Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Take a Hike! With this Corn, Citrus, Asparagus, and Cannelini Bean Pasta Salad

So this is what's up: Recently I went on a hike with one of my favorite friends, and we were talking about how great it would be to return to that same hiking route and bring a picnic with us. Later in the week I was thinking about some good picnic recipes that would taste light, wouldn't need much prep once we arrived, and would also be tasty as an actual warm dinner incase we had leftovers. I'll have the recipe for you later in the post but here is a picture to tempt you in the meantime:
yummy pasta recipe that taste delicious hot or cold!

.....perfect for a picnic
Running Lately: Running lately has been pretty standard. I have been trying to get a good mixture of speed workouts and distances runs into each week, and always with some cross-training days. Lately cross-training has been in the form of bicycling or yoga. I am trying to up my weekly mileage as well as my long run mileage to see if I have what it takes to run a marathon. My weekly mileage has been hovering between 35 & 40 miles for the past couple of months with the exception of when I was sick, and according to my Dad I need to up it a little more if I want to run a good marathon. The furthest I've ever run without stopping is 14.5 miles (I've actually done it a few times) so I'm thinking that this Sunday I'm going to shoot for 16 and see how that feels. I'll let you all know what happens! I've also been using the foam roller like crazy as well as doing hip strengthening exercises to keep any potential IT Band douchebaggery at bay, it seems to be working thus far.

Hiking: So As I mentioned earlier I went on a beautiful hike recently with a friend to Charmlee State Park in (or near) Malibu. It was a beautiful, easy hike with breathtaking views of the coast and relatively lush landscape for a SoCal trail (all the trails down here tend to be very dry, nothing like the lovely trails in NorCal). I used to hike with my family literally every sunday when I was younger, and recently my friend Arik and I have been making a habit of hiking on Saturdays; it's really nice to be hiking regularly again, especially since it's with a good friend. We have been hiking it up all over the place, so expect more random pictures/posts about hiking in the future.
But Back to Charmlee State Park, it has a few different loop options, I would say you can hike anywhere from 1-2 hours at this park depending on what trail you choose to take. The trails are pretty well marked, and there are lots of little meadows and shady areas where there are park benches that are very ideal for picnics. It is definitely a kid friendly and dog friendly trail, but I would advise bringing an extra layer of clothing because it can get pretty chilly/breezy since it's right along the ocean. It is accesible both from the 101 Freeway aka The Valley (take the Kanan exit) and Pacific Coast Highway aka Malibu.

Fresh Corn, Citrus, Asparagus, and Cannelini Bean Pasta Salad 

- 1/3 cup finely diced shallots
- 2 1/2 cups fresh corn (about 3 ears of corn)
- 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1.5 inch segments (about 3 cups)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 heaping tsp lemon zest
- 15 oz. cannelini or white beans
- 3 cups dried fusilli, cooked all the way

1. In a large, non-stick frying pan over medium-low heat add the corn and the shallots. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Post-mixing.....ready to go!
2. Add the asparagus and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add water as needed to keep any of the food from burning.
3. Add in the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper, and cook for another 3 minutes on medium heat, making sure the asparagus does not begin to loose it's bright green color.
4. Add in the beans, mix well, and continue to cook for another 2 minutes.
5. Remove the corn & asparagus mixture from heat and immediately pour over the cooked pasta.
6. Enjoy this dish hot, or pack it up and have it as a cold pasta salad for lunch! It tastes great both ways!

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