8 Delicious End-of-Summer Tomato Recipes

The tomato situation at our neighborhood farmer’s market last weekend was seriously out of control. Tent after tent had bins overflowing with tomatoes––Heirloom, Grape, Early Girls–too many to name. With people literally buying them by the bagful it actually felt more like a tomato festival than a farmer’s market.

I’ll admit, I probably would have been one of those people if the hubs and I weren’t heading out of town on vacay later this week. Tomato explosion avoided.

“Too many tomatoes” is never a bad problem to have though––especially if you’re armed with a handful of delicious recipes. Whether you’ve got 10 pounds of half-wrinkled Early Girls or one too many pints of those cute little Grape guys, here are 8 of summer’s best tomato recipes that’ll help you use up your stash in no time:

1

Charred Tomato + Fried Eggs on Garlic Toast

This one from Martha Stewart has me drooling. tomatoes are cooked in a healthy fat like olive oil, it increases our absorption of the phytochemical lycopene, which may lower the risk of heart disease.
Get the recipe »

2

Garlic Roasted Tomato Sauce

One of my all-time favorite recipes, this is the perfect solution if you’ve got several pounds of wrinkled tomatoes on your hands. Roasting both concentrates their flavor and camouflages any puckered skins in the process.
Get the recipe »

3

Summer Heirloom Herb Frittata

I’ve been holding off on making this frittata until we have friends over for a proper brunch. I fear that if make it for just the hubs and I we’ll devour the entire thing in one sitting. It’ll definitely be on my next boozy brunch menu though!
Get the recipe »

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Poached Egg + Crispy Prosciutto Avocado Toast

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Poached Egg + Crispy Prosciutto Avocado Toast4

I’ve always struggled to find the time for both coffee and breakfast in the morning. When I do, one of my go-tos is homemade granola, vanilla yogurt and fresh fruit because, well, it’s quick, convenient, and yummy.

Now, I’m not totally dissing the sweet stuff, but lately I’ve realized this combo actually contains a fair amount of sugar, especially when a vanilla latte is added to the equation.

And let’s be honest, a vanilla latte is very rarely not in the equation these days. It’s probably a good thing that my espresso machine didn’t come with a triple shot option.

To cut back on the amount of sugar and increase the protein I take in every morning, I recently added eggs to my weekday breakfast rotation.

This, my friends, is my newest obsession: the poached egg + crispy prosciutto avocado toast.

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Fancy, right?

Something this beautiful and delicious really shouldn’t be this simple, but it is. Poached eggs are actually quick and easy to cook but pre-crisping several slices of prosciutto ahead of time literally makes this a 7-minute meal, which is kind of perfect if you’ve got somewhere to be in the morning. Working girls, students, moms & dads: I’m talking to you.

Nutrition-wise, this breakfast is well-balanced. It’ll satisfy both your tastebuds and your growling stomach. Eggs provide high-quality protein––actually the highest quality protein found in any food––along with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which play a role in things like weight management, muscle strength, brain function and eye health.

In addition to the protein, avocado offers a dose of healthy fats and the whole grain bread provides a serving of complex carbohydrates, which also happens to be perfect for soaking up that beautiful, runny yolk. The crispy prosciutto gives this healthy breakfast sandwich the perfect amount of crunch and salty goodness that will make you want to add this to your regular breakfast rotation.

Oh and did I mention this breakfast has not one gram of added sugar?

None. Zero. Zilch.

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I don’t think I’ll ever be able to fully give up my morning lattes but I’ll admit, I’m totally in favor of cutting back on added sugars at breakfast as long as this is involved before I head off to work.

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This delicious post is part of a series sponsored by The American Egg Board and The Good Egg Project. Bon appetit!

Easy Fish Tacos with Red Cabbage + Carrot Slaw

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Easy Fish Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw3

Growing up around Boston, I didn’t eat a whole lot of Mexican as a kid. Actually, back then I’m pretty sure all of New England only had one type of taco: Old El Paso. You know, the kind that came in a kit, complete with seasoning, sauce and shells. They weren’t anything fancy but I loved that spicy ground beef spooned into crunchy corn taco shells, topped with crisp iceberg lettuce, fresh tomato, and a sprinkle of good ol’ shredded cheese.

While Old El Paso and my memories of family taco night will always have a special place in my heart, I’ll admit––California’s fish taco culture has completely won me over. They might even be my favorite thing about West Coast cuisine.

So if you’ve never had a fish taco, let’s change that. Like as soon as possible.

Easy Fish Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw5

Sure, pulling up to some beaten-up taco shack on the California coast would obviously be the ideal way to do it, but unless you have plans to do drive up and down Route 1 before summer is over, these easy fish tacos are your next best bet.

Not only are they super easy, they’re healthier than the traditional taco shack version since they’re breaded in Panko and pan-fried in just a little bit of oil. The tangy red cabbage + carrot slaw is so delicious I’ve actually eaten it straight out of the bowl on several occasions. As you can see, I don’t even bother with the cilantro-lime crema anymore. A dollop of Greek yogurt, one squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of fresh cilantro on each does the job just fine.

Two bits of advice though… For perfect, non-clumpy breading, add a little water to the beaten egg before dunking. And, if you are lucky enough to have a gas stove, I highly recommend charring the corn tortillas over the range before serving. It makes such a big difference––just don’t get distracted and walk away from the stove like my husband did…

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I’ve made these babies more than a half-dozen times now (thankfully without burning down our kitchen) and still can’t get enough. I’m actually heading home for a little family vacation later this month and plan to turn my parents into fish taco converts too. Once they bite into these it’ll be hard to go back to Old El Paso.

The San Francisco Marathon: My First 26.2

SF marathon elle curtin penner

It’s not every day you get to check something off your bucket list. Entire years have passed without crossing anything off of mine––but after nearly 120 days of training, 15 long runs totaling 199 miles and dozens upon dozens of carbohydrate-heavy meals later, I can officially say I’ve checked running a full marathon off of my bucket list!

I know this recap is long overdue, so let’s get right to it, shall we?

PRE-RACE DRAMA

If you’ve ever known a marathoner, or have run one yourself, you know a marathon rarely happens without at least a little bit of pre-race drama. Well, about 30 minutes after posting my 3-day countdown post last Thursday afternoon, I pulled my right calf on an easy shake-out run.

It happened so fast at first I pretended it didn’t happen at all. With a quarter-mile to go I hobbled home, stretched, foam rolled and tried not to think about it. That actually worked pretty well until I stood up to get out of bed on Friday morning.

Yowza.

I spent the rest of Friday in a silent panic which ended in a mini-meltdown later that night. All I could think was, “After all that training…”

Thankfully, 24 hours of rest, ice, compression and elevation had me feeling a bit better on Saturday. Not perfect by any means but good enough to give it a shot.

MILE-BY-MILE BREAKDOWN

Miles 1-4: I’ll be honest––I spent the first mile waiting my calf to give out completely. Thankfully that didn’t happen, and eventually my focus redirected from my right leg to the beautiful views and the excitement around me. By Mile 4 I had settled in to my run. Things were looking up.

Mile 5: No really, things were literally looking up. Mile 5 marked the start of the massive uphill to the Golden Gate Bridge… And unfortunately, my calf made sure I felt every step. Despite the discomfort, I pressed on and remained focused on just making it to the top.  For a few minutes I thought it might be the beginning of the end but, as soon as I made it to the top and the hills leveled out a bit, I suddenly didn’t feel anything anymore. Not a twinge. Nothing.

By some small miracle, my calf never bothered me again for the rest of the race. WOOT!

Miles 6-17: This part of the course brought me across the Golden Gate Bridge (and back), through Park Presidio, the Richmond and then through the winding paths of Golden Gate Park. Holy rolling hills, but much to my surprise, I felt strong! The hubs greeted me in the park at Mile 15 with a big smile and encouraging words. He followed me by bike from that point on, snapping photos and cheering me along every few miles for the rest of the race.

Miles 18-22: Mile 18 is where things started to get tough. I tried to enjoy the long downhill from Golden Gate Park into Haight Ashbury but by that time my quads were shot, the sun was out in full force and I could feel my body temp inching up slowly. The rolling hills continued and the water stations seemed sparse, neither of which helped my dropping energy levels.

