Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Kickboxing Fail but "Creamy" Pesto Pasta Salad Win

Tuesday's Comments
Wow, thank you all for your comments from yesterday's post regarding work/career. I suppose it's so often to just assume others are happy as larks each and every day. I was rather shocked at how many seem to feel the same way. I do know people who LOVE getting up and going to their jobs though. I want to have that same feeling. I think we all deserve that. Life is too short don't you agree?

Kickboxing Fail
First off - Holy Mother of DOMS. I am still sore in my chest and triceps from Sunday's workout. Inner and outer thighs are screaming at me when I walk and sit from Monday's workout, and biceps...are they supposed to straighten all the way out??? It's all good though. I know I worked myself to the max and can't wait to repeat it starting with upper body push muscles on Saturday.  Now, onto today's workout....

This morning I was very rudely awakened by one of our alarm sensors going out. Not sure how long it was making the strange noise. It seemed to take forever to even recognize that it wasn't normal sound. I really didn't have the energy for step and it was took dark for a run still, so I decided to try Amy Bento's Kickbox Xtreme Workout. I got it via Netflix just before vacation. I tried part of it on vacation and thought (key word) I'd do the whole thing this morning. I've tried several of Amy Bento's workouts before, but I just haven't been totally impressed. It's not that she's not fun, but she just doesn't seem to click for me. And the workouts are never very big calorie burners either.

Anyway, the first 30 minutes flew by actually, but my heart rate was never very high. It only maxed out at 155, and that was during one of the intervals. After the 30-minute mark, it just began to drag on and on and on get it. I was starting to just get plain annoyed after 50 minutes (this was combo/interval 4) and there was still another combo/interval to get through. I started the fifth segment, but just couldn't force myself to continue.

I don't typically post things like calories burned, but my calorie burn for 50 minutes was only 424. Sorry, but if I'm going to put that much effort into 50+ minutes, I expect more than that. If it was supposed to have been low-impact or low intensity, then I'd understand. Oh well, I guess she's just not for me. So, my search for other advanced kickboxing workouts will continue. 

Another Salad Night
Tonight I decided to try something a bit different.  It's super hot again - heat indices of 100 - so something on the lighter, cooler side sounded appealing (no matter how much I might want to grill). I've made a vegan pesto before from Tal Ronnen's The Conscious Cook. I decided to make a slightly creamier version of pesto using silken tofu for a veggie-laden pasta salad.

"Creamy" Vegan Pesto
1/2 box extra firm silken tofu (I would have used soft or firm if I had that on hand)
Fresh basil (maybe 2 cups, I didn't measure)
1/4 cup pine nuts
juice of 1/2 lemon
Drizzle of olive oil (just enough to loosen sauce)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large clove garlic, rough chop

In food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth.

"Creamy" Pesto Pasta Salad
"Creamy" Vegan Pesto
8 oz whole-wheat penne or rotini
1/2 bag California style frozen veggies (or veg mix of your choice)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow squash, diced
1 small or half larger zucchini, diced
1 can red beans, rinsed and drained

In large pot, bring water to boil and drop in the pasta. Approximately 1 - 2 minutes before pasta should be done, drop in the frozen veggies and allow to heat through (this should only take 1 - 2 minutes tops).

Drain pasta and veggies and pour and quickly run under cold water to stop the cooking. Once cooled, pour into large mixing bowl. Add in the remaining veggies and beans then stir in the pesto until everything is well coated. Re-season if needed. Let chill or serve at room temperature.

This was a nice, refreshing pasta salad actually. I think it was better cold rather than warm. But, I think the "Creamy" Vegan Pesto would be great on a warm pasta dish as well with a side of veggies and large salad.