Monday, November 18, 2013
I feel like I've been a little off balance lately. When I start feeling this way I take a step back, shut my computer off, go outside for a long run, pick up a book, and cook up a storm. I also load up on fresh fruit and vegetables.
This is one of those feel good salads. It's easy to make and ready to eat in about 10 minutes. I've been making variations of this bean and grain salad on the weekend. I pack it for lunch during the week along with a bowl of soup or sweet potato wedges. You could also add leftover grilled chicken to this if you need more protein.
Cherry orange couscous
1/2 c couscous
1 can of garbanzo beans
3 tbsp of tangerine or orange juice
3 tbsp of walnut oil
1/4 sea salt
1/4 c of fresh mint, roughly chopped
1/2 c of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 c of baby kale or spinach
1/4 c dried cherries
1 oz goat cheese (optional)
Bring 1/2 c of fresh water to a boil. Add the couscous, stir well and cover. Remove from heat and set aside for five minutes.
Mix the juice, oil, and salt together in a small dish. Add the garbanzo beans, kale, herbs and cooked couscous to large bowl. Immediately pour the dressing over and mix well. Add the cherries and garnish with goat cheese. I like to put a lid on the bowl and give it a shake, so everything gets mixed up well. Enjoy!
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
A warming bowl of veggie-based soup is not only delicious but good for you too. It's a creative way to get more vegetables into your diet and the flavor combinations are endless. Plus it's perfect paired with cooler temperatures.
Carrot is one of my favorite soups to make because I almost always have a bag in the fridge. I picked up this beautiful baby ginger at the farmer's market along with a few jonagold apples. I'm a big fan of bold-flavor soups (like curry) but sometimes I want a humble soup where the vegetable shines. This is exactly that. What are you favorite soups this time of year?
Roasting is a quick way to add a lot of flavor to your soup, if you don't have broth on hand or are short on time. We all know soup tastes better the next day when the flavors have had time to meld.
Carrot ginger apple soup
6 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 onion, diced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp or more of diced jalapeno
1 apple, peeled, cored and diced
3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp fresh baby ginger
4-6 cups water or veggie broth
1/2 tsp tamari (wheat-free soy sauce)
juice of 1 lime
garnish with fresh herbs
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add carrots to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbsp coconut oil and sprinkle with cumin seeds and 1/4 tsp salt. Roast for 20-25 minutes, then remove from heat.
Heat the remaining coconut oil in a soup pot. Add the onion, mustard seeds, jalapeño and remaining salt. When the onion is translucent, about 5-8 minutes, add the apple. Stir, cooking for a few minutes, before adding the garlic and ginger. Cook until pungent. Stir in the roasted carrots and 4-6 cups of water (depending on how thick your carrots are). Bring to a boil, simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from heat, add the lime juice and tamari, blend until smooth. Add salt or more lime juice to taste. Garnish with fresh herbs. Serve over top brown rice alongside tahini greens or with a grilled cheese.
More soup ideas for fall:
Roasted garlic & cauliflower
Roasted tomato & carrot soup with socca croutons
Smoky split pea
Beautiful beet soup
Curried sweet potato
Friday, October 11, 2013
half marathon in early November and along with that comes a regular training schedule. I run 3-4 days a week and cross-train for 2. I do my longer runs bright and early on Sunday mornings. As my distance is increasing, so is my appetite. Instead of loading up on empty carbs, I eat wholesome meals and snacks with healthy fat and high-quality protein. I'm eating more eggs and even some chicken.
This is one of my favorite snack combinations lately: tahini and molasses. I know it may sound weird, but it's delicious. Tahini contains more protein than milk and it's rich in iron too. It's great on bananas or slathered onto toast for pre-run fuel. I've even used it as an alternative to frosting on carrot cupcakes.
Is anyone else training for an upcoming race? Have any tips to share? Happy Friday friends!
Friday, September 27, 2013
PLACES TO VISIT
Gulfoss falls (golden waterfall)
Majestic waterfalls outside the city with a great cafe at its base.
Great GeysirOn the way to Gulfoss you'll pass the geysirs, so you may as well stop. Plus it's pretty cool to watch them erupt.
Black sand beaches anyone? Vik is a small town right on the south coast. We stopped at the cutest cafe for lunch, Sudur.
Svartifoss waterfall at Skaftafell National Park
Stunning. Worth the hike up.
Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon
Icebergs! Glaciers! Oh my! Seriously a must.
Yes, it's touristy but you should do it. When else will you swim in a geothermal pool?
Seriously there are so many picturesque moments along the highway that you'll want to stop and capture the breathtaking Icelandic scenery.
PLACES TO STAY
Frost & Fire Hotel (Frost og Funi)
Awesome hotel with delicious European-style breakfast (bread, cheese + cucumber is my fav).
