5k:19:17 @ Dublin Shamrock 5k 2011
10k: 41:01 @ Scheel's Turkey Trot 2010
Half:1:30:07 @ Oakland Half 2012
Full: 3:12:57 @ CIM Marathon 2013
70.3: 5:20:07 @ Vineman 2012
140.6: 12:14:21 @ IM Coeur d'Alene 2013
Category Archives: Cooking
It’s Halloween and you know what’s scary? The ease in which I find my self perusing Amazon and purchasing the nonsensical.
However, the latest random Amazon purchase of this Donut Pan only set me back $10 and led to a delightful creation with the quintessential fall ingredient: Whole Wheat Pumpkin Donuts.
I took me a while to find a recipe that was easy, had the ability to be “healthy-ish” and didn’t contain the uber-trendy and overpriced specialty flours. I landed on THIS RECIPE, with a few substitutions of my own:
- Whole wheat instead of regular flour
- Almond milk instead of regular milk
- Coconut oil instead of applesauce (I didn’t have any applesauce)
Because of the substitution of whole wheat, I ended up adding more almond milk that originally called for, and the results were still cinnamon-sugary, donut-shaped goodness that were gobbled up at a party I took them too.
Oh and if you’re wondering, save yourself the $5 and don’t buy the youth “mouse” costume set at Target. Your attempt at a lazy costume will likely fail like mine did when the mouse nose snapped.
One of the great things about new friends is that they feed me food like this.
I am forever impressed by the deliciousness that Jen and her husband prepare every time I come over. They are always cognizant about my inability to digest dairy and have welcomed me as their second child – even if I am impeding of precious family time.
They have taught me how to avoid cheap wines, the mind-blowing ability for babies to do sign language, and I am now a professional baby feeder. I know, I know, babies are still foreign to me.
One night in particular, Jen invited me over for a casual girls night. Knowing Jen, it would be delicious, but it would also be organic, Paleo and will feel like home. And it was just that plus a perfect taste of fall. I have since made it twice on my own and given it an official name: Soup du Jen.
I used to share a lot of recipes and I figured it was time for another. This time it’s perfect for fall, freezes well, and is just good for you all around. So ladies and gentlemen, presenting my horrible food photography skills (I need a new iPhone) and Soup du Jen, a.k.a. Paleo Fall Turkey Sweet Potato Vegetable Soup.
Soup du Jen a.k.a. Paleo Turkey Sweet Potato Vegetable Soup
- 1 lb. lean ground turkey
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 box vegetable broth
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- Salt and pepper, or Italian seasoning to taste
- Brown the ground turkey over medium heat.
- Just when it would be safe to "eat", add all of the vegetables, except the can of diced tomatoes.
- Season the veggies as you wish (salt and pepper, or maybe a little Italian seasoning).
- Cook on medium heat for 10 min. Keep stirring to ensure your food doesn't stick.
- Add the can of diced tomatoes and heat for 5 more minutes.
- Add the box of broth and the sprig of rosemary.
- Simmer on low as long as you want, usually around 30 min.
Happy cooking and running!
With Chicken Face finishing his latest quarter of school, I’ve been taking some extra time to relax with him this week and catch-up on movies that we’ve wanted to see for a while (Note: I highly recommend Argo; Zero Dark Thirty is also worth your time).
(1) Spanish style Spicy Turkey Burgers
(2) Perfectly sweet, yet not fried, Sweet & Sour Chicken
(3) Easy, yet not too many crazy ingredients, Chicken Pad Thai
(4) The “I’m so frickin’ proud of myself for making these” Vegan Veggie Burgers
Also, thank you for all the love on Pinterest! I wanted to share that I used to have one giant board for all my recipes, but have reorganized them all by meal. Hopefully that makes life a little easier.
Happy Eating & Running!
Not to detract too far from training, let’s talk about something that kind of goes hand-in-hand: FOOD!
I’m one of those people that posts some of the better food that they’ve just made on Instagram. If you hate it, whatevs, you don’t have to follow me. But I just can’t help being proud of the fact that my zero cooking skills actually resulted in something delicious. It’s a feeling of accomplishment and down right satisfaction. Plus, I usually get a few folks asking for the recipes. Thus, instead of sending them all one by one, I thought I’d do a round up of some of the winners I’ve made recently.
Mexican Quinoa Salad with Spicy Chicken
Stop what you’re doing and go make this salad. Actually, I don’t even like calling a salad. It’s a bowl full of health perfection topped with a flavor-punch of protein. It’s colorful, filling and a combination of two recipes I found online.
