Friday, January 6, 2012

Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash, Kale and Red Rice/Lou Ristaino Workout

As I sit here in the Florida sun with my feet up and resting up for Disney marathon on Sunday, it is hard to imagine that just 3 days ago I was running around a track in the cold, windy, frigid Boston weather. 
The 3 lil pugs sunbathing


Somerville Road Runners  are quite familiar with the "Lou Ristaino workout" that is traditionally run the tuesday before a marathon. It consists of a continuous 4800 on the track running the first 800 at your goal marathon pace. Each successive 800 is run 4 seconds faster than the previous one. The start should feel very easy and by the end you should be working somewhat hard. 
Since I was the only one running a marathon this weekend (at least in my pace group), I would be all alone doing the workout. I decided to stay home and go to my town's high school track and be done with the workout 2 hours earlier than if I would have waited to go to SRR. I am so grateful that my sister Meghan was willing to do the workout with me, it made it so much easier to get through. The workout wasn't bad, but the howling wind, the creaking trees, the pitch dark track and my completely numb feet made me grateful that I was hopping on a plane to run in warmer weather this weekend. 
Meghan and I cooked up this delicious Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa from Cookin Canuck's blog when we got home. Let me tell you it tasted so good on a cold night.



I made some slight adjustments:
-I cooked the onions and garlic in a separate pan while the chicken was cooking to speed up the prep time. 
-I added Kale for some extra greens: I used 4 large kale leaves, stripped them from the stem and  into the stew at the same time as when I added the shredded chicken
-Substituted Red Rice for the Quinoa. I really only did this because I had just bought this Heirloom Bhutan Red Rice at Whole Foods and wanted to try it.
Verdict on the Bhutan Red Rice: Delicious! Very quick cooking- only 20 minutes! Nutritious and mineral rich. The anthocyanins present in the rice are antioxidant nutrients and give the rice its deep color and support health. I will add red rice to my list of great gluten-free whole grains and definitely make it again! 

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