Sunday, May 30, 2010

pre-half marathon carb load ::
improvised aglio e olio recipe

Carb fest, waiting to be consumed

Yesterday, I completed my first-ever half marathon. It was tons of fun, and I finished with a respectable time, even though I didn't really train [shame on me, I know]. Now, I'm motivated to train properly for some upcoming races. I think that carb-loading the week before the race definitely helped my performance.

My improvised pasta aglio e olio included grape tomatoes, mushrooms and a drained box of frozen spinach 

It's so easy to improvise pasta, especially with summer-friendly aglio e olio- (garlic and oil, pronounced "all-oh-lee-oh") based sauces. I mean, what vegetable doesn't taste good with garlic and olive oil? All you need to do slowly infuse about 6-8 T best-quality olive oil with tons of garlic slices; I use at least 7 or 8 cloves. "Slowly" is the operative word; you don't want to burn the garlic but you don't want to undercook it, either. Be patient: give the garlic enough time to really get to know the oil. [Hint: if it's cooking too quickly, remove from the heat and quickly sprinkle on some salt to draw out the water.] If you want to add hot pepper flakes, do it now. Then, simply add your veggies and cook until you have a sauce. Keep stirring over medium heat, and if it seems dry, add a tiny bit of water from the pasta water. When the sauce tastes right and the veggies are cooked, it's done. Add fresh herbs at the very end,just before serving.

Below, I've list aglio e olio friendly spring and summer veggies. Be sure to mix and match; it's a great way to use up all the veggies from your  CSA share:

  • Tomatoes [including grape and cherry]
  • Spinach [Fresh or drained, frozen]
  • Broccoli, broccoli rabe and cauliflower [Pre-cook first; frozen also works]
  • Kale
  • Zucchini/yellow squash
  • Fava beans
  • Leeks/onions
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Mushrooms
  • Asparagus
  • Red peppers [I am not crazy about green peppers in pasta, but try them, if they float your boat]

Let me know how it turns out!


Christy said...

Do you really mean 7 or 8 bulbs (!) of garlic, or cloves? Cloves I get, but bulbs?

Then again, maybe I need to up my garlic use a notch!

Lauren said...

Congrats on the half marathon! I saw you running it (you were slightly ahead of me), but it might have been weird to run up behind you yelling about how much I like your blog.

urban vegan said...

Christy: I mean cloves. All fixed. 8 bulbs is too much even for a garlic-holic like me.

Lauren: LOL: You should have said hi! I would have loved that. Were you dressed up? Congrats on your finish!

Millie said...

Veggies are so wonderful especially when they are sauted....yum. They look fabulous...nice job.

buffalodick said...

Congrats on the half marathon..did a few many moons ago, and it is a lot of work to get ready for one!

Eric said...

I thought I saw you running but figured if I yelled "Yah urban vegan!" and it was you it might get weird and fast :) There even might be some action shots of you somewhere, but anyways congrats on the run!

Amber Shea said...

Congratulations on your first half-marathon!! If you enjoyed it having NOT trained, then you'll definitely love running one you've trained for. ("Love" being relative, of course...)

I totally agree with you—there's very little, to me, that DOESN'T go great with garlic & olive oil.

Katie said...

Hi! I have a question about vegan restaurants in Philly, and you are definitely the best person to ask!

My boyfriend and I live in Philly and we are trying to go vegan for the month of July. I was wondering if you knew a really good (and cheap!) place for dinner.

Any advice you can give will be fantastic! Thank you!

Lauren said...

Nah, I didn't dress up, I couldn't come up with a costume. I don't know how some of those people did it though, I was sweating in my tank top and shorts!
I am definitely signed up for the distance run in September! Maybe I'll see you again (in the thousands of people) and I'll say hi.
Congrats again!

urban vegan said...

Katie: Go to Govinda's and get the "chicken" cheesesteak sandwich or sabji wrap, and get a Vegan Treats dessert (Go on Thurs or Friday; that's when the delivery truck comes!).

Su Xing House in Center City has decent Chinese, too. ANd Mad for Mex is very vegan friendly! But you don't have to stick to all vegan restaurants to go vegan. Try vegetable sushi, pasta, etc. Just tell the servers what you want! :)

DJ Karma (VegSpinz) said...

I love carbs! But I don't run marathons (maybe I should)...

Annie Nguyen said...

I’m in love with noodles and pasta. It’s Yummy and simply irresistable. But the thing I’m afraid is it contains so much carbohydrate. But now I found a new way to replace normal Pasta and noodles. Do you know about Vietnamese brown Rice noodle? It’s 100 percent good for your health. So thrilled to come across this Vietnamese noodle soup Happy Pho. It takes 15 mins for me to cook & has super healthy ingredients, so it’s tasty and doesn’t make me feel terrible afterwards like a lot of Asian prepackaged products. Totally vegan too. I found it at Whole Foods Berkeley but I think they’re at a bunch of other stores too

mayajo said...

This is amazing! I hope my children would love to eat veggies! they would really like this!