Karma Juggling is Very Hard Work

03.2.2011 | 11:28 am

A Note from Fatty: This post is going to wander a little bit, but rest assured: this is because I have a subtle mind, not because I am middle-aged and enfeebled.

When I write a blog post, I generally have certain expectations about what will happen next:

  1. Several people will comment on the post. Many will enjoy it. A few won’t. At least one of the comments will contain insights or jokes better than anything included in the post itself. This does not hurt my feelings.
  2. A few people will tweet or email me about the post.
  3. Everyone will forget about the post and move on with their lives. Including me.
  4. This item included because lists of four are too rare in this day and age, where it seems like there’s some unwritten law that lists must contain a prime number of items. Although 10 is also OK.

What I usually do not expect to happen is for the post to gather steam and generate either very angry responses or awesome opportunities.

Last week, though, I wrote a jokey little post that did both.

201103020948.jpg Angry Leads to Awesome

The idea for the post came when I gave my friend Kenny some ProBars. As I did, I mentioned to his girlfriend Heather — a vegetarian — that she might enjoy them, because they’re vegetarian (I meant to say vegan).

“You mean,” she joked, “these energy bars don’t have little pieces of meat in them? How original.”

And of course, a lightbulb went off in my head and I wrote my Meat-ergy post.

As some of you know by now, this generated a little bit of a fuss among some readers. This bothered me at first — I’m a pretty thin-skinned person, sometimes. This consternation turned, however, to pure joy as my friend Dug took one particularly sanctimonious comment and pretty much crushed it.

That, by itself, would have been a sufficiently awesome unintended consequence. But it got better.

I also heard from Derek, who said:

“Hey, one of the companies I represent makes a beef bar, and a beef and berry bar, and jerky. Send me your address and I’ll send you a box. They actually are great one a ride.”

Naturally, I sent him my address, and the next day (literally) I had this:


Buffalo, beef, and berry meat-ergy galore, all packaged in easy-to-stuff-in-jersey form factors.

The Runner and I tried out several different flavors and came to the same conclusion: Yum.

Having one or two of these in the jersey, we agreed, would be an awesome antidote to the “sweet carbs overload” effect you get when eating and drinking sweet stuff nonstop for hours on end.

“I ought to contact Derek and see if he’d like to throw some of these in the 100 Miles of Nowhere Schwag Bag,” I told The Runner, and went over to my email.

But I never needed to propose this idea to Derek, because he had already left an email suggesting that exact thing.

So — in addition to the carbs — expect some protein in your 100 Miles of Nowhere bag this year.

And if you’re a vegetarian, give it to someone who’s not.

Wherein I Restore Balance to the Universe by Giving You an Awesome Vegetarian (Maybe Even Vegan) Burritos Recipe

To read all this meat-ergy stuff, you might get the impression that I’m a strict carnivore. In reality, I am not. In fact, with a practicing vegetarian in the house (The Runner’s youngest), I go out of my way to prepare vegetarian dishes pretty often.

And recently, I found (and then tweaked) a recipe for really fantastic vegetarian burritos. The original recipe comes from my sister Kellene. I’ve modified it a little bit as I experimented with it.

Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore, give this a try. I think you’ll like it as much as my family does.


2 cans vegetable broth (Kellene’s original recipe called for chicken broth for her “vegetarian” burritos. Kellene cracks me up)

2 cans coconut milk. Or light coconut milk if you’re that kind of person.

4 sweet potatoes. Or are they called yams? I can’t seem to get a straight answer.

1 onion, chopped up real good. Or 2 onions, if you like onions a lot, like I do. Your call.

1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/4 tsp garlic powder if you’re lazy like me).

1 diced green, red, orange, or yellow pepper. Or, again, go with a couple peppers.

2 tsp cumin. I’m surprised every time I use this spice by how good it smells. Wow.

1 pkg frozen corn. Or canned, if you like your corn mushy and gross.

