Tag Archives: spicy black bean quinoa

Foodie Friday – Smorgasburg and Madison Square Eats

Happy Friday, friends!  We made it to the weekend!

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Along with the MuckFest MS Mud Run card my aunt and uncle sent yesterday, they also passed along a CD of race photos.  I love this one!

Since the blog has lacked food photos lately, I thought I’d share a few noteworthy eats from the past week, starting with Sunday’s trip to Smorgasburg in Brooklyn.

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It’s highly possible the maple bacon on a stick happened.  And it may have been absolutely delicious.

Anyway, Sara and I spent the afternoon grazing and hanging out, and I tried South Indian food for the first time.

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I ordered a Masala Dosa, which tasted like a rice pancake and packed a nice kick thanks to the spicy potatoes.

And last night, I went to Madison Square Eats with some teammates.

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Situated in Madison Square Park near the Flatiron Building, this outdoor market showcases 28 of New York City’s most popular restaurants—think things like Korean BBQ, comfort food, gourmet Mexican street food.

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My evening of eating started with a margarita and—wait for it—a lobster BLT from Red Hook Lobster Pound.

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Disclaimer:  The margarita came from a different vendor.

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Lots of flavors worked together—lobster, bacon, chipotle mustard—and this was easily the best BLT of any kind I’ve had in my entire life.

Rounds two and three included a chipotle pork taco from Calexico and hazelnut and tiramisu gelato from Eataly, and unfortunately, both went undocumented.  Eh, you win some, you lose some.

And on a semi-related note, I spent this morning making my staples:  sweet potatoes wedges and spicy black bean quinoa.

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Have a great weekend!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?

My Arms Might Fall Off, Part Two

TGIF, everyone!  I’m so happy it’s Friday—the week has seemed so long.  Anyway, thanks for your feedback on yesterday’s post regarding my unexpected bib shorts.  Since you raved about them, I’ve decided to give them a shot.  Can’t knock it until I try it, right?

And speaking of trying things, I finally tested a pair of Newton sneakers!

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Yet another reason I love working at JackRabbit:  Employees are highly encouraged to try on each pair of sneakers available for sale.  In fact, we can wear these new shoes during our shifts—and change pairs however often we want! (We do clean them, obviously, before the sneakers go back in the box.)

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During my shift last night, I rocked the Newton Gravity, a lightweight, neutral shoe designed for everyday running. (I sound somewhat legit, right?  Ha!) Even though I was working the floor, I didn’t get a chance to hop on a treadmill and truly run in them.  Next time, hopefully!

Workout – Swimming

The good news:  I survived this morning’s Full Throttle Endurance workout in the official fast lane.  The bad news:  My arms might fall off due to pulling for 1,350 yards, some of which included paddles, aka the new bane of my existence.  Before my upper body went down for the count, Andrew introduced a new-to-me-drill:  underwater swimming with fins.

Thankfully, we only had to swim 25 per set instead of 50 like the champ in this video.

Breakfast

As I wrote yesterday, overnight oats have been the name of the game lately.

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This mix included one mashed banana, frozen strawberries and blueberries, plus plain Greek yogurt, old-fashioned oats, chia seeds, almond milk, and some cinnamon—and a heaping spoonful of almond butter.  It totally hit the spot.

After breakfast, I spent the morning doing some online JackRabbit training.  Although I have a solid amount of background knowledge in some areas—like all things triathlon, plus cycling, nutrition, and yoga basics—I can already tell talking about electronics and doing shoe fittings will be the most challenging.  Granted, the shoe fittings won’t happen for a while, but there’s so much I need to learn in terms of shoe sizing and anatomy, plus the nitty-gritty mechanics of running and gait analysis.  My head is totally spinning with all this new information, but in a good way.

Lunch

I’m saving the last of this week’s batch of spicy black bean quinoa for dinner at JRab tonight, so I made a turkey wrap with spicy mustard, spinach, and pepperjack cheese.

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Plus a ton of unpictured carrots.

Any fun plans for the weekend?  Which shoe do you currently use for running?

Training For the Heat

Happy Tuesday, friends!  How was your day?  I kicked things off this morning with a 75-minute indoor bike trainer ride.

