Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Turconut and Spoodles

Today I was going to make some sort of stroganoff. The grocery store only had disappointing zucchini, so I left with only ground turkey in hand.
Luckily I had a huge sweet potato at home.

Sauté the turkey in a about 3-4 tablespoons of coconut oil.
Add in some garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, chive, oregano, salt, and pepper.

Peel the sweet potato.
Then keep peeling it, making ribbons if orange. Sauté these in some coconut oil as well.

When the Turkey has browned add some shredded unsweetened coconut.
Pour some chicken stock in the pan, along with just a touch of coconut milk.

When the sweet potato "noodles" have softened, and the turkey is delicious, plate and enjoy.

The family loved this.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Roast Chuck

You can make this in under 90 min.

Chuck Roast
Chicken Stock
Salt, Pepper, Rosemary, Parsley, Thyme, Sage, other random spices.

Sweat the Carrots, Onion, and Garlic
In a large, wide based pot.

When the onions start to become translucent,
Remove them from the pot and set aside.

Crank up the heat on your stove.  Really High.
Ad your chuck roast to the empty pot.
When one side is nicely browned, flip it and brown the other.
You want to sear the meat, to seal in the juices.

When both sides are browned, 
Add the veggies back in.

Then cover with Chicken Stock.

Bring the stock to a boil, then let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
After your 30 minutes, move it to a 400 degree oven for about an 45minutes.

Remove from oven, and Serve.
Along with steamed Cauliflower.

Chili Verde?

With Avocado Cream

Some leftover Pork
Chicken Stock
Green Chiles
Green Pepper
Sour Cream
Cumin, Pepper, Chili Powder, Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Onion Powder

Using Leftover Pork from whatever you made recently...
Mine happened to be some KickAss Ribs

Put it in a large pot and cover with Chicken stock.

Obviously only Homemade will work.

      When the meat begins to fall apart and the bones all come loose, 
remove the pieces and shred with a fork,
 then return to broth.

Gather your veggies and run them through the Food Processor Until they go from:

This....                                         To this.

I then put mine in a pan with some Olive Oil and spices,
and sauteed them until they started to get stinky delicious.
Stinky Delicious

Add them to your pot, and simmer anywhere from 1-8 hours, 
until it becomes a liquid consistency you can appreciate.

While your waiting, have drink, make a trailer for your kids PowerWheel, do some yard work, take a nap, brush the dog, clean the house, and change some diapers.

Oh. And get the kids to help make the Avocado cream.

Who Knows they might have Fun.... 
It's just a Ripe Avocado mixed with Sour Cream.

Serve the Chili in a bowl or large mug, with a healthy portion of the Avocado Cream.

Make sure to make Extra Cream, it really makes the Chili.
And leave some chunks of the Avocado in there, trust me...

Friday, October 7, 2011

2011 Summer Groove Adventure Race. Hardest/Best Race Ever.

On Friday the 30th of July I awoke at 5:30am. I showered, ate breakfast of Eggs and Bacon, then drove to work. It was a lightly stressful day at work, I left by 3:30pm, Home by 4.

Time to Shift Gears.
I am no longer, work Erik. I am now Race Erik. I Feast upon 2 Sauteed sweet potatoes, in coconut oil, and a can of chicken. Feeling quite full and anxious, I start to pack the car.
Bike, Kayak, Race Bag, 2 Totes, Cooler, Food, change of clothes, sleeping bag, pillow, and 2 Gallons of water.

Having double and triple checked my list, every day throughout the week, I am satisfied that I am fully packed. I kiss the wife and kids, and embark on my 1hr drive.
I have two freinds who are also in this race, Dwight, and Chris, they are set to arrive, at Ionia State Recreation Area, around the same time as I.
The drive is nice, I go slow, because I have never had the kayak mounted in this particular fashion before, but it seems to be holding nicely, at right around 70.

At around 6pm I arrive at the Rec. Area. I know I am real early, but I have planned for this, and try to take a nap, as planned.
I rock the seat back, open the windows, drop the hat over my eyes, and relax. Soon I realize that it is just too hot and muggy to sleep, and my anxiety is not helping at all.
By this time, some other racers have started to arrive there are between 3 and 5 vehicles in the parking lot, with all kinds of mountain bikes, kayaks, and canoes. I am constantly comparing my gear to the others.
Is my bike as good as theirs? Definitely not. Is my kayak as fast? I have no idea.

After people watching for a while, I decide it is time to unload.  I take down my bike, put the wheel back on, and true it. I check, brakes, shifters, pedals, lights, chain, and tire pressure. All seem adequate, I add a little air to the tires for good measure, after all it is easier to deflate than inflate. Bike Gear Check.  I make sure all my required bike gear is on my bike. Spare tire, Multi-Tool, Tire Levers, Pump, Helmet, Lights, and Batteries. All is present and accounted for. Lets fill that water bottle. I fill my bike bottle with a light mixture of HEED and Spring Water. I don't want it to get too warm, so I put it back in the cooler. Hey! There is a carrot in here, Lets Eat It!     Delicious.

