Posts Tagged ‘coconuts’

  • How to open a coconut, throw it out, and burn it

    Date: 2011.02.01 | Category: fitness, recipe, running | Response: View Comments

    Today I stayed at home due to the weather conditions.  If you’re in the Midwest, you probably know what I’m talking about: sleet, ice, snow, blizzard warnings, state emergencies being declared, National Guard being called, power outages being feared.  It’s safe to say we’ve worked ourselves into a panic.  It has been sleeting all day in St. Louis and there is a sheet of ice covering everything.

    With a little time on my hands, I decided to open a coconut.

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    There are a million different ways to open one.  I decided to go the simple route and take the back end of a knife (the non-blade end) and whack it in an imaginary line around the middle, turning the coconut.

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    I got lucky and one of my hits made the shell come off.

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    There was some coconut water in the center, but I think that stuff is vile so I didn’t bother to save it.  Then, using a sharp paring knife, I cut the meat into sections and took them out little by little.  Soon, I had a real mess on my hands.

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    The brown bits on the coconut meat above still needed to be removed and cleaned so I went about that.  It was during this time when I realized there was something off about the coconut.  I finished the process anyway.

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    Then I googled, “How do you know if a coconut is bad?” and the answer was “Taste it.”

    So I did.  And it was not good.

    At this point I wanted lunch.  With coconut in it.  I had my belly set on something like this (Thai Coconut Butternut Squash Soup).

    Thank heavens for coconut in the can.

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    Also, God Bless Trader Joes for being the only place where I can find canned butternut squash.  I love the taste of roasted vegetables as much as anyone, but when I’m just going to throw it all in a soup, canned is so much more convenient.

    I started making the soup by adding diced onion, ginger and garlic to a dutch oven with oil in it.

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    Then I added red curry paste – I had this on hand thanks to the Real Simple cookthrough I did last fall.  I bought a lot of spices in that period and it makes me happy when I can use the more uncommon ones again!

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    This soup was done in no time at all.  For garnish, I toasted some shredded coconut (yes I also have some already in a bag.  I’m crazy).  I completely burned it to a crisp the first time. 

    Mark doesn’t know I’m cooking until the smoke alarms go off.

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    The soup was good.  I added a lot more curry paste than the recipe called for, but it was still subtle.

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    Next time, I think I would reduce the broth – perhaps nix it entirely – and increase the milk.  I like my soup a little bit creamier.

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    And a salad on the side.

    This morning I did my first training run for my 2011 race season.  I have signed up for the Go! St. Louis Half Marathon in April, and the Lincoln Half Marathon in May.  I also have my sights set on a triathlon in June.  I just need to get more confident about my swimming.

    Anyway – that was a tangent – my run was great.  I did four 400 meter repeats at 7:05 pace, followed with some easier running for a total of 5.5 miles.  I’m following the FIRST plan once again because I’ve had so much success with it in the past, and because I have triathlons on the brain.

    Tomorrow I’m going to explain how to run faster. Smile

  • Shampoo, rinse, repeat, shampoo, rinse, repeat

    Date: 2010.06.11 | Category: running | Response: View Comments

    Is it hard to eat coconut at every meal?  No, not really — and I’ll show you how!

    1.  Have yogurt with banana, coconut butter and chia seeds OR peanut butter mixed with coconut butter and chia seeds on toast and for extra bonus points, coconut cream!

    2.  coconut curry tofu & vegetables for lunch

    3.  eat cake for dinner (oops?) and then eat a coconut bar.

    Repeat until you’re tired of coconut.  I’m still on the repeat part.  Honestly, in general I don’t eat coconut at every meal but sometimes I do.  See above.

    What’s not on repeat?  My open training calendar.  Ok so maybe it never was — in the back of my head I’ve had two races in mind for the fall.  First, the Lewis & Clark half marathon on October 3rd which is in St. Charles Missouri.  I did it last fall – it was ok – but this year they have pushed it back a month, meaning cooler temps.  It also falls on my first anniversary, but I ok’d it with the hubs. 

