about me

    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

    Contact Emily

    EmilyBMalone@gmail.com

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    What’s Cooking?

    Personal Bests

    5K - 23:28

    10K - 52:35

    15K - 1:38:14

    1/2 Marathon - 1:57:39

    Marathon - 3:50:58

    A Look Back.



Lessons Learned From Pregnancy.

In my prenatal group appointment this week, one of the things we were asked was, “how has your pregnancy been different from what you expected?”  It was an interesting question to think about, and as I came up with my answer, I realize that so much of my pregnancy has been different than I could have ever initially imagined.

Let me count the ways…

My Body

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As much as I was excited to be pregnant, I can’t lie and tell you that I was pumped about all the changes in my body that were inevitably coming.  There have certainly been moments (particularly in early pregnancy) where outgrowing my clothes and seeing my shape change was difficult.  But now that I sit here with a giant belly in my lap, a glow in my cheeks, and new strength in my legs, I can honestly say that I am totally in love with my pregnant body. 

While getting fit and working hard to lose weight in the past definitely made me feel great – both inside and out, I have discovered that pregnancy has given me more body confidence that I ever knew I could have. 

My Mind

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One of my biggest demons has been battling panic and anxiety for the past ten years or so.  I was really worried that pregnancy would bring out the worst in this, and that I would obsess over every twinge, pain, and potential thing that can go wrong.  I thought I would be the one calling my midwife each week with a new question or worry I needed to have eased.  Surprisingly enough, in 37 weeks I have never once called my midwife office.  I have learned to trust both my body and my medical team, which has allowed me to relax and enjoy the bigger experience, rather than fret about all the small things.

My Relationship

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I make no secret of the fact that my husband and I are incredibly close.  But being pregnant has changed the way I see him now.  He’s no longer just my husband and my partner.  He’s going to be a father to my kids, and something about that makes me all mushy and teary every time I think about it.  One of the things I look forward to most is seeing him hold his son for the first time.  Gives me goose bumps.

My Workouts

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I knew that my activity level would obviously change during pregnancy, but actually experiencing it has been quite different from what I expected.  These days I consider a three mile walk to be an awesome physical accomplishment each day, whereas a year ago I wouldn’t have even considered that to be exercise.  And while I’m really looking forward to getting back into my running shoes soon enough, it has also been a nice lesson to me that workouts don’t all have to be back-breaking and intense.  It can be just as effective to slow down sometimes. 

My Symptoms

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Going into pregnancy, we hear so much about all of the horrible symptoms we should expect.  While I had my fair share of awful morning sickness, beyond that I have really felt great through this whole pregnancy.  Maybe it is all over-hyped, or maybe I just got lucky – who knows.  But my symptoms beyond the first trimester have been minimal, and I am most definitely grateful for it.

My Confidence

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This sort of goes hand in hand with the others, but I think the biggest lesson I’ve gained from pregnancy is just to trust and believe in myself.  I have read books, magazines, and websites, and have educated myself as best as possible.  A year ago I’m not sure I would have felt ready or responsible enough to imagine caring for another small life.  But with just a few weeks left, I can confidently say that I am most definitely ready to be a mom.

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Caramelized Onion Black Bean Sauce.

I’ve been in the mood for pasta recently, but we’ve been getting sick of having the same old marina sauce on top week after week.  This week I set out to make something new – something different, and something unexpected.

This black bean sauce somehow manages to tasty creamy without actually using any cream.  The onions give a subtle sweetness, and the red pepper flakes bring the heat.  It is perfect over pasta or squash, or I could even see drizzling it over top of a burrito or Mexican tortilla bowl.  Or over NACHOS.  Holy cow.

Caramelized Onion Black Bean Sauce

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Print this recipe!

Ingredients:  (serves 3-4)

  • 1 large sweet yellow or white onion
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • salt to taste
  • pasta or squash to serve over
  • cheese for topping (optional)

Instructions:  Start by dicing onions and adding to a saucepan over low/medium heat.  They key to caramelizing onions is letting them cook LOW and SLOW.  This takes time.  And patience.

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My original plan for our sauce was to serve it spaghetti-squash style over this new little gem I found at the grocery store this week – a stripetti squash.  I had never cooked with one of these before, but my research told me that it should taste like a cross between spaghetti squash and delicata – yum!

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My first clue that the stripetti was in fact very different from the spaghetti squash should have come when I tried to cut it in half.  The outer shell was SO HARD, I literally could not get a knife through it.  I ended up having to swallow my pride and ask Casey for help, and then even he needed at least 15 minutes and a good arm workout to hack it into four pieces. 

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Okay back to the sauce.  Allow the onions to cook low and slow for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  You want them to be melt-in-your-mouth soft, and warm brown in color.

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Once the onions are ready, add black beans, water, bay leaf, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt.  Bring the mixture up to a simmer and then reduce heat to allow for just a slight simmer (uncovered).  Let mixture simmer for 30 minutes.

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While I waited, my squash cooked and I enjoyed coffee and a magazine on the couch with Indy.  If you look carefully you will see that my giant belly has become a nice cup holder.

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After letting the sauce cook for at least 30 minutes, remove bay leaf and transfer the rest of the mixture to a food processor (or blender).  Process until beans and onions are completely pureed.  Season to taste with salt.

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At this point I checked my squash to see if all my components were ready.  Imagine my surprise to discover that after an hour of baking it was still rock hard.  Guess what I learned this week?  Stripetti squash actually takes more like 2-3 hours to cook!  Good to know.

And good thing I had some extra brown rice spaghetti in the pantry.  I quickly boiled a box of it and improvised our dinner while my sauce patiently waited.

Finally, the pasta was ready, the sauce was served over top, and the whole bowl was sprinkled with Daiya pepper jack shreds (which were new to me, and kind of weird).

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This sauce is such a great alternative to traditional pasta sauce.  It is unexpected, with just enough slight sweetness and spice to make every bite interesting. 

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I think the possibilities for using this are truly endless.  Pasta, squash, salads, tacos, tofu – I can keep going…

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Enjoy!

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