Fast Food: Halloween Stuffed Peppers

Halloween may be all about the candy, but here is an equally festive way to enjoy the holiday while sneaking some veggies in. These jack-o-lantern inspired stuffed bell peppers are half the mess of a traditional pumpkin, and simple enough for your kids to be involved in the preparation.

Our filling is an easy no prep involved burrito style. We know how busy Halloween on a Monday night will be. However, you can be as fancy as you want with your creation. Cooked ground meat with taco seasoning would be a great addition to up the protein. Salsa, sour cream, and avocado would also make delicious toppings.

peppers

Here is what you will need to make your own Jack-o-lantern stuffed peppers.

Ingredients:

3-4 orange bell peppers

1 small can black beans

1 small can enchilada sauce

1 package pre-cooked Spanish rice

peppers-before

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut tops off of peppers and remove seeds. Carve peppers with desired jack-o-lantern style faces. Layer spoonfuls of rice, enchilada sauce, black beans, and cheese in the peppers. There will likely be room for two layers. Finish with cheese as the top layer. Replace tops of peppers. Place in an aluminum foil lined tray, and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until peppers have softened and cheese has melted.

Fast Food: Healthy Chocolate Avocado Pie for National Chocolate Day

Who doesn’t love chocolate? Who doesn’t love avocados?

So why don’t we stick them together?

Alright, so we can admit that chocolate and avocado sounds like an odd combination. But trust us, this one really works.

When we were searching for healthy ways to indulge on National Chocolate Day, we found that avocado is just as good with chocolate as it is with guac…when you know what you’re doing. You’ll never guess that this green fruit (yes fruit) is hiding in your pie. It actually provides a lovely pudding like consistency.

Healthy? Check.

Easy? Just blend and refrigerate.

Vegan? Yup (when you are selective about your chocolate and graham crackers).

Gluten Free? Not quite. Substitute the graham crackers for a nut of your choice if you would like it to be gluten free.

Don’t take our word for it, try it! Here is what you’ll need.

pie

Crust:

One sleeve graham crackers

5 pitted Medjool dates

1/4 cup coconut oil

Filling:

2 large or 3 small avocados

1/2 cup chocolate chips

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/4 cup coconut oil

5 pitted Medjool dates

Pinch of salt

Start by blending one sleeve of graham crackers in a food processor. Once finely crushed, add pitted dates and coconut oil. Pour crust filling into a round pie tin, and press into sides of the pan. Pack the crust tightly, then refrigerate while preparing the filling.

graham-crackers

Rinse food processor. Blend avocados until smooth. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring occasionally to avoid burning (Recommended: 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds). Add melted chocolate, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt to the avocado. Blend until well combined. Add coconut oil and pitted dates to the mixture. Blend until mixture is smooth. Consistency should be thick. If it is not thick, add more dates and coconut oil.

crustPour chocolate mixture into crust and spread. Let set in the refrigerator for about an hour before serving.

Fast Food: Hunting with Nikki Kimball

HOKA ONE ONE Athlete Nikki Kimball realizes that hunting can be controversial. However, the 2006 Western States 100 winner is confident in her decision to eat only meat that she has hunted. As a former competitor in biathlon, Nikki knows what she’s doing. In many ways, hunting has proven to be a more ethical and sustainable way of eating meat for Nikki. Here’s what she has to say about this intriguing lifestyle choice.

nikki-hunting

HOKA: What made you decide to start mostly eating meat that you have hunted yourself?

