Monday, April 2, 2012

Pork and Productivity

Holy productive Monday, Batman! From the moment my alarm beeped at me this morning, I was off and running until now, 9 pm.

Coming back to work after spring break is always tough, for teachers and students. But my class made it through just fine, and I got a lot of grading in during my prep period and lunch. After lots of traffic (at 3:00. WHY?!), I made it home by 4:15 for a killer workout (see below). Then Terry and I got through three loads of laundry, a delicious dinner, and some unpacking/tidying up.

The workout really helped out after a tough day back to work. As I mentioned Sunday, I'm always glad to get back to a normal routine after a great vacation, and today's sweaty cardio + weights workout got me right back into the groove. Fellow blogger Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers is also participating in Tina's Best Body Bootcamp, so I borrowed her 30 Minute Incline Treadmill Workout. Yowza! This one really got me going, especially the two (separate, thankfully) minutes running at incline 15. The workout was mostly walking but a little running, so it's perfect if you're just starting running, don't run very often, hate running, or don't feel like running one day. Give it a try - and bring a towel!

The strength training was Day 1 of Week 5 of boot camp, and it was really fun. I used to lift pretty heavy (well, heavy for me) for about a year in college, until I injured my neck during my junior year. After that, I was scared to hurt myself further and ultimately stopped almost all weight training. (At one point, I saw a sports medicine doctor, who was shocked at how much my upper back muscles had atrophied because I refused to do any lifting that might affect my neck.) So today, when Tina's workout called for some heavy lifting and low reps, I was excited to see what I could do. I didn't go too crazy, but I was proud to complete dumbbell bench press with 25 pounds in each hand. I'm excited to bring back some of my old lifting, and Terry is, too. We have big plans for cleans, squats, and bench press in our future...slowly, of course.

After our super sweaty workout, we had a delicious dinner waiting for us. Yep, that's right, it was a crock pot night! I made this recipe awhile ago and never shared it with you. My friend Sarah gave me the okay to post it, so here you go!

Thai Pork with Peanut Sauce
Serves 6

Pre-chopping (it says to cook in 4 pieces, but forgetting to do so will still yield delicious results!)

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 (2 lb.) boneless pork loin, trimmed of fat and cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 large red bell peppers, cored, seeded, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 c. prepared teriyaki sauce (I used soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 c. peanut butter
Coat inside of slow cooker with nonstick spray. Place pork, bell peppers, teriyaki sauce, rice vinegar, red pepper flakes, and garlic in cooker. Cover and cook on low setting until pork is fork tender, 8 to 9 hours.

Remove pork from cooker and coarsely chop. Add peanut butter to liquid in cooker; stir well to dissolve peanut butter and blend with liquid to make the sauce. Return pork to sauce and toss to coat the meat.

To serve, you can try a few options:
  • Serve with brown or sticky white rice, along with limes and peanuts
  • Serve as a sandwich
  • Serve in tortillas with garnishes of your choice (Terry really wanted to try Sriracha) 
Crock pot meals for the win

We ate it with brown rice and roasted zucchini and squash tonight, and tomorrow we'll have the leftovers as a sandwich. Gotta love a meal that provides plenty of leftovers!

We finished off the night with a new delicious and healthy dessert. You know I like Lara bars, but these homemade chocolate delights are actually even better! Check out Katie's recipe for Fudge Babies on her adorable blog. So easy, so quick, and super scrumptious! We ate two each with a glass of milk, and they tasted just like brownies! I made one batch with walnuts and one with hazelnuts. Fan-freakin-tastic.

Scout is making sleep look awfully good right now, so we're off! Hope Tuesday treats you well! Get excited for more on our Caribbean vacation tomorrow!

Sleeping on our policeman teddy bear.


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