Thursday, September 30, 2010


I'm loving the comments in my post on vegetarian meal ideas and I found out that my friend Lauri now reads one of my favorite blogs, Oh She Glows, and found it through my site. I've decided to quickly list some of the bloggers who inspire me to eat delicious food and lead a healthier lifestyle.
So if you're looking for some inspiration to cook something healthy and delicious or get your tail off the couch and into the gym, I really encourage you to click over. I started my journey towards healthy eating by visiting a nutritionist back in Feb. 2009 but following these blogs has really helped me maintain the good habits I learned. They've encouraged me to try new things in terms of both food and fitness, and I owe a large part my complete obsession with all things healthy to them.

Oh She Glows
Healthy Tipping Point
Carrots N' Cake
The Fitnessista
Heather Eats Almond Butter
Eat Live Run (she's transitioned from a healthy living blogger to a more standard food blogger- aka she uses white flour now when it's called for and sometimes eats bacon-, but all of her posts are great)
Daily Balance

I've also been inspired by Mark Bittman's philosophies regarding food as well as his recipes, Simply Recipes, 101 Cookbooks, and Smitten Kitchen.

There are many more blogs that I subscribe to and enjoy, but this is kind of a primer on the blogs that really color the way I look at and enjoy food and fitness.

What are your favorite blogs?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I love how we're sitting on the edge between seasons this week. This past weekend I was basking in the sun on the beach in Ft. Walton, Fl (thanks to my friend Steph's lovely parents who let us use their condo!) and this weekend the plan is to go to my friend Jon's family farm and have a bonfire and make s'mores. Love it!
I'm also enjoying welcoming fall food back into my house. Currently there is an acorn squash and a bunch of fresh brussels sprouts sitting in my fridge, waiting to be devoured. Yum!
I found myself sending my mom a bunch of meatless dinner ideas today and thought I'd share the list here because it is a good one. (And in true flexitarian style (p.s. I actually hate the word flexitarian), I am also planning a post on roast chicken- just as soon as I roast one during daylight hours so I can take decent pictures of the process.)
But anyway, if anyone is looking for a little meatless inspiration, I hope my list will be helpful. Note: This list is, for the most part, decidedly non-vegan (I love me some eggs and cheese).

Lentils and brown rice:
Cook dried lentils according to package directions. I like to season them with garlic, onion, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. I serve them alongside stewed okra and tomatoes (basically, you cook frozen okra with a can of stewed tomatoes) and cornbread.

Tex-mex rice bowls:
Black beans and brown rice topped with any of the following: cilantro, lime juice, salsa, chopped tomato, sauteed onions and garlic, mushrooms (sauteed or fresh), chopped green onions, avocado, cheese, or sour cream.

Black beans and saffron rice:
Saffron rice comes in packages at the grocery store, and is bright yellow and darn tasty. Top this combination with black olives, green onions, and chopped tomatoes or salsa.

BBQ bean bowls:
Black (or red) beans and brown rice topped with BBQ sauce, green onions, and mushrooms.

White beans and Kale:
This is my favorite winter meal. White beans sauteed with hot sauce, lemon juice, onion, garlic, Kale and topped with lemon zest, and Parmesan; served atop brown rice.

Roasted tomatoes, onions and white beans:
Toss a pack or two of cherry tomatoes (or any other small tomato or halved roma tomatoes) and some roughly chopped onion with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 for 30 minutes. Pour tomatoes and all their juices over a bowl full of warmed white beans. Add some basil (fresh is best but I also like to get the squeeze bottle of chopped basil at the grocery instead of having to use dried basil) and mix everything up. Serve this over toast- it's beans a la king!
Other quick bean ideas:
Garbanzo beans stir fried with Kale, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
Baked beans on top of a microwaved or roasted sweet potato.
Baked beans on cheese toast (preferably whole wheat) with chopped tomatoes.
White beans mixed with diced green chilies, cayenne, and cumin make white chili. Top with cheese.
Black beans, salsa, and cheese in a whole wheat or blue corn tortilla.

Veggie Enchiladas:
Roast some chopped squash, mushrooms, and zucchini (and really whatever veggies you like- experiment!) at 400 for 30 minutes. Place cooked veggies inside whole wheat tortillas, along with some shredded cheese, and plain yogurt (or sour cream) mixed with salsa- be careful not to overfill! Roll the tortillas up (I find that 4 tortillas worth is plenty for 2 people), and top with enchilada sauce (you can get this in a can at the grocery store on the mexican food isle) and more shredded cheese. bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

Kale, Eggs, and Potatoes:
I chop up red potatoes and toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme- them roast them for 30-45 minutes at 400. While that's going on, I simmer Kale in about a cup of water with garlic and onion, lemon juice, a little hot sauce, and lots of black pepper (this takes 15-30 minutes, just check occasionally to make sure the kale is done). I serve the Kale with a fried egg on top and the potatoes with ketchup mixed with hot sauce for dipping.

