I’ve become completely infatuated with dumplings. Like, almost to a fault. I won’t even consider enjoying the company of nuggets, rolls (i.e. egg) or sticks (i.e. mozzarella), but dumplings, dim sum, and pierogies are all fair game. I’ve actually tried to recruit a few people for my cause, saying on occasion outrageous things like, “All food should be in dumpling form!”, or “Is there anything in life more delightful than some dough filled with vegetables?” And I honestly mean it.
It all started a few weeks ago when I made some wonton ravioli. While not traditionally a dumpling, the ravioli was basically my gateway to this obsession. I found this recipe on Epicurious, but I altered it a little:
2 2/3 cups frozen peas (3/4 pound)
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons chopped mint
About 64 dumpling or wonton wrappers
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted
salt and pepper, to taste
dash of cayenne pepper
The recipe originally called for Parmesan cheese, but I had lots of ricotta on hand for reasons I’d rather not disclose..as in, this was a few weeks ago and my memory is failing me at the moment.
Anyways, I started by cooking the peas in boiling salted water until just tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. I drained and cooled, and then stirred in cheese, mint, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
I put a rounded teaspoon filling in center of a wrapper, and lightly brushed the edges of the wrapper with water. Then I placed a second wrapper on top and sealed, pressing out any trapped air. I repeated with the rest, and then boiled ravioli in 2 batches in a pasta pot of salted boiling water until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes per batch. I removed with a slotted spoon and topped with melted butter, salt and pepper. They really were the easiest and most delicious thing ever.
Now let’s talk sweaty, shall we? I’ve been hyper-aware that I need to be a hard body by the time I go to Mexico later this month. I had a few solid weeks when I was exercising and eating at a 2:1 ratio, but alas, life interfered. I had a fancy dinner on the company last week and it was downhill-ish from there. Prior to that, I was logging a minimum of one hour of cardio daily, which I referenced in my last post. I usually do a mixture of elliptical, spinning, and treadmill, and I think my heart rate hits an all time high when the aforementioned machines are paired with a Jersey Shore marathon. True story.
I mixed up my routine by going to a boxing class last week. One of my co-workers went for a while, and I was dying to see what she was raving about. I dragged my happy ass out of bed last Saturday morning, albeit begrudgingly, to go to the free intro class. In a word? Funsies. The class is held in a legit men’s boxing studio, and it’s all kinds of intimidating walking in there. You can almost see the sweat in the air. The class was full of girls, though, and everyone was as intro as myself. I had fun, although the teacher totally called me out for being a dancer maybe three minutes in. Apparently I was altering the boxer’s shuffle to make it a little too graceful? My back and arms were extra sore on Sunday, so I was pleased. I’m thinking about making it a regular thing.
I made a pretty decent tempeh chile last week, but it wasn’t as photogenic as one may have hoped. I’m including below, but it’s for looksies only. There’s no need to go into the ingredients.
I was trying to compensate for my minor food indiscretions over the past couple of weeks (Nutella anyone? How’s about I see how much dark chocolate I can cram into one day?), so I made some lettuce wraps for dinner this week. I found them on Epicurious. They called for:
1 14 oz can of small artichoke hearts, drained
1 14 oz can of hearts of palm, cut into chunks, drained
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1 poblano pepper, seeded, ribbed and chopped
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
2 avocados, cut into chunks
3 tbsp white vinegar
1 head butter lettuce
1/4 cup gorgonzola
salt and pepper
In a medium bowl, I combined the artichoke hearts, hearts of palm, cucumber, onion, poblano and cilantro. Add the avocado and drizzle with the vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and spoon into the lettuce cups. Top with gorgonzola, and devour. They were pretty tasty and – I’m just guessing here – but they’re probably about 70 calories each. Can do: