Well! I hope this post finds you wrapping up a fantastic holiday weekend. Ours was low key, but still very much awesome. Sometimes it’s nice to just chill out and relax; in my case, relaxing usually means going for a good run! 😉
Our temps here in ND continue to drop, but I am not letting that stop me from getting my training in! I have to admit…I LOVE winter running, and have had nothing but joy when it comes to approaching my cold, early morning runs. BUT…I think that has a lot to do with the great company!
I needed a 10 mile run in on Saturday, and I was thrilled when Danielle and Brittney were on board to join me. How lucky am I that I have finally found some running friends here in our small town of ND?! Oh, I cannot begin to express how utterly grateful I am. I have no false modesty when I say these ladies are heads and shoulders ahead of me speed wise, but when the stars align and we can all enjoy a nice recovery paced run together…well, let’s just say my day is made.
I had so much fun with my 10 miles Saturday, It’s amazing how you don’t even think about the cold when you have friends to chat with (and appropriate cold weather gear. God bless, you, Ice Breaker!) It was such a blast, I texted Danielle late that evening to see if she was game for another early morning Sunday run date? Her answer…a resounding “You Bet!”
I share stuff on here with you, my reader, but I don’t always dive into deep, personal stuff. But I have to say moving to ND has been pretty hard on me. Definitely my hardest move to date. I’ve felt un-moored, lost, and drifting; all the things that lit me up and gave me a sense of purpose I haven’t been able to find here. I’m a pretty adaptable and upbeat person, but for the first time in my life I was struggling to put down roots, and feeling very isolated and sad. Hubby works a ton (but is absolutely thriving at his job, which brings me a tremendous amount of pride and happiness) but makes for some long and solitary days. I went even so far as to declare I wasn’t going to try and get close to anyone (if you know me, you know how delusional of a statement this is) and I was NOT going to get invested. I was going to put my head down and get through this assignment.
Ha! It seems the powers that be had completely different plans. As I have mentioned before, I met Danielle in late October, and it has been like a complete shift for me. I found a person that gets what it’s like to be here – not by choice – but is choosing to see the best in what the area has to offer. She embraces adventure and is up for spontaneous cold weather runs. (She introduced me to Brittney, and I met yet another awesome lady!) I just want to say that this lady rocks and I am amazed that I met someone as awesome as her just when I needed it! I am super thankful for her and that she accepts me as I am. No judgement or awkwardness. 🙂 (Sorry – I promise not to turn into a grade level 5 creeper, Danielle!)
Now on to some eats! Today’s cold weather comfort food recipe is soy, dairy and grain free! Hubby and I both went for a second helping, and I’d have gone for a third if I wasn’t worry about feeling overstuffed and ill!
Cauliflower, Mushroom, and Potato Stew
2TB oil of choice
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large onion (I used yellow) diced
1″ fresh ginger, peeled and grated or finely diced
1 EA red and green bell pepper -diced
2 cups quartered mushrooms
1 head of cauliflower, broken into bite sized pieces
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
6 baby potatoes, (about the size of an egg or smaller) diced
1 TB curry powder
1 TB Brown Sugar (opt)
5 shakes red pepper flakes
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans of vegetable broth
1 can chickpeas, drained
1TB thai chili paste
Salt and Pepper to taste
8oz of unsweetned coconut milk (hint: I place the can in the fridge overnight to separate the watery liquid from the thick coconut cream; I skim this off the top and use ONLY the solid for this stew, and discard the watery liquid that settles at the bottom of the can)
1c spinach, chopped
In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion, garlic, ginger – saute until onions are translucent. Add red and green bell peppers and mushrooms. Continue to cook and stir often until tender. Add curry powder, red pepper flakes, brown sugar (if using) and salt and pepper. Add chickpeas, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Add sweet and regular potatoes as well as cauliflower. Continue to cook for 45 mins or until potatoes and cauliflower are tender. Add chili paste, coconut milk and spinach. Cook for 15 more mins on medium-low, stirring often. Add salt and pepper to taste, as desired.
Serve hot over rice or couscous. Enjoy!
Have you found yourself meeting a friend just when you needed it? What’s your go to cold weather running gear? Or do you have a favorite comfort food you enjoy when the weather gets cold?