Saturday, February 27, 2010

This Week in Food...

Wednesday night I made Lime and Coconut Chicken inspired by Chaos in the Kitchen.  Due to the fact that I like to get dinner on the table in 40 minutes or less, I didn't follow her recipe exactly. So look above if you have 2+ hours to marinate the chicken first.
1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken tenders
3 tbsp oil
zest of 1 lime
1 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
pinch cayenne
1 small chipotle chili
Fresh limes
Mix all remaining ingredients except limes. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a rolling boil.  Boil continuously for at least 2 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn. In a heavy skillet or grill pan, heat a splash of oil over high heat. Cook the chicken in an even layer. Place the breasts in the hot pan and cook without turning for a couple minutes. Flip the breasts over and cook until the other side is golden, it shouldn’t take long depending on the thickness of your chicken. Right before chicken is finished cooking, add some of the marinade and mix together with chicken so it gets a nice orangy color. Sprinkle with fresh lime juice and serve with sauce on top and more on the side.
I served this along with some brown rice.  I also sprinkled some toasted sesame seeds and green onions on top.

I actually cooked 2 pounds of chicken on Wednesday and put 1 pound aside for Thursdays dinner.  On Thursday I made Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole inspired from Better Homes and Gardens.  Remember that magazine?  I remember that my mom used to get it when I was little.  I'm not really sure how I found this recipe.  I had written down awhile ago that I wanted to make Tex-Mex Chicken but I forgot where I saw it.  So I used my friend google to get inspired again.  Have I mentioned how much I love GOOGLE?!?! Alright, so I found this recipe and added a lot more delicious ingredients. Here is what I used to make this dish along with diced cooked chicken:
And here is the recipe- Tex Mex Chicken and Rice Casserole

1  container Uncle Bens :90 Chicken Flavored Rice
2  cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey 
1 can Rotel Tomatoes with Green Chilis
1/2 small can of green chilis
1-1/2  teaspoons chili powder 
1/8  teaspoon ground cumin 
1/8  teaspoon black pepper
1/2 Can of Black Beans, Drained
1 Cup of Fresh Salsa from the Produce Aisle (I use this all the time!)
1/2  cup shredded Mexican blend cheddar cheese
Cook rice in the microwave Transfer the rice mixture to a large bowl. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, chile peppers, beans, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper. Transfer half to a casserole dish.  
Sprinkle half of the cheese ontop.  Then add the rest on the casserole dish and sprinkle the rest of the cheese. Bake, covered, in a 425 degree F oven for 25 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
 Serve with diced avocado on top!
So I didn't have to use the stove at all to make this dish, I decided to also make Jalapeno Popper Soup inspired by Chaos in the Kitchen ( I like this blog, can you tell?)  THIS  SOUP WAS INSANELY SPICY.  I ended up throwing more than half of it away.  I tried hard to eliminate the seeds in the jalapenos but I guess one two many got in there.  I also more than halved her recipe.  Like I used only 3 jalapenos and my soup was still RIDICULOUSLY SPICY!  Eeekkkk!!!  I don't even think my drain enjoyed the soup- literally when we put it down the garbage disposal, you could feel the spicy fumes in the air! So this was kinda a fail for me.  But check it out on Chaos in the Kitchen!
I did end up eating my portion of the soup.  Dave had like two bites and couldn't handle the heat, but I do like things spicy!  Just not so sure I like it THAT SPICY!  Here is my entire meal all-together.  We have the casserole, soup and a side salad.
And just now I made Chicken Enchiladas inspired by Annie-Eats.
Chicken Enchiladas
1 medium onion, chopped fine
1 jalapenos, seeded and chopped fine
1 tsp. canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. sugar
1 can tomato sauce ( I used half of my favorite- Classico)
1 cup water
1/2 cup can of diced tomato with chilis (the rest of the can from Thursdays dinner)

1/2 can of green chilis (the rest from Thursdays dinner)
1/2 can of black beans (the rest from Thursdays dinner)
Salt and pepper
1 lb. boneless, cooked, skinless chicken tenders
1 cup light Mexican blend Cheese

8-12 (6-inch) soft flour tortillas
Cooking spray

Combine the onion, jalapeno and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers have softened, 8-10 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar, and cook just until fragrant, less than 30 seconds.  Mix in the tomato sauce, water, and diced tomatoes, chili and black beans.  (I love being able to use ingredients in two different meals and not wasting anything!!!)

Bring the sauce to a simmer, lower the heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.  (Nestle the chicken into the sauce.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is completely cooked through (160˚ F on an instant-read thermometer), about 12-20 minutes.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside to cool.  - my chicken was already cooked!) Strain the sauce through a large mesh strainer into a medium bowl, 
pressing down on the onions and tomatoes to extract as much liquid as possible.  Transfer the reserved solids to a large bowl and set aside.  Season the sauce with additional salt and pepper to taste. Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and add to the bowl with the onion mixture.  Add in ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce, ½ cup of each of the shredded cheeses, and the cilantro.  Stir to combine. Preheat the oven to 425˚ F.  Oil a 9 x 13" baking dish with cooking spray.  Stack the tortillas on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 40-60 seconds, until warm and pliable.  Spoon 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture evenly down the center of a tortilla.  Roll up the tortilla around the filling tightly, and place in the prepared baking dish, seam-side down.  Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas. 
Lightly spray the tops of the enchiladas with cooking spray.  Place in the oven, uncovered, for 7 minutes or until the tortillas start to brown slightly.  Reduce the oven temperature to 400˚ F.  Remove the enchiladas from the oven and pour the sauce oven the top.  Sprinkle with the remaining shredded cheese.  Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is browned.  Remove from the oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving. 
This was an AMAZING lunch!  I was supposed to make this last night for dinner, but we decided to go out for Turkish food with my brother and sister-in-law instead.  Dave and I watched an episode of Anthony Bourdain when he visited Istanbal and have been interested in trying out the food ever since.  If you live around Brookline, MA try out The Family!  
I'm off now to relax with sports- Celts game.  Then its bedtime bright and early.  Got to get ready for my Half-Marathon tomorrow, wish me luck!  And let's hope it doesn't snow or rain!  I'm going into this without expectations- just to run hard and see where that goes!  This is after all a training run for a much bigger picture.  Details on that to come soon...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


1 Year ago today, I decided to start a blog. Well, actually Gretchen decided to start a blog and I copied her.  G and I spent almost everyday during lunch reading blogs and talking about cooking so we figured we might as well document it!  Her blog has more of a clean, healthy eating perspective and well mine was a little of everything.  But I am slowly trying to make it have more of a focus. My first post was a mess, it was all over the place. I took pictures of pretty much everything I ate and wrote about some workouts and some recipes.  After a couple months of this, I realized no one cared and it didn't make sense for me to take pictures of boring food like a sandwich or coffee.  My friends all thought I was weird for taking pictures of my food and my family constantly asked how I had so much "free" time to write this thing.  They didn't get it. So I decided to refocus and only write about things I cooked, recipes I tried out, fantastic restaurants, important days and of course my workouts! It's become a journal for me to look back on things I cooked, races I've run and workouts.  I've started to get a few more followers and my close friends sorta care (they read maybe once a week) and my family finally thinks its cool that I have a blog.  Well maybe not cool, but I think they enjoy reading it without me asking them every other day "Have you read my blog?" So I've been writing for a year and it's totally become a passion of mine.  I really can't imagine not writing my accomplishments on races and workouts and not posting my delicious meals!  Dave always says one of the things he admires most about me is my ability to give 100% into whatever I'm passionate about.  Like this blog, my work, cooking and my running.  Although I may half-ass other things in life, I try to give my all into the most important things.

So if you read this blog, comment below and let me know!  And don't forget to wish me a HAPPY BLOGERVERSARY!!!

