Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Pear and Raisin Summer Salad with Goat Cheese

When I think of salad, usually I imagine something that exclusively includes savory ingredients. Maybe something made with a mixture of chicken, beans, olives, and tomatoes. But those kinds of typical salad combinations can get boring after a while. And there’s no rule that says salads can’t include some sweet stuff, right?

Right! In fact, more salads should be made with fruit. There’s something about a summertime type salad filled with sweet and juicy fruits that, for me at least, seems so against the grain that it makes a dish that I sometimes see as a boring plate filled with leaves, much more exciting and tasty.

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Curried Red Lentil Mash-up with Sweet Potato and Cauliflower

OK, I have a confession to make. So, I named this blog Hungry Runner because I like food and I like running. Only, the thing is it turns out I like running and fitness and exercise, a tiny little bit more than I like food. (I just gasped. I can’t believe I said that.)

[4 Fast and Healthy Recipes]

When I first started this site on Tumblr, and before I discovered Instagram, I was constantly posting my daily meals as healthy inspiration and occasionally posting the recipes for my favorite dishes. (As seen above.)

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadilla with Greek Yogurt Dressing and Gruyere Cheese

So the sweet potato black bean quesadilla is nothing new. I’ve made it before in the past and shared the recipe here with you all. I remember thinking it was such a genius combination of foods when I first stumbled across it. And that’s because it is.

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Spinach and Sweet Potato Mash-up

Like many of my “recipes,” this dish happened totally on accident. In fact, it was a potentially dangerous cooking accident that will give you some candid insight into my true “skill” in the kitchen.

By looking at my food photos (or if you’re lucky enough, tasting one of my meals) you may come to the conclusion that I’m at least a somewhat skilled chef. And I guess that’s true, since like, I can make pancakes and cookies and French toast pretty well. But the real truth is that even though I can make it look effortless by presenting you with a pretty picture of the end product, I’m actually sort of a Kitchen Klutz.

Sure most of my meals taste great, but that doesn’t mean I don’t encounter a few mishaps here an there before ending up with the final product. I’m the instance of this dish, I left a sweet potato baking in the oven for about 20 minutes too long. This resulted in some of the skin starting to ooze and stick to the pan and extra, extra mushy potato.

The sad part is that I had actually set the microwave timer. But when it went off I was preoccupied with something else (probably Instagram) and I thought, “I usually undercook sweet potatoes, so I’ll just give it another 5-10 minutes to make sure it cooks all the way through.”

Well, it’s my own fault for not setting a new timer because 5-10 minutes came and went (time flies when you’re instagramming photos of your food!) and 20 minutes later I was hit by that sudden “oh crap I left something in the oven for longer than I should have” feeling. (Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about.)

But the good news is that most of the time, (except for a few REALLY un-fixable mistakes) most kitchen mishaps turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Like in this case, I was forced to mash up my most mushy sweet potato and what I ended up with was this sweet and savory rice dish that, if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t mind eating for dinner every night if I had to.

This dish unintentionally ended up being a perfect balance between sweet and salty and I’m glad that I also decided to add spinach at the last minute, making it even more colorful and adding just enough texture to balance out all of the potato and rice mushiness.

A few recipe notes before you get started. Above is a (Intagram) photo of the original version of this dish, which I made on the fly as and on-the-go meal. You’ll notice that the “official photos” included red kidney beans in the dish, while the original version pictures what the recipe below calls for, which is chick peas. I recommend using chick peas (they just worked better with the flavors), however, feel free to experiment with whatever type of beans you like!

Ingredients (for 1 serving):
1/2 extra soft baked sweet potato, mashed

1/2 cup brown rice, cooked and spiced with turmeric and cumin

1/4 red onion, diced

2 T olive oil

1/2 cup chick peas

1/2 cup tomato, chopped into chunks

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

Optional: dash of cinnamon and feta cheese for topping

Directions:

1. In a medium-sized pan, heat olive oil and onion over medium heat until fragrant.

2. Add the rice then toss in the chick peas.

3. Add the mashed sweet potato and stir until everything is well mixed.

4. Add the spinach and tomato and continue to heat over low-medium heat until the leaves are slightly wilted.

5. Optional: sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and top with feta cheese to serve

*Multiplying ingredients to create additional servings will not effect the end product

White Chocolate Chip, Cake Batter Protein Bars + a Pure Protein Prize Pack Giveaway! {Closed}

It’s actually sort of bizarre that before this week, I’ve never owned or used protein powder.

