Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Chickpea Soup

This recipe originally looked like this, but of course I made some modifications. Below is what I ended up with. Sorry, no pic (unless I update this tomorrow after lunch...), but just imagine a good, hearty chicken noodle soup, minus the noodles. It could easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock and omitting the chicken.

Chickpea Soup
modified from this recipe on
serves 6-8

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chopped potatoes
2 large carrots, scrubbed and chopped
2 ribs celery, scrubbed and chopped
6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 bay leaves
1 1/4 tsp dried basil
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1-2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat and saute the onion, potatoes, and garlic until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.

2. Add carrots, celery, broth, bay leaves, basil, thyme, and paprika. Cover and bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, brown chicken in a large skillet. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

4. Stir chickpeas into soup and taste for seasonings; adjust as needed.

5. Dish up individual portions, adding chicken to each bowl desired. Serve with clean eating whole wheat bread. Don't eat the bay leaves!

Nutritional information for the unaltered recipe can be found at the original link above.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Home again, home again, jiggety jig

(That's from a nursery rhyme... don't ask me to remember the rest!)

After two full weeks of travel--minus last weekend for the race--The H is home again, which means I have to shape up a decent meal plan. Unlike I was last week, he won't be happy eating the same thing four nights in a row.

Sunday lunch - leftover tomato soup and gluten-free bread

Sunday dinner - turkey sausage ragu with sausage and kale from the co-op and fresh Romano

Monday - out with The H for a shoes-and-clothes buying date

Tuesday - chicken soup with chickpeas in the CrockPot

Wednesday - breakfast dinner (GF blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs)

Thursday - pesto pasta from The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno, with garlic bread

Friday - I'm going to a girls' night at a friend's house, so my guys will have something easy--like something at Grandma's house. :)

Saturday - as usual, no idea...

For lunches - chicken beet salad, leftovers

Monday, October 18, 2010

Marathon training update: FINISHED!

On Sunday morning at 7am, I joined the ranks of crazies who ran the 33rd annual Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon, Half-Marathon, and 5K. And about four-and-a-half hours later, I was sporting a shiny (awesome) medal that says FINISHER on it! What a ride. I finished in 4:35:33, without taking any walk breaks except at the water stops (I have yet to perfect the run-and-sip, even with the cup pinched). That surprised me; I've been a big run/walk advocate this whole time.

We got into Detroit on Saturday afternoon and easily got checked into our hotel. The little guy was staying with my parents at their house, about 20 minutes from downtown. My friends met us at the hotel and we walked to the Expo for our packets and a little window shopping. This map of the course was posted on the wall, and I know I ran this thing, but WOW does that look like a long way!

We had dinner at a pizza place, figuring pizza is pretty standard and non-offensive to my system, and got back to our room before 8pm--plenty of time to get things ready for the morning. I laid out all my gear, as much as possible

and checked for one last race-day report.

Then I posed for a shot in my official race shirt (knowing I wouldn't wear it for the run) and got to bed before 9:30.

On Sunday we woke up to what had to be the most beautiful, perfect day for a race. It was clear, high-40s at the start, and climbed to the low-60s with a brilliant blue sky the whole time.

My friend Jillian and I had planned to run together (her first as well) and were in our corral just after 6:30am. It was dark out there! The H talked me out of running with a throw-away sweatshirt on, which was fine, but I wish I hadn't given up on the gloves I'd brought, too. My hands were chilly for at least 4 miles.

It took us about 20 minutes to cross the start line after the first waves went, which I expected. What we didn't expect was the huge bottleneck about 1.5-2 miles in, as we approached the Ambassador Bridge to get into Canada. It was packed; we were practically standing still. I saw people still trying to jog and jostle their way through, and just had to shake my head... there was no room, and really, what a waste of energy so early in the race! We probably could've finished a few minutes sooner if not for this slow-down, but whatever. Maybe something else would've gone wrong later anyway. The sunrise over downtown was a brilliant glowing orange. If we'd been going faster, I probably wouldn't have taken it in as much.

We stopped for a potty break at 4 miles once we got over the bridge and didn't have to wait long. The next few miles along the waterfront in Windsor were really beautiful and peaceful. Before too long, we were already at mile 7, and heading into the underwater tunnel back to Detroit. At first it felt nice to be out of the breezy cool morning, but it got hot FAST. I was so ready to be out of there! I did look down at one point and noticed an orange D-tag (the timing chip!) on the ground, which made me sad for whomever it belonged to. :(

Coming out of the tunnel at 8 miles, we saw our husbands. The H offered me a refilled Gatorade bottle (I brought my own since I hate the flavor they had on-course) but I didn't need it yet. The next thing I really remember is coming up to mile 12 and calling The H to let him know. He said he and the little guy were at the halfway point, and my mom and sisters were between 12 and 13. Watching for them helped pass the time; when I did see my mom, I grabbed a Gatorade refill and handed her my empty one. My sisters had a sign that said "Just Keep Swimming" which is something my running friends and I have used on long runs to lighten the mood. Fun!

Then I saw my son on The H's back at 13mi, and heard him yell, "Go Mommy! You racin' GWEAT!" It was very sweet. After the half-marathoners split from us, the course got very quiet. The next few miles, 14-17, were fairly lonely. The dramatic side of me used the word "desolate" in telling The H about it. I took some Tylenol at mile 16; the bottoms of my feet were really starting to ache. Jillian stopped for another bathroom break and I stretched while I waited for her. Then we went through a beautiful neighborhood, and at mile 17, I said "We have SINGLE DIGITS left, you know that?" It was a mental boost. Well, that and the jelly beans that some lovely man was handing out from his front lawn. I told Jill not to let her kids know that we'd just taken candy from a stranger.

At mile 19, I was surprised (and thrilled) to see another friend who drove 2 hours that morning to run the last 4 miles with me--but she joined us at 19 instead of 22, which was awesome. I was SO happy to see her. She took a pic of me with her phone and sent it to The H.

The two of them kept in contact from this point until the end of the race. Having her there was such a boost. I made it past 20 (my longest ever) still feeling strong. At mile 22, things started to catch up to me. The bottom of my left foot was burning (where I had some nasty blisters from my rainy race on September 18th) but not enough to stop and put another blister cover on it. A spectator was smoking a cigar, and the smell of that plus the smell of *beer* at the next fluid station was more than a little grody to me. I took my last Gu and kept on trucking.

Miles 23 through 26 is where I slammed into The Wall. I kept trying to use my mental games ("it's mind over matter, and the mind is going to win... no retreat, no surrender... you GOT this! just another girls' run...") but the negative thoughts were quickly outweighing the positive things I'd rehearsed. My friends were incredibly supportive, and thanks to their encouragement, I didn't walk (even up the HILLS at miles 25 and 26! how rude...) despite almost crying that I.couldn'

But I did "do this." At 25 miles, I saw my mom (with the little guy on her shoulders--choke up time!) and sisters, with the Swimming sign plus another one that said, "MARATHON: OWNED!" I needed that. I don't know why I didn't turn on my iPod at this point (or before). I didn't use it at all during the race, which REALLY surprised me. An upbeat song would've been well-placed about now! My dad was a bit further up the road, with my brother-in-law, which was awesome because he had missed me at my half in May since he was looking for the wrong outfit. He looked so proud.

Just before 26 miles, another friend, who had finished in 3:33:35, joined our little crew and helped talk me through the last--no doubt hardest--part of the race. "I know it doesn't feel like it," he said, "but you really ARE almost there now. Just a right turn here, then a quick left, and you'll see it." Too bad that right turn was up a hill. A few swears left my lips at this point.

When we could see the finish, I told Jillian to just GO. She had a kick left, but I had zero in my tank. She grabbed my hand for a "good job" squeeze and took off. She had started to cry. My other friend dropped behind me a bit and took a 30-second video of me coming up to that blessed, so very far away, finish line.

I crossed the mat and heard "Kate, KATE!!!" and there was another friend--a race day volunteer--with the coolest medal ever. I raised my arms for my finish photo, tried to smile, and yelled "STEPHANIE!" She gave me my medal and a hug, and I wobbled off to find The H.

He hopped the barricade along the sidewalk and scooped me into a huge hug. Poor man was all choked up. I just kept saying "I'm done. I'm DONE. I never have to do this again!" Jillian had finished a few seconds ahead of me so we caught up with her easily and grabbed our Mylar "space blankets." We knew we had to keep walking, such as it was, so we hobbled to grab some food. I chowed a string cheese and some water.

The rest of my family met up with us not long after that, and I was handed a COFFEE!! My amazingly wonderful mom remembered that I adore coffee post-run, and she had a half-coffee, half-hot-chocolate with extra whipped cream waiting for me. Complete with straw, so I didn't have to worry about coordinating hand-to-mouth without dribbling. Sweet, huh? She also gave me a small yogurt that tasted really good.

On the way back to the hotel, we passed a Chinese restaurant called Wah-Hoo, and I posed for another victory picture.

I'm glad my first is behind me; it was a lot of work to get here. Another marathon is not out of the question, but I'm not in any kind of hurry for it. My feet need a chance to rest and recover from the beatings I've put them through four times a week since May, and I need to remember what it's like to sleep in on a Saturday! Hopefully a few of my friends decide to tackle their first 26.2 soon. I would be glad to return the support and encouragement they provided me; I know this wouldn't have been nearly as wild and fun of a ride as it was without them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

No food, just fun...

As I was pouring my berry puree into its ice cube trays, the little guy was coloring with his markers. This I knew. What I wasn't aware of is just *what* he was coloring. I had set him up with a piece of white cardboard that he was having fun decorating. But then this is what I looked up to find.

He was sitting not four feet away from me, in the same room! Note to self: this kid works fast. :) I had been chatting with him while I made dinner, and heard him crow at one point, "I painted my handses!" I don't even want to know how he got it on his chin (and in his ears)...

However, he did a good job washing up, and then we enjoyed our very filling pumpkin-blueberry pancakes.

And yes, I tossed him into the tub after dinner. The blueberries didn't do his already-technicolor hands any favors!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Berry puree

At any given moment, there are usually no less than three types of frozen berry in my freezer. I got tired of shoving bags of them out of the way to reach other things, so I decided to combine a bunch and make a puree that I could use to flavor plain yogurt, pour over pancakes (The H doesn't care for syrup), and who knows what else.

This began as roughly two cups of strawberries (thawed), one cup of blueberries (semi-thawed), and 1/2 cup blackberries (frozen). To cut the tartness, I also added 2/3 teaspoon of stevia.

When it was smooth, I poured it into ice cube trays, with the intent of popping them out into a freezer bag once they were frozen.

Today I pulled out two cubes to thaw in the fridge throughout the day, then mixed with about 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt as part of my afternoon snack (total thaw time was approximately four hours).

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Shrimp Noodle Salad

If you don't like shrimp, I feel a little bit sad for you right now. This recipe blew past the Asian Noodle Bowls from last week and shot straight to the top of my list of "favorite noodley things in a bowl." I was seriously cramming it into my mouth in a very uncool manner when it was done. My kitchen smelled so good! It kind of surprised me for what little seems to go into this dish.

Shrimp, Edamame, and Cellophane Noodle Salad

from Clean Eating Magazine, Fall 2008

serves 4

2 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce (I decreased to 2T as this is not my favorite flavor)
1 Tbsp agave nectar
2 cloves garlic, smashed but not cut
12oz raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (I used 8oz cooked frozen "salad shrimp")
8oz dried cellophane or mung bean noodles (I couldn't find these and used thin rice ones)
1 1/2 cups shelled edamame (I used 1/2 cup edamame and 1 cup peas)
1 Tbsp refined safflower oil (I used another oil I had)
3 shallots, sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
1/4 cup sunflower sprouts (omitted)

1. Fill a large pot with water. Add garlic and bring to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine vinegar, soy sauce, and agave. Set aside.

