Making cauliflower and broccoli gratin while working out

We weren’t actually planning on going for a run today, but when it started to rain we just couldn’t resist. There’s something so refreshing about going for a run in the light rain, especially since it captures and washes all the yellow pollen dust away. We were finally ready to increase the pace a bit too, and that’s plain fun. I just love it when I can feel my legs and lungs working together and we pass the border between jogging and running. And then it’s over. 

Back at home and out of the rain I decided to make a cauliflower and broccoli gratin while doing strength training workout in sets. I’m going to admit right away that I got a little help, but I promise I could have chopped the vegetables and still been able to work out. Of course, this is multitasking and the quality of both activities might have been a bit reduced, but I’m happy, tired and stiff, and I’m no longer hungry! Considering I ruined my poor thighs last week, doing 15o squats after way too long time without squats, a careful workout was perfect.

I started by preheating the oven to 200 °C (a little less than 400 °F) and doing a set of 10 squats, 10 dumbbell bicep curls and 10 sit-ups. Meanwhile the cauliflower and broccoli were being chopped, not by me obviously, and the cheese was being  grated. While the vegetables were boiling merrily in salted water I started a Béchamel sauce by melting butter and whisking in some flower. When the two were merged into a golden mousse I added milk, little by little, while stirring well and avoiding lumps.  Nutmeg, salt and pepper provided the sauce with some flavor and I let the sauce come to a boil. While the sauce was simmering I repeated the set of 10 squats, 10 dumbbell bicep curls and 10 sit-ups. I had time to repeat the set some more times before the sauce and veggies were ready.  When the veggies were nice and tender they were dumped into a baking dish and draped in the delicious sauce.  I added a sprinkle of cheese before the whole thing went in the oven.

While the gratin was baking I had time to stretch and shower before dinner. I left the gratin in the oven for a good 20 minutes or so before I increased  the heat to 225 °C (approximately 440°F) to get some beautiful golden brown crusts. I usually don’t use a timer to indicate whether or not the food is ready, it’s more of an aroma-texture-color thing and I don’t measure or weigh stuff much either. I know there are some recipes where that attitude just won’t do, but for this gratin I’m safe.  I let the gratin rest on the bench before serving, just long enough to take some pictures for the blog. Yummy scrummy delicious!

The sets I did aren’t all that, but a good start. If I’m going to have a good running season this year I’ve got to have muscles to carry me around and I’ve got to start somewhere. I’m not going to wake up in great shape for quite some time yet. In the mean time I can combine cooking and working out.





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