Thursday, January 2, 2014

Interval Love and Coconut Cream Sauce Fail

Knowing how much I was likely to indulge before, during, and after Christmas I've upped my workout frequency over the past couple of weeks.  Not sure if made much of a difference, but who knows how bad things might have gotten if not, right?!  My favorite workout of the bunch (and one I've done four times now in the last two weeks) is a simple interval treadmill workout.
Total Time: 30 minutes
  1. Start by jogging at an easy pace for a 5 minute warm up - I use somewhere between 5.0 and 5.2
  2. Walk for 1minute (this is basically to make things come out to an even 30 minutes - around 3.0 to 3.5 pace
  3. Start intervals of 2 minutes sprinting, 2 minutes walking, 2 minutes sprinting .... through the 24 minute mark (you should finish with a sprint) - a sprint for me is 7.0 to 7.2 pace
  4. Walk one more minute to catch your breath
  5. Finish with a 5 minute cool-down jog. 
This one always gets me nice and sweaty, and I often feel it in my legs the next day - or maybe that's the leg presses I tend to toss in for good measure?
On Christmas Eve Eve (Dec. 23) I decided to whip up something that would feel really fresh and flavorful - pasta primavera!  I'd never actually made this dish before, but I've enjoyed it at restaurants so much I decided it couldn't be that hard to recreate at home.  The best part was that it helped me use up a bunch of veggies that would otherwise have gone bad when we headed off to Josh's parents' house for a few days.  In my veggie mix: grape tomatoes, broccoli, peas, orange pepper, and Swiss chard. 
While my usual pasta go-to sauce is cashew cream, I decided to try using plain coconut coffee creamer as a base instead.  I thought it would be an easy substitute for days when I didn't plan ahead enough to soak cashews.  No such luck.  I managed to make the coconut cream work, but the sauce was way too thin and when I tried adding cornstarch to thicken it up it just ended up lumpy.  Luckily I had all those tasty vegetables in there to cover for the less-than-stellar sauce. 
I tried the coconut cream sauce again New Year's Eve without any more success.  I tried the coconut cream sauce with baby bella mushrooms and white wine.  It came out pretty bland and uninteresting.  Oh well, I guess it's back to the cashew cream next time ...

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