Thursday, December 16, 2010

New Belgium Beer Tasting Tonight

Hello everyone, I just wanted to spread the word to all the Little Rockiens about a beer tasting tonight. Jeff Sipes of New Belgium brewery will be at Creegan's irish pub in Argenta, sampling the brewery's offerings.
The tasting is from 6pm to 8pm I am not sure if there is a price of admission, I couldn't find any evidence of one. I love New Belgium so I will be there with my tasting shoes. While your there, stay and have a bite to eat. The food is great! As for the weekly segment beer:30, stay tuned tomorrow to hear about the tasting as well as a review of one of my favorite seasonal beers New Belgium Frambozen. I am off for a run on the Ouachita trail, hope to see you there.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Combating the cold weather at the dinner table

 The temperature has dropped and the uniform has changed. I've added gloves, hat and jacket, before heading out the door. My runs are ending in thoughts of hot soup and warm baths rather than cold beer and swimming pools. I love this time of year because it really lets you know how committed you are. Besides, All it takes is another layer of clothing, to get out there and log the miles. Why fight it when you can reward yourself with this hearty low fat chili. Did I mention that it is almost  easier than opening a can? I hope you enjoy this recipe and no matter what your winter activity, this should warm you up when your finished.

White Bean & Turkey Chili
Yields 6/1.5 cup servings

1 pound 99% fat free ground turkey
2 cans canellini beans(drained and rinsed)
2 yellow onions(small diced)
1 1/2 cups sliced button mushrooms
4 cups unsalted chicken stock
2 tbsp turmeric
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp ground red chili
2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp ground cumin
salt to taste

Heat olive oil in a deep pot, add the onions and saute until they turn translucent and smell sweet. Add the turkey, mushrooms, and beans. Cook for about 2 min then add the chicken stock and all the spices. Cook for 1 hour to reduce the liquid about 1/3. Season with salt to your preference.

Topping: Mix 1/2 chopped avocado and 2 tbsp fat free sour cream to create a chunky avocado sour cream. I also topped the chili with 1/4 cup 2% cheese. Nutrition facts do not include toppings.

Facts for 1.5 cups; Cals.  216   Fat.  4.2g    Sat. Fat.  0.4g    Cholesterol   47mg    Sodium.  287mg
Carbs.  19.6g     Dietary Fiber 5.4g     Sugar.  4.3g      Protien.   27.1g
Vit. A. 10%   Vit. C.  6%   Calcium  6%    Iron   14%

Monday, November 29, 2010


Serves 2
6 ounces 93/7 ground beef
2 ounces mashed black beans
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp worchestershire
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
 4 slices roasted sweet onions
2 slices smoked cheddar
2 pieces natures own deli thins

Mix everything together and form into 2 patties. Put in the refrigerator while the onions roast

To roast onions you will need 1 onion sliced into 1-inch slices. Heat oven to 425 and brush a baking sheet with olive oil, then brush the topside of the onion and season with salt and pepper put in the oven for about 20 to 25 min. they should be soft and caramelized on the pan side.

Facts For 1 Burger Fully Dressed
Cals. 421   Fat. 16.5g   Sat. Fat. 6.1g   Cholesterol. 62mg   Sodium. 2796mg
Carbs.  41.6g    Dietary fiber. 11.7g    Sugars.  6.5g     Protein. 30.3g
Vit. A 4%   Vit. C.  8%    Calcium  21%    Iron. 27%


Serves 2
1 sweet potato
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
2 sprigs thyme
1 clove garlic

Heat oven to 425.
Cut the potatoes into desired shape and put in a bowl. Mince the garlic and thyme together and put in bowl toss together with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Lay out on a baking tray and bake about 20 to 25 min (you can bake at the same time as the onions on the same tray).

Facts for 1/2 the recipe
Cals. 128   Fat. 5.2g   Sat. Fat. 0.9g   Cholesterol. 0mg   Sodium. 1160mg
Carbs.  18.9g    Dietary fiber. 3.1g    Sugars.  7.6g     Protein. 2g
Vit. A 346%   Vit. C.  29%    Calcium  5%    Iron. 4%

Serves 2
2 cups arugula or rocket in certain parts of the country
 1 tbsp olive oil
½ Meyer lemon
Salt and pepper to taste

If you have a grill fired up you can brush the cut side of the lemon with olive oil and place on a warm spot on the grill to get a grill mark and some grill flavor.

Place aruglua in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and squeeze the lemon over top season with salt and pepper.

*You can dress this with whatever you like. Being in Little Rock right now all of my friends seem to have an abundance of arugula. Personally, I don’t want to ruin a nice fresh picked lettuce with anything more than citrus and oil. 

Facts for 1/2 the recipe:
Cals. 54   Fat. 4.5g   Sat. Fat. 0.8g   Cholesterol. 0mg   Sodium. 12mg
Carbs.  2.8g    Dietary fiber. 0.6g    Sugars.  1.4g     Protein. 1g
Vit. A 20%   Vit. C.  22%    Calcium  8%    Iron. 3%

Friday, November 26, 2010


I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I feel like being lazy today, but that won't stop me from  delivering the "Beer :30" this Friday. My beverage of choice, a Sierra Nevada "Celebration". The celebration is a fresh hop ale that hits on all parts of the pallete.

The Nose:
Right out of the gate I am excited pouring the beer. It pours a dark honey color with a nice tan head that is dense, frothy and creamy. At first it has an immediate piney smell with floral notes (something that most fresh hop ales have.) As my nose dips deeper into the glass and I put on my serious hat,  I am greeted with a grilled citrus aroma. Could these aromas get any better? The anwer is yes. That citrus smell turns to a roasted honey with a hint of malted toffee. Wow! I havent even taken a sip yet...I can't imagine what lies ahead with the taste.
The Taste:
The first sip lets me know that I was not imagining things, especially with the grilled citrus. The pronounced hops are nicley balanced by that creaminess and the hint of toffee that those malts are bringing to the table. The celebration finshes long and strong but the parity leaves you wanting more.
The Pairing:
 While enjoying my celebration I was doing a little munching, and it just happened to work out beautifully. I reccommend the following: cook a 92% lean buffalo burger, topped it with a piece of smoked white cheddar, roasted onions and substitute that french fry craving with some roasted sweet potatoes. You can accompany this burger with an argula salad ( mine was locally gown in  Mrs. Libby's garden )dressed with grilled lemon and olive.Yummy! stay tuned for those recipes on monday.

CookRunBeer say's
Pour it, Drink it, and Enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Cauliflower Gratin

Serves 4-6
1 head cauliflower
2 oz goat cheese
1/3-cup light sour cream
1 pinch garlic powder
1 pinch onion powder
1 pinch chili flake
1-cup cheddar cheese (and cheese that melts nicely will work)

Bring a pot of water to a boil, while the water is coming to a boil cut the cauliflower into small florets. Once the water has reached a boil, salt it and add the cauliflower. Cook at a full boil, about 8 to 0 min until it is soft but has a little firmness (you don’t want to cook it until it’s mush).  Place 1 cup of the cooked and drained cauliflower in a food processor with the other ingredients and puree until it is smooth. Fold together with the remaining cauliflower and adjust the seasoning with salt. Put the cauliflower mixture in a oven safe crock or pan. Top with the crust mixture and bake at 425 for 10 min, until the top is golden brown.

3-1 inch slices multigrain bread (use bread from the bakery not pre sliced)
1/3 cup Parmesan

Dry the bread in a 250-degree oven for about 20 min. put in a food processor with the cheese and blend until it is a fine crumb.

Cals.  199   Fat.  11.1g    Sat. Fat.  6.4g    Cholesterol   33mg    Sodium.  388mg
Carbs.  13.6g     Dietary Fiber 2.2g     Sugar.  2.8g      Protien.   12g
Vit. A. 9%   Vit. C.  39%   Calcium  20%    Iron   6%


Beans and Beans
Serves 4-6

1-pound fresh green beans
3 green onions
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
1 tbsp apricot preserves
2 tsp sriracha
1 can cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
5 sage leaves chopped
1/2 cup water
1 or 2 tsp salt

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. While the water is coming to a boil slice the green onions on a bias. 

In a pan heat butter, ginger and sage together, cook until the ginger starts to brown, 

then add the sriracha, apricot preserves, and water. Cook until the liquid thickens (this will happen quickly) remove from heat and add the drained cannelloni beans. Buy this point the water should be at a boil. Add the green beans and cook for 6 to 7 min until cooked and still green. While the beans are cooking prepare an ice bath, once the beans are cooked remove from pot to the ice bath to shock. Bring the saucy liquid to a simmer and add the beans and adjust seasoning with a pinch or two of salt serve immediately.

Facts for 1/6 recipe
Cals. 79    Fat. 2.3g   Sat. fat. 1.2g    Cholesterol.  5mg.    Sodium. 53mg. 
Carbs.  15.2g     Dietary Fiber.  5g   Sugars  4.2g     Protein.  3.7g
Vit. A  14%    Vit. C 26%    Iron. 9%   Calcium.  5%

Monday, November 22, 2010


Braised brussel sprouts with dates and walnuts

Serves 4 to 6
2-14 oz packages brussel sprouts
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
2/3-cup chicken stock (I use kitchen basics unsalted)
1/3-cup water
5 dates peeled and diced
10 clicks of fresh ground pepper or 1 tsp
1 to 2 tsp salt

