Sunday, 26 February 2012

Spring Omelette with Cream Sauce

I've decided to accompany my training schedule with a healthier eating plan for the next month.  Not that I think I eat particularly poorly, but what I would have considered indulgences before have now become a normal part of my diet.  So for the next little while - I will attempt to eat clean. But I'm not going to become militant about it or beat myself up if I have something sweet every once in a while.

I've also decided to try this..

It tastes pretty good and its supposed to be full of antioxidants which might help me recover from all my extra workouts over the next few weeks.

I also decided to make a healthier omelet this morning for breakfast - read WITHOUT CHEESE!  I know big deal.. but I love cheese.  I actually didn't have any cheese I forgot to add it to the grocery list - no biggie.  The sauce I added to the omelet was amazing.  I will pretend that I didn't actually eat the last little bit straight out of the pot by the spoonful.

Spring Omelete with Cream Sauce

by Denise Boyd Dunlop

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Keywords: saute breakfast entree vegetarian

Ingredients (serves 2)

    For the Filling
    • 4-5 stalks of asparagus
    • 1/2 small onion chopped
    • 4 mushrooms chopped
    • 1 clove garlic peeled and minced
    • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 roasted red pepper chopped
    • 1/2 avocado chopped
    For the Sauce
    • 1 cup almond milk
    • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
    • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
    • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
    • salt & pepper to taste
    For the Omelete
    • 4 eggs
    • 1/4 almond milk
    • 2 teaspoons olive oil


    For the Filling

    Snap woody ends off asparagus. Cut into bit sized pieces. In a small sauce pan, using a small amount of water cook until tender crisp. About 3 minutes. Remove from heat, stain water and set aside.

    Heat oil in pan. Sauté onion and mushrooms until soft and beginning to brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside with avocado and peppers.

    For the Sauce

    Add all ingredients to small sauce pan, whisking until smooth. Heat over medium bringing to a simmer. Stir frequently to avoid scorching. Continue cooking until sauce begins to thicken. Keep sauce warm while making the rest of the omelette, stirring regularly.

    For the Omelete

    Heat oil in pan. Whisk eggs and milk together. Pour eggs into hot pan. Allow eggs to cover the entire pan. Once the edges and bottom of the omelette have begun to set, sprinkle peppers, avocados, asparagus, mushrooms, onions and garlic on half of the eggs. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Carefully flip half of the omelete without the filling over the half with the fillings. Allow eggs to continue cooking for another minute.

    Divide omelete on two plates and top with sauce. Season with salt and pepper.

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    Saturday, 25 February 2012

    Frozen Yogurt & Frozen Runs

    I've just realized I have a month until Around the Bay and although I'm only doing the a 3 person relay, I haven't ran 10k in over a month.  So today I set out... no excuses... I was going to run 10k.  I did! And I did the run at a 5 minute/km pace.  I did stop at my house for a water break but I kept the pace on my way back.

    The biggest motivation for keeping this pace was to get out of the cold.. sweet mother it was cold.  I'm still feeling chilled and I think the only thing that will make me feel back to normal will be a hot bath, but there won't be time for that until tonight.

    I've come up with a training schedule for the next month.  This is going to be a busy month.. but if I lay everything out in front of me if feels much more manageable.  The only  week that will be tough is the week before March break - in my excitement at other people's interest in my personal training - I committed to teaching 6 classes that week.

    I am also starting a Boot Camp for runner's class that begins March 21st and will be running for 4 weeks.  So I will have to have all of my ducks in a row for the next little bit, but all of these classes are great opportunities and I'm really excited about this challenge.  Here's my schedule.

    Now back to my day... after my run. I had my post run coffee and came home.  My kids were looking for a snack - as usual.  They wanted frozen yogurt or ice cream, which we had none of.  But then I thought hey... let's make some!

    I had lot's of help.  You know maybe you're taking too many pictures of food when your kids say - "You should put this on your blog"

    Super Quick Frozen Yogurt

    by Denise Boyd Dunlop
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Keywords: blender snack dessert vegetarian ice-cream

    Ingredients (serves 4)
    • 1 cup of yogurt plain or flavoured
    • 1 cup frozen berries
    • 1 frozen banana peeled and chopped
    Put all ingredients in order listed into blender. Puree until smooth.
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    Tuesday, 21 February 2012

    Green Mango Smoothie

    I have just returned from my yoga class and I am feeling awesome.  I don't know what it is about my Tuesday night class but I come home a completely new person.  Tonight's class was about Trust.... trusting in yourself and the trust that everything will work itself out.

    That is a message I would have benefited from had I received it this morning at work when my computer wasn't working and I felt like chicken little thinking the sky was falling... but nonetheless I have received this message loud and clear.  And now tonight after a crane pose, hand stand, heron pose and more sun salutations than I can count, my head is clear and I am trusting my abilities.

    I was thinking on my drive home that I wish I could keep these words with me during a race or really tough part of a run.  Maybe for my next race I'll write those words or some inspiring mantra on my forearm where people write their mile pacing breakdowns.

    I overcame something else tonight... trusting all of those crazy people who drink green smoothies.  Yes everyone - I am a green smoothie virgin... until tonight!  I know I added spinach to my smoothies, but I always added tons of blueberries or raspberries to hide the green.

    Tonight I made a smoothie, but didn't add any blueberries, just mangos and grapes and it came out green.  It is delicious!  Even my six year old drank it saying 'Hey - it tastes like fruit!'  Wow.  SO a big thank you to everyone out there sharing your green smoothie recipes... I believe this is an inspiring site - I am not afraid anymore!  Perhaps kale is just around the corner!

    Green Mango Smoothie

    by Denise Boyd Dunlop

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Keywords: blender beverage gluten-free vegan soy-free

    Ingredients (serves 1)

    • 2 handfull of spinach
    • 1 apple cored & chopped
    • 1/2 cup grapes
    • 1 cup frozen mango
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • water to thin


    Place ingredients in blender. Puree adding water as needed.

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    Monday, 20 February 2012

    Family Day Weekend Wrap Up & Special Pancakes

    This was such an amazing weekend.  The weather was perfect.  We got snow, packing snow!  I finally was able to make the snowman with the girls that I've seen all over Pinterest....

    The sun was shining making the roses I got for Valentine's Day look beautiful....

    We went for a walk in the park enjoying the great weather....

    So what are special pancakes? One's I don't have to make.  My husband made pancakes for the girls.  There were so excited to see these, they hugged him before they ate them. 

    My husband has memorized this recipe that we saw on Jamie Oliver's Christmas special.  In Jamie's recipe he added fruit to the batter, we perfer the fruit on top.  I think my husbands version looks better than Jamie's.. but let's not mention that to the Naked Chef ; )

    Dan's Spectacular Pancakes

    by Denise Boyd Dunlop

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook Time: 5 minutes

    Keywords: fry breakfast vegetarian

    Ingredients (6 pancakes)

    • 1 coffee mug flour
    • 1 coffee mug milk
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 egg


    Whisk flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Add egg to dry mixture, then pour milk in. Whisk mixture together. Let sit for about 2 minutes, whisk batter again. Heat pan over medium heat. Melt butter in pan. Add batter to preheated pan using large spoon. Flip pancakes once bubbles form on surface of pancakes. Cook for another 2 mintues.

    Serve with butter, syrup, whipped cream or berries.

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    Sunday, 19 February 2012

    I bought a new blender and its... a Vitamix!

    I have had a super crazy but pretty amazing week.  Its has been really busy which has left very little time for writing and cooking anything to interesting.  I am in the middle of our Family Day weekend so there will be more recipes coming.

    But first for my really good news... remember last week when I said I passed my personal trainer exam and then I had to figure out what to do with it.  Well I've figured it out or in some weird twist it figured me out.

    I had mentioned a few weeks ago to someone I met through work that I was taking my PT course and through that contact, I was approached to fill in for another instructor in a few weeks.  I'll be filling in on and off and teaching regularly in a few weeks.  I can also advertise as at their facility and use it at no charge!

