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Filtering by Tag: Clif

my next race!

Andrea

Its Thursday!!!  I am SO ready for this weekend.  I feel like I haven't had a chance to slow down and hang out with my hubb in weeks...we are in need of some quality time!  I'm picturing movies, pop corn, yoga and running.  And as a bonus, some good friends are in town and I believe we have plans for brunch on Sunday.  Aaaahhh...I feel content just thinking about it.   :) But first, today's recap. Breakfast:  fig + peanut butter oats [419 cal] 090226-b1 090226-b2 Reader Lindsey asked me to tell a bit more about my oats process in the morning.  So, here goes!  Toppings and mix-ins change, but this classic bowl seems to be one I come back to over and over again. Fig + PB Oats [400-ish calories, 15.8g fat, 2.2g sat. fat, 58.3g carbs, 9.5g fiber, 18.8g sugar, 13g protein] Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 cup water, pinch of salt
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1 tbsp soy milk
  • 1 tsp ground flax seeds
  • 2 dried figs, chopped
  • 1-1/2 tbsp crunchy PB
Method:
  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil.  Add pinch of salt and 1/2 cup of rolled oats. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally.
  2. When the oats have absorbed most of the water, after 5-7 minutes, turn off the heat.  Add the mashed banana and splash of soy milk.  Stir.  Ad the flax seeds, stir.
  3. Pour oats into bowl and top with mix-ins of choice, mine usually being figs, PB, and wheatberries if I've got them.  :)
  4. After I take my photos I stir everything up so that the peanut butter swirls through the whole mix.  Yum!
090226-b3 My oats stuck with me for about 3 hours today, so I snacked on a piece of banana date bread mid-morning to hold me over 'till lunch an hour later. Snack:  banana date bread [143 cal] 090223-date-31 We had lots of leftover gumbo from last nights dinner, but I wasn't up for a bowl of just gumbo because it was so rich.  I decided to quickly saute' some kale to use as a base for my gumbo/rice mixture.  It was perfect! Lunch:  leftover gumbo on sauteed kale. 090226-l1 Snacks:  1 square of dark chocolate and a Clif ZBar, apple cinnamon flavor, pre-run [200 cal] 090226-s1 Remember my apple incident with my run last week?  Well apparently the upset stomach while running results from apple energy bars too...  It wasn't as bad today as it was when I ate a whole apple prior to my run, but it still wasn't pleasant. Exercise:  4.1 mile run with Kelly [-420 cal] We've decided to run the Martha Jefferson 8k on March 14th!!!!!  This will be my longest race distance yet!!!!!  I'm super-excited, if you can't tell by all of the exclamation points.  :)  We ran most of the race route today and it is H.I.L.L.Y!  You're probably really tired of me writing that...  It was a really nice run though and I felt completely confident that I could have run the whole route tonight.  I'm going to get a 4-1/2 - 5 mile run in this weekend, and Kelly and I are going to run the whole race route one day next week, along with our normal evening runs. For dinner my hubb and I had a last-minute meal with Kelly and her husband.  We went to a little Mexican restaurant around the corner from our house and enjoyed good food and great conversation.  I resisted the margarita and stuck with water, along with a veggie quesadilla, a few bites of refried beans and a handful of tortilla chips.  Definitely canceled out the calories burned on my run, and then some! Dinner:  veggie quesadilla (LOADED with fresh roasted veggies...so good!!!), refried beans and some tortilla chips [xxx cal????  how about A LOT. ] Alrighty, I'm off to bed.  T.G.I.F!!! G'night!
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lentil chili with cumin, corn and green onions

Andrea

I'm a sleepy girl again tonight, and trying my best to be in bed at 11pm.  Thanks for all of your feedback on how much sleep you all get...it sounds like none of us are getting enough!  Its sad that the things that are good for us - sleeping, working out, cooking - are typically the first things to slack on when we get busy with life.  But that is why there are food blogs out there, to show us all that it IS possible to lead a busy, HEALTHY lifestyle.  I'm still working on mine...!  :)  I skipped out on my run this morning in favor of sleeping for an extra 45 minutes...these late nights are really screwing with my exercise plans! By the time I get home from work I'm too tired for anything other than yoga, so if I want to keep my running on track I've got to modify my schedule.  See?!? Busy = slacking on my good-for-me tasks.  Did I tell you all that I'm signed up for a 5K this weekend?!?  I don't think I did!  My hubb and I are running the Amnesty Valentine's Day 5K, in the neighboring town of Crozet.  I'm super-excited...this will be my first 5k!!!  I've run the Charlottesville Women's 4-miler twice, but never a 5K before. And, this race will be with my hubb, who has NEVER run a race before!  So fun.  Don't worry, I'll be telling you guys all about it on Saturday!  :)   On to some eats...I'm going to try keep it quick. I loved my breakfast this morning, it was so simple and hearty and delicious.  And it stuck with me for a full 4 hours.  Have I mentioned how much I love the Ezekiel sprouted wheat english muffins?  Because I do, I love them SO much and could easily eat one every single day.   Breakfast:  a toasted ezekiel muffin, 1/2 with TJ's crunchy PB and 1/2 with sour cherry preserves.  Also, 1 cup of red grapes. [440 cal] 090210-b1 Lunch:  leftover potato leek soup with kale, and a hearty oat biscuit. [437 cal] 090210-l2 090210-l1 Afternoon Snack: 6oz 0% Fage and one AMAZING Murcott Mandarin Orange...it was like eating an orange creamsicle dessert! [130 cal] 090210-l3 I planned to go for a run after work, so had my a pre-run snack at my usual 5pm time.  But, I wound up staying late at the office and got home too late for a run...I was just too beat.  And THAT is why I need to get to bed earlier...so that I can get my bootie out of bed for my morning run!  Its just so hard to stay motivated to work out at the end of the day, I'd much rather come home and get dinner going so we can start winding down. Afternoon Snack #2:  Clif chocolate chip ZBar...my fave.  I love these little guys! [130 cal] 090210-s1 Dinner tonight was quick, simple and DELICIOUS.  I found a recipe for Lentil Chili with Cumin and Green Onions in the February 2008 issue of Bon Appetit.  I planned to follow it exactly, but found that we were out of a couple of key ingredients, Chili Powder and Tomato Puree.  So instead I modified it slightly, substituting Ancho Chili Pepper, tomato sauce and tomato paste.  I also added frozen corn at the last minute and am so glad that I did. The corn cut the heat of the chili with a lovely, mild sweetness, really increasing the depth of flavors.   090210-d1 090210-d2 090210-d4 Lentil Chili with Cumin, Corn and Green Onions [adapted from Bon Appetit, February 2008] made 2 dinner servings and 1 small lunch serving 362 calories, 7.6g fat, 1.4g sat fat, 58g carbs, 18g fiber, 19g protein Ingredients:
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp ancho chili pepper
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 cups water, plus extra
  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 8oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
Method:
  1. Heat oil in large sauce pan on medium.  Add onion and saute' for 2 minutes.  Add garlic, saute' for 30 seconds.  Add ancho chili pepper, cumin, cayenne, and oregano, stir for 30 seconds.
  2. Add water, lentils, tomato sauce and tomato paste.  Bring mixture to a boil and drop heat to medium-low.  Allow to simmer for 30 minutes.  Add water as necessary by 1/4 cup at a time.  [I added about 1 cup total].
  3. Add frozen corn, and continue to simmer for an additional 10 minutes, until lentils are soft.
  4. Stir in scallions, reserving a few for garnish.  Season to taste with salt + pepper.
We also had sauteed kale, prepared using my favorite method. 090210-d5 Chop kale into large bite-size pieces.  Rinse well.  Saute' 2 garlic cloves in 2 tsp olive oil on medium heat for 1 minute.  Add drained kale, with water still clinging to leaves.  Stir, allowing the kale to wilt slightly.  Cover the saucepan and let kale steam for 2-3 minutes.  Remove lid and stir, tossing kale for about a minute.  Squeeze 1/4 of one lemon on kale, and sprinkle with sea salt.  SO GOOD. Dinner:  lentil chili, sauteed kale and a hearty oat biscuit. [630 cal - eek!  a little high tonight, especially since I didn't get my planned run in...] Alrighty, I'm off to bed, with 8 minutes to spare!  WooHoo!!!  I hope you all have a great night...get some sleep!!!  :)
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weekend recap

