Good morning bloggies!

How are you this morning? Before I get into my new things for this week, I have some exciting news to share! Well, it’s more like exciting-to-me news, but I need to tell someone about it so I figured why not tell the whole world?! Yesterday morning I hopped on the treadmill to test out my ankle after my 4+ week injury saga. And guess what? I ran for…………. wait for it, wait for it……….. 15 whole minutes! And it gets better: Those were 15 pain-free minutes. Although it’s certainly not the 1:35ish I’m aiming for in my half marathon in August, this is PROGRESS, FOLKS! I’ve got more to tell you about this in a few minutes. Right now, it’s new recipe time…

1. Recipe of the Week: One of my favourite ways to cook in the summer is on the grill. And by grill, I don’t mean a George Foreman or an indoor grill – the barbecue is where it’s at because it creates a nice smoky taste that I just can’t seem to replicate with any other form of cooking.

As you all are well aware, I can never have too many veggies on my plate. Therefore, my grilling basket is one of my favourite cooking tools, and it plays a key part in this week’s featured recipe.

In this magnificent Grilled Summer Succotash, I’ve barbecued the corn cobs and zucchini directly on the grill, and threw the remaining veggies (asparagus, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, onions, and plum tomatoes) in the basket.

Everything is basted with a cumin and lime dressing, then chopped up and tossed with some black beans and cilantro to make an incredibly awesome salad. Or side dish. Or grab-a-spoonful-from-the-fridge-whenever-the-mood-strikes kind of snack.

That’s enough blabbering on though. Make it this weekend and you’ll see what I mean.

2. Skechers GOruns. Just over a month ago, a lovely rep for Skechers contacted me about a new product that the company had just released. It was the Skechers GOrun, a new running shoe with some very fancy features. I’ve reviewed a pair of Skechers in the past and attended a sponsored bootcamp in Toronto, so I was excited to test yet another pair of shoes. She graciously boxed up a free pair, put them in the mail, and shortly after, they arrived on my doorstep.

So what’s new in this shoe? According to the company,

Most running shoes create what is called heel strike where traditional cushioning deadens sensory isolation, making it difficult to readjust for maximized efficiency. This can lead to lazy running and habitually bad form. The revolutionary new Skechers GOrun running shoe features SmartShoe technology for a mid-foot strike and GOimpulse sensors for enhanced sensory feedback making it the only shoe on the market that will get you as close to a barefoot run as possible. (You may read about other features here.)

GOruns come in heaps of different colours (which you can check out here), and the ones I was given to test were blue and gray. How do they look in comparison to a traditional running shoe? The main difference I noticed (with the exception of it’s very light weight – only about 8.5oz) was the thicker mid-foot sole in comparison to the sole under the heel. This supposedly promotes a mid-foot strike, rather than a heel strike which is a habit that runners often tend to get into. Heel striking means more force must be absorbed by the heel, which leads to injuries. (For more info on why foot strike matters, check out this article.)

Ok, so that sounds good, right? But as you may recall, about a month ago was also the time when my running stopped because of the whole ankle situation. I could barely walk without limping, let alone run. I felt terrible for not being able to review the shoes right away, so they went back in the box, into my closet where I didn’t have to be reminded that I couldn’t run. This week I dug them out, thinking that I might be able to review them soon. After reading the product info again, a lightbulb went off in my head. I should state right now that I’m always very skeptical about any sort of minimalist or hybrid running shoe, and coming off of an injury probably isn’t the most ideal time to be messing with things like this. But my thought process was this:

If the shoe promotes mid-foot strike and minimizes the force absorbed in my heel, wouldn’t that mean I should be able to run more easily now? Possibly without pain?

Eager to find out if this fancy shoe design was all it’s cracked up to be, I took the GOruns for, well, a run.

And what happened? Here’s a little summary of my thoughts as I ran, in chronological order:

  • Initially: “This is a little weird.  The shoe sits lower on my ankle than usual and I feel like there’s something under the arch of my foot.”
  • “Hey, my feet look kinda cool, and this colour scheme makes them look smaller. Who knew gray and blue were the new black?”
  • After 2 minutes, thinking about heel strike: “Wow, I don’t feel any pressure at all. It doesn’t even feel weird any more.”
  • After 10 minutes: “Still no pain… am I going crazy? This is kind of awesome. My body is actually running!”
  • After 14:30: “Ok, these shoes are magical, but I better stop. I don’t want to overdo it, but I’m totally wearing them for my workout tomorrow too!”

After I finished, I was so freaking excited about this whole experience that I proceeded to tell almost everyone I spoke to yesterday about the shoes.

Now let’s be real: I know that the GOruns are not totally magical. Had I tried to do this a week or two ago, I’d probably still have been in tons of pain. Part of this success likely comes from taking a whole month off, but considering yesterday’s run was painless and my Saturday run was certainly not, I’m giving the GOruns some mad credit. In the past I wouldn’t have dreamed about wearing Skechers of any kind for a run, but that attitude has totally changed. Thank you SO much to the folks at Skechers for letting me review this product. This is definitely not the last time they’ll be appearing here!

3. Curry and Cream Sauce from Kitchen Connaisseur. I told you on Monday about Kitchen Connaisseur in Stratford, and that you’d be hearing more about this. I’m excited to tell you that this sauce is quickly becoming a favourite!

As I said, this is one of Sheena’s best sellers and one of the first in her growing line of fabulous savoury sauces. It contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives, and it’s gluten free. If you need proof, here’s the ingredients list:

Coconut cream, cream, water, onions, coconut, ginger, vegetable oil, concentrated lemon juice, modified corn starch, salt, sugar, flavour, spices.

Eager to bust open the jar, I decided to make a dinner last night that would incorporate the sauce in some way. A simple mild fish seemed like the perfect base, so I baked a haddock fillet in the oven with a nice layer of Curry and Cream Sauce on top. When it was ready, I plated it next to a mound of steamed veggies (asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, and red onion) tossed lightly in a bit more of the sauce and sprinkled with garam masala.

Swooooooon. The fact that I’d been thinking about the Curry and Cream sauce all day at work made sitting down for the meal that much more enjoyable. The intensity of the warm curry flavour was just right. It didn’t overpower the fish, but it did make it taste a whole lot more interesting than a plain white fillet. My next application for this condiment is going to be a salad dressing, and it’ll likely happen this week!! 🙂

If you want to try out one of the delicious gourmet sauces from Kitchen Connaisseur but don’t plan to visit Stratford in the near future, you can order online instead. At about $8.50/jar, maybe you should order 2!

Phew! Ok, that was a lot of writing! Now it’s your turn to tell me…

  • Have you tried Skechers GOrun shoes yet? What did you think?
  • What’s your all-time favourite thing to cook on the grill? Feel free to link up if you’ve got fantastic recipes to share!