Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
So here are a few pictures that I never got up here before we left...
This is the delish recipe I mentioned...grilled Polenta with a veggie sauce. Wowza. The basic recipe is at home, but I will get it up when we return.
That is the Polenta.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Have a great Christmas!!!
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
I came across a list of superfoods a few months ago and have been talking about them at home quite a bit. "Wow, that smoothie you just drank had three superfoods in it..."
Here is a bit of info about what they are... (taken from WebMD)
Imagine a superfood -- not a drug -- powerful enough to help you lower your cholesterol, reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer, and, for an added bonus, put you in a better mood. A healthy diet incorporating a variety of the following superfoods will help you maintain your weight, fight disease, and live longer.
Top Superfoods Offering Super Health Protection
- Tea (green or black)
So lately Lincoln (age 3) has been asking about everything he sees. "Mommy, are hot dogs superfoods?" Absolutely not. "Mommy, is cake superfood?" Nope. Then this morning, "Mommy, are french fries superfood?" No, french fries are not superfood. "Oh. They are just good, then?"
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I have spent all day today in a penitent spirit of diet repentance. I have been feeling so bad about myself lately anyway--why do I sabotage it?! Anyway, today was much better. The kids got uber-healthy swedish pancakes with chia seeds, flaxseed and pumpkin puree for breakfast.
I had a nice smoothie with all kinds of healthy stuff in it and on it.
Lunch was crackers and hummus, a few carrot sticks and the crust of one of the kids' un-finished grilled cheese sandwiches. After lunch Becca and I took advantage of the fact that both our husbands are off for the Christmas break and went running during the day. It was fabulous, as always! We did our normal abnormally-hilly 4.8 mile route. My knees still haven't recovered, but I am able to run so I do it. I always feel so awesome when we are done--full of those exercise endorphins! I come home full of love! Maybe I should start running more with Ryan or things could start getting a little awkward...
(Totally just kidding--don't worry, Jeb, I'm not after Becca in that way!)
We made Tortilla Black Bean Casserole for dinner. It is really good and really easy!!
The picture looks a little sketchy but I promise, it is good stuff!
Monday, December 20, 2010
Also, about the blog--I love doing it, don't get me wrong. I just wanted to make sure I had an audience. Thanks to those of you who commented!
Saturday, December 18, 2010
a) If she wasn't with me I wouldn't be able to run outside most of the time (we usually go before or after dark.)
b) If she wasn't with me I wouldn't go nearly as far and I would walk a lot more than I do.
c) Every time we run it is at least an hour of one on one conversation with another adult!! Which is like...
d) Free therapy!!
And then Priscilla, my inspiration for this whole marathon training made a comment on my post from yesterday that was very helpful. Obviously I am pushing myself way too hard, way too fast. Running is not supposed to hurt. If I take it more slowly, my body will get used to it. So, despite my feelings of complete loser-ness when I report that I only ran 4.8 miles this morning, I'm just going to have to go a bit slower for a while and build up gradually. And I iced my knees after our run...
Luckily I have 9+ months to get ready for this marathon!!
Friday, December 17, 2010
My knees are killing me. They haven't been great since last Saturday's long run. I don't know if it has to do with the suddenly colder weather or what. But tomorrow I really wanted to try for 10 miles! What to do?
And the blog...Are any of you interested? I know I have a few readers. I just don't know if this is really beneficial to anyone. Besides myself. Do you want recipes? Ideas? Thoughts? Successes and failures? Or is this just a waste of my time? I'd really like to know if anyone out their cares. :) What to do?
This was my failed attempt at the elliptical last night...
Kirby kept trying to attack it while I was on it. What to do?? :)
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Pasta with broccoli and peanut sauce--good, recipe will come.
Monday dinner--made ground turkey enchiladas for the family (so they don't feel too deprived) and a lentil version for myself.
And dinner tonight included...
I know I swore I wouldn't go the tofu route, but I just decided to try, try again. And you couldn't even taste it AT ALL in this creamy pasta sauce. So that's definitely a good thing!
