Hosting an Allergy Free Dinner Party

As I mentioned in my weekly recap and WIAW, I hosted my second annual dinner party last Saturday evening. I’m calling it second annual because I hosted my first one last February, and I’m hoping to continue the tradition of bringing friends from different parts of my life together on a Saturday night during a short and chilly month for years to come.



Dinner Party Food Instagram 



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WIAW #27: Of Coconuts and Chia Seeds

This Wednesday, my eats may look a little different. As I mentioned when I shared my recipe for Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, I’m cutting back on dairy for the next few weeks (not permanently I hope) and when I do add more in I’m going to try and keep it to about half what I have been consuming. If you read Renaissance Runner Girl regularly, you know I eat a lot of dairy, between multiple servings of Greek yogurt, the healthy helpings of cheese, and near-daily scoops of ice cream in the warmer months, so I’ve had to replace all that goodness with something. Like pumpkin and chocolate, which I enjoyed before I became a blogger. And coconuts and chia seeds, new discoveries in the past year or so.


Paleo Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


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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



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




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!






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