Monday, January 23, 2012


I've found that recently, I've gotten better at substituting things I might not want as much for something I really want. Example: This morning I was supposed to begin 5K training with my long-distance accountability buddy, Lauren. She's super cool and graciously flexible, so she agreed so wait until later in the week to begin. I really wanted a solid 15:00 run (as my training program called for) after a weekend off to allow a sore shoulder to mend. I was beyond excited when I stretched a sock and an athletic shoe over my ruined toe. I knew a run was still out of the question, but at least I was walking without wincing, right? Still limping, yes. You don't even think about how much you use an everyday body part until it's out of commission. See?
In the essence of not completely blowing off the day, I substituted an impromptu weights session. I wasn't able to stretch first and last like I normally like to, nor was I able to do planks this morning. I was determined to at least step foot on the treadmill, if only to improve my limp. I substituted a 10:00 walk at the embarrassing pace of level 2.0 for a 15:00 run/jog at a 5.0 pace. For once, I was happy to call myself the tortoise instead of the hare.

This weekend, Ian and I are going to improve upon our budding domestic skills; we plan to grocery shop, cook a meal, and clean up together. We're also substituting cooking in for the convenience and expense of going out to eat. I found a recipe that both looks and sounds delicious for "Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Cream" in my Good Housekeeping vegetarian cookbook. The recipe calls for heavy whipping cream, but I plan to substitute fat-free half-and-half (courtesy of Ruth's culinary expertise). It also calls for olive oil, though I'm potentially looking into substituting canola oil. No need to consume unnecessarily, right? Here's what you'll need in case you're interested:

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 18 minutes
Makes 4 main-dish servings

2 packages (9 oz. each) refrigerated fettuccine pasta
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 small shallot, finely chopped (2 tbsp.)
8 oz. shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
8 oz. white mushrooms, trimmed, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup Marsala wine
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 cup loosely packed fresh basil or parsely leaves, chopped
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, sliced

- In large saucepot, cook pasta as label directs.
- Meanwhile, in nonstick 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot.
- Add shallot and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 minute.
- Add mushrooms and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, 10-12 minutes.
- Stir in wine. Heat to boiling over medium-high heat and cook 1 minute.
- Add the broth and cream; heat to boiling and cook, stirring, 3 minutes.
- Drain fettuccine and return to saucepot. Add mushroom mixture, basil, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook over medium heat, tossing until evenly coated, 1 minute.

Picture to come as soon as Ian and I try to survive making whip up this yummy dish! Cheers to substituting!
P.S. Are you good at making substitutions, inside or outside of the kitchen? I'm learning how to become more flexible :) Are you flexible with your exercise schedule? Is working out a chore or a pleasure for you?

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