Monday, December 27, 2010

Pushing twoards normalcy

The time has come to push myself in the arena of recovery. Slowly I am going to have to build up my muscles in order to get closer to normalcy, and I am using Spunky Suzi's challenge as my inspiration. Her challenge this week is to get 10 minutes of exercise daily, and for a normal person this would be a nice, gentle starting point. However, for me I am finding that it may well wind up 10 interrupted minutes each day ! I am finding that the really terrible muscles that once were have been replaced by limp strands of cooked spaghetti noodles . I decided to do 10 minutes on my little set of pedals without a full bike thing. You sit in a chair, you put your feet on the pedals and pedal away. First revolution was pain. Second more pain. By the time a minute passed there was so much pain I thought I was going to vomit ( wow, the Biggest Loser Last Chance Workout Experience of my very own !). So I stopped and tried to walk the pain off. 5 passes in the short hallway and I was seeing stars. I think it amounted to a whole 3 minutes of activity. It's a start, and I can try more later today. While it sounds tragic, 3 minutes is a point to start from. Recovery and rebuilding is a painful process, but yo do get there . Thanks Suzi , for the completely measurable challenge !

Yesterday I discovered that I had some cottage cheese and marscapone cheese that was in the fridge with a forgotten purpose, and coming close to expiration. I determined that my freezer was not quite stuffed enough yet so I made a casserole for dinner that could create a few lunch portions worth of leftovers for the freezer

                                                Lasagna Casserole
1 pound ground beef
4 T. minced onion, or chopped fresh onion
4 cups tomato sauce
1 T. basil
1 T. oregano
1 t. garlic powder
½ t. salt
8 oz. cottage cheese
8 oz. pkg. pasta (any shape)
8 oz. mozzarella cheese (or cheddar, or a mixture of both)

Brown ground beef and minced onion. Drain grease. Add tomato sauce, basil, oregano, garic powder and salt. Allow meat and sauce to simmer about 20 minutes. Boil pasta according to package. Drain and stir pasta into sauce. Add cottage cheese, stirring until everything is evenly mixed. Pour into a casserole dish (9×13). Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly.

The Marscapone presented a bit more of a challenge. The only things I have used it for in the past had been savory sorts of dishes. I did not think it would go well with the cottage cheese in the lasagna casserole, and so I searched online and found this recipe for a cheesecake using it. I made some adaptations to make it low carb, and I have to say this was the best cheesecake I have ever eaten ! Glad there is enough for some tonight as well.

Low Carb Marscapone Cheese Cake

12-16 servings

    * 2cup slivered almond, lightly toasted
    * 3 tablespoons splenda
    * 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted


    * 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
    * 2 (8 ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
    * 1 1/4 cups splenda
    * 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    * 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    * 5 large eggs, room temperature

   1. 1 For the crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
   2.  Finely grind the almonds and splenda in a food processor. Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the  pan (not on the sides of the pan). Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
   3. 3 For the filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
   4. 4 Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cake to a rack; cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
   5. 5 For the topping: Combine the chocolate-hazelnut spread and cream in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave until warm, stirring every 20 seconds to blend, about 1 minute.
   6. 6 Cut the cake into wedges. Drizzle  chocolate sauce over the wedges and serve.( we ate it with butter sauce instead of chocolate sauce)


spunkysuzi said...

I'm so glad that you are working the challenge in! Slowly but surly even walking in place would count. That's why i love these challenges they are do able by anyone and can be changed according to what level your on :)
Oh that cheesecake looks awesome!

Christina said...

Baby steps! I think you are still healing so 10 mins might be too much? But keep that attitude and focus and soon 10 mins will be painfree without the Biggest Loser vomitting:-)