White Bean Salad

White Bean Salad, page 129

"Grilled bread salads are easy last-minute items that can accommodate most any good hearty leftover bread." That is the first line in the description of this recipe. Thank-goodness it's 100% true. I made this one evening, after a hot and humid day, serving it with millet saladBoth were delicious and great as leftovers for a couple of days to follow. 

When I see artisan breads on the day old rack at the grocery, I toss them into my basket and then in the freezer at home. As a lover of bread, but no longer able to eat it, I find joy  in making sure my boys have good bread to accompany many dinner meals. I had most of the items the recipe called for and pulled a loaf of bread from the freezer. No trip to the grocery required! 

What do you do with the peel of the lemon after you have juiced it? Save it for zest? Compost? Toss it in the garbage? I cut mine into smaller pieces and put them down the disposal. They kinda make a loud grinding, clunking noise to begin, but then the lemon aroma fills the air. I love that. Sometimes I even cut up a lemon just to make the kitchen smell lemon-y and I'm sure that the lemon juice cleans the disposal better than chemical cleaners, right? Humor me, answer yes. Thank you.

We are headed into a stretch of triple digit days in the Ozarks and I plan to make more salads, drink chilled wine and much water. I find the heat effects the way I eat and what I eat. Does this happen to you?

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: Notta
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: I used more carrots, didn't use onion or red pepper flakes, used romaine lettuce, because that's what I had on hand and extra parmesan. Most always, extra cheese.
What I'll try next time: I'd like to try it with the onion. Maybe this week, since all of my boys will be away. I have no onion haters here and no one to kiss with onion on my breath. Sounds like a plan.
How it Scored:
Jonathan: 4
Elliott: 3
Chas: 0 (like the millet salad, he wouldn't try it. I think he made his own dinner this night. Stinker.)
'becca: 4.5 I had mine over lettuce, making it GF. Yum!


Race Weekend & Popcicles

I'm still in a life is moving too fast funk, but I promise soon I'll get out of it. I have 5 or 6 recipes reviewed to share. I've been flying solo in parenting, as Jonathan has been across the pond with KAAC. The boys raced this weekend, but I didn't. Hindsight 20/20, I'm not sure how I could have pulled it off. I guess I'd have trusted the triathlon community to make sure they were OK hanging out and cheering while I raced. But I didn't and I parented and cheered for the TTR kids. It was the right choice. I'll race in a couple of weekends and they will too. It's a family affair and we love it. 

Here are a few photos of the fueled by The Feed Zone and sweating Skratch boys: 

 Elliott placed 2nd in the 11-12 age group. Way to go!
A big CONGRATULATIONS to Brock who raced his first triathlon this morning and did well! Proud of you and excited to get the chance to race with you one of these days. Also Congratulations to my FF, Richard, who had his best swim ever in a triathlon. Way to go pal! The Wednesday swims are not only fun, but are paying off. Proud of you FF!

Popsicles} Good Humor was a sponsor of the races this weekend. Guess what that means? Sour Patch Kids Popsicles for everyone, until they are gone. I guess they were out of Skratchsicles?

Chas said he races triathlon for the ice cream and Popcicles at the finish. He's so awesome, I love him, his honesty and outlook on life.
Why do you race triathlon? Cycle? Run?


Pork Green Chili

Pork Green Chili, page 181

I shared yesterday that life has been busy, really busy, the past few weeks. Finding myself with my head barely above water a few times, I also found heart thankful. Realizing this once again: When you are living life in a community you love, you may be fighting to keep your head above water, but really, it's unnecessary. Why? Because that community, family, will carry you to shore. They will be the calm, the close, the support.

I fully intended to fix the boys and their favorite gal pals the recipe on page 208, but when there was no yeast in the pantry, I had to change plans. I didn't want to head to the grocery again, so I made a not so summery, on the first day of summer chili. It was filling and delicious and when we added a bit of sour cream to the kids bowls and cilantro-mint yogurt sauce to mine, it gave it a hint of summer. 

