Creamy winter veggie pasta

I have a healthy winter recipe and tales of an 11-mile treadmill run, but first! A give-away! I am no stranger to online shopping and luckily for you, I have the hook-up. CSN is giving one reader a $45 gift certificate to use on any of their sites. The CSN family of stores have everything for the home – from cookware, to shoes, to TV stands for flat screens! To win, tell me the best thing you’ve bought online. I’ll choose a winner on Wednesday morning. My favorite purchase was my cw-x compression running tights!

If you’re still reading this blog post, good for you! The prospect of commenting in return for free stuff wins me over everytime. On to this weekends long run…in short, it should have sucked, but miraculously it didn’t. Jen at Runner’s Trials touched on this subject the other day and it really rang true this weekend. Sometimes you do everything you’re not supposed to do and the running Gods still grant you effortless miles.  In my case, I stayed out dancing until 3:30am, drank more than I should have, and only slept for 5 1/2 hours. I roused myself early-ish on Sunday morning and hydrated with coffee and Gatorade before meeting Nicole for a pasta cooking demonstration. I’m usually not the biggest fan of pasta, but I’ve been trying to be more open-minded lately. I think I’ve narrowed down my pasta distate for specific shapes – I really don’t like spaghetti, angel hair, or penne. The rest I can more or less tolerate.

After our cooking demonstration (which inspired dinner), I went to my gym surprisingly motivated to run long and hard on the treadmill. It’s very unusual for me to feel that way. I was probably still drunk (just kidding Mom!).

I did 2 mini progression runs for the first 6 miles (a mile each at 9:00 pace, 8:00 pace, 7:30 pace x 2) to keep things interesting and then finished up with 4 more easy-ish miles. In total, I ended up running 11 miles in 1:32:25 (8:24 pace). Unexpected, but I’ll take it!

After putting my body through the ringer over the weekend, I was in the mood for a simple and healthy dinner. While I DO love heavy cream and butter, this creamy sauce is made only of goat cheese, which is naturally low in fat. That leaves extra toom for ice cream!

Creamy winter veggie pasta (serves 4)


  • 1/2 box orchiette pasta
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 4 leeks, trimmed and washed
  • 8 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 oz goat cheese (small log)
  • handful of kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup reserved hot pasta water (it will be nice and starchy!)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Protein of your choice, optional (see note)


  •  Preheat oven to 400 F, drizzle olive oil over leeks and garlic, and roast for about 20-25 minutes (watch that the garlic doesn’t burn!)
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta for 5 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook for an addition 3-4 minutes, or until pasta is al dente.
  • Set aside pasta and cauliflower and in a large bowl add the hot pasta water to the goat cheese. Whisk until combined and season with salt and pepper.
  • Chop roasted leeks and garlic and add to goat cheese-sauce. Add in the pasta and cauliflower and gently toss until combined.
  • Garnish with sliced kalamata olives and buon appetito!

Note: I added some sauteed vegetarian soy sausage to my dish, but white beans, shrimp, or grilled chicken would also work well.

Now, tell me the best thing you’ve bought online. Bonus points if you got it from Cananda and it’s illegal.

  • The best thing I bought online was tickets to see Fleet Foxes play with Blitzen Trapper. I don’t buy anything else online except Groupons and other Tickets.

  • My best purchase was in 2002…waaay back when online shopping was very limited (especially in Canada where I live) I used to see ads for Delia’s clothing in girlie magazines. I had a newly acquired Visa and I spent $150 on all sorts of items. It didn’t occur to me until I got my Visa bill that prices were in US dollars!!!! So my 150 turned into 300! It took MONTHS for it to be delivered and I had to pay even more in customs when the package finally arrived at my door. Saving grace..Everything fit and I still wear the black pants and the jeans!!!

  • Christina B.

    Bulk boxes of clif bars and clif shots!!!

    I got Sugoi compression socks from recently, it’s a Canadian company but I don’t think they are illegal :p.

  • Christina B.

    PS: How do you like your compression tights? Would you do a review on them? I’d love to know what you think, I’m very happy with compression socks but always wondered about the other types of comopression clothing.

  • 11 miles on the mill, go you! I buy pretty much everything J.Crew sells online..actually it’s kind of a problem… The only thing I’ve bought online lately is books for school, womp womp.

  • courtney

    i bought a recipe kit from dinner destinations – super cute and SUCH a hit for a christmas present!!

  • Lisa

    The best thing I bought online was a coffeemaker for my dorm. Can’t live without my coffee! 🙂

  • Alisha

    My favorite purchase online was probably running skirts for all the gals I run with. We all refused to wear them for so long and then we finally broke and all got one! Boy, we are glad we did. So much fun to all have the same skirts and they are super cute. We also all have the same tops so we look like a team. Wow on the 11 mile treadmill run! Way to go.

  • Lauren

    My new yoga mat! I invested in a good quality, thick mat because my old discount one was causing more harm then good.

  • Nicole

    The best thing I purchased online is my Kindle. I love how easy it is to bring along and I have read more books in the past 6 months than in the last 7 years!

  • Best thing I bought online – tough one, since I buy sooo many things online these days. I guess I will go with my Brooks Running Vest – it’s bright green, so it keeps me visible and it has pockets for keys, Gu and other things. 🙂

  • I ran 12 on the t-mill last weekend. I think that’s my limit though. Back to outdoor running please!

    Best thing I bought online recently was my iphone case. I’ve got the iphone now I’m waiting for the case so I don’t break the darn thing 🙂

  • Hmmm…the best thing I bought online was my iPod. Love it!

  • Molly

    I bought “custom made” wine from a website who puts pictures of your dog (that you send to them) on wine bottles and then a portion of the proceeds goes to dog rescue charities. Fabulous wine, a neat wine bottle that has a picture of your dog on it, and money going to charity…PERFECT!!! 🙂

  • Andra

    I love your site, and oriechiette pasta, but I’ve never bought it online. I bought custom made sweatshirts for myself and three good friends that say “More cheese, less sin” because it’s our inside joke about the world would be if my friend Amy were God. Also, I like finding clothes that I like and buying the same thing in many colors, esp. running clothes!

  • Sarah

    Definitely plane tickets to Maui – best online purchase. Fantastic trip and fun place to run!

  • Heather

    An indoor bike trainer (got it on sale AND free shipping!)

    Thanks for the inspiration to do some progression miles, I had a date with the treadmill tonight and was dreading it, the progression sounds like it’ll hold my interest!

  • Katie

    best thing i’ve purchased online..hmm my round trip plane ticket to tanzania! best experience i’ve ever had

  • jon

    congrats on the Treadmill Trudge – that’s a lot of time to spend in one place!
    the best thing i bought online was my latest pair of racing flats – the new balance 152s:
    the story behind the purchase is that they’re one of the few “minimalist” shoes that actually fit my size 14 4E feet. my previous pair had holes literally through the soles of the shoes, possibly explained by the fact that they rang up 1400+ miles. of course, new balance discontinued the shoe, so for a year and a half i fruitlessly google-searched for a pair online to no avail. a little while ago, i decided to think outside the box and used foreign google search engines: bingo! German Google Shopping told me that some store in Germany (i assume) had one pair left, size 14. i google-translated the page, paid for the shoes in euros, and voila – they showed up at my door a week later. of course, i haven’t used them yet lest i run out of them again (no pun intended…)

  • Kim

    The best thing I bought online for running was my spibelt! Now I can have my phone with me in case of emergency. The best thing I bought online overall would probably have to be my plane tickets to San Francisco for a week in wine country. I can’t wait to take that trip again.

  • Danielle

    The best thing I bought online is my Keurig coffee maker!

  • The best thing I bought online was my bed from Sears. Upon moving to NYC four years ago, I had barely enough money for food, let alone furniture. I slept on an air mattress for close to a year, so saving up enough to buy a bed from felt like I had really “made it” in the big city!

  • Morgan

    Best item I ever purchased online was my first marathon…. seriously, I went online, I regisgtered and I paid for it!!! It counts, right?!?!? My first marathon was Disney 2010 and came about 8 months after I took my first running step. It has been an amazing journey ever since.
    PS I love the blog.

  • Christy

    my best buy was a gymboss timer! i am finally strength training and Zuzana from bodyrocker is very motivating!

  • That pasta looks amazing!! The best thing I ever bought online was my treadmill, I love it 🙂

  • Christine

    the best thing I ever bought online was my MacBook computer… it is wonderful and has so far served me very well!

  • Tracy

    The best thing I bought online lately, were my running shoes!! I was able to buy two pairs for the price of one on Love that site!!

  • Lukus

    Nike Kennedy XC’s(the green and yellow camo ones) my favorite spike of all time. I got them when I was in 8th grade and recently found them at this place that stocks up on old close out spikes I was so excited they are .5 size to small but ill take a tight fit for my favorite spikes.

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  • Wooh! Not to mention CSNStores is proudly displaying that STELLAService Excellent Seal! haha

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