    The other thing that happened was I approached the owners of the store where I run from about running a boot camp for runners class on a trial basis and they were very supportive.  And people from my running group are completely on board. 

    I am so excited to be pursuing this type of work on the side.  It does mean that I will definitely not be training for any large races  (read marathons) or I will be spread way to thin.  But I am still planning to race a few 5 & 10k's this spring and train for a half in the fall.

    Now for my new addition...

    I have been looking at this blender for years... I'm not kidding... almost four years.  My reluctance to buy this blender is the cost.  It is a serious investment and I can think of far more exciting things to buy for the same amount of money... a new wardrobe... vacation for my family.  But I will never buy another blender again... or at least until I'm 80.

    I have secretly had a Vitamix savings account for about a year and a half.  Just over two years ago I purchased a 'professional' blender for about a third of the cost of my new one.  I took care of it, but lately my smoothies have been more chunky than smooth and I've had to super glue parts of the carafe together.

    I made my first smoothie last night for myself, sister and brother-in-law... this was amazing... it was smoother than smooth!  I am in love!  For the next week it will be smoothies for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  In fact I may just puree everything I make for the next little while... who needs to chew!

    Blueberry Smoothie

    by Denise Boyd Dunlop

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Keywords: blender raw beverage vegan

    Ingredients (serves 2)

    • 2 large handfulls of spinach
    • 2 tablespoons ground flax seed
    • 1 apple cored and chopped
    • 1 cup frozen blueberries
    • 1 cup water - more to thin if necessary


    Add all ingredients to blender. Puree adding more water as necessary.

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    Tuesday, 14 February 2012

    Creamy Tomato Soup... then I'll be back on track!

    I have fallen a bit off the eating right and workout train lately.  I think its been a combination of studying and stress eating followed up with not having enough time to complete my workouts.  So after tomorrow I'll be posting my new workout schedule leading up to Around the Bay and hopefully having me in spring racing mode.

    But today is Valentine's day or Balentine's or Valentime's day at my house.  Tonight I'll be making this soup.  Its one of my favourite recipes and I love soup.  This is really just a simple tomato soup, but I've dressed it up with roasted tomatoes, croutons and Parmesan crisps.  Its all of the toppings together that make this soup special. And its red!  Like a Valentine in bowl... To Denise... Love Denise.

    Creamy Tomato Soup

    by Denise Boyd Dunlop

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook Time: 30 minutes

    Keywords: soup/stew vegetarian

    Ingredients (serves 2)

      For the Roasted Tomatoes
      • 2 plum tomatoes quartered, sliced length wise
      • 1 tablespoon olive olive
      • sea salt & pepper
      For the Croutons
      • 1 cup of your favorite bread cut into cubes
      • 1 tablespoon olive oil
      • 2 teaspoons sea salt
      • 2 teaspoons oregano
      • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
      For the Soup
      • 1 small onion peeled and chopped
      • 2 cloves garlic minced
      • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
      • 1 can tomatoes
      • 1 cup milk
      • 1/2 cup cream cheese
      • 1 teaspoon sea salt & pepper
      • 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
      For the Parmesan Crisps
      • 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese


      Before you begin

      Start the tomatoes and croutons cooking, then make the soup. Keep the soup warm while making the Parmesan crisps.

      For the Roasted Tomatoes

      Preheat oven to 400. Toss the tomatoes in oil. Spread evenly on parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes, until soft and slightly dehydrated looking.

      For the Croutons

      Preheat oven to 400. Toss bread in oil and spices until coated. Spread evenly on a parchment lined pan. Cook for 20 minutes or until golden. Tossing every 5 minutes to ensure even cooking.

      For the Soup

      Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion cooking until translucent. Add garlic, salt and basil and heat until fragrant. Add tomatoes breaking up with a spoon. Continue cooking until heated through. Remove from heat. Add milk. Using an immersible blender puree until smooth. Stir in cream cheese stirring until melted.