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At first glance, this setup looks like a usual ride, but I made an important change today:  I wore an Under Armour top, which is normally reserved for chilly outdoor runs.

So why rock cold weather gear during an indoor spin?

One of my main concerns about the Nautica South Beach Triathlon (in t-minus 18 days!) includes the heat.  Since I grew up in the tundra Central New York, freezing temperatures don’t bother me, but high humidity is a different story.  Basically, aside from high school field-hockey practices (and the very end of a few long runs this past summer), I don’t have any experience working out in the heat, and I have no idea how my body will respond.  Obviously, I can’t become totally used to warm temperatures during the upcoming weeks, but I do want to get a rough idea of how my body will respond—and how much I can push.  This morning’s ride was a little toasty, and during tomorrow’s Full Throttle Endurance indoor cycling workout, I plan to wear more layers.  And even though my normal spot isn’t next to a fan, I need to choose a seat that’s in the middle of the room that has zero chance of getting a breeze.  Andrew also suggested spending some quality time in the sauna, so I’ll probably camp out there Thursday and Friday post-workout.

Breakfast

My appetite has been out of control the past few days, and this morning was no exception.

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Post-biking and strength training coffee, water, and overnight oats.

Lunch

I haven’t been posting pictures of my meals because I eat literally the exact same thing every day.

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Spicy black bean quinoa that I almost forgot to photograph with an unpictured side of carrots.  A strawberry banana Chobani served as an afternoon snack.

Dinner

The usual suspects made appearances tonight.

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Baked salmon seasoned with EVOO, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, lemon pepper, and a sprinkle of basil, plus some peas and roasted sweet potatoes.

Do you prefer warm or cold weather?  Any tips for preparing for hot and humid races?

What I Ate Wednesday – The New Normal

Hiya–happy hump day, friends!  Thankfully, this week seems to be flying by—I can’t wait for Saturday’s indoor triathlon!

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This Downton Abbey hipster meme cracks me up!  Not related to this post at all, but I know some of you are obsessed with the show like me.

Anyway, I’m linking up with Jenn at Peas and Crayons today for What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW).

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The blog has lacked food pictures lately, so I figured there’s no time like the present to reintroduce meal photography.  Here we go!

Pre-workout Fuel – 5:30 a.m.

Should I even say that 5:30 a.m. is a late morning for me?  Nope?  OK—moving on.

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This is what I eat before every morning workout:  half of a Kashi granola bar, one cup of coffee (with almond milk), and a ton of water.  The run itself didn’t go so great–after Monday’s a.m. team run and a 45-minute p.m. spin on the indoor bike trainer, my legs were spent.  Guess that’s why you need a recovery week, right?

Breakfast – 7:30 a.m.

Standard spinach and egg white breakfast sandwich on Udi’s Gluten-Free Whole Grain Bread.

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With another cup of coffee and lots of water.

Lunch – 12:40 p.m.

Spicy black bean quinoa topped with avocado, plus some carrots.

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I could eat this quinoa every single day and never get sick of it!

Mid-Afternoon Snacks – 3:30 p.m.

One of my coworkers was eating something crunchy, which triggered a craving for something similar.

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I snacked on some almonds to keep hunger at bay, and a little while later, I ate a vanilla Chobani.

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Love this stuff!

Dinner – 7:15 p.m.

No surprise here—baked salmon with roasted veggies and sweet potatoes.

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Since I meal prep on Sundays, the fish just had to bake for 20 minutes, and the sides went in the microwave.  Easy peasy.

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Huzzah!  Frozen grapes for dessert!

What are some of your go-to healthy snacks?

‘Fun Time is Over’

Hey, hey!  Thank you so much for your birthday wishes via comments, texts, and tweets—they made my day!  My coworkers even gave me a card yesterday, which was such a sweet surprise.

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Another surprise greeted me when I got home—PajamaGram pj’s from my parents!

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Now that I’ve been 23 for a solid 24 hours, I’ve come to the conclusion that—to quote Red Forman from That 70s Show—fun time is over.

