[\ˌper-ə-pə-ˈte-tik\]: wandering from place to place
(Photo Credit: Photographer: David Prince (at Outside Magazine); food styling by Megan Schlow)
After several months of anticipation, Scott Jurek’s book Eat & Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness finally hit the shelves. I picked up a copy at B&N today and am already a few chapters in and enjoying every minute of it. I’ll probably post a review of the book in the near future, seeing as to how it should only take a day, or so, to read. But I thought that I would briefly highlight one of the wonderful inclusions in the book: recipes!
For those that do not know (meaning: “anyone who has not read Born to Run”), Jurek is kind of a legend in ultramarathon circles. Among numerous other triumphs, Jurek’s running career boasts 7 consecutive wins at the Western States 100, three consecutive victories at the Spartathalon (153 miles between Sparta and Athens), and a record time at the Badwater Ultramarathon (135 miles). To top off his incredibleness, Jurek has achieved these impressive feats on a purely plant-based diet. So when I found out that he was not only publishing a book on his life story, but also providing a good deal of recipes therein, I knew right away that I was going to be purchasing the book.
Tonight we decided to go ahead and try his recipe for Lentil-Mushroom Burgers. The recipe can be found via the recipe section on his blog, a recent article in Runner’s World, and another in Outside Magazine.
Overall, I have to say that this is a really incredible recipe. I’ve been making vegan burger patties for a while and have used quite a number of recipes as my base for inspiration. Often I make quite a few changes to any recipe that I am using, but this time I stuck to every detail. Well, if I am being honest, I did make one slight change. Instead of using dijon mustard I went ahead and used Sierra Nevada’s (incredible!) Pale Ale & Honey Spice Mustard. But such a minor change shouldn’t affect my impression of the recipe overall.
The patties were slightly difficult to cook. In some vegetarian burger recipes, one uses an egg to bind the patties together. That option isn’t made available here (obviously, it is Vegan), and when it came time to flip the patties the lack of a binding agent was made abundantly clear. But other than this slight problem, the burgers came out wonderfully. We served them on some Ezekial 4:9 bread with more Sierra Nevada mustard, tomato, spinach, and red onion. Once you got the burger between two pieces of bread, it was a little easier to keep together.
In short, it is a recipe that I highly recommend. This is a good thing because it is designed to make 12 patties. I only ended up with 9, so 7 of those are sitting in the freezer waiting for a day when we need a very easy meal. Perhaps I will try to provide an update at a later date when I discover how well they cook after being frozen.
Anyway, go out and buy the book. Or at least check out the recipe at one of the sites above and give it a try. I promise that you won’t regret it.
If you are an athlete and have ever spent any time searching for a protein powder, you will immediately identify with the frustration I have experienced looking for a product with the best protein/ingredient/cost ratio. I’ve found this problem to be even more exacerbated by the fact that I’ve been looking for a plant-based option (though Whey users shouldn’t stop reading(!)). Granted, there are a number of feasible options available, but I have found that the powders with the higher protein content tend to demand a much higher price.
One of best options for a vegan athlete––which I am not, though I often eat like one––comes from Vega Sport, founded by vegan Ironman Brendan Brazier. In fact, their performance protein may even rival a good deal of whey products. I’m already in love with Vega’s Recovery Accelerator and use it after all of my long runs and speed workouts. Yet the price tag on their Performance Protein is usually quite steep. Most often I see it priced for around $60.00, and with only 22 servings per tub, that amounts to $2.72 a serving. By way of contrast, I’ve found the Recovery Accelerator for as low as $20.00 for 20 servings, basically the price of a Gatorade.
Anyway, after looking at a number of other options and even locating a recipe for replicating Vega’s product (here), I finally stumbled across a little company called True Nutrition (formerly known as trueprotein.com). What this company does is provide a very unique service: it allows one to virtually build his or her own protein powder. The types of proteins vary anywhere from Whey, Soy, Hemp, etc., and one also has the ability to add a good deal of other ingredients. For instance, the order I ultimately placed was for 2 lbs. (30 servings) of powder composed of Hemp Protein (20%), Rice Protein (20%), Pea Protein (30%), BCAA’s (15%), and Glutamine (15%)––a combination that produces a virtually identical nutrition profile to Vega’s product when you factor in a comparison of serving sizes. The cost for this creation:…just over 20 dollars.
I placed the order last Friday and the package showed up on Tuesday, allowing me to be able to try it out after Wednesday’s speed session (i.e., 7 miles total with 10 x 400s @ 1,500 meter pace). Overall conclusion: not bad at all! I had some problems with getting one of the ingredients to fully dissolve in the water. The difficulty here is that I have no idea which ingredient it was, so it may be a little difficult factoring this in when I place my next order. Additionally, I will also probably mix it with a little almond milk next time to give it a little of a flavor boost. The company provides a good deal of flavoring options and even gives one the ability to increase how much flavoring is added. I went with the Chocolate Peanut Butter and it wasn’t bad at all. Vega’s powder definitely wins in the taste department, but I would never describe any protein powder as tasting “good”. That goes not only for plant-based products, but also those of the whey variety.
So if you are looking for a viable substitute to your normal powder, perhaps it is worth your time checking the company out.
(photo credit to: las-initially)