Kale Spaghetti:
Cook the Kale like you do above, then toss it with some cooked spaghetti and Parmesan or goat cheese. You can top this with a poached egg too. Poaching eggs is really easy. You add a splash or two of vinegar (you won't taste it, I promise) and a little salt to a small pot of water and bring it just to a boil, meanwhile, crack an egg into a small bowl (this is really important. You can't just crack the egg into the water or it will break). When the water is just boiling, turn down the heat, gently slide the egg into the water, then cook for 3 and a half minutes. Remove it with a slotted spoon to let the water drain off before you put it on your food.

Baked Eggs in tomatoes:
Hollow out a couple of tomatoes and throw away the tops. season inside the tomatoes with salt and pepper, then sprinkle in a little cheese (goat cheese is awesome here- but you can use any cheese or any sort of spices you like really, just don't add too much b/c you want room for an egg inside the tomato). Crack and egg on top, being careful not to spill it. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until the egg has set. Serve with toast or a side salad.

Scrambled egg tacos:
Fill either whole wheat or blue corn tortillas with scrambled eggs, salsa, and shredded cheese. Devour. :)

Scrambled eggs and portobello mushrooms:
Brush portobello mushroom caps (2 or 3 per person) with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and broil for 10 minutes, turning them over after 5 minutes. In the meantime, scramble 2 eggs per person. Put eggs on top of the mushrooms. You can add toppings like goat cheese or veggies to this too, but it's surprisingly good plain.

Veggie omelets:
My favorite omelet in the world contains, fresh spinach, fresh chopped tomatoes, and feta cheese. So fresh and delicious.

Tomato soup and grilled cheese. It doesn't get any easier.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Race Update

Sorry for the long absence! I don't really have a ton to say, but I did want to write a quick update on my race plans. I've decided to skip the Gulf Coast Half Marathon on Oct. 10 and run the Jazz Half Marathon on Oct. 30 instead. I've made this decision for several reasons. First of all, both my 9 mile and my 10 mile long runs were bad. I expected the 9 miler to be bad because I ran a tough race the day before (but felt like I needed to stick to my training plan anyway) but the 10 miler took me by surprise. Let's put it this way: it was so bad that it was actually a 9.5 miler. Basically, it was insanely hot which took me by surprise (since it's cooled down a little bit here at least) and around mile 6 I stepped in a puddle and spent the next 3.5 miles rubbing the skin off my feet. So when I hit my door and realized I'd only gone 9.5 miles, I decided to call it a day. And we won't even talk about time.
My next reason is that my running buddy Margee hurt her foot and doesn't feel confident that she'll be well in time for the Gulf Coast Half Marathon.
And finally, the Jazz Half is $10 cheaper until the end of the month!
After Margee and I talked it over this weekend, I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and I went out and ran the best 6 miles (it was a "short" long run week) I've run in a long time. (It was also pretty cool Sunday evening, which had to have helped!)
The good run plus the extra training time is making me feel much less worried! I don't really pressure myself to race at a certain pace, but I don't want to get out there and do really poorly compared to my half last year, which is what I think would have happened had I raced on Oct. 10.
In other news, I discovered an awesome oatmeal topping this morning! Unsweetened apple sauce and walnuts- give it a try!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Busy Bee

I'm never this productive, but tonight I've gone to the gym and lifted weights, roasted a chicken (for dinners later this week), made kale and white beans (dinner tonight plus lunch this week), washed a load of laundry, washed the dishes, and altered a skirt and a dress that I've had forever that were too big. I'm so proud of myself! I still have to iron some clothes for tomorrow and would like to read a bit more of The Secret History, but I just had to blog about everything I've accomplished.
I've really been inspired to rework some items of clothing that were less than stellar lately thanks to the blog New Dress A Day. She gets an outrageous item from the thrift store for $1 or less and makes something adorable to wear out of it every day. Amazing!
I'm not a great seamstress by any means, but I am able to alter my clothes and make things like curtains, bags, and pillowcases when the mood strikes me. (I've made a grand total of 3 dresses and a shirt as well, but that was a number of years ago.) I feel kind of bad about letting my sewing skills stagnate. The hardest step for me is actually getting my sewing machine out and setting it up. It's really hard for me to overcome my own inertia but when I do, I'm always proud of myself. And I think it's a good idea to repair or alter something I have rather than buy new clothes all the time.
So with that in mind, I've dyed a gray knit dress purple to make it look less like a nightgown, removed the waistband from a shrunken dress and worn it belted as a top, adjusted the waist of a lovely Orla Kiely skirt that was too big, and adjusted the torso of a sleeveless black knit dress that was too long. And now I'm really excited to wear them!

Have you done anything you're proud of lately?


I love the shirt I'm wearing today. It's a pink button down with green, white and navy stripes and a white collar. But the reason I love it is for the tiny embroidered skull and crossbones on left cuff. It makes me feel secretly awesome.

Thursday, September 9, 2010


I've been reading about savory oatmeal in the fitness blog world for a while now, but I've been really hesitant to give it a try. Oatmeal is just something I associate with breakfast, and something that I think should be sweet.
However, I decided to try it when I read about savory oats topped with an egg. (I'll eat just about anything with an egg on top!)
Although the savory oats were sounding more and more appealing, my mind kept rebelling at the thought of non-sweet oatmeal. Finally, I had to tell myself "It's not oatmeal. It's porridge." Rebranding it that way let me approach my dish with an open mind and I'm glad I did. And of course, I was too busy stuffing my face to take a picture!
This recipe is 100% comfort food and I enjoyed it so much that I'll probably make some more for breakfast tomorrow!

