Category Archives: runner food

Sugared Cranberry, Brie Bites

Looking for a quick and tasty holiday appetizer? Look no further. These simple sugared cranberry brie bites will give every foodie just the right fix.DSC_0008This recipe was originally posted at Annie’s-Eats, one of my favorite food blogs. The sugared cranberries are a Christmas staple around here; they have the most fantastic sugar tart POP!

sugaredcranberries

First, you’re going to make a simple syrup to coat the cranberries and then let them dry on a drying rack like this, for about an hour.

IMG_6582Then you’ll coat them with more sugar. Yes, I’m saying sugar on the blog, oh dear. Justification: cranberries are soooo nutritious, but difficult to eat without a little bit of the white stuff.

photoA little bit of brie cheese on a wheat cracker and there you go!

Easy peasy.

Sugared Cranberry Brie Bites:

1. Procure wheat crackers. Round crackers give a nice aesthetic appeal.

2. Pick out a nice Brie (we’re pleased with PRÉSIDENT® BRIE ROUND)

3. Sugar your cranberries:

Simple Syrup: Over medium heat, combine 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup white sugar. Sir until combined. Take off heat. Pour in a bag of cranberries, just to coat (not to cook.) Using a slotted spoon, lay cranberries on a drying rack for ONE HOUR, at least. The cranberries should slightly sticky dry, but not wet.

Next, pour some sugar into a bowl. Pour cranberries into bowl to coat. And that’s it. Really.

Now, let’s sing – FA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LA-LAAAAAA…it’s sugared cranberry brie bite time!

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Christmas Granola

As a self-described granola addict, this is one of my favorite Christmas gifts to push on the neighbors {I don’t think they mind}.
It’s extra festive because we candy the nuts with maple syrup and a pinch of sea salt. Oh my. Read on…life will never be the same.
You’ll start with the usual suspect: rolled oats (not quick oats)
About 7-8 cups Granola. Add cinnamon.
In a saucepan, over low-medium heat, add water, honey, olive oil, and maple syrup. Heat until small bubbles form around pot. Pour into dry mix. Stir. Lay out on two lined cookie sheets. Cook for about an hour until toasty brown.
 Add Dried Cranberries, Pumpkin Seeds, and Coconut Flakes. It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…
Candied nuts are simple: heat maple syrup in a skillet, add nuts. Stir occasionally. Done! YUM.
Load into gift bags and you’ve got a great gift. Tasty, healthy, WE RUN ON OATS!

MaisyMak Granola Snack, Christmas Edition:

Heat Oven to 300

Combine:

7-8 C Oatmeal
1/2 C Sunflower Seeds
1 Tbsp Cinnamon

Heat in Saucepan:

1 C Water
1 C Honey
1/2 C Olive Oil
1/2-1 C Pure Maple Syrup
Heat until tiny bubbles form around pot. (If you want more “sticky clumps,” you’ll need to add more honey or maple syrup.) Pour over the dry mix. Stir evenly. Spread granola onto two lined (foil or parchment paper) cookie sheets. Place granola in oven, stirring every ten minutes, rotating granola from top to bottom racks to ensure even browning. About an hour.
Meanwhile….

Heat in Skillet:

1/2-1 C Maple Syrup
A pinch of Sea Salt
1 C Pecans
1 C Almonds
1 C Walnuts
In a skillet pan (I use a well-oiled cast iron), heat maple syrup and sea salt over low-medium heat for one minute. Add the nuts. Stir occasionally until syrup begins to “candy” the nuts, being careful not to let the nuts burn. You’ll know it’s ready by the delicious smell, and when the liquid is soaked up. About 7-9 minutes. (Beware: these candied nuts are a DANGEROUS snack 🙂 )

When Granola is out of Oven, Add:

Candied nuts
1 C Unsweetened Coconut Flakes (I like Bob Mills)
1 C Dried Cranberries
1 C Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Place in gift bags. Or consume. Whichever. Merry Christmas!

You may also want to try: 3-ingredient homemade dark chocolate, my favorite sugar cookie, sugared cranberries and brie bites, famous NYTimes No-Knead Bread!

See you in the New Year!

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The Famous NY Times No-Knead Bread

This is one of the most popular recipes ever published by the New York Times, courtesy of Jim Lahey, owner of Sullivan Street Bakery, who designed this bread as a minimalist technique for anyone who wants to bake a fantastic loaf of bread.

Let me tell you – it’s fantastic. And works every single time.

It is SO good and SO easy to make that I’ve made enough loaves to open a small bakery. Except we gobble it up too quickly to sell.

Three ingredients + water and stirred with a spoon. After that? TIME to let the magic (science, really) happen: The secret to great bread? Let time do the work.

I like to do this in the morning or at night and than leave it alone for a day or two. Takes 5-10 minutes.

 This recipe guarantees: soft and airy on the inside and chewy delicious on the outside.

 Three ingredients: flour, yeast, salt, and water. Stir.

That’s it. The dough will be wet and shaggy. Cover with plastic wrap for12-18 hours. Here is where the science comes in. Your dough needs to rest for a long time to allow the gluten to become long elastic molecules – the reason for no kneading.

You’re going to bake using a covered dutch oven (or cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic.)

A covered dutch oven? Yes, this crust needs a lid to bake. The Professor gifted me with this beauty and I absolutely adore it. You can cook soups and stew on the stove and bake puffed pancakes and bread in the oven; it’s my most favorite kitchen item!

 Unlike the New York Times recipe, I use parchment paper. The advantage is you simply lift up the paper (with the bread on it) and place in pre-heated dutch oven.

Baby loaves. Which cook more like a four-leaf clover.   Package it up all pretty if you like. Deliver warm. And you’ll have friends for life.

The New York Times No-Knead Bread*

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/4  teaspoons salt
  • 1 5/8 cups water (5/8 is just barely shy of 2/3 cup!)

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine flour, yeast and salt. Add 1 5/8 cups water (warm or cold,) and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.
  2. Dough is ready when doubled and bubbly. Heat oven to 450. Place dutch oven in the oven.
  3. Lightly flour a work surface or parchment paper. Using just enough flour to keep dough from sticking to your fingers, work dough into a ball and onto the floured surface. Sprinkle with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Let rest about 30 minutes (OR longer – NYT lets it rest for 2 hours!) When dough is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
  4. Remove hot pot from oven. Carefully pick up parchment paper and place in heated dutch oven. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake another 10ish minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.
  5. Eat and realize that life is beautiful because of warm bread.

*tweaks from astackofdishes

Enjoy!

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How to Make Homemade Gatorade

Why make Gatorade when you can buy it?

Because, my friends, this is a “clean” drink that is far better for your brain, heart, muscles, GI tract, and bloodstream. And I bet you have the ingredients in your pantry right now…and if not, they are easy to procure!

No more this…gatorade7Instead, let’s start measuring some apple cider vinegar. Say what? Yes, it’s true. This original recipe comes from No Meat Athlete, with two tablespoons apple cider vinegar. But after a children’s taste testing, I trimmed it down to one.gatorade6 Next, some maple syrup. Ah…now I’ve got you, right?gatorade5 And some salt. When you lick your arm after a run, do you taste the sweat? (you do lick your arm, right? 🙂 ) Your body needs to replace that salt (electrolytes!)gatorade4 Next: water and juice and that’s it!gatorade3 A little posing for the camera…gatorade1 Now put in fridge and watch the kids fill up their water bottles and play like champs! gatorade2

Homemade Grape Gatorade

  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups 100% grape juice

Directions: stir it all together and gulp!

Do we really need Gatorade? No, not unless we’ve been exercising about two hours and sweating like fiends. Water is best before and during a sporting event, but after a hard workout, it’s nice to refuel quickly with something a little more flavorful. I’m not actually a huge grape juice fan, but with this recipe, I like it. I liked it better than the first time I made it with cranberry-pomegranate. Use whatever juice you like, but make sure it’s 100%; we don’t need to be adding any more sugary drinks to our diet.

