After 40 miles (running and biking) on Lake Shore Drive this weekend, I was surprised with how good I felt when I woke up this morning. I am a little tight along the lower part of my right calf, but other than that, not sore at all! This weekend in the city, I passed multiple yoga studios and kept thinking that it would be great to get to a yoga class. I am always jealous of all of the studios in the city and sometimes forget how lucky I am to have an incredible local studio with high caliber teachers and friendly yogi’s. Even better…they often have classes on holidays. This morning, there were 3 classes. I slept in and went to the 11:30am class, which is usually much less crowded than the 10am class. I arrived early, which was good since the class was pretty busy. The studio was hot and humid from the class before, and I was sweating almost immediately. I had plenty of time to prep for the class before the teacher arrived. My first priority after biking this weekend was laying on my back over a bolster to stretch out my pecs. Then, it was on to my low back before quietly laying supine and setting my intentions for the class. After the athletic high of the weekend, I dedicated today’s practice to taking care of body and having fun this summer.
As I slid into my first downward facing dog, this class popped into my head and I immediately dropped any tension in my body and adjusted my posture. The class today was TOUGH! And not just because I was tired. I was dripping sweat from every pore in my body throughout the entire class. After the challenging ab work, I sunk deep into my hip stretches. Ahh…my hips definitely needed the length. After the 75 minute class, I was supine in resting pose before Shavasana officially began.
After yoga, I ran out to Whole Foods to pick up a few groceries and some soup and chili for lunch. Not your typical Memorial Day lunch, I know. Although I am starting to feel better, the BOY is coming down with a sore throat (and possibly the summer cold I had), so we chose to take it easy today. Despite being May, I was in the mood for some comfort food. We had soup/chili for lunch, but I didn’t want to make more because it is supposed to be back up to 80 degrees by Wednesday. But since it was a crockpot kind of day, I settled with another one of my cool weather favorites…tagine!
The BOY and I like meal planning and for a few weeks we were doing it consistently. Unfortunately, with my crazy and unpredictable schedule, it has been harder to plan ahead these last few weeks. I haven’t had the energy for the extra effort involved and haven’t been home early enough to make dinner. With the BOY in between semester and summer school, it is much easier to let him prepare dinner on the grill. This upcoming week will most likely be the same; however, I will have tagine for lunch/dinner throughout the week. I guess that’s a plan!
I love the combination of flavors in this dish that includes sweet apricots, ginger, and cinnamon. But, I really chose it because I could easily throw all of the ingredients into the crockpot and let it do all of the heavy lifting.
The recipe is supposed to be served with couscous, but could easily be poured over a baked sweet potato or brown rice. As the tagine spent the afternoon cooking in the crockpot, I got prepped for the week ahead and watched a little TV (the Elementary season finally is AWESOME) before snuggling into my couch with a glass of red wine.
Meanwhile, the BOY was in charge of dinner on the grill. After a rainy morning and a grey day, the weather was in our favor to make orange roughy with brussels sprouts.
It’s hard to believe after such a wordy post, but my eyelids are heavy and I am exhausted. I’m going to try to stay up to cheer on the Blackhawks, but I’m not sure I’ll be awake through the second period. My body can use the rest, and I’ve got big plans to go swimming tomorrow morning before work.
If you like this recipe, here are a few other Moroccan inspired meals!
From All Recipes.com
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes (I subbed in parsnip today since the BOY doesn’t like eggplant)
2 large onions, thinly sliced
4 large carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons garlic salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken pieces and eggplant in the heated oil; stir and cook until the chicken is browned on all sides but not cooked through. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Place the browned chicken and eggplant on the bottom of a slow cooker. Layer the onion, carrots, (parsnips if using), dried cranberries, and apricots over the chicken.
Whisk together the chicken broth, tomato paste, lemon juice, flour, garlic salt, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and ground black pepper in a bowl. Pour the broth mixture into the slow cooker with the chicken and vegetables.
Cook on High setting for 5 hours, or on Low setting for 8 hours.