Friday, April 18, 2014

Reebok Spartan Race - *Giveaway*

I'm coming up on 100 posts on this blog very soon, and I thought it would be the perfect time to do a giveaway. I was contacted by the Reebok SPARTAN RACE a few weeks ago, which is an obstacle race event hosted all over the U.S. I am giving away one free race entry to any US 2014 Spartan Race of your choice!

All you have to do is comment on this post sharing your favorite race, and log in to the widget below. For a second entry, follow Chicago Jogger on Twitter and report it in the widget. A winner will be randomly selected next Friday, April 25th.

In the Midwest there are Spartan Races in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. There are races in many other states as well - check out the event location map. There are several different types of races you can register for, including the Spartan Sprint (3+ miles with 15+ obstacles), the Super Spartan (8+ miles with 20+ obstacles), the Spartan Beast (12+ miles with 25+ obstacles). There is also team racing available - find more information here.

This race series started with a Spartan Race event in Vermont in 2010. In 2012, Outside Magazine named Spartan Race the Best Obstacle Race. In early 2013, Spartan Race partnered with Reebok. Reebok recently released an All-Terrain Series shoe in partnership with the race series, including the option to create a custom shoe.

Spartan Race is described as "A unique culture and community of athletes striving together to overcome any and everything." Overcoming those obstacles may include a number of things - jumping over fire, carrying objects, climbing a wall, hopping tires, climbing a rope... and more. The idea of this race series is that it is unpredictable - runners do not receive a course map, and don't know exactly which obstacles are coming until the race begins. Learn more about the Spartan Race on the FAQ page.

If you don't win the giveaway, you can still get 15% off registration for a Spartan Race by clicking on this link. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

{I was not compensated for this post. I was provided with a discount link and one race entry to give away to readers. Ensure that you are in top physical condition before signing up for any race.}

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tomato Stew with Toasted Farro & White Beans.

Mother Nature gave us a little "haha" over the past two days with snow, cars spinning out on the roads, and chilly weather. I ran on the treadmill after work, and was irritated and sweaty for most of my steps. Thankfully I cheered up when I found a soup recipe in the April issue of Bon Appetit that can easily be prepared in one hour for a weeknight dinner.

The major modifications are to use toasted farro instead of rice and canned white beans instead of dry fava beans. This is more of a "stew" than a soup, because the farro and beans soak up a lot of the extra liquid and flavor.

Tomato Stew with Toasted Farro & White Beans
Serves 2, with leftovers.

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil + 2 teaspoons
1/2 yellow onion {chopped}
2 cloves garlic {minced}
1 can cannellini or white kidney beans
1 can petite diced tomatoes {garlic flavor}
1 cup chicken broth {or vegetable broth}
1/3 cup farro
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup shredded parmesan

How to~
  • Chop onion and garlic. Heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a dutch oven or soup pot on medium. 
  • Add onions/garlic, pepper and salt to pot and cook for ~3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add a few Tablespoons of water or turn the heat down if the onions are cooking too hot.
  • Add the rest of the spices - cumin, coriander, and all spice. Stir and continue cooking for ~3 more minutes.
  • Add the can of diced tomatoes and stir - continue cooking for ~5 minutes.
  • Add one cup broth and bring soup to a boil. Once it's boiling, turn the heat down to low and add white beans {make sure you have drained/rinsed them in advance}. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered.
  • While the soup is simmering, toast the farro - heat up a pan on medium and add 2 teaspoons olive oil. Add the dry farro and stir occasionally for ~3 minutes.
  • Add the toasted farro to the soup and simmer on low, covered partially, for 40 minutes. Stir a few times while simmering.  
  • Top with shredded parmesan cheese.

{Adapted from Spiced Fava Bean Soup with Rice and Tomato from Bon Appetit}