The reasons are many, but between a little family reunion this weekend for my grandparent's 55th wedding anniversary, coming back from vacation, and three work days in a row, and trying to see some friends I have put blogging on the back burner.
This week I was feeling a bit behind on the working out so I actually woke up early between shifts both back-to-back days and worked out. I have never done that before, so to do it twice in a row really impressed myself. One day i went for a quick swim and the other day I did some Exercise TV episodes. I tend to feel like those TV workouts aren't enough, but it was definitely better than nothing!
I'm glad I woke up to work out because I skipped working out two other days this week and those made up for it. For some reason this week felt like an off week with working out. I made it 6 miles running one day, but then another I barely made it four due to humidity that left em nauseous and feeling like I was breathing through a straw. My swim was OK this week, and biking never happened because there are a few issues with my bike. I know I need to be building with my training but this week ended up feeling like a week of minimum maintenance. Oh well, you can't win them all. Its a new week so I'll just have to put my best foot forward.
As for cooking, this week was more gazpacho. I used the typical recipe but added 1 whole raw zucchini and roasted the tomatoes. Honestly, I don't think the flavor changed much at all from either. Roasting the tomatoes, it turns out, is a waste of time unless you roast all of the veggies in order to get a roasted taste. The zucchini was a great add though, because it boosted the nutrition and just added to the texture.
I also made a shortcut eggplant parm. This recipe reminds me of my cousin Meredith because we both love it and have made it together. All I did was layer peeled, sliced eggplant with TJ's Pomodoro tomato sauce and thinly sliced fresh mozzarella. I added a lot of salt and pepper to flavor each layer since the mozzarella and eggplant can taste bland. Once layered, I cover the dish with aluminum foil (vented) and back at 350 degrees. Once the eggplant is soft, I remove the foil and bake it until the cheese is bubbled.
While this is not a substitute for traditional eggplant parm, it's one of my favorite dishes. Its low calorie (no breading, no oil) and simple. There is definitely a strong eggplant taste, can get a bit watery on the bottom from the eggplant and mozzarella, and its not a "company" type dish, but I really like it. I'm not saying don't try it, just saying don't expect anything fancy.
The third, and best, recipe of last week was Marinated Greek Salad. This was inspired by the Greek salad my mom made while we were on vacation. She couldn't find the recipe, so I went off of memory and what I like to put in.
First, I roasted red peppers under the broiler until blistered. To prep, simply wash, dry, and cut in half to remove seeds. Peppers are ready to come out when the look like this...
To peel, simply shake in paper bag and peel off loosened skin when cool, or just peel off skin when cool to the touch using your fingers. I used the latter method.
Marinated Greek Salad
3 whole roasted peppers (green and red combination)
1 red onion, sliced
20 Kalamata olives, sliced (or combination of Kalamata and green olives)
1 cucumber, chopped and seeded
4 oz light feta cheese, cubed
handful fresh flat leaf parsley
handful fresh mint
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/3 cup EVOO
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
Sugar or agave nectar
Kosher salt + pepper
2) Whisk together herbs, vinegar, lemon juice, and EVOO. Add salt and pepper to taste. Adjust vinaigrette if needed. Agave or sugar can be added to sweeten vinaigrette slightly.
3) Gently toss vinaigrette with salad ingredients. Refrigerate container for at least 4 hours before serving, and up to 4 days.
4) Toss in spinach salad with chickpeas (shown), mix with any number of salad greens, or wrap salad mixture in a tortilla with lettuce and protein of choice.
This salad is the best I've made. You could also add artichokes, tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, beans, or any number of other veggies to the marinade mixture. The best part about this salad is that when you go to make dinner your prep is finished- just put greens in a bowl and toss with marinade mixture. Enjoy!
OK now that I'm caught up, I am going to try to be a little better with entries for the week. As tri training kicks up, though, it gets harder and harder to focus on entries. So they will come as they can.
Lunches and dinners this week will likely be coming from leftovers from the party we had at my house this week and from the freezer once those are gone. I have a lot of breads, veggies, and fruits to use up in the freezer and it seems like a good week to work on those. Anything remotely creative will surely show up here.
Now its time to swim and possibly do a little Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred for strength training. Then sleep and work. Happy Sunday!