    Second, the St. Jude Marathon in Memphis on December 3rd.   It’s the only one nearby that’s far enough out for me to properly train.   I was looking at a really neat training plan in this issue of Runner’s World yesterday after Monica mentioned it on her blog.  I looked at the sixteen week plan and tracked it back and realized that this Sunday is 16 weeks from December 3rd.  Um, it’s time to get on the training horse people.  The plan is designed to get you in shape for a sub 4:00 marathon.  I don’t really want to get under 4:00 considering my 4:45 debut, but I’d like to get to 4:00 even.  I blame at least 10 minutes of my 4:45 time on the fact that there was no aid station (read: porta potties) at mile 22.  If you’ve ever had to hold it in for 2 miles you know what I mean.  The training plan is a little weird compared to the FIRST plan I used earlier this year.  For one, it’s more days of running – 5 compared to 3.  Second, it’s not nearly as much speedwork — odd since the plan is selling you an improved finish time.  I’m sure RW knows what they are doing — but the frequency of workouts and mileage is a different song than what FIRST sings.

    Anyway, the one other elusive goal is to complete a sprint triathlon.  I’ve been biking almost every weekend lately.  Plus, I’ve been researching them (sitting on my butt) and the desire to do one is getting strong.  I had a great swim last night — I did just 550 meters in 25 minutes.  That’s not fast, but I felt like it wasn’t as hard as it used to be.  However, my swimming capability is still not where it needs to be, so the only ones far enough out are indoor — which I guess would be a good thing?  So I haven’t decided what I’ll do about that yet. 

    I haven’t signed up for any races yet, but I’ve got time and coconuts on my side.

  • Nuts for coconuts!

    Date: 2010.06.05 | Category: eating | Response: View Comments

    Alternatively, cococrazy, white on white, or some other clever title here.

    I have been craving coconuts lately.  I think it may be the weather, or reminiscing about the copious pina coladas I drank on my honeymoon…

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    Ok, so I don’t have a picture of me drinking a pina colada in Riviera Maya, but this should do right?

    And my point was that I have been craving coconut.  Yesterday, I got this guy in the mail:

    Artisana-Raw-Coconut-Butter-1237-P

    That would be organic coconut butter.  Think peanut butter, but with coconuts.  And only coconuts.  There is no added sugar, salt, preservatives, etc. 

    Not having a clue what to do with it this morning, I put it on toast.  And topped it with this:

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    Chia seeds.  They look like poppy seeds and have a great nutritional profile:

    Nutritional Benefits:

    • According to study, Chia possesses the highest percentage of the polyunsaturated fatty acids(linolenic and linoleic) of all crops. Chia seed contain 60% omega 3 fatty acids.
    • Good source of B vitamins, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper.
    • The protein content of Chia is higher that other nutritional grains. Unlike other grains, it is a complete protein, meaning that it has the appropriate balance of all essential amino acids. About 19 to 23% of chia seed weight is protein.
    • Chia seed is high in fiber, a 15 gm serving of chia seeds will provide 4 to 5 gm of fiber. Our body requires at least 35 gm of fiber a day to stay healthy.
    • Chia seed contain boron which is essential for bone health.
    • Chia seed is rich in calcium, about 2 oz of chia seeds contains 600 mg of Calcium, as compared to 120 mg for a cup of milk.
    • Chia seeds has 2 times more potassium than banana.
    • Chia seeds has 3 times more antioxidants than blueberries.

    Chia seeds are the new flax seed.  They tasted ok – I didn’t really notice them other than making my toast a little crunchy and having to fish them out of my teeth.

    The coconut butter?  Kinda weird.  When it arrived yesterday, the coconut butter was sludgy like a pina colada, which I assume was from the heat from sitting outside my door.  This morning, it was as thick as peanut butter.  The coconut butter had no sweeteners in it, so it was kinda odd.  I think it would be a good complement to things other than toast though.

    It didn’t 100% satisfy my coconut craving.  When I was at Whole Foods for lunch, I bought this:

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    Barf.  This was not good.  Again, good for you – no sugar, sweeteners, added preservatives, etc – literally just water from coconuts.  They add sugar to coconut for a reason.  It’s kinda weird on its own.

    So why don’t I shut up and drink a pina colada?

    They are super high in calories and sugar – this article says they are over 600 calories.

    Blah, blah, blah.

    Oh hell, I think I will go drink one.

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