Fanciness, ice cream cones, and spinach, bacon & sweet tater salad

Hello, hello!

Happy Monday!

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Did you have a fantastic weekend? Did you do anything fun?

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you probably know I had a decent weekend. 🙂

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There was definitely not enough sleeping this weekend. 🙂

Although, honestly, I made up for it yesterday by sitting on my couch and watching CrossFit Regionals all day long. Like, literally, All. Day.

Plugged my sailor’s phone into the TV (mine, for some reason, does not have an HDMI out slot) and watched the live streaming action on the big screen.

It was awesome!

Two words – Julie. Foucher.

Badassery.

Anywho, we also ate pretty well this weekend. I promise there was more than just ice cream – um, hello, MOOSE TRACKS! – and coffee.

Thing 1 gave me the best gift ever for Mother’s Day – the Runner’s World Cookbook!

You know I was bookmarking recipes in there!

First up – spinach, bacon, and sweet potato salad.

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Oh. Em. Gee.

I sauteed some shrimp in garlic and olive oil as an accompaniment. So delicious!

As you can tell by more than just spinach leaves in that picture, I changed up the recipe a little (hey, I can’t help it! It’s what I do.).

But honestly, it doesn’t really  need it. There’s not really anything more perfect than sweet potatoes and bacon and this recipe has them BOTH!

Spinach, Bacon, and Sweet Potato Salad
makes 4 servings

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
4 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 slices thick-cut bacon (or 3-4 slices regular bacon)
1 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Juice from 1 orange (or about 1/4-1/3 cup OJ)
1 pound fresh spinach (or use a spinach blend, if you prefer, which is what I did)

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the taters on a baking sheet, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Roast, turning occasionally, for 25 minutes, or until crisp and brown on the outside and tender inside. Remove from oven and keep on the pan until ready to use.

2. While the taters are roasting, place the bacon in a skillet (cast iron, if you got it!) over medium heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until crisp. Drain on paper towels. **Now, the recipe says to pour off the fat but I chose to keep it for the veggies. Do what you want.** When bacon is cooled, break into pieces.

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3. Return the pan to medium heat and, if not using bacon fat, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil (I added a couple of teaspoons because there was only about a tablespoon of bacon fat). When it’s hot, add the bell pepper, onion, and ginger. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until just softened.

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Stir in the cumin and the orange juice and turn off the heat. (The recipe can be made up to an hour or so ahead to this point. Gently warm the dressing again before proceeding.)

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freshly ground cumin smells so amazing!

4. Put the spinach in a bowl large enough so you can toss the ingredients together without them ending up all over the counter or floor (although, 5 second rule on the bacon!). Add the sweet taters, bacon, and the warm dressing. Toss to combine. Try to remember that it makes 4 servings and you should share.

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Nutrition per serving (according to the exact recipe):
262 calories, 22g carbs, 6g fiber, 8g protein, 18g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 409mg sodium

Talk to me: Did you watch any of the CrossFit Regionals this weekend? Were you lucky enough to actually BE there? Do you know anyone who’s never had a sweet potato?

– jennifer

A Hungry Runner is 1! So, I made pumpkin brownies. :)

Hello!

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone has had a great weekend so far. 🙂

It’s a pretty special day for me. A Hungry Runner is 1 today! Can you believe it?!

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I can’t believe I’ve been blogging here for a year! And, to top it off, this is my 200th post!

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It’s been an amazing year and I’ve loved every minute of it. 🙂

So, I thought I would share my top 3 most popular posts of the past year – the ones you guys have looked at the most.  This makes me really happy because it means I’m giving you good stuff!  🙂

And, drumroll please…..

1. Blueberries!  First up – blueberry muffins!

2.  Saturday Things. Oatmeal Pancakes!

3.  Green Bay Booyah!

Okay, so, the fact that Green Bay Booyah is one of my top 3 posts on a day that Green Bay ran Booyah all over my Redskins is wrong on so many levels. :/  Oh, irony, you funny funny thing.

But, I’m stoked (and surprised) that it made the top 3!  It really was delicious and, if you haven’t tried it yet, fall is coming and it’s a PERFECT dish for a cool fall weekend day.  You should definitely try it if you haven’t already!

Speaking of fall, that means PUMPKIN!

Do you love the Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks?  I’ve never tried one but apparently they are a big deal.

I decided I needed to make some brownies to celebrate today.

Pumpkin Brownies.

Oh yeah.

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Pumpkin Brownies

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin puree
1 whole egg
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 11 x 7 x 1-1/2-inch baking pan with nonstick foil or spray with nonstick spray. I used a smaller pan because I wanted a thicker brownie. Just adjust your cooking time. 🙂

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2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt until combined. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, beat brown sugar, pumpkin, all of the eggs, and oil on medium speed until combined. Reduce mixer to low, add dry ingredients, and beat until well-mixed. Fold in chocolate chips by hand.

4. Pour evenly into prepared pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until it tests done in the center with a wooden pick. Cool cocoa pumpkin brownies to room temperature before cutting to serve. Or, don’t. I didn’t. Just don’t burn your mouth. 🙂

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5. Gobble them DOWN!

Question: What’s your favorite recipe with pumpkin?

– jennifer

Things I’ve Learned from Running & Panko-breaded Pork Cutlets with Sauteed Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans

Hello, hello!

