Rise & Run: Review So Far

Cover image courtesy of Goodreads

As both a runner and a morning person, I was stoked to see that Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky were coming out with a cookbook focused around morning routines and breakfast recipes. I’ve been madly in love with their Superhero Muffins ever since I first chanced upon the free version of the recipe online, and a few of my go-to recipes come from their Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow cookbook.

I love mornings, and I love breakfast, but I often resort to whipping up something quick and chocolately if I don’t have muffins or another meal prepped from the night before. Having a book chock full of breakfast recipes, with not one but two entire chapters of muffin recipes has put some pep in my breakfast step once again.

The past couple weeks haven’t been super heavy in the running department, since I am experiencing a particularly bad flare up of my chronic pain condition. While I’ve been medically cleared to run even during a flare, being in pain doesn’t exactly make a girl want to strap on her running shoes.

That, however, has not stopped me from immediately diving in to see what Rise & Run: Recipes, Rituals, and Runs to Fuel Your Day has to offer. Since it arrived on my doorstep on Tuesday, I’ve tried out two of the recipes and have a third one on dock for Sunday meal prep. Would I normally wait to try a few more recipes before reviewing a cookbook? Yes, probably.

But it’s Blogtober and I am a few hours shy of missing my first ever post day, so here I am, reflecting on the recipes I’ve tried so far. If I’d really thought ahead, I would’ve taken pictures as I made these meals, but really, I was just excited to start trying them, so here we are.

Sunrise Overnight Oats

The first recipe I tried from the book, these overnight oats are quite a bit different to something I’d normally make myself for breakfast. As in, they don’t feature chocolate, a general requirement when I eat oats in the morning. This recipe sneaks in some shredded carrot much like my favorite version of the superhero muffins, and incorporates apples as well. The primary flavor notes are cinnamon, apple, and honey, and while the recipe calls for homemade nut milk, I splashed in oatmilk instead because that’s what we generally have on hand.

After eating these oats for breakfast, I was surprised that I could noticeably tell a difference in my energy levels compared with my usual hastily assembled, sugary oats. They were delicious, as well, a sort of cold apple pie flavor with a bit of crunch from the apples and almonds. I think these will definitely be a go-to for me, because if there’s one thing I love, it’s shredded carrots sneaked into breakfast.

Homemade Pancake and Waffle Mix

No math before coffee is a lesson I’ve had to learn oh so many times. This morning, I learned it again when I tried to prep a smaller batch of the homemade pancake and waffle mix. As written, the recipe requires nine cups of oat flour, which begs the question, where are these women buying their oat flour? Where I shop, that’s two to three bags, at least. Needless to say, I intended to use only 3 and make a smaller batch so I could whip up the Belgian Waffles from the book.

Except that while I did divide the oat flour and all purpose by three, I forgot to do this when I splashed in the baking powder and cinnamon. Alas, I could either waste all that flour, or improvise my way to 9 cups of something or another, so I chose the latter, tossing in some almond flour and gluten free flour I had on hand.

Suffice it to say, I can’t judge the waffles that resulted from this mix too harshly given that I did not follow the recipe as written. That said, I can’t say I’m sad to have a bag of homemade waffle and pancake mix waiting in the wings, because even my weird improvised version tastes pretty darn good. There are several different recipes in the book that use this mix as a base, from the Belgian waffles I made this morning to pancakes to a savory waffle recipe. I suspect I’ll be baking my way through a few as I work to use this gallon bag of mix I wound up with.

Tomorrow, I dig into the sweet muffin chapter with a new-to-me superhero muffin variation–the dark chocolate banana, of course. At this point, I trust these women to write me a damn good muffin recipe, so I’m quite excited to give several of these a go.

The thing I like best about these books, though, is the tone. Elyse and Shalane don’t treat butter, flour, or whole milk yogurt as enemies, and it’s refreshing to see their recipe incorporating real ingredients that don’t try to “lighten up” baked goods. It’s more about the nutrient profile of the recipe and how those ingredients can nourish one’s body through the hard work of running (or, um, walking the dog).

This one comes with several non-food chapters about morning routines and running habits, as well, which I’m excited to read once I’m feeling a bit less down in the dumps about my own ability to lace up my shoes and go. The verdict: would buy again, 100%. I recommend to folks who enjoy a good muffin, to runners, and to people who enjoy eating secret carrots shredded into things as much as I do.


