Recipe: Squash Pizza

Tonight, I posted a photo on Instagram of my dinner – a squash pizza. I got so many comments on Facebook and Twitter asking for a recipe. So, I decided to post it here on the ol’ blog. This is an adaptation of a pizza I had at a bridal shower a couple of weeks ago.

You should know, I don’t measure anything. So the quantities listed below are guestimates.

Ingredients:

  • Butternut squash
  • Sea Salt
  • Pepper
  • Grapeseed oil (EVOO would work, too)
  • Your favorite pizza crust (I used a piece of Naan bread)
  • White onion
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Gorgonzola Cheese

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 400F.
  • Wash, peel and slice the squash (see note below). Line a baking sheet with foil and spray the foil with cooking spray (I use canola oil spray). Place sliced squash on pan. Drizzle or brush a little oil on the squash and sprinkle sea salt and pepper on top. Bake for about 15 minutes.
  • While the squash is baking, it’s time for onions and garlic. I caramelized the onions with some freshly pressed garlic and some grapeseed oil (see note below)
  • Once you remove the squash from the oven, increase the temperature to about 450F.
  • Prepare your favorite pizza crust (I went the easy route and used a piece of Naan bread). You could brush a little oil on it, but I found that there was enough oil from the squash and onions, so the extra wasn’t needed.
  • Top your crust with the squash, onions, a sprinkle of mozzarella and gorgonzola and bake for 5-6 minutes. (I used approx. 1/8 – 1/4 cup of each cheese)
  • Enjoy.

NOTES:

  • I live alone, so I make a lot of meals for one (or two if I want lunch the next day).
  • I halved the squash, peeled it and scooped out the seeds. I cut half of it up into cubes, blanched and froze the cubes for later use. The remaining half I sliced thin (about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick) for this recipe. If you were making this for a family or some type of gathering, you might use the entire squash.
  • I caramelized three small onions along with about five garlic cloves. I only used a small amount for the pizza and have the rest for leftovers.

Hiding the pain… with wine and pizza

I don’t really know how to start writing this post. It’s been in the works in my mind for about two months. I’ve just been too afraid to start typing, mostly because I knew it would force me to let go of the hurt, the frustration, and the negative feelings that have been running through my head this fall. I wasn’t ready to let go. I wasn’t ready to stop eating my feelings (I’m kind of an expert). I wasn’t ready to admit I failed.

But here goes.

I’ve failed.

I’ve gained weight back. Not all of it… and not enough for people to notice (I’m still hearing the “hey you lost weight girl!” comments…”) But I know. I know I’ve gained back pounds I fought so hard to lose. Call it self sabotage… but when I realized that running the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll half marathon was slipping farther and farther out of reach, I began to retreat. I went to a dark place deep inside. I ate horribly (well it sure tasted good). I rarely worked out. I considered turning to alcohol and nicotine. Luckily, I only hit the bottle in moderation – except for Vegas weekend, but more on that later.

Family, friends, coworkers knew what was happening, but they didn’t know just how hard I was taking it. To be fair to them, I hid it well. I hid the hurt. I hid the anxiety. I hid the frustration. Ok, I didn’t hide it all, but I hid the severity of it. When friends would talk about a training run or about their excitement for the race, I put on a brave face, smiled and acted happy for them.

But inside, part of me was dying. Part of me hated that it came easy to them. Part of me wanted to scream, “PLEASE SHUT UP. I CAN’T TAKE THIS ANYMORE.” But I didn’t. Sure, I would make snide comments here or there… but I never wanted to take away the joy from my friends. So I hid the pain deep down inside…along with a few pizzas.

It didn’t help that I was a mentor for Team Challenge (which was in itself, pure joy). I would get my butt up for early practices… only to see the team head out for their runs. I would return home, feeling angry, jealous and frustrated.

Here is the starting line of the RNR Las Vegas, as seen from my hotel room. I heard the gun go off and the crowd of 30k runners cheer with excitement. It was then that I finally let go of the pain. I sobbed in my hotel room for a good 15-20 minutes. And then, something clicked.  It was time to stop the pity party, put on my big girl pants (pun intended) and cheer my heart out for my teammates. I’m not gonna lie, I drank my feelings that day… but I also drank them away.

A few days later I officially sent off the bad mojo and made the decision to stop sabotaging myself. And while I’m not quite there yet, I’m actively going in the right direction. I’m committed to meet my fitness goals for 2011.

I fell victim to my pain. Instead of fighting it, I let it take over. It consumed every fiber of my being. And while I haven’t fully expelled it from my body, I have released it.

Begone bad mojo.

Begone bad behavior.

Begone bad thoughts.

Begone.

Will run for pizza

I was craving pizza. I was procrastinating. I was trying to avoid working out tonight.

But then I decided I should run TO the grocery store for a pizza (or three).

I am such a freaking genius.

I did a warmup walk then started running. And I kept going. And going. And going. It was just me and the pavement. I realized I had been running for more than half a mile and made the decision that I wasn’t going to stop running until I hit the 1 mile mark. I didn’t pay attention to pace and didn’t have music to keep me going, since my ipod battery is dead. I checked my Garmin every so often to see how close I was to the 1 mile mark. Then I started taking weird streets, in an effort to stay near the grocery store. Then I saw I was at .99mi and 12:45 so I sprinted til my Garmin beeped it had been a mile. Then I gasped for air and refrained from attempting a cartwheel on the corner of Pleasant and Water.

Then I walked to the grocery store, sweaty, smelly and all. I bought three pizzas and a six pack of diet 7up. Then I walked home.

And it was awesome.