Ride Like the Wind

I decided to take advantage of the warm fall weather and bike to the local orchard to pick up some apples.

The thing about biking in October is that it can be kind of windy.

I was struggling.

I felt like Ms. Gulch in the Wizard of Oz riding past Dorothy’s bedroom window while it is whirling around in a tornado.

My quads were burning so bad I thought they might disintegrate and I was seriously considering cutting the ride short and heading home.

I glanced behind me to see a fellow biker getting ready to pass.

He bid me good morning as he effortlessly sailed on by.

With a donut.

And coffee.

(source)

Maybe I’m doing it wrong.

Gale force winds couldn’t keep me from fresh produce now.

Or the 3 MPH winds I was actually facing.

How ’bout them apples?

I was hungry when I got home.

Which is completely irrelevant because I’m always hungry.

Baked Sweet potatoes stuffed with apples, cranberries, and spinach is a warming way to enjoy both the sweet and tart flavors of fall.

Apple and Cranberry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

2 medium sweet potatoes

1/2 cup fresh cranberries

1 apple (any variety)

1 tablespoon apple cider or water

1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon maple syrup

2 cups baby spinach

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (optional)

salt + pepper, to taste

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.

Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake for 50-60 minutes or until tender.

During the last 10 minutes of cooking, prepare your filling.

Soak cranberries in hot water for 5 minutes to soften.

If you can’t find fresh cranberries, you can use 1/4 cup dried.

Dice apple.

Add to a large pan with apple cider.

Cook over medium heat for about a minute.

Add cranberries and continue cooking until tender, about 3-4 minutes.

Add mustard, apple cider vinegar, and maple syrup.

Stir gently.

Add spinach and cook just until it begins to wilt.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add 1/2 of the apple filling to each sweet potato.

Top with pumpkin seeds.

The 12 Challenges of 2012

Has anyone thought about taking the week long vegetarian challenge?

Maybe you’re thinking it would be too difficult.

Maybe you’re thinking meal planning would be too hard.

Maybe you’re thinking too much.

Here’s some quick and easy meal ideas for you.

BREAKFAST

Cereal + Milk + Fruit

Toast + Peanut Butter + Banana

Oatmeal+Soy milk + Pumpkin + Pumpkin Pie Spice

Pancakes + Cooked Apples + Maple Syrup

Fresh Fruit Smoothies

Almond Biscotti

LUNCH

Peanut Butter + Apple Butter + Whole Wheat Bread

Hummus + Veggies + Pita Chips

Lentil Soup

Moroccan Carrot Salad

Thai Broccoli Slaw

Spinach + Pears + Walnuts + Maple Cider Vinaigrette

DINNER

Vegetarian Chili + Cornbread

Black Bean Burgers + Sweet Potato Fries

Tomato Soup + Grilled Cheese

Black Bean Tostadas

Stuffed Portobellos

Zucchini Tacos

Veggie Pizza

SNACKS

Brownie Batter Dip

Apple Butter Bread

Peanut Butter and Jelly Energy Bites

Warm Apple Salsa with Cinnamon Sugar Chips

You can even eat donuts and drink coffee all week if you want.

Bonus points if you can do it on a bicycle.

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