How was your weekend? Mine took an unexpected turn.
I had planned to run a half-marathon on Saturday but made the decision not to. I ended my 2006 season on crutches after my first leg in the Reach the Beach Relay in New Hampshire (I went back in 2007 and redeemed myself!) My 2007 season ended with a bike accident which required stitches in my face
and banged up knees.
I ended 2008 intact but in 2009, while training for my first Olympic Distance Triathlon, I hurt my knee in July and, against better judgment, still did the August triathlon.
I made my goal, to finish in under 3 hours, but I was limping the next day and unable to run again until January of this year.
Last weekend after my 12-mile run I knew something was off. My right IT band was killing me and I was beginning to feel pressure in my right hip and knee just from walking. On Wednesday I went out for an easy 3-mile tempo run but had to stop twice to walk. Not a good sign. So on Saturday morning, while drinking coffee, my husband and I were getting ready to pack up for the race and I just knew. I wasn’t going to race. Why end another season side-lined? We stayed home.
Skipping a Saturday race meant I suddenly had two weekend days to myself to cook, bake, study and get my fall / winter clothes situated in the closet. My kind of weekend! I won’t bore you with my studying and closet details. Let’s talk food!
At about 11 a.m. Saturday I realized I had enjoyed a lot of coffee, but no food. I needed to get something on my stomach before I went to the farmers market, health food store and Trader Joe’s. A quick look in the refrigerator and I came up with this:
JL’s Collard “Spaghetti” & Bean Sauce
Slice collard leaves into strips. Heat olive oil and garlic on high
and toss the greens in for a quick saute. Cover the greens and simmer for 2 minutes.
Brunch was served!
Finally, it was time to try out the new Excalibur dehydrator. I bought a L’Equip dehydrator in April but jumped on the Excalibur when I was able to purchase it for 50% off from An Opera Singer in the Kitchen ‘s Open Sky store. The main differences I’ve noticed (so far): The Excalibur is bigger and louder but it is powerful! The crackers and fruit dehydrated faster and completely and evenly.
Plain apple on the left and apple tossed in cinnamon on the right.
I tried my hand at crackers.
JL’s Savory Seed Crackers
- 2/3 cup flax seed (I mixed brown and golden)
- 2/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup water
- splash of Bragg Liquid Aminos
- splash of vegan worchestershire sauce
- dash of cayenne pepper
- dash of dried oregano
Pulse the seeds and slowly add water, garlic, Bragg Liquid Aminos and the vegan worchestershire sauce (because “normal” worchestershire sauce contains anchovies.) Pulse until desired consistency (not too dry, not too liquid, I like to see the seeds.) Add cayenne pepper and oregeno and give it one last pulse.
Spread on one Excalibur tray covered with a ParaFlexx sheet. Dehydrate on 155 for 11 hours (flip and remove ParaFlexx sheet at about 2.5 hours) Let cool for an hour and then snap into pieces. Eat right away or store in an airtight glass jar in the refrigerator for two weeks.
Then it was time to test out a new Cook.Vegan.Lover. recipe for her forthcoming cookbook. This required roasting a butternut squash and it seemed like a good time to see how baked butternut squash seed might taste.
JL’s Salt & Vinegar Butternut Squash Seeds
Rinse the seeds. In a small bowl mix seeds with two splashes of apple cider vinegar and ground Himalayan salt (to taste.) Mix and place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper (sprayed with olive oil.) Spread seeds on the cookie sheet and salt to taste. Bake for 30 minutes at 350.
Oh yes, then I made the chili! I can’t divulge the recipe, but I can tell you it’s a Root Veggie Chili and can tease you with this:
Suddenly I was feeling inspired and decided to re-introduce myself to my Kitchen-Aid blender to try Oh She Glows delicious Pumpkin Pie Brownie ‘Cupcakes’ My Kitchen-Aide and I haven’t see one another in a long, long time. Oh, I also had to buy sugar. Let’s be clear. I have not had sugar in this house since 2004.
I made these with spelt flour and mini vegan chocolate chips
and added pecans to the pumpkin layer. Amazing, folks, you gotta try these!
Sunday I started my day with yet another Butternut Squash Smoothie. This time I used roasted squash (instead of canned)
After breakfast it was time tackle my closets so I decided to make brown lentils in the rice cooker (takes only 40 minutes, no stirring!) and then millet (also in the rice cooker) because I didn’t want to have to tend to a stove while doing chores. When lunch time rolled around I decided to pull the two together
JL’s Lentil-Millet-Kale Stir-fry
- 2 cups of kale
- 1/4 small onion, diced
- 1 T sesame oil
- 1/2 cup cooked brown lentils
- 1/4 cup cooked millet
- 1/2 tomato, diced
- dash of cayenne pepper
- splash of Tamari
Saute the kale in onion and sesame oil for 2 -4 minutes. Add cayenne pepper and basil and cover the skillet to simmer for a few minutes. Add the lentils and millet, cover and simmer for another minute or so. Add the diced tomato and simmer for one more minute. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the Tamari.
Served with my Savory Seed Crackers. YUM.
In closing, I wanted to mention a few fun things that happened over the weekend.
How was your weekend?