Vegetables, not just a bit on the side

One thing that’s got me recently at more than one restaurant has been vegetables, you know the good old side dish of boiled vegetables. I’ve had two issues that have got me thinking, firstly over done veg you know the too soft kind that is probably the reason why some kids are put off vegetables.
Though secondly and more worryingly is vegetables carrying strong flavours which may work with one dish but not the rest of the menu, so that you end up with a flavour combination that just doesn’t seem to work, and more than likely the chef had never even considered.
To me both seem quite bad, why not put the effort in to getting right, after all it could be something that plants a seed of doubt in the diners mind.

Ligurian exploration

The great thing about cooking and cycling for that matter is the ability to explore, I was reminded of this cooking my dinner tonight. After seeing a pasta shape I hadn’t seen before, Trofie, I decided to investigate what to do with it. I have a thing of using the right sauces for the pasta. So I discovered that Trofie originally comes from Liguria, funnily enough that’s where the Giro will start in 2015. 

So despite not having visited Liguria, I got to explore this region through a very simple dish of Trofie with pesto, potato and green beans. I know first of all potato and pasta is a carb overload, well it would be if you used equal measures. The pasta is in a ratio of 2:1 to the potato. What I can tell you is that my attempt was very tasty in a light summery way, not packing a huge flavour punch, but still flavoursome. 

Now maybe i could visit Liguria and see the Giro explore it next May. 

NinetyNine - Newcastle

One place I really like to visit when in need of a quick bite to eat when I’m in Newcastle on my day’s off is Ninety Nine. It’s a small take out place, they do have a couple of seats inside, where you can grab a burger, salad, or pasta to go. They describe themselves as gourmet fast food, and to be honest what they’re doing is sticking it to the corporate men who seem to dominate Newcastle, and other cities, food options, even better they’re doing it in a prime location. 

So why’s this good for cyclists? Well, one I can’t be the only one who sometimes needs to get things done post training ride and is up against the clock, and put simply Ninety Nine can deliver what you want after a training session, clean food, healthy ingredients and plenty of protein and carbs (if you want them). Plus it doesn’t feel like you’re making a sacrifice, you’re eating a burger but a good tasty fresh and locally sourced burger, rather than a questionable thing that has gone through quite a few processes. 

Yesterday’s Black and Blue burger certainly cured my hunger, especially after I went too long without food, and you know the trouble that brings with it - indecision, irritability, etc and post importantly for your cycling poor recovery. 

Obviously if you’re not a cyclist Ninety Nine is still a great place to grab a bite to eat, and then take a few steps to sit at Monument, people watch and  relax.