Andrea

How is it Sunday night already?!?  This weekend went by WAY too fast.  I hope that you all had as lovely weather as we had, I still can't get over how beautiful it was.  I tried to get outside as much as possible, but had to work more hours than I had hoped so spent much of the weekend looking out of my window at the sunny sky.  I did manage to fit in a nice long run, some yoga and a glass of wine on the deck with my hubb...all wonderful things.  :) I've got some catch-up food posting to do because I decided to write about photography last night.   I'll keep my words short...  Oh!  And if you've asked me questions on the photography post I will get them answered tomorrow sometime, so be sure to check back in.  Also, things may be a little sporadic this week with my big deadline on Friday.  Bear with me!  I've got a great menu planned this week, I just hope I have time to cook it! Saturday Breakfast:  banana, apple, crunchy PB oats [360 cal] 090207-b1 This yummy bowl contained:
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1 cup water, pinch of salt
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried apple
  • 1 tbsp TJ's crunchy PB
I knew I would be working for a few hours and had a haircut at 2pm so packed up a lunch to keep me from getting distracted by downtown food options when hunger struck. Saturday Lunch:  leftover split pea soup (last time, promise!) and 3 Back to Nature multigrain flax crackers (I saved the blood orange for later...) [505 calories] 090207-l1 I took clothes with me to the office so that I could run home after my haircut.  It was such a gorgeous afternoon that I decided to push myself and take the long way home, about 4-1/2 miles.  It was tough, I was dragging because I hadn't run more than 3-1/2 miles in the last couple of weeks with my foot injury.  And, my foot was pretty sore when I was finished.  :(  It did feel great to be outside though, stretching my legs and soaking in the sun. Saturday Exercise:  4-1/2 mile run, 10 min/mile pace [-475 cal] Saturday Afternoon Snack:  the other 1/2 of my Clif Iced Gingerbread bar and my blood orange, perfect re-fuel after my run. [193 cal] 090207-s11 I was wiped out when I got home, so the grocery trip my hubb and I had planned got bumped to Sunday.  It also led to a very lazy evening during which cooking didn't really seem like an option, so we ordered in.  If you've been reading my blog for long you know that Thai is our take-out of choice, and last night was no exception.  :)   Saturday Dinner:  take-out pad thai and veggie spring rolls with pineapple spice dipping sauce. [about 525 cal] 090207-d1 090207-d2 090207-d4 We watched  Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her...very good!  Highly recommended if you like the vignette style of movie making.  We really enjoyed it. Okay!  On to Sunday... I slept in a little this morning so packed this up to take to the office with me for a few more hours of work before yoga. Sunday Breakfast: 6oz 0% Fage, 1/4 cup TJ's pumpkin spice granola, 1/2 a sliced banana, 1-1/2 chopped dates [328 cal] 090208-b1 Sunday Exercise:  YOGA!!!  At my normal studio.  I've realized that the new studio that I bought an unlimited month pass to doesn't have many classes that work with my schedule, so I'll be continuing to join my normal Sunday class that I love love love so much.  Today was no disappointment.  I was a sweaty, leg-shaky pile of goo afterwards. [about -250 cal] Sunday Afternoon Snack #1: a Clif Nectar bar, consumed immediately after yoga.  Thank goodness I had it in my purse. [160 cal] 090208-s1 My eating schedule always gets off on Sundays because I typically sleep later than normal then have yoga from 12:30-1:30, aka lunchtime.  Today I had to go back to the office for another hour then went grocery shopping, so lunch slipped right by me.  Needless to say I was famished while grocery shopping (bad, bad idea) and gave in to these Mi-Del Lemon Snaps.   090207-d3 I of course ripped into them as soon as I got in the car. They are SO GOOD!  Just a hint of lemon with the same crunch as a classic ginger snap.  They are dangerous... When I realized that I could easily finish the whole bag on my way home, I quickly reached behind me for the bag of grapes and noshed on them instead. Sunday Afternoon Snack #2: 5 Mi-Del Lemon Snaps and a handful of red grapes (recreated for your viewing pleasure...). [250 cal] 090208-s2 I had big plans to make dinner tonight, but when I opened the fridge I realized that we still had some leftovers to use up.  So...another repeat.   Sunday Dinner:  leftover Pad Thai and a big ol' salad.  Also, a glass of cab (which was actually started while sitting on the back deck with my hubb and our pupps, enjoying our amazing weather). [salad = 225 cal, thai = about 350 cal] 090208-d2 My salad contained:
  • mixed baby greens
  • spinach
  • yellow bell pepper
  • celery
  • cucumber
  • red grapes
  • slivered almonds
  • Annie's Goddess Dressing...which I'd never tried before!  I had no idea what to expect, but I liked it!
090208-d3 Sunday Dessert: 2 lemon snaps and another bunch of grapes...they just looked so good when I was taking their picture for the snack re-creation. [155 cal] 090208-s3 This post has taken forever for me to write because I'm watching the Grammy's at the same time.  :)  And now, its just about bed time.  But first, a big reminder that tomorrow starts the Blogger Bake Sale!!!  Be sure to check out Meghann's blog so that you can get bids in for your favorite items!!!  I've got a couple things that will be listed...  :) G'night!
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and...repeat.

Andrea

Hellllloooooo!  How are you all?  I feel like I've been so absent....I just went back through the last few posts to re-read comments and answer questions.  Sorry I was behind!  Be sure to check back if you left me a question in the last few days, I should have answered if for you and if not feel free to shoot me an email. And, welcome new readers!  I had many comments to approve this week, from people who had never commented before.  Yay!  I'm so glad you all are here, and hope you'll keep coming back! I hope I don't bore you with today's post, because yesterday's eats were all about leftovers!  That's what I get for planning dinners that make huge quantities and not freezing any of it.  I really need to get better about that... Breakfast Friday:  out with a friend at our favorite breakfast spot, The Bluegrass Grill.  I had a veggie omelet made with 3 egg whites, bell pepper, tomatoes, spinach and olives.  I also had a small side dish of cheese grits....there's the southern girl in me!  I realized as I was sitting at the table after ordering my breakfast that I have a really strange way of thinking about food when I eat out in restaurants.  I was looking at the menu, craving either granola or oatmeal, but ordered the omelet and grits instead because it felt more "worth it".  Do you know what I mean?  Like, I make yogurt and granola at home all the time, so why should I waste money on it in a restaurant when I can get an omelet and grits?  I think this is silly, and that I need to start realizing that eating out in a restaurant isn't all about the food, its also about the company you're with and the fact that neither of you had to make breakfast or clean up afterwards, no matter what you order to eat.   I'm going to try and remember that next time. [not sure of the calories, but I'm sure higher than they would be at home because my omelet had a lot of oil in it] Mid-Morning Snack:  the honey whole wheat biscuit I didn't eat with breakfast...I have got to learn to make these! Lunch:  leftover split pea + sausage soup [375 cal] 090206-l1 Not nearly as pretty as when freshly made, but still just as tasty!  PS:  you'll be seeing this again....  :) Afternoon Snack:  1/2 a Clif Iced Gingerbread bar...I only have 1-1/2 left and will be so sad when they are gone! [125 cal] 090207-s1 When I got home from work last night, totally brain dead, I decided to go for a run.  I went to campus and did a 3-1/4 mile loop at about a 10 min/mile pace.  I REALLY enjoy my 3-4 mile runs.  I've been thinking a lot about long distance running lately, and my training, and have lots to share with you.  But not this morning.  Soon, I promise.  :) When I got home I did 25 minutes of vinyasa flows...lots of down dogs, chathurangas, warriors, twisted triangles and pigeon.  Perfect way to stretch out my hamstrings and hips.  :) Exercise: 3-1/4 mile run, 25 minutes of vinyasa yoga [about -400 calories] Dinner:  leftover veggie lasagna [443 cal] 090206-d1 Dessert:  snackie bowl with 6oz 0% Fage, 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries, small handful of Annie's Bunnies [223 cal] 090206-d2 It is such a BEAUTIFUL day here!  The high is supposed to be 60*!!!  Woohoo!!!  I planned to go for a run this morning when I woke up but it was still only 23*, I decided to wait until later when it will be MUCH more enjoyable.  :) What are your plans for today?  Unfortunately, I have to work.  Boo.  I'm getting ready to go to the office, but I have a hair appointment at 2pm so will have to stop working then.  After that I'm going for a run, then to the grocery store with my hubb to stock up for the week, and maybe a movie tonight?We'll see.  Busy day! I hope you all have a great Saturday!
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something's fishy...

