Fall Recipes

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Over the summer I started using a new produce box company, Papa Spuds, where I can order seasonal fruits and veggies in addition to recipe kits, meats, cheeses, eggs, and more and have them delivered on a bi-weekly schedule directly to my house! I love buying my produce this way because it helps me to eat seasonal and I get the freshest of the fresh! Papa spuds operates on a credit system allowing me to the pick the items I want and will use and gives the opportunity to pick the grower. I can choose local or out of state, organic or conventional, and can see ratings on different suppliers. My favorite thing is the recipe kits. These recipe kits normally highlight a specific seasonal ingredient giving you all of the ingredients you need besides minor things like olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and you get the point. The recipe is provided so your good to go! One of my most recent recipe kits was for Dijon Roasted Sweet Potatoes and they turned out great! I tossed them into a salad with chicken and other healthy ingredients to get this delicious dinner:

Dijon Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Superfood Salad

Dijon Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad
Dijon Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad

This was definitely as good as it looks and super filling! The teff in this is a new ingredient I have just started using for its amazing health benefits. A grain used as a staple in many Ethiopian dishes, teff is a very tiny grain that is so small that it can only be eaten in its whole form. Containing 123mg of calcium per cup, teff leads all grains in calcium content and has the same amount of calcium as 1/2 of a cup of cooked spinach. Additionally, it is high in resistant starch meaning that it is high in dietary fiber which can help control blood sugar and can be beneficial for weight management and colon health. Teff is also high in protein and it has been estimated that Ethiopians get about 2/3 of their dietary protein from it (Whole Grains Council). Teff cooks similarly to quinoa, absorbing the water as it cooks. It is prepared in a 3 to 1 ratio, liquid to teff.

Now on to my second new fall recipe, Cornbread Waffles with Kale Salad and Rotisserie Chicken. I love making waffles because of how easy they are to make. I also very much love cornbread so naturally I had to come up with a cornbread waffle! I wanted to make this waffle healthy so I could use it as a hearty whole grain carb to go with my dinner. I am often pressed for time at dinner because my stomach has no patience so I have found my ways of making uncomplicated meals that are quick, healthy, and nutritious. I always make it a point to include vegetables and greens in addition to a lean protein and whole grain carb source. I quickly threw together this cornbread waffle recipe by meshing a couple of recipes in Purely Elizabeth’s Eating Purely Cookbook. I am still perfecting this one but I will give you my recipe for you to tweak as you feel necessary! Then to finish out this meal I got a plain rotisserie chicken, removed the skins and pulled the all the meat off the bones for use in this dinner and meals throughout the week. Then I chopped some kale and tossed with some other yummy ingredients and a homemade vinaigrette to make this dish:

Cornbread Waffles with Kale Salad and Rotisserie Chicken

Chicken and Waffles
Chicken and Waffles
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Cornbread Waffle with Kale Salad and Rotisserie Chicken

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Yield: 7 waffles, 3-4 servings of salad, 6-7 servings of chicken

Chicken and Waffles
Chicken and Waffles!

Ingredients:

  • Waffle
    • 1 cup cornmeal
    • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
    • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
    • 1/4 cup buckwheat
    • 1.5 tsp. baking powder
    • 1 tsp. baking soda
    • 1.5 tsp. salt
    • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
    • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 6 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 cup plain nonfat greek yogurt (buy one with only 6 or 7g of sugar!)
    • 3/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 2 ounces pumpkin goat cheese
  • 1/3 cup raw cashew pieces or pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries (reduced sugar ones if you can)
  • Optional addition: 1/2 an avocado
  • White Balsamic Vinaigrette:
    • 3 tbsp. white balsamic vinegar (the one i used was white balsamic shallot vinegar but any good quality one is fine)
    • 3 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 tsp. dijon mustard
    • pinch of salt
    • pinch of pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. agave nectar

Instructions:

  1. Start you waffle iron up to get it heated. While it is heating combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl (cornmeal through coconut sugar). In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, olive oil, greek yogurt and cashew milk.
  2. Add wet to dry and stir until combined. When waffle iron is ready spoon about 1/2 cup of batter into the iron (depends on your size of waffle iron here, I have to waffle iron that makes 2 square waffles so I do about a half cup for each waffle.)
  3. While the waffles are cooking combine the vinaigrette ingredients together in a mason jar and shake.
  4. Put all of the salad ingredients together in a bowl and toss together with however much vinaigrette that you desire.
  5. Once waffles are ready place one waffle on your plate, top with kale salad and some warm rotisserie chicken and enjoy! (can add extra dressing on top or top with my favorite maple siracha dressing which is a 3 to 1 ratio of siracha to maple syrup)

Dijon Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

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Dijon Roasted Sweet Potato Kale Salad

Yield: 3 servings

Ingredients:

