Tag Archives: recipes

Hello, December

1 Dec

I love the holiday season. So so so much. Even when it’s stupidly grey outside, I’m happy. I even bought a cute little wire tree for my desk.

Even though the cool air, bright lights, and excitement make me elated, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to hop out of bed super early. My plan today was this:

  • wake up at 5am
  • put all my veggies into the slow cooker for tonight’s dinner
  • go to the gym for a class
  • come home, shower, go to work

In reality, my morning looked more like:

  • alarm goes off at 5am
  • wonder what the hell I’m doing awake at this time when I fell asleep at 11
  • feel conflicted for 15 minutes
  • throw in the towel and bargain with yourself that you’ll go to the same gym class tonight
  • put all my veggies into the slow cooker for tonight’s dinner
  • shower, go to work
  • remember that I’m getting a Christmas tree tonight so I can’t go to the gym for the class

I REALLY have to get my game face on for getting up at 5am. I’m heavily considering leaving my laptop downstairs at night because I get too caught up reading things at night and lose track of time. It takes two weeks to create a habit. Here’s to practicing.

veggie time

Ohh, those vegetables. I’ve already compiled a pretty hefty list of what I plan on using them for:

  1. Tuscan ribollita soup (using a quarter of the cabbage and the carrots)
  2. delicata squash soup
  3. kale chips
  4. collard greens and beans
  5. sweet potato latkes
  6. corned beef and cabbage (using half the cabbage)
  7. creamed cabbage (using the last quarter of the cabbage)
  8. beet chips? or roasted beets with goat cheese? maybe both. I’ve never made beets before.
  9. yeah I have no idea what to do with the scarlet turnips. maybe I’ll make chips with one turnip and slice the other raw.

Side note: looking at that list is making me wonder just how much cabbage I can consume in a two-week period before my body just decides to stop processing fiber. If you suddenly stop hearing from me again, it probably isn’t due to busyness. I’m probably passed out face-first in a pile of cabbage somewhere. Send help.

Recipe + Photo Time

10 Jun

Before I embark on my Market Square Day 10K adventure tomorrow, I wanted to share some long-overdue items. I guess this is like a modified Three Things Thursday :)

Olive Bread French Toast

Okay, okay. I know what you’re thinking. “What?” But don’t knock it until you try it. It sounds weird, I know. It’s definitely more of a savory dinnertime dish instead of a breakfast toast. I imagine this would pair well with a green salad dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkled with crumbly goat cheese.

This recipe is scalable for however many pieces of toast you’d like to make. Also, I’m not really the type of person to measure anything unless I’m baking, so I’m estimating the amounts here.

Ingredients:
2 large slices of 1+ day old olive bread
3 large eggs
1/4 c shredded parmesan cheese
1/4-1/2 tsp garlic powder
1-2 tbsp milk
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
Mix everything but the bread and butter in a bowl. Once combined, place the bread in a baking dish and pour the egg mixture over the slices. Move the bread around a bit to get it coated on the top and bottom. Let it soak for a few minutes, then flip the slices and soak a few minutes more. This will ensure total goodness throughout the whole toast, and not just an egg coating outside and a bready interior.

While it’s soaking, put a pan on medium-high head on the stove. When it’s hot, drop in the pad of butter to coat the pan. Place the soaked toast in the pan, checking after 2-3 minutes for golden doneness. Flip and wait another 1-2 minutes. Plate, serve, eat.

This was so good on its own, it didn’t need any sort of topping. The parmesan cheese mixed in gives it a glorious little cheesy crunch.

The Garden

It’s been a bit less than 3 weeks since I planted my garden. And WOAH these babies haven’t wasted any time stretching their leaves.

two tomato plants, three pepper plants, and an eggplant sprout

oh my god lettuce. I harvested about a third of what you see, and it almost filled a 2.5 gallon bag. pickles and more tomatoes in the back.

a cute little cucumber tendril curl. aka my new banner image.

It’s been a rainy few days in New England, so I haven’t had to worry about watering the garden. But oh boy I need to get back there and check on the size of the plants. It may be pruning time.

And For Funsies

Here’s a semi-blurry photo of Conan O’Brien rockin’ out with Dropkick Murphys.

woahhhhhh

Slow Friday

30 Apr

It’s one of those days… it’s in the mid-60°s, phones are silent, and most of the weekly work is done. There was also very little traffic into the city today. People are definitely already in weekend mode!

On my way home from work, I stopped off at the Marathon Sports near me and picked up a new pair of sneakers… my Sauconys are approaching the 300 mile point, so I’m going to start alternating and hopefully wear my new shoes for Chicago. I’m increasingly curious about lightweight shoes, so I bought some Nike Free 5.0 v4. So far, I am in love. They aren’t bulky at all, and I’m a sucker for their design accents like the off-center laces. Love love love.

Unable to resist the call of new shoes, I set out for another 2×400, which soon became 4×400. I didn’t want to stop, but I knew that I needed to take it easy in shoes with less support. Maybe it was that crazy huge lunch I had, or the thrill of new sneakers, or both… but I ran negative splits!

Splits: 2:14, 2:09, 2:03, 1:55

For reals?! Yeah. And my heart rate only peaked at 194. I just want to run and run and run and have I mentioned that so far I love my Frees?

Last night I also decided to try out a recipe I made up earlier this week: Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake. So easy, you don’t even know.

Spinach and Artichoke Pasta Bake

INGREDIENTS:
10oz frozen spinach
14oz canned artichokes in brine
1 1/4c part-skim ricotta
1lb medium pasta (I used Barilla Plus penne)
1/4-1/2c low fat milk (varies based on how thick/thin you want the sauce)
garlic powder, salt, and black pepper
1/2c shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2c parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Get a pot of water on the stove, and defrost the spinach.

While the pasta boils, squeeze water out of the spinach and chop the artichokes into small pieces. Place spinach and artichokes into a bowl along with the ricotta cheese. Stir and add 1/4c milk and seasonings to taste. When the pasta is done, drain and add to the mixture. Toss to coat, adding more milk if needed.

Pour into a 9×13 baking dish and top with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese on top is bubbly and a bit browned.

Nutritional Info per Serving (serves 8)
Calories: 321
Total Fat: 8g (lots less if you eliminate some of the topping cheeses)
Cholesterol: 26mg
Sodium: 424mg
Total Carbohydrates: 41.2g
Dietary Fiber: 4.83g
Sugars: 4g
Protein: 16.18g

Overall, it has a pretty ideal balance of 55% carbs, 22% protein, and 23% fats. Sure, some of the fats are saturated from the cheese but shhhhh. It tastes very, very much like creamy spinach and artichoke dip, and it’s filling without being heavy. If you try it, let me know what you think!

I’m off to a short trip to NYC tomorrow. Have a fab weekend :)

Quick Updates

11 Apr

Quick Runs

This weekend was so all about the training. Yesterday morning I went for a pace-pushing 3 mile run with my lululemon group, and I went for another pace-pushing 3 today followed by an hour of yoga.

In short, I’m pooped.

Stats for the weekend runs:

Distance #1: 3 miles
Time: 28:08
Pace: 9:18

Distance #2: 3.11 miles
Time: 29:50
Pace: 9:35

I think I’m finally ready to commit to a full-fledged plan to get ready for my real training. I have been SUCH a slacker when it comes to working out, so this weekend I finally created a set of visual charts with what I’ll be doing each day, and when. They’ll be going up on my wall across from my bed. I’m a big visual person, so I really think these will help.

Disclaimer: NO, this is not what every day looks like! Five days only have one activity, and one day has two. This is the only day of the week with all four because it’s just how things line up at the gym. I considered also having this setup on Mondays, since the gym offers the same classes. But with how I currently feel after my yoga class, I don’t think I’ll be able to take it two days in a row at this time ;)

Having the visual in my face when I wake up is sure to smack me into gear. I’ve also been pretty good about packing my lunch and laying out my clothes the night before. It’s amazing how much time that saves in the morning.

Quick Question

Is it very wrong that my heart rate skyrockets when I run? My resting heart rate is around 60, and when I was running a 9 minute pace on Saturday, my heart rate was up at 197! I didn’t FEEL exhausted, but I backed off because… you know… I don’t want my heart exploding.

(And yes, I plan on going to my doctor if this keeps up. I’m monitoring my HR on every run and if it stays high I’ll go for a checkup. I’m not just asking the internet for help).

Quick-Fix Recipe

I’m going to guess that most of you, like me, love your morning coffee. I don’t NEED it, but I definitely enjoy it. It’s almost full-time iced coffee season, and I wanted to share this fantastic recipe with you. No longer shall you spend too much money for bitter beans!

Cold-Brew Iced Coffee (via smitten kitchen)

IT’S SO SIMPLE.

Take 1/3 cup of ground coffee. Put it into a vessel of some sort. I use a French press. Mix the coffee with 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir. Cover and let it sit at room temp for 12 hours (I love making this at night so it’s ready for me the next morning). Strain twice through a coffee filter, a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth. In a tall glass filled with ice, mix equal parts coffee concentrate and water, or to taste. If desired, add milk.

You will wonder where this coffee has been all your life. Try it now, thank me later.

PS- I haven’t opened my blog reader since Thursday night. I am petrified at how many unread things I’ll have. Don’t be offended if I just mark all as read.

I most definitely fell asleep as I wrote this. Yeah, time for bed.

Brain Dump

30 Mar

As I said the other day, I have a lot to say, but little time to write it out nicely. So here’s my brain dump of awesomeness.

RUNNING

I went out with a new lululemon running group in the area. Our group is planning on doing a 5k together in May, so every Saturday we’ve planned on running about 3 miles. This past Saturday, it was SO COLD. Freakin’ 30 degrees or so. So there were three of us in total, including the run leader. None of us wore a Garmin, so we just sort of ran. We kept it easy at about a 10 minute pace. After 15 minutes we all still felt really good, so we kept going. We ended up running for almost an hour! I went on MapMyRun and estimated about 5.5 miles. My ITB didn’t even get sore until about 45 minutes in. That’s a huge improvement over earlier in the week! I’m already really excited about this week’s run, especially since it’s going to be in the 60s this time.

YOGA

I’ve mentioned it a few times now, but I’m incorporating a lot more cross and strength training into my regiment this time around. My gym offers a “gentle yoga” class on Sunday evenings, which I figured would be a perfect way to end the week and improve flexibility. Gentle? It’s Tuesday morning and my hamstrings are still a bit sore from the class! But hey, it’s obviously working muscles I need to strengthen. Oh! And by the end of the class, I had ZERO ITB pain. My right knee was nagging me all day, and the class seemed to stretch all the right muscles to make it go away.

REST

Because of my jump in mileage on Saturday and the yoga class on Sunday, I’ve been taking it easy and taking it slow. Sore muscles = rest time. I have a whole two months before my training officially starts, so I can take some time right now. Also, the weather has been absolutely miserable the last few days, which isn’t giving me any motivation to get out and be active.

RECIPES

Naan pizza. Make it for dinner tonight. Unless you’re Jewish. Then wait until next week.

I bought some plain naan bread, loaded it with toppings, baked it, and hooray quick pizza! Instead of using sauce, I decided to use up some extra spinach I have, so I made a spinach pesto (1 cup spinach, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1/4 cup parmesan, 1-2 garlic cloves… put in food processor, blend!). Woah it was yummy. It was a super fast and easy way to add a bit more greens into my day. In all, the pizza had: spinach pesto, mozzarella cheese, sauteed mushrooms, some leftover ground turkey, edamame, corn, sun dried tomatoes, more mozzarella.

The edamame and corn were on the pizza because earlier in the day I also made a tomato, corn, and edamame salad. You mix them all together with a bit of olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper… that’s it! I found some beautiful yellow tomatoes at the grocery store. After sitting in the oil/lemon dressing overnight, they actually became translucent and they look like little lemon jelly candies. It’s a really yummy salad, and takes very little effort.

Finally, I also made some chewy granola bars. After everything I put in them, they’re really more of a meal bar than a granola bar. Oats, almond butter, honey, dried fruit, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds… I’m pretty sure these can satisfy hunger for a long time.

I think my brain is empty now. Time to refill and go to work!