Sunday, August 31, 2014

Roasted Yellow Squash Boat

Preheat the oven to 400.
Cut a large yellow squash in half, chop off the ends, and scoop out the seeds.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder, ginger powder, oregano, and sea salt. 
Bake for 15 minutes.

Fill with quinoa and top top with pork tenderloin
(today's pork was rubbed with garlic powder, chili powder, oregano, and cumin) 

Due to the size of the squash, the skin may be too tough, but you can eat the inside!

Cinnamon Brownies

Cinnamon Brownies with Coffee Ice Cream

Cinnamon Brownies

(preheat oven to 350)

1/4 c butter, melted
1/4 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 c white sugar
1/3 c cocoa powder
1/2 c flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c cashews, crushed

pour the batter into a 9x9 pan
bake for 20-25 minutes

Sunday, August 24, 2014

11 miles this week!

Slowly making my way back to a normal running schedule.  Last week was 135.9 bike miles and 6.2 run miles.  This week was 116.4 bike miles and 11.2 run miles.  My legs have been working overtime for two weeks and I definitely felt it during today's 23.4 mile bike ride.  That, combined with the fact that I forgot my inhaler before the ride, made for a very not-fun ride today.  My 2 mile run after the ride felt surprisingly good though, I'll credit that to the inhaler dose I got in between the ride and run.

This was my last week for awhile where I was able to find some afternoons during the week to leave work early for my bike rides.  Starting tomorrow, I will probably never be home much before 3:45.  The few afternoons this week that I did bike that late, I found it really difficult, because I'm used to biking right after a meal, not right before a meal.  I might have to start eating two dinners on bike days, one before I bike, and one after.  Running late in the day is much easier for me than biking, so while I'm trying to be careful not to overdo it, I'm hoping I can get my running miles up soon so that I can stop trying to bike long distances after work.  Eventually I want to be able to save rides for the weekend.

Fruity Chicken Salad III

Place two B/S chicken breasts in the bottom of a saucepan.  Sprinkle them with garlic powder and turmeric.  Throw some fresh basil leaves on top.  Add 1/2 c pumpkin beer, and fill the pot with water.  Put on the stove with medium heat.  When it boils, reduce the temperature, cover, and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Then remove the pot from the heat and let it sit, covered, for 20 minutes.  Then remove the chicken from the pot and shred it.

Mix the shredded chicken with mayonnaise, 2 spoonfuls of Basil-Cashew Pesto, 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 c chopped sprite melon, , and a handful of dried cherries.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Zucchini Pizza

Pizza Dough
2 tsp yeast
7 oz hot water (120 degrees)
garlic powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 c whole wheat flour
2 c white flour
1 tbsp olive oil

marinara/Basil-Cashew Pesto mix
sliced tomato
spaghetti-ed zucchini
fresh basil
colby jack cheese

Bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes

Deliciousness.  I had some salmon on the side, extra deliciousness.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cumin-Rubbed Beef

Step 1 : Mix together cumin, mustard powder, garlic powder, sea salt, sage, and bread crumbs.
             Heat water for pasta, add pasta when the water boils.  Try to time it so pasta is done around the                    same time as the beef.

Step 2 : Coat pieces of eye of round beef with the seasoning mixture, then brown them on each side.

Step 3 : Pour red wine into the pan, just enough to cover the beef. 

Step 4 : When the beef is about halfway done, add vegetables to the pan.  
             I used cabbage and carrots.  I also grated some ginger into the pan. 

Step 5 : Remove the beef from the pan when it is done.  Once the pasta is drained, add it to the pan with the              vegetables and sauce, mix well. 

Step 6 : Eat.

Making Progress

So far so good! I have been running every 2 or 3 days, and the foot feels pretty good. I have been doing a pretty flat loop, usually 2 miles, but today I added just a little bit extra. ( it turned out to only be an extra .2 miles... I thought it would be a little longer than that) My first 3 runs were increasingly faster, with the third at a crazy 6:39 pace.  I was all warmed up from a bike ride and that's how fast my legs wanted to go. My lungs were struggling hard to keep up. Today's jog after a 40.5 mile bike ride was considerably slower. Again, my lungs were dying. I'm not sure when I'm going to start adding hills, but I can tell it's going to be rough when I do. Still hoping my lungs will figure it out and start working again soon!

In biking news, after 2 low mileage weeks to help my back recover from the Wheels of Hope ride, I had my highest-ever mileage this week, with 135 miles. I had 3 rides of 30 or more miles this week, which was also new. Not sure what's going to happen to my exercise routines when school starts this week. I find biking after a long day of work to be much harder than runing. Running always re-energized me. Biking requires so much more energy and calories, I don't see myself getting in 20-30 miles after a day at school. Hopefully it will work out! 

Monday, August 11, 2014


I am more sore from yesterday's two mile jog than I was after a 58 mile bike ride.  I felt the soreness when I got up this morning, and it wasn't too bad.  Not bad enough to stop me from biking 32 miles anyway.  And I really didn't notice it at all during the ride.  But as the day wore on, the soreness increased.  And then this evening I discovered that I have shin splints.  I am super not-happy about that.  I planned on jogging another 2 miles tomorrow, now I'm not so sure.  I do not want to be adding shin splints to my list of grievances!  Decisions, decisions.

Zucchini Scones

A friend gave me a gigantic zucchini the other day.  She told me as long as you didn't use the inside portion where the seeds are, the zucchini is perfectly edible despite its gargantuan size.  So I pulled out one of my favorite kitchen gadgets and went to work on the 1/3 of the zucchini.

I had some of this zucchini spaghetti with last night's delicious dinner, but there was still some left over.  (Not to mention the 2/3 of the zucchini still uncut...)  Today I decided to bake something with the remaining zucchini spaghetti.  My first thought was chocolate chip zucchini bread, but the recipe calls for 3 eggs and I wanted to do something that required fewer eggs.  Then scones came to mind.  I found this recipe online, and then adapted it.  Because we all know I hate following recipes.

Zucchini Scones
preheat oven to 400

1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 1/2+ c white flour
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c butter
1 c spaghetti-ed zucchini
1 peach, chopped
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c almond milk

bake for 20-25 minutes

I mixed the dry ingredients together in my stand mixer.  I used a pastry cutter to cut in the butter until it was in small pea-sized lumps.  I dumped the zucchini and peach on top of the dry ingredients, then, after mixing the wet ingredients separately, I added them and let the mixer do it's work.  The dough was super sticky, so I added flour 1/2 c at a time until it was...less sticky.  I added at least another cup.  Then, I floured my silpat and transferred the dough.  It was still too sticky to spread well, so I sprinkled more flour on top.  Then I was able to pat it down to about 1/2 inch thick.  I cut out the scones and transferred them to a greased cookie sheet. 

The scones were tasty, but not nearly as flavorful as I was hoping.  If I make them again, I will increase the amounts of cumin and cinnamon, and see what happens.  Also, I was going to put chocolate chips in them but I that might happen next time too!

Cumin-Rosemary-Ginger Pork

This is the first time I cooked pork in the oven instead of in the crock-pot or on the stove-top.  I had originally intended to stick the 1 1/2 pound tenderloin in the crock-pot to make some of my delicious apple-cider cinnamon pulled pork, but I never quite got around to getting out the crock-pot.  So, I decided to use the oven for once.

I coated the pork with ginger, cumin, and rosemary, and stuck it in the 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Then, I flipped it over and cooked it for another 30 minutes.

I had some for dinner along with zucchini spaghetti (sauteed in olive oil with garlic and ginger) and quinoa. 
It was delicious.  

I went for a run and I didn't die

I was holding off on running as long as I could, to give my foot as much time to heal as possible. Yesterday marked 75 days since my last run. As of yesterday, I had biked 80.6 miles that week, and only taken 1 day off. I usually take 2 days off per week, but I also usually bike closer to 120 miles a week. Last week I did shorter rides because I'm trying to get my back to stop hurting. I've been feeling pretty good with the shorter rides, and could have done another yesterday, but I wanted to save my back for a longer ride. The real deciding factor, was the weather. I had given my bike a thorough cleaning after a wet ride on Saturday, and the weather was similar yesterday. I really didn't want to get the bike filthy right after I cleaned it. So, I decided it was time to try a run.

