Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Squashes are Betches

I got to spend some time with my two friends Meg and Mel over the weekend. They had been asking me if I would cook for them for quite some time, and we finally made it happen. 


I for real can't cook a spaghetti squash anymore without remembering this conversation and laughing to myself. 




Maybe you had to be there...
This recipe was modified from one I came across from Bev Cooks. I apologize for the picture... I completely forgot to take one before we started to eat. I'll blame it on the twins. I think they gave me too much wine to drink. :)



Southwest Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
2 Tbs. refined coconut oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (leave seeds in for more heat)

1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tbs. ground cumin
1 Tbs. oregano
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly torn cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 tbs lime juice
1 cup vegan cheddar cheese (I used daiya)





Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds (either discard or save to roast later).  Roast the halves face-down on a greased baking pan or sheet for 30-40 minutes, until the flesh of the squash is tender and has separated into spaghetti-like strands.
  2. While the squash is cooking, heat oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion, garlic, mushrooms, jalapeno pepper and red bell pepper. Saute 2 minutes. Add cumin, Mexican oregano, chili powder and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Saute another minute. Add the beans, corn and cilantro. Stir to combine. Squeeze in the lime juice and give one last stir.
  3. Using a fork, scoop out the spaghetti squash into a larrge baking dish. Add the sauted vegetables and spices to the baking dish and stir. 
  4. Top the mixture with vegan cheese and pop it back in the oven until the cheese has melted.
  5. Garnish with a bit of cilantro and enjoy.
The twins decided they liked vegan food. Mission accomplished :) Hope you are all having a good week. 
-Em

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I Love Beer





This is no secret. Combine a microbrewery and vegan food and what do you get? One unstoppable force called Obed and Isaacs.  The best part is, it's located in SPRINGFIELD. Yeah, you heard me...


Obed's has a great beer selection, and I've tried most of them. My favorites are probably the Ditsy Blond, Obed's Amber Ale, and the Long 9 IPA. Every time I go they have something different to try. The food is pretty good as well! Here are some menu items that can be tweaked and easily made vegan...


The Trio of Dips is already vegan. The black bean dip is my favorite

Black bean veggie burger without cheese. This comes with potato chips or fries both made in-house (the burger patty isn't).

Sunday Brunch.... the veggie scramble without eggs... they gave us extra taters. 
Breakfast with beer never tasted so good. :)

Another cool thing about Obed's is that they love dogs. What a coincidence... so do I. You can bring your dog and even order your friend some dog biscuits. That is so not Springfield. Go check it out!
-Em

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Seriously Cool

If you're feeling the effects of this heat, try cooling down and re-hydrating with a frozen watermelon drink. It's seriously so easy! I like to drink mine in this sweet little wine glass my friend Emily gave me :) There actually isn't any alcohol in there.... But maybe there should be?

Watermelon Slush

Ingredients:
2 cups frozen watermelon
1 cup water or coconut water*
2 tablespoons date syrup or agave nectar*


Optional Extras:
1/2 frozen banana
1/4 cup berries
1/4 cup chopped cucumber
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs hemp seeds
1 tbs flax seeds


Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. See... easy.


*You may need more or less water (I use coconut water). 


Training is in full swing! I'll need to crank out some serious miles in the next couple weeks to get ready for Racine 70.3. I've also booked my flight to visit my brother Ryan in Denver immediately after. I cannot wait. I haven't seen that kid since Christmas!


Hope you all are having a good week!
-Em

Monday, June 11, 2012

Century and the Winery

There is so much I want to talk about, but it's also probably much more than you all would like to hear about. I'll try not to ramble and do most of it through pictures :)


I rode my first century for the American Diabetes Association this weekend! Thanks to my generous sponsors I was able to raise over $400, in the past week! The group I rode with went pretty strong and I ended up with an 18mph average for the entire 109 miles I ended with. Phew.



My brother Dan came home for a surprise visit! He dragged me out on the lake after my century... and I dragged my dog. =) 




Alexis and I had a "Sunday Funday" at the Hill Prairie Winery. Here we are playing in a field of grapes. :P




 I made hummus again this weekend  for my brother to take home with him, and what was left of it went to the winery with me. We paired it with some Amy's pita chips, and along with the wine it sure didn't last  long. Here is the recipe. The main ingredients are the same as my Sweet Potato Hummus but I did change the measurements a little.




