Sunday, August 17, 2008

Medals and Other Musings

I would like to take a moment to give Michael Phelps his due.

Yes, the man has won more gold medals than any previous athlete. Yes, he breaks a world record every time he dips a toe into a pool. Yes, he has an "aw, shucks" adorableness that NBC newscasters giggle and blush over (I'm talking to you, Bob Costas).

But have you heard what this guy eats for breakfast?

"Three sandwiches of fried eggs, cheese, lettuce, tomato, fried onions and mayonnaise, add one omelet, a bowl of grits, and three slices of french toast with powdered sugar, then wash down with three chocolate chip pancakes."

The man eats between 8,000 and 10,000 calories per day. And then he gets in the pool and swims for five hours.

He should get a medal every time he finishes a plate.

If I could consume 8,000 calories in a single day and not burst like the Hindenburg, I would eat the following:

1. 25 chocolate chip cookies
2. 2 slices coconut cake
3. 1 Margherita pizza
4. 1 glass red wine
5. 3 avocados
6. 3 Twix bars
7. Vegetables (for balance, you understand) over pasta (because I can)
8. 1 pint of Ben and Jerry's Half-Baked.
9. Cheese: so, so much of it
10. A loaf of warm sourdough bread
11. A big ol' steak
12. Have I passed 8,000 yet?
13. Several plates of true fettucine alfredo, made the way Cafe Romantico here in Fort Lauderdale prepares it: Buttered pasta swirled in a large carved-out wheel of Parmigiano-Reggiano, spoons scraping curls of cheese off the sides, a little black pepper on top... mmm...

Unfortunately, unlike Michael Phelps, I do not exercise for five hours every day. I do a lot of sitting. I do a little standing. I pace myself with a brisk walk to my printer, then loop back to my desk. I do a few reps of this over 9 hours or so.

Yeah, I work it out. Body by Dell PC.

That's why I need recipes like this one. Vegetable-based, low-fat, whole grain recipes that are utterly tangy and satisfying in sedentary-human-size portions. Recipes that'll leave room for some dessert.

Zucchini, Garbanzo Beans and Quinoa
Adapted from this recipe at Epicurious

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans (chick peas), drained
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric, divided
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided
2 cups water
2/3 cup quinoa (about 6 ounces), rinsed well, drained
1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 medium zucchini, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds on the diagonal
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/8 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Combine garbanzo beans and lemon juice in large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil; press in garlic and stir to combine. Let marinate at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon paprika; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups water, quinoa, and coarse salt; bring to simmer, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until all water is absorbed, about 16 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan. Place zucchini on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle with ground cumin, a pinch of turmeric, and a pinch of paprika. Toss to coat evenly.

Place zucchini in saute pan and cook until tender and browned on all sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to work surface. Cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Add zucchini, green onions, and parsley, then garbanzo bean mixture to quinoa. Toss gently to blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves: 2


Giff said...

Your list of 13 items is too funny

Jimi said...

Nice list Sarah. That Parmigiano-Reggiano bowl is a neat idea.

Aggie said...

You are cracking me up! I wouldn't even know where to start if I could eat that much...definately have to agree on the pizza and Ben & Jerry's (although my favorites are Chubby Hubby and Holy Cannoli if they even make those anymore!) Michael Phelps is just awesome isn't he?

Your recipe sounds great...I am pretty new to cooking with quinoa, I am going to try this one!

Grace said...

i can't even imagine. do you think he has to pawn a gold medal every now and then in order to pay for everything he eats? good googa mooga.
i like your selections, and if i wasn't also into the dell workout, i'd probably eat close to the same. as it is, your lovely dish will satisty me just fine, as long as there's dessert. :)

Kelly said...

hahah great post..

bb said...

Mmmm, Twix bars and lots of them! Nice call on that one. You forgot the three or four glasses of whole milk with those 25 cookies, though. We need to find a U.S. Olympic-like program for food bloggers that will finance our eating habits. It's so unfair that some guy who splashes around in a pool gets all the free food! I mean, really, in two weeks when he's getting all fat and lazy, we'll still be out here selflessly helping others, right? Geez!

muddywaters said...

I'd eat pie for breakfast, and I'd polish off a bowl of ice cream right before bed. Forget that business of not eating after 8:00.

I wish carb loading was something that was essential for my profession.

Molly said...

Ryan Lochte, another olypmic swimmer, reportedly ate nearly every meal at the all-you-can-eat McDonalds in the Olympic Village. I can't believe these guys don't have gastrointestinal rebellion.