Week 7 and Vegan Crab Cakes with a vengance

Last week, our group met up and did an easy 6 mile run. This Sunday we have out ‘Magic Mile’ time trial.  This is one of the most important tenets of the Galloway program. Basically, this not only predicts race day performance, but also helps figure out what pace to keep during shorter races and training. One of the first conditions of the accuracy is that the weather is 60 degree or lower. Well, gee, let me wait until January, Jeff!

Here is how Jeff Galloway describes on his site how to do the Magic Mile

1. warm up with a slow one mile run
2. do a few acceleration-gliders (Video here )
3. pace yourself as even as possible on each quarter mile
4. run about as hard as you could run for one mile–but no puking! (finish feeling that you couldn’t have run more than a football field at the same pace)
5. keep walking after the time trial for 5 minutes, and jog a slow 1-6 miles, as needed for the mileage for that day

When we first did them about a month ago, I thought the acceleration gliders were just wasting energy. I was wrong! This did make me run a bit faster, since the fast twitch muscles in my legs were warmed up. I ran a 9:59 last month, which was quite disappointing, as my best pace for a 5k last year was at 9:30.

So on Tuesday I went to the Rockledge High School track.

rockledge track Notice there is no fence around this track. I had been eyeing this for a while and I finally got the courage to sneak in. There was only one other guy running and he didn’t look like he went to the school, so i set down my water bottle and started one loop of acceleration gliders. I then reset my garmin and made my water bottle my marker, and off I went running one mile! I kept a comfortably hard pace throughout, slowing down to a brisk jog when i got tired, but I did not walk. During the last lap, I felt so energized! Then some track kids started showing up and looking at me weird, so I had to run even faster! When I was done, I looked at my watch and nearly fell out of my…..track?  8:56 mile! That is the fastest I have ever ran a mile in. I jogged myself out of the track and onto the familiar River Road, which is only a few blocks away, completing 3 miles. I’m just ecstatic, and I hope I can repeat my performance on Sunday. We will see.

This week I made these delicious ‘Chesapeake Tempeh Crabcakes‘ from Post Punk Kitchen. I had bought some tempeh a few weeks ago and this sounded so delicious. I paired it with The Sexy Vegan’s ‘ New England Blam Chowder’, which is phenomenal, but we’ll stick to the crabcakes for time’s sake.  So why are they ‘crabcakes with a vengance’? Well because, the oil splattered on my arm and gave me some nice burns. They’re still healing and it’s nearly been a week. So watch out for those oil splatters. This looks like a lot of work/ingredients, but believe me, it’s not compared to how delicious these taste! Enjoy!

crab cakes

For the cakes:
8 ounces tempeh
1 cup water
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons Vegenaisse
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon hot sauce ( I used Tabasco)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4 cup very finely chopped red bell pepper
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspooon salt
fresh black pepper
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs, plus extra for dredging
Optional: 1 finely chopped nori sheet or 1 tablespoon kelp granules (if you like a little fishiness)

Oil for pan frying

For the remoulade:
2 tablespoons Vegenaise
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard  (stone ground dijon works, too)
1 tablespoon hot sauce
2 teaspoons capers (try not to get too much brine)

Lemon wedges for serving

First we’re going to steam the tempeh to get the bitterness out and also to infuse some flavor with the soy sauce. Crumble the tempeh into a saucier or small pan in little bits. Add the water, soy sauce, oil and bay leaf. The tempeh won’t be fully submerged, but that’s fine. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let boil for 12 to 15 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Stir once during boiling.

Transfer contents to a mixing bowl, remove bay leaf, and mash with a fork. Let cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to hasten the cooling process. Make sure the tempeh is barely warm before you proceed, or the cakes may fall apart when you cook them. Add the mayo, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, chopped bell pepper, spices salt and pepper, and mix well. Add the bread crumbs and nori and use your hands to incorporate.

Once you are ready to form the cakes, preheat a thin layer of oil in a heavy bottomed non-stick skillet (cast iron is great) over medium heat. Pour a few tablespoons of panko into a bowl. Scoop a little less than 1/4 cup batter into your hands and form into a ball. Flatten between your palms and then roll the sides gently with your hands cupped to smooth them. You should have ten 2 1/2 to 3- inch patties. I do them in batches of five. Press them into the panko to lightly coat. They don’t need to be thoroughly covered, just a little bit for some texture.

