Tuesday, August 12, 2008

spring is in the air

There's been 2 whole days of nothing but sunshine! I know it doesn't sound like much to you all living in the northeast but we're still in the winter season down here and, until now, these nice days have been alternating with rainy ones. You can definitely feel my favorite season right around the corner! And this year it also marks the beginning of a life-long (fingers crossed) running routine. I've tried before, and failed because, of well, excuses, excuses, and more excuses. What's changed? Well, my host-mom. She runs daily in the warmer months and promised to "train" me, not for anything in particular, but just because I could use the extra push. Until then, I've been getting myself out there for at least 30 minutes a day doing a combo of walking and jogging. I'm not fast, I'm hardly in shape, and I think I've lost all endurance I had from high-school, but I'm pretty damn determined, so, baby steps it is. All in good time, my friends, all in good time :).
Lunch yesterday was eaten immediately following my daily outside excursion. I had worked up quite the appetite! I had a Celery salad with Avocado, left-over Zucchini frittata, and a whole lotta rice. I'm surprised I ate it all, to tell you the truth. I don't really like rice, never have, but man did I feel like I needed it, ha, I'm such a wimp.
Six hours after my filling lunch I was ready to eat again and my "mom" promptly replied to my growling tummy with brussel sprouts and another vegetarianized typical dish of the region, Charquicán. Although it is described by most as a Chilean stew,  I found that that it more so mimicked an old unhealthy favorite, mashed potatoes, while upholding an outstanding nutritional profile. But don't just take my word for it, try it yourself-


1/4 kilo of ground soy meat
1 large yellow onion
4 large potatoes
1/4 lb of pumpkin
1/2 cup of peas
1/2 cup of grated carrot
1 cup of corn
1 egg per person
2 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of EVOO
1 1/4 tsp of oregano
1 tsp of fresh parsley
2 tbsp of chili powder
salt & pepper to taste

1. Boil sliced potatoes in 4 cups of salted water for 10 minutes.
2. Add beans, and pumpkin, leave it simmering for 10 min.
3. During this time, saute the soy meat and onion in oil with the chili powder and oregano for 10 min.
4. Add the sauteed mixture to the pot with peas and corn and allow it to simmer for at least 5 min.
5. Blend the stew manually to combine the softened vegetables.
6. Top with a fried egg and parsley. Serve and enjoy.
Today started off rather disappointingly! Not due in any part to my good ol' bowl of oats, of course, but rather with the class I'm supposed to be in as we speak. Turns out that "Art History of Indigenous Chileans" is pretty popular among Chilean and foreign exchange students alike... and I hadn't registered quick enough. So now I've suddenly found myself with nothing to do, I guess we'll see where the day takes me. I do have to find a replacement class though, I was thinking of Latin American & Contemporary Cinema. Sounds interesting enough, no?
And just because I love you all so very much I thought I'd leave you with a photo from my friend's weekend ski trip. What beautiful mountains. Any snow-sport enthusiasts out there? The Andes is definitely where you want to be right now :) I heard it was amazing.

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