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Saturday, May 22, 2010

WW Linguine with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Chicken

Sigh.  I wish I could make decisions with ease.  I struggle when it comes to figuring out what to do.  Especially if I've already committed to something and need to decide if to back out.  I'm not a big fan of saying I am going to do something and then not doing it.  So, when I had to make a difficult decision the other day, it was not an easy one.

The end result?  I cancelled our upcoming hotel reservations for the  Lawrence 70.3 and decided to postpone the race.  The ultimate reason:  I am not prepared to participate in the event at this point in time; not prepared physically, emotionally or mentally.  In hindsight, it was completely ridiculous to sign up for it w/o having more knowledge and base training under my belt.  Also, for some reason, I thought it was only a 5 hour drive away (it's 8!).  I also thought that my new bike saddle would miraculously clear away all of my old saddle issues.  To date, it hasn't; I've only biked 35 miles so far without serious pain, far from the 56 needed for the race.

Truthfully, driving to Lawrence for the weekend would've been a serious pain in the butt (pun intended).  Basically, the weekend's schedule would've come down to 48 hours of pure anarchy.  We would leave around 6pm on Friday to drive 8 hours to hotel.  At some point, we'd sleep because we'd have to arrive to set up my bike around 10am the next day.  Then, I'd spend the day familiarizing myself with the course and at the expo.  Then, we'd head back to hotel to sit there, not even seeing KU.  5am Sunday, I'd wake up for the event.  7+ or so hours later, we'd climb back in the car (after swimming 1.2 miles in dirty lake, biking 56 miles through Kansas hills and running 13.1 miles, presumably w/o a tornado touching down) and drive 8 hours back to MN.  My butt would have been on fire and I highly doubt I would have been able to shower.  It would have been an absolute disaster.  

Sigh.  It was still a difficult decision to make.  I have a mixed amount of emotion right now.  I don't like throwing in the towel, but I also don't like wreaking havoc on my body and suffering the consequences.  If anything, I've learned that I need to be smart about my training and patient with my body.  I'm not an endurance athlete, I never will be and I need to remember that.  Onto the next goal, but for now, I'm going to take some time to enjoy exercise w/o "having to do X amount of miles."  I need a break from structure, schedules and lists!

So, to drown my disappointment in myself, I decided to make a quick and yummy meal.  I made it relatively healthy (which is a good thing, because I've gained weight, so expect to see "healthy" meals on here for the next few weeks) and it turned out to be delicious.  I'm a big fan of artichokes.  Artichokes are an amazing source of antioxidants and they have tons of nutritional benefits.  (Side note:  Ron also enjoyed the artichokes.  Granted, I think he would've preferred to see them mixed with spinach, smothered in cream cheese and sour cream, and in the form of a dip, but he ate them and he liked them!) I had cooked and shredded my chicken earlier in the day, so the total meal time for me was about 20 minutes (including boiling water time).  Buy some pre-cooked chicken at the grocery store counter and this will be on your table in no time!
WW Linguine with Sun Dried Tomato Pesto and Chicken
adapted from Perrys' Plate
Yield:  4 servings
  • 8 oz WW linguine
  • 1.5 c cooked, shredded (or cubed) chicken breast
  • 1 c artichoke hearts (chopped)
  • 2 c chopped spinach (about 3 big handfuls)
  • 1/3 c sun-dried tomato pesto (I just used store-bought)
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 2 oz feta cheese (I used a FF blend with sun dried tomato flavoring, goat cheese can also be used)
  • salt and pepper
  • pine nuts, optional
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente.
  2. Drain pasta; reserve 1 C of pasta water.
  3. Place pasta in bowl.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and stir until the pasta is coated evenly with the sauce and the spinach has wilted.  
  5. If needed, add reserved pasta water by the tablespoon.  (Note:  Only add if needed.  Pasta should not be watery.)
  6. Sprinkle with some additional feta cheese and pine nuts.  Serve warm!  

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