In the above clip, Red (who reminds me so much of my grandpa!) determines he’s been too lenient in raising his son Eric, declaring “fun time is over!”  And for the past week, I’ve been living in a let-the-easy-workouts-roll world, which screeched to a halt Monday morning with some Full Throttle Endurance tempo work.  After warming up and progressing through some technique drills, my pace group ran around the indoor track for 10 minutes, then hopped on treadmills for 10 minutes of hills—while maintaining our tempo pace. (We eventually built up to 90 seconds at 3.5 percent incline—whew!) Then we repeated this cycle for a total of 40 minutes, and I hit the pool afterward for a 30-minute swim.  This girl was down for the count!

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On Tuesday morning, I shutdown “playtime” (another Red Forman-ism) and upped the weight on all my strength training exercises.

And this morning, our team indoor cycling practice contained mostly solid intervals (80-85 percent of maximum heart rate), plus a few all-out efforts.  My crazy dedicated teammates and I also did a quick run off the bike.  So basically, there will be no more FTE playtime until the end of the month!

Breakfast

After my double-workout, I refueled with a protein smoothie.

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Kind of a gross color thanks to the spinach, but super delicious—one frozen banana, frozen strawberries, a ton of spinach, plus almond milk, chia seeds, and a scoop of Jay Robb egg white protein powder.

After breakfast, I met Jen at Starbucks!  She was in the neighborhood for a Finish Line Physical Therapy appointment, and since we tried (and failed) to meet up before Sunday’s race, we made it happen today.  She’s super bubbly and sweet, and you should definitely check out her blog if you don’t read it already.

Lunch

After I ran errands and organized my apartment, I threw together some spinach and leftover spicy black bean quinoa for lunch.

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Topped with avocado of course!

Oh, and before I forget, I have some exciting news to share—my big-girl internship will transition from part-time to full-time starting next week!  I just wanted to give you a heads up my blogging might be sporadic for the next week or two as establish a new schedule.

How often do you back off your workouts or take a recovery week?  Better yet, how many rest days do you take each week?

I Just Like to Kick …

Happy Friday and February 1, friends!

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I ventured to the New York Road Runners (NYRR) office yesterday afternoon to pick up my t-shirt and bib for the Gridiron 4-miler race, and my walk to and from the subway took me through Central Park.  No complaints here!

Workout #1 – Swimming

Recovery week team workouts officially ended this morning in the pool.  How’s this for a pleasant surprise—Andrew moved me from fast lane number two to fast lane number one! (During our team swims, Full Throttle Endurance uses five of Chelsea Piers’ six lanes—one slow, two medium, and two fast.) Technically, I’ve been in the fast lane for this training cycle, but it was the slower of the two. (I’ve mentioned this before, but I should note again that I’m training with the “level-one” team; if I were training with the racing team, then I’d probably be in the slow lane.) Anyway, Young C got called up to swim with the big dogs!  I also learned I’m a semi-decent kicker:  The guys in my lane told me to lead our 6x50s.  I was a little hesitant to hop up to the lead-off spot, but I put on my big-girl pants and set the pace.

I just like to kick—kicking’s my favorite!

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Overall, I really liked life in this new fast lane.  Swimming alongside these guys (I was the only girl in the lane) was definitely more challenging, and I had to work harder to stay on pace.  That will hopefully lead to improvement, though, so I hope to stay in that lane for future workouts.  And honestly, based on my basketball experience, I’ve learned that guys—in terms of both coaches and teammates—push me more and typically don’t take things personally.  Case in point:  All four told me to lead the kicking drills.  This honesty makes it easier for me to do the same.  Case in point:  Once it was time for the pulling drills, I promptly demoted myself and took the caboose spot. (Remember the pulling drills from last week?)

Finally, after practice, we tried on team cycling and racing uniforms! (When we start riding outside, everyone wears a team jersey and shorts, which makes it easier for the coaches to tell who’s in our group.) Much like getting my FTE t-shirt, trying on tops, bottoms, and jerseys made everything seem real—it still blows my mind that I’m part of an awesome NYC triathlon team sometimes.  I’ll definitely share pictures when the gear arrives!

Breakfast

I refueled after practice with my go-to spinach and egg white breakfast sandwich.

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With a slice of pepper jack cheese for good measure.

Workout #2 – Biking

Originally, I planned to ride during tomorrow afternoon’s SU game, but since my family will be here, I want to watch the game with them—and not be pedaling away on my indoor bike trainer.  Around 11 a.m., I hooked up my bike, hopped in the saddle, and put in my 60 minutes of zone-2 work.  Done and done.

