The cycling season is coming up, rides are starting to happen, adventures are waiting to be had. To get the most out of the day, especially if we are going to while away the whole day in the saddle, we're going to need to eat. While we could just buy some energy bars and gels at the bike shop, we truly prefer to eat real food out on the bike. We find it much more satisfying and nourishing to eat the kind of food we would eat at any meal. Our go to on the bike food is the wonderfully versatile rice cake. We're not talking about those Frisbee like puffed rice discs made famous by dieters. These rice cakes are more like a sushi roll, soft and delicious. Check out our recipe after below.
Bacon, Egg and Cheese Rice Cake
- 1 c Starchy Short Grain Rice (we use either Sushi or Arborio (Risotto rice))
- 1.5 c water (for cooking rice)
- 3 strips of bacon (more or less to taste)
- 1-2 eggs
- .25 c Parmesan cheese shredded
- 2 T soy sauce or liquid aminos (this is really to taste) (liquid aminos makes this gluten free, soy sauce adds gluten)
The rice is the most critical item in this hole recipe. The starch in the rice is what binds the cake together, so DO NOT rinse the rice before cooking. If you get the rice right, you can almost put whatever you want in it. So here's the simple technique. In a small saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add Rice. Let water return to a boil. When it reaches a boil, turn the heat off and cover the pan. Let it sit for 20 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, let's cook off the rest of the ingredients. Start with the bacon. Cut the bacon into 1/4" strips, crosswise. I stack the strips to minimize cutting. Place the bacon in a frying pan in one thin layer. Add water to the frying pan just to the top of the bacon layer. Place Pan on burner set to medium high heat. The water will boil off and let the fat from the bacon render off without drying out the bacon. When the water is gone Watch the bacon bits and cook to desired done-ness. When ready, remove bacon from the pan and set aside.
Now pour off the excess bacon fat into a jar or bowl, whatever you usually do with bacon grease. Reserve a little in the pan. The fat will add some flavor to the eggs and keep them from sticking. Return the pan to the burner and crack both eggs into it. with your spatula quickly scramble the eggs. this should take under a minute. Try to chop them up while scrambling. When they are mostly cooked and slightly wet, move them to a plate. They'll finish cooking on the plate without drying out.
When the rice is done cooking, mix the bacon and eggs into the rice. While the mixture is still warm, spread it into a small nonstick loaf pan. Using your spatula, press it into one uniform, dense layer. Sprinkle the aminos over the top. Place in refrigerator to cool.
When the rice has set, cut them into bars and wrap individually.
The rice will pretty much bind together whatever ingredients you would like and has a mild flavor, so the sky is the limit as to what you put in there. You can go sweet or savory. get creative. To get you started, here are some other comps you can try.
In this Recipe, try swapping in Panchetta, Canadian Bacon or Ham in place of the bacon. I bet Prosciutto would be awesome, so salty. Any hard cheese would be good in place of the Parm.
Ground Turkey seasoned with Taco seasoning is most excellent. finely chop some bell peppers and maybe some cotija cheese. The little bit of spice cuts through the film that develops in your mouth while riding and gives your taste buds a real pick me up.
Sweet Tangy Cakes
I really like Mangos and Craisins in my sweet cakes. The tartness really cuts through that dry mouth feeling and gives you a mental boost in addition to the caloric boost. You'll want to pat the mango with a paper towel after you cut it up. The rice will have trouble binding if too much moisture is present. I'll add marshmallows to the rice for a little extra sweetness and binding power, that's what holds Rice Krispy treats together. These are tasty for sure
For these, press out the rice to about half the thickness you normally would, then cut it up and use it in place of the bread and make little sandwiches. Works pretty well and it's a nice treat. Amp it up with a layer of Nutella.
Spinach and Feta
cook off the Spinach, cool and drain it, mix the rice and feta into your freshly cooked rice. We haven't tried these yet, but it sounds awesome. Can't wait to try these.
You could literally add nuts, but what we mean is try your own combinations. You have the power to take flavors that work for you without having to wait for some company to make it for you. You know what's going in, so you can tailor it for your dietary needs. It's empowering and delicious. Have you maid any cakes to take? Let us know what has worked for you in the comments below.
We adapted this recipe from the Feed Zone Portables cook book. You should check it out for lots of other Ideas on real, easy to digest, foods that are easy to carry with you while you ride.