Ooey, Gooey (Vegan) Enchiladas

I am so stoked!  I have been newly Plantstrong for a week now and I was DYING for Mexican food.  Rich, delicious, sinful Mexican food – specifically enchiladas.  So, I went out and bought myself some Daiya and got to work.  There was no canned enchilada sauce in the house – a twist of fate which I will wind up grateful.  I find the canned sauces to be metallic in taste – very weird.  I used this recipe for Enchilada sauce: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/ten-minute-enchilada-sauce/

It seemed a very one note sauce as-is, so I used Sriracha sauce and cayenne in place of Chili Powder, Onion with a very teeny, tiny dice in place of onion power, and garlic salt in place of powdered garlic.  Also, I added a little bit of oregano for depth.  Everything is always measured to taste with me but I kept the oil, water, and tomato sauce ratio suggested in the recipe.  I’ll never buy canned sauce again!

Now for the enchiladas!  I have pre-made tortillas from whole foods that I warmed up in the micro to make them pliable.  I then took one can of vegetarian refried beans, a quarter of a large onion diced, and a half of a can of corn.  I mixed those together in a bowl and then added a handful of Daiya Cheddar flavor cheese substitute and mixed that in. I put a little sauce on the bottom of my clay baking pan that is shaped like a piggie.  I filled and rolled the tortillas and put them in the pan.  On top, I put some more Daiya cheese and all of the enchilada sauce.  I baked at 375 for 25 mins (time will vary by oven). Then I ate… and then I ate the leftovers after my run today.  My husband (fully committed cheese-aholic) loved them – he knew there was something about them since I was eating Vegan so suspected they were non-dairy, but thought they were delicious (though he would have liked more onion).

DEEEELISH!!

November 20, 2011 at 4:17 PM Leave a comment

Devious!

Dave & I were watching Sons of Anarchy yesterday. For those of you unfamiliar, it’s a show about a motorcycle gang in California. I am not a rider of motorcycles. I don’t know anyone that rides a motorcycle that I can think of save for one of Dave’s friends that used to drive a crotch rocket.

Anyway, in the last two episodes different gangs on this show have had people drive cars through the protective gates of their compounds and open fire.

So, I posed this question to Dave: “If you had a need to have a compound that requires a gate and you REALLY want to keep people out, shouldn’t you have one of those spike strips so it could blow out the tires of intruders? You’d just pull it back before opening the gate for people you’re allowing in the compound.” To which Dave replied: “I think maybe you should go work for a motorcycle gang.”

It’s good to have a fall-back career option.

October 26, 2011 at 8:46 PM Leave a comment

I can’t decide on a title…

“Indecision may or may not be my problem.”

-Jimmy Buffett-

I am full of indecision lately, which is uncharacteristic of me.  And not about anything of importance mind you, like career or lunch, but in areas of little importance – I just can’t seem to make a decision.

I wrapped my left handlebar backwards and I can’t decide if I want to fix it.  It is kind of nice in the drops because it keeps my hand from slipping – but that wasn’t really a problem I was having anyway.  So, rather than go through the rigamarole of fixing it, I guess I’m leaving it.  I did a nice job wrapping it though – so that’s something.  My right handlebar is wrapped correctly – I can’t figure out how I got one wrong and one right, but that’s just a me kind of thing that I would do.

I also can’t decide if I want to take my aerobars off of my road bike.  I don’t really ride in them – I prefer my drops, I always have.  Plus, I think it looks nicer.  I plan on getting a TT bike next year at some point, which would mean they would come off then anyway.  Aerobars without shifters seem kind of pointless to me…

I did decide to do the Chicagoland Tour de Cure to benefit the American Diabetes Association.  I am not actively fundraising for it though – I just paid the minimum fundraising amount so that I didn’t have to go around begging people for $10 at a time.  I’m saving my fundraising mojo for something big one day… I’m not sure what it is yet so keep that $10 on the side for me.  I opted for the metric century in the tour, which is somewhere around 60 miles.  That will be great training for the Ironman 70.3 Racine which is coming up in July.  I am considering following up the ride with a 30 minute run – but I can decide on that later. ;)

May 19, 2011 at 10:16 AM 1 comment

The Birds… the Freaking Birds

The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.

~Bern Williams~

Ah, it’s Spring again the time when a triathlete’s thoughts turn to “Oh. My. God.  My race is only ‘X’ number of weeks away!” But, the sun is shinier and the weather is warmer.  The bugs are coming out (ugh) and the birds are active.

