Once again the weekend went by WAY too fast, but at least it was a good one and I don’t feel like I wasted a moment of it! Here’s a little re-cap (which I promise WILL tie in with this recipe).
Saturday started VERY early at the National Science Teachers Association conference.
I went to a bunch of different presentations which all (obviously) revolved around teaching science. It was really inspiring and convinced me even more than I already was, that I’m in the PERFECT profession for me. That’s a good feeling.
After that Mike came into the city and we did some shopping. I am nowhere near ready to shop the maternity section yet, but I definitely need tops with a little more room. I’m still at that awkward “is it a beer belly or a baby?” stage, so I’d like to disguise it as much as I can. Mike had been talking all week about surprising me on Saturday night. He had a restaurant picked out but wouldn’t give me any clues about it until we arrived. He picked a winner!
Gracias Madre is a vegan, organic Mexican restaurant and it is AWESOME! I tried to take pictures of the food but it was dark inside, and nobody wants to see overly grainy, yellow pictures of unidentifiable food, so I’ll spare you. Their vegan Caesar was INSANE. Romaine in a perfect, creamy dressing with chunks of avocado and topped with toasted pumpkin seeds. I kind of wanted to go stalk the open kitchen until I figured out the dressing, because it was so good. I also got mushroom enchiladas (good, but the mushrooms were over-salted and the tortillas were under the filling and sauce instead of wrapped around them, which was kind of weird). The mole was superb though… just the right amount of sweetness. They came with black beans and the BEST kale I’ve ever had. Ever. And I’ve eaten a fair amount of kale in my life. It was crisp but not undercooked, slightly spicy, and really garlicky. LOVE.
Usually after Mexican food I just feel bloated and gross, but even though I ate until I was pretty full, it was a satisfied and good full, not an I-need-to-put-on-sweatpants-immediately-or-I-will-pass-out full. It definitely helped that they didn’t bring chips to the table…
The time change kind of messed with me like it always does and I didn’t get started on my 18 mile run until 8:30 (SUPER late for a long run!) The highlight of the run? I saw some buffalo!
I have no idea why Golden Gate park has buffalo, but they do…enclosed in an electric fence AND a tall chain-link fence. The run was pretty awesome until about 15 miles. Then I started feeling kind of dizzy and weak, so I chugged a bunch of water and walked for a few minutes. I felt a lot better after my walk break, and my knee held up pretty well, so that was a plus. Boston is only 5 weeks away!
Between the run and the amazing vegan dinner, I realized I’ve been relying WAY too much on bread and cheese as staples lately, and I know I can do better for myself and my little parasite/fetus. So I need to make a lot more things like this. I mean, I still have a brownie recipe I’ll share later this week, and I made some pretty fabulous (but not so healthy) pizza on Friday night, but I’m going to try to get back to focusing on healthy, whole food vegetarian and vegan meals. Lets see how that goes…
This was the first time I think I’ve ever had fresh tarragon, and if you like fennel, you will love it! It has a slightly licorice-like flavor, and it really mixes nicely with the vinegar and shallots here. I love fine bulgur, because you don’t even need to cook it! Just give it about 15 minutes to soak and it’s ready. The recipe originally called for green lentils, but I really liked it with white beans instead. And the toasted walnuts are a must for both crunch and flavor! Mike made lettuce wraps with it, which looked pretty tasty.
(adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)
2 cups cooked and drained white beans
1 cup fine bulgur
1 1/2 cups water
1 large shallot, finely chopped
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 medium carrots, finely diced
2 stalks celery, finely diced
3 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted until fragrant
romaine leaves (optional)
Combine the bulgur and water in a medium bowl and set aside to soak for about 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Stir the vinegar and chopped shallot together in a small bowl and let stand for about 10 minutes.
Put the celery, carrot, and beans in a large bowl. Stir in the bulgur, shallot mixture, and tarragon and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over romaine if desired, topped with a sprinkling of toasted walnuts.