“Quinoa burger. Jaclyn’s crabby when you try to add more oil. She’ll try to kick you out of the kitchen. She doesn’t understand that they’ll burn without oil. Ummmm I dont really remember anything else about us cooking. We hiked to a waterfall. I splashed mud on Jaclyn. I threw a rock in the bushes and she jumped like it was a snake. We observed Griffith park. It was a joke because it was an observatory. Tri tip was delicious.”
I was face-timing with Clay (the iphone does wonders for long-distance relationships) and told him that he would be contributing to my blog whatever came out of his mouth about our week together. Ladies and gentlemen, the results were poetic, as I’m sure you concluded. He’s a hopeless romantic.
Really though, our week together was amazing as usual. As terrible as long-distance relationships are, they do make the time spent together that much more meaningful.
So, if you used your detective skills, you have deduced that Clay came to visit me!! It was absolutely amazing having him here because I got to do all of the activities I’ve wanted to do in California, but which I had no partner in crime with which to share them.
The only downside to Clay coming was Clay leaving. I essentially had a month “vacation” between my family visiting, going to Hawaii with them, and then Clay visiting. I was with the people I love most for ONE MONTH. It was amazing, but then it kind of all came to a screeching halt, and I was alone again before I knew it.
Enough sob stories, Jaclyn.
I, again, have a ton to catch you up on since inconsistent blogging seems to be my new habit. BAD HABIT JAC-O! The second night Clay was here, we decided to cook a jaxoflife approved meal (that means it’s probably not Clay approved, but he was a good sport). We decided on black bean quinoa burgers with sweet potato fries. It was a nice little winter “BBQ”. Clay made his plate nice and fancy so I could take pictures to share with all of you.
Clay put his burger on bread
Sara’s plate with the more conventional bun-
the delicious fries
We served the burgers with an avocado and tomato spread. It was a bit bland because I didn’t want to add salt after realizing that the burgers were fairly high in sodium between the chicken broth and the beans. Next time I’ll be sure to get no salt added black beans.
Quinoa Black Bean Burgers
2 cups of cooked quinoa
2 cups of black beans (Canned is fine as long as it is organic, no sodium. If you’re using dried, rinse your beans and soak them overnight and drain when ready to use.)
1.5 cups of organic low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
- Place dry quinoa with 1 cup of water in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover and lower to a simmer until all liquid is absorbed.
- Pour a little olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Cook onions and garlic until onions are translucent.
- Combine the black beans, turmeric, and broth in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to low, cover partially, and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
- In a large bowl combine the bean mixture, garlic, and onion. When the ingredients are well combined (mashed), add in the quinoa and combine. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Form the mixture into patties. I ended up with 8 patties.
- In a large frying pan, heat a bit of olive oil over medium heat. Add the patties turning over once browned (about 5-7 minutes per side).
- Serve and enjoy!
Brad, Sara, Clay and I all ate dinner together, and I think the dinner was enjoyed by all.
As I mentioned, Clay and I got to partake in some awesome California activities namely hiking. We hiked Griffith Park all the way to the observatory. And when I say all the way, I mean we started on the other side of the mountain and hiked for about 2 hours. We covered a lot of ground and challenged ourselves. I even hiked an extremely steep hill. See diagram A and B below.
The better view:
These pictures were taken probably 1/4 of the way into our hike. We did eventually make it all the way to that building, but it was far from a straight shot.
One of my priorities was hiking to a waterfall because I love waterfalls. Deep, I know. We found one in Thousands Oaks called Paradise Falls. Again, it was a difficult but satisfying hike.
That's me in the bright coral sweatshirt; I know, I look FAB
Other views on this hike:
Moral of the story: We were up verrrrry high in beautiful mountains.
We also played a bit of tennis, which I enjoyed thoroughly. On top of all of that activity, we continued our couch to 5k plan. I actually determined that we aren’t doing the official couch to 5k, but, rather some similar plan I found online.
Here it is:
Week 1: Run one minute. Walk 90 seconds. Repeat eight times. Do three times a week.
Week 2: Run two minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat seven times. Do three times a week.
Week 3: Run three minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat six times. Do three times a week.
Week 4: Run five minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat four times. Do three times a week.
Week 5: Run eight minutes. Walk two minutes. Repeat three times. Do three times a week.
Week 6: Run twelve minutes. Walk one minute. Repeat three times. Do three times a week.
Week 7: Run fifteen minutes. Walk one minute. Run fifteen minutes. Do three times a week.
Week 8: Run thirty minutes continuously.
I’m on week 6 now. Clay and I completed week 5 together. Week 6 is NO JOKE. Today was my first day, and it was extremely difficult. If I’m being honest, it was the first day that I haven’t completed the run correctly. I’m obviously going to keep working on it throughout the week.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with cuties (the clementines), and so I decided to add one into my morning bowl of oatmeal along with some raisins. I actually really loved it. It seems like a strange combination, but it adds a nice juicy aspect to each bite.
In conclusion, Clay and I enjoyed our time together, and I’m terrible at consistent blogging.