just a few days

Within the past few days of being on vacation, I have…

…brought all of the recipe pages up to date, which hopefully will make it easier for everyone (and me!) to¬†find past recipes! ūüėÄ

…consumed a very full¬†head of kale.

…worn my apron like it’s¬†the latest¬†accessory item.

…made three big bowls of “un”overnight blueberry banana oats.

(because, obviously, having just one day to eat your favorite breakfast is never quite enough!)

…enjoyed one, two, three lovely New England walks with my parents.

…and trotted out 5 pain free miles through¬†a sunrise.¬†¬† Which, by the way,¬†I haven’t done before my knee injury.

I always¬†seem to¬†flirt around with the idea of entering a race come spring, but I’ve also been indulging in the sheer pleasure of just heading out for a run.¬†¬†Just because.

No clear training goals in mind.    

No drills.

No speedwork.

No 12-mile long runs in zero degree weather.

Just running.  For the pure and simple reason that it feels delicious on my legs. 

When life gets busy and crazy with the dietetic internship and everything else, nothing brings my pace back to normal quite like a brisk morning run.  It slows me down.  The half marathon is still on my horizon.  But for now, my heart belongs to just running. 

Just because.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Warm Kale Salad

If you’re still¬†sitting on the fence¬†over kale, try this recipe!¬† The flavors are subtle but bright, with the sunny addition of lemon juice.¬†¬†Aside from kale chips, this is¬†one of my favorite ways to enjoy it.

Kale won’t wilt like spinach does, and stands up quite well against all of the heat and stirring.¬† Even still, the kale will be tender and soft, making it a wonderful accompaniment to any and all¬†of your favorite meals. ūüėÄ

  • 1 onion, chopped fine
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • at least 4 large handfuls of chopped kale
  • a few spritzes of lemon juice
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 a carrot, grated
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil and cook onion until tender.  Add chopped kale, stir, lower heat slightly to medium low, and cook until wilted and slightly tender.
  2. Add lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper and grated carrot.  Continue cooking on low for another couple of minutes.
  3. Serve warm and ENJOY! ūüėÄ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Un”Overnight Blueberry Banana Oats

The “un”overnight oats resemble their close cousin, the “overnight oats.”¬† The main difference is that there’s no soaking or waiting involved with this version.¬†¬†It’s are made the same morning that you want to eat it, which is nice for those of us who frequently change¬†our minds on what we want to eat, come¬†morning. ūüėČ

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • cinnamon and nutmeg
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 c. frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 cortland apple
  • 1 T. crushed flax
  • 6-oz. plain yogurt
  • 2 T. almond butter
  1. Mix together all of ingredients except almond butter.  Stir well.
  2. Top with almond butter and ENJOY! ūüėÄ

 Question: If you had an entire day to do only the things that made you happy, how would you spend it?

it’s a tradition

Many of my favorite memories revolve around the holidays.¬† Things like…

  • Driving with Dad to pick up the Chinese food every¬†New Years Eve, for as long as I can remember.¬† Sometimes through a blizzard!
  • Running a 2-3 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning.
  • Watching Memere laugh and tease my Dad because “that’s¬†not how you carve a turkey!”
  • Eating fruit cake for breakfast on Christmas morning.¬†
  • Making a complete mess of the kitchen with flour and cookie dough, while listening to Christmas music the night before Thanksgiving.¬†

By the way, it’s totally okay—maybe¬†necessary?—to have a messy kitchen on the night¬†preceding a major holiday. ūüėČ

My sister and I look forward to this tradition of cookie decorating every single year.¬† I find it to be one of the most quintessential parts of the entire holiday season.¬† It’s just not Thanksgiving until there’s either a batch of sugar cookies or gingerbread men baking¬†in the oven.¬†¬†

I may have failed to mention this very important part of myself in previous posts, but there’s something you should know:¬†gingerbread cookies are my¬†favorite¬†cookies.¬† Ever.¬†

What is it about the gingerbread cookie that I love?¬† First, there’s the thick, sweeter-than-life molasses swirled throughout.¬† And then there’s the spices.¬† Cinnamon.¬† Ginger.¬† Cloves.¬† Sea salt.¬† They all combine to form the most perfect cookie known to man.¬† I like to think they’re autumn’s cookie of choice.

