Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale with Vegan Parmesan Cheeze

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale with Vegan Parmesan Cheeze

Last week I made a trip to my local farm stand and picked up locally-grown butternut squash and kale (I’m all about the local fruits/veggies, even if it is a little more expensive – you’ve gotta support your local farmers!). Besides apples, they were the only locally grown items I could find, and so I decided to combine them together into the perfect late fall/winter dish. I’m still on the whole “Thanksgiving detox” train where I want whole, fresh foods with lots of flavor without being rich or heavy. I decided to venture into relatively unknown territory, and make some vegan cheeze to sprinkle on top. I love trying new things, stepping outside of familiar territory and the further along I go on this blogging adventure, the deeper and deeper I go down the Vegan Rabbit Hole. Because some of my favorite people in the universe have allergies to some nuts, I made my vegan cheeze with almonds, hazelnuts and nutritional yeast as the main components (however, only after my dad mercilessly made fun of the fact that I was about to ingest something called “nutritional yeast”- lots of inapprop jokes followed which, I will do you a favor, and not re-post here). This dish was surprisingly easy, and I was (not gonna lie, I was prepared for the worst) pleasantly surprised as to how “cheesy” my vegan parm tasted! It was SO delicious, and it really elevated the flavor of the roasted veggies to something exceptional and very tasty.

This recipe has all of your fave qualities that you typically find on B&B: fast, easy, nutrient dense and SUPER flavorful. There really isn’t much to it (cooking skill-wise – I’m giving a hard look at you B, and all my readers who are a little cooking-challenged – you can DEF handle this one). 😉 I will definitely be making this dish again for my family for the holidays, and will wait until after my dad has eaten an entire serving before I kindly inform him that he just ate nutritional yeast. 😉 It would be a great additional to your holiday table – healthy, hearty and sure to be a crowd-pleaser because of the AMAZINGGG flavor. If you’re not down with the yeast, I would still make the topping sans yeast because the nuttiness is an excellent addition to the roasted veggies.

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Ingredients: Kale, butternut squash, shallot, hazelnuts, almonds and nutritional yeast.

 Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale with Vegan Parmesan Cheeze

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1″ pieces
  • 1 bunch of kale, washed, patted dry and roughly chopped
  • 1 medium-sized shallot, diced
  • 1/4 cup raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup hazelnuts
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

Directions:

Step One: Prep your veggies. Peel and chop the butternut squash into 1″ chunks (Hint: make sure your knife is sharp enough, without a sharp edge, it will make prepping this squash a doozy). Dice the shallot. Make sure you give that kale a good rinse and either pat dry or put it into a salad spinner after roughly chopping.
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I tend to cut my squash off at the neck and peel the two pieces separately – that way, you have a flat surface to stand your squash on as you peel. (And you are less likely to chop one of your phalanges off – we all need those). 😉

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I roughly chop mine into “fork-able” pieces, so the texture of the kale is still there, even after baking.

Step Two: Transfer your butternut squash and shallot into a shallow baking dish. Toss with a little bit of extra olive oil, just enough to lightly coat the pieces. Stick in the oven and roast at 400°F for 40 – 45 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender.
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Here’s the squash before baking. Make sure you toss the butternut squash and diced shallot well in the olive oil; that way, they won’t stick to the pan and make your life/clean-up a disaster. 😉

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The squash after baking. These pieces were pretty done, so definitely check your squash after about 40 minutes of baking time. Give it a stir at least once during the baking time so that you are cooking all pieces evenly.

Step Three: Meanwhile, while your squash is roasting away and filling your kitchen will all sorts of delicious smells, make your cheeze. In a food processor (or even in a mini food processor, or personal size blender), combine the nuts, yeast, olive oil and salt. Blend until the cheeze becomes mixed and pretty well chopped but still retains some of the nutty texture.
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Cheeze ingredients in the blender. You can use other nuts if you’d like in place of the almonds/hazelnuts, like cashews or pecans, or if you’re totally nut-free you can substitute seeds like pumpkin seeds and sesame. Yum! All combos will be pretty bomb. 😀

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Cheeze after blending. As you can (hopefully) see here, there is still some of the nutty texture retained – it adds a nice crunch to the dish.

