Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tasty Tuesday - roasted chickpea and mushroom tacos

I love veggie tacos.  They're delicious and easy.  But I was getting bored of my usual black bean and veggie tacos so I went looking for an alternative.  I found this roasted cauliflower and chickpea taco recipe from Two Peas and Their Pod and was inspired to create my own version.

Ingredients for 4 servings

1 can chickpeas
1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Coriander
1 teaspoon Smoked paprika
1 teaspoon Garlic powder
1/2 a Napa Cabbage
1/4 cup Cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Avocado, cheese, and/or sour cream to top your tacos

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Rinse the chickpeas and mushrooms and dry thoroughly.  Once they are dry, mix the chickpeas with half a tablespoon of oil and half the spices, plus salt and pepper to taste.  Roast them for 30-35 minutes.  While they're cooking, mix the mushrooms with the remaining oil and spices. Roast them at 450 degrees for 20 minutes.  I did this part the day before so dinner would be very quick the next evening.

Chop the cabbage thinly and mix with the vinegar and sugar, plus salt to taste.  Let this marinate together for at least 15 minutes.  You want the slaw to be pretty strongly seasoned so taste and add more vinegar and/or salt if needed. 

Warm the tortillas in the microwave and then the tacos are ready to put together. If you made the chickpeas and mushrooms the day before, they can also be warmed up in the microwave.

Put the chickpeas and mushrooms in the taco shells and top with the slaw as well as any toppings you want.  I had salsa and avocado on mine while Mike had cheese and sour cream.  These were delicious!  The earthiness of the spiced chickpeas and mushrooms paired really well with the freshness of the slaw.  And the roasted chickpeas added a pleasant crunch.

I'm linking up with Lean Lena for Tasty Tuesday and will be linking up with Deborah and Tina for Meatless Mondays.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Weekly Review

I had a great but busy weekend.  It included a lot of time with friends, which was nice.  But first, here is a recap of my workouts from the week.  The week started out slow, but I did manage to get in my 10,000 steps every day.

Monday - rest day

Tuesday - rest day

Wednesday - Elliptical machine

Thursday - It was a beautiful day and I meant to go for a run after work.  I took everything I would need for a run outside.  But I forgot a sports bra.  Oops.  So I ended up on the elliptical again because I figured that would be do-able without the sports bra and something was better than nothing.

Friday - I did Jillian Michael's yoga around lunch time.  And since it was a beautiful day again I went for a walk around the neighborhood in the afternoon. It was a bit more than a mile and a half.

Saturday - The Semper Fi 5k was this morning.  I'll do a full review later but we had a great time.  It was a beautiful, flat course along the river which led to a PR :) I did about a mile and a half to warm up beforehand and then the 5k.

Sunday - Barre class in the morning.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!  This week is going to be a lot of cooking prep for our camping trip for me.  I also volunteered to make a casserole for a food bank for a community service day we're having at work this week.  So lots of kitchen time for me.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Friday Five - random things

Wow, this is my first post of the week.  Things have been a bit busy this week but I thought I'd pop in and at least provide a quick update of random things going on in my life for the Friday Five with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia.

1.  I have a new niece that was born this week!  They live in New Jersey so I won't get to meet her right away but we'll drive up later this Summer to meet her and begin the process of spoiling her :)

2.  We're going camping over Memorial Day weekend so some of this week and last weekend were taken up with preparing for the camping trip, making sure we have all our gear ready, etc.

3.  I'm back to running this week and looking forward to the Semper Fi 5k tomorrow. They have a new course which seems logistically more challenging but hopefully fun to run on.  I loved this 5k last year but I have high hopes that I'll love the new course too.  The weather is supposed to be hot and humid but the rain is supposed to hold off until the afternoon and hopefully the heat won't be too bad in the morning.

Smiles after we all got PRs at last year's Semper Fi 5k

4.  I'm signed up for the Fit Foodie 5k!  I talked some girlfriends into making a weekend of it so we're getting a hotel room in Virginia for the weekend as well.  I'm looking forward to a fun race and good catch up time with friends.

5.  I spent some time last weekend gardening and will do some more this weekend.  I planted some herbs and will be planting some veggies this weekend.  Perry seems to be overly fond of the herbs though.

Hopefully I'll have some left after Perry's done with them!

The other thing I've been occupied with this week is basketball!  The Washington Wizards have been doing well in the playoffs and I've been enjoying watching the games, but some of them have been too close for comfort.  We lost a close game earlier this week but I've got my fingers crossed for today's game.

