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stuffed acorn squash

I hope you all had a great Monday!  I love Monday holidays – it just makes the weekend so much better. 🙂

I got through my long run today in the mountains!  Lots and lots of hills, but I felt great through all 11.5 miles.  I kept an average pace of 9:20 per mile and took it nice and easy since it was a longer run.  The experts say that you should complete your long runs 60-90 seconds per mile slower than your race pace.  You don’t want to run them at an extremely hard effort because that will make you more tired and you won’t be able to complete the rest of your weekly runs at a good pace.  The point of a long run is to build stamina and muscle memory.  I think that my legs have no problem running for 1:45 minutes after all of that marathon training last summer and fall!

After my 11.5 mile run, I was starving, so I immediately dug into a snack to hold me over until lunch.

Amazing grass mixed with milk and a banana with Barney Butter.

I don’t think I have mentioned Barney Butter on here before.  It is an almond butter that is mentioned on numerous food blogs out there!  I do like it, because I love nut butters, however it is definitely not my favorite.  They add cane juice and oil to the almonds to create the almond butter, which I do not like.  It has a sweeter taste due to the cane juice.  I much prefer Trader Joe’s Raw Almond Butter – it is to die for!!  But, I bought the Barney Butter to try it out, so of course I will finish the jar!

It tastes okay spread on a super ripe banana!

This snack did the trick.  It contained lots of protein to fuel my tired muscles and held me over while I cleaned up.

We had some leftover pizza for lunch before heading back to boston.  Once again, I had a slice of the Pear, Caramelized Onion and Gorgonzola and a slice of the Tomato, Mozzarella and Broccoli.

On the way home, I drank some Coconut Water,

and snacked on a few dried kiwi’s, which are full of sugar. 😦  But, they were delicious and are more nutritious than eating candy!

We also stopped at Starbucks, where I got an Awake Tea Latte – love these and love the cups!

Once home, I unpacked and started on dinner – Stuffed Acorn Squash!

I popped 1.5 cups of brown rice into my rice cooker to get started, then I cut an acorn squash in half and baked it for 30 minutes.

This would have been a perfect Valentine’s Day meal, since they are shaped like hearts!!!

While the rice and squash cooked, I started on the stuffing.  I chopped up 2 cloves of garlic, 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks, then cooked them in a saute pan for about 5 minutes before adding 1 can of chickpeas and the cooked rice.

I seasoned the mix with paprika, salt, pepper, brown sugar and red pepper flakes.  Then added a handful of raisins at the end and cooked until warm.

You will know that the acorn squash is done, when you can puncture it easily with a fork.

I then added the stuffing to the squash.

And, topped the mix with shredded cheddar cheese and baked for another 7 minutes to melt the cheese!

Mmmm…they came out delicious!!!

We really loved this meal.  I would cook this again in a second!  So delicious.

I loved the slight sweetness of the acorn squash paired with the sweet and spicy rice.  The cheddar cheese topped gave it a bit of tartness – yum!

Baked Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups brown rice, uncooked
  • 2 acorn squashes, cut in half
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions:

  1. Cook brown rice according to package directions.
  2. Cut 2 acorn squashes in half and bake at 350°F facedown for 30 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the garlic, carrots and celery.
  4. Heat a skillet with 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat.  Cook the garlic, carrots and celery for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the chickpeas and cook until heated through, then add the rice.
  6. Mix in the rice and all seasonings.
  7. Add the raisins and cook for another few minutes, until warmed through.
  8. Take your squash from the oven and fill each center with the rice mixture.
  9. Top each squash with 1/8 cup cheddar cheese.
  10. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.
  11. Serve immediately after removing from oven.
  12. Enjoy!

Time for the Olympics and Tea!

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pizza party

You guys probably think I eat a lot of pizza!  I love pizza and I used to eat it all the time, but we’ve cut back a lot lately to cook at home.  When we go up skiing, it is just so fun to make homemade pizza’s with a crowd!

Last night, my brother dominated the pizza making.  He made 4 delicious pizza’s.  They were perfect – the crust was crispy, but soft and the cheese was bubbly – just how I like it!

Chop, chop.

Tossing the pizza dough!

Opps!  Forgot to snap a pic when he caught the dough. 🙂

The pizzas were so good!  While watching them being created, I snacked on lots of these:

Ugh, I hate when I do that…not a good idea!

Anyways, on to the delicious dinner.

Pear, Caramelized Onion and Gorgonzola

Pepperoni and Onion

Sliced Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella and Broccoli

Pepperoni, Peppers and Tomato

Don’t they look amazing?  Good job, Bri!  I had a slice of pear, onion and gorganzola and 2 small slices of the fresh mozzarella, tomato and broccoli.

The rest of the night was spent watching the Olympics!!  I love them!

This morning, I woke up to some homemade Broccoli Quiche and Blueberries.

Along with tea and emergen-c.

And now, I’m off for a long run in the mountains – wish me luck!