Sunday, February 9, 2014

All Day Ultra Meal Plan

Vegan Recipes for An All Day UltraAdventure

photo by Jason Llewellyn

By Kathy Vaughan

     Running a self or unsupported ultramarathon takes a lot of planning in order to complete the distance. Nutrition for the day of the run is key. I spend the day before an adventure run in the kitchen, preparing the food Ras and I will need to get us through from breakfast until our post run meal. I usually want to spend as little time on my feet right after the run as possible, so having the dinner precooked and only needing reheating is the easiest way to ensure healthy food is ready fast. Of course, each of us brings our own food to fuel us through our trail time, in addition to the meals listed here.

     I will share 3 recipes I commonly prepare ahead of time, for an all day trail adventure. I follow a vegan diet, so all of the recipes I share are vegan. All recipes are my original creations. 

#1 Breakfast     Whole Wheat Banana Muffins: Chocolate Chips Optional 

          3 medium sized, ripe bananas, mashed
          1/3 cup soy margarine, or other dairy-free margarine
          2 T soy or almond milk
          2 T ground flax seed mixed with 6 T warm water or 2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
          1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
          2/3 cup cane sugar
          2 t baking powder
          1/2 t baking soda
          1 1/2 c dairy free chocolate chips (I use Guittard or Ghiradelli semi-sweet)

     Stir together bananas, margarine, milk and flax seed mixture or applesauce, until well blended. For fruity & moist muffins, use the applesauce. For more texture & the benefits of omega 3 fatty acids, use the ground flax seed.  Add flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda until thoroughly blended into wet mixture. Add chocolate chips or 1/4 cup of chopped nuts of your choice and stir until mixed in thoroughly. Divide the batter up evenly in a 12 muffin tin. I use a stoneware muffin baking dish for consistently even baking. Bake the muffins in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested in the center of a muffin.

#2 Lunch on the trail      Pinto Bean & Rice Burritos

           2 cups dried pinto beans, rinsed & soaked
           1 onion, chopped
           1 green pepper, chopped
           2 T ground cumin
           4 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
           2 T ground black pepper
           3 T Bragg Liquid Amino Acids (or add to taste as beans become cooked)
           1 T chili powder
           2 t onion powder
           1 T Italian seasoning blend (or add oregeno & thyme)
           1 T smoked paprika

     Put rinsed and soaked beans into a crock pot and fill pot to the top with cold water.  Add onion and green pepper and cook on high until beans begin to soften. Add the remaining ingredients and allow to simmer on high for several hours. I like to put this recipe into the crock pot to cook while I am on a long run also, and come home to dinner being all ready.  Beans are done when they are tender and the skins begin to peel.

     Meanwhile, cook a pot of your choice of rice. I like to make brown rice or white jasmine rice. 

     The night before the run, or the morning of, I assemble the burritos and put them into ziplock bags to carry with me in my running vest. I use whole wheat tortillas, but other soft tortillas would work as well. I first put a couple of spoonfuls of the cooked beans down the center of the tortilla. Then I add rice and top with either a salsa verde, Srirachi hot sauce or Tapatio. I like to add chopped black olives and diced onion as well, but you could add whatever other ingredients you might like. Ras likes them simple with beans, rice, and hot sauce. Wrap and roll the burrito!

#3 Post Run Dinner         Tofu Scramble

              2 packages of firm tofu, previously frozen, thawed
              1 onion, chopped
              1 green pepper, chopped
              1 red or yellow pepper, chopped or 1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
              1 zucchini, diced
              1 can of black olives, diced
              1 cup mushrooms, sliced
              1/4 cup green olives, chopped
              1 medium tomato, diced or 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
              1/2 cup of frozen or canned corn, optional
              1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
              1 cup chopped kale or spinach
              3 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
              3 T Bragg Liquid Amino Acids (or add to taste)
              2 t ground black pepper
              1 t onion powder
              2 T smoked paprika
              1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes (or add to taste)
              2 to 3 T soy margarine or other dairy free margarine

     Heat up a large skillet on the stove top and add margarine. When margarine is melted, add garlic, onion and peppers. Saute on medium high heat until softened. On a cutting board, cut up tofu into bite size chunks. Add to the skillet and mix in well. Allow the tofu to absorb these flavors as you add the Braggs. Add all of the rest of the ingredients, except the nutritional yeast. Add water as needed, to give the mixture a liquid in which to simmer. When the veggies and tofu have been simmering for about 10 minutes, add the nutritional yeast and water again as needed to help create a sauce.  Stir well and continue to allow the mixture to simmer, turning the temperature down now. Cook for about 25 minutes, or until tofu is firm and the veggies are soft. Allow to cool and then store in a container to be reheated after your long run the next day. Serve in a bowl; as a wrap; or on a plate with leftover, cooked pinto beans and hot sauce. 

     Many different veggies of your choice can be added to this tofu scramble dish. The ingredients listed above are the ones I often use, although I will also use whatever I have on hand. Adding cumin as a seasoning, gives the dish a different flair and makes it good in breakfast burritos. Experiment and Enjoy!

drawing by Natsumi Sasajima


  1. I highly recommend adding the chocolate chips to the banana muffins, not just for the deliciousness, but the fat content also! And diced avocado with the tofu scramble also adds both fat and deliciousness.

  2. thank you for sharing Kathy! Ras, i like your use of the word "deliciousness" -- i need to think about adding more of these things to my diet -- nutrition AND deliciousness! :) ~ Erin

  3. Thank you Kathy! I love the recipes!! Vegan ultra running YES!!

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