Three of the cutest cabins at the base of these giant mountains. Oh and there was a sheep farm. 15 minutes for Skaftafell National Park where we hiked to see Svartifoss waterfall. A 30-40 minute drive to the glacier lagoon in Jökulsárlón. Stop in Vik and load up on groceries since the cabin has a fridge and stovetop.
And I forgot to mention, this is the Airbnb studio apartment we stayed in for four nights in Reykjavik. It was perfect. South of the city by the university and minutes from the coast which had an awesome paved path for biking and running. Bjorns Bakeri was a block away (which we didnt' realize until the day before we left) and it was only a 10 minute walk to the domestic airport to pick up our rental car.
If you have any questions about Reykjavik or Iceland, let me know!
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
If you're shopping for a few groceries, stop at 1011 or Bonus stores. I found a few other stores online, but never stumbled upon them on our trip. We picked up bread and cinnamon scones at Bjorns Bakeri near our airbnb flat and a few other necessities from the 1011 (peanut butter, nuts, jam, cheese).
The oldest coffeeshop in Reykjavik and definitely the coziest. It was our favorite cafe, morning or afternoon. We always ordered a cappuccino and swiss mokka. They also served breakfast all day—waffles and toast with cheese were on point.
They roast their own coffee beans and serve excellent coffee. The only barista to create art in my foam. They don't have a large food menu as coffee is their expertise. I had my first pain au chocolat (chocolate croissant). Why has it taken me so long to order that?
We both had the piadina (flatbread) with mozzarella, pesto and tomato with sweet potato fries. Hit the spot after a long walk through the city. Plus there's a nice view of the harbor. Josh wanted to go to see this graphic relief mural.
Icelandic Fish & Chips
We enjoyed spelt-barley battered fish with skyrronaise and roasted rosemary potato wedges. Skyrronaise is the Icelandic version of aioli. Yep you guessed it, it's made with skyr. We had coriander lime, honey mustard, and roasted chili red pepper. Coriander lime won, hands down.
I had the celeraic soup, mustard mashed potatoes and a Pale Ale. He had opened-faced pork sandwich with horseradish and cabbage. A hip hostel with a great menu and laid back atmosphere. Worth the walk there.
I spotted this place because of the food illustrations on the window. We came back the next day and had an amazing lunch. A small menu of rotating salads, soup, and entrees. I had the sweet potato soup and fresh salads (greek salad, pickled vegetables, roasted beets). Excellent place for lunch. Very vegetarian friendly.
All vegetarian restaurant with only two specials of the day. We had mushroom soup with homemade bread and hummus.
Perfect place for drinks or dining solo. We enjoyed wine and Icelandic beer at the bar.
Trendy, quirky restaurant by the harbor. I had hot smoked salmon on malt toast with horseradish and chervil. Best salmon ever. Period.
Have you been to Reykjavik? Are there any places I missed? A special thanks to Ashlae for steering us in the right direction with her recommendations. Find more great restaurants from the Grapevine here. Check back in on Friday for one last post on why you should rent a car and get outside the city.
Monday, September 23, 2013
Iceland is a magical place. We saw black sand beaches, mountains, luscious green sheep farms, glaciers, icebergs, geysers, and waterfalls everywhere. Once you see pictures like these, you'll begin to understand the fascination with the small northern European country. Everyone says it's like being on another planet and I couldn't agree more. Waterfalls tumble down most mountains and rainbows appear anywhere. Iceland's invested more in their tourism industry since the recession, and it's starting to stimulate the economy.
The population of the entire country is 320,000 while 200,000 reside in Reykjavik. People tend to be reserved and keep to themselves. Icelandic is the national language, but everyone speaks English. Restaurant menus were also translated into English. A lot of homes are painted bright colors in Reykjavik since it's dark and gloomy most of the year. The grey skies really make the colors pop.
Check back for part two on Wednesday as I'll share our favorite cafes and restaurants!
Monday, September 2, 2013
I think these muffins are best stored in the fridge. You can eat them cold or heat them up in the microwave for 10-15 seconds. Pack for breakfast on-the-go or serve as part of brunch.
Zucchini basil breakfast muffins
Makes a dozen regular sized muffins
Recipe adapted from Just Bento
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced small
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red chili flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 medium zucchini, diced small
3/4 c almond meal
2/3 c chickpea flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
3 organic eggs
1/2 c plain greek yogurt (I used Siggi's)
3/4 c fresh basil, shredded
1/2 c shredded parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 12-cup muffin tin.
Add olive oil to a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until it becomes translucent. Add in the salt, chili flakes and garlic. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until the garlic is fragrant, then add in the diced zucchini. Cook for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and cool. You should have about 2 cups of the zucchini mixture.
Whisk the almond meal, chickpea flour, baking powder, salt and pepper together in a bowl. In a separate larger bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy, then add the cooled zucchini mixture, yogurt, and basil. Pour in the dry ingredients and half of the parmesan. Mix well.
Pour the batter into the muffin cups and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!