Oct 17, 2012

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes
Adapted from: Balanced Bites
Makes 8 small pancakes or 2 servings

 4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons butter  
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
10 drops liquid stevia
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch salt (omit if using salted butter)

Preheat griddle/skillet.  Whisk the eggs, canned pumpkin, and vanilla extract together.  Add in stevia if using. Add the pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and baking soda into the wet ingredients.

Brown 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, until foamy and brown bits form on the bottom (use this tutorial!).  Then, mix the butter into the batter.  Grease the skillet with coconut oil and spoon the batter into the skillet to make pancakes of your desired size (keep them smaller--like 3 inches diameter--to make it easier to turn). When a few bubbles appear, and edges are browned, flip the pancakes once to finish cooking.

Makes 8 small pancakes or 2 servings

You can add maple syrup as sweetener if you like, but the stevia worked great!  I don't think these really need any additional sweetness. 

As you can see, I served them to Sean with pumpkin butter and maple syrup.  I ate mine on the go, right off the griddle :)  They were delicious, and don't really need topping, but it certainly doesn't hurt!

I've been getting up to run before work about once a week.  I'll get another run in on a week night, and am trying for a long run on weekends/days off.  So far, so good!  The good thing about getting up early to run, means I apparently have tons of time to do other stuff in the morning.  Like make these pancakes.  Who doesn't like fresh pancakes before work?

I've found the key to getting out of bed on time is laying out my clothes to go running in.  Also my work clothes.  I never do this, but it really does save time, and definitely helps with motivation.  I also bought a jacket strictly for running, so it's warm enough for the chilly mornings, and I don't have to worry about overwashing/sweating/ruining my other sweatshirts.  And hopefully it'll help people see me in the dark with those obnoxious sleeves!
I left these two behind...

That FACE!

Oct 9, 2012

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Running has been going great.  We did a few miles after softball on Saturday and I was off work yesterday (thanks Columbus!) so I ran 5k after I got to sleep in for a bit.

Being fall and all, I got an acorn squash in our bi-weekly Suburban Organics shipment last week.  I never thought I'd cook with this, but now that I had it, I needed a recipe! 

I had looked over this recipe on my google reader a few weeks ago, but when I went back to search, it caught my attention.  Seemed pretty easy, and it could use up some (one) of my apples from apple picking!  Oh, plus it has kale hidden in there.  Bonus points!

Stuffed Acorn Squashes
Source: Cave Woman Cafe

2 acorn squash, cut in half and de-seeded
1 pound of ground sausage
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1/2 onion chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 large apple, cubed
2-3 cups of fresh kale chopped
¼ cup of chopped pecans
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of milk or coconut milk
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
shredded cheddar cheese to melt over top

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut stems off squashes and a little off the bottom so they sit flat.  After halving, and scooping out the seeds, rub some coconut or EVOO on squash and bake cut side down in a baking pan for 20 to 30 minutes till a knife easily penetrates the skin.  (This will depend on the size of your squash--mine was good at 20 min)  Remove the pan and let the squash cool a little bit.  Flip them over so they're ready to be stuffed!  Set the oven temperature to 400 degrees.

While the acorns are cooking, heat up a skillet on medium high and brown the sausage, onion and garlic till the sausage is just done. Toss in the kale and apples and cook a few minutes till the kale wilts. Stir in the nuts and rosemary.

In a bowl, whip up the eggs and milk and stir into the sausage mixture. Stuff the squash with the sausage mix as full as you can get them. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  In the last 2-3 minutes, add some cheese if you'd like.

This came out much better then I expected.  The acorn squash is kind of a mix between butternut and spaghetti squash.  Sweet like butternut, but texture is more a cross between that and spaghetti.  The sausage/apple/kale mixture is delicious.  Sean said this was something he would never have pictured himself eating and liking as a kid.  Look at me, broadening palates ;)

I got TONS of apples when we went apple picking last week, but they're almost all gone.  I might have an excuse to go back!  Here's my adorable niece I got to meet up with:
She kept taking a bite out of every apple she pulled off the trees!  too.damn.cute.

Oct 4, 2012

Early Morning Run - SUCCESS!

So, the new run plan started today.  5:00 the alarm went off, I rolled out of bed (much to my own surprise), and got dressed. 

Holy crap was it dark out.  It was super creepy.  Notgonnalie, I definitely looked over my shoulder a few times to make sure no one was following me.  And may or may not have side-eyed a few of the other early risers in the neighborhood.

It was also super disgusting and humid.  Just perfect weather to run in, right?!

I managed 2 full laps around the neighborhood in 25 minutes.  Naturally, my runkeeper app decided not to work correctly, so I don't know exactly how far I went or at what pace.   I'm going with 2-2.5 miles.  And hopefully slower then a 10 minute pace!  I kept making myself slow down when I'd pick up the speed. 

The run itself felt great!  I wore long sleeves, so I was a sweaty beast by the time I got back to the house.  Yum. 

I then showered, walked Yank, made breakfast, and walked out the door, EARLY for work! Whoop!  That never never happens.  And I got to rock out to Gangnum Style on the way to work.  Fist pumping before 7am is allowed, right?

It's going to be a good day.  :)  I think I could get used to this!

Oct 2, 2012

The New Running Plan

Contrary to the title of my blog, I don't love running.  I like it until everything hurts and then I just want to collapse, catch my breath, and give my jell-o legs a break.  However, I force myself to do it, because I want to like it, but I just can't get on the bandwagon.  I pretty much dread each run, and even though I feel awesome once it's over, it's frustrating that it's not getting any easier, and I'm not getting any better at it.

After some super official research (google, duh), I've determined that I am pushing myself too hard.  Trying to get less then 10:00 minute miles, keeping up with Sean, gasping to breathe at the end of each run isn't doing me any favors.

Sean's cousin ran with us last month and mentioned how my breathing got really bad towards the end of the 3 miles, which probably means my heart rate is out of control.  I should probably work on that. 

So!  I'm going to run slower.  Take it down a notch, try to enjoy the activity without being so competitive.  This is going to involve running by myself, before the sun rises, a few days a week.  I'm super stoked about the waking up early part...not.  I'll pair this with crossfit WODs in the evening and maybe use it to have some "me" time...or just try to get it done before my body wakes up and figures out wtf I'm doing to it! 

I plan to (eventually) increase my distance, as well as slowing down my pace.  I REALLY want to do a Tough Mudder next year, so it would be helpful if I was able to, you know, run the whole 10+ miles. 

Hopefully some road time to myself will help me focus on my breathing, perfect my form, and start enjoying myself, instead of counting down the minutes til it's over.

I'm going to try eating 1-2 scrambled eggs (fat + protein) before I go out, then have either a protein shake or some pumpkin protein pancakes (protein + carbs) afterwards.  I'm going to have to come up with a recipe for that one, so I'll make sure to post it once it's been perfected ;)

Wish me luck!  (and motivation to get out of bed when my alarm goes off!)

All those mocha lattes...