Sunday, 18 December 2011

Trail Running--Part II, and a Classic Recipe for Chicken and Veg

Its been a good week for us, and I'm pretty proud that we got outside and worked out, very creatively, 3 times.  The first weeknight we decided to take over the playground near our house.  It has a fireman's pole, monkey bars and a rope wall.  I needed some Steve-assists, but managed to squeeze out some chin-ups on those monkey bars, then headed over to another set of bars to do some on my own (with my own assistance; I vow that in January I will be able to pull off a chin-up without assistance--this is a "near" goal).  We discovered that traversing that rope wall, across it's width, around the end pole and traversing some more across the other side, while positioning our hands at hip-height made for a HUGE arm workout.

On Thursday it rained, and rained, and rained.  Water sat on top of the fields with no where to go.  So this, Steve decided, was the BEST DAY EVER to do some training army-style.  Out in the cold and soaking wet field, in the dark (thank god...), we criss-crossed that field doing a series of belly crawls (flat on belly, on forearms and knees, keeping your pelvis glued to the ground), "caterpillars" (he can't remember what these were called, but basically on your belly, on toes and forearms, lift your weight in a half-push up and move forward about 6 inches at a time) and monkey walk (squatting, hands on ground, moving sideways--mega-hard thigh work!!)  We came home caked in mud from head to toe.  All I could think of when we were doing our belly-crawls was "there better not be any dog shit here..."  Hopefully not, it being a school yard and all...  Why do so many of my workouts involve mud?  Because mud is fun, damn it!  Get out there and get dirty!!

Then Saturday hit, and enter our Weekend WOD--Trail Running, Part II.  We re-ran last weekends' trail section, in the opposite direction (to take advantage of the different ups and downs)--only this time, we added sprints!  Yea, we did.  It was -7 out there, so we took off at a jog with no warm-up.  We jogged twice as much as last week, and added some great dashes (I love full-out sprints; you can just relax everything and let your stride take you along...)  Oh, and did I mention we did it with weighted backpacks again?  It felt like we were making incredible time, but in the end, shaved 4 minutes off our last timed run.  Pretty impressive, but it felt like we were moving so much faster than that.  Maybe we were having so much fun that it felt like it all went by in the blink of an eye.  Maybe we weren't walking as fast on our "recovery" stretches so it wasn't quite as fast as it felt like we were moving.  But wow, my legs were weak all day after that.  The terrain is crazy-rugged.  If I didn't know better, I'd say we were in the Oak Ridges Moraine, or the Niagara Escarpment, but we aren't either, so this conservation area is a fluke and a blessing for us. 

This time we learned a lesson--we brought along "recovery" smoothies--frozen banana, frozen strawberries, yogurt, full-fat coconut milk and a scoop protein powder for AFTER the workout.  We made the mistake of drinking these FIRST when we ran last week and it was just too heavy to run with those in your belly.  I always run better on an empty belly.  Once back at the house, we had heaping bowls of leftover chili from the night before, then I cooked up a batch of the Wellness Mama's Coconut Milk Eggnog and stirred it into our tea for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.  Mmmmm eggnog.....  It's so good, I'm adding it my coffee all this coming week, until it runs out, and may even have me a rum and eggnog Sunday afternoon as I wrap some Christmas gifts!

Alright, so onto food.  One day I will learn to take good food photos, but I do not yet have this talent.  Hey, I have other talents!  Just not this one...... 

There's something to be said for the simplicity of baked chicken with crispy skin and roasted winter veggies.  I think it is basic comfort food for just about any part of the world.  So this past week, this is how this one went...  The chicken started out with an idea from the Paleo Comfort Foods cookbook which I am currently cooking my way through.  The veggies, strangely, came from some free cheese magazine that came in the mail, that I adapted (rather heavily) to make it primally-acceptable.

Look at all the juicy fat drippings!
 Crispy Baked Chicken
  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • dash cayenne, salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 425.  Also heat skillet on stove top to med-high.  Mix all spices together and rub chicken skin all over with spice blend.  In a bit of fat (we used bacon grease), brown chicken on all sides until golden.  Move chicken to baking sheet and cook for about a half hour, or until juices run clearly when tested.  Easy as can be!  Eat with fingers!!!

Winter Vegetable Casserole
  • 3 cups cauliflower
  • 2 cups turnip or rutabaga
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1/2 onion
  • clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup strong cheese of choice (recipe called for gouda, but I used herbed havarti because it was cheaper)
  • 1/4 c ground almonds/almond meal
  • salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 425 F.  Chop all veggies to roughly same-size pieces.  In large pot on stove top, boil all veggies until tender (including onion and garlic if you're feeling lazy, or saute garlic and onion and add back in after boiling).  Drain and mash with butter and half of cheese.  Add to greased 8" casserole dish.  Mix almond meal with remaining cheese, add salt and pepper and sprinkle over veggies.  Bake with chicken for around 1/2 hour until golden and crispy on top.

So there it is.  Want a really neat new chili recipe?  Check out the newest one Juli cooks on PaleOMG.  It was the inspiration for ours this week--at least, the combo of spices was.  We omitted the chocolate chips, but put in the coco powder and cinnamon for a truly unique taste.  I always add a bit of pickled jalapenos and some juice from the jar for a bit of kick, and we only used ground beef, but it was awesome!  For a truly hearty chili, add grated or cubed squash.  We aren't particularly a squash kind of family, but it blends into chili just awesome.

No comments:

Post a Comment