Andrea

Happy Tuesday!  How are you all?  Is it still winter where you're at?  Last night, right after I finished my post where I told you it was raining, I let the dogs out our back door and discovered that it was POURING down snow!  So beautiful.  I'd stopped believing the weathermen because they've predicted snow for us multiple times this winter and we haven't seen anything significant yet.  Look at what we woke up to! The dogs didn't seem to be phased... snow-2 Sadly, most of it has now melted.  I think they've predicted more for tomorrow though.  I don't mind the cold as much when we have snow to look forward to! Before I get to far ahead of myself, I wanted to share the last of yesterday's eats with you.  I decided to discard the cabernet that I wasn't enjoying and made a snackie dessert bowl instead (are you proud, Sarah?!?).  It was so tasty and SO much more satisfying than my wine! Last night's dessert: 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce, Annie's Honey Bunnies, 1 chopped medjool date. [ 220 calories] 090203-b1 Back to Tuesday... My days are going by SO fast because I am SO busy at work!  I've got a big deadline next Friday and I'm working really hard during the days to try and keep the late nights next week to a minimum.  Its stressful, but I'd much rather be busy at work than bored like I was for the last few weeks.  I had planned to get up early for some morning yoga, but forgot to turn my phone volume on after work yesterday so slept through my alarm for over an hour!  Yikes.  Needless to say I was in a bit of a rush, so I packed my breakfast to take with me to the office. Breakfast: 6oz Fage 0%, 1/4 cup TJ's pumpkin spice granola, 1 banana, 1 medjool date. [355 calories] 090203-b2 SO good!  And it stayed with me for a full 4 hours. I had a bit of a fish theme going on today...lots of protein and Omega 3's!  :) Lunch: tuna salad wrap on 8" whole wheat tortilla with yellow bell pepper and spinach, the rest of the tuna salad with peppers and carrots and two Back to Nature multigrain flax crackers. [about 400 calories] 090203-l1 The tuna salad contained:
  • 3oz canned tuna in water, drained
  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 tbsp light mayo
  • 1 heaping tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp dill relish
  • salt + pepper
090203-l3 Snacks: a pink lady apple at 3:30 and a Clif ZBar at 5:30, to fuel me for a run. [211 calories] 090203-s1 I decided to skip tonight's yoga class and go for a run.  The weather was decent (30* and clear), and it got warm enough today to melt the ice on the sidewalks.  They are predicting snow again tomorrow so I decided I should run while I had the chance, and go to a yoga class tomorrow night instead.  It was great!  I think my feet have gotten used to my new inserts because I didn't have much pain at all.  I'm still planning to see a podiatrist because I don't think I should have to deal with any pain while running, right?!? Exercise:  3-mile run, 10 min/mile pace.  20 minutes of vinyasa flows to stretch out afterwards.  I'm feelin' good!  :) [- 400 calories] Dinner tonight was inspired by Jen.  I saw a smoked paprika salmon on her blog last week and remembered that we had some smoked paprika in our spice cabinet that was a stocking stuffer this Christmas (my family knows us well!).  When I commented on her blog, Jen was sweet enough to send me this recipe to try out.  We didn't have time to marinade our salmon, but the rub was FANTASTIC. Dinner:  roasted salmon with a citrus paprika rub, citrus-glazed asparagus, TJ's Harvest Blends grains [580 calories] 090203-d1 The asparagus was super-easy, and SO good!  I heated olive oil in a non-coated skillet, then added 1 clove of garlic to saute' for about a minute.  Then the asparagus went in, with some salt and ground pepper.  After it had been cooking for 3-4 minutes, the garlic was really starting to brown and trying to stick to the pan.  I splashed in about 1/2 cup of orange juice to de-glaze, gave everything a stir and covered the pan.  The heat was lowered to simmer and the asparagus cooked for another 3-4 minutes until tender.  YUM. 090203-d2 This TJ's blend was really good too...israeli couscous, baby garbonzo beans, orzo and red quinoa.  We cooked ours in chicken broth for a little extra flavor. 090203-d3 Thank you all for the sweet comments about my new table!  I know it will take some getting used to, but I'm glad you're open to it.  I'll get a picture of the whole thing soon, but I'm waiting until our new dining room light gets here so you get the whole picture.  :) Daily Recap:
  • calories consumed = 1550
  • calories expelled = 400
  • net = 1,150
A little light today, but I feel content!  I may grab a little snackie dessert before bed...  :) Have a great night!
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figs. also, some kale.

Andrea

I was a little slow this morning, both mentally and physically.  The snooze button on my alarm was pressed for a full 45 minutes before I finally crawled out of bed.  I knew the weather was supposed to be cold and dreary today so I'll blame my lack of motivation on that. When I puttered out to the kitchen to work on prepping today's eats I had nary a clue as to what I would fix.  As I shuffled things around on the top shelf of my fridge, I accidentally knocked a small container of Fage to the floor.  After picking it up and discovering the crack that had formed in the bottom of the container, I realized that breakfast was solved. Breakfast:  one 6oz cup of 0% Fage, 1/2  a pink lady apple, 1/4 cup of homemade granola from my lovely friend Beth and a drizzle of cranberry ketchup. 090106-b1 Perfect combination.  I truly loved this breakfast.  Have I mentioned that the CK is good on EVERYTHING? I know you're probably sick of reading about it, but I've got just over one jar left to finish up before it goes bad so I'll happily continue to experiment over the next week.  In fact, this morning I made my hubb a brie, apple, spinach and cranberry ketchup sandwich on honey wheat bread.  He LOVED it, as did I when he brought over a bite for me to taste. After solving my breakfast and the hubb's lunch, I was at a bit of a loss thinking about what I wanted for lunch.  I thought about more meatball soup, but decided I should give it a rest and add some variety back into my meals and my blog.  There are a couple of sweet potatoes on the counter that I thought about baking, but didn't have time.  Same with the spaghetti squash.  I finally settled on a bag of dried french lentils in the pantry that I've been meaning to make a salad with for quite some time.  It seemed that I had enough time to quickly simmer them soft, but I wasn't altogether sure since it had been awhile since I'd made them.   I brought 1 cup of french lentils to a boil in 2 cups of chicken broth, reduced the heat and simmered for 40 minutes, 10 minutes longer than I had anticipated which resulted in a very rushed salad prep.  They are still slightly crunchy, which I like.  I'm not a big fan of lentils when they turn to mush. 090106-l1 Tossed with chopped bell pepper, cucumber, olive oil, balsamic vinegar and creole mustard, this simple salad turned out pretty well.  I'll be experimenting more though because I've had many better lentil salads at restaurants around town. Lunch:  Lentil Salad with 1/2 a whole wheat pita and a pear.  I meant to sprinkle some crumbled feta on top of the salad, but in my rush I forgot.  Maybe tomorrow. 090106-l2 For snacks I brought:  2 clementines and an Iced Gingerbread Clif Bar, I only ate one of the clems. 090106-s1 This was my first experience with any of the holiday-flavored Clif Bars.  I know, I'm way behind.  I wasn't sure what to expect as I've read many mixed reviews about them, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I nibbled on the bar a bit before lunch.  It was quite tasty!  I saved the rest for an afternoon snack and enjoyed it immensely.  Looks like I'm in for a hunt around town before they are all gone for another year.  Now if I could only remember where I found them... I also had two more dark chocolate covered potato chips.  Yes, I said potato chips.  I don't know why they don't show the dark chocolate option on the website, but I definitely prefer dark to milk chocolate these days.  I wish the chocolate was a little thinner so you could taste a bit more of the salted potato chip, but they are delicious all the same. During my lunch break I perused the last couple of days of the NY Times Dining + Wine section on the web.  I came across this recipe and couldn't stop thinking about it.  I'll blame it on the rain again. So, I hopped in the car with my hubb for a couple of late-lunchtime errands and purchased 4 chicken thighs, some dried figs, honey and lemons.  Also, some kale.  I've been craving greens since I couldn't find them for our New Years Day lucky dinner. Dinner:  Broiled Chicken with Honey Fig Sauce, sautéed kale and roasted garlic rice. 090106-d4 I discovered a new love for dried figs. 090106-d5 They are perfectly sweet and soft, and the seeds provide a wonderfully satisfying crunch.  Love. 090106-d9 The chicken is broiled in the oven until the outside is delicately crispy and the inside still moist.  The figs are simmered with honey, white wine and spices until a thick glaze forms, then drizzled over the chicken.  Paired with one of my longtime favorites, sautéed kale, this meal was a sure winner. 090106-d2 We sautéed the kale in olive oil with some garlic, salt and pepper until the leaves wilted slightly and turned bright green. 090106-d6 Before serving, we squeezed a bit of lemon juice across the kale.  Perfect. 090106-d8 The hubb and I were pretty happy with the results.  If we make the chicken recipe again we will make a few changes...
  • Use ground coriander instead of whole, and cut amount accordingly
  • Omit lemon juice from fig glaze
  • Lessen honey, perhaps substitute a bit more wine?  :)
At any rate, I'm a very happy girl after eating this simple gourmet meal.  Especially since we paired it with one of my new favorite wines, a local white that we used in the glaze as well. 090106-d7 And now, its bedtime after another long post.  I hope you've all had a pleasant day, and that tomorrow brings better weather for those of us that have been plagued with rain and cold for the last 24 hours. Good night!  :)
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applesauce pancakes