1 can black beans. Don’t use kidney beans. Kidney beans are nasty.

1/3 c cilantro, chopped. Is there a better smell in the world than chopped cilantro? Answer: no.

1 Tbs lime juice

1 c grated cheese (unless you’re vegan, in which case use whatever vegans use instead of cheese. Maybe a whole bunch of kale and spinach and sawdust?)

warm tortillas. Vegetarian tortillas, mind you. Or vegan, if there’s a difference. But I don’t think there is.

Chopped avocados. Chop them humanely, and don’t use avocados from a horrific factory farm where they treat their avocados cruelly.

Chopped tomatoes. I don’t have a joke to make about tomatoes that I haven’t already pretty much used on my avocados ingredient.

Shredded lettuce. See tomatos.

Mexican rice (If you don’t know have a good recipe for Mexican rice already, prepare as normal rice, but add a package of taco seasoning to the water, and maybe a little enchilada sauce)


  1. Combine the broth and coconut milk into a pot, holding a little of the broth in reserve. Put the pot on to boil.
  2. Peel and chop the sweet potatoes, then add to the coconut milk mixture. Boil until the sweet potatoes are soft (perhaps just a little harder than if you were going to mash them). Once light pressure with the edge of a spoon will cut a sweet potato pice apart, you’re there.
  3. While the sweet potatoes are on to boil, saute the onion, garlic, peppers, and cumin in the remaining vegetable broth. Sauteing using broth is a great way to skip using oil or butter and still get excellent taste.
  4. Cook the corn per package instructions.
  5. Strain the black beans.
  6. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, strain them from the coconut milk mixture (discard the coconut milk mixture).
  7. Combine the sweet potatoes, the sauteed onion mixture, the corn, the beans, the cilantro, the lime juice, and the cheese.
  8. Wrap the sweet potato mixture in tortillas along with some rice, avocado, tomato and lettuce.
  9. Top with your favorite salsa. Or your second favorite salsa.

Enjoy. I mean that seriously. You will enjoy these. Or I will be very angry at you. You think I bend over backwards, slaving over a hot stove all day for you to not enjoy these delicious burritos? Darn right I don’t.

Here, have another one.

PS: I did not include pictures of the food, because any picture I have ever taken of food has made that food look gross. You’re welcome.


  1. Comment by Grizzly Adam | 03.2.2011 | 11:38 am

    I’ve used jerky, salami, and pepperoni on long rides. It really is a fantastic alternative to the constant gummy sweetness.

  2. Comment by cyclist_who_is_actually_fat | 03.2.2011 | 11:54 am

    Hi again skinny man.

    I’m not going to claim yet again that I deserve the fatcyclist moniker, being by far the fatter of the two of us. And the reason is, I haven’t been on a bike in like three months, making it hard to push the cyclist half of the equation. Especially if we’re talking REAL(TM) cyclists.

    At any rate, I’m so glad you’re eating meat-ergy. Soon you’ll be almost as fat as I am. YAY!

    Anyway, is that Burrito recipe shamelessly stolen from one of those Moosewood cookbooks? If so, my wife makes that recipe, and it is truly one of the best burritos ever. It’s even better than any meat-based burritos. So there.

    Although, secretly, I do wonder if it would be even better with bacon. But that’s a secret. So don’t tell anyone. OK?



  3. Comment by melicious | 03.2.2011 | 12:03 pm

    There are not many better smells than freshly cut cilantro. The recipe sounds wonderful, can’t wait to try it! And the meat bars are intriguing, I may need to get some.

  4. Comment by bikemike | 03.2.2011 | 12:27 pm

    you lost me at avocados.

  5. Comment by Haven (KT) | 03.2.2011 | 12:28 pm

    That recipe sounds great– roasted and/or mashed sweet potatoes are also fabulous, much better than regular mashed potatoes. Can’t wait to add this to the recipe box.

