Sunday, July 22, 2012

Go ahead...

tell me, "I told you so." Turns out that after 40 consecutive days of running, my knees had something to say about the matter. :(

I've been taking it easy lately, and after some days off, only lacing up my shoes every other day for the past few weeks. Still happy to be out there, albeit slower and shorter these days, happier that it's not as freakishly hot outside, and hoping my once-in-awhile knee twinge doesn't turn into an injury.

The H is heading to Vegas for work this week, leaving me and the little guy to eat gluten to our hearts' content. He gets such a kick out of the fact that he can eat "glooten AND glooten-free!" Here's our meal plan for the week:

Sunday lunch - chicken burgers with blackened peppers and onions, corn on the cob, melon

Sunday dinner - broccoli/cheddar/Canadian bacon quiche (my favorite combination so far) with pancakes. My pancakes are never straight-up batter. These were gluten free with blueberries, pumpkin, hemp seed, and almondmilk. Fantastic. :)

Monday - asparagus-gruyere ravioli (a Costco impulse buy) and my own homegrown zucchini

Tuesday - quinoa burgers on mixed greens

Wednesday - chicken sausage, corn on the cob, and co-op pickup night

Thursday - pizza or local beef burgers (depends on the temperature!)

Friday - my Mom's birthday dinner, with family

I made a triple batch of steel cut oats for breakfasts this week (I eat toast with peanut butter on mornings I run), and I'll boil a dozen eggs for snacking once they age a bit more. Lunches will be leftovers, PBJ, and my favorite shrimp noodles. Have a great week!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Make-ahead quiche

Since I've made this recipe four times in the past few weeks, and countless times before that, I figured it was time to share the love. This quiche is quick, simple, and versatile. You can make it with a premade crust (not so clean) or without. It can even be made ahead of time and frozen** for later use. The cheeses and add-ins are completely up to you. Quiche is a great way to use up less-than-full-portions of meats and vegetables that might be getting lonesome in your fridge!

Today the ones I made were cheddar/broccoli/Canadian bacon, and cheddar/mozzarella/homegrown zucchini/Canadian bacon. It's great to have them ready for a fuss-free midweek dinner. We usually serve ours with fresh fruit and toast. In the fall I might swap the toast for some skillet potatoes and onion.

Quick Quiche -- inspired by an old recipe from
serves 4

1 cup shredded cheese   (shred your own--better taste and texture)
3 teaspoons all-purpose flour   (King Arthur GF is great)
1/2 cup cooked meat, diced   (ham, bacon, chicken, sausage...)
1/2 cup chopped veggies   (broccoli, zucchini, bell peppers, onion, potato...)
3 whole eggs
1 cup lowfat milk
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder
1 Tbsp dried parsley (optional)
1 unbaked 9" pie crust (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 400*F.

2. In a medium bowl, toss flour with grated cheese. Sprinkle into lightly greased 9" pie plate or premade crust.

3. Put diced meat and veggies on top of cheese.

4. In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, mustard powder, and parsley. Whisk until smooth and pour over meat in pie plate.

5. Put dish on baking sheet in case of overflow. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until filling is set and top is golden brown. If using a pie crust, cover edges with aluminum foil halfway through cooking to prevent burning. 

**TO FREEZE: After all ingredients have been mixed and put into pie plate, cover the surface with a piece of plastic wrap. Place a piece of foil over that and crimp edges tightly. Freeze FLAT! When ready to use, put pie plate onto a baking sheet and put into a cold oven. Allow oven and dish to pre/re-heat together. Cooking time will be closer to 60 minutes when using a frozen quiche.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Food prep day

I didn't really plan it, but this afternoon I did a giant amount of food prep while the little guy napped. It started with a trip to the farmer's market this morning, where I got some beautiful rainbow-colored Swiss chard. I was inspired by the cold salad a friend made for our post-run meal last night. When I got home to put away my colorful produce (also including peaches, corn, cucumbers, and salsa), I remembered the beets I'd bought last week. They were quickly prepped for roasting, though sadly I waited too long and the greens weren't good to use like I have before:

On to the chard...

Ten stalks of chard got washed, trimmed, and sauteed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then mixed with sauteed mushrooms, a chopped carrot, a green onion, freshly minced garlic, dried thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes. All of this was mixed with precooked quinoa, and stashed back in the fridge. Dinner side dish/lunch-to-go done.

As the chard-quinoa was mingling flavors and warming through, I started a batch of adzuki beans. They don't require presoaking like many dried beans, and they cook in just about an hour. Great to have available for any number of midweek meals! I'm looking forward to making these burgers, since I also have a few partially-used bell peppers in the crisper.

