Category: Recipe

Five Things Friday {09-13-2013}

1. Last Saturday, we went to the Chipotle Cultivate Festival in Lincoln Park. This festival is by far one of my favorites in Chicago. You can order off-menu items, listen to free music, check out local vendors, and then walk around to different “activities” where you learn more about Chipotle. If you go to a certain number of activities and have your program stamped at each one, you also get a coupon for a free burrito/burrito bowl/salad/tacos/etc. So worth it!

I tried the chicken tacos and they were much spicier than I expected (warning: blurry picture to follow).


You better bet we got the coupons for free Chipotle too.

2. When I picked Maria up from the Megabus stop last Saturday, she told me that she had brought a little something for Sonic.


Yep. Just “a little something”. Unfortunately, my picky kitty does not like to wear the horn but I’m thinking he just needs to get used to it? I’m not giving up yet!

3. I totally jinxed myself with running. I was just thinking how I’ve found a really good running groove. My mileage feels challenging but manageable, my legs aren’t achey, and I’m not feeling burnt out in the slightest- I actually have been looking forward to all of my runs recently. I decided that I’d add 2ish miles to my scheduled 6 miler today (for all the above reasons) and woke up early to have enough time for a longer run. Then, 1 mile into my run, my right calf tightened up and my knee felt weak. Whomp, whomp. It never hurt and felt normal while running so I’m not freaking out or anything but I did decide to keep my run at the prescribed 6 miles… and now I feel fine. Haha. It’s like my legs sensed I was getting a little too comfortable and decided to remind me that they’re ultimately in charge.

4. In March, I wrote a post about meal planning and then Ian and I moved and I totally fell off the bandwagon. Let’s just say meals this summer have been a lot simpler. I have a tendency to get into food ruts until I am absolutely sick of a food/meal but Ian needs a lot more variety which is fun but takes more time to plan for. I’ve been making more of an effort to plan out 1-2 breakfasts a week (something for Ian to take in the morning and maybe a fun weekend breakfast — during the week I stick to oatmeal or overnight oats) and 2 recipes for dinner (the other nights we eat basic food like meat + starch + veggie, leftovers, or we have a make your own dinner night) because I know things are about to get a lot busier when my classes start later this month.  This week we picked two winning recipes – these quesadillas and then this thai chicken quinoa bowl.


You can bet I’ll be making this again. Maybe I’ll even adapt it to make it allergy-friendly + vegan for book club.

5. Has anyone else heard about this? Katie texted me about it this morning and then I looked it up to verify. I’m sooo excited!

What are your plans this weekend? I’m on a mission to eat pho and then I hope to sleep, run, and relax!

Three Things Thursday {03-14-2013}

1. I finished reading Unbroken on Sunday and not wanting to start another book right away, I resorted to watching tv on Monday night. This turned into a major fail. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some good tv like LOST, Fringe, House, etc. but I wouldn’t be totally honest if I didn’t admit that I have a propensity of getting sucked into totally awful, reality television shows. I can’t help it, I have always been so anti-drama with stuff in my life that I’m drawn to watching other peoples issues.

(you may think that I’m innocently loving my eReader but it’s also quick access to trash tv via Netflix)

Anyway, I ended up watching The Biggest Loser (which I don’t think is totally awful) and enjoying it enough to add it to the DVR (even with only one more ep to go.. I know)… although the last thing I need is another show added to the DVR. This is the point of the night where it all went downhill: after, The Biggest Loser, I decided to flip over to The Bachelor which I haven’t watched in years let alone at all this season. My initial thought was to watch the proposal so I’d know what people’s facebook statuses and tweets were referring to on Tuesday morning but after the proposal I decided that I should watch the hour long After the Rose Ceremony show thingy. Haha, what’s my problem? I’m seriously THE biggest sucker for crap tv! (note: no offense to anyone who watches The Bachelor but I do consider it kinda awful.. it’s just not for me).

2. Last year at this time, I was working like crazy on probably the hardest epidemiology assignment I’ve ever been assigned, it was the week before my last “spring break”, I wasn’t running because I had a stress fracture in my heel, and it was 80 degrees in Chicago. This year, I’m still working like crazy but without homework (woohoo!), I don’t have a spring break (:(), I’m moving in a few weeks, I’m running higher mileage than ever before, and it was 26 degrees when I went out for my run this morning. Quite the contrast right? It’s funny how much things can change in one year. I wouldn’t mind a change in temperature though…

3.  One of my favorite St Patrick’s Day things is Irish soda bread. When I was at Trader Joe’s last Saturday with Ian and saw they were selling loaves of it, I was so tempted to buy one, eat it, and feel like crap just so I could have my favorite Irish bread. Then I realized how stupid that would be, why get sick off of store bought bread when I can make my own? I headed to the Internet and googled every variation of “vegan gluten free irish soda bread” and bookmarked about five different recipes. I ended up choosing this one because I already had most of the ingredients and it seemed easy enough to make. On Sunday I got to baking and tasting (because nothing is more dangerous than baking a loaf of delicious bread after a 20 mile run) and was soo impressed with the recipe!