    You should send it to Pioneer Woman and have her whip it up complete with pictures. She does great food pictures.

  6. Comment by Dan in Sac | 03.2.2011 | 12:36 pm

    Thanks for the recipe. I’ll give it a shot.

  7. Comment by Eufemiano Fuentes | 03.2.2011 | 12:37 pm

    Believe it or not, Yams aren’t even in the same family as sweet potatoes!!

    Its wierd how 2 things can look so much alike but be completely unrelated.

    Like you and stanley tucci.

    Or Mr. Spitz and stanley tucci

    Or Vegan Marshmallows and regular marshmallows.

  8. Comment by Jenn Sutherland | 03.2.2011 | 12:38 pm

    Thanks for the meat-ergy bar tips – looking forward to checking out these protein bars…their inclusion in the 100 Miles goodie bag may just have tipped me into the DOING IT column!

    And the burritos sound fabulous. I’ll eat sweet potatoes and butternut squash pretty much any way you can cook them, but especially in tacos & burritos. I’ve been making sweet tater tacos by roasting cubes tossed with a little chipotle puree & olive oil, and they are amazing. Even meat-ergy lovers will enjoy them. I blogged about them awhile back (using butternut, but works well with sweets, too because let’s face it – dealing with peeling/chopping butternut is a pain). http://thewholekitchen.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/spicy-butternut-squash-tacos-with-caramelized-onions/

  9. Comment by Jim | 03.2.2011 | 12:38 pm

    Just three half-formed, somewhat disgustingly larval thoughts.

    As to meat and meat by-product energy foods: absolutely. On any ride over 3 hours I try to eat a turkey sandwich, and if that’s not available a gas station hot dog. I will even fake it and eat dry roasted peanuts and tell myself they’re raw Hamburger Helper, if that’s what it takes. Nitrates have been shown to be a performance booster, and some of us (lookin’ at you Accellerade junkies) are just fueled better if they get some protein. So a bit of meaty goodness on a long ride is like frickin’ rocket fuel if your stomach can handle it. In the case of the gas station hot dog, it actually contains rocket fuel, albeit unintentionally.

    As to Dug’s post… wow dude. Do you have to holler “Release the Kraken!” at the top of your lungs to get him to do that????

    As to that picture – looks like you and Tammy Thomas had a love child. A child with serious physical and mental defects. You shoulda fed that kid some meat while he was younger. Or you should have eaten better when you were pregnant.

  10. Comment by Jim | 03.2.2011 | 12:40 pm

    Oh yeah, and I read that line above about the avocados as “chapped avocados.” For the longest time I sat here wondering, “how in the hell am I supposed to chap avocados? Put ‘em in my shorts and ride without chamois cream?”

  11. Comment by Karen | 03.2.2011 | 12:59 pm

    I know this is a bike related blog but since you just turned it into a food blog – you need to visit Smitten Kitchen for amazingly yummy looking food photos and recipes.


  12. Comment by Maile in Florida | 03.2.2011 | 1:00 pm

    Finally, someone else who knows that kidney beans are nasty. Please tell my mother.

  13. Comment by Janet B | 03.2.2011 | 1:02 pm

    Gosh I despise cilantro and cumin, other than that the burritos sound pretty good.

  14. Comment by Dan O | 03.2.2011 | 1:17 pm

    Meat on a ride – great idea.

    I may smash some SPAM into my second water bottle for the next long ride. The heat and vibration should soften it into a semi-drinkable paste, allowing some portable protein while covering the big miles (burp).

    Mmm….bon appetit !

  15. Comment by Keenedge | 03.2.2011 | 1:17 pm

    This is exactly why I Love your blog. If I would have had liquid or some kind of meat-ergy food in my mouth while reading this my laptop would now be wearing it. Dug & Jim rule. And wow would that picture get things hoppin’ on an internet dating site. Janet sub flat leaf Parsley for the cilantro.