How will you celebrate this day? What will you eat and drink? Who will you share it with? Where will you share? The kids, mine and the Beard girls, and I celebrated with a trip to Sonic for 1/2 price milkshakes and will soon jump in the lake. I will take the kids to do their Triple Threat Racing open water swim workout, then enjoy a cool drink on the deck with their momma. She's one of my favorites and one I spoke of above...a calm. a close. a friend. Thanks Amy for carrying me to shore. 

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: Pork to cube, fresh chilies & red beans
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: Subs...Ground pork for cubed pork, canned chilies for fresh, white beans for red Adds...Bragg's, apple cider vinegar, extra chili powder and cumin
What I'll try next time: I think it would be great with cubed pork, although the ground pork worked well.
How it Scored:
Amelia: 5
Gillian: 5
Chas: 1
Elliott: 5
'becca: 5



Hi there and happy final day of Spring. Life has been busy, extra busy. For the past couple of weeks our weekends have been spent at races working as volunteers or as participants, this weekend will be no different. We have entertained family visitors from out of town, I have been on 7 or 8 field trips with the boys, but we have still managed most meals around the table.

Only, they have not made it here to share.

Summer begins tomorrow and I am looking forward to her slow pace. It is my hope to share a new recipe tomorrow. It's the last day of school for my boys and time to celebrate!


Millet Salad

Millet Salad, page 278

The first time I purchased millet I thought of birds. Millet reminds me of bird seed. This spring I made a muffin recipe from another favorite cookbook, Super Natural Everyday, by Heidi Swanson. I took them to an early morning soccer game to share with the parents. Because they contained whole wheat, I'd not tried them and when asked how they tasted I replied, "Well, I am not sure, but they probably taste, um, healthy? They contain millet, so I'm calling them my healthy birdseed muffins." To which a few people chuckled and bit into the muffin they were holding. Healthy is a good description, one person noted and the others, enjoyed them, one even asked for the recipe. 

With healthy and songbirds on my mind, I approached this recipe. I prepared the millet in the morning and allowed it to cool on the cook-top for the majority of the day. I was also preparing the White Bean Salad, page 129, for dinner the same evening. The two complimented one another, making a nice light choice for a hot and humid southern night in June. I also chilled a bottle of Pinot Grigio. There is something lately about white wine. It must be the warm days, because typically white is not my choice, but it was this night and as the days become increasingly warmer I'm sure it will be again. 

We ate this salad as a side dish that night, but the following day I put it in a tortilla for Jonathan as part of his lunch and I ate it inside a piece of lettuce, Turkey Lettuce Wrap style. Although it was a light and refreshing salad the night I fixed it, I found it to be even tastier the following day. This would be a fantastic dish to take to a picnic with friends. It can be enjoyed on the side, as the main dish and who knows, you may even have song birds show up, hoping you accidentally trip over a tree root, spill your plate and share with them. 

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: Chives
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: Because I didn't have chives and I have mint growing in the yard, I used fresh mint.
What I'll try next time: I'll cut the recipe in half. 
How it Scored:
Jonathan: 3.5
'becca: 4
Elliott: 2
Chas: 0 (wouldn't try it)


Egg & Chorizo Sandwich and Beet Juice

Richard is one of my most favorite people in NWA. His heart is big, his words are encouraging and ladies he's available. He drops by our home "African Style" (unannounced) and my family is always so happy to welcome him. He works at the same company with Jonathan and has become a dear friend not only me, but my family. My mom and dad, sister and brother all know him and love him too. But he's MY First Friend.
The picture to the right was taken at the finish of the Branson 70.3 & Sprint race (l-r: Dirk, Richard, me and the Duck). Where else but Branson, MO do you cross the finish line and are greeted by a "Ride the Ducks" duck and Saloon girls? I had to get a picture of 1 and passed on the other. This was my 3rd triathlon and had it not been for his encouraging words, I may not have made it past my first. Thanks FF, you are the best! 

Cooking and Eating through The Feed Zone readers...Welcome Richard!

Below are recipes as cooked by myself that come straight from ‘The Feed Zone Cookbook. I gotta admit, since my BFF ‘becca Nimrod mentioned it, I have been hooked on this book. The food is amazing and simple to create. Plus, I’m a bit of a ‘rule follower’ so I like following the recipes.  And it sure beats the “food guideline” that I have been following for the past year of BORING food. Lets dig in.