In other words, I simply love them.

¬†Martha Stewart’s recipe for gingerbread men.¬† It’s a no fail recipe. ūüėÄ

However, the decorating is another story. 

Each year, my sister and I being our decorating endeavors¬†with the determination¬†that we will make the most beautiful cookies.¬† People will ‘ooh’ and ‘aww.’¬† The plate will go untouched¬†for hours, just because they’re “too pretty to eat.”¬† People will pause midstep just to glance at them one more time.

And—each¬†year—we¬†end up in hysterical laughter because nothing wernt¬†as planned.¬† Mr. Gingerbread Man has a goatee instead of a scarf.¬† Mrs. Gingerbread has one big eye, one small eye.¬† Or maybe only one eye at all.¬† We try our best, but we’ve a long ways to go.¬† Lots of practice needed.

This year we decided to prepare ourselves by looking at some online designs…

We even went so far as to draw the designs out on paper!!¬† If that’s not hardcore determination, I don’t know what is.

There were some minor difficulties found in getting the parchment paper to fold together for piping purposes, but it all worked out in the end. ūüėČ

Moving on…

…time to decorate!

Studying the online images and designs seemed to help some…

…but then we still ended up¬†in hysterical laughter.

And¬†there were still some cookie¬†“flops.”¬† You know.¬† The ones that look “okay” but not good enough to bring anywhere outside of home.¬† It’s okay though.¬† We took care of them. ūüėČ

The rest of the decorated cookies will find their way onto a cute holiday plate. 

One plate for Pepere.¬† One plate for Aunt Marie’s.¬† One plate to add to tomorrow’s dessert spread at my house.

And, in the end, it really doesn’t matter how the cookies come out at all.¬†¬†What matters is that we practically die laughing.¬† That I’ll wake up feeling like I did a Jillian Michael’s ab workout.¬† That our conversations¬†are filled with excitement and plans for Black Friday shopping.¬† That we put thought into which cookies go on which plate.¬†

That¬†my sister and I¬†carry on the tradition of decorating cookies together every holiday season.¬† Because traditions are what make the holidays so special.¬† So fun.¬† So unique.¬† And that’s what matters.

From my home to yours, I wish you the most Happy of Thanksgivings!¬† Enjoy,¬†and take the time to be thankful for all of life’s simple blessings. ūüėÄ

Martha Stewarts’ Gingerbread Cookies

These cookies puff up quite a bit, so don’t be afraid to roll them¬†on the thin side.¬† You’ll still get a deliciously¬†chewy gingerbread cookie.

These gingerbread cookies¬†are exactly what gingerbread cookies should taste like.¬† Spices and sweet molasses will hit you on the very first bite.¬†¬†There’s no such thing as “subtle.” ūüėȬ† I truly consider them to be my go-to gingerbread recipe, and I highly recommend them. ūüėÄ

  • 6 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsulfured molasses

Directions

  1. Sift together flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. Put butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy. Mix in spices and salt, then eggs and molasses. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined. Divide dough into thirds; wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a lightly floured work surface to a 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. Space 2 inches apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and refrigerate until firm, about 15 minutes.
  4. Bake cookies until crisp but not dark, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.
  5. Store cookies between layers of parchment in an airtight container at room temperature up to 5 days.

Question: What is your favorite holiday tradition?

a leafy tale

Once upon a time, there was a girl named Sarah.

Sarah loved the outdoors.  She loved to walk.  She loved to run.  She even loved to rake. 

