Last week was a productive training week. I was a little confused on my training because I was feeling rested after several "active recovery" days. I discussed with Karel his focus of last week (as I thought it was a build week) and to my surprise, it was a recovery week and I didn't even know it! I had previously discussed with Karel that after two weeks of build, I really needed a few days recovery because I was feeling tired and really needed some time to reflect in order to keep my mind sharp for the last 1 1/2 months of training. Karel gave me the fantastic news that I would have a full week of recovery and I ended the week with only 1 "intense" brick on wed, 3 great swims and two bike-focused brick workouts over the weekend (no long run). The focus for the weekend was to put everything together. Karel did an excellent job knowing exactly what I could handle at this point in my training and my workouts were just perfect... nothing that I couldn't handle.
On Sunday, Karel and I went to an afternoon pool party with our close friends Mallory and Tyler (thanks to Tyler's parents who allowed us to enjoy their beautiful backyard and pool!), Katrine (her hubby Ryan had to work :( ) and Kari and Adam, with their two beautiful twins.
Each person/couple brought a side item and Tyler's parents grilled chicken and burgers for everyone. Here are some of my favorites that I'd like to share...although I enjoyed EVERY bite of EVERY dish (especially Tyler's mom's potato salad and Keri and Adam's filo dough stuffed with goat cheese and sauteed onions).
Katrine made a delicious Broccoli Slaw with sliced Strawberries, cucumbers and tossed in a vinaigrette dressing. I think she may have added sliced almonds as well. The broccoli slaw is one of my favorites and I buy it all the time at Publix and Wal-mart. It is made with carrots, broccoli and red cabbage.
Savory apple quinoa
After many hours on the bike this weekend, I had the chance to come up with this TriMarni Creation. I am so happy that everyone enjoyed it at the pool party and it was a perfect sweet, yet "light" dish to be served as a side on a hot summer day.
I cooked 1 cup quinoa in 1 1/2 cups boiling water in large pot. I reduced water to low after I added the quinoa to the boiling water and then covered. Cook for 5-6 minutes, then fluff with fork. Cook according to package.
In a separate pot, heated to low heat, I added 1 spoonful butter (about 1 1/2 tbsp) to pan and added 1 extra large light green apple (chopped). I then added 1 spoonful (about 1-2 tbsp) brown sugar to the pot and mixed. I added about 2 tbsp water at this time. I covered the pot and let the apple soak up the butter and sugar for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the apple was soft, I turned off heat and added the apple mixture to the quinoa and sprinkled with few dashes of cinnamon. Toss well and serve chilled.
Nuts would be optional but I wanted a little crunch to this dish. I would have normally chopped the almonds but because I wanted the babies to enjoy the dish (they are almost 1 year old) I kept the nuts whole so Kari and Adam could pick them out.
Bruschetta Tomato Basil Parmesan Veggie Burger
I don't do a lot of vegetarian burgers in my daily diet, however, I do enjoy the taste of a veggie-filled, soy protein based, grilled veggie burger (especially when I am traveling and seeking some protein in my meal).
As a vegetarian, I try to not make my life complicated when it comes to eating around others. Of course, my close friends (at the party) know me extremely well and are so kind to ask me what I want/need to eat since I don't "do" meat. Bringing a veggie burger to a party/event is a simple way to make me feel satisfied with my food so that I don't have to just eat "veggies". While I strive for balance in my meal, I also want to enjoy similar foods as everyone else (taking my own personal dietary preferences into consideration).
My grilled veggie burger on a whole grain bun, topped with dark green romaine, tomatoes, onions and swiss cheese, was just perfect for my hungry belly.
The amazing spread of food......almost 90% was prepared with wholesome ingredients. YUM!!
My beautiful plate...SO YUMMY!!!