Train With Grains Recipe: Chickpea, Barley and Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Feta

This year Canada Running Series is teaming up with the Grain Farmers of Ontario to bring the best pre and post-run recipes to fuel marathon training. I had the privilege of sharing a recipe for Chickpea, Barley and Zucchini Ribbon Salad with Feta. Check it out on the CRS blog here.

Makes 2 servings as a main dish, 4 servings as a side dish.
grain1Ingredients:
2 medium zucchini
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided, plus more for salting water
1/3 cup pearl barley
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups (or 1 15-ounce can) chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons feta cheese
Freshly ground pepper

Trim the ends of the zucchini and cut in half crosswise. Using a mandolin or a knife, cut the zucchini into thin matchstick strips. Place strips in a colander in the sink in drain excess moisture. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and massage lightly with your hands to evenly disperse the salt. Let sit as long as it takes to prepare the rest of the salad.

Next, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and add the barley. Cook, stirring occasionally, until barley is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

While the barely is boiling, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Slowly whisk in the olive oil and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the chickpeas, barley and about half of the dressing. Once cooled, stir and transfer to a serving bowl. Crumble the feta over the top and serve.grain2

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Fueling with the Delicious Creations at Fuel+

fuelLocated at 471 Church St, Fuel+ is a  must visit for anyone interested in delicious and nutritious healthy shakes, juices, and food at a price point that won’t break the bank.

I first heard of Fuel+ last summer through one of our Tribe run club leaders who would select Fuel+ as our finish location for our weekend long brunch runs. After a year of connecting online and in person I was invited a couple weeks ago to sample the upcoming spring and summer menu – shakes, fuel balls, and coffee – oh my! They shared a variety of delicious new flavours that are perfect for summer, and as I’ve already mentioned at a very low price point.

photo 4(10)Wondering what to order on your next visit to Fuel+? Here’s my top 3 list of what you need to try at Fuel+

1. Mango Sunrise Shake

With over 20 flavours of healthy shake’s to choose from, someone might find it to be a tough decision, but for me there is no question – Mango Sunrise is my favourite Fuel+ shake. It’s made with mango, avacado, coconut, Vega sport protein and 100% mango juice – totally delicious for breakfast, especially if you like coconut. I love the fruity mango taste, the thick texture from the avacado, and the tiny pieces of coconut which shoot up the straw as you sip. And as an FYI, all their healthy shakes are plant based, gluten free, and made with real ingredients with no added sugar.

photo 1(2)

2. Fuel Ball

Fuel+ is known for many of their delicious food items, but I believe the most popular is their Fuel Ball. Made fresh daily, Fuel Balls are plant based and gluten free ingredients that range from a variety of flavours including organic peanut butter with chocolate and sunflower butter with cinnamon. Fuel+ also has a variety of seasonal FUEL Ball’s that are on rotation, changing every few months.

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3. Butter Coffee

Confession: I hate coffee. It’s sharp, bitter, harsh, and I have no interest in that flavour – so I put off having a Butter Coffee from Fuel+ for months. Now this wasn’t an easy task, because Fuel+ is well known in Toronto as THE place for Butter Coffee – it’s all you hear about through social media. So after a long delay, and countless positive reviews, how can I say no? What I didn’t realize was that the butter actually cuts that bitter taste making it taste smooth and mild.

Now why butter? Fuel+ states on their website “Healthy Saturated Fat from the grass fed butter has higher Omega 3 which help raise the levels of good cholesterol HDL. With MCT Oil in the mix, it helps with absorption and utilization of healthy fats. Caffeine is of course known to help with alertness.”

And what is also cool, is that you can order a Butter Coffee in store OR you can buy all the ingredients at Fuel+ and with a quick lesson make it at home.

Fuel+ are also one of the few places in Toronto to offer Station Cold Brew Coffee. Perfect for folks on-the-go, cold brew coffee is great from the bottle or cover ice. Because it’s brewed with cold water it is less acidic and smooth, without a bitter taste.

My coffee count went from zero cups to 2, thanks to Fuel+.

11169915_870001429726307_7918050609299232536_nLooking for the perfect fuel after a run? Or meal on your way to the office? Check out Fuel+ for your next delicious and nutritious healthy snack and meal.

Celebrating the Holidays with a Vega Nog Shake

photo 3(8)With just a couple ingredients Vega’s Vega Nog shake is a fun seasonal way to start your day or celebrate a great workout.

I’ve been eyeing this recipe since the start of the holiday season so was glad this morning to give my new Oster Versa a spin before my own workout.

The shake was great. I typically avoid Vanilla Chai protein powder, because I didn’t think I liked the flavour, although had never tried it, but in this shake it was great. While it didn’t taste exactly like Egg Nog, it was a delicious vegan substitute and the cinnamon and nutmeg certainly played into the seasonal flavour and smell.

So, here’s the scoop:

Ingredients:photo 1(10)

1 ripe banana (frozen)
1 serving Vega One Nutritional Shake Vanilla Chai
2 cups coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg + 1 pinch for garnish

photo 5(5)Directions: These are simple. Add it all in your blender, mix, and enjoy.

photo 2(8)It makes two glasses so share it with someone this holiday season.photo 4(7)