Archive for January, 2010

Roasted breakfast of champions

I got back from my run this morning and had the most amazing present waiting for me in the oven.  Slow roasted butternut squash filled with warm chopped apples & cinnamon.  It was actually perfect timing… before I left I set the oven at 300 and placed these babies in the oven and by the time I was back and showered they were perfect.  Just look at those babies…

Roast Squash w/Apples:

  • 1/2 butternut squash (lower half, seeds removed)
  • 1 macintosh apple
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch cloves
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 2 tbsp water

Cut the round, bottom section of a butternut squash in half.  Remove the seeds (reserve the seeds for roasting later!) and set in a rimmed baking dish.  Chop the apple and divide between each squash half, pouring it into the cavity.  Sprinkle in spices and stir to combine and then drizzle on 1 tsp agave nectar per 1/2.  Pour in 1 tbsp (or more to each half to ensure that the apples stay moistened.  Tent with a piece of aluminum foil on top to prevent drying out if you’re going to cook it for a while like I did.  You could cook this at about 375 for 45-60 min, depending on the size of your squash, but I kept mine at 300 and then went for my run.  When I came back I removed the foil to dry up the excess water and then got in the shower.  By the time I came out it was roasted and delicious!!

This was seriously such an amazing breakfast… or brunch, whatever you want to call it.  On my long run days I tend to just eat at a steady pace all day.  Just one of the many perks of training for a marathon 😉  Although I have to be totally honest – over 10 miles in 11 degree weather is maybe not the most relaxing activity in the world.

I had some homemade pudding to top of my meal… soo good!  I’m glad I finally bought agar agar.  Agar + almond milk = love.  I made two versions of the pudding, one with cocoa powder and another with vanilla extract and enjoyed them nestled in a wine glass.  It’s so simple too!  I just followed CCV’s agar pudding recipe…

Cocoa Pudding (makes 2 servings)

  • 1 1/3 c. almond milk
  • 2 tsp agar flakes
  • pinch salt
  • 2 heaping tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp agave nectar

Just bring the mixture slowly to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to make sure the agar flakes dissolve, and then simmer about 5-7 more minutes until thickened.  Let set in the fridge for a little while and then blend and enjoy!  For the vanilla version I simply omitted the cocoa powder and added vanilla extract.

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January 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm 2 comments

Tongue Thai’d!

Tonight I finally got out of my soup & fries rut and made up a new recipe.  I’m not totally sure if this is actually Thai, but it sorta reminded me of a non-greasy Pad Thai.  I call it “Thai-Fry” because it’s essential a noodle dish and a stir-fry mixed all together.

Thai-Fry:

  • 1 package Shirataki noodles
  • 2 c. mixed frozen veggies (I used Seapoint Farms mix)
  • 1/3 c. chopped cauliflower
  • 1 tsp crunchy PB (I used Whole Foods brand)
  • 8 shelled peanuts, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp powdered ginger (or use fresh!)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced(1/4 tsp), garlic
  • 1 tsp cornstarch, mixed into 1/3 c. water

Mix together the PB, chopped peanuts, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and cornstarch mix in a cup and set aside to be used as a sauce.  Stir-fry veggies with a little sautéing liquid (oil/water/soy sauce).  Next add the shirataki noodles to the pan and pour in the sauce.  Sauté until sauce has thickened and noodles are heated through.  Dump the whole mixture onto a plate and pull out the chopsticks!! 😉

January 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm 4 comments

A paler version of earlier…

I apologize for the super uninventive looking food on the blog lately… I’ve been busy at work and bust training (and trying to build up my leg/knee muscles) so the creativity has become a touch lost.  Luckily for me though it lacks nothing in the realm of flavor!!

I started off the day with a Vita Mix smoothie…. I call it “Harvest Fruit Smoothie“.  I froze some pumpkin puree spiced with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and a touch of agave nectar into an ice cube tray a couple of days ago, so I threw two pumpkin-cubes into the vitamix along with 1/3 cup frozen bananas, 1/3 frozen macintosh apple slices and 1 cup cold water.  The delectable results are below…

I got in a fantastic evening run tonight and warmed myself up for a very familiar looking meal… just a paler version. 🙂

Cauliflower Soup and Butternut Squash Fries!  For the soup I just took about 1/2 a head of cauliflower, 1 clove garlic, a pinch of Herbs de Provence, 1/4 tsp thyme, salt & pepper to taste, and some “Better than Bullion – Veggie Flavor”.  I added just enough water to cover and cooked until fork tender.  Then I added 2 Tbsp silken tofu and pureed the whole mixture in the Vita Mix until super smooth and creamy.