Kimball: That answer to that question is complicated, and in fact I actually have multiple reasons for my decision to start hunting. For nearly a decade and a half, beginning at age 13, I did not eat red meat. I adopted this dietary choice on the advice of a medical doctor who, at the time, advocated a very low fat diet for athletes. Though my often near complete vegetarian dietary choice was not made secondary to ethical considerations, the diet did expose me to thinking deeply and broadly about food choices. After returning to eating red meat in 2001, I enjoyed much better mental health, and much better athletic potential. But after a few years of eating meat, I felt I needed to better understand the cost of that decision. I felt hunting would expose me to the cost of taking a life in order to feed myself. Further, with my history of racing biathlon, a sport combining cross country skiing and rifle marksmanship, I am comfortable and well trained with rifle shooting. So hunting was something that I was already decently equipped to do, and it was the easiest way for me to truly understand the entire process of eating meat: the stalking, the killing, the field dressing, the butchering, and finally the cooking. 

Having been a hunter for several years, I’ve learned a lot. First, I am okay with my choice to eat meat. As we humans have eradicated most predator species, hunting is necessary and well studied method of population control for game species. Like other meat eating animals, I am part of a larger system which has balanced life and death throughout history. At least in areas in which human populations are under control, eating meat is sustainable, and hunting is quite helpful in balancing populations of prey species. Further, my respect for eating all foods, plant or animal, has increased. I find I waste very little food as I understand more deeply now that, whether I am eating animals or plants, what I eat used to be alive. Therefore wasting food seems more wrong to me than it did prior to my hunting.

nikki-vikaHOKA: How has this decision impacted your lifestyle and health?

Kimball: Eating meat and a high fat diet has greatly improved my mental health, as well as my athletic performance. Interestingly, I had tried for many years to make US National teams in skiing and running events. Within 12 months of adding meat to my diet I made US teams in mountain running, 100k road running, and snowshoe running. The decision specifically to hunt has also added to my life. I like to take a few weeks off from running every year in order to give my body and my mind a rest. So every fall I trade my HOKA shoes in for hunting boots (in warmer weather, I actually use my HOKA Tor Ultra hiking boots). I usually amass just as many steps on days I hunt as I do on days of running training. In the woods while hunting I notice the minutiae of the forest in ways I completely miss when running: perfect spider webs coated with dew, rime glistening on a branch, as well as the sounds of squirrels and the musky smell of elk. I think for many hunters, the act of hunting makes us appreciate the wilderness in a way we otherwise wouldn’t. In hunters, society finds people who deeply respect and want to preserve nature.  

HOKA: Did eating sustainably effect your decision to do this?

Kimball: Yes. Here in Montana we do need to hunt to control game populations. Our Fish, Wildlife and Parks service does a great job of managing wildlife by allowing specific numbers of hunting tags for each species. In most areas not overpopulated by humans, eating meat is quite sustainable. 

HOKA: How about fishing?

Kimball: I used to fish a lot and I still like trout and other fish. I think I will return to fishing once I’m not spending quite as much time running. For now though, hunting is just a very efficient way to eat. One elk can keep me fed for most of a year, whereas one needs many fishing trips to keep oneself fed all year.

HOKA: Have you faced any negative judgements for this decision? What do you say to those people?

Kimball: I have. I’ve been unfriended and viciously attacked on Facebook on occasion. And one of my hunting partners has had multiple death threats. And this occurs to those of us who never post gory pictures the animals we kill. One guy who unfriended me stating that hunting was lamentable; during the same week he posted a picture of his lunch plate which included about 30 shrimp. Another asked my friend why she couldn’t just get her meat at the supermarket like everyone else rather than killing those innocent animals. 

Many of the people who judge hunters negatively eat meat themselves. Arguing with these folks is easy: I’m eating sustainable meat; I practice shooting enough to nearly always make a clean, fast kill with one shot (much less stressful than dying of starvation, disease or predation by a mountain lion); the meat I am eating has not been mistreated, or pumped full of chemicals; etc. When vegetarians argue that hunting is bad, I point to the need for game animal population control. Granted we could not feed the entire planet off hunted animals. But that simply uncovers the problem of human overpopulation. I am very strongly in favor of zero population growth for humans, and I felt the same way nearly 3 billion people ago. Eating meat is not the prime issue with sustainability. And arguing that it is shifts focus off the primary problem of human over population. 

