Stretching the lifespan of strawberries

Temperature: 3-5° C

Distance run/type: 12k (plus 2K run home)/LSD

Clothes: Lululemon running pants, sports bra, Adidas base layer, Adidas top layer, Adidas outer layer, Asics TrailRunners. I also brought my hat and gloves.

Feeling: I knew I overdressed because I wasn’t planning on running to the store – even with my top layer off, I was still hot in my base layer and outer layer. I didn’t need my hat or gloves.

♦♦♦

Since I didn’t get home until around 2:30am, making my 8:30am run was a big maybe this morning. It helped to know that I’d be extremely disappointed in myself if I missed the run, so I set my alarm and decided that I’d see how I was feeling after getting some rest. Waking up at 6:30 was not fun. I purposely set my alarm for 5:45 so that I could snooze several times before I actually had to wake up. I always make sure that I allow myself at least an hour to digest my breakfast before my run begins, so on the mornings that I have plans to run or go to the gym, I literally roll out of bed and make a beeline for the kitchen to start eating immediately. Yesterday, I picked up two containers of strawberries on sale for $3 at the grocery store, so I went a bit overboard with fresh strawberries in my Kashi/Fibre 1 cereal mix with 1 tsp of natural peanut butter and rice milk.

Although I thought the run would be a real struggle, it was such a gorgeous morning, and something about the crisp air (and Espresso Love Gu) made me forget about being tired and allowed me to just enjoy the run. I was a little overdressed – something I seem to be guilty of more often than not these days, but it wasn’t a big deal to tie my extra layer around my waist while I ran.

After we got back to the store, I picked up the pace a little and ran back to my apartment. As soon as I got home, I had some water and a banana – delicious! Shortly after, I left to meet some friends for brunch at Utopia Cafe. It was only 2.6k from my apartment, so I managed to sneak in a really nice walk there and back as well. Initially, I was planning on ordering something off the brunch menu as I have a special weakness for Brunch, but I was in the mood for something more substantial than that, and ordered a vegetarian burger with roasted red peppers and Brie instead.

Don’t worry, because the burger was incredibly delicious and filling, I actually managed to show some restraint and only ate a few fries on the side.

In the afternoon, I headed to Starbucks and treated myself to a green tea latte, something that’s become a sort of weekend tradition. For dinner, I went back to my parent’s place to spend some time with them and we shared some take-out Chinese food that my parents picked up on their way back from Ottawa. Normally, I’m fine with eating take-out Chinese food from time to time (nothing beats my mother’s homecooked Chinese food though) but tonight’s food left me with a really bad stomach ache. In retrospect, I think my stomach was reacting to the shiny grease-laden rice noodle dish that I actually requested. Bad move, Alison.

When I got back to my apartment, I decided to freeze my strawberries because some of them were feeling a little squishy and I didn’t want to risk them going bad. Ever wonder how to stretch the life of on-sale fruit? Just follow these easy steps:

Method: Flash Freezing Fruit

  1. Wash fruit.
  2. Lay out fruit onto pan and freeze for several hours (or overnight).

3. Remove frozen fruit from pan and store in an airtight plastic container or bag.

It’s as simple as that. The key is to lay out your fruit so that it freezes in individual pieces that will stay separated. If you just dump the fruit into a container and throw it in the freezer, all of the fruit will stick together and you will likely have to defrost the entire contents of the fruit in order to consume it.

Notes:

  • 90% of the time, I buy and freeze fruit so that I can always have some on hand to add to my cereal. When I buy strawberries, they are big enough that I used to have to defrost them in the microwave every morning before I could cut them into bit size pieces for my cereal. To skip this step, I started chopping the strawberries into smaller pieces before I froze them because I realized that they would actually defrost on their own once mixed with the milk in my cereal.
  • It doesn’t hurt to add pre-chopped strawberries to your favourite blended beverages either!

After I finished preparing the strawberries, I got to work on making some rice to accompany my lunches and dinners for the upcoming week. Initially, I was only planning on making my standard dill rice, but then I saw the can of black olives that I bought yesterday sitting on my counter (originally bought for pizzas that I plan to make later on this week) and wondered if the olives taste good in my rice. There was really only one way to find out, so I threw them in voila! My dill and olive rice was born.

Dill and Olive Brown Basmati Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 part brown basmati rice
  • 1 parts water
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder (or more if you like – I don’t actually measure this)
  • 1-2 tsp dried dill weed (or more if you like – I don’t actually measure this)
  • 1-2 tsp minced garlic (or more if you like – I don’t actually measure this)
  • 1/3 cup black olives
  1. Prepare the rice however you are most comfortable doing so (I use a rice cooker) and add turmeric, dill, and garlic.
  2. When the rice has finished cooking, fluff with a spoon and add in the black olives. Mix well and enjoy!
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