Spinach & Artichoke Hummus

Ingredients: 
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 tbs tahini
2 tbs lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs olive oil
1/2 can (about 7oz) artichoke hearts

2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
 warm water *



Method:
1. Combine all the ingredients, except the spinach and water, in a food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
2. Add the spinach to the food processor and continue to blend. 



*If the hummus is too thick for your liking add warm water 1 tbs at a time and blend until smooth. 




I'm on a hummus roll. What kind should I make next weekend? Roasted red pepper perhaps? :)
-Em

Friday, June 8, 2012

Summer Reading



Looking for inspiration? Check out Scott Jurek's new book Eat & Run.  Scott is a victorious Ultra-marathon Runner. He also happens to be a vegan =) This book is next on my list to read this summer. 
-Em

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sweet Potato Hummus!

My baby brother, Chris graduated from high school over the weekend! Graduation was Saturday night and we threw him a party on Sunday. He has decided to enroll in the military post grad and I am very proud of him. For his party I decided to make a variation of hummus and served it with pita chips.... it was a hit. My other brother, Dan made some awesome guacamole. Check out the vegan friendly graduation food!


I have been obsessed with hummus since I first tried the stuff. I got the idea to combine two of my favorite things. Hummus + Sweet potato=  One unstoppable force.  I love this stuff!! The hummus is a bit thick because of the sweet potatoes but you can easily make it the consistency you would like.  Also, it's got a little kick :)


Sweet Potato Hummus

Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tbs tahini
2 tbs lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 sweet potato, peeled and steamed
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper*
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1 green onion

Method:
1. Peel and slice sweet potatoes about 1/2 inch thick.  Steam potatoes or  cook in a pressure cooker until soft. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. 
2. While the potatoes are cooking, combine the remaining ingredients, except green onion, in a food processor. Blend until the mixture is smooth.
3. Once the potatoes are cooked and cooled, remove the skin and discard. Add the sweet potatoes to the hummus and blend until smooth. 
4. Garnish with green onion (optional)

*Add warm water or additional olive oil 1 tbs at a time if the hummus is too thick. 
*1/4 cayenne red pepper makes for a fairly spicy hummus- Use 1/4 tsp or omit if you don't want it spicy.


Enjoy!
-Em

Tri Shark Classic

This weekend was the Tri Shark Classic in Hudson, IL at Evergreen Lake. I signed up for this race about 6 months ago knowing it was a more popular race and I assumed it would be more competitive as well. The last triathlon I did in Petersburg, IL only had around 130 total participants. At this triathlon there were 490 total participants, and of that 160 were women. Exciting! 


I rode up to the race EARLY Saturday morning with Patty. It was cold up there and the water was only 66 degrees! There aren't many things I hate more then being cold, but at least I would get to use my wet suit... which I had NEVER used before. I was not a fan of swimming in the wetsuit. Luckily mine is sleeveless so I didn't feel that restricted , but the tightness around my neck made me feel like I couldn't breath. I'll take that over being cold any day though. The swim went well, and despite having to swim over and around the men in the wave before me I had the fastest swim time out of the women.


The bike felt really good! My friend David let me use his race wheels and his aero helment (I call them cone-heads) and I could definitely feel the difference. He is also going to let me use them for other races this summer because he is just that rad! Thanks Dave! =) 


My bike outfitted with Dave's race wheels.... we aren't worried about matching here!


Running felt good also, just went out hard and tried to hold pace and that landed me a 1st place finish in my agre group and a 2nd place overall finish (Nicole got 1st as usual)! They awarded the top 5 places in each age group. There was an elite wave, but their times were still slower than Nicole's and mine.... weird? I was surprised because I thought there would be more competition seeing that it was a bigger race but I guess I will have to wait 'til Racine for that. Patty came in 2nd in her age group and I was happy for her! :) 
With our age group awards :)
My next race probably wont be until mid- July, so here's to lots of training and fun for the next month! =)
-Em