Like a Scene from a Movie & Recent Recipes

Lately Saturdays have not been the greatest conditions for running! Last week snowing, this week raining. It’s a little annoying. But also kind of makes you feel like a bad ass, so there’s the upside.

I ran about 10 miles today, and stopped halfway to take a Gu. I was on the side of the sidewalk for a few minutes, and just about ready to start running again, when a car sped by and DRENCHED me. Like a scene from a movie.

I had been standing there for a while and it’s a busy road (along the Charles River) so I don’t know how it didn’t happen sooner. I was totally shocked and annoyed, and just as I was recollecting myself, it happened again! Needless to say, I then took off in a SPRINT. Definitely fastest mile of the run.

Unfortunately, I was literally the furthest away from my apartment as possible because I was just doing an out-and-back, so I had to go about 5 miles with drenched socks and gloves. I hopped in a steamy hot shower as soon as I got home and the numbness was gone within 10 minutes, but boy was I miserable for a bit there.

In other running news…I was planning to run this race  on New Year’s Eve while I am at home (thus the reasons for the long runs – loosely training, haha). Anyway, I went to sign up a couple of weeks ago and it was full!! So bummed. I am on a wait list (#5), but I have no idea what the likelihood of me actually getting in is. Fingers crossed!

Moving on, I have some recipes to share with you!

First up: Almond Flour GF Chocolate Mint Cookies

These were delicious!! I followed the recipe exactly, with the exception of using coconut oil instead of butter.  Next time would add some mint extract to the batter vs just the coating, as they were a little more coconutty than minty. Also, I must find an easier way to dip things in melted chocolate – it was so thick and hard to work with! Maybe next time I’ll add some oil to the chocolate?

Ingredient Set-Up

Ingredient Set-Up

almondflourthinmints12/1/12(2) almondflourthinmints12/1/12(3) almondflourthinmints12/1/12(4) almondflourthinmints12/1/12(5)

Next, an Italian Tomato Soup! I followed this recipe but didn’t add the water because there was so much liquid already.  It was VERY tomatoey, but I liked it. I added several extra shakes of Italian Seasoning at the end. The leftovers were better than the night of, I think because the flavors got to meld a little more.

This was my first time to cook with fennel! Because the first step is to saute it, I tried it on its own first. It was GROSS! Like black licorice!! However, I enjoyed its flavor in the soup once everything was together.

italianwhitebeansoupfennel11/29/12

Finally, Tempeh  Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans from Whole Foods. I really liked the sound of this recipe based on its ingredients, however I realized after I bought all the ingredients that its reviews were less than stellar.

I decided to stick with it, but made a few changes, which I’ve noted here. The directions are the same, just click the link above to view!

  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice   1/2 c. quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (8 ounces) package tempeh
  • 1 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth  1c. vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger  1 tbsp ground ginger 
  • 1 tablespoon ground curry powder  added to taste, probably 2 tbsp?
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin added to taste, probably 2 tbsp?
  • 1 (13.5 ounces) can light coconut milk
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided  6 dorot cubes (~2tbsp) USE LESS if you don’t like cilantro – this was VERY strong
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt + A LOT more
  • 2 tbsp tamari (or soy sauce)

tempehcurrywsweetpotatoandgreenbeans12/7/12

As with the soup, the leftovers were definitely better! Leftovers round 2 is calling my name now.

Enjoy, and have a great weekend! 

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Baking w/Coconut Flour & Black Bean Soup (Panera-style)

I’ve seen coconut flour popping up all over the blog world for a while now, but just recently got around to trying it out. I kind of thought it would be an obscure ingredient I’d never use, but I was wrong! 

Coconut flour is becoming increasingly popular for those following gluten-free, low-gylcemic, and most recently, paleo diets. It is also a good source of both protein and fiber. If you’re interested, you can read more info about coconut flour here.

Though it is a bit pricey, you really get a lot of bang for your buck. For most recipes, you only need a very small amount, as it is very absorbent. This also means that you need a lot of liquid – the dry: liquid ingredient ratio is NOT what you’d typically find in baking recipes.

FYI – I used this brand. I’ve read that various brands perform differently, but I haven’t experimented with any others yet so I can’t say if this is true. 

I’d been using coconut flour for a few weeks to make microwave protein muffins at night, but this past week I finally tried it out for a real recipe – mini cupcakes for my roommate’s birthday!

I used this recipe, using Earth Balance for the butter/oil and subbing honey for agave. 

Pre-frosting

For the frosting, I kind of winged it to taste. I started out thinking I’d make vanilla frosting, but it tasted too much like straight butter, so I added cocoa powder and some extra stevia to try to balance out the flavor. It was something like this (feel free to add more/less to taste as you go…it’s a very flexible recipe)

  • 6 tbsp Earth Balance
  • 2 tbsp agave
  • 1 + tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 packet stevia

Necessary b-day sprinkles

Overall, I really enjoyed using the coconut flour. It gave the cupcakes a really nice flavor, but it was NOT a strongly coconutty one, so don’t worry about that if you don’t like coconut! I’d love to experiment with using it for some type of snack/protein bars in the near future.

So, onto the black bean soup… I LOVE Panera’s Black Bean Soup. Like a lot. But I never go to Panera. Based on Panera’s ingredient list (found on their website), I figured it couldn’t be that hard to recreate, so I did some googling.

Ingredient List

Low-Fat Vegetarian Black BeanLow fat black bean soup (water, black beans [may contain soy], onions, celery, vegetable base [cooked vegetables {carrot, celery, onion}, tomato paste, corn oil, yeast extract, potato flour, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, natural flavoring], red peppers, modified food starch, salt, spices, lemon juice, garlic powder).

I found this recipe on several sites, and decided it was the winner.

The soup was definitely tasty and easy to make, but I think the celery was really overpowering and it didn’t taste exactly like Panera’s. I think maybe the stalks I used were extra large, so maybe I’ll try again with some smaller stalks.

Def best topped w/avocado (not shown)

I am actually in the airport right now getting ready to head to the native land (Texas!). Can’t. Wait. To be home!!

Be back soon with a Thanksgiving Menu post!

Hope you are all off from work by now and relaxing for the next few days!