Friday, September 17, 2010

Putting the food processor to good use!

I wasted no time breaking in the food processor, and then using it for every task in the kitchen afterward! Funny, because I planned to make carrot soup in my weekly meal plan before I knew I was getting my food processor.  I wonder how I was planning to do that? Well, it doesn't matter now, because I DO have a food processor, and last night I made a delicious but easy carrot soup!
 Coconut-Ginger Carrot Soup

2 bunches carrots, chopped
2 inch piece ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion diced
1 leek, thinly sliced, white parts only
1 cup coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
In large soup pot, heat olive oil.  Saute garlic and ginger until fragrant, do not burn!  Add carrots, leek and onion and saute 5 minutes longer, until onion and leek are translucent.  Add coconut milk and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Lower heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes until carrots are soft and can easily be pierced with a fork.  Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.  Add contents of soup pot to food processor and whirl until desired consistency. You can leave it thicker, or creamier depending on your taste.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Spoon into bowls and serve with Ezekiel bread croutons.  The croutons added texture and crunch and were so yummy!  The soup is the perfect combination of flavors: sweet and savory (coconut milk and salt and pepper), fresh and comfort (ginger and carrots).  This recipe should serve 4, however, Mr. Kummerow and I downed the whole thing last night!
Ezekiel Bread Croutons
3 slices Ezekiel Bread
1 tbsp. olive oil

Cube bread slices and mix with olive oil.  Bake in 500* oven on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes, until browned and crunchy.

This morning I had my long run and accomplished 10.4 miles! It felt so good! Unlike last week's 9 miler, I breezed through most of this.  Don't get me wrong, my legs were tight and my hips sore, but I wasn't playing a mental game the last 2 miles of this run!  Luckily I had Chrissy to keep me company for most of it.  She was planning a 6 miler for today.  Naturally I pushed her to do 7 so we could run this really cool Greenway Loop in Davidson.  After those 7 miles, I dropped her back off at the cars (she totally rocked it!) and I continued with my 3.4 miles.  Before I knew it 2 more miles passed and I was almost done! The last mile was pretty difficult, but I finished strong!  As always, I ran with out any timing device.  But I rocked it, because I finished it!

I have been toying with how to fuel for long runs.  I have a finicky stomach when I run so I have to be very careful about what I eat, and typically I run on an empty stomach, even going as far as to limit how late I eat the night before.  As my mileage increases, I notice my need for calories and energy also increasing.  This morning I tried this:
Dicing up a Larabar in little chunks for quick bursts of energy.  This is a peanut butter and jelly bar (my favorite) and while I've decided peanut butter definitely doesn't work for fuel for a long run, I was hoping this would do the trick.

So I started the morning with a cup of Kukicha tea, one bite of the Larabar and a little water.  We tackled the first 7 miles; returning to the car- I began to chug my water before realizing that I still had 3.4 miles to run.  I also ate two more chunks of Larabar before setting off.  Unfortunately the Larabar did make me a little nauseous (or was it all of the water).  By the second mile I was fine, though. 

After the run I required immediate fuel so I whipped up my first ever Green Monster...or should I say Purple Monster!
In the food processor:
2 cups spinach
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 cup frozen grapes
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut water
(you could use all of one liquid, that was all I had)

Puree in food processor until smooth.  I'm sure it gets a lot smoother in a blender, but the food processor is all I have, and I was happy to use it!
Served with more Kukicha tea:
And the rest of my Larabar chunks:
The purple monster was delicious, I couldn't even detect the spinach in it!

My plan was to ward off my hunger with this snack, long enough to cook breakfast.  I was too lazy to get back off the couch, however, and ended up feeling doozy with hunger until lunch when I finally ate again! Whoops! Guess I still need a good lesson in fueling before, during and after my runs!

Any ideas? How do you fuel for your long runs?

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