Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fall Half Mary Sign Up!

So I know I've been talking about running a couple half marathons this fall, but I finally signed up for my first! I'm going to be running the Chilly Half Marathon in Newton, MA on Sunday, November 14th. My brother Jim said he'd run it too, AND my sister Laura will be in town for the weekend, so it just might work out that my whole family is in one place at the same time! We're already planning the big delicious meal we'll have afterward (isn't that half the fun of running!?).

I run mostly for pleasure, but I must say that having a race to train for gives me extra motivation and ups the ante a little bit. So now I'm even more excited about running!

And more exercise news...I wasn't allowed to do any strength training after breaking my elbow for at least 2 months, but longer if I still had discomfort. So its been a really long time. This morning I came across some old dumbbells that have been collecting dust for many years, and decided to do some free weights.

Haha I know, I know...these bad boys are only 5 pounds each, but I thought it would be good to ease into the strength training. I could definitely tell the difference in the way my right and left arms felt when doing the reps, but hopefully I'll be able to slowly build up to where I used to be.

And finally ... dinner time! I was in the mood for pasta (since I know I'll be getting up for a long run on Saturday morning) and lots of fresh veggies. So pasta primavera it is!

Pasta Primavera Ingredients
  • 1 box pasta of your choice (I used whole wheat bow ties)
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 2 summer squash
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 heads broccoli
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Head of garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Fresh Rosemary (or herbs of choice)
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt and Pepper

This was originally going to be a meal to feed two...but as you can see from the ingredients it turned into a meal that could feed at least eight. This is why its bad to go grocery shopping on an empty stomach!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the top off the head of garlic:

Drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top, then wrap in tin foil. Put in oven and set the timer for 45 minutes.
*Roasted garlic is wonderful for your heart!

While the garlic roasts, prepare your veggies. These are the vegetables I was in the mood for, but you can really use anything in this dish.

Cut all vegetables into thin strips (except for cherry tomatoes - halve those and set aside) and put in a large bowl.

Add a few tablespoons olive oil and a little less balsamic vinegar (or more, depending on how strong a flavor you're in the mood for). Add herbs (I cut up fresh rosemary) and fresh ground black pepper. Toss vegetables with oil and herbs, then put in oven pans.

When the 45 minutes has passed, remove the garlic from the oven (leave wrapped in foil) and turn temperature to 450 degrees. Put in the trays of veggies and set timer for 10 minutes.

*Start the pasta, following directions on package.

After 10 minutes, stir vegetables to allow for equal cooking and browning. Put garlic back in the oven (still in the foil) and set the timer for another 10 minutes.

When the pasta is done, drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta water.

Take vegetables and garlic out of oven after the 10 minutes is up.

Your kitchen should be smelly pretty good at this point!

Put the pasta in a large bowl, add vegetables and halved cherry tomatoes.

Open the tin foil on garlic and remove cloves (they come out easily when poked with a knife). Chop the cloves.

Add as much as you want to the pasta. I added the entire head, since roasted garlic is much milder than raw garlic.

Stir in some of the pasta water for added moisture to the dish. Use as much as needed (I used about 1/2 cup total, adding slowly while stirring).

Add Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.

This dish was a big hit! All of the flavors came together very nicely, and the fresh roasted vegetables were amazing! After a few bites Pat said "when you told me you were just making pasta and vegetables without meat, I was bullshit" and I said, "well what do you think now?" and he replied "this is really, really good" and got up to help himself to a second bowl.

Bon Appetit!

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