One day, Sarah decided to¬†join the¬†“no-makeup” bandwagon for the day.¬† Instead of gussying up and going to the mall—as might be expected on a typical Saturday afternoon—Sarah threw on a big ol’, cozy sweatshirt and headed outside.¬† Rake in hand.

The entire family joined in on the autumn experience.  Hours upon hours flew by, with everyone hard at work. 

(my arms will be very, very sore tomorrow, FYI!!!)

But then, despite the beautiful day, the array of¬†autumn’s colors & smells, and¬†the boundless energy that everyone seemed to have at the very beginning, people began to grow very, very tired.

Sometimes—most times—growing tired is equivalent with being silly.¬† It kind of¬†just happens.

 

(Let it be known that dad started it.)

Tackle #1

Tackle #2

Leaf jumping.  Leaf catching.  Leaf tackling.  All three are absolutely necessary when raking a yard. 

After raking the yard and countless numbers of tackles, it was time to go in and eat.  Which, by the way, was also absolutely necessary.

Roasted chicken legs.¬† Brown rice ‘n’ peas.¬† Heaps upon heaps of roasted butternut squash.¬† The entire family agreed that this was the perfect meal to refuel on.

Energy input = complete.

The.  End.

Roasted Butternut Squash

Who doesn’t love a hot side of roasted veggies?¬† The preparation is super simple,¬†and the flavor is sweet and intense.¬†¬†I always seem to¬†err on the side of being a purist when it comes to roasting veggies, but you could also add in cinnamon and nutmeg, which I think would go lovely with the butternut squash.¬†¬†This is¬†an easy vegetable side to add¬†with any meal. ūüėÄ

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Dice the squash into bite sized pieces and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Pop in oven for 10 minutes.  Flip with a spatula.  Continue cooking for another 10-15 minutes or until soft, tender and browned.
  3. ENJOY! ūüėÄ

Question: Do you regularly do yard work?  What is your favorite/least favorite? 

Tomorrow is *Day 2* of the Breakfast Bonanza.¬† If you haven’t started yet, that’s okay!¬† You can jump in any time.¬† Just let me know what breakfast(s!) you want to include on the breakfast post for next week.

OH, and even trying ONE new breakfast overall is great too.¬† Just have fun with it! ūüėÄ

a perfectly rainy, fall day

I love rainy fall days.

I love the intoxicating smells of wet leaves on the grass.

I love running in the rain.  In my shorts.  In 60 degree weather. 

I

I love rainy fall days.

I love feeling water pour through my sneakers.

I do realize, FYI, that this isn’t exactly normal.¬† But somehow this sensation brings me back to being a little 7 year old, running through puddles and dancing in my bathing suit with my older brother and sister.¬† I guess that little girl never left me.

But perhaps best of all, I love to come home.  Dry up.  Throw on some comfy clothes.  Blare the country music station. 

Throw on my apron and make dinner happen.

Now, I don’t know about you, but when¬†I see a recipe once on a food blog, I usually make a mental note of it.

When I spot that same recipe twice, I save it to my favorites. 

 But when I see the recipe three (or four!?!) times, I throw up my hands in surrender and I make it. 

While there¬†seems to be¬†a lot of steps to making Channa Masala, it’s actually¬†quite easy to make.¬† This dish came together in 30 minutes, start to finish.¬† The rice–which took 40 minutes–was the most time consuming part of the entire meal.¬† ūüėČ

Here are a few things to keep in mind while making it…

(1) Despite what people tell you, you can use dry ginger in place of the fresh.

If you have the fresh stuff, use it.¬† You’ll notice a¬†difference.¬† But if you’re like me and don’t happen to have any fresh ginger in supply, this will work out just fine.

(2) Always test your jalapeno peppers before using them.

A wise person once told me that not all jalapenos are made equal.¬† Some will be ‘burn-your-mouth’ hot, and others will be as mild as a sweet bell.¬† You really have to taste a small peice to see what you’ve got.¬†

Today, mine was x-tra spicy, so I deseeded and only used half. 

