Tomorrow? I’m ready.

Tomorrow, I’ll be attempting my weekly long run of 12.5 miles.  The longest I have ever—ever!—run.  (Please note: “attempting” is the key word here.)

Tomorrow, I’ll be wearing heels.  I mean.  High, high heels.  I never wear heels.  (Pray for me, please.)

Tomorrow, I’ll be up until well past 10.  (FYI, this never happens.)

Tomorrow, I’ll be dancing, eating prime rib, laughing, chatting with family, and indulging my love of frosting and cake at my cousin’s wedding.

Tomorrow, I’ll be going, going, going.  And then going (and going) some more.

And so, tonight I stopped.

Tonight, I ate grilled, wild caught salmon on a bed of garlicky swiss chard.  I ate slow.

Tonight, I visited and chatted with Pepere.

Tonight, I went to Whole Foods, bought some mixed nuts, drank a kombucha, and laughed with some friends.

Tonight, I took a bubble bath.  I read a magazine.  And then I plan on reading some more.

And so, tomorrow?  I’m ready.

Garlicky Swiss Chard

Swiss chard reminds me of kale.  But it also reminds me of spinach.  I happen to think that it has the delightful best of both personalities.  The leaves are soft and tender.  They will wilt and shrivel with embarrassment in just a few moments.  Of course, my favorite component of swiss chard is the flavor.  Where kale is strong and boisterous, swiss chard has a much more mild manner.  It’s slightly withdrawn, so to speak.  Which makes it perfect for showcasing your favorite choice of protein, be it grilled tofu, chicken breast, or–in my case–salmon.

Round out the meal with some form of starch.  I opted for potatoes, as that’s what I happen to have a lot of in my basement right now.  I think quinoa or brown rice or even a hunk of favorite, whole grain bread would pair nicely as well.  Enjoy! 😀

  • 1 medium bunch of rainbow swiss chard, tough stems removed, leaves chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • splash of red wine vinegar
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Heat oil in a medium pot.
  2. Add garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until garlic begins to smell fragrant.
  3. Add swiss chard.  Cook until leaves are beginning to wilt.  Add vinegar, salt and pepper.  Continue cooking until leaves are tender and wilted.  Taste to be sure that salt and pepper are to liking.  Plate and enjoy! 😀
QUESTION: What are YOU doing tomorrow?
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a series of serious questions

I was in an especially thoughtful kind of mood today, spending some time chewing over those very important, real-life kinds of issues.

Things like, why can’t I sleep past 6 o’clock on a Saturday? Or, why do cold oats never keep me as full as warm? And, why am I still using St. Patrick’s Day napkins on April 2?

Because, you know, these are all very important, current, real-life issues that must be mulled over every now and then.

The real question, however, was this: Why do I feel the need to run?

Some would argue the point that runners run because they can.  Plain and simple.

But that answer just doesn’t work for me.  Because theoretically, I could go bungee jumping…”because I can.” But I don’t.  I could eat an entire cake in one sitting…”because I can.” But I don’t.  I could walk up to a tall, dark and handsome stranger, give him my number, and tell him to call me…“because I can.” Theoretically.  But I don’t.

So what is it about running that lures me in?  Why do I run?  Why do you run?

This is what I came up with…

When I run, I pray. Sometimes I pray just to keep me focused.   Sometimes I do it just because it feels good to finally be alone and talking to God.  And sometime do it just to get my mind off of the way that my legs are starting to feel like dead weights hanging from my body.  😉

When I run, life feels more simple. My schedule suddenly makes sense.  My days don’t seem so crazy.  I feel focused and ready to embrace all that life brings.

When I run, I am strong.

When I run, I feel free. No phones, gadgets, internet connections (even worse, lack of) or demands.  I am alone.  I am content.  I am blissfully free.

Yes, bungee jumping is something that I could, theoretically, do.  But it wouldn’t really make life seem more simple.  It wouldn’t make me feel free in a good way.  And while I would be talking to God, I wouldn’t necessarily be praying.  More like begging and pleading for my life.

And so, take it or leave it, this is why I run.

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Grilled Salmon

This salmon is simple enough to make for a busy weeknight, but delicious enough to serve when company comes over.  It also makes the perfect post-running fuel, as its chock full of omega 3 fatty acids which may help to reduce inflammation.

Serve with your favorite veggies and some mashed sweet potatoes, rice, or a baked potato.  Enjoy!

