Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving week meal plan

Sunday lunch - gluten free mac 'n' peas with bacon, grapes, turkey sandwich for The H

Sunday dinner - chicken in lemon-mushroom sauce with quinoa and kale chips

Monday - The H's office Christmas party at one of our favorite downtown restaurants

Tuesday - kale, sausage, and white bean soup after running group

Wednesday - turkey chili and gluten free cornbread

Thursday - Happy Thanksgiving! We're celebrating with The H's extended family. My assignment is to bring gluten free bread or rolls and a dessert The H can eat. I think I'm adding a dish of blackened green beans with shallots to my responsibilities, and perhaps some hard boiled eggs.

Friday - TBA

Saturday - TBA

Have a wonderful, safe holiday week! Don't be afraid to indulge a bit. What is your favorite Thanksgiving food splurge?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekly meal plan

Too much of the time when I go to make a weekly meal plan, I'm focused on making NEW recipes, and I forget to comb through my own blog (or others') for things we've tried and loved. This week I'm trying to bring back a few old favorites.

Sunday lunch - gluten-free pumpkin chia chocolate protein pancakes with turkey sausage patties

Sunday dinner - ???

Monday - marinated chicken breast with cilantro-lime quinoa and roasted broccoli

Tuesday - white chicken chili from the Plan-D Cookbook

Wednesday - turkey sausage ragu

Thursday - pizza for my men while I'm out with friends (run, yoga, dinner)

Friday - rutabaga frittata

Saturday - TBA, as usual

On a mildly related note, have you ever had Concord grapes? I found some locally-grown ones at our big-box grocery the other day (surprise to me!) and bought some... but now I don't really know what to do with them. They do contain seeds, and have a tougher skin than the green variety the little guy loves. I'd love some ideas!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Adzuki Beans and Rice

Seriously good (the little guy ate two helpings!). Seriously non-photogenic.

I'm not really sure what led me to purchase adzuki beans, other than perhaps flipping through a blog that used them in a recipe and realizing they don't need to be soaked before cooking. The next time I went to our local health food store, I was determined to find them. They look like this:
After much research regarding cooking times and suitable meals to make with these brick red beauties, I decided on this recipe, with a few very minor changes.

First, I halved it. I had no idea how my men would react to this dish and didn't want to have 4-6 portions leftover. Second, I used spicy Italian turkey sausage, which my store happened to have on sale. Finally, I subbed organic, no-MSG, gluten-free beef stock concentrate for the bouillon cube. Other than that, we made it as directed.

But really. There was no chance I'd post a picture of it, and you all know how low my photo-quality standards are. Just try it. Take a big forkful and fill your belly with the mildly spicy deliciousness. Maybe close your eyes first.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Meal plan

I cannot believe we're starting the second week of November already. Just this afternoon I was looking through the "Racing Ahead" section of Runner's World, perusing some upcoming races, and realized the one I was most interested in happened over two weeks ago. Serves me right for reading past issues, but still... it's November!

The weather here was delightfully pleasant this weekend, almost springlike, but the early sunset and pitch dark at 7 PM beg to differ. With that in mind, coupled with the fact that I saw a four-letter word that begins with "S" in the forecast (::sob::), my meal plan for this week trends toward comfort food.

Monday - adzuki beans and rice with kale chips

Tuesday - pot roast (with carrots, potatoes, onion, celery, mushrooms, rutabaga) after running group

Wednesday - slow cooker lentil soup

Thursday - leftovers after yoga

Friday - quinoa stuffed peppers

Saturday - TBD

Lunches - shrimp noodles, brussels sprouts with chicken sausage, leftovers

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chia seeds and crazycakes

Surely you've heard of chia seeds... if not for their amazing health/endurance benefits, then because of these awkward looking things:
Those may have (thankfully) fallen by the wayside, but chia seeds are experiencing a comeback that is based on proven performance rather than fad. You can read about them here and here.

I recently started adding them to my diet for two reasons. First, it can't hurt. A little extra protein, fiber, and omega-3s are welcome around here. Second, perhaps they might even help as I train for my third--oh yeah, and fourth--marathon!

In the space of a week, after much hemming and hawing and pro/con comparing, I made the leap and registered for two marathons, a mere two weeks apart. Crazycakes! The first will be performance-based with a pretty ambitious goal in mind, and the second will be more for the scenery and experience of racing at a higher altitude, with a little bit of family vacation before and after. So far, I know at least two friends who will be running each of these--and pacing me for the first--so I'm pretty happy. Training will officially begin mid-December. That's next month! Why does life seem to go by faster as we get older?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Gluten-free chocolate macaroons

The little guy has been really into playing chef lately. He says he wants to be a cook when he grows up--a cook who makes "glooten cupcakes" for me and him, and "glooten-free cupcakes" for his friend and The H. He has even come up with a name for his future bakery. I love watching his imagination develop!
To encourage his kitchen creativity, I decided to find a recipe for the two of us to make this week. The newest issue of Clean Eating Magazine arrived just in time! I had no problem finding a cookie recipe that was simple to make, didn't require any new ingredients, and that would be easy for the little guy to help with. The finished cookies are sweet, lightly crisp with almost a brownie-like interior, and perfectly portioned. They're even tasty for breakfast...

Double Chocolate Macaroons
from Clean Eating Magazine, Vol. 4, Issue 9
makes 24 cookies

8oz dark chocolate (60% cocoa or greater), chopped, divided
1 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup organic evaporated cane juice
3 Tbsp natural unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup liquid egg whites (I used two large egg whites)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp pure almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 350* and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt 3 ounces of the chocolate on high for 45 seconds. Stir and continue microwaving in short intervals, stirring often, until completely melted. Set aside to cool.
3. In a large bowl, stir together coconut, cane juice, cocoa powder, and salt until well blended. Stir in melted chocolate until just combined.
4. In a small bowl, whisk egg whites, vanilla, and almond extracts until combined. Add mixture to coconut mixture and stir until well blended.
5. Scoop 1-Tbsp portions and set on parchment-lined baking sheet. Pinch the tops of each into a low pyramid shape (I skipped this and went for rounded tops instead). Bake for 14-15 minutes or until outer layers are firm, bottom edges are lightly browned, and centers remain soft. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

This is where the little guy and I stopped--they were plenty sweet without the next step, and I didn't want to make any more mess of the kitchen than we already had. Feel free to proceed if you wish. Perhaps if I were making these for a party, I would have completed them as directed.

6. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the remaining 5 ounces of chocolate, stirring often. Carefully holding each macaroon upside down by its base, dip the peak into the melted chocolate. Place chocolate-side-up on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until chocolate is set, about 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Nutrition info per cookie:
Calories - 119
Fat - 8g
Saturated fat - 6g
Carbs - 11g
Fiber - 2g
Sugars - 7g
Protein - 2g
Sodium - 20.5mg
Cholesterol - 0mg