More and more people keep arriving, but still no sign of Chris and Dwight, it is fast approaching 8pm. Oh well, they are not the most punctual bunch. Pulling in I see a Black Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, Full Cargo Rack on top, Giant CB antenna, Winch on the front and back, mild lift, aggressive tires, and a but load of thick rope. It pulls up next to me, I see the big burly driver of this rig emerge. He is all business. Black Cargo Pants, and Black T, I cant quite make out the print. He goes for a chat with the race director. I have to pack my bag.

I spread out all of the items I need to carry with me: Hydration Bladder, GORP, Jerky, Fruit Strips, First Aid Kit, Extra Socks, Sunglasses, Compass, Knife, Emergency Blanket, Long Sleeve Shirt, Glow Stick, Pencil, Note Pad, Cell Phone, Lighter, Epi Pen, Gloves, and HeadLamp.
First off I fill the bladder with a watery HEED mix, and slide it in. I love my bladder, The Osprey system is so easy to use. Then I place items I want to keep dry in ziplock bags, and pack it all in. I always try to pack my bag to be as flat as possible, and have no items that are loose and rattling, This way if I need to run, I am not annoyed by the jingle jangle of mixed gear. Small stashes of food in the waist pockets, and the rest in the Pocket at the top of the bag, easy food access is the key to staying properly fueled.

The Big Burly Brute is heading back to his Jeep, I can read his shirt now. Kent County Search and Rescue.
I think, this must be one hell of a race.

Finally, Dewey and Legard ( Dwight and Chris) show up, some hugs are exchanged, but then it is down to business. Lets go Register. We head down to the registration tent, sign in, and get our swag bags.
In our bags there are some random stickers, water bottles, some hammer gel, our race passports, team number signage, and a hat. Not a bad haul. Now that I am all packed up, I just hang around my buddies, eating carrots and avocados, while they prep their gear. We chat about past race experiences, and expectations of this one. We compare gear, and weigh the pros and cons of clothing choices, Pants vs Shorts, Long vs Short Sleeve. Typical pre race discussion.
We also discuss race strategy. Legard and Dewey, are racing as a 2man team. My partner ditched me. So I have chosen to race solo. There is no 3person division, So we decide that we will kind of all race together, each person contributing to the group. That sounds awesome. It sets some of my nerves at ease. After all a 15hr race is a long one, for your first solo undertaking.

Around 10pm I decide it is finally time to change clothes and prepare myself. I decided on pants, with a short sleeve shirt. After all, the lower portion of the pants zip off, so I can be wearing shorts in under 2 minutes. Time to prep my feet. My feet have still not completely healed from a 30+ mile hike about a month ago, and am worried about blisters. I put Moleskin, on top of Bandaids, on problem areas, I use Duct Tape, for potential hot spots, and do a liberal smearing of Vaseline over the entire foot. Wrap that all up in a SmartWool sock, and you have an awkard pair of feet. Hopefully this works.

It is getting close to time for the race breifing, a kind of still, anxiety fills the air. It is now dark, people are wearing headlamps, some people have lanterns on, and some are using car headlights, Everyone prepping, checking, adjusting, and double checking.
Legard and Dewey emerge from their gear prep, we meet in between cars, and notice we all have the exact same shoes. Team Green Salomon is born.

11:30 hits and we head over to the registration tent for breifing. I would guess there are around 30 teams, most of the people appear more fit than me. But isnt that always the case.
Our Race Director starts with an overview of the race. The disciplines will go as follows:
Night Orienteering, Night Single Track Mountain Biking, Night Road Biking, Canoe/Kayak, Ropes, Canoe/Kayak, More Ropes, Canoe/Kayak, Road Biking, Orienteering, Road Biking, Mystery Event.
I just think, that is alot of everything.
He mentions that there is alot of poison Ivy out there, and waits for a reaction from the crowd, there is none.
He mentions the abundance of Stinging Nettles, Everyone moans, I wouldn't have been surprised if I heard a scream. Our Race Director tells us that we will have to plot all of the 30+ Check Points using UTM coordinates.  We expected this...... But then he drops a bomb, he is only giving us 6 of the coordinates now. All other coordinates will be found at random checkpoints, and will have to be plotted on the fly.
Everyone is in awe. We have never seen anything like this in a race before, it seems ridiculous. No ability to Pre-Plan routes? Is he crazy?
They hand out the maps. They are all oriented funny, some landscape some portrait, some 8.5x11 some 14x19. Just awkward. The first thing I notice is that there are no points plotted on it period. I know he just told us there wouldn't be, but it is still a menacing thought.
He reads aloud the first 6 UTM coordinates. I thought they would be in order, CP1,CP2,CP3, etc...Nope.
Just random. He gives us 20 minutes to race start, everyone starts plotting franticly. Team Green Salomon scores a table, and we spread out. Luckily I came prepared with Markers, Highlighters, Ruler, and Plotting tool. Dewey reads off coordinates, while Legard and I plot, on our own maps, then compare, and make adjustments if necessary. I can tell immediately that teaming up was the right choice.
We have 3 of the 6 plots pointed when he starts the count down to race start.
10, 9, we obviously will be leaving late, 8, 7, 6 we find multiple errors, 5, 4, real late... 3, 2, 1, GO!!