I made a lot of food--we had dinner guests. And I made that French Bread, too! Go, me!
Tonight I ran about 4 miles with Becca. My knees are really feeling that long run from Saturday. I wonder if my body will eventually just get used to that or what. I also did a lower body workout when I got home. And look what I get to come home to...
My sweet little guy, snuggled right up to the elliptical! :)
Sunday, December 12, 2010
3 TBSP olive oil
1 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2 inch dice
Salt, to taste
2 large leeks, white and pale green parts only, washed and cut crosswise into 1/2 inch slices
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 lb. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered (I just used button mushrooms)
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup vegetable broth ( I used a lot more than this)
1/2 cup dry white wine
Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
2 TBSP snipped chives
1 head roasted garlic
1. In a large saute pan, heat 2 TBSP oil over high heat. Add the potatoes, sprinkle with salt and saute, turning the potatoes over from time to time for 8 minutes , until they are golden. Remove the potatoes and reserve.
2. Heat 1 TBSP oil in the same pan over medium heat and add the leeks. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes stirring frequently until lightly browned. Remove the leeks and reserve.
3. Add asparagus to the same pan, adding more olive oil if necessary. Sprinkle with salt and cook over high heat for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
4. Add the vegetable broth and wine and bring to a boil. Add the reserved potatoes, leeks and peas. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Stir in roasted garlic. Season to taste and garnish with parsley and chives.
Adapted from The One Dish Vegetarian by Maria Robbins
This isn't particularly healthy, but I thought I'd give you the recipe anyway.
2 TBSP yeast
1 1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. salt
3 eggs, beaten
5 to 6 1/4 cups flour
1 TBSP honey
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water, mixing with a spoon to combine. Add the sugar, oil, salt and the three beaten eggs, mixing well. Add 4 cups of the flour, gradually beating into the mixture. The batter will be lumpy and runny.
Add more flour, using the spoon to combine, until the dough is too thick to beat. The dough should be stiff but sticky. (I actually just used my Bosch to mix it.)
Turn the dough out onto a floured board. With floured hands, knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, adding flour as necessary to make a smooth and stretchy dough.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough with oil. Cover the bowl with a cloth and allow the dough to rise in a warm place until it doubles in bulk. This will take about 1 hour.
Punch dough down and divide into 2 parts. Divide each part into 3 equal pieces. Roll these pieces into strips about 12 inches long. Pinch 3 strips together at the top and then braid them together. Place on an sprayed cookie sheet. Repeat with the other 3 strips. Cover the 2 loaves and let rise for 1/2 hour.
Combine the egg and honey and brush the mixture over the loaves. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool for 20 minutes, then enjoy!
Here is my healthier version of cornbread. It tastes awesome crumbled on top of the chili.
2 cups Heart Smart Bisquick mix
6 TBSP cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
2 egg whites
1 cup milk
1/4 cup melted butter
(Yes, believe or not, I altered this recipe quite a bit...)
Combine baking mix, cornmeal and sugar in a mixer bowl. Add eggs, honey and milk. Beat until well blended. Mix in melted butter. Place in greased 9 inch square pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes 12 squares.
Bean and Vegetable Chili
adapted from Food Matters by Mark Bittman
1 whole onion, minced
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 or 2 small eggplants, cubed
1 medium zucchini, chopped
4 carrots, chopped
1 cup quartered mushrooms
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. or more chili powder
1 can diced or stewed or chili-ready tomatoes, undrained
1 can kidney beans, undrained
1 can black beans, undrained
1/2 cup quick cooking barley
2 cups vegetable stock, or water
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish.
Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until softened. Add vegetables, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until they become soft and fragrant. Add the seasonings and stir, then add the tomatoes and beans. Put it all in a crockpot on low, adding the vegetable stock and barley. Cook until you are ready to eat! Serve with cornbread.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
So including my barefoot running and sessions with Becca I logged 17.6 miles this week. Not too shabby. My goal was to be consistently running at least 15 miles a week before I started the actual training program in January.
In terms of eating I had a banana at 5:30 am because I didn't want to run on a completely empty stomach. I had some biscuits when I got home and then my normal oatmeal for breakfast. Lunch was a PB&H in the car because today we got to go pick up this little guy...
Don't be too jealous. He got carsick and threw up on me the whole way home. But he is cute!
I made Risotto with Butternut Squash and Sage for dinner. I think Risotto is quickly becoming one of my new favorites!!
And one more shot of Kirby for your viewing pleasure...
Thursday, December 9, 2010
While it wasn't the healthiest thing I have ever eaten, it was very tasty. And I only had 2 pieces! (Add toasted coconut, sugar free syrup and sliced bananas. I'm telling you--it's to die for!!) Tomorrow I'm going to use the Challah for bread pudding. Challah--the bread that keeps on giving.
I don't know exactly what is going on--if it is my running pattern or the vegetarian thing or simply a shift in the alignment of the planets somewhere but I haven't had much of an appetite lately. Weird, huh? I wake up hungry, and then don't really get hungry the rest of the day. So today I ate that French toast at 7:30 and didn't eat anything else until I made myself eat lunch at 1:00!! I had an afternoon snack more out of habit than anything, and then I ate dinner even though I wasn't hungry for that either. I'm not complaining, just commenting.
Today the girls had a friend over and begged me to put on their "Animal Yoga for Kids" dvd. I usually have a very strict NO TV when friends are over policy, but I thought, they are asking me to exercise, so why not? It was pretty cute!
Dinner tonight was called "Ragout of Potatoes, Leeks, Asparagus and Mushrooms." Long name, tasty dish. My kids hated it. I'm starting to hate their attitude. I'm sure they are going to start hating going to bed hungry, too.
Becca and I did our 4.8 miles again tonight--only this time we did it in the opposite direction and I really thought I was going to vomit. Those hills are going to be the death of me!! But I love every minute of it!
I'm behind on posting recipes. Sorry, I will get to it--but I did warn you that my kids are all out of school, so the blog kind of takes a back seat to being a mom. :)
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
I decided that since I ran last night and will be running again tomorrow night that I would take today off. I did do a lower body and ab strength training session. I don't know if that was the right decision--I like doing cardio every day, but I also know you are supposed to rest once in a while. Oh well!
For lunch I decided to try these:
They weren't all that bad. They even look like hamburgers. As soon as Isaac saw it on my plate he said, "I thought you gave up meat."
Tonight was so hectic I still feel like I'm recovering, but somehow in the midst of all of the craziness I managed to throw together what was supposed to be a vegetarian chili. It tasted great (at least I thought so, of course the kids turned their noses up at it) and I followed the recipe, but it really didn't look like chili at all. The cornbread that went with it was also really good--and I lightened up the recipe for that one quite a bit. Now, even though it is just 7:46 pm, I am really considering just going to bed. Stick a fork in me, I'm DONE.
(I'll get the recipes for the chili and cornbread up, just not tonight.)
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I'm not Jewish, but some of their food is pretty good (and vegetarian). We try to have a little Hanukkah celebration every year. (I'm pretty sure tomorrow is the last day of Hanukkah, so if you hurry you can celebrate it, too! Any excuse to listen to that Adam Sandler song, I say.)
This year I made the latkes (potato pancakes) a little lighter and topped them with plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to add protein. I also made four loaves of Challah bread--I probably shouldn't eat too much of that, but it was fabulous!
After dinner Becca and I braved the cold and ran 4.8 miles again. We did better this time and I feel awesome, hills and all!! I love the way I feel after working out.
So here is the latke recipe I used (with my adjustments, of course.)
2 cups peeled and shredded potatoes
1 TBSP grated onion
3 egg whites, beaten
2 TBSP flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1. Place the potatoes in cheesecloth and wring, extracting as much moisture as possible.
2. In a medium bowl, stir together potatoes, onion, egg whites, flour and salt.
3. Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat it with medium-high heat. Place large spoonfuls of the potato mixture onto the skillet, pressing down on them to form 1/4 to 1/2 inch patties. Brown on one side, turn and brown on the other. Serve hot with all natural applesauce and plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream.)