Here's to many more years of blogging, running and cooking delicious meals!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Speed Tuesdays + The Other White Meat

Speed Tuesdays!  Leah had me do a faster workout today.  8X400s with 400 rest in between starting at 1:40 and going down a second each one if I could.  This was not easy for me today.  I'm still sore from my race on Sunday so I was really just battling through it. So I will be honest and tell you I had to cheat a little.  My 400 rest was spent walk/jogging.  And I also finally brought a piece of paper and a pen so I could accurately remember all my splits so I obviously couldn't jog and write that down.  Here is my workout: 
2 Mile Warmup at 10 min pace (6.0MPH)
400: 1:40
400 Rest (Walk/Jog)
400: 1:39
400 Rest (Walk/Jog)
400: 1:38
400 Rest (Walk/Jog)
400: 1:37
400 Rest (Walk/Jog)
400 Rest (Walk/Jog)
400 Rest (Walk/Jog)
400: 1:36
400 Rest (Walk/Jog)
.25 Mile Cooldown
Total Mileage 6 Miles 58 Minutes
So I got through this workout.  It wasn't my best performance but I managed.  It's funny thinking that a 400 used to be my event and I used to come close to breaking 60 (PR is 62.0) and now I'm struggling running almost 35 seconds slower! Oh well!
Last night I made Chipotle Lime Pork Tenderloin inspired by Chaos in the Kitchen
2 lbs pork tenderloin (2 small tenderloins- I cooked one for this recipe and one for Tuesday)
1/2 cup lime juice
zest from 1 lime
1/4 cup honey
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp garlic powder
 1 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped
1 tbsp adobo sauce (from canned chilies)


Trim tenderloins of fat and silver skin as much as possible.  Place in a large ziplock bag or other container to marinate. In a bowl combine lime juice, zest, honey, salt, and garlic powder. Stir to combine, then pour half over tenderloins, reserving half for sauce.
To tenderloins add chiles and adobo sauce.  Seal and marinade in fridge. Preheat oven to 425°F.  In a large, heavy oven-proof skillet (like a cast iron skillet- or if you don't have one, cook in skillet then transfer to baking dish), heat enough oil to coat over medium high temperature. Remove tenderloins from marinade and sear in hot skillet on all sides. Place the skillet in the oven and roast tenderloins for about 15 min. Check temperature with an instant read thermometer.  Remove pork from the oven at approximately 140-145, cover pork in skillet with foil. Let rest on the counter for 5-10 minutes or until temperature rises to 150. Remove pork to a cutting board, pour reserved lime juice mixture into skillet with meat juices and heat on high. Allow sauce to reduce and thicken slightly, then pour over sliced pork tenderloins.  If you don’t have enough sauce or it thickens too much you can add a little water and continue simmering it until it is the quantity and thickness you want. Pour reserved lime juice mixture over meat and cover with foil.  Allow to rest 10 minutes.  Then slice and serve with extra sauce.

 This was spicy and really tasty.  It was nice to have pork tenderloin again, but truthfully, I haven't missed it that much.  I served this with leftover potato risotto and what else, Kale Chips.  Once I get back into making Kale Chips, I can't stop.  I love them!  Also while the oven was hot last night, I decided to make my spaghetti squash thats been sitting on my counter for over a week.  And I prepped my Sweet & Sour Pork by making a meal kit.  
 Robin Miller swears by them and they really are handy.  I got dinner on the table tonight in 15 minutes!

Sweet and Sour Pork inspired by Martha Stewart 
1 can (8 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice, drained (juice reserved)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
Coarse salt and ground pepper
Pinch or two of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
6 scallions, white and green parts separated, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 bell peppers (ribs and seeds removed), cut into 2-inch pieces
1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli florets, thawed and patted dry
Cooked rice, for serving
In a small bowl, stir together 1/3 cup pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, and 1/4 cup water. Season sauce with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Cook pork, in two batches, until well browned on one side, about 1 minute (pork will cook more later); transfer to a plate (or if you use the prep ahead method, your pork will already be cooked so you can skip this step.) To skillet, add scallion whites and bell peppers; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until peppers are crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Add pork (along with any juices), broccoli, and pineapple chunks. Whisk sauce; add to skillet. Bring to a simmer; cook, stirring, until broccoli is warmed through, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in scallion greens, and serve with rice.

