Thursday, March 11, 2010

Protein Par-tay.

I haven't felt well since the weekend... just a head thing... allergies? I don't know, but it made me feel crap and completely worn out, and I've not been to the gym since Saturday. I also haven't had much of an appetite all week and have just been sort of picking at food. I felt a little more human this morning and decided I was going to get some exercise and eat lots of protein and veggies today to ensure I completely kick this thing. Pump/Body Combat class was my exercise choice and that was fantastic. I didn't push it as hard as I normally do since I'm still recovering, but it was still a great workout.

I try to make sure that on the days I lift that I eat a bit more protein. Robert, my Greensboro trainer, who I miss SO much, suggests I eat a protein meal or snack within 2 hours of my workout.

My choices when it comes to pure protein are somewhat limited. I don't eat beef, pork, or poultry. This leaves shrimp, tuna, salmon (about the only fish I eat), eggs, and tofu (of which I am careful not to eat too often.) I don't eat a pure protein everyday and even on days I do, I try to be mindful of the amount I take in. The way I get most of my protein is by eating foods that also give me important stuff such as complex carbohydrates and fiber. Examples are beans, whole grains, seitan, tempeh, and Quorn.

After class today, I headed to Whole Foods to pick up a couple staples we needed and when I got there, I decided I wanted tuna salad. I did not want any of my normal go to tuna salad recipes, though. I just started buying some vegetables and figured I'd decide when I got home.

I got home and put a few eggs on to hard boil. I had set aside broccoli, tomatoes, kale, red onion. I finely chopped each and placed them in a bowl along with a drained can of chunk light tuna. I buy Bumble Bee because both EarthFare and Whole Foods sell that brand (making me slightly more confident that the tuna is dolphin safe/Earth friendly) and it's not super expensive. I buy chunk light because it has much less mercury than albacore. When the eggs were finished, I chopped one up and added that also. Next was a handful of chopped toasted walnuts, salt and pepper. If you haven't noticed, I've been all about sherry vinegar lately, so I made a sherry vinaigrette with evoo, capers, grainy mustard, garlic powder, salt and pepper and coated the tuna and vegetables thoroughly. A quick taste proved my throw together was on point. And it looked super pretty too! I put some in a bowl along with a few multi grain tortilla chips and lunch was served. Scott was thrilled also so I guess I have another go to tuna salad recipe!

For dinner, I did decide on tofu. I was sort of hungry for it because it's been weeks since I've had any. I had to open for dinner at work tonight, so I didn't have a ton of time for cooking anyway. I decided to cut corners in the tofu department and just bought some Whole Foods already had prepared. I couldn't decide between a bbq tofu and a honey chipotle tofu. I decided to get one piece of each since I felt pretty confident the sauces which coated the triangles would meld very nicely together when heated.

I cut zucchini and summer squash into a large dice. The broccoli I cut into medium florets and the cherry tomatoes got halved. I cut a red onion into 6ths and peeled about 8 cloves of garlic. I mixed it up with a good coating of evoo on a cooking sheet and threw it in the oven on 425. After about 30 minutes, when things were going well- golden brown spots, close to done, I pulled out the veggies. I gave them a good splash of balsamic vinegar, a hearty sprinkle of whole wheat bread crumbs, a handful of Parmesan, Penzey's Tuscan Italian blend, Alleppo pepper flakes, salt, and pepper... back in the oven for about 5-10 minutes and I'd have vegetable perfection.

I cut the tofu into bite size pieces and just warmed it up in a non-stick skillet. It was a good dinner, the veggies winning the prize here. Whole Foods does a good job, don't get me wrong... but, the tofu tonight made me wished I'd spent the extra time to prepare it myself. I'm glad I didn't buy extra.

Protein is important, but I do think we tend to over do it in our culture. I'm not an expert, and I don't claim to be!!! But, I do like to read on the topic. Studies are showing it may be animal protein more than saturated animal fats that lead to heart disease. Animal protein also causes our bodies to be in an acidic state- which leads to more disease and inflammation. I find I feel and look my best when eating animal (the seafood/eggs mentioned) protein in small amounts and focusing on vegetables, grains, and beans as my main source of sustenance.

I'm not sure what I will eat tomorrow, but my thoughts are turning toward a meal with much less protein than my meals from today... There are a lot of roasted veggies left and I can see their use clearly... It's going to be a Saucy day!!! I'll make a bechamel and a tomato sauce- along some with penne or fussili... yum. Bechamel down in the bowl first, then pasta, followed by the tomato sauce and a pile of the roasted vegetables... It's near midnight now, dinner was hours ago...if I wouldn't wake Scott, I think I might have to start on my saucy day immediately.

The result of said day appears below. I made a bechamel cream sauce and a very rustic tomato sauce and followed my initial idea to the T. It was absolutely delicious. We ate around 2pm yesterday while watching Duke make their way to the ACC finals. Not only did it prove to be great game day food, it also allowed me to get through my entire shift at Hondos without even thinking of being hungry!


  1. Hey, I hope you’re feeling all better.

    I also buy Bumblebee Tuna. Quorn was new on me, KB. They don’t sell that at HT.

    I did buy a package of tofu sausages last
    time I went to the store. They’re still in the fridge. I have been meaning to try them.

    Your vegetable medley sounds great. I will remember your bread crumb and parm and vinegar topping.

    I imagine your saucy day went great. It sounds great, at least. My bread and pasta fast lasted two weeks, so I am gonna get down with some pasta and veggers in the quick future.

  2. I am feeling all better JB, thanks for asking!

    Did you buy ToFurkey?

    HT might have Quorn? I do think I bought it there before. Check near the garden burgers and stuff. It's mushroom protein. I quite like the breaded patties. YUM with a bit of dukes.

    Saucy day was fantastic!!! See new attached pic!

  3. Yes, ToFurkey. I almost ate one today.

    I will have to look for the Quorn. I don't think I've ever shopped in the garden burgers section.

    I think your pasta dish looks great.