Archive for September 2012

A Week Last Year: Roundup of posts from September a year ago

I’ve been meaning to add some “this time last year” posts to ETW, as a way to highlight some Oldie But Goodies and, frankly, give me an occasional pass on whipping up a new theme and content. So when I hit this rather tumultuous week (I’ll spare you the awful lows, but the highs included our wedding anniversary and our friends’ upcoming wedding), it seemed like a good time to look back quickly at the Weeks of September 2011.

There was Kale Week, where I celebrated that lovely dark leafy green, and shared a smoothie recipe that is a staple of the Lynch Family Diet.

I also shared my hilariously poor yeast-wrangling skills in Bread Week. For the record, I *still* haven’t mastered the art of baking my own simple loaves.

During Apple Week, I a-peeled (HAR) to you to keep those skins and reap the full nutritional benefits of one of fall’s great fruits. I also shared a recipe for apple, blue cheese and spinach pizza.

Our monthly Recipe ReDux theme in September last year was Dressing For Success, and I shared a recipe for citrus sesame avocado dressing.

And finally, I put together a little pre-half-marathon fueling summary ahead of the Newport race, to maybe help out the many folks who reach my blog searching for “what to eat before a half marathon.”

Have fun with a little trip down memory lane, and I’ll be here with some new stuff next week when you get back!

RWHalf training: No running? No way.

After the Windsor Tavern Trot the Sunday before last, there was a sign that something was going awry. I’m usually pretty parched after a run, but that day my throat felt unusually scratchy. Lo and behold, I woke up on Monday with sinuses full of snot and a throat on fire, and I was staring at a pretty clear sign of how week 8 of training for the Runner’s World half marathon was going to go.

However, is the kind of person who willingly runs 13.1 (or 26.2) miles for fun – even paying for the chance to do so – going to listen to reason and forgo running entirely for a week? No, no she is not. So I decided to take a pass on any speed workouts this week, and took an extra rest day where I would have been doing a tempo run. But I still did a few easy runs – 4.5, 4 and 5 milers – and my planned 10-mile long run on Sunday.

 

So while I missed some speed work, I definitely improved my farmer’s blow technique. I hope my fellow RW Half runners appreciate that effort. And if you’re looking for some pointers, Remy’s got an instructional video for you.

Recipe ReDux: Fermented foods – pickled jalapenos on egg-stuffed sweet potatoes

Everyone knows a meal is more enjoyable with some company, but would you invite microbes over for breakfast?

That’s exactly what I did in this month’s Recipe ReDux, where our theme is getting your gut back in gear with natural fermentation. The basic idea is to harness “the transformative action of microorganisms” – as quoted in this Saveur article on fermented foods – to turn simple ingredients into tasty foods teeming with little critters.

Those bacterial and fungal colonists create rich flavors in the fermented food, and also join the existing flora in our guts to help keep things chugging along. The poster-child foods in this group include kimchi and sauerkraut (both are fermented cabbage), yogurt, soy sauce, cheeses and sourdough. Head past the jump to read about the one I tried.

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A week on the side: new salads for the “thing, thing and thing” rule

“A thing, with a thing and a thing.” That’s how Tim, my husband, describes his meal philosophy. He doesn’t mean a plate of Dr-Seuss-themed foods, but rather a simple meal consisting of an entrée and a couple sides.

This came up because I tend toward all-in-a-bowl meals – big salads, stir fries, pasta loaded with veggies and seafood. Maybe it’s because our dinner table is small, or because I don’t like slogging through a billion dirty dishes, but give me a meal with minimal plateware and I’m good to go.

That won’t always cut it for Tim, though, so we’re often serving up our default sides: a spinach and carrot salad with soy sauce (me) or blue cheese dressing (him), and a slice of toast. But there are only so many times a person can eat the same salad night after night, so I went in search of some new Things 2 to accompany our Things 1.

I landed first on this edamame slaw from Diabetic Living, via Pinterest. I liked the sound of a mix of colorful produce, a shot of protein from the edamame, and sesame oil-based dressing. It wasn’t nearly as quick to throw together as out spinach-and-carrot deal, but it was a welcome change. The leftovers even made for a good refuel after this weekend’s 9-mile run.