Andrea

Happy Saturday everybody!  I hope you're all enjoying a relaxing weekend recovering after all the holiday festivities.  We got all of our Christmas decorations put away and did chores around the house this afternoon, I'm finally feeling like life is returning to normal.  I like having a routine!  :) This morning I woke up craving one of my favorite breakfasts, Applesauce Pancakes.  They are a much healthier version of the traditional pancake, but they take a little more effort to make so they seldom make an appearance on our table.  Not that they are difficult, just more difficult than opening up a box of Dr. Oetker's Organic Pancake Mix and adding egg and milk... Breakfast:  3 Applesauce Pancakes topped with 1-1/2 clementines and cranberry ketchup and 1/2 a pink lady apple (I found them at Whole Foods!) 090103-b1 090103-b2 Here's the recipe...the original came out of a cookbook from the hubb's nana, but I've modified it so much over the last few years that I think I can call this one mine now. Applesauce Pancakes makes about 1 dozen "silver dollar" pancakes Ingredients:
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1-1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp orange zest, grated
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 egg whites
Method:
  1. Sift together dry ingredients in large mixing bowl.
  2. Blend applesauce, orange zest, vanilla and egg yolks in separate bowl, then add to dry mix.
  3. Beat egg whites until stiff but not dry, then fold into batter.
  4. Ladle batter onto a lightly oiled hot griddle, to desired pancake size.
  5. Cook until small bubbles form throughout, then turn to brown the other side.
  "stiff" egg whites going into batter "stiff" egg whites going into batter Breakfast was really late today because the hubb and I slept in.  :)  This afternoon we went for our 4-mile training run...it was AWESOME!!!  I was so worried because our running has been so sporadic with prepping for the holidays then being out of town for a week...we'd really gotten off of our training schedule.  I mapped out a 4-mile loop for us that took us through our neighborhood, past the university, down Main Street and back to our house so it was nice and interesting for most of the way. Oh how I missed the variety of my familiar C'ville runs!!!  And, I am SO PROUD of my hubb!  He set a Personal Distance Record for himself today!!!  Yay Hubb!!!  :) Tonight we are going over to some friends' house for an early dinner, and since my breakfast was so late I decided on a light lunch after my run. Lunch:  Salad with romaine, spinach, red bell pepp, broccoli, roasted garlic hummus, 1/2 tsp of grapeseed oil and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar. 090103-l1 And a Clif chocolate chip ZBar...cause I felt like a little "dessert".  :) 090103-l2 Alrighty bloggies, I'm off for some good food and good company.  I hope you all have a fantastic evening!  :)
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french toast + marshmallows...

Andrea

Happy Saturday bloggies!  I hope you've all had a wonderful first 1/2 of your weekend...mine was super-productive.  Sadly, the productivity did not include my training run.  :(  I've been bummed about it all day.  The hubb and I had the alarm set to go, but my honey was feeling under the weather so we postponed our long run 'till tomorrow.  I'm crossing my fingers that the ice they are predicting tonight will not happen so we won't be deterred again, especially since the hubb is feeling much better tonight.  :) Breakfast:  Instead of going for a run I made an indulgent breakfast, Eggnog French Toast with cranberry "ketchup".  Yummy!  No butter or syrup, just cran ketchup and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. 081120-b1 This was easy, I just combined:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup eggnog
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
Whisk it all together, soak your bread in the mixture (I used whole wheat), and brown in a nonstick skillet until both sides are golden. For those of you that would like the cranberry "ketchup" recipe, leave me a comment on this post *letting me know specifically that you want it* and I'll email it to you.  Its SO GOOD!  You all will love it.  Erin let me know that the recipe is straight from a cookbook so we can't publish it because of copyright issues. After breakfast I rushed off to a morning hair appointment then ran crazy errands all day.  I think I visited nearly every single store in Charlottesville.  The traffic and crowds were insane!!!  I'm glad to have accomplished everything on my list today though so that I don't have to go back out in the madness tomorrow... Morning Snack:  I grabbed this while standing in a check-out lane at Target.  See what happens when you forget to pack your snacks...you wind up with overly-indulgent Chocolate Drizzled goodness.  Its actually a tiny, one-portion bag...and I ate the whole thing. 081220-s2 Next time I'll remember my larabar... Lunch:  I never expected my errands today to take 6+ hours, so come 2:30 I was STARVING!  I stopped in my favorite gourmet specialty food store, Feast!, and grabbed a prepared sandwich.  No picture, I inhaled it far too quickly.  It consisted of local chevre, artichokes, arugula, sundried tomatoes and olive tapenade on a baguette.  I assure you, it was tasty. Afternoon Snack:  When I FINALLY got home I grabbed a yogurt out of the fridge...I'm still in clean-out mode and want to finish all perishables before we leave town on Tuesday.  I'm so very spoiled after discovering greek yogurt...this regular was way runnier than I like. 081220-s1 Dinner:  We needed something quick and easy.  The hubb ordered a pepperoni, onion and black olive pizza, of which I had two pieces minus the pepperoni and the crust.  I also made a leftovers salad with napa cabbage, broccoli slaw, celery, hearts of palm, alfalfa sprouts, dried cranberries and light ranch dressing. 081220-d1 And a glass of cabernet. 081220-d2 Oh!  While I was out and about today I found a few exciting things... 081220-larabars1 FINALLY!  The holiday-flavor Clif Bars, PEANUT BUTTER COOKIE Larabars, and a Cashew Cookie Larabar!!!  Yay!  Now I feel like I'm part of the club!  :) The hubb and I have been busy this evening with Christmas prep as is typical these days.  Here's one of our activities...Homemade Marshmallows!  They are going in gift boxes for friends and family.  I'll post more about them tomorrow when they are finished. marsh-1 Have a fabulous Sunday!
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slower than slow?

Andrea

Hello bloggies!  Yay for tomorrow being Friday!  :) Questions for you all: Are you having trouble with my blog being slow to upload?  If it is too slow and annoying, I was thinking of having my blog only show the first bit of each post on the front page, which means you'd have to click "continue reading" at the bottom of the post to see the whole thing. Would that be annoying for you?  I want to make sure you all are happy and excited to read so any feedback you can give is greatly appreciated! This morning the hubb and I got up for another lovely morning run.  I just love getting up and running in the morning, especially since it has been slightly warmer lately.  The temperature has been around 40* when we wake up which is totally bearable, and running first thing gets me so energized for the day!  We did a 2-mile ultra hilly route that I love because even though its short, I feel like I still get a killer workout in.  The Charlottesville 10-Miler is one of the hilliest races in the country, so we have to be prepared for it! On to eats... Breakfast:  1 cup of Kashi Heart 2 Heart, 1 sliced banana, 1 cup of Silk plain soy milk and some dribbles of cranberry ketchup...YUM!  I love tart fruit in my cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, bread, so it just made sense to add the CK to my bowl of cereal this morning.  I loved it!  It looks kinda scary though... 081218-b1 Morning Snack:  My breakfast was yummy, but it definitely didn't stick with me as long as oats or an ezekiel muffin do...probably because I don't put nut butter in my cereal.  So at about 10:30 I broke into my Clif Mojo Mountain Mix bar and ate 1/2.  This was my first time trying this flavor and it was really good, but I still prefer the Peanut Butter Pretzel flavor. 081218-s2 Lunch:  I continued my CK love with a giant spinach salad topped with alfalfa sprouts, cucumber, yellow bell pepper, black beans, broccoli slaw and glops of cranberry ketchup for dressing. Again, YUM!  Erin's right, it really is good on everything! 081218-l1 Afternoon Snack:  The other 1/2 of my Clif Mojo and a glorious navel orange...it got me so excited to go to Florida!  I want to come home with bags full of citrus!  :-)  After I ate my orange I realized how good the cranberry ketchup would be drizzled on it...next time! 081218-s1 Evening Snack:   Before dinner, while wrapping presents, I finished off a box of Annie's Honey Bunnies.  They were gone so fast I didn't even have time for a picture...apparently I was starving. Dinner:  Leftovers!  Perfect for this busy night.  Veggie tofu korma with broccoli on the side.  The korma was even better the second time around!  And, a glass of Charles Shaw Coastal Syrah...so so good for only $4.99!!!  I love Trader Joes!!! 081218-d15 I have some more Christmas prep to finish...I can't believe how I've waited 'till the last minute this year!  Not next year, I'm already planning our gifts for Xmas 2009.  I loved hearing about what you all are making for Christmas presents this year!  Its totally inspiring...I had planned to make a lot more gifts but time just got away from me.  I have done a little knitting, a little baking, and the hubb and I made a couple of photo albums.  Maybe next year we'll have an "all hand-made" or "all local" theme...that would be fun! Have a great night!
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quiche + chicken veggie soup + veggie broth oh my!!!

Andrea

Good evening!  I hope you all have had a fabulous day!  Mine was good...I played lots of catch-up in the office after being out all day yesterday.  After work my hubb and I went for a fabulous run...YAY!!!  I was worried after my not-so-great run on Saturday when we didn't run the full 2.5 miles that were scheduled in our training.  We decided that tonight we would try to make up for it, especially since we hadn't been able to do anything the last two days with my overworking. I mapped out a 2.7 mile stretch for us close to our house that involves a looooong hill at the 1/2 mile mark all the way to the 1-1/4 mile mark and again at the 2-1/2 mile mark.    I just discovered the elevation tool on mapmyrun.com...look at that hill!!! 081210-map We made it though!  My hubb was great, he probably could have gone a lot further.  I was a very satisfied level of tired at the end....not feeling good enough for another mile but not completely dead either.  I'm so pleased!!!  :) I have some eats to tell you about, along with some recipes to share as promised.  I hope you can hang in there for one more long post from me... Breakfast:  3/4 cup Stoneyfield fat free french vanilla yogurt with one sliced banana and 1/4 cup of TJ's Spiced Pumpkin Granola. 081210-b1 Now I know what you've all been raving about!  The granola is AWESOME!  :) Lunch:  I pulled some black bean soup out of the freezer and added a dollop of sour cream to it along with an 8" sprouted wheat tortilla. 081210-l2 My office desk doesn't make nearly as nice of a background as my dining table at home... Snack:  I ate about 3 bites of this gala apple before tossing it because it was COMPLETELY devoid of flavor.  We finally finished all 13 pounds of hand-picked pink ladies...sigh.  :( 081210-s1 So instead I ate the other 1/2 of the Clif Builder's Bar I snacked on the other night. 081210-s2 Dinner:  Butternut Squash and Kale soup, modified from Kath's original recipe, along with a piece of my homemade whole wheat bread.  My soup had
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 32oz box of creamy carrot soup
  • 1 cup of diced ham
  • 1 15oz can of white kidney beans
  • 6 cups of fresh chopped kale
  • salt + pepper to taste
081210-d1 081210-d2 081210-d3 The soup was really good, but a little thick for our tastes.  I actually had a different soup plan for the butternut squash, but when I realized that I had kale wilting in my fridge it seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out Kath's recipe.  I do think I'll try my original plan next week...the hubb and I discussed it tonight and I think its going to be good! Recipe Recap:  As promised, here are the recipes for the amazing dinners my Hubb made Sunday and Monday nights.  They are both pretty simple, but full of so much home-cooked comfort food yumminess...! 081207-d71 Chicken Vegetable Soup with Homemade Veggie Broth Ingredients:
  • one gallon-size ziplock of frozen veggie parts*
  • 2 frozen cheese rinds**
  • 8 cups commercial veggie broth ONLY if you don't want to make your own
  • 2/3 pound of ground chicken, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen lima beans
  • 1 cup frozen okra
  • 2 15oz cans of diced tomatoes
  • salt + pepper to taste
* We put all raw veggie "waste" into a gallon-size ziplock bag we keep in the freezer.  "Waste" includes the ends of onions, asparagus, carrots, green beans, etc., basically anything that won't break down quiclkly (don't throw potato, squash, mushrooms etc. in there...you need to be able to strain everything out after simmering for awhile) * We keep the rinds of any hard cheese we use in a small ziplock in the freezer to use for soups etc.  Parmesan, parano and gouda are our most common. Steps (starting with veggie broth):
  1. Put all frozen veggie parts and 2 cheese rinds into large saucepan or stock pot.  Fill pot with water until veggies are covered.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower heat and let simmer uncovered for one hour.  If you simmer longer you will have more intense flavor, less time will yield a milder taste.
  3. Strain liquid through a fine colander or china cap (pictured below), collecting the broth in a bowl.
  4. Put your broth back in the soup pot, add the tomatoes, onion, celery, carrots and potatoes and bring all to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered until the potatoes are starting to soften.
  5. Once the potatoes are slightly soft, but still about 10 minutes from being soft enough to bite easily, add the frozen veggies and the chicken.  
  6. When the potatoes are soft and the frozen veggies are heated through you soup is ready!
081207-d1 081207-d2 081207-d3 081207-d4 081207-d81 I LOVE my hubb's homemade soups....they are so incredible.  We typically make the version above completely veggie and add in some barley or israeli cous-cous, but we had leftover ground chicken after making the potstickers a few nights before so decided to throw it in.  That's the beautiful thing about these soups...anything and everything can go in!  And I also love that the homemade broths provide a way for us to use our veggie waste when the compost bin is out of commission during the winter. Monday night's dinner was another favorite of ours...QUICHE!  We always try to keep a frozen pie crust in the freezer so that if we have veggies that need to be used up we can throw together a quiche.  Its a quick, easy, nutritious dinner (as long as you are smart about the crust...!) and so good on a cold night.  I like to add in more egg whites and reduce some of the yolks, but we had exactly 5 eggs so had to use them completely (don't worry, egg yolks never go to waste around here...our dogs love them!) 081208-d1 Ham + Veggie Quiche Ingredients:
  • one frozen whole wheat pie crust
  • 1 head of broccoli, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 pound cooked ham, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 5 eggs
Steps:
  1. Pull pie crust from freezer and allow to thaw for 10 minutes.  Preheat oven to 400*.
  2. Poke holes in the bottom of the crust, cover with foil, add pie weights (or dry beans) and bake for 10 minutes.
  3. Whisk eggs and add salt and pepper.  Set aside.
  4. Put fillings into crust.  Pour egg on top.  Add more egg if needed, the crust should be about 2/3's full.
  5. Bake @ 400* for 60 minutes on the BOTTOM rack of oven.
081208-d21 081209-d21 Whew!  Another long post complete.  Thanks again for hanging in there...I hope to get some feedback on these recipes as you all try them!  I'm off to bed...
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training week #5 + groceries

