Thursday, September 8, 2011

Spinach for Weight Day - Spinach Artichoke Patty

Weight Day
Since I got today's run in yesterday, it was a weight day all the way for me. I started with 10 minutes on the elliptical as a warm up before heading to the weight area for triceps, chest, and legs.

GS - 3x8
Double-arm overhead triceps extension
Double-arm kickbacks
Dips (actually 3x10)

SS
Chest flye into chest press - 3x8
Pushups with toes on bench 3x10

SS - 3x8
Rear-leg lunge (same leg)
Plie squats

SS
Side lunge with hip lift -3x8
Calf raises 3x16

SS
Single-leg deadlifts - 2x8
Weighted plie hops - 2x24

I felt like this was a pretty good workout. I definitely felt a difference doing the rear lunges and not alternating as well. I found a list of leg exercises recommended for runners and plan to add those in as well (once I've tried them in the privacy of my own home LOL).

More Creative Kitchen Time
It was such a gorgeous evening that I sort of feel bad that I didn't grill out. However, I really didn't have any veggies other than broccoli, asparagus, and bell peppers and no real protein like tofu or tempeh to grill. Um, still need to get to the grocery store.

Anyway, maybe it's the gorgeous weather, the sunshine, whatever, I was feeling creative tonight and wanted to spend some time in the kitchen. Maybe it helps that I can turn on the oven and it's not a million degrees in the house.

We had just a small amount of the sweet potato orzo left over from last night's dinner. It wasn't really enough to use for a complete meal, so my wheels started turning thinking of ways to use it. Last weekend I made an incredible spinach artichoke bean dip that I took over to our friends' house (when I re-make it, I'll post the recipe).

Right after I made the dip I thought it would make incredible veggie patties - not veggie burgers, but softer cakes (for lake of better word - something similar to a veggie cake I recreated - Quinoa Veggie Cakes). Rather than using flour, I thought maybe I could use the orzo as a binder by blending it all together. Then I thought about just using the orzo as a base for the veggie patties since I wasn't planning on serving as a sandwich/burger.

Of course, then comes the question of how to dress up the pasta. Since the cashew cream sauce turned out so well last night, I thought I'd run with that idea for a Red Bell Pepper "Cream" Sauce that I could add to the pasta to season it then drizzle on top of the patties.

Spinach Artichoke Patty
Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas (would have preferred cannellini but was out), rinsed and drained
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained very well
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 whole artichokes packed in water (or probably 8-9 quartered)
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
To taste: salt, pepper, parsley, dash of red pepper
1 flax egg (1 tbsp milled flax seed + 3 tbsp warm water)
Oat flour - to desired consistency (used 1 cup whole oats then ground)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In food processor, puree all ingredients up to the flax egg. Transfer to mixing bowl and add in the flax egg and flour. Mix well. This will be slightly soft, doesn't need to be dense and thick so go lighter on the flour than you might with a veggie burger.

Form into patties and place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes then flip and continue to bake until golden, approximately 20 minutes.

Red Pepper "Cream" Sauce
Ingredients:
1/3 cup cashews (ground or soaked several hours)
1/4 cup almond milk + additional water if needed (up to 1/8 cup)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (may add just a tiny bit more if you prefer more "tang")
1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
To taste: salt and pepper
1 roasted red bell pepper, jarred in water (or you can roast and peel your own)

Directions:
In food processor or blender, puree all ingredients until completely smooth adding the additional water if needed and depending on how thick you prefer the sauce to be.

I put a little bit of the Red Pepper "Cream" Sauce with the orzo and reheated in the microwave. I served the Spinach Artichoke Patty over the orzo along with roasted asparagus.

You could easily sub the orzo with couscous, quinoa, barley, or even rice if you wished. Actually, the sauce was so good I think we'll probably use it again as a pasta or spaghetti squash sauce all on it's own. I have so many ideas in my head now ;-)
 
 

Now, how did it all taste? One word: OMG (ok so that would really be 3). This was so good. The flavors of the patty and sauce just melded together perfectly. I can't wait to make this again.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Weight lifting (been a while since I've spent time just lifting and nothing else)
  • Creative kitchen time
  • Gorgeous weather and sunshine