Monday, April 29, 2013

I love breakfast!

Yesterday morning, I was up bright and early to run the Flower City Challenge Half Marathon. I managed to finish in a solid 2:06:45 (not so bad when you consider my training regimen). The weather was perfect for this type of race: not too hot, sunny and a light breeze. Plus, the various neighborhoods came out in droves to support all those who ran. It's times like these that I think Rochester is a pretty fine place to live.

Needless to say, my hard work from yesterday warranted a little time off today.  I get a chance to sleep in, rest up and make a fabulous little breakfast plate!

Monday Breakfast

  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 4 slices of liverwurst
  • 2 egg yolks (you could use two whole eggs, if desired)
  • 1/2 apple cut into small wedges
  • sauerkraut
  • spicy brown mustard
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • Heat a medium pan over medium high heat.
  • Cook the slices of bacon until crisp and set aside.
  • Put the slices of liverwurst in the heated pan with bacon grease and cook until browned on both sides (about 1 1/2-2 minutes per side). Set aside on a plate.
  • Pour the egg yolks into the pan, taking care not to break them. Cook for a minute or until the bottom is set. Carefully flip them over (mine broke at this point, but they still taste good). Cook until they reach your desired doneness. 
  • Place the egg yolks over the cooked liverwurst and season with salt/pepper. Squeeze on a little spicy brown mustard. 
  • Serve with the bacon slices, apple wedges and a some sauerkraut.
This yummy breakfast is fantastic! The liverwurst is slightly crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. It's a perfect complement to the eggs and sauerkraut. The mustard adds some spicy goodness and the apple a touch of sweet. Throw in the bacon and voila! BREAKFAST!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Bright and sunny food for bright and sunny weather!

Today got off to a bit of a slow start. I didn't sleep so well last night, so I was fairly tired for most of the work day. I tried to keep my chin up, though, because I knew the day could only get better. The sun was out and it's finally beginning to look like spring in this dreary city.

Nice weather means I can switch to wearing shorts on runs and has the potential for there to be some running in my afternoon CrossFit metcon. This afternoon's WOD proved my little prediction right. The skill portion of the workout consisted of: 16 minutes, on the minute, of 3 snatch balances and 5 hands off push ups. (I managed to do 35 lbs for the weight. It's not very heavy, but I tried to tell myself that I was concentrating on perfecting my form and not trying to be like Heman...) This was followed by the metcon of: a 200 m run, 15 dead lifts, 20 sit-ups, 400 m run, 10 dead lifts, 20 sit-ups, 800 m run, 4 dead lifts and 20 sit-ups, all for time. I ended up doing everything in 11 minutes 26 seconds, and the dead lifts at 85 lbs. 

Needless to say, all this running and lifting left me somewhat drained. I came home and was heating up some leftovers for dinner and thought, "Hey, this recipe is totally worth sharing." It's a different take on a previous one, but it's quite tasty:

Lemon Ginger Pulled Pork

(Doesn't that look succulent?)

  • 6-7 lbs bone in pork butt
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 2-2 1/2" piece of ginger, minced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 lemon, quartered (I used the zested lemon)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace, optional
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard, optional
  • Combine the salt, pepper, ground mace and ground mustard in a small bowl. Rub this mixture all over the pork.
  • Combine the onion, garlic, lemon zest and ginger, in another bowl. Place have of this mix into the bottom of a slow cooker. Place the seasoned pork shoulder on top. Pour the remaining onion/garlic/ginger mix on top of the pork. Squeeze a little of the juice from the quartered lemon on top of the pork and place them around the roast.
  • Cook on high for 5-6 hours and then cook on low for an additional 3-4 hours, or until the pork is easy to shred.** Taste, adjust any seasonings.
  • Enjoy!
**Note** I find that this recipe works the best with the high then low cooking method. I've cooked pork on low all day and found that it's not always easy to shred. (Granted, this could be because it was a 7.5 lb roast in a little crock-pot...) Starting high and then switching to low seems to be fool-proof. You'll barely have to touch the pork to pull it apart, it's that tender.

This pulled pork ROCKS!  It's a little spicy from the ginger and citrusy from the lemon. You might think that these two flavors would overpower, but they work beautifully. I'm not sure the mace and mustard powder added too much to the recipe (hence the 'optional'...) Feel free to add some red pepper flakes to this to kick up the heat. You'll truly enjoy this porky dish! 

Monday, April 8, 2013

My Fave Side Dishes!

