So many miles and Chicken or Bean Casserole

by Joanne on July 23, 2010

I ain’t as good as I once was
That’s just the cold hard truth
I still throw a few back, talk a little smack
When I’m feelin’ bulletproof
So don’t double dog dare me now
‘Cause I’d have to call your bluff

I ain’t as good as I once was
But I’m as good once as I ever was
May not be good as I once was
But I’m as good once as I ever was…

By Toby Keith “As good as I once was

The song played and I thought – ‘That’s me…and my dad!”

The Miles:

I just didn’t know what I was going to do.  I couldn’t bare the thought of running on the treadmill for an hour while I waited for Shane to get up. Ted offered to take Shane for a walk so I could set out on my run but running by myself at 4 am wasn’t a pleasing thought either.  Shane was my protector.  I gave him his morning belly rub, told him we were going and off we went into the dark morning.  We ran together for 6.83 miles then I dropped him off at home only to set out again for the long haul. 

There was quite a bit of activity. It was trash morning. Love that smell when the trash truck goes past. Oh YEAH!  .  After dropping Shane off, I ran down the Parkway towards Utica College.  I turned down French Road. That was my old running route when the Brookside Gym was active.  Ted used to drive and I would run 5 miles to meet him for a weight work out. So long ago!

As creepy as the morning light and solitude can be, it was nice to be out there this morning.  Thoughts scattered about my head:  work, the weekend, family, the dogs, up coming races, road trips, and fantasies.  I like to make up scenarios in my head when I run.  The ultimate outcome is always in my favor. It could be running a race (and being the first to cross the line). It could be accomplishing something phenomenal at work. Whatever, I like to run and dream.  It takes me out of the situation and I forget that I’m getting tired or my legs feel heavy. 

I felt good and ran a total of 17.17 milesRunning fuel was 1/2 an Ezekiel bagel with 1 TBS of peanut butter at 12:30 am (3 1/2 hours before the run).  I felt ill at 4 am so I didn’t eat anything before heading out.  At mile 4, I had a Gu-eeewwww! with 2x caffeine.  At mile 11, I had an Endurance drink (5 hour energy), and at mile 15, I took an electrolyte tablet.  It was 65 degrees so the temperature was perfect.

What do you think about when running? or do you listen to music and simply lose yourself in the song?

Why we should eat fiber:  The human body needs energy to function. That’s a no brainer. But did you realize we use a digestive process called “thermic effect of food” which may be raised by eating more fiber rich foods,  requiring additional effort by the body to break them down and get the energy to the cells.  In a nutshell: the body is working harder and burning more calories to create more energy. Another good reason to eat an apple a day and other all natural, longer to breakdown kinds of foods!

This recipe was inspired by the book “The Secret Ingredient” by Sally Bee.  I’ll be posting a complete book review soon.   It is easy and filled with fresh flavors.  Since I don’t eat meat, two versions of the recipe were made. The first, basically as written in the book

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and the second, revised to offer a healthy and tasty vegetarian meal for myself.

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Sally Bee’s Chicken Casserole – 4 servings

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  • 2 TBS of flour
  • about 10 grinds of fresh ground pepper
  • about 1 TBS Italian herbs
  • 4 to 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into large pieces
  • 2 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 6 slices lean bacon *I used soy bacon but turkey bacon would also be a good choice.
  • 8 oz shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups Vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Mix the flour with the Italian herbs and pepper.  Reserve a little to thicken the sauce.  Add the chicken to the flour mix and toss to coat.

In a large oven proof skillet with a lid, heat EVOO over medium heat.  Add the chicken and bacon. Cook until browned on the outside.

Add the shallots and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients.  Stir in the little bit of flour to thicken the sauce.

Cover and cook in oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is tender.

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Ted’s comment on his chicken dish:  “Wow that IS GOOD!”

The Vegetarian Bean Casserole *Note some differences in ingredient and measurements.

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  • 2 TBS EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
  • 4 slices soy bacon
  • 8 oz shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper seeded and chopped
  • about 10 grinds of fresh ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • about 1 TBS Italian herbs
  • 2 cups cooked cannellini beans (or used canned, making sure to drain and rinse well)
  • 2 cups Vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 325 F. 

In a large oven proof skillet with a lid, heat EVOO over medium heat.  Add the bacon. Cook about 2 minutes or until beginning to turn crisp. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.

Add remaining ingredients.   Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, partially covered for 45 minutes. Add additional seasoning if necessary.

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Ted was even diving into the meatless version.  This recipe is a must try and not just because you want to have a healthy meal but because you want a great tasting meal.

Real bacon, turkey bacon, or soy bacon, what’s your preference?

Joanne

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7 Comments

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    • At 2010.07.23 11:23, Lori (Finding Radiance) said:

      That chicken looks great! Boy you are such a runner. I admire all the miles that you put in.

      I like regular old bacon smoked locally. Good stuff.
      Lori (Finding Radiance)´s last blog post ..Bagels and brusselsMy Profile

      • At 2010.07.23 13:05, Joanne said:

        I feel guilty about it, but there is no denying, I like the smell of bacon.

        • At 2010.07.23 12:38, Monet said:

          I also admire all the miles that you run! And don’t you love being able to adapt recipes to different people’s diets? I’m going to my parents tonight with a chicken entree for them and a vegetarian option for me and my husband. Your casseroles both look great!
          Monet´s last blog post ..Raspberry SconesMy Profile

          • At 2010.07.23 13:04, Joanne said:

            It takes a little extra work, but you’re right, it’s worth it.

            • At 2010.07.23 14:47, claudia lamascolo said:

              Joanne this is a beautiful dish and the flavors are magnificiant presentation if gorgeous again…your pictures get better every day!
              claudia lamascolo´s last blog post ..CIOPPINOItalian Fish StewMy Profile

              • At 2010.07.23 18:08, Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear said:

                Real bacon!

                I love the comments of Ted when he’s trying new things 😀 so sweet! it’s great amaze our men with your cooking skills, right? 😉
                Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear´s last blog post ..Polar Bear Is Back In The KitchenMy Profile

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