…oh yeah, and always cut the spicy jalapenos small.¬† Especially if you’re sensitive to heat like me. ūüėČ

(3) Know when to use real butter.

There are times when olive oil makes a wonderful substitute.  Most times, actually.  But then there are times when only real butter will do.  This was one of those times.

(4) Learn patience.

I have a hard time with this one.¬† I would cook onions in a minute if I could.¬† But you’ll get the sweetest, most mouth watering onions, when you practice your patience and let them cook.¬† Slowly.

(5) Measure out your ingredients ahead of time.

This saves you the stress of trying to throw random spices in at a minutes notice. 

(6) Have fun!

I consider this to be the most important step.¬†¬†Never overlook it. ūüėČ

I served the Masala over brown rice and topped it with the squeeze of a fresh lemon.

A side of kale chips was set out in the middle of the table.  Completely up for grabs by any and all.

Today¬†really¬†was such a¬†perfectly¬†rainy, fall day. ūüėÄ

Channa Masala—(serves 4)
as seen on Eat, Live, Run

  • 2 15 ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 inch knob ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 2 tbsp butter

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the butter. Once melted, add the onions and cook for about 15 minutes on medium low heat, or until golden brown.

Once the onions have caramelized, add the garlic, ginger and jalapeno and stir well. Cook for about two minutes or until it starts to smell like heaven on earth.

Add the tomato paste and pince, using above photos as an example. This is very important and if you don’t do it right your dish is pretty much doomed. No pressure.

Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne and tumeric and stir well. Then add the diced tomatoes, chickpeas and garam masala.

Cook for about five minutes or until the chickpeas have heated through. Finish with a squeeze of lemon and top with plain yogurt and cilantro if desired! 

Question: Rainy fall days—yay or nay?

Weekend Highlights

SATURDAY

Some weekends are made for relaxing and doing absolutely nothing at all.

Some weekends are made for going out with friends and family and just having fun. 

Some weekends happen to¬†include the best of both worlds. ūüėÄ

Matthew and Kelsey came down for the weekend, so we (Nicole, Nate and I) went to meet up for drinks and appetizers on Saturday night.  

Nicole and I split the Mediterranean Hummus Plate.  It was filled with feta cheese, kalamata olives, and fresh veggies.  The grilled pita chips were so perfect; flaky on the surface but warm and doughy on first bite.  Perfect.

We ended up¬†talking most of the night away.¬† I can’t remember the last time that I went to bed so late, but it actually felt really¬†good.¬† Especially since I’ll have available catch-up time on Monday morning (not that our bodies can truly, honestly, ever “catch up” according to the¬†sleep experts, but¬†I gave a¬†big *harumph* to that idea for¬†this weekend! ūüėČ )¬†

SUNDAY

I’m pretty sure God knew what He was doing when He decided to give us Sunday as a day of rest.¬†¬†We¬†all deserve the break, really, and it felt wonderful to¬†have nothing on the ol’ to-do list.¬†¬†

Nothing.

Nothing but a nice long walk with the family.  

Have I ever mentioned how in love I am with the fall?¬† I wish it would never end. ūüėÄ

We ran across a big black cow on our walk, and he (she?) was the sweetest thing ever.¬† I was hoping¬†it would follow us home, but to no avail.¬† I guess¬†he must have decided¬†that the grass was much¬†greener on his own side of the fence. ūüėČ

Dad treated us to dinner from our family favorite pizza shop, and we all crowded around the table to indulge in¬†a¬†veggie pizza.¬† The perfect ending for the¬†weekend, if I do say so myself. ūüėÄ

I love busy, fun-filled Saturdays.

I love, love, love lazy Sundays.