These 4 Cookbooks Are in my Heavy Rotation Right Now

Photo by Mike Gattorna on Unsplash

I was today years old when I learned that October is National Cookbook Month. Or at least, it is according to the National Day Calendar and an email I got from Book Riot this morning. Apparently there’s no clear history of celebrating and the holiday likely originated, like so many things do these days, from social media. 

But as a great lover of cookbooks, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to celebrate in style by featuring the cookbooks that I pull down from my shelves on a nearly weekly basis in order to meal prep, bake, and enjoy the occasional brunch-at-home.

Since we’re approaching holiday gift season, I’m breaking these down based on who I’d recommend them to the most, though each book is 100% a prime feature in my own kitchen adventures, making the recipes mentioned tried-and-true favorites. 

(Full disclosure: Links to specific (cook)books are Bookshop affiliate links, which earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you).

For the Great British Bake-Off Fan

Cover image courtesy of Goodreads

For the past year, I’ve been baking my way through the 2016 series tie-in cookbook, Great British Bake Off: Perfect Cakes and Bakes to Make at Home

I’ll admit, the recipe writing is inconsistent, probably a product of the mix of bakers who provided the recipes. Some of them are fantastic and easy to follow, while others fail entirely to explain what to do with key components. This flaw aside, it’s so much fun to bake your way through a season’s recipe, then go watch those episodes and see the very bakes you created in your kitchen come to life. Highly, highly recommend.

A few favorites from this cookbook: Lemon Drizzle Bundt Cake, Bhaa Bara Brith Biscuits. 

For the Vegan And/ Or Gluten Free 

Cover Image Courtesy of Goodreads

Minimalist Baker’s Everyday Cooking: 101 Entirely Plant-Based, Mostly Gluten-Free, Easy and Delicious Recipes is one of the first physical cookbooks I acquired in adult life, and it remains a constant all these years later. 

I tend to stick to a few key recipes in every cookbook I own (GBBO challenge above aside), but the ones that are in my heavy rotation are absolute household favorites. This book features a number of relatively easy vegan and gluten free recipes, which makes it a great one to have in your arsenal for your dietary-restricted friends. 

There’s a conception, I think, that eating vegan meals has to be fussy and difficult. But in fact, this book has some of the most delicious and simplest recipes I’ve used, all while being veggie and plant forward. 

A few favorites from this cookbook: Cocoa Black Bean Burgers, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Carrot and Potato Curry. 

For the Runner In Your Life

Cover Image Courtesy of Goodreads

The thing I love best about Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopoceky’s Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow cookbook is that bread and butter are not the enemy here. Plus, the subtitle “quick-fix recipes for hangry athletes” pretty much sums up my whole vibe a few hours after a run. 

The recipes are meant to be healthy, whole food based, and fuel your runs. They are not meals designed to be “light” aka code for diet culture, but rather hearty and healthy meals with a variety of veggie and protein available. I found this such a refreshing approach to a cookbook geared towards runners, and there a few well-weathered pages from how often I make some of these recipes.

Favorites from this cookbook: Superhero Muffins (also available to try free on their website which I’ve linked here because you need these muffins), Turkey Trot Meatballs, Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower. 

For The Cozy, Comfort Meal Lover

Cover image courtesy of Goodreads

Can we please talk about the delightful, comforting meals featured on the Half Baked Harvest blog? Once I realized how frequently I took to the internet for recipes from Tieghan Gerard, I felt called to buy her cookbooks and support her amazing recipe and food photography skills. I own and love both the Half Baked Harvest cookbook and Half-Baked Harvest: Super Simple

My rec today is the Super Simple edition, because the recipes are a bit quicker and easier to pull together, giving you that comfort food fast. These are not lightened up, “skinny” meals, but full-on filling and delicious while still incorporating lots of healthy variety. 

Bookmarked in my copy are: No Knead Bread & Pizza Dough, Everything Bagel Salad, and Buffalo Cauliflower Bites.

After flipping through these cookbooks to remind myself of my favorites, I’m feeling pretty hungry and eager to get back in the kitchen to cook some of these recipes. Though they’re quite different in their intended audiences and vibes, each of these books come down off the shelves every weekend as I plan out the week’s dinners for Andy and I. 

Whether you enjoy comfort cooking, fuel for your workout, or vegan bakes, or looking for a gift for the home chef in your life, I hope this last gave you something delicious to seek out!

Thanks so much for reading! If you enjoyed this tasty booklist, you can keep up to date by following here, on Medium, and/or on Instagram. If you’re not a Medium member yet but would like to join, you can support me and YBF by signing up here.

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