Inclines & Indian Food
Oh my goodness are my legs killing me! Yesterday I participated in a hike through the organization Urban Escapes, and man was it amazing! I think I definitely underestimated the “difficult” trail rating, but it was exactly what I was hoping for at the same time. The bus picked up the small group of us at 8am midtown west while the wind blew hard around us… I had the sneaking suspicion my 3/4-length pants wouldn’t cut it, but there was nothing I could do at that point!! About 1.5 hours later we arrived at the mountain based and faced the most difficult part of our climb… a straight up “scramble” up the first of 4 peaks we climbed along Breakneck Ridge in Garrison, NY.
I have to admit, I love hiking, but am somehow still slightly scared of heights and there were some point of the climb when I found myself pressed against rock and willing myself to just look forward and not down. At 1,300 ft you sorta can’t decide you want down anyway…
In total we ended up hiking 11 miles total including a couple of scrambles up the rock faces with the wind trying to knock us down. It was intense and exhilarating! The two guides, Brittany and Dan were so knowledgeable and personable and just made the whole trip that much better. I was seriously sad when we started hearing snatches of traffic toward the very end.
Today I woke up hungry after the ridiculous workout on Sunday and wanted to make a filling and nourishing dinner so that our muscles could repair properly. Nothing better than some hardcore bean-based recovery food!! I used Smitten Kitchen‘s recipe for Chana Masala. It was kind of fabulous.
Chana Masala: Serves 2-4 (depending on hunger levels) – From Smitten Kitchen
This recipe was originally adapted from Madhur Jaffrey’s recipe, and then further adapted to meet the items I had in my own pantry. One thing to be sure if that this recipe has serious flavor!
- 1 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 2 medium onions, minced
- 1 clove garlic, pasted
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
- 2 dried, hot red chili peppers, minced with seeds
- 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 15-ounce can of whole tomatoes with their juices, chopped (I used Muir Glen)
- 2/3 cup water
- 4 cups cooked chickpeas
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 lemon (juiced)
Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, amchoor (if using it), paprika and garam masala. Cook onion mixture with spiced for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan. Add the water and chickpeas. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice.
I served this along with some whole wheat pita for dipping and some Kale sauteed with Garlic slivers, minced ginger, salt, pepper, sesame seeds and sesame oil until wilted and darkened in color. AMAZING. I will definitely be powered up and ready to hit the gym after a dinner like this!!
By the way… if you live in NYC, Philly, D.C. or Boston, I highly recommend you check out Urban Escapes. They do everything from hiking and rock climbing to river tubing and paint-balling. It is founded by people who are enthusiastic about the outdoors and “breaking out of the bubble” of everyday city life. No, I don’t work for them… although I’d love to!!!!!