clip on, right foot, clip off left foot

March 24, 2009 at 7:45 pm | Posted in food | Leave a comment
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clip on, clip off, breathe in through the nose, out the mouth.

this weekend, i took my bike out for it’s first sunshine spin of 2009. for my birthday (around christmas time), my boyfriend got me a set of clipless pedals + cleats. i’ve been practicing the getting in and out on my trainer all winter, but it doesn’t compare to doing it on the road. it was an extremely humbling experience. i fell off my bike twice, skinned a knee and wound up with a bruise on my hip. i forced myself to get right back on and keep trying because i knew if i gave up then, that would be it. jon was extremely patient with me. after a second day of practice on my own around the baseball diamond near my house (so if i fell, it would just be on soft grass), i’m feeling a lot more comfortable. clipless pedals make me feel so much more pro on the bike! i’m not just a girl with a bike, i’m like a for real cyclist. i have a few actual cycling jerseys too! logistics pending, i am also going to sign up for a bike race that is semi-off road (farm lanes, trails and gravel roads). i have a cyclocross bike, which is pretty ideal for this type of terrain (it’s road bike like, but designed for off roading. but not like mountain bike off roading), so i’m excited! (i’ll only be doing the 35 km ride, while the boy will do the 60 km one. i wish we could do it together but this is an important training race for him and there’s no way i can handle 60 km!)

in other weekend news, we did a major cook once, cook big. jon buys the cans of campbell’s soup. the last time we were at the grocery store because he was out, i saw that they’ve gone up to almost $2 a can, and they are really not at all tasty. he is on a tight grad student budget and he does love soup, so i volunteered to make him some delicious soup, all from scratch, to keep in the freezer. i fell back on my two old favorites, the minestrone and the chicken chowder. the stock came from 3 chickens that i skinned and butchered up myself! he helped me, and together we were the most organized team ever! everything was prepped and ready to go. we had three simultaneous pots on the stove AND we managed to keep the kitchen pretty clean the entire time.
this was the result

20 meals worth of yummy, healthy, low sodium soup for probably less than 50 cents each! i snagged the 3 small portions for lunch this week.

today was my first day of running speed work. i’m not gonna lie, i was a little anxious about it all day. 12 repeats of 400m at a pretty fast pace with 90 seconds in between. it went so well! i felt awesome the whole time (well. i didn’t FEEL awesome but i felt awesome about what i was doing and how fast i was going). i ended up being an average of 8 seconds faster than my plan said, but my 12 times were fairly consistent, and i think that is what is important. i hope this sets the tone for the rest of my interval work! i ran about 4.5 miles in 36 minutes of actual running time, which is insane for me – i’m more of a 9 – 10 minute/mile person. and i burned over 500 calories. woohoo. i know i’ll be in pain tomorrow though. yoga to the rescue! (after our bike ride this weekend, jon did yoga for cyclists with me. i think he really liked it! yay. maybe another convert)

i’ve got another crazy week at work. have a good one. don’t forget to breathe! very important.


the sequel

January 30, 2009 at 8:55 pm | Posted in food | 3 Comments
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hey remember that rotisserie chicken i bought earlier this week? well i managed to squeeze a bit more life out of it. 4-5 meals worth, to be exact. for once, the sequel was just as good, if not better, than the original!

in case you haven’t figured, i am mad about soups. it’s the perfect food in this chilly weather. i had about 2 cups of chicken stock left in the fridge and a little over half a pound of cut up chicken meat. lots of frozen veggies and plenty of milk. to me, this says 3 words: chicken corn chowder. my favorite recipe comes from an ancient cookbook: the st michael’s all colour cookery book, from mark’s and spencer circa 1976. the soup is rich (from the milk) and hearty (the potatoes) and absolutely delicious, not to mention pretty nice to look at (flecks of red from the bell pepper and yellow from the corn) plus it’s easy to make. win win, if you ask me. i usually make it pretty much according to the book, but yesterday, it wasn’t until i’d already started that i realized i was out of corn. then i didn’t feel like peeling a whole pound of white potatoes. problem solved. i used peas and one big sweet potato. it was just as tasty as always. i hope you will enjoy it as much as i have over the years.

Ingredients:

a bit of butter for frying

1 onion (i used a few cups of frozen “spaghetti” vegetable mix that includes carrots, celery, onion, and bell pepper), peeled and finely chopped

1 bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped (i usually use pepper strips that i have frozen, makes for quicker soup)

2 Tbsp flour

2 cups hot milk, 2 cups chicken stock (i used homemade, but any other good stuff is fine. low sodium please!)

250g of shredded chicken

1lb of potatoes, peeled and diced (i used a sweet potato and it was marvelous)

1 can sweet corn, drained (i always use frozen because i never buy canned corn. last night i substituted peas)

Salt, Pepper to taste

Instructions: Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and pepper and fry gently until soft. Sprinkle the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Take the pan off the heat and add the liquids gradually, stirring them in. Put back on the heat and bring to a boil, stirring. Season to taste and add the remaining ingredients (potato, chicken, corn). Lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Adjust seasoning and serve. Serves 4-6

Yum!

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Lots more exciting stuff to come, including some cultural explorations, some exercise talk and another snowshoe adventure.

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