Tuesday was a no running day for me because my back was still upset with my Monday Zumba performance. These hips just weren't made for shaking like that I guess. Or I shook a little too much the wrong way. Who knows? I do know the end result was not good.
I got the itch for a bike ride so the kids and I loaded up the bikes and headed to Brazos Bend State Park southwest of Houston.
We started off on gravel trails that were nice. Saw a couple of alligators, some ducks, and ibis. Made it back to the main road that was lined with beautiful oak trees.
We all had nice mud splatters up our backs afterwards and our shoes were soaked but it was worth it.
We rode some back trails that turned super muddy. It really gives the legs a workout! I could feel the burn.
|My bike tire caked in mud|
Rachel was not a happy camper on the muddy trails. It was a lot of work but still a lot of fun.
We saw a sign for a trail that said it was a shortcut to the main road so we took it and ended up going in a big circle. Doh!
I brought along some Cliff Shot Blocks and some Chocolate Outrage GU. The kids split the Shot Blocks and I had half a tube of GU. Oh my! This is like chocolate frosting in a tube! LOVE.IT. I gave Rachel the other half to try and she squeezed every last bit of it out of the tube. A new favorite for sure.
In all we biked a little over 13 miles and had a blast.
Dinner was one of the best I've made in a while:Baked Penne and Sausage Supper from America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook. Everything in this book turns out great but this has to be a new favorite. Chuck said the only thing bad about it was that there was not more of it.
The flavor reminded me of a very good sausage pizza. I will be making this again in the near future.
Baked Penne and Sausage Supper
Makes 4 servings
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced thin (I chopped mine into tiny pieces so I wouldn't see them once it was cooked)
1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into matchsticks
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
8 oz. hot or sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
salt & pepper
8 oz. whole wheat penne pasta
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz)
1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat to 425 degrees. Lightly coat an 8" square pan with cooking spray. Pulse the tomatoes with their juice in a food processor or blender until mostly smooth, about 5 pulses.
2. Heat the oil in a 12" nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Stir in the sausage and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon until no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Stir in the processed tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and cook, until slightly thickened, 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and 1 Tbs salt and cook, stirring often, until almost al dente but still firm to the bite. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return to the pot.
5. Add the meat sauce and reserved cooking water to the pasta and toss to combine. Spread half of the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining pasta and 1/2 cup mozzarella.
6. Bake until the pasta is bubbling and the cheese is lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.
4 servings. Per serving: 380 calories; 13g fat; 45g carbs; 8g fiber; 22g protein
After dinner we watched Biggest Loser. I decided to do my upper body strength training while watching the show. I'm doing the routine from Oxygen magazine's January 2011 issue but it's starting to become a little easy. I can make it more difficult by using different bands and adjusting the tension but the exercises don't leave me sore anymore. It may be time to go ahead and start the February issue's exercises. It's a 3 month plan.
Regular pushups are becoming slightly easier but the tricep pushups nearly kill me each time. Still working on it though. :)
Good news is that Chuck said he can really tell I'm losing the inches. Yay! I'm avoiding the scale this week. It's hidden under my bed. Not going to stress about the numbers if I'm losing inches and feeling good.
Have yourself a great day and put that penne sausage dish on your menu. It really is very good.