Rob Lapensee at the Mudcat Marathon, Saturday, May 13, 2017

Attempting to be ‘officially amazing’

Hi, I’m Rob Lapensee and I’m going to attempt to set a Guinness World Record.

This fall, I will attempt to run the fastest half marathon dressed as a fruit. It’s all going down at the Niagara Falls International Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 15.

I’m super excited a world record is within reach for me, even if it does require a ridiculous outfit. The current record holder, Thomas Priest from the United Kingdom, ran a half marathon dressed as a banana in 1:20:37. I think the previous record holder ran as a banana as well.

I’m changing it up and making my Guinness World Record attempt dressed as grapes. Niagara is known for wineries and vineyards. I think running dressed as grapes will give Continue reading →

Guess what this is

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This was delicious and not what I expected. Can you guess what it is?

OK, time is up. The answer: spicy buffalo cauliflower bites.

Who thought chicken wings? So did I. When I came from work one day last week, April Fools Day no less, I was greeted by the whiffy tang of hot sauce. I instantly thought wings. But, my wife, who prepared this dish, is a vegetarian. I knew something was up.

“Don’t say anything, just try ’em,” she said. Down the hatch they went. And they were good. Hot sauce makes everything better, doesn’t it.

These were really simple to make and one cup of cauliflower makes six servings. The recipe came from www.skinnytaste.com. I’ve included it below and on my recipe page.

Enjoy.

Spicy Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Servings: 6 • Size: about 1 cup cauliflower

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp garlic powder
22 oz (6 1/2 cups) cauliflower florets
3/4 cup Franks Hot Sauce
1 tbsp melted unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Lightly spray a large non-stick baking sheet with oil.
Combine the water, flour, and garlic powder in a bowl and stir until well combined.
Coat the cauliflower pieces with the flour mixture and place on the baking sheet; bake for 20 minutes.
While the cauliflower is baking, combine the hot sauce and butter in a small bowl.
Pour the hot sauce mixture over the baked cauliflower and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes. Serve with skinny blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

CALORIES PER SERVING: 119.4
FAT: 2 g
PROTEIN: 4 g
CARBS: 21.4 g
FIBER: 3 g
SUGAR: 0.2 g
SODIUM: 1172 mg

* Homolka, Gina. 2013, January. Gina’s Skinny Recipes, http://www.skinnytaste.com/2013/01/spicy-buffalo-cauliflower-bites.html. Accessed on April 10, 2014.

Soups on

Mmmm, soup.

Mmmm, soup.

If there is one thing that always pairs well with cold Niagara nights, it’s soup.

And lately, the soup-de-jour has been Minestrone.

I came across this recipe by Pam Anderson in an old addition of Runner’s World. I’m not really a soup-kind-of-guy so I skipped over it when I first read the issue. But, my daughters and I were looking for something to do one afternoon while my wife was sleeping off the flu and the recipe seemed easy enough. So, we gave it a try.

Turns out, it turned out pretty good and the soup quickly became a weekly favourite. I usually stick pretty close to the recipe (posted below), but Julie (my wife) changes it up with different seasonings, giving it spicier flavourings, pastas, beans and veggies. She’s so creative when it comes to just trhowing whatever in and the soup is always a little better when she makes it. I try to one-up Julie by adding more beans or more lentils or more of something but we usually just end up with more soup to bring for lunch.

Try out the recipe below and feel free to send me your favourite recipes. I’m always looking to try new dishes and am interested to find out what other people eat to prime themselves for runs and to aid recovery afterwards. I’m also interested in good vegetarian dishes. I’ll post any contributions on the new Recipes page on Niagara Runner.

Enjoy,

Minestrone with Spring Vegetables*

Leafy escarole is rich in vitamin K and folate, while beans are an excellent source of fiber. Use whatever bite-size pasta you have on hand, says Anderson.

2 quarts good-quality vegetable broth
1 14.5-ounce can petite-diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into small dice
1 celery stalk, cut into small dice
1 peeled carrot, cut into small dice
2 teaspoons Italian seasonings
1/4 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 cans (15 to 16 ounces each) small white beans, not drained
8 ounces frozen green peas
8 ounces coarsely chopped escarole
1 cup ditalini (or any bite-size pasta)
Sprinkle of salt and ground black pepper

Microwave broth and tomatoes together on high until steaming (5 minutes).

Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onions, celery, and carrots; saute till tender (5 minutes). Add Italian seasonings and red pepper; saute until fragrant (one minute).

Add broth mixture and remaining ingredients; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue to simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and pasta is tender (15 minutes). Serves eight.

CALORIES PER SERVING: 220
CARBS: 41 G
FIBER: 10 G
PROTEIN: 10 G
FAT: 4 G

*Anderson, P. (2012, May). The Athletes Palate, Runner’s World, p46.

Snowed in, kind of

Doing hills takes on a new meaning for me during the winter.

Doing hills takes on a new meaning for me during the winter.

It’s a day off from elementary school for youngsters across Niagara and I was hopeful to get my girls to the YMCA so I could get a brisk 10k run in. Usually they love the children’s program at the Y but today there was just one problem: it snowed last night. Not a lot, but enough so that my girls wanted to hang out around the house instead.

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Sponsored!

That’s right, I somehow managed to find someone out there to give me a sponsorship. I am proud to say in 2013 I will be running under the Team Running Free colours, I hope to make them as proud to have me as I am to be a part of the team.

Continue reading →