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Another close up of the cheeze – it makes a bunch, like two to three handfuls (sorry my measurements are not always cup and tablespoon related, but hey that’s just how I roll). 😉

Step Four: Once your squash is done roasting, add the kale directly into the baking dish. Toss with the butternut squash to combine, and allow the kale to slightly wilt. Then, pour the cheeze mixture over the entire pan of veggies and toss to combine, until the cheeze is well distributed.
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The kale and butternut after baking, with the cheeze sprinkled on top. Make sure you give the veggies and cheeze a good toss to evenly distribute the cheeze. YUM!

Step Five: Turn the oven down to 350°F and place the butternut/kale mixture back into the oven for an additional 6 or so minutes. Be careful not to burn your “cheeze” (you wouldn’t want to bake it for more than 8 minutes).
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The kale and butternut after the second bake cycle, ready to be chomped!

Step Six: Enjoy!! 😀
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And voila! Butternut-y, kale-y cheeziness! YUMMMMM!!!

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I ate two plates worth, it was THAT good.

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Noms 😛

This dish is stellar. Even your omnivore friends will be down with this buttenut/kale/cheeze combo – it’s delicious. It’s a great side dish, or if you want this to be a major player, put over your fave grain like quinoa/farro/rice/pearl couscous/whatever and throw some L’s Best Baked Tofu Ever on the side. I ate mine with some leftover Spanish Style Lentils a la L that I made earlier this week – it was a fantastic, super healthy dinner (which I give at least partial responsibility to my supreme ass-kicking in 5:45 am bootcamp this morning – BOOYAH!). As for the “is the juice worth the squeeze?” rating, I would give it an 8 out of 10 for labor input to flavor output (if you use pre-chopped butternut squash, it would skyrocket to at least a 9, and if you’re wondering – only smoothies are ever a 10 out of 10 because there is no chopping involved). 😉 😉

Also (one last thought before I send this off to the interwebs) – why nutritional yeast? Well, nutritional yeast is a great vegan source of vitamin B12 (if it’s fortified). I use Bob’s Red Mill brand nutritional yeast which provides 133% of your daily value of B12 (it’s fortified with B vitamins). B12 is super important: it plays a key role in the functioning of the brain and nervous system and the formation of red blood cells (for all of us active, vegandos out there – we need it!). I actually just got a vegan multivitamin with a whoooole bunch of B12 in there for that reason (I went a little cray on Amazon Black Friday sale and bought like $50 worth of natural foods and vitamins. Don’t believe me? See my haul below). Another important guy for us veg folks is Vitamin D (I got some of that, too). Last year when I was tested in January during my annual physical, my vitamin D level was 7. Yup, that would be in the category of extremely deficient (which was alarming, and I had to take those super prescription-level of 50,000 IU of vitamin D for two weeks to bring my levels back to normal). Remember, I’m a fair redhead (which means I don’t leave the house without SPF 30) and I live in the Northeast. Everyone is different, but just wanted to put a little personal PSA from L out there for you all to ponder. Just sayin’. (Also, the Vitamin D Council offers a $50 in home testing kit – I found this from all my Googling to find the best vegan Vitamin D supplements, just in case your insurance really sucks or you don’t feel like seeing your doctor, or you’re fiercely independent and stubborn and science-y like me and just want to do it your DAMN self).

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L’s Amazon haul: Vegan vitamins, farro, nutritional yeast, a 4 pack of Museli, cocoa nibs (literally chased the UPS man up the hill on my street yesterday evening bc I was so excited about this package, oh and the butternut squash was already roasting – I needed that nutritional yeast!). PS: I ❤ Bob’s Red Mill with all my heart ❤ ❤ ❤

I hope you all have a fantastic day today!!! Enjoy this butternut/kale recipe – it f***ing RULES.

With warmth,

L ❤

Roasted Butternut Squash, Cranberry and Power Greens Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

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Roasted Butternut Squash, Cranberry & Power Greens Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Whew! That’s a mouthful right there.

