This Week’s Veggie Salad

photoI’m still spending each week mutating my new favorite meal. This week I have avocado, cherry tomatoes, and matchstick carrots dressed up in a balsamic vinaigrette alongside barbecue cajun black beans, quinoa and fresh corn, and roasted butternut squash, roasted red potatoes and caramelized white onion. All topped with a heap of hummus and cracked lemon pepper. The combination of ingredients still has not gotten old and I don’t think it will anytime soon. I love that this offers the perfect fuel for training. It’s also a great way to cook pretty much just once a week since this lasts me roughly from Sunday-Thursday.

For my run today, I completed four Yasso 800s at 9:30/minute pace on the treadmill. Treadmills are not my best friend. Like at all. But, it was storming out so I got my work out in the best way I knew how. I conveniently forgot how much easier it is to run on a treadmill so that was the one saving grace. But, I’m still secretly hoping that will be one of my very rare treadmill work outs during training.

BBQ Chickpeas and Roasted Veggie Salad

IMG_0479I’ve been eating this dish pretty regularly and swapping out certain ingredients to mix it up as needed. I always have some avocado, tomato, cilantro and some sort of green as a base. On top, I add roasted veggies, a BBQ’d protein source, a grain or seed such as quinoa, and hummus on top. The original recipe for this used a ranch hummus, BBQ chickpeas, polenta, roasted asparagus, tomato, avocado, spinach, and cilantro. I started off with this recipe then I’ve been swapping out ingredients and adding things to it. I’ve used roasted butternut squash as my veggie and spaghetti squash instead of quinoa, for example. The possibilities are endless and therefore this dish doesn’t get old easily.

I also love how many different healthy ingredients are in it. I’ll typically make this on the weekend then eat leftovers throughout the week. When I have all of the individual components already prepared, it makes it much easier to assemble meals quickly. Did I mention this is nutritious? It’s been perfect as a meal before and after long runs. Today I ran 9 miles with a slightly sore hamstring from my race. My run was great otherwise and I like to think it’s because of this meal!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 5-6 medium-sized red potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 ear of corn
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of greens (spinach and/or arugula work well)
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 avocado, cut into thin slices
  • hummus
  • cilantro for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine asparagus, potatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil and salt & pepper in a roasting pan.

3. Roast vegetables in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Cook corn on the stove in a pot with a few inches of water for 5-7 minutes over medium-high heat. Cut corn kernels from the cob and add to cooked quinoa.

5. Add the barbecue sauce and cajun seasoning to a skillet and heat over medium heat. Once heated, add chickpeas and cook for 5-10 minutes.

6. To assemble, place a 1/2 cup of greens in each bowl or plate. Top each evenly with the roasted veggies, quinoa & corn, chickpea mixture, tomatoes, green bell pepper, avocado slices, a dollop of hummus, and cilantro for garnish.

7. Enjoy!

Yields 4 salads

Adapted from: Half Baked Harvest

Cucumber Avocado Tea Sandwiches

photo

I’ve had a slight obsession with cucumbers since childhood. I ate a cucumber and cheese sandwich everyday at school. I think my mom could probably make those sandwiches while blindfolded. She easily made well over 2,000 of them over the course of 13 school years. Now, as an adult and avid cheese-replacer, I am loving the discovery of cucumber avocado sandwiches. These are still just as crisp, flavorful and British as my old classic.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  • 2 Tbsp fresh chopped mint
  • 2 Tsbp fresh chopped dill
  • 12 slices of white bread
  • 1 small cucumber, very thinly sliced

Directions:

1. Combine the avocado, lemon juice, and salt into a food processor. Process until smooth. Add the cucumber, mint and dill. Process until there are as few chunks as possible.

2. Spread the avocado mixture on each slice of bread. Lay a thin layer of cucumber slices on six of the slices of bread. Close each sandwich and cut the sandwiches into fourths. Garnish with extra dill and mint and serve immediately.

Yields: 4-6 servings

Source: Post Punk Kitchen

Spinach and Black Bean Bowl with Guacamole

spinach bowl

I moved into a new apartment this week. I’m much closer to a grocery store and I can easily walk to get to it. There are a lot of reasons why it’s convenient to have a grocery store nearby but access to ripe avocados might be the best reason. Avocados have such a short window of time when they are usable so it’s great to be able to grab one whenever I’m in the mood. Guacamole goes perfectly with this spinach bowl by Isa Chandra Moskowitz. I am still cooking my way through one of her cookbooks and this has been one of my favorite finds so far!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion sliced thin
  • 3/4 tsp salt plus a pinch
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 8 ozs baby spinach (about 6 cups)
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:

1. Preheat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

2. Saute the sliced onion for five minutes in the oil with a pinch of salt. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.

3. Mix in the tomato, cumin, and remaining salt.

4. Add the white wine and change the heat to high until it boils. Reduce heat and simmer while tossing in spinach a handful at a time until all spinach has been cooked down.

5. Add the black beans and cook for an additional two minutes.

6. Serve over white rice and top with fresh guacamole.

Source: Isa Does It by Isa Chandra Moskowitz