Sunday, September 22, 2013

Tomato love

If we ever are able to live out one of our dreams, it would be to have a little farm - nothing too big - but big enough - wide open spaces - gardens - a cow - a couple of goats - maybe some egg chickens - unfenced yard for everyone to run wild. Oh the dream. It's good to have dreams right?

Although our little piece of paradise is not a farm, I like to pretend that at the beginning of each Fall, when I bring in the tomato gems that have grown over the summer, that it's my little farm. Every summer since we have been in our house, I have grown a ton of tomatoes. Some summers are better than others. This summer was a good one - but I have a ton of green tomatoes that I am going to have to bring in and hope that they do what their supposed to do when they leave the garden.

There isn't really anything better than a tomato from the garden. Well, I am sure that there is - but a fresh tomato grown with love - is pretty damn tasty.

With all these tomatoes - it's time to do my favourite thing with them, ever.

Homemade tomato sauce. 

I have made this recipe several times before. I try and replicate it each time - sometimes I switch it up.

Here is a great version of it HERE.

The only thing that I did differently with this batch - is did them at night. I kept the oven on for probably about 5-6 hours. And then turned the oven off and let them stay in there for pretty much the entire next day. When I removed them from the oven, the skins came off so easily. I stored them in a container in the fridge for a couple of days - and am now making up a batch of sauce.

I sauteed onion. Added garlic and a bit of white wine. With a masher, mashed up the tomatoes, kept the seeds, and poured them into the pan to simmer on the stove. I added a bit of italian seasoning and some red pepper flakes for a tiny bit of heat.

Oh my - I can barely wait for dinner to gobble it all up.

Turkey meatballs - are all baked, and have been added into the sauce.

And then to serve it all up without pasta - say what????  - I have peeled zucchini into ribbons - and have created a delicious, fresh, full of flavour meal. Once the pasta sauce has simmered, add in the zucchini ribbons, and give it a quick toss to heat. Top it off with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan, and serve it hot.

This is a recipe similar to - this one HERE.

If you get your hand on some tomatoes - roasting them for sauce is really the best way to have them.



Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Running for my Life - and struggling the entire way.

I can't remember if I told you or not, if I have, I apologize in advance, and recommend just moving down to the good stuff. I am training to do a half- marathon. I am really struggling with the 'training' part of doing the half-marathon. I bet you are all thinking - uh, you better be at least running! Can you imagine if I was like - so... I have to do a half marathon in a month and I really should start practicing my running.

This is another edition of Running for my Life:

Physically, the running part of the training is tough - and I knew that it would be. When I had initially wrote out my training plan - after lots of research - I did something to my hamstring. It caused a lot of discomfort - and running any distances other than 5 K was pretty much out of the question. After lots of chiro - Active Response Therapy - aka please don't make me cry again while you torture me - I slowly got back at it. So, my training plan became a bit off schedule. About a month ago, I started at it again. For the past month or so - I have slowly been increasing my long run day by 2 K. Last week I finished 16 K. This week it will be 18 K. During the 'run for my life' my legs are tired. My IT bands tighten up. My hips feel their age. And after awhile my shoulders are tense. When I finish - I walk like I am 90 - treat myself to a huge glass of water - stretch - stretch and then stretch a little bit more - and then I either drive home - or walk up the steps and hang with my pups. And after a little bit of time out of my morning - I go on with my day.

Mentally, if it were only as 'easy' as the physical. Over the past couple of weeks, it's been harder for me to stay positive, stay motivated and not to listen to the voice in my head that tells me I am not good enough; not fast enough; not strong enough; not fit enough; and to just pack it all in. I have struggled with this in the past - and I thought that this was all behind me. For the last couple of weeks - I get to a certain part and try and defend a decision to just stop. I have to go over and over in my mind why I am doing what I am doing, why I need to be so proud of what I am doing, and stopping will only make things worse.

I am excited to see how this all ends. I know that I will cross the finish line. I know that my husband and mom and anyone else who has nothing better to do on a Sunday morning, will be there to see me. I know that my time isn't even something that I am going to worry about. I know that I will cross the line with grace even if it means that I am being pushed in a wheelbarrow - oh that reminds me we need a new tire for ours - and I know that in the end it is probably going to be one of my most proudest and biggest goals that I have set for myself.

It scares me. I know that this is natural. If I wasn't scared, I probably would have done this many years ago. I know that I have worked extremely hard over the past year to get to where I am today. I know that I have so much more hard work to go. I know that I have made some incredible friends on this journey - all who are so supportive and have helped form a new bond that I have with running. You know who you are - and if it wasn't for you guys - I would be doing more than Running for my Life.

After my 14 - I had this note to come home to. 

I will share more stories of this journey - and I hope that if you have ever wanted to do something like this, or a challenge that seems too big for you, know that you can do it. It may not look like the way that you imagined it - and once you start it may be harder than  you ever imagined - but you can do it. It's sort of cliche - but it's really true.

My new motto - I am becoming my own hero.

I am becoming my own hero. 

Alright - now for some food. After you do something physical - fuel the fire. Fire is your belly :)

Peaches season is almost over - but not quite. The Root Cellar has some amazing Okanagan peaches right now. Mouth watering - fresh - delightful. We picked up quite a few last week - so I was excited to do something other than eat them all up (which is a good way to eat them).

Grilled Steak and Peach Salad

1 8 oz steak - or however big or little of a steak you want
2 peaches
Greens - whatever you love
Goat cheese
Olive oil - kosher salt and pepper

1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1/2 cup basil - chiffonaded
1 small garlic clove - minced or grated
Kosher salt and pepper

Drizzle a little amount of olive oil on the steak. Season both sides with kosher salt and pepper. 
Heat up either a grill pan or your barbeque. Grill both sides - to whatever way you like your steak. We like ours medium rare - so I grill for 6 minutes each side. 

Remove the steak from the grill - and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. After the steak has rested, cut it into thin strips. 

While the steak is resting, you can get your peaches ready. Cut the peaches in half and take out the pit. Cut them into slices. Give the grill pan a light spray with cooking spray - and grill each side of the peach. This will only take you a couple of minutes each. 

For the dressing, whisk it all together. Gently toss the greens in a bit of the dressing and add in the goat cheese. 

And then it's time for business. 

Plate the salad with the greens.  Top with the peaches. Then add on the sliced steak. And top with leftover dressing.

The sweet, with the basil, with the flavours from the steak is divine. It's a perfect summer salad - fit for steak and peach lovers.