I mean, I’m really into the whole health and fitness thing (it’s my job!) AND I come across dozens of protein-powder-based recipes from some of my favorite fellow foodies and fit-bloggers everyday.

For example, Savannah’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Sludge. Or Sally’s Chocolate Covered Cherry Protein Smoothie. Or Katie’s Cake Batter Energy Bars. All of these protein-packed homemade snacks I’ve been dying to try, yet I kept tossing them to the side because of a lack of protein powder. Ridiculous!

Today I have good news, though! My protein-powder-less days are finally over.

Pure Protein recently launched a new line of products, and in addition to a few protein bars and shakes, were kind enough to supply me with my very first tub of protein powder. That means I’ve finally baked up a batch of my own homemade protein bars! (And that their will be plenty more protein-packed snacks coming out of the Hungry Runner kitchen in the very near future.)

The importance and benefits of including protein in your daily diet is not a topic new to Hungry Runner. I’ve certainly written about it here in the past. But just to reiterate, some of the best benefits of a protein-rich diet include enhanced transportation of nutrients throughout the body, hormone, fluid, and acid-base balance, and muscle growth and maintenance. (Source: ACSM’s Resources for the Personal Trainer.) The best way to include protein in your diet is through whole foods like lean animal meat and plants such as beans, quinoa, lentils, and nuts. (Read more about how a protein-rich diet can help you lose weight.)

Buuuuut, even I’ll admit that when you’re on the go, sometimes a bar or shake is simply more convenient. Like with almost any packaged snack, Pure Protein Bars and Shakes are something that I choose to include in my diet as an every now and then snack because they aren’t completely “clean.” However, as long as the majority of your nutrients come from natural, whole foods, there’s no reason to completely avoid anything and everything that is not considered a “whole food”. In fact, completely restricting yourself can sometimes lead to an unhealthy mindset about food. No one will ever have a “perfect” diet, which is why indulgence and convenience are OK on occasion.

What I love most about these bars is that they are only 180 calories and they are low in sugar (only 2g). I was pleasantly surprised at the taste of both the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chocolate flavors for still tasting sweet despite having not much added sugar. (Read more about why it’s important to keep your daily added sugar intake to a minimum.)

I’ve found that the bars are a new favorite post-strength-training snack of mine because I can stash them in my bag and chow down on one while I’m on my way out of the gym. (Read more about the importance of post-workout protein consumption for gaining muscle and losing fat.)

Dessert Dilemma

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but, I sort of have an ugly sweet tooth that likes to rear it’s head when the sun goes down. It’s really hard for me to turn down dessert after dinner. And not only is it hard for me to pass up dessert, but when there are sweets around, whether I baked my own healthy version or it’s the real deal, it’s hard for me to eat only one serving.

However, last night I supplemented “dessert” with a Pure Protein Vanilla Cream Protein Shake. To my surprise, it turned out to be a perfect after dinner “sweet-tooth-satisfier.” I’m usually looking for some kind of chocolate cake or banana bread to nosh on after dinner, but when I’ve got stuff (usually homemade) like that lying around, it’s really easy for me to overindulge because breads and cakes are not all that filling. I’ll easily go for seconds and thirds without thinking twice about it. The Pure Protein shakes have just 170 calories and 15g of protein. By the time I finished it, my sweet tooth was fulfilled and I felt full and completely satisfied all the way up until it was time for bed.

And the same thing can be said for these cake batter bars. Adding the protein powder to them makes a whole world of a difference. Without it, I would probably eat 2 or 3 and still feel like I could dig in for more. But one of protein’s greatest powers is that it keeps you feeling fuller for longer, which helps prevent overindulging. Not to mention, the vanilla cream flavor of the protein powder is to die for and totally enhances the “cake batter” flavor of the bars.

I adapted this recipe from Chocolate Covered Katie’s Cake Batter Energy Bars. But before you head off to bake up your own batch, you can first enter to win your own Pure Protein Prize Pack. Just follow the instructions below to enter!

Pure Protein Prize Pack Giveaway

The Prize Pack includes:

  • 5 protein bars
  • 1 tub of Vanilla Cream Protein Powder
  • 12 Vanilla Cream Protein Shakes

3 Ways To enter:

  1. Mandatory: Leave a comment with a link to your favorite protein powder recipe. (Or one that you’d really like to try!)
  2. Follow Hungry Runner on Facebook
  3. Follow Hungry Runner on Instagram

Each task is equal to one entry. Leave a separate comment for each completed form of entry. (Total of 3 entries per person.)

