Tag Archives: gluten free

Mexican Lentil Salad and Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap

29 Jun

This past weekend marked my fifth half marathon. It was a women-only race, which was incredibly empowering! The course was new to me, as it was in Madison, WI.

Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Yep, this was my first race away from home, and I loved it. We got an Airbnb to stay in the night before, and so I could pickup my packet without hassle. Chris and I also got to enjoy the food and drink that Madison has to offer!

Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Madison is just 90 minutes from home, and it’s an easy drive. We ate a vegan lunch at the Green Owl Cafe, after which I picked up a handful of macarons from the Chocotarian, and then we enjoyed a few brews from One Barrel Brewing Company. A new brewery opened that weekend, so we went to check it out: Funk Factory Geuzeria. Afterward, we drove out to Mt. Horeb (about another 30 minutes), to re-visit The Grumpy Troll for delicious pizza and a variety of beers (samplers for me!).

Chris and I have this tendency to stumble upon brewpubs. So of course, we stumbled upon another one, the Brew Haus, and had to stop in for one; we were not disappointed, and then called it quits for the night.

The race was well-organized and started on time (I hate when they don’t!). The first mile included at least one incline, so that was a good indication of the rest of the route. My body, mind and spirit were on board with the day’s challenge.

Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

The weather was beautiful, the views were new, and the women were encouraging. I struggled a bit toward the end when my thighs started to feel the strain, but I pushed through.

Especially at the finish line. As I was about to turn the corner for the last tiny stretch, I told myself to gun it. All power to the engines, full steam ahead. I felt so GOOD. I wanted to finish strong, and I succeeded!

Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Admittedly, my time was not what I had been training for. But every other aspect was on target. Mentally, physically, and emotionally: I felt strong, courageous, and happy.

In fact, for the first time in a while, I had FUN during this race. I smiled almost the whole time. I high-fived other runners and cheered them on. We finished off the day with more beer, more delicious food, and finally a drive back home. It was by far my favorite race experience, and I hope my next one is just as enjoyable!

Her Madison Half Marathon Race Recap | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Ok, now to the recipe. This simple salad is layered with complex flavors and textures. It’s high in protein, full of fresh vegetables, and dressed with a blend of olive oil and lime juice. The spice level is easily customizable, and this recipe can be scaled for larger gatherings or parties!

Mexican Lentil Salad | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Also, don’t forget to enter the #cookoutweek giveaway by July 1 at 11:59 PM est for your chance to win this prize pack, valued at over $400! Enter by following our sponsors and bloggers on social media via a Rafflecopter giveaway


Mexican Lentil Salad | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Mexican Lentil Salad

Serves 4

  • 1 C brown lentils
  • 4 C vegetable broth, beer, water, or a combination
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1 bell pepper, finely diced
  • 2 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium English cucumber, finely diced
  • 1 C corn kernels
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 C salsa
  • 1/2 C nondairy sour cream
  • pepitas

In a large pot, bring your liquid of choice to a boil with the lentils and spices. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer lentils to a mixing bowl and stir in the jalapeno, bell pepper, celery, cucumber, and corn. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, oil, hot sauce, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir this into the lentil-veggie mixture. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.

Refrigerate for at least one hour, up to overnight.

Serve with nondairy sour cream, salsa, pepitas. You could also serve this with tortilla chips or stuffed into a pita pocket.

 

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie

27 Apr

I received free samples of the Barlean’s products mentioned in this post. All opinions are my own; I was not compensated for my time.

Most Americans grew up eating peanut butter & jelly sandwiches. Whether for breakfast, lunch or a last-minute run-out-the-door to your extracurricular activities dinner, PB&J was, and still is, a household staple.

If you asked younger Christina how to make the most perfect PB&J sandwich, she’d tell you it had to be on squishy soft bread, though a whole wheat variety is fine as well. The CREAMY peanut butter (no chunks here, folks!) had to be layered on thickly – something to sink your teeth into. And the jam, which was almost always homemade jam from my Oma (her strawberry-raspberry mix will always be my favorite), had to completely cover the peanut butter foundation. Slap on another slice of bread (not toasted, mind you), cut into two triangles, and there you have it! The ideal PB&J sandwich.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

These days, however, I know better than to consume that amount of sugar and empty carbs for breakfast, or any meal for that matter. My bread is much more wholesome, the peanut butter is natural, or it might even be almond butter, and the jam is used sparingly, just to get a taste. I’m more apt to use fresh, sliced berries, or perhaps chia jam.

But if that all sounds like too much work, and too messy for your half-hour morning commute to work, this smoothie is just for you! It’s loaded with peanut butter and jelly taste, without all the added sugars and morning-slump-causing empty carbs. The beet juice goes unnoticed, except in color. (Trust me on this – I hate beets and would never propose you make a recipe wherein you can taste the beets!) The protein powder adds a nice boost to get you through the day, or to refuel after a workout. Finally, the Barlean’s Digestive Blend lends all the fiber, omega-3’s, antioxidants, vitamins & minerals that your body needs to keep things moving, and keep things clean, if you catch my drift.

