Monday, January 27, 2014

Veggies, Veggies Everywhere: Veggie, Rice and Black Bean Casserole

Two new recipes in two days - go me! Since today was the dreaded 12-hour marathon Monday, I prepped this Vegetable Casserole yesterday and Nate was able to stick it in the oven 30 minutes before I got home from my run tonight. This vegetable casserole is meatless, but contains black beans (and cheese!) for protein. A little bit of brown rice also gave it some substance. I suppose you could add any vegetables you wanted, but in ours I put grape tomatoes, green peppers, onions, carrots, and of course, lots of garlic. 

Veggie Casserole prior to adding on cheese and breadcrumbs
After sautéing up all the vegetables with some olive oil and paprika, I added the vegetable mixture on top of one cup of cooked brown rice and a can of black beans. I then covered the casserole with mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs. 

This dish was pretty good - certainly not one I would make every week, but very good for those days when you feel you need to detox after eating crap all weekend long (which was not the case in this instance, thankfully) or are in need of some veggies. I actually think Nate liked this one more than I did. If I were to make this again, I think I would cut down the recipe and make it as a side dish to something else (what, I don't know, considering we hardly eat meat anymore). 

Topped off with mozzarella and breadcrumbs...

Here is the recipe:

Olive Oil
One onion
One green bell pepper
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 bag frozen carrots (or fresh, whatever you have!)
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 can black beans
Mozzarella Cheese

1. Sauté all the vegetables and garlic with olive oil. Sprinkle with paprika. Meanwhile, cook the brown rice. 
2. Layer vegetable mix, rice and black beans in a casserole dish. 
3. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and breadcrumbs on top. 
4. Cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Bowl full of veggies! 

On another note, I came across this a while ago and thought it was appropriate for motivational Monday, albeit, a little discouraging. One of the things that initially drew me into the running community and marathoning was how supportive people were. I was never far from encouragement and more experienced runners were always willing to motivate me or offer their words of advice. I loved hearing (and still do) about the training plans of others and their race recaps. Listening to other peoples adventures always left me thinking - "wow...if they can do that..I wonder if I can too?"  This is something I have adamantly tried to pay forward. I love, and I mean LOVE, recruiting new runners and seeing new runners complete new distances (and times) that they could never have imagined. 

When I cleaned up my act (eating and training) last year, success followed quickly. I was meeting my goals. I was getting faster and stronger by the day. I was also working my friggin' tush off (and still am - phew Hansons marathon method is no joke!). The majority of those people who supported my running endeavors are still extremely supportive. However, these past few months, I have sadly realized that a few people I am , ahem, was surrounded by are nay-sayers. I don't do nay-sayers. There is no place in running for nay-sayers. I have no clue if I can complete Hansons. I have no clue if I can break 3:30 in a marathon in May. But guess what...the uncertainty of it doesn't scare me anymore. Because I am going to try. Because I will never know if I can or can't do either of those things until I try. And I fully intend on giving 100% of myself to trying. A few people have commented that my training plan is going to be like a part time job. And yes, it may be. But it was a choice...because it is what I want to be doing right now. I am actually enjoying it! Everyone is different. Everyone has different priorities...and different things going on in their lives. To each...his own. 

And on the flip side...don't ever let someone else's successes take away from yours. Everyone's journey is different. Don't compare your chapter 1 to someones else's chapter 20. Just because I have met some of my goals, don't hate on me for it. Use it for encouragement. Question yourself, as I questioned myself after seeing those before me meet their goals. Let the question be "WOW - If they can do that...can I do that too??" Remember, the only person you are trying to be better than, is the person you were yesterday...

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