So, this morning, my friend and I decided to attend a "Cardio Dance" class in lieu of our usual swim ... and, no, I wasn't dressed like an extra from the "Let's Get Physical" video. I left the leg warmers and headband back in the 80's where they belong. And, fortunately, no one else was dressed like that either - otherwise I'd have been laughing too hard to keep up. I could barely keep up as it was. It all looked so simple when we were watching a few minutes of the class last week - but doing it is another story. There was much pain and suffering, and that was just during the warm up! I hurt in places I didn't even know I had. It remains to be seen whether or not this was a good idea, given the state of my knees. If I don't end up crippled, we might try it again next week.
Suffering aside, I'm glad we went. Its just as easy to fall into an exercise rut as it is a dinner rut. I've been swimming for so long now, its not really much of a challenge. It seemed like a good idea to shake things up a bit and try something new. I'll swim normally for the rest of the week and if my knees can take it, I'll give the dance class another shot next Monday. If not, then hopefully I'll be no worse for trying. Stay tuned - and let's hope tomorrow won't find me surfing for a picture of some crutches to post on here!
The heat is still oppressive here and its likely that I'll be shopping my freezer for dinner options - and I don't mean TV dinners. I like to keep a well stocked freezer for nights such as this and I almost always have some version of a homemade pasta sauce on hand and ready to thaw.
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 large stalk of celery, finely chopped
- 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- one 28 to 32 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- one 8 oz. can of tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup dry, red wine
- 1 tbsp. fresh oregano, chopped
- 6 to 8 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
- 1 pound of whole wheat linguini
- freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- chopped fresh parsley
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, toss with the sauce to coat and serve topped with the fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese and a sprinkle of fresh parsley.
*Notes: This sauce will freeze beautifully, so if you like to batch-cook feel free to double it and freeze the extra. Since I'm cooking for two we always have plenty left-over. I've discovered a new, and really acceptable, whole wheat pasta: "Gia Russa 100% Whole Wheat Pasta" - its delicious and I do recommend it. You can certainly round out the meal with some chicken or turkey sausage if need to feed your inner carnivore - but typically I just serve the pasta Marinara with a big, healthy salad and call it a night. Enjoy!