Thai Peanut Stir-Fry Sauce + Training Camp Survival

Setting sweat records daily!

January means the beginning of the build for the 2013 season, and this includes one of my favourites, training camp!! Although a Vancouver January camp is the shits compared to an April Tucson camp (see: rain & snow,) I still love the day-in, day-out volume of training. I’ve put some epic hours on the trainer in the last few days (today is day 4 of camp,) some long HOOOOOT suffer sessions, and those hard days will pay off when the race season comes around! Long hot indoor bike sessions can leave you depleted of electrolytes, especially with the heat cranked (yup, I ‘enjoy’ pumping it up to 25-30C.) My Powerbar Perform and bars have been helping me keep those electrolytes up, as multiple workouts a day means you need TONS of electrolytes to keep yourself going (without cramping!) The other day I broke my sweat record, after a 4hr spin it was pooling all around the pain cave floor (yes, even sweating is a competition!!)

Powerbar has my back indoors and out!

Another part of training camp (which, I have to admit, is probably my favourite part,) is the endless amount of eating required. BUT, long training hours and the “I don’t feel like moving” fatigue brought along with it leaves little energy or time for cooking or food prep. I’ve found the best way to get through is to make things like sauces, dressings, etc, in bulk, and pre-cook things like rice, quinoa, farro, etc, stored in the fridge. Even chopping different veg into containers speeds the process along. Then eating meals becomes more of an ‘assembly’ than actually cooking. Another speedy cheater is to make huge batches of things like chilli, curry, etc, and freeze them into single or double serve containers. Microwave or heat on the stove and BAM! Easy-peasy meal. HUGE quinoa salads keep well in the fridge for a while, and just taste better day after day. All easy ways for EVERYONE to bring some extra efficiency to their daily lives, to fit every minute of activity in you can (because few people have lots of time to cook all the time!)

Well, I have recently formed an addiction to ‘bowl’ meals, like curries, stir-frys, rice bowls, etc (must be the weather?) Two of my FAVOURITE dishes right now are coconut curry and thai peanut stir-fry! I will have to make a post with my curry recipe (it’s absolutely smashing, I LOVE it, it’s incredibly versatile,) but this post I will share my peanut stir fry sauce.

Making my favourite stir-fry, Spicy Thai-Peanut!!


I always use a blender for this one, it helps blend and emulsify the sauce. A regular blender will work fine, although I use my vitamix. Even a food processor will work just fine. This will give you a fair amount, I’ve made this sauce for up to 10 people (10 HUNGRY people, any guess where that might’ve been???) But this amount will probably give you about 3½-4 cups worth or so, enough for a few meals.

**NOTE** if you include the chillies in this recipe, it has some BITE! Adjust for your own personal heat level tolerance.

You will need:
– 2C coconut milk (light is a useable substitute, but will not have the same flavour and consistency as full-fat);

– scant ¼ C soy sauce (or tamari, Braggs Soy Seasoning, etc);
– juice from 2 juicy limes (fresh is ALWAYS best!);
– couple plops of hot sauce (preferably something like Sriracha,or the Rooster brand stuff);
– 2-4tsp brown sugar (adjust for taste preference);
– piece of fresh ginger the size of your thumb (maybe 2-3Tbsp worth,) peeled and chopped;
– 1-3 thai red chillies, seeded (unless you’re like me and like the burn from the seeds,) chopped (or a solid sprinkle of dried chilli flakes, for ease);

– 1 to 1 ¼ C natural PB (salted is fine; I almost go with 1.5C as I LOVE the taste of peanuts);
– 4tbsp tahini (*optional* makes it a little thicker and creamier);
– 4 tbsp pure sesame oil, toasted adds a nice flavour but any type will do;
– ½ C toasted nuts (your preference, peanuts go nicely but any will do, the crunch is what we’re after here.)

**NOTE** Thai red chillies are bloody hot little BAMF’s, so watch out! Even when handling and chopping, be sure to wash your hands BEFORE YOU GO TO THE BATHROOM!!!! Trust me, from personal experience, if you don’t it makes for an interesting night. And not so much for you, but anyone else around you witnessing the dancing comedy show you’ll put on.

Now, take the first 7 ingredients (coconut milk to chillies,) and put in a blender. Blend well, so that everything is well mixed.

Add everything else but the nuts, and blend until well emulsified. Taste-test time!!! If something isn’t to your liking, adjust it. If too salty, add some more brown sugar; if it’s too rich, add a bit more lime juice.

Once you’re happy with the flavour profile (different brands and sources of ingredients will yield slightly different results,) add the toasted nuts and just blend ever-so-slightly, until the nuts are chopped up. Now you’re happening!!

Serve it over your choice of steamed veg, fried/grilled chicken, seafood, tofu, tempeh, and rice, quinoa, noodles, etc. Top with chopped and toasted nuts, cilantro, chopped green onions, and whatever else you’ve got a hankering for!

My favourite way to do the veggies, is to put a scant ½” water in the bottom of a covered skillet, bring to a boil; Put the hardest veggies in first, and lightly steam, adding the softer veggies until they’re ALMOST al dente (stir-frys should usually have bright and fresh veggies, not mushy like in a curry.) Uncover, letting almost all the water in the bottom of the skillet evaporate (shouldn’t take long,) and add your desired amount of sauce. Heat just long enough to warm the sauce. Serve that magic on top of whatever and you’re happening!

Appropriately, I store it in old PB jars.

Just a forewarning, this stuff might as well be crack, because I find myself dipping stuff in it and I can’t stop eating it! It won’t last long, guaranteed. It should stay well in the fridge for a while, and you can also freeze it in little batches (or big, whatever works!)

Speaking of time efficiency, time to get out on the new mountain bike for it’s maiden voyage!!! Happy training everyone, be safe out there!!!


A new Dirt(y) Toy!

Michael’s Chiru

Is it really possible to own too many bikes? If someone ever tells you it is, they’re probably completely full of CRAP! That being said, my collection of rigs has dwindled down to the smallest number in many seasons, although I’m very sure that will change soon once I get my hands on a new TT bike. For now, though, I would like to introduce the newest member to my stable, a brand spankin new Chiru (made in France,) endurance HT 29’er mountain bike! Michael Wegner (the Canadian Power2Max dealer,) was so kind to lend his to me late last year, and after a few minutes on it I completely fell in love with it! Although a size too large, it was incredibly nimble and light on the trails, absorbing all the punishment I could dish out, even throwing some back in my direction (suffice to say it put me on my ass a few times, Elliot can attest to that!) After all the excitement it brought, I set out with Coach Björn Ossenbrink and MultiSport Science to build up a Chiru of my own. It’s finally arrived and I’m ready to test it out in my upcoming early season training camp, which should see some high volume and a few good mountain bike rides.

After ‘getting dirty’

With my new found LOVE for mountain biking, and my continued love for trail running, why not throw them together in the sport that I live and breathe for?!? This year, I hope to race in a few Xterra races, including Xterra Portland, and possibly Xterra Maui Worlds (granted I can bargain with them to let me come play with the Caveman and other big dogs!) The first race I’ll be hitting with the new Chiru will be the Dirty Duo, on March 9th (North Vancouver.) It is comprised of a 25km trail run and a 30km mountain bike (COMPLETELY ass-backwards for us triathlon folks.) Should be a kick-in-the-pants, but an exciting one.

Have safe and happy training out there in this early season; ease back into it, and stay healthy!


All MINE!!!! Right off the showroom floor at Multisport Science

Christmas…it was a BLUR!

Holy smokes, the last few weeks have just gone by so incredibly fast, it feels like a big blur!! SO many things have happened, let me do a quick recap:

It’s okay to be jealous

– I’ve recently taken up skate skiing (a type of cross country skiing,) and I’ve become incredibly hooked on it! It marries not only an aerobic workout, but also quite a strength tester (especially if you have poor form, which I do.) BUT, I can tell you this, I am ROCKING the retro neon coloured skis and boots (huge thanks to the Holtham’s for lending me their old pair!) I may not be the fastest out there, but damn do I look awesome doing it (think circa 1990’s.) After a couple of weeks of heading to the hills (getting help from Jenn Kohm and David Palermo as how to actually do it,) I’m starting to get the hang of it. So much so (see: over confidence,) that I’ve gone out on a limb and signed up for Sigge’s Payak, coming up on February 23rd. First race of the 2013 season!

Abby: Guardian of the Gifts

– Christmas went exactly as I hoped it would, full of family, friends, fun, and probably WAY too much food (and I don’t mean kale salads kinda food, I mean Aunt Tricia’s ridiculously amazing baked goodies and Uncle Brian’s candied yams (heavy on the ‘candied’) kinda chow!) It also brought with it some amazing presents, two of my favourite being from my parents: a painting that I’ve always admired at my parents house, which they were so gracious to have framed and gave it to me, as well as a Kuvings low-speed masticating juicer (beet juice anyone? Increases your oxygen carrying efficiency!) I spent the day with my folks: making them a rather solid egg scramble for breakfast (and yes, I DID sneak kale into it, so dad has officially eaten kale now!) opening (and more satisfying, watching them open) gifts from everyone, getting out for a stubbornly difficult 21km run, polishing the days festivities off with a huge family dinner and the traditional poker game (where my grandma, bless her soul, proceeded to scrape our pockets clean of every last penny!)

By night’s end I was in the red…..
Slow-speed juicing AWESOMENESS!

My favourite gift, painted by a Coquitlam Fire Fighter.

– New years was spend between Cypress and Callaghan Valley Whistler Olympic Park, where I managed to get some solid skate skiing in with Jenn (as well as some snowshoeing, another first for me!) It was Coconut Curry left-right and centre on NYE and new years day for us, as we cooked up enough to feed us for a week (well, at the rate we eat food, MAYBE two days.) It was stunning, I will have to post up the recipe for the concoction very soon.

NYE sunset at Cypress Mountain
Coconut Apple-Tofu Curry!! Delicious, healthy, and vegan.

Speaking of concoctions, I’ve been told by many people that I need to start blogging my recipes and creations, so I think one of my new years resolutions is to try and post more about the delicious foods and smoothies recipes that I’ve been amassing lately (although, I never was one to make new years resolutions……) But, as I do love to see people enjoy things that I’ve flung together, I’ll do my best. The hardest part is when I’m cooking, there’s not only a flurry of things going in, usually I don’t measure anything, it’s more of a “bit of this, bit of that, needs a touch more of those and a few of them…..” You see where I’m going with this. I’m doubtful I’m the only one who does!

Whistler Olympic Park, Callaghan Valley

Well, the new year is off to a good start already, spending hours skate skiing and riding in the last two days already. What did you do to kick off 2013? Any 100×100 swim workouts? Any big resolutions? Regardless, I wish everyone the best of 2013, I can already tell it’ll be the best year to come by in a long time (including the year they invented sliced bread, although that was a pretty great year.) May all your goals and ambitions be hard-sought but completely attained by this time next year!!!

Happy training, set those goals, eye on the prize, and fight like hell for everything you want to accomplish this year.

I know I will be.