Ah, the birds – I always forget about the damn birds.  See, I have a slight bird problem.  I’m not referring to the fact that I tend to find abandoned baby birds that I have to nurse back to health, which is also a problem I have. (I don’t know how birds do it honestly – baby birds are EXHAUSTING.)

I’m referring to the fact that every spring I inevitably get assaulted by a red-winged blackbird.  I know I can’t be the only one this happens to, but I have been attacked by these birds a number of times.  I’ve been actually physically assaulted by these birds.  I’m talking pecked in the head assaulted.  I’ve been sneak attacked, chased, dive-bombed, and frontally assaulted. Apparently these birds are insanely territorial when nesting.  Apparently I also have insanely bad luck and repeatedly find myself in their neighborhoods – which is everywhere because they live in the freaking trees.

Assailant

So, while on my run yesterday along my normal route enjoying the warm Spring weather with a “doodeedoodeedoo” in my head, I hear a very familiar sound… THIS SOUND.  This sound incites terror to my very core.  I don’t think you can really understand how messed up it is to be attacked by a bird while just going along minding your own business.  And then yesterday, from the bare bushes of a field, I was being watched.  And “chip chip chip”-ed at.

It’s unsettling, and I have no way to combat these vengeful terrorists.  Dave said they can smell my fear – I think he’s right.

April 13, 2011 at 8:52 PM 2 comments

I’ve Got Plans for You, 2011!

The only one that can tell you “I can’t” is you,

and you don’t have to listen.

-Nike-

Well, that’s it – I registered for my 2011 races and my 2011 training season has begun!  For everyone wondering, I am NOT doing a full-Ironman distance race this year.  I’ve decided on one half-marathon and two 70.3 (half-Ironman) distance races.  Here’s the list:

Cincinnati Flying Pig Half-Marathon (Sunday, May 1, 2011)

This year I will return to “the nasty” to run my third Flying Pig Half-Marathon.  I will not be taking a bathroom break this year.  I am also aiming for a completion time of 2 hours and 15 minutes.  I think I am at the point where finishing below 2:30 is well within my reach and, if I work hard, I won’t have any reason not to hit that time.

Ironman 70.3 Racine (Sunday, July 17, 2011)

I decided my first 70.3 of the year would be Racine because of, well, timing.  It’s on July 17th which allows me enough time to recover and resume training for another 70.3.  I really loved Ironman 70.3 Steelhead, it was a great race.  It was a hard decision but timing and the fact that this race is a little of an hour & a half away from home made this a no-brainer.  I hear the roads are rough for the first 8 miles out and the last 8 miles back in but I’m taking that chance for a close to home race in July.  I’m looking to hit about 7 hours with this race.  It’s got more rolling hills than Steelhead but there were so many things that cost me time in my first 70.3 that I just will not do wrong again.

Rev3 Cedar Point – 70.3 Distance (Sept. 11, 2011)

I have heard excellent things about the Rev3 races and cannot wait for this one!  Add in that there are so many people that I know that are going to be there and that made registering for this race a total no-brainer.  I had a slight reservation since it’s on September 11th and that’s the same day Ironman Wisconsin is being held.  I was planning to volunteer for IMWI (or IMoo as it were) so I can sign up for it next year.  But decided it would be way more fun for me to go play and race with my friends – besides, there’s always the REv3 Full 140.6 distance next year!  My goal is to be around 6 hours & 30 minutes – I’m going to work hard this summer, so we’ll see how I do.

So, that is my full list of big races for the year!  I’m eying the Walt Disney World Marathon for 2012 too.  That half-marathon was so well run that if I do another marathon, it will be that one for sure.  But, I have to get through this season first… which brings me to my training plan.

I am coachless this year.  We have a number of big purchases (fence, furniture, attic organization project, possibly another car – ugh my wallet hurts already) on top of my saving for a new, super-sweet triathlon bike.  So, coaching fell to the bottom of the list of things-that-I-need-because-I-want.  So, that means I’m self-coaching.  My former-and-I-wish-she-still-was-my-coach MJ Slikas has very nicely agreed that once I get my plans together that she’ll look at them at a high level & give me a thumbs up/down.  She’s a class act with a big heart.

I think I have most of it down and am almost ready to post it.  Base phase for Racine 70.3 will start on February 27th.  Right now I’m doing lighter base workouts as prep to get my lazy butt back in gear.  The Disney Half-Marathon was the first time I had even run since November!  It’s felt good to be back on a schedule and I’m getting my eating back on target too.  This is the first year I actually feel like an educated triathlete and I think the self-coaching will help me over the long haul to understand even more.  I do have to say I want to be much better about metrics and understanding where I am and how I’m progressing.  So, keep an eye out for that and if you’re interested in my day-to-day you can find me as Dickers on Buckeye Outdoors.

February 3, 2011 at 4:03 PM 5 comments

Vegan Alfredo Sauce (also Gluten Free)

So, today I attempted (again) a vegan alfredo sauce.  I’ve been unsuccessful at this attempt in the past… very unsuccessful. Today, it came out pretty damn close to perfection.  I apologize for my lack of measuring, but I rarely measure out unless I’m baking.  Here’s how I made it:

  • 1/4 cup (4 TBS) of Earth Balance (I used their Vegan Buttery Sticks)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup Almond milk (you can probably use other milk substitutes, but I wanted sweet for the sauce this time)
  • To taste, add by tablespoon: Eat in the Raw Vegan Parmesan
  • To taste: Kosher Salt
  • To Thicken: Corn Starch (you could probably also use chickpea flour instead if you have it)

Melt the Earth Balance, then saute garlic in it for a minute or two.  Whisk in the Almond milk, preferably with a roux whisk.  Whisk in (tablespoon by tablespoon) the Raw Vegan Parmesean.  Whisk in small amounts of corn starch to thicken, being careful not to overthicken.  Salt to taste and bam!

I served it with sauteed broccoli over Quinoa Pasta – which are both also vegan and gluten free.

Let me know how  you like it if you try it!

January 28, 2011 at 7:27 PM 2 comments

Discipline and Do-Overs

“It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through.”

Zig Ziglar

Well, here we are – 2011.  Still no jet packs or flying cars, so that’s kind of a let down.  Though, the average IQ of the general public seems to be decreasing, so it’s probably best that we’re not giving people complicated flight equipment for daily use.  With the beginning of a new year most people have resolutions.  They make these resolutions with hope in their hearts and then, like my normal random initiatives (*cough*flee the fat pants*cough*), they forget them or abandon them.

I don’t think I made a resolution last year – though in years passed I’ve been pretty successful with mine.  I’ve quit smoking, quit binge drinking as a regular part of my lifestyle, started working out more regularly than not at all, and did a triathlon (which led to another… and another… and another… well, you get it).  Usually, my resolutions come in the fall or at the start of the training season.  This year, I’ve decided on giving the year 2011 a theme – Discipline.  No, I’ve not gone all dominatrix you pervo.  I mean discipline with eating, exercising, training, and living in general… starting right after Disney, of course.

That said, I have an interesting plan for my 2011 triathlon season:  A do over.  A year of doing my same races from 2010 all over again.  But better this time.  See in my brain, aside from my half-Ironman, my 2010 in retrospect looks like a year of failures.  I want to try it all over again – and how often in life are we able to do that?!

I’m not 100% on my plan but here’s what it would look like:

  • Capital View Tri in Madison: I flatted twice on the course resulting in a DNF.  The year before, I finished last.  So, I want to finish this hilly hell of a course somewhere in the MOP this year.  Then, I can stop racing this race every year and never again do that disgusting swim that makes me dry heave just typing about it.
  • Steelhead 70.3 – I loved this race course. Plan is to beat my time & get as close to finishing in 6h30m as I can.
  • Chicago Marathon – that’s right, I think I’ll give it a go.  Not finishing has left a sour taste in my mouth.  And while I don’t really want to do this again… ever, really… I really want to finish it.

I had planned on two 70.3 races this year, but I really need some closure.  I think it will be good for me to stop, reassess, and finish what I started in 2010 before I move forward.  I’m still planning a 140.6 in 2012 – I just haven’t figured out which race that will be yet – eh, one year at a time.

January 3, 2011 at 10:52 AM 1 comment

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"Wild women don't get the blues." _Ida Prather Cox_

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"Lead me not into temptation. I can find it myself." _Rita Mae Brown_

"I won't ask much of nobody - I'm just here to sing along, to make my mistakes look gracious, and learn some lessons from my wrongs." _Jason Mraz_


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