Andrea

Happy Saturday!  I hope that everybody is enjoying their post-Thanksgiving weekend with family, friends, relaxation etc.   Brian and I started the morning right with a run with the 10-Miler training group.  We ran 2 full miles on the track (boring!!!) but it went really well and felt great.  This morning was especially important for me because I was trying out a loaner pair of shoes that my running coach gave me out of his shop to see if they would help to correct the foot pain I've been experiencing.  Verdict is....success!!!  I ran the full 2 miles pain-free.  YAY!!!!  He says that I have a very unusual foot and that this is their least-selling shoe because it combines the soft, cushioned sole with added support for pronation.  They are still Brooks, which I've been running in off and on for about 9 months, just a different style.  I love them so far...aren't they pretty?!?!?  Not that that is the point... shoesies Breakfast:  I had 1/2 a banana before my run, then came home for a bowl of oats.  This yummy bowl contained
  • 1 cup prepared rolled oats
  • 1 apple sprinkled with 1 tsp turbinado sugar and a dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp ground flax seeds
  • sprinkling of pom seeds
081129-b1 I spent some time catching up on blogs this morning, then made our grocery list for the week.  I took a thorough inventory of the fridge, pantry and freezer and was able to keep the trip pretty light.  But first, we stopped at the running shop so I could buy my shoes.  I also picked up a wind/rain breaker from the sale rack and a pair of gloves.  Anything to keep me motivated to run through the winter... shoesies-3 Its not really day-glow pink...more of a bright raspberry.  I figure I won't be missed when running on the road!  Brian also got a new pair of shoes, and since we spent so much money (eek!!!) I got a free t-shirt (yeah!). shoesies-2 After that spending spree we stopped at Hot Cakes for lunch.  They have an awesome selection of salads, sandwiches, soups, quiches, lasagnas etc.  I selected the Salad Sampler which had
  • Spicy Lentil Salad (sooooooooooo good, has me craving lentils now)
  • Tomato/Onion/Feta Salad
  • Roasted Cauliflower w/ Dried Cherries and Capers (such an unusual combo but really tasty!)
I skipped the piece of bread that came with it. 081129-l1 Next was Whole Foods.  I was shooting for $50, but was thrown off after my amazing lentil salad from lunch (I just had to buy bulk lentils to try and replicate it), a sale on Amy's soups (who can resist?) and a persimmon!  So the total wound up at $63, which is still good for us considering we typically spend at least twice that (scary...I know).  I paid for detergent and dish soap separately to help us to get an idea of our actual food cost for December.  We're trying to cut our grocery shopping in 1/2...   Here's our loot: groceries-12
  • brown rice pasta
  • corn meal
  • walnuts (BSI!!!)
  • dried lentils
  • bars!!!  (we're taking full advantage of the coupons in the Whole Deal and stocking up every week)
  • canned beans
  • enchilada sauce
  • Amy's Soups (in hearty bean flavors for added protein for me)
  • organic Stonyfield French Vanilla yogurt (no Oikos for me this week...)
  • eggs
groceries-32
  • bell peppers
  • carrots
  • spinach
  • potatoes
  • bananas
  • sweet potatoes
  • persimmon
I also picked up these flavors of Clif Nectar bars yesterday when we were shopping at our local sporting goods store...they don't carry these at our Whole Foods so I had to get a few. groceries-22 After getting home, unloading and photographing groceries I was ready for a snack.  I decided to try out the infamous PB-filled medjool date for the first time. 081129-s1 FANTASTIC!!!  Now I know what you all have been raving about!!!  I also had a couple of tortilla chips with some salsa that Brian was munching on... Now we are going to spend the evening decorating our Christmas tree while I bake up a few treats in the kitchen!!!  I should have a BSI post tonight or tomorrow morning, and I'm going to try another of Sweet + Natural's recipes!  Woohoo!!!
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freezing friday

Andrea

Well, so much for the beautiful weather.  I think it has snowed 3 separate times since my post this morning! Just flurries, nothing stuck.  And the wind is whipping so hard that its coming through cracks around my office windows.  My hands are completely frozen and I have the heat set at 76*!  :(  Brian and I braved the cold to walk down the pedestrian mall for a lunch date. Lunch:  We went to one of my favorite restaurants in downtown C'ville, Bizou.  Here is what Food & Wine had to say about my little favorite in May 2004:  "This downtown diner gets packed at lunchtime with University of Virginia faculty. The retro interior features red-leather booths and vintage movie posters. There's roasted chicken and grilled rib eye, but Bizou's specialty is its succulent homemade meat loaf with chipotle ketchup (119 W. Main St.; 434-977-1818)."  Their gourmet down-home cooking is to-die-for, especially on blustery days like today.  They have my favorite summer meal, a golden beet salad with fresh chevre and their house-made honey mustard dressing.  It is SO good.  I was surprised that it was still on the menu today, but I was craving something warm and filling so I got their veggie burrito instead. I'm sorry about the picture quality, I only had my iphone and the restaurant is pretty dark inside. 081121-l1 No cheese or sour cream inside, just wonderful sauteed greens and veggies.  I found lots of spinach, brussels sprout leaves, onions, carrots, corn and diced tomato inside.  And I asked for the creme fraiche on the side...normally they drizzle it all over the top.  The burrito is so good though that I think I only drizzled the spicy, creamy sauce on two bites. 081121-l2 I finished everything on my plate.  Yum. For an afternoon snack I have a Clif Nectar bar, but we typically have wine and cheese in my office on Friday afternoons so I may hold off on snacking on the bar until I know if we're doing that today. 081121-s1 Have a great afternoon!
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bye bye moles...

Andrea

I started off my morning with a trip to the dermatologist to have a couple of moles removed.  Yuck.  My doctor is great and a couple of my little spots were suspicious to her so she decided they should go.  I trust her, so off they went.  Two on my back, one on my thigh.  I'm kinda sad about the one on my thigh...I was very familiar with it because it was so visible to me.  And now there will be an ugly scar in its place, unfortunately below my shorts line.  :(  Is it weird that I was slightly attached to my moles?  Hmmmm.....   Okay, a little backtrack.  Last night I was in such a snackie mood (as evidenced by last night's post) and had a bit of a sweet tooth attack after dinner.  I satisfied it with a cup of unsweetened applesauce and some Annie's Honey Grahams on top.  Yummy.  I just love these little Bunnies!!! 081119-d4 I also decided that I wanted to try a Fitnessista Breakfast Cookie because I've been intrigued by them on Jenna's posts lately.  So last night I mixed together:
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla soy protein powder
  • 1 tbsp PB&Co Dark Chocolate Dreams
  • 1/8 cup Silk plain soy milk
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
I mashed it all out on a plate and stuck it in the fridge overnight.  When I woke up I had a chewy breakfast cookie waiting for me! 081120-b1 081120-b2 It was basically my typical oats bowl with the addition of the Dark Chocolate PB all mashed out into cookie form.  It didn't get as hard as I expected, I wasn't able to pick it up and eat it.  But I guess that makes sense with the banana in it.  I was excited about this new breakfast creation for a couple of reasons.  1) Who doesn't love a cookie for breakfast?!?  2) One of Brian's favorite things is his grandmother's No-Bake Cookies, which are very similar to this but they stick together better and get a little harder.  And they are completely unhealthy.  I see this as a jumping off point to "healthify" a classic favorite... For lunch I stuffed 1/3 of my leftover tuna salad into a whole wheat pita, along with some broccoli slaw. 081120-l2 Paired with a plain Oikos and a Pink Lady... 081120-l1 And for a snack I have my leftover banana from yesterday and a Clif Z-Bar. 081120-s1 I have lots of exercise planned for today!  I'm meeting my friend Christine for a 45 minute hilly walk at lunchtime.  And tonight I am going to my first Spin Class!!!  A friend of mine teaches at the University's gym, and even though I'm not a member anymore since I'm not a student, she can get me into the class for just $5!  I'm super-excited.  I've been reading about everybody else's spin classes and what great workouts they are, so I can't wait to try one myself!  I'll report in tonight. I hope everybody has a fantastic day!  Almost Friday!!!
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black bean soup and yoga

Andrea

Aaaahhhhh.....I am in post-yoga bliss right now.  Another wonderful class at Studio 206, taught by Hilary.  I must say though that I am more of a 60-minute class kinda girl.  The 90-hour class is nice, you get extra time to work on balance positions, extra meditation time etc., but I really hate to get home after 9pm.  And, I honestly feel that I get as good of a workout in 60 minutes as I do in 90, its just stretched out more in 90. Anyway, the studio only offers one 60-minute class that works with my schedule each week so it looks like I'll have to make do... :) Knowing that it was going to be a late night, I thought ahead this morning and revved up the crock pot for some black bean soup.  I love this simple, wholesome, filling recipe...I could eat it every single week. 081118-d3 Black Bean Soup Ingredients:
  • about 1 pound dry black beans
  • one onion, diced
  • one red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 big garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (15 oz)
  • 8 cups beef or veggie broth
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper to taste
081118-d1 Steps:
  1. Put all ingredients in crock pot EXCEPT for salt, pepper and cayenne.  
  2. Set crock pot to low.  I do this in the morning before work and when I get home 10 hours later the beans are perfect.  You could cook them on high, but they would probably only take 5-6 hours total. 
  3. When beans are done, stir in salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.  I don't put these spices in at first because they intensify with slow cooking, and I don't want my soup too salty or spicy.
081118-d21 That's it!  So easy and sooooooooo good.  I make brown rice to pour my soup on top of, and Brian likes saffron rice.  We sometimes chop up sausage or ham in the soup which also makes it really, really good. Cheese, sour cream and scallions are all good toppers.  You could add many other types of veggies to make it your own...its so versatile. Instead of sausage in the soup this time we pan-fried it and had it on the side.  I knew Brian would want lots and I just wanted a little taste, so this was the best compromise.  This sausage is from Babes in the Wood, a local company that breeds a certain type of pig that they allow to forage in the woods.  Its a highly sustainable practice and the pigs lead happy lives eating the things they are meant to eat.  And, it is DELICIOUS.  I am not a big fan of sausage, but this stuff makes me pretty happy. my dinner bowl my dinner bowl
  • 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups black bean soup
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 1/2 sausage link
brian's dinner bowl brian's dinner bowl
  • saffron rice
  • lots of bean soup
  • lots of cheese
  • 1-1/2 sausage links
For dessert I had a Kozy Shack rice pudding cup with berries on top. 081118-d8 A little backtrack, tonight before yoga I tried the Clif Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel bar. 081118-s11 Product Review: Clif Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel Ok, I know I've been saying this a lot lately and you're probably going to stop believing me if I don't give something a bad review soon, but this bar was AMAZING.  Seriously.  I felt like I was eating a candy bar. The only negative thing I have to say is that it has 200 calories...I usually like to stay in the 120-150 calorie range for my afternoon snacks.  But, every single extra calorie was worth it.  I thought about only eating 3/4s of it but once I bit into the peanut-y, pretzel-y goodness there was no turning back.  I polished it off. Plus, I burned 350+ calories at yoga tonight.  So there.  :) Now I am off to enjoy my post-yoga bliss before crashing in bed.  Have a great night!
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snow + award = happy day!

Andrea

Good Tuesday morning!  I woke up to discover 2 lovely things happened while I was sleeping... #1...It snowed last night!!!  Only a little dusting but it was still such a nice surprise.  Looking outside my office window now I see that it has all melted already...oh well.  #2...The lovely and talented Ashley at Sweet + Natural awarded me with the prestigious Superior Scribbler Award!  Isn't she a sweetie?  I love Ashley's blog because she delivers useful information and incredible recipes with a wonderfully witty style and gorgeous photography.  I can't wait to try more of her delectable recipes, if only I could get a handle on this new blogging obsession of mine that seems to be taking up all of my evening time...!  :) award I now give you the rules. 1. Post the award on your blog. 2. Link to me for giving it to you. 3. Link the originating post here. 4. Pass it on to three deserving people - I’m keeping Ashley's rule to continue the rebellion... 5. Post these rules for your recipients. So, here goes. 1. Allison at Green Dog Wine.   I love Allison's blog because she shares great recipes, has the cutest puppy, is at a very similar place in her life as me (we're even the same age!) and has a fabulous blog name encompassing her favorite things, which just so happen to be some of my favorites as well so I feel a slight kinship with her...  :) 2. Monica at SmarterFitter.  Monica is so clever.  She shares wonderful information and beautiful recipes and is a fabulous writer.  Plus, her blog is so ambitious with TONS of useful information.  And, she lives in the U.K.  I'm only a little jealous...  :) 3. Erica at Itzy's Kitchen.  Erica has great, quick recipes...especially her breads!  I am always looking for healthy, fast bread options and I find myself constantly turning to her blog for ideas.  Plus, she makes simply pleasing dinners that would be satisfying for both me and my husband, which is no small feat. Congrats Ladies! Enjoy!!! On to some food... Breakfast: One 5.3oz container of plain Oikos with a handful of fresh raspberries and sprinkling of sliced almonds on top.  I mashed the raspberries up so the juice colored the yogurt pink...tasty and pretty at the same time.  :)  Also, I've pictured a Luna Sunrise Apple Cinnamon bar and a banana, but I decided to save the banana for a snack since I am now REALLY full and over-calculated my breakfast calories. 081118-b12 081118-b2 Lunch: Another veggie wrap and apple combo, exactly the same as yesterday.  :)  Its a quick, filling lunch and I really enjoyed the added boost the black beans gave me.  Plus, I have WW tortillas in my fridge that I must use up.  Don't be surprised if you see another of these beauties on tomorrow's post. 081118-l1 081118-l21 Snack: Clif Mojo Peanut Butter Pretzel bar.  This is my first Mojo bar experience so expect a product review later! 081118-s1 I'd like to introduce you to my little helper this morning, Mia.  She likes to stick close to the kitchen in the morning in case a little piece of turkey or cheese falls from the sky while Brian is making his sandwiches... mia Ok, I work 'till 6 tonight then have a 1-1/2 hour yoga class this evening, so it will be another late post tonight.  I revved up the crock pot this morning though for a batch of my black bean soup, so I'll be posting a new recipe tonight.  Woohoo!  Have a fabulous Tuesday!  :)
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great run + simple dinner

Andrea

Good evening!  Tonight Brian and I tried an after-work run downtown.  It was fantastic!  The temperature was a good 10* warmer than it was this morning, we were still in "go" mood from being at work and, best part, we weren't trying to drag ourselves out of bed and onto the road.  We did a little under a 1/2 mile warm-up walk, 1-1/2 mile run and a 1/4 mile cool-down walk.  It was perfect.  This was my first 1-1/2 mile run on the road (not the track) since the start of the training program and it felt really really good.   For dinner we had leftovers in the fridge for Brian, so I wanted to put something easy together for me.  I was still in comfort food mode and wanted something warm and satisfying after being out in the cold.  So, I pulled an Amy's Tomato Bisque out of our pantry, a couple of slices of leftover oatmeal bread and some broccoli together. 081117-d1 I was going for a tomato soup and grilled cheese kinda thing, so I put 1/2 a slice of 50% reduced fat white cheddar on each of my oatmeal slices and broiled them in the oven.  The cheese didn't melt very well...it kinda looked like plastic wrap while it was in the oven.  Scary.  I also steamed some broccoli and added a sprinkling of sea salt to it.  I don't understand why restaurants put butter or cheese on broccoli, its natural flavor is so great and perfectly enhanced with a bit of salt.  Yumminess. 081117-d2 081117-d3 081117-d5 The Amy's Tomato Bisque is pretty good.  Its definitely not homemade, but I just didn't have the energy in me tonight.  I'll do a tomato soup soon though, I've got a couple of recipes that I love and now I'm in the mood...  This meal was really filling, I only finished 1-1/2 pieces of the bread and about 3/4 of the soup, but I ate all of my broccoli like a good girl...  And Lucy was more than happy to finish off the cheese bread for me, how could I resist this face? lulu-1 For a snack today I had my Clif Nectar Cacao: dark chocolate walnut about an hour before my run. Product Review: Clif Nectar Cacao: Dark Chocolate Walnut This bar was SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!  I had never tried any of the Cacao flavors, and sadly this is the only one my Whole Foods carries so it may be the only one I try for awhile.  It had a wonderful, dense texture, almost like a really chewy brownie.  And big chunks of walnuts!  It was a great energy boost for my run and held me over until dinner a couple of hours later.  I will definitely be buying these again!!! 081117-s11 I also tried a bite of Brian's Clif Builder's Chocolate bar....also really yummy!  He loved it, which says a lot because he is NOT a protein bar fan.  I wanted him to try out some Clif bars this week for me and give me some reviews.  He says "it tasted almost like a candy bar"..."really filling".  So there you go.  :) And last, but not least, my favorite coffee shop downtown broke out the Spiced Apple Cider!!!  You know I was all over that this afternoon...nothing says "its fall!" like spiced apple cider... s1 Have a great night!  Oh!  I added a Meet Andrea page, so if you feel like learning a bit more about lil' ol' me, check it out!  :)
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too cold to run...

Andrea

This morning Brian and I set our alarms for 5:45 to get up for a mid-week training jog.  I got out of bed, brushed my teeth and put in my contacts, and then crawled right back in bed because it was SO COLD!!!  Argh.  We agreed that we would bring our workout clothes with us to work so that we can go for a jog downtown immediately after work.  It will still be pitch black but maybe it won't be as frigid....  How do you handle workouts in the cold?  And I mean COLD...under 35*.  And I don't have a gym membership...  :( Once I finally got up the nerve to get back out of bed I put together a quick breakfast.  1/2 a whole wheat bagel with 1 tbsp almond butter and 1/2 a banana on top.  I ate the rest of the banana on the side. 081117-b1 For lunch I made a veggie wrap with my new roasted red pepper hummus!!!  So excited to try this new brand and new flavor.  I also decided to beef up my wrap a bit with some black beans.  I've noticed in my calorie tracking (yes I track, more on that later) that I'm not getting a great balance of carbs to protein, so I'm going to make a conscious effort to sneak more veggie protein in when I can.  I'm only eating meat about once a week these days, so I need to make sure I'm getting enough protein from other sources.  Today's wrap includes:
  • 8" whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 tbsp roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • arugula lettuce mix
  • red bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • broccoli sprouts
081117-l1 And a pink lady apple on the side... 081117-l2 And I packed a new flavor (for me) of Clif Nectar...dark chocolate walnut, for an afternoon pre-run snack. 081117-s1 I have the office all to myself today!  My boss and one other co-worker are in D.C. checking on some of our jobs, so I'm enjoying playing whatever music I feel like!  It'll be a great day for lots of productivity without distraction...woohoo!  :)
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homemade pizza and groceries

Andrea

Good evening!  I hope everybody had a wonderful Saturday, despite any dreary weather you may have had (like me!).  After my BSI submission I cleaned up the house a bit, lounged around a bit, blogged a bit and made a grocery list. For lunch I had leftovers: 1-1/2 cups green potage and 2 slices of oatmeal bread, one with roasted garlic hummus. 081115-l1 Turns out the garlic hummus and oatmeal bread weren't that great of a combination...I only ate about 1/2 of that slice. Before grocery shopping I had a Clif Nectar bar so that I wouldn't eat or buy everything in sight. Product Review: Clif Nectar lemon vanilla cashew flavor 081115-s2 This is my all-time favorite Clif Nectar flavor, and I'm so glad that my Whole Foods still carries it. I also really love the cranberry apricot and cherry pomegranate but they've discontinued them at my store...SO SAD!!!  :(  This flavor is wonderfully sweet from the vanilla but still has a nice tartness from the lemon, and there are big chunks of cashews.  Yum. The bar held me over through our various errands and grocery shopping, and kept me from ordering anything when we drove through Taco Bell so Brian could snack on a bean burrito. Here is a sampling of the grocery store loot this evening: First, the regular items. groceries-1
  • bananas
  • brussels sprouts
  • sweet potato
  • broccoli sprouts
  • mushrooms
  • cauliflower
  • broccoli
  • raspberries (!)
  • z-bars (!!)
  • Clif Nectar Cocao (this should be on the newbie list, never tried this flavor before)
  • tofu
  • Silk plain soymilk
  • Oikos (!) (would love to try Chobani, but my store doesn't carry it!!!)
  • vino
  • honey
  • Amy's soups
  • Kashi cheddar crackers
  • whole wheat pitas
More regular items. groceries-2
  • rolled oats
  • part skim mozzerella
  • Wallaby yogurts (Brian's favorite...so good!  they have great flavors and are super-creamy)
  • red bell peppers
  • pomegranates (2 of these!  2 for $5!)
  • feta cheese
  • frozen edamame
  • coffee
Regular items not pictured:
  • cucumbers
  • tortilla chips
  • more vino
  • lunch meat / cheese for Brian
  • arugula lettuce mix
  • scallions
  • onions
  • cream cheese for Brian's bagels
Newbies!!! groceries-3
  • Clif bars!!!  (the Whole Foods Whole Deal has tons of coupons, lots of taste-testing this week!)
  • new hummus - roasted red pepper
  • PB&Co dark chocolate dreams (!)
  • turbinado raw sugar
  • Smart Deli veggie pepperoni slices (for our pizza tonight)
So excited about my newbies!!!  Especially the PB&Co, I didn't realize my Whole Foods even carried it!  And, I discovered that they carry the MaraNatha almond butter, but I'm not in need right now so I will try it next time I'm all out. We also stopped at Bodo's to get Brian a supply of everything bagels for the next couple of weeks, groceries-41 and the Organic Butcher to get chicken breasts and some bacon.  I love the Organic Butcher, most of the meat that he carries is local and it feels great to support a local business as well as local farmers.  We actually reserved our local, organic turkey for Thanksgiving tonight!  :) By the time we got home I was STARVING!  Brian and I put together a wonderful homemade pizza with fresh pizza dough from a local pasta shop.  Sadly they were all out of whole wheat, but we were in SUCH a pizza mood that I couldn't say no to white flour. 081115-d1 We made up for it with part skim mozzarella, veggie pepperoni slices and lots of veggies. 081115-d2 I had about 1/4 of the 12" pizza, and paired it with a salad and small glass of red wine. 081115-d3 081115-d5 081115-d4 My salad consisted of:
  • arugula salad mix
  • cucumber
  • red bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp feta crumbles
  • 1/4 cup red raspberries
  • 1 tbsp sliced almonds
  • 1/2 tsp grape seed oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
This Syrah is a new bottle we found at Whole Foods, just $9, and is pretty good! 081115-d6 I'm off to watch SNL...have a great night!
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pink ladies

Andrea

Happy Sunday evening! Sorry I haven't posted all day...it was a busy one! :) This morning I woke up craving cereal, as is usual lately. I mixed 1/2 cup Kashi Heart to Heart with 1/2 cup Back to Nature Maple Nut Medley. I topped it off with the golden raspberries I got from my garden yesterday, pom seeds that I slaved over this morning and Silk plain soymilk. These were my first pom seeds of the season....so yum!!! (and pretty!) 081109-b1 081109-b3 Brian and I decided to go apple picking at Carter Mountain Orchard, about 10 minutes from our house.  Its so beautiful at the top of the mountain, the perfect place to go in the fall for an overlook of Charlottesville. 081109-apples-1 081109-apples-2 I love fall in Virginia!!! [but am angry at the black speck on my lense :( ] The best part.......we picked Pink Ladies!!!!!!!!  My FAVORITES! 081109-apples-3 081109-apples-4 13 pounds of beautiful Pinks.....I am a happy happy girl.  :) And of course I had to eat one while we were picking...who could resist? 081109-apples-51 We also gathered 5 pounds of granny smith apples from the bin so that I can make Brian's Nana's famous apple crisp. 081109-apples-6 After a lovely morning apple picking trip I had a vinyasa yoga class at Studio 206.  Hilary is my favorite instructor and the class was WONDERFUL.  I felt so loose and gushy and fabulous afterwards.  :)  I snacked on a chocolate chip Clif Z-Bar immediately after class because I was starving!  This was my first Z-Bar and I LOVED IT!  It tasted just like a chocolate chip cookie.  Now, it could have been my ultra-serene, after-yoga state of mind, but I'm pretty sure I will love these bars no matter the situation! 081109-s1 081109-s2 Unfortunately I had to work for a few hours this afternoon, so I packed my lunch this morning before our apple picking trip.  A veggie wrap with  
  • whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 tbsp roasted garlic hummus
  • alfalfa sprouts
  • cucumber slices
  • red bell pepper slices
  • banana peppers
  081109-l1 And a side of leftover quinoa. 081109-l2 It was yummy and filling and got me through my afternoon of work. For dinner I wanted to try a Mushroom Barley Risotto recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks, A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen by Jack Bishop.  I love that he substitutes barley for arborio rice in the risotto because barley has much greater nutritional value and was a wonderful, earthy compliment to the mushrooms.  FYI, the barley takes a bit longer than arborio to cook. 081109-d1 Brian made lacinato kale as a side dish...another of my favorites! 081109-d3 081109-d4 081109-d5 081109-d6 I also had 2 small glasses of wine... 081109-d7 The meal was great, but risotto is very time-consuming and not something that I cook very often.   Whew!  I'm beat!!!  And...today I was tagged by Amy at CoffeeTalk!  Which means that I have some interesting facts to come up with about myself....I will post tomorrow on that. Goodnight!  :)
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