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Treadmilling, Cuban, and a Taste of What’s Coming

March 21, 2011

Saturday my friend Chris and I had a cooking/picture-taking adventure. I don’t want to spoil the fun, but here’s a preview of what’s yet to come. Chris is still editing the photos, so I’ll have it up in a few days!

Taking pictures of taking pictures…

Hoping my Nikes have really good traction…

Yesterday, was a mix of WIN and FAIL. It went something like this:

FAIL: I woke up to a torrential downpour, which put a damper in my plans for a practice 5K.

WIN: Undeterred, I decided I’d run my 5K indoors, so I went to the gym.

WIN: I planned my practice 5K to be something like this– run a mile, walk a minute, run a mile, walk a minute, repeat until 3.1 miles are reached. I ended up running 3.25 miles straight, with no real idea of how it happened.

FAIL: My adrenaline rush subsided in the middle of Trader Joe’s, where I began shaking and getting really, really tired.

WIN: I was right by the juice aisle, so I surrendered to being “that girl” who dines-in at the grocery store to prevent someone having to peel me off the floor. I grabbed coconut water and chugged away. Problem solved.

The lifesaver, which I finished up on the way home.

FAIL: I took the 405 to bring dinner to a friend’s house in really, really bad weather, and had a pretty good feeling that I was going to die. And soon after I arrived at my friend’s place… the power went out. We ate dinner sitting between the fire place and a bunch of candles– way too many flames for my clumsy self.

WIN: I made it, the food tasted great, and the bird poop that was on my car has now washed off. No car wash necessary.

That pretty much sums up my day, minus the last fail: I didn’t take enough pictures for the food I made! I’m so bad at remembering to take pictures while cooking. I get so absorbed in it sometimes that I forget that I’m also supposed to be documenting it, but I’ll work with what I do have.

So… this is the “natural lighting” I had yesterday:

“Okay, maybe I’ll open the window,” I thought. That should help bring a little more light in…

No. Not at all.

Artificial, fluorescent lighting it is!

Ehh, not terrible.

So, onward with the cooking. I made black beans and rice with mojo chicken.

The black beans take the longest, so I started with those. In a medium-sized saucepan, I emptied a can of black beans and stirred in one can full of water, half a chopped green pepper (seeds removed), and a quarter of a chopped sweet onion. I also added about a tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. After bringing it to a boil, I reduced the heat to low and let it simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Not pictured: a pot of brown rice, but you don’t need me to tell you how to cook that. 😀

And then I had a little post-run, post-adrenaline meltdown, mid-cooking fuel break while the beans were a-simmering.

After I polished off the chicken salad, I threw some of the chicken tenders into a skillet with a sprinkling of oregano on each side and more chopped onions (I canNOT get enough onions; sorry, gentlemen). Once the chicken was browned on each side, I threw in some mojo marinade (pronounced “MO-ho”) and let them simmer on low for about 10 minutes, flipping them a few times. There are a few different brands of mojo, but I prefer Goya. Or you could always make yours from scratch like my family does at Christmas, if you have access to sour oranges.

So here are all the ingredients I used, to make things a little simpler:

Mojo Chicken

  • 7-8 chicken breast tenders, or 2-3 chicken breasts (I’d use a meat mallet to flatten a whole breast)
  • 1- 1 1/2 cups mojo marinade
  • 1/4 sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • oregano

Cuban Black Beans

  • 1 can black beans (I think it’s about 15 oz), I prefer either Trader Joe’s regular black beans or Bush’s black beans
  • 1/4 sweet onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • as much brown or white rice as you want, cooked

You can eat the chicken separate from the black beans and rice, but my favorite way to eat it is layered in a bowl like so: rice, beans, shredded chicken, mojo + onions poured on top. I think it also would’ve tasted good with some sauteed spinach. 🙂

All the goods, ready to be transported to Marina Del Rey!

As soon as Chris has all the photos edited from Saturday’s cooking/photography adventure, I’ll be sure to post it!

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