I just realized I never posted the recipe for Butternut Squash Fries… oops!  Preheat the oven to 425.  Then basically I peel and cut the squash into sticks and throw them on a pan lightly sprayed with oil.  I shake some salt and pepper over the fries, sometimes some chili powder and sometimes some paprika and bake about 35-40 minutes, stopping to flip around the fries in the middle to ensure even cooking and no sticking to the pan.  And voila!Song of the day: “Marching Bands of Manhattan” – Death Cab for Cutie

Gilmore Girls re-runs and a tiny little kitten on my lap – perfect end to a perfect evening. Now for some vino!! 😀

January 27, 2010 at 8:45 pm Leave a comment

Find your Chi

So I’ve been trying to figure out ways to run without experiencing the excruciating knee pain and stumbled across something called “Chi Running“.  I did a little research and then finally went out and bought the book last week in hopes that all the good hype was worth it.  I’ve only tried it twice now, but I’m totally hooked.  Granted, I don’t have the technique totally down, but I was able to get through 4 miles today and an 11 miler on Saturday – my longest run since my first marathon in October!!  Have any of you guys tried Chi Running, or have any suggestions for how to strengthen an injured knee? I’m feeling much better, but am really worried about re-injuring myself before the Boston Marathon.  After a torn patellar tendon and a blister underneath my kneecap, which according to my doctor was due to no crosstraining or stretching – oops – I’m trying to be careful.

After my fantastic post-work run tonight I made some fantabulous Broccoli Soup and Butternut Squash Fries… followed by oil popped popcorn and some dee-licious Granache I felt totally revitalized.

The broccoli soup was super easy – I used half of a head of broccoli, 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 a medium red onion, veggie broth and enough water to just cover the vegetables.  Simmer for about 30 minutes or until tender, add salt & pepper & puree in the Vita Mix until smooth.  Soooo good, and so easy to make!  Gotta love those butternut squash fries too… 425 for 35-40 minutes with salt, pepper and paprika… and lots of ketchup 😀

Goodnight moon!  **song of the day: “District Sleeps Alone” – The Postal Service

January 25, 2010 at 10:58 pm 3 comments

I scream, you scream…

Big news… I finally got a Vita Mix 5200 and have to say – it’s pretty amazing.  I had an awesome pilates session at Equinox this morning, (which I had never tried before and was really pleasantly surprised) and came back famished.  I made a quick lunch, but was really just eager to get to dessert. 🙂  What did I make?

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream!!  Yup, that’s right… Ben & Jerry’s eat your heart out.  Dairy-free and insanely delicious.  I have been waiting so long for the opportunity to make Vita Mix ice cream after seeing it on other blogs and was so psyched to try out my recipe.  I sorta followed the recipe in the Vita Mix cookbook for “Nut Freeze” with a few tweaks.

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream: (makes about 2.5-3 cups)

  • 3/4 cup roasted peanuts, shelled
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (I used unsweetened Almond Breeze)
  • 2 tbsp agave nectar, or more to taste
  • 3 cups ice cubes
  • 2 dark chocolate truffles, chopped (I made truffles over xmas so I used some from my freezer – you could use any chopped chocolate for this though)

Add the peanuts, agave nectar and almond milk into the Vita Mix and blend on Level 1 for about 30 seconds.  Next add the ice cubes (I think I would add less ice next time) and blend for about 30-60 seconds, pushing everything down into the blades.  I added the chocolate chunks afterwards by folding it in with a spatula, but I think it’s be nice to add about half to the actual ice cream towards the end of blending.  I threw it in the freezer afterwards to firm up for a little bit, but got a tad impatient so I ate it while it was still a little melty.  The fiance thought it was good, but could’ve used a bit of sweetness, although I don’t have much of a sweet tooth so it was perfect for me.  Enjoy!

