Recipe: Daly Special

Y’all it has been a day.  I got back from Memphis last night with just enough energy from so much driving to get the new toy into the house, snuggle my crazy girl and crawl into bed.  Something about being in Memphis or being in the car or being around a bunch of people rooting for me had the productive engines on today.  I caught an incredible sunrise this morning on a run around the river with the Runnin’ Fools and then feel like I conquered the world through a series of business errands.

Morning Magic

Morning Magic

First was the magnificent accomplishment of jumping off the family phone plan!  While I appreciate that it’s the more economical choice to continue to pay Verizon through the Bank of Mom and Dad, it just feels so much more adult to do it on my own.  And I know they’ll appreciate having most of their data back 🙂

That trip also allowed me to set up enough data for myself so that I can have a personal hotspot through my phone. Which means I’m writing this from the comfort of Casa Santa Fe instead of having to work online during the hours of Foolish Things.  Welcome back to the 21st century, Coach Sprenkel!

Thursdays are quickly becoming my night to cook and I’m ready for another recipe share.  I mentioned this one when I wrote about the Catoosa Blue Whale – it’s a perfect picnic salad and I easily tweaked it to feed just me tonight.  The recipe below is for a single serving (and named after it’s inventor, Mr. Ryan Daly).

The Daly Special

Daly Special

Daly Special

  • 1 cup mixed greens
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 half avocado
  • 4 slices pancetta
  • 1/8 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tbsp Brianna’s French Vinaigrette Dressing

The first step is to fry the pancetta.  I found a no nitrates/nitrites added brand at Sprouts (gotta be careful with these cured meats and their additives) and cooked up 4 slices.  It starts out kind of like prosciutto but finishes as crispy as you want it, like bacon.

No badditives

No badditives

Once the pancetta is cooked through, save the grease.  It’s not a lot if you’re just cooking for one and toss the chopped walnuts into it.  Stir them around over low heat for 3-4 minutes until toasted.

That’s all folks.  Then you just assemble the salad.  Leaves then tomatoes then avocado then pancetta then walnuts then a splash of dressing.  Creamy and salty are baller together.

 

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Recipe: Banana Oat Smoothie

This morning I met my friend and fellow Runnin’ Fool Alexis for a mid-week run through the neighborhoods.  We’ve had some spotty fall weather in Tulsa but today’s high is expected to be in the low 90s.  Alexis is thrilled.  I’m ready for fall.

Morning in Tulsa

Morning in Tulsa

We had a great run around the country club and Alexis filled me in on a lot of the history of my new town (more on that later) and we talked about the coming fall.  I can’t wait for oversized sweaters, boots, pumpkin everything and warm breakfasts.  But today we are having our last day in the 90s and I thought I should have a farewell to summer breakfast – something frothy and cold.  Get your blenders out!

Banana Oat Smoothie

Throw the following into a blender

  • One banana (frozen makes thicker smoothie)
  • 2 Tbsps old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • handful of spinach
  • 1 Tbsp almond butter
  • Ice
  • Optional: 1/2 to 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder

 

It was the perfect cold end to a great end of summer run!  Now, I’m ready for fall 🙂

Recipe: Fall Garden Vegetable Stew

View from the Run

View from the Run

Good morning!  This almost-fall day started off with a sunrise 5 miler with the Runnin’ Fools of Foolish Things Coffee Company.  We took one of my favorite routes from the shop, down to the river and back into town via the Midland Valley Trail.  It was our farthest run yet!

Something amazing is happening in Tulsa.  Fall is making it’s approach known.  Over the weekend we had a day of drizzle on Saturday and amazing temperatures in the 60s and 70s (numbers I haven’t seen since the spring!).  The change in weather was catalyst enough to send me searching for a new recipe.

A second driving force in this recipe search was the haul of garden-fresh produce I acquired last week.  Zucchinis from Cherry Street Farmers Market here in Tulsa and okra, tomatoes and hot peppers from my neighbor Wayne’s backyard garden.

IMG_3939

Wayne’s in the headband

I turned to Pinterest and the help of my friend Justin who has a passion for cooking and creating things in the kitchen.  He told me he could contribute some Italian sausage to our ingredient mix.  I was feeling a need to highlight the okra (an ingredient I’m not too familiar with using, and am only used to it southern-style deep-fried) and have a soup or stew consistency.

The Ingredients

(Mostly) Garden Fresh

I found this recipe from The Southern Lady Cooks, and applied my own healthier modifications to it, as well as incorporating a few more ingredients that we had on hand.

Here’s what we used:

1 tbsp fresh, grass fed cow’s butter

1 green pepper, chopped

1 cup chopped green onions

2 zucchinis, chopped

6 fresh tomatoes, diced

1 can whole, peeled tomoates

3 cups of okra, chopped (could use one bag frozen if you don’t have fresh)

5 hot peppers, chopped + 4 seeded peppers, chopped

Italian sausage (optional)

paprika

minced garlic

cajun seasoning

 

Brown the sausage, green onion, green pepper and okra in the butter.  Add all remaining ingredients and simmer, covered for 15-20 minutes.  We served over some delicious Asian wild rice but for leftovers, I just ate the stew plain.  Either way works!

Mmmmazing!

Mmmmazing!

This is an easy, healthy recipe to use up those veggies from the market and could easily be modified based on what you have in your garden or kitchen.  Enjoy y’all, and here’s to the stirrings of fall!

Summer Squash Quinoa Bowl

Last week I picked up some fresh summer squash at the Cherry Street Farmer’s Market in Tulsa.  It was a beautiful day after our inaugural Runnin’ Fools training run so a couple of us headed over to check it out.  The market is a few blocks long and had stands of goat milk products, fresh cut flowers, plenty of fruits and veggies, baked goods, local coffee shops and even probiotic popsicles.  This particular market only allows local farmers and products to be sold here.  I’m looking forward to this easy way to support local businesses!

All the fixin's for a light summer dish!

All the fixin’s for a light summer dish!

The idea for this recipe came to me as I watched my French roommate throw a pasta dish together a few weeks ago.  I’m a big fan of substituting quinoa for noodles in pasta dishes for more nutritional punch so that’s all I did here.  If you’re really craving some noodles, feel free to swap back out. It’s a deliciously light (sugar free and Fed Up Challenge approved) summer dish!

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Yellow squashes
  • 2-3 Zucchinis
  • 1 white onion (chopped)
  • 1 cup of quinoa (cooked)
  • 1 clove of garlic (chopped)
  • 1/4 c parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Normally on Sundays I cook up one batch of plain quinoa and use it to mix in salads or with veggies.  First, chop the onion (I’m still working on perfecting this technique) and start sauteing it with the garlic in the olive oil over low heat.  While the onion cooks, you can start to chop the squashes, getting them as close to diced as possible and add those to the onion mix.

Almost diced veggies

Almost diced veggies

Let the veggies cook a while over low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft.  Mix 1 cup of quinoa with one cup of the veggies over heat.  Pour into a bowl and top with the parmesan cheese!

Final product!

Final product!

Enjoy!

Note:  This meal is great for making ahead.  Keep the leftover chopped veggies separate from your cooked quinoa.  You can easily then add the veggies to an omelette or salad and still have the option of recreating this quinoa bowl!

Do you shop at a farmer’s market?  What are your favorite things to buy there?

Fed Up Challenge: Halfway Update

Well y’all, I’ve made it through the first five (out of ten) days of Katie Couric’s Fed Up Challenge!  Last Wednesday I started making a concentrated effort to remove all added sugar from my diet for ten days – including Coke products (not a big issue for me), pastel-colored packets of fake sugar (recently not an issue) and most packaged goods (more of an issue).

Read labels: It’s everywhere!

I am happy to report that I’ve lost 2.3 pounds, have survived some grueling run workouts with plenty of fuel in the tank and have had a steady energy level and appetite.  Sure, there’s been some effort to prepare fresh food but I’m actually having a lot of fun with it.  And the best part is that I’ve inspired a few to try it and even more to start talking about it and looking at labels.  It’s important!

Fed Up approved Med Burgers

Fed Up approved Med Burgers

Day 1 was easy – I had all my meals planned and was excited to be starting a new challenge.

Day 2 was hard – A dull headache settled in my forehead around mid-morning and stayed for a while.  I made an extra effort to drink plenty of water and get a run in.

Day 3 was easy – The headaches were gone, felt strong through my workouts and was enjoying some tasty foods.  I had wine at an alumni event and was able to turn down an offer for frozen yogurt at the end of the night 🙂

Day 4 was easy – The only thing to note here is that I didn’t workout today (rest day) and was hungrier.

Day 5 still easy – The halfway point felt like a big milestone, and like it’s all down hill from here.  I made a new batch of food for the week and am feelin’ good!

Fed Up Approved Avocado and Strawberry Salad

Fed Up Approved Avocado and Strawberry Salad

Are you paying attention to what’s in your food yet?  What food items surprised you with their sugar content?

Strawberry Avocado Salad

Happy Friday!  Were you able to guess what I whipped up with the ingredients in the picture?  It’s the delicious combination of crisp strawberries and creamy avocado that I’ve been munching on for lunch all week.  And it’s so simple.

5 ingredients = 1 delicious salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of spinach and mixed greens
  • 1 cup of chopped strawberries
  • 2 hardboiled eggs
  • Half an avocado
  • 1 tbsp Brianna’s French Vinaigrette

Really the only cooking involved in this salad is boiling the eggs and chopping the strawberries and avocado.  Leaves go into the bowl first, followed by the chopped strawberries.  Eggs are next, you can choose if you want the whole egg or just the whites.  I personally do not care for the chalky yolks of hard boileds so I just do egg whites.  Avocado slices and dressing are last!  Dig in y’all 🙂

photo-7

Strawberry Avocado Salad

*Note: If you’re still working on the Fed Up Challenge, this dressing is not approved because it has Xantham Gum (use a mix of oil and vinegar instead).  If you’ve completed the challenge, this is my favorite dressing to use.