Monday, November 14, 2011

Saturday Recap and 2 Recipes

Saturday Recap
Not only did I have an absolutely perfect Saturday, I did myself a huge favor and pretty much logged off the computer the entire weekend. It was quite liberating actually.

Saturday, my sis made it to my house around 9:30 and we got ourselves ready for a run. Unfortunately, the sun decided to stay hidden (though it was supposed to have been sunny all day). Sarah is more of a run/walker, and so is a friend of ours.

Sarah and I started at the Big Dam Bridge and headed towards the newer bridge (Two Rivers) where our friend C was going to meet up with her so they could explore the new trails. Sarah has gone down to the river trails with me before, but this was before the new bridge to the other trail system.

I got in a solid 8 miles. I had the strange sense of guilt (irrational of course) for not getting double-digit miles done. Thankfully, I listened to my rational side and made my loop back sooner than later. The last mile was quite painful, so I really am glad I didn't push and go farther.

After we got home and cleaned up, we headed out for a few errands and late lunch. First stop was a new gluten-free bakery in town called Dempsey's. Incredible. Every sample I had was simple delicious. I wish I could have bottled up Sarah's happiness. I know exactly how exciting it can feel to walk into a place and be able to eat anything they have.

This is the first time she's been able to go somewhere and eat freely without looking at a menu and studying ingredients. She loaded up on loaves of bread, pizza crust (that looked divine), and a few sweet treats. We also ended up ordering a pumpkin roulade for Thanksgiving. It was incredible.

After the bakery, Sarah needed to return some shoes to DSW - and I will never pass up an opportunity to hit up that store. I found a super cute pair of red heels (like I needed another pair mind you). Then it was off to lunch at Canon Grill. We started with their salsa. It's so fresh and so good then enjoyed salads.

We chose Canon Grill because it's right next to the grocery store, and I still had a few things I needed to pick up for the party. Then it was back to the house, and straight into our PJs. It was really nice spending the day with Sarah. It was also fun having her help me in the kitchen for the party.

She is pretty handy in the kitchen and loves to cook as well. I didn't want to do anything that required a ton of time to make. It was supposed to be a relaxed evening. So, I did simple chips dips as starters then I made Black Bean and Tempeh Enchiladas.

Since my sis has to eat gluten-free, I thought Mexican foods would be ideal. I went with corn tortillas for the enchiladas rather than using flour tortillas. And I could use corn chips for the chips and dips.

Black Bean and Tempeh Enchiladas
Ingredients:
Enchiladas
black beans
1 package tempeh, crumbled
1/2 white onion, diced
1-2 tbps minced garlic
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
Small can green chiles
To taste: salt, pepper, red pepper, chili powder, paprika, chipotle powder (optional), lemon juice
For garnish: cherry tomatoes halved and green onions
Daiya Vegan Cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
Corn tortillas

Enchilada Sauce
16 oz tomato sauce
1 can no-salt diced tomatoes
1/4 cup minced onions
1 tbsp minced garlic
To taste: salt, pepper, red pepper, chili powder, cumin, cilantro, agave nectar

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

To make the sauce: in a medium saucepan, saute onions and garlic until onions are soft then stir in remaining ingredients. If you wish, you can use an immersion blender to break down the tomatoes. Allow to simmer and thicken, approximately 30 minutes.

For the filling: in a large skillet, saute the onions, bell peppers, and tempeh until veggies begin to soften. Add in the black beans, green chiles, and seasonings. Cook for about 8-10 minutes then remove from heat.

Note: I made these as a layered dish rather than individual enchiladas just for sake of ease. But for individual, follow this method: Prepare a large glass baking dish. In a large skillet, bring a small amount of water to boil. Dip the corn tortilla quickly in the hot water to make more pliable. Fill with enchilada filling and small amount of "cheese." Roll tightly and place seam-side down.

Pour the sauce over the top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Bake until cheese is melted.
Garnish with tomatoes and green onions (optional) and serve with lots of jalapenos of course.

I didn't take many pictures. Too busy gabbing to be honest. But, that's the sign of a great evening right?

Sunday Was Rough
I'll admit to having a wee bit more wine than I should have. So Sunday was a rough start. I easily slept until after 8 am. We had some coffee and breakfast before she headed out. I loafed around (aka sat on the couch) for a bit before forcing my rear to the gym for shoulders and triceps:

GS#
Shoulder press
Lateral raise
Front raise
Incline rear flye

TS#
Double-arm overhead triceps extension
Double-arm kickbacks
Triceps dips

I did some abs as well before heading out. I needed to make a trip to Whole Foods, so I went directly there.

Sunday at 12:30 is not the ideal time to hit up Whole Foods I quickly discovered. It was packed, people just seemed all in my way. I forgot several items and came home with others I shouldn't have picked up - like a to-go container of their brussels sprouts and golden beets. AWFUL.

Anyway, after I got home, I cleaned up and put my PJs right back on and spent the rest of the day glued to the couch watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reruns until Jason got home and then the channel changed of course.

Question: When was the last time you turned off your computer for the weekend? I must say, you should give it a try. Unplug and enjoy each moment of the day.


Monday (Came Way too Fast)
Today it was sunny and 80 degrees. Had it not been gusting 20+ mph winds (freaking again) I would have headed out for a run. But the winds were those strong blasting types that make you have to walk almost bent all the way over head first. Very hot looking, goes right along with hair standing on end.

So, I went with spin today. It was a good class, as usual. I was actually feeling a little icky at first - sinus drainage. But once I got going with the class, I forgot all about that issue and it was down to business.

When I was at WFs yesterday, I did pick up some locally grown Japanese eggplant. We had some homemade spaghetti sauce in the freezer, which Jason had pulled out and thawed so it needed to be use. I decided I wanted to make my Vegan Spinach Eggplant Lasagna.

The recipe calls for Italian Tofu Ricotta. I took my recipe and tweaked it a little bit (mostly out of laziness). In the original recipe, I used cashew cream, this time, however, I opted to just use a splash of almond milk instead.

Italian Tofu Ricotta
Ingredients:
1 package extra-firm tofu
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 tbsp finely minced white onion
To taste: sea salt, cracked black pepper, parsley, basil, oregano
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Splash apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
Splash of unsweetened almond milk

Directions:
Crumble tofu in large bowl. Add in all ingredients up to almond milk. Mix well then stir in the almond milk. Re-season if needed.

Vegan Spinach Eggplant Lasagna
Ingredients:
3 Japanese eggplants, thinly sliced strips
Spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
4 rehydrated sundried tomatoes, finely diced
4 Canned artichoke hearts, chopped (optional)
1 recipe for Italian Tofu Ricotta (or recipe of your choice)
To taste: salt, pepper, basil, oregano, parsley
Daiya Vegan Mozzarella

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In medium bowl, slightly smash the cannellini beans then add in the spinach, artichokes, sundried tomatoes, and spices to taste.

Place thin layer of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Add one layer of eggplant, top with "ricotta," bean and spinach mixture, sauce and sprinkle of Daiya. Repeat at least once more. But not topping with Daiya.

Bake for 25 minutes then top with Daiya and bake an additional 20 minutes or until Daiya is melted.
 

This looks terribly messy and I didn't get the eggplant completely cooked. The next time I might try baking the eggplant strips first, maybe 10 minutes before layering. But the flavors were excellent.

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Spin class
  • Warm temps (despite the wind)