Love. ūüėÄ

Question: What made you *smile* this weekend? 

so long sorry

I’m not rude.¬† I don’t block the grocery isles with my shopping cart so that nobody else can walk through.¬† I don’t cut people off on the highway or honk my horn because you didn’t go through the green light fast enough.¬† I don’t snub people–ever–even when I’m being treated rude in return.

So why am I constantly saying “sorry”?

As my sister and meandered through Barnes and Noble, we found ourselves¬†saying the “s”orry word at least a dozen times.¬† It’s the way we were raised.¬† Always be polite.¬† This thought process¬†has traveled¬†with me even into adulthood, where I find myself sheepishly saying “sorry” for everything.¬†¬†Sorry for¬†the inconvenience¬†in¬†asking¬†you to¬†move so that I can gently squeeze through¬†the grocery¬†isle.¬† Sorry that it took me just a little too long to move forward in the service¬†line at the book store.¬† Sorry¬†that I’m confusing you on my coffee order even though you’re¬†being overtly rude to me.¬† Sorry.

Sorry. 

Here and now, I am setting a pact.  I refuse to be sorry.

Wait.  That sounds a little silly. 

I don’t mind being sorry.¬† Really, I don’t.¬† I’ll be the first to jump up and¬†apologize if I’m truly in the wrong.¬† But I’m realizing more and more, the importance of standing up for yourself.¬† Because the instant that you say that¬†you’re sorry, you’re also saying “I’m in the wrong.”¬† This opens up not only a feeling of disrepect for yourself, but also an opening for people to walk all over you.

In other words, I’m saying “so long to sorry” when it’s unnecessary and wrong.¬† I choose to respect myself enough to stand up for the fact that I’m not always the one who should be apologizing.¬†

So long “sorry!” ūüėÄ

Pumpkin “Un”Overnight Oats

Pumpkin is one of my favorite oat mix-ins, especially now that the fall weather is officially here to stay.

Summer and fall collided this morning, as I mixed together a sliced,¬†frozen banana into a bowl of “un”overnight, pumpkin¬†oats.¬† The combination was delightful, and I plan on doing it again tomorrow.¬† Sorry to be so repetitive (pun intended.) ūüėȬ†¬†

  • 1/2 c. uncooked oatmeal
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger
  • 6-oz. plain, nonfat yogurt
  • 1 banana, frozen and sliced
  • toppings: 2 T. walnuts, sweetened & dried coconut, Trader Joe’s apple cranberry butter

Today’s Challenge: Respect yourself!¬† Don’t be afraid to say “I’m sorry”, but also don’t be afraid to realize that you’re not always the one in the wrong.¬† Stand up for yourself, respect yourself, and don’t let people walk all over you.¬† You truly do deserve better, and don’t ever let anyone tell you differently!

perfect endings.

One week.  One week of babysitting two of the most adorable cats you will ever meet. 

My sister and her husband are on a week-long vacation for their anniversary, and I¬†was more than happy¬†to¬†babysit their fur-babies.¬† I am, after all, a very proud aunt. ūüėȬ†

Just as a note, Stitch and Highstreet have convinced me that dogs aren’t the only ones who keep their owners in shape. ūüėȬ† We’ve had many wild chases around the house, games of hide and seek, and—of course—lots of cuddling time.¬† These boys sure like to cuddle. :mrgreen:

And, really, nothing beats getting head-butted by a warm fuzzy kitty at the end of a hard, long day at work.  These guys never fail to make me smile and laugh.

Speaking of hard, long days at work…

…Today I had a hard, long day at work.¬† When I came home, I was completely frazzled out.¬† A nap sounded more appealing than anything, but I pulled on my sneaks and headed out for a 3-mile walk instead.¬† I know from experience that a bit of fresh air is¬†almost always¬†the perfect medicine.¬† Well, that and a warm, delicious meal.¬†

Tonight I chose some of my favorite, simple autumn flavors for dinner.  Roasted brussels sprouts.  Mashed garlic infused red potatoes.  Smashed butternut squash with nutmeg.  Baked cod with crumbs.

