She is going back to grad school to become a nurse practitioner. With this and working the rest of the time at the ICU I have promised to be there. For more dinner and laundry dates. Whatever it takes to get her through school.
I love her. We have been friends for well over a year. We are so odd. Not only are we physically opposites. Her dark hair, tan, dark eyes, Romanian and more exotic looking. Me blonde (usually), hair, blue eyes, pale skin. We both are the same height and incredibly strong women (willed and physically). This theme of being polar opposites, but the same oddly runs throughout our friendship. I love mornings. She is constantly telling me to shut the fuck up. Who is that happy in the morning? I love people. Tab is pickier. I am a free-spirit hippy. She is a bad ass nurse who gets shit done. She is more practical and brings me back to reality. The list is on going. However, somehow we are a perfect duo, who has withstood the test of time and life’s challenges. If ever the other is needed, the other shows up. As she says, I am her ride her die. Continue reading →
This weekend brought about a lot of reflection. Taking my little cousin out on Saturday, educating her on bar etiquette, taking care of her, and passing along my party girl wisdom. It really just solidified how much I have changed and how done I am with that stage of my life. My advice: be young and stupid. Approaching my 30’s looking through my 20’s, I am thankful I had that wild party phase done and out of the way. I feel I am ready now. Ready for life. For love. For family. For goal getting. I feel more settled. And I feel like I will not have a mid-life crisis, I got that shit out of my system. Be young. Have fun.
Yesterday I spent with my best friend. Doing her laundry. Cooking lunch. Cleaning out the fridge. Editing papers. It was all very adult like. Standing in the kitchen with my best friend, prepping food, listening to 90’s R & B, laughing and catching up, I fell in love with this moment. The older I get the more I celebrate the small. Especially this. This transformation. The simplicity of our day. The women we have become. The way our relationship has grown and evolved through fun times and break-ups and challenges. We are always there for each other. This moment in the kitchen is the now us. Helping her study for grad school. Lifting each other up. I am so thankful for these moments.
And while we are in the kitchen she requests a zucchini lasagna. The zucchini were smaller and I like to add a lot of color and different veggies in a dish, so I just started chopping things up and combining different flavors. Put it in a pan and made a casserole of sorts. So then we could sit together and enjoy a meal together. Such a small, special, magical, perfect moment. This is me now. How thankful I am for the transformation.
I have never really been a sandwich/wrap girl. Sometimes, however I like an unwich. You know a sandwich wrapped up in lettuce. Last week while dreaming up recipes, I decided I should try a wrap. I had some spare spinach in the fridge, why not toss that in, get some spare veggies in?
What to put with it? Chicken of course comes to mind. How about some more green? Add cucumbers for some freshness. Also there is an avocado in my fridge, let’s make a spread with it. Sounds tasty and good for a little after-work meal before I head out for a walk. It is nice and cold/freezing here in Indiana. The colder weather is paradoxical for me. It fills me with cabin fever, restless energy, and wanderlust. I want to be outside playing and exploring in the snow. Yet I also love to post up in my cozy apartment creating. Painting the huge canvas in my living room. Or working on my cookbook project. Or in my kitchen making up recipes. And so I get my fix on it all. I go for a hike in the snow and come home to warm up in my kitchen! This is a lovely little post-hike feel-good-fill-you-up meal. Plus once you make the wrap, you can fill it however YOU like!!!
Gluten-Free Spinach Wraps
1 1/2 cup tapioca flour
1 cup flaxmral
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup spinach
3 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
1/2 cup water
4 oz. pulled chicken
Avocado puree with cayenne pepper and sea salt
Let’s Make it Happen: Pulse tapioca flour, baking powder, salt, and spinach in a food processor. Add the ghee. While it is still running, pour in water. Add flour or more water depending on texture. If it is wet and sticky, add more flour. If it is dry, add more water. Divide into 4 balls. Cover with a cloth for 10 minutes. Roll out. Heat coconut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Toss the dough in there. Allow to cook 20 seconds on each side, until slightly browned. Cool slightly. Fill. Roll. Enjoy! Feel free to freeze and stock-up.
