Seattle and Whole Grains

Everything about home was magic. Soul lifting, heart warming, beautiful magic. For nine days I didn’t have to worry about money, about the hound, about my job… about anything. I spilled my guts to my mom, and took comfort in her warm home and understanding eyes. I laughed with my stepmom and dad as we climbed up a mountain, surrounded by tall pines bowed with snow. Christmas eve I did the yearly raid of my grandma’s closet, collecting yet another pair of shoes.

355924877401482529_2573928I shimmied. I shook. I saw all those friends of mine that have claimed parts of my heart. We got starry-eyed off of peach/vodka drinks (dangerous) and I ended the night exclaiming that I “couldn’t feel my face”. Piggy back rides turned into dance parties turned into taking swigs of whiskey straight out of the bottle. Being around those people makes my heart swell to good Grinch levels.

Needless to say, coming home (do I call it that yet?) was difficult. It was heavy and hard. I spent the majority of my plane ride over thinking all of the things that would be missing when I touched down in Texas. How all that I loved was back up in that beautiful city. But I told myself that Texas is worth it. I haven’t even scratched the surface of this fascinating town. This place hasn’t found the corners of my soul. I haven’t given it the chance.

So yes. I did cry a few tears that first night back. I cuddled the hound a little too hard. I felt sorry for myself a little too much. But I got over it. I spent my 26th birthday (oh yeah… that happened) alone, reorganizing my life and making a home for myself. My sister and brother-in-law took me to a fancy dinner. My co-workers surprised me with cupcakes (which my dog decided to treat himself to… four of them, mind you) and sang me happy birthday. My best friend back home sent me this picture. BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT. Then, I agreed to go out with co-workers on New Years Eve, when I would have probably ended up going to bed around 10, giving the hound a smooch on the nose. Oh! And I got offered a big girl job, with the whole package included.

358773387646767365_240755803It was a pretty great “Welcome back to Texas.”

I found myself in the kitchen yesterday. The hound at his proper post, waiting for the tiniest shred of sweet potato. I hummed a First Aid Kit song to myself as I made myself a big dish of roasted vegetables over brown rice. I felt a surge of happiness. It was brief, and it was accompanied with a pang of homesickness. But it was there.

And then do it all with a goddamn smile

So, I am planting roots. I am.

Roasted Vegetables with Whole Grains

From: My brain

  • 15 brussels sprouts, washed and cut in half
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into small pieces
  • 4 kale leaves, washed, de-stemmed and cut into bit size pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This is a super simple recipe, and is my go to for many a dinner. Turn the oven on to 400 degrees F. Toss your brussels sprouts and sweet potato in olive oil and salt and pepper. You can sprinkle in some extra nutritional yeast if you want (which I always want). Once the oven is warm, roast the brussels and sweet potato for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You will want to roast for about 40 minutes, and you’ll want to throw in the kale (which you can toss with a light amount of olive oil and salt and pepper as well) for the last 15 minutes, that way they will get crispy but not burnt. While the veggies are roasting, start your grains. I did brown rice. You can throw all of this over any grain, my go to is usually quinoa, as it will give you some extra protein. You can learn ALL about grains (and how to cook them) from this 101 cookbooks article– I go to her blog for most everything. Cook your grains, and when your veggies are done, remove them from the oven. Then toss your veggies over your grain, top with 1 tsp of nutritional yeast and enjoy. This is a quick(ish) and warming meal. It will probably become your go-to, or it should be added to your “what should I make for dinner” solution.

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May All Aquaintance Be Forgot…

I have a giant zit on my chin. My head also feels like it is full of fluff, and I am working a ten-hour shift.

waaaa waaaa. Pitiful me.

No no no, 2012… I will not start my year off feeling like a cotton headed ninny muggins (when else would I ever be able to use that line from Elf??)

So here is my cliché new years resolution list for 2012… Yes, most of it involves running, veganism and yoga. Deal with it.

1. Practice yoga at least four times a week. This means going to a class four times a week. The other three days, at least incorporating some sort of meditation/yoga/stretching into my daily life. YOGA EVERYDAY.

2. Diversify my vegan diet. Spend more time with kale. Use the new immersion blender/regular blender (my mom thinks vegans eat a lot of soups and smoothies) and make magic in the kitchen.

3. Continue training for my full marathon. RUN RUN RUN.

4. Allow myself space to be quiet. To sit and do nothing. To not plan every minute of every day scheduling something. Meditate.

5. Be kind to my body. As I am constantly being bombarded by germs from all angles (I work at a children’s Urgent Care clinic; sickness is literally FLYING at me)

6. Climb Mt. Baker– I will succeed in reaching the top of a mountain and once again reveling in the fact that our bodies can do amazing things, and this world we live in is a beautiful place.

7. Allow myself to be a quirkyalone for as long as I want. I refuse to ever settle, even if the loneliness sets in and the world tells me to fall in love for the sake of companionship.

8. Start a girl band with my friend Molly. She will play the ukulele. I will play the banjo.

9. Learn to play the banjo.

10. Make time for my friends. Always. Long walks with the dog. Chats over tea. Girls night out. Sessions in the sauna. I am the people I surround myself with. My friends are my sanity.

Here is to you 2012. Lets make my 25th year EPIC.