A few mornings ago, I had an early wake up call for a 6 AM swim with friends. I can’t remember the last time I was up that early for a workout (last fall sometime?), so I didn’t sleep very well. Every hour or so I would wake up, worried that I had missed the 5.30 alarm. Does anyone else get that? It’s so frustrating! However, the oh-so-fabulous weather on Monday made me realize that it’s time to get in the early-morning workouts. Last summer, swimming at Walden Pond in the mornings was always the most spectacular way to start the day. I would get to work grinning, giddy, and full of fresh air and beautiful views. I still have that last swim of the year in my head. On the way back across Walden, we were swimming right into the glowing path of the sunrise. You couldn’t see a thing, but it was absolutely mind-bogglingly breathtaking.
However, waking up that morning to snow on the cars and ice on the road that made me slip and slide when I tried to brake on my bike was a bit of a shock! I honestly thought we were past the bother of dealing with wintery elements, but New England always manages to surprise you, doesn’t it? I do love winter, but at this point I’m ready to swim outside into the sunrise and be done with the chlorinated pools!
The tantalizing glimpse of the delicious, flower-scented spring did make me realize that it *might* be time to clean up the eats and start getting my rear in gear for this little race (half-Ironman) coming up in the summer. No more binging on gummy bears – the tasty little bears will have to wait.
I’ve always wanted to try my hand at a brown rice bowl with vegetables and some sort of miso dressing, so of course I turned to smittenkitchen to see what she might have up her sleeve. Sure enough, one popped up, just waiting for me to change it up depending on what was lurking in my fridge. The result was perfect – healthy, satisfying, and colorful.
Miso Brown Rice Bowl (adapted from smittenkitchen)
1 cup brown rice
2 ½ cups water
dash olive oil
1 bunch asparagus
1 Tbsp. olive oil
½ avocado, sliced
1 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
1 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
1 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp. white miso
2 Tbsp. tahini
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
¼ cup rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
2 Tbsp. olive oil
cayenne to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Combine rice, water, dash of olive oil, and salt to taste in a medium pot. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, and let simmer until cooked (about 20 min.).
3. Trim the ends of the asparagus and lay on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over them and use your hands to oil them up gooood. Salt to taste. Roast, turning every so often, until lightly browned, about 15 min. Once roasted, slice into 2-inch pieces.
4. Grate the beets and carrots. You can choose to use a grater if you wish and then end up with little finger bits in among the vegetables (this is what inevitably happens to me), or you can use your Ferrari if you are so lucky as to own one!
5. Toast the sesame seeds in a small pan on the stove over medium-high heat, tossing frequently, until the white seeds are lightly browned.
6. When you’ve got all these odds and ends all set, you can turn to the most delicious part – the dressing. Combine all the ingredients either in a blender or with a whisk.
7. Divide the rice into 2 bowls and arrange the vegetables in an arty manner on top. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and take a photo while it still looks pretty before you pour the brown dressing all over.
8. Dig in, feel virtuous, and revel in the tastiness that is miso-ginger dressing.
This past Sunday, I completed my first open-water swim race. You know the saying…