Read my next blog post for what happens next.

Friday, September 30, 2011


I went for a run today. It has been a long time since I ran, and today I found out it has been too long.

I have been fighting a sinus infection for the past two days. I have tried everything to clear it up. Today's lunch consisted of a seranno pepper and an avocado. The pepper worked well, however only temporary.
Dinner was Thai Food. Hot. However, apparently not hot enough. Dinner was promptly followed by hanging my head over a bowl of hot steaming water. I burnt my lips.
None of this however seemed to clear up my sinuses and the new issue is I can no longer hear out of my right ear, too much pressure.

Well I am sure you are asking what this has to do with going for a run.
So I was lying in bed, trying to go to sleep early, as I have a big day tomorrow, not being able to fall asleep do to nasal congestion and ear pressure. Suddenly, I had an urge to run. Remembering how running in the past has helped to loose some mucus.
I put on my tights, and took off.

Immediately I thought this is a bad idea. Head throbbing, can feel my pulse in my ear and neck.
I pass the neighbors mailbox, feeling better. Another 20 yards down the road, and I feel the mucus draining. Hack, spit, relief.

Run, one foot in front of the other. Nonstop continuous pace. I reach the end of the cul-de-sac and I spy Socks, the neighborhood cat.

Now, at the end of our cul-de-sac there is an off spur, where they are trying to start another neighborhood. I have never really been down there before, and it is only about another 40yards, so what the hell. Socks decides to join me.
The pavement ends in a turn around, surrounded by weedy, woody mess of a field. I am about to turn around and notice, a path.
This path is peculiar, it is carved through the waist high weeds, and is entirely grass/clover covered, about 3 feet wide.
I pause for a moment.
Socks does that awesome cat thing around my legs, you know, when they weave a figure eight rubbing on your shins.
He heads for the path, as if to say, lets do this.

I start down the path, its nice, meandering like a stream through a valley.
Down, around, up, jumping over overhanging weeds,  round a tuffet of trees, and boom. I'm in someone's backyard.
Ok. Back. Jumping, down, around, and up.

Back to the street, Socks on my six.

One foot in front of the other. Rhythm of a clock. Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick.
Socks is gone.
Just me and the road, forgetting all about the congestion now. Still cant hear. Bummer.
I reach the other end of the road, plant foot and turn on a log.
Back, to the other side. tick,tock,tick,tock.
I reach the cul-de-sac. Socks is there, he just sits and stares.  I plant and turn.
Street lights are coming on now, a stiff breeze, and miscellaneous drops of rain bouncing off my forehead.
Sun is setting. Mysterious grey clouds shift above me. tick,tock,tick,tock.
Plant, turn.
I own this road. F the side. I run in the middle.
I own this road.
My mind is clearing, stress is melting away. The only thing I am thinking of is why have I not been running.
Plant Turn.
My road, My neighborhood. Tick,tock,tick,tock.
Maybe I should go home,     passed.
Plant turn. Sup Socks.
Tick, Tock.
After a couple of laps.
I finally decide to call it quits and head home. My nasal congestion has cleared. But my ear is still full.

My whole run was only about 2.5 miles, but it was the best run I have ever had.
I left the house to clear my head. But cleared my soul instead.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chicken Tobago

With Black Beans and Rice.
Butterflied chicken breast
Mango Salsa- See previous post.
 Can of Black Beans
Spice Rub-
        Cumin, Chili Powder, Paprika, Old Bay, Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder.

Butterfly your chicken breasts, if not done already. Rub on the rub, set a little aside.
Start cooking your rice.
Put the beans in a small pot, with some of the spice rub.

Cook chicken breasts in a large pan over High heat, in whatever oil you like to use, some smoking is to be expected.

Add some Diced Avocado to your Mango Salsa.
                   It's real good.

When Rice is finished, mix in some of the Black Beans.

Plate your Chicken with Mango Salsa, and Avocado on top. Black Beans and Rice on the side.

Or, Do as the Cavemen do,
And skip the Rice and Beans

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Coconut Chicken Tacos

Eat this.
With Mango Salsa.

Ziplock Bag- Opened.
Chicken Breast- Diced, put in bag.
1/2 Can Coconut Milk- in the bag.
Garlic Powder, Cumin, Pepper, Cilantro- in the bag.
Fridge- the bag.

Mango- Diced
Onion- Diced
Jalapeno- Diced
Cilantro- Chopped
Combine- Welcome to Mango Salsa.

Large Pan- Medium-High Heat
Coconut Oil- In the pan.
Bag 'o Chickynut- In the pan.
Brown - it

Over Spinach
Or make a Taco if you must.

This was pretty good. It will be re-visited.