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mock~tails, home made fruit vinegars annnd..

Spaghetti squash casserole.

yes.

again.

After help from my friends and family on facebook, I think that I’ve fixed the issue. Now I’m sure some of you are downright sick of hearing about it ( I’m kinda getting sick of typing it) but I still feel the need to share that post in its’ entirety, so we will start with that.

 

( feel free to skip if you just can’t bear to have your eyes view it again~ it’s ok, I’ll still love you. Like lots. )

 

friends. If you are connected with me on my  facebook page , then you’ve had a sneak peak at what’s cooking in my kitchen

Get yerself a sketti squash, because trust me, you will want to make this!

I mentioned in my massaged kale salad post how I am obsessed with True food kitchen

I’ve eaten here many times and have tried many things on the menu. ALL fabulous.

Twice now, I’ve had friends order the spaghetti squash casserole, and both have raved about how good it was.

( truth be told, both friends offered me a bite, of which I accepted  and wow! I just knew I had to make it at home)

I did a little research * puffy heart google* and voila! found the recipe!

click the link for complete recipe

Dr Andrew Weil, Spaghetti Squash casserole

 

Ingredients
1 spaghetti squash
2 large carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
Red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of ground allspice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 pound part-skim mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheesenow since I’m home with a healing pup, I had to improvise the recipe just a littleI did not have the peppers, but I did find a sad little jalapeno in my crisper drawer, and we like it hot 😉 so I used that in place of the red and yellow peppers.

spaghetti squash casserole ingredients

Start by cooking the squash. The recipe says to add entire squash into a big pot of water, bring to a boil for 50 minutes.

 

check on pup 

Now, I usually cook squash in the oven but I was intrigued to try this method. So I did.

My only comment would be that cooking it in the oven it was easier to separate the seeds from the flesh, but over, I would cook the squash either way.

while the squash is cooking ( whichever way your little heart desired) Chop up your veggies

Add a small amount of olive oil to a pan ( I’m a die hard believer in cast iron.. I’ll explain why if ya wants to know 😉  )

 

add the onions and carrots to hot oil, season with a bit of salt and cook for 5 min

 

check on pup 

next, I  added the the pepper and celery with a dash of red pepper flakes

squash filling

allow to saute for about 10 minutes, until veggies were soft. Taste for salt, if it needs a little more, go ahead and knock your self out 😉

* I kept adding little bits of water throughout so that the veggies didn’t dry out and stick while softening.. maybe 2 tablespoons at a time each time I stirred it ? )

 

check on pup 

The recipe called to squeeze the garlic in, but I rid myself of my garlic press years ago, as it only had that one purpose, and its easy enough to smash garlic with the side of a chef’s knife. garlic smash

f you have a press, by all means use it

add the crushed tomatoes m sprinkle of allspice (the secret ingredient, we discovered) , the garlic.

now you may have noticed the dish of roasted tomatoes.  I had some maters that were to ripe to eat raw, so I roasted them like I did when I made my

roasted garlic and tomato soup

 

 

squash filling

I  added these sweet babies  in addition to the crushed tomatoes

I also added a sprig of rosemary.

I hate to follow directions 😉

spaghetti squash

 

and btw~ this smelled heavenly 

Next I used a pair of tongs to remove squash from boiling water ( CAREFULLY) and place on a cutting board until cool enough to cut

 

scoop out seeds ( if you cooked it in the oven, you’ve already done this. great job, you overachiever, you  😉 )

 

spaghetti squash filling

 

 

add to tomato mixture and stir

 

check on pup 

Now full disclosure… since I was cooking this for just Scott and myself, I spooned out half of the tomato mixture and reserved for another recipe ( veggie chili, perhaps? ) and only used half of the spaghetti squash itself.   Had I known I could have halved the recipe, but being my first time making it, I wasn’t thinking.

 

spaghetti squash filling

 

 

I mean just look at this! Incredible.

 

next, layer 1/2  the squash mixture in baking dishes , add 1/2 the cheese, the rest of the squash mixture, and top with remaining cheese

 

 

baked spaghetti squash

 

guess which one was mine 😉

 

As far as the cheese goes, I used shredded because I had it and on Sunday when I played around with

smoked tofu crumbles, I smoked a few mozzarella balls as well ( just curious how it would come out) so I cut those up and topped  our dishes with a bit of that crazy cheese flavor.

I baked it in a 350 over for about 20 minutes, topped with shredded basil and a tiny drizzle of olive oil

 

Baked Spaghetti Squash

 

do I have your attention yet?

 

baked Spaghetti squash

 

yeeeeeaaah…  this was pretty awesome.  and healthy? CRAZY healthy!

If you would like to make this vegan, substitute Daiya cheese. simple!

My friend, Cindy stopped by yesterday to visit with me and brought me lunch. From where? True food of course!

I had the edamame dumplings and they were incredible. Together we disected the taste and came up with what we think would be a good recipe.

 

I have my next challenge!

 

true food edamame dumplings

 

Thank you, Cindy, for lunch and the company 😉

My next immediate project is making puppy ice cream or peanut butter biscuits  With all of the treats I’ve been given Fen, I’m starting to run low and need to last until the weekend when Scott is home

 

healing Fenway

 

 

my sweet girl ❤

 

 

al’ight….  since I’ve spent 46,000 hours writing,losing,finding,re~losing, re~ finding,fixing and re~ posting this…. you just might wanna make this… and let me know 🙂

 

ok. next. While I was hanging out with my sweet pup this week, I watched a lot of Food Network I came across a show that was focusing on Mocktails… you know, cocktails sans alcohol.

 

Kelsey Nixon made blackberry sipping vinegar to use as a base for a mocktail recipe.

I was curious, so I used the base/ idea of her recipe to make Strawberry~basil vinegar.

( because that is what I had in~ house ..

 

strawberry~basil vinegar

start by using equal parts fruit-sugar. I used a cup of each and added shredded basil

 

mash fruit and sugar up well and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate ( I love re- using rubber bands from veggies all over the kitchen 😉 ) for 2 days , stirring occasionally

On day 3, add equal amount ( 1 cup )  of apple cider vinegar ( I swear by Bragg’s.. highly worth the extra buck or two ) and stir.

The next day, using a fine~ mesh strainer, strain all solids out, using a flexible spatula  to press out every last bit of liquid ( you do NOT want to waste any )

 

strawberry- basil vinegar

to make your life easier ( because let’s face it, it’s all about you 😉 ) strain it into a dish or measuring cup with a spout for easy pouring.

Pour into a jar and store in fridge!

 

( I have a batch with Meyer lemons in the fridge now. I’ll let you know how it comes out )

 

strawberry-basil vinegar

I made a mocktail by pouring about an ounce of the vinegar over some ice, topping with sparkling water and a wedge of lime.

 

strawberry-basil mocktail

 

There is something about the vinegar that really elevates this drink., It feels like a special drink

In the show, Kelsey used an infused tea as well ( click the link up there for complete recipe) but I’m a simple girl and this drink suited me just fine.

So for my friends out there who don’t drink alcohol, for one reason or another, here’s a new option for you!

 

It is also a Crazy- delicious base for a salad dressing..  more on that tomorrow.

 

On another note, my PT is going well. Really well. my PT recommended that I get a theraputtic massage to break up some of the scar tissue in my hamstring from the tears. ( not my torn ACL leg that i just had surgically fixed, the OTHER leg that went into crazy hyper horrificness thanks to being on crutches post- surgery

The massage therapist ( This was NOT a relaxing massage AT ALL, btw) worked on my hips, glutes, ( where one of the tears are) and then she moved to my back.

She discovered that I have a muscle along my spine ( not the spine itself) that is all twisted up and is sending pain signals down my leg.

After 60 minutes with her, I noticed a difference ( the next day)

I was shocked to realize halfway through the day that I wasn’t struggling while doing simple things like just walking 

So my PT is also working on this and is having me start some strength training , lots of squats, single-leg squats and lunges of all angles.

and I’m feeling good for the first time in a LONG time.

I asked Matt ( PT) about possibly training for a 5k. He said he’ll let me start jogging ( under his supervision) on the treadmill in 2 weeks.

He humbling shared with me that he came in in the top 20 of the Boston Marathon last year. Not percentage, but overall.

I’m uber- impressed.

Friday I made a last minute descison to sign up for an Earth- Month 5k around the corner from my house. ( with his approval)

I went into this knowing that walking was the only option and that my time would not matter.

I had 2 friends who signed up with me.

we finished dead last, but that didn’t matter. We did it.

I had my first benchmark for races here in Colorado and the only thing that I can expect from here is to get better and move forward..

I’m ready

Aveda earth day race

I hope that your weekend was fabulous!

xo

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keep doin’ that thing you do……

you never know just who you are going to inspire. Sometimes without even knowing it.

Years ago I was stopped at a stoplight when a young lady in her mid-20’s ran passed me.. perfect pace. perfect gait…. oblivious to the rest of the world, simply lost in her running.. so at one with herself.  At Peace.

and she had a rocking body da boot…..  which I’m sure was as a result of perseverance.

I thought to myself.

“self, you should try to run.. let’s go get a book”

and that we did….

I went to Borders…. ( can I just say how absolutely devastated I am at the demise of Borders???? )

we should all pause for a moment of intention for a generation that may never know the beauty of sitting in and oversized chair in a remote corner of a store flipping through books with  big dreams in their heads.

ok…  I’m back.  Soooo I bought this book.  And read the first 10 pages. It has sat on my shelf for years. and years. I’m a -scared to read the copyright date……

Then there was that Folgers’ commercial….  you know the one… it’s early morning, her alarm goes off.. her Folgers’ coffee is brewing while she is getting all race-if-ied… then she drinks her coffee.. it’s magical and next she is crossing the finish line  with her family high fiving her at the end..

