As both a chef and a cyclist, I’m heavily invested in my food. After a hard 4 hours in the saddle, no one had better get between me and filling my stomach. And being a professional cook, there is no such thing as suffering through bland healthy meals. Its all flavorful and delicious. And considering how hard I ride, I’ve earned it. However, I recently noticed that there are a few kitchen tools that never ever seem to get put away after I use them, simply because I am going to use them again very soon. Here is a list of my kitchen stuff that I always seem to have out.
Blender: When I’m crunched for time and need some recovery, I’ll throw recovery powder into a water bottle with some water and run. But that isn’t any way to live. Most days, I take that recovery drink and add some fresh and frozen fruits, peanut butter, cocoa powder, almond milk, kefir, and whatever else I can think of. For a healthy dessert: fruit, honey, Greek yogurt, and fresh juice blended together is an excellent smoothie. There is no reason to drink bland drinks. (Added bonus, blenders are great for homemade vegetable soup or tomato sauce)
Rice Cooker: I love rice. I eat rice every day for breakfast with 2 eggs on top. I make rice cakes for ride fuel. I eat fried rice on the regular. I put it in soups. I often make dinners that are served best over rice. Brown rice, white rice, calrose rice, arborio rice, jasmine rice, basmati rice, it doesn’t matter, its all good. Beyond rice, I can also use it to cook quinoa, lentils, polenta, or most other grains, or can use the steam tray to create an entire dish such as rice with steamed salmon and asparagus.
Non Stick Pan: I already said my breakfast every day is 2 eggs over medium. Cooking it in a non stick pan allows me to use less fat (just a light spray of canola) than a regular aluminum pan would require. I use it to cook grilled cheese, fried rice, vegetables, soups, and any other quick meal, all with significantly less fat than would normally be used. Look for a high quality pan (so it won’t chip and flake later) about 9-12” in diameter.
Juicer: Recently I have begun drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juice twice a day. Its hard for me to consume 3000-4000 calories per day and this has been just the ticket. At about 250 calories (with about 8-10 grams of protein) for a 16 ounce bottle of juice, I can supplement (not replace) the vegetables I eat the rest of the day with more vitamins and minerals than normal and meet my daily calorie needs without resorting to less healthful options. Pro tip: add 1 apple, half a lemon, and a knuckle of ginger to your vegetable juice to cut through the “grassy” or “earthy” flavor some vegetables have, leaving a flavorful (seriously) and nutritious drink. (Pro chef note: anyone who says using a blender or Vita-Mix is the same thing as juicing is flat out WRONG.)
These 4 items have allowed me to get faster (rather than fatter) and continue to enjoy my food like a good chef should. And if you have some of these items and are looking for ideas for dinner or fuel, check out the Feed Zone Cookbooks available at TEPC.
Retul Certified Bike Fitter
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