Archive for the 'outdoor running' Category

26
Oct
10

farro salad.

I’ve recently fallen victim to habits similar to the Home Decor Obsessive (HDO. Don’t google; I’m pretty sure I invented this disorder, and if not it’s probably an offensive acronym in French or Dutch or something. Bitenuker). I moved just a week ago, and bare walls are not, and have never been, my forte. They’re the equivalent of an undressed salad – ‘taint happening. I’m going to need some extra virgin olive oil or Annie’s Green Goddess immediately. I feel this compulsive desire to get these nakey walls covered by any means possible, so’s not to terrify the occasional visitor by their state of undress. A coffee table can wait. So I don’t have household scissors, refrigerator magnets, or curtains in my bedroom that prevent all of Tomkins Square Park from seeing my business. So what? That’s all secondary. What’s really important is that I just bought this sweet vintage mirror/window combo that’s going to make my living room look like it’s 700 square feet, which I’m pretty sure is a LOT of feet. Also, I bought a gorge piece of art that has gotten like 12 favorable comments on facebook since yesterday. So, win.

That being said, it’s obvious that I can’t afford cable just yet. No matter, for I’ll turn to cooking and exercising for entertainment. More material for the blog, you say? Someone’s astute.

I’m still mid-gym freeze month, and it’s been a feat. I’ve had to turn to the great outdoors more than once for my endorphins fix. How unnatural. I ran outside like seven times last week, which far exceeds anything I did at the height of track fame. I’ve hardly been using those muscles all month due to my trial gym separation, so it actually made an impact on my physique. It turns out I’m NOT dead inside, which was a total relief. I’d made the mistake of thinking so when my body plateaued last month, but all it took was some variety and a temporary stoppage to start responding. My calves are coming back, and I think I saw a quad this morning. Lower abs are historically next, so it looks like I’ll find a use for my 90s baby tees soon enough.

Nothing compliments baby tees like an arugula salad, so I made just that for lunch yesterday.

arugula salad

Ingredients:

2 cups arugula
1/2 block extra firm tofu
1 plum, sliced
1/2 oz brie, chopped
1 tbsp grey poupon mustard
1 tsp honey
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

I started by sautéing the chopped tofu in one tablespoon of olive oil in a saucepan. It’s worth noting that my dad sent me some high quality new cookware courtesy of Rachael Ray, so you can infer that I’m mostly using my new toys from here on out. Oh, also, aren’t my new dishes adorbs? This place is my mecca. While the tofu was sautéing, I laid down a bed of arugula and topped it with the sliced plums and chopped brie. I whisked together the mustard, honey, and olive oil for a tangy homemade honey mustard dressing, and added a little salt and pepper to the mix. Tofu – on. Honey mustard dressing – drizzled. Et voila. One of my more attractive lunch companions.

I just think Giada de Laurentiis is the coolest. Wait, have I mentioned that before? Weird. It’s such a discreet admiration. I made her Mediterranean Farro Salad last night, and it was a hit. With me. I totally approved. It calls for:

my girl Giada

Ingredients:

10 ounces farro (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus 1/2 teaspoon
8 ounces green beans, cut into 1 to 2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup pitted black olives
1 medium red pepper, cut into thin strips (totally forgot this ingredient)
3 ounces Parmesan, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
1 small bunch chives, snipped (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Start by boiling four cups of water in a saucepan and add the farro. For those just joining, farro is a grain that has the texture of a couscous and the looks of a quinoa. Reduce to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook for 20 minutes. Add 1 1/2 tsp of salt and simmer for 10 more minutes, then drain completely. Meanwhile, boil water in another saucepan for the green beans. Add those, cook for two minutes, and then blanch in ice water. Drain and set aside.

Stir the green beans, olives, Parmesan, and chives into the farro. I also would have stirred in the red pepper, had I remembered its place in this recipe. Fail. In a small bowl mix together the sherry vinegar, olive oil, mustard, pepper, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Stir to combine. Pour over the farro salad. Combine and consume.

Yeah, Giada wins again. I loved this tangy salad and its good looks too. See below:

Mediterranean Farro Salad

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11
Mar
10

quinoa stuffed bell peppers, scallops and asparagus.

I have been running, like, so very much. Like, legit running. As in, I went for a five mile run on Saturday, and followed that up with a four mile run on Sunday. It doesn’t hurt that it’s been gorgeous out with a chance of pleasant. I’ve been walking around just spewing rainbows and sunshine at everything in sight since the weather finally decided to up and ditch the “30 degrees and blustery.” Spring is happening any day now, and I could not be more thrilled. I took this picture of me doing bicycle crunches – which I typically loathe – on Sunday:

me, crunching

I also have to be swimsuit ready by the end of the month, when I take off to Pueurto Vallarta for a few days. I would looove to lose the 10 or so lbs I’ve gained honestly with my fair share of peanut butter and the inability to turn down a cookie, hard or soft. I’m upping the ante with the working out, and my foods these days need to be those that aid in a Gisele physique.

Last night, I made some stuffed peppers with quinoa. WTF is quinoa, you ask? In short, it’s a grainy thing that tastes like a slightly crunchy couscous. I bought the red kind, because in a weird way it makes me feel earthy and Native American, and that’s appealing to me.

I started by cooking the quinoa in 2 cups of water for about 15 minutes as instructed by the box. Meanwhile, I chopped the tomatoes and parsley. I mixed all three together, and added a couple tablespoons of olive oil, then salt and pepper to taste. Then, I cut the tops off both my peppers, and then cut the ribs right on out of there. I stood them up in a casserole dish, and then did a Giada trick and filled the pan with 3 cups of veggie stock. This keeps the peppers moist and whatnot. I covered the peppers in aluminum foil, and then baked for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Then, I removed the top, and covered them in parmesan cheese. Then, I baked for 15 minutes until they looked like this:

quinoa stuffed bell peppers

Ingredients:

1 cup red quinoa, cooked

2 bell peppers (one orange, one yellow)

1/4 c feta cheese

1 bunch of parsley, chopped

6 heirloom tomatoes, chopped

shredded parmesan cheese, shreddded

3 c vegetable stock

Nice, right? They tasted like something Pocahontas would get down on for sure. Ignore the murky looking veggie stock with bits of filling floating around. There’s nothing to see there.

Earlier this week, I made a much more photogenic dish of scallops and asparagus. I can’t take credit for the recipe, because I pretty much just followed this recipe step by step. It was my first time with scallops, though, so pardon my lack of originality for my virgin voyage:

Ingredients:

1 lb asparagus

3 tbsp olive oil

2 lbs scallops, muscle removed

1/2 stick of butter

3 tbsp white wine vinegar

Technically, the recipe wanted me to add 1/3 c of white wine, but I didn’t have any so I went without. I started by sauteeing the chopped asparagus in the olive oil for about 5-6 minutes, and then was instructed to remove them from the skillet. Then, I seasoned the scallops with salt and pepper, and then seared them in the skillet until they turned opaque. So that took about 2-3 minutes for each side. I then removed them from the skillet, and whisked the butter and white wine vinegar until it became frothy and such. I added the asparagus back in AGAIN, and coated them in the saucy mix. I topped the scallops with the asparagus like epicurious wanted, and then made it all disappear. Delicious, and so very attractive. See below:

seared sea scallops and asparagus

09
Dec
09

savory roasted veggies with maple agave syrup.

I’m having the hardest time eating socially acceptable portions these days. I was in my element on Thanksgiving when everyone was eating monstrous, heaping plates of food and returning for seconds and thirds, but Nov. 27 hit and suddenly I look greedy. To be fair, those baked goods were not going to eat themselves. I usually budget for one or two sweets a day, but that week was lady balls to the wall. Chocolate peu de creme? Hit me. Pumpkin ice cream? You only live once. Now I’m feeling all kinds of tubby. Thanks, Thanksgiving.

I ran around my favorite lake a handful of times during my week-long stay, but a few miles weren’t much of a match for the lady balls on the wall. Gross imagery? I’m just trying to prove a point here.

Upon my return, I’ve been attempting to shed the excess with some healthy foods and way too much gym time. Running has been my main/only source of cardio these days, so I’ve been forced to up the ante with the treadmill. This past week, I’ve been increasing the incline for the last half mile on each tenth of a mile. By the time I get to .9 of a mile, I have increased the incline to 5 until I reach a mile. It’s considerably harder than it seems, and when I’m done my skin is a pretty shade of fuschia and my quads have had it. This has been going on for a couple of weeks already, so eventually I’ll be running on an incline for the whole mile(s). Believe it.

In the hopes of fast-tracking a Miss Fitness America-worthy body, I’ve decided that vegetables are my world. This past week, I loaded up on cauliflower, brussels sprouts, butternut squash, mushrooms and parsnips. My dad made this roasted vegetable dish with many of those for Thanksgiving, and he actually used maple syrup to flavor. Amaazing. I had about three helpings the first time we met.

I started my version with the aforementioned veggies, which I cut into pieces that are roughly the same size. You want them to cook evenly, so as not to confuse the toaster oven:

I tossed them in some olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper, and then roasted them for 20 minutes at 400 degrees in the toaster oven. I then opened it, tossed them around some more, covered them in maple-agave syrup, and then roasted for another 20 minutes. They were insaaaane. Repeat for two nights.

On the third night I was a little bored with the formula, so I decided to make it more savory. I left out the rosemary, and instead used cumin and curry powder with the salt, pepper and olive oil. It’s pretty much the easiest recipe of all time. Maybe this is my 10 p.m. dinner speaking, but it really fills me up until breakfast. Also, there’s so many veggies that I can eat for days until they rot. Best poor man’s food ever.

See below:

14
Jul
09

summer salad.

Last we spoke, I was considering a shift to outdoor running. I usually entertain an idea for 6+ months, and then I seriously consider taking myself up on my offer. This time my turnaround was about a week. Someone’s evolving.

There’s an outdoor track a few blocks from my apartment, and it’s my new favorite place to be ever. It rivals a Free People sample sale. The track sits alongside the East River and attracts some pretty nice looking shirtless boys. Even better, it surrounds a field where I witnessed the most adorable soccer game yesterday. Imitation suburbia is the best.

post-run

post-run

After my run, I laid down in the grass and willingly did crunches. The photo to the right is totally jacked from Google images, but that’s pretty much how I looked after. But, you know, sweatier. And with a fair amount of dirt coating the back of my shirt.

I left the track and ran most of the way through Alphabet City, and went through the farmer’s market. After helping myself to lots of free samples, I picked up a couple of Crispin apples. Those apples are pretty much the size of my head – and I have a sizeable head – and they were only $0.75 apiece. They weren’t TJ’s cheap, but I get this annoying sense of pride from buying local. As long as I can stop myself from shelling out $12 for cinnamon honey (I regret nothing), I end up saving somewhat.

I went home and put together this sweet little summer salad. I started with arugula, and then I chopped some apples and sliced some strawberries. I added feta, balsamic vinegar, pepper, and the obligatory slice of baguette. It was so delicious; I had to share. See below:

summer salad with apples, strawberries and feta

summer salad with apples, strawberries and feta




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