Camelbaks, Clean Food, & “Cheast” Sauce.

I was so tired last night I could barely hold my eyes open, so this post had to wait until the morning – sorry!  Yesterday afternoon was the perfect opportunity to test out a new delivery that Casey and I were both pretty excited about.

2010-04-17 002 (600x800)

Camelbaks!!  I had been debating getting one for a while, and then when Kath got one and fell in love with hers, I knew I had to have one for myself.  Hydrating during runs is much harder here in Charlotte than it was in Cincinnati.  Back home there were water fountains everywhere, and I would plan my runs from one fountain to the next.  I haven’t seen a single water fountain in Charlotte since we moved here in August, and I’ve been thirsty and dragging on a lot of my runs.  Enter the Camelbak!

2010-04-17 004 (800x600)

Funny story – just when I think I know everything about Casey, he still manages to surprise me after 4+ years of dating.  Yesterday we were trying on our Camelbaks, and I asked if he had ever worn one before.  His response?  “Yeah we used to fill them with whisky and wear them to concerts in high school.”  WHAT?  He said he would wear the Camelbak under his shirt and run the hose down his sleeve.  Then he and his friends would all go buy large Cokes and make their own whiskey and Cokes.  Absolutely ridiculous.  I was such a goodie goodie in high school, I’m sure I would have been totally scared of Casey and his friends. :)

Back to yesterday, we were just getting ready to set out on short run to test out our new toys when I got a G-chat message from Kath, asking if I wanted to go for a run.  Perfect timing!  We hopped in the car and met her at our favorite trail, and set out looking like a racing team sponsored by Camelbak (I wish!)…

IMG_5121 (800x599)

I had eaten a late lunch, so today I was the one dragging, feeling all sloshy and heavy.  But we still covered 5 miles which seemed to fly by as we chatted and caught up on our days.  It is SO much more fun to run with a friend!  Especially now that we are Camel twins :)  She was totally right – I love this thing.  It’s not heavy or intrusive at all, and it is so nice to have water whenever you need it.

IMG_5124 (600x800)

On our way home we ran into Trader Joe’s for English muffins and dog food – random.  But I also saw this and grabbed it since our stash was getting low…

2010-04-17 001 (588x800)

Has anyone tried this?  Amazing!  The sunflower seed flavor is unlike anything I’ve had before.  So rich and delicious.

As soon as we got home, I got to work on dinner because it was already getting late.  Last week I got a package that I had been excited about for weeks – my very own copy of Terry Walter’s Clean Food!  This book is AWESOME.  It is all about cooking in season, and using fresh unprocessed food.  The recipes are simple and approachable with short lists of ingredients. 

IMG_5125 (800x600)

In the past few weeks, Matt, Ashley, and Jen – three bloggers I trust completely – all made Terry’s Black Bean and Millet Burgers recipe.  I figured this would be a good starting off point for me, since I knew the recipe was already deemed a success.  I made the millet, sautéed the black beans, onions, and spices, and mashed it all together to form patties. 

IMG_5127 (589x800)

When the patties were formed, I heated up a non-stick pan with a small bit of oil to get them browned on each side.  The original recipe calls for shallow-frying them in a cast-iron pan, but I wasn’t really feeling the fry action.  I thought just browning them would be better, but as I cooked them the got kind of crumbly and fell apart.  (Casey said they looked like chocolate chip cookies!)

2010-04-16 008 (800x600)

I seriously read and re-read the recipe like 20 times, trying to figure out what I might be doing wrong.  For some reason my burgers just wouldn’t really hold together.  I’m wondering if maybe I used too much millet?  I’m not going to blame the recipe, because clearly others had a lot of success with it.  I think I should have gone with the original instructions and used a bit more oil.  I need to get over my fear of more than a tbsp of oil. :(

The good news is that the flavor was DELICIOUS!  Crumbly or not, these were super tasty.  I made one other substitution that Ashley recommended, and subbed out half of the corn for bell peppers, yum!  I actually copied Ashley’s entire dinner, and we ate our burgers with roasted broccoli topped with our latest discovery – nutritional yeast “cheese’" sauce!

2010-04-16 009 (800x599)

Seriously, this stuff is life changing.  Case made the sauce on the stove using nutritional yeast, millet flour (gluten free!), garlic powder, water, ground mustard, onion powder, vegan margarine, and salt.  I can’t even explain how similar this stuff is to gooey delicious cheese.

2010-04-16 010 (800x600)

We used the sauce to top our broccoli, and it was creamy and cheesy and delicious.  I decided I am going to start calling this cheast – a combo of cheese and yeast.  :)

2010-04-16 011 (800x590)

Black bean and millet burger – what it lacked in structure it more than made up for in flavor. 

2010-04-16 012 (800x599)

2010-04-16 013 (800x599)

And the world’s best dipping sauce.  I’m easy to please!

2010-04-16 016 (800x600)

Perfect way to end the day!

2010-04-16 017 (800x600)

We ate our delicious dinner, watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution (obsessed), and had a nice quiet Friday night – my favorite kind.  :)  Not sure what today will bring, but I’m already looking forward to eating leftover millet burgers for lunch!


Did you know that you can become a fan of The Front Burner on Facebook?  Fun stuff!