Happy Friday all! Since we met last my knees were in a bit of a fuss for the 4-5 mile run I decided to put them through last Sunday. I am happy to report that they are feeling much better and Diana introduced me to a training program called ‘Couch to 5k’. It’s a simple training program that combines running and walking, where the running is gradually increased until you can run a full 5k without stopping.
At first I was thinking, well I’m not a couch potato! I need to be running 3 miles right off the bat because I can handle it. Well, you know what, this program is going to be just what my knees ordered I believe. I did the first 30 minute session yesterday morning at 4:30am and was even able to do a weight lifting class that evening at 8pm without any mysterious aches and pains! Yes! The best part is it has an iPhone app too that tells you exactly when to run and when to walk. Yes! I’m feeling empowered already and am actually looking forward to my next lil session. So I guess I’ll be sticking with this running thing a bit longer :)
I also signed up for my first 5k Turkey Trot!! I’m really excited, and while it’s going to be way before my C25K training will be over, I figure I can just take it easy and see how it goes. Anyone else doing some planned physical activity on that holiday weekend? Great way to balance out all those good eats, although we will all be practicing proper portion control, right?!
I still can’t get used to this time change!!! The lighting is just terrible in my house now by the time I get home and I think I’m going to have to search for some kind of lighting station or special photography lights?? Anyone know of something like this that is reasonable?
I’ve been wanting to share this casserole recipe because it has become one of my favorites among many. I love casseroles because they can be easily adaptable to a healthier profile and are so easy!
Quinoa Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
- 2 tbsp butter, 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 pound shiitake or other mushrooms, sliced
- 3 tbsp AP flour
- 3-4 cups skim milk (or you could do 1/2 broth, 1/2 milk)
- 3-4 heads of broccoli, chopped
- 2 cups quinoa
- 1-1.5 cups Italian cheese mix, shredded (I used TJ's Italian Mix)
- 1/2 tsp salt, all purpose seasoning, garlic powder, 1 tsp thyme, 1 tsp herbes de provence, pinch of cayenne
- 2 cups cooked chicken breast meat, chopped
1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, and cook. Stir in garlic, and cook 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and cook 8 minutes or until softened.
2. Melt 2 tbsp butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Slowly whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly until mixture thickens. Add broccoli and quinoa to cook halfway. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in 1/2 cup cheese, seasonings, mushroom mixture and chicken. Transfer to a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch (4-quart) casserole dish.
3. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or bake, covered with foil, at 375° for 30 minutes or until bubbly, uncover, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and brown for 10 minutes.
Great for leftovers too!
As far as the weekend plans . . .
Tonight Chris and I are heading out with some friends to a place called Casa di Amore. They have great Italian food and also a live crooner that sings till the weee hours of the morning and sounds just like Sinatra. I just love that kind of music, especially with a nice glass of wine. We’ll see how pictures go, as you can imagine the lighting is pretty low to ‘set the mood’.
At the Lee’s Wine Experience that we went to a little while ago we found a Pinot Noir that was out of this world called Ritual.
We thought we should order some since it was such a special find. Well, I guess we got a few of them!! We aren’t going to drink all these ourselves, but will take a few bottles for Thanksgiving and for gifts.
Other than that I would like to get another run/walk or ride in and finish tackling my proposal/presentation for Research Methods. I have the lit review mostly done and now have to start working on the methods/statistics, eeek! This is my area of weakness.
Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!