Archive | July, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

31 Jul

Liberty1

How To: Store Fresh Herbs

30 Jul

Last week, I made Maple-Lime Chicken Skewers for dinner.  I bought a bunch of cilantro as a garnish.  There is no substitute for fresh herbs in cooking as far as I’m concerned.  The problem is that when I buy herbs, they go bad so quickly.  Since I abhor being wasteful, I sometimes just skip buying herbs all together.

While I was cleaning up from dinner I decided to find a better way.  I pulled the cilantro leaves away from the stalks and filled up my ice cube trays and added water:

cilantrocubes1

The next day, I emptied the frozen cilantro cubes into a freezer bag and marked the date:

cilantrocubes3

When I need some fresh cilantro, now I just have to defrost a cube or two at a time and voila!  Fresh herbs that will be available to me for months.

CilantroCubes2

Do you have any tricks to keeping your herbs fresh?

 

Lessons and Improvements

29 Jul

It’s time for my weekly workout recap!!  I know you were on the edge of your seat all weekend wondering how my progress was.  It’s okay.  You can admit it, its just between us.

reginageorge

Monday: I basically used Monday as a recovery day from my long run on Sunday (a whopping 2.5 miles).  In retrospect, I should’ve done a stretching workout.  It may have prevented some problems I faced throughout the week.

Tuesday: Ran 2.54 miles, but noticed a pain in the arches of my feet.  I’m not sure if this is happening because my shoes are getting old, because I’m getting old, or because I’m just out of shape!  I took walking breaks when it started to get really uncomfortable and that seemed to help.  Also, how awesome is it that I found these single serving chocolate milks on clearance at the grocery store for 39 cents each!?  The box must’ve opened and they couldn’t sell it.  Very convenient for a gal who usually drinks chocolate milk after cardio as a recovery aide!

chocolate milk

Wednesday:  Rest day.  I spent the day obsessing about why my arches were hurting and the shin splints that tormented me all day.  I am constantly battling shin splints and live in fear of having a Kevin Ware-ish moment with one of my legs.  Irrational?  Yes.  But I am so paranoid about getting injured because I just don’t want to have a major setback right as I’m building up momentum.

Thursday:  Cross training day, in which I power walked 2 miles.  This came at a perfect time.  Everything below my knees had been incredibly sore and this walk really helped me loosen everything up.  During the walk, I reflected on why I am feeling weird pains.  I decided that it’s probably because I am pushing myself to run faster than I should be.  I committed to running at a slower pace the rest of the week to see if that would help.  Also, on August 3rd, I will be attending a running clinic offered for The Great Race.  Hopefully they can tell me more about my pronation and steer me toward a better suited running shoe.

Friday: Ran 2.03 miles and had shin splints even worse than earlier in the week!  WTH!!!!  When I got home, I iced them off and on for about an hour and felt a little bit better.  By Saturday, I was honestly feeling really worried.

Saturday:  Cross training day, which I spent helping Christina on the remodel.  Between the squatting, lifting, and just general construction/painting/cleaning tasks I tackled – trust me, this day was not wasted!  None of this helped my shin splints at all, but I also didn’t feel any worse.  In fact, by Saturday night I was having anxiety about my long run Sunday morning.

Sunday:  I woke up and thought Get up and walk around.  If your shins are hurting, don’t push yourself into injury.  Just listen to your body.  And you guys.  My body was ready to run!  I felt great.  I was determined for this day to be better than the previous days.  So, I tried a different strategy: I brought a partner.  A long-legged partner who I knew wouldn’t get tired before me.

photo(60)

And my strategy worked.  We crushed it.  Yeah, my shins were a little sore when I got home, but during the run I was more focused on Hallie than obsessing over every little pain I felt in my body.  I mean, I didn’t even turn my music on until mile 2.  I can attribute a few things to the success of this run:  having a distraction, slowing down and focusing on distance, listening to my body, and fueling better throughout the week.

Here are my carrots for next week:

This week I clocked 9.57 miles.

My fastest pace was 10:30.

