Friday, October 29, 2010

Sad Run, Happy Food

(A couple notes...I wrote the start of this post yesterday.  I'm a little less negative today... and I really, really tried hard to write this post earlier in the week so I'm not bombarding you with food, but I was too tired... so enjoy the long post)

5 Miles.  Today I ran 5 miles.  Just 5 measly miles.  And it was hard.  Really really hard.  My injuries weren't hurting... the only thing that wasn't working was my brain.  I try to be real when it comes to marathon training.  It's HARD.  I've been running pretty much since the age of 13 and it's really really really hard for me sometimes.  My goal was to run 5 miles fast so next week when I run 26.2 at a much slower pace, it won't seem so hard. (haha, yeah right)  So my goal was to bump up my pace by .5 on the treadmill every mile.  I started slow.  10 minute pace slow.  Then I went up to 6.5mph, then 6.7mph, then 7.0mph, then 7.2mph.  Then I walked a quarter mile at mile 4 and contemplating quitting for the day.  I walked and thought this is supposed to be fun and I really hope next week when I run 26.2 through all the boroughs of NY, it will be. So to all you runners out there, how do you keep your brain positive?  How do you keep out negative thoughts during runs? Enlighten me, clearly, I need it.

So lets move on to much brighter news... like food. This week marks the end of my CSA. Since mid-June, I've been picking up my CSA from Silverbook Farm.  Every week I've gotten amazing vegetables from 6 different farms. About 50% of the produce is from Silverbrook Farm.  The rest are from the following:
  • Allen's Neck Farm - Certified Organic
  • Eva's Garden - Certified Organic
  • Sylvan Nursery - Sustainably grown fruits and vegetables
  • The King Farm - Sustainably grown vegetables.
  • Matte's Orchards - Conventional Fruits and Vegetables
  • Hillside Farm - Conventional Corn Grower
I totally recommend using Silverbrook Farms for all your CSA needs for 2011. I loved the consistency and variety of vegetables and fruit I got each week.  It was so fun!  Here's what I got last week and this week:
 I got in Week 14:
Brussel Sprouts, Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Pears, Green Tomatoes, Apples, Turnips, Acorn Squash
and in Week 15:
Leafy Greens, Apples, Jam, Carrots, Potatoes, Fennel, Tomatoes and Broccoli.

With these ingredients I made Stuffed Acorn Squash with Kale and Pumpkin Sweet Potato Pizza as well as Brussel Sprout Mac N Cheese, and Fried Green Tomatoes.  So what did I do this week? Read on friends...
Monday night, I made Meatball Subs, without the meat.  I made the "meatballs" using eggplant, mushrooms and nuts.  Sounds creative right?  Well don't give me the credit, I got the inspiration from Katie at A Small Boston Kitchen and she got it from Kerry at Cooking Chronicles. I'm always looking for creative ways to eat vegetarian and this was no exception.  The meatballs had a crispy outside and were soft in the center.  They almooost tasted like meatballs.  Almost.  (Okay, okay, not really... but they resembled meatballs and my hubby enjoyed them so thats what counts : ).  Of course, I looked at both girls recipes, then googled some recipes and came up with this one.
Eggplant Meatball Subs
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of minced garlic
1 eggplant, peeled and diced
1 cup of mushrooms, sliced thin
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup of walnuts
1 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 cup of minced italian parsley
seasonings- salt, pepper and oregano to taste
2 eggs
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
mozzarella cheese (or whatever cheese you have)
1 baguette, cut in half
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or saucepan and cook the garlic over medium heat until golden. Add the eggplant, onions and mushrooms and cook over low heat until very soft, about 10 minutes. Stir the eggplant occasionally while it cooks. 
Add walnuts in at the last second.  Once soft, add the mixture to a food processor. Pulse to combine. Combine the bread crumbs, parsley, salt, oregano, eggs and cheese in a large bowl. 
Stir in the eggplant, mix well, and then scoop small amounts of the mixture into your hands and form meatballs the size of a small egg. There should be enough to make about 12. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saut√© pan over medium high heat, then fry the meatballs, turning them occasionally so they brown evenly for a few minutes, then place on a baking sheet to finish in the oven. 
Then slice the baguette, add some sauce, some cheese and three eggplant balls and place back in the oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
I served this with Kale Chips, obvi.

Then I made Cottage Pie from this months Everyday Food.  It was on the cover. I made this basically for the sole reason that Dave wants more meat.  He emailed me this early in the week: 
"Just took a break and read your blog.  Very nice posts.  I noticed that the dishes are a bit light on meat.  Let's make a fat steak post soon."
Cottage Pie
3 tablespoons of butter
1 large onion, diced
2 large carrots, sliced in circles (farm the Farmers Markets, seriously so sweet and delicious!)
2 tablespoons of tomato paste
1 lb of ground pork (all I had, you can use ground sirloin)
1 teaspoon of dried thyme
1 cup of dark beer (I only had Miller Lite, so yep, I used Miller Lite)
2 tablespoons of flour
1 cup of frozen peas
2 small potatoes, skin removed and sliced thinly
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter, and add onion and carrots.
Stir often and cook until the onion is soft. Season with salt and pepper and stir in tomato paste. Add meat and cook breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add thyme and beer and bring to a boil.  
Cook for five minutes then add in the flour. Add some water until mixture thickens. Then stir in peas and season with salt and pepper. Transfer mixture to a 2quart baking dish.  
Top with sliced potatoes, overlapping the slices.  Season potatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle some melted butter on top. Bake until potatoes are browned about 35-45 minutes.
Now, I'm usually not that into Shepard Pie/ Chicken Pot Pie type dishes, but this was so good!  I think I liked it better with the pork because pork is leaner.  The carrots were so sweet and balanced with the thick sauce, everything tasted great together.  I especially loved the "potato" like chips on top!

Last night I made Quiche Lorraine Pizza.  I saw it on Brown Eyed Baker and was intrigued.  I had leeks I was going to use to make Leek Soup (which I did), but in addition, I added some leeks to a pizza with bacon, cheese and eggs.  What could be bad?

The leek soup is my moms recipe, I have a recipe linked on my recipe page, but honestly, no matter how many times I make leek soup, it's never as good as my mommy's!
Quiche Lorraine Pizza
Store Bought Pizza Dough
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 leek (white and light green part only), thinly sliced
6 slices bacon, cooked 
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
3 eggs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. While you wait for the pizza dough to rest, melt 1 tablespoon of the unsalted butter in a skillet over medium heat and saute the leeks. Season with salt and pepper and saute until they are soft, about 5-7 minutes. Roll out pizza dough on pizza pan.  Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and brush it over the pizza crust. Top with the sauteed leeks, then scatter the bacon over the leeks. Top with the shredded cheese. Crack the eggs over the cheese (evenly spaced) and season the top of the pizza with freshly ground black pepper. 
Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is golden and the cheese is melted and starting to brown.
Dave had no idea what I was cooking for dinner, he was too busy playing video games. When he took a look at this dinner, he was quite confused.  His immediate response "You come up with some weird stuff."  But it's bacon, cheese and egg on a pizza- breakfast on pizza!
He ate the pizza, but I think he was still confused by it.  This morning he poked fun at me and said "I'm going to have a bowl of cereal and put an egg on top." haha

So that was the dinners for the week! Tomorrow is my last (longish) run of marathon training.  Meeting my old intern, Jess's (hi Jess) friend from college for a run tomorrow.  Tara is also running NY and we are starting the race together!! Also, tomorrow is Gretchen's 30th Birthday.  Go on over to her blog and wish her a Happy Birthday! We celebrated by eating the famous Burgers at Radius for lunch.  I think I'm still full from it.  (Recap on that lunch and restuarant coming soon) Happy Weekend!


  1. When I'm deep into a run and negative thoughts start swirling, I literally just turn that part of my brain off. Think about anything else. Recipes to make, things to do, etc. It also helps to tell myself I'm stronger than I think I am, AND that things could be much much worse. Whew, there's a pep talk for both of us. :) I really wish we could run together, but (selfishly?) I want to hang onto my 9:40 start!!

    PS - egg on pizza looks fun and yummy.

  2. Just like our muscles can get fatigued, I think our brains can too. Marathon training is mentally draining. Find a groove and stick with it. I usually start using a mental mantra when I feel like my thoughts are beginning to take over a good run. *Running is a privilege" is what I mentally repeat.

    And to be honest, I've been praying when running a lot more. I find my head is much clearer when I get back and everything that seemed so problematic when I started then seems better. It might not work for everyone, but it's certainly been working recently for me!

    Stay strong!

  3. EGGS!!!! You're feeding my addiction!

    I'm sorry you had a bad run. All my runs are bad so I don't know what advice to give you except just keep going. :)

  4. Ok, what was with all the working hard this week when you should have been blogging? Don't psych yourself out, you're going to rock that marathon. And you're definitely rocking the "weird" foods. This all looks so good, I'm going to have to make those eggplant subs. Can't wait to celebrate with you tonight!

  5. I can only imagine how hard it is! Sorry i can't offer words of advice on the matter.

    Ahhh i told Gretchen to get the radius burger at lunch! what did you guys think? Can't wait for the recap.

  6. Thanks honey you always make such interesting food. As far as your thoughts go, just remember you are an extraordinary young women who is capable of doing whatever you put your mind on. I believe that you can accomplish anything you want. I love you. Good luck next week!

  7. Liz, you have one marathon under your belt and this one will reflect that. NYC is a magical experience as well, and that will add to your endorphins that way. I promise!

  8. Sorry you had a bad run. The week before my marathon, it seemed like all my runs were tough and sluggish. I think the nerves get so overwhelming at this point. Trust in yourself and your training.

    I try to think of anything but running when I get to that point. I remember funny things, think about work, anything to ignore the ridiculous as that sounds!

  9. You're right... marathon training is HARD... and I'm glad people are real about it. Just enjoy your race and breathe it all in. Good luck!

  10. I only run when I want to. That way I always enjoy my runs. This is the sole reason why training is so difficult. There are always those days when the last thing you want to do is lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement. My best advice to postpone a run if you're not 100% into it. Run happy or find something else that makes you happy. It's a great motto to live by.

  11. hi! yum - that cottage pie recipe is definitely on my list to make ASAP - sounds so perfect for this cold weather... i can't believe it's only 1 week to go!