My blog of six and a half years has primarily been about running - it's called "Running Chronicles" after all! While I try to keep it mostly about running, I've noticed that an adorable little almost-two-year-old has crept her way into the majority of my posts since April 2011.
She has singlehandedly managed to change (enhance?) my running career through no fault of her own. But it's happened. She's pretty much my main running partner now. I no longer seek out marathons and devote months of the year to training. My "long" runs are now in the 7-10 mile range, instead of the high teens and low twenties. And my recovery time is spent ensuring that her little needs are met in all respects. And that includes feeding her nutritious food. As a runner mom, it's so important not only for me to eat with health in mind, but also to feed my family in a similar respect.
I've seen some bloggers participating in a menu planning challenge - started this past fall by two inspiring mamas (jill and laura). I've been thinking about including our weekly menu for some time now, and figured I might as well join in the fun! I plan meals anyway, and it's a new year, so why not give it a try. I can't guarantee I'll stick with it, but there's no harm in trying. Plus, I kind of want a place to reference past meals and ideas. So here goes!
Before I map it out, I want to give some credit to my food mentors. In no particular order:
* Deborah Madison - she flat out rocks! She focuses on seasonal foods, local foods, and farmers markets. Her philosophy and methods are perfectly in line with ours. Her book, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, is basically our go-to. I highly recommend it.
* Tom Collichio - We've been to many of his NYC restaurants and like how he uses simple, high quality ingredients to make fantastic meals. His book, Think Like a Chef, has helped us understand various cooking techniques as well as how to turn relatively few ingredients into many meal ideas. I love the challenge of getting creative with food.
* Tamar Adler - Author of "An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace". Not only is this book an entertaining read, it also offers ideas for making simple, delicious meals out of whatever you have. I love the idea of using everything; not letting anything go to waste; fixing mistakes (burned, overcooked, etc); using what you've got. She teaches you how to feel confident in your kitchen. Another book I highly recommend.
There are more, but those are our main sources of inspiration. I'd say the majority of the time, we try to eat healthy, but sometimes we just throw caution to the wind and eat fun things - it's a good balance and seems to work for us.
So, here's our (dinner) Menu for the Week of Jan 6:
Sunday (Jan 6) : Braised carrots in homemade pork stock on a bed of quinoa (the quinoa cooked in a shitake mushroom stock)
Monday: Curried parsnips with yogurt and mango chutney (a Deborah Madison recipe) with coconut rice
Tuesday : Fish Tacos (the fish cooked en pappillote.. with tomato, cilantro, scallion .. served in corn tortillas with salsa)
Wednesday: Caramelized onions on toasted bread with mascarpone, side green salad.
Thursday: Roasted mushroom pizza
Friday: Pasta with leftover caramelized onions, blue cheese, & toasted walnuts
A few notes regarding this week's menu: We made pork stock out of rib bones leftover from a christmas dinner.. so we had to come up with something to do with it. Tonight's meal is completely off the cuff!
We usually make some kind of fish en papillote once a week because it's super easy and delicious - though it takes some practice to get it right. I'd recommend you tubing this technique.
Another go-to light dinner is some kind of roasted veggie (broccoli, peppers, brussels spouts, the sky is the limit) on thick, toasted bread topped with cheese (fresh ricotta, mascarpone, parmesan, etc).
Pizza is fastly becoming another favorite of ours (and the wee one likes it too!) Again, roast any vegetable, layer with sauce and fresh mozzarella, and grate some parmesan on top.
Ok, enough about food! Back to running..
It's COLD. Arctic, unpredictable wind, sub-freezing temps, and lack of sun. I run anyway. Sometimes the hardest part is layering up for such conditions. It takes like twenty minutes to get dressed! But it's ultimately worth it. One thing is clear, I need new running tights. And I could use a new (warm) jacket. Otherwise I tend to make do with what I have.
There is nothing on my racing horizon - just getting through the winter running season without freezing my buns off.