2. When water is boiling, remove from heat and add shrimp and noodles. Cover and let stand until shrimp are barely opaque, about 3 minutes (same time if using cooked/frozen shrimp). Stir in edamame. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again. Remove garlic and discard.

3. In a large wok or skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in noodles, then add vinegar mixture. Toss well to combine.

4. Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with sprouts.

OK looking at all my italics after the ingredients, it looks like I made a totally different dish. But I didn't make any changes that I feel compromise the integrity of the original recipe. When I make this again, I will use all peas and skip the edamame altogether. I didn't care for the texture and, really, lack of flavor the soy beans had in this dish, but the peas were great. I added them to the water when I stirred in the shrimp and noodles. Looking forward to leftovers!

Nutrition information per 1-cup serving (when made without substitutions):
Calories - 290
Fat - 7g
Carbs - 30g
Fiber - 3g
Sugars - 7g
Protein - 25mg
Sodium - 455mg
Cholesterol - 129mg

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

At least they tasted good...

Friday's dinner was *almost* a fail. I've had my eye on the chicken nuggets from the Eat-Clean Family & Kids book for a while, and planned all week to make them. While The H and little guy were playing outside, I got to work cutting the chicken and mixing up the breading. I was a little skeptical that the amount of breading I had would coat the amount of chicken, but I went with it. And yep, I was right. See those mostly-nekkid chicken pieces on the bottom right? Oh well.

These did not become "golden," as stated in the last step of the recipe, until I turned the broiler on them 20 minutes after they'd been in the oven. Next time, I'll do that before I get irrationally frustrated with the floury lumps of poultry adhering themselves and their ill-stuck breading to my baking sheet.

Despite all that, these did taste really good!
I will gladly make them again, perhaps with the intent to coat in buffalo sauce for a game-day appetizer or filling for a wrap. This time I served them with sweet potato fries, from the same cookbook.

Crispy Chicken Bites
from The Eat-Clean Diet for Family & Kids by Tosca Reno
makes 24 nuggets

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 18oz total
1/4 cup oat bran (used oat flour, and added some poultry seasoning)
1/4 cup wheat germ (omitted)
1 Tbsp coarsely ground flax seed
1/4 cup coarsely ground almonds
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
Pinch of garlic powder
1/2 cup water or low-sodium chicken stock (I think this was unnecessary)
1 large egg white, lightly beaten (next time I will increase this)
Eat-Clean cooking spray (oil in a spritzer)
1. Preheat oven to 400*. Prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or coating with cooking spray.

2. Cut chicken breasts into nugget-sized pieces, about 1 1/2 inches square. Set aside.

3. Next, combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine. Combine water and egg mixture in a small bowl.

4. Dip pieces of chicken into egg/water, and then into breading mixture, making sure each piece is well coated. Place on the baking sheet and place in oven. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Nutrition information per 4 nuggets:
Calories - 100
Fat - 3.5g Protein - 12g Carbs - 7g Fiber - 2g Sodium - 370mg Cholesterol - 0mg

Monday, October 11, 2010

Asian noodle bowls

Wednesday's dinner was this amazingly colorful not-quite-soup from The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno. If you haven't had enough veggies during the day, this soup will set you right--broccoli, bell pepper, carrot, peas, green onion, and mushrooms, if you like (we liked). This is a very easy dish to make wheat-free, as long as you use wheat-free tamari and rice noodles.

Asian Noodle Bowls

from The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged by Tosca Reno

serves 4

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil (I used half olive oil, half macadamia oil)
4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 package (8oz) dry soba noodles or Asian noodles (used Thai Kitchen rice noodles)
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cups broccoli spears
1/4 cup thinly sliced red pepper (used one small whole one)
1 small carrot, peeled and grated
4 green onions, thinly sliced
4 generous handfuls of fresh spinach
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped.

1. Combine chicken, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Heat over medium heat.

2. Add broth and bring to a boil. Continue cooking 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.

3. Add noodles, peas, broccoli, and red pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, or until broccoli turns bright green. Stir in carrot and green onion.

4. When ready to serve, divide fresh spinach among serving bowls. Ladle soup into each bowl as evenly as possible. Garnish with chopped peanuts, if desired.

Nutrition information per 2-cup serving:
Calories - 459
Protein - 46g Fat - 6g Fiber - 5g Sodium - 937mg Cholesterol - 69mg Sugar - 4g

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Flying solo meal plan

The H is once again jetting off to the great ATL, leaving me and the little guy to fend for ourselves. This coming weekend is my MARATHON!! I will probably shop a bit, but this is what I came up with before looking at the sales ads.

Sunday dinner - chicken noodle soup (chicken breast, celery, carrots, peas, egg noodles)

Monday lunch - homemade hummus, Kashi crackers, apple slices, pretzels, hard-boiled eggs
Monday dinner - blueberry pumpkin pancakes with an egg for me, sausage for the LG

Tuesday lunch - the shrimp noodle salad I wanted to make last week
Tuesday dinner - tofu tikka masala (and mac 'n' cheese for the little guy when he reuses that)

Wednesday lunch - tuna on crackers, fresh fruit
Wednesday dinner - veggie bake (potato, garlic, sweet potato, onion, zucchini) and eggs (?)

Thursday lunch - leftover shrimp salad
Thursday dinner - something ... I might take the little guy to the airport to watch planes

Friday lunch - leftovers
Friday dinner - BBQ chicken pizza

Saturday - travel day!
Saturday dinner - pizza with friends in Detroit

Sunday - RACE DAY!
Sunday dinner - pasta dinner for my parents' 35th anniversary :)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

He did it again!

The H, that is... he made dinner again! This time it was a Clean Eating Magazine recipe that he started on (the mag was open on the kitchen counter) while I was at the grocery store. Pretty nice, huh? :)

We modified the recipe into a sort of "Mexican beef lasagna" rather than the chicken enchiladas it is written for. I had planned it this way to use up the last pound of local-farm ground beef and the massive stack of corn tortillas I'd bought and frozen.

Unbelievably Delicious Low-Fat Enchiladas
from Clean Eating Magazine, Nov/Dec 2010
serves 5

5 medium whole-wheat tortillas (5-6" each)
1 cup shredded extra sharp low-fat cheddar cheese
Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish

Chicken mixture:
3 cups shredded or chopped cooked chicken breast
4 oz green chiles, chopped
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt


15 oz all-natural tomato sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350*.

2. Combine all chicken mixture ingredients in a large nonstick pan over med-high heat and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Remove mixture from pan and set aside.

3. Combine sauce ingredients in the nonstick pan; set over medium heat and cook until warm, about 10 minutes.

4. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Fold sides over and place seam-side down in the casserole dish. Top enchiladas evenly with remaining sauce, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in center of oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley when serving, if desired.

Nutritional information per 1-enchilada serving:

Calories - 350
Fat - 7g
Carbs - 36g
Fiber - 4.5g
Sugars - 6g
Protein - 37g
Sodium - 561mg
Cholesterol - 76mg

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fall fun

The H , little guy, and I met my in-laws at a local apple orchard this past weekend. I was thrilled to discover that they sell fruit butters and jams with no added sugars--just fruit. Love that. I didn't get any this time, but will certainly go back. My grocery store doesn't have a great just fruit jam selection.

The little guy had a great time playing around and certainly wouldn't mind a return trip!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Is it *fall* where you are yet? Here in the mitten state, we can see our breath clouds outside in the morning, the heat has been turned on, and the leaves are becoming more colorful every day. It's the perfect time for a perfect pairing like grilled cheese and tomato soup!

This soup is loaded with vegetables, and is very flavorful. I was pleased to note that it wasn't as acidic as other tomato soups I've had. And don't worry about the curry powder if that's not one of your favorite flavors; it doesn't make the soup taste like Indian food, it just adds depth. I brought this to a boil on the stove, and then since we had to go to running group, poured it into a CrockPot to simmer while we were gone.

Tomato Soup

from The Eat-Clean Diet for Family & Kids

serves 8

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
4 ribs celery, trimmed and chopped
2 sweet carrots, peeled and chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped

2 cups fresh Roma tomatoes OR one 28-oz can plum tomatoes (I used a box of Pomi strained tomatoes, no salt added)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth OR veggie stock OR water
1 Tbsp dried basil, crumbled
1 Tbsp dried oregano, crumbled
1 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Pinch of curry powder (I used 1/4 tsp)
2 low-sodium chicken or veggie bouillon cubes (I used Trader Joe's stock concentrate packets)

1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over med-high heat. Add all chopped vegetables and saute until onion is soft and translucent.

2. Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes, stock or water, basil, salt, oregano, curry, and bouillon. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer 30 minutes (this is where I transferred to the slow cooker), stirring occasionally.

3. Using a hand-held stick blender, puree the soup to your desired consistency.

4. Remove from heat and serve. Garnish with a scoop of low-fat plain yogurt or yogurt cheese.

We served these with grilled cheese sandwiches--on Udi's gluten free bread for The H (first picture) and Trader Joe's sprouted grain bread for me and the little guy.

Nutrition information per 1-cup serving:
Calories - 170
Fat - 3.5g
Protein - 1.5g
Carbs - 10.5g
Fiber - 2.5g
Sodium - 500mg
Cholesterol - 0mg

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pasta with chicken and broccoli

This recipe could also be called "Watch your kid eat green stuff" as it's literally only the second time I've seen the little guy willingly eat fresh broccoli (the other time was with this recipe).

Kids Love Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli

from The Eat-Clean Diet for Family & Kids by Tosca Reno serves 4 generously

8oz brown rice pasta shapes (your choice)
3 cups fresh broccoli florets (about 1 medium crown)
1 cup frozen peas
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1/2" pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chicken seasoning (I didn't know what this was, and used 1/2tsp poultry seasoning)
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried basil, crumbled
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
Fresh-ground black pepper, to taste
Sea salt, to taste

1. In a large pot, cook pasta according to package instructions. Toss broccoli and peas into the boiling water during the last few minutes of cooking time. Drain into a large colander, return mixture to pot, and cover.

2. While pasta is boiling, place the sliced chicken, chicken seasoning, basil, paprika, garlic, and chili powder in a large zip-top bag. Toss until chicken is well coated.

3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat and add chicken. Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly, or until cooked through.

4. Add cooked chicken to pasta mixture. Stir in yogurt, salt, and pepper. Toss until ingredients are evenly distributed. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per 3/4 cup serving: Calories - 200 Fat - 5g Protein - 13g Carbs - 24g Fiber - 4.5g Sodium - 40mg Cholesterol - 20mg

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Potato-crust veggie quiche

This recipe, our Sunday lunch, kind of formed in my head before I knew quite how to execute it. I'd seen the potato crust recipe on a cauliflower pie from Branny Boils Over, but knew for certain that The H would revolt if I tried to serve that as a meal. The end of the week in our house usually means breakfast for dinner so my thoughts turned to eggs. Along with the last three pattypan squash from co-op pickup and some red onion, I had a pretty quick and easy filling. We enjoyed co-op chicken apple sausage and homemade applesauce from a friend on the side.

If I'd had more time (the cranky time-bomb that is the little guy was D-O-N-E and ready for a nap) I would've liked to bake the unfilled crust longer; the brown parts on the edges at the very end were my favorite part. Just like hashbrowns!

Because of our limited time, I sauteed the squash and onion in a little olive oil with salt, pepper, and parsley to get them a head start before adding them to the crust to finish cooking.

Potato-Crust Veggie Quiche
adapted from Branny Boils Over and my own imagination

Potato crust:
2 cups packed grated raw potato
1/2 tsp salt
1 beaten egg white
1/4 cup grated onion

Veggie filling:
2 cups diced vegetables of your choice
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried parsley, optional
1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese
3 eggs
1/2 cup low-fat milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400*. In a medium bowl, combine crust ingredients and mix well. Press firmly into a 9-inch pie plate that has been lightly greased (or sprayed) and bake 30 minutes. While crust is baking, dice vegetables and onion for filling.

In a large skillet, heat oil and saute veggies, onion, garlic powder, and parsley until slightly softened and browned.

When crust is done (it will look dry, not soupy, and will be browned at the edges), remove from oven and reduce temperature to 350*. Pour diced veggies and onion into crust. Top with shredded cheese.

Whisk eggs with salt, pepper, and milk and slowly pour over the veggies, letting it make its way in between everything. Set the pie plate on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes or until filling is set. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Marathon training update: TWO WEEKS to go!

It's hard for me to believe that training for this race is almost over. Sixteen weeks of training have finally passed. Just two more weeks, and it'll all be behind me! I've now entered the "taper" phase of training. Two weeks ago, my long-run mileage peaked with a 20-mile run, which I took my time with and really rather enjoyed. My legs sure felt it for a few days afterward, but overall I think it went very well. It was encouraging to have a successful run of that distance before the race.

From this point on, I run shorter distances (2-4 miles) during the week, with weekend long runs of 12 miles (yesterday--see picture below!) and 8 miles. Right now I can't say that I'll do another marathon anytime soon, as training was certainly an investment of time that I can't duplicate at the drop of a hat, but I have not regretted the adventure thus far. By the look on my face--see me there holding the cheesin' little guy?--I'm pretty darn stoked to "only" be running 12 miles. :)

In less than two weeks I'll be heading to Detroit for the race expo, and then on the 17th, I'll toe the line for the biggest race of my life. Almost there!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Menu planning

For as infrequently as I seem to do it, I really do enjoy meal planning. It can be a challenge combing through the fridge, freezer, and pantry to see what needs to be used before I dash out to the grocery store to buy fresher food to stack on top of what's already there, BUT I always feel so accomplished when we eat through what we have.

I thought this week would be something of a "clean slate" week since the cupboards seem so bare, but after sitting down with a pen and paper, the grocery store circular, and a few select cookbooks, I found that we really had quite a bit of potential lying around. Here is what I pulled together:

Sunday lunch - Potato-crust veggie quiche (thanks for the crust recipe, branny!) with homemade applesauce and chicken apple sausage.

Sunday dinner - Homemade pizza with black olives, cherry tomatoes from a friend, a small can of mushrooms, and the last 6 (literally) pepperoni from last weekend's pizza night.

Monday - Grocery shopping day! Brown rice pasta with chicken and broccoli from The Eat-Clean Diet for Family & Kids by Tosca Reno.

Tuesday - Grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade tomato soup, also from The Eat-Clean Diet for Family & Kids, after running group.

Wednesday - Asian noodle bowls from The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged! by Tosca Reno.

Thursday - Individual pizzas for The H and little guy while I run and have dinner with friends.

Friday - Crispy chicken bites from The Eat-Clean Diet for Family & Kids with sweet potato fries from the same book.

Saturday - TBA

This week I'd also like to make a sweet potato spread and a shrimp & edamame noodle salad, both from an old issue of Clean Eating Magazine. Hopefully some of these turn out blog-worthy. :) You know me... even if they don't, I'll probably post 'em anyway!