A little over 4 weeks ago, I wrote a fairly whiny, ticked-off, transparent post about my first big race of the season going south due to an achilles strain.  It took me awhile to mentally regroup but I’ve finally managed to shuffle thoughts of racing to the back half of the season (TBD for now).  For three + weeks, I unintentionally dialed back my training (no races on the horizon, what was the point?), went through a PRP procedure and slipped into an almost mini off-season.

Every cloud has a silver lining, right?  I’ve been cooking up a storm over the last month and as most of you know,  I focus almost entirely on plant dishes (On occasion, I’ll eat raw oysters, a little fish and high-quality eggs but I would tell you that 99% of what I eat on a daily basis comes from plants).

Below is a dish which I have made at least half a dozen times over the last three weeks.  A good source of protein, Tempeh is a fermented soy product. For all of you soy naysayers out there, take note of the following.  1.  Most soy has been genetically modified BUT if labeled organic; it hasn’t undergone that process (yes; I used “organic” tempeh).  2.  Through the fermentation process; the phytic acid is neutralized; so the mineral absorbtion that is usually stymied by soy’s phytic acid actually happens.

Wraps with a little extra Sriracha, Cilantro and Mint

Wraps with a little extra Sriracha, Cilantro and Mint

5 Spice Tempeh and Mushrooms in Lettuce Cups

Ingredients

  • 1 large Carrot, Shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Cilantro Leaves, Roughly Chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Mint Leaves, cut “Chiffonade” or thinly sliced
  • 1-2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Pound Assorted Mushrooms (I used a combination of Beech, Shiitake and Button)
  • 8 ounces Tempeh, cut into 1/4 inch dice
  • 2 Tbsp Seasoned Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 2 tsp chopped Garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped Ginger (I often use the Dorot brand–frozen cubes of chopped ginger–for ease and convenience)
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Tamari (wheat free Soy Sauce)
  • 1/4 tsp +1/8 tsp 5 Spice Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha plus more to taste (I used Organicville)
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 3 Tbsp chopped Roasted Peanuts
  • 3 Tbsp Black Sesame Seeds
  • 1/2 Cup thinly sliced Green Onions divided equally
  • 16 leaves Butter lettuce (a combination of large and medium–save the small leaves for another salad)
Sauteed Beech and Shiitake Mushrooms

Sauteed Beech and Shiitake Mushrooms

Method

  • Combine the Carrots, Cilantro and Mint in small serving bowl and set aside
  • In large skillet or wok, heat Coconut Oil over medium-high
  •  Sear 1/2 of mushrooms until they are nicely browned (about 4 minutes). Remove from pan and hold on a plate or bowl.  Repeat with second batch.  You might need additional oil for second batch
  • Deglaze pan with Rice Wine Vinegar. Add Tempeh, Garlic and Ginger and cook for 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium
  • Add Coconut Sugar, Tamari, 5 Spice Powder and Sriracha. Cook until Sugar is melted and coats the Tempeh; about 2 minutes.  Add back in Mushrooms and heat until all ingredients are hot; about 1 minute
  • Turn off heat and stir in Sesame Oil, 1 Tbsp Peanuts, 1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds and 1/4 Cup Slice Green Onions.
  • Build your own lettuce wraps (Unless you are a labrador, think that 2-4 for a light appetizer; 4-8 for a meal for proper portions) by placing some of the Tempeh-Mushroom mixture in the center of a piece of Lettuce. Add a little bit of the carrot mixture, green onions, peanuts, sesame seeds and/or more Sriracha.  Roll up and enjoy!  Most nights I served these with a side of Coconut Brown Rice (sub out 1/2 the water with full-fat coconut milk and add garlic to cooking process; top with more cilantro and green onion just before serving)

One of my fun, new workouts is M-O-B-I-L-I-T-Y for 20 minutes a day (I even log it into Training Peaks so that I feel better about my training hours). I’ve upgraded my foam roller to a midevil torture device a “Battlestar” and am working diligently on ankle and hip flexion.  Hopefully this new routine will get be back on the roads faster (although I’m at least a month out from running).

Workin' the calves. And the hamstrings. And the hips. And the spine. Not as satisfying as running but hopefully it will get me back to it sooner

Workin’ the calves. And the hamstrings. And the hips. And the spine. Not as satisfying as running but hopefully it will get me back to it sooner

This past week, after a couple of productive conversations with some very wise people, (Coach KP included) I  found myself back to being highly motivated to train.  Bring on the biking and swimming but hey, let’s keep it fun. So what do a couple of injured triathletes (a-hem Julie) do for a friday ride when there are no races looming on the horizon?  Why, ride their bikes to Stone Brewing, have lunch and ride back, of course!  Bonus: Stone has both a Kale Salad and Brussel Sprouts on their current menu.