Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Flavor Goes Fast for Many!

I spent this weekend traveling with my team to Fontana (east of LA) for the second national race of the season, so below is a combo of cooking for the masses / travel.  I got to coordinate and create the meal plan and shopping list for the team beforehand and as you can see, it definitely worked!  Everything was chosen mostly from Trader Joe's based on quality primarily but also keeping close focus on our tight budget. Here's my race report.
Lenny and Larry Double Chocolate Complete Cookie
This cookie takes the 'Complete' mantra and combines it with delicious chocolate-choclatey goodness.  More protein, no fake ingredients, no dairy, and not too milky not too bittersweet.  Just a chewy not crumbly well done cookie! Thoroughly enjoyed after a hard race. Now my routine post race fuel! These cookies are the original reason I was attracted to Lenny and Larry, they seriously are the best cookie you don't have to make yourself!
 Pre Race Dinner #2: Herb Lemon Chicken w/ Almonds, Leeks, and Olives
A variation of the race prep dinner i've been doing this season, changed for whats available and made in a mass quantity.  12 whole breasts of chicken with two leeks, a can of olives, and a bunch of almonds, in two baking dishes in the oven. Perfect flavor. So many delicious herbs complimented by crunchy leeks/almonds and topped with creamy hummus. Some more cooked vegetables to accompany, had to sauté instead of steam though due to the mass quantity. This was pre race dinner everyone racing expert (Juniors + Team Director Dario).
-Sauteed Rosemary Carrots
-Baked Herb Chicken (Dill Weed, T Joe's Every Day Seasoning, Basil), Leeks, Olives, Sliced Roasted Almonds
-Sauteed Broccoli
-Cucumber, Tomato, Hummus
-Brown Jasmine Rice, Wheat Tortilla
Mexi Leftovers
I got these leftovers together faster than ever before since the team was waiting to leave the house. Having my tupperware was crucial, and I just grabbed a bit of everything from our Mexi Dinner. There was a taco vendor at the venue so I even got to add fresh lemon, cilantro, and spicy salsa verde for free! I had no utensils so I ended up having to break a shard off of a plastic cup to scoop with. This was a pretty dialed meal for zero cost and no prep at all. On the last day we had similar lunches except with chicken, hummus, more vegetables, and tortillas as well from the 2nd dinner. They tasted so good! I will never get over the surprise of how tasty leftovers can be.
-Brown Rice, Salsa, Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado, Beans, Olives, Ground Turkey
-Cilantro, Lemon, Salsa Verde
 Breakfasts Down: Mass Oatmeal
The team's got experience cooking gargantuan amounts of oatmeal for breakfast. We went with plenty of sweet blueberries and bananas cooked in, and then I went some more delicious toppings.  Clean, simple, and solid. The true breakfast of champions. A little berry jam is the best sweetener! I also normally used raw almonds, but the dry roasted kind is definitely a nice change. Accompanied by the newest issue of Decline. Had the same breakfast on race day, just gobbled down in near darkness since we had to race at 8:00am.
-Oatmeal with Blueberries and Bananas cooked in
-Soymilk, Cinnamon
-Fresh Blueberries, Roasted Almonds, a bit of Blackberry Jam
Pre Race #1: Burrito Night
 Cooking for the team brought me three good lessons.  We used Brown Jasmine Rice since it cooks faster, and it was totally delicious. #1 It tasted closed to white rice than other brown rices, which I definitely like sometimes, and I also used a little too much water, but it made the rice keep in the fridge so much better (not drying out). We made such a large batch that we were able to use it again for the next two lunches and one dinner. #2 We also used ground turkey, which I've done before but don't usually use at home.  It was really tasty with plenty of Granulated Garlic, Salt and Pepper, just have to make sure to buy the leanest closest to white meat version you can find. A little more interesting and easier to digest than eating more beans for protein (less fiber in turkey). #3 We also used multiple different kinds of beans (so many cans!) and just mixed them all together in a massive pot, and they turned out really good on their own. It's hard to make a bad meal when you just combine all these delicious foods. This dinner was pre race dinner for everyone racing pro (the U23 Squad) on Saturday.
-Sauteed Ground Turkey w/ Garlic, Salt and Pepper
-Sauteed Onion w/ Salt and Pepper
-Brown Jasmine Rice
-Refried Black Beans/Pinto Beans
-Amy's Garlic Salsa
-Lettuce, Tomato, Avocado

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