Tag Archives: mexican

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.



Mexican Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

29 May

Picnic season is officially here! Well, it’s finally warm in enough in Wisconsin for outdoor dining. And with that, comes a slew of potato, pasta and fruit salads. Most of them are loaded with fat or sugar, sometimes olives, and almost always tons of parsley. If you’re not into that, this recipe is for you!

Here’s a healthy, hearty pasta salad loaded with roasted veggies, dressed with a creamy, spicy Greek yogurt sauce, and perfect for the patio, park or potluck.

It comes together pretty quickly and can easily be made ahead of time, or even an hour beforehand.

Mexican Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Enjoyed at the beer garden 🙂


Mexican Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad
Serves 4

  • 8 oz whole wheat Macaroni
  • 2-3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
  • 1 C corn kernels – frozen or fresh
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, diced
  • 1 tbsp oil to roast


  • 1 C plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes

Preheat oven to 375. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray with PAM; set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook macaroni according to package directions. Once cooked, drain (no rinsing!) and transfer to a large metal bowl. Immediately refrigerate to begin bringing down the temperature.

While the pasta cooks, toss all the chopped veggies and black beans with a spoonful of oil – preferably one that can handle high heat. Spread out onto the prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, stirring halfway thru.

While the pasta boils and the veggies roast, make the dressing! In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Taste to adjust seasoning, and/or add more vinegar if it’s too thick.

Once the veggies are cooked, mix them into the pasta. Stir in the prepared creamy dressing. Place back in the fridge to cool.

Let the pasta salad chill for at least an hour, or overnight. Stir once and serve! This is great for picnics, potlucks, or just dinner on the porch.

Vegan Taco Casserole

1 Oct

Happy October! With the new month comes a challenge: October #Unprocessed. I’ve mentioned it before, but this will be my third year participating in the challenge, and I couldn’t be more excited! The spirit of the challenge is to avoid any food item that is “processed,” which is defined by any ingredient you could not reasonably make by yourself (think chemicals, food dyes, and additives with names longer than Supercalifragilisticexpiolidocious)! Andrew over at EatingRules.com spells out the rules, if you’re interested.

In the previous two years, I learned about ingredients I had never even heard of, cooked up some crazy delicious dishes, tried new fruits and vegetables, and influenced loved ones to embrace “unprocessed” as well.

It’s not terribly difficult to give up processed foods for a month, but it is easy to fall back into old habits, buy that tasty bag of processed snacks, and carry on. This month, I look forward to foregoing all processed foods and drinks. As a result, my shopping trip last night took twice as long, given I was looking at all the labels. But it’s so worth it! My body has always felt significantly better because of the challenge. It’s amazing what your body can do with REAL foods! And while I may slip back into processed things after October ends, it’s always fewer and fewer foods that get me. More often than not, I incorporate those new grains, gourds and sweeteners into my everyday life. It IS a lifestyle change, after all!

Are you willing to give up processed foods for a month? A week? Even a day? Give it a shot 🙂

Vegan Taco Casserole | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Anyway, whether you take the challenge or not, this taco casserole is something you should make for dinner tonight. It’s quick, easy, versatile, healthy, and #unprocessed (and vegan, too!). It’s the perfect make-ahead that you can just pop in the oven when dinner time arrives. And it’s great for using up whatever veggies you have around – frozen corn? Throw it in. Cilantro lover? Add some on top. 3 jars of salsa in the fridge? Put them to use in this!

Vegan Taco Casserole | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Vegan Taco Casserole, adapted from MyFitnessPal

Serves 6

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped (I used one red and one green)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1.5 C cooked brown rice (or other cooked grain of choice)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 C salsa of choice (I used a combination of spicy and mild)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • fresh black pepper
  • pinch of salt (there’s enough in the salsa, so you won’t need much)
  • 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 oz queso fresco (dairy-free variety if vegan)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8×8″ dish and set aside.

In a large pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion, garlic, shallot and peppers until soft and fragrant.

In a large bowl, mix together rice, beans, salsa and spices. Once veggies are cooked, stir them into the rice & bean mixture until well-incorporated.

Transfer mixture to prepared dish. Cover with chopped tomatoes.

Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes. If using cheese, sprinkle on top and put back into the oven for another 3-4 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool 5 minutes, and serve up!

You could top this with Greek yogurt, avocado, more salsa, or eat in tortilla shells, scoop up with tortilla chips, or scoop it onto a bed of lettuce. The possibilities are endless!

I entered the recipe into MyFitnessPal, and it says that one serving is only 230 calories and 6g fat! It also boats 9g protein and 8g fiber. A perfect meal 🙂

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