Let Them Eat Kale

Because Cake Is Sooo 1789

My Kind of Half-Marathon & A Mexican Stir-Fry Recipe

Honesty time.

Confession: I love working hard. I absolutely thrive on it. I can schedule my life down to the minute to create time where there previously wasn’t any. (I’m not kidding; sometimes you do what you have to do, and I’ve become quite good at it.) I can wake up early to exercise, put in a full day at work, take night classes, and still have motivation to study after a long day. (Work-a-holic alert?)

Relax EcardSource

But as much as I enjoy the satisfaction from being productive, I know I need time to relax. Juuuuust relax and do nothing. Fortunately, this week has been somewhat of a Christmas gift in that department. The semester is over, I have the week off from work, and my college campus is practically a ghost town. While that may seem like a recipe for complete boredom, I have been absolutely relishing in stark contrast between this and my normally hectic life.

The most productive thing I’ve done is workout. Other than that, it’s been endless hours of watching Mad Men on Netflix (seriously obsessed), reading, and drinking tea. How lovely!

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But, honestly. I cannot tell you how enjoyable it is to let time be absolutely irrelevant. While at the gym today, I actually (somewhat accidentally) ended up doing my own half-marathon of sorts (with intervals on the elliptical) just because I was enjoying myself so much. After this photo was taken (for FitFluential #Proff and my Tone It Up Check-in, of course!), I found So You Think You Can Dance on one of the TV channels. I ended up getting sucked in and finished out my workout with 13.1 miles. What can I say, I’m a dancer at heart! Thanks to that little marathon, a few minutes of abs, and some weighted squats, my body certainly won’t let me forget my hard-work tomorrow!

And, somehow, I managed to make it to the store on my way home from the gym so that I could pick up a few essentials. (Yay, another thing to add to the productivity list!) And that’s where the next piece of honesty comes in.

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Confession: I am completely and totally in love with a stir-fry that I discovered this week…so in love, in fact, that I can’t even seem to think about making anything else because I know it will just pale in comparison. So now I have all this time to experiment in the kitchen, and I end up making the same thing over and over again. Figures.

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Anyway, this Mexican-inspired stir-fry (can I still call it a stir-fry even though it’s Mexican? Warm salad? Veggie mish-mosh? Oh, dear…) started as one of those “Clean Out the Refrigerator” meals. I sautéed the veggies, had fun in my spice drawer, topped with salsa, and prayed everything would be alright. Salsa seems to make everything better, so at least I had that going for me.

Much to my luck, the stir-fry turned out to be delicious. It was the right combination of textures, flavors, and smokey heat to warm me up on a windy LA night. Can you guess what I’m making tonight?

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Colorful Mexican Cabbage Stir-Fry

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free

Serves 1 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 small onion, chopped 
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
  • 1/4 small cabbage (green or purple; I prefer purple, but green was on sale the other day, and that works, too!), sliced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/8-1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1-1/2 cup spinach
  • Herbamare (or salt) and pepper, to taste
  • Salsa
  • Nutritional yeast (optional)

Method:

  1. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray or coat with small amount of coconut oil. 
  2. Add onion to the hot pan. Once the onion starts to turn translucent (~1-2 minutes), add red bell pepper. Sauté onion and pepper until they begin to brown (~3 more minutes), then add in zucchini and stir. When the zucchini slices have started to brown, add in cabbage. Continue stirring.
  3. Cover pan for a few minutes to allow all the veggies to steam and soften a bit more. The amount of time you do this for will depend on your preference for crispness. I tend to like my veggies soft, so I give them a few minutes.
  4. Add spices, Herbamare (or salt), and pepper to veggie mixture. Adjust seasonings to taste. At this point, you may have to add a little bit of water to the pan to make sure that the veggies are coated with spice and the pan is deglazed.
  5. Once the spices are added (and the water is gone, if using), add spinach to the pan and stir. Turn off the heat; the warmth of the veggie mixture will allow the spinach leaves to wilt.
  6. Top with salad and nutritional yeast, if using. I like just a little bit of nutritional yeast to complete the flavors and add a hint of cheesey-ness.

I like to serve this with roasted kabocha squash or sweet potato fries. Healthy refried beans (Trader Joe’s are my favorite!) or black beans are also a lovely addition.

Feel free to repeat :).

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