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“For any reluctant vegan who worries that nothing will ever replace the taste or texture of a juicy beef patty, consider the lentil burger. It might not matter so much that lentils are an excellent source of protein, that they are one of the fastest-cooking legumes, or that they are consumed in large quantities all over Europe, Asia, and Africa (even Idaho!). What will impress you is how tender, juicy, and “meaty” they taste. I grew up grilling over campfires, and I know burgers. These are as delicious as they come. Sometimes I’ll even take a few patties with me on long training runs and races.”

“For any reluctant vegan who worries that nothing will ever replace the taste or texture of a juicy beef patty, consider the lentil burger. It might not matter so much that lentils are an excellent source of protein, that they are one of the fastest-cooking legumes, or that they are consumed in large quantities all over Europe, Asia, and Africa (even Idaho!). What will impress you is how tender, juicy, and “meaty” they taste. I grew up grilling over campfires, and I know burgers. These are as delicious as they come. Sometimes I’ll even take a few patties with me on long training runs and races.”

 
Lentil-Mushroom Burgers

1 cup dried green lentils (2 1⁄4 cups cooked)
2 1⁄4 cups water
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1⁄4 cups finely chopped onion
3⁄4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cups fine bread crumbs (see note*)
1⁄2 cup ground flax seed (flax seed meal)
3 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1 1⁄2 cups destemmed, finely chopped kale, spinach, or winter greens
2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon paprika

In a small pot, bring the lentils, water, parsley, 1 garlic clove, and 1⁄4 cup of the onion to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 35 to 40 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft.

While the lentils are cooking, combine the walnuts, bread crumbs, and flax seed in a bowl. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and paprika and mix well.

Sauté the remaining onion, remaining garlic, the mushrooms, and greens in the oil for 8 to 10 minutes, then set aside. Remove the lentils from the heat, add the vinegar and mustard, and mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon to a thick paste.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the lentils, sautéed veggies, and bread crumb mixtures, and mix well. Cool in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes or more.

Using your hands, form burger patties to your desired size and place on waxed paper. Lightly fry in a seasoned skillet, broil, or grill until lightly browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Extra uncooked patties can be frozen on wax paper in plastic bags or wrapped.

Makes a dozen 4-inch diameter burgers

*Note: to make the bread crumbs, you’ll need about half of a loaf of day-old bread (I use Ezekiel 4:9). Slice the bread, then tear or cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces and chop in a food processor for 1 to 2 minutes, until a fine crumb results. The walnuts can also be chopped in the food processor with the bread.

 
 
“I first saw these seaweed-wrapped rice packets when I asked a Japanese runner to show me what was in his race pack. I’m grateful I did, because white rice is a great food for cooling your body, especially in hot climates like Death Valley. It’s packed with carbohydrates, it’s not too sweet, and it’s soft and easy to digest. A great source for electrolytes and salt (via the seaweed), rice balls have always been a portable pick-me-up in Japan. These days, you can even find them at convenience stores in Asia. For a soy-free variation, substitute pickled ginger or umeboshi paste for the miso.”

“I first saw these seaweed-wrapped rice packets when I asked a Japanese runner to show me what was in his race pack. I’m grateful I did, because white rice is a great food for cooling your body, especially in hot climates like Death Valley. It’s packed with carbohydrates, it’s not too sweet, and it’s soft and easy to digest. A great source for electrolytes and salt (via the seaweed), rice balls have always been a portable pick-me-up in Japan. These days, you can even find them at convenience stores in Asia. For a soy-free variation, substitute pickled ginger or umeboshi paste for the miso.”

 
Rice Balls (Onigiri)

2 cups sushi rice
4 cups water
2 teaspoons miso
3–4 sheets nori seaweed

Cook the rice in the water on the stovetop or using a rice cooker. Set aside to cool. Fill a small bowl with water and wet both hands so the rice does not stick. Using your hands, form ¼ cup rice into a triangle. Spread ¼ teaspoon miso evenly on one side of the triangle. Cover with another ¼ cup rice. Shape into one triangle, making sure the miso is covered with rice. Fold the nori sheets in half and then tear them apart. Using half of one sheet, wrap the rice triangle in nori, making sure to completely cover the rice. Repeat using the remaining rice, miso, and nori.

 
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"Hippie Dan first taught me the importance of greens like spirulina and wheatgrass. Spirulina is a green algae said to have been carried into battle by Aztec warriors. Used for centuries as a weight-loss aid and immune-booster, it has lately been studied and shown promising results as a performance enhancer for long-distance runners. Because spirulina is marketed as a dietary supplement rather than a food, the FDA does not regulate its production; buy it only from a health food store and a brand you trust. "Packed with protein (spirulina is a complete protein) and rich in vitamins and minerals, this smoothie is an excellent source of nutrition. For a little extra carbohydrate boost, replace 1 cup water with 1 cup apple or grape juice."

"Hippie Dan first taught me the importance of greens like spirulina and wheatgrass. Spirulina is a green algae said to have been carried into battle by Aztec warriors. Used for centuries as a weight-loss aid and immune-booster, it has lately been studied and shown promising results as a performance enhancer for long-distance runners. Because spirulina is marketed as a dietary supplement rather than a food, the FDA does not regulate its production; buy it only from a health food store and a brand you trust.

"Packed with protein (spirulina is a complete protein) and rich in vitamins and minerals, this smoothie is an excellent source of nutrition. For a little extra carbohydrate boost, replace 1 cup water with 1 cup apple or grape juice."

 
Green Power
Pre-Workout Drink

2 bananas
1 cup frozen or fresh mango or pineapple chunks
4 cups water
2 teaspoons spirulina powder
1 teaspoon miso

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 to 2 minutes, until the mixture is completely smooth. Drink 20 to 30 ounces (2 1⁄2 to 3 3⁄4 cups) 15 to 45 minutes before a run.

 
 
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Rice Milk

1 cup cooked brown or white rice
4 cups water
⅛ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon sunflower oil (optional)

Combine the rice, water, and salt in a blender. If you want a creamier milk, add the oil. Blend on high for 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth. Pour into a container, cover, and refrigerate. Rice milk will keep for 4 to 5 days.

Makes 5 cups

 
 
“As a child, I had a glass of milk with every meal and could pile mashed potatoes higher than anyone in my family. I still love the dish, but now I use homemade rice milk, which is just as creamy and rich as the stuff from cows, much less expensive, and doesn’t produce any plastic container waste. There’s no better comfort food.”

“As a child, I had a glass of milk with every meal and could pile mashed potatoes higher than anyone in my family. I still love the dish, but now I use homemade rice milk, which is just as creamy and rich as the stuff from cows, much less expensive, and doesn’t produce any plastic container waste. There’s no better comfort food.”

 
Minnesota
Mashed Potatoes

5–6 medium red or yellow potatoes
1 cup rice milk (see recipe, above)
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon crushed black pepper
Paprika (optional)

Wash the potatoes; peel or leave the skins on as you prefer. Place in a pot and add enough water to completely cover, 1 inch above the potatoes. Bring to a boil, covered, over high heat. Lower the heat and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Check the potatoes with a fork. If the fork goes into the potatoes easily, they are ready.

Remove from the heat and drain. Mash the potatoes with a potato masher or hand mixer. Add the remaining ingredients and continue to mash until a smooth, fluffy consistency is reached. Season with a dash or two more salt and pepper and paprika if desired.

Makes 4-6 servings

 
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More recipes can be found in Eat & Run

My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness