Friday, June 5, 2009

Healthy Hiker

Before we moved to DC I had never been hiking. There aren't very many places to hike in the Louisiana as it is very flat and I hadn't hiked on any of my vacations. Last year my very fit and very athletic friend Sarah asked if we would like to hike a path in the Shenandoah Mountains. I am usually game for anything at least once and she told me it would be pretty. I quickly agreed; this would be fun and a new experience I could add to my "while I lived in DC" list.

The night before the hike Forrest (who has been on hundreds of hikes before) attempted to prepare me. He convinced me I needed hiking shoes and that my regular running shoes wouldn't work. Always up for a shoe shopping trip I headed to Dicks's for a new pair of sturdy hiking shoes. I picked out the cutest shoes and figured I was set. After returning home, Forrest nagged me with several lectures about how I shouldn't fix my hair, or wear makeup and that I should leave all my jewelry at home and how I wasn't packing enough water. What was the big deal? Wouldn't I just be strolling through the woods? What could possibly be so grueling about a hike? I was so confident in my soon to be love for hiking that I purchased the frequent hiker card at the base of the mountain the next morning because I was sure I would be back very soon.

Let's just say that Forrest was right. 5 minutes into the "hike" Sarah had me jumping rocks in order to cross a stream.

And this was the easy part. No one told me that this hike would be what I like to describe as 8 straight hours of torture treatment. Sarah and her extremely toned legs ran up the mountain at record speed. I knew very early on in the hike that I was out of my league, my makeup had washed away with the sweat and I had massive blisters before we even made it to the first water break. By lunch time I was seriously contemplating starting a fire to send up smoke signals so I could be rescued. I couldn't fathom the idea that I was not even half way through. Forrest "encouraged" me and insisted that I stop complaining and "come on". Much to my dismay I continued on - by time we began to make our way down the mountain I had decided that morally corrupt prisoners should be forced to hike that particular mountain as punishment for all of their crimes. It was one of the most physically challenging things I have ever been through. Needless to say, I never used that frequent hikers card again and I don't think anyone could convince me to hike a mountain again no matter how pretty it might be.

Sarah came over for dinner last week after another one of her hikes in the Shenandoahs that she said was "really hard". If she thought that was hard and the hike she took me on was intermediate, I think it is safe to say that her hike on Saturday would have put me in the ground. I made her a healthy dinner Saturday night as not to cancel out all of her severe exercise. This was the side dish to the meal.

Tomatoes Stuffed with Grilled Corn Salad
Adapted from
Martha Stewart Everyday Food


Serves 4

  • 3 ears corn, with husks
  • 4 beefsteak tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for grates
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
  • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, crumbled (optional)

Pull back corn husks and discard along with silk, place corn over gas burners on the stove until charred all around the cob.

Cut off and discard top third of tomatoes. Using a paring knife, cut around wall of tomato to loosen flesh. Gently squeeze out seeds; discard. With a melon baller, scoop out tomato interiors, leaving the wall intact. Coarsely chop interiors; transfer to a large bowl.

Cut kernels off cob; transfer to bowl with tomatoes and add scallions, all but 2 tablespoons goat cheese, vinegar, and oil.

Season with salt and pepper; toss to combine. Spoon filling into hollowed tomatoes; sprinkle with remaining goat cheese and, if desired, bacon.


Woody said...

I loved that hiking trip because it was one of the few times that you said to me "i should have listened to you" and that night I can remember going to bed thinking you would listen to me more in the future. But since that hiking trip I can count on 2 fingers how many times you have taken my advice and listened.

Tia said...

That sounds aweful!! But this dish looks amazing! I can't wait to try it!

michelle said...

This will be awesome this summer with our fresh corn and tomatoes, thanks!

Stephanie said...

These look so fresh, colorful and a great side dish for summer! Can't wait to try these!

Gabriela said...

Can someone please pass the Ben-gay?

teresa said...

I'm much more into nature walks then hikes! Fun story though! These look awesome, book marked!

Jen @ said...

Wow - these tomatoes look delicious! I have never made a corn salad before, but it sounds great!

Kerstin said...

What a beautiful tomato side dish - I love how colorful and flavorful it looks!

We hiked up Mount Washington last year and did the hardest trail when there were several easier ones. Sigh - I have to plan our hiking trips from now on :)

MaryBeth said...

I don't think I would make it ..Ok I know I would not make it. great looking dish, very summer festive!!

Celeste said...

Hi Elizabeth! I love your blog...please stop by my blog for your blog awards! ;)

Allison said...

Best dish EVEAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!