Anti-Dye Pasta Salad

November 23, 2014 — Leave a comment

Although documenting plant-based food creations has taken the back burner lately in the midst of major happenings (like art shows and races), my life has certainly not been absent of nutritious and delicious vegan eats (neither has Andrew’s). These eats include quite a bit of seasonal grub—like pumpkin smoothies, beet salads, and leafy greens.

One seasonal green I’ve come to love this year is mustard greens. The best (and most convenient) part about these particular greens, is that they are as home grown as you can get. What I mean is, there just so happens to be a forest of mustard greens growing in my backyard.

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Did I mention they’re gigantic? These voluptuous greens have been regularly serving as a base for my salads this season, and a green addition to vegetable medleys. One night Andrew even surprised me by wrapping my macaroni and cheese inside one of these leaves, lettuce wrap style.

Anti-Dye Pasta Salad

This afternoon, I decided to clip some greens from the yard and incorporate them into an Anti-Dye pasta salad. Why the name? Because this pasta salad is packed with powerful anti-inflammatory ingredients (mustard greens and turmeric), and turmeric is a natural dye.

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A 5:30 a.m. wake up call.
Coffee in the dark.
Watching the sun slowly rise up to greet the day.
Nervous energy boxed up, ready to be released.
National Anthem blaring. Hands over hearts.
Feet inching closer and closer to the start line.
Bending down and checking your laces one last time.
The rush that envelops your entire body as you take off, step by step.

These are feelings each runner gets to know all over again, at every single start line.
These are feelings I will never grow tired of.

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This time last week, I was “Revving up to Race in the Ancient City,” and eagerly awaiting my mom’s arrival in St. Augustine.

Though the St. Augustine Half Marathon Weekend has come and gone, it’s now time to relive the details and document them while they remain fresh. Recognizing it’s impossible to capture each and every moment, here’s my attempt at recapping this bright and beautiful, mother-daughter race weekend.

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Well, it has been many moons since I signed up to run the St. Augustine Half Marathon. And now, it’s here! I can’t even believe it.

Just as the sun is rising Sunday morning, I will be lining up at the start line at fort Castillo De San Marcos in downtown St. Augustine.

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The St. Augustine Half Marathon will be my first race since the Nashville Country Music Marathon in April, and my second half marathon of 2014 (or fourth if you count the full as two halves). This race will also be the first time I get to represent the Oiselle Flock and sport my bird jersey (aside from last month’s backyard photo shoot).

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Since returning to my new home of St. Augustine two weeks ago, life has been moving swiftly. After battling some anxiety immediately following my drive back across the state (more than likely a delayed reaction to subconscious anxiety I struggled with while back home), I decided that taking a breather and resetting my brain was a must if I wanted to be able to carry forward with a clear mind and body at ease. And so, I’ve been making an effort to slow down my output and streamline my focus.

For me, slowing down has meant catching up on my work, taking a timeout on taking on anything new, and making a list of things that can wait (and letting them be). Most importantly, it’s meant shifting my creative and productive energies toward assisting Andrew in preparing for an art show.

Back in the spring, Andrew was given the opportunity to scale back his full-time work as a middle school art teacher to part-time. Teaching every other day has provided him with the renewed energy needed to pour his heart into the art he loves to create.

As a part of St. Augustine’s monthly art walk, Andrew’s paintings are on display for show and sell tonight in Nettles Fine Jewelry. In just a couple of hours I will be in a room filled with friends, acquaintances, family and strangers, sipping mulled wine and standing in awe of the artistic talent that brought these pieces to life.

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Pumpkin Carving & Blending

October 30, 2014 — 1 Comment

It’s here. It’s here. It’s almost here. That’s right—I’m talking about Halloween!

Have you carved your pumpkin yet?

I must admit, although Andrew and I picked out our pumpkins weeks ago, they are still sitting patiently on his porch, ready and waiting. It appears carving will be happening tomorrow on Halloween, just in time for the ocassion. Better late than never, right?

Despite our tardiness in carving these particular pumpkins, the past several weeks have been quite pumpkin-filled.

Earlier this month, Andrew assisted me on a festive backyard photo shoot for a guest post I wrote for the Oiselle Blog—Bird is the Word, titled “Fall Fuel Favorites for Plant-Based Runners.” Since I opted for a slightly more serious photo to accompany the post, here is an outtake from that session.

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Backyard Beet Salad

October 20, 2014 — Leave a comment

Since I can’t seem to stop talking up autumn harvest, I figured it’s only fair that I dedicate a post to a root vegetable I’ve been slightly obsessed with lately—beets.

I wish I could say I’ve loved beets since day one, but it wasn’t until adulthood that I came to appreciate these bright, vibrant roots. 

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Why do I love them now? Beyond the fact that I adore their rich taste and color, beets are incredibly good for you. As I noted in a guest post I contributed to Oiselle’s blog last Monday, “Fall Fuel Favorites for Plant-Based Runners,” beets are an athlete’s best friend. Beets get your blood pumping and energy flowing. Both the roots and the greens are packed full of health-boosting nutrients.

Thankfully Andrew loves beets as much as I do. Over the past few weeks we’ve been snagging giant beets from the produce stand every chance we get. I even packed some in the car with me Friday and brought them home to Pensacola so I could share the beet love with my family.

One perk of being home is getting to take over my mom’s kitchen again. Yesterday, I decided to whip us up my rendition of the beet salad Andrew made for me last week. Fun fact: He actually remade this beet salad yesterday too, back in St. Augustine. Clearly our minds and hearts are synced even when we’re geographically apart.

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Last Wednesday, Andrew and I hopped in the Jetta and headed toward St. Petersburg, Florida. The mission of our trip was to deliver a painting to our friend Brian. The painting is a portrait of Brian and his girlfriend Ashley that Brian commissioned Andrew to paint in honor of their anniversary.

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Pretty incredible painting, right?

Rather than simply packing up this work of art and mailing it, we decided to make a meaningful day trip out of it. Seeing a friend you haven’t seen recently and getting to provide him with something heartfelt that is a surprise for the woman he loves is a beautiful thing.

While proper vacations may demand an increased amount of time, funding and energy, day trips are a fun-filled way to take a day off from your normal routine, feel as if you are on vacation, and make it back home in time to sleep in your own bed, all without breaking the bank. Although I’m not sure day trips actually need any defending, here is a rundown of our day trip to St. Pete, coupled with reasons I think day trips should be a regular part of existence.

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