Making it to Friday

January 13, 2012

T.G.I.F.

Whew.  Its hard to believe its ONLY Friday.  Despite being busy, I feel like this week must be ancient, that’s how long it felt.  And even though it felt like forever, here are some of the things I did along the way to finally get here:

In the Kitchen

I made a lot of fun (and some not so fun) meals this week. Here are some of the highlights (and lowlight…)

Portabella Tacos:  Courtesy of my new Happy Herbivore cookbook, these were a fun twist on a veggie taco.  Although the original marinade calls for soy based marinade, I’m brainstorming about a nice spicy marinade topped with a jalepeno yogurt sauce wrapped up in a spicy tortilla, or trying for a “fish taco” version to mix things up.  

Veggie potpie over biscuits: Another Happy Herbivore recipe that was full of veggies (we used half of a big bag of frozen veggies) and a creamy sauce made of almond milk, veggie stock, corn starch, spices and nutritional yeast.   Even though the original recipe calls for some vegan whole wheat drop biscuits, I cheated a bit and added some bleu cheese.  Another winner from my new go –to cookbook and perfect for a warm comfort dish on a cold winter night – healthy AND deliciously rich tasting.

Chipotle Potato and Leek soup…with frizzled Leeks.  Ok guys.  Confession time.  Frizzled leeks is now synonymous with burnt leeks in my mind.  This recipe came from my Vegetarian Crockpot Cookbook.  And I don’t think its any fault of the recipe, but an inherent property of potato soup that made this soup so bland.  The soup was a simple mix of potatoes, leeks and veggie broth in a crock pot all day, then blended.  Garnished with a sauce made of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and burnt frizzled leeks.   I left some of the potatoes un-blended to give some chunkiness to the soup, ended up dumping the chipotle peppers and sauce into the soup, adding some spinach and a little bit of that bleu cheese – I also ditched the leeks.  Then I added a lot of pepper and smoked paprika.  Still – I wasn’t happy and neither was Brandon.  I ended up doctoring it up with some curry, ginger and a touch of cinnamon.  With the spinach and creaminess of the blended potatoes, plus the spices it turned into an interesting twist on a traditional Indian saag dish and was actually palatable.  Although it was taste really good over a sweeter basmati or jasmine rice, I’m hesitant to pile on too much starch, so I may opt for a healthier barley, quinoa or bulgur wheat option.

In the Gym

This week I did really well with making the most of my early morning workouts.

Cardio wise I worked on speed intervals, trying to increase my endurance at those faster speeds in order to reach my goal of breaking that 28 minute 5k time.  My workouts went a little something like this:

Speed (mph) Time
5.5 2 minutes
6.0 (this is about a 10 minute mile) 3 minutes
7.0 2 minutes
6.0 3 minutes
7.0 2 minutes
6.5 3 minutes
6.0 2 minutes
Cool down  

Each week I’m trying to challenge myself to run a little longer at 7.0 mph and to work my way up from 6.0 mph to 6.5 mph.

I’m a firm believer that strength training is an equally important component to any workout, so I’m glad I was also able to fit in two days of weights.  Yesterday I tried two new lifts with my kettle bell.  A kettle bell front squat and a kettle bell front swing.  Both of these are supposed to be great exercises for your core and we all know what squats can do 😉 I’m also proud to say I upped my weight for a few of the lifts, it feels great to get back into it!

Elsewhere:

I finished an addicting book and grabbed a second off of the ever growing shelf

I humored my new obsession and set up “workbench” style bar (I really like the look of this one) and started my first batch of homemade bitters.  I’m hooked!  I have a new cocktail recipe I can’t wait to try tonight either.

Its been quite the week and I am REALLY looking forward to a relaxing weekend.  We nixed our plans for a healthy homemade meal tonight and opted for some pizza and hockey on the couch – guilt free and well deserved.  I have lofty goals for starting a few projects this weekend, both inside and out of the kitchen and I’m hoping to get outside at least once for a good blood pumping workout.  But most of all, I can’t wait for some quiet mornings with a cup of coffee and nowhere to go.

Happy Friday ya’ll!

xo

 

 

 

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