Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Two Bean Soup with Kielbasa and Kale

Cold wintry days call for warm yummy soup. And, yes... we do have some wintry days in Dallas. They may not be cold and wintry by your standards... but this southern girl doesn't appreciate any temperatures less than 45... 

I found this soup recipe on Cooking Light's website. I did a few tweaks and voila... a yummy, heart soup! Caleb and I both really enjoyed it. I think it tasted better the next day after the flavors had all mixed. I ended up freezing half of the soup as we weren't able to eat the whole pot... I will post back and let you know how it froze! 

  • Two Bean Soup with Sausage and Kale 

  • Ingredients

  • Kielbasa sausage, diced (I used 1/2)
  • 3 tablespoons  olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups organic vegetable broth, divided
  • 7 cups stemmed, chopped kale (I used just a bag of prewashed/precut kale from Trader Joe's) 
  • 2  (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added cannellini beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • (15-ounce) can no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • Directions
  • 1. Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Cook kielbasa until browned. Put to the side. 
  • 2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, carrot,  and sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups vegetable broth and kale. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer until kale is crisp-tender. This took about 10 minutes for me. 
  • 3. Place half of cannellini beans and remaining 1 cup vegetable broth in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Add pureed bean mixture, remaining cannellini beans, black beans, and pepper to soup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, vinegar, and rosemary.
Can you believe my baby is 52 lbs?

Monday, February 3, 2014

January in-review

January has come and gone... and I am still not used to writing 2014! 

Overall, January was a good month. There were some ups and downs. But let's just focus on the "ups" for today. 

Caleb worked A TON this month. Like... hours...hours...and... then some more hours. There were some rough days, but we still managed to squeeze in a few dates here are there! 

Sunday morning brunch date with Caleb!

MLK day afternoon run date with Caleb! 
I really feel like I am settling in with some great friends! I enjoyed some cooking, movie, and other random friend dates! 

Frozen and pasta making date with Stephanie! 

Doggie treat making date with Mary Beth and Gertie! 
Beer bottling party with William and Claire! 
Then there are my furry friends...

Afternoon sunshine date with Molly, Alroy, and Runner's World! 
Best buds for life! 
We babysat Tazo... Alroy's bud...Molly's not sure! 
Alroy had his little surgery. Recovered quickly! 

Then there are the workouts... overall a pretty good month. Didn't hit all of my goals, but that's ok! I listened to my body and worked hard. 

Total Miles: 61.62
Running Miles: 46.1 
Dog Miles: 12.3 (I just started counting these the last two weeks.. Alroy can move!)
Other Miles (elliptical): 3.22 
11 yoga classes
6 pilates classes
1 spin class
1 bar method class
5 weight workouts

Looking to February: 
~ I want to be a better blogger!! 
~ Keep up my New Year Resolutions.
~ Have a happy Valentine's Day! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


2014 is the year of the marathon.

A marathon is something that I have wanted to do for several years, but it just never seems to play out... injuries, moving, timing, etc. 

But... this year... I have created a smart and safe plan that will take me to the finish line.

What's the race you might ask?? I have chosen the Metro PCS Dallas Marathon. 

There are two main reasons I picked this race: 

1. It is local. From reading about marathons and talking to people who have run marathons, I concluded that for a first marathon it is helpful to run a local race. First, you don't have to travel. This not only cuts down on costs, but on the overall hassle and physical stress that comes with travel. Plus, you get to sleep in your own bed the night before the race. Second, you get to train on the course. This allows you to become familiar with turns, hills, placements of water stations, etc throughout the course. And, lastly, you will be used to the climate/humidity/elevation of the race. 

2. It isn't until December 14, 2014. Yes... this is practically 11 months from now. I wanted to have sufficient time for smart training. I am planning on spending the first part of the year building a strong base and strengthening my hips and core. In July, I am planning on joining a local training group for accountability and to build a strong local community and support system (both of which I hear are very helpful!). 

Here is my plan for the first 6 months:

January: Build up to 20 miles per week
February: Build up to 25 miles per week
March: Build up to 30 miles per week
April: Build up to 35 miles per week
May: Build up to 40 miles per week
June: Consistently run 25-30 miles per week 

Why this gradual build up? Studies have shown that it is best to increase weekly mileage by about 1 mile or no more than 10% per week. This allows the body time to build endurance as well as adapt to the added physical stress of additional miles. 

I am also going to continue focusing on strength training, especially for the hips and core area. These areas are typically weak for women and can quickly to lead to running injuries. 

I am excited to begin this journey... stay tuned for frequent updates! 

Have you ever run a marathon? What advice do you have for a first-timer? 

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