The giveaway will be open until Midnight on Tuesday, February 26. I will use a randomizer to choose a winner on Wednesday, February 27th. The winner will be announced here on that day. If the winner fails to reply within 48 hours of being contacted, a new winner will be chosen. This contest is open to U.S. residents only.

White Chocolate Chip, Cake Batter Protein Bars

(Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie)

Ingredients:

1 cup rice crispies (I used Erewhon’s Crispy Brown Rice Gluten Free Cereal)

1/4 cup oat flour

1/4 cup Pure Protein Vanilla Creme protein powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons all-natural, creamy peanut butter

5 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

handful of white chocolate chips

Directions:

1. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the rice crispies, oat flour, protein powder, and salt.

2. In a separate larger bowl, mix together the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla.

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix together well until evenly coated.

4. Line a medium-sized baking dish or Tupperware with waxed parchment paper and pour the batter into the dish. Fold the sides of the paper over the batter and use a flat-surfaced heavy object to press the batter down until it is flat and fills the entire bottom of the dish.

5. Freeze for about 20 minutes.

6. Unfold the parchment paper, cut the batter into bars (I got about 9 small squares) and serve immediately or store in a sealed Tupperware in the fridge of freezer.


This post is sponsored by Pure Protein. Check out great ways to Eat Good and Look Great.





Slow Cooker, Sweet Potato Chili

Hungry Runner Fun Fact: Chili is one of my all time favorite foods.

The best bowl of chili I’ve ever had was at a pub in Stirling Scotland on St. Patrick’s day in 2010.

This was before I had an iPhone and an obsession with posting pictures of my food on Instagram. So, unfortunately there’s no photographic proof of The Best Bowl of Chili Ever. But trust me, it existed and I ate it.

Here’s me, sitting at a Royal Table, during the trip. You know, eating like a queen. Like I always do.

Anyway, since then, I’ve made plenty of batches of my own chili. But never in a slow cooker. In fact, previous to whipping up this recipe, I’d never used a slow cooker before. Ever. At all.

So this is totally new territory for me. Territory I feel I’ve successfully conquered given the outcome of this vegetarian chili dish. Oh the cook is getting cocky now. Well c’mon, I wouldn’t share the recipe with you all if it didn’t taste good.

And taste good it certainly does. It’s spicy and sweet and full of varying textures. The addition of the split red lentils helps thicken up the dish without adding any meat. Although you certainly could throw some in if you prefer a classic, non-vegetarian chili.

Speaking of non-vegetarian chili, the bowl I had in Scotland was not meatless, which, I do have to admit was most likely a large factor in contributing to its Best Chili Ever status.

But vegetarian chili comes in a close second. A very close second.

Plus, this recipe is particularly convenient for some simple weekend food prepping. What could be easier than cooking some lentils, chopping up a bunch of veggies, opening a few cans of beans, and throwing it all into the slow cooker with a few spices and some veggie broth? I don’t know, maybe a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? I guess that’s easier. But (and don’t get me wrong, I love a good PB&J sandwich) not nearly as hearty and satisfying.

Less than an hour of kitchen time for 3-4 pre-prepped meals during the week. That’s my kind of cooking!

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 small red onion, diced

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. turmeric

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

1 can red kidney beans

1 can black beans

1 large sweet potato, chopped

1/2 cup split red lentils, rinsed, picked, and cooked

1 cup low sodium veggie broth

a few more dashes of cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, and turmeric to taste

Directions:

1. Follow package directions for cooking 1/2 cup split red lentils. (Note: you can skip this step and add them to the slow cooker uncooked, however I found that cooking them first allows for a thicker end product because they will have absorbed more liquid.)

2. Turn on the slow cooker (high heat setting). Once the pot is heated and the bottom is warm, add the olive oil and onion. Heat for 2-3 minutes.

3. Add the cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, and turmeric. Stir lightly to mix with oil and onion. Let the mixture heat for another 2-3 minutes.

4. Add the pepper, beans, sweet potato, and cooked lentils. Stir lightly to blend with spice and onion mixture.

5. Add the veggie broth and stir. Sprinkle in a few more dashes of each spice.

6. Heat for 1-3 hours.

7. Serve immediately or pack in Tupperware and store in the refrigerator (up to 5 days) for a pre-prepped meal at a later time.

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Hungry Runner by Katie is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.