Guess what I did again on Wednesday night? I got my dance on at my old dance studio! For anyone who may have missed it, you can catch a little blurb about my dance journey if you click right here. Since I was sick last week I didn’t make it to class, but was able to go this week and it felt GREAT. I am really feeling the aftermath of it. My body is screaming. I love it.
Lately I have been making myself a breakfast smoothie to enjoy on the ride to work. Yesterday I threw together what was sure to be a delicious smoothie. In the mix: cherries, blueberries, banana, coconut almond milk, and hemp protein powder.I gave it the standard whirl in the blender, poured it into my to-go cup, and made my way to work.
I was so looking forward to this smoothie but to my dismay there was some crunchy bits that kept coming through my straw. I thought it was just a fluke and maybe it was a bit of cherry skin that hadn’t quite pureed completely, so I kept sipping. More and more hard little bits. I came to the conclusion that it had to have been a cherry pit that was accidentally missed. So much for my breakfast smoothie.
I made a pit stop at the gas station for an impromptu banana and string cheese. Carbs and protein. I did my best given my time constraint and options available.
Enough of the smoothie rant. Lunch was great. I made myself a bowl of shredded chicken (crock pot style), peas, and avocado. I seasoned it all with salt and pepper and called it a protein packed bowl of goodness. Alongside the chicken I had an apple and carrot sticks
and some chocolate chips and peanut butter for dessert.
After work my body was seriously sore. Dance really kicked my rear. I wanted to get some type of physical activity so I opted for yoga. The particular OnDemand yoga session was about 25 minutes long and focused on ab strengthening. It was a doozy and I mean that in a good kind of way. It was a “beginner” level but I would not have categorized it as such. Intermediate would be more appropriate. I’m not that out of shape.
We still had a few varieties of squash lying around from our last trip to the farmer’s market. Actually, that’s not true. The squash on the left is now gone. I ate half of it a couple of weeks ago. It was okay but nothing to write home about. 😉 So that means I still had a spaghetti squash and a buttercup squash to work with.
I made a quick scan of the cupboards and then got creative in the crock pot. I threw together brown lentils, chickpeas, cooked and cubed buttercup squash, chicken broth, and other spices (recipe below). I let this simmer on low for 6 hours, covered; stirring occasionally.
After it was done mingling, I ladled it into my pretty blue ceramic bowl from our wedding, and topped the stew with fresh chopped cilantro and chopped unsalted peanuts.
The stew turned out so great! The flavors all worked together so nicely and the dish was hearty, warm, and comforting. I’m pretty sure this was my first time ever cooking with lentils and it was my first time working with buttercup squash. Double score! I have lots of lentils leftover and will definitely be using more of them in my future. I am thinking lentil sloppy joes.
Here is the recipe for ya and my inspiration came from Eating Well.
|Curry Squash & Lentil Stew|| |
- 2 cups buttercup squash, cooked, and cubed
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- ¾ cup chickpeas
- ¾ cup brown lentils
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup no added sugar spaghetti sauce*
- 2 cups chicken broth**
- 1 tsp. dried ginger
- ¾ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. curry powder
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- *Tomato paste can be substituted; you would need about 1 Tbsp.
- **Vegetable broth can be used if cooking vegetarian.
- Place all ingredients except peanuts and cilantro into slow cooker.
- Cover and set on low for 6 hours; stirring occasionally.
- Ladle stew into bowls and top with peanuts and cilantro.
I mentioned in my last post that I would be traveling out of the country in less than two weeks. It’s reveal time. The destination….
Dana and I are going to visit my brother Jeff who lives and works out there. I am so insanely excited and can’t believe it’s so soon! I can’t wait to spend time with him, meet his friends, see where he lives, and learn more about Colombia (and hopefully drink some really great coffee and eat delicious chocolate). That is my fun news! I will be snapping lots of photos to share with you all when I get back.
Anyone else thrilled that it’s Friday? I can’t hide my enthusiasm. Apparently it’s strong coffee Friday too. Usually it’s me that accidentally makes the coffee a little too strong, but this week the finger points elsewhere. Maybe that’s why I’m extra enthusiastic this morning.
We have plans to celebrate mom’s birthday this weekend. It’s a special year for her. We will be hosting dinner over at our house on Saturday night. I have a great menu planned and am excited to have some of the family over. More on that later gators.
Have a super Friday friends! xoxo. I hope this enthusiasm rides out all day.