Peak A Boo

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Thanks to your helpful suggestions, we had hiking on the brain this morning!

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Eric and I headed over to Pinnacle Peak for a 3.75 mile there-and-back trek along the mountains. Tomorrow, we have Camelback Mountain on the agenda which many of you raved about. Opportunities for hiking are everywhere around here! We’ve never hiked along this kind of desert terrain before and it’s incredible to see.

First we filled up our tanks. My mom made us these juicy fruit parfaits to go along with our breakfast fare.

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I had another Green Monster made up of kale, frozen banana, blueberries, protein powder, almond milk, and ice. Unfortunately I found out that the Maranatha dark chocolate almond butter isn’t vegan like I thought, so that was left out this time. I think I got it mixed up with Justin’s chocolate almond butter in all my sleep deprivation excitement.

If you are looking for a vegan dark chocolate almond butter recipe, you are in luck because I made one last year that tastes incredible!

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Green moustache ensued.

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The trail was challenging, but not overly so (rated “moderate”), wrapping all along the sides of a couple summits with some butt-busting inclines. My glutes were actually sore by the end of the 3.75 mile hike! Buns of steel here I come.

Not.

 

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After wrapping the side of the first summit, we looked over to the second and said, “We’re going all the way over there too?”

Yes, yes we were.

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It’s always fun to reach the peak of the trail.

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Mad respect for the Saguaro.

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The hike took about 1 hour and 20 minutes (including photography) and boy did we work up an appetite in the process.

We enjoyed Holiday Soup for the Soul for a comforting post hike lunch!

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Along with buns, apples, leftover tomato salad, hummus, and celery/carrots.

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And an apple + dark chocolate squares for dessert.

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We spent the afternoon relaxing and catching up! It’s been a while since we’ve been able to spend this much time together, so it’s been nice to visit with my parents.

Dinner was filled with an array of roasted vegetables, along with something that I often overlook- couscous! I always forget how much I enjoy couscous, especially when paired with sautéed greens and mushrooms.

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We adapted the roasted vegetable dish from the Whitewater Cooks Cookbook. It’s filled with roasted zucchini, red peppers, eggplant, yams, purple cauliflowers, beets, fennel, basil, and parsnip, all coated in a balsamic maple dressing. We weren’t thrilled about the cup of oil that the original recipe called for so I just mixed the dressing ingredients to taste. I ended up using 1/3-1/2 cup balsamic vinaigrette, 3-4 tbsp maple syrup, 4 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 minced garlic cloves, 2 tbsp olive oil, and1/2 tsp kosher salt, pepper. The outcome was a sweet maple balsamic dressing that paired well with the roasted veggies…no cup of oil required.

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and the couscous with sautéed spinach and button mushrooms in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. I could eat bowls and bowls of this simple dish. Mom, John, and Eric also has some BBQ’d chicken to go along with dinner.

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Now we’re sitting here debating whether to catch a movie at the theatre tonight. Anyone see any good movies lately?

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{ 122 comments… read them below or add one }

Jennifer January 24, 2012

Man, you are making me miss Phoenix big time (lived there for 2 years)!! Especially this time of year. Enjoy your trip!! Are you going to Sedona while you are there? I think it’s up there as one of the most beautiful places on Earth.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 24, 2012

Hey Jennifer, Yes we will certainly be going to Sedona :)

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers January 24, 2012

How cool! I love hiking in new areas, but I never hiked in the dessert! What a fun and wonderful trip so far. I can’t wait to see what else you do.

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Liz January 24, 2012

Those roasted veggies look amazing! Could you post the recipe?

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Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove January 24, 2012

That Holiday Soup for the Soul looks wonderful!

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Rebecca @ Miss Magnolia Munches & Moves January 24, 2012

It never ceases to amaze me how vibrant purple cauliflower is! So much more exciting than the mundane, normal white variety.

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claire farrren January 24, 2012

SO jealous! I used to live in Scottsdale and got enganged near the top of Camelback Mountain. I loved hiking out there! I loved hiking up north in the mountains too, Sedona is really beautiful if you get the chance to get out there to both hike and shop. Have fun!

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Jennifer January 24, 2012

You’re in my town! Camelback is a great choice! May I make a recommendation, if you have tried Camelback ever before, to go up the back end (ie the camel’s “bum”) which is the Cholla trailhead? It’s longer and much more lovely IMHO than the Echo Canyon trailhead. I used Cholla trailhead frequently when I was training myself to hike the Grand Canyon – it’s a good hike! You get some beautiful views of the San Francisco Peaks and Superstition Mountains not to mention a peak in the “back yard” of the Phoenician resort. I’m sure you have many recommendations, already, but feel free to email me if you want to try anything new – I have a pretty good pulse on what’s new and unique to Phoenix (I love this town and I regularly advise friends on new things to try and do). I hope our weather stays lovely for you – we have a bit of an overcast (one of our 8 days of cloudiness a year).

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 24, 2012

Thank you so much! I appreciate your help. We hiked the Camelback today….it was killer and amazing in so many ways. WOW. Im not sure what side we hiked though, but I think it was the less difficult one!

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Jennifer January 27, 2012

Your pictures look like you did Echo Canyon. I can tell by that horrid bar up the granite. That’s a beast on my knees! Enjoy the weather and the sunsets. Sedona is gorgeous – you will absolutely love it. There is no other place on the planet like it. I suggest taking the 89A when you get to Sedona up to the top of Oak Creek and then driving that back down through Jerome (the sweetest copper mining town turned artist community you will have ever seen) on your way back into Phoenix. It will add on about 30 minutes to the drive home but the views will be worth ever minute. If you like wine, you can stop in Cottonwood (and Jerome) to visit some tasting rooms for some of the Arizona wineries (don’t expect to find any cabs in the tasting rooms – we grow totally different grapes here).

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Cait's Plate January 24, 2012

It’s SO beautiful there!!!

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Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy January 24, 2012

Beautiful pictures! Sounds like you are having an amazing time!

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Sara January 24, 2012

You should come down to Tucson and do Seven Falls. It’s gorgeous when the waters running!

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Megan January 24, 2012

I hiked Pinnacle yesterday too! Glad you’re enjoying your time in beautiful AZ!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 24, 2012

Oh awesome stuff! It was fun…and not too hot which was nice :)

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Emily (Edible Psychology) January 24, 2012

I love the pictures with the great big cacti! I haven’t been anywhere with that sort of terrain since I was too little to remember, but it makes me want to go!

I have a cous cous dish on the menu for this week for the first time in ages, and your pictures and description make me even more anxious to eat it!

Glad you are getting some time away, and time with your mom. Enjoy!
~Emily~

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Andrea @ Vegvacious January 24, 2012

We saw “We Bought a Zoo” over the holidays! I wasn’t that interested in it but my husband really wanted to go and we both loved it! It’s a heart-warming feel good flick!

Love those pictures! We always say we’re going to retire to Arizona!!

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning January 24, 2012

I am so, so jealous of your hike!! It makes me ache for winter to be over and to get out west!!
And of course, as always, the food looks incredible too. :)
Have fun!!

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Cat @Breakfast to Bed January 24, 2012

The hiking looks simply beautiful. Enjoy.

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Kathy January 24, 2012

Have always wanted to see Arizona but was told there are scorpions, tarantulas and rattle snakes everywhere – even on your porches. Always scared to go. Did you see any while hiking? The landscape looks beautiful. The weather looks really nice too.

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Elizabeth January 24, 2012

The Iron Lady is supposed to be good as well as Tinker Taylor. Go to the Ipic theatre, its really cool and in Scottsdale. Its a modern take on the old school movie theatres where you can get a glass of wine or some food brought to you during the movie!

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Ashley January 24, 2012

Hey I noticed that you’ve been really into the tea lately. Have you ever worked with loose leaf tea? There is an amazing tea shop that has a location in a mall in Phoenix called ‘Teavana’ if you happen to pop by Baltimore Fashion park I was just there last week and they had tons of yummy teas to try, and I know they will be opening locations around Toronto this year too!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 24, 2012

I love Teavana (and loose leaf!), but Ive been cheaping out and buying bagged tea lately. I must get some more loose leaf.

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Krystal January 24, 2012

love love love hiking in the Phoenix area. My husband actually proposed on Pinnacle Peak. :) Just a little warning – Camelback is a lot more work than Pinnacle. We were told it was a slightly harder trail, I wish I would had a snack to enjoy when we got to the top of Camelback. Have fun!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 24, 2012

awww thats so cute! Congrats :)

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Grace @ What Grace Cooked January 24, 2012

What a beautiful hike!! And hiking always makes me SO.HUNGRY. Like, more than running for the same amount of time! Weird, right?

I saw Girl with the Dragon Tattoo recently, and thought it was good (the book and Swedish version are better) – but be warned that it is dark and could be pretty disturbing if you don’t know what to expect. I have also heard that the new Sherlock Holmes is very good.

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Kris | iheartwellness.com January 24, 2012

I’m madly in love with your sunglasses!!! What brand are they??

What a gorgeous hike, gorgeous food and a gorgeous DAY!!! WOO HOOO

xxoo

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Lea January 24, 2012

Go see War Horse…..violence is not gratuitous…..actually very thought provoking and heart warming. Spielberg is a master…….

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Mandy Jo January 24, 2012

Anytime I am tempted to eat chicken I will think of this! GROSS!!!!!!!!!!!
(sorry, I had to share)
http://docakilah.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/can-you-guess-what-mcdonald%E2%80%99s-food-item-this-is

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Morgan January 24, 2012

One of my best friends lives in Phoenix and we’ve hiked Camelback when I’ve been out to visit. It’s probably one of my favorite hikes I’ve been on. There are some incredibly strenuous parts that make you so proud to accomplish, and the views are breathtaking. Enjoy it!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 24, 2012

it was amaaaaazing!

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Morgan January 26, 2012

SO glad you did it!! I had the exact same feelings going up. Like, WHAT did I get myself into. And then just kicking that mountain’s butt! : )

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Christine (The Brighter Side of Life) January 24, 2012

The food you’re eating looks amazing! YUM.

I went to AZ once on business and it’s a great spot. The landscape is so different from Ontario, it’s incredible. Beautiful, just different. More like a moonscape. And I had no idea that cacti grow so old!

I’m so craving hiking right now. Enjoy!!

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VeggieGirl January 24, 2012

What a healthy day all around! You’re good, when I hike I use it as an excuse to stop at a local resteraunt afterwards and restock up on calories, especially if on vacation!

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Eryn January 24, 2012

Okay, WHERE did you find those AMAZING sunglasses in your post picture, as well as that white jacket in yesterday’s post that you were wearing on the way to the airport? You have such great style!

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Amber K January 24, 2012

Hiking always kicks my hunger into high gear. The food looks amazing. Purple cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies ever!

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Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 24, 2012

Looks like it was a great hike. I love fitting in hikes when we vacation. It’s so much better to discover a new place by foot!

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit January 24, 2012

Glad to hear you’re having a good time! We LOVED mission impossible. I was very, very surprised by it. So much better than the last one with all the masks and stolen identities. You really don’t need to have watched the previous movies to enjoy this one. It’s an on-the-edge-of-your-seat movie. Definitely worth seeing in theaters.

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Jennifer January 24, 2012

Angela!

I have been reading your blog for a few YEARS now and these days I am too busy to keep up every day. I just so happened to check in and find that you are in my CITY! I see you’ve gotten some great recommendations above on places to check out, but I HAVE to tell you about the Phoenix Public Market. They have an open air market on Wednesday evenings beginning at 4PM where they sell local, fresh produce and they cook up some amazing food. Seriously, I don’t think your trip would be complete without a visit to PPM. If you are in town Saturday they do a winter chef series and it’s awesome. Check out their website: http://foodconnect.org/phxmarket/?page_id=25. Camelback will kick your butt, but you will LOVE IT! Glad to see you are in my neck of the woods. Any meet ups while you are in town?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 24, 2012

Thank you Jennifer! Not sure about a meet up, if time permits I will certainly announce it on the blog! My mom has a packed schedule so we’ll see. :)

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Jessica January 24, 2012

Yayy I’m glad you’re loving our state! :) When you hike Camelback, you should start on the Echo Canyon side. It’s more challenging, but it’s a better hike, in my opinion. ENJOY!! :D

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lyndsay January 24, 2012

while you are here, you should check out the supreme master ching hai’s vegetarian house (http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/22/264675/restaurant/Biltmore-Arcadia/Supreme-Master-Ching-Hai-Vegetarian-House-Phoenix) and true food kitchen (http://www.truefoodkitchen.com/). they are both delish. two of my absolute favorite places to eat!

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lyndsay January 24, 2012

ps – if you go to the vegetarian house, you must try the seven heaven salad. if you go to true foods, you need to try the tuscan kale sald :) enjoy!

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Molly January 24, 2012

Some restaurant recommendations while you are in the Phoenix area: Green New American Vegetarian Restaurant (although it boasts a menu largely composed of meat analogues, there are some yummy dishes, including the famous TSOYNAMI, which is essentially a vegan Dairy Queen blizzard), True Food Kitchen, and Chakra 4 Herb and Tea House (they have a colossal menu of teas and deliciously fresh salads and wraps that can be made vegan upon request). Happy dining!

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Kit-Kat January 24, 2012

Couscous is one of my favorite go-to foods! In the spring, I love to make couscous garbanzo bean salad with spring veggies and a light garlic vinegarette. it’s reeeeeeeeally good!

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suzanne January 24, 2012

What fabulous food on vacation! I tend to shy away from really cooking while away (unless it is just my husband and kids and me) as no one else seems to eat like me. It is so wonderful that you all can eat such great, healthy food – and they can add things here or there as needed (meat!). Looks like a wonderful get away – and what great time you and Eric get with your Mom and John. Time like that is a gift to be sure :-)

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laura January 24, 2012

Those cacti are wonderfully photographed! I want to hike in arizona.. one day. :)

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Moni'sMeals January 24, 2012

what a dream day! Fun hike and then all the good eats…and then a talk of a movie! My dream day for sure. :)

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Laura Dickerson January 24, 2012

Ah Camelback is my favorite! Cholla trail is a longer, more interval workout-style trail. Echo is a little shorter, but much steeper! They both meet at the top and are great workouts!

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