But first, a recipe!
A lot of you have asked me if I spontaneously come up with the recipes I post. The answer is that I am usually inspired by something I have seen, or I plan ahead and know what I'm making. But there are the few times that I have NO idea what I am putting together, and I have to hope that it turns out tasting okay.
That's what happened today. Good thing it turned out delicious!
Baked Ziti-Style Lasagna (Featuring Butternut Squash)
I preheated the oven to 350. I placed some chopped butternut squash in a pan with a drizzle of olive oil, stirred it around, and put it in the oven.
I chopped some veggies: garlic, a tomato, half of a red bell pepper, and olives.
I combined all of these in a pan with some olive oil, and sauteed them over medium heat on the stove. I added a very small amount of tomato sauce so that it wasn't too dry. I also added some salt and oregano.
After about 10 minutes in the oven, I took out the squash. Luckily, I had some extra whole wheat shells left over from my vegan macaroni and cheese, so there was no need to make more pasta! I threw the cooked shells into the pan with the butternut squash.
I poured the sauce over this, and then added a few spoonfuls of ricotta cheese. Because I like my food to be symmetrical (that's the engineer in me!), I spread the ricotta cheese around.
I put that in the oven for 15 minutes or so, until the cheese was a bit melted. Then I added some parsley for garnish.
I must say, I'm quite proud of this spontaneous dish.
So, since today was Veteran's Day, we had no classes. For some reason, not having school on a Thursday made me really unmotivated to go to the rec. But I still wanted to work out.
I found Alyssa's 7-lb weights. While my dinner was in the oven, I decided to do some arm work in the kitchen.
Then, I suddenly felt the need to do some cardio.
So, into the youtube search box went "zumba."
This turned into a Tulika-fied version of Zumba. I like to jump around. (This is my segue to the fitness video on this post).
In all seriousness, there are always those days you feel unmotivated to work out. And usually that comes from just not wanting to go to the gym. At home work outs don't always have to be considered less of a work out than, for example, going on the elliptical! And it doesn't have to be monotonous either. Really, all that matters is that you're moving around (if calorie burning is what you're looking for).
This is what I do when I don't feel like going to the rec. Just put on a super dance-able song and do some high-impact jumping/squatting/whatever. Otherwise, there are tons of youtube aerobics videos out there to follow!
My 30-minute jumping around session really worked up an appetite. Good thing my ziti/lasagna/spontaneous dish was ready for some eatin'!