Real Food = Real Energy: Fueling for your event


Determining what to eat during a long run or ride can be a challenge. In the last few years, I have become a big fan of Allen Lim’s Feed Zone books series.  In particular, I have experimented with many variations of his rice cakes.

Based on the feedback and recipe requests from friends, two have been unanimous favorites that repeatedly garnish recipe requests; Blueberry, Ginger & Nut Rice Cakes and Chicken Curry Cakes.  Here are my “recipes” —  try, tweak and enjoy!

(Truth in advertising disclosure: I generally use recipes as guidelines or suggestions and usually measure with my eyes and hands.)

Blueberry, Ginger & Nut Rice Cakes

  • 2 c Water
  • 1 ½ c Calrose rice (any sticky rice can be used)
  • 1 ½ c blueberries (fresh or can use frozen), if frozen, lightly rinse frost off
  • ½ c dark brown sugar
  • 3 t salt  (course ground Himalayan has a sweet punch)
  • 1 T candied ginger, minced
  • ½ c shredded, unsweetened coconut (lightly toasted)
  • 1 c finely chopped cashews  (lightly toasted enhances the flavor)

[box]My Process, for what it’s worth:

  1. Cook the rice, let it rest 10-15 min covered.

  2. While the rice is still warm, turn it into a mixing bowl, add other ingredients.  Mix till everything is well incorporated.

  3. Press mixture firmly into a square or rectangle baking dish, about 2-3 cm thick.  Really smash it down, the tighter the better.  If I use fresh berries, I smash them to get them to stick, which also spreads the blueberry flavor out more.  If you use frozen, then it sticks together with less work and the berry adds a bit more moisture back to the mouthfeel when you eat them.

  4. Work it over 2-3 minutes with a rice paddle.

  5. Chill overnight, then cut into desired size chunks in the morning, wrap, and stash in a zip lock baggie.  Then just grab what you need and roll![/box]

Link to Allen Lim’s video.  Advice from the pros.


Chicken Curry Rice Cakes

  • 2 c Water
  • 1 ½ c Calrose rice (any sticky rice can be used)
  • 1 ½ c finely chopped Chicken Curry (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 c dark brown sugar
  • 2 t salt  (course ground Himalayan has a sweet punch)
  • 1 t Bragg’s liquid aminos
  • 1/3 c shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 c finely chopped cashews


Date, Pistachio & Coconut

Basically the same portions that I used for the blueberry, walnut, ginger.  Except no ginger, chopped dates, whole salted pistachios & shredded coconut.

We munched on these running an out and back on the Dipsea Trail

Dipsea Trail, Pacific Ocean
Dipsea Trail, Pacific Ocean



Rodeo Beach TR = Rain Run
Rodeo Beach TR = Rain Run

and then ET used them to do the 30K Rodeo Beach Trail Run, which turned out to be a sideways rain squall run, but the bars held up fine wrapped in parchment & stuffed in a ziplock.


Dipsea - Marin Headlands
Dipsea – Marin Headlands
Dips - Muir Redwoods
Dips – Muir Redwoods

Caffeine Addition (addiction?)
I’ve been sharing the rice cakes and getting feedback.  “Good, but I need something with a little caffeine kick to get me through the end of the long runs”.   So, given that the best caffeine kick in my orbit is Open Eye / Carrboro Coffee Roasters, the latest batch has one tablespoon of ground beans.  As with any coffee, use the best you can find is my motto.  Life is simply too short and precious for bad, cheap coffee.  I’ll keep everyone posted on the results.  OK, results are in, this does not work well, none of us liked it, too hard to digest and has a bad mouthfeel trying to eat it while exercising.

Slow Cook Chicken Curry

2 lbs. chicken thighs
1-pint stock (poultry or veggie)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, diced in 1-2 cm cubes
2 apples, cored & chopped slightly bigger than potatoes
2-3 T curry powder mix
2 t turmeric
1 t ground cumin
1 t ground ginger
1 t ground coriander
2 t salt
½ t cinnamon
1 t red pepper flakes

mix spices in stock, lay chicken in cooker, cover with spiced stock, layer apples. Add water if needed to cover apples, layer sweet potatoes. Cook 8-9 hrs on low. Stir & shred chicken using fork & wooden spoon. Serve over rice, add: cashews, coconut, fresh lime wedges, hot chilies to taste.