Other tips…

  • Refrigerate overnight and the flavors will meld and mellow a bit.
  • Put in ice cube tray and pop them into water bottles the next day for some next-day fuel.
  • Switch up the flavors to see what you like best.

Enjoy!

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Tasty Cauliflower Rice {and so healthy!}

Looking for a rice substitute? As an ardent rice lover, I don’t look for substitutes. Until I tried this. It’s fantastic!

Cauliflower, you say? Yes, it’s true.

It’s so tasty I predict you’ll be seeing a lot more of it. Why not be a trendsetter and start serving it now? My sister-in-law, Kim, introduced us to this recipe this summer and we are now converts – THANK YOU! All of the darlings loved it – it even looks like white rice.

It’s fine to chop or food process a head of cauliflower yourself, but finding it bagged is even more convenient; you’ll have a side in 15 minutes. I’ve seen chopped cauliflower in the freezer section and at Trader Joe’s. Snatch it and hold on tight! Otherwise, start here:dsc_0023 Cut it up into florets: dsc_0033 Pause and admire the pure whiteness:dsc_0032 Now start choppin’! I was a little lazy and just wanted to eat; chop as fine as you can – like rice! dsc_0042 Now chop some onion and put it in a pan with olive oil until onion is soft.dsc_0053 Add the cauliflower, some garlic powder, salt, and pepper (and anything else you fancy!) When cooked, added some chopped cilantro.dsc_0002 I would have gotten a better photo but we ate it so fast it was almost gone!

I especially love this “faux” rice paired with this Mexican dish: dsc_0008I’ll post that recipe next if you like!

Ready to eat? YES.

Tasty Cauliflower Rice:

INGREDIENTS:

  • Cauliflower florets, chopped fine (pre chopped if possible for time saver!)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper (to your preferred taste)

Directions:

  • Heat olive oil on medium heat, add chopped onions, and cook until soft. Add chopped cauliflower, onion, garlic salt, salt, and pepper. Cook about 15-20 minutes until soft. Finish for one minute with chopped cilantro.
  • Variations include cauliflower fried rice – add an egg, soy sauce, and green onion. Add to soups instead of rice or potato. Add a little bacon and you’re golden 🙂

Enjoy and Happy Weekend!

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Almond-Chocolate Power Bites

What to whip up for a ravenous group of 11-year-old soccer players? Can’t bring cupcakes, cheez-its, or goldfish crackers. No, they wanted me to speak about healthy snacks and feeling good. So…DSC_0136 (1)  With ten minutes to spare, Brynne and I whipped up these almond-butter chocolate delights. Really, they were so easy.DSC_0142 (1) And they were gobbled up in seconds.

Followed by:

“Can I have the recipe?”

“Are there any more?”

“Can you bring more next week?”

I’ll try, my little soccer friends!

Loaded with tons of protein, energy carbs, and good fat, they’re also much cheaper and easier to make than my previous Protein Bites (which are still good but a little more time-consuming and pricier!)

Your next go-to snack?

Almond Butter and Chocolate-Chip Protein Bites

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup uncooked oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon chia sees
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Makes about 12-14 protein balls.

Optional add-in: dried cherries or cranberries. Substitutions: I originally added cashews but some of us have a small and “down-there” annoying reaction to cashews…so I used walnuts. Almonds or any other nut also work! Don’t have almond butter? Peanut butter works, too.

  • DIRECTIONS:

    1. It couldn’t be easier. Dump all ingredients into a bowl and stir until combined. For uniform balls, use a cookie scooper with your right hand and put the ball in your left hand to make it nice and smooth.
    2. Or you can put the little ball into your child’s hand and have them form a nice little ball, which is what I ended up doing, followed by, hurry hurry roll that ball we have to go right this minute…!
    3. Put in container and refrigerate for a 1/2 hour-1 hour (unless you’re running out the door.) If they feel a little wet? Add a little more substance like the coconut, oatmeal, or nuts. Too dry? Add a little more almond or peanut butter. Another option is to freeze and eat when you’d like to gnaw on something cold and hearty.