Lunch

I can’t decide if I like the spicy black bean quinoa better hot or cold; I eat it chilled at work, but always heat it up at home.

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Either way, the avocado needs to be there!

Time to clean my apartment for the fam—enjoy the day!

Do you prefer working out solo or with a group?  Have you ever trained alongside members of the opposite sex?  What did you think?

So, About This Weekend …

Happy Thursday, everyone!  Who’s ready for the weekend?  I can’t wait for Friday to arrive—lots of fun and fitness planned.  More on that in a second …

Lunch

Shortly after inhaling that delicious pear muffin from the Union Square Greenmarket yesterday, I sat down for a real meal—leftover spicy black bean quinoa with some avocado slices.

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The recipe I shared was fairly conservative on the spiciness scale, so I’ll definitely add more Tabasco next time.

Dinner

I promise there’s some turkey on this Paleo pizza; I went a little heavy on the cheese.

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Plus some roasted veggies on the side.

Breakfast

After sleeping in and enjoying two cups of coffee, I experimented in this kitchen and tried to make a protein pancake, but failed miserably.  Can’t win ‘em all.  I eventually settled on waffles.

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And in related news, I’m totally out of nut butter.  Grocery shopping must happen today!

Anyway, I’m pumped tomorrow’s Friday because my parents and one of my sisters are coming to visit—and celebrate my birthday!  I turn the big 2-3 on Feb. 5, so it will be nice to kickoff the festivities early, especially since Tuesday will be relatively low-key—can’t forget about Wednesday morning’s 5:45 a.m. indoor cycling workout, so it’s safe to say my 22nd birthday shenanigans won’t be replicated.

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Homemade cupcakes and Pinot Grigio.

This means I’m officially an adult, huh?

In addition to spending quality time with the fam, I’m also running a race this weekend?

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How did my type-A/slightly-ODC self overlook this?  Remember when I planned to run the Dash to the Finish Line 5-K, which was ultimately cancelled thanks to Hurricane Sandy?  Well New York Road Runners (NYRR) agreed to transfer race registration and gave runners four or five options.  Basically, most of these choices were longer races (10-13.1 miles), and although it would be fun to run 10 miles (#runnerd), this distance doesn’t match my training goals.  Luckily, the Gridiron 4-miler is more aligned with sprint- and Olympic-distance triathlons—the Nautica South Beach Triathlon actually contains a four-mile run—so I promptly signed up.  And obviously forgot about it!  Let’s just say this will be an interesting experience:  One, I can’t throw a spiral—there’s a “longest throw” contest, which I might conveniently miss—and two, this will be my second time ever running in Central Park, so the hills might kill me. (Ha—I’m so in trouble!) With this in mind, my only goal for this Superbowl Sunday run is to follow the “shorter, shorter, quicker, quicker” approach the entire time (aka this will be a training run.)

Time to head to NYRR for race material pickup!

Have you ever overlooked/forgotten about a race or important event?  How did you handle it?

Spicy Black Bean Quinoa

Happy Tuesday, friends!  I hope your week is off to a great start!  As promised, I have a recipe to share with you today—spicy black bean quinoa.

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There’s so much to love about this recipe:  it’s healthy, nutritious, delicious, and above all, easy to prepare.  It’s a no-fuss dish that calls for less than 30 minutes in the kitchen, yet lasts the entire week.

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As you can tell from the Tupperware, I’ve gotten in the habit of preparing a batch every Sunday to have on hand for weekday lunches.

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Here’s a tip:  Wilt spinach in the microwave for 30 seconds and then layer the quinoa on top.  More veggies for the win!

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Spicy Black Bean Quinoa

Inspired by Anne P.’s Vegan Mexican Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 cup water

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 red pepper, chopped

1 orange pepper, chopped

1 yellow pepper, chopped

1 cup salsa

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon Tabasco

pepper to taste

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped

1 ripe avocado (optional)

Directions:

1.  Combine quinoa, water, and vegetable broth in a pot.  Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce to a simmer, and cook 10 to 12 minutes (until all liquid is absorbed).

2.  Let quinoa cool, then combine in a large bowl with other ingredients.

3.  Cut avocado and top portion with a few slices.