Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

I'm a banana, ready to go trick or treat!

The pumpkins she helped daddy carve!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Our CSA box has been overwhelming us with squash all season, every kind imaginable! It has taken some creativity to make use of it all and plenty of freezer bags full for future use. We have moved on to Winter squash and thanks to endless web searches and some ingredient changes we've had some great meals lately.

It started with  Chipotle Butternut Squash
1 butternut squash cubed
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce diced (from can)
1 tbsp adobo sauce
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 can black beans rinsed and drained

Saute onion and garlic until tender, add squash, pepper and sauces and cook 25-30 min until soft. Add black beans and heat through, about 5 min. Serve topped with cheese, avocado, etc.

Next came Red curry delicata squash with a few changes.
1) I'm lazy and used store bought red curry paste
2) Cauliflower sounded better then broccoli
3) I added in about 1/2- 1 cup of light coconut milk to simmer squash in

Then I combined a few recipes to make Squash Mac 'n Cheese 

1 box uncooked pasta
1 small onion diced
2 cloves garlic
1 small squash roasted (1 used ambercup), can use canned pumpkin puree (15 oz can)
2 cups milk
1 cup water or broth
1 tsp cayenne (adjust to taste)
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (nonfat plain worked)
2 cups cheddar cheese
About 1 cup bread crumbs

Cook pasta al dente. While cooking saute onions and garlic until soft, add squash and liquid to pan and simmer 15-20 min to reduce. Add seasonings and yogurt. Puree squash mixture in food processor until smooth. Mix with pasta and cheese, add salt/pepper to taste. Pour in prepared baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake 20 min 375F.

Finally Southwest Spaghetti Squash
1 spaghetti squash -roasted with oil/salt/cumin
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 can black beans rinsed and drained
1 cup corn kernels
1/2 bag soy crumbles
1 can tomato sauce
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp chipotle sauce

Cut spaghetti squash in half and scoop out seeds, cook about 45min. Saute onion and garlic, add remaining ingredients and simmer. Serve squash topped with black bean mix. Top with avocado, cheese, etc

Now to keep searching for more options to use up squash: next up soup, pumpkin dessert and more uses for delicata and spaghetti squash.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Updates and a couple race reports

I kind of disappeared for awhile but with work, completing clinical hours for grad school and attempting to figure out a project that will be a approved I hardly have time to sleep. Things are just crazy around here, today was my one and only day home between last Thursday and this Friday (really Sunday since I will be gone all weekend). But this will be a much needed break with some college friends for a girls' weekend complete with wine tasting.

This semester I am doing clinical hours in peds and OB and honestly if I have to do one more pelvic exam I think I will scream! Really, kind of boring, I can't understand why people work OB/Gyn. Peds on the other hand is slightly interesting, although some days I want to rip my hair out over the lack of parenting skills out there. It just amazes me how some people are so oblivious to their children's bad behavior. Some of these kids make mine look like an angel even on her worst days!

Now the grad project is an even worse situation. I should have had a topic approved 3 or 4 months ago, but am on the verge of having my third proposal rejected. It hasn't helped that I went through the work of developing project #1 all Summer only to have advisers switched twice and end up back with the original who denied the topic. Then Project #2 was rejected after 2 months of work and full needs assessment. Now on to Project #3 that I thought seemed promising, but the first response from faculty was "no" so here I am in the process of pleading and arguing. I am already behind and close to dropping which would only mean I have to take a year off and push off graduation until July 2013. I really just want to close this chapter and never think about it again, I am so close (2 classes after this one) and ready to throw it all away.

I managed to stay healthy for the race and the day was perfect weatherwise: 50s a little breeze and sunny. Unfortunately it can be summed up in 1 sentence as the PR that painfully got away.

I started feeling great, but tried to tell myself to take it easy and run with the 3:30 pacer. By Mile 2 I had caught and soon passed the 3:20 pacer and just kept going. I was feeling great, on pace for a 3:15. Around mile 14 my left hamstring got a little sore, nothing huge, but my mile 18 it was pissed and hurt! This was the point where the 3:20 pacer caught and passed me. Just keep moving and you'll get there, you can still PR. I was doing okay with my slower pace, it hurt but I was moving, until mile 25 when my GI system now failed to the point I strongly considered a port-a-potty stop. Instead convinced my self to keep moving since it was only 1 more mile. There goes the 3:30 pacer and likely my PR. Finally the finish line is in sight and the worst feeling race in a long time is over. 3:30:50 official time. My 2nd fastest so I can't be too upset, but without the hamstring and GI problems I was running a huge PR. Luckily I had a corporate # and had easy access to a massage which greatly helped.

Autumn Woods 10K
Stupidly I thought it would be smart to race a hilly 10K 6 days after a painful marathon, dumb idea! We had a surprisingly warm day that I was thrilled just to be out running in a sports bra in October. I started out good, but at mile 2 the left hamstring pain started and so did the hills one right after another. This race was on the paths I run a lot so I knew what to expect but yikes these hills seemed extra tough that morning. I was aiming to place since it is a slower race, but after the halfway point the women continued to pass and wow was I happy to see that finish line. 46:35 for 6th woman overall. Lesson learned: don't try to race a hilly 10K (or 5K) within a week of a marathon!

Next up: who knows! Figure out a project or if I should just drop this stress from my life, finish one more clinical semester and take boards, get back working with my trainer, maybe a 10 Mile race in a couple weeks and Boston Marathon in April!