Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Crispy Italian Tofu & Kale Pasta & Upper Body Weights

Upper Body Weights 
Today went back to dreary, cool, and stormy. Ah spring, you are now my biggest foe (other than winter perhaps). I decided that I am not going to continue with the total body rotation right now. While I have loved that rotation in the past, I'm just not into it right now. There is no need to force the workouts either. If I don't enjoy it, then I won't look forward to my workouts.

I decided to try a different split doing 2 upper body workouts and 1 lower body workout. I've split up upper body into as many as 4 days before, but I think I'm going to try 2 full uppers and see how that goes, it's not something I've done before actually.

Today I went with supersets of 3x5 after a 10-minute warm up on the elliptical:

Assisted pullups (failed at 4 on the 3rd set)
Underhand barbell rows

Dumbbell curls
Hammer curls (failed at 4 on the 2nd set)

Flat bench chest flye
Flat bench chest press

Overhead press
Lateral raise

Double-arm triceps extension
Lying dumbbell extensions

I also did some ab exercises then finished out with another 10 minutes on the elliptical.

Tofu Tuesday
I guess I should have saved the chili for tonight with this nasty weather. Poor Heath can't take muc more of stormy weather. The poor guy just goes into major panic mode. Anyway, rather than make another soup, I went with another comfort food - pasta. I don't do many pasta dishes, but I figured this one would qualify as fairly healthy. I made Crispy Italian Tofu with Kale Pasta.


Crispy Italian Tofu with Kale Pasta
Ingredients:
Small bunch of kale, cleaned, de-stemmed, chopped
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
6 oz whole-wheat rotini cooked per package directions
Jar of homemade or favorite spaghetti sauce
1 package tofu, frozen then thawed
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1-2 tsp agave nectar
To taste: salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, parsley, basil, oregano
Panko
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
White wine or vegetable broth (to thin out tomato marinade and/or steam kale)


Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Squeeze out any excess liquid from tofu, pat dry then cut to half forming 2 "steaks." In small bowl, whisk together tomato paste, vinegar, agave, and spices. If too thick, add splash of white wine or vegetable broth. Baste tomato mixture over tofu.

In shallow dish add some panko and the nutritional yeast. Dredge tofu into the mixture to form a crust. Place on a prepared baking sheet (I use a silpat to prevent sticking) and bake approximately 20 minutes then flip and continue to bake another 20-30 minutes depending on how crispy you want the tofu.

Meanwhile, saute onions in large non-stick skillet. Once onions are soft, add in the kale and splash of white wine, water, or vegetable broth along with same seasonings used for the tofu marinade. Cover and allow the steam to cook the kale down.

Once kale is cooked, add the pasta to the skillet along with spaghetti sauce (reserve some to top the tofu if desired) and toss until completely mixed. Re-season if needed.

Serve with the tofu "steak" on top adding on some vegan cheese and pasta sauce if desired.

This turned out so good. The texture of the kale worked so well with the pasta and then there was the crunch of the tofu. So many different levels of texture and flavor. This is a winner I'll definitely be making again. It would work really well with spaghetti squash if you don't want to use pasta.

What's your ultimate comfort food? I think for Jason it'd be mac n' cheese.