I went for a 4-mile run this evening, and I think it was by far—and I’ve put in a lot of miles in the last couple years—among the worst runs ever.
I’ll give you three guesses. Too tired? Nope. Too cold? Nope. Nearly sprained your ankles or twisted your knees because the Muskegon area lacks residential snow-removal ordinances and the sidewalks are covered in at least 3 inches of snow and you slip and slide all over the place? Ding ding ding ding! We have a winner, folks!
Here are the abysmal acceptable stats, including many, many short walking breaks to navigate deep snow and rest weary ankles:
Distance: 4 miles*
Average page: 11:26 per mile
Mile 1: 10:12
Mile 2: 11:27
Mile 3: 12:02
Mile 4: 11:35
*I use the Nike+ for iPod system to track my runs. I have calibrated it, but I know it still often is wrong; I use it only as a gauge. Online maps have this run at 4 miles, but Nike+ has it as 4.75. My splits are only an estimate.
I came home to an apartment smelling of lasagna, which I threw into the slow cooker when I got home from work so it would be ready when I got back from my run.
Let me tell you, as awful as that run was, dinner was pretty darn good—and satisfactory motivation to boot!
Here’s the recipe:
8 ounces lasagna noodles, broken in half
1/2 pound (8 ounces) ground turkey
1/3 cup finely diced onions
1-2 cloves garlic
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups diced eggplant
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (or mixture of parsley, oregano and thyme)
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 egg white, slightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or other Italian-style cheese)
Bring a large pot of water to rapid boil. Drop in lasagna noodles and cook until almost al dente. Drain, rinse with cool water and set aside.
Brown ground turkey in nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until translucent. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in tomato sauce and eggplant, sprinkle in spices and mix to combine.
Cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is tender and flavors are nicely developed.
Combine cottage cheese, egg white, parsley, salt and pepper in small bowl. Set aside.
Spread a little sauce on the bottom of the slow cooker insert to prevent noodles from sticking. Arrange noodles to form first layer. Spread about a third of the sauce mixture on top. Arrange noodles to form second layer. Spread about half the cheese mixture on top. Arrange noodles to form third layer. Repeat with remaining sauce and cheese mixtures. Top with shredded cheese and cover.
Cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 2 hours.
Mmmm. I liked making this in the slow cooker because I could set it and forget it while I did something else. And I like how it turned out just the same as it would have if I had made it in the oven.
You could easily adapt this recipe to your liking or dietary needs—mushrooms would be delicious in place of turkey; zucchini would be delicious in place of or in addition to eggplant; ricotta would work instead of cottage cheese.
The turkey and eggplant gave the dish major chew, while the tomato sauce (and little added salt) kept it tangy and sweet. The cheese gave it nice creaminess.
Give this a try. It’s so easy and makes a great weeknight meal!
How do you “bribe” yourself to do things you don’t want to do?