Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Rest Day = More Creative Dinner

Rest Day
As much as I didn't want to, I ended up having to declare today a rest day. I felt so run down and worn out today. I didn't have any weight work on tap, just cardio and I just couldn't muster the energy to even think about cardio. I knew that a workout just wouldn't be smart. First off, it would likely have been a bad workout session because I'm fatigued and heart isn't in it and second, I think it would have made tomorrow's planned run much harder (and quite possibly done more harm to IT band issues).

I had wanted to take Friday as my rest day as the half marathon training plan calls for a run both Saturday and Sunday. But, I have to listen to my body and do what is right for today and take the next day as it comes. Hopefully tomorrow I'll be re-energized.

Kitchen Time
Since I had more time after work to spend on dinner, I decided to try something new. I've been feeling a bit uninspired in the kitchen, other than crockpot creations, so rather than reaching for frozen homemade veggie burgers, I decided to be a little more creative.

Jason has been wanting pasta recently (we rarely eat it anymore), so I decided that since I had lots of homemade spaghetti sauce, I would try making a creamy version (sort of like a vodka sauce perhaps). I've never made vegan meatballs using beans either (crazy I know). I decided I could adapt my recent Chipotle Lentil Loaf recipe and make Italian Lentil Balls to go with a Creamy Red Sauce. However, I realized I was out of lentils. So on to plan B - Italian Meatless "Meatballs".

Italian Meatless Balls
Ingredients:
1 cup white beans
1 1/2 cups black beans
Dehydrated white onions (a few tablespoons - rehydrate in hot water)
To taste: parsley, oregano, basil salt, pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes
1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp hot water)
2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
Oatmeal flour (just grind oats in coffee grinder, approximately 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped (can sub pinenuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds)


Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In food processor, puree beans and seasonings to desired texture. Transfer to large mixing bowl and stir in remaining ingredients. Add additional oat flour if needed - you want a dense mixture.

Form into balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake approximately 30 minutes then roll the balls (so they can brown on all sides) and bake another 30-40 minutes or until firm.


Creamy Red Sauce with Italian Meatless "Meatballs"
Ingredients:
1-1 1/2 pints homemade spaghetti sauce (or your favorite brand)
1/2 package firm or extra firm silken tofu
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
8 oz whole-wheat spaghetti (penne or ziti would work as well)
Italian Meatless Balls

Directions:
In food processor, puree sauce, tofu, and nutritional yeast until smooth.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

In large, non-stick skillet, cook the sauce and Italian Lentil Balls until heated through. To serve, spoon over pasta or toss pasta in the skillet.
 
 
I was so happy with how these turned out. They had a great texture and flavor. Even better, I'm thinking they would make a fantastic Meatless "Meatball" Sandwich.

Etsy Update
Thank you all for you support for me opening up an Etsy store. You guys are truly the best. I am still working on setting up some listings for my new Etsy store for dog treats. I'm not 100% sure of shipping costs and such. I do hope to have listings by this weekend at the latest.

In the meantime, if you would like to order any treats, feel free to send me a message. I would love to get your thoughts on the treats (or your furbaby's thoughts). I'm going to start off with probably 4 flavors, one of which is a wheat-free treat for dogs with allergies (like mine).