So, when things started getting really tough around Mile 21 I did what any girl would do––I texted my girlfriends who were tracking me along the way. Their replies:

OMG. Texting from the marathon. Bad ass! Keep goingggggggggg ––Katie

 

Just think about how great your bum is going to look after this race thanks to all those hills.    ––Libby

 

Start deciding what you want for brunch. ––Anne

 

You’ve made it through the hardest part (the middle miles) too! … Also, keep planning your cartwheel across the finish line. :) Go girl!!!!!!! ––Lauren

And thanks to those girls, I trudged on.

Miles 22-26.2: Man-oh-man. If you look at my splits, it’s obvious this is where things got rough. The sun was taking its toll, not just on me but other runners too. I counted three people down in the span of one mile and, at one point, prayed I wasn’t the next one to crash into the cement.

Mile after mile though, the hubs was there to cheer me on, the inspirational texts kept coming in and before I knew it I was stepping across the finish line!

Total Time: 4:13:23 // Average Pace: 9:39/mile // Elevation Gain: 1,450 feet

FINISH LINE FEELINGS

For efficiency, I’ll just sum up the 30 seconds of emotions that ensued after crossing the finish line:

Wait, I finished? I finished!!! !!! !!! Um, that was hard. But, holy sh*t! I did it!!! Gah, I forgot to stop my watch. Husband! Nope, you’re definitely not my husband. She better not try to give me a Half Marathon medal. God this thing is heavy. Full Marathon medal, check! Wait, is that…. milk? Nope, it’s water. In a box. WATER!!! Wait so, that’s it? It’s over? Um, I can’t possibly be sad about that. Did someone just say ‘beer’?

POST-RACE RECOVERY

So, I spent the rest of Sunday pretty much endorphin-wasted. If you’ve never experienced this level of “runner’s high”––you must because it’s absolutely hysterical. After a long shower and an even longer nap, the boys took Erin and I out for Mex & margs to celebrate.

I’ve been living in high waisted skinny pants since Sunday because, well, they feel amazing. Kind of like a compression sock for my whole lower body. Monday was slow going and going up and down stairs was absolutely dreadful. But after a few days of rest with some light walking mixed in, I’m feeling about 90% recovered at this point. I haven’t felt up to running yet but I’m getting there and am most looking forward to adding strength workouts back into my routine!

FINAL THOUGHTS

How’d it go? Awesome. I loved it. Training was tough, but the race itself was completely amazing. I’m now more in love with running than I ever have been before.

Would I ever do it again? I promised my mom I wouldn’t… but… Well, let’s just leave it at that.

finish line shot

Marathon Training: 3-Day Countdown

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It’s hard to believe the San Francisco Marathon is just 3 days away––and even crazier that I’ve been training for nearly 4 entire months now. Here’s how the 2nd half of my training went down, and some details about how I’m prepping for my first 26.2 on Sunday!

HARDEST LESSON LEARNED

The first 8 weeks were were somewhat of a roller coaster between experimenting with different kinds of fuel and running distances farther than I had ever run before, including a soul-crushing 16 miler.

I’m not going to lie. That run left me hating everything about marathon training and wanting to quit entirely. Afterwards I turned to my marathoner gal pals for some words of wisdom and they all seemed to agree that my body wasn’t fully recovering between training sessions––cumulative fatigue was the culprit.  It was Jacquelyn who convinced me to take an entire week off from exercising altogether, with the exception of one yoga class and some light walking.

Boy am I glad I listened to her. That recovery week made all the difference and allowed me to refocus on what was important: letting my body dictate my training schedule rather than what was written on my calendar.

FUELING REVELATIONS

Good news! I’ve made major strides in the fuel department during the past 7 weeks. For pre-run fuel, it’s whole bagels or bust now, preferably toasted with a pat of melted butter and a hefty sprinkle of salt. No more weeny pieces of toast or lone bananas. My body seems to thrive off of a hearty dose of carbs right before a long run.

In regards to mid-run fuel, I abandoned real foods after getting more mashed sweet potato on my shirt than in my mouth, another unfortunate part of that terrible 16 miler. I tried some of those Honey Stingers you guys raved about and um, well, my life has been changed––so thank you!  Even though I don’t love gels I find them to be the most effective and the Honey Stingers are pretty easy to get down with a few swigs of water. I’ve only been able to get the Vanilla flavor though, so let me know if there are better ones out there I should hunt down.

