The Feed Zone Cookbook by Dr. Allen Lim and Chef Biju Thomas is packed with 150 athlete-friendly recipes that are delicious, simple to prepare, and ready to fuel your rides. The book includes breakfasts, portable snacks like Allen Lim’s famous rice cakes, after-ride dishes, dinners, desserts, and recovery drinks.
And if you enjoy this recipe, stay tuned for the upcoming Feed Zone Portables, a cookbook for athletes with easy, healthy recipes and snack ideas that will nourish your best performance.
Allen and Biju’s tip: We’ve put a gluten-free spin on the classic fig cookies that many of us grew up eating. These cakes make a sweet portable snack, but because of the excellent fiber that is in the dried fruit, they work even better as a snack following a workout or between meals. If figs aren’t your favorite, try raisins or dates instead.
2 cups uncooked calrose rice
1.5 cups water
1 cup toasted pecans
1 cup chopped dried figs
2 tablespoons honey
brown sugar to taste
1) Combine rice and water in a rice cooker
2) To toast the nuts: Heat over to 350 degrees. Place the pecans on a baking sheet and toast 8-10 minutes, stirring after 5 minutes.
3) In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, pecans, and figs. Add the honey and stir thoroughly.
4) Press mixture into an 8- or 9-inch square pan to about 1.5-inch thickness and sprinkle with brown sugar.
Cut and wrap individual cakes. Makes about 10 rice cakes.
Love this recipe? Of course you do! Buy The Feed Zone Cookbook.
Here is how Allen makes these ultra-yummy sweet rice cakes...let us know how they work for you!
5 Cups sushi rice, rinsed and cleaned
7.5 cups water
2.5 small boxes of Blackberries (you know the little square boxes from the supermarket)
1 box of fresh mint (yeah, almost the same little box from the supermarket but not square this time, more rectangular)
1/4-1/2 cup sugar (but we're not really sure how much b/c we just poured it on until it tasted good)
1 cup chocolate chips
Directions: cook the rice, julienne the mint, squeeze the lemon on top of the mint in a large bowl and then add the sugar, mix the sugar, rice, mint and blackberries, take half of this mixture and press into the bottom of a cookie pan, put the choc chips on top of this layer, add the rest of the mixture on top of the now melting choc chips, cut and serve just like the video below!
Rice cakes. They're the new black. At least in the world of nutrition conscious athletes they are. Our cookbook, The FEED Zone, has recipes for a variety of delicious rice cakes to suit every pallete. We've put together this simple post to help answer some of the most common questions and even give you a new recipe to try for yourself.
Allen whipped up a batch of these
at the shop a few weeks ago and they disappeared in a hurry. They're
great for vegetarians or anyone who just wants a little variety in their
rice cake arsenal. The flavor is somewhere between apple pie and
apple-cinammon oatmeal and we're pretty sure this new super-secret rice
cake recipe isn't going to be a secret for long. And we're just fine
with that. Let us know what you think after you've tried them.
Super Secret Apple/Cinnamon Rice Cakes
Time ~30 minutes
2 cups uncooked Calrose or other medium-grain “sticky” rice
3-3.5 cups water
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1. Combine rice and water in a rice cooker.
2. While rice is cooking, peel, core, and dice the apples.
3. Toss them in a bowl with the cinnamon. Add brown sugar. Add salt to taste.
4. Combine the apple mixture with the rice.
5. Press mixture into an 8 or 9 inch square pan to about 1 1/2 inch thickness.
Cut and wrap the individual cakes. Makes about 10 rice cakes. Enjoy!
How long will the Rice Cakes stay good?
We get this question a few times a week. While the answer varies from recipe to recipe, we can tell you that some of the Skratch Team has tested the limits of rice cake stability without any problems. From purely a taste perspective, obviously the fresher they are, the better they will be. From an "are they safe to eat?" perspective, here's what we know:
In the name of research Chef Biju recently ate a few rice cake laden with eggs, chicken apple sausage and related fixins. The rice cakes were made early in the morning, stuffed into a ziploc bag, thrown in the back of a pick up truck and brought along for a day of training. It may have even spent some time in the back pocket of one of the riders and/or on the floor in the truck. After the ride, this ziploc bag was carried into house, and forgotten on a countertop. The next morning, 24 hours later, Biju thought it would be fantastic to eat that rice cake while Allen watched. It was as delicious as when he first hand crafted it, and he suffered no ill effects.
Aaron, another member of our team here, has frequently made rice
cakes in his hotel rooms the night before races and never had a problem
eating them late the following afternoon after carrying them around all
day in his jersey pocket. He says he's gone so far as to ride and race
on three or four day old rice cakes. "They definitely lose some of the
taste the older they are, but I've never had any other issues with
them." Aaron also loves to use them for more than just racing and
training and can frequently be seen enjoying a savory rice cake at
airport terminals around the country.
We've also heard mixed reviews from people who have tried freezing them. it seems to work for some but not others so that one you may have to do your own testing on. Let us know how it goes if you give it a try!
A Little Primer on the Logic Behind Sports Drinks:
1) You sweat whenever you are doing something that makes you really hot like working out or mowing the lawn in oppressive heat.
2) Sweat has fluid and electrolytes like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and chloride.
3) While all electrolytes are important to your body’s function and performance, sodium is by far the most important electrolyte, because a decrease in your body’s sodium concentration – something called hyponatremia – can have some extremely negative consequences that range the gamut from just not feeling well to seizures, excessive urination, incontinence (that’s when you soil yourself), and even death.
