Sunday Run n’ Brunch Fun

At the start

At the start

 

This morning I woke up to blessedly sunny skies and an absence of snowflakes. Dare I say that spring is finally here? Well, I don’t personally want to jinx it, but my Sunday began with an aptly titled Spring Meltdown 10k in Central Park. In the two weeks since the NYC Half Marathon, I’ve been taking it easy, with just a few 4-5 mile runs each week at a slow pace, because I aggravated some dormant knee and hip injuries during that race. This morning wasn’t much different, as I ran purely to get back in the swing of things (and metaphorically run in the spring). While the air was brisk, running in the sun was a treat.

 

 

 

After the finish

After the finish

My moderate workouts also meant that I missed November Project Wednesdays for a few weeks, so I had a blast this morning knowing that my friend Kaitlin was also running. Even though we just met last month, one of the awesome things about NP is how fast you get to know people (I think it has something to do with the hugs). After the race, we had plans to head out for brunch. I think I speak for both of us when I say that running and refueling with delicious eats is pretty much the epitome of a perfect Sunday morning!

 

 

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Snow and Signs of Spring

Marching through the spring snow

Marching through the spring snow

This winter seemed like it would never end, what with the snow and freezing temperatures taking over the Northeast from the holiday season well into March. There was half a foot of fresh powder on what was technically the first day of spring in the tristate area! I’m grateful that where I live wasn’t hit as hard as Boston or Buffalo. And though I may lace up and dash through the snow, waking up for my workouts all winter no matter what, brushing off concerns with the thoughts that others have it worse, I’m still so thrilled when signs of spring appear.

 

 

A river runs through once more

A river runs through once more

Earlier this week, I saw a ship chugging down the East River under a sparkling sun. The river is no longer frozen, with floes of ice so large it would be dangerous for any boat to pass through. While it’s still chilly, the water is moving again and nature is back on its proper course. The sparkling sun attested to that fact! On a related note, I took this photo from the river running path, which is finally free of the thick sheet of ice and resulting slush that made it hazardous for months. This means that November Project PR Day for April won’t require running in an ice bath!

 

 

Fuel for body and mind

Fuel for body and mind

Thursday we had misty rain, with temps in the mid-50s and rising. Today was a little nippy again (snowflakes!) That plus nerves meant I was experiencing some shivers this morning. I ate a small breakfast before heading to Columbia for the 8:30am start. A half-cup of coffee, a Chobani Oats apricot yogurt, a small apple, and a few squares of dark chocolate with black tea leaves (hey, dark chocolate is brain food!)  The new Chobani Oats flavors also contain chia, quinoa, and amaranth. I didn’t realize when I picked it up, and it was the first time I tried chia seeds. I’ll have to give them another go though, because the pre-test stomach butterflies were very unhelpful.

 

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Savory Goat Cheese & Vegetable Tart

This lovely dish is a cross between a quiche and a frittata. The gluten-free crust is made from quinoa and cornmeal, like a quiche, but it’s only a bottom crust – the edges of each slice will be more like a frittata. A little crust turns plain old baked eggs into a tart! A combination of goat cheese, asparagus, and mushrooms is complemented by a special blend of spices, and the tang of the goat cheese pairs well with the cornmeal in the crust. It’s completely vegetarian, but sure to please even the most bacon-loving breakfasters! (Unless you’re Ron Swanson. If so, feel free to add a pack of bacon. Because you have to respect Ron Swanson. Can you tell I already miss Parks & Rec?) I served it at my Breakfast-for-Dinner Party, and it was a smashing success! Check out the recipe here, and see more bodacious brunch treats on my new Renaissance Runner Girl Pinterest

 

Ingredients:

Batter for quinoa and cornmeal crust

Batter for quinoa and cornmeal crust

1/2 cup white quinoa

1 cup mushroom broth

6 whole eggs

3 egg whites

1 Tbsp olive oil + additional for greasing pan

1/2 cup gluten-free cornmeal

2 Tbsp parmesan or asiago cheese

3/4 cup milk of choice

Crust should be spongy

Crust should be spongy

3 oz semisoft goat cheese

1/2 cup chopped asparagus

1/2 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms

1 Tbsp paprika

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp basil

1 Tbsp dill weed

1 Tbsp parsley

Salt and pepper

 

 

Instructions:

Egg, goat cheese, and veggies can also be mixed together before adding in

Egg, goat cheese, and veggies can also be mixed together before adding in

1. Bring 1 cup broth to a boil in a pot on the stove, then add quinoa and 1 Tbsp olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Cook 12-15 minutes until quinoa is fully cooked. While cooking the quinoa, preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Remove the pot of quinoa from the heat and mix in cornmeal, 1/2 cup milk, 3 egg whites, parmesan or asiago cheese, and 1/2 Tbsp each of paprika, garlic, basil, dill, and parsley. Mix thoroughly so the spices are evenly spread throughout the mixture.

3. Grease an 8″ pan well with olive oil. Using a large spoon, transfer the mixture to the pan. It should cover the bottom thoroughly, but not the edges.

4. Chop asparagus and mushrooms and arrange on a baking sheet. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle on a bit of salt and pepper.

A brunch delight!

A brunch delight!

5. Bake quinoa crust and vegetables at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 7-8 minutes.

6. In a separate bowl, combine 6 eggs with 1/4 cup milk, goat cheese, and remaining spices.

7. Remove crust and vegetables from the oven. Arrange vegetables on top of the crust, then pour egg mixture over the top. Ensure that the egg seeps into all the nooks and crannies between the veggies!

8. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove the tart from the oven when you insert a knife and it comes out clean.

9. Let cool for 15 minutes.

10. Slice and serve. Makes 8 servings. Enjoy!

 

 

Savory tart with warm goat cheese and veggies...a little slice of nirvana!

Savory tart with warm goat cheese and veggies…a little slice of nirvana!

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

Sweet and Saucy Cinna-cakes

Pancakes. Flapjacks. Hotcakes.

Whatever you want to call them, good old-fashioned pancakes are delicious. My traditional birthday breakfast has always consisted of pancakes with strawberries and bananas, drizzled with maple syrup. Lately I’ve been experimenting with my own batter, because I like to use whole foods as much as possible and to try different combinations of flavors. I already have a favorite basic pancake recipe that uses oats, but after whipping up so many flourless oat muffins I got to wondering if I could do the same with pancakes. This morning, I landed on a winner…so good, I just had to share!

I started with rolled oats. Frequent readers will realize by now that I am obsessed with oats. I often use them as a base rather than gluten-free flours, simply because I’m not a big fan of rice flour and many of the others use nuts as a base or additive, and I’m also nut-free. The good news is, they work great as a base for pancakes. I almost called these oatcakes, but there is already a food called oatcakes (very popular in the UK!) and that would be confusing. So I decided on Saucy Cinna-cakes, because the next ingredients to go in the bowl were applesauce and cinnamon, one of my favorite flavors (similar to my Caramel Apple Cinnamuffins). From there, I figured out the rest, and after a failed first flip, the rest of the batch came out hot, creamy, cake-y and delicious!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats (here, I abandoned my usual Country Choice in favor of Chex quick-cook rolled oats, because I didn’t want to bust out a blender and the slightly broken-down consistency is better for the batter. Up to you to try your favorite brand!)

1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (you can also use one of the seasonal apple flavors – Dannon Greek Caramel Apple is scrumptious, as is the Chobani 2% Apple Cinnamon)

1 large egg OR 2 egg whites

2-3 tsp cinnamon

1-2 tsp stevia or other sweetener (to taste)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup chopped apples

1-2 tbsp maple syrup

Olive oil, butter, or cooking spray (to grease the pan)

Optional: berries, powdered sugar, or any other preferred pancake toppings.

 

Batter = light and frothy and bubbly

Batter = light and frothy and bubbly

Instructions:

1. In a small bowl, mix the oats, applesauce, yogurt, egg, cinnamon, sweetener, and baking powder. Beat until batter is light and frothy.

2. Bring a nonstick pan to medium heat and coat well with oil or butter.

3. Measure out just under 1/4 cup of batter and pour into pan. You can usually fit two cinna-cakes in the pan at a time.

4. Let cook for 2 minutes, watching to ensure there is no burning. Carefully flip each cake (this can be tricky!) and let cook another 1-2 minutes.

5. Transfer cinna-cakes to plate and repeat with the rest of the batter. It should yield 4-5 small cinna-cakes.

Cinnacakes cooking (pre-flip!)

Cinnacakes cooking (pre-flip!)

6. Chop 1/2 a small apple and toss with cinnamon. Ensure the pan is still greased well, and toss apples in to cook for 5-10 minutes (the exact time will vary based on how thoroughly you like your apples cooked, I like them with a little bit of crunch!)

7. Pour maple syrup over the cinna-cakes. Top with the apples and fresh berries.

8. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Saucy Cinna-cakes with scrambled eggs and fresh blueberries!

Saucy Cinna-cakes with scrambled eggs and fresh blueberries!

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.

Egg-tastic Breakfast: Turkey Cheddar Omelet

Well, it’s back to the daily running and law school routine after a whirlwind Christmas break and wonderful race in Florida (that went by all too quickly!) In my normal life, I eat eggs in some form almost every day of the week. Scrambled, fried, whipped into an omelet or frittata or baked into a crustless quiche. Eggs are nutritious, delicious, and a great source of protein. When you eat a lot of protein like me, eggs are great because they’re much less costly than fish or poultry, and they’re so versatile you don’t feel like you’re munching on the same meal every day. One of my favorite ways to make eggs is in omelets, so here I’m sharing one of my tried-and-true tasty omelet creations.

 

Fresh from the pan, ready to eat!

Fresh from the pan, ready to eat!

 

Ingredients:

2 large eggs

2 oz turkey breast (I prefer honey roasted or smoked)

1 oz sharp Cheddar cheese (sharp is best as it retains its yumminess AND melts well)

1 tbsp grated Asiago or Parmesan cheese

Olive oil, butter, or cooking spray

Salt and pepper

Optional: garlic and/or parsley (fresh or dried)

 

 

When you see slight bubbles form and the eggs are halfway cooked, sprinkle on the cheeses

When slight bubbles form and the eggs are halfway cooked, sprinkle on the cheeses

Instructions:

1. Beat two eggs with a pinch of dill in a small bowl.

2. Bring a nonstick pan to a medium heat and then to a high simmer. Grease the pan with olive oil (my preference), butter, or cooking spray.

3. Pour egg mixture into pan. As it begins to cook around the edges, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on one side of the flat circle.

4. Once the eggs are cooked through to your taste, place slices of turkey on the same side as the cheese.

Add the turkey slices and sear for just a minute!

Add the turkey and sear for just a minute!

5. Flip the eggs into a half-moon shape and press down with a spatula for just a few seconds, then flip the omelet and repeat.

6. Carefully transfer the omelet to a plate.

7. Add sliced cucumber, tomato, or carrots as a veggie side.

8. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Renaissance Runner Girl. All rights reserved.