Sautéed Broccolini and a Race Recap!

 

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 Hi folks!  It’s such a beautiful day today!  Spring is coming and it makes me very happy.  I pulled out the old running skirt that I’ve never ran in but wear around town all summer to wear today.  Happy indeed!

I promised you I would start posting some side dishes that I like to make and this in one that turned out really yummy.  I got the baby broccoli or broccolini in my produce bin so this is what I did with it.  One thing I need to go ahead and say is that all of my sides will be super simple.  I do not have time to slave away at a dish that is not even the main course.  Honestly though, simple tastes better anyway!

FamilyPicSo this weekend was a huge weekend for my family.  Every year at this time we celebrate my Great Grandmother’s, Granny Pearl’s, birthday in Richland Springs, TX.  We’ve been doing it for like 35 years in the old one room school house that she attended.  She passed away last year 30 days shy of her 105th birthday.  I could go on and on and on about this weekend and the traditions.  It is the coolest thing ever and I’m so blessed to be part of something like it.  My family is CRA-ZY but they are awesome.  Oh and Granny Pearl was the “Bacon Lady” if anyone remembers that.  She was a fire cracker.  Seriously.

However, since this is a fitness or health blog, or something like that I guess, I thought I would give you a race report.  Yep, I ran a 5k this weekend with some other members of the fam.  The Never Surrender 5k run/walk in San Saba, TX.  Oh how I hate 5k’s.  3.1 miles, easy right?  HELL. NO.  I like long and paced…not all out, having an asthma attack, sucking wind, seeing stars, don’t let the girl in the double stroller pass me again, kind of race.  Whew.  I really wanted to place in this one.  Honestly, I have no chance around home against my running buddies so this was it.  I did place, I got 3rd overall female.  I’m proud because I worked HARD for that dang medal!

Here’s the thing though.  I averaged an 8:48 pace.  I think I can do better than that.  My mistake was I prepared to run with my rock star, Furball (as Ty likes to be called these days), but my dear cousin offered to run with him.  So after eating a lot of crap Friday that I am ashamed to admit, I also didn’t bring anything suitable for breakfast.  With a 9am start I ran the race on an empty stomach.  Ya’ll know me by now and know that I don’t walk out to the car on an empty stomach.  I’m going to use lack of nutrients as my excuse and maybe die a little less at the next one…maybe.  Oh how I loathe 5k’s!

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On a great note, Furball got first in his age group with a 3 minute PR and my sister, Lace, got 2nd in her age group with a PR as well.  A few others in the family were able to medal too.  I told you we are awesome.  Secretly, Furball was the only one in his age group.  However, that doesn’t discount the fact that his little legs ran/walked the race and every time he completes one it feeds his early passion for the sport.  He was so excited to show his medal off at school today and is dying to take it to track practice to show Coach.  My heart could burst with joy.

Let me know what you think of the broccolini!

What race distance is your favorite? Mine would definitely be the half! 

 

Sauteed Broccolini
Quick and easy broccolini
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Ingredients
  1. 1 bunch of broccolini or baby broccoli
  2. 1/2 onion diced
  3. 1 or 2 garlic cloves minced
  4. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  5. 1 tbsp. butter
  6. 1 cup of water
  7. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Over medium heat melt butter and olive oil.
  2. Add diced onions and garlic and stir frequently to avoid burning garlic.
  3. When onions are tender add the bunch of broccolini.
  4. Toss to coat the broccolini in the onions and garlic.
  5. Add a couple of tablespoons of the water and cover dish.
  6. Continue to cook over low to medium heat.
  7. Add more water frequently as needed to steam the broccolini until tender.
  8. When tender salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Serve warm.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Country Style Pork Ribs

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Those ribs are as good as they look.  Totally tender and warm and yummy.  This recipe is similar to the beef tips.  I thought I would mix it up a bit.  I don’t usually eat a ton of pork like this because I haven’t really known what to do with it.  Oh man, now I do.

