Did you guys know that yesterday was National Squirrel Day??!! I laughed when Tony told me that, and thought it was apropos that I had a picture of the non-Kyle squirrel on my blog post yesterday.
Yep. Every inch of my being wanted to stay warm and toasty in bed. I knew it was going to be cold, but nothing braces you for it. I went to heat up my car before going to the gym, only had my boots and my fleece on and we had a dusting of snow, so I figured I’d scrape the snow off the car while I was out there – I nearly froze my fingers off! But no matter how cold it gets, I am immediately in a good mood if the sun is out. I had a cup of coffee and a Nature Protein Bar as my pre-workout fuel.
Since the temps dropped, the roads were dicey – some were plowed and had been salted and were fine, others were like ice skating rinks. I can normally get to the gym in 35 minutes – 40 tops, but yesterday took me just over an hour. So I had chest and triceps to do. Looking at the list of exercises, I knew I wouldn’t have time to do the 20 minutes of cardio before and after, so I opted to walk for 5 minutes to warm up and do the strength. Holy cow – it was tough! By the end I could barely lift my arms! It took me 35 minutes to complete, so my morning workout was 40 minutes long.
My breakfast? Tacos again! This time on two extra thin Mission corn tortillas, an egg white scramble of 1/2 cup egg whites, 1 ounce of deli ham, 1 cup baby spinach then topped with 1/2 ounce of cheddar cheese and put under the broiler at work. The edges of the tortillas got nice and crispy. On the side was 1/2 cup honeydew melon and 1/2 a cup of grapes. This whole plate? 290 calories and 22 grams of protein. So filling and delicious – I just forgot to add some pickled jalapenos!
And while it may seem odd to go swimming on a subzero day – the pool room is actually really warm as is the water. For whatever reason, if I swim on the same day I do strength training I am not nearly as sore the next day as I otherwise would be. Maybe it just stretches me out?? Who knows, but the 30 minute swim it works for me. I love the shadow the iPhone has on my face!
My great Aunt gave me a gift of Cook’s Country magazine for Christmas. I love that magazine, along with the rest of America’s Test kitchen magazines and websites. I love how they describe how and why a recipe worked after hundreds of attempts. Seriously, I don’t think there is one of their recipes that hasn’t been stunning.
Case in Point:
Italian Sunday Gravy. This post is from 2009 and a recipe I like to call $27 dollar Italian Sunday gravy because that’s about how much the meat cost to make this, but this is hands down our favorite red sauce with meat.
Best Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza. You all know that I have a soft spot for pizza. Like a really big soft spot for pizza. I always joke with my blog friend Helen that if I were married to her husband I don’t think we’d eat anything BUT pizza!
Buttermilk Fried Chicken. This reminds me of the fried chicken my Mom used to make. I don’t have a recollection of her making it often, but I remember the cast iron skillet and loving that the pieces that touched the bottom of the pan were extra crispy. I am an extra crispy KFC gal.
Best Shrimp Cocktail. Seriously, this is so easy, and it’s perfect for a pot luck or going to someone’s house because it works with any size shrimp – the key is to catch it at just the right temperature and then shocking it so it stops the cooking process.
Marinated Chicken Tacos. These chicken tacos are so unique – from the orange juice to the mustard to the chipotle peppers in adobo. Spicy, flavorful and super easy. I need to make these again soon!
So you get the point – I’ve probably done a dozen more recipes, but I’ll stop there, because I can’t wait to share this one with you!
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 onion, chopped (nope! left this out)
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 celery rib, minced
- 1.5 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/3 cup flour
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1.5 inch pieces
- 1 can light coconut milk
- 1/2 cup dried green lentils
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add carrots and celery (and onion if you are weird) for about 10-15 minutes, just until they start to get soft and slightly browned. Add ginger, garlic, tomato paste, curry powder, garam masala, cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the broth, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of your pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low,and simmer until the broth is thickened, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a slower cooker. Add chicken, coconut milk and lentils and cover and cook for 4 hours on low. Season soup with salt and pepper to taste.
The ONLY thing I would change about this dish is adding the chicken in the last hour of cooking. With the four hour cook PLUS heating it up in the microwave for lunch, the chicken wasn’t as tender as it could have been. That being said – holy balls this had such a complex, unique flavor. I did a chiffonade of baby spinach and drops of sriracha that I stirred in after the soup was heated up. (look at me using big fancy cooking terms!). I hope you give this one a try – you’ll thank me later!
Even with all this gross weather, one thing that makes me happy is that it’s still light out when I leave the office. I don’t mind that it gets pitch black by the time I get home, but getting lighter means summer is that much closer!
Tony wasn’t feeling good yesterday and nothing I had on the menu appealed to him, so while he ate some buttered rice, I got to make a Biz dinner! I saw Nicole had made spicy Thai shrimp bowls the other day. I was going through my head and thought I had most of the ingredients to make my one pot meal for myself. Of course, I did make a few changes. No onions, and I subbed in tofu for the shrimp. When I was at the Japanese grocery store last week, I picked up a package of yaki soba noodles. It has three individually sealed portions, each portion is 150 calories. The noodles are already cooked, you just have to heat them up in hot water.
I cut up my veggies – asparagus, zucchini and red pepper. While the wok got hot, I heated up 1 cup of chicken broth in the microwave for 2 minutes. Then I placed the noodles in the broth to “cook.” I heated 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in the wok, and stir fried my veggies for a few minutes. I added in the tofu and then the noodle/broth mixture. Then added 1/3 cup of light coconut milk and 1 tablespoon of sambal oelek – a ground chile paste. Put the lid on and let it meld together for a minute or two, then topped it with a bit of chopped cilantro.
It took me nearly 30 minutes to eat this bowl of goodness. Slightly sweet from the coconut milk and definitely spicy. Try starting out with 1 teaspoon of the sambal oelek first! You can always add more. Best part?? This whole bowl is 364 calories, 46 carbs, 12 fat and 20 protein!
Stats for the Day:
- 35 minutes strength – chest/triceps
- 30 minute swim
- 1460 calories, 61 fat, 151 carbs, 84 protein and 26 fiber
- average blood sugar 113
Alright, time to put my shit together. Today is a rest day for strength, so just cardio. I think I might run a 5k at lunch, it’s been a while since I ran! Make it a great day!