So drink your gin-and-tonic-ah, and smoke your mara-juanic-ah,
If you really, really wanna-kah, have a happy, happy, happy, happy
Hanukkah! Happy Hanukkah!!
So yesterday I did just a 1.5 mile run barefoot on the treadmill. I am planning to run with Becca tonight. My plan is to start following an actual training plan in January. So this is just my pre-training time, which I am kind of making up as I go. I know that I should run longer on some days and shorter on others and I try to have one long run a week. It's not very scientific, but I just want to get myself conditioned for when I start following the schedule in 2011.
In terms of working out I also did upper body.
I've been thinking that the kids are trying to tell me something with the abundance of leftovers we have had lately. I have this week's recipes planned and shopped for, but I think next week I am going to try to make things that are more recognizable to the kids and just make them vegetarian. Last night I did pizza which they ate. (I added Turkey Pepperoni to Ryan's section)
I guess my kids need to be introduced to the vegetarian lifestyle a bit more gradually. But so far I am loving it! And last night I also ordered three kid-friendly vegetarian cookbooks, so hopefully that will help, too.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
So to start off my low key day I went running with a friend. I was a tad bit nervous because Becca is an actual runner. When I asked her how long she has been running, she said, "On and off for about ten years." Since I have been running on and off for about ten days, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to keep up! But I had a great time!! It was so nice to have someone to talk to and it made my long run of the week go by really quickly. Speaking of long run...we were running on a route I had never done before, but it seemed really long to me. I told Becca it had to have been at least seven miles. I was pretty tired by the end--the hills around here can be brutal. It seemed like it was way farther than I had ever run before. Like at least a fourth of a marathon...
When I got home and mapped it out it was only 4.8 miles. Yes, I have a long, long road ahead of me. (But really, those hills are intense!) Becca and I plan to start running together more often--I am so excited to have a partner to train with!! And since we will be together, we can run in the evenings (when it's not too cold.)
Here we are in our running pose. Or our about to pick a fight pose? (Becca really looks like she is threatening someone...) You choose.
After our "long" run, I came home and had a big smoothie, even though I was cold. It was great. I felt great.
In the mix: banana, frozen fruit, spinach, chia seeds, almond milk, flaxseed oil and trail mix on top.
This afternoon we worked some in the backyard and then took the kids on another bike ride. We all rode this time and the girls did great! Unfortunately, it started cooling down quickly and none of us had gloves, so we didn't go for very long. But it was still fun.
Dinner was this Rotini with Zucchini dish--mediocre, so unless someone really wants the recipe I'm not going to post it.
After dinner I did a nice lower body workout and then had a yogurt bowl and some of my special hot chocolate and then did some Pilates.
Ah, it has been a great day!!
In the afternoon we decided to go for a bike ride. I ran alongside Audrey to help her out. It was an interesting training experience--run really fast, then stop suddenly, then go slow, then really fast, then really slow. Very unpredictable. But she wants to go riding again today--hopefully she will get good enough soon that it won't be that crazy to run with her. By the time we got all the way home from that, I had run about 4 more miles.
I ate really well up until the end of the day. I had some friends over to celebrate our dear friend's birthday and I bought gourmet cupcakes from Bliss for everyone. I have never tried these, even though I have bought plenty of them for other people. I haven't wanted to taste them because I was afraid I would become addicted. Finally around 10 pm I caved and ate one. WOW. It certainly was blissful. Oh well, at least I ran 4 3/4 miles yesterday and did an upper body workout first thing in the morning!
Thursday, December 2, 2010
aka Cheese Pizza Rice
This really is divine!! I kicked it up a notch by adding fresh mozzarella to the mix. WOW!! Adapted from another One Dish Vegetarian recipe, this one on page 84.
1 TBSP unsalted butter
1 TBSP olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-oz. can whole tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh parsley
2 TBSP finely chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar (I used Truvia)
5 1/2 cups organic vegetable broth
2 TBSP unsalted butter
1 TBSP olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used water again.)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
3/4 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed
1. Prepare the tomato sauce. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, parsley, basil, salt and sugar. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, until the sauce has started to thicken. Remove from heat and reserve.