January 24, 2010 at 4:25 pm 2 comments

Apples+PB = love

Peanut, peanut butter (and jelly apples)…  haha I get that song in my head every time I open a jar of peanut butter.   Last night I had some time to kill before going out to dinner and since I am incapable of just sitting still and watching TV, I decided to bake.  I followed Ashley from Sweet + Natural’s recipe for PB+Apple Muffins (the 2nd version).

I am seriously in heaven.  As if the muffin itself weren’t amazing, check out the surprise your mouth gets when you bite into it!!

Here’s how it’s done… Thank you sooo much for this amazing recipe!!

PB+Apple Muffins from Sweet + Natural (makes 10 muffins)

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used a scraped out vanilla bean bc I didn’t have any extract)
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chopped apples
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 325*F.  Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together honey, egg whites, unsweetened applesauce and vanilla extract until well blended. In a separate bowl, mix white whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just blended. Stir in chopped apples.  Pour half of the batter into 10 muffin wells from the prepared pan.   Place a glob of peanut butter in the middle of each.  Top with remaining batter.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.

…my mommy went out for a run (see her Chi Running book hiding here?), so I figured I’d finish this post off on my own.  Have a great day guys! – Peekay

By the way… in case you haven’t stopped by Gliding Calm today, check out her awesome giveaway – Kays Naturals Cookie Bites!!

January 23, 2010 at 9:50 am 1 comment

Pureed Perfection

So over the past day my food processor and immersion blender have seen quite a bit of love.  What can I say… I have a penchant for foods fit for a baby. 🙂  Just look at that delicioso soup!

This was Curried Squash & Red Lentil Soup from Gourmet magazine and I have to say it was pretty amazing… I only partially pureed this, leaving some nice chunks for texture.  Here’s the recipe along with my modifications:

Yield: Makes 4 to 6 (main course) servings
Active Time: 25 min
Total Time: 1 1/4 hr

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 – 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I used a combo of hubbard squash, butternut squash and yams)
1 large onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (I like it hot!)
2 tablespoons minced peeled ginger
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup red lentils
2 quarts water
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

  1. Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat, then cook squash, yams, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, ginger, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened and beginning to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Stir in curry powder and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes.
  3. Add lentils and water and simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, 25 to 40 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Puree about half of the mixture with a hand blender or separately in a food processor.

This made a huuge pot of soup, which I will be storing in my freezer because I hate having the same thing too many days in a row… boring!!  Next on the menu: Mashed Cauliflower!!!

I basically just used the recipe from CCV and it was lovely.  Thanks girlie!  It’s just boiled about 3 cups cauliflower (drained), a tsp of Better-Than-Bullion Organic Veggie Soup Base, 1 clove garlic (boiled along with the cauliflower), 1 tsp Dijon mustard and salt & pepper to taste.  Throw everything in the food processor and voila!  I added a touch of water to create a creamier texture, but it’s up to you how soupy you want things.

And now the Pièce de résistance… Pumpkin Pudding!!!  I made this vegan-style with silken tofu in place of cream and it was ridiculously good!  To be honest it was a touch sweeter than I hoped because I accidently bought pumpkin pie filling instead of plain canned pumpkin, but I opened it before realizing my mistake so I can’t just put it to waste…

It’s basically just a cup or so of soft, silken tofu and 1/3 cup of pumpkin purée.  Since it was already spiced and sweetened I didn’t add anything, but in the future I’ll definitely be using plain pumpkin and my own spices and a touch of honey or agave nectar.  Oh yeah, I also made this deliciousness… Vegan Sausage & Peppers!

I used a whole green bell pepper and one small red onion sliced into strips, minced 1 large clove of garlic and sautéed them for a bit.  Then I added a few dashes of pizza seasoning, herbs de Provence, red pepper flakes, a tablespoon of tomato paste and some water to create a sort of a sauce.  I threw in some diced Seitan Sauasage a well as some kidney beans for some extra protein… delish!

Well I’m off to go for a run in my new Vibram FiveFingers.  These get quite a bit of attention in Central Park, let me tell you… but more on that in a different post.  

January 21, 2010 at 3:32 pm 5 comments

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