Holy countdown, Batman. We are a mere (less than) four weeks away from the marathon! I could not be more psyched. Last Saturday, we had a nice 10-mile recovery run. We started so early that even the streetlights were complaining about the hour. But the (second biggest) event is this coming weekend, when we do our 22-mile training run. I’m equally excited for this run as well. And then that’s it! Kind of—we still have two recovery runs after that, an 11-mile and a 5-mile—but this will be the end of our long training runs. Then it’s marathon time.
I know that pretty much every recipe I feature here is, just, my new favorite thing and the best thing you’re about to ever eat. And to be fair, I never really exaggerate—I have found some amazing recipes! But this one is my new favorite, seriously, I could eat it for days. (Haha, I did eat it for days.)
Besides how yummy it is, I also love that it can be done with regular cheese, Daiya cheese for a vegan recipe or with no cheese at all because it’s Just. That. Good.
I didn’t do step-by-step photos, but you can find some great ones at Oh She Glows, where I originally found the recipe. Guys, I just can’t recommend this enough. Seriously, I’m texting my best friend right now that it’s also good just as a side dish. I’ve included the recipe as I originally found it, but when I cooked it, I changed it up a bit by doing 1 cup of wild rice (instead of a half cup of short-grain brown rice). It gets pretty rice heavy, but it’s worth it. I stirred in some cheddar cheese and then served it with avocado.
Yield: 4 burritos or 3.5 cups of filling
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, cubed, & roasted
- 1/2 cup uncooked short grain brown rice (yields: 1.5 cups cooked)
- 1-2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
- 2 tsp ground cumin, or to taste
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
- One 15-oz can black beans (about 1.5-2 cups cooked), drained and rinsed
- 3/4 cup Daiya cheese (or cheddar cheese)
- 4 tortilla wraps (large or x-large)
- Toppings of choice: (avocado, salsa, vegan sour cream, spinach/lettuce, cilantro, etc)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 425F and line a large glass dish with tinfoil. Drizzle olive oil on squash and give a shake of salt and pepper. Coat with hands. Roast chopped butternut squash for 45 mins. or until tender.
Step 2: Cook brown rice (for directions, see here)
Step 3: In a large skillet over medium-low heat, add oil, onion, and minced garlic. Sautee for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Now add in salt and seasonings and stir well.
Step 4: Add chopped red pepper, black beans, and cooked rice and sauté for another 10 mins. on low.
Step 5: When b’nut squash is tender remove from oven and cool slightly. Add 1.5 cups of the cooked butternut squash to the skillet and stir well. You can mash the squash with a fork if some pieces are too large. Add Daiya cheese and heat another couple minutes.
Step 6: Add bean filling to tortilla along with desired toppings. Wrap and serve. Leftover filling can be reheated the next day for lunch in a wrap or as a salad topper.
Yet again, this was a tough run. It was made especially hard since I’m coming off a 4-week (flippin’…FOUR WEEKS) cold that turned into bronchitis…the last month has been exhausting from that alone. Whatever, I’m just glad to wake up and not cough up a lung. So, following my doctor’s orders to not move from my bed, I took a two week break before our early morning 18-mile run. I was a little nervous that my legs would stop working, and they almost did, but I finished. And I kept running a quote from famed runner Dean Karnazes through my head:
“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”
Excellent advice from an inspiring athlete.
Whew! Sixteen miles. So that’s done. This was the training run that really made everything click—that this marathon is happening and running it is really hard. Twelve miles was hard. Fourteen miles was hard. But this week, 16 miles was painful. Especially once we hit the last three miles, when I felt like I was crawling through an ocean of molasses just trying to get back to the parking lot. Weirdly, this has made me even more excited for our 18 mile run coming up in two weeks.
The best thing we did was switch up the scenery and run at the beach. We started just south of the Santa Monica Pier and ran four miles north, just a little past Temescal Canyon Road. It was a beautiful day at the beach. We are so lucky to live here!
Happy 2014, everyone! Instead of black-eyed peas, we started the new year with whole wheat waffles, a recipe from “Vegan Cooking for Carnivores” by Roberto Martin. Don’t worry, you don’t even have to ask—they are sooo freaking good. Highly recommend. I also recommend buying the cookbook if you’re curious about a vegan diet—Roberto is excellent at making a plant-based diet palatable to those who prefer the meatier side of food.
- 1 cup organic whole wheat flour
- 1 cup organic, unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups nondairy milk (almond, soy or rice. I used Trader Joe’s Organic Unsweetened Soy Milk.)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup organic applesauce
- 5.5 tablespoons vegan butter, melted (I used Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread, Original.)
- Nonstick cooking spray
- Maple syrup
Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
Step 2: Stir in the milk, water, applesauce and melted butter until well incorporated.
Step 3: Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes while you preheat the waffle iron.
Step 4: Spray the preheated waffle iron with nonstick spray and cook the waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve with maple syrup.
*Makes 8 medium waffles.
I’m a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. Most people wait until January 1 to start on their new goals, but I like to jump in head first—two weeks early (though, I realize right now we’re less than a week from NYE). I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and it’s always much more effective when you can step into the new year with a strong start on your resolutions.
It’s easier to exercise daily/lose 10 pounds/eat healthier/volunteer more if you’ve not only been doing so for two weeks, but you managed to fit those things in around the holidays. Plus, when you’ve planned ahead and started your resolutions early, you won’t wake up on New Year’s Day hungover and thinking, “I’ll just start eating healthy tomorrow…”—that’s the end of the beginning.
One more tip? Tell bunches of people your resolutions so you’ll feel accountable to your words. (Mine are below! And if your resolutions include charity work, start now! Find details on donating to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital here!)
So what are your resolutions? Do you guys have any special tips on sticking to those goals for 2014?
Marathon training is going so well, to the point where I look forward to 12-mile runs on a Saturday morning. And right smack dab in the middle of all that goodness—a cold hits. Like, I woke up this morning and it was all stuffy nose, sore throat and cough, cough, cough. So now I’m trying to speed heal in order to be ready for our 14-mile training run this weekend. This weekend! So soon!
My go-to cold remedy is always a vegan diet, and the lack of dairy contributes to a lack of mucus, so, hopefully I’ll be feeling better tomorrow morning. We’ll see. (I’m not much for over-the-counter cold meds, they make me spacey and a little nauseated.) For now, it’s lots of healthy foods and maybe—just maybe—some super helpful advice from my favorite bloggers? Any suggestions for feeling better soon are welcome!
Side note: Because we’re in Los Angeles, we have the chance to try Amazon Fresh grocery delivery. We had bunches of fresh produce delivered today at Trader Joe’s prices. Worth. Every (though not many). Penny.
We decided to do something a little different for Thanksgiving this year. Instead of a big family dinner with tons of turkey, stuffing, bread rolls, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, yada yada yada…we decided to take a relaxing holiday, and each person made something different for dinner: pomegranate martinis (from fresh pomegranates!), brie en croute for appetizers, spicy Italian sausage lasagne, caesar salad and pumpkin pie (some traditions we want to keep). It was so delicious! And with our non-traditional meal, there wasn’t the urge to overeat…just to enjoy our food and be thankful. Hope you had a great holiday!