Saturday, September 17, 2011

feelin' kinda fall

Fall showed up out of the blue! Love it. The smell, the crisp air. Love it. Best running weather, despite the fact that the day shortens and thus so does the running day. Every time I think I could move somewhere without four seasons, we hit another season change and I remember how great the transition form one season to the next is.

The fall weather has put me in a great mood and as expected I was back out in my sneakers yesterday after three days of hot yoga. I did a lovely 5 miles yesterday which felt awesome, though I definitely had to dig deep to find motivation to keep going on the big hills since the triathlon is over. Guess I need a new goal?

This morning was GOTR and it was a really fun session. The girls were so self motivated. We have all levels, but they all pushed themselves and each other. I can already see we have some natural runners. Today was also my favorite lesson- all about unplugging from the negative and plugging into the positive. Don't we all need that some days?

After GOTR it was some hot yoga. It was an hour class which I love, but it was also a beginner class that went a bit TOO slow. Believe me, I am very much a beginner but I like when I feel pushed and come out super sweaty. Today wasn't sweaty enough for me so it didn't feel like as much of a work out.

After some jury duty this week (to be continued next week...), it's back to work tonight. I decided to make a some comfort food to accompany the fall weather. The choice? Pasta Bolognese. This was a really quick version with a veggie boost. I've made all-day type recipes and they are great for entertaining, but for everyday this is quick and easy. I used 93% lean ground beef, which is often leaner than most ground turkey but stays moister than turkey. Not a big fan of ground turkey, but if you are just make the swap. Note: if you are eating ground turkey to be healthier always read your packaging closely- ground beef isn't always the devil it's been made out to be... 

Quick Bolognese Sauce
(serves 4-6)

1 pound 93% lean ground beef 
1/2 red onion 
3 cloves garlic
1 zucchini
1 -2 carrots (peeled) 
1 can whole, peeled tomatoes in juices 
2- 3 TBSP tomato paste 
3/4 cups water 
2 TBSP basil (I used fresh frozen basil from TJ's)
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes

1. Heat pan. While pan is heating, pulse garlic and onion in food processor to fine mince. 
2. When pan is hot, turn to medium heat and add EVOO. Add onion and garlic mixture and cook about 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add salt, pepper, and  red pepper flakes to taste. 
3. While onions and garlic cook, pulse carrot and zucchini in food processor until minced. Add to Onion and garlic mixture in pan. Cook 2 minutes. 
4. With pan at medium heat, add ground beef. Break up and cook until browned and no longer pink. 
5. Add tomato paste, water, and canned tomatoes with juice. Break up tomatoes with hands. 
6. Add basil. Simmer partially covered until reduced and thickened.

For portion control I packed the sauce with 1/2 cup (dry measure) of Barilla Plus rotini. It looks so puny in my container which is sad, but I piled a bunch of sauce on top to make it a little less pathetic. 

Also packed: mozzarella string cheese, green pepper strips + hummus, Chobani yogurt, and a peach or pear. Easy, filling, and a lunch I can look forward to. 

As for dinner this week, I quick roasted some butternut squash, 1/2 a red onion, and yellow squash at 400 degrees for 30 minutes. I tossed it all in 1 T EVOO and sprinkled on salt, chili powder, cayenne (pinch), and cinnamon (pinch). The spices are warm with just enough kick. 

I used the veggies to top mixed greens then added a pan-fried (cooking spray and a hot pan) TJ JalapeƱo Chicken Sausage, goat cheese, and some TJ Light Champagne Vinaigrette. Too lazy to make my own dressing this time around!

Now it's off to work. Thinking I may top a graham cracker with PB and banana for dessert...

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