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Thankful Thursday & Inspired Roasted Marinara

Thankful for Friends
First off, I really want to thank everyone for being so kind yesterday when I posted about my blue day. I debated about the post because I certainly don't want anyone to think that I am fishing for sympathy. I did, however, think that it was important to be honest with what sort of day I was having and to share some great, inspirational posts by fellow bloggers. I hope those words can help you out at some point.

That brings me to another point. Friendships. I have blogged about this before, but yesterday it was even more so apparent that friends come from so many, often unexpected places. I received an email from a fellow blogger asking me how I was doing and letting me know that they were there for me. For me?? It was truly heartwarming to get that sort of support from someone I have never met and from someone who is going through so much more in their life right now. And they were seriously concerned about me. Wow. Not one of my long-time friends or even family commented, but this person did. So don't ever discount your words my friends. You never know when what you write or say will affect someone else's life or how it will affect them period.

Also, rethink the typical idea of friendship as being someone you know in person. Friends can be people you've never met. There are several bloggers that I do consider to be friends. We've never met, we've never even spoken to one another except through our blogs, possibly other forums, Tweets, or possibly Facebook posts. Does that mean they can't be considered my friend? Nope, I totally think of them as friends. How do you all feel about that? Do you feel like some of the bloggers you follow are your actual friend?

Sleep Trumped Workout 
Sorry for being so deep today. I'll move along now. This morning I woke up around 4:15 just long enough to reset my alarm clock from 5:15 to 6:15. Sleep outweighed the workout, which would likely would have suffered. I thought it was supposed to rain the majority of the day, but the sun actually came out. I had seriously contemplated talking Jason into a run a lunch, but the winds were 20 mph! The gusts were 26. So, I may be fairly crazy, but I'm not totally stupid. That would have been one tough run. So, we just went home and ate lunch instead. I was due for a rest day anyway to be quite honest.

But...I ended up having lots of energy after work. I would have run if the wind hadn't been so extreme. I decided to do Shock Cardio Athletic Step then the floor work from Butts & Guts (for booty work). I had a great workout actually. It was fun, time flew by. I'm really glad I went ahead and went for it. 

Inspired Dinner 
After not wanting to be in the kitchen yesterday, I felt more like cooking tonight. I had some cherry tomatoes that needed to be used so I decided to finally try a version of Averie's Raw Marinara Sauce. I liked the simplicity of her recipe. I was, however, missing the red bell pepper. I did, however, have a jar of roasted red bell peppers. So, I decided to run with the "roasted" idea. Taking it from Raw to Roasted Marinara Sauce. I also did not have enough zucchini to use in lieu of pasta, so I used a whole-wheat penne. Sorry for the lack of amounts. I just sort of winged it and of course made it a lot more complicated than Averie's version.

Roasted Marinara
Cherry tomatoes, halved
2 gloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
dash sea salt
Carrots, diced
Roasted red bell pepper
To taste: basil, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 375. Place tomato halves and garlic on baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt. Bake until tomatoes are just starting to get soft.

In food processor, combine all ingredients and puree to desired consistency.

Serve over whole-wheat pasta of your choice or zucchini or eggplant "noodles." I cooked up some lentils and spiced them with salt, pepper, garlic, and parsley for my protein. You could use whatever protein you liked, even just tossing with chickpeas would be great. 
I will say that this sauce was fantastic. It would be super used as a topping for a veggie burger even for bruschetta. Capers would be another good addition to this sauce. It's a winner!


  1. I LOVE this post, Heather! Everything about it, in fact! But especially loved the part about friendships coming from all walks of life - I completely agree with you on the blogger friendship stuff. It's amazing the connections you can make through a blog, a tweet, an FB IM convo (heh), etc. I totally count you as a friend...why else would I be constantly harrassing you to come to the Cathe RT this summer?? In all seriousness, though, this was an awesome reminder that friendships are SO important, almost more important than some familial relationships - to your point, friends become your family after a certain time in life, they know more about you than you even know about yourself sometimes...:) cheers to that!

  2. I love my blogger world friends!!! And yes, I consider blogger friends "real" friends :-)

    Glad you got a sweet e-mail, lovely lady!

  3. Thanks so much Jessica @ EatDrinkBreatheSweat ! I seriously never thought when I started blogging that I'd "meet" such fantastic friends. I'm constantly blown away by the generosity of the blogger community. I feel so incredibly blessed to have come into contact with so many awesome, unique individuals. I also totally agree with you about friends becoming family! I swear we're related!!!

    Hey Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg I thought you'd probably agree. You're so lucky to have gotten the chance to meet up with some of your blogger friends!! Trying to figure out how to convince people to come to my "neck of the woods" LOL!

  4. Heather! I am sorry to hear you were down, but glad you are feeling better. Sometimes I get down but I try not to express it because I feel I don't want to "spread" it. Just wanted to let you know that even though I only currently "exist" in cyberspace, I appreciate you and if you ever want to talk, holla @ me! I got your back, girl!

