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

Running from a cold, eating Chipotle-Black Bean Soup

Hello, hello!

So, remember Tuesday when I ran really fast, unpacked loads of boxes and was really, really tired by the time I was making dinner?

Yeah.

Well, I woke up yesterday feeling a lot less tired but, as the day progressed, I was not feeling good at all.

Scratchy and sore throat, congestion, fatigue.

*sigh*

sick puppy

So, I tried to take it easy.  I didn’t do too much – except bake bread and make some really awesome Chipotle-Black Bean Soup.

But, hey, cooking isn’t hard work like unpacking boxes! And, I totally didn’t do any of that yesterday at all.

But, it’s hard to NOT want to make stuff in my awesome and cozy kitchen.

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I totally love it so much!

Anyway, I drank plenty of water and some echinacea complete care tea and just rested my bod.

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This morning?

Ugh.

Not better.

But, I decided I would still run (after a MAJOR argument with my lazy side) because I’m not running a fever and maybe I could sweat it out.

Welp. Fate intervened and I discovered that I’m missing a pair of running capris.

Not cold enough for full tights (for me, that’s weather below 32 degrees) and definitely not shorts weather (has to be over 50 degrees).

And, I decided that I’m not gross enough to wear a dirty pair so, I started the laundry and decided today would be a rest day with loads of fluid and Emergen-C consumption.

I’m also thinking some Hot and Sour soup would be a good thing. 🙂

I’ll cover some slow and easy miles tomorrow (probably not 8) and then hit my 16-miler on Saturday.

Now, I just need to figure out where that other pair of capris went.  Have you seen them?  How exactly could they just disappear?!

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Anywho, let’s talk about that soup.

I absolutely love black bean soup.

LOVE!

And, you know how I feel about cooking things that take hours and make the house smell good.

*swoon*

I was browsing my Cooking Light Reader Favorites cookbook and saw the recipe for the black bean soup.

I have dried black beans!!!  And, dried peppers!!  Jackpot!!!

This soup was totally worth the time it took to cook.

Although, honestly, active time is barely anything.  The hardest part is waiting for it to cook because it smells So. Darned. Amazing. that you’re going to want to eat it before the beans are done.

Wait for it. Trust me.

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The recipe calls for a dried chipotle chile which I didn’t have. I had dried Guajillo peppers so I used 2 of those instead and added 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper.

So. Delicious.

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Chipotle-Black Bean Soup
Makes 4 servings

1 cup dried black beans (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup boiling water
1 dried chipotle chile
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups water
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (15.75-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained

Toppings
2 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inch strips
Cooking spray
1/2 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

1. To prepare soup, sort and wash beans; place in a large Dutch oven. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Drain.

2. Combine 1/2 cup boiling water and chipotle chile in a bowl; let stand 15 minutes or until soft. Drain, seed, and chop.

3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 2 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; saute 1 minute. Add beans, chipotle chile, 2 cups water, oregano, cumin, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 3 hours or until beans are soft. Place 1 cup of soup in a blender; process until smooth. Return to pan. Stir in pepper and tomatoes; cook until thoroughly heated.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. To prepare toppings, place tortilla strips in a single layer on a baking sheet. Lightly coat tortilla strips with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes or until toasted. (Honestly, I skipped this part and we used tortilla chips. Lazy me won that argument.)

6. Ladle soup into each of 4 bowls; top with tortilla strips, yogurt, and cheese.

Calories 276; Fat 3.7g (saturated 1.2g, mono 1.4g, poly 0.7g); Protein 15.8g; Carbs 42.7g; Fiber 7.9g; Sodium 769mg

Questions: What are your go-to remedies when you’re not feeling well? How do you determine if you’re going to workout or rest when you’re under the weather?

– jennifer