2. In a saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Keep the liquid at a bare simmer while you proceed with the risotto.
3. In a large saucepan, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring with a spoon until the rice is well coated. Add the wine (or water) and cook until liquid is completely absorbed.
4. Add 1 cup hot broth, stirring frequently, until the liquid is almost absorbed, then continue adding 1/2 cup of hot broth at a time, stirring until each is almost absorbed. Adjust the heat so that the risotto is always at a gentle simmer. After about 15 minutes, add the tomato sauce and continue adding the broth and stirring for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the rice is pleasantly creamy.
5. Stir in any remaining broth and turn off heat. Add cheeses and stir until melted. Serve risotto as soon as possible.
Today was a rest day from running. Ryan has tomorrow off, so I should be able to get outside to run! And the weather is supposed to be great, so that's even better. I did some Pilates, Yoga and stretching and that is about it in terms of working out.
I was so worried when I started this vegetarian thing that I wouldn't know what to eat for lunch. That hasn't been a problem at all. We have leftovers coming out of our ears!! It's quite nice, I have to say. That was never the case when we were eating meat--it was so pricey I just bought enough for one meal, no more.
One thing I have decided--I need to start re-naming things. Tonight we had the most fabulous risotto. Really, it tasted like something you would get at a NICE Italian restaurant--IN ITALY.
(Have I ever mentioned how much I would love to go to Italy?? Especially on days like today...)
Yet my kids hear the word "risotto" and FREAK OUT. Next time I serve it we will call it "Cheese Pizza Rice." I'll post the incredible recipe next!!
This was okay--it probably would have been better if I had cooked it in wine, like the recipe called for, but I don't have any cooking wine, so I had to use water instead. I think I need to get some, though. I love mushrooms and think this could be really good!
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP unsalted butter
2 lbs. mixed mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed, sliced
1 tsp. salt
6 large cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 large handful Italian parsley, finely chopped
1/2 cup dry white or red wine (or water...)
1 lb. farfalle (which I couldn't find in whole wheat, so I used penne)
1 TBSP unsalted butter (optional)
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. Heat oil and butter in a large saute pan. Add the mushrooms and saute over high heat for about 5 minutes, until the mushrooms start to turn brown around the edges. Toss occasionally.
3. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper, lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, red pepper flakes, parsley and wine. Stir well and cook for 5 minutes longer.
4. Add cooked pasta to mushroom sauce. Add 1 TBSP butter if desired. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
I think this would also taste good with toasted walnuts.
Adapted from a recipe in The One Dish Vegetarian by Maria Robbins, page 48
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I bought myself an exciting little present the other day. Ta-dah!
My very own pill organizer. Now as I eat my daily superfood breakfast of oatmeal and blueberries, I can fish one of the many vitamins I take out of it's own little slot and take it one at a time. By the time I have finished downing all those vitamins I have usually consumed my daily recommended amount of water as well! (And yet I still just keep getting sick...)
My kids requested corn dogs for lunch. You can see they are really embracing this whole vegetarian thing. My first thought: EW. I have never liked corn dogs. Ever. Ew. Anyway, I had some turkey dogs, so I whipped up some cornmeal biscuit dough, wrapped up the dogs and baked them. I added a popsicle stick to make it look authentic.
They didn't complain. While I made these I snacked on some crackers and artichoke hummus. SO GOOD! So good I had to hide the crackers from myself and start dipping baby carrots in the hummus. Wow.
For lunch I had leftover chowder. It kept me completely full. I did have a clementine around 4:00, but really only because it smelled so good. (This is not a good reason to eat, but at least oranges are a superfood.)
Dinner was "Farfalle with Many Mushrooms." I just really liked the name, so I had to try it. Well, I really like mushrooms, too. And this did have many mushrooms!
And it was good, but I did need to supplement this meal with an apple.
I just finished up a three mile barefoot run. Today was a rest day for strength, which is good, because once again, I am stiff and sore!
Now, go read that book!