Tuesday, June 30, 2009

To Market, To Market

So, one great thing about Cleveland that Derek and I have discovered is the West Side Market, Cleveland's oldest marketplace. This amazing marketplace has two main components: the indoor Market itself, which features vendors selling an array of different foods, such as meats, cheeses, homemade pasta, grains, salads, breads, fish, sauces and oils, and the like. The other part is what is referred to as the "Fruit and Vegetable Arcade," a partially-outdoor Farmer's market selling ripe, locally-grown, delicious fruits and vegetables at an amazingly low cost. (Yesterday I bought a box of strawberries, a box of blueberries, one mango, 2 pounds of cherries, 2 pounds of grapes, 4 nectarines, a bunch of asparagus, and a bag of salad for 10 bucks. What a great deal! And they smell and taste awesome.)

In the above picture you'll see a tilapia filet with sauteed zucchini and yellow squash, as well as a helping of a "supergrain" that everyone is going crazy for these days -- quinoa. They had different types of quinoa at the market, including red, black, and white. The woman suggested as a "first-timer" to go with the white, as the black is a tad more sturdy when cooked. Basically you cook this grain like rice. It's very simple to make. I added a little bit of salt to the water when I cooked it. I liked it, but I didn't LOVE it. The closest thing I could think of that it reminded me of was couscous, although it wasn't as moist or soft. I would try it again, though, especially since it's supposedly a complete protein that has all of the 8 (9?) essential amino acids (or something like that).

Continuing in this tradition of going to the Market during the week (did I mention it's open Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, AND Saturdays?!), I paid a visit yesterday and got (in addition to the produce I mentioned above) this funky-looking squid ink pasta and fresh tiger shrimp. According to the guy selling me the pasta, the ink is mainly for color, but it does give the pasta a slight seafood-y taste, briney, like salt water. He was right. This pasta tastes delicious. It's not overly salty, but it gives the pasta wonderful flavor. We sauteed a little onion, garlic, asparagus, and the shrimp (which we sprinkled with a little paprika and jerk seasoning) in olive oil. After we cooked the pasta (which took only 2 minutes because it was fresh), all we needed to do was add a little olive oil and mix everything together. We squeezed some lemon on there and topped it off with ground black pepper. It was a delicious summer meal! We were proud of ourselves. :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tryin' to Break 30

No, not 30 years of age, although that'll come in less than a year. I'm talking about 30 minutes for the 5K.

I've been running for about three years now, and I think I've improved quite a bit in terms of consistency, stamina, and endurance. In fact, the first 5K I ever ran (The Coogan's race in Washington Heights) was 35:13. Little by little I ran faster, but for this distance, I have never been able to beat that 30 minute mark! The closest I have come was last Fall, in Madison, at The Free to Breathe 5K (30:13). This past winter I ran the Frosty 5K, also in Madison, in 31:23 -- I attributed that to the snowy, slippery conditions.

But again today. I ran A Most Excellent Race -- my first race in Cleveland! I thought I had it - I thought I paced myself well. And it really wasn't bad - in fact two of my miles were under 10 minutes, which is good for me. I even got to the three-mile mark in under 30, but...it's always that last .12 that kills me! I did have to pat myself on the back, though, for my finishing kick. I can't go that long at that speed, but I did outrun quite a few in that last tenth of a mile.

Splits were 9:53, 9:38, 10:20, and 54 secs for the last .12. Finishing time was 30:37.

All in all, I was happy with today's run. I am still getting acclimated to warmer weather (averaging about 10 degrees warmer than Madison). Plus I have started going to yoga again (and even tried a pilates class!) at Studio 11 in my new neighborhood, Tremont.

Also on tap...about to start my training for the New York City Marathon!!! A toast to my hometown!

More later. I think I'm going to become obsessed with this.

Hello out there!

Wow. . .it has been over a year since my creation of this blog. I feel the need to continue this now, for several reasons:

1) I have moved yet again, this time to Cleveland, OH, and I want to keep everyone in my life updated (and entertained) with news and stories.

2) I have the summer off - yes! - and have more time now to write freely and without restriction.

3) I have, well, stuff to say. Some of it could be funny.

Anyway, stay tuned. This is going to turn out to be a project for me. Additionally, how to add photos and make the blog look "cool." Ish.