Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Kale, Kabocha and Way to Go Wednesday

Non-Tempo Tuesday
Getting up early for yesterday morning's run was painful. Not going to even sugar coat it. It was dark, warm-ish (63 degrees), windy, and did I mention early and dark? 

The plan was for Jason and I to run to meet up with my friend A at her house. Then A and I would continue on our way and Jason would go his own way. He had a different mileage in mind. A and I did the same route as last Tuesday. It's fairly flat, just a few small hills. 

I thought this would be a last tempo run for me. I thought it would be semi-easy because I didn't run yesterday and it wasn't hilly. I was wrong. My legs just felt so heavy and never really loosened up. The fact that it felt so warm was just flat out annoying too. A was having some knee and hamstring pain so we were kind of a sad pair. 

But, we kept on going and got it done. I finished out 8 miles, not quite as fast as I'd hoped, but done and done. After work I actually made myself do some yoga before taking an epsom salt bath. Jason bought The Athlete's Guide to Yoga several years ago. It's got lots of preset workouts or you can put together your own (which is what I did to focus on flexibility).

Kale & Kabocha Love
For dinner, I decided to use up the kale, that was starting to wilt, and the kabocha squash that was staring me down. I found some red quinoa finally - Whole Foods stopped carrying it but I found a way too expensive bag at Kroger and splurged.

I love using quinoa to stuff veggies like peppers and squashes. Since the kabocha is a larger squash, I thought it'd work better just to roast it, cube it and toss it with some sort of sauce or vinaigrette.

I did some internet searching and ran across several versions of a vinaigrette using tahini. So, I used that as an inspiration for a Lemony Garlic Tahini Dressing to go with my Kabocha and Kale Quinoa.

Kabocha and Kale Quinoa 
Ingredients:
1 cup dried red quinoa (about 2 cups cooked)
To taste: salt, black pepper, parsley, thyme
1 small kabocha squash
1 bunch of kale (cleaned, stems removed, chopped)
1 can cannellini beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Clean the kabocha (remove peel if you prefer), cut into half-moon strips and place on a prepared baking sheet and bake approximately 15-20 minutes. Flip and continue to bake another 15 minutes or until cooked and soft.

Toss the kale in small amont of olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake until tender (some will be crispy), turning frequently. 

While the kale and squash are roasting, cook off the quinoa per package directions, seasoning with salt, black pepper, parsley, thyme. 

After the kabocha has cooled, dice into 1-inch cubes. In a large mixing bowl, toss together the kabocha, kale, beans, quinoa, and Lemony Garlic Tahini Dressing

Lemony Garlic Tahini Dressing
Ingredients:
3 tbsp tahini
2 garlic cloves, minced then smashed into a paste
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tbsp olive oil
Drizzle of agave or honey (to taste)
Splash of red wine vinegar
To taste: salt and thyme

Directions:
Whisk all ingredients together.
 
I really loved the creamy, lemony flavor from the dressing. I really think it paired well with the kale and squash. And I loved the textures from the roasted kale and kabocha. I thought it was a great combination.

Way to Go Wednesday
It's that time of the week again - Way to Go Wednesday. And as always, please share your shout outs!

Heather completed another full marathon - she just did Chicago on October 7. While she wanted to quit, she didn't. A must-read, motivating recap. 

Kierston for competing in her 2nd figure comp and taking home 3rd place with Physique Canada!

Jessica for her 3-year blogging anniversary!

Mr. Pavement Runner for running 38 (holy cow) miles to celebrate a friend's birthday. 

Laura (Mommy Run Fast) for reminding me that I desperately need yoga in my life and promoting yoga with an awesome giveaway. 

Tina for completing her 4th half marathon - the Runner's World Half (lots of awesome FFA's ran this one and PR'd - like Mrs. Stuftmama herself).