  16. Comment by Chicken #349204, Spitz Tasty Chickens Chicken Factory | 03.2.2011 | 1:23 pm

    Phew! No chicken flavored bars!

    Sent from my henPhone.

  17. Comment by centurion | 03.2.2011 | 1:32 pm

    Cilantro smells better than bacon? Are you kidding?

  18. Comment by Hunter | 03.2.2011 | 1:44 pm

    Fatty, I believe you should write a cook book. If you did, I might actually be able to follow a whole recipe before getting bored and completely changing the dish.

    But seriously, I think you should consider writing a cook book. I would buy 2, 3 if I am in a good mood.

  19. Comment by Heather G | 03.2.2011 | 1:48 pm

    Happy to have provided the vegetarian-inspiration for your Meat-astic energy bars.
    My next cool idea – a soy milk replacement drink made from cows!
    You’re welcome.

  20. Comment by Anne-Marie | 03.2.2011 | 1:54 pm

    Hello Fatty, I only just met you the other day due to you winning that fat-ass Bloggie award. Congratulations on a “lifetime” of blogging! I loved your Meat-ergy post–thanks for the silliness and the laughs. And congrats on having a friend as loyal and funny as Dug.

  21. Comment by Slow One | 03.2.2011 | 2:24 pm

    Note to self: don’t get on Dug’s bad side.

  22. Comment by KanyonKris | 03.2.2011 | 2:51 pm

    Bob is activating the remote destruct code for your Photoshop. It’s for our own good. (As if I can talk.)

    We made your guacamole a few days ago. Delicious. Thanks for the video how-to.

  23. Comment by Heather G | 03.2.2011 | 3:03 pm

    Note to Scott: do not engage in a battle of wits when you are completely unarmed.

  24. Comment by a chris | 03.2.2011 | 3:05 pm

    Dude, I agree with you about cilantro and cumin, but not about kidney beans. I make my chili with kidney beans (we’re not vegetarian but we like our chili without carne) and it’s great.

    Thanks for sharing this recipe, and I don’t mind not having to scroll through a lot of fancy bokeh-infused pictures (hey, I love PW, I’m just a little bemused by food blogging — even if I have been guilty of a post or two with ‘orrible photos of food in preparation — in fact, my chili! Should all this have gone into parentheses? I think not.).

  25. Comment by Drew | 03.2.2011 | 3:56 pm

    Does Scott remind anyone else of Ben Stiller’s character in Heavyweights? Or Dodgeball, for that matter?

  26. Comment by Mike Roadie | 03.2.2011 | 5:38 pm

    Yum….and that looks like Sid Caesar and Fatty combined.

    I will sign up for 100MON just for the meat bars.

  27. Comment by Arizona Guy | 03.2.2011 | 9:10 pm

    The vegan burritos might work for me if I ever get a vegan girlfriend…but then my wife would get all tweaked that I was cooking for my GF and not her…

    Anyways – reading through that recipe just set my mouth watering thinking about your REAL specialty.

    For all your new fans and friends – could you post that picture of the garbage can full of Pabst & Brats you solemnly prepared for the White Rim ride? If you have a nice close-up of that brownish-gray foam that builds up that would count for bonus points. YUM.

  28. Comment by DeniseMarie | 03.2.2011 | 9:10 pm

    How dare you, Fatty? I’ll have you know that I love kidney beans AND I think cilantro tastes like soap. I’ll never read this blog ag—oh, who am I kidding? I’m not offended. You can go ahead and make fun of me for eating raw cookie dough too.

  29. Comment by Squirrelhead | 03.2.2011 | 9:57 pm

    I am going to try the burrito recipe this weekend. It sounds awesome and has some of the best ingredients!!
    I am also going to have to check out these new meat snacks for long rides.
    Dug rocks!

  30. Comment by Janel Nelson | 03.3.2011 | 3:58 am

    I have a great recipe for Spanish rice….I also make a good hamburger meet jerky too, in my new cabela dehydrater.!! We tried fish on our new foreman grill with the good sauce we learned about at your house. yum!!

  31. Comment by James | 03.3.2011 | 7:19 am

    With all this meat discussion it seems only fitting that they just inducted 5 new members in to the Meat Hall of Fame.


  32. Comment by Dave | 03.3.2011 | 8:53 am

    What happened to the Helmetcam Gourment?

  33. Comment by Geo | 03.3.2011 | 9:41 am

    Yam, sweet potato. It kind of doesn’t matter. Yes they are two completely separate plants, but in the States we have been using them interchangeably for years so just go with it.

  34. Comment by Sville cyclist | 03.3.2011 | 11:12 am

    Anybody else notice the pic makes him look like Rush’s Geddy Lee?

    Recipes look great! Going to have to give them a try!

  35. Comment by XgoodlifeX | 03.3.2011 | 2:05 pm

    Fatcyclist hoodie on AFH on Bike Snobs blog today.

  36. Comment by Derek Ence | 03.3.2011 | 2:46 pm

    I am glad Fatty liked the beef bars I sent. I wouldn’t want to be the target of a blog if he hadn’t, like the Assos blog. Anyway, if anyone is interested in ordering any of the bars online, you can go here:


    If you want to order more than just a few bars, you can email the company direct at sales@goldenvalleynatural.com and mention “Robert” has approved it and we will take care of them.

  37. Comment by Jennifer | 03.3.2011 | 4:28 pm

    OMG that burrito recipe made me drool…course that could be my 9mos pregnant non-biking body telling me to eat my greek yogurt. Sighs.

    I’m so buying some of the meat bars for rides.

    2 more months and I can bike.

  38. Comment by JB | 03.3.2011 | 4:38 pm

    Good call Slow One!

  39. Comment by Nick | 03.3.2011 | 5:19 pm

    Anyone else notice what Andy Freaking Hampstein is wearing at the NAHBS photos posted over on Snob’s blog?


  40. Comment by Rachel | 03.4.2011 | 6:13 am

    The angry militant vegans are the same people as the trolls who posted on the news stories of my daughter’s wreck that it was my fault for letting my teenage daughter bike on the road. Whether they’re berating someone for daring to want a bike and not desiring to know how to fix it herself, advocating running over cyclists, or lambasting meat eaters, they are the same people: jerks.

  41. Comment by Herb | 03.4.2011 | 6:32 am

    Damn! You are one ugly woman! Thank God you’re a dude.

    Oh, the rest of the article was great too.

  42. Comment by NYCCarlos | 03.4.2011 | 9:45 am



  43. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 03.4.2011 | 6:43 pm

    Love Dug’s post! Wicked sharp.

  44. Comment by Paul | 03.5.2011 | 8:32 am

    Hey Fatty -
    Nice try but you’re not going to regain your formerly “powerful” figure eating a vegan burritos. Maybe a burrito of vegetarians…but not vegan. How about Natures own burrito of Chicken Tikka wrapped in a still warm Naan covered in Dahl? I prefer this drenched in a good mango chutney as it provides the excellent benefit of penalizing anyone drafting too close to your rear wheel.

  45. Comment by Hughes Boutin | 03.5.2011 | 2:20 pm

    Hey Fatty, I am a chef and this sounds like a great recipe! Ever thought about a series of fav recipes for when your not in the mood for writing? Or, even, a COOKBOOK?!
    If you want some more recipes, ask us. I am sure a bunch of us have our own favorite recipes. I am sure it might give some fun to your already great and funny blog.
    Cilantro smells good but so does basil also, just saying….

  46. Comment by Mary Westmacott | 03.5.2011 | 10:17 pm

    Sounds Yummy and really healthy too, might just try this one real soon, thanks for your posts x

  47. Comment by Patrick S | 03.6.2011 | 5:14 pm

    Fatty, you look like the Spanish actor nancho novo in that photoshopped image…

  48. Comment by Evelin B | 03.7.2011 | 2:50 am

    Hey Fatty,

    Just wanted to say thanks for your posts as always. They are great for stress releif and help me keep a smile on my face. I live in Christhcurch New Zealand where wew have had 2 earthquakes in the last 6 months. I try to read your posts whenever possible and they help me to keep smiling and not take things too seriously and take thigns one day at a time as they come. Thanks again and keep up the fun posts. I love them and they help to kee me sane.

  49. Comment by MrDaveyGie | 03.7.2011 | 6:25 am

    I dunno. I was kinda thinking if God did not want us to eat cow, how come He made them all out of hamburger??

  50. Comment by cece | 03.7.2011 | 6:55 am

    Glad to get the link for the bars! I am alwyas looking to add more protein to my food while riding and these will be a good choice!
    Keep cooking Fatty! Thanks,

  51. Comment by Tman | 03.7.2011 | 10:22 am

    Tanka bars suck on so many levels. Locally made scam to glom off the Sioux

  52. Comment by mikikinnc | 03.7.2011 | 11:00 am

    Great recipe (and I’m a confirmed meater)–except the sacrelige of tossing out the coconut milk breaks my heart. Surely there’s got to be a way to use that stuff in something else. For the love of God, it’s the elixer of life!

  53. Comment by Dr. Brett | 03.7.2011 | 11:50 am

    I will not be able to prise the photoshopped image from my mind. One can’t un-see that.

  54. Comment by Jenn | 03.7.2011 | 11:51 am

    Fatty…oh, Fatty!! I just made this tonight and I have to say that I’m shocked at just how good it was! This is definitely one of those recipes where the sum is greater than the individual pars. Absolutely fabulous!! Got an A from my husband (who recently told me vegetarian fare should never be served as a main course, mind you) and he had two, despite that they were as big as his head. Only sub I made was to use quinoa instead of rice, as that’s what I had on hand (and it’s more nutritious, so there’s that). Thanks a ton for sharing!

  55. Comment by Jenn | 03.7.2011 | 11:52 am

    Parts, not pars. ‘Cause parts is parts.

  56. Comment by Beth B | 03.7.2011 | 2:37 pm

    … what is UP with that photo?!

  57. Comment by plutosdad | 03.8.2011 | 8:06 am

    OMG this (the tanka bars) is so awesome, I actually have been looking for good meat based energy, instead of dairy based. And those snack sausages are gross and full of nitrates and other crap in them. (most studies on “bad” meat are on that kind of meat). And i can only eat so much beef jerky. (it’s especially hard while running) So this might be the ticket.

  58. Comment by plutosdad | 03.8.2011 | 8:35 am

    Also there supposedly is a difference and yams are supposed to be better for you, but i’ll be darned if I can actually find any.

    Here is a cool link I found on what they both look like and different varieties:


  59. Comment by Celeste | 03.10.2011 | 7:15 pm

    Yum – looks good!

    I wouldn’t discard the coconut/veggie/yam broth part though – save it for a curry. It would be awesome.

    And from someone who declines to eat CAFO meat but doesn’t make a religion of it, peace and hugs and like that.

  60. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 11.21.2011 | 7:52 am

    This recipe’s been pinned up on my bulletin board since March. I finally got around to making it (with some help from someone who actually knows a thing or two about cooking) and it was fantastic. And this is coming from a guy whose favorite song is “Cheeseburger in Paradise.”

  61. Comment by Jeff Dieffenbach | 11.21.2011 | 7:55 am

    Oh, and speaking of my kitchen ineptitude, two tweaks you might make to the recipe.

    1. In step 1, give a hint as to how much broth to set aside for the later saute step.

    2. In step 2, provide some guidance on how big the sweet potato/yam slices should be.

    3. Suggest a few good beer pairings. We went with Sam Adams’ new Stony Brook Red, part of their Barrel Room Collection. Outstanding!


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