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Pike's Peek 10k

This race was a couple week's ago, the same weekend as Ben's Run.  I did Ben's Run on Saturday morning and this 10k on Sunday morning.  This review is hard to write because I had really built this race up in my mind.  I had heard so many great things about it, it has a reputation for being fast, I've been PR'ing 5ks recently, and I really thought I was going to PR this 10k since I've only done one other 10k and that was last June.  But it was not to be.

The logistics were great, as with all MCRRC races.  Let's start with packet pick up.  There were pre-race hours on both Friday and Saturday at a local running store.  The store happens to be between my work and home so I stopped on the way home Friday.  It was super quick.  Since it was predicted to be cold and rainy for the race, I also bought a waterproof running jacket that was half off.  It even converts into a vest. Score! There was pre-race packet pick up as well and it seemed like it was efficient, according to a friend that did that. They also had an option to drop off old running shoes for recycling, which was nice.

Here's the rain jacket I picked up

The registration came with a tech shirt that I really like.  Unfortunately, I can't find it at the moment to take a photo.

It was a point to point but both the start and end were at metro stops with plenty of parking.  So you could park at either the start or finish and take the metro as needed.  My dad was volunteering at the medical tent at the finish so we dropped him off first, then Mike dropped me off at the start. There were plenty of signs and it was easy to navigate.

My dad having fun at the finish while waiting for runners to start coming in

I was at the start pretty early but that turned out to be good.  There was absolutely no port-a-potty line at that point but the lines for both that and bag check grew really quick.  I met up with a friend and we got toward the back of the pack.  The race started on time and this is when things began to go downhill for me.

There we are, running up the hill in our jackets and pants, way overdressed

Remember when I talked about the cool rain?  Nope.  It was beautiful, sunny, and warm.  I was completely overdressed in a long sleeve shirt and jacket.  Plus, the start line for the race shifted this year and started with a short but steep uphill that I went out way too quick on. I was dying by mile 2 and told my friend to go on without me.  The course was mostly a straight shot down a major local road but not all the lanes were closed so we were running in close proximity to traffic. And since it was in the middle of the road, there wasn't much shade. One good thing was the net downhill.

I had started with 6/1 intervals but shifted to alternating between 3/1 and 2/1 intervals. And since I was feeling so poorly, I was just not in a good headspace and really failed the mental game. Once I knew I wasn't going to PR but also wasn't going to be swept, I kind of gave up between miles 2 and 4.

Once I got to mile 4 and knew I only had 2 miles left, I got myself together and started pushing again. It wasn't a PR but it wasn't as bad as it could be, I guess.  My 10k PR is 1:18:52 and my official chip time here was 1:20:32.

The weather just really got to me.  But I finished strong and that's something.  I was able to see Mike and my dad at the end, which was great. The finish area party was great with lots of food and music.  A local Italian restaurant was a sponsor and they provided pizza and pasta.  I didn't feel like eating any of that but there was a cool machine making fresh squeezed orange juice that tasted like the best OJ ever!

Fresh squeezed OJ machine!

Instead of a medal, the race gave finishers a bottle opener.  I like that it's something practical that I can use.  And my dad got a hat for volunteering. 

Overall, I'm not sure if I'll do this race again.  I'll probably try it again at some point for redemption. It was well organized, there was a fun finish line festival, and it was really close to me in an area I'm really familiar with.  I didn't love the course but that may just be due to the weather and my head space.

At the finish line, after getting rid of the jacket!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tasty Tuesday - Blue cheese and mushroom pasta

Ok, I'm warning you guys that this isn't much of a recipe but rather an experiment where I threw some things together.  But it tasted so delicious I had to share to the best of my ability!  It started with a trip to the farmer's market where we saw a local pasta maker.  It was dried pasta so it stays good for months but there were lots of fun shapes and flavors.  So we picked up this spinach and garlic fettuccini.

We also picked up an assortment of mushrooms that looked like a lot of fun. 

The third fun ingredient we picked up was a mild blue cheese from a local cheese maker.  So I decided to use these three ingredients in a way where they would hopefully be the stars.

Ingredients to make 4 servings of pasta

8 ounces pasta
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Half medium onion
Half bell pepper
Variety of mushrooms
1 medium tomato
Milk (I used 1%, approximately 1/2 cup)
4 ounces of a mild blue cheese, chopped into small pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Basil to sprinkle on top

Boil a pot of water for the pasta and cook according to instructions, making sure to salt the pasta water. While the pasta is cooking, wash the veggies and chop into bite size pieces. 

Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion and pepper for approximately 4-5 minutes.  Then add in the mushrooms and let cook for another 5 minutes.  Once the mushrooms have softened, add in the tomatoes and some salt to taste.  Let the tomatoes cook until the liquid is released and the dish begins  to look saucy.  At that point, lower the heat and add in the milk.

It's a pretty pink color at this point. I then added in the chopped up cheese and stirred until it was melted so the sauce thickened up. I added in the pasta and tossed it together.  Taste to make sure no more salt is needed since the cheese can have a varying amount of salt. Once plated, I sprinkled some chopped basil on top for a bit of freshness.

I have to tell you, I had no idea how this was going to taste.  I didn't know if it was going to be completely inedible and we were going to have to get take out.  But luckily, it ended up being delicious!  I'm sure a lot of that was because of the quality of the ingredients from the farmers market. If I made this again, I would probably add in some more mushrooms, or maybe some roasted cauliflower. 

I'm linking up with Lean Lena for Tasty Tuesday and will be linking up with Deborah and Tina for Meatless Mondays.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Weekly review

My work outs started slow last week as I was having some weird back pain.  It started out as excruciating on Monday but improved to just mildly irritating on Wednesday.  I'm not sure why this happened.  It was in the sort of shoulder blade area, maybe due to the weights last week since I had been ignoring upper body before that?

Monday - rest day
Tuesday- rest day
Wednesday - rest day to make sure my back was ok
Thursday - elliptical after work

Friday - Jillian Michael's yoga workout.  I hadn't done this in a couple weeks and it really kicked my butt!

Saturday - Capital for a Day 5k with a warm up run of about a mile before the race.  Again, I forgot to turn the Garmin back on until 3-4 minutes into the race so the Garmin data was incomplete.  

But according to the official results, this was a 5k PR for me! I finished the 5k in 36:53 which is an average pace of 11:52 per mile. My 5k PR before this from March was 37:44.

Sunday - Jillian Michael's 30 day shred.  I meant to go to barre class but got the time wrong :( Thankfully the studio was understanding and didn't apply the no-show penalty. So I went home and did the Jillian Michael's workout.  It's amazing how much of a workout she manages to squeeze into 20 minutes!

We're still doing the step challenge at work, it was week 2 of the 4 week challenge.  I met my goal of 70,000 steps for the week in spite of the back issues during the early part of the week.

I hope you all had a great week!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Friday Five - race day activities

Happy Friday everyone!  I am extra excited for this Friday since we're planning to go see Avengers, the Age of Ultron tonight.  I'm a geek and love the Marvel movies so this is a big thing for me :) But in the meantime, it's time for the Friday Five link up with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar.  The theme for today's link up is Race Day so I'm going to talk about 5 things I do for every race day.

1.  Lay out all my gear - Since most races are early in the morning and I am not a morning person, I try to lay out everything I need the night before.  I learned the hard way that I'm going to forget things otherwise.  I lay out my attire in one place and all my gear in another so that the morning before the race is as easy as possible.

My attire laid out and ready for the Rock and Roll Half

2.  Peanut butter toast for a pre-race meal - I've experimented with various things but have figured out that I run best with a light meal before heading out for the race.  My standard is 2 slices of toast with PB2 (not as fatty as normal peanut butter).  I've even taken some along with me for races where I'm staying in a hotel so that I can have my usual pre-race meal on the road.

I shook things up this day with chocolate PB2 and strawberries :)

3.  Photos - I run with my phone for music and communication purposes.  But a nice fringe benefit is using it to take photos.  I generally don't take photos while in the middle of a race since I'm not talented enough to run and take photos at the same time but I do try to remember to take pre and post race photos.

My Disney race was my one exception to not taking mid-race photos :)

4. Post-race recovery - I have a couple things I do after races in order to try to make sure I have a quick recovery.  I do these things whether it's a 5k or half marathon.  I'm not usually hungry immediately after a race but I do eat some of the post-race food usually a banana or orange or whatever bar they have available.  Then I stretch my legs, ice my foot and knee when I get home, and do some foam rolling later in the day. 

5.  Brunch or other treat- My favorite race day tradition!  I generally like to have some sort of post race treat.  It can be something that Mike and I make at home or delicious brunch out.  Mike made me great chipotle-sour cream scrambled eggs once with delicious hash browns.  For the Rockville Twilight 8k, which was a night race, we had tapas and sangria at a local restaurant.  Also delicious :)

Brunch after the Lawyer's Have Heart 10k

I hope everyone had a great weekend!