Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ginger-Lemon Soother

     Finally!!! I woke up this morning feeling MUCH better that I have the last 5 days. Only got one fever in the middle of the night and although I have been up since 4am, I am feeling less achey and have been cleaning house this morning.  I found a cold-remedy recipe online yesterday, but couldn't find it again today. I knew it included ginger, lemon and some water. Seemed easy enough.  And wow, it really was.  I know there are quite a few of you with sore throats, give this a try!

Ginger-Lemon Soother

2 cups water
4 slices lemon
1 inch unpeeled ginger root, sliced
2 Tbsp honey

1) Bring to a boil
2) Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes 
3) Strain through a sieve into a mug
4) Stir in honey
5) Sip & soothe

Here are some other recipes I found that involve more work and deeper flavor, but I didn't have the time or patience for that today.   When I have more time, I will definitely try these out though!

Cold Remedy: Honey, Lemon & Ginger Syrup  from

Flu-Season Ginger Honey Lemon Tonic from

Thylehogichi - from (named for its THYme LEmon HOney GInger CHIli - cute!)

Picture from

Cheers to soothed throats,

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fideo & Chicken Soup with Queso Fresco

Just my luck. It is my last week of summer vacation and I am sick.  I have been feeling really lousy all week and Wednesday, I woke up feeling a teeny bit better. So I decided to go for a ride with my new clip-in shoes. Bad idea.  I got home, felt even more lousy and have had a fever that is coming and going ever since.

Soup to the rescue!!  

Have I mentioned I love soup? Yes, it might be a small addiction. Maybe I should change the blog to "The S's of Life: Soup and Sweat." hehehe. Okay, maybe a bit extreme.

Anywho - after feeling so icky, I decided to make a soup that I happened to buy ingredients for this past weekend.  I found this recipe in the August chapter of my Williams-Sonoma Soup of the Day cookbook.  It looked delicious and pretty simple.

Here's what you will need for this tasty soup:

Fideo & Chicken Soup with Queso Fresco 
(serves 6 - unless you are like me and eat it all yourself)

2 small skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
3 Tbsp olive soul
Salt & fresh ground pepper
1 white onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 chipotle chili in adobo, minced (use the whole chili if you like the extra kick)
6 cups chicken broth (I used 4 cups broth, 2 cups water)
1/2 fideo noodles or vermicilli/angel hair pasta broken into 2-inch pieces
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
3 oz queso fresco, crumbled

Let's get cooking...
I love that most of the ingredients are pantry staples. 
Chicken breasts were roasting for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
 I omitted the cilantro because, well... I didn't have any. 
And as lousy as I felt, I didn't want to go to the store.

 Chop & mince while the oil is heating in big ol' soup pot.
 Saute onion & garlic for 5 minutes, until translucent.
 Add in oregano, tomato paste & adobo chili to onion and garlic mixture.  
Let's take a moment: How cool is this tube of tomato paste?  No more wasting a whole can!
Hmmm..what am I going to do with all these chilis? I guess another recipe soon.
  Add the broth and bring to a boil (I chose broth & water to lower the sodium)
I love watching soup simmer! 
Add noodles & cooked chicken to broth mixture and let boil until noodles are done. My angel hair only took 4 minutes, but the recipe says 8 for fideo noodles. 
Stir a few times while the noodles cook, then salt & pepper to taste!

Since my mumbo jumbo directions probably are scattered, here's the exact recipe:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and put chicken breasts on baking sheet. Brush with 1 Tbsp olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast chicken in the oven until it is cooked through, about 20 minutes.   When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred and set aside. 

2. In a large pot, warm 2 Tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, tomato paste and chipotle and stir well to combine. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the noodles and cook til soft. Add the shredded chicken and cilantro and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

3. Serve, top with avocado and crumbled queso fresco. 

 I think Williams-Sonoma would be very proud of how my soup compares to theirs.
 Muy delicioso!


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Summer Spaghetti

Fresh ingredients. Vegetarian & Light. Summer spaghetti. Yum!

This is how it all began:
About a month ago, my students and I harvested these beautiful tomatoes from our school garden. (No, these tomatoes aren't a month old... it just took me this long to finally post about it)

A variety of tomatoes...Basil, peas and carrots too!  

We harvested so many that I think each child took home at least 15 tomatoes and I ended up with the extras. I was happy to take them home and see what I could come up with.

Think, think, think. Basil in my garden.  Fresh picked tomatoes. Pasta in pantry. Easy peasy, a summer spaghetti was on its way.  

I still wanted to add something to it... so I searched my fridge. I found a container of unopened non-fat cottage cheese. I bought it thinking that I might convince myself to try it finally, but I hadn't touched it. I decided to turn it into a "ricotta" for my spaghetti.

Here's how to make this easy, vegetarian meal!

Summer Spaghetti 
(serves 2)
1/2 box of your favorite spaghetti noodle, I used brown rice spaghetti
10 grape tomatoes
1 clove garlic, minced
3-4 leaves of fresh basil
Extra virgin olive oil

4 oz. non-fat cottage cheese
1 tsp oregano
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Salt & Pepper

First things first, get your pasta going. Next, take the cottage cheese and oregano and blend together. Add in juice from lemon until you've reached desired consistency. Season with salt & pepper and set "ricotta" aside.

Once the pasta is cooking and cheese is ready, slice your tomatoes lengthwise. Heat 2 Tbsp evoo in a pan and toss in garlic. Saute on low for 1 minute. Toss in sliced tomatoes and saute until tomatoes begin to soften.  Roll basil leaves into a cigar like shape and slice basil into thin strips, set aside.

When tomatoes are softened to desired consistency (I like mine on the crunchier side), add pasta to pan with tomatoes & garlic. Saute all together for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in basil.  Serve in bowls and top with a dollop of cheese mixture!   Enjoy!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Weekly Sweat Stats 8/6-8/19

     The past two weeks were filled with travel, relaxation, humidity and a lot of sweating.  I went on vacation for 8 days to Playa del Carmen with a good friend. It was much needed to relax my muscles and cross-train eat and drink. Training was all over the place, but I did what I could wanted to while on vacation.  We were constantly sweating from the heat and walked everywhere, so even if we were indulging a bit - it was sweating right back out. Or at least that's what I'd like to think.

One day, we ventured out on an excursion. Just a few more ways I kept active and moving...

 Repelled into a cenote...

 Ziplined through the Mayan Riviera jungle....
Snorkeled through a cave...
Both Jeff & I were signed up for the AFC Half Marathon, so we squeezed in a few shorter runs on days it wasn't too hot.  If you don't know about Mexico weather, it can be pretty warm!!! It was mid 80s-90s with 90% humidity.  We were already pretty well trained but wanted to keep our legs loose and moving.

    AFC turned out to be a mess for most people. It was 78 degrees at the start at 7am, and continued to get warmer and warmer.  I felt really good up til mile 7, where I choked on some water at an aide station and proceeded to throw up.  Luckily/unluckily it was all fluid and no food, so I had energy still but no liquids. Slowly, I sipped on water through the next few miles as I jogged along heavily. My friend Heather found me on the course and ran beside me, motivating me til the finish. I ran a personal worst, 23 minutes slower than my best time. Yikes.  But truly, this race was meant to just keep me moving throughout the summer. And whether it was after a long day at work or during humidity on vacation, I kept moving.

Weekly Sweat Stats 8/6-8/12

Monday: 50 minute (5 miles) on elliptical, core and strength training
Tuesday: 1300 m swim, track workout 5 x 800m repeats with a short warm up lap and cool down laps in between (equaling about 3.8 miles)
Wednesday: 21 mile ride, 2 mile run
Thursday: travel day, super sweaty dance off
Friday: nada
Saturday: 5.5 mile run
Sunday: 1000 m swim

Weekly Sweat Stats 8/13-8/19

Monday: excursion day!
Tuesday:  3 mile run, 50 minute on spin bike
Wednesday: 50 minutes on spin bike
Thursday: travel day
Friday: 3 miler
Saturday: rest & stretch
Sunday: AFC half marathon, 13.1 miles

We survived a hot race day!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Best Fruit Salad You've Ever Had

3 ingredients. Plums. Nectarines. Mint.  Done.

Poor little fruits, waiting to be munched.
I'm sure it would be tasty with a glass of that Moscato too...
Juicy, red plums!!! How did I miss out on these as a child?

Stone Fruit Salad
(serves 1-2 people)
2 sliced red plums
2 sliced white nectarines
Fresh mint leaves (I used 2 sprigs)

Toss together and let sit for a few minutes, allowing the mint leaves to soften and melt their flavors into your fruit.  Then voila! You are on your way to enjoying a surprisingly, amazing fruit salad.

So I will admit, I am not sure if these are red or black plums. I have been buying ripe plums whenever I can find them at the farmer's market or at Sprouts. I was enjoying ones with red flesh inside and the next week, suddenly the same plums were yellow inside. I asked the guys at the market and at the store, some said they didn't know why they varied and one guy told me the organic red plums were red inside, while non-organic was yellow. I thought black plums were red inside so then I was reeeeeally confused.   If anyone knows the answer to the plum mystery, any help is appreciated! But either way, find some juicy plums - I just like the color these add. 

I guess you could add in strawberries, peaches or other stone fruit.

        Now go to the market, buy some plums and nectarines and indulge in summer's sweets.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Portabello and Spinach Pasta

       Last week I was out of town on vacation, so my blog took a little vacation too.  When I returned and was reconnecting with my computer, I saw this on & Pinterest. Spinach, meaty mushrooms and pasta?? Sold!

Farfalle with Mushrooms and Spinach
6  ounces farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
1  tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion chopped or sliced, depending on your preference
1  cup sliced portobello or other fresh mushrooms
2  cloves garlic, minced
4  cups thinly sliced fresh spinach
1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves pulled off
1/8  teaspoon pepper
2  tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

It was perfect for a Friday night, carb-heavy, easy meal.  I needed carbs for my 13 mile run the next morning! 
 I added grilled steak into the Friday night meal, but forgot the thyme. It was still tasty but needed a little more flavor... so Saturday I made the same meal with the thyme, a few cut up patty-pan squash and kept it vegetarian. The thyme seemed to be the missing ingredient on Friday. 
Turned out super delish!
   Patty-pan squash... tender and so flavorful!

 Olympics, porch dinner and a warm summer night...Doesn't get much better than this.

P.S. The photo on the left is from and mine is on the right... pretty close, eh??


Weekly Sweat Stats 7/23-7/29 and 7/30-8/5

    Well.... I haven't updated in a while because I was on vacation! And a relaxing, family-filled time it was.   So now I am back, for a few days that is. I leave this week for another vacation to Playa del Carmen. It is going to be amazing. But until then I need to get updated on this little blog here.

    Having the London Olympics on is extremely motivating. While I am training, I like to imagine that I run and swim as beautifully as those athletes. Two weeks until AFC Half Marathon and four and a half weeks until San Diego Triathlon Classic! I am not worried about the half marathon, but more worried about my first tri.   Eeeeeeeeeeek!

                                        How did you put up a fight in life this week?

Weekly Sweat Stats 7/23-7/29

Monday: 800 m swim
Tuesday:  5 mile run
Wednesday: 12 mile ride
Thursday: 4 mile run (pain in heel this day, so walked 2 miles after)
Friday: 50 minute elliptical & strength training
Saturday: 11 mile long run
Sunday:  stretch & core (off to vacation!!)

Weekly Sweat Stats 7/30-8/4
*was on vacation in Las Vegas with family this week, so workouts are all over the place*

Monday: 50 minutes on spin bike & 600 m swim
Tuesday: treadmill workout - 1/2 mile warm up, 6 x 800m sprints, 1/2 mile cool down
Wednesday: day off
Thursday: 3 miles treadmill, 3 miles elliptical,
Friday: drive home from Vegas
Saturday: 13.5 mile run
Sunday: 15 mile "small hill" ride & 500 m swim

And there you have it.  Compared to my friends' Ironman training schedules, this looks sort of wimpy. But my body is feeling better, with the cross-training, than it was with just running. I am only home a few days this week, so squeezing in some double workouts.  Off for a swim!