Two posts in one today! In a minute, I’ve got a great new Indian curry recipe to share with you. It’s made with black-eyed peas instead of the more-standard lentils or chickpeas, so it’s kind of fun. But first…
A New Course for Runners Interested in Going Vegetarian
Allow me to gloat, for just a second.
No Meat Athlete has grown up quite a bit recently in terms of traffic. We’re at almost 3,000 subscribers, but the bigger deal is that over 60,000 unique readers visit the site every month!
Perez Hilton I’m not. (Although if that’s what you want, I suppose I could try.) But for this stupid little site I run out of my mom’s basement (not really), it’s pretty cool to know that I’m reaching that many people with the message that “vegetarian” doesn’t mean “weakling.”
But here’s the thing: Of those 60,000 people every month, a lot of them are visitors from Google. They hang out for a little while, view 2.09 pages each, and if nothing hooks them, they leave. That’s a lot of potential runners-on-plants who are slipping through the cracks.
I don’t really care about losing the ones who end up here accidentally in their searches for meat porn or “no meat at lent” (yes, No Meat Athlete now slightly outranks Jesus). But for runners with even the slightest interest in seeing what going vegetarian could do for their energy levels, endurance, and durability, I wanted to have something to help nourish that idea and keep them coming back.
Introducing ‘The Vegetarian Endurance Advantage’
So that’s why I created a new free email course on the essentials of vegetarian training, called The Vegetarian Endurance Advantage. You know, the potential benefits, a shopping list and diet plan for vegetarian endurance athletes, pre- and post-workout foods, protein and other nutrition concerns, and some stuff that’s a little more fun. Totally non-preachy, and all based on improving performance.
So why might you, someone who has been reading for a while, be interested? Well, two reasons:
- It’s designed to be a standalone resource, rather than making people click all around the site. So while the content is stuff I write about on the site, its more organized and targeted, and probably more useful.
- I’ll keep adding to the course for a long time, so the material will become more in-depth as time goes on. I’ll also send regular email updates with additional content to anyone who is signed up; it’ll be the start of an email newsletter.
So that’s it. If you’d like to get the course in your inbox, enter your email address in the form in the RIGHT sidebar (the one on the left is for subscribing to posts). After you confirm your subscription, you’ll get the first email right away.
And of course, I’d really appreciate it if you share this with anyone who might be interested in going vegetarian to improve their running. As always, THANK YOU!
On to the Curry…
Remember how during the infamous 7 Things that Suck About Being Vegetarian post, I wrote that I didn’t enjoy cooking quite as much as I used to? That was probably the most-disagreed-with point of the entire post, but several people were nice enough to offer suggestions.
More than one person suggested getting into Indian cooking, and that really sounded like something I could do. On the recommendation of about 12 people on Twitter, I got Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian (my Amazon affiliate link) from the library. And—BAM!—I was back, baby.
So I was really excited when my friends at Wiley sent me a copy of their new cookbook, Anjum’s New Indian, by Anjum Anand. It’s not a vegetarian cookbook, but I’d estimate that about half the pages in the book are dedicated to meatless recipes. It’s real, authentic Indian cooking, something I’ve never done at home and always figured was strictly the domain of restaurants.
But this black-eyed pea curry, the first recipe I tried, was fantastic. It reminded me of the chickpea dish I always order, chana masala, with the obvious and welcome difference of black-eyed peas instead of chickpeas (much as I love them, I eat them all the damn time).
So it was great. I reduced the chile powder amount by little bit and served this one along with some whole-wheat naan (roti) that I bought, and it was perfect. Just enough heat and great flavor. Anjum says it works just as well with rice too, if that’s your thing.
I hope you give this one a try to shake up your routine a little bit. I’ll post a few more recipes from this book as I make them, so look for those soon. Enjoy!
Black-eyed Pea Curry Recipe
(From Anjum’s New Indian, Anjum Anand, John Wiley and Sons, 2008.) Serves 4-6.
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 green chiles, left whole or slit
- 1 small-medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 1-and-1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
- 5 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/4-1/2 tsp pure red chile powder
- 1 tbsp ground corander
- 1 tsp garam masala
- salt, to taste
- 3 large tomatoes, peeled
- 2 cups of black eyes peas, drained and rinsed
- handful of fresh cilantro leaves and stalks, chopped
Heat the oil in a medium-sized nonstick saucepan. Add the bay leaves and fry for 20 seconds, then add the cumin seeds and fry until they sizzle. Add the green chilies and onion and cook until well browned.
Meanwhile, using a blender, make a paste of the ginger and garlic with a splash of water. Stir into the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes or until you can smell the cooked garlic. Add the powdered spices and salt and stir for another 30 seconds or so before pouring in the tomatoes. Cook over medium heat until the oil leaves the masala, around 12-15 minutes.
Add the drained beans and mix well in the masala. Cook for a couple of minutes before pouring in 1 cup water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes. Take 2 tablespoons of the beans out of the gravy, mash well and stir back in. Stir in the fresh cilantro and serve.