While the adzukis simmered away, the beets finished roasting. They were gorgeous! Each one just bigger than a golfball, and such a beautiful shade of magenta. I've been craving one of my summer favorites, this beet salad, for a few weeks. For the first time since I started making it, today I toasted the walnuts in a dry skillet before I added them. What a great difference! I used crumbled bleu cheese instead of feta, tossed in some organic celery, dressed it all with olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, pink sea salt, and fresh black pepper, and returned it to the refrigerator. Lunches/snack for me done.

While I was poking around in the fridge, I realized we were out of rice. Thanks to the rice cooker, another batch (plain, white--to feed the gastrointestinally-challenged dog) was ready in a half an hour. Right around this time, two hours after he'd gone down, the little guy woke up. While the rice cooked, I prepped some steaks for The H to grill and stirred up another summer favorite, cucumber-sweet-onion salad. Those two things just get thinly sliced and simply dressed with a mixture of plain yogurt, white balsamic (or red wine) vinegar, evaporated cane juice, sea salt, and pepper. The H and I enjoyed this with dinner, and I was a little bummed I didn't think to make leftovers. Tangy, cool, and refreshing-- the candy onion I used isn't halitosis-inducing at all. Definitely buying more of those at the market! Another dinner side dish done, dog supplement done.

Once the rice was ready, I piled some into the dog's bowl with a scoop of pumpkin and some plain yogurt so he could go to town. The H brought in the steaks, and we sat down to eat. Just then I realized it was the first time I'd sat down since the little guy and I got home from our morning/afternon errands, and my feet were pretty darn tired. But I felt so accomplished! It's a great feeling to have these goodies and makings of meals, along with a stash of my beloved kale-quinoa-chickpeas, in the fridge heading into the weekend. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Meal plan update

Nobody who reads this has a garden? Really? OK then.

Here's how the rest of our week of meals is shaping up:

Tuesday--change of plans; went to babysit for some friends and had pizza.
Wednesday--meatless quiche (eggs, cheddar, red pepper, green onion)
Thursday--the little guy is going to his grandparents' and I'm heading over to a friend's house
Friday--still open to inspiration!!

Have you had anything fantastic this week?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mini meal plan

Do you have a garden this year? How is it holding up in the heat? Our bean plants have all been fried by the sun or eaten, by rabbits I think. The cilantro didn't survive our recent trip to DC. A few of our squash and zucchini plants are thriving. The raspberries shrivel and die before they turn fully red. Our first round of basil--three plants--croaked, and has been replaced by a single plant that is hanging in there. Three tomato plants all have massive growth, flowers, and small green possibilities; I've harvested a total of four golden cherry tomatoes so far. I've never had a big green thumb.

The H and I spent a kidless morning at the farmers' market today and got a few things for this weekend. It was nice to see quite a crowd there despite the high temperature even before noon. Here's what I plan to make next week. It's a pretty sparse plan for now; still trying to work through the fridge and pantry stashes before I stock up on fresh meat and more veggies.

Sunday lunch - shredded beef over rice; cucumber-onion salad
Sunday dinner - quiche with Canadian bacon and yellow squash; caprese salad
Monday - (with friends) seared tuna steaks (chicken for The H); quinoa sopa seca minus bell pepper
Tuesday - grilled honey mustard chicken; lentils & kale *or* kale-quinoa with chickpeas

Any inspiration for the rest of my week? 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Summer Streak Challenge: I did it!

Happy Independence Day! Thirty eight days of summer streaking are COMPLETE! I logged just over 145 miles in a time of 22 hours and 22 minutes. Because some days were doubles (like to the park and back with Garmin-off playtime in between, nothing major) it was a total of 43 activities. Some were on the treadmill, some were done in the early morning. At least once I went out past 9pm because of the heat. I took the dog with me a few times, until it got too ridiculously hot for him.

Yoga has been going well; I've managed at least one practice per week of the streak (even in Alexandria!), and most weeks it's been 2-3 thanks to a combination of studio and DVD time. Overall, I feel great. No weight loss that I've noticed, but that was not a goal this time around. The bottoms of my feet are starting to ache in the all-too-familiar plantar fasciitis way, but I know just how to take care of that. Tomorrow is run club/yoga at the Lululemon showroom nearby, so I'll probably see if I can recruit some friends to join me for that. And perhaps the streak will continue...

Sunday, July 1, 2012

You'd think I'd learn...

that after eating clean for however-many years, loading up on brownies, ice cream, and cookies--yes, sadly in the same day--makes me feel sick to the point of seeking out the Pepto ASAP. Why is this so difficult for me to remember? :(

We had a great weekend of cooking and eating at home, using up the pantry, fridge, and freezer stashes, and then I went pretty far overboard when we hung out with friends tonight. Treats aren't inherently bad, I know. There is room for indulgence in my diet/lifestyle. But three super-sugary desserts within a two hour span? And far more than the recommended portion of each? Ugh, bad move!

Now, where do we keep the Tums?