HOKA: Which animals do you most frequently hunt? 

Kimball: I hunt pronghorn, an animal which looks a lot like a springbok antelope, white tail deer, mule deer and elk. Each species presents its own challenge, and hunting teaches one a lot about the habits and preferred habitat of each.

HOKA: What tips do you have for someone who is interested in trying this for themselves?

Kimball: First take a hunter’s safety course. Then be sure to practice shooting a lot. Wounding an animal can happen to any hunter, but hours at the range make clean shooting much more likely. And spend a lot of time off season in the woods. Look for scat, beds and other sign of game. This will make your hunting much more successful.

HOKA: Do you have a favorite recipe for a meal that you have hunted?

Kimball: My favorite cut on any game animal is tenderloin. I usually marinate the meat in spices, vinegar and maple syrup, then sear it on a very hot grill leaving the meat cool and rare (well, raw) in the middle. This cut is simply too good to get creative with: the meat is fantastic, all the cook can do is mess that up. With less precious cuts, I make a lot of game and vegetable chili.

 

Beer Picks: HOKA Athlete’s Favorites

For many runners, there is nothing more satisfying after a grueling training session than a beer. Even elite athletes are not phased by this concept, and have adopted enjoying beer as an essential part of their recovery routine. After all, it’s mostly water…right? Here’s your guide to drinking like an elite, highlighting HOKA Athlete’s top picks for their favorite post-run brews.

Karl Meltzer

I’m a pale ale fan more or less. I don’t really like IPAs. Way too hoppy for me. I will say, I’ll drink any beer, except wheat beers. I don’t like the wheat flavor, it tastes skunked. On the Appalachian Trail, I mostly had Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Although in Pennsylvania, I went with Yuengling Lager. It’s a local beer and I had to have a Yuengling while there. I only drank one beer per day on the Appalachian Trail. Many days I did not even finish it, I was more focuses on going to bed after dinner.karl-beer

1. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale

Maybe a little Cliche, but Sierra Nevada Pale Ale is probably my favorite beer. It has a mild hoppy flavor, but it’s not overwhelming and bitter. It has the right amount of carbonation, which makes it a perfect post run beer when super cold.

2. Spotted Cow Pale Ale

We don’t have this in Utah, but I was sent a six-pack from a client in Wisconsin one year. It blew my mind. It’s similar to Sierra Nevada, but was a bit lighter and a bit more carbonation. For some reason, I”m not even sure what it was, but the flavor was amazing. 

3. Natty Light

Why? Because in Utah, you can drink 12 of em’, while doing yard work and not get drunk. That’s the truth. Fair to say it’s not great beer, but sometimes super light beer is better than too many Sierra Nevadas.

Trying to conquer the trails like the winningest hundred miler of all time? Check out the HOKA Speedgoat, which Karl wore to set the Appalachian Trail record.

Josh Amberger

josh-german

1. Pfriem “Blonde IPA”

After spending the Summer in Bend OR this year, it was pretty easy to say by the end of the trip that this was my favorite beer of the trip. I ended up buying a 5 gallon keg of it to pour at my homestay’s place! It’s a reasonably sessionable IPA at 6.2% ABV, which means I can still train like a maniac and not worry about acting like one after just one pint. It’s a local brew, North-West of Bend in Hood River. I passed through the Pfriem brew-pub on the way back from IRONMAN 70.3 Coeur d’Alene in Idaho and tried some truly amazing beers. The Blonde IPA was my favorite of the lot. 

2. Pirate Life IPA

I’m going to have to go with an Australian brewer on this one. It’s a bit heavier at 6.8% ABV, which is getting towards my threshold for day-today consumption (happy to go heavier during the off-season!), but has a super tasty mix of US Centennial and Simcoe hops, with the very citrusy New Zealand Riwaka hops. It’s sold in cans, so great for camping and provides easy portage in an esky (Aussie word for cooler) to races and picnics.  Pirate Life is a new company with only two years on the books, but have a great image and already have a big reach in Australian craft beer. When my career in elite triathlon is all said and done, brewing is definitely something I want to try my hand at, and the quality of Pirate Life beer clearly shows what can be done in a short amount of time when enough passion is put into it. 

