Saturday, March 02, 2013

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

I went to my produce guy's onWednesday and found a large beautiful spaghetti squash. So rather than the usual spaghetti squash with red sauce I made a lasagna using the squash as the noodles. I must say it turned out nice and tasted great!

Large spaghetti squash

For the sauce

Olive oil
Onion diced
2 celery ribs diced
Carrot peeled & diced
Crushed red pepper flakes or 3 dried hot peppers diced
3 cloves garlic peeled and sliced thin
1 can tomatoe sauce
1 can cannelli beans drained & rinsed
8 oz fresh spinach
1 sprig rosemary
2 bay leaves
Fresh basil

For the bachemel

4 tbs butter
4 tbs flour
2 cups milk
Pinch of nutmeg

For the lasagna
8 oz fresh mozzarella diced
1 1/2 c grated parm cheese
2 c ricotta
1 egg

Prepare the sauce

In a large sauce pan heat oil when hot add onions, carrot and celery cooking 5 minutes until soft but not brown. Add red pepper and garlic sauté for 1 minute added tomatoe paste and cook 1 minute more. Add tomatoes sauce, beans, rosemary, bay leaves and hand full of fresh basil. Cook on simmer for 20 minutes until sauce thickens. Add the spinach stir to combine and cover so the spinach wilts. Let cool to room temp.

For the squash

Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove the seeds. Place cut side downin a large microwave proof dish with 3 tbs of water. Microwave on high for 20 minutes. Carefully using a fork shred the squash placing the spaghetti in a large bowl.

For the béchamel

Melt butter in a sauce pan add flour and whisk to combine. Cook flour mix approximately five minutes without browning ie whisk often. Mean while heat milk in microwave to hot but not boiling. After flur has cook it should smell nutty, add nutmeg. While whisking add hot milk andcontinue to whisk until sauce thickens. Set aside keeping warm.


Add egg and 1 cup of parm cheese to ricotta and mix well.

In large pan cover bottom with tomato sauce followed by a layer of squash. Cover squash with ricotta then diced mozzella followed by the bechemel sauce and the tomato sauce. Repeat layer. At top cover with mozzella bachemel sauce. Bake at 425* for 40 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Today's Ride and Last Week

Wiggins Pass where we do open water swims
It was a beautiful morning here in SW Florida, 60* at sunrise.  Since today was a ride day, Tony and I met Nurse Payne for a quick 20 mile ride just as the sun rose.  I did the 20, they went on to do more, 25 I think, as I had to be home in time to go to work. 

Several people have asked why I don't post my weakly training any here is last weaks.

4 mile

6 miles


25 miles

8 miles


25 miles


30 miles


40 miles

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Healthy Survey

I saw this survey on Carrots 'N Cake and nutrition on the run two blogs I read.    Since I do try to eat healthy and stay healthy I thought you, boys and girls, would like a little insight into what an old man does to stay healthy.  

What did you eat for breakfast?

My breakfasts are boring for the most part.  I exercise every morning leaving the house at 6:30 to 6:45. I either ride my bike, (Fri., Sat., Sun.,  and Wed) or run (Mon., Tues. and Thursday). I leave for work at 8:30, so you can see I don't have a lot of time to eat.  

My quick weekday breakfast is 1/4 cup of old fashion oatmeal, 1 tbs of plain, organic, peanut butter, 1/2 cup of plain no fat organic yogurt and 1/2 cup of fruit i.e. banana, strawberries, or blueberries  or an occasionally cantaloupe - all mix together.    

On Wednesday's I make an egg McOldman - 1 microwaved egg, Canadian bacon, America cheese on a toasted whole wheat english muffin or homemade whole wheat bread.  I also have a side of fruit with 1/2 cup plain no fat yogurt.


Sunday is a cheat day, sort of. I have a big breakfast  - 2 eggs sunny side up, 2 pieces of bacon, fried potatoes, whole wheat toast, juice, tomato or OJ and sometimes cranberry,  1/2 cup fruit with plain no fat yogurt, and coffee.  I don't eat lunch on Sunday's so I feel it's OK to eat like a king.
.2. How much water do you drink a day?

While I don't consciously push drinking water, I do drink a lot of water.  I take a water bottle - large 24 oz - on my rides or runs .  I drink that during and after my exercises. If my exercise is longer than an hour I also take 24 oz of Gatorade or Powerade.  I drink water the rest of the work day, at my desk, in my car on the ride home, and at lunch in in the afternoon.  No decaf soda before 6 pm and no caffeine drinks after 11 am. 
3. What is your current favorite workout?

I guess right now, since I have a new bike, my long rides on the weekends.  I ride with the Estero Flatlanders and get a real good aerobic workout with these rides.  Everyone is young and stronger than me, so once they crank it up (24 to 28 mph) after 12 -15 miles I get dropped.  Recently I have another rider who stays with me, Nurse Payne and we come back together.  Saturday's rides are 30 to 45 miles and Sunday's ride are 50 to 108 miles.

4. How many calories do you eat a day?

I don't really count calories but I am aware of calories.  In other words, I know my burn is somewhere around 1,000 to 1,800 calories a day.  To maintain my current weight I need to eat approximately 3,400 to 5,200 calories depending on my exercise of the day. I rarely eat that much.
5. What are your favorite healthy snacks?

Snacks for me are planned.  10:30 am I eat a Chewy Bar and a piece of fruit usually a banana for it's potassium.  4:00 pm is green tea, almonds and some yogurt with fruit.  9:00 is a frozen fruit bar or an apple with peanut butter or both if I'm hungry.

6. What do you usually eat for lunch?

I have a bowl of soup and a big salad with some kind of protein i.e  4 oz rotisserie chicken, fish or egg. A large glass of water with lemon or lime and a cup of decaf coffee with a half a cookie for desert.

Every week I make some kind of soup from the carcass of the rotisserie chicken.  This week it was lentil.  Sometimes I made minestrone or pasta figoli  or vegetable, it just depends on what I have in the frig and what I feel like making.  
Soup in a Pumpkin

7. What is your favorite body part to strength train?

The heart.  I  love the aerobic workout running, swimming, biking.

8. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?

I hate stretching.

9. What are your “bad” food cravings?

Beer, chocolate covered nuts and pasta!
10. Do you take vitamins or supplements?

I have never really taken much in the way of over the counter drugs unless you count sunscreen!  I don't believe in vitamins - they just come out in your urine - I think a well balanced diet and exercise is a key to long life.  I do use a sunscreen moisturizer everyday and a 50 SPF sun block when I exercise.

11. How often do you eat out?

Rarely.    I like to cook so we eat at home, except Tuesday's when it is pizza nite.

12. Do you eat fast food?

I can't remember the last time I had fast food - other than takeout pizza.  I don't drink coffee except for breakfast and decaf at lunch.  No Starbucks, no McDonald's etc. 

13. Who is your biggest supporter?

Joanne is my biggest supporter.  She is my race photographer, alarm clock and laundry person.
Joanne in Italy

14. Do you have a gym membership?

 My community has a fitness center with all the machines, weights, balls, etc that you could want.  I just don't like working out inside.  We have 300 days of summer here in Southwest Florida so I don't want  like to exercise inside.  We also have 5 pools in our community, two of which work well for lap swimming, so I don't have and excuse for not swimming. 

15. How many hours of sleep do you get a night? 

I sometimes, well many times, fall asleep on the sofa watching TV.  I'm in bed by 10:30 most nights.  I try to get 7 hours of sleep and wake up at 6 am every day.
16. Do you have a “cheat” day?

My cheat day is Sunday.  It's a long bike day so I have a big breakfast.  I'll have 2 light Yuengling lagers, cheese and crackers or hummus and veggies.

17. Do you drink alcohol?

I love beer - Yuengling America's oldest beer is my favorite.  I also enjoy red wine and single malt scotch.  

18. Do you have a workout buddy?

Yes, my best friend Tony rides, runs, and swims with me.  


We work together well on the bike but he is faster than me on the run about even on the swim. 
Also, I train with a great group of athletes, the Flatlanders, many in our group have done Ironman races including age group winners at IM Kona and IM Florida and we do local races together. Several are former pro cyclists.  So they are very knowledgeable and helpful people around me that are helpful in my training.  I can always find someone who want to ride or do an open water swim at the local beach.  

19. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to a healthy lifestyle?

I was a triathlete before I was diagnosed with melanoma and a brain tumor. I made the commitment to lose weight and keep it off a long long long time ago.  I've trained for so long I can't remember what it is like not to train for something.  
20. What was the last healthy thing you did?

I made whole wheat sourdough rye bread for the week to go with my lentil soup.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Friday, February 01, 2013

Cold Start to February

Florida is suppose to warm this time of year, lows in the 60's and highs in the low 80's. not this morning. Nope it was COLD! 43* cold.

I delayed as long as I could in going out for my run. Tony and I decided not to ride due to the cold as I  don't have proper cold weather riding gear. So I waited until the sun came up hoping that would add some warmth, but the time came that I had to leave the warm  house.

I wore my tights, short sleeve shirt with arm warms and a pair of gloves. It was a cold 8 mile run. As I entered the woods at the 4.5 mile mark, a brown haired, brown eyed girl ran with me. She would pass me then wait for me. Let me get ahead of her only to have her race past me. She had a nice pace. When it came time to exit the woods she gave me a kiss goodbye and turned around to go the way she came. I love running with her, Missy Mousse, Tony's chocolate lab.

So 8 miles in the books and on to the business of the day.

Baby it's cold outside

Now for Estero, FL (33928)

Temp: 46°F
Feels like: 41°F
Humidity: 71%
Wind: NNE 11 mph

Monday, January 28, 2013

Ugly Whole Wheat Sourdough Rye

I tried a new recipe, Whole Wheat Sourdough Rye. I love rye bread, especially toasted rye for breakfast. So this recipe spoke to me.

With great hopes I checked my spice rack to find cardamom, caraway seeds and fennel (anise) all of which I had. I also had rye flour and whole wheat flour that I bought to try another rye bread recipe.

My friend Tony was coming to help me install a plantation shutter in the master bath which made me rush to get the dough put together. So time became an issue.

When I started I had full intention to kneed the dough and put it in the oven to proof but as I started to put everything together Tony called to say he was on the way, so it was a rush to mix the dough.

When I got back to the dough, after installing a beautiful plantation shutter, I kneeled the dough adding more flour, etc. I then placed it into two loaf pans. It still felt very wet.

The second rise was the killer! The dough overflowed the loaf pans making a mess on my baking stone. So while the oven came to baking temp, I cleaned the stone and loaf pans. The risen dough certainly looked funny but "waste not want not" so into the 400* oven it went.

As the bread cooked, I notice very little bread cooking odor. Even Joanne commented on not being able to smell the bread cooking. But alas, when I opened the door to check the hollowness of the bread, the odor wafted out of the oven hitting me in the nose, Rye Bread.

The end product is two ugly loaves of bread. The taste test showed that the taste is good, not great. Nice rye and sourdough flavor. Good texture and a soft crust great for sandwiches.

So would I try the recipe again? Yes this time paying attention to the kneed and first rise. Also I need a larger bowl or bucket for the rise as my big bowl was to small and I would use three loaf pans instead of two, or make one loaf a baguette. Either way I love the flour and texture so it will appear again in the future.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Brooklyn Pizza

When Joanne and I visit her son and family in New Jersey one of the places we go for pizza is Brooklyn Pizza.  I love their namesake pizza, the Brooklyn Pizza.  So I decided to try to make that pizza but with a sourdough crust last night.

The sourdough crust was the easy part.


