To cap off Week 2 of my training for Wineglass (14 weeks left!), I did my 15-miler today. I had planned to do it yesterday at a really flat trail near school, but a meeting with my thesis advisor ran way long and by the time I finished I was too mentally exhausted to get psyched up for a long run. So I did it this morning, which throws off my schedule just a bit, but I have a race this weekend so I’ll need to juggle it anyway.
Worse than the scheduling issue, though, is that I did this run near home, which means (as always) that it was very hilly. I managed to maintain the scheduled 8:00 per-mile pace for 13 miles; the hills caught up with me on the last two and I lost about a minute between them. So I finished in 2:01 rather than two hours flat, but I’m sure that the difficult course more than compensates for that lost minute. I do worry a little about training on hills so much though, just because I know that harder workouts mean greater chance of injury. Since my marathon isn’t hilly, I’m going to make an effort to ensure that anything longer than 15 miles is run on flat terrain.
By the way, as I write this I’m wearing a pair of compression Recovery Socks that the company sent me to try out. People say they’ve worked wonders for them, so I’m really interested to see how I feel tomorrow. I’ll fill you in tomorrow and give you some more details about the socks, in case you haven’t heard of them yet. Stylish huh?
Squash Casserole with Lemon and Feta
We scored some beautiful yellow squash and zucchini this week at the farmers market, which prompted a search for some way to actually use the stuff. For whatever reason, maybe the texture, I’ve never really cooked very much with squash. So I found a recipe in The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook for this squash casserole. As an aside, I love this book. Not so much for the recipes as for the reference material. Whenever I need to look up a substitution or how to prepare or cook with a new ingredient, this is where I go. Sometimes even before I head to the Google/Twitter-machine.
I was worried that the recipe would be a little boring (“casserole” makes me want to take a nap), but the feta and lemon zest seemed interesting enough, so we gave it a whirl. And I must say we were pleasantly surprised. The baked, browned feta worked really nicely with the squash, and the carmelized onion was my favorite part. This isn’t a mind-blowing, so-good-you-stuff-yourself-and-induce-a-food-coma meal, but for what it is, it was really nice. A light summery meal made from local, seasonal ingredients, with a little bit of flair (three pieces of flair, if you count the fresh oregano). We served it with quinoa to get some protein and more complex carbs, and it was a pretty good match. Here ya go, knock yourself out. Note that it takes 45 minutes in the oven, so leave yourself some time.
Yellow Squash Casserole Recipe (adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)
Ingredients (for 6 servings)
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced (we used elephant garlic from the market)
- 1/2 C dry white wine
- 1/2 C vegetable stock or broth
- Fresh oregano leaves from one large sprig, minced
- Zest of one lemon
- 4 small yellow squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 C crumbled feta cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2 Tbsp canola oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion with a few pinches of salt and a small pinch of crushed red pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once in a while, so that it gets some nice dark carmelization. After the onion is nicely browned, spread it in a single layer in a 9×13 baking pan.
Add the rest of the oil and garlic to the pan. Once it’s fragrant (don’t let it burn), add the wine, vegetable broth, oregano, and lemon zest. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.
Lay the squash and zucchini nicely on top of the onion, pour the contents of the pan on top, and top with crumbled feta. Bake for about 45 minutes, until just starting to brown.