Kale and Bean Soup

Baby it's [getting] cold outside, and nothing warms me up better than a good cup of soup. I stumbled upon this gem when my roommate made it during a snowstorm in 2014 and I haven't stopped making it since. It's 10 ingredients, and couldn't be simpler or more filling. Paired with a piece of whole wheat sourdough toast, or my personal favorite: popcorn on the stove, and this makes for a fiber-filled, amazing meal for lunch or dinner on a chilly day. 

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Ingredients

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 bunch kale (5-6 cups)

4 cloves garlic

1 large white onion

1 12oz can white cannellini beans

1 12oz can red kidney beans

¼ cup white wine (optional)

Cooking Tools:

1 large pot

Knife and kitchen scissors

Cutting board

Large bowl

Preparation

Begin by using your kitchen scissors to cut the kale into small, bite-size pieces into your large bowl. Cut the onion and garlic, so all your veggies are ready. In the large pot heat the olive oil for a few minutes and open both cans of beans. Empty the cannellini beans into a bowl and begin mashing them with a fork to create a paste you will use to thicken your soup. Add the onions to the oil and let them brown, then add the kale. Stir the mixture together and add the garlic. Next, add the broth, water, and wine. Stir in the mashed cannellini beans until evenly distributed, and the red kidney beans on top.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes, and you’re DONE!

Kale and Bean Soup with a side of homemade stove-cooked popcorn.

Kale and Bean Soup with a side of homemade stove-cooked popcorn.

Marathon Season is here.. What to get your Favorite Runner

Marathon season is upon us, and with the NYC Marathon less than 1 week away, you may be wondering, "what should I get my favorite runner on her special day?" Below is a list of some starter ideas to get your basket going. Top with a heartfelt note and card and you'll be sure to have your pal in tears, aided by both your thoughtful gesture and the emotional output of the final days in taper.

Here's a few links for the items above:

GuHoney Stinger | Clif

Body Glide

Moroccan Eggplant Tangine

Moroccan Eggplant Tangine over Couscous

Moroccan Eggplant Tangine over Couscous

Ingredients

  • 1 C Couscous
  • 1 C Chick Peas
  • 1 large (2 med) eggplant - cubed
  • 2 Tomatoes - cubed
  • 1 Onion - diced
  • 4oz tomato paste
  • 1 bunch mint
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • 3 oz dates
  • 3 Tbl shelled pistachios (unsalted) - chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbl Olive oil

Spices

  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Heat water to a boil, add couscous, cover and return to a boil. Once boiling, turn off the burner leaving the pan on the heat so the couscous can expand.
  • Heat olive oil in a pan, cube eggplant into bite size pieces, peel and cut garlic. Add eggplant to the hot oil and cook for 6-8 minutes. Once eggplant is browned and softened, add the garlic and salt/pepper to taste. Stir in tomatoes and onion; cook for 2-3 minutes then add can of tomato paste.
  • Spice your mixture and stir until fragrant, then add chick peas, figs, mint, and parsley.
  • Plate your dishes, garnishing with the chopped pistachios.
Comment

Jessica Ferrucci

The Happy Runner is the everyday athlete; finding balance by carrying six coffees without spilling them on the subway, meditating on elevator rides, and weight lifting your laptop as your hurdle a puddle to make your 9AM meeting. The Happy Runner is a community of like-minded beautiful souls striving to add a little sense of movement and meditation back on the agenda.

Spices for Running Recovery

Love running, but hate the all-day aches and drains following your speed work or long runs? As runners we push ourselves to a physical limit…then immediately ask our bodies to sit all day in a desk chair, haul laptop bags up and down the subway stairs, sleep six hours a night, or maybe even run a household. We need items in our pockets that we can look to for reliable relief without a laundry list of side effects. Often runners can slip into a routine of a pre-run Tylenol, followed by a morning-after Advil or even a weekend Excedrin to make it through you weekend night out. Sounds reasonable, right? But the thing to consider is that long-term use of pain relief medications has been linked to some scary lifestyle side effects including increased risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and even strokes.

On a mission to find lasting relief with minimal side effects, it only made sense to look at what nature had to offer. Our list consists of centuries-old natural spice remedies targeting inflammation, body aches, and oxidants (the very reasons you hear so much about the amazing effects of antioxidants).

The Runner’s Cabinet:

Turmeric

This is the kale of the spice market. It’s a potent superfood with growing popularity in the commercial market. Turmeric is ginger’s hot foreign cousin, powered by the compound curcumin which gives it its orange coloring and insane anti-inflammatory abilities. Turmeric in your food is a great way to slowly introduce the compound to your system, but to get the full effect it should be consumed along-side black pepper. For a higher curcumin dosage, consider adding a turmeric supplement during peak training times.

Cayenne

It might be surprising to hear how effective this under-the-radar spicy of spices can be considering it’s likely been lurking in the back of your cabinet for months or years. Cayenne pepper – yes the super spicy powder your Dad likes on spaghetti – is a remedy for migraines, cramps, joint pain, and digestion. Studies have shown that cayenne is highly detoxifying. Use it in foods, sprinkle into drinks, or most effectively stir it into a glass of warm lemon water when you first wake up in the morning. 

Ginger

In my opinion the tastiest item on the list, ginger comes sold in root form at your local grocery store or bodega and can be chopped into smoothies, stir fries, boiled into tea, or added to marinades. Ginger root is an ancient oriental remedy for reducing nausea, muscle pain, and soreness. Its spicy-sweet flavor and crisp scent make it just as enjoyable to eat as to reap the benefits from consumption.

Peppermint

More than just a fresh flavor, peppermint cleanses the body, eliminates toxins, and yes it does help whiten teeth. For your run life, peppermint also eases cramps, gas, colds, and stimulates your system. Whether it’s in tea or as a fresh addition to your water, salad, or just to nibble on the leaves, this fast growing herb is an amazing natural cleanser.

Cinnamon

Half a teaspoon twice a day can help your body resist surges in insulin and reduce inflammation. Although we’ve come to associate cinnamon with sweets, its naturally filled with metabolism ramping spice and has a cooling effect on the body’s central nervous system. Try putting a tablespoon right on top of your coffee grounds when you’re making your morning pot. The strainer will keep it from getting everywhere but let the flavorful goodness seep through. We also love it sprinkled on cereal, sweet potatoes, baked chicken, or just about…anything.

 

In a world controlled by over-the-counter drugs, I’ve found time and again that the best remedies for my own running (and life) aches and pains has come right out of my kitchen counter. Although there are dozens of potent spices, the list above is a standout of power houses deemed spectacular by both scientific research and personal preference. It’s not an easy transition, but the slow migration from prescription to plant has been more than I could have hoped for in speeding recovery without the strange, sometimes scary side effects of man-made remedies. 

 

 

Comment

Jessica Ferrucci

The Happy Runner is the everyday athlete; finding balance by carrying six coffees without spilling them on the subway, meditating on elevator rides, and weight lifting your laptop as your hurdle a puddle to make your 9AM meeting. The Happy Runner is a community of like-minded beautiful souls striving to add a little sense of movement and meditation back on the agenda.

Broccoli Forest - what’s in your lunch box?

During busy days at the office, I find my calm in whole foods filled with green veggies. Broccoli has been linked to brain health, energy, increased circulation, and lowered stress levels. Paired with lentils and quinoa this packs the veggies + fiber + protein combo to help you power through your afternoon.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa 
  • 2 cups broccoli, roasted
  • 2 cup kale, roasted
  • 1 can lentils or lentil soup
  • turmeric, cayenne, salt, and black pepper

To cook the quinoa:

Combine boil 2 cups water. Add 1 table spoon of oil (olive or coconut), and a pinch of salt. When water boils add 1 cup quinoa and lower heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Done.

To roast the veggies:

Pre-heat over to 450. Wash and cut veggies and place in a boil. Add a little bit of oil (your choice how much but go light!) and roll/stir them until they are lightly coated. Empty onto a cookie sheet and spice with turmeric, cayenne, black pepper, and salt. Cook for 15 minutes or until slightly browned.

To make the dish:

Combine all ingredients - quinoa, veggies, and lentils in a large non-stick pan. heat and stir until well mixed. Makes 3 lunches.

 

Comment

Jessica Ferrucci

The Happy Runner is the everyday athlete; finding balance by carrying six coffees without spilling them on the subway, meditating on elevator rides, and weight lifting your laptop as your hurdle a puddle to make your 9AM meeting. The Happy Runner is a community of like-minded beautiful souls striving to add a little sense of movement and meditation back on the agenda.

​Vegan-yums: Easy chana masala / Recipe

30 minute, 1-pot chana masala with green chili, cilantro, and garam masala. Easy to make, extremely flavorful, and satisfying. A healthy, plant-based meal.
 

This recipe was borrowed from: Minimalist Baker
Recipe type: Run Fuel
Cuisine: Indian, Vegan, Gluten Free
Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) grape seed oil (or sub coconut oil)
  • 1 white or yellow onion, finely diced (110 g)
  • 1 Tbsp (7 g) ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced (3 Tbsp or 16 g)
  • 2 Tbsp (12 g) fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup (30 g) fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2-3 fresh green chilies, sliced with seeds (I used serrano peppers)
  • 1 Tbsp (7 g) ground coriander
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 28-oz can pureed or finely diced tomatoes (if unsalted, you’ll add more salt to the dish)
  • 2 15-ounce (425 g) cans chickpeas, slightly drained
  • 1 tsp garam masala* (see instructions for DIY blend)
  • 2-3 tsp coconut sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) lemon juice, plus more to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, cilantro, and green chilies to a mortar and pestle and grind into a rough paste (or use a small food processor to pulse into a paste. Alternatively, just finely mince.) Then, add to the pan with the onions.
  3. Next add ground coriander, chili powder, and turmeric and stir to coat. Add a little more oil at this point if the pan is looking dry.
  4. Next add pureed tomatoes and chickpeas and remaining 1/2 tsp salt. If the mixture looks a little too thick, add up to 1 cup (240 ml) water (I added ~1/2 cup (120 ml)). You’re looking for a semi-thick soup consistency at this point, as it will cook down into more of a stew.
  5. Increase heat to medium high until it reaches a rolling simmer, then reduce heat to low or medium-low and maintain a simmer (uncovered) for 15-20 minutes, or until thick and stew-like. Stir occasionally.
  6. In the meantime, if you don’t have garam masala seasoning, make your own by adding 2 small dried red chilies, 1 tsp black peppercorns (or 1/2 tsp ground black pepper), 1 tsp cumin seeds (or 1/2 tsp ground cumin), 1 tsp cardamom pods (or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom), 1/2 tsp cloves (or 1/4 tsp ground cloves), and 1/8 tsp nutmeg to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder and grind/mix into a powder. Set aside.
  7. When the chana masala is thickened and bubbly, taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt for saltiness, chili powder for heat, or a bit of coconut sugar for sweetness and to offset the heat of the chilies.
  8. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and garam masala. Stir to mix, then let cool slightly before serving. Fresh cilantro and lemon juice make an excellent garnish. Chana masala can be enjoyed as a stew on its own, or it can be delicious with white or brown rice, or cauliflower rice. Lastly, my favorite is over roasted sweet potatoes and broccoli (see notes for instructions).
  9. Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator up to 4 days, or in the freezer up to 1 month.
Comment

Jessica Ferrucci

The Happy Runner is the everyday athlete; finding balance by carrying six coffees without spilling them on the subway, meditating on elevator rides, and weight lifting your laptop as your hurdle a puddle to make your 9AM meeting. The Happy Runner is a community of like-minded beautiful souls striving to add a little sense of movement and meditation back on the agenda.