  • Dijon Roasted Sweet Potatoes
    • 1.5 lbs. sweet potatoes, unpeeled, cubed
    • 1 tbsp. olive oil
    • 1 medium shallot, chopped
    • 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt
    • 1/4-1/2 tsp. black pepper
    • 3 tbsp. dijon mustard
    • 1.5 tbsp. pure maple syrup
    • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves (rosemary is also a good substitute!)
    • 3 fully cooked chicken or turkey breakfast sausages, chopped up (optional)
  • 1/2 cup teff
  • 1.5 cups water
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 fully cooked chicken breast, sliced (I buy this from traders joes, they sell them individually sealed and already cooked so they make it easy for me to prepare quick dinners in a hurry!) Use 2 if you do not add the sausage above.
  • Maple Siracha Dressing:
    • 3 parts siracha (3 tbsp siracha)
    • 1 part maple syrup (1 tbsp. maple syrup)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 with the rack in the center of the oven.
  2. Place cut potatoes, shallots, and sausage (if using) in a large bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to combine
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, maple syrup and thyme leaves. Pour mixture over potatoes and toss well to combine and evenly coat the potatoes. If you need more sauce to evenly coat you can always make more!
  4. Pour everything onto a greased baking sheet and roast in preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. You may want to toss the potatoes around about 20 minutes to make sure they roast evenly.
  5. While the potatoes are cooking, salt the water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling add the teff and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and cook until the water has been fully absorbed.
  6. Now to assemble the salad! In the large bowl the potatoes were tossed in, add the chopped kale, goat cheese, potatoes, teff, and chicken (may want to warm the chicken in the microwave briefly before adding). Toss everything together and serve with as much or as little maple siracha dressing as you like!

New Recipes!

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This may make me a bit basic but I am one of those people that goes out and buys everything pumpkin as soon as fall hits. I may or may not have bought about 8 boxes of Purely Elizabeth Pumpkin Fig cereal when they went on sale…and I might have gone crazy when I found gluten free pumpkin puffins at target… Anyways, I have gotten in the habit of making muffins to eat pre-run in the morning. I give myself about 30 min from wake up to the time I run and I am very serious about eating before running. Eating before running helps your body metabolize food better post run and also gives you the energy to get up and go. I have gotten myself used to eating something 30 minutes before running but I try to keep this on the lighter side and I typically get my fuller breakfast post run. If 30 minutes is too close for you I recommend waking up a bit earlier so that you can at least get something in before working out. It makes a big difference! I have an issue with my blood sugar dropping on runs if I have not fueled properly which ultimately prompted me to come up with a good pre-run option made of sustaining whole grains, a little protein, and minimized fat (fat tends to be harder on the stomach and is not as quickly converted to usable energy). I was relying on a Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffin but wanted something new. When I ran out of those last week, my initial thought was of course that I need to make something pumpkin! I would have done just that if I hadn’t had the wonderful idea of making homemade flatbreads for dinner with butternut squash puree as the sauce. When I was making the puree that night I ended up having much more than I needed for the flatbreads which got me to thinking. Why don’t I mix it up a bit and use this puree in a muffin?? So I saved the leftovers and came up with this recipe:

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Bi Pro Unflavored Protein Powder
  • ½ cup Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Oatmeal
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup brown rice flour

    Dark Chocolate Chip Butternut Squash Muffin topped with Pumpkin Cashew Butter
    Dark Chocolate Chip Butternut Squash Muffin topped with Pumpkin Cashew Butter
  • ½ cup tapioca starch
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup butternut squash puree
  • 4 dates (soaked in 1 cup warm water with ¼ tsp. lemon juice and a pinch of salt for at least 30min.)
  • ½ cup date water
  • 2 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 6 tbsp. Lilys dark chocolate chips

Butternut Squash Puree

  • 3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp. maple syrup

Directions:

  1. To make butternut squash puree preheat oven to 400 and combine butternut squash and garlic in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp. olive oil and salt and toss to evenly distribute. Spread out on cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minute or until squash is fork tender. Place squash in blender with maple syrup, ¼ cup water (if needed), and 1 tbsp. olive oil if necessary. Blend until smooth.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and grease 2 cupcake tins with coconut oil.
  3. In a large bowl combine the Bi Pro, oatmeal, almond meal, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. In a blender or food processor blend the dates and date water for 15 seconds. Then add the eggs, vanilla, butternut squash puree, and the maple syrup. Pulse the ingredients until just combined.
  5. Now add wet to dry and mix until combined. Once ingredients are combined fold in the chocolate chips.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop a little less than a full scoop and place in cupcake tin. Should make about 15 muffins so fill the rest of the tins half full with water.
  7. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Store in the fridge or freezer.

Now you will see in the picture above that I put a little topping on the muffins. This topping is my Pumpkin Cashew Butter, I had to make something pumpkin! This recipe was inspired by Purely Elizabeth’s pumpkin peanut butter recipe featured in the October Magazine. This stuff is addicting so beware!

Pumpkin Peanut Butter:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and spread raw cashew out on baking sheet. Place in preheated oven and watch carefully. Once cashews have started to brown and are fragrant remove from oven and our into food processor or high speed blender. Process or blend cashews until finely ground.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to blender or food processor and blend until all ingredients have become thoroughly combined. If necessary you may need to add a bit of water. Stop and scrape down sides as necessary.
  3. Store in a glass jar and keep refrigerated.

New Season New Goals

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Each morning when I wake up while most of the city sleeps I am reminded of how grateful I am to be able to continuously morning after morning wake up and just run. Starting at an hour when I will likely run for over an hour and still never see the sun seems daunting but yet I am not phased. On my run this morning I thought about how easy it would be to not get up and run, to sleep in and stay up late like every other normal person my age. Thursday morning as I ran up my least favorite hill I had no desire to quit. Yes, I am chasing a dream, but doing what I am doing is more than just going after a goal. I was given the drive and passion and the ability to compete at a high level and the work ethic to go with it for a reason and I will not quit until I have served my purpose. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason and we are all given our unique qualities in life in order to leave our own individual marks on society. I have set goals for myself and whether or not I reach them is all part of the process. You can never fail unless you fail to overcome what doesn’t turn out. Every mistake in life is an experience to learn from and as long as you see the other side, you can never fail. If my story, no matter how it shakes out, can make a difference in the lives of others I see that as a win so I remind myself of this every time I doubt my abilities. Taking steps to focus on my training is still a scary thing for me but I am relying on my faith that if I am doing what I am truly meant to do it will all work itself out.

Upcoming Races 

  • Twin Cities 10-Miler 10/4/15
  • Columbus Half-Marathon – 10/18/15
  • US 12k Championships (must qualify at the TC 10-miler) or Richmond 8k 11/14/15 or 11/15/15
  • LA New Years Half-Marathon (marathon practice race!) 1/3/16
  • 2016 US Olympic Trials Marathon – Début Marathon 2/13/16
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Oak City Mile – NC Road Mile State Championships

Southen Bird Camp Reflection

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20150712_114936000_iOSA month ago I got the opportunity to spend a long weekend with 18 other amazing Oiselle women. I was able to share my story with them and I hope I was able to make a difference in their running journey. They may not know it but I learned more from them through this experience than I think I taught them. The reflection on my own story and the mistakes I have made really resonated with me as I was planning my talk and I realized one important thing that I hope every runner will hold in their heart especially when things get tough. That one thing is that we as runners are all the same. No matter what our pace, no matter what our body type is and no mater how old we are, we each struggle, we all get down on ourselves, and we all feel inadequate at times. Elite athletes have bad days. Every run is not sunshine and rainbows and if anyone tells you that they feel amazing every race and workout they are liking lying. Things don’t always go as planned and we deal with it. So no matter what you are feeling trust me it is normal. One bad day will not be the end it just means tomorrow will be better. The one thing I heard from a lot of these women was that they worried they weren’t fast enough and were scared to come to camp and be the slowest but I can tell you from experience that putting yourself in a situation that feels uncomfortable will only make you stronger. In running you have to willing to be uncomfortable and that works in 2 ways. You have to be willing to push yourself in a race to a place that feels uncomfortable if you want to reach your full potential. You also shouldn’t be scared to come in last which is uncomfortable but that is how you get better. I went to NC State because I wanted to be surrounded by people who were better than me and now here I am today thinking about the marathon Olympic trials. Its nice for confidence to run some races and place well but sometimes its good to go to a big race and just put yourself out there. I raced at Freihofer’s 5k for Women this year which I can say was both terrifying and humbling. I fell off the elite pack immediately but ran my fastest road mile. If running were easy everyday there would be no challenge and where is the fun in that?! I don’t run simply to win races, I run to get better because that is what really matters.

Oiselle Haute Volee

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photo cred @olivenright
photo cred @olivenright

Last year around this time I was recovering from a disappointing race at the Mt. Sac Relays. After a rough end to my final collegiate season and now a poor first season post-collegiate I was borderline ready to give up. I didn’t have any sponsors and I felt a little helpless. My confidence was low and I didn’t think deserved anything but for some reason Oiselle still decided to give me a chance. They extended me a spot on the Volee Team and I accepted. I didn’t know what would happen from there but I was excited to start over new. What I also didn’t know was what being a part of Oiselle really meant. I quickly found out was that Oiselle is a team of strong women of all ages and abilities all working together to lift each other up. My wonderful Oiselle NC team graciously accepted me into their group and gave me the support I needed. By the time the Indianapolis Monumental half-marathon rolled around I was feeling great and back to myself, something I couldn’t have done without the opportunity Oiselle gave me. Now a year after I wanted to give up, I am honored and proud to be joining Oiselle’s Elite Haute Volee Team. Running professionally is a dream I’ve worked for and I am excited to take that step up. It’s going to take a lot more work but I’m ready to take on the challenges this new opportunity will present me with. Thank you to all of my family, friends, NC State teammates and coaches, and Oiselle teammates and supporters, I wouldn’t be here without you!