Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Weekend Wrap Up

Fireworks Recap
I'll try to keep the recap of last night short. I feel like this is a long enough post as it is. We had some VIP passes to watch the Riverfest Fireworks from an observation deck at the Peabody Hotel. The passes also meant free wine and beer and a dessert buffet. Plus, if it rained again, we could still watch the fireworks and stay dry. We got there at about 7:45. While I'm typically not a big dessert fan, I definitely oggled this buffet. Thankfully most of it was chocolate. Why thankfully? I don't care much for chocolate so that meant far less indulging!

The fireworks show lasted for a full 30 minutes. Jason was so excited. He seriously loves firework shows, and this is definitely a good one. Sorry the pics aren't very good. We just had the point and shoot with us.
 Lifting & Punching
This morning I got up and did my leg workout. It was Pyramid Lower Body. The pyramid legs was pretty much like yesterday's upper body, but without supersets except for squats into plie squats. So you do 12 sets at lightest weight, increase weight, at 10 reps, increase weight for 8 reps, then decrease weight for 10 reps, decrease weight for 12 reps.

Step Ups
Static Lunges
Squats into Plie Squats
Deadlifts
Calf raises

After the leg workout, I decided to do Cathe's MMA Boxing. I have only done this one a few times and each time I remember how much fun it is. This one needs to make it's way into my workout rotation more often. It consists of a warm up, 3 boxing (punching) combos each followed by an upper body then lower body drill. If you like to punch things, this is the ideal workout LOL.

Lounging & Weeding
I decided to take advantage of my last day off and the sunshine for a bit more lounging and reading. I was also determined to enjoy a day at home finally. No makeup, no hair styling. Just some relaxing. However, I really needed to be productive too, so after the patio time indulgence, I did some major weeding, deadheading of the roses, and planted some more flowers. 

Thankfully, Jason got the pool ready for us because it was HOT. The pool has never felt so good! I only splashed around a little bit. It still needs to be vacuumed out again, plus I felt like I might be starting to burn. 50 spf only goes so far.

Cooking
Since I felt that I had been out in the sun and heat too long, I decided it was time to get in the kitchen and get the veggie burgers made and in the freezer. I plan to take some with us on vacation next week. I had some leftover quinoa so I made a Black Bean & Quinoa Burger. While I was making the burgers, I also decided to make some Chikn' Seitan. I started with the basic recipe I made a few weeks ago, but changed the seasonings.

Black Bean & Quinoa Burger
Ingredients:
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2-3/4 cups cooked quinoa
2 carrots, large chop
1/2 white onion, large chop
Flax egg replacer (or 1 egg)
Rolled oats
To taste: salt, pepper, garlic powder, parsley, chili powder

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In food processor, pulse carrots and onion. Add in beans, quinoa (reserve about 1/4), spices and puree until mostly smooth. In large bowl combine bean mixture with remaining quinoa, oats, and flax egg replacer. Mix by hand until all ingredients combined.

Form into patties and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake approximately 30 minutes then flip and bake another 30 minutes.

Chikn' Seitan
Ingredients:
2 cups vital wheat gluten flour
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp ground thyme
1 1/4 cups hot water
1 vegetarian chicken flavored bouillon cube
Few dashes of liquid smoke

Simmering Broth
4 cups water 
2 vegetarian chicken flavored bouillon cube
Liquid smoke (sorry, just added and didn't measure)

Directions
Add garlic powder and thyme to flour and stir.

Mix liquids together and add to flour mixture all at once. Mix vigorously with a fork. When it forms a stiff dough knead it 10 to 15 times. (it forms a dough very quickly)

Let the dough rest 2 to 5 minutes, then knead it a few more times. It will be rubbery. Let it rest another 15 minutes then cut into chunks, strips, or patties.

Meanwhile, bring water to a boil and add in the bouillon cubes and liquid smoke. Drop in the seitan pieces, cover, and simmer 45 to 60 minutes. Let seitan cool in the broth.
 
This turned out so good. So much better than any store-bought "chicken" substitute. I will most defintely be making this more often. 
For dinner, I decided to use the Chikn' Seitan for Chikn' Quesadillas. It is technically Mexican Monday after all. The filling included the Chikn' Seitan, sauteed onions, red and green bell peppers, and spinach and ooey gooey Cheddar Daiya Vegan Cheese.
So, this was the finale meal for an absolutely fantastic Memorial Weekend.