Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas with Mustard and Parsley, Title IX and a Half Marathon

If you happen to get into the head of a runner, you will most likely find one of two if not both things; they love to eat or there is something eating at them, be it a demanding or stressful job, trying to come to terms with a difficult childhood, trying to comes to terms with their own child, a divorce or something of that life altering variety that necessitates many hours pounding the pavement.  There is almost nothing that I have not been able to balance in my head during a run and it has proven more therapeutic, much less expensive and far more healthy than therapy, food or shopping.  Bonus; according to the New York Times, running is also an excellent appetite suppressant.
My Mom and Me
This past Sunday, I ran in a Women's Half Marathon and it was a hot and humid slog.  I have run in half-marathons before but this one was particularly important because it was the anniversary of the passage of Title IX, the 1972 law that allowed women to participate in high school and college sports.
I remember asking my Mom once when I was much younger, what sports she did when she was in school.  She said, "Girls didn't participate in sports when I was your age."  I was dumbfounded.  When you think about how far we have come from that being the norm or from the fact that Kathrine Switzer was nearly tackled (see above) while running the Boston Marathon in 1967 by an official screaming at her to get out of his race, makes me thankful for the women who made it possible for me to run in races let alone an entire race dedicated to women.  Pretty incredible.

So, in leading up to any run, I try and be as healthy as possible without losing all of the taste in food.  I also need to keep my weight down because running with a heavy body, especially on a hot day like this past Sunday, is not fun.  My menu leading up to race day usually revolves around vegetables, fruit, whole grains, legumes and tons of water.  This recipe fits those requirements, tastes great and bonus, my kid loves it.  

Roasted Cauliflower, Chickpeas with Mustard and Parsley
Slightly adapted from "It's All Good" by Gwyneth Paltrow
Yield: 4 Servings if you are a Hollywood actress, 3 servings if you are a normal person

14-ounces chickpeas after being cooked in the manner outlined below***
1 head of cauliflower, outer leaves removed and discarded, cut into bite-sized florets
Extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon seeded mustard
1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

1.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and set the rack in the middle.
2.  Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and a big pinch of salt and a few turns of the pepper mill.  Roast about 45 minutes stirring the mixture once half way through baking until everything is dark brown and everything is somewhat soft.
3.  While the cauliflower mixture is baking, whisk together the mustards, vinegar, and 1/4 cup olive oil with a big pinch of salt and a few healthy grinds of the pepper mill.
4.  While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing and the parsley.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

***To cook the chickpeas: soak a bag of them overnight in a large bowl with enough cold water to generously cover them.  The next morning, simmer them in a pot of heavily salted water with 7 or 8 peeled garlic cloves for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

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