This blog is about running. This blog is about cooking really good vegetarian food that helps you with running.
It’s only about my life to the extent that these things are part of it. So while an open letter to my unborn baby about whether or not we’d raise him vegetarian was sort of appropriate, and so might be a jogging stroller review one day, a full-on baby report probably isn’t of interest to all that many of you.
That said, it would be sort of weird (and some of you might get mad) if I didn’t at least write a little bit about my brand new son. So that’s what the next section is for. If you’re not interested in that, feel free to scroll past it to get to a great new recipe from Clean Food and to where I announce the winners of two recent giveaways.
Presenting Holden Matthew
Last Friday morning, three days before the official due date (which happened to be the day of the Boston Marathon), Erin decided she’d go for a walk at the trail. I had planned to run easy that day, and my dad met us there to run with me.
But something told me I should walk with Erin on this day, and I’m glad that I did. Near the end of the two-mile walk, Erin noticed some discomfort unlike any she’d had before. She was hesitant to call them contractions, but as they started to occur regularly, it became clear that this was it.
The rest of the day went pretty much as I had imagined. While I tied up loose ends, gathered our things and prepared to unplug for a few days, family members came over to be with Erin and soak in those magic moments before all hell broke loose.
And break loose hell did.
Actually, it wasn’t that bad. (From my end, anyway. Erin might tell the story differently.) The contractions got stronger and closer together, and around 6 p.m. we decided it was time to go to the hospital. In my dad’s motorhome, no less.
And just like the rest of the pregnancy, the delivery went smoothly. At 2:44 on Saturday morning, out came a beautiful, healthy, little boy, weighing in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces. (Ok, not exactly little. That’s veggie power for you, I guess.)
We had chosen not to find out the sex of the baby in advance, and we hadn’t even completely decided on a name, figuring we’d wait to see our baby before we finalized what we’d call him or her. Within five minutes or so, we had decided on Holden Matthew.
In his first five days of life, little Holden has been an absolute joy. It’s been amazing for me to watch Erin love him; he’s one lucky baby to have her for a mother. And he’s been flooded with the love of his grandparents, aunts, and uncles.
The youngest Boston runner?
As you know, I missed the Boston Marathon for this little guy’s birth. It was a bummer that the due date and Patriots’ Day coincided, but there was never any doubt about which was more important.
But now I get an unexpected gift: My friend Steve informed me that the day Holden turns 18 will be the day of the 2028 Boston Marathon, meaning Holden could be the youngest runner in it, if he so desires (and qualifies).
Who knows if he’ll even be a runner. But as a brand new dad, I now have my first unreasonable expectation to keep in the back of my mind. Maybe I’ll inform him of the opportunity when he’s about 10.
Chickpea Fritters from ‘Clean Food’
How do you segue from a baby to a recipe? Like this.
In anticipation of the lack of time that a new baby brings to his parents, Erin and I have been making meals that can be easily doubled and frozen for use in a pinch later on, say when Holden has decided that nobody in the house needs to sleep after about 3 a.m.
The millet patties from Clean Food were perfect for this—we made two batches and froze a good 12 or 15 patties for later. And we found another that works just as well: Chickpea Fritters.
When I first saw the name, I expected glorified falafel. They turned out to be so much more interesting than that. These chickpea fritters, we discovered, are a nearly perfect vegan substitute for eggs.
Yes, eggs. I’ve never been a big egg-eater; the taste and smell turn me off. Which is a shame, because omelets always look so appealing with all their fresh ingredients. And savory breakfast just seems so good.
We ate them for dinner, but now that I know what they’re like, I have a new breakfast food for special occasions. The turned out nice and fluffy like eggs, but without that egg smell that grosses me out. And they’re not unborn chickens, which is cool by me.
I hope you give these a try. They take a little advance planning, since they’re required to chill for 2 hours. Other than that, it’s a pretty simple recipe.
Crispy Chickpea Fritters
(posted with permission, copyright CLEAN FOOD, copyright 2009, Terry Walters, Sterling Publishing, Co, Inc.)
- 2 cups chickpea flour
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 1/4 red onion, minced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Grapeseed or extra virgin olive oil for frying
In a large pot over no heat, combine chickpea flour, water, salt, onion, carrot, rosemary and olive oil. Whisking continuously, turn heat to medium and continue to whisk until mixture becomes quite thick (about 15 minutes). Remove from heat and either whisk by hand or with a handheld blender to smooth out any lumps.
Oil 9 x 12-inch glass casserole and spread mixture evenly across the bottom. Cool slightly, cover and refrigerate until firm (about 2 hours). Remove from refrigerator, cut into thin strips and gently remove strips from casserole.
Preheat oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat large saute pan (cast-iron gives a nice crispy outer crust), cover the bottom in oil and fry fritters 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Keep fritters warm in the oven while you fry up the remaining strips. Serve immediately.
Snubbr.com and CEP Compression Sock giveaway winners
To close out this long post, I believe I owe you two giveaway winners.
The first is for the Snubbr.com contest, where you were asked to select a favorite vegan cookbook you’d like to win. The winner is Brittney, who selected Veganomicon. Can’t fault her for that choice.
The second giveaway was my biggest yet, a pair of awesome compression socks from CEP. The winner is Katy, one of few women who didn’t choose pink. She went with black compression socks, and perhaps for that reason, the gods of randomness smiled on Katy.
Congratulations to the winners, and big thanks for Snubbr.com and CEP Sportswear for hosting these great giveaways.