First, the Mexican Quinoa salad (the dressing is what sets it apart). Then, I simply sautéed two chicken breasts with the following spice mixture:
1 tbsp. chili powder
½ tbsp. paprika
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
Top the salad with the dressing (that you hopefully made ahead and refrigerated) and then your chicken. I prefer the salad chilled, but it was great with hot chicken on top as well.
Dairy-Free Banana Pumpkin Oatmeal Honey Bread
Whew! That’s a mouthful — and it is in more ways than one. Over-ripe bananas? No problem. Throw them in with what I would guarantee 75 percent of us have in our pantries right now for a hearty, delicious bread that will keep you fed for breakfast for the entire week. You can find the recipe here.
Orzo Vegetable Soup with Pesto
After cooking quite a few soups this season, I have found that I love when they have pasta in them as it helps fill me up a bit more. However, the noodle size was never quite perfected…until I tried orzo in a soup. It’s hearty enough, but not too much. This soup was a winner because it introduced me to my new soup BFF, but I would just go ahead and add the pesto in instead of dolloping it on top. You can find the recipe here.
Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Casserole
If you can’t tell already, I’m slightly obsessed with The Garden Grazer. I’ve tried three of her recipes thus far and not one has failed me. This one was the double agent of recipes: on the bottom it’s all, “Oh hey. I’m so healthy and will hashtag the hell out of how healthy I am.” But then on top, BAM, cheesy goodness that I broiled to be just slightly crunchy but fully flavorful. You can find the recipe here.
Other recipe winners that I’ve encountered over the month but failed to take a photo of include Baked Gnocchi with Ricotta and Marinara, Slow Cooker Taco Chicken Bowls, Spaghetti with Artichoke Hearts and Tomatoes and Quinoa Stuffer Peppers (all of which I’ve linked to on my Pinterest account).
Now if only I actually had good food blogging photos…
Any great new recipe discoveries you can share?
In my dream blogger world, I would be a fan-freaking-tastic professional athlete that emanates a modest Chrissie Wellington/Kara Goucher vibe (but curses like a sailor), has the cooking prowess of the Pioneer Woman, and has the oh-so-chicness of Emily Shuman of Cupcakes and Cashmere. That’s totally doable, right?
But this weekend, I got close to one of those alter-egos by baking something that I can’t stop talking about, let alone eating. Wait for it, wait for it…
I MADE HOMEMADE FREAKING BREAD!
Let me emphasize why this is a big deal: I didn’t grow up in a family that cooked. Instead, I have memories of 10 cent tacos at El Pollo Loco and getting the 5 for $5 Arby’s Roast Beef Sandwiches with my grandma (I would always be the one to eat the extra). The thought of eating bread out of anything than the bag it came in from the grocery store was the stuff of people who had too much time on their hands. My parents owned their own business and worked their asses off – homemade bread was not necessary (or imaginable).
As I got older, and more specifically, as I changed jobs that didn’t suck my life away with a horrendous commute, I’ve been playing in the kitchen. With the party we were hosting Saturday night, I took the leap, stood on my soapbox, smashed down my triton and declared, “I WILL MAKE MY OWN BREAD!”
Inspired by the bread I saw on Hungry Runner Girl, I found the original recipe and concluded that this what not the work of over-achievers, just people who plan. This bread isn’t hard — it’s full of white bread-goodness, it uses the ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, but it takes time. Two hours to let it rise once, then another hour to rise after you’ve braided it.
Long story short: you can totally make this bread and you’ll be glad you did. Just chunk out some time, waft in the homemade bread smell and continually peek through the oven mirror at your glorious creation.
Oh, and don’t forget, when people come over for dinner, pull out the baking sheet and proclaim, “I MADE MOTHER F-ING BREAD!” over and over again like I did.
It’s a magnificent moment.
Or maybe it was all fault of this fresh raspberry mint cocktail.
One of the best I’ve had in a while.
One of the other things I’ve been doing to fill my time while injured is something that I love, but don’t do nearly enough: cooking.
In fact, I’ve even started to make weekly meal plans and create coordinating shopping lists. Being more methodical about what we eat and what I actually need at the grocery store is already saving us money, time and allowing us to try new recipes. Plus, I may just like filling out my handy meal planning notepad:
This week, Chicken Face was sick and he is never sick, making the perfect opportunity to finally try a recipe that I’ve been saving since May: Runner’s World minestrone with spring vegetables.
But wait, it’s not spring! To be honest, all of the ingredients they are calling for are pretty standard so that shouldn’t be a problem. I also like my soups with more “chunks” rather than broth, heftier pieces of pasta so you feel fuller, and I wanted to make a large pot so that we would have plenty of leftovers and even some to share.
Thus, my spicier, chunkier, bigger version of this soup was born. Here’s how it went down:
If I was a good blogger, I would have taken more than one photo. Sorry!