 This was again good not amazing.  When I finished my portion, I felt like I wanted more so I decided to make Kale Chips.  
 And while I was making the Kale Chips, I might as well use up that squash I made last night and make Spaghetti Squash and Kale Gratin inspired by Kalyn's  and Cara's Blog.


5 cups cooked spaghetti squash strands 
1 tbsp olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1 large onion, diced small

fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 cloves minced garlic
12oz washed, chopped fresh kale
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/8 cup of grated mozzarella cheese
1/8 cup grated parmesan
2 eggwhites


Heat 1 T olive oil in a skillet. Add the chopped onions and cook for a few minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper, and cook one minute more.  Add the kale, with water still clinging to it from washing, cover, and let it steam for a few minutes until slightly wilted (it will cook more when the casserole is baked). Spray a  casserole dish with non-stick spray. Combine the sour cream and beaten eggwhites and mix into the spaghetti squash and kale. Transfer half of the mixture to the casserole dish,  and top with mozzarella cheese. Add the remaining mixture on top and sprinkle the top with remaining Parmesan Bake about 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and cheese is browned on top. Serve hot.
I do this a lot.  I have an easy night of cooking planned and then because I wasn't in the kitchen very long, I decide to make something else, even though I don't really have a place for it on my menu this week.  But I'm sure we'll be able to eat it for lunch.  Plus I think my gratin was a little smaller than whats listed above. I tried a couple bites of this and it's AMAZING!  Yum! Cheese and Kale, honestly, what could be better?

Don't forget to check the blog tomorrow, I have a big announcement to make!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Foxboro 10 Miler

Hi Everyone!  This morning I ran the Foxboro 10 Miler.  I felt it was really important to run a race by myself since I won't be running with anyone next weekend for the Hyannis Half Marathon.  I've never run a race longer than a 10K by myself so I knew it was going to be a challenge, but I did really well!  Official Results via my Garmin:
10.04 Miles in 1:27:32.  Average Pace: 8:43!!!
Mile 1: 8:43
Mile 2: 8:41
Mile 3: 8:49
Mile 4: 8:51
Mile 5: 8:35
Mile 6: 8:50
Mile 7: 9:00
Mile 8: 8:56
Mile 9: 8:41
Mile 10: 8:10!!!
.04: 6:26 pace
Fastest Pace: 5:58!!!
(not my finest photo but mom snapped this of me on her new iPhone after I finished) 
This race was really nice.  It had some hills but nothing crazy, lots of little bumps, ups and downs.  I felt pretty terrible the first two miles.  Kinda felt like the world was passing me, but I kept looking at my Garmin and I didn't want to go too fast so early in the race.  After the first two miles, I felt strong and was kinda shocked by my mile splits. But I wasn't out of my comfort zone so I went with it.  I finished the race with an 8:10 mile so I definitely had something left in my tank.  Who knows... maybe I will  PR next week!!

Now let me back up.  Thursday night I made Quinoa Risotto with Peas and Mushrooms.
Quinoa Risotto with Mushrooms and Peas inspired by Bon Appetit
1 cup quinoa, rinsed 
1 tablespoon olive oil 
1 1/2 cups chopped onion 
1 garlic clove, pressed 
1 8-ounce package sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms 
1 cup of frozen peas 
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided  (I used dry)
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth 
Grated Parmesan cheese
Bring 2 cups salted water to boil in medium saucepan. Add quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender and water is absorbed, about 13 minutes.Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until onion begins to brown, 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and thyme. Sauté until mushrooms are tender, 6 minutes. Add peas. Add wine; stir until reduced and syrupy, 2 minutes. Mix in the broth. Mix quinoa into mushroom mixture; season with salt and pepper. Top with shredded cheese.
Tonight we are going to my moms house for dinner and I made the Potato Risotto and PBJ Banana Bread inspired by Lauren's blog on Healthy Food for Living.  
Instead of jam on the whole thing, I added Nutella on one side.  I couldn't resist!  Plus I wasn't sure if I would like the bread.  I have a secret to admit to.... I've never had a peanut butter jelly sandwich.  Gassp, I know.  But I do have good reason.  I grew up with my friend Ori... we lived across the street from one another and basically did EVERYthing together. This included eating most lunches and after-school snacks.  And Ori was allergic to Peanut Butter so I never learned to eat it or really like it.  I grew up on "Lunch-ables" - remember those?  I wasn't a sandwich girl and I especially wasn't a PBJ kinda girl.  The other day I was making Dave a PBJ and I tried the flavors together and thought, wow this is pretty good.  Yep, I've waited almost 28 years to try it!  So, the point is this ramble is that I was excited to try out this bread, but just incase I didn't like it, I put nutella on half the bread and strawberry jelly on the other. I'm happy to report the jam side is much better than the nutella side! Okay, here is my version of the recipe.