      For the Parmesan Crisps

      Warm a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add cheese to pan in 1 tablespoon piles making circles about 2-3 inches in diameter. Continue to heat until cheese begins to melt and create a solid base. Watch closely as the cheese will burn easily. Once the outside of the circle has melted carefully slide a spatula under the cheese circle. Carefully flip over and allow the rest of the cheese to melt - about 30 seconds. Remove from pan and place on parchment paper until ready to use.

      Putting it Together

      Pour soup into bowl. Top with croutons and roasted tomatoes. Set Parmesan crisps into soup between croutons so they stand upright. Sprinkle with parsley and freshly ground pepper.

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      Sunday, 12 February 2012

      Chocolate Protein Love Bites

      Well people - you are officially reading the words of a certified CanFitPro personal trainer.  I had my practical exam today and passed!  Woo who!  Gina who I took the course went with me as my client today.  She was the perfect client as she is already working as a personal trainer so I didn't have to worry one bit about her form.

      I am so happy this is over.  My obsessive personality can fixate on something other than studying and creating training schedules for fictitious over weight males (that is who I seemed to also get as my case study).  I have been training with my sisters which has been a lot of fun. 

      SO now all I need to do is figure out what I'm going to do with this certification.  But that's down the road.  Tonight I'm going to take a bath and just relax.  I did have a great afternoon with my girls as well - mani's,  pedis and cookies...

      This is just a tease... I'll post this recipe later this week.

      With Valentine's Day just around the corner I feel like I've been inundated with chocolates and romantic dinners.  I love these things.  I did just post two pictures of cookies I baked.  But I thought it would be fun to make some healthy protein balls and shape them into hearts.  There's no reason why your post workout snack can't show you a little love too.


      Chocolate Protein Love Bites

      by Denise Boyd Dunlop

      Prep Time: 10 minutes

      Keywords: raw dessert side vegan

      Ingredients (24 love bites)

      • 1/2 cup oatmeal
      • 1/2 cup protein powder
      • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
      • 1/3 cup almond butter
      • 5 medjool dates pitted and chopped roughly
      • 1/3 cup chia seeds
      • 1/3 cup hemp hearts
      • 1/3 cup small chocolate chips
      • 4-5 tablespoons maple syrup


      In a food processor, process oatmeal into a flour like consistency. Add all remaining ingredients except maple syrup. While processor is still mixing add maple syrup adding as much as needed until mixture forms a ball. Remove mixture from food processor and roll into small balls - slightly smaller than a golf ball. You can choose to leave the dough as a ball, or flatten in the palm of your hand and shape into hearts. Put hearts or balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet and place in freezer. Once the dough has set, store in an airtight container in the freezer or fridge.

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      Saturday, 11 February 2012

      Winter Vegetable Soup after a Chilly Run

      The winter roller coaster we've been riding in Southern Ontario has dished out more of the typical winter weather we usually get today.  We had about 5 cm of snow over icy roads to run on this morning.  Combine that with -13 degrees C and -22 with the wind chill, and you get the standard February Saturday morning run I've dealt with over the last 3 years.  I know suck it up... I choose to run... for fun.

      My run really wasn't too bad, I stuck with the group and we all cheered each other on.  After this run, my coffee tasted great this morning.  When I got home, I decided to make a hearty winter vegetable soup that would be healthy and be comforting.  I added my favourite fresh herb - parsley... I know boring.  But I love the freshness of parsley.  I also added lemon juice at the end to give this soup a bit more freshness.  This recipe makes a giant pot of soup which is great because it freezes well and can provide a week worth of lunches.