I made it to a new milestone this past weekend. I ran for 16.2 miles! I'll admit that I was a little stiff and sore afterwards, but I did it. Plus, I had a fairly intense CrossFit WOD today: The warm up consisted of  two rounds of 400 m run, 10 sit-ups, 10 hands off push-ups, and 20 mountain climbers. This was followed by the Metcon, which was 5 rounds of 250 m rowing, 10 slam balls (15#) and 10 wall balls (I did 10#. I can do 14 but have to take it easy with my hip strain). The strength/skill portion was 15 minutes, on the minute, of 3 burpees and 3 hang power cleans (the rx for the power cleans was 90 lbs, yet I'll take my fairly decent 55 lbs). All in all, I'm making some serious progress with my workouts.

Anyways, all this exercising leaves me hungry for some good grub! I know I seem to go on about how I love my meat... and I do. But I thought that this time I'd  share my two favorite side dishes:  garlic & rosemary mashed sweet potatoes and roasted asparagus. Both are simple and oh so delicious!

Garlic & Rosemary Mashed Sweet Potatoes

  • 3-4 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • water
  • coconut oil (or butter)
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • Put the sweet potatoes and garlic in a large pot and pour in enough water to just cover them. Add the two sprigs of rosemary.
  • Turn the heat to high and bring up to a boil. Reduce the heat and boil until the sweet potatoes are tender, ~20 minutes. You'll know they're done when you can pierce a cube with a fork and the potato slides off.
  • Drain the potatoes/garlic/rosemary and pour back into the pot with a little bit of water. Use your fingers to strip off the rosemary leaves if need be. 
  • Use a hand blender or a potato masher to mash everything together. Add ~1 tbsp coconut oil/butter (or 1 1/2 if you're like me and are addicted to the stuff), salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Enjoy!

Roasted Asparagus 

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • salt/pepper, to taste
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
  • Spread out the asparagus on a rimmed baking sheet. Pour on the coconut oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Use tongs to toss the asparagus until it's evenly coated.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, or until the asparagus is browned and tender.
The nice thing about these recipes is that they're very simple and easy to cook! I know the mashed sweet potatoes take a little more effort, but the flavor alone totally make up for it. The potatoes are sweet and flavorful with the herby rosemary. The asparagus is crispy and a little salty. The two of these together make a great set of side dishes!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sarah had a Little Lamb

Today turned out to be a little different than what I'd planned. I was all set to go to work, go to CrossFit, come home and eat some dinner. I ended up leaving work early due to some tummy troubles, resting and doing a little yoga to try and re-center myself. I chalk it up to the stress of marathon training, doing CrossFit, writing the blog and just generally trying to fit too many things into a 24 hour period. I rarely give myself a true rest day and now my body's trying to tell me that enough is enough!

Needless to say, my stomach is doing better and has graciously allowed me to continue making some oh so tasty dinner. I was a little inspired by Sunday being easter and all, so I decided to try my hand at some lovely lamb goodness. I will admit that I think it's imperative to use a high quality, grass fed lamb source. There was a vendor at the public market this past weekend with some excellent roasts, chops and loins. I can't remember the name off-hand, but I'll be sure to give them a shout-out in the comments!

Anyhoo, I give you:

Crock Pot Lamb and Broccoli

  • 2-3 lb boneless lamb roast
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp safflower
  • ~2 tsp "fine herbs" blend
  • 1 1/2-2 tsp salt (use your preference)
  • 1-2 tsp pepper (again, use your preference or none at all for strict autoimmune)
  • 1 cup bone broth
  • 1 bag frozen broccoli, thawed
  • Mix together the safflower, fine herbs, salt and pepper, in a small bowl.
  • Rub the seasoning mix all over the lamb roast.
  • Place the roast in the crock pot and pour in the broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours (I cooked mine for 8 total).
  • About a half an hour before the roast is done. Take it out of the crock pot and cut it into small pieces. Add it back to the crock pot and add the thawed broccoli. Cook for the remaining half and hour on low (or basically until the broccoli is no longer crisp and everything is warm).
  • Enjoy with your favorite side dish! I served mine with roasted carrots.
Boy am I ever so happy that my tummy started to feel better! This meal turned out to be delicious! The lamb is melt in your mouth tender and very flavorful (and it wasn't at all gamey). There's just the right amount of herbs and a nice complexity with the safflower. Feel free sub out any other veggies for the broccoli in the recipe. You will not be disappointed one bit!