Everything came together in under 30 minutes which I liked.  Everything tasted so perfect, so delicious, so healthy, which I loved.  The perfect way to end a long, hard day at work.

Time for me to unwind and relax with a cup of raspberry tea and Biggest Loser!

Question: Are you an animal lover?  Which is your favorite? 

ode to fall…continued

This morning I wanted pancakes, and only pancakes would do.

Puffy, fluffy, pumpkin pancakes. 

I’ve been dreaming of making pumpkin pancakes ever since I spotted a can of¬†Libby pumpkin¬†sitting on the grocery shelves.¬† It’s the fall weather that finally convinced me to do so.

This recipe (go way, way, way down to the bottom of this post to view it) is one of my all time favorites.¬† Not too sweet but filled with everything you want¬†in a pumpkin pancake.¬† It’s light, fluffy, and fragrant with autumn spices.¬† I would have used white flour if I thought it would have produced better results; after all, a girl has only so many pumpkin pancakes in her life.¬† But in all honesty (and this is not just my nutrition side speaking,) the whole wheat flour does wonders for this recipe.¬† It’s all hearty and rustic¬†without being dense.¬† You’ll love it.

They’re versatile too.¬† I served scrambled eggs, oranges and maple syrup¬†for¬†my parents…

…and¬†slathered mine¬†with almond butter and sliced bananas because it just seemed oh so right.

My craving for making (and eating) a plate of pumpkin pancakes = fulfilled.

The leftover pancakes (because this recipe makes at least 18 good sized pancakes) can be cooled on a wire rack, much in the same way you might cool a muffin or a batch of fresh cookies.¬† You’ll avoid soggy bottoms, and then you can pop them in a freezer bag for an easy weekday breakfast throughout the week.

With a belly full of deliciously energizing carbs, it was time to walk.

I have been absolutely and completely absorbed with fall lately.¬† The fresh and crispy air.¬† Colorful New England leaves.¬† Warm, cozy sweatshirts.¬† Comfy weekend jeans.¬† Spicy, pumpkin flavors.¬† Mmm…I think I want fall to stay around forever.¬† Do you think winter would oblige?

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes
As seen on AllRecipes by Ruth, with minor tweaks here and there
Serves 6

  • 2 c. whole wheat flour
  • 3 T. brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • dash of cloves
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-1/2 c. milk
  • 1¬†c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T. canola oil
  • 2 T. vinegar

In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar.  Combine the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.  Stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine (do not over mix.)

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat.  Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 c. for each pancake.  Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Question: What is your favorite thing to serve ON THE SIDE or ON TOP OF of your pancakes?  As you can see, I am totally obsessed with all things fall and all things pancake lately.  Please forgive me.  :mrgreen:

produce of fall

Today was filled to the brim with all things fall.

I drank a soy misto with a pump of toffee mocha.

I sampled hot, local apple cider from whole foods.

I wore a plaid, flannel shirt. ¬†ūüėČ

I picked the last of the season produce from our vegetable garden.

I’m convinced that cold weather tomatoes are some of the most flavorful.¬† It’s as if they make up for their lack of good looks¬†with a bright personality.¬†

And then I roasted an acorn squash. 

My Pepere habitually drives out to local farms every week, in search of the freshest produce.  He returns with potatoes, still clinging to the dirt from which they were plucked.  Bags and bags of onions that instantly bring on visions of fried potatoes and onion soups.

Best of all, he brings home squash.  Lots and lots of squash.

After throwing the seeds into the yard’s compost pile, I sliced this baby up and threw it onto a sprayed baking sheet.¬† Twenty minutes in a 425 degree oven (with a gentle flip half way through) turned this humble acorn squash into a thing of beauty.¬† Those crispy, caramelized bites get me every time.¬†

A drizzle of olive oil enhances the flavors of a simple salad.  In the same way, the sweetness from fresh maple syrup serves to further enhance the natural sweetness of an acorn squash.  A little goes a long way. 

