Running and Scapes

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Once upon a time, I went out for a quick run. The sky was serene and cloudless and oh-so-blue. The sun was shining so bright I actually decided to wear a hat (which I never ever do). I slathered myself in sunscreen (spf 700), drank a bottle of water, laced up my shoes, and headed out on my favorite trail.

And it was perfect.

Everything about it was completely and entirely perfect.

People often ask me why I like to run and it’s hard to put it into words really.  I’ve been running a few times per week since I was in middle school so a lot of my running at this point is just plain habit. They say that old habits die hard. It’s true.

There are days, weeks, and even months that I don’t really enjoy running.  Sometimes, I actually hate it. But I don’t run for the sweaty, gasping-for air, blistered feet, achy-kneed, sick-to-my-stomach, when-will-this-ever-end running experiences. Nobody runs for those days.

For every so many painful miles, you’re gifted a few good ones and it makes it all worthwhile.

The type of run where your legs feel weightless

The type of run where your breathing is quiet, rhythmic, and effortless

The type of run where the weather (no matter if it is raining, windy, cold, snowing, sunny, or humid) feels perfect

The type of run where your worries vanish, your fears seem irrational, and your problems suddenly seem solvable

The type of run where the minutes become miles faster than they ever do

The type of run where you hope you never reach home again

… and the mere idea that I could have another run like that tomorrow or the next day or maybe 3 weeks from now….

That’s why I run.

 

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White Bean and Scapes Dip
Source: NY Times Cooking 
Printable Recipe

1/3C sliced garlic scapes
1-2T freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2tsp salt
ground black pepper
1 (15oz) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4C olive oil

Place scapes, lemon juice, salt and pepper into food processor. Blend until finely chopped.
Add beans and blend until it’s a puree. Slowly drizzle in olive oil while the mixture is blending.
Taste and adjust seasonings.
Enjoy!

 

Detox Salad

I don’t really believe in the science behind detoxifying foods so I rarely eat anything with the intention of it actually detoxifying my body.

Besides… what exactly am I detoxing away?  That pizza I enjoyed this weekend? The extra 12 cookies I ate at the last baby shower I attended? The sixteen pounds of trail mix (heavy on the chocolate chips) I ate on my last road trip? The decision to make white rice instead of brown rice earlier this week?

That being said, these so-called detoxifying salads/juices/smoothies tend to be really tasty and full of fruits, veggies, and nuts.

Detoxifying? No.

Eating delicious foods? Yes.

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Detox Salad 
Source: Gimme Some Oven
Printable Recipe

For the salad:
3C chopped kale
2C chopped broccoli
2C chopped red cabbage
1C shredded carrots
3/4C chopped cilantro leaves
1/2C slivered almonds
1/3C greens onions, sliced thinly
1 avocado, diced

For the dressing:
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/4C rice wine vinegar
1T fresh ginger
2T vegetable oil
1T miso
1T honey (or agave if vegan)
1/2tsp sesame oil
salt, pepper

Mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Place all the dressing items in a blender and pulse until smooth. Season with salt/pepper to taste.
Top salad with dressing. Enjoy!

Making Beluga

I told the checkout lady at the grocery store I was making beluga.

“You mean… like… the whale?” she said.

Tip: Don’t confuse the words balela and beluga.

This salad is amazing. I’ve been buying it at Trader Joe’s for the past few months, but it’s a little expensive… and I eat the whole container in one sitting. This is a spot-on dupe for the TJ variety.

Eat salads. Not whales.

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Balela Salad 
Source: All Recipes
Printable Recipe

2 (15oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15oz) cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2C red onion, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced fine
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, pepper
1/2C mint, chopped
1/2C flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4C olive oil
3T lemon juice
5T apple cider vinegar

In a bowl, combine beans, red onion, tomato, garlic, jalapeno, mint, and parsley. In a separate bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, and vinegar. Toss salad with dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking – I think it tastes best with extra lemon juice. Enjoy!

Miso Hungry

I'm back. 

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Miso Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Source: Vegetarian Times
Printable Recipe

3tsp sesame oil
3tsp rice vinegar, divided
2tsp miso paste
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2tsp sriracha
16oz Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
2tsp sesame seeds, toasted

Preheat oven to 450.
Whisk 2tsp sesame oil, 2tsp rice vinegar, miso paste, garlic, and sriracha together.
Add brussels sprouts and toss to coat.
Place sprouts on a baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring a few times to ensure even cooking.
Remove from oven. Toss with remaining 1tsp sesame oil, 1 tsp rice vinegar, and sesame seeds.

Enjoy!

Cumin Zucchini Salad with Pinto Beans

I thought about inserting a disgruntled statement on the excessive pumpkin spice-ing of everything at the grocery store, but I don’t want this blog to be too pessimistic.

Instead can we just be reallllllllllly, realllllllly excited that fall is here???!???!?!

The good news is that I love when the leaves turn colors and the air is cool and the apples are crisp and I can wear scarves with every outfit and I could keep on going and going, but I’m not ready this year — at least not culinary-wise. I’m still over here cranking out zucchini recipes, eating salads, and enjoying peaches like it’s early August.

Whaaaaatttt?

In fact, the story gets worse when I confess that I’m wearing sandals and shorts and tank tops and hoping my subtle leg tan doesn’t fade too much. I’m thinking about the beach and still working on my bikini bod. Basically, I’m still summer-ing over here like it we aren’t long past the 4th of July. Eeeeeeeeek.

Dear squash,
I see you over there and I’m coming for you… in a week or two. First, I need to hit up the pool one last time. Before I join the masses eating chili, soup, and all-things gourd, allow me to enjoy a few more summer-y things… like this salad, which is full of zucchini. This would make a perfect side dish, but I also liked it thrown into a tortilla shell and eaten like a taco. Yum. Yum. Yum.

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Cumin Zucchini Salad with Pinto Beans 
Source: Naturally Ella 
Printable Recipe

2 medium zucchini, diced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1T olive oil
1 1/2tsp cumin
1/4tsp salt
1 red pepper, roasted and diced
1 (15oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/3C minced cilantro
1/4C pepitas
juice of 1 lime
salt

Preheat oven to 400.
Line baking tray with parchment paper or non-stick silpat.
Place zucchini and onion on the prepped tray.
Toss with olive oil, cumin and a pinch of salt.
Roast at 400, until lightly browned. Toss halfway through to ensure even cooking.
While the onions and zucchini are cooking, toss beans, roasted red pepper, cilantro, and pepitas in a bowl.
Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the bean mixture and stir to combine.
Allow the zucchini and onion to cool slightly.
Combine with the bean mixture.
Taste and add additional salt if needed.
Enjoy!

Pesto Quinoa

A few days ago I realized that I’ve never washed my reusable grocery bags. I guess it never occurred to me to do it. I had a little panic attack when I realized how many million times I had used them without ever even contemplating cleaning them so I quickly threw my assortment of randomly colored and sponsored reusable bags in with a bunch of clothes that also needed laundering.

You’re probably thinking that the story ends here. That I’m simply reminding you… and you… and you… and you… and you to wash your reusable bags once in a blue moon.

Nope. That’s not the moral of this story. Unfortunately for me and my modesty, this story keeps going.

A few hours after I so intelligently washed those bags, I found myself in the checkout line at the grocery store. I proudly handed my freshly laundered bag to the bagger… and he promptly opened it, reached inside, and lifted a pair of my freshly laundered underwear in the air confusedly asking, “Are these yours or are we selling these?”

Consider yourself warned.

Separate your laundry carefully… and always triple-check the bottom of your reusable grocery bags after washing them.

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Pesto Quinoa with Roasted Cauliflower 
Source: inspired by Simply Quinoa
Printable Recipe

2C cooked quinoa (~1C uncooked)
6C baby spinach
4T pesto
1/2tsp salt
1/2C parmesan cheese
1T olive oil
1/2 head of cauliflower*, cut into florets

Preheat oven to 425.
Toss cauliflower with olive oil. Season with salt, pepper.
Roast at 425 for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cauliflower is tender and browned.
Cook quinoa according to package directions.
While quinoa is still warm, toss quinoa with pesto, salt, baby spinach, and 1/4C parmesan cheese.
Top with roasted cauliflower and remaining parmesan cheese.
Enjoy!
*Feel free to swap cauliflower for roasted bell pepper, tomatoes, or whatever else your heart desires.

Ginger-Garlic Tofu

It’s been a hot minute since I posted a tofu recipe. I love easy tofu recipes with simple flavors that can be served with a side of rice… or a top of bed of sautéed veggies.. or even just thrown into a salad.  This dish is p-e-r-f-e-c-t.

After I typed the phrase ‘a hot minute,’ I started researching the etiology of it. I know what you’re thinking at this point. Does this girl spend all of her free time trying new recipes and researching random things on the internet?

Yes.

You can 100% judge me for it, but I’d like to point out that I make a really great bar trivia partner and I’d probably even cook up a celebration dinner after our big victory.

But, I digress.

I didn’t ever find a reliable explanation for where the phrase originates, but I now know the answer to the following bar trivia question:

  1. Name the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ 1995 album title

Hint: The answer is not Ginger-Garlic Tofu.

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Ginger-Garlic Tofu
Source: Bon Appetit
Printable Recipe 

1/4C balsamic vinegar (or Chinkiang black rice vinegar)
2 (14oz) blocks extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
2T light brown sugar
2T vegetable oil
1 4″ piece ginger, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
1/4C low-sodium soy sauce
cilantro (for serving)

Slice tofu into even pieces (about 5-6 per block)
In a small pan, bring vinegar and sauce sauce to boil. Remove from heat and add sugar stirring until it dissolves.
Pour this mixture over the drained/pressed tofu.
Marinate for 1-8 hours in the refrigerator. Flip tofu every few hours so it marinates evenly.
In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.
Add ginger and garlic. Stir constantly cooking until it is fragrant, about 1 minute.
Remove from oil.
Pour off excess marinade saving it in a separate bowl. Pat tofu dry.
Add tofu to heated oil.
Cook tofu on each side for about 5-7 minutes, until browned.
Add remaining marinade along with the garlic/ginger.
Cook until mixture thickens and glazes the tofu, about 1-2 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro.
Serve over rice or veggies of choice.
Enjoy!