Monday, August 2, 2010

Savory Delights

Savory Potato Square with brown sugar and salt topping.

have you ever been several hours into an endurance event, eating energy gels, chews, electrolyte drinks, Coca Cola, cookies, energy bars and thought to yourself, "i just don't think i can gag one more packet of this crap down"?  i have.  many times.  and i've gagged them down, and puked them up.  and longed for something savory.

i was watching the Tour de France this year and thought to myself, "what do those guys eat for 5 hours a day?  they can't be going on gels and PB&Js..."  and i got my answer.  Versus Network did a short piece on Dr. Allen Lim, the sports physiologist who is working with Team Radio Shack this year, and previously worked for Team Garmin.  he has come up with some savoy recipes for endurance foods that are packable, relatively non-perishable, and delicious.  i tried his sticky rice cakes and thought to myself, "this man is a genius!  i love him."  and my stomach loves him too.  no pukey with the rice cakes.

i adapted his recipe a bit, and have made a potato version without egg.  scrumpdilly-icious.  his original recipe makes a sh*t load of cakes (64, to be exact), so i am going to give you my version of his recipe, adapted for one person (makes 8 small cakes).  if you want the original, you can go to

Sticky Rice Cakes by Dr. Allen Lim
Recipe Ingredients:
3 eggs
4 slices prosciutto or ham (fry it or not, your preference)
one cup sushi rice (cook according to package directions, makes approx. 2 cups cooked rice)
1-2 tbsp soy sauce (to taste--depends on how salty you want it)
dash balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar or instant Miso Soup mix (for garnish)

Preparation Instructions
- cook sushi rice according to package directions (i actually added about 1/4 cup extra water, to make the rice extra soft and sticky)
- Scramble eggs in olive oil or butter while rice cooks, add one tbsp soy sauce into eggs while cooking.
- chop prosciutto or ham
- mix together eggs, prosciutto (or ham), and rice in large bowl
- add 1 tbsp soy sauce and the balsamic vinegar to the mixture and stir well
- pack mixture into small brownie pan or bread pan, so that the mixture is about 1 inch thick, top with brown sugar (only if you want--i made the first batch without the sugar and i actually really liked it without the sweetness of the sugar.  another option would be to sprinkle with instant Miso Soup mix.)
- cut into squares (8) and wrap in foil.  put the packets in a large ziplock in the fridge and they are ready to go whenever you are.
- good to eat for up to 12 hours without refrigeration, or lasts about a week refrigerated.

(i'm guess-timating each square has about 200-300 calories.)

Missy's Savory Potato Squares
Recipe Ingredients:
6-8 small to medium yukon gold potatos (about 2 cups when cooked and mashed)
1/4 cup hard salami or summer sausage, chopped into very small pieces
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp butter
1 to 2 tsp salt (to taste--again, it depends on how salty you want your food)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp brown sugar (garnish)

Preparation Instructions:
-boil potatoes in salted water until they are very done and easy to mash (i boiled with skins on--you can peel them if you want, but yukon gold skins are pretty thin to start with).
-mix together:  chopped salami, parmesan, butter, 1 tsp salt, pepper, garlic, and seasoning
-when potatoes are done boiling, drain off all water, and use a potato masher to do a rough mash (doesn't need to be creamy like mashed potatoes, just smashed down a bit).
-mix mashed potatoes with other ingredients
-press into bottom of small brownie pan or bread pan
-sprinkle with a bit more salt, and brown sugar if you want a sweet/savory garnish
-allow to cool thoroughly, then cut into 2-3 inch squares and wrap in foil (bread pan makes 8 squares)
-store foil packets in large ziplock bag for up to one week.

i figure each square has at least 200-300 calories.

A Note for Veggies :)
if you are veggie, you could easily leave out the meat products.  plain rice with Miso Soup mix sprinkled on top actually sounds really good to me, and might be the only thing your tummy could handle after 24 hours of continuous racing.  you might want to experiment with adding a non-flavored protein powder to the final product if you want to add a protein component in substitution for the meat.

it's best to test new foods in training first.  there's no way i would take one of these with me to a race without trying it in the field first.  if you have other variations, i'd love to hear what you come up with.


  1. U can go to

    and put in ingredients and it will give u an exact calorie total for reecipe. I don't know if u already did this. fyi.

  2. thanks, Kim. no, at this point i was just guess-timating. i might do that though.