I love soy mistos with toffee mocha.

I love late summer produce and hot apple cider.

I love wearing plaid.

And I really, really, really love roasted acorn squash.

Roasted Maple Acorn Squash

  • 1 acorn squash, deseeded and sliced about 1/2 inch thick
  • sea salt
  • fresh (real) maple syrup
  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Add squash to sheet in a single layer, sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 10 minutes. 
  3. Flip squash over and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes. Drizzle with maple syrup.

Question: What is your favorite thing about the fall?

summer meets autumn

Fun thought for the day: If your body’s temperature¬†is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and you walk outside into 98 degree weather, why wouldn’t this¬†feel like¬†the “perfect” temperature?—courtesy of dad ūüėČ

“Un” overnight Oats in a Jar!

In an almond butter jar.¬† Full of creamy, ooey-gooey, swirls and globs.¬† Stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth delicious. ūüėĬ†

Trader Joe’s¬†knows how to make a mean¬†almond butter.

I’ve noticed that along with being able to handle a slow¬†increase¬†in running mileage, my stomach is slowly being able to handle heavier meals before a run.¬† I love when this happens.¬† It means that I don’t cramp up after eating breakfast, which leaves me feeling more energized and fresh.¬† No heavy, lead-filled legs or side stitches either.¬† Just perfect.¬† It also means that I don’t have to rely on a simple orange or a date before a run, which means more fuel for¬†those (eventual) longer runs.

Needless to say, today’s 3-miler was fun and energetic. ūüėÄ

Morning Snack: kashi crackers and Justin’s Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Lunch

I’ve been craving roasted chicken lately.

Something to do with the cooler summer weather.¬† Something about early autumn making its first appearance in a brilliant yellow leaf.¬† I’ve been craving roasted chicken.

It has something to do with something, but when all was said and done, it didn’t really matter what the temperature was.¬† The oven was turned on to 350, the chicken was cooked for 2.5 hrs with an onion, and voila.¬† My roasted chicken cravings were¬†fulfilled.

I wanted salad too, so I decided to combine the two into one meal.¬† Roasting a chicken and making a summery salad might seem a little odd at first.¬† But it was a little like¬†setting up a blind date for summer and¬†autumn¬†to meet each other (because you just know they’ll get along once they¬†start mingling) and watching them fall in love.¬† The salad was crunchy and full of fresh, the chicken was tender and filled with flavor.¬† The cranberry sauce added the “pow” factor and tied it all together.¬† Love.

Leftover pasta salad on the side!

+ a heep of watermelon!

Afternoon Snack: Homemade Granola Bar

I used my original recipe, but subbed in almond butter for the pb.¬† I also added some cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.¬† Definitely one of my favorite batches yet! ūüėÄ

Did you know that the recommended amount of egg yolks to eat in one week is 3?

You’ll find a lot of controversy over that statement, as some people feel this amount should be expanded and others think it should be reduced.¬† I personally feel that eggs do a whole lot more good for our body then bad, but I don’t recommend loading up on them either. ūüėȬ† But don’t be afraid to include that yolk now and then, for its high content of healthy vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, selenium and riboflavin!

For some reason, yesterday’s egg over salad left me wanting eggs again.¬† I went with a “sweet” version this time in the form of cinnamon raisin French toast.¬† Topped with a creamy, super ripe banana.¬†

Can’t forget the veggies!¬† Roasted cauliflower and onions (425 degree oven for 25 minutes, 2 tsp olive oil + paprika) because I was still craving autumn. ūüėÄ

Time to finish up on some homework before tomorrow’s Preclinical Training.¬† I need to look over a case study on Muscle Wasting in Heart Failure.¬† It seems interesting but tricky!

Happy Hump Day! ūüėÄ

Question: Can you eat right before a workout?  Do you stick to something light or can you handle something larger?