Figs Figs Figs Late summer in SoCal means the beginning of delicious fig season. While some of my friends are gutting it out on long Ironman training rides in the 107 degree heat, I’m instead riding short coastal and having time to clean my office. And the garage. And go to dentist. And get new tires. And….. troll Becky’s garden for figs (thanks Becky!). You can find figs earlier in the year, but they are never as sweet as you’ll find them in August and September.  And let’s face it, un-to-barely ripe figs are just plain lousy. I made a quick vegan appetizer of sweet Mission Figs, Kite Hill Chive “Cream” Cheese and Shiitake “Bacon” (see below).

Black Mission Fig with Cultured Almond "Cream" Cheese from Kite Hill, Shiitake Bacon and Chives

Black Mission Fig with Cultured Almond “Cream” Cheese from Kite Hill, Shiitake Bacon and Chives

The Only Two Reasons almost that I’ll shop at Vons 1) Thai Basil I use to drive all the way down to Ranch 99 before I discovered that the Vons carries it in their organic herb line. Perfect for Pad Thai, Lettuce Wraps or spring rolls. 2) Loose Blue Potatoes—I love using these on a crudité plate for a pop of color. Unfortunately, my go-to food market (guess who?) only carries them in tri-color packages.

Steamed and cooled Purple Potatoes lend a lovely Indigo color to crudites plates. And the world never ever has enough Things Purple. Never.

Found at a conventional grocery store--who knew?

Found at a conventional grocery store–who knew?

Choice Juicery Truffles Solana Beach’s Choice makes their own almond milk and repurposes the almond pulp into delicious, not-to-sweet truffles rolled in cocoa nibs, hemp seeds and coconut. Also don’t miss the cold pressed beet and chia juice.
6 pack of deliciousness-Almond Pulp, Almond Butter, Dates, Cacao Powder, Himalayan Sea Salt , Coconut, Hemp Seeds and Crushed Cacao Nips

6 pack of deliciousness-Almond Pulp, Almond Butter, Dates, Cacao Powder, Himalayan Sea Salt , Coconut, Hemp Seeds and Crushed Cacao Nips

Ooey-Gooey Cheese sampling at Not Vons #WFMDelMar Nothing like starting your morning (post coffee pre breakfast) with some high-test cheese. It’s rare that I’ll eat any dairy products and whether it’s my palate’s training from years as a working as cheese buyer or the high level of where the bar sits in my comprehensive FOODWORLD; it’s got to be a really good cheese in order for me to indulge–no ghetto cheese for this gal! When I do, I like the stinky, barnyard-like, soft-ripened, oozy, drippy ones the best. Brooke, Cheese Department Star over at my local WF, had put out a couple of samples including Jasper Hill’s Harbison from Greensboro, Vermont (which is nothing to compared to the days that the WF cheese department lays out a whole spread-yep, that happens from time to time).
Here’s what Jasper Hill has to say about Harbison.
SENSORY NOTES  – Harbison is a soft-ripened cheese with a rustic, bloomy rind. Young cheeses are wrapped in strips of spruce cambium, the tree’s inner bark layer, harvested from the woodlands of Jasper Hill. The spoonable texture begins to develop in our vaults, though the paste continues to soften on the way to market. Harbison is woodsy and sweet, balanced with lemon, mustard, and vegetal flavors.
PAIRING AND SERVICE  – Harbison is a great excuse to gather a few friends and scoop into a decadent treat. When a bit younger, the bark can be peeled away for sliced portioning. If the bark has fused with a more loosened paste, then the best approach is to leave the bark intact and spoon out portions from the top. Pair with oaked white wine, or barrel-aged sour beer. Fruit mostarda and crusty bread make nice accompaniments.”
Jasper Hill, Vermont go get me a spoon!

Jasper Hill, Vermont Cheeses……now go get me a spoon!

HU Chocolate Geoff just returned from The Big Apple where his hotel was coincidently located across from the Chelsea Whole Foods. He brought back an assortment of dark chocolate bars including a couple from Brooklyn-based HU. One was a Salty Chocolate and the other (not pictured) was stuffed with almond butter and puffed quinoa. Sweetened only with Coconut Sugar, these were a hit. I was so intrigued that I rooted around on Google and discovered that HuKitchen not only makes chocolate bars, but runs a café. Their food philosophy is, for the most part, aligned with mine. Maybe I’ll have to travel to Brooklyn one of these days.
I sooooooo wanted to eat the whole thing.........

I sooooooo wanted to eat the whole thing………look Heidi, it’s “Paleo Vegan”!

Primal Pit Paste I’ve been using a variety of crap deodorants for 35 years and as I’m starting to fine tune the smaller #findinghealth areas of my life (for the record, this is what female athletes 45 years plus spend their spare time doing–bettering the minutiae in hopes to slow down the aging and injuries and speed up the racing).  Admittedly,  my deordorant choice hasn’t always been the best.  Just as I’m starting to stress about my pit slick choices;  Julie turned me on to Primal Pit Paste; a blend of organic oils, butters, aluminum-free baking soda, arrowroot and essential oils and none of the bad stuff found in conventional deodorants (including aluminum). I tried it out during a series of hot summer days and absolutely love it.
Shiitake Mushrooms from Farm Fresh To You Best quality shiitake mushrooms and best price. I buy about a pound each week from FFTY and use them from everything from stirfries to Shiitake Bacon. Here’s the skinny on Shiitake Bacon: Thinly slice Shiitake caps. Toss with Olive Oil and Salt. Bake in 350 degree Oven for about 30-40 minutes. I usually open the oven door and let any steam escape about 15 minutes into the cooking process


.............And after!

………….And after!

Meanwhile, back in the training world, I was able to add in some biking this week. Have to say, after an almost 3 week hiatus, my 38 mile coast ride felt like a Great Western Loop climb.
Bikes 4 sessions (3 indoor)  Who knows how many miles beyond 38?
Swim 17,300 5 sessions
Core 40 2 sessions. But with Alona so that counts as seven or eight–yes, her classes are THAT hard
Looking forward to adding in some pool running next week. And to some more Fun Foodie Finds