      Winter Vegetable Soup

      by Denise Boyd Dunlop
      Prep Time: 20 minutes
      Cook Time: 45 minutes
      Keywords: soup/stew vegan
      Ingredients (10-12 1 cup servings)
      • 1 onion peeled and chopped
      • 2 stalks of celery chopped
      • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
      • 5 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
      • 1 cup of mushrooms chopped
      • 1 sweet potato peeled and chopped
      • 1 red pepper seeded and chopped
      • 3/4 cups dried French lentils or small beans such as adzuki rinsed
      • 3/4 cups wild rice rinsed
      • 1 can tomatoes
      • 1 can chick peas
      • 4-5 cups vegetable stock
      • 2 cups of fresh spinach chopped
      • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
      • 2 teaspoons sea salt
      • 2 teaspoons pepper
      • juice of 1/2 lemon
      In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add mushrooms, garlic and celery. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes until vegetables start to soften. Add carrots, sweet potatoes, rice and lentils or beans to pot. Stir in 4 cups of stock and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook until beans and rice are cooked. Add more stock if needed to give a 'soupy' consistency. Stir in spinach and parsley. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
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      Friday, 10 February 2012

      My Youngest's Birthday Dinner - Stuffed Shells

      Today is my youngest daughter's birthday!  We took 8 kids to Fun Works - one of those giant indoor play centres for kids.  That is the way to throw a birthday party for a kid.... they provide the food, drinks and entertainment.  We just had to stand around and make sure no one was hurt.  The kids had great time and I returned to a clean house.  And the price wasn't that bad.  I've had birthday parties that I've hired a woman dressed as Cinderella who charged more than this party cost and I still had to provide food for the kids at that party.

      I decided to forgo my workout today.. I had planned to do a quick run, but it just wasn't in the cards.  I don't feel too guilty though - yesterday was a very active day for me. I had early morning Gentle Yoga at 6 am, a Bootcamp for Athletes class at noon and my group run which was 5k at 6p.  I think a rest day may be called for.

      So now my little birthday girl is playing with her new toys, I'm drinking a glass of wine and her favourite dinner is cooking.  Lately my kids have requested Stuffed Shells for dinner when they have a choice.  I really like them too, so it works out well for the whole family.

      Stuffed Shells

      by Denise Boyd Dunlop

      Prep Time: 30 minutes

      Cook Time: 45 minutes

      Keywords: bake entree vegetarian

      Ingredients (serves12)

      • 1 package of large pasta shells
      • 1 bag of fresh spinach
      • 1 package of cream cheese softened
      • 2 cups of cottage cheese
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 teaspoon sea salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
      • 4 cups marinara sauce
      • 2 cups grated cheese


      Steam spinach, allow to cool and squeeze excess moisture from spinach.

      Cook shells accordinging to package directions.

      While shells are cooking add cottage cheese, cream cheese, eggs and spinach to a food processor. Process until smooth.

      Divide marinara sauce evenly between 2 large 9.5x13.5 baking dishes, spreading on bottom of dish.

      Once shells are cooked, drain water and rinse with cold water until they are easy to hold. Squeeze pasta shell open gently with your hand and fill with 2 tablespoons of cheese mixture. Set filled shell in marinara sauce.

      Once all shells are filled, bake in a 350 oven for 45 minutes or until filling is set and sauce is bubbling. Sprinkle with grated cheese and return to oven for 5 mintues to allow to melt. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

      This dish freezes well. Allow to thaw beofre cooking.

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      Tuesday, 7 February 2012

      Full Moon Craziness with a side of Cauliflower

      Yes - today was a full moon.  It is beautiful to look at tonight.  The sky is perfectly clear and the moon is remarkably bright.

      I'm blaming some of the wonky energy I was surrounded by today on the full moon.  Thankfully the wonky energy was balanced out with a lot of goofy energy which made me happy to have people in my life that make me laugh.  The wonky - OK not so happy energy contributed to a clean and tidy office at work and the fastest 3 miles I've ever ran on a treadmill.

      My running workout was complimented by an awesome yoga class this evening where the discussion was about - surprise, surprise the full moon and the importance of taking time to look inward and reflect on ourselves.  My yoga practise included a very long held lizard pose which has made my hips feel super relaxed.  A great counterbalance for my super fast run today.

