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

Cool new gear, A lesson in patience & It Takes Stew, Baby

It’s finally Friday!

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Check out these cool car magnets I got!

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I found an awesome race medal hanger on Gone for a Run and, after perusing their site, spotted the cute magnets. (Picture of the medal hanger coming!) They have a lot of cool products! I even got one of the running hats with 2 zipper pockets to stash my keys, money, gels, etc. So handy especially since some running shorts are pocketless. Sure, cute is nice but functional is so much better for a long run. I have some cute AND functional running shorts/skorts so it’s clearly possible to do both. Not sure why some companies are lagging behind. Oh well, doesn’t matter to me because I have a cool new hat! And, it’s pink so it’s even cooler. Can’t wait to wear it!

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Which, honestly, isn’t going to happen anytime soon. My leg hurts when I walk these guys so running is definitely out of the question. 😦

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Still waiting to hear back from my doctor. :/ I know, I know, I shouldn’t have pushed it this week. I’m resting it. I promise.

Cooking for two

No, not THAT kind of two. Sheesh! One birdie just left – I am NOT trying to refill our nest. Thing 2 is gainfully employed and, with her work schedule, I have less mouths to feed. And, since I’m really the only one who eats the leftovers, I’m trying to cut down on the “feeds a football team” recipes. 🙂

Found this recipe in my Abs Diet Cookbook. Yes, the name is ridiculous. No, I didn’t make it up. But, the meal is delicious! I used a 15 ounce can of cannellini beans instead of 10 ounce but I don’t think it made it overly “bean-y.” It was a perfectly light, healthy and tasty dinner that came together in no time. Om nom nom!

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It Takes Stew, Baby
Makes 2 servings

2 cups roughly torn baby spinach
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can (10.5 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cubed precooked chicken
1/2 cup fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper

In a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, saute the spinach, peppers, and garlic in oil for 2 minutes, turning often. Add the beans and chicken. Saute 1 minute more. Add the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

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Nutritional info:
Calories 311; Protein 27g; Carbs 43g; Fat 4g (saturated 0.5g); Sodium 420.5mg; Fiber 11g

– jennifer

Caribbean Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

It’s Monday! It’s always necessary to have a fun headband for a Monday morning workout.

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Suitably perky, I got to CrossFit and commenced warming up. And then I tried to do a pushup. Oh yeah, the ribs.

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It’s going to be a long recovery process. This is going to be my new area:

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Hopefully soon, I’ll be able to get back out there:

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*sigh*

So, let’s talk food. I found an amazing salad recipe that just begged to be made. Thank goodness it did! Om. Nom. Nom! I could seriously eat this every day. It really is that good. Serve it as a light meal on its own or an accompaniment to grilled meat.

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Caribbean Sweet potato and Black Bean Salad
Makes 3 servings

1 cup (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato
1/4 cup banana chutney*
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced green onions, divided
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups torn spinach

*I did not have banana chutney. I live in Milton, Florida. Chutney is a foreign word here. I substituted apricot preserves. It was Uh-MAY-zing.

Steam sweet potato, covered, 5 minutes or until tender, and cool. Combine chutney and next 6 ingredients (chutney through garlic) in a large bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add sweet potato, 1/4 cup onions, and beans; stir well to coat. Place 1 cup spinach on each of 3 plates; top with 2/3 cup bean mixture. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup onions.

Calories 265 (14% from fat); Fat 4.2g (sat 0.6g, mono 2.3g, poly 0.7g); Protein 11.2g; Carb 49.7g; Fiber 8.9g; Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 489mg

Recipe from Cooking Light, May 1998.

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– jennifer