Half PBJ Banana Bread Half PB Nutella Bread
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
1/4 cup Sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 cup skim milk
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
two eggs
1 cup all-natural smooth or chunky peanut butter (I used Dave's favorite Creamy Skippy)
1/3 cup applesauce
1 medium banana, mashed
4 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup jam of your choice (I used Strawberry)
A few heaping spoonfuls of Nutella
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a loaf pan with olive oil cooking spray. Stir together dry ingredients (flour through baking powder) in a large bowl. Combine wet ingredients (milk through canola oil) in a medium bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry and combine until just moistened. (My batter was really thick so at these point I added two more tablespoons of canola oil, Lauren's recipe called for two) Pour one half of the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  
 Spread a layer of jam over the top of half the batter. Put nutella on the other half. 
Pour the remaining batter on top of the jam. 
 Bake in oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of bread comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove the loaf. Let cool another 10 minutes or so before slicing.
Yum! This is another must try!

Here is my Weekly Menu:
Monday: Chipotle Honey Lime Pork Tenderloin
Tuesday: Sweet and Sour Pork (using leftover meat from Monday)
Wednesday: Tex Mex Chicken
Thursday: Lime Coconut Chicken
Friday: Chicken Enchiladas

Workouts Recap (not a very good week):
Monday: off
Tuesday: off (snow)
Wed: Speed - 6 miles
Thurs: 3.5 miles outside with Kimmy (check out her pics of our run!)
Friday: off
Saturday: off
Sunday: 10 miles (1 mile warmup)
Total Miles- 20.5 (oops)

Plan for this Week:
Monday: Physical Therapy
Tuesday: Speed 6-8 Miles
Wednesday: 3-5 Miles
Thursday: Boot Camp/Lifting
Friday: 3-5 Miles
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Hyannis Half Marathon!  Let's go 1:53!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Yummy Food

Monday, our dinner was unblogworthy.  Tuesday, I used the leftover crab meat from here and jazzed it up a bit by making Crab Cakes and Crab Stuffed Zuchinni Boats.  There really isn't a recipe for this.  I took the crab mixture that I had leftover and added an egg and more panko and sauteed them in a hot skillet.  I pretty much followed Gretchen's recipe for the Zucchini Boats.  I also made Gretchen's Remoulade sauce.
In addition to this, I also made one of my favorite dishes my mom makes, her Leek Soup.  OMG the first time I tried this I was in love and I've been meaning to give it a try for weeks.  So even though I planned on making crab cakes last night, when I saw how snowy and gross out it was, I decided to make some hot soup as well.  Plus I felt bad that Dave had to go out not once but twice to shovel!  And I bought leeks at the grocery store this weekend and I'm not sure what I needed them for so it was a perfect excuse to try out my mom's soup!  Here is the recipe:

Leek Soup
 2-3 chopped leeks, white and light green parts only
1 large onion chopped
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 small potatoes, diced
1 quart chicken stock
bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup milk or cream
Melt butter in a sauce pan, add leeks and onions and saute until clear, add flour and mix, cook till light brown.  Add cold chicken stock slowly.  Cook for at least an hour. Use immersion blender, then add some milk or cream.  Add more salt and pepper if needed. 
 I know this doesn't look amazing, but trust me people, it was delicious!!!  I had the leftovers for lunch today.

