Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Southwestern Pizza

Yesterday was Bri and my six year anniversary of when we started dating.  We decided to do something relaxed and so I decided to cook dinner for us and then we went and walked the 606 trail.  This is the new elevated trail in Chicago.  It was super nice and we walked about 3 miles.  Afterwards, we went and got gelato for dessert!  Yum!  It was a really nice night and a nice way to spend some time together on a weeknight.

This pizza is also a great weeknight meal in general.  Bri was a big fan because it is totally vegetarian.  It can also be made totally gluten free if you need it to be.  I like it because it is incredibly flavorful and it is a healthy meal.  I was inspired by the Southwestern Pizza on The Kitchn and then I adapted it and put my own twist on it.  It was a great dinner and now we have leftovers for lunch!

Southwestern Pizza

1 lb of pizza dough
1 16 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 chili in adobo sauce, mince the chili
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 small tomato, chopped
1/2-1 cup mexican shredded, light cheese
1/2 avocado, chopped or sliced
1 lime

1. Preheat oven to 450.
2. Lightly grease a baking pan and roll out the dough.  Place dough on the pan.
3. In a separate saute pan, place the sliced onion and 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Cook over medium until your onions start to caramelize.  Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Place black beans in a microwave safe bowl and heat in microwave for 1 minute.
5. Stir the minced chili, chili powder, cumin, salt, and 1 tbsp olive oil into the warm black beans.  Add a few tsp of the adobo sauce, to taste.  Mash this whole mixture with a fork so that you create a black bean paste and all the ingredients and well combined.
6. Spread the black bean paste over the dough.  Sprinkle the caramelized onions, corn, and tomatoes over the top.  Place in oven and cook for 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, sprinkle the cheese over the top and cook for another 5 minutes.  Top with chopped avocado and a sprinkle of lime juice.

Enjoy :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

A Special Marathon Training Monday

I am basically halfway through training! I ran 13 miles on Saturday and while they weren't the best 13 I've ever experienced, everything went pretty well.  I also did a circuit training workout on Sunday.  This seems to be helping me strengthen muscles without feeling like I am exhausting myself and I am hoping that it will help me run stronger and therefore be able to run longer and avoid injury.  This week the mileage is 3, 7, 4, and 10.  It is a taper week!  That means I run a shorter run on Saturday then the previous week to rest and recover a bit.  This week, I will have to figure out how to run 10 miles while I am on vacation in California.  I'll keep you posted on that!  Also, for those of you who weighed in on if I should get a Garmin watch or not, I have decided to do it! (Thanks Mitch for giving me some great advice).  Basically, he said to get the watch if I don't run with my phone.

This is a special marathon training Monday because it is also Bri's and my anniversary!  We went on our first date 6 years ago!  These past 6 years have been so incredibly special and I am so excited and grateful to spend the rest of my life with this guy.  He is my best friend and I can't wait to be married to him! When I ran the Chicago Marathon last year, Bri got blisters from walking around so much trying to see me at different points.  Now that is some serious dedication and he is clearly my number one fan :).  I can't wait to see what this year has in store for us.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

4 Cheese Baked Pasta - Lightened Up

Last night, Bri and I met up with some friends for dinner and trivia.  I had never done trivia before and I was pretty pumped.  We were terrible!  However, the restaurant/bar was great and we had a ton of fun.  I will def be trying this out again.  I feel like if I continue to go to trivia, I should learn more and more so that I can be better at trivia...right?  

I wanted to share this recipe today because it just felt like an easy, pasta sort of day.  You know what I mean?  This is the kind of dish that I make ahead of time on a Saturday or Sunday and then eat the leftovers for like the whole week.  It was super yummy and those BBQ chips on top were one of my finer ideas.  You can also vary this dish greatly.  Try out different types of cheese, different toppings, different pasta! 

Four Cheese Baked Pasta

(adapted from How Sweet It Is)

1 lb. whole wheat pasta
1/2 tsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter
1 shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups skim milk
1/3 cup marscapone
5 oz gruyere, shredded
8 oz light mozzarella, shredded
8 oz sharp white cheddar, shredded
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
BBQ chips

1. Make pasta according to directions, but drain 2-3 minutes before al dente.
2. In a large, oven-proof skillet, heat over medium.  Once hot, add in olive oil and butter.  Once butter has melted, add in the shallot and cook for 1 minute.  Then add in garlic and let cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk constantly for about 2 minutes.  Pour in the milk while continuing to whisk and let cook for an additional 2 minutes.  Stir in the marscapone until well combined and then add in most of the cheese.  Save about 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese.  Stir until melted.  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
3. Preheat oven to 375.  Pour the drained pasta into the cheese skillet and toss until coated.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top.  Crush the BBQ chips over the top of the pasta and let bake for 30 minutes.

Enjoy :)

Monday, July 27, 2015

Marathon Training Monday

So this Saturday was a 12 mile run followed by an amazing breakfast at Whole Foods with my some people from my running group.  It was one of the most fun runs I've had in a while.  Now, for all you people out there who think I am crazy to run 12 miles, I sort of agree with you.  I mean, I just said I had fun running 12 miles.  But, the crazy thing is I totally did and it is mostly because I run with a group.  I love meeting new people and we all run at a pace where we are comfortable talking so it ends up being super social.  This was the first time I went to the breakfast after and that made the whole experience even more fun!

I felt great after the 12 miles and I think that was due to the fact that I didn't complete all the mileage during the week before.  Because of the half marathon I ran last weekend, I decided to "taper" the runs during the week so that I would feel better by the weekend.  It worked!

This week the mileage is 3, 6, 3, 13.  My goal is to complete all the miles.

In other running news, I am considering getting one of those cool Garmin watches.  Does anyone have any advice when it comes to running watches?  I can't decide if it is worth spending the money on! I really like this guy:

Also, I am almost at my goal of $1,500 for my charity, Have Dreams.  To learn more about this amazing charity please check out my page: Jodie B Team Have Dreams. It is a great organization and if you know anyone who might be interested in donating please share!