Egg and Chorizo Sandwich, page 48

Kitchen Action: So this one appealed to me because I have done breakfast sammiches before. This one is interesting because it used chorizo. Which I have not cooked with before. And I’m Hispanic! Meh.
Anyway, if you are looking for chorizo in the store, it is near the refrigerated dough and yogurt. Makes no sense to me but that’s where it is. Because I thought it would cook like a breakfast sausage, I made patties out of it. When it hit the pan, the chorizo separated due to the fat and was more like a chorizo crumble. Oh yea, this is gonna be good.

Lacking in pantry: nada
Additions/Substitutions or method changes: For ‘rustic bread’ I used a loaf of neo-tuscan boule. Also added cheddar cheese and cilantro that I had from the night before. On the poached egg, I actually like it when the yolk is gooey and sopps up the bread. So good.  The bread had chorizo, egg yolk, melted cheese and cilantro in it. Oh wow…
What I’ll try next time: Make more of it! Once you toast the bread, place the chorizo and egg on top. Its magic.  Always good with beet juice (see below) and a mug of freshly roasted TTR coffee.
How it scored (1 low – 5 high): 10. No really.

Beet Juice, page 113
Kitchen Action:  I’m a huge fan of juice. I bought a Breville Juice Fountain about 4-5 months ago and have been ‘on the juice’ ever since. My favorite has always been apple-orange-carrot-ginger so trying a new juice was a bit of an adventure for me.
Lacking in pantry:  Nothing. After picking up beets and a few other items from the Bentonville Farmer’s Market, we are set.
Additions/Substitutions or method changes:  Subbed the apples for oranges because I had oranges. A lot of oranges. Still tossed in 3 apples for sweetness but the gala apples here are really small. Had to kick it up a notch. And few stalks of celery because they were sitting in the fridge. What the hay!
Also, the only change I made was to make more of it. I am not a fan of juicing daily just from a cleaning the machine and counters and cabinets and floors perspective. So I juice weekly and fill a jug so I can just pour it out as I need it.
What I’ll try next time: nada nada
How it scored (1 low – 5 high):  4.98. I give it a near perfect score because it is a great juice and I can definitely notice a difference when drinking or not drinking beet juice The 0.02 miss comes from the fact that the beet turns your hands and your pee red. Sorry, had to subtract something for that.


Chicken and Bacon Hash

Chicken and Bacon Hash, page 67

Another peek into my kitchen...tools. I recently purchased a few new ceramic knives and really like them. We have been eyeballing them for months and on a recent trip to TJ Maxx Jonathan noticed them on the shelf. We need knives. Good knives are something we have not purchased, but tend to buy inexpensive and replace too often. We are hoping this will end the repurchase for quite awhile. Not ceramic, but also from TJ Maxx...my peeler. Why use a black gripped stainless peeler, when you can have one shaped like a bird?  Are you kitchen tools consistent? A mix? Ancient? What is your favorite?

It should come as no surprise, we have another near perfect dish from Dr. Lim and Chef Biju. I didn't have much time to prepare dinner, as we were headed downtown for First Friday in Bentonville. I knew there were funnel cakes and corn dogs, turkey legs, kettle corn and cupcakes ready to be purchased, but if my boys had full bellies when we arrived they would be bit less tempted. 

As I thumbed through TFZ & read the ingredients for Chicken and Bacon Hash, I had what I needed and just enough time to prepare. As a whole, we are not fans of white potatoes and I rarely have them on hand, but sweet potatoes are a different story. We love 'em. I had 3 pans going at one time, then placed them all together at the end. Quick, delicious & we had full bellies as we headed downtown. I did however give into warm kettle corn. Somethings I simply can't resist.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: white potatoes
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: Sweet potatoes for white, red onion for yellow or white
What I'll try next time: I will make the romesco. I didn't have time and also was lacking too many ingredients. I'll make this again and when I do, I'll plan ahead.
How it Scored:
Jonathan: 4
Elliott: 4
Chas: 4 (the bacon & chicken were his favorite)
'becca: 4.5

Tomorrow breakfast from my FF's home and hopefully soon a post from my friend Kathy's Kitchen too. She received The Feed Zone in the mail today, but made this recipe last night. I shared it with her. Her family loved it as much as we did, but her only question was if the recipe amount fed my family. I told her I doubled it, at least doubled it. Maybe I tripled the bacon part.

Oh and you must check THIS out from @swimbikerunguy's Instagram photos. I don't know what he calls them, but I'm calling them Skratchsicles. I think from the conversation credit needs to possibly be given to @TeamCrankAddict. Fellas? And while I have your attention, @swimbikerunguy, when are you going to be a guest here?


Bacon Potato Cakes

The Feed Zone hits Northwest Arkansas 
 Bacon Potato Cakes, page 52

I'm so excited that this is finally happening! Brock, is cooking and eating his way through The Feed Zone too. I'm telling you, the athletes in NWA are giant FZ fans. He snaps way more photos than I and calls me Rebecca. He properly chose his family and a movie over bike hill repeats, will become a triathlete in just a couple of weeks and you need to follow him on Twitter. Welcome Brock!

 I accidentally discovered Dr. Allen Lim while looking on YouTube for an energy bar recipe. I never found the one that I thought was suitable or easy to make.  What I did find was Dr. Lim making boiled parmesan potatoes. Along with that I became fascinated with sports nutrition and began my search for healthy, natural (as possible), easy to make food that would make me healthier and fuel my new addiction of multisport.   Along the way I found a blog by Rebecca Nimrod called Cooking and Eating my way through the Feed Zone.
     After reading a few of her posts and thinking I had found the answer to all of my nutritional and fueling questions I purchased the cookbook.  I followed Dr. Lim, Rebecca, Biju, and Skratchlabs on Twitter almost immediately after creating my account @TeamCrankAddict. A few tweets later here I am guest blogging with Rebecca.
     Coincidentally, Rebecca and I live a short distance from one another and yesterday she offered to kick my butt (my words) while doing some hill repeats on the bike.  I didn’t bite, pardon the pun, my son aka Agent J, my wife Agent O, and I had a date with Men In Black 3.  But when I got home I began cooking on page 52.
     I like to gather all of my ingredients for what I’m cooking and have them in front of me so I don’t have to do any last minute searching.  Prepping the potatoes is pretty easy.  I washed and peeled them as you would if you were making mashed potatoes.  They were sliced and cooked on the stove top.  

    While they were cooking I prepped all the other ingredients and sautéed the onions on the stove. I like my onions more firm than most, and knowing they were going to be cooked in the dish itself I basically just warmed them up on the stove top. I also like a lot of onion but held back knowing Agent J was going to critique my work and he’s tough!
     I prepped the eggs and bacon and when the potatoes were done I mashed them in the pot I cooked them in. When you do this you want to leave some small chunks so that you’re not completely mashing the potatoes.
     When all of this is completed you combine all of the ingredients into a bake safe dish and bake.  My oven (gas) takes a little bit longer than most so I always add 5-10 minutes to the cooking time depending on the dish, so adjust accordingly.
    When they were done I checked by placing a long knife in the center and it came out clean so I knew they were done.  Now the fun part…eating!  I cut small pie like pieces because my baking dish was round and served it warm.  This dish was great!  I added sour cream on mine because that’s what I had on hand but you could also use a low fat or non- fat plain Greek Yogurt. I love cheese so I also added cheese to mine. If I have an excuse to add cheese to a dish I almost always do.  Enjoy!
('becca Rebecca speaking...I Love this picture. Sorry Brock, but the kids most always win. He's darling!)

Kitchen Action:
Lacking in Pantry Amazingly I had all the ingredients.
Additions subtractions or Changes: I replaced the “normal” bacon with my normal bacon which is low sodium (25% less) Turkey bacon. I prefer this and when cooking you can’t tell the difference so I try to go with the healthier option.
Try Next Time:  I would use a shallower pan or dish so that I could get the edges and bottom crispier.
How it scored: Agent J, who we all cater to, gave it 9 out of 10. As for me it was a solid 8. 