My love affair began a decade ago. When I was a senior in high school and when my parents still had their fitness business, we began incorporating kettlebells. It was love at first swing. I spent the summer studying Pavlo, an amazing Russian who is master with a bell. I was quickly addicted. Addicted to practicing. I was set on developing my skills. Some of these moves can be complex, I wanted to nail them. Plus I was going to school for exercise science. I am also a naturally strong women. I spent my summers working out with my dad, brother-in-law, college athletes and guys from the gym. Eager to show myself and that I could hang with the guys. That is how we once broke a 90 lbs. bell on a Sunday summer workout. Men and their pride. I spent over 5 years training kettlebells (before I realized I liked the cooking aspect more).
I have really been working on cooking for myself lately. I work in a kitchen. I spend a decent amount of time baking and cooking for others or thinking about cooking for others or about creating recipes to post. Rare do I stop to think of myself. Frankly I am And I go back to what my father always tells me, you can’t be of service to anyone else, if you don’t take care of yourself. Of your own health. So I have been creating space, making time.
This past week I made a delicious rutabaga pizza crust, stuffed portabella mushrooms and this beautiful dish which I am calling a lasagna. Being single and living alone means that these three dishes can feed me for days! This dish in particular was extremely filling and it made a lot of servings, so I ate on it for 4 days.
Butternut and Kale Lasagna
2 Butternut Squash (I used ones with longer necks), thinly sliced
I like recipe that I can prep and then make easily. This recipe falls into this category. I get 4 meals for the week at once, and all I have to do once I have stuffed them is bake them fresh when ready to eat.
This has an assortment of colors (nutrients then). And it has great flavors. I love that I let one bake a little longer and the kale on the top got nice and crispy, so a little texture was added. The great thing about stuffing something like this is, you can tailor it for your own taste. Maybe you don’t like onions, but you like peppers. Sub them out. Maybe you want to stuff your mushrooms with mushrooms, you can do that. Maybe you want to use cauliflower rice, rather than quinoa. Maybe you don’t want any dairy, take out the cheese. Maybe you want to add Brussels sprouts. Maybe you want to trade sweet potato for butternut squash. Build your own. Get and be creative. Make it taste good for YOU. You are the one eating it, enjoy what you make, what you’re eating, what you’re using to fuel your body. Make it taste good. Food can be delicious.
A few years ago I was really into reading. I decided I would read 100 books in a year. Needless to say I have been recovering ever since. My reading has been on a massive decline. I digress, it started on my birthday. When my friends ask what to get me, I generally say to donate it to charity. My sweet granny is the only one who has ever listened to me. So I stopped requesting and decided a few years ago to come up with a list. Naturally the top were albums, but none of my friends were willing to go into Headstones in Terre Haute to pillage through the stacks. I am the hippy, they are much more anaylitcal and conservative than I am. Next up, I wrote up a list of books. My best friend, Tab, really came through. I excitedly opened up a package to discover Emerson’s Self Reliance and Nietzche waiting for me. This Nietzche quote speaks to my soul.
I am a walker. I walk to work. I walk out my problems. I walk out my goals. I walk out my stress. I walk out my joy. See where I’m going. I walk to work. Part of the reason I chose my apartment, is that it is within walking distance to anything I could want. People offer me rides and frequently ask if I’ve walked. Of course I did! And then I typically (occasionally I will accept a ride) I will then decline.
Walking is when I think. Where I clear my head. I often write blogs on my walks. And frequently I come up with recipes. Rather, they seem to find me or just pop in my head. Have you read Big Magic by Liz Gilbert? Excellent freaking book on creativity. She talks about inspiration. About it choosing up. And then it is up to us to grab it. To take it for our own and use. And so often, inspiration hits me. And I have to act right away. Like the recipe is being delivered to me to execute.
“I believe that our planet is inhabited not only by animals and plants and bacteria and viruses, but also by ideas. Ideas are a disembodied, energetic life-form. They are completely separate from us, but capable of interacting with us—albeit strangely. Ideas have no material body, but they do have consciousness, and they most certainly have will. Ideas are driven by a single impulse: to be made manifest. And the only way an idea can be made manifest in our world is through collaboration with a human partner. It is only through a human’s efforts that an idea can be escorted out of the ether and into the realm of the actual.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
Last week while walking to work I knew I needed to try and make a pizza crust out of rutabaga. And so I finally did. It was delicious. And here it is. The recipe that came to me, while walking.