In fact, Barlean’s Digestive Blend is a combination of all the good things you might find hard to work into your diet otherwise: flaxseed, quinoa, chia seeds, coconut, and a blend of warm spices. It’s also vegan, organic, kosher, GMO-free, and gluten-free!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! The prize pack is valued at over $200, and one lucky winner will get it all! This giveaway is open world-wide except where prohibited. Update: the Rafflecopter giveaway has ended.

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Beet Smoothie

Serves 1

  • 3/4 C cold water
  • 1/2 C prepared beet juice
  • 1 frozen, sliced banana
  • 1 C frozen blueberries (preferably wild blueberries)
  • 2 tbsp powdered peanut butter (or you could use real PB)
  • 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 heaping tbsp hemp seeds
  • 2 tbsp Barlean’s Digestive Blend

Add all ingredients to your blender and puree until completely smooth. I find it’s best to use the “ice crush” setting first, to break down the frozen fruit.

Serve in a glass, and enjoy cold!

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

20 Apr

Picture this: it’s 10 PM and you’re so hungry that your growling stomach is sure to keep you from falling asleep. So you grab some chocolate, or a handful of trail mix, or pretzels. Sound familiar?

But is 10 PM really the right time of day to eat? Most would argue it’s not wise. But do you understand the science behind it?

Today’s guest, Kevin Jones, shares how to determine when you should be eating. The recipe that follows is a great example of what you should be eating – a healthy, high-protein, dairy & gluten free dinner that’s perfect following a workout or simply a busy day at work!


Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Breaking Down the Details on the Best Times of the Day to Eat

About The Guest Author: Kevin Jones writes for a number of sites across the web, sharing his wisdom and expertise in the health and fitness industry. He has written extensively for NordicTrack and ProForm, offering out-of-the-box workout plans and nutritional advice. During his free time, he likes to be very active with his wife and two children, hitting the slopes of Park City, Utah or chasing down Salt Lake City’s Korean food trucks. Connect with him online; LinkedInTwitter.

My grandmother – a very opinionated woman – has always been very vocal about the way you should eat, and when. Her philosophy, passed to me in my formative years, was that you eat heavy in the morning, heavier in the afternoon, and light in the evening. “And none of that silly no-fat nonsense…give me my butter, or lose a hand!”

For a long time I ignored these lessons, eating with the gusto and carefree nature of youth. Now that I am older, and I have to think of weight gain, heart health, and indigestion, I have started wondering if she was right.

We all know that healthy food is good food. But what are the best times to eat it?

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Erratic Diets and The Harm They Do

Eating irregularly is bad for you. That might seem like a drastic statement, but it has been shown to be true again and again. A study by Harvard University found that just a few days of eating on an opposing schedule could cause serious sugar and insulin spikes where none had been present before.

Another study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that nighttime eating could cause an increase in weight gain. Still another found that late eating impacted circadian rhythms and disrupted sleep patterns.

So, to recap, eating late at night, or just in a way that is different than your usual pattern of meals, can screw with your blood sugar levels, your sleep, and even make you fat. That seems like a pretty serious thing to me.

Eating Post Workout

Another factor to keep in mind is when working out. Exercise taxes the body, eats up all the food-provided energy in the system, and puts strain and tears within muscles that need to be repaired. Protein rich snacks or meals following intense activity are crucial for the body to function properly.

But did you know dehydration may keep you from getting the nutrients you need? Long distance runners are familiar with runner’s trots. But anyone can experience diarrhea following a workout, often sparked by improper hydration.

Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

What All This Tells Us

We can make a couple of assumptions about diet based on the above facts. First, eating late at night is a no-no. Second, proper hydration is crucial for proper nutrient retention. Third, our bodies are delicate tools that have to be properly balanced.

Eat well, eat often, and don’t eat too late. Oh, and keep drinking water. While the eight glasses a day rhetoric may be a myth, the need for keeping ourselves nice and hydrated is not.


Is it Time to Eat? Guest Post + Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

With that in mind, here’s a protein rich meal that’s great for dinner! Tofu’s texture is not for everyone, but when pressed and roasted, it’s much more palatable! Pair this with a simple puree of roasted vegetables, and you’ve got dinner in the bag. Enjoy!

Roasted Tofu with Roasted Vegetable Puree

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 block firm tofu, drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 large stalks of celery, chopped
  • 4 whole cloves garlic
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper – to roast
  • 1/2 C vegetable stock, warmed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Roasted pepitas, to garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with foil and spray with oil.

Wrap the drained tofu block in a clean tea towel and place a heavy object on top of it, like a heavy pan or book. Let this sit while you prep the veggies.

Chop all the veggies – neatness doesn’t count in this recipe! Lay them out on one of the baking sheets with the garlic and tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Stir a bit and make sure the veggies are in a single layer. Roast at 400 for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Slice the pressed tofu into long, thin strips. Place in a single layer on the second baking sheet, and bake for 20 minutes, until dry and crispy. It’s best to put the tofu in the oven 10 minutes after the vegetables have been in.

Once the vegetables are roasted, transfer them to a blender, along with the warmed vegetable stock, seasonings, and vinegar. Puree until smooth, taking care to let steam escape from the lid by removing the middle piece and holding a towel loosely over the top. Taste and adjust as desired.

Pour the vegetable puree into four bowls. Top with the roasted tofu strips and garnish with roasted pepitas. Enjoy hot!

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