Monday, November 4, 2013

Pittsburgh 10 Miler and Autumn Recipes for the Squash Lovers

Photo credit: Kris Shepardson THANKS!

Running! Fall! Halloween! Smell of pumpkin latte and something "oh so delicious" baking in the oven. Gotta love it! The past couple of weeks have been long long days with a longer commute but one weekend my mother and brother came up for their first visit to the steel city. They brought along goodies from my Dad's garden, with which I will delve into right after my race report for the inaugural Pittsburgh 10 miler.

Thanks for the team TR photo Amanda!

This was the first time this race was run and the last race for my season. Training has been a struggle. I'm not gonna lie, I wasn't as enthusiastic about this one (more like dreading it), as I would have been if I had been training better. Having no time to sleep is the biggest kicker right now during the week. We had a great group of girls running  and that got me excited to be on a team again. Go Team True Runner! All of the girls are employees at True Runner except for my best friend , Foxy Roxy and I. They are super awesome to get hyped up with before the race. New True Runner gear doesn't hinder performance either!

Photos from Kris Shepardson
Together from  2008 CNU CC/track to VT triathlon and now the Pittsburgh area for Dietetic Internships :)
I wasn't even thinking of a time to hit or visualizing the race the day before, and I decided to just have some fun. It's not my norm to do this but let's be real, sometimes it's nice to just relax a little with something you focus on a lot. It's easier to tell what type of endurance machine you are when you're training but when you're not, it's hit or miss. I went out feeling good and sitting comfortable. This course was awesome and took you through parts of the city that could be nothing but breathtaking...more like gasping for some points for me, but still very scenic for non-nature. The start was located right by Station Square. We crossed several bridges going through the West End, North Side, Lawrenceville, and Strip District. It ended in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh and none too soon for my beat legs. I ended up with a time of 1:12:06 which is about a 7:12 pace and I can't complain for where my body is at right now. Now a little off-season time to get all pumped up for the Pittsburgh half marathon in May (also graduation for the dietetic internship!!!!!!!!).

Team True Runner Pre-Race
Excessive PDA (says boyfriend)
Now on to the yummy and savory autumn recipes :). I see lots up pumpkins and squashes out and can't help to think of delicious recipes from them :). Can't beat the fact that the squash was considered one of the main crops that helped fuel southern Native Americans through winter... and for good reason too. It's a rich source of nutrients for the body (Potassium, Vit A and B6, and some Folate). This tan squash has a sweet, orange flesh that is similar in texture and flavor to more familiar butternut squash.

Seminole Squash
 Now a little excerpt from my dear old Dad. He is the wisdom behind all garden/plant history and growth.

Dad: "Edie, you got a type of pumpkin/squash. The term pumpkin/squash is mostly interchangeable.  They are all members of the Gourd family. The more jar shaped pumpkins with the top sometimes smaller that the bottom are Seminole. They are an heirloom from the Seminole Indians who developed them over 500 years ago. They do particularily well in hot humid areas like in Florida or the southern Atlantic coastal plain (like Tidewater Virginia). It is written that this squash can store over a year at room temperature.  We had some that overwintered on our porch one year."

Now let's have fun with some recipes :).  I was feeling in the mood for a little soup with a little kick. The butternut squash and really any squash can substitute for the squashes I used.

"Insert Squash Name" Squash Curry Soup



 Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced (I have jarred minced garlic right now)
  • 2 Tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 squash (about 3-lb, roasted)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Directions 


Start with cutting the squash in half and throwing it on a pan in the oven for about 40 minutes at 375. Then you can heat a large pot over medium-low heat. Add canola oil and saute onions and the garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add in curry paste and cook the curry/onions for 3-4 more minutes stirring often to make sure nothing burns. I then let it cool a little and added the curry mixture along with the squash to a blender and blend until smooth. Now pour in the stock and mix to the right consistency. Add back to pot and increase the heat to medium.

Pour it back into the pot and turn the heat on to medium low. Add in the coconut milk, lime juice, salt and pepper, and stir. Cover and cook the soup for 5-6 minutes until it's nice and warm :). Enjoy!

Squash Sauce with Whole Wheat Linguine 

I found this gem of a recipe on Two Peas and Their Pod and love love love it! A new pre-race favorite to add a little twist to the classic spaghetti with sauce which has been on repeat since the glory days of high school cross county running. The boyfriend loved this one too!

 

Ingredients
  • 1 medium squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil  with 8 sage leaves
  • 12 ounces whole wheat linguine (or other pasta)
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Directions

Pre-heat the oven to 375. After dicing the squash, add to a pan and coat with olive oil and garlic. I like to add a little salt here and coat squash thoroughly and add to the oven. (NOTE: save the seeds cause there's a tasty recipe below). While the squash is cooking, fry the sage leaves. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and add the leaves cook (still bright green, about 30 seconds). Watch out because they can burn quick and/or if the oil is too hot. Transfer to a paper towel to drain and season with salt for later. Cook pasta with about 15 minutes left on the squash/

Once the squash is cooked, place the cooked butternut squash in a blender. Puree the squash until smooth. Add water or broth and puree until the sauce reaches your desired consistency. I added about 1 1/2 cups. You may need a little more or a little less water depending on the size of your squash.
 Stir in the squash mixture and parmesan cheese in with the pasta. Season with nutmeg Chop two of the sage leaves and stir them into the pasta. Serve the pasta with remaining fried sage leaves and additional Parmesan cheese, which is essential!
 

Roasted and crunchy Squash Seeds

This is the first time I tried roasting seeds were when I tried the squash pasta sauce and man I was a happy girl that day! This process is a little more time consuming but while the squash is roasting, I got to work on the seeds.



Nicely washed seeds ready to go!
Ingredients
  • Your squash's seeds!
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp olive oil
  • sprinkle of Sea salt
Directions 

Clean, clean clean the seeds by making sure all of the squash guts are separated from the seeds. Wash in a colander and add to a pot with water with 1 tsp of salt. Bring a boil for 7-10 minutes. I had read that this helps the seeds get that crispy crunch during roasting. Now on a baking sheet, coat the seeds thoroughly with the olive oil and add salt. Make sure the seeds are not bunched together on the sheet. If your making the squash sauce like I was above, I added the baking sheet to the bottom rack and made sure I was watching it. About 8 minutes later with a few stirs, crispy seeds were ready for consumption. If not already using the oven, heat oven to 315 and roast for about 10 minutes or until their crispy looking. NOTE: These can burn quick so make sure you're paying attention.

Man....long post....but hope you enjoyed!!

-Edie



Your dog pic of the week.

8 week old Steely :)