There is ONE loop I can do straight from my house that is relatively flat terrain. So that is what I did. The main loop is about a mile long, and By looping through downtown (also pretty flat) at the end, I ended up with 2 miles. I kept the run as slow and steady as I could. I didn't have trouble breathing, but I could feel that if I tried to go any faster, my lungs would protest. It will probably take them awhile to get up to speed. My legs on the other hand, were ready to race and begging for speed. As for my foot...I think it was ok? I think there was a tiny bit of an ache during parts of the run, but I was so focused on looking for it,  i'm hoping I just imagined it. I iced it afterwards just in case. And stretched it. And rolled it on a hot water bottle later in the day. 

Oh, and I ran that 2 miles in 15 minutes. So relieved I can still jog below an 8 minute/mile pace! 

I'm still not sure exactly how I'm going to go about this return to running...but I think I'm going to try to start by doing that 2 mile loop every other day and see what happens.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Mini Peach-Ginger Pies

Disclaimer : If you have a sweet tooth, this is probably not going to satisfy you.  
If you are like me and prefer your desserts to be less sweet, you might love it. 

preheat the oven to 350

The Crust
1/4 c butter
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2+ c white flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp cold water

The Filling
2 peaches, peeled & chopped
1 inch ginger root, grated
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 c flour
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
1 tsp butter

I rolled the pie dough out and then used the mouth of a large plastic cup to cut out circles, which I then placed in 6 cups of a muffin tin, with some dough left over for the pie tops.  I mixed all of the filling ingredients together and then spooned them into the little pie shells.  I used the extra pie dough to put Xs on top of the pies.  

Bake for 20-30 minutes. 

I almost threw out the peach skins, but then I decided that instead of letting them go completely to waste, I could make a nice, refreshing, cocktail out of them.  

Peach-Skin Cocktail

skins from 2 peaches
2-3 sections of grapefruit
2 sprigs of basil
Club Soda

muddle together the skins, grapefruit, and basil
add Jameson and Club Soda
add ice
stir well

2 months and counting

71 days, to be exact.  71 DAYS since my last run.  I have not run since my birthday at the end of May.  2 months came and went, and I still have not run.  At this point, it is a difficult decision for me, for various reasons.  And the longer I wait, the harder it might get.

At this point, I have no delusions about the fact that I may be starting from scratch.  I have never in my memory taken this many weeks off in a row.  So I am rather afraid of what it will feel like when I try to run again.  Part of the problem is that I really, really, really want to go for a run.  But I want to walk out the door and take off like I used to, and fly through the miles at a sub-7 minute pace and feel great doing it.  But realistically, there is a 0% chance that I will be able to do that.  There are days when I think about going for a run, but I don't trust my ability to keep it slow.  And so, I don't let myself run at all.  When I start running again, I have to be able to start slow.  And knowing myself, I know that will be the hardest part.  And sometimes it's easier not to run at all than to think about going for an easy jog.

My personal desire to run fast and hard aside, there is also the fact that I really have no clue what the state of my tendonitis is.  Most days my foot feels perfectly fine.  Sometimes it aches just a bit, but not necessarily in the precise spot that it used to.  10 weeks and 1 day after my last run, and I have no idea if my foot is actually better or not.  I am pretty sure the only way to find out is to run.  And to start with a flat mile or two and slowly build up if there is no pain.

Obviously I'm going to have to make a decision.  I'm going to have to pick a day when I think I can make myself jog (right now I'm thinking I will have to go for a long bike ride first to tire myself out...), and I'm going to have to find out whether or not I am pain free.  When precisely that day will come...I have no idea.  I have some vague notion that it will coincide with the beginning of school (in last than 2 weeks!!).

In the meantime, I will continue biking.  I have had to take some time off to let my back recover from the wheels of hope ride.  Last week I had content myself with my minimum weekly mileage of 75 miles, rather than pushing for 120-ish like I usually do.  However, despite the fact that I had to lower my average daily mileage and my average weekly mileage due to back pain, I have recently noticed that my legs have gotten significantly stronger.  Some of the hills that used to wear me out even in the easiest gear, I now find myself climbing easily in harder gears, sometimes without even changing my front gear.  Stronger legs help me keep more pressure off my back.  I've also had to start doing some yoga stretches for my back, which have helped me loosen it up.  The fact that biking has finally started working for me is another factor that is helping me take extra time off from running to give my foot as much time as possible.