If you ever peruse my Instagram photos, you would know that I got a pretty legit haul from the farm stand last week: local butternut squash and Cape Cod cranberries included. This weekend, I wanted to throw together a “one pot” meal that I could eat for lunches during this short week instead of my usual salad. I combined a few of my favorite things: roasted butternut squash and red onion, fresh cranberries, power greens (baby spinach, baby kale and swiss chard) and a really vibrant dressing to pull it all together with fresh orange juice and zest. The orange vinaigrette dressing in and of itself is really delicious, and it elevates the dish past a thrown together (fridge clean out-esque) veggie salad with quinoa. To add some crunch and extra protein, I added hemp seeds and chopped pecans. I bet almonds or hazelnuts would also be amazing here, as well. If you’re looking for an addition to your Thanksgiving meal, this would be a pretty solid contender. It’s delicious, packed with flavor, eye appeal (lots of colorful veggies!) and with just enough of a twist to keep it interesting, but still accessible enough to please a wide variety of palates. You’ve got a serious crowd pleaser right here. And furthermore, it’s loaded with antioxidants and vitamins (so you can feed the ones you love the things that will make their bodies happy).

Roasted Butternut Squash, Cranberry and Power Greens Quinoa Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh cranberries
  • 5 oz container of power greens (baby spinach, baby kale and swiss chard)
  • 1 cup of quinoa
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Dressing:

  • 1 large navel orange
  • zest of 1/2 the orange
  • 2 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Step One: Roast the squash. Place the butternut squash and chopped onion into a shallow baking dish (large enough so the squash cubes are in one layer), toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400°F for 30 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Stir at least once halfway through.
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The roasted squash should be tender enough to stick a fork in one of the pieces but not mushy.

Step Two: Meanwhile, prepare the quinoa. Boil 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Once the water is boiling, add the quinoa, cover and turn the pot down to low. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, then add the cranberries to the saucepan, stirring to incorporate. Cover the pot and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Once the quinoa is cooked, remove from the heat, keeping it covered.
Step Three: Make the dressing. Combine the orange zest, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl (or in the blender). Whisk (or blend) until smooth. While whisking, add the olive oil slowly to create an emulsion. Transfer to a container for storage.
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Use a hand grater to zest half of the orange. You can zest the whole thing and place the other half of the orange zest into a plastic baggie and stick it in the to use at a later time for other recipes.

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I had white wine vinegar and used that, but (regular) balsamic vinegar would be great here too. I always have jars of chopped and minced garlic on hand in my fridge, so I just added 1 tsp of chopped garlic (the equivalent of one minced clove of garlic).

Step Four: Roughly chop the power greens and place into a large bowl. Add the warm quinoa mixture on top of the greens and toss together to allow the greens to wilt. Once the squash is done roasting, add the squash and onion to the salad and toss to mix. Add the hemp seeds and pecans, and dress the salad to taste with the orange vinaigrette dressing. I used about half of the dressing, and stored the other half in the refrigerator for use on other green salads.
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It’s important to keep the quinoa covered and warm so that it wilts the greens in the salad.

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Here is what mine looked like after all the ingredients were added. 🙂 YUM!

Step Five: Enjoy!! 😀 Serve topped with extra chopped pecans and/or hemp seeds, or over a bed of greens, if desired.
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I served my salad over a bed of greens and topped with extra pecans. Delicious!

The blend of sweet, savory and tart proves to be a winning combination in this salad. The sweetness of the butternut squash is offset by the tart cranberries and the zesty orange dressing. The greens add a nice balance to the flavors, and the nuts/hemp seeds provide a great crunch to the texture of the salad. Overall, it is an amazing one pot meal that your family (and you!) will love. I am pretty stoked to have this for lunch today, not gonna lie. 🙂 Soooo many delicious and nutritious things packed into this one dish – it’s a win all around.

Hope all of you are having a calm, stress-free day today as we near Thanksgiving.

With Warmth,

L

PS: Go Bills! We won! I Billeve!! Perfect gift for my dad’s birthday, thank you Bills! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Balls-to-the-Wall* Curried Butternut Squash Soup

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Curried Butternut Squash Soup, garnished with freshly ground black pepper and a lime slice.

*Balls to the Wall: Meaning: intense, extreme, to the max. Although the origin of this expression is relatively benign, most people assume it is a reference to testicles (I mean, that’s fine too, if you’re into that). It’s actually from fighter planes: when accelerating quickly, the throttle is pushed all the way to the panel and the throttle lever (ball) actually touches the panel (wall). Hence, balls to the wall. 😉

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Butternut squash (local from MA!), ginger root and potato are key players in this amazing creation.

Last night I made a butternut squash soup that was out of this world. The creamy texture of the butternut squash makes this soup silky smooth and feel really decadent, even though a 1-1/4 cup serving has only 182 calories (say WHAT!!!). Also this soup is vegan, gluten-free AND paleo (win all around). Pureed soups always seem a little intense to me (my general feeling is “Ain’t nobody got time for that”), but this one was really not that labor-intensive. It consists of shoving a butternut squash and baking potato into the oven, walking away for ~75 minutes, sauteeing some onion and spices and putting it into a blender, removing the stuff from the oven, and pureeing the sh*t out of it. The most difficult part is waiting for it to be ready. And, not eating all of the butternut squash before you can puree it, because gotDAMN it is good! 😀 Without further ado…

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Ingredients, plus a butternut squash and a potato. I’m looking at you devil onion, for making me cry more than any of my ex-bfs.

Balls-to-the-Wall Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 – 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped*
  • 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced (~ 1 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 heaping Tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 medium-ish butternut squash, quartered
  • 3 cups veggie stock
  • 1 baking potato
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 (13.5 oz) can of light coconut milk
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Optional: lime wedges and cilantro for garnish

*I used a red onion and balled my eyes out, feel free to use whatever you have on hand if you don’t want mascara running down your face into your soup. It was intense, man!

Directions:

Step One: Prep your squash. You can cut it into two and just roast the halves if you’d like, I simply quartered it because it was easier, and as I’ve mentioned before, I like to avoid chopping off any phalanges. I poked a fork into it a few times because it was making weird noises in the oven, but I don’t think that’s really necessary. You definitely need to poke your baking potato with a fork on both sides, or that little guy will explode and make a mess of your oven. Ain’t nobody got time to clean up after that.
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Quartered butternut squash ready to go into the oven. Roast at 425F for 90 minutes.

Step Two: Bake squash and potato at 425°F for 90 minutes (Yeah, that seems like a really long time, but you want to be able to easily scoop out your squash and potato to puree it. I started the next step about 75 minutes into roasting time. It’s kind of nice to have a solid 75 minutes to do something you enjoy, like RELAX!).
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Butternut squash after roasting. You should be able to (VERY) easily insert a knife into the squash.

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I used a fork to hold my squash in place while I scraped out the roasted flesh. If you try to hold it with your fingers, like I did, I promise that you WILL burn them.

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Like your squash, your baking potato should be soft enough to easily remove from the potato skin after roasting.

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This picture is here to illustrate why you should 100% line your pan with aluminum foil – you can roll up the zombified remains of your squash husk into a foil swan and toss when you’re done! Ta-da! Easy clean-up.

Step Three: Sauté onion, garlic, ginger and curry paste in a large saucepan (There are other things I’d like to do with my time than wash dishes, so I sauteed the above ingredients directly in the pan I was going to use later to re-heat my soup after pureeing. If you want to achieve orange-y creamy butternut-y perfection, use a small skillet, otherwise you may get little flakes of whatever’s left in the saucepan in your soup. Eh, there are worse things in life, amiright?!). Cook the ingredients about 8 minutes, or until the onion is softened, stirring occasionally. When it’s all cooked up, transfer to a blender.
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Sauteed onion, ginger, garlic and curry paste ready for blending.

Step Four: Blend. Once your squash is soft enough to scoop out of its rind, scoop about half of the squash and place into the blender (And/or say a prayer: it was my first time using a Vita-Mix unsupervised!). Add about half of the veggie stock, and blend until smooth. Pour back into the saucepan if it needs to be re-heated, or directly into a large bowl. Repeat for the remaining squash and the potato (removing the potato from the skin, of course).
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Don’t forget to add about half the veggie broth for puree-ing!

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This Vita-Mix is a magical creature, like a kitchen unicorn. It is amazinggggggg!

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Blend until smooth and there are no weird chunks hiding in your soup. Make sure you allow the steam to escape while blending by removing the center piece of the lid. You can place a clean towel over the opening in the blender lid to avoid decorating your kitchen butternut-orange.

