Meatless Monday: Mexican no-Meat Loaf

Before I get to the recipe, here’s my usual weekly run summary thingamabob for last week :)

run summary feb 23-28 2015

I’m still super proud of my 30+ miles in only 5 days!

Okay, onto the yumminess! This recipe is an adaptation of the Black Bean Loaf from One Green Planet. I kept the beans and oats the same, but changed the rest of it around.

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  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1.5 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 bunch (6-8) scallions, chopped (both white and green parts)
  • 1 large jar fire-roasted red peppers, drained and chopped (2 peppers)
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp Liquid Smoke
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Hot Mexican chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp (low sodium) soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup salsa (I used Frontera Tomatillo)
  • cilantro for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the beans with the cumin and lime juice, then add the oats, garlic, scallions, peppers, Liquid Smoke, soy sauce, chili powder, and half of the salsa. Mix it all together.
  3. Pour into 1 large or 2 small loaf pans (use parchment paper or non-stick cooking spray), top with the other half of the salsa, and bake for about 40 minutes.

I portioned this into 6 servings with the following nutritional info, per serving: 242 calories, 2g fat, 44g carbs (12g fiber, 4g sugar), and 13g protein.

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This was delicious and will definitely be added to the weekly rotation! Hope you enjoy :)


My Running Journal (Day 5 #writeandrun31)

Anyone have a hard time finding the “perfect” running journal? I’ve been through something like 10-12 different journals/logs and I always end up either not using them at all, or scribbling down a few days worth of entries before deciding that I just don’t like it.

I do log all my mileage on the computer (in an Excel sheet), but there’s just something about having a “hard copy” that appeals to me. And I finally found a running journal that has everything I was looking for, including being just the right size, and attractive :)

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I ordered this from They have several different designs and you can even have them personalized, but I opted for one of the generic designs (i.e., cheaper) since I was afraid this would be another “dud.” Now that I see how awesome it is, I’ll definitely be ordering another one, personalized :)

It has goal pages, race pages, a section for notes, and more. Here are some of the inner pages:

Most of the pages are for logging your runs.

Most of the pages are for logging your runs.





PR's, Race Registrations

PR’s, Race Registrations



So if you’re looking for a new running journal, I highly recommend one of these!

Today’s run was Week 7 Day 1 of the 10k trainer app from Zen Labs. 5 minute warm up, run for 25 minutes, and 5 minute cool down. I ran 3.5 miles in just under the 35 minutes.

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And this morning’s weigh in was 116.8.

Ciao for now :)

Zucchini, Black Bean, and Black Olive Burritos

This was my 2nd time making these, and Wow are they good! This time I took pictures as I went along so that I could share it with you :)

This recipe is adapted from the one in Isa Chandra’s book Appetite for Reduction. I highly recommend this (and all of her) book(s)!

Zucchini, Black Bean, and Black Olive Burritos

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  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 Tbsp Cilantro base
  • 2 medium or 1 large zucchini, shredded (about 4 cups worth)
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves (or 2 Tbsp) minced
  • 4 oz sliced black olives
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning (or 1 tsp cumin + 1 tsp coriander + 1 tsp chili powder)
  • 8 oz salsa verde (tomatillo salsa)
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans – drained, rinsed, and mashed
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions (scallions)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 4 (whole wheat) burrito-sized tortillas

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1. Saute the zucchini and jalapeno in a large skillet lined with non-stick cooking spray, and veg broth (or water) until it starts turning brown (about 10 minutes): 2014-08-09 13.02.37


2. Add the garlic, olives, cilantro base and taco seasoning, and saute for about 2-3 minutes: 2014-08-09 13.09.53

3. Add the salsa and black beans, give a good mix, and reduce heat to low, letting it simmer for about another 5-10 minutes: 2014-08-09 13.13.10

4. Warm the tortillas then add the filling, and top with scallions and cilantro. Serve! 2014-08-09 13.22.49

I added some of my fresh salsa and (of course) guacamole to mine, and for hubby I added some non-dairy sour cream. I also made some brown rice and added lime juice, cumin, and cilantro to serve on the side. Yummy!