Good? Good. Happy weekend – Eat up!

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Green Shamrock Smoothie (the gut healer)

A repost. For St. Patty’s Day.
Drink this (not the beguiling Shamrock Shake from the McD drive-thru that will wreck your gut…)

greensmoothie2This one’s for you: The Green Shamrock Smoothie. Just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day. It’s a gut healer, not a gut destroyer. It will make you feel good instead of…not. It provides energy instead of migraines.

Click here: Gut health is important

Do you suffer from bloating, constipation, gut aches and pains? The following ingredients are well-known for their gut healing magic.greensmoothie1

 Green Shamrock Smoothie (the gut healer)

1-2 Cups Water

1/2 Squeezed Lemon

1/2 inch Ginger (skin on, scrubbed)

1 Cup Spinach (fresh or frozen)

1 Cup Kale (fresh or frozen)

1/2 Avocado (peeled)

1 Green Apple (cut, skin on)

1 Frozen Banana

Directions: Put ingredients in the Vitamix (or other powerful blender and give it a whirl.)

If you’ve never had a really green smoothie before, this may take some acclimating. You may feel the need to grimace. But after awhile an interesting thing happens: taste buds change.  After a day or two without my precious green smoothie, I start to crave greens. I need it. I want it. I must have it. my precious.

McDonald’s Shamrock Shake nutrition information: Calories (535) and fat (15 grams) aside, the Shamrock Shake has 73 grams of sugar.

4 grams = 1 teaspoon.

That’s 18.25 TEASPOONS of Sugar in a 12 oz. drink. Woah, Bessy! Drink real greens and this shamrock shake will taste disgustingly fake. For reals.

Click on this link and be further appalled: Is sugar bad for your gut?

Are you convinced? Drink good greens not dyed chemicals.

 

May the luck of the Irish be in your gut today!

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Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan Cheese Shavings {omgoodness}

We’ve got a little brussel obsession going on in our house. What? You don’t like brussels? Do you have traumatizing soggy-vegetable memories from childhood? Well friends, your life is about to change with this dish.

My children actually like this green vegetable. Actually they LOVE it.

It all began one evening in San Diego when brother Seth said, “let’s go out and eat the brussels.”  Say what? Who goes out to dinner for brussel sprouts? Now we know why. We were served the most amazing appetizer that The Professor and I RAN HOME to recreate right here in cow-land.

DSC_0109 (1) So good. So easy. Bonus: brussels are GOOD for you! (and so is bacon…right?)

IMG_3987 It’s easy-peasy and easily made right on the stove top.DSC_0113 (1) Balsamic glaze is different than balsamic vinegar, which would make this dish a bit too watery. Find the glaze next to the vinegar and you’ll be a happy brussel eater.

DSC_0098 (1)-1Hold ’em high, Nellie Mak! Hold ’em proud. We went outside for the good light. “Mom, you’re so weird. Can I go inside now?” (And yes, it’s too much to ask to look at the camera)

IMG_4009 Let’s get a closer iPhone look.

With a little help from the local piggy (recently procured and man is homegrown pork incredible!), parmesan cheese, and balsamic glaze, brussel sprouts have risen to the top of my list. I crave them. I want them. must have them.DSC_0115 (1)So here you go. And may the love of brussels be ever in your favor…

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan Shavings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1-2 pounds brussel sprouts, washed and halved
  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese shavings (good quality!)
  • Balsamic glaze to taste

DIRECTIONS:

  1. On the stovetop, heat iron-cast or dutch oven pan/pot over medium heat. Add chopped bacon. Cook until halfway done.
  2. Add washed and halved brussel sprouts, stirring frequently until brussels are dark green and you see some nice dark searing marks (about 10-15 minutes). Add a dash of salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Remove from heat and slide brussels and bacon onto serving dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese shavings on top of brussels.
  4. Add balsamic glaze lightly, atop brussels and around dish for decoration.

