Thursday, May 20, 2010

Hemming, Hawing, then a 5-mile Run

It sounds like everyone enjoyed my birthday story yesterday. It'll be fun to one day tell my nephew that story. I am so very blessed to have my sister. My mom always said that she had us for each other. It's a good thing we truly love each other!

Hemming and Hawing
Today was rainy, stormy, and downright dreary. I even worked through lunch to avoid having to get out in it. I was due for a rest day (either today or tomorrow). I decided that I would wait and see how I felt by the end of the day. I have gotten used to splitting up my workouts and was not really enjoying the idea of a long cardio session. Since I was leaving earlier because of working through lunch, I decided I would go ahead and do a 40-minute premix from Step Blast. That one is always fun and still gets my heart rate up there.

When I walked out of the office, the sun was shining. What? When did that happen. That's when the debate started in my head: Do I really want to workout inside? It's sunny, but I don't want to wait for Jason to get home to run. I could go run errands and enjoy a run outside tomorrow. But I wasn't sure what Jason's workout plans were. Oh decisions. I ended up running a very pleasant (yes, I said pleasant) 5-mile, solo run. Truth be told, I could have easily done 6 I was feeling so good. I won't go so far as to say runner's high, but I definitely felt much better after the run. I feel like I was able to clear my head a bit.

In the Kitchen (sort of)
I did have a few orders for some doggy treats to get done. The working through lunch thing today worked out great for me. I was able to get in a good run with plenty of time to do the treat baking finishing it all by 5:30. Love it when things fall into place like that.

I will say that after running then baking, my energy level finally took a nose dive. I had absolutely no desire to make dinner. I was starving, but so unmotivated. Jason suggest a "Chicken" salad. I wasn't sure if he meant "chicken" ON a salad or "chicken" salad as in the mayo type. He meant the mayo type sans the mayo. As a side I suggested an Apple Cranberry Quinoa to go with his Balsamic "Chicken" Salad Sandwiches. I do apologize for the lack of exact amounts. Jason did the cooking; I just logged the ingredients.

Balsamic "Chicken" Salad 
1 package vegetarian/vegan chicken substitute of your choice (e.g., Meal Starters, Quorn, seitan)
Dijjon mustard
To taste: Sea salt, ground black pepper, white pepper, red pepper
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil
Nutritional yeast flakes 
Kalamata olives, finely diced
1-2 pepperoncini, diced
1/4 red onion, minced
1 Roma tomato, diced

In large bowl, whisk together Dijjon mustard, shallots, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and spices.

Heat or cook the "chicken" substitute then add that along with nutritional yeast flakes, olives, pepperoncini, and onions to the vinaigrette and let set for at least 30 minutes.

You can serve this over a bed of lettuce or as a sandwich with lettuce or spinach and tomatoes.

Apple Cranberry Quinoa
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1/2 Granny Smith apple, diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
Apple cider vinegar
Agave nectar (to taste)
Pinch of sea salt

Cook quinoa according to directions. We did add in dried shallots, garlic powder, and sea salt while cooking.

In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Allow to set if you have time as the flavors meld over time. 

I will admit that this was a messy sandwich. Jason put his in a wrap, which is what I'd suggest as well. I had meant to add toasted walnuts to the quinoa, so that's something to remember for the next time I make it.