Yesterday, I came back to the trails.
It had been months since I stepped foot on Ruffner dirt.
Everything was the same, yet different.
The leaves had changed.
The air was cooler.
The hills were harder.
But I was home.
Did yesterday’s post make you hungry? No? Let me try again, only these eats have a bit more of a fall flair:
Pumpkin-Pistachio Kale Fried Rice Bowl with Maple Tofu—This is the winning recipe of the batch. If you’re pressed for time, click the link, hit Print, and call it a day. The flavors were phenomenal, the maple tofu was out of this world, and I just about cried when I realized my food was over.
Curried Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup—Another perk of working at my fabulous job is talking to authors who are just as health-conscious as I am. Our outdoor cookbook author Laurie Ann March shared this recipe with me, and it kept my tummy warm and happy all week long.
Chopped Salad with Thai Curry Dressing—Since I haven’t been running and burning a gazillion calories, I eat a lot of salads. I only made the dressing from this recipe and chopped up whatever I had in the fridge. But this dressing y’all. It was just as good as one you’d find in a restaurant. If you like Thai, make this.
Mixed Pepper Pasta—I love recipes like this for when I’m not in the mood to cook up something elaborate, but still want to eat well. Stupid simple, tasty, and comforting. Can’t go wrong.
Acorn Squash—The hubs needed fall food for a work photoshoot, and there’s nothing more fall-y than acorn squash and wild rice. I took the leftovers to work the next day, and it made for a perfect lunch too.
Now, fall is football season, which also means I eat all the barbecue. Vegan? What’s that?
I used to blog all about my delicious vegan recipes that I was trying. And then I got lazy with cooking and even lazier with blogging. I’m still vegetarian 90% of the time, but I’ve eaten my fair share of eggs and cheese over the past few months. And now it’s football season in the South, which means I devour any plate of BBQ that comes within my reach.
But since I haven’t been running at all, I finally started to make an effort toward going primarily (minus smoked piglets) vegan. Because you can only burn so many calories by just being awesome. So here are some of my recent favorite recipes (Part One—more will come tomorrow):
Portobello Pasta—Every now and then I feel inspired enough to whip up my own creation. This dish was the byproduct of said creativity. I looked up sunflower seed pesto recipes, cooked the asparagus, sautéed the mushrooms, and voila!
Tempeh Curry—I had always wanted to give tempeh a try, and making a curry dish seemed the safest way to go for my palate. This recipe had great flavors and was filling over brown rice, but tempeh and I have a distant relationship still. Something about it to me is just…off.
Lemon Chickpea and Lentil Salad with Radishes—Living in the land of forever heat and sun and humidity, summer salads can stretch all the way to October. I loved this one because it was super easy to make, and the mix of herbs and lemon left me refreshed but full.
Sautéed Spinach and Beans—The hubs and I frequent Whole Foods a good bit, and so I like to make a game out of copying their recipes. I browned some onions, heated some cannellini beans, and wilted some spinach. It wasn’t a five-star gourmet meal, but it was damn good!
Carrot and Rice Noodle Bowl with Tahini-Sriracha Sauce—If you make one recipe from this post, make this one! It was so good. SO GOOD. I had never used rice noodles before and really liked the texture, and I learned that this chef needs to buy a damn spiralizer and/or julienner thing already before I slice my fingers off. And the sauce? Holy hot deliciousness!
Brussel Sprout Pasta with Hazelnuts—Noticing a common theme here? Pasta makes me happy, so I’ve been eating a good amount of it. I omitted the butter in this recipe, but it still came out worthy of being devoured. And let’s be honest—you can never go wrong with brussel sprouts!
Have you tried any new recipes that you’re raving about? Share them—my bottomless pit of a stomach loves new food!
To offset my vegan ways, I also do this:
All In Stride has been tame for a while. Rantless. Let’s change that.
If you know me, you know it’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Crossfit. It’s a cult-in-a-box wrapped in an expensive bow. And that’s putting it mildly.
I don’t doubt that it gets you in great shape—muscles don’t lie. Any workout is better than festering away on the couch. And I’m sure the Paleoheads think ultra running is dumb. And I’d tell them they were right, while running circles around them. Because, endurance bitches. To each his own.
Unless you’re forcing it on your children. Your babies. I came across this article in the New York Times about preschool Crossfit being the new fad. Yes. Crossfit for toddlers. Wut.
Now, I know parents sign kids up for extracurricular activities all the time. I get it, to an extent. Hell, I was a diehard Gymboree attendee as a small human myself. I guess what doesn’t sit well with me is the Crossfit brand and exorbitant pricing tied in with things kids should be doing anyway—being kids. So today, humor me and let’s talk Crossfit babies.
Yes, you can argue that at least these kids are being active. And you’d be right. But do 3-year-olds really need to be doing squats and box jumps and learning about nutrition in a gym? For $260 dollars a month? Hell to the no. It’s sad that we feel the need to schedule and micromanage every.single.aspect of our kids’ lives, leaving them no opportunity to just be kids. I don’t care what cute little name you call the exercise—kids do not need to be doing Crossfit.
The Crossfit brand does not scream “child-friendly” to me. It’s controversial. It’s known to be dangerous. It’s expensive as shit for absolutely no reason. But let’s say I’m wrong. Maybe these preschool classes are safe, they use mats, and the coaches are trained to work with children. Still. Why do we need to subject our kids to the newest exercise craze? What’s next? Paleo baby food?
Do you know what kids are supposed to do? Run around outside. Play on the swings. Climb trees. Roll down hills. Crawl through bushes. Fall down. Cry. Smile. Play make believe. And guess what? It can all be done for the low, low price of absolutely nothing. Free! Try it sometime, Box-freaks.
My favorite part of the article is when a gym owner was quoted as saying, “It’s made for your kid to succeed in life.” Pause. Go back. Reread that statement. Is that a fucking joke? So, gym owner, a 3-year-old who attends your class will have a long and prosperous life while the other 3-year-old who plays outside with parents who aren’t in a cult will work at McDonalds forever. Isn’t that a little…elitist? This is why I hate Crossfit people.
There’s a hashtag on Instagtam—#GTFOutdoors. I want to make a stamp, slam it on the parents’ foreheads as they muscularly saunter into the gym, steal their kids, and go play tag.
People either love or hate Crossfit. What are your thoughts? Is offering preschool classes going too far? Am I too fired up about this?
I love fall. I love apples and sweaters and crock pot recipes. I live for boots. October is my favorite color. Name a fall cliche, and I’ve done it, worn it, eaten it, or lived it.
Fall has been my favorite season since I was old enough to understand seasons. Or happiness. Since fall=happiness. So I have to admit, I’m more than a little resentful of those people who jumped on this fall bandwagon.
These people don’t love the schizophrenic weather and crunchy leaves and itchy sweaters. They like fads. The flavor of the week, if you will. And it happens to be pumpkin spice.
Like every other loyal fall lover, I adore all things pumpkin, and always have. But in recent years, I’ve noticed that pumpkin spice has infiltrated every edible (and some non-edible…) product you can imagine. Can we blame the fame and fortune of the Pumpkin Spice Latte? Probably.
But not all things pumpkin spice are created equal. I set out on a gastric journey to determine which products should and shouldn’t stake their claim on fall. Here’s what I found:
Disclaimer—I know this has been written about lately many times, on many sites, with many products. But don’t tell me that you don’t sneak a glance or two at the Pumpkin Oreos and wonder how they’d taste in your mouth. So let’s proceed.
Pumpkin Dunkin Donut—Ah, Dunkin. The ones who can do no wrong. This doughnut, like most pumpkin spice things, was more spice-y than pumpkin-y, but they can be forgiven. One bite and you know you’re eating a piece of fall. B+
Pumpkin Smoothie—I stumbled upon Smoothie King’s new product and just had to try it. You know, for research. This treat had the opposite problem of the other pumpkin spice foods—all pumpkin, no spice. It’s made with pumpkin puree and tasted like drinking a pumpkin through a straw. Yum. A—if you really like pumpkins
Pumpkin Spice M&Ms—What.The.Hell. These guys pretend to be pumpkin spice, but in reality are just fat little M&Ms with fall colors and a slight chemical-y aftertaste. Look, even the M&M on the package knows this is a scam. F-
Pumpkin Spice Oreos—I’m torn on these guys. As cookies, they’re actually pretty good. The spices are strong and taste good with the blonde cookies. They leave your mouth happy, though caked in sugar. But this is not an Oreo. Oreos should taste like Oreos. Period. So my vote would just be to eat the orange cream Oreos. B
Sam Adams Harvest Ale—So many pumpkin beers, so little time. I chose Sam because he’s usually a solid pick and not seemingly popular amongst the pumpkin beer crowd. I now know why. Poor choice. The beer tasted watery and chemical-y and only after you manage to swallow do you get a hint of spices. Bleh. D
Earth’s Best Pumpkin Apple Cranberry baby food—I was curious to see just how far the pumpkin spice craze had stretched, so I meandered into the baby aisle. Where my pumpkin intuition was right! Sitting under a “New Item!” sign was this baby food. To be fair, this had no spice in it, but we’ll count it. It tasted like pumpkin (and apple and cranberry), and I would totally eat one again as fuel for a long run. A-
Pumpkin Spice Milano Cookies—I know, another cookie. But I can’t resist Milanos, especially when they’re frozen and delicious. And this cookie was good. Very good. But like the Oreos, it didn’t taste like a Milano. So I was left indifferent about it. It’s not you, cookie, it’s me. B+
So that’s that. Overall, I think I have consumed way too much sugar and that this whole pumpkin spice thing is out of control. Do you have a favorite pumpkin spice food? Or one you’d like to set on fire?
More pumpkin spice frenzy I found in the stores: