Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sleep? Who Needs Sleep

Working Out on No Sleep
After several restless nights, I had really hoped to just crash last night. I went up to read around 8:30 and had the lights off by 9:20. I dozed for an hour, then I was wide awake when Jason and the dogs came up. I fitfully dozed another hour as Jason fidgeted and kept getting up. I thought that he was just having a restless night too. However, he kept going downstairs, then back up, had the bathroom light on. Usually he would attempt some sort of discretion about waking me up. He finally came over to me and realized that I was indeed wide awake, he was about to wake me to tell me that he thought he was experiencing anaphylactic shock symptoms from this allergy shot that morning (well, the previous morning by this point). He did admit that he had been reading about it online and that he may just be working himself up over it. He does have an EpiPen at least. I kept asking what he wanted to do (911, ER). Long story short, we did not get any sleep. I did manage to doze again from somewhere around 3:30 to 4:20 then finally got out of bed at 5. Most importantly, Jason is feeling much better.

Needless to say, this morning was a major struggle for me, but I did manage to get in my workout. I mean, I wasn't sleeping anyway. It was painful though with a bit of stumbling around. I started with Low Impact Circuit warm up, the weights, then finished the cardio premix (up to last blast where I totally pooped out). Today was Day 2 of Week 7 of the Total-Body Training Rotation and consisted of 3 sets of 8 reps.

Legs - Static lunges
Hamstrings - Stiff Leg Dead Lifts
Shoulders - Arnold Press
Biceps - Alternating Bicep Curls (started in hammer position and rotated wrist in at top of move)
Back - DB Pullover
Chest - Incline DB Flyes

Thank Goodness for Planning
As I mentioned yesterday, I started the makings for dinner tonight: Fiery Dijon Peanut Tofu and my version of Curried Wheat Berry-Spelt Salad from Urban Vegan which I'll call Curried Vegetable Wheat Berry Salad. So, after another sleepless night, I was so very thankful that I had taken the time to do some advanced planning and prepping. All I had to do was bake the tofu and assemble. 

Fiery Dijon Peanut Tofu
Adapted from The Ordinary Vegetarian's Fiery Tofu Marinade

1 lb extra firm tofu*
3 tbsp dijon mustard
3 tbsp low-sugar ketchup
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp Tom Yum (make sure it's vegan)
3 tbsp crunchy natural peanut butter
1 tsp sesame oil
1 1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 - 1/2 cup water (to desired consistency)

*Freeze tofu for minimum three days. Let defrost in refrigerator. This will give the tofu a spongy-like texture that allows it to better soak in marinades.

Remove tofu from package, carefully squeeze out liquid. Cut tofu into "steaks" and place between paper towels to remove any excess moisture.

In medium mixing bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients, adding water to the desired consistency. Layer tofu and sauce in dish to marinate 2 hours or over night.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place tofu on baking sheet and bake approximately 1 hour flipping halfway through.

Note: if you have extra marinade, thin out with vegetable stock for a sauce.

Curried Vegetable Wheat Berry Salad
Adapted from The Urban Vegan

Wheat berries
1 cup red winter wheat berries (soaked overnight, drained and rinsed)
3 cups water

Curry Sauce 
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 1/2 tbsp agave nectar
1 1/2 - 2 tbsp red curry paste (depending on desired heat)
sea salt and red pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric

1/2 onion, finely diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
3/4 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup frozen of fresh peas

Bring 3 cups of water to bowl, add in the wheat berries and cook 1 1/2 hours or until all water is absorbed.

Meanwhile, whisk together ingredients for curry sauce then stir in the vegetables. Once wheat berries are cooked, add them to the curried vegetables. Serve warm, room temp, or cold. 

I love the flavors of this salad and the added texture of the wheat berries. It's one that is fairly versatile in that you can add in the vegetables that you prefer, like the peas and red bell pepper. My version reduces the amount of olive oil and agave nectar as well as the addition of vegetables and omission of spelt. 

To make it a complete, one-dish meal, add in chickpeas for protein or serve as a side to another lean protein like baked tofu or tempeh.
Jason and I both agreed that this was one of the best tofu dishes I've made. The sauce became crunchy, almost as if fried in a batter. The slight sweetness of the salad pared nicely with the spiciness of the tofu marinade and sauce.This was a definite winner!