Summed Up

As you know, I’ve recently started my official training for the Philadelphia Marathon in November. While I’ve overcome my nagging shin splits, I seem to have developed some tightness in my right hip, which could be a number of things. Thanks to my excellent Googling skills, I’ve decided it’s either Hip Bursitis, tendonitis, or ITBS. Either way, all I can do is keep on keepin’ on… meaning lots of foam rolling, ice, and Advil. It’s definitely been getting better since it came about two weeks ago, but it’s far from gone. Ahh, the life of a runner.

I decided to lead this post with that tid-bit of information, simply because of a realization I had during my 8 mile run on Monday afternoon. Firstly, I’d like to preface the run with the fact that I wound up leaving work early that morning due to getting sick in the bathroom. I have no idea what was wrong with me, but come late afternoon and a series of naps later, I felt fine enough to run. So, I headed to the gym (thanks thunderstorms), and set myself up for an 8 miler on the dreaded treadmill. I decided simply getting through the run was my main goal, so I set my pace at about 6.1, and just went.

While running, I was glued to The Food Network, watching 30 Minute Meals, Giada at Home, and Barefoot Contessa. Towards the end of my run, I realized that right there was pretty much the summation of my existence… running and food. Not a bad existence, if you ask me!

I happened to watch an episode of Giada at Home, where she hosted a little get together and grilled a bunch of different kabobs. This of course made me want one immediately, and it was convienient that veggie kabobs just so happened to be on our menu for the week! They were quick and easy, which was much appreciated after a long day at work, a trip to the allergest with the fiance, and then a run. The last thing I wanted to do was put effort into dinner. Thankfully, little effort was required, and it was delicious. Of course, you can make these bad boys with just about anything your heart desires, so get creative!

iPhone photo courtesy of Instagram!

Veggie Kabobs
– makes 10-12 kabobs –

1 medium eggplant, diced into large chunks
1 zucchini, sliced
1 red onion, diced into large chunks
1 green pepper, diced into large chunks
1 cup your favorite marinade (I used Ken’s tomato basil dressing)

1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat
2. Combine all of the veggies together, and pour the marinade over them, mixing to ensure even coating. Set aside for about 30 minutes (or longer, if you have the time!)
3. Using kabob skewers, string the vegetables on one at a time, alternating (piece of eggplant, zucchini, green pepper, onion, repeat). Make sure to leave room at the top and bottom for accessibility!
4. Grill kabobs for about 15 minutes (depending on your level of char preference), making sure to rotate at least once

Semi-Homemade Pizza

While many foodies are purists, when it comes to weeknight dinners, I have no problem admitting my shortcuts. There’s even a show on the Food Network with “Semi-Homemade” in the title. Sure, I don’t wear cute cardigans and prepare my semi-homemade goodies for parties (most of the time) but the general idea is there. I’d say at least one or two times a week I cheat the system and use something that someone else made for me in my meal.

The past few weeks have been slow on the blogging front just because I’ve been so busy. I haven’t had the opportunity to try many new dishes, therefore leaving me with little to talk about – or so I thought. Originally when I started this blog, I figured it would be to post new recipes I try, create, etc. I’ve realized though, that while there are always new and great recipes, there are some I’d like to have more than once! So, sometimes I have a lot of content, sometimes I don’t. I’m in the process of trying to really figure out how I want to handle my blogging. Do I want to do something more on a daily basis, like some of my favorite blogs, Peanut Butter Fingers, Eat Drink Run, and Healthy Tipping Point? Or, do I want to stick to new recipes, yummy restaurants, and things like that? I guess I’ll just have to try it out. Or, maybe I just need to find more time to cook!

Back to the pizza. I’ve found that most refrigerated crusts I’ve purchased are more than passable. It also helps that they come in two packs, so I’m able to get two meals out of it – whether it be two dinners, or maybe a dinner and a breakfast (hello breakfast pizza!). With a few random ingredients in the fridge, I threw together a pepperoni, onion, and pepper pizza with Italian seasonings. In the time it would have taken me to pull up a menu, place the order, drive to pick it up, and then eventually be home to eat it, my entire meal was done. The great thing about pizza is that you can throw almost anything on it. Last week we had a pizza with BBQ sauce, and Monday night was regular tomato sauce (with huge chunks of garlic). You really can customize it just how you crave.

Now that I’ve made a more traditional, and Southwestern styled pizza, I think it’s time to get more creative. I think my fiancé, our wallets, and most importantly our bellies, will welcome a more frequent rotation of homemade pizzas into our lives!

Semi-Homemade Pizza
– Serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are!-

1 premade pizza crust (found in the refrigerated section)
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 green pepper
1 cup any kind of tomato sauce
2 cups shredded cheese
Pepperoni (amount to your liking)
1 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp oregano
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp vegetable oil for sautéing

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. Heat pan with oil, and while warming up, slice onion and pepper to desired size. Once pan is warm, add onions and peppers, sauté about 5-10 minutes, adding seasoning half way through.
3. Pour sauce onto pizza crust, spreading evenly. Top with 1 1/2 cups of cheese, followed by pepperoni, and then onion and pepper mix. Layer last 1/2 cup of cheese on top.
4. Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes, until crust is golden brown (you can lay it directly on the rack)