3 quarts vegetable broth (this is 3 boxes worth)
1 14.5-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, cut into small dice
2 celery stalks, cut into small dice
2 peeled carrots, cut into small dice
1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (this is where I added as much as I could handle to make it spicy. I didn’t quite measure it out)
1 can (15 to 16 ounces each) small white beans, not drained
1 can (15 to 16 ounces each) black beans, not drained
8 ounces frozen green peas (half a bag)
8 ounces coarsely chopped escarole (I don’t quite know how much this is, so I just chopped and added it to the pot until it covered the top)
1 cup pasta (use whatever shape you like)
Sprinkle of salt and ground black pepper
Directions via Runner’s World
- Microwave broth and tomatoes together on high until steaming (5 minutes).
- Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add onions, celery, and carrots; sauté till tender (5 minutes). Add Italian seasonings and red pepper; sauté until fragrant (one minute).
- Add broth mixture and remaining ingredients; cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; continue to simmer, partially covered and stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft and pasta is tender.
With the cold and dreary weather hitting the west coast this week, it’s a perfect, spicy soup for a night inside.
What’s your favorite soup recipe?
I may be late to the game, but I just tried my first spinach smoothie last month. Weren’t spinach smoothies a “thing” in the blogging world like two years ago? Whatever.
I tried it, I adapted it, I got hooked and now I want to share my go-to, post-workout recovery smoothie with you. Let’s blend this bad boy up.
Spinach, Berry, Banana, Protein Smoothie
2 C. fresh spinach
3/4 C. almond milk
1/2 C. frozen berries
1 tbs. chia seeds
1. This first step is important: blend your milk and spinach first. Get it nice and smoothe so you don’t get any spinach chunks.
2.Add the rest of the ingredients. Really, that’s it. (Note: If you use a frozen banana, you will need a bit more milk than when using a fresh banana.)
Six ingredients and two steps for a protein powerhouse smoothie. Yes, it may be scary looking, but just go with it. It’s delicious. Then, if you want to be super awesome put one of these to-go lids on your hipster mason jars.
What’s your favorite smoothie?
Chicken Face and I probably eat the same five meals over and over again. Not out of choice, but rather time. Work, training for an Ironman, and grad school leave little free time for culinary exploration. The truth of the matter is, at this point in time we enjoy food, but long for the day when we’ll up our cooking ante.
For now, we stick to the fast, efficient and tasty basics. When I saw this recipe for artichoke and pesto pizza (two of my all-time favorite ingredients), and it’s super simple directions, I couldn’t resist.
I hopped on over to the store to pick up a few things we didn’t have and was ready to get my pizza on.
Not pictured: black olives
1 package of pizza dough (buy the actual DOUGH people, not the pre-cooked stuff. I chose the garlic and herb dough at Trader Joe’s)
1 small jar of marinated artichokes
Black onion (I don’t care for any other type of olives, so I went with black)
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 and spray your cookie sheets. (Note: I don’t have a pizza stone, so I just went with the cookie sheets. But use a stone if you have one).
2. Flour your dough surface and your hands, and roll, stretch and shape your dough to your hearts content
3. Layer on the goods to your liking.
4. I like to push up the edges to mimic a thicker “crust,” so push if you’re so inclined.
5. Bake for 22 minutes.
That’s literally it. Did I promise you that it’s the easiest pizza ever? Well, I will now. Chicken Face even made his own version with the regular dough, black olives and onions. He needs to work on his shaping a bit…
We topped it all off with the easiest dessert ever, including fresh strawberries straight from the farmer’s market. Sunday night bliss.
What’s your homemade pizza topping of choice?
This year, Chicken Face and I held out first (soon to be annual) Friendsgiving! Sounds fun, right? Totally, except for one minor thing: I’ve never cooked a turkey before and had absolutely no idea where to start. Thus, I turned to Martha Stewart and began hyperventilating at the thought of figuring out how to gut a turkey, what a cheesecloth was and how to ensure that I don’t give all of our guest food poisoning.
With a little bit of research, I ended up taking somewhat of a risk and making my own turkey recipe of sorts. Let’s just say that it was a great learning experience, nobody died, and next year will be even better!
Sorry, Cody. I just had to.
Lola’s new BFF.
Post-friendsgiving, I had copious amounts of turkey leftover with not an idea what to do with it. I turned to my trusty friend Google and found THE MOST AMAZING Southwestern turkey soup recipe (yes, that’s supposed to be in all caps). I have to admit, I’ve never made soup before and was super excited with how easy and delicious it was. It tastes like a spicy tortilla soup. Crumble some chips on top and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
(PS Don’t laugh at my food photography. I’m just trying to copy Cate. She’s amazing.)
Do you do Friendsgiving? What’s your favorite turkey left-over recipe?