I fell off the yoga wagon.
Haven’t been to a class in over two weeks. My life is shifting right now, causing my schedule to bumble around. First, my spouse and I are preparing to move to Virginia. It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from where we are now, but we still need to pack up and load every dish, book, and piece of furniture. I’ve been donating stuff and shredding files like crazy. I started playing tennis again, and I’m adding a writing class as well as a writing workshop to my week. Not to mention my freelancing is picking up, I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen due to Clean Eating, and my husband and I are dealing with the emotional turmoil of fertility issues as we try to start a family. The yoga studio is a good 30-minute drive from my house. No wonder I haven’t been making it over there lately.
I remember when I was a law student I was particularly stressed out one semester. At the time I was debating adopting a puppy. “Try to minimize the stress in your life,” my parents cautioned. I adopted the puppy anyway, but I thought it was good advice. Even though I’m excited about the events in my life (moving, taking a class, more work assignments), change takes its toll. What can I do to minimize the stress?
I let go of a column that I enjoyed writing but that didn’t pay. I asked my husband to take over some of the dinner duties (grilled salmon, yum!). My parents are going to help with the move. Also, there is a yoga studio that is closer to my current place. I’ll try it out next time. I feel calmer already.
The carrots I hold in my hand are fresh from a local garden. They’re dirty and have wild bushy green tops. I wash and peel the carrots then pick up the knife. I have a long way to go until I can maneuver this utensil like those chefs on the Food Network, but I’m getting better. Faster.
I cut the carrots, chop the onion, dice the celery, slice the mushrooms and throw everything into a skillet with water. While the veggies are steam sautéing I boil tri-colored pasta in a medium pot and steam spinach in a small one. I add tomatoes and tomato sauce to the skillet. When the pasta and spinach are ready I add those too, along with garlic and oregano.
My husband, Ron, wanders in the kitchen.
“What’s for dinner?” he asks.
“Italian Skillet Casserole,” I say.
He leans over my shoulder and investigates the simmering dish on the stovetop.
“Almost all veggies,” I point out.
Cooking healthier foods has been challenging in certain ways, but one thing I completely forgot about when I started this new path is that my husband can’t stand vegetables. He’ll eat certain items (broccoli or beans or salad) because he knows they’re good for him, but he would prefer them as a side dish, not the main dish.
But it just so happens that his company is having a Vegetable Challenge this summer.
So perfect timing.
I scoop out the meal into two bowls, light some candles, and sit down.
It’s delicious, and I look at Ron to see what he thinks. He’s pushing a piece of onion, a hunk of tomato, and a mushroom slice to the side. “I can eat them when they’re small, but these big pieces…” he shakes his head.
“You need to retrain your taste buds,” I suggest softly.
He’s a good sport so he takes a huge spoonful, onion chunks and all, and gives it a go. He likes it. This truly is one of the tastier dishes I’ve made, and when I’m done I push my bowl aside and lean back in the chair.
“Hey, what’s that?” Ron says, peering into my bowl.
“Nothing,” I say.
“Uh-huh,” Ron nods, smirking.
Okay, okay. So I really do consider myself a vegetable lover, but I’ve always struggled with cooked carrots. There is small pile of them left. I guess we both have some retraining to work through.
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2 tablespoons goat cheese
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon chopped chives
2 slices smoked salmon
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons mixed baby salad greens
2 pieces WASA Light Rye Crispbread (may substitute any WASA variety)
Sread 1 tablespoon of goat cheese on each crispbread. Sprinkle each crispbread with 1/2 tablespoon of capers and ½ tablespoon chopped chives. Cover each with thinly sliced salmon.
Mix olive oil and lemon juice together. Sprinkle ½ of the oil mixture on each crispbread. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper.
Top with baby salad greens and sprinkle with remaining olive oil and lemon mixture.
TIP: Substitute cream cheese or low fat cream cheese or feta cheese for goat cheese.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Nutritional Value Per Serving
||3% of daily value