Then I realized I needed a list of Things 1 through 7 to round out the usual week’s worth of recipes, so I dug this list up. Let me know if any of them help break you out of a salad rut (extra points for comments left in the style of Dr. Seuss):

  • Edamame slaw in lettuce cups from Diabetic Living (here)
  • Greens & green bean salad with blueberry dressing from Disease Proof (here)
  • Zucchini, mango & avocado salad with beet chips from Fueling Endurance Performance (here)
  • Brussel sprouts salad with warm bacon vinaigrette from Cooking Light (here)
  • Lentils with fennel, apple and herbs from Serious Eats (here)
  • Three-bean salad with jalapeno-cilantro vinaigrette from Cooking Channel (here)
  • Celery and parsley salad with golden raisins from Cooking Light (here)

RWHalf training: Lemons, 9 miles, and a 3rd state checked off

I just wrapped up week 7 of my training for the Runner’s World half marathon, but the most important number this week is 3: I finally checked off the third state toward my half-baked goal of running a race in each of the 50 states and DC! Thanks to today’s Union Street Tavern Trot (a 3.5 miler), I’ve got CT under my (fuel) belt.

Sometime about a week ago, I realized that to make good on this mission (all 50 states by the time Miles goes to college), I have to bag an average 4.5 states each year. So I quickly searched for the low-hanging fruit – New England races within a few hours’ drive – and found the tavern Trot. Today, I pointed the Prius toward Windsor, and arrived about 20 minutes before the race. The registration area was already packed – the announcers later said they had over 700 people participating, so I guess that explains it.

I had plenty of time to stash my race shirt in the car, stretch the ol’ legs, and get a picture with a guy dressed as a lemon (the race raised over $20k for Alex’s Lemonade, a children’s cancer charity).

A few speeches, the national anthem, and we were off. I barreled into this with an uncharacteristically low amount of preparation, so it wasn’t until I was turning off the paved street that I realized how much of this was a trail run. Head past the jump to hear more.

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Run for your breakfast week: pancakes

Some people run for the fame and glory, for the break from everyday stresses, for fitness, or just for fun. But many runners are just in it for the pancakes.

Remy said to share it, so I’m sharing. Click image for link to original.

Apparently, pancakes are A Thing with runners. I first clued into this when I saw the Runner’s World image above on Facebook. Then I really got the message with they followed that up with the motherlode – the October RW issue features page after page of their Ultimate Pancake guide.

This topic isn’t exactly on front of mind (or end of fork) for me, as I’m not a frequent flapjack flyer. Your average pancake – flour with some sugar on top – isn’t exactly health food. But then I came back salty, tired and hungry from a recent long run and saw Ryan Hall’s molten chocolate pancake recipe, and figured it was time for my first pancake workout here in the midst of week 7 of training for the Runner’s World half marathon.

I don’t think I quite nailed that recipe, because the middle didn’t ooze chocolatey awesomeness the way it was pictured in the magazine. But that just made it easier to stuff into my face with both hands.

Now maybe you’re not bringing a 900+ calorie deficit along to breakfast, and would like some, say, healthier options. Or maybe you are looking for re-fueling after the long run but still want some nutritious POW from your pancake. Either way, definitely check out RW’s pancake guide: tall and short stacks, homemade and restaurant served, with everything from chocolate to chilies to corn, nuts and berries, or the classic butter and syrup, they’re all there for after you’ve stripped off the Sauconys.

And if you still need more, here’s a week’s worth of miles on a plate:

  • Blueberry ricotta pancakes from Eating Well (here)
  • Carrot cake pancakes from Cooking Light (here)
  • Hearty pancakes with applesauce and raisins from Cooking Light (here)
  • Spelt pistachio pancakes with mango from Em-I-Lis (here)
  • Banana peanut butter oat pancakes from Healthy Happy Life (here)
  • Pumpkin chai pancakes from Family Cookbook Project (here)
  • Sweet potato pecan flapjacks from Cooking Light (here)

I hope this gave the non-runners a little reprieve during another pavement-pounding update. Next time, though, it will probably be all running, all the time, as I get around to discussing this awesome item: