I haven’t felt much like writing lately, or cooking, or running, or, well anything else for that matter. Post marathon blues I am sure were settling in, but I decided to slap the blues in the face today and start my week out right. It’s my day off today, as I had weekend duty Saturday and Sunday and I wanted to spend time with my girls. We don’t get ‘time’ to really have quality time together very often, so we spent the afternoon in the sun enjoying the break Mother Nature decided to give us after a VERY wet summer here in Chicagoland.
Since turning 40 a couple years ago, I’ve struggled a bit with the changes my body is going through with the whole pre-menopause thing…but last week my sister reminded me gently that I need to embrace ME, and remember all the hard things this body has done. I’ve given birth twice, ran 3 full marathons, and have ran countless miles!!!! Somehow, she’s a lot like my Mom…nearly ALWAYS right. 😉
So today, as we sat outside on our deck, I looked over at my daughters and smiled. I excused myself, went upstairs to my bedroom and changed out of my unflattering one piece suit and donned a bikini I bought a couple years back. I came back outside and both my daughter’s faces lit up. “You look amazing, Mommy!!!” I just smiled. Sure, I have an extra few lbs. I’d like to lose, and my saggy tummy/pooch is more prevalent since turning 40…but so what. I decided leading by example was much more important than a few physical flaws, and that teaching my daughters to love themselves trumped my silly insecurities.
My youngest wanted to have a photo shoot, so here’s what she came up with:
After our fun afternoon, I decided to start the week out right with some weights. I did 3 sets of bicep curls, triceps extensions, side bends with weights, 50 pushups, and 100 v-ups. I’ll finish my sit-ups tonight!
Next, it’s time for dinner! On my days off, I like to make a bit fancier meals for my family not only for their pleasure, but to constantly practice and perfect my skills as a Chef wanna-be.
Pan seared scallops with roasted red pepper puree, turnip “chips” and baby bok choy salad that’s dressed with a lime/soy vinaigrette.
1 lb of fresh scallops that have been patted dry with a paper towel, and seasoned with salt and pepper.
In a non-stick pan heat 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and a pat of unsalted butter to medium high heat. Sear the scallops on both sides, turning after 3-4 minutes. Be careful to NOT burn, yet NOT overcook. Drain the scallops on a paper towel.
2 turnips, sliced thinly at an angle
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 shallot, sliced
Kosher salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes
The leaves from 2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 325 degrees, and mix all ingredients in a bowel. Transfer veggies to a baking sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Roast for about 40 minutes until the turnips are ‘crisp’ like a chip.
Red pepper puree
Char 2 red peppers on all sides on your burner (this can be done in the oven, too…this process just speeds things up a bit).
Transfer the peppers to a baking sheet, add 6 cloves of garlic, and season with kosher salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Roast in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Let peppers cool, and peel off the charred skins. Place the peppers and garlic into a food processor and add salt and pepper to taste. Also, add a teaspoon of smoked paprika. Puree on high until blended, and the strain out the mixture into a bowel. Set this aside for plating time.
Lime and soy vinaigrette
Juice of 2 limes
1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of low sodium soy sauce or Tamarin (gluten free soy sauce)
Pinch of kosher salt and pepper
Drizzle in about 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, and mix well with a whisk. Taste for seasoning, and serve over baby bok choy and shallots that have been thinly sliced and seasoned with salt and pepper.
Are you self-conscience about wearing a bathing suit? What’s your favorite ‘fancier’ meal?
Have a great week, y’all!!!!