Sunday, 27 April 2014

Feedzone Portables

For those of you who have been following either lynne's or my timeline on facebook, you may have noticed a fair amount of cooking going on. Not that this is unusual, we do enjoy a bit of bustle in the kitchen, but we have a new book, and we're cooking through the recipes in record time. 
Normally when we get a cookbook, a couple of the recipes get done, and then it sits on a shelf for the rest of time. But not this one, it seems. 
What is it, and why is that?

I first heard about the concept of good, homemade portable food a year of so ago, I can't remember where the idea came from, but it was the idea of rice balls, with cinnamon and cream cheese. I think it was a Team Sky thing, and I read it on the twitter account of the team chef. Since then, I was on the look out for ideas for real food that I could cook, and then eat on long days out on the hill. Something away from the normal sandwiches and energy bars. 

Basic Baked Eggs. 
The first book, Feed Zone, was published a couple of years ago, and was written by another cycling team chef and a nutritionist for the american olympic team. It was mainly about nutritious food for pre and post ride. Excellent for sports people going hard on a daily basis, but only a small section of it was focussed on portable food that you could take out on the hill. 
Thankfully, that was being held back for the next book, which was published a short time ago, and the one that I'm currently raving about. 

Feedzone Portables

Spaghetti balls.
The basic premise is for healthy and nutritious food, being made in small, bite-size portions that you can take out with you during the day, and eat as a real food alternative to energy bars. There is a fairly comprehensive section at the front of the book about sports nutrition on the go, so if you are particularly of a sciencey type of mindset, or have a particular interest in nutrition on the go, its a really good resource. 

The recipes vary from the sweet to the savory, and, I have to say, are particularly easy to make and taste delicious. In the first week we made 4 different recipes, and have carried on in the same vein ever since. We have been through nigh on half the book by now, and the only reason why a number of them haven't been tried yet is because we haven't managed to get hold of the ingredients yet. 

Spaghetti ball
I'd really highly recommend this book to anyone that eats food. 
There you go. 
Beef and Sweet potato pie
Seriously. Whether you make your own lunch, eat on the hill, eat when cycling, or whatever, the food that you can make from this book covers it all. Many of the recipes can be made gluten free, and there are a good number of suggested ways of doing so. However, the food isn't all that vegan friendly. You can do vegetarian options, but if you don't eat egg, then that might put a bit of a crimp in how much you can take away from this book. 
Pre-waffle and waffle iron
As an aside, you do have to enjoy the process of cooking as well. Lynne and I can spend a good few hours in the kitchen, just making snacks for the next week. Its a lovely sociable activity, and it means that we get to spend time together doing something we enjoy. 

A couple of tips if you live in the uk

  1. One of the first things we bought after getting this book was a silicone muffin tray. We started off by using a normal muffin tray, but even with smearing it with oil, the food often didn't come out in a decent enough piece to eat. Once we bought the silicone tray and it came, the food was transformed, and after we cooked them, they came out like a dream. Fantastic bite sized hill food. Excellent. 
  2. When it says use sticky rice, get tesco thai jasmine rice and steam it. Wash it first, then leave it to stand in water for 10mins, drain it, fill it with water so that it is a little deeper than the rice. Bring it to the boil and let it boil uncovered for a minute, cover it, turn it right down and leave it to steam til the water is absorbed, and once it is, turn off the heat and let it rest for 10, and then there you have it. Perfectly cooked. Mmm. Sticky rice.
  3. Make sure you have loads of cinnamon. 
    Stacks of stuff to be eaten. 
  4. You don't need a mixer to begin with, as there are plenty of recipes that don't require one, but if you start wandering your way through the book, then it certainly comes in handy. 
  5. Be prepared to make mammoth amounts of washing up. 
  6. Make sure you have plenty of eggs. 
  7. There are a lot of calories in these foods, so make sure you're doing a fair amount of exercise to burn it all off.
  8. All the ingredients are measured in american cups. You CAN do all the conversions yourself, but to be honest, its a lot quicker and easier to get a set of cup measures. 
So there you have it. An excellent book about food. Don't just buy it and let it sit on the shelf, thats a complete waste. Buy, try and be excited about the food you eat on the hill again. 

Food. Out there. 
Oh, and a short request... Is there anyone out there who has an old Kenwood Chef taking up space in their kitchen that they no longer need/use? If so, drop me a line, I wouldn't mind taking it off your hands!

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