Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Motivational Music and Meatballs

Well, today was supposed to be my triumphant return to the Shortcut to Size program, but it turns out that I hit my snooze button one (or maybe five) too many times, so I modified my plans and got my tempo run for this week out of the way. Today’s run called for 3 miles at a 7:27 pace, 3 minute rest, 2 miles at a 7:24 pace, 2 minute rest, and finally 1 mile at a 7:24 pace. I didn’t think the run would be that much of a challenge, but my body wasn’t entirely in agreement with my brain on that point. I was really struggling during the last half mile of my 2 miles, but then this song came on my iPod.
This is the song that was playing when I finished the Fargo Marathon. Every time I hear it, I am transported back to the moment when I entered the Fargo Dome and saw the finish line come into view, and I knew that I was only seconds away from running a Boston qualifying time. And just like that, I had the energy to push through and finish the workout strong. I’m always amazed by power that certain songs have to invoke such vivid memories and to transform my attitude.

Time to talk about balls! Meatballs, that is. On one of my many stops at the grocery store last week, I noticed some thick, lean, beautiful pork chops on sale, and I felt the distinct need to buy a couple of pounds. I stuffed the first pound with prosciutto and manchego cheese, so when it came time to use the second pound, I was in the mood for something completely different and not necessarily in chop form. Inspiration struck when I looked out at my deck and saw my out of control basil plant. I decided to go with an Asian version of meatballs, and this is what I came up with.
Basil Ginger Pork Meatballs

Basil Ginger Pork Meatballs

Makes 4 Servings

1/4 cup Panko
2 tablespoons finely chopped green onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound lean ground pork (I ground up some boneless pork chops in my food processor; I have a hard time finding lean ground pork in the grocery store)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons Sweet Garlic Chili Sauce

1. Place a jelly-roll pan lined with a silicone mat (foil works too) in the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°.
2. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Stir gently just until blended; don’t overmix, or the meatballs could become tough. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Divide the pork mixture into 20 equal portions. Shape each portion into a meatball. Arrange the meatballs in a single layer on the preheated pan. Bake at 450° for 20 minutes or until done.

Nutrition Information per 5 meatballs
Calories: 188
Fat: 6.3g
Carbohydrates: 85.9g
Protein: 23.6g
Calculated on Sparkrecipes.com

Meatballs Two
I loved these so much that I ate them for lunch three days in a row with some coleslaw mix that I sautéed in garlic and sesame oil and sprinkled with chopped cashews. I normally brown meatballs prior to baking them; I didn’t this time, and I wish I would have or at the very least flipped them halfway through the baking time. The bottoms of the meatballs had a nice brown and crispy crust that I preferred to the top of the meatballs.

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