  5. I love the use of cherry tomatoes!
    Every summer I make a gratin of them with vegan buttered panko!!! So yum!
    I wnated to let you know I loved your blog so much I am following you!!!!

  6. Heather, i loved what you had to say in your opening paragraph. And you are so right, ppl that are your real life friends/fam can actaully drop the ball but bloggie friends step in and pick you up and check in on you. I have foudn the EXACT same thing to be true.

    I did a post on it here

    at the end, about why i blog, what i have gained from blogging and 134 people commented on the post. Most ppl echoed what i said that its about connection, not about food. Who cares why you ate, i care about you :)

    And thx for the coffee/hot choc info and yes all the clif bars, i really like them!

  7. I completely agree on your perspective on having friends that you've never met. Its so true! I appreciate the support you provide me and I love reading your posts!

  8. What a nice post. I agree completely that blogger friends can be friends, but that doesn't surprise you I think. ;-) In my opinion that is the best thing about blogging, the lovely people you "meet" that would not have crossed your path otherwise.

    Twenty-six mile per hour winds? I can see that taking you down the street now. Good thing you opted not to run at lunch.

    Great suggestions for how to use the sauce. I particularly love the caper idea. I suppose that is my salt addiction talking.

    hope you have a good night,

  9. Oooh, looks good. And yeah, capers make everything better :)

  10. Hey Kristina @ Freestyle Fitness Addiction ! I totally know what you mean about now wanting to "spread" it. No need in dragging others down too right?! Thanks so much for your kind comment!

    Hi Vivacious Vegan! Thanks so much for following me. I am not one to eat a huge juicy tomato, but cook up some cherry or grape tomatoes...YUM. I'll have to search your blog for that gratin recipe. I'm hoping you have it posted!

    Averie @ Loves Veggies and Yoga thanks so much for your comment. I'm glad to hear that other bloggers experience the same thing. I guess that's what keeps us blogging though right!? I'm going to check out that post. I'd love to see the comments. And it's so true, I visit your blog not for the food (ok, a little bit) but mostly to see how you're doing, what you're up too, etc. Hugs to you lovely lady!

    Thanks Naomi @ The Tao of Me ! You are such an inspiration to me with your determination and gusto for running.

    Alicia @ Vegan Epicurean I figured you'd like the caper idea actually. This sauce can be super versatile actually. So happy I found Averie's recipe. Yep, 26mph winds would not have made for a happy run! LOL. I completely agree with you on blogs being a great avenue for meeting people you NEVER would have met in "real" life.

    Tess @ Tess Loves Food Made from Food I wish I would have thought of the caper idea at the onset. LOL. I love capers too. I even had some open in the fridge.

  11. I didn't see your post yesterday. I hope you have a better day today - but you are so right about friends from many diverse places! And also about feeling free to be real to who you are on here. :)

  12. Hey Steph @ Living the Dream, Farm Style ! Definitely having a better day. I try to be real, but don't want to be a downer either!



  14. I think I have definitely made friend through blogging. I just love this little community. It always makes me smile to receive comments from other bloggers..including you!

    That marinara looks delicious. I need to get a food processor.

  15. Be sure you get a rest day soon then if you felt due for one yesterday. I always say listen to your body, so if you were up for a workout last night and it felt good that's great! But get in rest too. I know you will though. ;)

    And I agree that friends can be through the internet. I open up more through my blog than I do to many of my "real life" friends. And one of my very very best friends I met through a fitness forum. Her and her family came to stay at our house over Labor Day weekend last year and that was the first time we met! Some people think its crazy, but I think it's so much fun!

  16. loved your thoughts on friends. some of my best ones are people ive never met face to face! it is crazy! the marinara looks absolutely delicious. have a great weekend!

  17. I consider many people friends from blogs or other forums, and many of them know more about whats going on with me than my "real life" friends. Ive had the pleasure of meeting a few of them and the friendship just grew. it truly is a great community.

  18. THAT PASTY LOOKS FAB! me likey!!

    and yes! fats definitely help to keep me feeling satisfied and GROUNDED. My favorites are avocado, CHEEEEEEEESE, and nut butters!!

  19. Your too sweet Kristen @ Swanky Dietitian ! You seriously don't have a food processor??? What about a blender?

    Tina @ Tina Bit of Faith Fun and Fitness as hard as it is sometimes, I totally agree about listening to my body. I really felt good so I went ahead with the workout. I do make myself take a rest day once a week whether I feel like I need it or not. So important and I know you know this!! I don't think it's crazy at all that you had them over for the weekend. How fun!

    Jenetha @ Meals and Moves Maybe it's easier to meet these friends b/c we feel like we can be a bit more ourselves on the blogs? Hope you have a great weekend too!

    Lisa @ I'm an Okie I really hope to eventually meet some of my blogger buddies! I think that would be so much fun.

    Gliding Calm Let me know if you try the recipe. I thought it was pretty darn good. Yes, I may be slightly biased though!


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