Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Hooray!  So I finally made something seasonal (aside from kabocha squash on the reg.) and something other than tacos.  My goal is to try and cook every Sunday, since I’ve been taking that as my rest day, and I pretty much don’t do anything else…we’ll see how that plays out.  For now, enjoy these fall flavors!

 

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash with Spinach, Apple and Sausage
Serves 4
INGREDIENTS:
2 acorn squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
6-8 thin Italian sausage links
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 cup spinach, chopped
1 apple, finely diced
½ cup walnuts, chopped
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle acorn squash halves with olive oil, salt & pepper. Place cut side down and roast for approximately 25 min.
  2. Flip over the acorn squash and cook for approximately 15 more minutes or the edges are golden brown and the flesh is tender.
  3. As the squash is cooking, bring the water to a boil in a medium pot. Stir in the quinoa, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. While the quinoa is cooking, heat a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook sausage links for 5 minutes on each side, until browned and thoroughly cooked.
  5. Separately, whisk the olive oil, maple syrup, and apple cider vinegar is a small bowl. Set aside.
  6. Chop the spinach, apples and walnuts.  Set aside.
  7. When the quinoa is done, pour the quinoa into a large bowl.  Mix in the spinach (so it wilts down) and allow the mixture to cool completely.  Stir periodically.
  8. Once cool, pour the dressing over the quinoa, add sausage and apples, and stir.
  9. Once the squash is done, fill each half acorn with a slightly heaping portion of

San Diego Trail Running: Raptor Ridge

In honor of #OptOutside, Kate, Andy and I hit the trails running a little northeast from us in Escondido. Originally we were looking to go to Julian/Cuyamaca, but the low temps (30 vs. 55) and the potential for rain convinced us otherwise. Instead, we ended up doing a trail run I’ve completed a couple times with my running group. In fact, the last time I visited was last January, before I realized I was incredibly sick with food poisoning.

Anyways, Raptor Ridge is part of the larger Coast to Crest Trail in the San Dieguito River Park, and pretty straightforward. It’s a well designated, wide path that is easily accessible right off the freeway.

What I call the Raptor Ridge trail is around 10.5 miles round trip (5.19 out an 5.19 back). We went the morning after some rain, so while it was muddy, it wasn’t too bad.

Around mile 4 the trail changes to a single track (this is considered the “Raptor Ridge” trail) and starts the ascent to the top. And while it was tricky (requiring a few walking breaks in which Andy turned around and said “you guys coming?!”) the view from the top was worth it!

And the best part about going up is that you get to go down! We ended up negative splitting this trail. By the time we hit mile 9 we were ready to be back to the car and turned the pace into a tempo run, dropping down into the 7’s.

My favorite thing about trail running, especially in the middle of San Diego, is how it makes you feel so displaced. Like you’re hundreds of miles away in a completely different area. We all agreed and loved how it felt like such a quintessential fall afternoon, from the color of the …

Running and Recipes: Day Sixteen

Happy St. Patty’s Day!  What better way to celebrate than run 10 miles?!  However, I’ve been having some trouble with my runs lately, and I hope it can be attributed to my body still adjusting to the Whole30.  I’m on day 16, or day 7 if I re-start from my cheat day.  I’m hanging in there, hoping I reach the day where my body starts using my fat reserves as fuel.  Our 10 mile run took nearly as long as a half-marathon.  I just feel bad for my running partner because I feel like I can’t move my body any faster than a 9-10 min pace.   And even at that, my heart rate is still elevated to 160bpm+.  When I try an exerted effort to hit 8-8:30 pace, it increases to 174, but I’m not able to sustain this for a while.  It’s almost unenjoyable and discouraging to run.  I checked on the Whole30 forum and it seems like this is a common side-effect for endurance athletes:

Tonight we made another Martha Stewart inspired recipe adapted to be Whole30-compliant. While this cooked, my bf/sous-chef Fritz made a very gourmet crab and shrimp salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, avocado and arugula dressed with lime and olive oil with beautiful knife cuts and plate presentation. Doesn’t look like he will be competing with Carla anytime soon on Food Network’s Worst Cooks in America ??

 

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Tomatoes and Olives
INGREDIENTS

6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
6 chicken drumsticks
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
1 cup pitted botija olives (Peruvian)
3 sprigs fresh thyme
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.  Combine chicken, oil, tomatoes, olives and thyme in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper and

Oregon Trails: Tumalo Mountain

Tumalo Mountain (not to be confused with Tumalo Falls or the town of Tumalo), is located almost directly across from Mt. Bachelor. It’s around a 4 mile up-and-down hike with a good amount of elevation gain (1,312 ft).

For some reason, Tumalo Mountain is one of my least favorite summer hikes. It seems like a lot of vertical climbing, for not much of a reward. The first time we hiked Tumalo, it was late-August –the day before the solar eclipse. I remember because we looked from the top over to Prineville and could see a line of cars and lights. The wildfires and amount of smoke had been fluctuating, so there was a weird haze to the air and the sun.

 

The second time we hiked Tumalo was mid-September, right after the first snow. Since the snow wasn’t too deep, we were able to hike in hiking boots. I found the snow to make the hike much more enjoyable because it didn’t seem as steep. Plus it made the usually dry mountain feel like a winter wonderland snow globe.

 

Tumalo Mountain
Entrance: 
Dutchman Flat Sno-Park
Directions: Heading from Bend, you’ll drive on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. The parking lot is about 1/4 mile past Mt. Bachelor Sunrise Lodge parking entrance.
Miles: 3.9…