The long holiday weekend was absolutely the best thing I could possibly have done for my mental and physical health. As I wrote last week, I had a series of super crappy workouts and was beyond exhausted and really hated even the sight of my bike and my neon Newtons (file under: this is how you KNOW I’m in bad shape). So I made the decision to take a few days to get my head in order, rest my body and enjoy vacation so I could be ready to ramp right back up with this whole IM training thing.
Guess what? It worked.
I got my ass kicked up and down 22 miles of Arlington hills on Thursday evening — thanks Ray! — and then put all my workout gear away in anticipation of my sisters arriving in D.C. on Friday. The next three days consisted of cooking/baking — fish tacos, RW&B flag layer cake, mini fruit pies and fresh pesto, among other things — eating all of the above plus burgers, fro-yo and cupcakes, shopping, movie-watching, pool-sitting, BBQ-ing with friends, and viewing the July 4th fireworks up close and personal at the Washington Monument. The perfect holiday weekend, no?
Aside from a short run with Hannah on Sunday morning — my whole fam is gearing up for the Savannah Rock ‘n’ Roll 13.1 — I did zero training for three days. So by the time Monday morning rolled around and a huge group was planning to hit W&L to swim, I was more than ready for a tough 4,200m set. And I couldn’t wait to get out on my bike for Conte’s hills last night. And it all felt awesome. I’m rested and re-energized and raring to go. No guarantees I won’t get tired again with some really big weekends coming up, but with 66 (!!!) days left until I toe the line in Madison I’m ready to handle what I have coming to me. Not to mention my plan has a built-in rest day every week, and I plan on taking full advantage of each one.
So, now that life is back to normal, a quick addition to my growing recipe list — Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi Sandwich, adapted from Cooking Light.
- 1 (14-ounce) package water-packed extra-firm tofu, drained
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh lemongrass
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/4 cups matchstick-cut carrot
- 1 1/4 cups matchstick-cut peeled daikon radish
- 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Sriracha
- French baguette, halved lengthwise and lightly toasted
- 1 cup thinly sliced English cucumber
Cut tofu crosswise into 6 (2/3-inch-thick) slices. Arrange tofu on several layers of paper towels. Cover with additional paper towels; top with a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan. Let stand 15 minutes. Remove tofu from paper towels.
Combine 2 tablespoons lemongrass, 2 tablespoons water, soy sauce, and 1 teaspoon sesame oil in a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange tofu slices in a single layer in soy mixture, turning to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Combine vinegar and the next 3 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar and salt dissolve. Add carrot and radish; toss well. Let stand for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain; stir in cilantro.
Combine remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil, mayonnaise, and Sriracha in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Cut bread horizontally. Spread mayonnaise mixture evenly on cut sides of bread.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Remove tofu from marinade, and discard marinade. Pat tofu slices dry with paper towels. Add tofu slices to pan, and cook for 4 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden. Arrange tofu slices on bottom half of bread; top tofu slices with carrot mixture and cucumber slices.
Notes: The recipe makes six servings, but the leftovers are great for lunch. I used a little bit of extra tofu on each sandwich and so got about four servings instead. The tofu with this marinade also would be good on its own or on a salad or over pasta. I’m just now having success at cooking tofu, so, yes! I’m a big fan of all the flavors in this sandwich, and now I want to try more Vietnamese food.