1 c sourdough starter
2 c flour
1/3 c tepid  water
1 teas yeast
1 teas spoon sugar
1 teas salt
3 teas olive oil

Add the sugar tot eh warm water and stir.  Add the yeast and allow to bloom, about 5 minutes.   Add the salt to the flour and then add the stater and 1 teas of olive oil, mix well.  Once the yeast has bloomed add to the flour and mix.  Dump mixture onto lightly floured board and knead for 5 minutes.  Let the dough rest while you clean the bowl.  Add the remaining olive oil to the bowl.   Knead the dough again for 1 minute then place in bowl turning to cover the dough with the olive oil. Cover the bowl with a damp towel and place in a warm stop for 2 hours.  I put mine in my oven set to proof.

Once the dough has reached double in volume, punch it down to deflate it the knead it for about 1 minute.  Then using a rolling pin roll the dough to fit a rimmed baking sheet.  Place the dough on the sheet and fold over ay edge the is over the pan to make a rim.  Cover with a damp towel and let it rest while the over comes to temperature, 425*

The Bechamel Sauce


2 teas butter
2 teas flour
pinch of nutmeg
2 c milk
1/2 c Parmesan cheese

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Warm the milk in the microwave until warm but not boiling.  Add the flour to the melted butter and cook the flour about 5 minutes until it smells nutty.  Add the nutmeg and begin to stir as you pour the milk into the flour mixture.  Continue to stir for 5 minutes until the sauce begins to thicken.  Remove from heat and add the cheese.

Assembling the pizza


Bechamel Sauce
8 oz mozzarella cheese grated
4 oz spinach
4 oz prosciutto
Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling

Spread the bechamel over the risen crust.  Sprinkle the spinach over the sauce then the mozzarella. I had a few broccoli florettes so I put them on them too.  Place in 425* oven for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes my cheese was brown, so I took it out.

I then added the arugula and prosciutto and  drizzled some EVOO.  I sliced and served.

When I started to write this I look at Brooklyn Pizza's website and I found that the Brooklyn Pizza is made with a pomodorro  sauce rather than a bechamel.  So it look like I have to try this again.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Oldman's Famous Sourdough Pancakes

I wanted a hearty breakfast today before the Naples Half Marathon
tomorrow. I decided to make sourdough pancakes.

I also took some fresh Florida strawberries and reduced them in some
orange liquor, lemon juice and sugar.

To finish it off with Canadian bacon, fresh cantaloupe with yogurt
and a shot of tomato juice (spicy of course).

Since I had a few leftover pancakes, I did a microwave egg to top the leftovers.

Here's the recipe

Oldman's Famous Quick Sourdough Pancakes with Strawberries

For the strawberries
1/2 pint of strawberries cut into pieces
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbs sugar
Splash of orange liquor

Bring all the ingredients to boil in a small sauce pan until thick. Keep warm.

For the pancakes

1 cup sourdough starter
1 cup flour
2 t sugar
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 eggs
3/4 c milk
2 tbs melted butter
1 vanilla

Mix the dry ingredients then add eggs one at a time mixing until each is incorporated.  Add milk, melted butter, vanilla  cook on griddle 45 sec. Top with reduced strawberries.

Tomorrow is the big race. My goal is 2:15.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Egg MacOldman

I used my Whole Wheat Sourdough Loaf to make an Egg MacOldman

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Whole Wheat Sourdough Croutons

I made a loaf of Whole Wheat Sourdough bread Saturday. Actually 2 loaves. We ate one and had a half of one loaf leftover. Since I then made a loaf of Whole Wheat Sourdough sandwich loaf Sunday I have plenty of bread I the house. So what to with Saturdays leftovers? Croutons!

Yup we love croutons on our lunchtime salads so what better than homemade?

I cut the remaining loaf into strips then cubes.

I then put them in a bowl with olive oil, garlic powder, and Parmesan cheese and baked then on 250 for 40 minutes.

Wella! croutons!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Welcome Back Flowers

My employers had flowers for me to welcome me back to work after Christmas vacation