipe. It's really simple and goes well with fish, chicken and also as a salad dressing when cooled.

Balsamic Drizzle

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2-3 tbsp honey
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tbsp olive oil

put all ingredients in a small, heavy based pan and whisk together. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer 15-20 mins until it thickens.

Once the onions were caramelized, I added some organic dried cranberries. These are expensive but the sulphite level in non-organic dried fruit is so high that I get a reaction from it. I then pan fried the chicken and the zucchini and then assembled everything on the plate. It looked good but was a quite labour intensive meal. The balsamic reduction and onions both need regular stirring and then I had to keep and eye on the chicken to make sure it didn't burn. But, it was so yummy and all the flavours went well together. The sweetness of the balsamic reduction off set the tartness of the cranberries and complimented the onions which weren't quite as caramelised as I would like but I got impatient waiting and caved. As I stood over the stove stirring and sauteeing, my thoughts went to tomorrows race and I started to think about how it will all be over by this time tomorrow. I'm sure I will be smiling whatever happens in the race.

Today's chocolate of choice is Lindt Intense Mint. It's a dark chocolate and I put it in the fridge as usual. I prefer the texture change and I tend to eat less when it's chilled. So far I have eaten 2 squares but I'm looking longingly at the fridge door knowing what is just behind it is beckoning to my taste buds and can only add to my race day energy, right?

My final food thoughts of the day revolve around breakfast tomorrow. I need to eat a good breakfast but not too much that I will be too full, especially important seeing as the swim is first up. I will leave home at 7:30 am but the race does not start til 9:10am. I'm leaning towards oatmeal with honey and banana...carbs all the way, baby!

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