Recipes! – What I’ve been eating this week!

I am not a fun person to be around at 6PM – that is my hangry time. When I get home from work I want to eat as quickly as possible. But, I want to keep my meals interesting and relatively healthy. This week I’ve made two of my favorites that are easy to make and pretty versatile so I thought I’d share them with you guys.

Thai vegetable and noodle soup

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This recipe is so easy and is a great way to use up whatever vegetables you have in your fridge.

1 tbsp Thai red curry paste

1/2 can coconut milk (regular or light)

1 cup broth or water

1 package noodles (I prefer egg but rice works too – as long as it cooks in 10 mins or less it should work)

1 tsp brown sugar (leave out if you don’t like sweeter curries)

 

Vegetables (I usually use 1 carrot cut into sticks, broccoli florets, sliced mushrooms, shredded green cabbage)

6 large campari tomatoes halved (bigger than cherry tomatoes but smaller than regular sized)

1 tbsp fish sauce

juice of 1 lime

1 green onion sliced

bunch of cilantro chopped

unsalted peanuts chopped

1. In a wok, heat red curry paste in a small amount of oil until fragrant – about 3-4 mins.

2. Add coconut milk and mix. Add broth/water and brown sugar and bring to a simmer.

3. Add vegetables. If you want to add protein you can add a salmon fillet at this stage to poach. Sometimes I add small cubes of tofu. I cook these for 10 mins.

4. Add noodles. The noodles that I use require 4 mins cooking time.

5. Once everything is cooked I add my tomatoes and let them soften for 1 minute.

6. Take off the heat and add the fish sauce and lime juice.

7. Spoon into bowls and garnish. In my opinion the garnish really makes this dish. I love to add chopped green onion, cilantro and peanuts.

Serves 2. Done in 20 mins!

Pasta bake

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This is what I’ll be having for dinner tonight! I prepped it last night so all I’ll have to do is stick it in the oven at 350F for 25 mins while I take a shower after working out. This is adapted from a couple of recipes on Skinnytaste.

8 oz pasta

1-2 spicy Italian chicken sausage (use vegan/vegetarian alternative if you avoid meat)

1/2 onion diced

sliced mushrooms (I use half a pack)

1/2 bottle of Dave’s Gourmet Butternut Squash pasta sauce (this is the quick and easy way)

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1/2 butternut squash – chopped, boiled and pureed

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup broth

4ish sage leaves sliced

Handful of baby spinach

mozzarella

parmesan

1. Boil pasta – usually I cook it for 1-2 mins less than indicated

2. Squeeze sausage meat out of casing and fry in olive oil for a 4-5 mins.  Remove from pan.

3. Cook onions until soft 3-4 mins. Add mushrooms for 2-3 minutes.

4. Add butternut squash sauce/puree. Also add broth, Parmesan, cooked sausage and sage leaves. Mix well. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 mins. Keep an eye on it and add more broth/water if it looks to dry.

5. Remove from heat. Add cooked pasta and spinach. Mix well until spinach wilts. Empty into oiled 9×9 baking dish.

6. Top with mozzarella – the amount is up to you. Finish with grated Parmesan.

7. Cook for 25 mins at 350F or until cheese becomes bubbly and slightly browned.

Serves 4. Enjoy!

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Day 39 – Tempo run

Last night we had a quick pasta dinner before hitting the climbing gym. Chicken and mushrooms in a white wine sauce. After I took this photo I dumped a ton of broccoli on my plate. Gotta eat your greens.

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My PT has OKed me to some tempo work. Yay!?! I decided today was the day to start. The plan was a warm up mile – at about 8.00 min/mile pace – and then 15 mins at 5K pace. Mile one was 7.17 min pace and mile two was 7.21 pace. Not bad. Then a coo-down 1.17 mile (uphill) back home. Overall 4.17 miles at an average of 8.32 min/mile pace. I think. My Garmin was acting a little funny today – ignoring my time spent waiting at the traffic lights and adding a mystery 400 ft elevation gain. WTF?