Heat the butter in a wide heavy bottom pan on medium high (it’s important the pan is big enough so the sprouts do not stack up on top each other).  Add the walnuts and cook until the butter and the nuts start to turn slightly brown. Add the sprouts and sauté for 1 minute. Add the stock, brown sugar, and water. Bring it to a simmer and cover. Let cook for about 5 to 7 minutes until the center is warm, once the brussel is warm remove them from the pan with the slotted spoon leaving as mush of the liquid in the pan as possible. Turn the heat to high and reduce the liquid for about 2 or 3 minutes until it becomes shinny and is thick like a glaze. Add the dates and the brussels back into the pan and toss to warm the brussels check your seasoning and serve immediately

facts for 1/6 servings
Cals.185   Fat.8.5g  Sat. fat.2.9g   Cholesterol.10mg   Sodium.27mg
Carbs.25.7mg  dietary fiber.5.4g   Sugars.15.2g   Protein. 5.5g


Hello everyone, for the inaugural edition of "Weekly Fuel" we are going to have a special Thanksgiving theme, The theme, trading some of those coma inducing starched sides for a side that is lighter,tastier and yes a vegetable. I am probably not alone when I say, "I am tired of falling into a deep coma before I can even leave the table". I blame the following; 3 types of sweet potatoes, 2 types of white potatoes, 2 pasta dishes, and 3 types of stuffing. Now I am not saying I don't like all that goodness but, usually the veggies at the table are just steamed afterthoughts. How do you know if your making an after thought? Let me tell you, I am here to free your table of this tragedy by offering a recipe for each of the 3 remaining days before Thursday.

All the recipes I have for you are easy enough that they actually can be after thoughts but do not have to sacrifice the taste and still be healthy.  I can't guarantee a coma free, Thanksgiving especially if you just add these to the arsenal and eat 8.5 plates. However, this should get you on your way to making it through the parade, all the football games and that great game of Scattagories after coffee and pie. I hope you enjoy all of these offerings. The first recipe will follow this posting and tune in Tuesday and Wednesday for the remaining recipes.

Monday-Brussel sprouts with walnuts and medjool dates

Tuesday-Spicy green beans with ginger

Wednesday-Cauliflower and goat cheese gratin

 CookRunBeer says
"Happy thanksgiving 
and burn a calorie or two, so you can enjoy all of that quality time with your family"

Friday, November 19, 2010



The season is changing again and the temperature is dropping, bring on the dark malty beers. Shiner Cheer drinks a lot lighter than it looks. Pouring as a dark pecan color, you would expect a little chocolate or coffee or possibly both. Instead this beer is surprisingly refreshing, the Texas peaches add a nice bright acidity and a slight sweetness, that is backed up from the malted barley and wheat. The roasted pecans add a nice nutty characteristic creating a well balanced beer. All said and done there will be 6 or so of these in my fridge all season long.

Let me tell you about the little snack to go with this deliciousness. I toasted a piece of pumpernickel bread,  cut it into little bite size squares and smeared it with cambozola cheese, topping it with a teaspoon of apricot preserves. The apricot preserve made the beer seem a little sweeter and peachier. Teamed up with the beer, they worked together to cut the bitterness and pungency of the cheese. All the while, the nuttiness of the bread the nuts in the brewing process just rounded out the whole experience to make the perfect bite and sip combo. Out of this world. 


CookRunBeer says 
Buy it, drink it, enjoy it.


Hey everyone, just a heads up i will be posting the first BEER:30 segment. 
I will be reviewing the Spoetzl brewery's holiday seasonal Shiner Cheer .

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cooking Up The First Run

Hello world ! John Leonardis here. Recently I have had many changes in life. I transitioned from 12 years of working in the busy restaurant industry to a more relaxed career and way of life. With this change came the realization that I love things other than cooking. What started as being outdoors in the woods hiking turned into a little jogging here and there. A little over a year ago I ran my first 5K race. Since then I have been able to build my running miles up to doing 50K ultra runs. With this addiction I have set a new goal. To run my first 100 mile race by the time I am 32 (in 3 years.) With this new goal I would like to take you along for the run.

As a reader, the question you are probably asking yourself is "What do you have to offer me in return for all of my support?" It's simple.With all this running I am noticing how much diet effects your running. As a chef, I have become accustomed to eating food that always tastes good, but may not be the best fuel for a run ( i.e. fatty foods.) To remedy that problem, I have been tweaking all of my favorite dishes to make them more healthier and I would like to share them with you. I will be posting weekly healthy dishes for the health conscious runner or anyone for anyone who is looking for healthy recipes in their diet.

 Along with the "Weekly fuel" segment of healthy recipes. I will bring to you in a frosty mug of course, weekly beer reviews and food pairings.

Here are some other tastes of what to expect all my journey to 100miles ultra run:
  • training posts
  • race reports
  • cheat meals worth eating
  • video recipes(in the future)
  • product reviews
  • and any other thoughts i may have
Thank you in advance for stopping by and please leave your comments. I would love to provide any knowlege I have and if you have any questions or comments...please don't be shy. This is a place to learn, learn and live a healthy lifestyle withough sacrificing the true flavors of food. Well,I am off for a run, but tune in on friday for the first beer review. 

Good Talk,