When I woke up Monday morning; my intention was not to join a Boston Marathon charity team in the year 2018. In fact, running a marathon has been the furthest thing from my mind. I started training ever so gradually January 7th after what felt like the stomach flu/strep throat ruled my life in December. My coach and I had laid out the plan before starting again and I had carefully selected each and every target. But what can I say? Eating better food has invaded my brain and I feel very clear. I’m sure it’s not just FOOD but for the first time in 3 years; I’m not afraid of the work or the unknown. I’m okay with the uncertainty in training for a marathon and consequently running that marathon. I mean, lets be honest, no matter what you do or how well you prepare; come race day – anything can happen. I chose a charity carefully and the decision to pull the trigger came out of no where. I’ve had a handful of runs in the cold that have just really inspired me and that created a sort of eruption in my heart that screamed: lets do this. And so, yesterday, without hesitation or pause; I submitted my application for the Michael’s Miracle Boston Marathon team. Less than 30 minutes later, I got a call that my application stood out against the 100 that had been sitting on this ladies desk and that I was on the team. Full disclosure, my longest run in the last 6 weeks has been 3 miles and I am unprepared to say the least. Lucky for me, I have a really solid coach and I know she will formulate a plan that eases me into where I need to be. I need to raise a minimum of $5,000 but I’ve chosen a lofty goal of $15,000 because, why not? As you all know, I never do anything small. AND this charity needs the money. They need it. Plain and simple. The money raised by the Boston Marathon team makes up 25% of their annual budget and every penny stays in house. I have some fun fundraising ideas and over the next 12 weeks; I’ll be asking friends and families to dig into their pockets for a charity that helps the lives of families caring for those that are severely disabled. It’s an amazing center and I’m sure as you all hear more about it; you’ll be inclined to spend less on something frivolous and donate to such a good cause. If you feel inclined to donate (which I hope you all do) here is the link to my fundraising page.
This thing we call life is CRAZY. But right now, I feel like it’s crazy good.
Now, about this life changing sweet potato dish that takes like no time to whip together and can be done in ONE pan. YES. I serve this with homemade salsa which you can find the recipe for here. For me, the salsa just makes this dish. A little sprinkling of fresh cilantro, hot sauce and perhaps a smidge of sour cream and you’ll find – meat doesn’t even come into question. You don’t need it to enjoy saucy Mexican flavors. My apologies for the poor picture. I can’t always invest time in top notch photography. I’m saving that for my new project.
SWEET POTATO QUESIDILLAS – Makes 4 quesadillas
1 can of organic black beans – rinsed and drained
1 sweet potato – diced into small squares (relatively small, you don’t want huge chunks falling out and you want them to cook quickly)
1/2 cup red pepper – diced
1/4 red onion – diced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt + Pepper to taste
Handful of freshly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used sharp cheddar and/or Mexican blend) – if you don’t do cheese, simply leave this out
8 grain free soft tortillas
Preheat oven to 375. Place a saute pan on the stove-top and set your heat to medium/medium low. Drizzle about 2 teaspoons of olive oil (you can also use coconut oil) and add the sweet potatoes. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add red peppers and onions, saute for another 5 minutes. Add black beans, cumin and chili powder, salt and pepper to taste. Continue stirring. Cook until sweet potatoes are soft but not mushy. Remove from heat. Place 4 tortillas on a baking sheet and evenly distribute the filling. Sprinkle on top of the filling the fresh cilantro and shredded cheese. Top with remaining 4 tortillas and press down ever so gently. Put your baking sheet in the oven and bake only until the cheese has melted and the tortillas are nicely browned on top. You don’t want them completely brown; just enough so you see a golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven, let sit for 2 minutes. Cut each quesadilla into 4 squares, top with fresh salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, whatever. Enjoy!