I’m a couple of weeks deep in Project: Get Hot for Thanksgiving, and I’m coming away with a few lessons learned. First off, I’m not fit to give up cheese. I stayed cheese-free all last week, and then come Friday I chose a pear, brie and walnut crepe for dinner. I thought, “you’ve had your fun; that was the last time,” and then Saturday hit. I had lots of queso blanco for dinner at Caracas, and then I went to a house party during which time I gave the cheese and cracker platter quite a bit of action. So, yeah, the anti-cheese collective (me and dairy-free me, obviously) has disbanded and gone our separate ways. Secondly, I learned that I miss dancing so badly it hurts. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t listen to Jay-Z without some sidewalk hip action. It’s awkward, so I’ve decided to bring it indoors where it belongs. Tonight I’m starting a new hip hop class. It’s too soon to tell, but it just may be my favorite thing on the planet.
My exercise routine could use a little variety. I’ve been running every day, and honestly it all starts to feel a little tedious. Like, where the hell is this going? I’m not saying I’m done with it, but I’m running miles and getting nowhere. After Sunday brunch on the Upper West Side, I decided to walk all the way home. And that’s approx 9 avenues and 70+ blocks. In short, it’s a shitload. My feet were feeling it when I tried to take that motivation to the gym that night. In the name of ped preservation, dancing it is.
Although I’ve given up on giving up on cheese, I’m still trying to severely limit its presence in my diet. I decided to make a Portabella mushroom burger for dinner last night, and I held the cheese. Believe it.
I started with a Portabella mushroom and a yellow bell pepper, and I seasoned both with salt, thyme and olive oil. On the side, I cut some sweet potatoes into mini chips, and I seasoned them with salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper and olive oil. I roasted all in the toaster over at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
I cut a thin piece of tofu and pan fried it in some olive oil over medium heat. It took about five minutes on each side, and then it got all goldeny brown. Delicious. I cut a ciabatta roll in half and put a little olive oil on each side, and then I toasted that for about five minutes in the Panini Press.
Once the mushroom and peppers were ready, I removed them from the oven and built my sandwich. I looove seedy mustard, so I put lots of stone ground mustard on one side along with my ever-present arugula. The other side housed my tofu, the shroom and the pepper. I served it alongside my chip shaped roasted potatoes. It was enormous and delicious, and the sweet pepper contrasted really well with the savory pepper and mushroom. See below: