Brownie Runs

Brownie Runs

Plant based running, brownie based indulging

Meatless Recipe: Cactus Fajitas AKA Nopalitos

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If you’ve been part of my blog for a little while, you know I used to live in Florida and exactly a month ago, moved to Denver. One of the reasons I love this city is because of it’s huge Hispanic, specifically Mexican, community and businesses. I grew up in Mexico for a large portion of my life and one of the biggest emotional ties are to the food. I shared this picture on Instagram last week after my latin market food haul find:

Pictured there are :

  • Calabacitas, a specific type of squash
  • Soyrizo- popular in vegan markets, a vegetarian version of chorizo (a pork product with spices), but here, available for only $1.60 per link.
  • Queso fresco, a Mexican crumbling cheese delicious for topping calabacitas or any other tacos
  • Fresh corn tortillas- fresh and authentic tortillas are night and day from the commercially produced ones (and are easier to handle in dishes such as enchiladas)
  • Nopalitos or cactus – these have already been trimmed and the spines removed and ready to eat

Wait a second, you can EAT cactus? Absolutely! Nopalitos are popular in Mexican cuisine and have lots of healthy benefits. They are super low in calories but have vital phytochemicals, anti-oxidants, vitamins, and minerals that can immensely benefit health. They aid in digestion and can be eaten raw, juiced or in my case, grilled.

You can find them fresh at latin markets, already cleaned and diced like the ones pictured. If you can’t find them fresh, you can find them pickled in the Latin food aisle, though you just want to use them in hot dishes such as egg scrambles or fajitas.

This is a super simple way to prepare Nopales and the dish was inspired by Viva Vegan!: 200 Authentic and Fabulous Recipes for Latin Food Lovers . Enjoy!

Nopalitos (Cactus Fajitas)

Serves 4


2/3 c of Mexican Beer ( I used Negra Modelo)

Juice of half a lime (about 2 tbsp)


1 clove of garlic, grated or crushed

1/2 to 1 tsp. of chile powder

2 lbs. of a mixture of squash, nopalitos, onions and jalapenos, sliced into strips ( I used 1 lb. nopales, 1 squash, 1/2 an onion and 1 jalapeno)

For the tacos:

12 corn tortillas

Mexican crumbling cheese

Sour cream or mexican crema (thinner consistency)


  • In a bowl, combine beer, lime, salt, garlic, and chile powder.
  • Place the raw veggies in the marinade and let them soak for about 5 minutes, stirring often to make sure they’re all covered.
  • In a cast iron or grilling pan over medium heat with a little oil, place about half of the veggies using tongs. Make sure they have some marinade, but not enough where they are just boiling. Grill for about 4 to 8 minutes, until they are browned and tender. Add a litle more oil and repeat with the remaining vegetables.
  • Heat up your tortillas, place the hot nopalitos and top with the condiments.

These are great to serve with refried beans or a baked potato. Enjoy!


Training for the BolderBoulder 10k Galloway style!

I received a message from a reader that is training for a 10k and was looking for help with intervals and paces. I happen to be training for a 10k as well, the BolderBoulder. This race has been named America’s Best 10k. Why? For starters, this is the 3rd largest race in the US and the 7th in the world with over 50,000 runners!


Running through the streets of Boulder Colorado is awesome, but you finish in Folsom Field (where the University of Colorado Buffaloes play football). Talk about a finish line!


I know I’ve done up to a 50k but until now, it’s been at sea level. Training for a 10k at over 5,000 ft in altitute is a whole different cookie. Their slogan is ACTUALLY ‘ Sea Level is for Sissies’. Talk about a challenge!

Even with the moves I have tried to run at least 3 times a week, two 3 mile runs and a longer 4-5 mile run for the other. When I got here I felt so out of breath and winded because of the thinness of the air.  Last Tuesday I ran a 5 mile loop and kept a 12 minute pace with a 45 second run/ 30 second walk interval. So far, this interval is working for me. When I get tired, I bring it down to 30:30 and just focus on keeping my pace.


Washington Park in Denver: The awesome thing is this park is exactly 2.5 miles around!


Jeff Galloway has an excellent 10k training schedule on his site here . You build up to running 7 miles and then taper down to the race. Here are a few of my tips to make training for a 10k a little easier

      1. Start slow- don’t concern yourself with the pace if you can help it. It is all about putting those miles on your feet. If you feel up to it, you can make your weekday runs a tiny bit speedier than your long runs, but if you are just starting out, just focus on finishing the work out. This is why Jeff has a time workout (30-45 min) instead of distance.
      2. Different intervals for different folks- I have a great friend that is practically Jeff Galloways’ BFF. He’s done a number of his trainings, one on one coachings and meets him at every Disney race. You know what Jeff told him to do to get faster? Shorten his intervals. He runs a 10 sec run/ 50 sec walk, but during those 10 seconds, he practically sprints. Play around with your intervals until you find one you can carry throughout your entire workout. Race day performance will depend on your training, so if you train at 30:30, focus on doing this during the race.
      3. External timer- this has been a game changer for me. It allows me to change my intervals on the spot, depending on how I feel that day and for those of you that run with music or a phone, it keeps you from draining your battery. Mentally, this saved me during my 50k race when I was SO exhausted and I just focused on doing the intervals. Trust me, it’s worth the 20 bucks. ( Buy it here:Gymboss Interval Timer and Stopwatch – BLACK / YELLOW SOFTCOAT )
      4. Sign up for a race- When we moved to Colorado, I was coming off a crazy racing season. I was a little sad though because I didn’t have a race on the calendar and it’s hard to get motivated. Sign up for that race so you have some pressure, an end goal, and to visualize yourself crossing that finish line every time you train.
      5. Have fun!- Change your scenery, change your running group, but a new outfit. Whatever works for you but remember: this isn’t your day job, and no one is forcing you to be out there, so have some fun and enjoy the runner’s high!

Jeff Galloway has so many resources for starting out, and of course, I am always happy to help! Just shoot me an email at and I’d be happy to help!