Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Speedy Stir-Fry

Today was a struggle. Work kept me busy, but my students kept me laughing. I pushed through classes, meetings, cheer practice, and traffic, but by the end of the day I wanted nothing more than to veg out and relax. But no! I had lots to do!

I started some laundry, then came back to the apartment for some strength training. I focused on abs and biceps.

  • 25 crunches with legs in butterfly position
  • 25 regular crunches
  • 30 "hundreds" (from Pilates)
  • 2 x 30 straddle side bends - Sit on the floor in a straddle with your torso stretched up as straight as possible and your hands clasped above your head. Band slowly from side to side, stretching your hands as far toward your foot as you can. Great for your obliques and lower back.
  • 3 x 20 curls @ 10 lbs (each arm)
  • 3 x 10 dumbbell bent over rows @ 10 lbs. (each arm)
  • 3 x 15 lat pull downs @ 50 lbs.
After I moved the laundry to the dryers, I headed to our apartment complex's gym for some treadmill action. I was NOT feeling it today! The music wasn't getting me into it, my foot was aching, and I felt mentally out of it. But, my parents mentioned on Facebook that they hiked 8 miles in Half Moon Bay today. Dang! So I pushed myself to three miles at 6.6 mph with several stops. I was dying. I'm sure the guy on the treadmill next to me was relieved when I finally gave up all that panting and sweating (and I was, too!).

After a quick shower and laundry folding, Terry finally got home around 7:45. Good thing dinner took about 20 minutes total!

Speedy Stir-Fry

Look at those colors!!!

Somehow I resisted eating this bite long enough to take a picture.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 large bell pepper, any color, diced (we used a chocolate one, which I didn't know existed until we found one at our farmers' market last weekend - it tastes like a regular bell pepper but a little sweeter)
  • 3 medium zucchini or 1 medium eggplant, cubed (squash would work, too!)
  • a bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup diced (fresh) pineapple
  • 3 cups brown rice
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
If using stove top brown rice, get that going first. (We use Trader Joe's frozen brown rice, which is ready in 3 minutes in the microwave. I believe it's one of the world's modern wonders.)

Heat the olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions and cook until they are a little soft, about 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste (I love a lot of pepper!). Add the bell pepper and cook for abut two minutes, then add the zucchini/eggplant/squash. Cook the veggie mixture for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the teriyaki sauce. When the rice is ready, stir it in, along with the asparagus* and pineapple. Serve hot.

*If your asparagus is thick, you'll need to add it before you add the rice to give it several minutes to cook. We had superthin asparagus, so it only took about a minute to cook.

This meal is one of our favorite go-to weeknight meals. It's loaded with delicious vegetables and whole grains, it gives us leftovers for lunch or dinner the following day, and it tastes great! I especially love the pineapple - that juicy sweetness balances delightfully with the heartiness of the other vegetables. This meal keeps in the fridge for a few days and microwaves perfectly for lunch. Plus, you can play with the ingredients - add green beans, mushrooms, chicken, spinach, even use the stir-fry as a filling for a tortilla!

Tomorrow, tomorrow
I love ya, tomorrow! I'm super excited about tomorrow, because I'm attending a classroom management workshop with some of my colleagues. I always love educational workshops, but I'm especially excited about this topic. Generally, my students behave like angels, but if I ever end up teaching general ed English again, especially in a 36-student classroom, all tips for management are welcome!

Tomorrow also looks great because I always love a good change of pace. While it's a TON of work to write a sub plan, I look forward to a chance to get to know my coworkers better, get out of the classroom for a day, and learn something new. I'm sad to be missing my JV girls' game tomorrow afternoon, but I am so grateful to get home at 4:00! I'll be able to work out, run errands (I need to send in my passport name-change request for our trip to Europe), bake, and maybe even relax! Nah, let's not get ahead of ourselves...

Speaking of baking, here's tomorrow's breakfast:
Muffin batter - almost as good as the baked version.

Scrumptious pecan-walnut-cranberry whole-wheat muffins. Perfect for breakfast or a snack! I felt compelled to bake some breakfast items after this morning's scramble to make oatmeal because we have virtually no other foods (we're even out of toast!). I got the recipe from one of my favorite blogs, 100 Days of Real Food. You probably have all the ingredients in your house right now!

Happy Thursday (in 42 minutes)!


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