Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Could it be??

I can't run with music anymore??

I did a quick 3 mile loop downtown on my own so I decided I'd bring the ipod with me (keep in mind I rarely run with music these days). I don't know if I just had a weird playlist or what, but I just couldn't get into a comfortable pace! Plus, the whole earphone cord flopping around and having to hold my gigantor brick of an ipod was annoying. I dunno...my run just didn't feel right. It also could have been all the people/car dodging and traffic lights...hmm.
Do you prefer city or bike path/trail running?

Jamie got dinner started while I walked home from running errands in Cleveland Park and I was able to have dinner ready in less than 30 minutes. YAY teamwork! Tonight's dinner was something I pulled together with the help of a friend this afternoon -
Smashed Red Bliss Potatoes with Artichokes and Spinach served with a Side Salad with Salsa.
Occasionally I don't want to cook what we have planned for the week and instead I try to come up with a way to use any leftover ingredients we might have (hey, there's nothing wrong with not wasting food!). Tonight's 'must be used' ingredients were about 1/2 lb of
red bliss potatoes, a bag of baby spinach and approximately 5 artichoke hearts. Random, right? My friend almost immediately suggested I grab some cream and cheddar cheese to make some artichoke and spinach mashed potatoes. Being a HUGE mashed potato fan, I was sold on the idea...with a few modifications of course ;)

Jamie chopped up a few slices of the deli ham we have (I think we're on a ham kick at the deli counter...or maybe ham's the only thing on sale lately ;p) and I stopped at the Giant for a lemon, cream and a shallot...and maybe a few other random things you'll see later on this week.

Here's the ham, shallot, spinach and artichoke mixture. Something about it just screams spring to me:
I drained the potatoes and smashed them into the mixture - that was the fun part :)
Everything was smelling good, but looking a little dry so I added a smidgen of butter (barely half a pat) before the cream. A few minutes later, it was dinner time!
I wasn't really sure what to eat with the potatoes so I went with the last bit of bagged salad we had and threw in some leftover red peppers and some snap peas. Instead of dressing I used the leftover fresh salsa (which btw, I am never buying again - it was a random brand and not that good) from the Taco Bowl incident.

The smashed potatoes turned out to be surprisingly delicious for a random afternoon suggestion! I think I'm going to play this game more often :)

Smashed Red Bliss Potatoes with Artichokes & Spinach
1/2 lb red bliss potatoes, cooked
1 shallot, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 c baby spinach, chopped
5 artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
3 slices deli ham, chopped
1 1/2 tbsp light cream
1/2 tbsp butter
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and ham until shallots begin to soften. Add artichokes and spinach and cook until spinach begins to wilt. Add potatoes to the pan, smashing with the back of a spoon.

Add butter, cream, lemon zest, salt and pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan and serve immediately.

I'm off to bed. I'm thinking about being ambitious and running my 5 miles tomorrow morning since I might have to work late again tomorrow. We'll see!


Chilly Willy said...

Food looks great...:)

april said...

Great recipe!

Anonymous said...

That looks SO good! I love artichokes!
I can't run without my ipod either. And I prefer to run in trails. I don't really like running next to cars and all the toxic air. Good air is crucial when exercising!
Good luck on your 5-miler tomorrow!

Mia {runs and rests} said...

I run in trails and always with music. How can you do it w/o music? You rock!

Val said...

Hmmm... sometimes the ipod helps me, and sometimes it is annoying, I agree! Do you have a good armband holder? That helps quite a bit when running, I think

Karena said...

Chilly Willy/April - Thanks! These experimental dinners are the ones I have the most fun making!

Burp - I hear you on the good air...I almost rioted when we got to a point during my first marathon where we were running NEXT to traffic. WHAAAT??

Mia - I started running longer distances w/Team in Training and they were really anti-ipods/headphones so maybe that's what drilled it into me? I think I've just gotten used to taking in my surroundings and occasionally talking to a running buddy! You should do a test run sans music and see how you like it :)

Val - I might look into an armband but I just can't justify getting one (or a lighter ipod ;) ) since I listen to music so rarely. Ah, so torn!

Quinn said...

We have got a load of red bliss potatoes from the farmer's market this weekend that are about to go bad if I don't do something about it! Think I just figured out what we're having for dinner tonight :)