Friday, April 8, 2011

I love my veggies.

The Safeway delivery man dropped off some broccoli crowns on Monday (yes, sometimes I do delivery Safeway) and I just couldn't figure out what to do with them. Thanks to the great dishes on Foodgawker, I was inspired to make a Warm Broccoli Quinoa Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing.

This recipe is a blend of a couple different ones I came across and I think it's going on my list of favorite kitchen experiments. Check it out for yourself :) 

Warm Broccoli Quinoa Salad
1 c quinoa
2 c water
1.5 c broccoli florets, steamed
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 tomato, chopped
1/4 c almond slices, toasted
1 1/2 tbsp carrot, grated
1 tbsp onion, grated
1/4 tbsp ginger, grated
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1/4 c rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
pinch salt

Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a saucepan. Cover, reduce heat to simmer and cook for 13 minutes.

As quinoa cooks, prepare dressing by whisking together carrot, onion, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil. Season with salt and set aside.

Place broccoli, almonds, scallion, and tomato in a large bowl. Pour in half the quinoa while it is still hot. Toss and stir in half the dressing. Stir in remaining quinoa and dressing. Serve immediately.

April ingredients used:  broccoli, carrot, onion, scallion

Lovelovelove the flavors and textures in this salad! Not sure how it'll taste tomorrow after being I reheat? Could be weird.

I was also thinking this would be great with some shrimp tossed in there too, but it's also tasty on its own. I will definitely be making this again!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Racing through NYC - Part I

This past weekend I took a whirlwind trip to the east coast to run the More | Fitness Magazine Women's Half Marathon with my sister. 

See, about a year and a half ago (maybe 2?), sister asked me how she could get into running and I directed her to the best newbie resource I knew of: Couch-to-5k. Next thing you know, she's running her first 5k and nerding out about running and then the half marathon seed was planted. Muahahaaaa!

Y'all should know by now that I loooove sucking people into the world of running. It's a hobby of mine. Imagine how amazing it was to hear that my (older) sister was getting psyched to run a half marathon?? It's like double the fun. 

She settled on the More | Fitness Half because it was an all women's race (unlike Nike, this race is completely closed to men) and pretty close to home. At first I thought about flying out and cheering, then I realized the race fell in perfectly with my training schedule and felt compelled to register. In my haste, I failed to recognize how rough traveling would be (on the bank account and body) and debated just eating the registration fee and cheering from afar...very far.

Apparently the airfare gods were on my side as I found reasonable last minute airfare and my 36 hour trip to the east coast was in the works. Here's how it all went down...

7:45am EST
Wheels down Newark. Delayed. Did not pack for 37 degree weather. Begin worrying about my sparse packing job and how I plan on surviving on 2 hours sleep. 

9:00am EST
WARMTH! Choux Factory breakfast with friend and her friend. Loopy and plane infested. I do not recommend meeting new people in that state.

Itty bitty spot near the UN that serves tasty creme puffs (I recommend the original) at all hours. I opted for a chocolate choux (that I did not enjoy), an egg white veggie omelet (blah), and a massive coffee. It can get a little claustrophobic in there since it's a super narrow space with room for 2 small tables. Definitely get your choux to go!

9:45am EST
Bright idea to kill time by getting manicures/pedicures/massages. While this seemed like a great idea at the time, we soon realized that we didn't know of nail salons in the area. Ah well. Found one eventually. I love massage chairs.

12:30pm EST
Meet up with sister and race packets. Race swag was pretty good. Reusable drawstring bag, delicious smelling Lady Speedstick, nifty 34-oz water bottle w/ice insert, cotton t-shirt, calcium vitamin chew, lady products, and a kazoo. Hm. 

2:00pm EST
Wandering the streets of NYC. Checking out weird bear sculptures.

Late lunch with friend #2 at Chop't

I miss Chop't. Full review here. My fave: Santa Fe Salad - fried onions + turkey (or grilled chicken), Tex-Mex ranch on the side. *drool* 

3:30pm EST
Trek to hotel to check in. Stock up on water, snacks, caffeine. Veg to horrible late afternoon hotel TV. No sleeping allowed!

6:45pm EST
Dinner with friend #3 that trekked in all the way from NJ even after a monster lunch (hooray!). 
Tasty sushi at Nomado 33 (full review here).

9:00pm EST
Race prep begins! Lots of pinning, outfit laying out, D-tag attaching and water drinking. Still not as tired as I should be. Wruh-wroh!

10:45pm EST
Eyes begin to close. Who knows if they actually stay shut.

