Corey and I skipped our Wednesday morning BodyPump, with plans to try out the class at the gym closer to our new home on Thursday. That’s exactly what we did!
We invited Corey’s younger brother, Drew, to come along with us for his first BodyPump experience. I have to say, I was highly disappointed. The class sucked. The instructor was not in shape at all (which always bothers me for some reason), she made the strangest faces, and barely gave any instructions, which made it hard for us, as regulars, to follow along, so I can only imagine how Drew felt.
To make matters worse, the gym closest to our house is geared more towards an older crowd, so the instructor did not teach release 77- she pretty much made up her own, easier routine, which was utterly terrible. What a fail!
After class, I really wanted to get in some cardio, since I felt that I barely got a respectable workout in. The boys weren’t feelin’ it, but I was able to get in 10 minutes of running on the treadmill before they forced me out the door.
It was only 6:45AM when we left the gym, so Corey offered to treat Drew and I to breakfast at Einstein’s. I ordered the same thing I had on Tuesday– the Mushroom, Asparagus and Swiss Thin- but without the tomato spread.
I also had an iced coffee with skim milk and Splenda.
My sweet tooth was in overdrive yesterday. By the time lunch rolled around, I was in no mood for veggies or a sandwich- I wanted something sweet! I got creative, and decided to attempt making one of me and Corey’s favorite breakfasts at Powerhouse Cafe. They have a phenomenal breakfast pita, with peanut butter, banana, strawberries, granola and honey, all instead a homemade whole wheat pita.
My finished pita included: one half spread with Lemon Chobani Greek Yogurt, the other half spread with peanut butter, topped with banana slices, a sprinkle of granola, and a drizzle of honey.
It was almost as delicious as the pita from Powerhouse Cafe, but I definitely missed the tanginess of that the strawberries give to it. Next time!
When Corey got home from work, I sent him out to the grill with some chicken breasts that had been marinating in Kraft Vidalia Onion Dressing overnight, along with some fresh asparagus. While those were cooking, I got started on a veggie-ful risotto!
Risotto is one of my favorite side dishes, or meals, period. A lot of people have the misconception that it is a really heavy, fattening dish, and that is understandable- its creamy texture would lead you to believe that it has tons of calories! However, the creaminess actually comes from continuous stirring, and the slow addition of chicken broth or stock- the stirring helps release the starch in the rice, resulting in a creamy, rich dish, without all the fat.
Spinach Mushroom Risotto
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 1/2 cups no salt chicken stock (or broth)
8 oz. sliced mushrooms, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Smart Balance spread
1/2 teaspoon salt
Heat a skillet over medium heat, sprayed with non-stick spray or EVOO. Add the onion and cook until translucent.
Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Remove from skillet and set aside.
Add the chicken stock or broth to a pot, place over medium heat, and keep warm (not boiling) while following the next steps.
Spray the skillet with nonstick spray, place over medium heat and add the rice to the skillet. Move the rice around with your spatula and toast for one minute, being careful not to burn.
Add the white wine, stirring the rice until the wine is completely absorbed.
Add a ladle or measuring cup of warm chicken stock or broth (I did a 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup at a time) to the rice, stirring continuously until it is absorbed.
Repeat this step until you have added 4 1/2 cups to the rice. This process should take approximately 20 minutes. Remember to stir continuously. You will know you are finished when the rice plumps, and when you taste it, it is not mushy, yet not crunchy.
At this point, lower the heat, add the fresh spinach and stir until wilted.
Add the cooked onion and mushrooms that were set aside.
Add the salt, Smart Balance and parmesan cheese, and stir.
This dinner was just fabulous. We both agreed that grilled chicken is far superior to baked chicken. We’re so happy to have a grill back in our lives!