ACHES AND PAINS

An early piriformis flare-up had me worried at the start but resting, stretching, strengthening and regular foam rolling has––knock on wood––kept me pretty much injury-free. I treated myself to a few sports massages over the past several weeks too. We’re not talking the “sports massage” you get at the spa though. These massages actually made foam rolling my IT Bands feel enjoyable. Each session was 90 minutes of lower body work––most of which I spent gripping the table and clenching my teeth while the masseuse kneaded out all of the kinks in my legs. It hurt so good I’m going back next week for a post-marathon massage to help undo Sunday’s 26.2 miles-worth of tension.

LONG RUN RECAP

18 Miles: Boy was I dreading this one after the worst run of my life the week before. But with fresh legs and a full bagel on board, I physically felt way better this time around which did wonders for getting my head back in the game. We also took it a bit slower and seemed to find our sweet spot in terms of pacing. Yay! Pace: 9:33/mile

14 Miles: It’s crazy to say but after 18 miles, 14 felt short-ish, especially with these ladies! It turns out my grad school BFF Anne and Monica were in town for a blogger event that week. So they join Erin and I for our long run before work along the Embarcadero. It was such a treat! Pace: 9:01/mile

20 Miles: We figured 20 miles before work would be rough so Erin and I did this one on a gorgeous Sunday morning. We left from Dolores Park and basically did a massive loop around the city, including a trip across the bridge and back. We took our time, stopping for a few photos and a couple of gels along the way, and finished in Golden Gate Park where the hubs greeted us with ice water and a lift home. We were physically and mentally exhausted by the end but I will say, finishing 20 miles felt pretty darn good. After a shower and a power nap, we regrouped later that afternoon for some celebratory beers, bites and soccer-watching with the boys. Pace: 9:45/mile // Elevation gain: 1250 feet

16 Miles: Still feeling tired from our 20 miler the weekend before, Erin and I made the executive decision to dial this one back to 8 miles. Hooray for listening to our bodies! We also happened to be on a weekend getaway with our men so the run took place in the blazing sun along some beautiful Santa Barbara beaches––quite a change from San Francisco, which as earned the summertime nickname: fog-city. Later that night we celebrated our 8 miles with Mexican and salty margaritas. Pace: 8:56/mile

22 Miles: This one felt long––like really long––and rightfully so. But Erin and I braced, and paced ourselves for the longest and farthest run of our life and did it! We ran the same course as the 20 miler but closed the loop and finished back in Dolores Park, exactly where we started 22 miles prior. I can’t even describe the feeling of accomplishment that overcame me after that one! Pace: 9:53/mile // Elevation gain: 1250 feet

14 Miles: Tapering tends to get a lot of hype among marathoners and, I admit, I never fully understood why until I experienced it for myself. It’s basically like the best thing ever after four months of long runs followed by even longer runs. Pace: 9:14/mile

12 Miles: It pains me to say this but Erin rolled her ankle earlier last week and had to sit this one out. [Insert the biggest sadface ever]. She’s resting and recovering though and we’re hoping for the best on Sunday! As for the run, it was a chilly, misty morning here in San Francisco and my legs were just over it after 5 miles so I turned around and called it at 10. It was definitely an anticlimactic end to my training but… I’m saving up all of my celebrating for Sunday! Pace: 9:07/mile

3-DAY COUNTDOWN

For me, the next few days are all about keeping my legs fresh, catching up on sleep, staying hydrated and kicking up my carb consumption. Oh, and picking out my race-day outfit, obviously.

I’m fitting in one last 3-4 mile run today and will try to limit my exercise to light walking tomorrow. MytFitnessPal is actually sponsoring a booth at the expo so I’ll be spending tomorrow afternoon there and feeding off all the excitement. After Erin and I drive the course Saturday morning, I plan to spend the day eating carbs and lounging on the couch while I catch up on blogs and binge-watch General Hospital. The race starts at 5:30am on Sunday so it’ll definitely be an early night for me!

Marathoners: Got any final race day words of wisdom for me? I’m all ears. And legs!

P.S. If you’re heading to the marathon expo this weekend too, stop by the MyFItnessPal booth to say hi and we’ll hook you up with a special marathon t-shirt!