Still crazy here in my world.  I’m a creature of habit and a person with a schedule.  The whole holiday season throws me off.  That’s ok.  My hubby is home more and my workout buddies are finding all kinds of excuses to drink mimosas.  Yeah, I need to stop that.  Bottled orange juice is not exactly Paleo.  I suppose it would be weird to take Cabernet to drink after a run though.

Speaking of the holiday season.  That means the year is coming to an end.  Duh.  Everyone is all a buzz about goals.  As you know, I hit my goal of 1000 miles this year.  I am so not motivated to set another goal!  I’ve had mileage goals for probably the last four years and they are pressure.  I’m thinking I’m going to rebel and just run.  I also want to do a little more cross training. (Secretly, that’s what makes the difference come swimsuit season.)  I do, however, REALLY want to hit a sub 2:00 half marathon.  Oops.  I think I just said that out loud on the internet.  What about you?  Goals?

Well, I have a baby crying, one with mulch in his pants, one digging for snacks, clothes to fold, presents to wrap and volunteer time at church.  I guess I better get out of the blog world and take care of biz-ness!  See ya!

Paleo Country Style Pork Ribs
Super tender and savory country style pork ribs.
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Ingredients
  1. 11/2 lbs. country style pork ribs (or one package)
  2. 2 large onions sliced
  3. 1 apple cored and sliced
  4. 1 tbsp. avocado oil
  5. 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter
  6. 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  7. 1 can of free range chicken stock (or about 11/2 cups)
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt butter and avocado oil in dutch oven or oven safe pot.
  2. Over medium to low heat cook onions and apples for about 45 minutes stirring often. Careful not to burn them but you want it brown and caramelized.
  3. While apples and onions are finishing season pork ribs with salt and pepper and coat with almond flour.
  4. When apples and onions are done remove and sear pork ribs on all sides.
  5. While pan is hot add chicken broth to deglaze pan and scrape to remove bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add apples and onions back to pot, cover and bake in a 300 degree oven for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  7. Check occasionally and add liquid if needed.
Notes
  1. Pears can be substituted for the apples.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Beef Tips with Sweet Potato Puree and My Thanks

BeefTips1It’s Thanksgiving week, yay!  You know that already right?  My recipe today has nothing to do with Thanksgiving because I’m one of those people that holidays sneak up on.  Ask me if I’ve bought a single Christmas present?  Nope.  I’ll wait until the last minute when I have to pay full price for everything.  Anyway, I always get stew meat (or beef tips) from the cow and I’ve had a hard time finding a way to cook them using Paleo ingredients.  Well, here it is folks.  Seriously.  It’s even taste tested by one of my running buddies.  It’s so flavorful.  It takes a little time but it’s worth it.  Mmmm, I love beef gravy.

Since it’s Thanksgiving we are supposed to reflect on what we are thankful for huh?  Well, here it is.

10 Things this Running Junkie is Thankful For

1. Running buddies who are not annoying.  I am easily annoyed.

2. Food

3. Good shoes and a husband who lets me buy them every other day

4. Bodyglide

5.  Compression pants

6. My watch that is more complicated than my twins

7. Salted caramel GU.  Nope, not Paleo.  Hey, it’s better than donuts.

8. Porta potties and public restrooms.

9. Finish lines

10. The chiropractor

In all seriousness, I have to admit, I am totally blessed.  For real.  I have an awesome family.  My husband, kids, parents, siblings, extended family, all of them are crazy birds but they are great and they are mine and I love them.  My church.  I get to wear jeans, rock babies and be held accountable for my actions.  It’s a pretty cool place.  My healthy body and early morning workout family.  Who the heck is thankful for early mornings?  You all know by now its a big part of my life.  I’m thankful for the ability to do stuff I never imagined were possible with some cool folks before dawn.  My freedom and comfort in the good ole US of A.  We have our trouble but we have it pretty great.  No, I’m not getting into a political argument with you either so don’t even try it.

What are some of the things you are thankful for? 

Beef Tips with Sweet Potato Puree
Paleo Beef Tips and Sweet Potatoes
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Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lb beef tips or stew meat
  2. 1 large onion
  3. 4 tbsp. butter
  4. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  5. 1/4 cup almond flour
  6. salt and pepper
  7. 1 tsp granulated garlic
  8. 14oz can beef broth
  9. 2 large sweet potatoes
  10. 1/4 cup coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Thinly slice onion and cook it in dutch oven over low heat with 2 tbsp. butter and olive oil for about 45 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
  3. You don't want them to burn but they do need to caramelize.
  4. When onions are done remove them from pan.
  5. Coat beef tips in almond flour and salt and pepper.
  6. Sear coated beef tips over a medium to high heat.
  7. Then add 3/4 can of beef broth and bring to a boil to deglaze the pan.
  8. Make sure you scrap the yummy bits out of the bottom of the pan.
  9. Add onions back to pan.
  10. Season with granulated garlic.
  11. Stir
  12. Put covered dish into oven for about 2.5 hours. Check a couple of times and add beef broth if needed.
  13. While beef is cooking peal and cube sweet potatoes.
  14. Boil for about 20 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  15. Drain water then add butter, coconut milk and salt and pepper. These ingredients may need to be adjusted depending on your taste.
  16. Mix with a hand mixture until pureed.
  17. When beef tips are done serve over sweet potatoes.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Bacon and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

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I just made this stuffed squash last night and it was a hit!  Especially, with it being cold outside.  It’s rich with the bacon fat and maple syrup but man so good.  The best part about it was all of the ingredients, except the meat, were out of my produce bin.  I’m not only using all of my produce, but I feel like a super mom making this beauty on a Wednesday night.  Let me know what you think about it!

It is cold here in Texas!  I know, I know, it’s colder other places, but we like to freak out about it.  At least it’s not snowing.  You will hear me whining when it starts that mess.  I think we skipped fall.  Oh well.

You’re probably thinking since it’s getting colder this girl and her friends will skip out on the cold workouts.  Heck no.  Unless there is ice under my feet I’m out the door at 4am like any other day.  We get icicles in our hair when we run and sometimes I think my hands may actually stick to the barbells, but its all part of the fun.  No, Crossfit does not have a heater.  Nice try though. 

CFStrictPress

Strict press. Super hard for me but come on, I’m working on it!

I went a little crazy this week and decided to change up my workout days.  I normally run Thursday and Crossfit Friday but I flipped them.  Whoa, don’t worry, I won’t get too wild on you. 

The WOD (Workout of the Day) today is:

Strength:
-Behind neck snatch grip Strict Press, 4X10
*Light and controlled.
-Strict Press, 8X3
*Heaviest possible.

WOD
12 Min AMRAP:
-5 KB Swing, 53/35#
-5 KB Lunges, 53/35#
-5 KB  SDHP, 53/35#
-5 KB Lunges, 53/35#

Kettlebell fun!

Kettlebell fun!

I actually was able to do RX.  Meaning I could do exactly what it says and use the 35# kettlebell.  I did whine a little but in the end it wasn’t horrible.  Dang!  Crossfit guy is probably reading this.  The next WOD will be horrible since I said that. 

Tomorrow I’m looking forward to a 23 degree, 8 mile run at 4:15am.  Always an adventure.  I’ll be sure to take a cold weather selfie for you.  As always, I know you can’t wait.

Do you workout in cold weather?  If not, do you draw the line at a specific temp? 

Bacon and Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash
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Ingredients
  1. 1 acorn squash
  2. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  3. 1 lb. ground beef
  4. 6 oz. diced bacon (nitrate free and uncured)
  5. 1 yellow onion diced
  6. 1 cup fresh cranberries
  7. 2 cups of fresh kale chopped
  8. 1 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  9. 1 tsp. salt
  10. 1 tsp. pepper
  11. 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  12. 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  13. 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Line baking sheet with foil.
  3. Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise. Be careful cutting through stem.
  4. Scrap out seeds with a spoon and discard.
  5. Rub flesh of squash with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast flesh side down for about 45 minutes until squash is tender.
  7. When done remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  8. While squash is roasting brown ground beef, drain and set aside.
  9. Wipe all grease out of skillet.
  10. Add onions and bacon to the skillet. Cook on medium heat until bacon is almost done. Stirring frequently to avoid burning onions.
  11. Add cranberries, ground beef and maple syrup. Stir until cranberries burst and become tender.
  12. Add kale, salt, pepper, garlic and cumin.
  13. Last scrap out flesh of squash, chop and incorporate into mixture. Careful not to over mix.
  14. Divide mixture and fill each squash shell evenly. Top with cheese and broil until cheese is golden.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Butternut Squash and Shrimp Soup

 
 I have a little extra time today since my twins are in preschool so I thought I would give you a delicious soup recipe to make as the weather gets colder.  It’s pretty simple. I made it last week in the middle of a storm that kept shutting our electricity down.  It seemed to be forgiving. butternutsquashsoup1

I am back to real life after camping.  Well, really I am cleaning up the aftermath of the weekend.  It’s amazing how you leave your house clean (or at least close) then when you get home it looks like a bomb exploded.  There was definitely a camping bomb in my house.   I’m trying to get it all organized but really I want to play with my new watch.  I feel like I’m making some progress getting it set up exactly like I want it.  I’ve taken it on a couple of runs and I’m really happy so far.  It is a little big but that just makes me look faster right?  Sure.

So, I talk about running a lot but the other huge health component in my life is Crossfit.  People like to say its too intense or Crossfit people are just crazy but I have not had that experience.  Oh wait, yes I have!  It is intense and the people are a little crazy but it’s great!  You’re not going to go on your first day, deadlift a million pounds and end up with a skeletal muscle disease.  You go, learn about the movements and exercises and work your way up.  My Crossfit buddies are incredibly encouraging but a little competitive which I dig.  Now, I have to say, when it comes to lifting weights I try to be a wuss and get away with smaller weights.  My Coach knows my game by now and makes me stay the course.  I haven’t died yet…  Dang!  I hope he’s not reading this.

 Until January, I am having a bit of a struggle fitting in the miles plus the Crossfit.  I know Crossfit is part of what keeps my body healthy and able to do the runs.  If you see me slacking off, smack me in the head (not really, I’ll get offended) and send me back to the box!

Butternut Squash and Shrimp Soup
Butternut Squash, sweet potatoes and shrimp with bacon on top.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 lbs of wild caught shrimp. Peeled and deveined
  2. 3 stalks of celery diced
  3. 3 carrots diced
  4. 1 onion diced
  5. 2 tbsp. butter
  6. 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and diced
  7. 1 small butternut squash diced
  8. 3 gloves of garlic diced
  9. 1 cup of milk (your choice of milk)
  10. tsp. sage
  11. tsp. cumin
  12. 1/8 tsp. cayenne (or more to taste)
  13. salt and pepper to taste
  14. 2 cans of free range chicken stock
  15. 8oz of uncured bacon cooked and crumbled for garnish
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot warm the butter over medium heat. Add in the diced celery, carrots, and onion.
  2. Once those have started to cook some, add the sweet potatoes, butternut squash and garlic. Cook well until all veggies are tender.
  3. Once tender, add one can of chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender until smooth. Be very careful not to splash the warm liquid.
  4. When pureed add the spices and milk. Stir well.
  5. Depending on how thick or thin you like your soup add the rest of the chicken stock to taste.
  6. Simmer for about 10 mins to incorporate all ingredients.
  7. Lastly, add the shrimp. Let them cook through which only takes a few minutes.
  8. When shrimp are done, serve warm with bacon crumbled on top.
  9. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. If you do not have an immersion blender the ingredients can be transferred to a blender. Please be careful transferring the hot liquid. It would need to cool some before being blended.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/