There has been a battle brewing at our house as to who can claim the top spot in all of granola land. On one side stands my wife with her granola bar recipe which is dense and oh so yummy, perfect for a snack. On the other side, stands me with a recipe that was supposed to be bars but with a slight modification has become a granola that has become a breakfast staple with fresh fruit and a bit of soymilk. Ingredients
2 cups quick cooking oats
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup honey
½ cup peanut butter/almond butter (my favorite!!) (you can even use 1 stick butter, softened - I haven't)
½ cup M&Ms (raisins, cranberries, chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, etc.)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a cookie sheet with a Silpat so the granola won't stick
3. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
4. Spread and bake for about 18 minutes, or until lightly golden on edges.
5. Cool five minutes on sheet, turn over with spatula, and completely cool before serving
6. Store in an airtight container.
Running has always been my safe place. In it, I could lose myself in my feelings, thoughts, and emotions. From a pimply faced, pear shaped, angry adolescent to a vegetarian, marathoning father, I have always felt comforted no matter what challenges I faced physically and emotionally out on the roads and trails. That bubble was burst today.
Having had the chance to run my boyhood dream of the Boston Marathon in 2010, I have come to look forward to Patriots Day through social media to follow what some might call Christmas for runners. It's an exciting day, and my joy of seeing Shalane and Kara finish in the Top 6 of the race was decimated by news of a senseless act of violence at the finish line. Lives lost forever gone from the tribe.
We are all part of the same tribe. Pace, weight, height, distance covered are all irrelevant. When you lace up your shoes and head out the door for a run, you are part of the tribe. If you support that runner by standing at the finish line, handing out water at an aid station, or a word of encouragement from afar, you are part of the tribe.
If your like me, some of my strongest relationships have been forged out on the roads with fellow runners. We simply get each other. People from all different walks of life who we would probably not know elsewhere, we understand out there in the sweat and firing of muscles. It's that bond forged that makes an event like today so devastating.
Whatever message a person or group who felt they needed to do this to bring attention to their cause, they will get their 15 minutes of fame because that is what the popular media will give them. What they don't realize is that in attacking our tribe, we will circles the wagons and protect those out on the roads and trails. We will not relent and we will not forget.
"I could just throw grilled cheese at you, " said the wife over a bowl of barley, cucumber, and tomatoes, "but I support your lifestyle change" at dinner this evening. Licking the bowl clean after another tasty vegetarian meal, I have learned quite a bit in what has just been two months since giving up meat, poultry and fish.
- Granola Wars!!! In what has become a fierce battle, the wife and I scour the internet and whip up a few batches a week of varying granola bars or granola seeing who can claim the top stop. Either way, granola has become a nearly daily staple and I have been looking forward each morning to a bowl of granola with fresh fruit and a dash of soymilk.
- Quinoa is the bomb.... I had only read about this grain before trying it out and making a weekly batch on Sunday. It makes a great replacement for oatmeal in the morning, and you can easily throw in some veggies and have a quick lunch. Tried making it with vegetable stock instead of water and was glad when that batch was over.
- Tofu tastes like..... whatever you marinate it with. Affectionately called "toad food" by my kids, I usually saute the tofu and add to whatever vegetables, grains, or salads, that we might be having. Enjoy the extra firm cubed variety.
- Fresh fruit....gets frozen and thrown into smoothies. Bananas with the skin removed and thrown in several hours or days before adds thickness to a smoothie when combined with other fruit or soymilk and a couple of ice cubes. The other day, the local market had strawberries for $1 a quart. Not a hard decision. Throw 5 in the cart, come home, chop most of them up and throw in the freezer.
- I used to be..... known for only making chicken and rice. A one dish guy. Giving up meat, fish, and poultry has opened my eyes to so many more choices. I have been checking out books from the library and looking for great new recipes to try with the family. Conversely, while my wife and kids still do eat meat, my wife is making a conscious effort when planning out our weekly meals to include a lot of variety and if I were to be diligent about counting, a lot less meat.
I've been here for years. Sort of. Well, not so much as of late. Seems cyclical that I end up back at this point waxing about my lack of blogging activities and how I am going to jump back on the writing horse and get moving. This is that post again, I think.
I have this conversation with myself over and over about great ideas in my head that I want to get down in print and then forget, thanks ADD, or talk about them on the podcast. Feels like I would be double dipping, but then again, who listens to the podcast and then goes and checks out the blog? Come to think of it, when I listen to certain podcasts and I hear something of note I do just that because I certainly don't stop mid run, pause the Garmin, whip out the smarhphone and que up Evernote to jot a thought down.
In any event, hear I stand, wait sitting, because that is how, I type just over two weeks out from my first 24 hour race and almost 2 months vegetarian. What??? Certainly those topics should be ripe for content, but alas I have just walked on by.
So today, don't call it a comeback, call it a fresh start. And momma said, I'm gonna knock you out, but your going to have to catch me first.
One of the things that has happened as a result of me giving up meat, is that my wife has sought out new recipes. Coming home from the grocery store and hearing her say I got you some swiss chard for a recipe I found certainly perked my ears up. This is one that she found via Life as Mom
blog and whipped up this afternoon for dinner.
*Note* I am sure you could make this vegan by substituting canned coconut milk for the heavy cream, unsweetened applesauce or egg replacer for the eggs, and extra-firm tofu overnight in lemon juice and minced garlic for the feta cheese
- 1 unbaked pie crust, placed in a tart pan and chilled
- 2 cups sauteed greens (We used Swiss Chard)
- 1/3 cup feta cheese crumbles
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375 °
- Place the tart pan on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Sprinkle the greens in the pie shell. Sprinkle the feta cheese over the greens.
- In a small mixing bowl combine the eggs and cream. Season to taste. Pour the egg mixture over the cheese and greens.
- Bake in the oven for 45 minutes or until set.
- Serve hot or at room temperature.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 8