leftovers for lunch

Leftover for Lunch

I spent the weekend leading up to New Year’s Eve manically cleaning my house. I took down all the Christmas decorations (sad) and reorganized them. Then I tackled the garage and spare bedroom. I cleaned and organized and purged. I have so much to donate now! About four big bags and a few boxes, too.

I rewarded my hard work with some things, too. I had lunch with my friend Star and then we got pedicures. We also played with another friends new puppy! Oh my gosh, she was so adorable! Only 7 weeks old, teeny tiny and still a little wobbly on her feet. She was such a sweetheart though. When I held her she tried to kiss my face and nuzzled my neck. She was very playful, too.

photo-1

pop2

pup1

Can you STAND the cuteness?? OMG I wanted to keep her! She was a poodle schnauzer mix and so well behaved. Our friend Bob was a dog trainer so I think the little pup is in good hands. I’m sure when Michael and I get a dog we’ll use Bob for training help.

I also got in a few great workouts. I discovered that if I warm up on the bike before trying to run, I don’t have any pain. Or maybe it’s just wishful thinking. Time will tell. Either way, I ran 1.10 miles and felt fantastic!

photo

On Sunday I had the opportunity to meet another blogger! I’ve followed Leah’s blog, Leftover for Lunch, for a few years now. I loved her website because she posted recipes that were usually pretty simple and delicious. I’ve tried many of her recipes. She’s also done a few guest posts for me. If you missed them, check them out here: The Battle of The Calorie Counters and Half Marathon Tips for N00bs.

We’ve talked about meeting in real life a few times. She lives near Seattle and it would have been fun to meet up with her when I visit family. Unfortunately, those weekend trips to Seattle end up being packed full trying to see everyone so we never met. Until now! Leah and her husband were in Portland eating and drinking their way into the New Year and Michael and I met them for lunch.

We met at the Rogue Pub in downtown Portland. I’ve never been to the one here in town, only the one at Newport. I was excited to try it and hang out with new friends. It’s always kind of strange meeting someone you know online in person. It’s like you’re old friends, but new at the same time. There wasn’t any awkwardness, so that was good.

Beer tasting! I got 4 samplers. The red, the Chipotle ale and two IPAs. I loved the two IPAs on the right end. I believe one was called Brutal IPA (so damn good). If I’d ordered a full pint it would have been of that one. Leah was drinking the stouts (too dark for me) and her hubby was an IPA fan like us. It was fun to talk about beer with them since they were essentially in town touring all the breweries. 🙂

IMG_3531

IMG_3529

Michael went big and ordered a full drink. He wasn’t messing around with little samplers. 🙂 I ordered the chicken pita sandwich. It came with chips and a pickle. It was pretty good, but a tad dry and could have used a little more dressing in it.

IMG_3533

IMG_3532

Michael got the mac n’ cheese. He said it was okay but obviously it doesn’t compare to his–they rarely do! We chatted a bit and finished up our lunch and beers and then parted ways. They had lots of sightseeing to do. And I had a garage to finish cleaning.

Robyn's Birthday

Dinner was a pork chop, baked squash and steamed veggies. We ended Sunday with a blissful and very much needed 90 minute massage. My muscles have been crying lately!

QUESTION: Have you ever had a puppy? Tell me about it!

Spicy, Smoky or Savory

First things first: check out my guest post called “I Run For Me” over at Live Love and Run. I’ve been on a roll lately!

love love love chili. It may seem weird to be making chili in the summertime but here in Oregon it’s been mild weather and the Sunday afternoon I decided to make this recipe was overcast and drizzly. I had almost all of the ingredients except for the chipotle powder. Do you know how hard that is to find?! Michael tried to find it and failed and I also failed. I found a “chipotle salsa” that I decided to substitute. It was the best I could do.

I started cooking, chopping and measuring and Michael joined me in the kitchen to help. It was nice to cook together. It’s been awhile since we’d done that. We both looked at the ingredients list and balked at the “2 Tablespoons of chili powder” and I quickly checked the reviews of the recipe online. That’s a lot…right? But everyone said it was good so we decided to go for it.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Servings: 4 servings

Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.

Note: Chipotle peppers are dried, smoked jalapeño peppers. Ground chipotle chile pepper can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets or online at penzeys.com.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle chile (see Note)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Notes

From: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/sweet_potato_black_bean_chili.html

Nutrition Facts

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Serves 2 cups

Amount Per Serving
Calories 307
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 8 grams 12.3%
Saturated Fat 0
Trans Fat
Cholesterol 0
Sodium 0
Total Carbohydrate 0
Dietary Fiber 0
Sugars
Protein
Vitamin A Vitamin C
Calcium Iron

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

http://www.110pounds.com/?p=32358

I think I added a bit too much sweet potato. I used a large one instead of medium sized. I love using my Dutch Oven and sadly, not many recipes I make need it. It’s always a treat when I pull it out.

Once everything was in the Dutch oven simmering, I tasted it here and there to see how spicy it was and if I should add more chipotle salsa. I ended up adding a little bit more.

Despite having 2 Tablespoons of chili powder and very spicy chipotle sauce, it wasn’t that spicy. Is there any better smell than the aroma of onions and garlic cooking in a skillet?

I let it simmer for a little bit longer than the recipe suggested because there was a lot of liquid. I wanted it to cook down just a little bit. While I was waiting for it to simmer down, I watched a little bit of “Drop Dead Diva” (any other fans out there? I’m on season 2).

I wished that I had made some cornbread to go along with the chili because it would have been a perfect combination. The end result wasn’t as soupy as the above photo.

I put a little big of shredded Colby Jack cheese on top and a dollop of sour cream. We ate the chili with some tortilla chips (again, I would have preferred cornbread to chips).

The chili was pretty good. It wasn’t the best chili I’ve ever made and it wasn’t spicy at all (at least to me). I think it was more smoky than spicy. I most definitely have to go to a specialty store to get that powdered chipotle peppers because I’m sure it makes a big difference. I think it would also be good with some ground turkey meat.

QUESTION: Do you like your chili spicy, smoky or savory?