Wednesday, June 29, 2011

All Good: Workouts, Work, Dinner - Balsamic Basil Tofu

Good Workout - Biceps & Spin
So I'm a big fat liar. Just putting that out there. Today I decided to do biceps before spin. Yes, there's the lie. Yesterday I said no spin for today. Of course, I was being slightly irrational because my legs felt like lead weights. Never listen to someone when they make declarations in moments of weakness - just sayin'.

I knew that I would have time to get there before class and hit at least one muscle group. I've been wanting to add drop sets back into my workouts for a week or so. It makes for a quick workout, but an effective one.

I warmed up on the elliptical for 5 minutes just to get the blood pumping, then hit the weights.

Hammer curls - 3x10
Dumbbell curls - 6,8,10 (decreasing weight with each increase in rep and with no rest between)
Cross-body curls - 2x8

It was great working only one muscle group to be honest. Totally focused on just the biceps and felt fairly strong even through the drop sets (which are always deceiving). I then did spin class, which was a much more fun class than on Monday. First off, no low-ceiling/hovers, lots more laughter, a great stress reliever.

Good Work Day
Today was a, dare I say, fun day at work. I don't really talk about my job and what I do often. I think my work is separate from my personal life. But, this is kind of exciting and may appeal to some of you (moms or perhaps aunts). I've been really working hard at trying to position myself more in a social media role in my department.

We've launched a Facebook page and Twitter profile for one initiative within the company. So I've been getting my feet wet for about a year and a half. They were finally convinced that we should move forward with another social media initiative. This one is for moms (totally up my alley right LOL) - it's basically meant to be an online network/community for moms to share with other moms as well as a resource base of informative health and wellness articles and information. Not selling anything, just acting as a resource.

Since I know many of you are moms, it would mean a great deal if you could check out our new Facebook page - Mother Hood. Of course, I'd be super happy if you "liked" us, but would also be interested in feedback as well. What are some of your interests, favorite sites, money saving tips, favorite healthy recipes...anything. We really want to focus on health and wellness, and this also includes workout tips for moms with busy schedules. Again, zero pressure, no sales, nada. Just a resource community.

Good Dinner
I had planned on making a Grilled Tofu & Veggie Salad for dinner tonight. However, we sort of blew through the lettuce so that kind of nixed that plan. I decided to move to plan B which involved strawberry salsa, but that started getting overly complicated (who me? complicated?). So I went to plan C - Balsamic Basil Tofu with Garlicky Tomato Barley. That's not complicated at all either is it?


Balsamic Basil Tofu with Garlicky Tomato Barley
Ingredients:
Tofu:
1 package extra firm tofu, frozen, thawed and drained
Fresh basil - maybe 1/4 cup
Balsamic vinegar - approximately 1/4 cup
Very small drizzle extra-virgin olive oil (maybe tsp)
To taste: salt, pepper, agave nectar (optional)


Barley:
1 cup barley*
3 cups water
1 container (12 oz) cherry tomatoes, halved
3 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup white wine (may need just a little more if sauce is too dry)
To taste: salt, black pepper, red chili pepper flakes, nutritional yeast flakes
Fresh spinach (however much you like)
Fresh basil - finely chopped (to taste)


Directions:
Blend together the balsamic vinegar, basil, salt, pepper, and agave until smooth. Marinate the tofu in balsamic mixture for at least 30 minutes. Then bake at 400 degrees until firm, flipping once.

Once tofu is done, cube and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the barley per package directions (this will take approximately 50 minutes).

In a large, non-stick skillet saute the tomatoes, garlic, and just a pinch of salt on low. Once the tomatoes begin to soften, light mash with a fork to release the juices (watch for splattering). Add in the pepper, chili flakes, prepared barley, and spinach. Cook until spinach begins to wilt then toss in the tofu. Re-season if needed.

*Note - you may not use all the barley depending on your preferences for more barley vs more sauce. This made about 3 cups and I only used 2. Barley does freeze well if you have leftovers.
 

This really turned out very well, especially for a plan C recipe. The barley would actually be a really good side as well.

Daily To-Enjoy List
  • Noon sweatfest
  • Movie with hubby