"Without running, I would have missed the joy of rain. What could be considered an inconvenience or a bummer to the inexperienced is actually a gift. Without running, I would miss a lot of things--like seeing cities in a certain way, or knowing certain people all the way to the core. I'm glad we don't experience life through glass, under cover, or from the sidelines. Good things take miles." -Kristin Armstrong
There are some runs that just stick with me for a while.
After I've refueled, showered, and my heart rate comes down, I still haven't caught my breath. I can't stop retracing my route in my imagination. My legs are still twitching with excitement from throwing all my weight onto my toes so I could climb that super steep hill. My ears are still echoing the beating of my footsteps.
I had one of those runs last night. It was a group run with the Princeton Running Company, and I covered 7.5 hilly miles with my running buddy, Meg. We were winding our way through dark residential and country roads, our path lit alternately by car headlights and the little LED in my headlamp. I don't even know what we talked about. I just know that it felt good.
Distance - 10 miles (7.5 miles with the group + warm up and cool down)
Time - 1:20
After devouring all those miles, we washed them down with a lot of Blue Moon. Uhm, $2.00 special? Hello! You know it was a good night.
Pro tip: If you are ever in the mood to meet everyone at a bar, you simply need to start practicing pistol squats in the corner.
Lastly, I want to share the story of my dinner from tonight:
So the first recipe in this two part series is for a butternut squash and chickpeas dish. You can see it in the background of the picture above. I've been working on this recipe for about a month now. I had a taste of a non-vegan version of it at an amazing restaurant/wine bar in NYC called Cork Buzz. The basic elements of the dish were enticing--who doesn't love squash and chickpeas? But the creamy dressing they served all over it was definitely stealing the show. So I knew that I needed a substitute for that sauce if I was ever going to succeed in making a delicious, homemade, vegan version of this dish.
That's when tahini dressing entered my life. Tahini, which is a sauce made from ground sesame seeds, is a primary ingredient in hummus. It has a strong sesame flavor--duh--but a very thick and creamy texture. Amazing things can complement its flavor (think of all those flavors of hummus at the grocery store!), so I decided to get to experimentin'. And now here I am, sharing the fruits of my labor. Let me know if you decide to give it a try!
Roasty, Toasty Butternut Squash and Chickpeas with a Sesame Ginger Dressing
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Ingredients for the dressing:
4 tbsp tahini
4 tbsp water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp honey
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a large roasting pan, combine the onion, garlic, squash, oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes, flipping the pieces of squash once or twice. It is done when the squash has begun to brown and caramelize.
2. On a baking sheet, spread the chickpeas in one layer. Put the baking sheet in the oven when the squash has been cooking for 20 minutes. The chickpeas are done when they have just begin to darken, they will be much darker where they are touching the pan.
3. Combine the chickpeas in the roasting pan with the squash and gentle stir together.
4. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the dressing. Taste and add small amounts of whatever ingredient you think needs a stronger presence. :)
5. Serve the squash and chickpeas with the dressing drizzled on top. It helps to keep some dressing on the table. I always want more!