5:45am EST
Sister up and perky. Eyes pop open for some reason. Begin long wake up period. Snack on pretzel breakfast. Take 10 minute pauses between putting on items of clothing. 

6:30am EST
Freak out. Temps in mid-30s. Do not have enough clothes. No throw away clothes. Wind. It's official. Packing/planning fail. 

7:30am EST
Arrive at Central Park. Greeted by hoards of ladies decked out in pink and blue. Sister and I are in black/lilac and yellow/blue. 
Wonder how we will stand out for our cheerleaders. Cold. I moved to California for a reason. 

8:15am EST
Aaannnd we're off! It took about 10-15 minutes for us to actually cross the start line and it was CROWDED. Once we got moving, the cold and wind didn't feel so bad. Game plan - run together for first couple miles. Meet up after race.

8:40(ish)am EST
Spotted: our cheering section - nephews and brother-in-law equipped with signs around Mile 2! Wish I had gotten a picture :(

8:45(ish)am EST
Weather is now perfect for just sleeves...though I do look like a fool now that I see the picture.  
Zoom. Rocked headphones for the first time and they definitely helped me charge through the hills, which weren't as bad as I remember them being! I still wish other people didn't rock the headphones since I found myself saying 'excuse me' really loud and no one budged. Meh.

The crowds didn't let up at all during this race and there were even walkers and runners that would run/walk 3 abreast and some would hold hands! So frustrating, especially when we got to the bottleneck-y parts of the course. Also, the finish chute was literally a chute. I do appreciate all the spectators cheering on, but they spilled out into the course and made the narrow lane even narrower. Plus, I found myself zigzagging a lot during that last stretch to the finish. 

I know, I know, this was supposed to be an easy long run, but it's hard to not get all fired up at the end!

11:30am EST
Post-race glow.
I wanted to cocoon in the pile of mylar blankets it was so cold. Not sure how I'm awake at this point...must be the proud (running) momma in me! Nothing like seeing a newbie excited about finishing!

Tired yet? Yeah, now you know how I felt! There's more to come in Part II!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Potato Leek Soup for One

What do you do with leftover potatoes and leeks? Potato leek soup, of course!

After my quick trip east, I wanted something fast, easy and comforting for dinner. I thought roasting the potatoes and leeks would add a little more oomph to the soup and if I had some chicken apple sausage leftover, I totally would have browned up some bits to sprinkle on top.

Wow. My soup is the same color as my bowl. Oops.

Potato Leek Soup
3 potatoes, cut into uniform pieces
2 small leeks, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 c low sodium chicken broth
1/4 c soy milk
1/4 c skim milk
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp hot sauce
1/2 tbsp pepper

Heat oven to 375. Toss potatoes, leeks and olive oil and spread out onto a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes. 

As potatoes and leeks are roasting, bring 3/4 c chicken broth, soy milk and skim milk to a rolling boil in a medium pot. Add leeks, potatoes and hot sauce; bring back up to a boil. Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for another 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Stir in salt to taste and remove from heat. 

Carefully puree the soup with an immersion blender, adding remaining 1/4 c broth to thin soup out as necessary. Serve immediately.

April ingredients used:  leeks, potatoes

Not bad for a quickie soup. I've got soup saved for the next couple of days...just enough that I won't get sick of it. Feel free to add more hot sauce if you like a little more kick in your soup. Just make sure it doesn't turn too orange ;p

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Revisiting Jeonju

Karena is in NYC this weekend to visit her sister and support Heidi through her first half marathon.  So, I thought I would hop on and write guest post for you readers out there.  Lucky for me there has been some interesting stuff in the blogs I follow.  Chris in South Korea has posted two concise and interesting posts about a weekend visit to Jeonju, Jeollabuk-do

I visited the city for a day during my brief TDY and enjoyed it very much.
That reminds me of something I was surprised to see as our bus pulled into the city last March.  I had forgotten Jeonju was one of the host cities for the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan.

Check out the Jeonju Castle, home of the “dos a cero” US defeat of Mexico

Friday, April 1, 2011

NYC Bound

Hey all! I'm headed east for the weekend to run this with the sister:

A smidge over 2 laps through Central Park...eek. I plan on taking this as an easy run, but I have a feeling that will be tough. Part of me feels like I should show Central Park who's boss since last time I ran through there (NYC Half Marathon 2008), I was totally crushed. Stay tuned for a race recap, fun eats, and 36 hours in photos!

Happy Friday :)

What's on your weekend agenda??