WIAW #18: Baseball and Basketball Games

Happy Wednesday – are you ready for another What I Ate Wednesday? These were my eats from YESTERDAY. I tried to switch things up a little bit in my eats – starting with breakfast. For those of you who follow me on a regular basis, you know I typically eat egg whites and veggies in the morning – I started it with a little different food! Here we go:

The day started with a 5-ish mile run with Nicole around downtown! We made sure to run by the Q (Quicken Loans Arena) where the Cavs are playing in the NBA playoffs. There were already news stations parked downtown (ESPN, etc.) and the streets were alive and decorated. Before the run I had a spoonful of honey and some water.

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My post-run breakfast was a homemade yogurt parfait. I had leftover yogurt at work from our last week’s smoothie party – Dannon Light & Fit – which I mixed with some frozen berries, chia seeds and flaxseed. Yum!

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For lunch, I had made myself a salad. I typically have leftovers but I decided to give B the leftover stir fry for today and instead I had a salad with chickpeas, quinoa, a Heinen’s veggie burger, carrots, radishes and black beans. No dressing  – I’m super picky about the dressing and didn’t have any homemade dressing available.

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Snacks the day included a nectarine, lots of herbal tea (my office was freezing!), some radishes, some mints and a handful of nuts. Nuts not pictured.

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B made me dinner – some whole wheat pasta with sausage from our CSA and sautéed zucchini and shallots. It was soo good and luckily I got home from work about 6:45 and we had time to eat before heading to the Indians game.

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We ended up spending the evening at the Indians game BEFORE watching the Cavs game so my after-dinner snack was a beer at the ballpark. I didn’t realize it was going to be this big and I admit I didn’t finish it all. I maybe should’ve gone for the ice cream 🙂 We enjoyed spending time in the ballpark watching the Indians (they lost :() but also spent time in the ballpark bar and watched the Cavs game – and watched the Cavs win!! What a perfect ending to a Tuesday … is it Friday yet?

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Hellllo ginormous beer

Me and Nicole at the Indians stadium bar watching the Cavs game

Me and Nicole at the Indians stadium bar watching the Cavs game

That was it! That was my day. How did I do? Two questions for you:

  • Who are you rooting for in the NBA Finals? Cavs? Oakland? Nobody?
  • What’s your favorite ballpark food? If we hadn’t eaten dinner I would’ve gotten a pretzel or veggie burger. Or ice cream 🙂 

Meatless Monday: Roasted Fennel and Carrots

There are some vegetables that just shout farmers market or CSA to me. Mustard Greens. Garlic Scapes. Kohlrabi. Fennel.

I know, I know – fennel isn’t JUST from farmers markets and CSAs, but that’s literally the only time I ever end up getting it, meaning I hardly ever know what to do with it. Last year, I ended up keeping the fennel raw and preparing a Tomato, Fennel and Avocado Salad. It was good, but B didn’t like it that much – he didn’t like the texture of the fennel raw so I ended up eating most of his salad. (#winning!)

This year, week 9 of our Fresh Fork farm share came and once again we were faced with another bulb of fennel. I was determined to prepare it differently, in a way even B would enjoy. Enter, roasted fennel and carrots. Oh. Em. Gee. I may be overreacting, or just a little too excited, but I am super in love with preparing fennel this way. Even B tried it and liked it! The fennel softens and the strong anise-type flavor softens somewhat. I can’t wait to make this again!

Roasted Fennel & Carrots - i crashed the web

Roasted Fennel & Carrots

Here’s what you need:

  • One fennel bulb (without the stalks, but save the fronds), chopped into 1/2 inch slices
  • four large carrots, peeled and sliced into 1 to 1 1/2 inch chunks
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Toss sliced fennel and carrots with olive oil.
  3. Place fennel and carrots in a small casserole dish. Toss with fennel seeds and add minced garlic, salt and pepper. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until carrots and fennel are tender.
  4. For added fennel taste, save the fronds and sprinkle 1-2 tsp. of the leaves on top.
  5. Enjoy! Makes 2 side dishes or one large vegetarian main dish. For a vegetarian main dish, serve with a protein-rich grain like freekeh or quinoa, and/or a side of beans like lentils. Yum!
Roasted Fennel and Carrots - i crashed the web

fresh out of the oven!

