Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bikram Yoga and Baked Panzanella Caprese

Last week my dear friend Jaime sent me an email saying she’d just bought a $10 Daily Deal for 14 days of unlimited Bikram Yoga Classes. She was looking for a friend to try it out with her. "Should I do it?" I thought. I have never tried Hot Yoga before, and I have heard mixed reviews… but 14 days of class for only $10!? AND at a studio located just minutes from my house. “Ok,” I told her. “I’ll do it.”

So, last night we went to our first class. The second I walked into the room I was overwhelmed with how friggin’ HOT it was! Holy moley. It’s reeeally hot. Then, they ask you to start moving around, oh right, yoga isn’t just sitting...you have to actually do stuff. Immediately after the first stretch the sweat poured off my body. I was drenched. And… it was awesome. I was totally shocked by how much I enjoyed it! But don’t get me wrong, I think I enjoyed the after-yoga shower almost as much as the class itself.

So, once I was all showered up, I prepared one of the most satisfyingly delightful post-workout dinners ever. Thanks to one of my favorite food bloggers, Iowa Girl Eats, for the inspiration and the photographs.

Baked Panzanella Caprese
(recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis @ The Food Network)
5 Roma tomatoes (on sale for $0.77/lb at Sprouts last week!) sliced ½ inch thick
2.5 large balls of fresh mozzarella (3-4 if you want to snack a little), sliced ¼ inch thick
Approximately ½ cup fresh chopped basil
2-3 cloves of minced garlic
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Approximately 4 fresh, whole wheat rolls, sliced into ½ inch cubes (you could use white bread, or ciabatta, or whatever, but I’d definitely go with the fresher stuff from the bakery section v. the mainstream sandwich stuff)

First, set your oven to 375. Then, spray a pan with cooking spray. Giada says to use a 9 x 12 inch pan, and Kristin used cute little ramekins, but well, all I had was a 7 x 11 inch one, so I just made a little bit less. Sad too, because this recipe only made enough for 2 (yes, I ate half a pan of food for dinner last night…) and we had 0 leftovers, but work with what you’ve got.

So, once you’ve chosen what size of pan you want to use, place the tomatoes down in a single layer across the bottom. Sprinkle them with freshly ground salt and pepper (or just pepper if your boyfriend is on a reduced salt diet), then drizzle some balsamic vinegar over it. Next, layer the cheese in a single layer. You will be tempted to nibble on it, but I'd advise you to limit yourself to the leftovers and not eat so much raw mozzarella that you cannot cover your pan. Then, sprinkle on some minced garlic, basil, and more pepper. Then drizzle a tiny bit of olive oil over everything. Next, place the bread cubes evenly over everything. And finally, sprinkle on some more salt and pepper, and olive oil over everything.

Put it in the oven for about 17 minutes (until it’s bubbling in the middle and crispy on top) and within minutes your kitchen will smell amazing. Watch a little TV...
drink a glass of water...
and FEAST.

This is surely one of my favorite meals yet. Next time I think I’ll serve it with a nice house salad. Yes, that means I will definitely be making this again.

In other news:
Tonight is Girl’s Night.
Tomorrow I plan to attend the Culture Map Launch Party.
Friday we have an (uuugh) 11:45PM soccer game. We’re thinking some more yoga before soccer on Friday will help keep us awake until at least 2am. Probably later. Nooot fun.
Saturday two of my very best friends are coming to visit me ALL THE WAY from Kansas. And OU still sucks!

May the adventure continue...

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