Simple Summer Dinners

TGIF. It’s finally Friday!

I really enjoyed reading all of your awesome comments re: motivation. Responses like that are what keep me blogging. The winner of the FitActivewear one-shouldered sports bra is Sesa – congrats! Email me your mailing info at runnerskitchen[at]gmail[dot]com and I’ll work on getting it shipped to you.

Big thanks to Zeudy Mars for designing the bra and sponsoring the give-away!

I’ve tried to keep most evenings this week low-key since the next few months will be jam-packed with moving (!), races, travel, and weddings. I got a bunch of vegetables from my CSA on Tuesday and made it my mission to eat them up.

A recipe that I had my eye on called for canned, diced tomatoes, but with a huge  heirloom tomato staring me in the face, I couldn’t bring myself to buy canned tomatoes. Instead, I quartered the tomato and put it in a saucepan (dry), covered it up and let the tomato cook on low for about 15 minutes. Once the tomato was soft enough, I ran my knife through it a few times. Voila! Homemade cooked and diced tomatoes. This is perfect as a base for a pasta sauce or soup.

Sometimes I make fancy dishes like vegan paella or homemade oreos, but most of the time I only have the time/energy for something simple. Something that I’ve been loving this week is oven-roasted corn. All you’ve gotta do is pre-heat the oven to 350 F and put your un-husked corn directly on the rack. Let them roast for about 30 minutes, remove, and eat with a squeeze of lemon juice and a sprinkle of salt and cayenne.  And the husk makes a great handle. So good!

Corn with cayenne, salt, and lemon juice.

I have one more CSA veggie pick up before I move, but besides that I’m going to *try* and avoid any further grocery shopping.  I need to use up what’s in my pantry and freezer! On Wednesday, I made my final visit to the grocery store and picked up some of my favs:

That red and yellow wrapped chocolate bar is from Mast Brothers chocolate, based in Brooklyn. I am in love with their Serrano Dark Chocolate bar (and I usually prefer milk to dark chocolate!). Another treat I picked up was a pint of Blue Marble cookies ‘n cream ice cream. Organic, Brooklyn-based. Yum!

On Wednesday night, I cooked a simple dish made of pasta, zucchini, onion, corn, and ricotta salata. It’s based on a Robin Miller recipe and was perfect for a summer night. It came together fast and was good both hot and cold (for lunch the next day).

I’m usually not a big white wine drinker, but in the summer a chilled glass of white can be a nice way to end the evening. This particular wine is a 2009 Keuka Village white from Ravines Winery (from the finger lakes in Upstate NY). I don’t know a ton about wine, but it was refreshing, fruity, and not too sweet. I liked it! (Excuse the water droplets on the glass….I had just rinsed it out).

My Thursday night dinner was turkey-butternut squash chili based on this awesome Whole Foods recipe. I’ve made this dish before, but this time around I had to use canned butternut squash because there appears to be a canned pumpkin shortage at the moment. This chili has a ton of fiber and protein and it used a bunch of the veggies I had on hand – tomatoes, corn, squash, and onion. As the seasons (or your tastes) change, you can alter the ingredients to utilize what you have in your fridge. I swapped out bell pepper for summer squash because that’s what I received from my CSA this week.

We all know how much I would love to subsist on wine and ice cream for dinner, but I have a race tomorrow (NYRR Club Champs – 5 miler), so I’m trying to be a little more conscientious of my fueling. I’m feeling rather nervous about this race. I ran it in 33:09 last year, when I felt like I was in much better shape. My running in 2011 has been a struggle (this spring = burn out, lacking motivation, etc) and am just starting to get back in the swing of training. I know I haven’t done as many speed and workouts as I could have to prepare for this, but alas, it’s a big team points race (we’re competing against other area running clubs), so I’ve got to give it my best. I know I’ll probably run slower than last year and I’m trying to accept that….but it’s never easy. The goal for this year is to run under 34:00. Eek.


Do you ever run races when you’re not feeling pumped up about them? It’s tempting to bag the race and just cheer for my teammates, but I really need to work on my speed and racing confidence, especially with the Philly half only 44 days away!

  • All those dishes look delish! I have run a couple of races I didn’t feel too excited about, and I just reminded myself that the race is for me, so if I needed it to be more of a “training run” instead that was fine. Good luck tomorrow!

  • Anonymous

    I’ve run a bunch that I just did to get my NYRR 9+1 and found that sometimes, I perform best at the races about which I don’t really care. Maybe because I’m less nervous and feel less pressure?
    Good luck tomorrow… I’ll be out there cheering!

  • good luck tomorrow, lady! you got this. you’ve been fueling properly to “get this,” at least 😉 love the blue marble ice cream action. love.

  • Anonymous

    Thank you so much! I loved reading everyone’s posts on motivation. They’ll keep me motivated during my own long run tomorrow. 🙂

    I promise to rock that one-shouldered bra at a race.

  • So many great summer dishes- thanks for the inspiration.  I’m running a half tomorrow and I’m totally undertrained for it so I’m just telling myself to have fun and get the miles in.  I don’t usually believe in signing up for races without being in shape for them and doing training runs- but life got in the way and work has been too busy.  I’m sure you will do great in your run- just use it as a speed workout!

  • I cheered for y’all this morning! Hope you had a good race, friend. 

    I usually run races when I’m not feeling super pumped in hopes that I’ll start feeling pumped the morning of or just when the race is starting. this works approximately half the time 🙂 

  • Yep, def — ie wasn’t really super stoked for today! Ended up being pretty fun though…with all the cheering and such. I am SUNBURNED though! eek. Hope your long cool-down went well!

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