Nutrition info per serving is based on 6 servings of the filling only (I’m not including the burritos because the info varies so much depending on the brand used):  113 Calories, 2.1g  fat, 18.8g carbs (6.2g fiber, 2.5g sugar), and 5.9g protein

Quinoa, Black bean, and Sweet Potato chili

A couple weeks ago I found and tried THIS recipe. While my husband really liked it, it was just “off” somehow for me. Today I decided to do a recipe makeover with it, and Wow! I’m so glad I did! By omitting the oil, subbing salsa and cilantro base for the tomato paste, using homemade refried black beans, and adding in some hot sauce, what a delicious difference it made!   As a bonus, it’s also quick and easy to make :)

Q-BB-SP Chili

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  •  1.5 cups homemade refried black beans (I used THIS recipe subbing black beans and adding extra spices, or just use a 15 oz can – rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup salsa (I used Frontera Jalapeno and Cilantro)
  • 32oz vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro base (in the Ethnic aisle of most grocery stores – it’s made by Goya)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder (I used Hot Mexican)
  • 1 Tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • Tobasco sauce (optional)
  • Cilantro (to garnish)
  • non-stick cooking spray

1. Spray a large soup pot with non-stick cooking spray, set on medium-high heat and saute the onion and garlic until fragrant (about 5 minutes)

2. Add the salsa, cilantro base, cumin, chili powder, oregano, beans, and sweet potato. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly.

3. Add the broth, give it a good mix and then bring to a boil.

4. Add the quinoa, reduce heat to very low, cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

5. Remove from heat and serve. Top with a few (or a lot of) drops of Tobasco sauce and a little cilantro. Other optional toppings (not included in nutritional info): Tofutti Sour Cream, Guacamole, crumbled tortilla chips…

With a dollop of Tofutti (vegan) Sour Cream

With a dollop of Tofutti (vegan) Sour Cream

Makes 8 servings. Per serving is 211 calories, 3.1g fat, 36.3g carbs (5.7g fiber, 3g sugar) and 7.9g protein.

This was so good that I had it for lunch and dinner!

I also had quinoa for breakfast – Chocolate quinoa with banana and maple syrup – Mmmmmm! I used THIS recipe, but I subbed maple syrup for the honey, left out the mint, and added a tablespoon of PB2. And I used unsweetened vanilla coconut milk instead of almond.

Chocolate Quinoa with Banana and Maple Syrup

Chocolate Quinoa with Banana and Maple Syrup

Polenta and Black Bean “Nachos”

I’m home sick today – it seems that both Lucy and I caught the same stomach bug. I didn’t think that was possible, but we did share a spoonful of peanut butter the other night…

Anyways, after our walk this morning I started feeling a little better (and I think she’s on the mend as well) so I headed into the kitchen to make something with the batch of refried black beans I whipped up over the weekend. Usually I make my own polenta, and use canned beans, but today it was the other way around.

A tube of polenta cut into "Nacho"-sized rounds.

A tube of polenta cut into “Nacho”-sized rounds.


  • 1-pound tube of Polenta, sliced into 24 rounds
  • 1.5 cups Refried Black Beans (I used THIS recipe but with black beans and additional spices. Or you can just use canned :))
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 tsp Emeril’s Southwest Essence (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh salsa
  • 2 oz guacamole
  • 1 Tbsp cilantro


Chopped green onions, fresh salsa, guacamole, refried black beans, and taco seasoning

Chopped green onions, fresh salsa, guacamole, refried black beans, and taco seasoning


  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put the Polenta rounds on the parchment paper, in a single layer and sprinkle with Emeril’s SW Essence 


    You can skip the Emeril's seasoning, or just use any kind of chili powder.

    You can skip the Emeril’s seasoning, or just use any kind of chili powder.


  3. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, then remove from oven and flip each piece over.
  4. Add 1 Tbsp refried beans to each round, then sprinkle the green onions, taco seasoning, and cilantro over it all. 


    Polenta rounds topped with refried black beans, taco seasoning, green onions, and cilantro.

    Polenta rounds topped with refried black beans, taco seasoning, green onions, and cilantro.


  5. Bake for another 15 – 20 minutes, then remove from oven.
  6. When ready to serve, top each round with 2 tsp salsa and a dab of guacamole.


    Add salsa and a dab (or a glob!) of guacamole!

    Add salsa and a dab (or a glob!) of guacamole!




    One serving = 6 “nachos.” This nutritional info is based on canned beans (I haven’t entered the homemade recipe yet) and packaged taco seasoning (ditto):

    Calories: 332, Fat: 11.6g (because of the guacamole I’m sure), Carbs: 46g (9.3g fiber and 2.9g sugar), and Protein: 9.4g

One-pot Pasta (with artichokes, onions, and diced tomatoes)

I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on Pinterest lately – gathering recipes to try out/tweak, and getting inspiration to create some new ones of my own. I keep seeing different versions of  this “One-pot Pasta.”  I’m not all that big of a fan of pasta dishes – for some reason pasta doesn’t leave me feeling full;  it actually makes me crave sweets afterwards. Weird, huh?  Anyways, I did want to make something with artichokes, so I figured I’d give it a go. Here’s my variation:


  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 box (13.25oz) whole wheat Penne pasta
  • 1 can (15oz) quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 2 cans (10oz each) diced tomatoes with green chilies (use the liquid too)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 1/2 cups vegetable broth


One-pot Pasta

One-pot Pasta with onions, garlic, diced tomatoes, and artichoke hearts


  1. Spray a large soup pot with PAM (or whatever non-stick cooking spray you use) and saute the onions and garlic over medium-high heat until translucent (about 5 minutes).
  2. Add all the other ingredients, cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce to a simmer and let cook (covered) for about 10-15 minutes, stirring every so often.
  4. Remove cover and cook for about another 10 minutes, until about all of the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Serve!


One-pot Pasta, drizzled with Awesome Sauce

One-pot Pasta, drizzled with Awesome Sauce

My husband is an Italian pasta-snob and he LOVED this! He immediately went back for seconds before I even sat down to taste it! I have to say, it really was good! I also went back for more! I drizzled a little of my Awesome Sauce (recipe coming soon!) on it, but honestly, it was just as good without it!  The only thing I’ll do differently next time I make it (and I definitely will!), is add more veggies (mushrooms, olives, maybe spinach)!

I got 8 servings out of this, with the following nutritional information (per serving): 193.1 calories, .9g fat, 43.4g carbs (7g fiber, 3.3g sugar), 7g protein


Meatless Monday: the Tuesday edition ;)

So yesterday just flat-out sucked. I had a miserable day at work, and then after I got home, took Lucy for her walk, and ate some dinner I was just done. I did open my blog and clicked on “New Post,” but that was it. I never even typed a single word!

So without further ado, let me share this weekend’s yumminess!

The first recipe is Quinoa-Polenta Pie, and comes from Straight Up Food. You can see the original HERE. The only changes I made were using using coriander instead of oregano, and I sprinkled smoked paprika over it before baking. It was DELICIOUS!

Quinoa-Polenta Pie

Quinoa-Polenta Pie

Quinoa-Polenta Pie topeed with guacamole and BBQ sauce.

Topped it with (my new favorite combo of) guacamole and BBQ sauce, and after the first bite I was ready to make a whole ‘nother batch! I’ve also since had it topped with some black beans and salsa, and topped with a refried bean concoction of onions, jalapenos, fire-roasted diced tomatoes, black olives and fat-free refried beans. The possibilities are endless! YUM!


Next up was a Quinoa/Black bean/Sweet Potato Chili from, which can be viewed HERE.  Again, I subbed coriander for oregano, but that was the only change I made. On it’s own, I wasn’t all that crazy about this one, but I think that’s because I’m still acquiring a taste for sweet potatoes. My husband, on the other hand (who is a meat-eater), LOVED this recipe!

Quinoa/Black bean/Sweet Potato Chili

Quinoa/Black bean/Sweet Potato Chili

I ended up putting fresh salsa, guacamole, lime juice, and some tortilla chips in mine, and that made it quite delicious. It was really easy to make, and I’ll probably give it another go at some point.


After I cleaned up the kitchen and took another walk with Lucy, I got right back to it with Mexican Black Bean Burgers from The recipe can be viewed HERE. I used a Flax egg instead of a chicken egg, whole wheat panko instead of bread crumbs, Hot Mexican chili powder, and only 1 tbsp of oil – when it came time to “fry” them I used PAM.  I will absolutely make these again, but without ANY oil next time.

Mexican Black Bean Burger (with vegan potato salad, topped with BBQ sauce and guacamole)

Mexican Black Bean Burger (with vegan potato salad, topped with BBQ sauce and guacamole)

I could easily eat one of these every day – they were THAT good!


I even broke down and made dessert, but only because I had 2 almost-rotten bananas that I didn’t want to throw away ;)  Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Chip Brownies from the Earth Balance site. Original recipe HERE. No changes to this recipe except for the brands of peanut butter and soy milk.

Peanut butter,banana,chocolate chip brownies

Peanut butter,banana,chocolate chip brownies

Almost 250 calories for this tiny little brownie! Eek!

Almost 250 calories for this tiny little brownie! Eek!

These were so decadently delicious! I had to cut them into 16 servings to get the calories under 250!  After hubby and I each had one, I immediately packed them away to take into work.  Something like this is definitely a RARE treat, as I normally try to eat healthy and with very little added sugar!


All in all, it was a good day in the kitchen and I have 2 new recipes to add into my regular rotation :)


Week 5 Half Marathon Training Recap

Better late than never, right?!

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I only ended up running 3 days, but still managed to get in over 30 miles for the week! I did my speed-work on Wednesday (treadmill): 8 x 400 repeats (love this workout!) for 30 minutes (just over 3 miles), hill-work on Friday (treadmill): 3.5 miles of level 1 hills in 35 minutes, and my long run on Sunday (outside): 8.2 miles (doing 1:1 intervals) in 96 minutes. Oh my Goodness, it was BRUTAL out there- 94 degrees and 100% humidity. I kept waiting (and hoping for) the thunderstorm, but it never came until after I was back home :(


Tonight I’ll be trying out a new recipe from One-Dish Vegan by Robin Robertson. It’s Cumin-Spiced Quinoa Salad with Jalapeno Pesto. I can’t share the recipe, but I will report back with the outcome!


Week 1 Half Marathon Training Recap

I think I’ve mentioned that I’m virtually training with a friend for her first half marathon. We’re doing a modified version of Hal Higdon’s Intermediate plan. So far, so good! Here’s how it’s been going:

  • Monday: 3-5 miles easy/recovery: Did 3.84 miles in 40:00 (treadmill)
  • Tuesday: CT or Rest: did 40 minutes walking Level 5 hills – 2.78 miles (treadmill)
  • Wednesday: 5 x 400 @5k pace: Did 8 x 400 = 3.35 miles in 30:45 (treadmill)
  • Thursday: Easy 3: Did easy 3 in 31:30 (treadmill)
  • Friday: 3 miles hills: Did 2 miles at a 2% incline, in 23:35 (GI issues) (treadmill)
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: 5 miles LSR: did 5.15 miles in 55:25 (outside- OMG hot!)

With Lucy’s daily walks added in, I did a total of 32.12 miles for the week, rotating between my Brooks ST Racers, Skechers GR2, Skechers GRR3, and the walks in Saucony Kinvara 4.



On the food and weight side, I’ve been doing exceptionally well! I’ve been hovering between 117-118 the last couple weeks, and I’m perfectly happy with that :)