  • 1 lb. wild caught salmon
  • 1 tsp lite soy sauce
  • garlic powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • fresh or dried parsley
  1. Heat grill to medium heat.
  2. Drizzle salmon with soy sauce and sprinkle with garlic powder, pepper and parsley.  Cook skin side down on grill for about 5 minutes.  Flip.  Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes, depending on desired doneness.  Fish will flake easily with a fork when finished.  Avoid overcooking.  ENJOY! 😀

QUESTION: What is your exercise of choice?  What makes this your favorite?

a very simple salmon

 Bulb by bulb, candy cane by candy cane.  The Christmas tree was deconstructed and taken down today.

I very easily become attached to things.  Mr. Jingles, my beta fish for 4 years.  Frenchie, my car. 

Carol, the Christmas tree.  I think I would keep it (her?) up all year if I had the choice. 

To avoid getting the Christmas time blues, I threw on my apron and set out to make a bright, flavorful lunch for the family.  Which, by the way, started with two very simple ingredients: Soy sauce and brown sugar.

And two pieces of wild caught salmon.

 Fast Forward 10 minutes.

Simple and perfect.  And that, my friends, is just one of the things that I love so much about salmon.  It doesn’t like to be messed around with too, too much, making things easier on the busy cook.

I still don’t like saying goodbye to things.  Dogs, fish, cars, or Christmas trees. 

I will say, however, that it’s kind of nice not crashing into Carol every time I do a downward dog or a sun salutation.

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Sweet ‘n’ Salty Grilled Salmon
Serves about 3

Although this recipe calls for the salmon to be grilled, you could easily cook it in your oven.  I normally use a temperature around 350 to cook my fish, testing so often to make sure that I don’t overcook it.  The fish is ready when it flakes easily. 😀

To keep the sides simple and easy, I roasted a few potatoes with garlic and olive oil; the broccoli was also roasted with a bit of olive oil.

  • 1 lb. wild caught salmon fillets
  • 1/2 T. lite soy sauce
  • 1/2 T. brown sugar
  • lemon pepper
  • garlic powder
  1. Preheat grill.
  2. Sprinkle salmon fillets with lemon pepper and garlic powder.  In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar and soy sauce.  Spoon over salmon fillets.
  3. When grill is ready, place salmon skin side down and cook for 4-6 minutes.  Flip.  Continue cooking for another 4-6 minutes or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
  4. Serve and ENJOY! 😀

Question: Have you taken down the holiday decorations yet?

a piece of salmon

Salmon has always been my favorite fish.  Haddock is nice.  Cod is lovely.  A trout from the lake is almost incomparable. 

But when all is said and done, my heart belongs to a piece of wild caught salmon.

Some people are off-putted by salmon’s strong flavors.  Where haddock is subtle and shy, salmon is loud and confident.  But the secret to working with its vivid personality, is to either (a) showcase it with simplicity or (b) find a marinade or rub that works well with the stronger flavors, thereby masking any “fishiness” that some find to be overwhelming.  That being said, a good piece of salmon should never taste “fishy.”  Strong.  Loud.  Sweet but lively.  Yes.  But never “fishy.”

Most of the time, a sprinkle of sea salt and a dash of fresh pepper are the only extras that find their way on my plate.  But once in a while, on some rare occasions, I find the need to try something new. 

I prepared a simple rub, taken from Cooking Light’s website.  I was a little skeptical of the ingredients (chili powder?  cumin?) but decided to just roll with it.

On the side, we grilled up some asparagus…

…and roasted some butternut squash (425 degree oven, 20-25 minutes, flipped halfway through.)

One important thing to keep in mind when cooking salmon is to please, please, puh-lease avoid overcooking!  Nothing will ruin a beautiful piece of wild caught salmon like letting it sit a few minutes too long on the grill.  Salmon should flake when it’s ready.  And it should melt on your tongue as you take your first bite. 

In other words, if you are chewing your salmon like you chew your chicken, you know there’s something wrong. 😉

Dad is the grill master in our family, and so this highly pressured job was left in his hands.  As always, it came out perfect. 😀

Grilled Asparagus with a Spritz of Fresh Lemon

Roasted Butternut Squash

Brown Rice

Maple Glazed Salmon

Maple Glazed Salmon—courtesy of Cooking Light

This recipe is quick and easy to prepare.  You can even make the rub the night before, sparing you any of the preparation duties for the following day.  This is especially nice during a busy week. 😀 

Any leftovers are fabulous served as a sandwich, in a stir fry, or simply as a salad topper for your lunch. 😀

  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground ancho chile powder (or, you could use an extra tsp of regular chili powder)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 (6-oz) salmon fillets, preferrably wild caught
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  1. Prepare grill, heating to medium.
  2. Combine first 5 ingredients.  Sprinkle fish with salt, rub with paprika mixture.
  3. Place fish on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 7 minutes.  Drizzle fish with syrup; grill1 minute or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
  4. ENJOY! 😀

Question: Do you regularly eat fish?  What is your favorite kind and how do you prepare it?