Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soup Saturday & Blooming Platter Cookbook Giveaway

Soup Saturday
I must say, that while this recent half marathon training plan didn't really have many hill workouts (will add in to the next training), it did have lots of long runs. I know that they sounded crazy to most people - 3 13-milers, but I thought they made sense. I was prepared for the miles (just not the hills).

Not only was I prepared for the miles while running, my body was prepared for them in terms of recovery. So, last night, the only major issues were my sciatica. I was a little tighter than most runs, but I also raced rather than just ran yesterday. But the sciatica kicked my ass (literally).

We ended up going to Vino's for pizza because there was no way I wanted to cook right after the race. Then I firmly planted my rear end on the couch (with ice) and relaxed with a couple of mimosas.

When it came time for dinner, however, I was kind of tired of sitting (not one for being lazy) so I wanted to make something. Of course, I still wanted it to be simple. It was a cold evening so soup seemed to be the appropriate choice.

Yes, more complicated than it should have been, but I ended up coming up with a Curry Peanut Pumpkin Soup with Curry Peanut Tofu "Croutons."

Curry Peanut Pumpkin Soup
Ingredients:
1/2 white onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 can pumpkin puree
1 bouillon cube + 2 cups water (or you can use veggie broth, I was out)
1-2 tbsp red curry paste
1-2 tbsp peanut butter
To taste: salt, pepper, red pepper, curry powder, parsley
1/2-1 cup almond or soy milk

Directions:
In large pot, saute onions and carrots until they begin to soften. Add in the water and bouillon (or vegetable broth) and allow to simmer until veggies are cooked through.

Using an immersion blender or food processor, puree veggies until smooth then return back to the pot. Stir in the peanut butter, curry paste, seasonings, and almond milk. Start with 1/2 cup of almond milk and add more if needed for creamy texture.

Allow to simmer and thicken, re-season as needed.

Curry Peanut Tofu "Croutons"
Ingredients:
1 package tofu that has been frozen then thawed (this is key for this recipe), cubed
2 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp red curry paste
OJ - just enough to thin the marinade

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Whisk together wet ingredients then poor over cubed tofu and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes.

Place tofu cubes on a non-stick baking sheet and bake until golden and firm, flipping once halfway through. This takes approximately 30 minutes.
 

To serve, simply use the tofu "croutons" as a garnish to the soup.

Gym Day
This morning I woke up to only mildly sore legs. My sciatica was actually not hurting nearly like I expected, so I felt golden! I had originally planned to take today as a rest day, but really wanted to get in my upper body weights and do some time on the elliptical just to get the legs moving, nothing over the top.

Jason went up to the gym with me. I start with 10 easy elliptical minutes. Again, just wanted to get the legs moving. Then I went on to my weights for biceps and shoulders. I did 1 set of supersets for each muscle group as 3x8 then followed up with 1 set of dropsets for each (6, 8, 10)

SS#1
Incline curls
Hammer curls

SS#2
Lateral raise
Upright row

DS#1 - Dumbbell curls
DS#2 - Overhead shoulder press

I finished up with some ab work and that was that.

Blooming Awesome Giveaway
Rather than talk about the weather or the chores I got done today, I want to move on to something way more important (and fun).

Yesterday was not only my 2nd half marathon, it was my 2-year blog anniversary. And, to celebrate, I thought it would be appropriate to do a giveaway. And I wanted the giveaway to be meaningful. I love cooking (even after a half marathon).

And there is another blogger that I have pretty much followed since I started blogging who has a love of food as well - Betsy DiJulio from the Blooming Platter of Vegan Recipes

I am so honored that she so readily agreed to let me do a giveaway of her new cookbook: The Blooming Platter. I sincerely believe that anyone will enjoy this cookbook and don't want to categorize it as vegan. Let's just call it plant-based cooking that anyone would love.
Betsy's recipes are always incredible and inspiring - from her Vegan Taco Morocco, Vegan Late Spring Thai Quinoa Salad to Blueberry and Lemon Verbena Pancakes. I love how many of her recipes are perfect for entertaining both meat-eaters and meat-freers alike. For example, Vegan Caraway-Havarti Cheese Spread (Delicious with Apple Dishes) and Vegan Cheddar “Cheese” Spread with Savory Blackberry Chutney would be ideal for a wine tasting party or as appetizers before Thanksgiving Dinner.

If you are into seasonal cooking, this cookbook is even more exciting for you as it's categorized by the seasons, showcasing recipes ideal for what's currently in season. Seasonal cooking, fresh ingredients, incredible recipes...you cannot go wrong with this one.

Now onto the details. I will choose 1 winner through random drawing and announce next Friday. Here's how to enter:

Mandatory: 
Go to Amazon and "like" the cookbook. Leave me a comment letting me know you did this.

Optional (leave a comment for each of the following that you do):
  1. Tweet about the giveaway - make sure to use @hriacobacci and include a link to this page please.
  2. Check out Betsy's blog and tell me one recipe you'd love to make.
  3. Tell me your favorite seasonal recipe.
Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Sunshine
  • Relaxing
  • Offering this giveaway