( which imoho is much better than the Maxwell house commercial where they son comes home for Christmas to surprise his family & the little sister says that she is his gift…. it really is a sweet commercial… unless your son  is deployed across the world for Christmas… then the commercial takes on a whole new meaning )

we avoided the tv that year… it was just better.. I still was not really in control of my emotions…. I’m soo much better now 🙂

I also have a lot of friends who run. Some of them I barely know, some I know well.. Each of them had inspired me which is why I bit the bullet and signed up 🙂

sooooo our race day had finally arrived…..  After spending this night at casa hagg, we stopped at Dunkin donuts for some fuel…

and eye candy

lol 🙂 .. then we headed to Providence!!!   ( did anyone get my Last Resort Lyrics in my music post yesterday ?? ) the pics are pretty much self explanitory,,, so I’ll just post… Ya’ll are probably sick of my ‘race talk’ by now….. I promise and awesome salad and mexican sauce tomorrow 😉

once you walk 40 miles in 2 days for breast cancer, you learn to love the porta potty.  true story.

LET”S DO THIS!!!!!!!

now this wasn’t all heart and flowers… for me , it was fre-a-ken hard.  I trained ans still struggled… Jodie didn’t .. and she rocked it.  Truth be told, I held her back.  She has been an athlete all of her life and I have been more of the more laid back type… ❤ yoga<3.. that whole journey is a story in itself…  My lungs hurt like HELL!!!  then I started to feel sick.

At one point I am pretty sure that I flipped  Jodie off.  I’m not proud of that, but it;s the truth.  As we hit mile 3 there was a hill. A freaken hill for the last 10th of a mile of the race.  She told me to pound it out and finish strong… I was gasping for air and told her I was about to throw up.  She yelled at me and told me that I would not throw upa and to move my ass over that finish line.

I did. and as soon as I crossed, the gagging started and I thought for sure I was about to lose my cookies allover the crowd cheering everyone on.

if I had to go even 5 more feet… that would have been it. But thankfully…I did not have to go 5  feet… there was an angel from heaven standing there with a power bar recovery bar.

I kid you not when I tell you that my arm grew 5 feet and I reached through the crowd to take said bar.

I don’t think I’ve eaten something so good in my life.

Once my breathing came back to normal, we took this pic

WE DID IT!!!

I don’t regret signing up for a second. It was just as I thought it would be and will be doing this more as my time that is mine keeps unfolding.

this has been my screen saver fo the last 4 months…… and yes. I did do it !

so why keep doin’ that thing you do? Because you never know who you are inspiring.  I can almost bet you that the people that inspired me had NO idea.  I mean ZERO idea.  But I went out of my way to let a few of them know the night before the race. And they were shocked. If I hadn’t had let them know, they never would have known just how inspiring they are..

so here’s your turn… think about someone who has inspired you.. even just a little. Reach out and thank them. Chances are they have no idea and they should know! because they have helped you become who you are 🙂

namaste friends 🙂

race day

race day is here..  I am excited and scared and nervous and extatic all at once.  *squeal* I can’t believe that today is the day!!

You can read about why this has been so important to me here  🙂

My little sister and I are as ready as we are going to be… and that is in thanks to many friends along the way who have answered even the silliest questions about running for me.

so THANK YOU!

and yes, I did go out and buy new sneakers yesterday…. because everyone who knew anything about sneakers told me that mine were way too small for me & my ‘toe box’ would end up hurting my toes.

I also started to get really bitchy  nervous  yesterday afternoon…. so I took my patootie to the running store, where I was surrounded by runners who didn’t even know and still answered questions for me.

Thank you for everyone on my personal facebook page for the music suggestions… I appreciate them all and her is what I ultimately came up with..

St.Elmos’ fire? why yes…. it is where I fell in love with the jeep Wrangler and knew I would someday drive one…

Prince?  why, yes.. because I am still ( and probably always will be looking for the purple banana….)

Flashdance? well, honestly, wouldn’t you be more surprised if it wasn’t on my playlist? 🙂

thought so 😉

Today is also the day that I announce the winner of the giveaway !!  And i know that I said the deadline was last night, But I’m feeling all warm and generous this morning…  So I will extend your chances to win Until I arrive home from the race….  ( I have a complete list of everyone who was entered based on how you could enter as stated in that post.. some of you have multiple entries! Thank you!!

So same as before..  like barefootgirl in the kitchen on facebook

Share a status update from barefootgirl in in the kitchen on your own facebook wall…

Sign up or have a friend sign up for email alerts from the blog.. or by wordpress.

Have a friend like barefootgirl in the kitchen on facebook. ( then write n the wall your name so that I know who sent them over 🙂 )

You guys are all the greatest…  I’m off to the city where the old world shadows hang heavy in the air…

I’m such a lyric junkie 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

I’ll be back around dinner with race results and giveaway winner!  good luck friends!!!

I gotsss to run!!!!

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