Some questions for you:

  • What food or ingredient do you think of when you think of CSAs or farmers markets?
  • Do you enjoy fennel? How do you eat it – raw or cooked?
  • Do you eat your friend/significant other/child/roommate’s food if they don’t like it? I’m not judging!

Meatless Monday: Cilantro Garlic Scape Pesto

B is one of those people who doesn’t like cilantro. He doesn’t mind it in moderation (as in 1-2 sprigs in a salad or guacamole), but that’s it. So when we received a few bunches of cilantro in our Fresh Fork summer share, I knew I’d have to make something pretty amazing that would help us use the cilantro fast. And then when I only ended up using half our garlic scapes in a stir fry one night the idea came to me – cilantro garlic scape pesto.

Looking online, I was surprised to find quite a few pesto recipes featuring cilantro, garlic scapes, and other CSA-friendly ingredients. I chose/created this one because these were the ingredients I had on hand. It’d certainly be delicious with another type of nut and an added sprinkle (or two) of parmesan!

Cilantro Garlic Scape Pesto

Cilantro Garlic Scape Pesto

Here’s what you need:

  • 10 garlic scapes
  • 1 bunch cilantro (roughly about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped or slivered almonds
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cut up garlic scapes into 1-2 inch pieces. Add sliced scapes and cilantro to blender. Mix well.
  2. Add in slivered almonds, continue to blend until a thick paste forms.
  3. Add in olive oil, one tablespoonful at a time and continue to blend until paste becomes somewhat creamy. Add in extra salt, scapes, cilantro or oil to taste, as necessary.
  4. Enjoy! Makes about 1/3 cup pesto- perfect on top of some pasta, zoodles, or even chicken (for a non-meatless dish).

Cilantro Garlic Scape Pesto

Some questions for you:

  • Do you have a CSA? What’s the strangest ingredient you’ve gotten?
  • What’s your favorite pesto recipe use? I love the basic pesto with pignoli nuts and basil. 
  • Are you a cilantro fan? Yes I am! Love it on chicken, salsa, seafood (especially raw seafood – hello ceviche!), and more.

 

When Life Gives You Strawberries … Make Strawberry Bread!

B and I have started our second year of our Fresh Fork CSA and we’ve been having a blast each week with our new bags – we already roasted our first chicken (ok, well B roasted it), cooked up our turtle beans, and enjoyed our chorizo with an amazing fajita salad. In fact, the one thing we still hadn’t really touched this week were the strawberries we got as a bonus. I noticed they were starting to go bad, and while I would’ve loved to eat a pint of fresh stories in a day by myself, I didn’t know if my stomach would appreciate it. So, I scoured the web and my cookbooks for some strawberry dessert recipes.

I didn’t want to make a cobbler or a pie. I do like cobblers and pies – but not as much as I like breads and cookies. So I was pleased when I came upon this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Sally’s Baking Addiction. I made only the most minor tweaks and am so pleased with how the recipe came out. The next time you have extra strawberries laying around – or just want a new bread/muffin to make, try this out! It’s a perfect summer recipe.

strawberry bread - i crashed the web

Strawberry Bread

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups buttermilk (I have dry buttermilk on hand – this was 8 TBS + 2 c water)
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries, hopped, and tossed in 2 Tablespoon of flour and 1 Tablespoon sugar

Here’s what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray 2  8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, toss the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together until combined and set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix the eggs and sugars together until combined. Add in buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Slowly pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently combine until there are no more lumps. Do NOT overmix, this results in a tough bread. Fold in the strawberries.
  5. Pour batter into bread pans. Bake the bread for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick poked into the center of the bread comes out clean.  Allow bread to cool completely.
  6. Batter can also be made into 24 muffins; bake muffins for 15-18 minutes at 350 also.

 

strawberry muffins - i crashed the web

 

 

Some questions for you:

  • Do you participate in a CSA? Or buy your produce, etc. locally?
  • What’s your favorite strawberry-themed food? Is it a pie or cobbler or ice cream?
  • Favorite muffin or bread? Zucchini bread – love my mom’s recipe.
  • Muffins or bread? Usually bread-  like banana bread or zucchini bread. But muffins help with portion control  – and sharing!