Fry a batch of five cakes for 4 minutes on one side and flip when dark golden brown. Fry for 2 minutes on the other side and transfer to a paper towel or paper bag to drain. Do your second batch and in the meantime make your remoulade by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.

Serve with lemon wedges.

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Week 3 Marathon Training and Vegan Mac and Cheese

Getting up on Sunday morning was a little tough. We had gone to an arena football game in Orlando the night before and after 2 pitchers of Sangria, I could have used more sleep. But 5:30 am came early and made me get up. My smoothie was already in the fridge from the day before, I feel like it’s my secret power fuel, like Popeye on spinach! The drive down to the track was beautiful with the sun rising to the left of me on the beach and the supermoon setting to the right. A little Dave Matthews, and I was totally ready to run and have some fun.

This week we did the Magic Mile time trial. If you’re not familiar,it’s basically a pretty dialed in predictor of improvement and race performance. We are doing several of these throughout the training to measure progress and this was the first one. We started with a short walk, then did 1:1 run walk intervals for about a mile. We then did ‘acceleration gliders’. Basically you start with walking 15 steps, then increase to a jog of the same interval, then a little faster, then faster, then scale back down. After about 5 of these we all prepared to run our mile. I knew I wanted to be under 10 minutes, as my fastest average pace during a 5k was 9:34, just about a month ago. We were on a track, which is a little hard for me because it’s so dang boring! Anyhow, round and round we went and my time was 9:59! Well at least I got under 10 I guess… So at 3% improvement I can increase to  9:42 and at 5% to 9:30. Now, I was just at near 9:30 a month ago, so I think I can increase more than that. We then finished out our run with 1:1 intervals, running a total of 5 miles. I came home and took about an hour nap as I had a girlfriend’s birthday party to go to.

My husband is on a very different training program, one put on by a local track coach. They run many more miles and do more tempo and targeted pace runs, including a Wednesday run that is 60-70% of your long run on Sunday. I think I’ll blend a little of this program into my workout, doing some faster runs and some longer steady runs. I feel like if I just do the 30 min run/walk twice a week, I’ll actually lose of the conditioning I have built for the last year.

After a 2nd nap, ( I’ve been working a lot)i wanted to make some Vegan Mac and Cheese. Now, before you frown if you’re not vegan or think of some chalky substance if you are, I promise you this is the best vegan mac and cheese. How do I know? My nephews, ages 10,7 and 3 all devoured it at Christmas. And they eat the real mac and cheese and loved this one.

The recipe comes from VegNews, a great vegan magazine with some delicious recipes.  The link is here, and I didn’t deviate much from it http://vegnews.com/articles/page.do?pageId=40&catId=10

macandcheese

Vegan Mac and Cheese 

Serves 6

What You Need:

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 8 ounces macaroni ( I used the whole box, less cheesy but feeds more)
  • 4 slices of bread, torn into large pieces
  • 2 tablespoons + 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine ( I used Earth Balance)
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup red or yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews ( I soaked mine for a few hours while I was doing other stuff)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
What You Do:

  1. In a large pot, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add macaroni and cook until al dente. In a colander, drain pasta and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a saucepan, add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, and water, and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and simmer for 15 minutes, or until vegetables are very soft.
  3. While the veggies are cooking, make breadcrumbs by pulverizing the bread and 2 tablespoons margarine to a medium-fine texture in a food processor. Set aside.
  4. In a blender, process the cashews, salt, garlic, 1/3 cup margarine, mustard, lemon juice, black pepper, and cayenne. Add softened vegetables and cooking water to the blender and process until perfectly smooth.
  5. In a large bowl, toss the cooked pasta and blended cheese sauce until completely coated. Spread mixture into a 9 x 12 casserole dish, sprinkle with prepared breadcrumbs, and dust with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese sauce is bubbling and the top has turned golden brown.

This is one of my husband’s favorite dishes and gets us all carbed up for our next run!