Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Week 3: Cooking my way thru the Runner's World Cookbook

Welcome to week three of my adventures in cooking the recipes from The Runner's World Cookbook!

I was busy last week and busy means fewer chances to cook. Sometimes dinner just has to be some cheese and crackers ya know? (as long as it comes with some olives and wine....)

Anyway. What did I manage to cook?

Brown rice salad with curried tofu
OK, where to begin with this one.... I had high hopes because as a rule I really enjoy rice based salads. Combine that with the fact that this was already vegetarian friendly and I was really hoping for a solid win. 
However.... Eric and I both strongly objected to this dish for different but similar reasons. Eric HATED the tomatoes, the flavor and the texture. (that is a lot of things to object to.)  He gave it a 3 out of 10 rating.
I REALLY DISLIKED the way that the tofu (despite prep) still came out bland, the excess of SEEDS, the amount of work that it took to eat it (chomp. chomp. chomp.) I thought that the flavor was not objectionable but after champing my way thru 30 minutes of tedious salad I was over it.
I tried to figure out ways to improve this recipe but in the end I realized that I was simply writing a new recipe. I feel that the ratios are off- it is almost equal parts rice, tofu, edamame and seeds which makes for a lot of roughage. I feel that if the rice played a bigger role, and perhaps instead of a full cup of seeds there were a couple tablespoons, and maybe if the tofu was marinated things would have gone better. (also- I pressed the tofu which the recipe does not suggest but I think it goes without saying.)
Sorry salad. You were straight gross. Never again.

Spinach Kiwi Cooler
After the debacle that was the nasty ass rice salad I made a VERY easy smoothie for Eric. He is a smoothie fan- I am not!In the end even I found this one to be enjoyable and extremely easy. I think it took 2 minutes from start to finish. Eric gave it a big thumbs up and chugged it. Success!

Pasta Bean Toss
Next up was the very pretty and very, very fiberous pasta bean toss. (I have no idea why I thought I needed a can of tomatoes- I did not. but there it is. you totally could use one though and it would be good!)
This was not challenging to prepare and the 35 minutes that the cook book projects was right on target.
I omitted the Worcestershire sauce due to the anchovies and, if you can, would highly recommend using it as I feel it would add some valuable flavor. 
Overall we felt that this was enjoyable and extremely healthy. I do not suggest eating this the night before an early long run as the beans and broccoli will certainly play games with your digestion.
I enjoyed this- I ate a couple of huge bowls and also noted that it is attractive enough to serve to friends to impress them. Eric was fairly happy with it but noticed (as I did) that it needed a little something to add flavor (if you omit the Worcestershire perhaps consider an increase of salt, or a few red pepper flakes, extra cheese, pepper, more garlic...)
After the nasty rice salad this was a distinct improvement.

And finally... Garlicky Greens and Roasted Sweet potato wedges (blocks, whatev.) And steak.
Sometimes you just don't have time to cook up a whole long recipe.
However! I had fresh kale and a couple of sweet potatoes on hand and threw them together as sides.
This is totally cheating as I make these all the time, minus a recipe.
However, I felt clever as it was a two-fer! HAH!
Clearly they were delicious and Eric, my sister and I ate them with gusto. WIN.

So that's it for this week. I hope to be able to pull off making a few recipes for next week's addition- I have to eat but am also busy! I'm glad I did not put a timetable on this challenge- maybe I should as a motivator.....



  1. I think you should start feeding Andy. He might live five minutes longer if you did. Tomato dislike seems to be in stereo.

    Somewhat separately--impressed.

    1. Andy (and Eric) would choose to live on French fries and PB&J if an early death was not a very real possibility. Actually, I take that back. They would need pizza as well. They are 12 :-)