Okay, it was a much slower race this year, but I’m still happy about my third place finish at the Woodstock Challenge Road 10K. I haven’t raced a 10K since I lived in DC and I’m much faster than I was 3 years ago, so I was hoping to break 50 minutes. Illinois is relatively flat, but the City of Woodstock made sure to put in the largest hill in the city in between miles 4 and 5 of the race. You get a slight downhill between two big hills, but most of that mile is uphill. Of course, that’s also about the time it starts getting hot. It was a slow mile.
I started out with some Running Depot friends. We covered the first mile in 7:30 and the second in 7:15, but we were running downhill. I slowed down a little bit between miles 2 and 4 and a lot after mile 4. At the five mile marker, the guy yelling out the time told me I was the third woman and asked how I felt. I immediately felt sick to my stomach. I decided that he must have miscounted, because there was no way I was third. I just needed to focus on finishing the last mile. I picked up the pace a little bit and came in just under 50 minutes. I met my goal, set a four minute PR and came in third!
Of course, this is the one race that doesn’t give awards for second and third overall. Just my luck. The second place woman was also 32, so I got an award for 2nd in the 30-39 age group. I received a plaque and got my picture taken with the mayor!
After the race, we had breakfast at my place. I made some old favorites: mushroom, leek and white bean pie and perfect pancakes with whole berry sauce from Vegan Brunch and rhubarb and white chocolate chip muffins. Jewel no longer sells vegan pie crusts, so I made my own for the first time. It was ridiculously easy and it didn’t get soggy.
John brought some gorgeous flowers from the farmers market.
Yesterday at our post-run breakfast, Walt ordered pancakes and they looked delicious. Of course, the diner’s version is not egg or dairy-free, so I stuck with my tomato & avocado sandwich on rye. But today I made “Perfect Pancakes,” which is in both Vegan with a Vengeance and Vegan Brunch. They really are perfect, even better than non-vegan pancakes I made years ago. Yesterday, we went to Armanetti for a wine tasting and picked up a bottle of Patrizi Moscato d’Asti. It’s a great brunch wine. Sweet with a little sparkle.
The new Armanetti store in Woodstock is really nice. The wine manager Chris is super nice and extremely knowledgeable. It’s also right next door to Outdoor Recreation, where we bought this:
Now H and I can go biking together and we can join my running friends on their Sunday morning rides. I’m also going to start riding to work instead of driving!
Tonight’s dinner started when I came across the mango lassi in Vegan Brunch over the weekend. I picked out a couple of Indian recipes from Appetite for Reduction: Baked Tofu Masala with Potato-Spinach Curry.
I marinated the tofu all day and baked it when I came home from work. The curry took a little longer than I expected, but I chopped all the veggies and then called my parents while it simmered. Both recipes were really good.
I haven’t had a mango lassi in a while, but it tasted pretty authentic. It was a nice little treat.
Last fall, in an attempt to cope with being a vegetarian in the burbs, I joined the Suburban Chicago Vegetarian Meetup group. H and I went to a Christmas potluck for our first event, but today I went alone because H was on call. They have monthly pot lucks, which are completely vegan. Today was a Vegan Brunch at a gorgeous house in Fox River Grove. I brought my favorite brunch dish – mushroom, leek and white bean pie. I also brought some muffins. I tried a new recipe from Vegan Brunch (the cookbook) – Orange, Cranberry Nut muffins. Delicious! I also tried a gluten-free version of the coffee chip muffin recipe with an all-purpose gluten free mix. The batter was terrible, so I wasn’t expecting much from the muffin, but it turned out pretty good.
Orange Cranberry Nut muffins:
Gluten-free Coffee Chocolate chip:
After baking, Sassafras helped me clean up.
Tonight we went to Portillo’s with the running group & their families. This place was not created with vegans in mind. According to it’s menu, it’s meatless choices are two fish sandwiches. Portillo’s, please tell me what fish is if it’s not meat. Is it a fruit or vegetable? A grain? Perhaps fish is a kind of legume or maybe it comes from a cow like milk? It’s embarrassing really and I kindly pointed that out to them in an email after my last visit, but unfortunately the sign is still there. On one side is Portillo’s hot dogs and on the other is Barnelli’s pasta. Barnelli’s penne Arrabbiata without meat or cheese (which can be a difficult order for them to comprehend) is edible. Tonight they even added broccoli and mushrooms for me, which was nice. And they remembered not to add cheese.
I made some peanut butter balls this weekend, which were amazing, so I had to bring them tonight to share or I would have eaten them all myself. I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter and not being able to eat Reese’s peanut butter cups is sad. This makes it all better though. It’s like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, but better.
A perfect snowy breakfast: Perfect Pancakes with Berry sauce from Vegan Brunch and hot chocolate with Sweet & Sara vegan marshmallows.
For obvious reasons, the Woodstock Groundhog Day festivities were canceled. Woodstock Willie will not be get to make his weather prediction this year.
Vegan Brunch has the most amazing muffin recipes. My favorite is the mixed berry muffin. It is not a healthy muffin, but it tastes just like a coffee shop muffin full of eggs and dairy. A healthier option is the pumpkin bran muffin. It gets a little dry after a couple of days, but nothing a little margarine & 10 seconds in the microwave can’t fix.
This past weekend I made coffee chip muffins. I used instant espresso instead of coffee. We ate them when they were a bit warm, but cool enough not to stick to the wrapper. So delicious!
I have a love/hate relationship with brunch. I love it because it offers so many tasty options and includes sweat and savory items. I hate it because I can never decide what to order; it’s so hard to make up my mind whether I want something savory or sweet.
My sister bought Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Brunch for my birthday last year.
Today I made Mushroom, Leek & White Bean Pie and Tempeh Sausage Pastry Puffs. The crust and puff pastry were purchased from the grocery store, so that saved a lot of time. I’ve made the classic broccoli Quiche before, which looks prettier, but the mushroom, leek & white bean pie is tastier. It calls for 3 cups of leeks. When I was picking out leeks at the grocery store, I had no I idea how many leeks equal three cups. Probably about 6, but I guessed four. I had a little over 2 cups of leeks, but it still came out well.
The sausage is time-consuming. Mainly because the tempeh needs to marinate for an hour. I did not read ahead, which meant we had brunch at 2 p.m. Jewel only had Pepperidge Farms pastry shells, which is the brand that Isa recommends. Unfortunately, it contains only six shells in a box. The recipe has you cutting up the pastry into 18 squares, so I now I have a ton of leftover sausage filling. Anyway, I used the shells and tried to get as much filling balanced in the middle as possible. They came out beautifully. The flaky crust was delicious and the sausage filling is the best homemade sausage recipe I’ve made.