Marathon Cookies

I’m currently training for the Ottawa half marathon on May 30th. What is a half marathon? It is a 21.1 km (13.2 mile) run that requires intense training. Luckily, I love running and also LOVE the training that goes along with it. Maybe it’s because of the “runners high” I get during, and after every long run. The runners high is the effect of endorphins that are released during long, continuous workouts. Gotta love natural drugs!

Because I run so often, and for so long, I constantly need to be re-fueling my body with essential nutrients and sugars. Not chocolate bar sugars, but natural sugars such as fruit. Check out these dates!

My boyfriend’s aunt had us over for dinner recently and afterwards came out with a giant plate of amazing tasting baked goods. One of the many cookie-types to choose from on the platter was a cookie she called energy cookies. I totally understand why. These cookies were chalked full (and I mean FULL) of dried fruits and nuts. So clearly I asked her for the recipe.

The base of the cookie is so scrumptious, and the nuts and fruit are perfect to fill your body with energy after a long run, walk, or hike. I also brought these cookies camping recently, and they were perfect.

Why did I change the name to “Marathon Cookies”? Because I’ve been eating them after my long training days, and will certainly be eating them after my big day. The cookies freeze perfectly. Wish me luck!

1 lb dates, chopped
1/2 lb dried apricots, chopped
1/2 lb dried cranberries, chopped
1/2 lb raisons
1/2 lb dried pineapple
1/2 lb almonds, chopped
1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp each of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl mix together dates, apricots, cranberries, raisons, pineapple, and almonds.
2. In a separate large bowl cream butter and sugar together. Add the eggs one at a time.
3. In another separate medium bowl combine flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and baking soda.
4. Mix together creamed mixture with flour mixture until well combined. Add in dried fruit and almonds. The mixture will be very “chunky” and this is A-OK. You want it this way.

5. Spoon by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie tray.

6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

Mango and Cranberry Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

I don’t know why, but I am unable to make a meal without including a starter. Whether it be a soup, salad, or some sort of warm bread, I need one. I find that out of all the starters possible a nice, colourful salad is my go to option. I think it’s because they come together so quickly, and never bore me.

I also like salads because I can add in bits of protein (in the form of nuts and seeds), and fruit to make the starter salad a MEAL!

This recipe serves 6, and is from the Bite Me cookbook

Sugared Pecans:
1 large egg white
1 tbsp water
4 cups pecan halves
1 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt

Honey Mustard Dressing:
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup seed mustard
1/4 cup honey mustard
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tbsp orange juice
1/4 tsp salt

10 cups romaine lettuce torn into bite-size pieces
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
1/4 cup cranberries

1. For the pecans, preheat oven to 250 F. Coat baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, whisk the egg white and water until bubbles form. In a medium bowl mix sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add pecans to egg whites, mixing to coat. Add sugar mixture, tossing pecans until they are coated. Spread pecans onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

*you will have LOTS of extra pecans, that are an excellent snack for later!

2. For the dressing, in a medium bowl, which honey, seed mustard, honey mustard, vinegar, oil, orange juice and salt.
3. In a large bowl, place lettuce, diced mango and cranberries.

4. Add 1/2 cup of sugared pecans and salad dressing, tossing well to combine.