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Showing posts from September, 2013

Kale and Cannellini-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (V/GF)

This is one of my favorite meals. It's easy, it's beautiful, and it's full of so-called superfoods. The most taxing part of this meal is baking the potatoes. It seems to take at least an hour at 375 for two medium potatoes. The rest is easy: 
Over medium heat, toss in olive oil, chopped garlic, spices (I like cayenne and cumin), then kale, and let the kale sort of wilt, but not for too long. I like to add in the can of beans at the last minute, as they're already cooked and only need heating. All of this takes 5-10 minutes. 
Once the potatoes are full baked, cut in half and add in the kale/cannellini mixture. I have never been able to properly stuff my potatoes, mostly because they're too hot for me to slit and then squish open with my hands. An obvious solution would be to use a towel to do it, but I figure it's all going to get mixed together either way. So my picture is not as neat as it would be with a proper stuffing, but I still think it's lovely wit…

Final 20-Miler: North Is South and Maps Are Useless

Yesterday I ran my final 20-miler of training for the Steamtown Marathon. I knew that if I could make it through that run without injury, I'd be good to go for the race. And I'm happy to report that I did! But the run wasn't without some folly. 
Because my youngest niece was having a birthday party on the same day I was scheduled to do this training run, I'd planned ahead for Tim and I to spend the night at my dad's house in Longwood (which is close to where my niece lives). I knew my dad lived very close to the Seminole Wekiva Trail, so I planned the 20-miler on this route. Or so I thought. We knew my dad lived 2.5 miles from the trail, so we would just need 15 miles on the trail, or 7.5 out and back. I used someone's Map My Run route to get an idea of how many miles we'd be able to get at the entrance point from my dad's house. I even "enhanced" the map with my own notations, for Tim's benefit.


Clearly we'd get more distance going n…

I'll Take My Race Timed, Thank You

My friend Beth brought to my attention this Wall Street Journal article about the decline of competitiveness in younger runners (20s and 30s) these days. In the article, titled "The Slowest Generation" (ouch), author Kevin Helliker touches on the popularity of races such as the Color Run, which embrace the ideologies of running for fun and running to finish, and which therefore do not even time their participants. I can think immediately of several runs that have followed in the footsteps of the Color Run--the Flavor Run, the Glow Run, the Color Vibe 5K, Color Me Rad, and the list goes on. I've never attended these "races," for a number of reasons:
I don't like distractions during a race (such as color being thrown at me). Races are a healthy environment in which to express competitiveness; in fact, that's what they're made for.I already feel a great sense of camaraderie when I run a timed race; while there is competition among runners, there is also…

Race Report: HOT Run 10K

Last night, I raced for the first time since July. A month or so ago, Tim said he was signing up for this 10k race put on by local race director Chris Lauber, and asked if I wanted him to sign me up, too. Sure, I said. (Some six-mile race over a month away? No problem.) The race was the HOT Run 5K and 10K, sponsored by the radio station HOT 101.5. It was out at Pass-A-Grille Beach, on a Thursday evening. This made it rather stressful to get to after work, but even in the hours leading up to the race, I was thinking, I'm just going to treat this as a training run. No pressure for time. But that never works. I even left my watch in my car, so I wouldn't be obsessed with looking at my pace--but also because it was raining lightly.

The course was a 1.55-mile loop; 5k racers would run it twice, and 10k-racers would run it FOUR times (I love running in circles!). The 5k group had a four minute lead on our group. This further meant that the time clock would display the time based on …

Veggie and Black Bean Pasta Stir Fry (V/GF)

Last night, I was excited to try this new kind of "pasta" I found at Whole Foods (by the way, for a really funny retelling of a Whole Foods shopping experience, I highly encourage you to read this Huff Post blog post by Kelly MacLean). I was looking for a more traditional-style gluten-free pasta, if that makes sense, but I happened instead upon this Explore Asian Organic Black Bean Spaghetti:

It's gluten-free, loaded with protein (25g per serving), and, I mean, it's black pasta, which I think is pretty cool. I was a little concerned about how it would cook, because other types of gluten-free pastas I've tried have tended to fall apart or stick together. But it actually cooked perfectly, and quicker than wheat or other grain pasta. 
I cooked a bunch of stir fry vegetables, some of which were pre-packaged, and some of which I added in (carrots, celery, white onion), and I also added in frozen shelled edamame. I seasoned everything with olive oil, Bragg's Liqui…

A Broken 20-Miler and a Redemption Run

I've had some pretty significant ups and downs in training over the past couple of weeks. Over a week ago, I was scheduled to run my second 20-miler. I hydrated the day before, ate right the night before, and went to bed at a decent time to wake up to my 4:15 a.m. alarm. I got up, met with running buddy Nicole, and ran four miles with her before joint the rest of the Blue Sharks group for their run. But in that fourth mile, something happened. I felt a cool rush go through my body, and I suddenly felt weak. I quickly added a Nuun (electrolyte) tab to my water bottle and drank that, hoping it would solve the problem. I just tried to stay with it for the remainder of that mile, as I knew I'd have a couple minutes to rest before starting with the group. But as soon as I sat down on the curb, I noticed how shaky my legs were, and all I felt like doing was going to sleep. Tim had caught up with us at that point, and he expressed some concern over seeing me hunched over on the curb …

Chickpea Quinoa Salad (V/GF)

Lately I've been making something new for my lunches. I'm the type of person who doesn't mind eating the same thing for lunch every day, but the previous lunch I'd been making had stretched out over many, many months, so I decided it was time for a change. 
I've been spending a lot of time on Pinterest lately, browsing recipes for ideas, and while I didn't find this specific recipe there, I'm sure it was inspired by ingredients I viewed in a wide array of recipes. 
I'd previously made a vegan quinoa stir fry, and I loved the roasted hemp seeds I used in that recipe--which happened to be a sample randomly picked up some time ago, so I bought a new bag at the store. I was looking for some crunch in this dish, and in addition to the hemp seeds, I added some raw celery and red and yellow bell peppers. (This week I was out of peppers but used raw carrots instead, and I think I like those even better!). The chickpeas, quinoa, and hemp seeds all have good amo…

Vegan Lentil Loaf (GF)

I've been wanting to make this recipe I saw on Pinterest for a while now. Since I'm making actual meals for two now, I'm finally getting around to trying out the hundreds of recipes I've pinned to my Recipes pin board.
This one was appealing to me because it looked very hearty and easy. And because it has so many vegetables in it, the dish seemed almost more like a casserole to me than a loaf. 
This is literally the whole recipe:

But here, of course, are my substitutions: I used corn flakes instead of crackers for a gluten-free loaf (I also could have used gluten-free crackers, but I thought the corn flakes would be simpler);I skipped the walnuts, because I'm allergic to them, and so I added a bit more corn flakes to make up for the consistency;I don't care too much for ketchup, but I do like barbecue sauce, so I made a half-ketchup/half-bbq sauce mixture instead of using straight ketchup. The most time-consuming part of this recipe is cooking the lentils (abou…

My False-Alarm Injury

This past week was a rather tumultuous one. I started out with two evening runs, which I hadn't done since switching to mornings, and they were both done in what felt like cooler, breezier weather. That part was exciting; but my pace was still slower than it used to be for weekday training runs. I was still proud of myself for pushing through the six and nine miles. But I wanted to feel stronger. So for my Wednesday night Crossboot class, I decided to ride my bike to class. I hadn't yet ridden it there since moving to a new location, so I wasn't entirely sure how long it would take. And instead of leaving early, to be on the safe side, I left with what I thought be enough time and turned over the pedals as quickly as I could on my large, weighty single-speed bike, for six miles, which took about 40 minutes.

When I finally got to class, the workout began. I was doing just fine on the warmup and nine-minute ab set, and then when we got to the main set, something happened. I …