Happy Thursday!

hang on

I’m happy to report that Christine (my car. read yesterday’s post to learn more) is running fabulously! Although, one of her brake lights is out. :/ Must get that fixed. Fix-it tickets can be expensive. I don’t like expensive.

So, as you probably guessed, I’m a runner. If you didn’t know, well, yeah, I got nothing. (Um, please see blog title.) 🙂

Anywho, I’m a runner. I’ve been a runner since I was a kid but I didn’t “officially” become a runner until I joined the track team in high school. We didn’t have a middle school track team that I can remember, but I did try out for middle school softball! I ran track and cross country in high school and I loved/hated it. The workouts were hard, I got really sweaty and I sometimes felt like vomiting but I enjoyed it. I also ran a variety of road races with my dad – he was a runner, too!

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Washington Redskins, NFC East Champions, baby!

I ran because I had to while I was in the Navy. You know, group PT sessions and PT tests. I kinda drifted away throughout the years – started smoking, had kids, was unhealthy, worked A LOT, went to school at night and earned my degree while playing mom AND dad because my sailor was deploying but I would always return, even if it was briefly.

Then, in 2008, running came back into my life full force. I wanted to make a lifestyle change – I wasn’t feeling overly great about myself – and I had made some friends at work who were runners. They were happy to talk running with me and got me all excited about it! So, I started back up. Because I was no longer smoking (quit in 2004, thankyouverymuch!), it didn’t take too long to get back to comfortable. Oh, don’t get me wrong – it really sucked most of the time. But, I kept at it and my breathing improved and so did my fitness and endurance.

I signed up for a 10-mile race in April 2008.

My sailor thought I was bonkers and told me later that he worried about me the whole time. He said he was SO HAPPY to see me coming and cross the finish line.

And when I did cross that line, I fell deeply, madly, and passionately in love with running.

I felt invincible! I had just run 10 miles and I didn’t die! And, I felt GREAT and had FUN!

Okay, so maybe miles 6-8 weren’t that fun but there weren’t a whole lot of spectators in that area cheering us on.

I ran the Baltimore half-marathon in October 2008 and then Philadelphia Marathon in November 2008.

Did I mention I had just started back to running THAT YEAR?

Crazy? Maybe. Crazy in love with running? DEFINITELY!

Now, I’ve run 6 marathons, 3 half-marathons (one trail and one was in a snow storm!), 4 ten-milers, a 15k and a few 5ks. I’m not really into the 5ks. I’d rather run farther.

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Bling, bling!

Yep. Crazy.

Things I’ve Learned from/while Running

1. Running makes me feel really happy and really good about myself.
2. Running is bouncy – go to the bathroom before you leave the house/start the race.
3. Drinking wine the night before a run/race upsets my tummy.
4. Don’t eat anything new the night before or the morning of a run. Unless you know where all the port-a-potties are or have planned your route to include bathrooms.

    4 1/2. Plan your route to include bathrooms! Unless you live in the woods. Then, plan your route to include trees.

5. If you live in a sketchy area, definitely run without music so you can hear the creeper hiding in the bushes. You know they’re not stealthy.
6. Dachshunds are mean, little, spiteful dogs who will bite your ankles if they don’t want you to run by their house.
7. If you’re running on the road, run facing traffic and pay attention. Not all people are ACTUALLY paying attention while driving. And some think you’re playing Frogger.
8. Running in the rain is actually quite refreshing. Running in a thunderstorm or torrential downpour is not as much fun.
9. Wear reflective gear or tape, even in the day time, but ESPECIALLY at night. But, don’t expect this to help people to see you. Seriously, I’ve been lit up like a darn Christmas tree (headlamp, reflective vest, reflective straps around my arms AND ankles) and almost been hit!
10. Being alone in your thoughts for hours is actually really nice! You can write papers, solve problems, sing songs, sing cadence, figure out how to take over the world….
11. When it’s hot out, make every attempt to frolick through as many sprinklers as possible. No one is watching. Really.
12. Smile. Running is fun!

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Questions!

1. What have you learned from/while running?
2. What was your first significant running event/moment?

Bonus Recipe!

So, I whipped this up last night. I’m so proud of myself. 🙂 And, it was so easy and delicious that I just had to share! You lucky dog, you. Enjoy!

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Panko-breaded Pork Cutlets with Sauteed Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans
makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon coconut oil (or use olive oil)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2/3 cup grated parmegiano reggiano cheese
1 pound pork tenderloin, sliced into cutlets
4 campari tomatoes, rinsed, cored, and cut into quarters (use more if you have big tomato eaters)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 – 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1. Mix flour, salt, pepper and cayenne in shallow bowl; set aside. Crack egg and beat slightly in another shallow bowl; set aside. Mix panko and parmegiano in another shallow bowl; set aside.

2. Heat skillet over medium-high heat; add coconut oil. Once coconut oil is hot, dredge pork cutlets in flour, then egg, then panko/cheese mix and add to pan. If your pan is too small, you will have to work in batches. Do not bunch cutlets together.

3. Cook, turning occasionally, over medium-high heat, for about 15-20 minutes or until pork is cooked through and breading is brown and crusty.

4. In a medium skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes, italian seasoning and garlic; saute for about 5 minutes. Add drained beans and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3-5 minutes.

5. Pile it all on a plate and have at it! Om nom nom!

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– jennifer