Fueling for Day 3: Roast Asparagus & Tofu with Spicy Pesto Pasta

Day 3 of the P90X3 challenge.  Another nutty day but it’s okay!  It was nice to unexpectedly be home for lunch. That meant some kitchen creation time. Sometimes it’s stress relieving to put on some good music and cook over your lunch hour.

I meal planned on Monday so homemade pesto using my Spicy globe basil from the herb garden was on the menu.  Here ya go!


3/4 cup packed Spicy globe basil

1 Tbl roasted red pepper

1/4 cup cashews

2 garlic cloves

2 1/2 Tbl Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbl nutritional yeast

Dash sea salt



Place all ingredients are in a food processor and process until smooth.

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Press tofu, cut into cubes and bake on parchment paper for about 20 minutes until golden and puffy.  Toss about every 5 minutes.

I also roasted asparagus with the tofu. To prep: rinse and cut spears into 1-2″ pieces.  Toss the spears with 1tsp EVOO, 1 chopped shallot & sprinkle a little sea salt and black pepper.  Roast about 7 minutes.

I boiled some brown rice pasta I had in the pantry. It equaled about 1 cup total.

Toss the pasta with pesto to taste.  If you’re like me and have no control when it comes to pesto, I added about 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of pasta.


Sit down and enjoy!

This evening I finished the Day 3 workout, thankfully yoga 😊. I needed it. Chochi joined as she usually does during my yoga practice.  It’s usually cute but there have been times when she’s thrown a toy at my head or nibbled on my hair.


Time to relax…



Day 2

Day 2  (yesterday) started out pretty great, though it was storming  at 5:00 the radar showed a break and I got out for a 3.5 miler.  The skyline was breathtaking and I saved two very small wood frogs from certain death on the road.  Feeling refreshed with a busy day ahead, I was out the door in a flash.  Needless to say my day went to hell in a hand basket.  You know those days when you have  a great plan in place but all of these little things go wrong and then a much bigger one does.  As I drove home I was thinking about pizza (you know because pizza solves everything) and singing at the top of my lungs 😉.  By the time I got home, I was determined to get my P90X3 workout done instead.  Driving has a way of giving you time to put things into perspective rather than acting on a fleeting emotion and later being full of regret or guilt.

The workout was good but tough and a smidge frustrating because I had to modify a lot (the Morton’s neuroma was giving me hell).  Still felt so much better about the day when I as done.

I settled on a super quick meal of Quorn “turkey” burger with a pile of steamed broccoli topped with nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper and a glass of Mutha Pucks (Next Door Brewing pineapple sour).

It’s amazing how singing loud, a tough workout then a small glass of your fave craft beer can level out a stressful day.



Roasted Sweet Potato Bowl

Greetings!  I have been terrible about blogging food lately.  I will keep this short and sweet.  I typically make a sweet potato bowl similar to the Engine 2 Diet but wanted to make it  more robust and flavorful.  I figured tossing the potato and peppers in extra virgin olive oil and some spices, roasting it would do the trick.  I will admit, I used a home made taco spice because I was in more of a southwest mood and for the life of me I can’t find the exact recipe.  I have added spices to this recipe which will get you close, I typically play with spice mixes anyway, sniffing them until I like what I smell.  Weird I know, but it works.  This recipe makes 1 serving.

1/2 Tbl EVOO
~1 tsp ground cumin
~1/2 tsp ground garlic
~1/4 tsp smoked paprika
dash sea salt
~1/4 tsp ground chile pepper
1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2 chopped red pepper
1/2 chopped green pepper
1/3 cup seasoned black beans
2 green onions, sliced
1/3 avocado, diced
Chopped fresh cilantro to taste

Preheat your oven to 425F.

Toss your sweet potato and spices in a bowl until well coated.  Place them on a baking sheet with parchment paper in a single layer.  Bake for 20 minutes, tossing about every 5-7 minutes to evenly roast.


In the meantime, add your bell peppers to the same bowl as the potatoes and toss to coat with remaining oil and spices.
Heat your black beans in a small pot over medium low heat, stirring often.

When there is about 12 minutes left, add the bell peppers to the pan with the sweet potatoes.


Stir the peppers and potatoes with about 6 minutes left to continue roasting.

Add your roasted peppers to the bowl, then your peppers.  Top with black beans.  Sprinkle the green onion, avocado and cilantro.


I LOVE this recipe.  I couldn’t believe  how much flavor there was and I’m not embarrassed to say that I kept telling my husband how good it was as I ate it 🙂  I enjoyed leftovers for the next 3 days, though when I say leftovers I mean that I cook it fresh nightly, just using up the extra ingredients.




Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls with Arrabiata Sauce

I’d just like to say thank you to my food cravings.  Honestly, if I wasn’t the type of person with such strong cravings I wouldn’t be as inspired to hop into the kitchen and make stuff.  The craving thing does have a down side…you know, cravings, so when I have a hankerin’ for sweets, I also generally end up concocting something in the kitchen to fix the sweet tooth or worse, trying new Ben and Jerry’s flavors like chubby hubby.  Anywho, I’m usually on the lookout for healthier versions of the food I love or at least trying to make something a bit healthier and just as tasty.  This goes hand in hand with my love of being a health and fitness coach and the fact that I love craft beer…gotta watch those calories. 😀  Life is about balance…

Back to the subject at hand, I’ve been craving Italian food.  I ran through my mental craving checklist:
I didn’t want anything super heavy.
I wanted vegetarian (obviously).
I wanted something spicy.
I also wanted pesto.

Off to the kitchen to check what the fridge and pantry offer.  I found some lasagna noodles, check.  Oooh!  Fire roasted diced tomatoes, mmm.  Then it occurred to me how much I love minced mushrooms and spinach (not sure why at that moment I came to that realization but there you have it). 

Later that day I was on the stationary bike when my exercise epiphany brought my food craving idea to completion: Lasagna Rolls with Arrabiata Sauce!!  I planned for 3 nights since I don’t like leftovers more than 3 nights in a row and added it to my meal planner for the week.

Ingredients: (makes 8-10 rolls)
8-10 lasagna noodles

1 pkg baby spinach, chopped
4 oz mini bellas, minced
1 pkg organic silken tofu, I lightly rinsed it
2 Tbl pesto (if you want to go vegan, make vegan pesto.  I didn’t have the stuff & forgot to add it to my list)
Dash sea salt
Dash black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
**I didn’t add the following but when I make it again, I will:
~ 1/4 cup nutritional yeast

Arrabiata sauce:
1 14.5 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, NOT drained
2 tsp EVOO
3 shallots, minced
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 Tbl lemon juice
1/2 Tbl sugar
1/4 cup dry red wine
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 Tbl Italian seasoning or 1 Tbl fresh basil/oregano, minced
1 Tbl tomato paste



And we’re off!

Fire up a big pot of salted water.  Once it’s boiling, add about 4 lasagna noodles at a time.  Only cook for 3-4 minutes!  Then, place the noodles on a piece of foil that has been sprayed lightly with Pam or the like.  Don’t worry, the noodles will finish cooking in the oven, you just want them pliable. 🙂

Next, you should know that I cheat when I blanch spinach.  I chop it, dump it in a colander, fire up the tea pot and pour boiling water over my spinach.  Then drain and lightly dab with paper towel to remove some moisture.  Honestly, works fabulously!


Get your sauce going:

Heat the EVOO over med heat.  Add the shallots and garlic, saute a few minutes until soft.  Then add the rest of the goodies, stir well.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 15 minutes.  Taste and add a bit of sea salt if desired.



It’s filling time and you might as well get that oven preheating to 425F!
Place your tofu in a large bowl.  Whisk it.  Add your pesto, whisk some more.  Add your spinach and minced mushrooms…yup, whisk some more until well combined.  If you’re going to use nutritional yeast, add it with the pesto.


Now is the super fun part, putting it all together.

Place 1/2 of your sauce in a glass baking dish.



Then, spread your filling onto each of your lasagna rolls and roll ’em up.  Placing them in the dish over the sauce.


Pour the rest of the sauce over the top of the noodles and bake for 25-30 minutes.



I also steamed green beans and sprinkled sea salt, black pepper and nutritional yeast over the top. 

NOW, pour yourself a glass of delish white or red wine, you totally earned it! 



I think you’ll find this recipe pretty darn easy and fast.  It’s my style 🙂  I love cooking but I don’t have a lot of time, check that, I don’t make a lot of time to cook extravagant or complicated meals (though I totally should more often).  If you try it and change it up a bit, please share!  This is the first time making it and I’d love to hear what you do with it.