      So in a continuation of the weird wonky/goofy day I was inspired to try a recipe featured in last months Vegetarian Times magazine. Vegetarian Times - Mac & Cheese Style Cauliflower I had accidentally recycled misplaced my magazine.  So I decided to make my own version of their Mac and Cheese Style Cauliflower.  It wasn't bad... not a substitute for Mac & Cheese, but as my husband put it... the best cauliflower he's ever had.  I did add a bread crumb and cheese topping to the recipe as someone mentioned in this months letters to the editor comment.  I think the topping made all the difference.

      Baked Cheesy Cauliflower

      by Denise Boyd Dunlop
      Prep Time: 10 minutes
      Cook Time: 30 minutes
      Keywords: bake side entree vegetarian

      Ingredients (serves 4)
      • 1 small head of cauliflower
      • 2 tablespoons butter or margerine
      • 2 tablespoons flour
      • 2 cups milk
      • 2 cups shredded old cheddar
      • 2 teaspoons sea salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
      • 1 tablespoon melted butter
      • 3/4 cups bread crumbs
      • 1/2 cup shredded cheese
      Steam cauliflower until tender crisp. DO NOT over cook! Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir in the flour until smooth. Whisk milk into butter and flour mixture. Continue whisking until milk and flour sauce thickens. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, salt and mustard powder until cheese has melted. Stir cauliflower into cheese sauce. Pour into grease baking dish.
      In another bowl, melt second amount of butter. Toss bread crumbs into melted butter. Sprinkle break crumbs on top of cauliflower and top with cheese. Cook in a 350 oven for 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and bread crumbs are browned.
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      Sunday, 5 February 2012

      What a Difference a Day Makes...

      My muscles are feeling much better today. I'm still a little sore, but nothing like yesterday.  Next time I will listen to that little voice in my head.  Anyway - lesson learned.

      Today is absolutely beautiful outside... the sun is shining... the birds are singing... the kids in the neighbourhood are all out playing.  I ran today as well and felt so much better, my run did for my body and mind what it normally does - made me feel amazing!

      When I got home I didn't feel like a soup or anything warm so I whipped up some hummus and put it in a wrap with tons of fresh crunchy vegetables.  I know this weather is just a teaser and our snow will return.  But for today I'll be like the kids and the birds and enjoy every minute of sunshine we get!

      Hummus Wrap

      by Denise Boyd Dunlop
      Prep Time: 5 minutes
      Keywords: sandwich vegan

      Ingredients (serves 1)
        For the hummus
        • 1 can of chick peas drained and rinsed
        • 1/4 cup tahini
        • 2 tbsp olive oil
        • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
        • 2 cloves garlic minced
        • 2 tsp salt
        • juice of 1/2 a lemon
        • water as needed
        For the Wrap
        • 1/4 cup hummus
        • 1/2 carrot peeled and julienned
        • about a 3 inch piece of english cucumber cut into length wise strips
        • 1/2 cup of baby spinach leaves
        • 1 large soft tortilla
        For the Hummus
        Put all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth
        For the Wrap
        Spread hummus on tortilla. Layer spinach leaves on hummus. Pile cucumbers and carrots length wise in the centre of the tortilla leaving space at the ends to roll in. Roll the wrap, tucking the ends around your carrot and cucumber strips first. Slice in half.
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        Saturday, 4 February 2012

        Superbowl Nacho Dip

        So in a continuation of Thursday's post about having a cold and training for a faster 10k I did run a fast (for me) paced run on Thursday evening 5k in about 24 minutes. And felt pretty good.  Not bad after taking a week off.  I followed that run with a killer metabolism disruption total body wrecking workout.

        Have you ever been at the gym working out and had that little voice in your head go "I don't think this is such a good idea"? But you push through anyway?  Now there are times when that push brings you to a new level and you run faster or achieve things you didn't think you could.  And then there are times when that push is just too much.

        Too much was what yesterday was for me.  The workout was awesome and I'll do it again.  But the work out has made me very sore and today's run very challenging.

        Here's the workout - for those interested.