Tonight I made Turkey Chili Burgers inspired by Ella Says Opa.
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup drained and pinto beans, very slightly mashed
1 small onion, very finely minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo, finely minced
juice of 1/2 lime
1 teaspoon chili powder 

1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
cheddar cheese

Arnold Wheat Thins
Combine first 9 ingredients.  Mix throughly with you hands and create 4-5 equal patties.
Grill or cook in a skillet over medium heat until cooked through. Add the same time, toast wheat thins with cheddar cheese until toasty and the cheese is melted.  
On the side I made Kale Chips (oh I've missed you!) and another Elly recipe: Mashed Pinto Beans with Bacon.  I'm going to warn you, my picture does not look attractive.  But trust me people, these were sooo good and I wish I made more.  I halved the recipe and used the other half of the can in the burgers.  I also used cheddar cheese instead of Manchego and cooked my bacon in the microwave instead of in the pan.  But wow, these were so tasty!

Wednesday Speed, Mile Cutdowns

I skipped my Speed workout yesterday and postponed it until today due to snow.  That probably doesn't make sense considering I do my speed on a treadmill but basically it was because I took a later train in the morning and an earlier train in the evening because of all the snow and didn't feel like going out in the mess in the middle of the day.  So I did it this AM. Here was the workout from coach Leah:


Ok...we're going to switch it up...cut down miles... 1 mile warm up...  then 4 cut down miles...8 min mile. 7:45 min mile, 7:30 min mile, and then a 7:15 min mile.  Does this sound realistic??  No stopping!!! 

Let me know.


I was REALLY nervous about this workout, but we had agreed that I could jog between the first two miles as long as my splits kept decreasing in time.  So I jogged a warmup at 6.5mph then got going.  

First Mile: 7:54 (a little fast)
Second Mile: 7:47 (almost on)
Rest Jog 800 Meters
Third Mile: 7:29 (almost on)
Then I was dying so I decided to take a 400 jog break
Fourth Mile: 7:24 (a little slow : (

I felt proud of this workout, but wishing I could have nailed it.  Hopefully next time I do this I will be able to do it without the second jog break and hit that 7:15!  When I told Leah, she was happy!
Leah: that's really good liz
it was a hard workout
you should be proud of yourself

YAY!!!  I will tell you though, I was totally talking to myself that last mile... like "you can do it Liz, don't give up..."  I just didn't want to quit.  This was a workout we used to do on Thursday mornings in college and I honestly don't think I ever completed it, so I'm happy I finished and excited about the next time!  
My plan for the rest of the week is:
Wed: 6 miles total in 54:30, possible Physical Therapy session tonite
Thurs: Run 5-8 Recovery Miles
Fri: 3 Miles Easy, lift
Saturday: Off
Sunday: 10 Mile Race with 2 Mile Warmup and Cooldown (14 miles)
Total Miles: 31

Meals to be posted later!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Half Marathon & Valentine's Day Part II

This morning I slept in and then got ready to meet my brother for a long run.  I am running a 10 mile race next week and a half-marathon the week after so I gotta get out there and run outside.  I have a love affair with the treadmill but nothing prepares you for races more than outside especially in February in Massachusetts.  Wind, dodging ice, cold temperatures, hills, you name it.  But it was 35 degrees when I showed up at Mike's so it was practically summer right?  Not sure if I've mentioned this, but my brother is graciously helping me train.  He is taking some time off from his own training so he doesn't mind... his knees might, but I think he is happy to help me reach my goals even if I do run 2 minutes slower per mile than he does!  Mike was an 800/mile runner in college and has run about 5 marathons.  He says he is officially done with marathons but will probably get into 5Ks in the Spring.  Until then, he gets to run with me!  Anyway, our run today Mike promised to not be "too hilly."  He lied.  I'm not surprised.  We didn't run Heartbreak but parts of this run were worse than that!  We ran from Brookline to JP to Roxbury to Franklin Park and back.  Mike ran cross country in HS and all the meets were held at Franklin Park... I ran 1 year of CC but barely remember the course!  Anyway, it had tons of snow on the ground in there but we got through the run with only one minor freakout from me.  Around mile 11, I just wanted to know if we had more hills (what can I say, I like to be prepared) and Mike said no.  Then sure enough we hit another gigantic one!  I freaked out a bit then got on with the run.  We finished up Mike's street at exactly 13.1 miles!  It felt good to run that far pretty injury free.  I feel my upper heel/achilles area a bit on the runs, but not on every step.  Overall, great run.  I don't have huge expectations for my half.  Obviously, I'd love to PR, but I'm just not sure that's going to happen.  I think if I run around 1:56-1:58, I will be happy.
Today run: 13.1 Miles, 02:00:53, 9:13 pace
Mile Splits:
Mile 1: 8:28
Mile 2: 8:20
Mile 3: 8:48
Mile 4: 9:18
Mile 5: 9:28
Mile 6: 9:26
Mile 7: 9:58
Mile 8: 9:36
Mile 9: 9:22
Mile 10: 9:39
Mile 11: 9:26
Mile 12: 9:11
Mile 13: 8:59
.01: 9:07 (Straight uphill at the end)

I had a pretty lazy rest of the day until I started cooking Valentine's Dinner Part II at 6ish.  On the menu, steak, tomato-bread-arugula salad and more potato Risotto.

Crab Stuffed Filet Mignon with Whiskey Peppercorn Sauce
inspired by here
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon minced onion
1 teaspoon minced green onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon minced celery
1 teaspoon minced green bell pepper
2 tablespoons shrimp stock or water
1 (6 ounce) can crab meat, drained
2 tablespoons bread crumbs (I used Panko)
1 1/4 cups beef broth
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 fluid ounce whiskey
1 cup heavy cream
2 (6 ounce) filet mignon steaks
2 slices bacon, cooked lightly
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced shallot
1 cup portobello mushrooms, sliced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
 Instructions: Make Crab Stuffing: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet. Saute onion, green onion, garlic, celery, and green pepper until tender. Stir in shrimp stock, crab meat, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and set aside. Prepare Peppercorn Sauce: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine beef broth and cracked black pepper. Simmer until reduced to 1 cup, stirring frequently. Add1 ounce whiskey and 1 cup cream. Continue simmering until reduced to 1 cup. Remove from heat, and set aside. Prepare Steaks: Slice a pocket into the side of each steak, and stuff generously with crab stuffing. Wrap bacon around side, and secure with toothpicks. Season to taste with salt and pepper; set aside. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Saute garlic and shallot for 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms, and saute until tender. Remove mushroom mixture, and set aside. 4. Place steaks in skillet, and cook to desired doneness. Remove from skillet, and keep warm. Deglaze skillet with 1 ounce whiskey. Reduce heat, and stir in peppercorn sauce and Dijon mustard. Add mushroom mixture, and reduce sauce until thickened. Remove toothpicks and bacon from steaks, and arrange steaks on a plate. Top with sauce.
This steak was cooked perfectly medium rare. This was a perfect special occasion meal.  The only difficult part was getting the bacon cooked but other than that, this was pretty simple!  The crab stuffing and the sauce were soo good! I also made this delicious bread salad with the steak and last second decided to add in some greens.
Fire-Roasted Tomato and Bread Salad with Spicy Vinaigrette and Arugula
Inspired by Bon Appetit
8 tablespoons olive oil
4 large tomatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds), halved horizontally
8 3/4-inch-thick crusty french bread
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chili
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 red onion, chopped
4 big handfulls of arugula
Preheat broiler. Brush 2 tablespoons oil over cut sides of tomatoes. Cut the bread in small pieces and brush evoo on top.  Heat tomatoes cut size up with bread slices for 8 minutes under the broiler. Cool slightly. Cool slightly.Whisk vinegar, chipotle chili and garlic in medium bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons oil. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper. Cut tomatoes into 3/4-inch pieces. Cut bread into 1/2-inch pieces. Combine tomatoes, bread and onion in large bowl. Toss to blend. Let stand until bread absorbs most of tomato juices, about 30 minutes. Add vinaigrette and cilantro and toss to blend. Season salad to taste with salt and pepper and add in arugula and mix.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines Day Part 1

Tonight, I made the first of two Valentine's Day dinners.  I had planned my menu this morning but a lot depended on what they had at the grocery store.  Last year I showed up at 5pm on Valentine's Day and went to two grocery stores and no one had lobster or filets. But this year I was in luck!  Here are the recipes!

