Speed’s Back & Creamy Cauliflower Mac

March’s RW issue wasn’t overflowing with recipes or inspirations for me but I did get some good take-aways…

Latest tested RW recipe:

From RW March 2011 Issue

Creamy Cauliflower Mac From Mark Bittman

Taken directly from the RW website…Instead of using high-fat butter and cream, Bittman makes his healthier mac and cheese with pureed cauliflower, chicken stock, and a moderate amount of cheese.

2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 cauliflower, cored and cut into large pieces
8 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni
1/2 cup grated cheese (such as sharp cheddar, Gruyere, or Emmental, or a combination)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup whole-grain bread crumbs

How to:

Heat oven to 400° F. Boil a pot of salted water. 

In a saucepan, warm stock and bay leaves on medium-low heat for five minutes; turn off heat.

Cook cauliflower in boiling water for 25 minutes. Put cauliflower in a food processor.

Cook pasta in boiling water for five minutes. Drain and rinse to cool; put pasta in a greased, nine-inch square baking dish.

Process cauliflower with stock (discard bay leaves), cheese, oil, mustard, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, working in batches.

Pour sauce over pasta, toss, and spread evenly in dish. Top with Parmesan and bread crumbs. Bake 20 minutes. Serves four.

CARBS: 57 G 
FAT: 15 G

My MESS: SOOOO….I didn’t particularly like this recipe but I didn’t hate it either – I think that if I had all of the ingredients that this called for mine would have come out better. I used vegetable stock. I couldn’t find whole-wheat elbow mac so I had to use another type and style of whole-wheat pasta. I didn’t use fresh Parmesan and THAT was a mistake. I used spicy brown mustard instead of Dijon. I also couldn’t find whole-grain breadcrumbs either. Oh yeah – and I added a can of albacore tuna to this!!! So basically I made this recipe into my own recipe and it came out just so-so. The baby won’t eat it but I will b/c I know it’s healthy and well… I have a huge casserole full of it! But I will say (for sure) that this could have been delicious had I gotten all the ingredients correct. All that being said – I would recommend it if your needing a one dish meal.

Training Updates:

I’m back into SPEED baby! Man, speed work is so tough – mentally and physically. I really had to stay mentally focused to push through these rounds of speed intervals on Tuesday.

Here is my recap Jeanne sent to me!

Tuesday: warm-up 500m row, 30 situps, 200m row

Workout: -sprint 400m (1:19), 800m (1:26/1:46), 800m (1:34/1:52), 400m (1:32) – ok – what does this tell me…  you went out hard on your 1st 400 (just like I said) – you ran each set individually, as hard as you could.  Your times slowed, as we expected, because it was an all out effort each time – 800s were a new distance and I mixed up the 400/800 to tire you out.  Concentrated on turning corners (over exaggerated movement for today).

Your 1st 400m is consistent with your other 400m times – that is good!!!!  Your body remembered your 400m pace!  800ms were a new sprint distance, so it was tougher for you to gauge the pace – that will get better as we work at that distance.

It’s so funny how your own mind can sometimes be out of your control! I do like speed work – I sometimes dread it b/c I know its hard – but it is honestly some of the most rewarding work we do (mentally). If you really look at those times and add them up – plus the 2min rest in between – I sprinted for a little over 8 min and rested for 6 min = total workout time of roughly 15 minutes (rounding up). Crazy HUH! The rest of the time was spent warming up and cooling down – and of course you all know I can’t NOT talk – so the filler time is all of my gabbing and gibberish to Jeanne! Anyhow – my point is – it doesn’t take a long time to get in a good and effective workout or calorie burn.

Other nonsensical things:

I’ve decided I definitely need to find new places to run. I have a list of potentials but just haven’t tried them out. Running the same route gets old – I like that I can gauge myself by landmarks and such but I need a change of pace. PLUS now that my LSR days are getting beyond the 5 mile mark (HELL YES!) I will need to find longer routes anyhow. I hate to run out and backs and I also hate to run loops!

On the list: Kadena trail, Futenma Habu trail, and parks out in town.

Upcoming Races: Earth Day 5K! This is something I celebrate every year with a RUN! I love Earth Day – and getting to have a shirt that says so! Last years ED 5K on Kadena AFB was great – they handed out reusable grocery bags and cool hemp t-shirts. My neighbor Liz ran with me – she kept saying she didn’t like to run (we used to walk every morning together) but I talked her into running the 5K with me and she was elbow to elbow w/ me throughout the whole run, we talked through half of it and she did GREAT! But she still doesn’t run – she’s a natural though!

The Goodies we got for running!

Liz and I at the 2010 Earth Day 5K