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Good Workout & Even Better BBQ Taco Recipe

Intervals & Weights 
Today was another sunny, mild day here. It was not easy making myself go to the gym rather than run outside. But, I really needed/wanted to get the rest of my weight workouts done today as I had originally planned. I also wanted to do some intervals. Intervals are easier to do on the treadmill, or for me anyway.

When I'm outside, it's harder to focus on speed rather than just enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Though, with my handy dandy new Garmin, I can actually keep track of pace finally. So maybe I can do my speedwork more correctly rather than going balls to the wall with the first interval then not being able to finish out the rest.

Anyway, I wasn't planning on killing myself with intervals then doing weights. Just wanted to get in the speedwork. I started with 1 mile at a 9:22 min mile at 1% incline as my warmup before doing the following intervals:

#1 - 1 x 3 min intervals of 8:20 min mile with 9:31 min mile recovery
#2 - 2 x 2 min intervals of 8:20 min mile with 9:31 min mile recovery
#3 - 2 x 1 min intervals of 8:13 min mile with 9:31 min mile recovery

I finished out the mileage to an even 3.5 slowly increasing the speed so that the last minute was an 8:44 min mile - which kicked my butt after the intervals I had done.

Next was trisets for back, triceps and hamstrings with some short ab work at the end. The sets were done as 3x8 unless noted.

Underhand barbell row
Double-arm overhead triceps extensions
Step ups (with dumbbells)

Assisted wide-grip chinups
Weighted dips - 10 reps
Stiff-legged deadlifts

Double-arm rows
Double-arm kickbacks
Hamstring roll-ins on ball - 10 reps

Overall, it was a pretty good workout. I felt weaker with triceps today, but felt like I should have possibly gone heavier with my barbell rows. But I struggled with the chinups. Guess it's all about the order of the exercises - well, that plays a role.

Crazy New Recipe
Sometimes it's funny how recipes come about in my household. They can come from a combination of many different recipes, often based on trying to find something to do with what I have on hand. Sometimes they just happen - like just adding a bit of this and a bit of that.

Then there are the times when I mention to Jason a couple of ingredients and something I have in mind. Then he takes those ingredients and my idea and adds to it, often complicating it just a bit more than I already would ;-)

That is how this recipe for my version of a Korean BBQ Sauce (Kalbi aka Galbi) used to make vegan Korean Tempeh BBQ Tacos came about. I mentioned needing to use some portobellos. I named off some ingredients then suggested my BBQ Tempeh and Portobello Sandwiches.

However, he remembered seeing a recent episode of Guy's Diner's, Drive-ins and Dives about some Korean BBQ joint. Hence the Korean BBQ Taco suggestion.

While he was watching the movie Tron, I was searching recipes like a crazy woman, hell bent on finding the perfect Korean BBQ sauce. I found so many different versions, some looked sweeter, some looked spicier. Most included a significant amount of sugar.

I saw some that used pears, apple or pineapple juice. The closest thing I had was fresh pineapple. And, I think the citric acid was mainly meant to break down and tenderize meat. Lucky for me, I didn't need that since mine would be vegan.

Some recipes included kochujang or gochujang sauce which is a Korean chile paste that I definitely don't have on hand. So then that meant trying to find alternatives for that. I had a feeling Sriracha would be involved, and it was. I have plenty of that ;-)

Korean Tempeh BBQ Tacos
1 tbsp miso paste
2 tbsp sriracha
2 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used low sodium)
1/4 cup tamari (I used low sodium)
2 tbsp agave nectar
1/2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/4-1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger root
1/4 cup minced pineapple
1 tsp water
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 package tempeh, crumbled
3 baby portobellos, very thinly sliced (or 1 medium regular)

Corn tortillas or corn taco shells

Combine all ingredients up to the water in medium bowl and whisk together well. In a small dish, combine cold water and cornstarch to form a slurry then whisk that into the other mixture. Using an imersion blender or food processor, puree ingredients.

Add the crumbled tempeh and mushrooms into a large plastic bag or large bowl with lid. Pour the marinade over the tempeh and mushrooms and mix very well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

After the tempeh has marinated, saute in a large, non-skillet pan until heated through. Serve on corn tortillas with a simple Asian Cabbage Slaw and sour cream (vegan, cashew cream, whatever you prefer).

Asian Cabbage Slaw
3 cups Napa cabbage, shredded
1/4 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced
1/4 yellow bell pepper, very thinly sliced
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
To taste - salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp agave nectar

In large bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, agave then add in the vegetables and toss well. Let refrigerate at least 1 hour.

I served a simple cilantro lime cashew cream that was nothing more than soaked cashews, almond milk, apple cider vinegar, agave, salt, lime juice pureed very well.

And the verdict? Flipping fantastic. It was the perfect combo of spicy and sweet. Then the crunch from the slaw...perfect. I think leaving the corn tortillas as a soft taco works very well, probably better than crunchy (but I could be wrong of course). 

Daily To-Enjoy List:
  • Weight workout
  • Interval run (hard but good)
  • Sunshine
  • Creative dinner


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