What’s Cookin’?

It’s been a while since I’ve shared recipes. With travel I was out of my routine, so it’s been nice to get back in the kitchen. Here’s what’s been going on in the Lowry kitchen.

So lately I’ve been obsessed with Mendocino Farms Curried Couscous. I found the recipe online and now know why I drool at the though of it. Lots of oil and mayo. I made a huge batch of this last weekend and used whole wheat couscous and used half the oil and mayo. Awesome flavor and definitely didn’t miss the grease. The picture looks kinda gross and is really close up. I promise it’s good.

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Alaina knows me too well. I love activity gifts, so for Christmas Alaina got us a class at The Gourmandise School in Santa Monica. Last week we took their meatless Monday class and made veggie enchiladas and an awesome orange jicama salad. It was the greatest. We drank beers and cooked up a storm. It made Monday so much more fun. We made enough leftovers to each take a portion home. I froze the leftovers and tomorrow because I’ll be at the boys and girls Equitas soccer games till late, it’ll be the perfect meal for Brent and I when I get home. Recipes are below. And yeah, I’m definitely going back to Gourmandise. They have all kinds of classes, it’s such a fun social activity and you get to take home a bunch leftovers. I really want to take their Gastropub, Tex Mex Brunch and Whole Grain Baking classes. Anyone in!?

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Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 3.06.32 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 3.06.41 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 3.06.37 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 3.06.46 PMAnd when we were in Vancouver for Ellen’s marathon I ate this at The Cactus Club. Lately I’ve been into trying to recreate restaurant foods at home.

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No recipe to post because I just made it up and eye balled everything. It has couscous, spinach, cucumber, grape tomatoes and an orange pepper and sautéed shrimp. I made a vinaigrette with equal parts oil and red wine vinegar and some lemon juice, salt and pepper. Brent said it tasted healthy in a surprisingly good way.

FullSizeRender_2And last night Brent and I got adventurous and had an at home date night. We made leg of lamb with roasted brussel sprouts from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Gyros tonight because we have so many leftovers. You’ll need a couple of hours for this one.

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And my next adventure is going to be recreating this. I snapped a picture of the description because it sounds awesome.

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Make Ahead Meals + Notes from Long Run #5

I get anxious when I look at my Boston Marathon training plan. There is just no way I can get all the recommended mileage in during the week. I am doing the best I can, but 6:45 AM is the absolute latest I can get to work  and 5:15 PM is the absolute earliest I can leave on top of a 30-40 minute commute to and from work makes ten mile mid-week runs impossible. Ellen and I also recently took a crazy pledge. We never want to turn into obsessive and unhealthy runners, and running anytime before 5 AM is definitely creeping into crazy territory. I’m also not going to get home at 6:30 PM and head out for a 10-12 mile run, sacrificing time with Brent. Over the past few weeks I played around with my new schedule, and am loving the following:

Monday: Back On My Feet (usually 4 easy miles) Tuesday: RunMDR Track Wednesday: OFF Thursday: 5-6 miles either before or after work depending on if there is a happy hour 🙂  Friday: Back On My Feet (4 more easy miles)

Yasso 800s at Track, Back On My Feet Route from Monday and Today's Long Run

Yasso 800s at Track, Back On My Feet Route from Monday and Today’s Long Run

No, I’m not getting crazy mileage in, but it feels good and is a balance of running with other people and on my own. I still, however, am working on ANY way to give me more time during the week. Even if I’m not running after work when I get home at 6:30 PM after being at work for 12 hours, all I want to do is relax. I absolutely love cooking, but I don’t have the energy to start from scratch. I’m also not willing to sacrifice with boring fast meals. Lately I’ve been getting into Sunday meal prepping. It’s super fun and makes my week run much more smoothly. I was inspired by Andrea, Alaina’s childhood best friend, who I’ve only met once, but it feels like I’ve known her for years. She works for Lululemon. Her hours are insane, but she still finds time to run and do yoga. Meal prep has helped her manage her weeks. It’s also fun to go crazy in the kitchen Sunday afternoon, having multiple meals being prepped at the same time and go to bed Sunday night with a freezer and fridge worth of food ready to go. So here’s how meal prep works.

Warning: It’s about to get very A-type.

1. I set my meals for the week. Brent always cooks Tuesday night so that dinner is ready when I come home from track. This week he made Sweet Potato Enchiladas, one of our favorites. We always have leftovers which is GREAT for lunch! We usually go out once or twice a week too. I usually pick meals from my pinterest page, bookmarked stuff I find online, my recipe-free favorites. Oh and stealing rev foods, that refers to eating student lunches. They’re actually pretty good! Chicken Bites on Friday were a hit, and their tamales awesome. The kids love them, and our kids KNOW good tamales.

photo (6)2. I email Brent and myself all the ingredients/our regular grocery items and divide the list in half with what Brent’s getting and what I’m getting to cut down on time at the grocery store.

3. We wash all the produce when we get home so that it’s ready to use, and I start cooking. I  also like to bake chocolate banana bread and slice it up and put portions in the freezer for easy snacks.

Here’s some of the stuff I’ve made over the past two weeks.  I’m not a huge recipe follower. I like looking at recipes for ideas, but usually adjust so that I don’t have to buy 100000 ingredients. I also like to sneak in veggies wherever I can. Click on the pictures for a link to the recipe I got my inspiration from.

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Moroccan Butternut Squash Soup

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Chocolate Chip Banana Bread 

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Chorizo Stuffed Poblanos

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Goats Cheese Spinach Lasagna Rolls-No Recipe

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Asparagus Pistachio Mint Pesto

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Whole Wheat Pizza Dough (I always have it ready to go in the freezer, toppings, 12 minutes in the oven and BOOM, awesome meal)

So what about breakfast? Well I learned last week I still hate smoothies. I’d rather eat a huge salad. It looked so pretty in my mason jar, but ugh so disgusting. I’ve been sticking to my oatmeal deliciousness but preparing it in a jar and eating it at work while checking my email and before the kids arrive. Gives me a few more snoozes/time to run in the morning if I need to.

The banana and blueberries did NOT cover up the kale taste.

The banana and blueberries did NOT cover up the kale taste.

Oatmeal, Banana, Berries, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chips, Cinnamon, Sprinkle of Granola=YUM!

Oatmeal, Banana, Berries, Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chips, Cinnamon, Sprinkle of Granola=YUM!

So there you have it! Time to start pinteresting to get ideas for this week. Any ideas? Woah, this is turning into the LONGEST post ever. I’ll make my running notes brief.

Friday Dinner: Indian Food. Was nervous how that would turn out, but it was fine. I think I got lucky. Probably not something I’ll risk before a long run again 🙂

Friday Sleep: 8 hours. Glorious. Amazing. Wonderful. Didn’t get good sleep all week.

Pre-Run Breakfast: PB&J and some water.

Post-Run SnackOATMEAL BOWL!!!

Long Run Fuel: Honey Stinger Pink Lemonade Chews. I like these!!!! Finally a chew I like!!! Tasty and no stomach issues yet.

Long Run Hydration: NOTHING. We didn’t pass any water fountains. Woops.

Long Run Outfit: Lululemon shorts, cotton race t-shirt, target sports bra, cheap socks, headband.

How Did It Feel: Today felt AMAZING. Loved running with Marta, Ellen, Alex and Lauren. Such a great group of people. We ran up Oakmont in Brentwood so the first five miles were uphill, and the last 10 were flatter. I’m feeling more confident. I’m so used to running in the heat, that today’s mid 60s felt really nice. I wasn’t counting down the miles.

Other Notes: Marta, Ellen and I were talking about how we would be such speedsters if we ran in cooler climates. Why do we always run such hot races!?

