Our local annual 5k jingle bell run is becoming a tradition for our gang. I love this run. It’s just about getting out there, participating and cheering each other on. I’m still in awe when I think about how our whole family participated – mom, dad, kids, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents – ahhhmazing!

No one cares about PRs, goals or who came first. It’s just about doing it.

Which is a good thing because this year the chip readers at the finish line didn’t work. Opps! I do feel badly for those that included this little jaunt with Santa on their list of annual running goals. Hope you didn’t think you PR’d or something. That would be bad.

Here is my nephew crossing the finish line at “32: something”, the first of our clan. Or as he put it “I beat my whole family!” He’s 7. And he’s awesome.

My Zoe is right behind him and we are calling it “33: something” for her. We are not sure because of the chip timer thingy problems. And yes, she beat mommy.

Afterwards we all gathered at my place for some warm bowls of this (and maybe a few beers too)…..


black bean and red pepper stew | www.infinebalance.com

I found this recipe in the December Issue of Runners World magazine. (I know! How perfect is that?)

I changed things up a bit… I realize now that I didn’t really follow the recipe as written. Sometimes that happens when I cook. I loved the results. Warm, smokey with a hint of orange. Perfect after a brisk morning run.

I’ve doubled the recipe here… below is how I made it. You could easily cut everything in half and make a small batch.. or just follow the link to the Runner’s World site. I made the stew the night before and warmed it up in the slow cooker in the morning while we were out for the run.This is really more like a chili than a stew. Full of black beans and spice. Not typical at all and a perfect warm up on a cold day.

Roasted Red Pepper and Black Bean Stew


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 small onions sliced or diced
  • 3 - 19 oz cans of black beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups roasted red peppers sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons chilies in adobo sauce or less for a not so spicy stew
  • 2 - 28 oz cans of diced tomatoes. Very good with fire roasted tomatoes. I used 2 small cans fire roasted diced and one 28 oz no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 3 cups vegetables stock I used 3/4 cup port and the balance water with a bouillon cube t make a total 3 cups
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • fresh thyme


  • Heat oil over medium heat and sauté onions until tender - about 5 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, chillies and roasted red peppers. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Part way through cooking use a potato masher and mash a few of the beans. Don't noticeably change the texture of the stew, just enough to release some of the starch from the beans and give the finish stew a thicker consistency. Just before serving (I did this the next day) add orange zest and thyme.


adapted from Runner's World magazine, December 2012 issue