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Spicy Kimchi and Soft Tofu Soup - "Kimchi Jjigae"

Posted on February 20, 2014 by Skratch Labs | 0 Comments

Spicy, Vegetarian, Low Carb, High Protein, Gluten Free, Delicious.

This is one of Chef Biju's favorite winter soups and, while it's darn near impossible to spell, it's also a great combination of flavors and textures that he craves whenever the temperature dips.  It's a deep red and pungent classic Korean restaurant favorite, brought out in bubbling hot clay pots with eggs cracked right into the broth, cooking while it sits at the table. 

This also just happens to be one of the best low carb, high protein soups which will keep you feeling very full while watching your weight over the winter. 

Your belly will welcome the addition of fermented Kimchi and some sour notes to mix up the routine, while adding more probiotics "good bacteria" into your diet. Kimchi has been known for years as one of the "worlds best diet foods."

You can get great quality Kimchi at any Asian market, and most natural markets now will carry some as well.  There are many different types of Kimchi, with different vegetables and some that much hotter than others, so make sure to experiment and find the right balance that works for you. 

For this recipe we'll keep it vegetarian and a medium level of spice with soft custardy tofu and an egg cracked in. Feel free to adjust to your own preferences.

Makes approximately 4 serving of 2 cups each:

- 185 Cal

- 9.5g Fat

- 10g Carbohydrates

- 16g Protein

Ingredients:

- 2 cups Kimchi, chopped into bit sized pieces

- 1 package of soft or "silken" tofu

- 1 quart low sodium stock (any type will work)

- 1 tablespoon white or red vinegar

- 1 tablespoon liquid aminos or low sodium soy sauce

Optional:

- 2 jalapenos chopped

- 1 scallion cut into bit sized pieces

- 1 tablespoon GoChuJang (Korean Chili paste) or Sriracha

Method:

You can very simply mix Kimchi and vinegar together, then add the stock and tofu.  Then add in any other chopped vegetables, soy sauce, or chili sauce and bring to a low rolling boil, adjust salt to taste and then add the cracked eggs and let them cook until the whites set. 

 

Last step:

Enjoy the yumminess!

Posted in Recipes

Holiday Fruitcake for Athletes!

Posted on December 02, 2013 by Skratch Labs | 0 Comments

Fruitcake seems to get a bad rap.   Sure, it's comprised mostly of unnaturally colored things, has a clawing sweetness, and a completely strange combination of flavors and textures, but the more we thought about it, the more we realized that Fruitcake really is one of those amazing nutrient-dense foods that can be perfect for any endurance athlete. Okay, maybe you don't want to be eating it alongside a big meal, but definitely try this recipe the next time you go for a long hike or get out on your bike.  

The problem with most fruitcake recipes out there is that they are too complicated and contain way too many ingredients.  As Thoreau said about life in general, Simplify. Here is Chef Biju's take on a simpler and healthier version that starts out with the crazy idea of only adding fruits and nuts that you actually like eating.  Crazy, right?  To keep in line with the "fruitcake for athletes" thing, we've skipped the rum and candied neon-bits-of-yuck and kept the sugar to a minimum.

Plan ahead for this one- The night before place 1.5 cups of your favorite combination of dried fruits and nuts in a large bowl, cover in orange juice and soak overnight in the fridge.  If you don't know what your favorite combo is you can simply use a trail mix recipe that you like!

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. 

In a large bowl whisk together:

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cane sugar

Then blend in one at a time:

  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/2 cup flour (gluten free baking mix works well too!)
  • Soaked fruit/nut mixture after straining off the excess juice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade

Line the bottom of a 6-8" cake pan with parchment or wax paper, pour in the batter and bake on the center rack for about 90 minutes, or until a knife poked into the center comes out clean. Enjoy, and don't forget the velvet bow!

Makes 8 servings, at about 200 Cal each. 

Posted in Recipes

Crispy Rice Omelet - The Perfect Mix of Fuel and Flavor

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Skratch Labs | 1 Comment

If you're looking for a quick and easy (and super yummy) source of natural protein that you can take when you're on the go, give this simple Feed Zone Portables recipes a try.  

Step by step video instructions above, step by step written instructions below.

You'll need:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked rice
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated parmesan
  • coarse salt and pepper

Liberally coat a medium nonstick saute pan with olive oil and place it over high heat. 

Once the pan is hot, add the cooked rice, spread evenly, and cook until crisp (about 3 minutes). Lightly beat the eggs in a medium bowl and pour over the rice. Mix gently, then let the eggs begin to set up. 

Loosen the edges of the omelet with a spatula as you tilt the pan, allowing the uncooked eggs to fill in around the edges. Cover and cook until the eggs in the center of the pan set up, or finish in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 5 minutes. Top with the grated parmesan and a hearty amount of salt and pepper. 

Cut into 6 triangles. Let cool to the touch before wrapping. 

Each piece will contain approximately 133Cal and 8g of protein.

Download a printable recipe 

Posted in Recipes

Biju's Belgian Waffles - Portable, Delicious, Real Food.

Posted on June 17, 2013 by Skratch Labs | 1 Comment

What makes a Liege waffle so special?  Well, other than it being frickin' delicious, it's made from dough while traditional American waffles are made from batter.  Why should you care?  Because unlike batter you can make a large amount of dough at one time, cut it into portions and freeze it for easy use when you don't have time to cook from scratch.  Plus, did we mention that they are super yummy?

Liege waffles are one of Chef Biju's favorites because hey, who doesn't want to eat a waffle during a long workout or travel day instead of a processed bar that's designed to be able to sit on a shelf for a year or three?  Reach for these anytime you need a last minute snack and pack some wrapped waffles to take when you're on the go.  They are great for long travel days to help you avoid dreaded airport or even more dreaded airline food,too.  

As with all of our recipes, make them your own by adding more or less sugar and don't forget to play with toppings. There is a definite yeast flavor that comes through and plays well with syrup or honey.

Here's the recipe so you can make your own whenever you want:

Biju’s Belgian Waffles

   3/4 cup 2% milk
   2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) dry active yeast
   1 tablespoon cane sugar
   3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
   3 large eggs
   1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
   1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
   2 teaspoons vanilla extract
   1/2 teaspoon salt
    Pearl sugar

Warm milk in a saucepan or microwave. Or, if you've got a ton of time on your hands, use a candle.  Combine milk, yeast, cane sugar, and 1 cup flour in a mixing bowl and set aside in a warm place (such as inside your oven with only the light turned on) for 15 minutes. In another bowl, whisk together eggs (yes bachelors, you can use a fork for this if you don't own a whisk) honey or maple syrup, butter, and vanilla. Add egg mixture to dough along with salt and remaining flour. Mix into a soft sticky dough. Cover and let rise for 1 hour (again, in a warm place). 

Punch down the dough and scrape it from the sides of the bowl. Loosely cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. 

Separate dough into 12 chunks, roll each into a ball, then roll balls in pearl sugar. Cook according to your waffle iron’s directions. (We suggest the Oster Flip Belgian Waffle Maker, which has a nonstick surface, adjustable temperature control, and a body that rotates for even cooking.) 

As you remove waffles from the iron, place them in a 250-degree oven in a single layer on a baking sheet until the entire batch is ready to be served. Freeze leftover waffles and reheat them in the toaster for a quick weekday breakfast. Or lunch.  Breakfast for dinner works sometimes, too.  

Serves six. Serving size: 2 waffles. Per serving: 421 calories, 19 grams fat, 11g protein, 53g carbohydrate, 245mg sodium

Posted in Recipes

Rice Cakes

Posted on October 15, 2012 by Skratch Labs | 1 Comment

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

Servings 10-20
Time ~30 minutes

2 cups uncooked Calrose or other medium-grain “sticky” rice
3-3.5 cups water
2 apples
1 tablespoon cinnamon
brown sugar
sea salt

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!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Recipes

The Travel Kitchen - How you can eat well while traveling

Posted on July 02, 2012 by Skratch Labs | 0 Comments

 Last time I checked in with the Skratch Labs blog, I had suffered a minor meltdown in Las Vegas on my way to Redlands, and vowed to never again be subjected to the disaster known as the “average American meal” as I traveled from race to race.  After I got back home, Allen decided I needed a few more key pieces in addition to the rice cooker, so we went to procure supplies for the Skratch Labs Mini Kitchen.

 

 

The Mini Kitchen is the result of a paradigm shift in the way athletes care for their nutrition needs.  It has always amazed me that people will spend thousands upon thousands of dollars on equipment, only to shovel garbage down their throats right before a race or skimp on the quality of the food they eat.  Skratch Labs and The Feedzone Cookbook are both founded on the premise that conventional wisdom isn’t very wise, and that simple solutions are often better than their pseudoscientific counterparts.  In the same way that there is no advanced technology behind an ice-sock on a hot day, or that the ingredients in a rice cake are far fewer than almost any energy bar, the marginal gains to be had by bringing a rice cooker (and few other bits) to a race are easy to take and low tech.  It’s a cheap and simple insurance policy that means you will have familiar food at competitions.

 

The Mini Kitchen is also contagious; after the upgrade to the equipment, I started cooking for my team at races.  It became a way for me to relax; I could both control what we were eating, and it took my mind off the race by giving me a task to complete.  What I didn’t really expect was for my personal paradigm shift to start affecting the other riders on the team; I thought I was the picky, weird guy on the team who would always shut down restaurant options, but I started to notice the others catching on.  When I showed up to Tour of the Battenkill, I found that one teammate had brought his own rice cooker in case I hadn’t brought mine.  As we coordinated to drive to Tour of the Gila, the only question he asked me was whether he needed to bring his cooker or if mine was enough.  The early riser on the team learned how I make oatmeal in the cooker so that he could start a massive batch for the team each day.  I’m currently guest riding for a team at Tour de Beauce, and I expected raised eyebrows when I said I brought a rice cooker, but after I gave a few guys honey and almond butter rice cakes, they all thought it was great.

 

 

So what are the essentials?  My crucial tools are pretty limited, but most of my races have host housing, so that makes things considerably easier.  In addition to a 6 cup rice cooker (3 cups is ok for one or two people, but a team needs the grown-up version), I always have a rice spatula, a small, lightweight brownie pan for forming rice cakes, a roll of foil or Martha Wrap, a knife, a bag of rice, a bag of oats, some nut butter, honey, and dried fruit.  Those things will get you through, but if you need more heat and variety, an electric wok/frying pan or a small George Foreman grill will make just about anything you need to compete.  It all can stack inside itself in your suitcase, and doesn’t really add that much to your traveling weight, but it makes a huge difference in your confidence and comfort. 

 

The Mini Kitchen has already paid itself off in the first two days of Beauce.  No lunch after the race? No problem.  Only gels to eat?  Not now, I have rice cakes.  Again, I expected to be the strange foreign guy on the team, but everyone seems to agree with the value I put on these tools.  Now if only teams will get with the program! - Julian Kyer


    

Posted in Recipes

Rice Cakes - Blackberry mint with a chocolate center!

Posted on June 12, 2012 by Skratch Labs | 0 Comments

 

Here is how Allen made these rice cakes this morning...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 lemon

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!

Posted in Recipes