Today was my final long run of my half marathon training, the race is next week! I figured a little carb heavy dinner was in order last night to prepare and indulged in something I never make at home – spaghetti.
I also wanted it to be high protein and decided to experiment with a fresh marinara tempeh sauce which was interesting! I threw together a basic marinara sauce in the food processor with plenty of fresh garlic and basil.
Then pulsed in a chopped 8 oz. package of tempeh into the sauce.
The end result was interesting looking with the texture of parmesan cheese.
I sauteed it with frozen artichoke hearts before blending it in with the 4 oz. of spaghetti I cooked.
The end result looked like pasta coated in parmesan cheese and was very hearty and satisfying with a tangy garlic kick. And a wonderful treat since I rarely cook pasta at home, but needing energy for a long run is a great excuse for it. :-)
Of course Miko was a fan of the pasta, he’ll eat just about anything I’m eating.
My run this morning did not go so well however because it was hot! Last weekend I was comfortable in a long sleeve shirt and running tights, but today I was burning up in thin running shorts and a short sleeved top draining my water bottle fast! It was only 80 degrees, but felt way hotter without a breeze. It was also a gorgeous day with gorgeous sights along my favorite route like grazing sheep.
And plenty of vibrant greenery after all the rain.
After the run, I met up with my mom to head into Sacramento to view a free lecture by Chris Chisholm, a culinary specialist for Whole Foods, detailing how he fed himself and his girlfriend for a month for $200 only buying food from Whole Foods, of course.
We were particularly interested in this because I’m on a rampage to save money lately looking at my car situation and I’m always dreaming about early retirement while my mom is retired and sticking to a budget. The event was held at a library and packed! They were only expecting 35 people and got well over 100 attendees, lots of people interested in eating on a budget I guess.
After realizing he was spending over $600 a month to feed just himself eating out a lot and buying pricey pre-made foods, Chris embarked on this experiment for a month, and blogged about it, to challenge himself to save money and improve his health. Some of the rules he followed for this experiment were all food and beverages were included, spices weren’t included in the costs, business travel & free meals weren’t included, and veggies he pulled from his garden weren’t included.
Items purchased during the month included lots of bulk grains, produce, some dairy and meat, bulk beans, flours, and basic ingredients to prepare recipes. He stressed that cooking and preparing meals at home were a must for this experiment. Dishes he prepared during the month included:
- Beans and rice breakfast skillets
- Stir fries with cabbage and cauliflower
- Homemade biscuits
Many dishes where leftovers could be utilized and remixed and dishes they could cook ahead of time and/or in bulk to used throughout the week – like the flatbreads, biscuits, tortillas, beans and rice. etc.
Some of results he experienced from this experiment included:
- Did not starve and had veggies in every meal.
- Lost 14 lbs.
- Had more energy.
- No “What do you want?” dinner arguments with his girlfriend since everything was already planned out.
It was a very interesting lecture and the main takeaway I got is the importance to use simple, whole ingredients and plan to spend time preparing your meals at home. As long as your shopping list is full of whole and simple ingredients, you can shop just about anywhere on a tight budget compared to buying lost of pre-made and processed foods. Of course the healthier alternatives to those are quite pricey at Whole Foods. :-)
What was a little discouraging was that he fell back into old habits shortly after the experiment and did not keep the weight off. Okay, that can be expected when making such a drastic change, it took me nearly 6 months to embrace and transition into a vegan diet.