Monday, June 8, 2015

Cooking my way thru the Runner's World Cookbook

Since I do not have any marathons for a while I seem to have a tiny bit more time to do normal human things. Things like cook an actual meal on occasion instead of relying on english muffin pizzas and random pastas to survive on.

A little while back I had the most amazing success cooking up a fabulous dinner straight out of the Runner's World magazine.
It was such a hit- and so easy (which is absolutely critical to me) that I decided it would be amusing to cook my way thru the entire Runner's World cookbook. Why not right? It's very Julie and Julia of me, but in the day and age of thousands of legit cooking blogs and high def pics of amazingly presented meals and what not- the pressure to make things look perfect is a challenge that I'm not even going to try.  I am not a food blogger and I need to cook food to eat, not to take fancily arranged pictures of!

Here is what you can expect from me:
-Grainy photos
-Basic descriptions "this was only ok..." and so forth.
-My thoughts on the return on my investment. If I am gonna bust out the cooking tools that the food had best be worth my while!
-Honest appraisals of how good (or bad) each recipe is.

The only thing that might be actually useful to humanity is that I will need to find a way to make every possible recipe veggie friendly. Other than that I will not alter any ingredients. (I have a serious tendency to tinker with things to improve them- things do not need to be improved on the first try! *sigh*)

I can't claim to be a horrible cook- while it is not my favorite thing I am completely capable in the kitchen and have been cooking for as long as I can remember.
The only thing that I made which turns out horribly is lasagna. Go figure.

The great thing about this particular cookbook is that is is foolproof. You can find most ingredients easily and the challenge level is very low which is absolutely fucking critical for me!! I honestly have been put off cooking for a bit because so many cookbooks have ingredients that I CAN NOT find in my area and take 3 hours to prepare. Not my jam.

So. Let the journey begin! 

Week one:

Fresh Fruit Scones

Easy to make and easy to eat. I think calling them "scones" is a stretch- it was more like muffin cake but whatever. I used some fruit that I had kicking around- blueberries, strawberries, a peach and a handful of dried cherries. All good choices. If I were to make this again I would add cinnamon, maybe a pinch of nutmeg and some nuts. This was VERY simple to prepare so I felt good about the (short) time spent baking.

Asian noodle salad with eggs and peanut dressing
I rarely eat salads for dinner (I need real FOOD people!) I don't think I have ever made a salad that a cookbook suggested before- I tend to use my cooking time on more substantial things.
However, I needed to make this peanut dressing so I decided it was in my best interest to make a double batch and whip up this salad too. the dressing looks like poo- the recipe said to"drizzle" it over the salad and it more, globbed onto it unattractively (as pictured.)
Bad looks aside the whole dish really worked well- it was much better than I had anticipated and the egg made it feel like a full meal. Not to mention that the plate it is on is HUGE- this is no wimpy salad.
The biggest pain in the butt was making the dressing but that took maybeeeee 10 minutes so I really can't complain. Making extra was definitely worth it as I used in in another meal and then made some random peanut noodles too.
Again, time well invested. I would make this again with no alterations.

Thai beef and snow pea stir fry

I made this dinner at the end of a long, impossible day (hence the face.)
I was extremely distracted and it is amazing that it came together at ALL.
I had intentions of stirfrying some marinated tofu for Eric's portion but that went by the wayside so I tossed in some red pepper and onion (not in the recipe) to bulk it up a little.
I completely forgot the water chestnuts because I was not focused at all- they would have been a nice addition but it was in no way a disaster.
BIG win here- I think I threw the whole mess together in about 15 minutes, glugged some wine into glasses and called it dinner.

So there is week one of my Runner's World Cookbook adventure. I haven't made so many different things in one week in EVER so I feel quite accomplished.
More to come next week!  

(side note: I paid for the cookbook with my own money, I am cooking the recipes for my amusement only. I think you all know I'm not famous enough to write sponsored content!)



  1. I have this cookbook, so I'm excited that you are cooking your way through it! Simple and TASTY recipes are always appreciated. Will stay tuned...

  2. I have this cookbook. I don't know if I've ever made anything from it. :)

  3. Everything I've made from this cookbook has worked out, despite last minute substitutions and picky teenagers. Our fave is the spinach salad with red onions and roasted sweat potatoes.

  4. Everything I've made from this cookbook has worked out, despite last minute substitutions and picky teenagers. Our fave is the spinach salad with red onions and roasted sweat potatoes.