I semi panicked when faced with the task of picking out this week’s Trader Joe’s Night dinner. So many choices – where do I even begin?
Some pre-made Lasagna caught my eye pretty early. Nah, too cheesy. Manicotti? Even Cheesier. Ooo what about that Macaroni & Cheese I tried when they were sampling it last month? Dude – enough with the cheese!
A quick stroll through the “exotic” section of the freezer aisle later and BINGO. The second I spied the Naan – it was ON. Indian night!
Frozen Indian food? I know – total risk – but I went for it! For him: Chicken Tikka Masala over Cumin flavored Basmati Rice.
For her: Paneer Tikka Masala over Spinach Basmati Rice.
This classic, vegetarian Indian dish pairs paneer (Indian cheese – I know, cheese!) with a luscious sauce of tomatoes, cashews and butter, and fluffy basmati rice studded with big chunks of spinach.
Ok – the salt & fat contents were quite alarming, but I can look past it for an occasional dinner. The calorie count was pretty low and I loved that there was 9 grams of protein in there!
At first glance, the frozen meal looked similar to most others, although I DID appreciate the fact that the paneer tikka masala was separated from the spinach basmati rice, because…
you can dress it up and pretend that it didn’t come frozen in a box – muwahaha!
Ok – I’m going to come right out with it – 10 out of 10! Devoured this dinner!!
The sauce had that unique Indian spice blend that I just adore – slightly spicy, slightly sweet and super complex. Plus the basmati rice was soooo fluffy.
And the naan that started it all? Light as a cloud!
It actually comes frozen too – 4 to a pack.
I was bummed to see that 1 piece had 190 calories and so much sodium,
but the ingredients were right,
and MY GOD – it takes 1 1/2 minutes to cook?! Yes please.
I tore the giant piece of garlicky, fluffy bread in half, and dunked it in the generous amount of tikka masala sauce accompanying my paneer.
Heaven. HEAVEN! I could barely finish the piece either (that seriously N-E-V-E-R happens to me – I belong to the clean plate club) so you definitely don’t need more than one piece per person.
Ben and I were both starving tonight so he started gobbling before I could take a shot. His review:
“There is nothing better than good rice!” (He liked the rice)
“This is the best frozen, Indian dinner I’ve had.” (How many have you had before?!)
“I could kinda tell the chicken was frozen dinner chicken, but I can look past it.” (Details.)
“7 out of 10.” (He has a more picky palette than me. )
WHEW I am stuffed! I will definitely be purchasing at least the paneer tikka masala for lunches in the future. Delish!
How to Run Longer and Faster
In other news, after posting a treadmill routine that included sprints at 8.0 the other night, a reader asked me how I built myself up to doing that. Great question!
First of all, I want to clarify that I don’t see myself as a fast runner. There are plenty of people around me at the gym that warm up at the speeds I top out at. On the other hand, I’ve worked hard over the years to be able to run comfortably at 7.0-7.5 on the treadmill, so I’m proud of that too!
Anyways – I’ve been running consistently for about 5 years now, and I can clearly remember trying to get in really good shape for my wedding in 2008 and absolutely MAXING myself out at 6.0 mph on the treadmill. I literally thought I was going to die if I pressed that little arrow to 6.1.
The women on the treadmills around me, seemingly the same age and in the same shape that I was, were running comfortably at 6.5 and above. Why couldn’t I do that?
It was then I realized that in order to run longer and faster, I had to run longer and faster. Just like weight lifting – if you don’t lift heavier weights, you won’t get stronger. I had been running the same distance and at the same speed for years, definitely NOT pushing myself to the limit, and thus, wasn’t growing as a runner.
It took some time, but I gradually – gradually - added 2 minutes, then 4 minutes, then 6 minutes, etc onto my runs, then increased my speed by .3, .5, .7, etc, to get to the point where I am today.
So yeah, it took about 2 years of running approx 3 times a week to get here, but it feels so good to look back at where I was and compare it to where I am today.
Push to improve. Anyone can do anything for five minutes. You won’t fall off the treadmill. Your brain is wrong and Nike is right – just do it!
Long answer to a short question. What do you think?
Off to watch Thursday night’s “must see tv” with the hubbie!
ps: did you hear? Will Ferrell coming to the office??!! He’s literally the only person I can think of that could save that show after Steve leaves – ahhhh!
Talk to you tomorrow!
What’s your workout history? Always been a runner? Just getting into it? Prefer to attend classes or workout outside?