2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1/4 cup shredded cheese (approximately)
1/4 cup chopped tomato
2 sunny side up eggs
salt, pepper, and hot sauce to taste

Bring milk to a boil and add oats. Simmer until milk is absorbed and oats are creamy. Top with cheese, salt, pepper, hot sauce, chopped tomato and eggs. Lament that you haven't tried this sooner. :)

I think that there are a lot of possible variations for this dish. You could add cottage cheese, goat cheese, salsa, nuts, beans, green onions, veggies, etc....

What's the strangest thing you've eaten that turned out to be surprisingly delicious?

Book Binge

I have a lot of reading to do.
Currently unfinished are Mrs. Darcy and the Blue Eyed Stranger (a book of short stories that is, thus far, excellent- I'd recommend it especially to people raised in the South. My darling fiance gave it to me for my birthday.) and The Orphan's Tale- In the Night Garden (This one has an overall plot but is also composed of a series of short stories- these are more like fairy tales though.) I've enjoyed both so far and intend to finish them.
However, I also need to read The Girl Who Kicked in the Hornet's Nest (because it has been loaned to me by my friend Margee), Stories edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantino (a birthday gift from my darling fiance's brother and his girlfriend), and Pope Joan (for bookclub, although my friend Steph just finished it and didn't like it, so I'm not incredibly excited to read it now).
So of course it's completely logical that I just bought The Secret History. In all fairness, it's been on my wish list since it was mentioned in an article on Jezebel, by one of my favorite of their writers, Sadie. (I really enjoy her taste in books and movies).
On Tuesday, my darling fiance found out that Donna Tartt is doing a book signing at the Ogden on Sunday and passed along the information, saying that The Secret History was one of his favorite novels in high school. His copy is apparently worn to bits from his reading and re-reading it, so I decided to buy my own. I also greatly enjoy his taste in books, so I am looking forward to getting the book, which will arrive this afternoon.
I feel kind of neglectful for planning to read it before all the others that are waiting patiently in line.

What books do you plan to read soon?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

5 Foods I Love

Inspired by Bouille and NoJuju....

1. Soft boiled eggs with buttered toast for dipping
2. Prosciutto
3. Pâté
4. Grilled Corn
5. Cannoli

It's so hard to only list 5!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Running Weekend

I had a lovely, busy long weekend. Friday afternoon, I got my hair cut and decided to get some long, Zooey Deschanel inspired bangs. I love them!
On Friday night, my darling fiance and I drove to Pensacola, Fl to visit out friends Matt and Kelly. Kelly's family had rented a great condo on Navarre Beach and we had a great time catching up with Matt and Kelly and their two kids- Ellie (3) and Charlie (1). Matt is a Methodist Pastor and will be performing our wedding ceremony in April.
Saturday morning, I got up early and ran 3 miles along the beach. I ran on the actual beach for about a quarter of a mile before I decided that my knee wasn't a fan of the instability of running on the sand. Overall it was a great run because there was a nice cool breeze coming off the water.
The rest of the day was spent relaxing, swimming, eating, and sunning myself. Lovely!
We drove home Saturday night because my darling fiance had to work on Sunday.
Sunday was a big day for me because I ran the Crescent Connection Bridge Run. I was really excited about the race because my race number was 504, which is the local New Orleans area code. I was convinced that it was a lucky sign! The race was great and I had a wonderful time. I ran with my friend Margee. She came in 24th in women's and I came in 25th, but we both basically finished in 36:15. I was really happy about this race because I wasn't wiped out afterward like I was last year (I could barely stand up) and I wasn't sore today. I'm not much faster than I was last year, but I've noticed that I'm recovering much more easily. I think I'm stronger, which is pretty cool!

Post race, sporting my new running skirt Prior to my race, I got groceries and stopped by Buffalo Exchange because I was in the mood to shop. Buffalo Exchange is my secret to buying nice jeans- I got a great pair of Guess skinny jeans for $16! (Previously, I've ended up with a pair of Citizens for $25, which I'm still pretty proud of.) I also bought two funky pattern tops. My bangs are tired of my wardrobe of staples. :)

A better shot of the bangs
Today, I ended up running 9 miles. I normally wouldn't run the day after a race, but I needed to keep on track with my half marathon training. The run was pretty grueling (due in part to the fact that I ended up running around noon),but I got through it.
I also ate some excellent food today. Breakfast was eggs in a nest, lunch was whole wheat spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce and a poached egg, and dinner was grilled trout with basil pea puree, grilled corn (which may be my new favorite food), and salad with avocado and a cherry vinaigrette. Dessert, which I am enjoying now, is praline ice cream.
Lunch tomorrow will be whole wheat spaghetti with leftover basil pea puree and goat cheese.

How was your holiday weekend?