Thinking Out Loud: Thursday Brain Dump

I’m linking up with Running with Spoons again for Thinking Out Loud. Thanks for hosting, Amanda!

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In true, Thinking Out Loud fashion, I’m just going to spurt out what’s on my mind this Thursday evening.

  1. First and foremost, make this Roasted Cauliflower White Cheddar Soup. It’s chowder-like, the perfect amount of cheesy, and the cauliflower makes it pretty hearty. I can already tell it’s going to be a fall/winter staple.
  2. I have a bum knee! Maybe not a bum knee, but it’s not very happy with me. I noticed a little discomfort on Sunday’s treadmill 5K, but as soon as I got off of it, I knew something was wrong. The discomfort has eased up every day since, I waited until today to try a mile, and I can still feel that it’s off.
  3. Waaaaaaaaaaah.
  4. It’s laughable that this is the exact same knee pain my fiancé has had since late August.
  5. I want to go on a run so bad I feel a little crazy.
  6. An April marathon looks a little bleak. Does this knee thing need a week off? 4? 6? Would I have enough time to safely increase mileage by January?
  7. What if I ran a spring half and a late summer or fall marathon?!
  8. (Enter more race/running/injury/knee over thinking here).
  9. Lastly, my friend e-mailed me this article from the New York Time: What We Think About When We Run. I shared my favorite part below, about the runner’s great article of faith, and I agree completely.

“Confronted with difficulty of any kind—a throbbing ankle, a stitch in the side, cold, hunger, headwinds, loneliness, despair, boredom, grief—runners will inevitably talk about “running through it.” In its more modest connotation, the phrase simply means to keep going. But the grander meaning is that “through it” means “past it.” That is the runner’s great article of faith: that a better mood will supplant a worse one, pain will ease up, joy will kick in. “That sucked,” one of the participants in Samson’s study declared into his microphone, “but it’s going to be an awesome run on the way back.””

Did you read that article too? What do you need to vent about?

Kitchen Staples (Pantry/Freezer/Fresh Produce)

I’m linking up with Running with Spoons again for Thinking Out Loud. Thanks for hosting, Amanda!

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I came across a post in my Bloglovin’ feed a week or two ago on kitchen staples, and for the life of me, I can’t remember who shared it. Any clue?! It inspired me to share my own.

I’ve divided my kitchen staples into things I almost always have on hand in my pantry, fridge and freezer and the produce items first to make it on my grocery list each week.

It took a while to build this pantry, and I’ve learned over time what I need/like to have on hand through trial and error. This also by no means serves as an exhaustive list. Plus, some not-so-good for you stuff gets crammed in with the more nutritious items. Looking at you, pumpkin cheesecake in my freezer (and emergency boxed mac ‘n’ cheese).

Let’s start with the pantry. Since moving in with Alex in August, I’ve deeply satisfied my type-A tendencies with a lot of glass jars that store our most used dry goods. I bought them for cheap at IKEA. Perfect for topping oatmeal quickly with seeds + nuts or cooking rice/pasta. Here’s what I like to have on hand:

Grains and Legumes
Brown rice
Brown pasta*
Ezekiel bread**
Canned beans***

*I like spaghetti and fusili
**Always keep a back-up in the freezer!
***One day I’ll make a large batch from dry beans, but until then…cans are easier. I like buying them at Trader Joe’s because I can spend less time reading can ingredients and weeding out the ones with gross additives.

Seeds and Nuts
Chia seeds and flax seeds
Dried fruit: cranberries, golden raisins, raisins
Flax seed meal
Unsweetened coconut flakes
Nuts: chopped pecans, whole and sliced almonds, walnuts, cashews
Peanut and almond butter

One day I’ll progress from mini post-it notes to sticker labels…

Oils, Sweeteners, Misc.
Maple syrup
Olive oil
Coconut oil
Nutritional yeast
Sweet potatoes

Next: the freezer. Perfect for when I need some emergency greens or want items on hand that are required in some of my regular recipes, like vegetarian paella or black bean and quinoa enchilada bake.

Freezer Goods
Green beans
Fruit (berries, mango)

*When I remember to put some in before I eat them all

These next items are almost always on my grocery list, and more get added as I know what I’m cooking that coming week (mushrooms, peppers are the top contenders).

Fresh Produce
Fruit: bananas, apples, berries, and usually one more (grapes/pears/etc.)*
Baby carrots
Sugar snap peas
Bagged spinach**
Fruit (berries, mango)

*I eat an absurd amount of fruit and always have. My mother called/calls her children a bunch of fruit flies.
**Sadly though, this is usually the first to go unused if I don’t plan properly

What are your kitchen staples?