My farthest distance was 3 miles.

Maple-Lime Chicken Skewers

26 Jul

One of my goals for the week the year my life is to eat better.  Since I started gearing up for this 10K last week, things got more serious.  If my body isn’t fueled properly, I am feeling it in every step.

I’ve been trying some new things and last night’s dinner was a keeper!  (Do you follow me on Instagram (@MichelleSFTS)? Because if you do, you get a sneak preview of things coming up on the blog!

Maple-Lime Chicken Skewers (inspired by Kitchen Meets Girl)

MapleLimeChicken

Ingredients:

  • 3 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. maple-agave syrup
  • 1 T. canola oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 2 T. Frank’s Red Hot
  • red pepper flakes
  • cilantro to taste
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

Whisk together the soy sauce, syrup, oil, lime juice, garlic, hot sauce, and red pepper flakes.  Add the chicken and make sure the chicken is covered with the marinade.  (I usually mix everything in my Snapware, add the meat, lock on the cover, and then shake it all up.)  Marinate from 1 hr – 6 hrs.

I don’t have a grill, so while I preheated my broiler, I skewered the chicken.  They were in about 8 minutes on each side.  I garnished with a bit of cilantro.

MapleLimeChicken2

 

Southwest Stuffed Portobello Caps

24 Jul

Last night, I was in a little bit of a pickle.

I had planned to make Avocado Chicken Parmesan, but when I got home I realized that we were completely out of Panko.  And pasta sauce.  Oh yeah, and Parmesan.  I must’ve just had avocados on the brain all day because the bunch I bought the other day are perfectly ripe!  At that point, I’ve got chicken ready to go but we lacked anything to go with it.  After assessing the items left in my fridge (we are desperately in need of a grocery store run), I found some giant portobello mushroom caps.  Immediately I knew this was perfect, because you can sort of modge podge together a stuffing to go in them.  Its almost impossible to go wrong.

I remembered that I had grabbed these at the store, but had yet to try them:

ChickenSausage

I knew I had a can of black beans in the pantry along with some quinoa.  I have been a little late to the quinoa party.

Quinoa

I know its loaded with protein, fiber, iron, magnesium, B2, and manganese.  I get it.  (PS – Check out the vintage print on my pantry shelf liners.  At one point, the walls were covered with the same pattern, too.)  I had been served quinoa a few times and I just wasn’t impressed.  I think you have to find your own seasoning formula for quinoa, otherwise its not that appealing.

Southwest Stuff Portobellos

SouthwestStuffedBellas

Ingredients:

  • 2 large portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
  • 3 chicken sausage links (or protein of your choice), cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 can of black beans
  • chicken broth
  • cooking spray/olive oil
  • Spices: chili powder, cumin, coriander, ancho chili powder, Lawry’s

1.  Prep: Preheat the oven to 450F and wipe the portobellos with a damp towel.  Prep a cooking sheet by spraying it with cooking spray.  Then, spray the mushrooms caps as well.  (You could use olive oil here, but I find that it makes mine too moist and they fall apart.)

**Steps 2-4 can be completed all at once to save time!**

2.  Since the chicken sausage was pre-cooked, I just sauteed it in a skillet to reheat it.  Then I cut it up and set it aside.

3.  I drained and rinsed the can of black beans, then mixed together a teaspoon of olive oil, cumin, coriander, and Lawry’s to taste.  I popped them in the microwave for about 3 minutes, until the beans were tender.  Then, I combined them with the chicken sausage.

4.  I cooked the quinoa in chicken broth to add instant flavor, then when it was finished cooking, I seasoned it with chili powder and ancho chili powder.  Then, I combined it in with the chicken mixture.

5.  Once all the ingredients are combined, top the mushrooms and add some cheese if you want to.  These would have been excellent with some queso blanco, but all I had was shredded cheddar.  They would have been just as good without cheese, though, too!

6.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.

I topped mine with avocado and a little bit of plain Greek yogurt.  Delicious, healthy, and accidentally gluten-free!

SouthwestStuffedBellas

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