3. Nomad “Long Trip Saison”

Another Aussie beer, I’m going to settle with a Saison, which is a new found flavor interest for me. This saison Is intensely fruity in flavor, with some really nice spice and coffee tones to it, and is still sessisonable at 6% ABV (it’s all about balance!). It has local-roasted coffee beans added to the mash, and Australian Wattle seeds and Tasmanian peppers added to the boil, which makes it different to most of the Saison’s I’ve tried elsewhere. It’s quite unique and very zesty, I feel very ‘Stralian’ when drinking this brew. My girlfriend even likes it, which gives me a great excuse to buy it! 

josh-run

Want to conquer the run leg of a triathlon like Josh? Check out his speedy racing shoe of choice, the HOKA Tracer.

Sage Canaday

sage-beer

1. Avery Brewing “Pump[KY]n”

Perfect for Fall but the ultimate heavy hitting sipping beer! This 15% alcohol pumpkin ale is spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg and is aged in Bourbon barrels for 6 months. I like the blend of flavors that have aged in this brew. It’s so strong it warms you up on a cold Fall/Winter day.

2. Avery Brewing “Maharaja” 

IPA fans this is it! A strong double IPA with a blend of hoppy goodness, but smooth bitterness (102 IBUs) and a tad of sweetness even. Best IPA ever (also quite strong at 10.2% alcohol). I love IPAs and this one really hits the spot and pairs well with lots of different foods.

3. Any Stout (but especially Avery Brewing ones like the “Czar”)

I like stouts in the colder seasons…you know the ones that feel like they give you a full dose of iron and hit you in the stomach like a full loaf of bread. They are filling and they warm me up! The dark, heavy, motor-oil colored stouts. Mix it up with Chocolate/mint ones, coffee ones etc. The stout is a beer that I really appreciate. 

sage-rest

Do you feel a need for speed on the trails? Try one of Sage’s new favorites, the Speed Instinct.

HOKA Team Planking Challenge

About one month ago, the HOKA Marketing team decided to take on the challenge of planking together for 90 seconds twice a day. Anticipated benefits included improved core strength and a nice break from screen time. While some were initially hesitant to join in, team planking has become a team bonding activity we look forward to every day.

We interviewed some of the team to see how planking in the office has impacted their lives. 

plank

Why did you decide to start planking twice a day during work?

“It’s a quick, fun, low impact way to get up from my desk during the day and engage and strengthen my core! And our HOKA coworkers are a competitive bunch, so when it was spun as a ‘challenge’ we hooked more people.”- Suzie

“It’s something I think everyone can benefit from beyond the obvious physical gains. It helps promote the healthy lifestyle our brand represents as well as build team camaraderie and a little fun competition.”- Jared

“Peer pressure.”- Ian

How do you feel after planking?

“I honestly feel great and slightly accomlished! 90 seconds of planking is more of an achievement than it sounds! I also feel energized and more alert after, ready to jump back into focusing on my work.”- Suzie

“Sore, in the best way possible.”- Jared

How do you feel that planking improves team unity?

“I think that planking twice each day brings our team together so much. We are all working on the same thing at the same time for 90 seconds..not falling to the ground.”- Justin

“With the distance that our team has with people working offsite and traveling, it’s fun to hear and see (via snapchat) that people are doing the plank even though they’re not physically in the same room. Also it’s fun to hear that people who work in different areas are also joining in, like HOKA sales op and product team. I get a notification when someone forwards the Outlook reminder, and it always makes me smile that more people want to join in.”- Suzie

“Mutual pain brings mutual respect.”- Ian

How long do you plan on continuing planking?

“Indefinitely, #plankforlife.”- Jared