I believe I had two slices with Earth Balance right out of the oven and have had one for breakfast and dessert on a few occasions this week. I’ve also been sending it to work with Ian and even he enjoys it! I’m debating baking another loaf this weekend but I can’t decide if it’s a good idea or not. It seems to be going a little too quickly.

What types of tv shows do you watch? What were you doing a year ago?

My First Track Workout

This morning I ran my first track workout! I always thought that I hated speed work but I actually had fun today. I never would have thought that was possible.

My schedule called for an 8 mile general aerobic run with 10 x 200 m strides. The need for a track actually stressed me out (I didn’t know where any were in Chicago!) but after asking some other bloggers for help, I found a quarter mile track right near my office. Perfect.

I ran about 3 miles to the park, set down my water bottle, and got down to business. I started at one end of the track, increased my speed as I rounded the first corner, sprinted the straight portion, and then “floated” the last corner. The track was slick from all of the rain yesterday so I made sure not to take the turns too quickly. I decided not to walk between strides and jogged between.

I did the first 5 and then stopped for about 15 seconds to get some water. After the second 5, I walked for 30 seconds before running the 2.5 miles home. I wanted to get my pace back up in the sub 8′s but my legs were definitely in recovery mode. Oh well. I completed the run in exactly 1:04.

Foggy Brick Workout

Saturday mornings are reserved for my brick workouts. Bricks are so different from my weekly route that I really look forward to them. I also love how much farther you can go on a bike than by foot in the same amount of time.

I slept in a little bit this morning and then headed out on my bike. I did my favorite 17 mile loop where I head straight to the lake path, cycle south until I reach Hyde Park, cycle back north going a little past my apartment, and then loop through the city. Fellow Chicagoans please do not be afraid to head south on Lake Shore. You are truly missing out. The path is not nearly as crowded as it is up north and the views coming back into the city are spectacular. There are also quite a few hills, a rarity in Chicagoland but valuable for training. Sounds good right? Try it :).

I always turn around at the point near Hyde Park and the views from the tip of the point are amazing. I brought my iPhone with me today so I could snap a picture but unfortunately it was too foggy to see the city.

Bummer. Maybe next Saturday.

I did get to see the end of the sun rise from the point though. I love being close to the water!

As I was biking back into the city I finally started to come across groups of runners. CARA must have started later this morning? Dealing with runners definitely slows me down but I kind of enjoy weaving around people on my bike. It’s helping me improve my steering and general contorl. Plus it keeps me on my toes :P.

After finishing my ride, I secured my bike in our storage unit and headed out for a 3 mile run. My usual goal with brick workouts is to do my run portion pretty fast. However, as I raced a 5k earlier in the week, I figured it would be best to let my body fall into its own natural rhythm. Interestingly enough, that rhythm was about a 7:14 min/mile. Hmm… could have used some of that speed over the last few days.

Lots of errands on the agenda today! Have a great one :)

Edited to add: for those of you who are as obsessed with the Olympics as I am, check out this article on the female athletes to watch!

Lit Fest, Sox Game, and Apple Baked Oatmeal Recipe

How’s that for a blog post title? Be prepared (and warned) because this post is all over the place.

A few hours and a short nap after posting yesterday, I walked over to the Printers Row Lit Fest, the largest free outdoor literary event in the Midwest. The lit fest is pretty awesome and consists of booth after booth of booksellers, publishers, and literacy and cultural organizations (source).

While I enjoy walking around and looking at all of the booths, I really go to the event for the cheap books. Last year I spent $30 and walked away with 5 books. This year I bought two for $15. Considering one was hardcover, thats not too shabby!

After purchasing my books, I met Ian and we headed to Cellular Field

It was a wonderful day to be at a baseball game! It was hot no doubt (and our seats were in the sun) but we had good seats and great company. Can’t beat that!

While everyone else enjoyed beers and concession food, I drank a two waters. Gotta stay hydrated!

Look at this man with the margarita backpack. It had a little dispenser that he used to fill cups. How cool is that? Although, I do have to say, if I had his job and it was 87 degrees out, I’m sure more margarita would end up in my mouth than in the cups!

The game was tied until the 5th inning when the Sox scored 5 runs. The game was basically over after that and the Sox ended up winning 10-1. We even got to see a grand slam!

And speaking of that run. I woke up at 5 a.m. to get in a 9 mile run before the heat (although it was already 78 degrees) and the air quality alert went into effect. I felt fine for the first 5 miles and then I started to feel the heat. Luckily, I was still on the lakefront path and stopped by a drinking fountain to splash some water on my face and neck before heading into the city. My Garmin started to malfunction around then so I have no clue what my actual pace was like but there was a much nicer breeze and more shade in the city. I ended up running between 9 and 9.5 miles (Garmin says 9 but gmap-pedometer says 9.5) so my guess is that I ran somewhere in between. Do any other Chicago runners have problems with their Garmins in the city?

Ah! I have another busy day today. Enjoy your Sunday!