Monthly Archives: September 2013

Chicken & Broccoli Feta Pasta

Chicken & Broccoli Feta Pasta

I’m super into this dish because it’s filling, hearty, cheesy and nutritious. “Nuff said, get at this.

Estimated Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • Whole Wheat Pasta: 8 oz, dry
  • Chicken Breast: 4.5 oz
  • Broccoli: 1/2 head, chopped
  • Cherry Tomatoes: 2 handfuls
  • Fat Free Feta Cheese: 1/2 cup
  • Olive Oil: 1 tbsp
  • Salt (for boiling water): 1 tbsp
  • Salt (garnish): 1 tsp

Butterfly the chicken breast, lightly season each side and bake in a small conventional oven at 350 for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, boil a pot of water, add in the tablespoon of salt and cook the dry pasta as directed. While you wait, cut up the broccoli and cherry tomatoes. When the pasta becomes al dente, add and mix in the chopped broccoli to the boiling pasta and continue to cook for about 3 more minutes. Strain the pasta and broccoli, pour the remains in a large bowl and mix in the olive oil, salt and feta cheese.  The chicken should be done by now, so take it out of the oven and cut it up into small bite-sized pieces. Last but not least, add in the chicken and sliced tomatoes to the pasta mixture. I intentionally kept this low in oil, but if you’re not concerned with a little extra oil love, feel free to add in more oil or cheese.

Carmel/Big Sur Hiking: Garrapata State Park

Big Sur Hiking - Garrapata State Park

Big Sur Hiking - Garrapata State Park

Looking for a real good workout? Try this hike. Located along Carmel/Big Sur’s breathtaking coastline, Garrapata State Park offers a 7 mile, 1,200 foot elevation gain loop for all the world to enjoy. It’s called the Rocky Ridge Trail & Soberanes Canyon Loop. Not going to lie, this is quite strenuous and the hills getting pretty steep. And by pretty, I mean like, definitely-not-for-a-beginner-steep. But the scenery at the top is SO worth it!

The backstory in these pics: it was my 25th birthday weekend after a very long night of drinking (#unhealthybex). For me personally, exercise is my top hangover cure, and it was my birthday and I thought a little sweat might help the others as well. I might have failed to communicate just how hard this hike might actually be, and there’s a good chance my friends wanted to kill me at one point. The hike started out good; everyone hurting just a little, but still feeling confident nonetheless. All was smiles, fun and games. Then we reached the start of the climb. Needless to say, I am so grateful that this crew put themselves though hot, sweaty, hangover misery just to make me happy on my birthday! They all survived and fell in love with the view at the top (I hope), and I am forever thankful that these babies bit the bullet for me on my birthday, all while being miserably hungover. #blessed!

So, how do you get there? Drive along Highway 1 (northern side of Big Sur) until you reach a distinctive grove of cypress trees lining the highway. Park your car near the trees and the trailhead is a gated dirt road that leads to an abandoned tin barn. Continue on the Soberanes Canyon Trail, where the initial climb is fairly comfortable (this is the part when everyone still felt confident and cheerful; fun and games). After about 1.7 miles, you’ll begin to feel the steep incline. About a half mile later, you’ll start sweating. Like, a lot (this is the part when I realized maybe we bit off more than we could chew). Keep trekking along, and I promise the view at the top is worth it. Once you get to the top, the panoramic views of the Big Sur coastline are off-tha-chains-unreal. #allisforgiven. Loop back down the hill on the Rocky Ridge Trail, all while enjoying some of the most gorgeous views in the entire world!

 

 

 

JUMP! The Inkwell Waterhole

inkwell-waterhole-marin

Often referred to as one of Marin’s “Seven Wonders,” the Inkwell Waterhole is one of the Bay Area’s best kept secret. The Inkwells are small, deep, dark pools beside Sir Francis Drake Boulevard in Lagunitas, West Marin. You can be brave and jump into the waterhole, or just sunbathe on the large warm rocks. There’s incredible harmony between the organic rock formation, glittering waterhole and tranquil river sounds.  Definitely worth bringing some friends and a few ice, cold Pacificos  (just don’t litter!). The drive to the waterhole is absolutely gorgeous and it’s fun to check out the little towns along the way as well. Once you arrive, there are tons of great hiking trails in the area as well. Lots of fun!

Directions from San Francisco:

If you’re using Google Maps, type in: Shafter Bridge, Lagunitas-Forest Knolls, CA. Or if you trust my directions, head over the Golden Gate Bridge towards Marin. The Inkwell Waterhole is right before the Samuel P. Taylor State Park, so just continue on US 101 North for about 10 miles. Take the San Anselmo exit, and merge onto Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Continue on this road for about 15 miles. You’ll pass through some adorable small towns to include Ross, San Anselmo, Fairfax and finally Lagunitas. Once you pass the golf course and hit Lagunitas, keep an eye out for Shafter Bridge.  As soon as you cross the bridge, turn left into the Leo T. Cronin Fish Viewing Area Parking lot. If you pass the sign on the right for Samuel P. Taylor State Park you have gone too far. Park the car, cross the street, and the Inkwells are directly in front of you under a red/orange bridge. Follow the small path on the right side of the red bridge until you get down to the waterhole.