Monday, December 6, 2010

Let's get to the ROOT of this.

No pun intended.

Actually, the pun was much intended. It's winter root vegetable week!!!

Normally, I update my blog while eating the meal I am describing in the post. However, by the time I clicked on "New Post," I had already finished 90% of my dinner.

Group fitness classes are AWESOME. I realize I am a little biased when it comes to this topic, but today I realized why they are so great. First of all, the people who attend my class every week are incredibly motivated and push themselves more than I'd ever expect, and it makes teaching a lot more fun. Secondly, half of the people who attend my class every week stay in the room just like I do to attend the Zumba class afterwards. This makes me feel like I belong. And that I'm not a weirdo. Third, I've developed the best network of work out buddies! Hence, working out has become not only something I have to do, but also my form of socializing. The problem with this is days like today. I was really exhausted after about 20 minutes of Zumba. But I was having too much fun dancing around with my work out buddies. So I stayed.

And now I can't walk/can't keep my torso vertical/finished my dinner in two minutes.

My dinner consisted of a variety of items, three of which will be shown here!

I thought I'd start out the week with a rutabaga. Rutabaga is a Swedish turnip. And it is also a root that is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. (I don't really see the resemblance to a cabbage).

So I made mashed rutabaga. It tastes similar to mashed potatoes.

First I peeled and chopped one rutabaga, and put it in a pot of boiling water.

I covered the pot for 10 minutes or so, until the rutabaga was soft enough to mash. I drained the water and then proceeded to use both a fork and a spoon to mash the pieces.

I put the pot back on the stove and added chopped garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

First root vegetable = success!

Next, I cut a small red bell pepper into strips, and placed the pieces on a baking sheet with some olive oil and oregano. I put the pan in the oven at 350F for 15 minutes. (After 10 minutes, I flipped the pieces to make sure they cooked evenly).

Roasted red pepper is so sweet compared to raw bell pepper. I really like it!

Actually, what am I thinking? Anything roasted is tasty.

My original plan was to bake some tofu with the red pepper. Then I decided on a whim to try to press the tofu. I made a contraption out of lots of paper towels, an old cereal box, and an enormous textbook. I did not take a picture of this.

However, after checking the progress after 20-25 minutes...

It looked pretty good. It could have probably been pressed more, but I was running out of time.

I cut these into cubes and...

wait for it...

shallow fried it in some vegetable oil.

Okay, it really wasn't even that much oil. I would estimate one tablespoon.

I couldn't wait for the crispy coating to appear. I flipped the pieces every so often.

Why would I ever want to bake tofu after experiencing this?

These were so tempting. But I had to control myself. I couldn't eat these before working out.

Then I suddenly realized that in the midst of my excitement induced by the crispy coating, I forgot to season the tofu. Woops. So I just drizzled some soy sauce on the plate.

I should have made more.

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