Thai Style Mussels

5 pounds mussels (cleaned and debearded- Dave did this step)
2 tablespoons of lime juice
1/2 Container of Thai Coconut Curry Broth from College Inn
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon Sweet and Sour Sauce
1 Large Tomato, Diced
1 cups Arugula

Scrub mussels well and remove beards. In a large pot, boil lime juice, broth, wine, curry paste, garlic, sweet and sour sauce, over high heat, stirring, 2 minutes. Add mussels, tossing to combine. Cook mussels, covered, stirring occasionally, until opened, about 5 to 8 minutes. (Discard any unopened mussels.) Add arugula on top of the mussels.
At this point I started boiling a gallon of water for our lobsters.  Then I got working on my Potato Risotto inspired by Bon Appetit.

Friday, February 12, 2010

MY Treadmill

Thursday I ran 8 miles on the treadmill.  Felt pretty good. Got to the gym and my favorite treadmill was taken so I jumped on the one next to it.  Then before I could even set up my treadmill, the girl next to me, got off MY treadmill so I quickly moved over!  YAY!  So what makes MY treadmill my favorite you ask?  It has fans on the side instead of the top so I can throw my towel over the machine and still get air circulation to my face.  It also has an oval track so you can feel like you are actually on a track.  And the TV works great- meaning the remote actually works and you can turn the channels by just hitting the up and down button.  So yea, that's why I love it!  So I got to the gym late (7:30AM ish) but decided I still wanted to get the 8 miles in since I declared it on my blog.  So I ran until 8:40ish, quickly showered and still got to work on time! Pretty impressive if you ask me! I also ran everyone off the treadmill.  Anyone else love to do this?  Like there are probably 20 treadmills at my gym and by the end of my run, no one was left.  Not even the people who started way after me!

8 miles, 1:11:29, 8:56 min/mile pace

Thursday night I made Black Bean Mushroom Cakes, kind of a blend between this recipe and this recipe. This recipe was inspired by Brown Eyed Baker. I had planned to make small cakes and serve them on the crusty french bread I had left over from the Superbowl, but after I made the cakes, the bread was missing.  Dave then informed me he ate it all! Oh well!  So I served my cakes on Josephs Reduced Carb/Flax Whole Wheat Tortillas. I'll post pics later : )

Black Bean Mushroom Cakes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 small finely chopped onion
8 ounces portobello mushrooms, stems removed and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup or more of Panko Bread Crumbs
2 ounces (about ½ cup) shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Reduced Carb Whole Wheat Tortillas


In a large skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in mushrooms, garlic, cumin and paprika and cook until mushrooms have released their juices, about 4 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Add the mushroom mixture and beans to the food processor; pulse until combined, but not smooth – leave some chunky bits. Add the panko bread crumbs and process a bit more. Mix ingredients together and divide into 10 small patties. Heat a grill, grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Place patties on the surface and cook until thoroughly heated through and the outside has crisped, about 5 minutes per side. I then popped them under the broiler to get some color on them.  I also added the tortillas with shredded cheese on a baking sheet and put that under the broiler as well.  Then I served the cakes on the tortilla bed with mixed greens and Annie's Goddess Dressing.

This morning, I ran an easy 3 on MY treadmill then lifted my arms.

3 Miles, 26:15, 8:45 min/mile pace

I had my weigh in today for our biggest loser competition at work and I'm staying pretty steady at about 5-6 pounds down from my original weight.  I would still like to be down 6-10 more by the final weigh in which is April 1st. We'll see what I can do!

Plan for the weekend is to take tomorrow off from working out then running 12-15 miles on Sunday.  I will be cooking Valentines Day dinner both Saturday and Sunday night too!  Still working on my menu but it looks like some type of surf and turf and possibly a meat I've never cooked before- veal? lamb? We'll see! Pictures to come this weekend : )