Tag Archives: tahini

Marriage and Porridge

Weddings are such a great time.  I’m running out of engaged friends… who’s next??? 🙂  It was a beautiful evening and everything was swell: happy couple, happy friends and family, fabulous celebration.  One of my favorite parts of weddings is witnessing how much my friends’ chosen partners love and appreciate them.  I know they deserve it, and I’m just so pleased to see that other people recognize it too.

I thought that I’d be super sore yesterday, given the combination of my long run and running around/dancing in heels for hours, but I’m actually experiencing close to zero aftereffect.  Last weekend it took a few days for my calves to feel normal, so I’m pleasantly surprised by the lack of tightness in my muscles.  I suppose it’s because my body is adapting.  Good job, body.  When I got back from my run I was rushing around to get ready for the wedding, but I did make time for this  recovery smoothie, based on the Banana Tahini Cardamom Maple smoothie I had in California.  It’s a variation using honey instead of maple syrup.  It was so good.

Here’s what I blended:

  • Half a banana
  • ~1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk (but any milk will work)
  • ~1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • ~1 tsp honey
  • ~2 tsp tahini (If you don’t have/like/are allergic to tahini, I’m sure peanut butter would be delish.  I’d probably then use cinnamon or nutmeg as the spice.  Though cardamom could still work, I’m sure!)
  • ~2 tbsp oats (They add texture and a subtle, earthier sweetness.)
  • ~1 cup ice

Sorry for all the ~, I wasn’t measuring.

Last night I had work, but today I am completely free!  I’m going to use the day to get some odds and ends done, go for a run, and then cheat on Growlers with Dogfish Head for dinner with my family (we have a coupon!).  I started the day with some pumpkin oats.  Pumpkin has been playing a big part over at KathEats (one of my role model blogs), given that she had 4 pounds of it to finish, and she has been tempting me to open a can of my own.  So here is this morning’s result:

I cooked up some oats, then stirred in pumpkin puree (equal to the volume of dry oats I started with), a little maple syrup, and some cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.  It’s topped with raisins, sunflower seed butter, and some of a pear ginger muffin my mom made yesterday.  If I’d had cranberries, I would have done those, and while I was finishing I decided the perfect topping would be some toasted pecans.  Next time.

Pumpkin!  Autumn!  October!  October is my favorite month.  I’m excited for the more seasonal weather we are supposed to get at the end of this week… bring on the cool and crisp 60’s!

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Recovery is Key

First things first: my vibrant breakfast from this morning.

That’s a smoothie on top of soaked oats, with a dollop of plain yogurt.  The smoothie was half a frozen banana + blueberries + strawberries + a splash of almond milk. Oh, and if you look closely you can see sneaky evidence of the sunflower seed butter and peanut butter that are sandwiched in between the oats and the smoothie.

Now we can move on…

Sunday I did my long run on trails with Julia.  We went to Seneca Creek State Park and ran on the Greenway together, then she ran a mile of the lake trail with me before turning back (she wasn’t planning to run the whole thing since  she has a bunch of school work to do), and I finished the lake trail.  The whole run was about 14 miles, and I was only starting to feel tired at the end, so that’s a good sign!

I even felt good at work that night, even though I closed.  I started feeling really hungry around 9:30, but I had some almonds & dried fruit in my bag, so that helped me through.  My energy was probably sustained by my post-run feast:

Smoked Salmon and Sauteed Spinach Omelette (SS&SS!)

Served with an enormous salad with sweet potatoes, green beans, tapenade, and more.

I really love sweet potato on salads.   I topped it all with my new favorite speedy salad “dressing”: tahini and plain yogurt mixed together, with a little salt and pepper.

I also tried an ice bath for the first time after my run.  I was motivated by my experience in the Sierras: we swam in an alpine lake after a long hike, and the next day was the first day since we began the trip where my legs felt completely fresh.  Though the bathtub is way less cool (in both senses of the word) than an alpine lake…but it definitely felt good on my legs, and I haven’t had any soreness, so it seems to have had a similar effect!   (Of course, mere hours later I read in Runner’s World that ice baths decrease the storage of glycogen in your muscles during recovery… so it sounds like you can’t really win).

I went for a 4-mile run this morning and felt pretty good, so I think I recovered well from that run.

What I would really love, though, is if the weather would recover from this rainy/humid/blech system.  Bring on Fall!

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The Banana’s New Clothes

I recently returned from an amazing trip to California to visit some of my closest friends, one of whom is lucky enough to work in King’s Canyon National Park.  It was my first experience backpacking (and seeing the West coast), and one I won’t soon forget.  One of those things you that can’t imagine, that is only accessible by experience.  Of course, I forgot my camera, so if you’re even going to try to imagine, you’re going to have to do it without visual assistance.

One of the unforgettable aspects of the trip appeared in the form of a smoothie.  This smoothie was consumed (twice) at the Black Sheep Espresso Bar in the town of Bishop.  It was a banana, tahini, maple, cardamom smoothie.  Revolutionary.  I’ve done banana+peanut butter, banana+almond butter, and banana+sunflower butter, but banana+tahini is a new concept.  The flavor of tahini is quite a bit sharper: a very tangy nuttiness (seediness, really) which, in this smoothie, was mellowed out by subtle touches of maple cardamom.  When I got home I had to experiment with that flavor combination, and I have a feeling it will feature in a few more creations to come.

We were in need of granola, and I wanted to send some to my California-dwelling friends, since granola is a relatively light and resilient food item to cart into the back country.  Also, both of them had also experienced this smoothie, so they will make excellent taste-testers!

The result was definitely a good start.  I think the ratio of flavor to things-that-need-flavoring was a little low, but that is a quick fix for future batches.

Banana-Tahini-Maple-Cardamom Granola

4 cups of oats

1 cup puffed cereal (I used kamut, you can use whatever you have, or just add another cup of oats!)

1/4 cup sesame seeds

1/2 cup banana chips, chopped (or crushed- it’s easier)

2 ripe bananas, mashed

3 tbsp tahini

2 tbsp maple syrup

1/4 tsp cardamom

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine banana with other wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, then slowly add to dry while stirring.  Mix until oat mixture is evenly coated.  Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until desired brownness is reached.  Since this recipe doesn’t contain much fat, you’ll probably have to bake it the whole 30 minutes to achieve crunchiness.  Let cool on the pan, and store in an airtight container.

Banana’s rocking a brand new style 🙂

 

 

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