Friday Five: Coming Up …

April may be flying by but I’m pretty much enjoying every speedy minute of it. The end of the month means that I have some fabulous things to look forward to:

1. DAZZLE the District!

I am SO excited for this event – happening NEXT FRIDAY. The Dazzle the District celebration is a big party happening in my neighborhood that in honor of some new renovations – lights, video signage, elegant gateways, a humongous “retro” sign inspired by PlayhouseSquare’s 1920s-era roots and the world’s largest outdoor chandelier. Yes, I will be living near the world’s largest outdoor chandelier. Anyway, there’s going to be a big party with happy hours, Hot Chelle Rae Concert and a lighting ceremony. I CAN’T wait. You better bet I’ll be tweeting/Instagramming/etc. with the hashtag, #DazzleCLE.

I walk by here every day pretty much .. here's where the chandelier will be!

I walk by here every day pretty much .. here’s where the chandelier will be!

Love the new gateways - and they're lit up at night!

Love the new gateways – and they’re lit up at night!

New gateway in the area

New gateway in the area

2. Cleveland 10-Miler

The Cleveland 10-Miler is this weekend! It’s a race I’ve grown to love (yes, I said “love” about a 10 mile race) over the years. The crowds, the weather, the people running it, the after-party events, the medal, the Gu/water stops, the t-shirt and even the route. The last time I ran it I was training for a marathon and had already run 10 miles before the start (and had the last 10 miles of my 20 mile run be the race) so this weekend I’m happy to be “only” running these 10 miles.

3. Races for a Good Cause – A Better World for Autism 5K

The spring and summer are full of 5ks that support various causes. This weekend, B and I will be participating in a race that supports a cause that’s definitely close to us, autism awareness. B’s aunt is active in the organization hosting the race, so we’ll be driving down after our 10-miler to join their family in this event. Who knows if I’ll feel good enough to run in it, but I’m looking forward to being part of the event!

4. Summer Farmers Markets and CSAs! 

Now that summer is almost here, it means our CSA is about to begin! B and I signed up once again for Fresh Fork Market and I can’t wait to see what new meats, vegetables, cheese, pasta, etc. we receive this year. I had a blast trying out new recipes and cooking many new greens last year (check out some of my Fresh Fork wrap ups, including what we got and what we made). Some of my favorites included:

Kohlrabi Slaw … I’m so happy that Fresh Fork introduced me to Kohlrabi – now I’m hooked!

Fennel, tomato and avocado salad

BEER CAN CHICKEN

5. Our 3rd Wedding Anniversary

Next week will mark 3 years that B and I have been married. Wild, huh? It honestly feels like yesterday (cliche, I know) that we were just dating, not even engaged. Wow, times have changed. Please join me for a walk down memory lane (warning, cheesiness ahead)

OK, i know this is before we met, but I couldn't help myself. :)

OK, i know this is before we met, but I couldn’t help myself. 🙂

oldie

Dressed up for a formal, senior year of college.

 

race 2009

A Turkey Trot, circa 5 years ago. check it out – B IS WEARING A HERMES 10 MILER SHIRT! (yes, this post just went full circle)

Halloween. We were the robots from Flight of the Conchords.

Halloween. We were the robots from Flight of the Conchords.

And from this past year - us in Seattle

And from this past year – us in Seattle

 

A few questions for you:

  • What are a few things you’re looking forward to as April draws to an end?
  • So apparently the 3rd anniversary is your “leather” anniversary. Quick, what are a few leather gifts?
  • Any fun races coming up?
  • Clevelanders – will I see you at Dazzle the District?
  • Has a CSA or Farmers Market introduced you to any new foods? Yup, kohlrabi! I love it roasted and as a slaw but when I first saw it I thought it was an alien. No joke. It scared me.

Crock Pot Lentils and Kale

Some nights for dinner I just want something healthy, easy, filling AND tasty – is that so much to ask for?

Most nights I can get 3 of the 4. Pasta with meatballs – tasty, easy, filling, but not super healthy (especially when served with a chunk of crusty bread and fresh mozzarella .. OMG I can taste that goodness now).  Homemade black bean burgers with sweet potato fries and braised kale – tasty, filling, healthy but not really super easy (well it’s easy .. just takes time to prepare). So last week when I was “cleaning” out my fridge and found some leftover kale from our CSA and an onion – and then of course found lentils and canned tomatoes in our pantry – a light bulb went off. I realized that combining all those ingredients would most definitely satisfy all of the above! Healthy? Obviously! Easy? Yes – I’d be using my crock pot. Filling? Of course – 1 cup of this dish has about 15 g. of protein (and more if you pair it with chicken). Tasty? Um, anything with lentils and kale in my opinion is tasty (I understand if you disagree).

Enjoy the following “recipe.” I literally just threw everything in my crock pot, googled “lentil crock pot cooking times” and hoped for the best. And it worked! Serve as is, or with chicken, which B had. He actually looked at me like I was crazy when I asked if he wanted anything with the lentils for dinner. “You mean, do I just want lentils and kale for dinner? Am I a rabbit?” – may or may not be exactly what he said. I also sprinkled Penzeys vindaloo seasoning on my leftovers which made for an awesome Indian-type dish. 

crock pot lentils and kale - i crashed the web

Crock Pot Lentils and Kale

Here’s what you need:

  • 2 cups lentils, rinsed
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups chopped kale (don’t forget to remove the stems)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or chicken, if you don’t mind if it’s not vegetarian)
  • 1 cup water
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Here’s what you do:

  1. Rinse lentils. Add to crock pot with onion, garlic, canned tomatoes and kale.
  2. Add spices — ginger, onion powder, garlic powder and cumin. Mix all ingredients within crock pot. Pour broth and water over mixture.
  3. Cover and cook on Low for 5-6 hours.
  4. Enjoy! Serve alone, or as a side dish with chicken if your husband gasps at the thought of just eating lentils and kale alone.

Enjoy! As you can see, it’s not the prettiest dish, but it’s healthy, filling and SUPER EASY.

slow cooker lentils and kale - i crashed the web

PS – Here are some more of my favorite crock pot dishes. You MUST try the jambalaya!

Fresh Fork Week 8 – And Fennel, Tomato and Avocado Salad {Recipe}

How are we already EIGHT weeks into our Fresh Fork summer share? It may seem weird to say this – and somewhat cheesy – but I feel like it’s become a part of B and me. We look forward to picking up our weekly share, trying the new recipes and enjoying all the glorious fresh produce and some other local grub (those local corn chips … and local oats … and more – were SO good!).

Anyway, enough blabbering with how much I am loving my Fresh Fork. Here’s what we got this week:

  • 1 lb grassfed ground beef
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 3# red skin potatoes
  • 1 candy onion
  • 1 head red cabbage
  • 1 lb yellow beans
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 pint sweet cherries
  • 1 quart apricots

And a blurry photo of what we got (I may have been at Parnell’s for happy hour before the pick up):

fresh fork week 8

We’ve finished pretty much everything, minus the beef, which is in our freezer until B figures out what he wants to do with it. Because I don’t really like ground beef unless it’s in a meatball. Even then I prefer turkey. It happens.

Some of our meals:

B made this dish, featuring the cabbage (doesn’t it look professional?!)

pork and cabbage

We had a wine and cheese night – and the apricots went deliciously with it!

wine and cheese

A summery meal featuring potato salad from the potatoes (and the corn, tomato and eggplant are from week 9 – shhhh yes I’m skipping ahead)

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And my favorite (well, not my favorite – the pork and cabbage was probably the best, but don’t tell B) – fennel, tomato and avocado salad – which we enjoyed with the beer can chicken.

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You can make the fennel salad too – it was really easy so here’s another non-recipe for you to enjoy for the next time you get fennel. There was something just so delicious about the sweetness of the fennel with the bitterness of the balsamic. And who doesn’t like tomato and avocado?

fennel tomato and avocado salad {i crashed the web}

Fennel, Tomato & Avocado salad

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 2 fresh tomatoes
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Your favorite balsamic vinaigrette. Don’t have one? Make your own! Here’s my favorite recipe – it makes more than enough for this salad plus more:
    • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 garlic clove, crushed or minced

Here’s what you do:

  1. Cut up the first three ingredients. Chop up the fennel bulb into 1/2 inch thick slices. Cut up tomato into thin slices. Find a ripe avocado and cut it into bite sized pieces.
  2. Arrange tomato, avocado, and fennel on a plate.
  3. Drizzle about 1-2 tbs of your favorite balsamic dressing over the salad. If you’re making mine, combine vinegar, oil, mustard and garlic in a jar and shake well to combine before drizzling a little over the salads. You’ll have leftover dressing for later.
  4. Enjoy!
fennel tomato and avocado salad {i crashed the web}

Fennel, tomato and avocado salad

For other Fresh Fork Recaps: