Barking dogs, burning legs, and Spicy Chickpea Stew

Hello!

Happy holiday Monday!

Guess what I did this morning?

I went to CrossFit!!!

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It was GREAT!

There’s a box about 10 minutes from my house and I was finally able to check them out.

They have 4 scheduled classes a day and I went to the 6:15 AM class.

Yes, I know it’s a holiday and I didn’t have to get up early but the neighbor’s dog had other ideas.

Incessant barking at 4:30 this morning.

Yay.

Shooting him didn’t seem like the right thing to do so I just made the best of it, got up and went to the early class.

It’s a small box (which is fine) and there were 3 of us there this morning plus the coach.

Holy. Leg burner. WOD.

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I definitely appreciated the small group this morning because my front squats were a little wonky to start and I really needed the attention/coaching.

And, I learned how out of shape I really am. Running schmunning. I missed HARD WORK.

I can’t wait to check out the PM class on Wednesday!

Tomorrow is speed work. And, it’s supposed to possibly get up into the 60s! Shorts & t-shirt running weather!

CrossFit this morning was definitely the kick in the pants I needed.

My motivation really waned this past week and I’m so ready to get back to business. 🙂

I’ve also fallen off the “healthy” train a little.

Um, hello, red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies!

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And lovely box of chocolates!

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It was worth it. 🙂

Anywho, enough about dessert, let’s talk about dinner.

I found an AMAZING Clean Eating recipe for chickpea stew!

I do love the chickpea.

This stew is lightly spiced (seriously, use more jalapeño if you want it to fight back) and amazingly delicious.

AND, you get to cook with a whole cinnamon stick!

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Okay, fine, maybe I’m a dork but I thought it was pretty cool. 🙂

And, it adds a whole different flavor level than just adding ground cinnamon.

It was a delicious combination with the toasted cumin seeds, turmeric, fresh ginger and garlic.

My kitchen smelled AWESOME!

I served this up with some toasted Naan and called it dinner.

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Tomorrow, at work, I’ll call it lunch. 😉

NOTE: This stew calls for dried chickpeas that require overnight soaking. If you don’t want to do that, use canned. Just make sure you rinse them really well.

Spicy Chickpea Stew
makes 4 (1 cup) servings

1 tablespoon organic extra-virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 yellow onion, diced
2 stalks celery, chopped carrots, diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 jalapeño pepper, minced (remove seeds if you don’t want even a little kick)
1 1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cinnamon stick
4 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
1 cup dried chickpeas
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped, for garnish (optional)

1. In a large bowl, add chickpeas and enough cold water to cover by 1 inch. Soak overnight, for 8 to 18 hours. Drain.

2. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat oil on medium until melted. Add cumin and toast, stirring frequently, until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add onion, celery, carrots and salt and sauté, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeño, and ginger and sauté for 1 more minute. Add turmeric and cinnamon stick and stir to combine.

3. Stir in 2 cups water, tomatoes, and chickpeas. Increase heat to bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until beans are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Add garam masala and stir to combine; remove cinnamon stick. Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with cilantro (if desired), dividing evenly.

4. Nom it down! 🙂

Talk to me: Why is my cat so weird?

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– jennifer

Weekend happenings. Crockpot Vegetable and Chickpea Curry

Hello!

Happy Monday!

puppy nose

I hope everyone had a mighty fine weekend!

I headed into the weekend with this beautiful sunset.

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I mean, really, how can this NOT make you just happy to be alive? So beautiful.

Then, Saturday morning, I felt like I was being stalked while I was eating my cereal.

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Um, rude much?

Oh, and I made cookies! Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies!

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Click the photo to get the recipe on my Facebook page!

So. Freakin. Good.

Yes, they’re all gone. I couldn’t help myself. I had to make sure the recipe was worth sharing. I did it for you.

Sunday was all kinds of lazy.

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Yes, I have more animals but Ginny seemed to be the only one who wanted to be photographed.

She’s a camera hog.

Sunday was SO lazy, I didn’t feel like cooking.

So, I made the crockpot do the work for me.

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Om nom nom.

Crockpot Vegetable and Chickpea Curry
makes 6 servings
unless you’re in my house and then you can probably get 8 or 9 servings out of it

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 cup (1/4-inch thick) slices carrot
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
3 cups cooked chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), or 2 (15-ounce) cans drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups cubed peeled baking potato (about 1 large)
1 cup coarsely chopped green bell pepper
1 cup (1-inch green beans)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14 ounces) vegetable broth
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup light coconut milk
6 lemon wedges

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; cover and cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add curry powder and next 4 ingredients; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

2. Place onion mixture in a 5-quart crockpot. Stir in chickpeas and next 8 ingredients. Cover and cook on HIGH 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. (You could definitely cook this on LOW for 8-10 hours.) Add spinach and coconut milk; stir until spinach wilts. *I recommend adding the coconut milk and THEN the spinach. Yes, it will look like you’ve lost your mind and it will never, ever, ever all fit in there but, trust me, it will. Serve with lemon wedges.

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Calories 276; Fat 7.2g (sat 1.9g, mono 2.3g, poly 1.3g); Protein 10g; Carbs 44.7g; Fiber 10.6g; Sodium 623mg
Recipe from Cooking Light

Questions:

1. Do you have pets? Do they stalk you while you’re eating?

2. Did you have a lazy weekend?

– jennifer

Fall Vegetable Curry

I decided to sleep in a little this morning before I got up for my run. Okay, honestly, I hit the snooze button until it got frustrated with me and just turned off and then I slept for 30 minutes more. Yes, I was tired. Okay, fine! I was feeling lazy. Sheesh, give a girl a break! Anyway, when I finally did get out of bed – 6:30 on a Saturday! – it was only 47 degrees. YES! (um, I should mention that I live in Florida!) I’m a northeastern girl at heart and I love, love, LOVE cool mornings! That’s the best thing about Fall … um, okay, second to football… oh, and I really love the colors, too! … and, as a runner, the cooler temperatures are a blessing. I’d so much rather run in 40 degree weather than 90 degree weather with 110% humidity. People ask me whether or not it hurts to breathe the cold air in but no, it doesn’t (to me, anyway) and I’d much rather suck in some fresh cool air than feel like I need to chew after I breathe. I’ve even run a half-marathon in DC while it snowed. So peaceful! Plus, there’s just something awesome about running more than a foot and not turning into a gigantic puddle of sweatiness. Of course, the likelihood of it snowing here in Florida is slim to none (hello, El Nino!) but I certainly appreciate the respite from the heat and the humidity.

Another great thing about Fall is vegetables and meals that warm you inside and out. I don’t know about you but we love curry and other Indian/Middle Eastern spices in this house. So, when I came across a recipe for a vegetable curry, I knew I had to save it for the perfect day. Today was that day! Seriously, it was all I could think about while I was running. Um, in case you didn’t know, thinking about food while you’re running is not the best thing to do. I was STARVING by the time I got home!! Actually, I do tend to plan meals and grocery lists while I’m running. I don’t run with an IPod or anything because I like to hear what’s going on around me and my brain just goes off in a million directions. I’ve written papers, planned menus, invented products, and solved the world’s problems on a run. It’s really unfortunate that I can’t remember a single thing once I’ve stretched and eaten. Oh well. But I digress….

So, this recipe is not only perfect for dinner after a long run, but it’s quick so that makes it a prime candidate for a weeknight dinner too! Really, total time including chopping was maybe 35-40 minutes. It’s vegetarian so it’s perfect for all my non-meat eating friends (Wes and Victoria, I’m talking about you!) and it’s simply delicious! It calls for Madras curry powder which is spicy but if you don’t prefer spicy, you can always use regular or sweet curry. You will still end up with a great tasting, light, healthy, and easy dish that will both taste good and make you feel good. I served mine with some Naan (an oven-baked flatbread traditionally served with South Asian and Middle Eastern food) and some hummus. And, I’m not ashamed to admit that I licked my plate clean. Hey, I was hungry! 🙂

Fall Vegetable Curry

1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup diced sweet potato
1 cup small cauliflower florets
1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson’s)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 (14.5 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons cilantro
1/2 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato to pan; saute 3 minutes. Decrease heat to medium. Add cauliflower, onion, and curry powder; cook 1 minute, stirring mixture constantly. Add broth and next 3 ingredients (through tomatoes); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with yogurt.

Servings 4
Calories 231; Fat 3.9g (saturated 0.9g, monounsaturated 1.6g, polyunsaturated 0.9g); Protein 10.4g; Carbohydrate 40.8g; Fiber 8.6g: Cholesterol 2mg; Iron 2.5mg; Sodium 626mg; Calcium 106mg