Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Black Bean Soup and a Training Update

Everyone knows that beans are an athlete's best friend. Packed with protein, fiber, antioxidants, and iron, beans cover a lot of nutritional bases and make a great recovery food. Black beans are at the top of my favorite bean list, and I use them a lot. Tonight I made a simple soup that's quick to whip up and is super flavorful. I also had corn tortillas that needed to be used, so I sliced them up, fried them quickly in canola oil, and used them as dippers for the soup. Avocado slices or sliced scallions would also make tasty garnishes.

Simple Black Bean Soup
-olive oil
-half a large onion, diced
-half a red bell pepper, diced
-half a green bell pepper, diced
-1 jalapeno pepper, minced
-4 garlic cloves, minced
-1 tbsp chili powder
-2 tbsp cumin
-1 tsp oregano
-1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, with juice
-1 25 oz. can black beans, with liquid
-2 cups vegetable stock
-salt and pepper
-1/3 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
-juice of 1 lime

-Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and peppers and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the veggies start to get tender.
-Add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add the chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until fragrant.
-Add the tomatoes with their juice, the beans with their liquid, and the vegetable stock to the pot. Season the soup with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, covered.
-Add the cilantro and lime juice and cook for another 5 minutes. Serve, garnished with cilantro leaves and tortilla strips.
Now for a quick training update. As you know, I am running the Long Branch Half Marathon on May 2nd. On Monday this week, I got an email; it was the first of ten emails (one for each week until the race) covering race details and updates. That really put those 10 weeks in perspective! I'm happy to say the first 2 weeks of training have gone really well. I've already started bumping up my paces since my body is used to this again, and the weekend long runs really start ramping up now. I still have a long way to go, but I know it's going to go fast. I don't think I will do any races in March, but I'm planning on doing three in April. It will be good for a change of pace in my workouts and for getting back into the racing mentality. I'll keep you posted!

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