Step Five: Combine. Once all of your butternut squash, onion mixture and potato are pureed into velvety goodness, add the coconut milk and lime juice and stir. Reheat on low, if necessary.
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Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Step Six: Enjoy! Sprinkle with extra black pepper (it makes the flavors really pop). You can garnish with a lime wedge, and cilantro, if desired.
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So delicious. I ate two bowls.

Choose-Your-Adventure Alternative Ending: You can make this soup using all of the same ingredients in a crock-pot (ahem, I’m sorry, “electric slow cooker”). Skip straight to Step Three, then transfer the onion mixture into a 6-quart crock-pot. Add the squash (~8 cups chopped and peeled), potato, and veggie stock. Cover and cook on low for 6 -8 hours (or until squash is tender). Then continue at Step Four. It’s always good to have options. 😉

This is a really fantastic soup. It tastes really impressive, because the flavor profile is pretty bangin’, but it is not that difficult to make. Totally worth it – I am definitely a convert to the pureed soup arena. I hope you like it as much as I did! And the best part: no balls were harmed during the making of this soup. I’m actually pretty stoked to have a bowl after my run tonight, now that it gets dark so early, it will be an extra special warm treat when I come inside!

Enjoy, enjoy! And happy HUMP DAAAAAAAAY!

Full throttle,

L

Crock-Pot Sunday: Vegan Pumpkin Chili

Fall in New England means football season. I’m not originally from Boston, but from Western New York (Or Upstate New York, depending on who you ask). The football game I’m interested in is not usually on local TV, so I have to take my bum to a bar in Boston that plays the game every Sunday. I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and I found that time and time again I turn to my crock-pot to whip up a delicious creation while I’m cheering on my team elsewhere. When I come home from watching the game feeling a little “jolly” shall we say, I walk through the door and dinner is already done! The greatest thing about a crock-pot is that it does all the work while you are in absentia. You throw your ingredients in, walk away for several hours and voila! Dinner is ready by the time you come back. I look forward to sharing my favorite crock-pot recipes throughout the fall and winter with you every Sunday as I make them. We can “crock it up” together! 🙂

This pumpkin chili is one of my all-time favorite fall dishes to make! It is savory and delicious, and warms you to the bones. The version below that I made on Friday is SUPER easy. It can be made in the crock-pot OR on the stove, depending on how soon you’d like to eat it.

Vegan Chili Ingredients (minus the Chipotle chili powder and carrots, which I did not end up including)

Vegan Pumpkin Chili Ingredients (minus the Chipotle chili powder, paprika and carrots, which I did not end up including)

Vegan Pumpkin Chili

Ingredients

1 red onion

1 bell pepper, or several mini bell peppers

1 drizzle of olive oil

2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 jalapeño, minced

1 28-oz can of diced tomatoes

2 15-oz cans of pumpkin*

2 cups of vegetable broth

2 15-oz cans of beans**

1 20-oz package of pre-cut butternut squash

1 Tbsp chili powder

2 Tbsp Cajun/creole seasoning***

1 tsp ground cumin

Cinnamon, allspice, cloves to taste****

Lime wedges for garnish

*You can buy cans of pumpkin puree, or cut up a fresh pumpkin into chunks, steam it until tender and puree until you have 1 ½ cups. Make sure you do not get pumpkin pie filling – MAJ bad news bears!

**Whatever beans you prefer in chili are perfectly fine, but if you’d like a suggestion, half black beans and half red kidney beans make a pretty rad combo. You can substitute 3 cups of cooked beans here as well.

***Make sure there is NO salt added into these spice blends. I’ve made this mistake before and it’s a doozy!

****I’m the worst/was pressed for time and I did not measure these out. I gave a few good shakes of cinnamon and allspice, and a smaller shake of cloves. I’d say ½ – ¾ tsp of cinnamon and allspice, and ¼ tsp of cloves. You can’t really go wrong here, unless you dump the contents of the entire spice jar into the chili. You can always start on the conservative end, allow the flavors to meld for an hour or two and add more.

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I was running low on spices so I used 1 Tbsp Chili Powder, 1 Tbsp Cajun Creole Seasoning and 1 Tbsp Cajun Seasoning. Neither of those brands of Cajun/Creole seasonings have added salt, and all three were great together!

Directions

1. Chop the onion and bell pepper into pieces as big as a bean. Heat the oil and add the onions, pepper and garlic to a large skillet. Sauté them until they begin to brown, about five minutes. Transfer to the crock-pot when they are done.

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Brown up the onion, garlic and pepper. (This image is dedicated to my friend B, who may or may not be a little cooking challenged. I love you B!)

2. Rinse the beans well in colander (bonus: this removes ~40% of the added sodium!), and add them to the crock-pot. Dump the entire contents of the cans of pumpkin and diced tomatoes into the crock-pot.

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Stir it up; little darlin’ stir it up. (Singing Bob Marley while you incorporate all the ingredients is highly recommended).

3. Chop the pre-cut butternut squash into smaller, bite-sized pieces. Dice the jalapeño and add both to the crock-pot. (Wash your hands immediately after handling the jalapeño – trust me on this one).

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Chopping the butternut squash into smaller, bite sized pieces allows them to cook faster.

4. Once all of the vegetables are added to the crock-pot, add the veggie broth. Your crock-pot may be getting pretty full, so if you can’t add all of the two cups, don’t sweat it.

5. Add the spices, and stir so everything is mixed. Let those flavors meld and mingle.

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Meldin’ and minglin’

6. Now you have some choices:

  • You can cook on low for ~4 hours in the crock-pot
  • You can cook on high for ~2 hours in the crock-pot
  • You can simmer on the stove top for at least an hour, stirring occasionally

7. When the chili is done simmering, turn off the heat. Dish it up in your fave bowl, squeeze a lime wedge on top and stir. Enjoy!

Makes 4 – 6 servings, depending on how much your peeps like the chili. 😛

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I wish this blog had smell-o-vision, because DAMN is it good!

I bought pre-cut butternut squash to save myself time and the painful process of trying to peel and chop the squash in a short amount of time without chopping my finger off by accident. Whatever you’d like or have to use is fine of course! This recipe is especially great because it’s so versatile: it’s like a “choose your own adventure”! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Go Bills!

-L.

Long Run Prep – 8.6 miles with J on the Charles River

My first half marathon is right around the corner. Lucky for me, I have some amazing friends/running buddies. Tonight I’m running 8.6 miles with my friend J. Once upon a time, we were lab partners in Thermodynamics Lab, now we run along the Charles and talk about life – upgrade! It makes the runs go by that much faster when you have someone to chat with and appreciate the scenery with as you are running along.

Having views like this on my run make me fall in love with Boston all over again <3

Having views like this on my run make me fall in love with Boston all over again ❤

To start my day off on the right foot, I made my overnight oats for breakfast (See recipe here). Today I topped them off with hemp hearts, cinnamon, strawberries, banana, blueberries and almond butter. I felt that extra boost of potassium from the banana and strawberries was very necessary given the fun time I had going out with K last night (http://instagram.com/p/t-RkTUgUb7/).

Pre-run overnight oats

Pre-run overnight oats

I skipped the gym this morning to save my legs for tonight, and I always get extra hungry on non-gym days. I’ve packed myself a bunch of healthy snacks and a multiple choice lunch (I pack a little extra so I have plenty of options):

lunch

Leftover vegan pizza, Best Baked Tofu Ever, Macoun & Honeycrisp apples, plain Greek yog and a banana

It’s a good feeling to be excited about what you have for lunch. 🙂

Every Friday when I go on these long runs, it’s always a bummer to get home at around 8 pm and have nothing fun to eat. I’ve typically been making smoothies and eating toast after these evening runs – nutritious, but not very exciting. This week, that is going to change. I’ll be whipping up some Crock-Pot Vegan Pumpkin Chili tonight. (Spoiler alert: it has black and red kidney beans, peppers, onion, carrots, jalapeno, tomatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, lime and TONS of spices). After work, I’ll prep my chili in the crock-pot and put it on low to simmer for a few hours while I go for my run. By the time I come in the door, it will be ready to be housed! I’m really excited about this idea, and I look forward to sharing the recipe tonight. I’ll be putting my farm-stand bought pumpkin and butternut squash to good use, and have something warm and delicious to eat after my run. Score! The thought of a bowl of chili waiting for me is enough to help me power through those last few miles.

I hope you all have a great Friday today.

– L