Archive for the ‘Culinary Tour de France’

Mostly Meat-Free Cyclist Racing in Tour de France

July 01, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Article, Culinary Tour de France

Dave Zabriskie, from Team Garmin-Cervélo, will be racing in the Tour de France for the fifth time.  As a Tour veteran, you can be sure he’s honed a regular routine to get him through three weeks of grueling racing.  This year, though, one essential component of that plan is going to be a lot different. He will be fueled primarily through a vegan diet – a diet unheard of in a carnivorous sport focused on refueling the thousands of calories lost each day.

In case you are not familiar with it, the Tour de France is an incredibly demanding 21-day stage race that covers 3400+ miles. Cyclists are asked to ride these long miles, often up steep terrain, always sustaining fast speeds under their own propulsion. These athletes can burn over 8,000 calories a day during the race, which requires close attention to ensuring the racers are fueled appropriately. If you’ve ever sat at a table with a cyclist in training, they practically devour everything in sight in an effort to replenish the lost calories.

During the 2010 Tour de France, Zabriskie began weaning meat out of his diet. By October of last year, he was eating a primarily vegan diet eliminating all dairy (yet eating some fish on the advice of his trainer). So far, the mostly vegan diet has been treating him quite well. He has been motivated by the health benefits finding that some of his previous ailments have cleared up. Last month he decidedly won the US national time trial championship and he won a stage at the Tour of California.

Keep in mind, his role in Le Tour is to support another rider, so you probably won’t see him in the yellow jersey. Zabriskie’s job is to support the team leader. But, the amount of effort he’s going to be putting into the race is equal to the top performers.

Interested in what Zabriskie is going to be eating? The Wall Street Journal gives a pretty in-depth look at what Zabriskie typically eats including a menu for a typical race day:

Breakfast:

Oatmeal with black strap molasses; whole food optimizer; cacao nibs; nuts; cinnamon; two tablespoons of coconut butter; an apple; hemp seeds and flax seeds

On-the-Bike Snacks:

Six Clif Bar Z bars (vegan); two Clif Bar shot blocks (vegan); two Clif Bar gels (vegan); dates; six to eight bottles of special team race drink

On the Bus, Post-Race:

White rice with maple syrup and cinnamon; vegan protein shake;

two bottles of special team recovery protein drink; goji berries

Before Dinner:

Vegan protein shake

Dinner:

White rice or pasta; salad with leafy greens; vegetables —including broccoli, spinach, carrots and beets.

Dessert:

Fresh fruit and a vegan protein shake before bed

Many news organizations are attempting to grab the headline by calling Zabriskie a “vegan” but then later in the story they then talk about how he still eats fish. One can argue that one is not a vegan if one eats fish. So, let’s cut this off right here: Rather than getting caught up in the labels, we should be focused on what he is doing by practically eliminating animal products from his diet and enjoying the benefits in both his health and performance

Photo by Mark Blacknell.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Cucumber Soup (Crèm Doria)

July 25, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Culinary Tour de France, Main Dishes, Other

We’re coming to the last day of the Vegetarian Tour de France and it’s been a long month of cooking. That’s why I’m still looking for simple recipes. This is a unique soup and is a great use for the summer cucumber crop. The next time I make this, I may play around a little with the amount of butter, cream and egg yolk that is in the soup. I think it could be made much lighter…which means it can be eaten that much more often. (And, that also means no worries about having to schlep extra poundage around on your weekend bike ride!)

Cucumber Soup (Crèm Doria)
adapted from Celtnet.org.uk

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp long-grain rice
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp cream
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Do not peel the cucumber, as the skin is essential for this recipe. Chop both the cucumber and shallot then melt the butter in a pan. When hot add the cucumber and shallot and fry lightly until soft and slightly browned.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Cucumber Soup (Crèm Doria)

Season well and add the rice to the pot.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Cucumber Soup (Crèm Doria)

Fry for 1 minute before adding the stock.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Cucumber Soup (Crèm Doria)

Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the rice is tender.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Cucumber Soup (Crèm Doria)

Take off the heat and allow to cool a little before liquidizing in a food processor.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Cucumber Soup (Crèm Doria)

Return the liquid to the pan then add the cream and slowly whisk-in the egg yolk. Allow to warm through, but do not boil (otherwise the egg and cream will curdle).

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Cucumber Soup (Crèm Doria)

(Note: Even after processing in the blender, I still had bits of seeds and skin. If you don’t like that…then strain them out before serving.)

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A Vegetarian Tour de France: Lance Armstrong’s Hater-tots Served with Hatersauce

July 24, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Culinary Tour de France, Other, Snacks/Appetizers

As Lance Armstrong so astutely observed , “Hater-tots” are the breakfast of (some) Tour de France champions.  And really, who are we to argue with such success?  So, in the spirit of Le Tour, we examine – just in time for a Hater-tot fueled attack on Mont Ventoux – the Hater-tots that may be gracing certain tables tomorrow morning.

Catch us after the jump…

(more…)

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

July 23, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Culinary Tour de France, Salads, Side Dishes

Rolling, rolling, rolling…Le Tour keeps a’rollin. Our vegetable delivery this week featured a nice bunch of green beans and I knew I wanted to create something light yet substantial.  I stumbled upon this recipe – La Salade de Haricots Verts, Champignons, et Noisettes de Gallopin. It’s a lot of words to the name but this salad is worth that mouthful.  This is a great addition to the Vegetarian Tour de France.

Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

(La Salade de Haricots Verts, Champignons, et Noisettes de Gallopin)
Adapted from The Paris Cookbook

Chop hazelnuts and roast in toaster oven on 350 degrees for about 5 minutes.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

Fill a pasta pot, preferably with a colander built in, with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add salt and beans to the water. Cook until the beans are crisp and tender – about 5 minutes.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

Drain beans and run under cold water (or place in bowl of ice water). When beans are cool, drain them and wrap in a towel. (Be careful not to let the beans get soggy when cooling them off in the water.)

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

In a small bowl, whisk the vinegar, salt and oil.

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

Combine green beans, mushrooms, shallots, chives and toasted hazelnuts in a large bowl.  Then drizzle the vinaigrette on the beans and mushrooms and stir to coat. (If you are not serving immediately, the drizzle vinaigrette when it’s time to eat.)

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad

A Vegetarian Tour de France: Green Bean, Mushroom, and Hazelnut Salad


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