Tuna and Broccoli with Noodles

Tuna and Broccoli with Noodles, page 148

This was a quick dinner and is easy to throw together if you are in a time crunch. I believe it would take a bit longer if ahi were used, instead of canned. Unfortunately I did not have ahi and the grocery did not have it available when I stopped to pick up broccoli. I chose a 12 oz can of solid albacore, not chunk tuna. This provided the dish with large sections of the fish. 

Although the egg noodles in the picture on page 149 looked delicious, I used rice noodles, making it GF. Many times I will fix two different sets of noodles, but my boys no longer seem to notice the difference, making dinner a little easier and also less dishes to clean. 

This was a filling dinner which we enjoyed, not around the table, but on the deck. That seems to happen more and more as the days grow longer. 

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: Ahi steaks
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: Extra onion, garlic and broccoli and a splash of apple cider vinegar, because I cooked the onions a little too long.
What I'll try next time: I'd like to try it with ahi
How it Scored:
Elliott: 4.5
Chas: 3
Jonathan: 4
'becca: 4.5

Has TFZ hit your community - triathlon, cycling, running? It certainly has here and I'm excited to begin sharing from some kitchens in the area. Here's a sneak peek...

The Feed Zone hits Northwest Arkansas
from the kitchen of my FF

It's a beautiful day in the Ozarks. Coffee has been drunk and breakfast eaten, boys off to school and my husband is at the office. I'm off to spend most of the day out of doors. Trails with DandyDog, hills to bike, track workout to run and flowers to plant before I head back to the kitchen. Happy Tuesday!


Biju's Oatmeal

Biju's Oatmeal, page 34

In our family oatmeal has been an acquired taste. Jonathan only eats old fashioned made on the stove top and not sweet, the boys like instant oatmeal from the packet, maple brown sugar only and as much as I like them, they do not like my belly, therefore I fix, they eat.
Knowing this recipe has both  brown sugar and molasses, I've hesitated fixing it for Jonathan as part of his breakfast. I didn't use the full amount of sweetness, which isn't much, but I did add a little. I'd say, about half.
I measured the raisins exactly...'becca style, by a handful, but was out of bananas. I topped it with almonds, dried cherries and a few more raisins, then served it. Jonathan enjoyed it and said it wasn't too sweet, but he still prefers the way I've fixed them for years. The boys had egg, bacon and bagel sandwiches that morning, not in the mood for oats.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: banana
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: half the amount of brown sugar & molasses, added dried cherries, almonds and raisins to the top
What I'll try next time: leave out the sweets, making it the same way I have for years.
How it Scored:
Jonathan: 3.5


Quinoa and Vegetable hash with Eggs

Quinoa and Vegetable hash with Eggs, page 64

I followed this recipe...almost. I didn't measure the olive oil exactly. Who does? And maybe I used a little more than 2 cups of sweet potatoes. I like 'em. BUT, the rest of it I followed. I lied. I didn't measure the parsley either. 
 It took me longer than 10 minutes to prepare this, because I didn't have pre-cooked sweet potatoes. I peeled, cubed and cooked them in the morning as I was making the dish. Taking longer in the kitchen, simply meant I had more time for coffee. Speaking of coffee, check THIS out. Cool? I'm pretty pumped about it and can't wait to have some in my possession tonight.
 Once the potatoes and onions were finished, I mixed in the remaining ingredients and finally the quinoa. As it finished cooking, I cooked the eggs in a separate pan. I served it to Jonathan and the boys. Jonathan said it was "an African" breakfast. One you could eat, then go work all day, knowing you would have dinner when you returned. It's a meal which will carry you though the entire day. Quite a compliment, but I still sent him to work with a packed lunch.
Two mornings later, my time in the kitchen was limited, probably because I hit snooze, so I made left over quinoa & veg hash breakfast burritos. I left out the eggs. I just reheat the left overs, put it inside a wheat tortilla, warmed it on both sides and served them with a side of blackberries. Quick, easy and filling.

Kitchen Action
Lacking in Pantry: nothing
Additions, Subtractions or Method Changes: I didn't switch any, but didn't measure either.
What I'll try next time: I'll keep it the same.
How it Scored:
Jonathan: 5
Elliott: 3.5
Chas: turned up his nose
'becca: 4.5, I also ate it after a bike ride one day chilled and it was yummy then too.