        Using heavier than normal weights

        2 minutes of squats
        2 minutes of bent over rows in a table position with the opposite leg lifted (switching after 1 minute)
        2 minutes single arm shoulder press lying on a step (switch arm after 1 minute)
        2 minutes lunges
        2 minutes shoulder presses

        Then for 3 minutes using a step

        Straddling the step jump up & off 3 times
        Running up and off the steps 3 times
        Running the length of the step - squat, run backward to the end of the step & squat

        Repeat the series for 3 minutes

        Do the above set twice... trying not to cry.

        Obviously I could have modified this workout, but I didn't I pushed it.  So during today's run; I had nothing in the tank.  My planned 10k run turned into a 4 miler that I ran slowly.  The good thing - I had great company.  My favourite running guys Bob & Mike.

        The other thing that is going on everywhere is Superbowl.... I don't watch football and I don't know who is playing.  I do know Madonna is doing the half time show... does that count.  I also know this dip that I'm calling a recovery dip would be great while watching Madonna during the half time show... or while letting your body recover from a crazy workout.

        Warm Nacho Dip

        by Denise Boyd Dunlop
        Prep Time: 5 minutes
        Cook Time: 10 minutes
        Keywords: bake appetizer vegetarian

        Ingredients (serves 4)
        • 1/2 package cream cheese
        • 1/2 cup sour cream
        • 1/2 salsa - your favorite brand and level of heat
        • chili pepper or hot sauce to taste
        • 1/2 cup grated cheese
        • 1 tomato chopped
        • 1 avacado chopped
        Blend cream cheese and sour cream together. Stir in salsa. Add chilli powder or hot sauce. Pour into a glass baking dish or pie plate. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Top with chopped tomato. Place in oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with avocado. Serve warm with nacho chips.
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        Thursday, 2 February 2012

        Fresh Bread & Running Confessions

        I'm admitting defeat.... I have a cold.  But in all honestly I'm feeling much better today than I did yesterday.  Sensing I might be feeling under the weather yesterday and thinking I may need to give myself some TLC I was prepared and put my crock pot and bread maker to use.

        I made a rather unremarkable lentil and brown rice soup that was OK.

        But I made some bread that was warm and soft and all the yumminess freshly baked bread should be.  I did cheat though... as far as bread making goes.  I used my bread maker.  I programmed it to make dough, then when I got home from work, I shaped it, let it rise then baked it.  There was no kneading done by these hands.  Still this bread was amazing!

        Now for my confession... my weekly mileage is basically non existent... yes I have not ran in a week - 7 whole days.  I have never taken a break this long since I have started running.  Not after I've ran a marathon, not when I've had influenza, not during my sister's weddings - NEVER.  This cold is not an excuse.. I have ran through worse.  The weather is not an excuse.. I don't even think I can consider our current weather conditions a true winter.  

        In all fairness to myself I have been busy with my Personal Trainer qualifications - one more exam to go.  But never before have I allowed running to take a back seat to anything in my life.  The only reason I can think that this is happening it that I have no goal race.. like I mentioned a few days ago.  I have signed up as a three person relay for Around the Bay.  But I've considered that just for fun.  I think I need to set a goal to run my portion in 54 minutes.  I am doing what I consider the toughest portion of the course - the middle.  No I don't have the GIANT hill that is part of the race, but I do have the constantly rolling hill including the one hill that NEVER ends.  There it is - my goal.  I'll post my training plan soon.

        Now back to more important things... bread

        Bread Machine Italian Bread

        by Denise Boyd Dunlop
        Prep Time: 2 hours
        Cook Time: 20 minutes
        Keywords: bake bread vegan

        Ingredients (about 12 slices)
        • 1 1/3 cup water
        • 1 tablespoon honey
        • 1 tablespoon olive oil
        • 1 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
        • 3 1/3 cups flour
        • 1 1/2 teaspoon yeast for bread machines
        • 1 tablespoon corn meal
        • 1 tablespoon flour
        Place the first six ingredients in the order listed above into your bread maker. Program to the dough setting. Once the cycle is complete shape dough into an oval shape and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and sprinkled with corn meal. Make several diagonal slashes in the bread dough with a sharp knife - be careful not to make the slashes too deep or they will cause the dough to deflate. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes. Dust with flour.
        Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.
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