Rider Diary: Jessica Cutler #3

Rider Diary: Jessica Cutler #3

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When you spend as much time on the road as me and my Team Colavita teammates, you learn a lot about how to eat on the road without breaking the bank or messing up your well-balanced diet.

I remember my first race with a pro team, it was the 2012 Tour of the Gila that I raced with Primal/MapMyRide as a guest rider. The team went grocery shopping as soon as we arrived and I'm pretty sure I spent about $350 for 6-ish days worth of food. I bought food for about 15 different unique meals and ended up probably leaving about $250 worth of food with our lovely hosts. While I imagine my leftover food didn't go to waste, it was a huge waste of my money to approach eating on the road in this manner. I've learned over the years that I can cut down on the variety in my meals but still enjoy cooking and eating while I'm traveling.

My favorite thing to cook on the road is one of many varieties of a vegan sautée and as promised I'm going to share the easiest and best meal I love to cook when on the road. It's a sweet potato, black bean, and kale sautée.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 medium sweet potato - washed and cubed
  • 3/4 cup (1/2 can) whole black beans - drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups chopped green kale
  • 1 chopped Field Roast apple sage sausage
  • 1.5 Tbs Colavita extra virgin olive oil (Colavita grapeseed oil is fine too)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp. fresh or dried dill weed
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • (optional) sriracha hot sauce

In a large skillet or sautée pan heat the Colavita olive or grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the minced onion and garlic to the oil and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the onions begin to become translucent and the garlic starts to slightly brown, add the cubed sweet potato and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. While stirring, slowly add a little salt and pepper according to your own taste. I love that we have the Rachael Ray sea salt and pepper grinders to use for this!

Next add the Field Roast apple sage sausage to the mixture and continue to cook over medium heat for an additional 3 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Of course you can use any protein of your choice. I've also used seitan or vegan "chicken" strips.

Next add the cumin and dill and stir the mixture with the spices to make sure the sweet potato and protein are well coated. Add the black beans and water to the mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover for 5 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Add the kale and a little more salt (if needed) and cover the mixture again. If the pan is getting at all dry, add a little more water before covering again. Once the kale is wilted stir the mixture and sample one piece of sweet potato to make sure it has cooked through.

I like to serve this sautée either on its own or over a bed of cooked quinoa or rice. After serving you can finish it with some sriracha sauce to add a little kick.

I love this recipe so much. I can mix up the protein or type of beans or kale that I use to add some variety. In addition, the recipe tends to make about two meals worth of food and it's just as good reheated as it is right off the stove. Total prep and cooking time is only about 30 minutes so it's easy to make in a time crunch. It's got a great balance of carbohydrates, protein, and good fats and is good slow-burning fuel for long days in the saddle and can also aid in good recovery for after a long ride or race.