cool running + healthy marinara.

11 Sep

I am super happy about this sudden change in cooler weather. For the first time in a while, I actually got cold last night with my window open. It was glorious! With that being said, my morning run today felt great in these slightly cooler temps and my back held up pretty nicely! I did 4.5 miles alternating between 10 minutes of HIIT and 10 minutes of running at 7.5+. Although sometimes that 4:30 am alarm clock can be pretty brutal, it feels good to have my workout done by 5:30 am.

Let’s back up a little to last night’s dinner. I typically don’t do “Meatless Mondays” because I eat vegetarian 70-80% of the time anyways, but last night happened to be a Meatless Monday by accident. Dinner was autumn vegetables + lentils & arugula, sautéed broccoli slaw, roasted asparagus, quinoa with mushrooms & thyme and side salad in a simple vinaigrette. Most of these were leftovers from Saturdays dinner so it was the perfect quick-and-easy Monday night meal!


Last week, I also made a really healthy but delicious marinara sauce. Just a warning, I am not really the type of cook who measures everything out like Ina Garten tends to do. I am much more of a Giada cook who eyeballs the measurements and adjusts accordingly, so the recipes I post that are my own are typically guestimates of measurements and may not be exact, but they’ll be pretty close.



3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 large sweet onion

2 cloves of garlic (feel free to add more if you want more garlic flavor)

2 tbsp. dried oregano

2 tbsp. dried basil

1 tbsp. onion powder

2 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tbsp. anchovy paste (optional, although I really do recommend it; it is not fishy at all and adds a really great, salty bite)

1/3 cup dry red wine (make sure to use a wine you would actually drink; if you don’t want to use alcohol, chicken stock would work fine)

1 can San Marzano crushed tomatoes

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp white sugar or agave (or any other sweetener of choice; you need this to balance out the acidity of the tomatoes)

2 tbsp. capers (optional)

3 tbsp. kalamata olives (optional)

Fresh basil (as much or as little as you’d like)

Salt + pepper to taste


In a large sauté pan, heat 3 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté for 2-3 minutes or until onions become translucent. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, careful not to burn the garlic. Add in oregano, basil and onion powder and toast the spices for about 1-2 minutes. Next add the tomato and anchovy paste and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the wine and using a wooden spoon, scrape all of the brown bits that have accumulated off the bottom of the pan. Let wine cook and reduce down for about 3 minutes. Then add the crushed tomatoes, 2 bay leaves and agave. Turn down to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, and season with more salt and/or spices according to your liking. Simmer sauce anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour (the longer you cook it, the better it gets). Finish sauce with capers, olives and fresh basil!

To accompany my delightful marinara, I cooked up some quinoa + flax pasta, tossed that with sautéed spinach for some added greens, and topped it all off with garlicy shrimp! I highly recommend this combination!



Buon Appétito!

BTW, SOA premiere tonight!! 🙂 Jax, I have missed you..


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