Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I'm a huge fan of Chef Michael Stebner's True Food Kitchen.  The food is fresh, healthy and light.  My favorite dish is the Tuscan Kale Salad.   I was surprised that such a thick, leafy plant like kale could pack such a tasty punch! 

Recently, The Arizona Republic collected the top 10 most requested local dish recipes and published them in their Sunday 3/21/2012 Food and Drink section.  I snatched up this recipe and can't wait to try it out and see if it is as good in my kitchen as it is the restaurant.


For The Salad:
Juice of 1 lemon
3 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Hot red-pepper flakes, to taste
4 to 6 cups Italian black kale, loosely packed and midribs removed (also called dinosaur kale and available at high-end grocery stores)
2/3 cup grated pecorino Toscano cheese, or any other flavorful grating cheese such as Asiago or Parmesan, divided use
1/2 cup freshly made bread crumbs

For The Bread Crumbs:
1/2 Italian-style loaf of bread
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

To make bread crumbs, heat over to 300 degrees.  Cut bread into cubes and scatter on a baking sheet in 1 layer.  Bake 15 minutes, or until cubes feel dry on the outside but still moist inside.  When cool, place bread into a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs.  Set aside 1/2 cup firmly packed bread crumbs.  Save any remaining for future use.

Heat the 2 tablespoons oil in a saute pan over medium heat just until warm, not hot.  Add reserved bread crumbs and stir to coat with oil.  Cook, stirring constantly, until bread crumbs are evenly golden brown and crunchy, about 5 minutes.  Remove from pan and allow to cool before tossing into salad.

For kale salad, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and a generous pinch of hot red-pepper flakes.  Pour dressing over kale in serving bowl and toss well.  Add two-thirds of the cheese and toss again.  Let mixture sit for at least 5 minutes  Add bread crumbs, toss again, and top with remaining cheese.

Servings: 4

Nutritional value per serving:  452 calories, 28 g fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 11 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 1,595 mg sodium, 56 percent calories from fat.  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Finding Hills

Sometimes finding mountains to climb in an area named Mesa (the Spanish word for table) is a bit like going on a treasure hunt.  You have to ride a ways to get any sort of a decent pitch to tackle on your bike and mountains are few and far between.  Well, yesterday I went looking for said treasure and found the jackpot. 

Presenting Eagle's Nest in Fountain Hills, Arizona. 

First, the photos:
The views from the top of Eagle's Nest are breathtaking
I entered the neighborhood via the grand gated front entrance

Twisty, curvy streets added to the fun of the cycling through this beautiful Arizona neighborhood

Attention to detail is obvious as I rode through the streets, from the trail head markers to the rustic steel walking bridges. 

I found this spectacular neighborhood by turning off Beeline Highway, going north (L) on Shea, east (R)  on Saguaro then west (L)  on Palisades Road.  At Fountain Hills High School, I turned north and around the school and up to the Eagle's Nest development.

Eagle's Nest is a master planned community that has been hard hit by the stalled real estate economy.  The hills are dotted with monstrous multi-million dollar homes nestled into the lush desert landscape.  It's streets quiet and traffic free.  The area is a cyclist's paradise - safe, serene, killer climbs and spectacular views.  And to get there, be prepared to climb one hill that cautions motorists with a sign reading "18 Percent Grade."

Maybe I should keep this place a secret training ground for me.  I passed hundreds of cyclists on Shea Boulevard on the outward bound ride, and none of them followed me into this hidden treasure.  But it's really just to good to NOT share. 

I'll be heading out every Saturday to Eagle's Next for the next couple of months to hill train.  Anyone want to join me?


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Warm Fuzzy

Thanks to my new partnership with Xterra, I can offer my "team members" aka blog readers, a discount on fabulous Xterra wetsuits.  I got this email from Erica my contact at Xterra yesterday:

We just dropped our prices for our sponsored clubs and teams from 55% off to 60% off. Your team is eligible for these amazing deals simply by entering your team's coupon code at checkout. As a reminder, your unique coupon code is C-GORILLA. As an added bonus, we're offering free FedEx Ground shipping within the United States with the purchase of any new wetsuit.
Prices are not guaranteed to last, so please take advantage while the prices are this low. Here's a list of our updated pricing at 60% off:
  • Vortex Sleeveless Wetsuit - $120 (regularly $300)
  • Vortex Fullsuit Wetsuit - $160 (regularly $400)
  • Vector Pro Sleeveless Wetsuit - $160 (regularly $400)
  • Vector Pro Fullsuit Wetsuit - $240 (regularly $600)
  • Velocity M Speedsuit - $150 (regularly $350)
Keep in mind, you can always click here for updated sponsorship pricing.
If any of your members purchased a new wetsuit within the last 30 days using your coupon code at 55% off, simply have them email me with their order number, and I will refund them the price difference.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Have Your Cake And Wear It Too

I hate to brag, but Gorilla Multisport athletes are beyond amazing.  They swim, they bike, they run.  And some of them bake really cool cakes.  Melissa Lee of Gilbert, Arizona has a flare for finishing touches.  Whether it's flying past the finish line at the St. George Marathon, or creating the COOLEST birthday cake you've ever seen, Melissa's got talent.  She made this Vibram Five Fingers cake for her daughter who is a runner and lover of those weird glove-like shoes. 

Take a looksie here:

Wow wow wow is all I've got to say.  And who doesn't deserve to dive into this tasty coconut cake after a long run anyway?  

You can find out more about Melissa and all her tasty creations on her blog here.   She's also on my blog list at The Good Apple.  Now Melissa, get out there and run!

Riding In Circles

Hamstring issues used to plague me.  I wasn't sure WHAT I was doing wrong, until I tried to ride in a higher cadence - more spinning, less pushing. 

Here's a handy tip to perfecting your cycling endurance and skill: try Perfect Circles. 

You create a perfect circle by thinking horizontally instead of just up and down.  Imagine wiping your foot at the bottom of the stroke and then reaching your knees toward the handlebar up top.  In other words, ride like the circles on your pedals are bigger than they actually are.  Keep them smooth, keep them even.  It helps to listen for that consistent cadence, eliminating the push push push from the top of the cycle stroke to the bottom. 

I like to practice single leg drills on my trainer at home.  It gives you a LOT of insight into what leg is stronger than the other, and which leg is doing more work.  Set a chair next to your bike and trainer and take one leg out at a time for sets of 4 x 30 circles, or something like that.  Drills are helpful in EVERY sport and we don't spend enough time on them in the cycling world.

Give it a whirl today.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Principles of Natural Running with Dr. Mark Cucuzzella

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

KONY 2012

Join TRI or Donate to Invisible Children:
Purchase KONY 2012 products:
Sign the Pledge:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fan Favorite - The Phoenix Marathon

Heather, Camille and Erica all smiles at the start line
THANK YOU! For such a great race. The organization was superb, volunteers friendly and well trained, aid stations/post race refreshments fun and easy to acquire - just a really great time!! I loved the bagpipes at the start and all the music from start to finish as well. 

WELL DONE first year event! When does registration open for 2013?!

Great event, best race thus far. My friends and I enjoyed it! Thanks for all of the support with the volunteers along the way. Looking forward to next year! 
Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True