Wakey Wakey! Shaky Shaky!

This morning began in a rather unusual way. At about 4:45am, my bed started to jiggle. This wouldn't have been odd except that I didn't move and there wasn't anybody else there. Pretty quickly I deduced this must be an earthquake. It lasted about ten seconds. I hopped out of bed and checked the US Geological Survey website. Within 5-10 minutes the tremor was posted on their website. Magnitude 5.2 with an epicenter in southern Illinois. Later in the morning there were aftershocks, the strongest of which had a magnitude 4.2. I didn't notice any aftershocks.

Finding My Motivation
Have you seen it? It seems to have fled me. Not all of it, just the bits associated with working out. I have worked out fewer than ten times since the beginning of the month. Apparently it takes me longer than 28 days to establish a new habit. I have, however, managed to lose about ten pounds and drop a pants size between the working out I did do and the better eating habits that I've been following. Now to find a bit of motivation to keep that trend progressing.

I have a new favorite recipe. What's funny is that while I collected this recipe off the internet (I don't know the source), I probably would not have made it if a friend hadn't been asking for crock-pot recipes....
"Moroccan" Lentil Stew
1 cup dried lentils, sorted and rinsed
1 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
10 small new red potatoes, cubed1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14 oz.) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Tbsp. curry powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/8 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 cups water
8 oz. pkg. frozen cut green beans, thawed

Combine all ingredients except green beans in a 3-4 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours until lentils, squash, and potatoes are tender when tested with knife. Increase heat to high setting. Stir in thawed green beans, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until mixture is thoroughly heated and beans are tender.
I ended up adding additional water toward the end of the cooking time. I also didn't add the green beans. This soup is incredibly filling. The lentils and the squash basically disintegrate into a flavorful thick paste surrounding chunks of potato and tomato. One bowl for lunch and I wasn't even remotely hungry until after 6pm. With some soups, you feel hungry pretty quickly. That's definitely not the case with this one.

This weekend's big meal will be broccoli and tofu in garlic sauce. This recipe came from All-creatures.org. I'll probably cook it on the stovetop, rather than in the microwave. This will be my primary lunch meal for the next week.
Broccoli and Tofu with Garlic Sauce
2 lbs. Broccoli, florets

1lb. Tofu, firm, cubed
1 Onion, medium, diced
3 tbsp. Garlic, crushed or minced
1-1/2 tsp. Ginger, powder
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper, powder
1/3 cup Soy Sauce
3 tbsp. Corn Starch
1 cup Water

Peel and dice the onion, and place in a wok or in a covered glass baking dish for cooking in the microwave. Peel and crush the garlic and add to the onion. Cook until the onion just begins to become translucent. When using a wok, use a little water instead of oil to cook the food.

Wash and separate the broccoli florets and thinly slice the tender stems. Cube the Tofu into 3/8" to 1/2" cubes. Add the broccoli, tofu, ginger, and cayenne pepper. Cook until the broccoli begins to get tender.

Mix the cornstarch into the soy sauce and about 1/2 cup of water and add to the cooking broccoli and tofu. Continue cooking and mixing continuously in the wok and every few minutes if cooking in the microwave. When the sauce thickens and thoroughly coats the other ingredients, remove from the heat. Add water as necessary to adjust the thickness of the sauce. Serve over brown rice.

Pictures of the Week

The firehouse re-building is progressing. The outer wall is started. I hope the periodic rains don't slow things up too badly.

The goldfinches have returned


Stefaneener said…
Um, if you work out, I will? If you keep being a slacker, my body is doomed? Does that help? guilt? fellow-feeling?

Anyhow, that hardly counts as an earthquake ; ) Come out here and we'll show you a Big One.
Morenna said…
Oh, I know the quake we had wasn't particularly large, though it was the largest in the continental US during the preceding 7 days. It's that we rarely have them at all, so this is a bit of a novelty and it also reminds everybody that we live within the severe damage zone for the New Madrid fault.

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