Time to get the day going. I’m appreciative of the cloudier weather. Excuse to be lazy and sit on the couch. Tonight Brent and I are heading to Geoffrey’s in Malibu for dinner at sunset. Woo hoo!

Redondo Beach 5K + Notes from Long Run #4

I don’t understand all those pre-race gear photos posted on instagram and facebook. Do people really lay their clothes out like that? I’m a pretty neat and tidy person, and this is what my pile of clothes looked like last night…

unnamedToday a few of us from RunMDR ran a 5K to test our speed. We all ran well, considering the hectic conditions. We started a good three minutes late and dodged strollers, costumes and walkers which is OK in a longer race, but in a 5K you have no time to waste. People were swerving like crazy, there was one guy who fell and was sitting in a huge puddle of water. It was like an adventure race. We were all hoping to run a sub-20, which is totally possible, but the start killed us.

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Splits are below. That first mile messed it up 😦

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Despite the obstacles, the race was REALLY fun. There is something invigorating about running as fast as you can for 3 miles. I felt really strong, and my form felt good throughout. I didn’t get that awful sprinting chest pain or feeling like I was going to throw up. When the pain started to kick in, I was almost done. Also going to rub it in that I beat all the RunMDR boys. Always fun to beat the boys, and they love being competitive 🙂 They usually kill me at 800s on the track. Unfortunately there is drama with my finish time. When I went to to go check out my results after the race they were missing. It was like I never ran the race. I’ve never had my chip not read. I told the organizers and gave them my time, but when online results came up they randomly assigned me a time of 21:11. Yeah, still first in my age group, but not my time. After a bit more investigating I’m thinking they gave me that time because it was one second after the third overall female. They probably didn’t want to strip her of her third overall finish. Annoying! I don’t even care about my place, I just want my time right. AAANNNYWAYS, I guess it just means I need to run another 5K to redeem myself. I know I was second overall so I guess that’s all that matters, right? I’m still bothered when I see the results online. Has that happened to anyone else? Ellen had a great race and an automatic PR because this was her first 5K ever. We’re excited to run them more frequently and get better at the art of the 5K. Part of it is showing up on time 🙂

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This shouldn’t bother me, right? I run for me..not for a stupid results website. 

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I was supposed to run 18 miles today with a three mile pace, so the 5K worked out well. Ellen, Ash and I ran down the beach path back home to finish up our mileage for the day. Here’s how it went…

Saturday Dinner: Bratwurst with Pretzel Buns. They are so good! Get them at Whole Foods.

Saturday Sleep: 7 hours. Not good. Woke up twice with stomach issues. Won’t give you any details.

Pre-Race Breakfast: Granola, half a banana, some water. I felt kinda nauseous but eating helped.

Post-Race Snack: Clif bar, half a banana, some water, trail mix from the expo.

Long Run Fuel: Honey Stinger Pink Lemonade Chews

Long Run Hydration: Water fountains. It was HOT on the way home.

Long Run Outfit: Lululemon shorts, lulu swiftly tee, target sports bra, lulu socks, forgot my visor.

Post-Run Snack: Big bowl of oatmeal and getting ready to go to Alaina’s Super Bowl Partay

How Did It Feel: I actually ran all 18 today. I was thinking of maybe just doing 15, but I’m glad I did the whole thing. I was tired at the end. It was hot but I told myself, if I can run a 5K and run 15 miles in the sun I’ll be more prepared for a possible wall at the marathon. I’m also not sure how I feel about the chews. My stomach was all messed up from racing then running again, and stomach issues last night so I’m going to give them another try.

Other Notes: I did my 20 minute strengthening routine today. I am getting BACK on the bandwagon with that.

Other important news…

Marta also ran the Surf City Half today in 1:36. She is getting so speedy!!!!

I also am going to write a post on Sunday meal prepping. It’s saved me SO much time during the week. Two portions of Asparagus Mint Pistachio Pesto is ready to go! Just need to boil the pasta.

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AND, I am super excited to order this!!!

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