4) There is anywhere from 200 mg to 1000 mg of sodium in a liter of sweat (Our Exercise Hydration Mix contains 620 mg of sodium per liter).
5) Since sweat has both fluid and electrolytes in it, drinking water alone to replace the fluid you lose when you’re sweating can be really dangerous since this is the quickest way to decrease or dilute your body’s sodium concentration. So if you’re exercising and you find yourself peeing a lot and feeling really sick, you may be hyponatremic and you’ll need to rehydrate with something with a lot of salt in it or just eat salty foods with whatever your drinking.
6) In theory, the best thing to drink when you’re sweating is your own sweat. But drinking sweat tastes gross. This is just my personal opinion cause I’ve tried it. Also, I’m pretty sure that if I gave someone a glass of sweat to drink that they’d be pissed and throw the glass at me. Finally, it’s hard to capture all the sweat you lose when you’re sweating unless you have one of those cool suits from the movie Dune that recycles your sweat and urine.
7) Sweat does not contain artificial colors, artificial flavors (or any flavoring agents for that matter), sugar, artificial sweeteners, preservatives or other strange ingredients that you need to take an organic chemistry class to figure out.
8) Most sports drinks contain water, electrolytes, and some form of sugar to provide a small source of energy to help maintain blood sugar and fuel working muscle. Unfortunately, most sports drinks also contain artificial colors, flavoring agents, artificial sweeteners, preservatives as well as other strange ingredients that you need to take an organic chemistry class to figure out.
9) My experience is that most sports drinks don’t contain enough electrolytes, have too much sugar, and that all of the excess ingredients make people sick when they drink too much of it.
the fruit, citric acid (i.e., lime), and sugar our Exercise Hydration Mix
tastes just like sweat (Again, I’ve tried our mix without any fruit and it is
nasty). But with a little bit of fruit, citric acid, and sugar our Exercise
Hydration Mix tastes clean and light. So
here’s the plug - if you are sweating a lot and need something to rehydrate
with that replaces what you lose in your sweat but you don’t want a bunch of
excessive ingredients and you don’t want to drink your own sweat, give our
Exercise Hydration Mix a try. And if you don’t think it’s better than your own
sweat or the sports drink you get at the gas station, let us know and we’ll
make it up to you.
1. Eat & Drink Early & Consistently—One of the biggest mistakes riders make is forgetting to eat and drink early and consistently throughout the day. While this is plain common sense, it‘s often disregarded on ride day—a mistake that can spell disaster no matter how well trained or prepared you are.
As a general rule, you need to replace at least half the calories you burn each hour, and you need to begin replacing those calories in the first hour if you’re going to be out for more than three hours. On a flat road without drafting, the average cyclist will burn about 200-300 Calories at 10-15 mph, 300-600 Calories at 15 to 20 mph, and 600 to 1,000 Calories at 20 to 25 mph.
Regarding hydration, on a hot day your fluid needs may be as high as 1 to 2 liters an hour. The best way to get an appreciation of how much fluid you might need is to weigh yourself before and after a workout. The weight you lose is primarily water weight, where a 1-pound loss is equal to about 16 ounces of fluid. As a general rule, try not to lose more than 3 percent of your body weight over the course of a long ride.
2. Try Eating Real Food—While there are plenty of pre-packaged sports bars and gels touting their ability to improve one’s performance, it’s important to realize that real food can work just as well if not better than expensive, engineered nutrition. A regular sandwich, a boiled potato with salt, a banana and a ball of sushi rice mixed with chocolate or some scrambled eggs can all give you the calories you need without upsetting your stomach the way a lot of sugary gels or sports bars can. In fact, while coaching teams at the Tour de France, the riders I worked with used real food as their primary solid fuel source, because it just worked better. Most of the recipes for these foods can be found in “The Feed Zone Cookbook” that I wrote with Chef Biju Thomas to promote healthful, real-food eating.
3. Don’t Just Drink Water—When we sweat we lose both water and valuable electrolytes. If you drink only water and are sweating heavily, you’ll dilute the electrolytes in your body, in particular sodium, which plays a critical role in almost every bodily function. Diluting the sodium content in your body is called hyponatremia and can lead to a host of problems ranging from a drop in performance to seizures and even death. The amount of sodium that we lose in sweat is highly, variable ranging anywhere from 200 to 400 mg per half liter (16.9 ounces). Because of this large range, it’s always better to err on the side of more salt than less salt. Unfortunately, most sports drinks contain too much sugar and not enough sodium, which caused many of the riders I worked with to become sick during long days on the bike. For that reason, we developed an all-natural sports drink using less sugar, more sodium and flavored with freeze-dried fruit. Outside of using a sports drink with more sodium, also consider eating salty or savory foods on your ride rather than just sweet foods.
4. Learn What you Need in Training—Ride day is not the day that you want to be experimenting with yourself. So try different hydration and feeding strategies during training well before the big day. As an example, simply weighing yourself on a long training ride before your big event can give you valuable information to optimize your hydration for that event. Likewise, taking the time to prepare your own foods or trying different products beforehand and then writing out a specific game plan for your drinking and feeding needs can go a long way to making sure you don’t make any mistakes on ride day.
5. Come in Well-Fed and Well-Rested—While proper training is obviously important, making sure you are well rested coming into an event is sometimes even more critical. You can’t cram training, so as you approach the big day, make sure you are getting plenty of sleep and aren’t killing yourself in training the week leading into your event. Just sleeping an extra hour each night the week before your event can significantly improve your performance. Finally, adding extra carbohydrate to your diet, and making sure you get plenty of calories the week before your event, will assure that your legs are fueled and ready to go.