Monday, December 27, 2010

I suck...

at blogging. No really, I do. I forget that I even have a blog floating around in the vast space of the interweb. I hope everyone is having a great winter so far and had a happy holiday, whichever one it is that you celebrated.

Santa brought me some great cookbooks that will inspire me to cook up something great and create my own yummies. Christmas morning was celebrated with a delicious Irish fruit cake, which is sooooooooo much better than American fruitcake. Soon I'll share the recipe, but it is still be perfected. It's much cake-ier than the American one and then it is covered with a type of almond paste and topped with some fondant. Sugar coma indeed, but worth it.

So now that Christmas is over, it's time to "clean" the system of some of the bad things it was filled with (ie, sugar, fat, alcohol, simple carbs). Yesterday I ate vegan, focusing mostly on cleansing produce and whole grains. I made an amazing lentil mushroom pot pie (recipe to follow) for dinner that was fantastic and filling and I served it with tons of garlic roasted broccoli. Broccoli helps detox the liver for those that don't know and I try to eat it after I may have had one too many drinks.

And the past two mornings, I have been running some major sprint intervals. I'm not racking up the mileage like I would wish, but intervals really fire up the ol' metabolism and help burn those Christmas calories quickly. Simply, I warm up for about five minutes and then I run as fast as I can for as long as I can, then slow down to a fast walk until I catch my breath and repeat for as long as I have my energy. Each time, I try to go a little faster or a little longer. Sometimes I increase the pace every few seconds until I'm really burnt out. Of course, I cool down for a few minutes too! Seriously guys, this is the way to go to burn the calories. I know I've read a ton of studies about the lasting burn of intervals. As in, you may not burn as many calories during your workout, but you continue burning calories all day long afterwards. Plus I'm trying to do more yoga to relax my mind and build up some muscle stamina. I'm going to fight the winter spread before it even has a chance to think about happening.

Lentil Mushroom Pot Pies

  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ounce dried mushrooms (the recipe called for porcinis, but I had dried oysters)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 20 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced (any would work, I had baby bellas, because they were on sale)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 carrot, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Biscuit topping, use your favourite (I used my Trader Joe's Multigrain Baking Mix substituting unsweetend almond milk, for the dairy, and seasoned lightly with salt and pepper. The original recipe called for cheese in it, but since I made this vegan... no cheese. If I didn't do this vegan, I would probably mix in some Italian cheese: parm, asiago, etc)

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Combine 3 cups cold water, lentils, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in medium saucepan; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain; set lentils aside.
  2. Pour 3 cups boiling water over porcini in medium bowl; soak 25 minutes. Remove porcini from soaking liquid, squeeze dry, and chop coarsely. (Reserve soaking liquid.)
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh mushrooms. Sauté 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon oil, onion, carrot, sage, and thyme. Sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium-low. Mix flour into vegetables; cook 1 minute. Add porcini soaking liquid. Mix in porcini, soy sauce, and tomato paste. Cover; simmer for 5 minutes until liquids thicken and reduce a bit. Add lentils; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Divide filling among four 2-cup ovenproof bowls.I actually filled five of my ramekins, but you could probably split this into six too. 
  5. Turn biscuit dough out onto lightly floured surface. Divide into equal pieces for as many bowls as you filled; shape each into 2/3-inch-thick disk. Set rounds atop filling.
  6. Bake pot pies on baking sheet until tester inserted into biscuit topping comes out clean, about 30 minutes.
  7. Eat and feel good. Yum!

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