After work we spent the evening getting ready for our first camping trip of the year. I can’t wait. We’re heading down to southern Utah for the weekend and plan to hike and trail run. The highs should be in the low to mid 60s. Sunny and beautiful scenery. I’m planning to do my long run down there on Sunday and will plan to bring my camera on this one. Here’s a taster of what we’ll be looking at all weekend.

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March total: 22.62 miles/36.4 KM

Day 31 – Down dog

Last night I got home from work and had about 30 mins to eat before I had to start getting ready for yoga class. So I made my go-to pasta dish – chicken, artichoke, red onion whole wheat spaghetti with a mozzarella-tomato-arugual (rocket) salad. 25 mins all in.

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Then yoga class. This was a mixture of core plus some deep stretching. A perfect way to work up a sweat and then stretch it out. My legs were a little rough after PT earlier but it felt pretty good. I even managed to do halfmoon pose and reverse halfmoon. Poses that I always struggle with. It seems as if all those leg strengthening exercises I’ve been doing have actually been strengthening my legs. Who would have guessed?

As I mentioned yesterday it’s been a while since I’ve made it to this class and the instructor was wondering where I’d been. She also talked during the class about how much progress all her regulars had been making. I’d like to think that was especially for me!

My local yoga studio is about 0.5 mile from my house so I usually walk there and back. I feel like it preps me for class and gives me time to clear my head. Although when I walk back in the dark I always get creeped out by this statue.

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I’m convinced that one night this little girl statue is going to turn her head and look up at me. Maybe I’ve been watching too many horror movies.

This morning was back to the training plan. 4 miles at 8.36 min/mile pace taking it nice and easy. I can definitely notice the mornings getting brighter and I saw 6 other runners out this morning. For the last couple of months I have seen nobody. At my PT office yesterday the receptionist lady also mentioned how busy they are because running season has just resumed – well except for all the people who have been braving it all winter.

Today was just a regular run until I hit the park. It’s about a mile away and I like to do shorter runs there because I don’t have to stop for lights or watch for cars. Plus there’s an older gentleman who seems to walk there every morning who always says hi to me.

This time as I was entering the park there was a lady there with two dogs – both unleashed. One stayed by here side while the other starting running towards me. Now I like most dogs but I get a little nervous when I’m meeting a dog for the first time. This dog looked pretty friendly but you never know. So I stopped and walked and let the dog sniffed me out. Whatever he smelled he wasn’t interested and left me alone. All this time his owner never said a word. No calling him back or apologizing to me who was clearly sketched out by the situation.

I think it was her reaction more than the dog’s behavior that annoyed me so I told her she should leash her dog (you know obey the law). But it put me in a bad mood for the rest of my run. I’m not a confrontational person and I like to think the best of people so it bothered me for the whole morning.

Luckily for me I’m going to hit the climbing gym tonight and forget all about it!

Day 22 – Start of Week 4! Already!

So far I’ve completed three full weeks of half marathon training. And it has flown by. No tempo runs or hill work but I’m still able to run and have the done all the mileage I had planned. So I counting this as a win. Hip pain gone. Right quad still a little tight and knee pain is still lingering. But I’m improving – feeling stronger, running better and I think my injury is improving. My next race is a little over a month away and I’m really looking forward to it. Plus it’s a St Patrick’s Day themed race with hidden leprechauns.

This morning was a recovery run. I seriously heavy legs but managed to get 4 miles in at 9.18 min/mile pace. It felt slow and not the most fun run I’ve ever done but I did it. Sometimes these runs are the hardest but I think they help with mental aspect of training. Pushing through when you know your body can handle it but your mind wants to give up.

Today is a holiday – President’s Day. I think the US really has it’s act together having a holiday in January and February just when you need a break from winter. So my run was in actual daylight – no headlamp! And a sunrise. Plus a shortened day at work and an afternoon core session.

Got another episode of Scandal under my belt. That show is seriously awesome.

Dinner last night was a pasta bake. I’ve been making a bunch of these lately. This one had bacon, onions, mushrooms and spinach in a butternut squash sauce. Plus a whole lot of mozzarella and parmesan on top. It’s never too early to carb load right? Served with roasted brussel sprouts – they’re not just for Christmas. Rest day tomorrow and I need it!

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