Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Tuesday = Trying New Things

Well, today started off a tad shaky (or chilly) again. Seriously, cold weather and Heather do not mix! After getting dressed and ready for work, I started to take the pups downstairs. I immediately realized that there was no heat drifting up the stairs. It was 15 degrees outside and 55 degrees downstairs. Not good, not good. I pulled out the oil heater and put it in the kitchen with the pups and told Jason about the dire situation. Thankfully there is some sort of switch under the house that he could flip to reset the heater, and thankfully he remembered before calling in backup. I did manage to make it into the office with my shoes at least.

I had one particular workout in mind that I was planning to do tonight, but during lunch when I set up my step, I decided that I really wanted to try the Shock Cardio MMA Fusion workout. I only did the warm up and combos, stopping at the core conditioning drills. It was a fun workout, but not one that really pushed up the heart rate. It was still fun, and I burned 240 calories in 35 minutes. To get more cardio, I did the drills only from Shock Cardio HiiT 40/20. I finished with STS Abs Circuit - Weights and Plates (just the weight portion only).

While I was in the mood for trying new things, I thought I would try a new recipe as well. I found a recipe for Ziti with Sun-Dried Tomato "Cream" Sauce at Meatless Monday yesterday. I just happened to have another package of silken tofu and a package of sun-dried tomatoes, so why not. I'm not good at sticking to a recipe, so this is my rendition with comments in italics and notes on additions.

Ziti with Sun-Dried Tomato “Cream”
1 tbsp salt (I used less)
1 lb dried ziti (I used 8 oz whole-wheat rotini)
1 cup silken tofu, drained (I used 3/4 a box of firm)
2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1 heaping tbsp minced from jar)
1 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped (I used re-hydrated tomatoes)
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (I used dried basil to taste)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil (I missed this ingredient entirely)
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (I used dried to taste)

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. When water boils, add salt and pasta, stirring to prevent sticking. Cook until al dente, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a food processor or blender, combine remaining ingredients except parsley and process until smooth, adding 1 to 2 tablespoons of pasta water to thin sauce to desired consistency. Drain pasta and transfer to serving bowl. Spoon sauce over pasta and toss to mix. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Notes: I used dried parsley and blended with the other ingredients as I did not have fresh for garnish purposes only and added roasted red bell peppers and red pepper flakes. I tossed baby spinach with the warm, drained pasta.

As a side, I sauteed red onions, French cut green beans, and roasted red bell pepper and topped with toasted slivered almond.

Final thoughts:
I think this is definitely a recipe that I will try again. There are definitely some tweaks to be made though. I missed adding the olive oil to the tofu mixture which would have loosened it up more. Also, since I was making more or less half of the recipe, I should have used fewer sun-dried tomatoes and probably only 1/2 the box of tofu. Additionally, I used dehydrated tomatoes that I reconstituted in hot water. Next time I will use a little of the reserved water to add additional flavor. I think that capers and artichokes would also be great additions to this dish. Definitely one to try again!