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Rest Day

Paulie SteinSquat on Wall-Ball

Got meat? Got veg? Need variety? Add sauce…
By Christian Fox

            You’ve dutifully prepare some meals at home. But now, you’re getting tired or bored. It happens all the time. Folks set out full steam ahead with every intention of cooking more healthy meals at home, but in a week or two it becomes either too much work, or too monotonous. I’ve said before that a big key to actually cooking at home is pre-prep, that way it’s as easy as possible to throw a meal together on a Wednesday night after a long day at work, and the gym, and the dozen other things that you have going on in your life. Having a pre-roasted piece of meat can be a lifesaver here, as can having a quick cooking protein like filleted fish, lean pork chops, lean steaks, and the like. Problem is that just good old salt and pepper can start to seem like punishment after a while to some. Having a few pre-made sauces in your fridge or freezer to call upon can add variety to the same meat and veg throughout the week. Try these…

Aji’ – Kind of a Columbian salsa. This stuff is like crack. It takes any meat or fish to another level, and also works as an amazing dip, best scooped with some tostones. Super easy to make.

In a food processor or a blender:
3 cloves Garlic
1 small Red Onion, rough chopped
1-2 Chiles, rough chopped, depending on how much heat you like (Serrano or Jalepeno work well)
1 Red Bell Pepper, rough chopped
1-2 medium Carrots, rough chopped (carrots bring both sweetness and texture)
½ Bunch Cilantro, rough stems removed
2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 cup White Vinegar (or cider vinegar to keep it mas Paleo)

Add ½ of the vinegar first to help chop the veg, and then the other ½ to mix

This makes about a quart of deliciousness. The vinegar helps it keep well, but you can also freeze half for next month.

Basic Marinara – Everyone should know how to make this staple. It’s a template that can serve as the base for other sauces as well. The later addition of herbs, spices, or veg, can take this in any direction you want to go.

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2-6 cloves Garlic, chopped (really depends on your taste, I love a lot of it)

1 Spanish Onion, chopped

*Optional – 1 Carrot, shredded (adds sweetness)

2 35 oz cans peeled Tomatoes (best is San Marzano D.O.P. certified. It really makes a difference especially if you’re using the sauce as-is)

2 tsp Dried Basil (or chopped fresh if you’ve got it, added at the end of cooking)

1 tsp Red Chile flakes

1 Tbsp Salt

2 tsp Black Pepper

- Saute the onion in EVOO over medium heat in a medium saucepan until translucent.

- Add the garlic (and carrot if using) and sauté till fragrant

- Add the dried basil and chile flakes and stir a few seconds to bring out their oils

- Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands into the saucepan (Alternately you can dump them in and use a spoon or potato masher to crush them, but where’s the fun in that?)

- Add the salt and pepper and bring to a hard simmer, then reduce to low. Simmer on low for 15 minutes, or longer depending on desired richness of sauce.

This sauce can be doubled or tripled and kept frozen for some time. Use it as-is on meats, stirred into greens, mixed into sautéed mushrooms or squash as a ragout, or just top your morning omelette with it. Add cumin, cilantro, and some chipotle en adobo and it’s a Mexican sauce. Add curry powder and mix it in with pan-roasted cauliflower with cumin seeds for an Indian side dish. Throw a pint of it in the blender with a cup of coconut milk and desired spices and herbs for a pink sauce rich in flavor and healthy fats. Heck, fry up a pound of ground beef with a Tbsp or 2 of chili powder; add a pint of this sauce and viola, chili.

Cook! Enjoy!


Remember that the Strength Cycle CrossFit Total is tomorrow at 6pm.  Come support these guys and girls as they test their Back Squat, Press and Deadlift!
Miko Salo does 30 Deadlifts at 315 and 60 GHD Sit-Ups in 3:54 CrossFit.com

Reader Comments (13)

OOF. I accidentally set this to post for Wed. Sorry about the delay.
December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Osorio
Power Cleans190x3x5Dips8.6.6

No time for conditioning today. :(
December 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergabrus
Fox, kudos on the recipes!

I made the marinara last night and it's legit!!

Great work on Fran everyone!
December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterShane

After the Total tomorrow, we'll head over to THE ROCK SHOP for revelry and self-congratulation/flagellation. It's on 4th Avenue:


Everyone is welcome - spectators, in/significant others, etc etc.

If you need food after the lifting, you can stop at Oaxaca on the way to the Rock Shop for some tacos-to-go, and bring them over.

See y'all then!
December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
I can attest to both of those Sauces. Both are fantastic! The tomato sauce is really one of the most easiest and delicious ways to add flavor to the plain ol' chicken that I tend to make. And, if I can make it, anybody can.

I'm looking forward to watching some of the Total on Wednesday! I know you all will rock it. @ Michelle, while I LOVE Oaxaca, I'd double check with the Rock Shop about bringing in outside food. I know they used to let you bring stuff in but I'm not sure if that's changed since they now offer food.
December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJess
OH! I thought I heard you could bring stuff in... I will check, thanks.

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
I mean if we can get some grub there, the problem is solved.
December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
Love it. I will make the aji that's good stuff.

Good luck to the total folks tomorrow night, I am planning to be there, do a little work of my own and cheer on all of the animals!
December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJr
Active Recovery+10:45 Fran, thrusters as RX'ed and 15-9-6 pull-ups. Thrusters were all unbroken and the pull-ups were all singles. Some day I'll learn how to kip (swing! hips!). Thanks to Jess, Laurel and Malcolm for all the encouragement and counting. Even though this was totally slow, it was good to get all those pull-ups in.
December 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatie
you can still take food into mission dolores - bethany and i had some tacos-a-go-go there the other night.
December 14, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterasta
Fran 9:0070lbs and 15-9-6 No bands!!! I am free!

Thanks to Shane and Jeremy for keeping me moving.

Good Active Recovery, much pain, some joy.

I'll make aji this weekend, can't be bad.

"Thrusters unbroken", go Katie.

December 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterChris J
Light Fran. Took this very carefully to avoid re-injuring my wrist. Did it at 65lbs and even then if I wasn't perfect my wrist felt it. But taking it slow I got through all the reps. Total time 8:35.

I was pleased with how the pullups went. I had to keep the kip smaller than usual to protect my wrist, but went okay.

Great being back.
December 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMalcolm
Fran70lbsGreen bandDidn't have to add a white band to launch my ass up to finish for the first time. This meant a little slower than last time but I'll take it.11:41
December 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPeter

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