The ingredient numbers are estimated. If you want to go with a full pound of bacon be my guest! If you like more parmesan, generously sprinkle.

But do me one favor: Try it. You”ll like it!

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Orange Ginger Splashed Smoothie

Want more energy? Want to feel good? Want to make your skin glow with goodness? Inspired by Laura at abeautifulplate.com, I jumped at the chance to blend me some orange ginger-splashed magic just in time for love day.DSC_0008 Start with juicy orangesDSC_0227 A beautiful yellow beet (much sweeter and more mild than red)
DSC_0089-11 carrot plucked fresh from the garden…or the grocery store will do

IMG_58681 Braeburn apple – yum!

unnamed-1A hunk of ginger, 2 inches thick

unnamed

Orange Ginger Splashed Smoothie:

  •  2 navel oranges
  • 1 medium golden beet, peeled
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed
  • 1 Braeburn apple, cut
  • 2-inch chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water + handful of ice

Blend it all together and have a gulp of goodness (you know I fancy the vitamin for its superior blending capacity.) Who needs caffeine when you could have a smoothie to get going?

This recipe was inspired by pressed juice, meaning all the juice was squeezed out of the fruit and vegetables. But I prefer smoothies for several reasons: smoothies keep you full longer, they contain more nutrients especially fiber, there’s less waste, and they are much less time consuming to make than juicing. In addition, because of the fiber (the bulk), smoothies don’t hit your bloodstream so hard and fast like juices do, which means you have longer-lasting and more steady energy.

Convinced? Give it a try!

On Facebook, a friend asked, “isn’t that a lot of ginger?” Yes, it is! There is definitely a “zing” to this, which I like, but I’ve also acquired it. Ginger is terrific for gut health which is why I eat/drink so much of it. If you’re not a ginger fan, try less of it.

Looking for more valentine treats? You might like:

Oreo Truffles with Strawberriesfruit-heart-300x300homemade dark chocolate

cream puffspuffpancakes-300x300old-fashioned sugar cookies

Happy weekend!

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A Fall Smoothie With Beautiful Beets

The true story is that I have only recently become enamored with beets. When I was little we were served them microwaved from a can, and I detested everything about them. They were right up there with canned peas. Blech. We’ve come a long way baby.DSC_0168 Now, our love affair is going strong. A great benefit to adding beets to your green smoothies (besides the nutrition!) is that it turns the smoothie a beautiful red, masking green things. Red is a much more palatable color to drink – who knows why? Beets are such a wonderful way to fool your children and other small creatures under your care.DSC_0227 I have recently discovered the gorgeous orange beets in the supermarket. I had to buy them on principle, alone! Why, I’m practically giddy every time I enter the produce aisle.DSC_0173 As I was trying to get a good photograph I looked outside at the fall leaves. Mother earth became the perfect backdrop for our fall smoothie. DSC_0167

A Fall Smoothie With Beautiful Beets

  • 1-2 Cups Water
  • 1 Red Beet, peeled, raw or cooked
  • 1 Orange Beet, peeled, raw or cooked
  • 1 Cup Frozen Spinach or Kale
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cut
  • 1 Cups Frozen Blueberries
  • 1 Avocado, skin off
  • 1 Carrot, scrubbed
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds

Directions: Throw it in the blender and give it a whirl! For more smoothie recipes go HERE.

A concluding word: If you are new to smoothies, you’ll want to add more fruit than vegetables. If you stick with it, your palate will adjust and you won’t need so much fruit. For this smoothie you could use just one beet, rather than two. You could add a banana for taste and creamier texture. Chia seeds are a fantastic source of fiber, protein, Omega-3 fatty acids and various micronutrients. They will thicken your smoothie considerably, especially if you let it sit.

Sometimes I use leftover beets from this salad for the next day’s smoothie. I’m all about easy.

Seen this book? I want it. In fact, I wish I had written it.

Happy Weekend! Drink a smoothie. Feel like a champ.

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