The time has come.

It has finally arrived. It’s exhibition night week. Holy crap. I can’t believe it’s here already. In four short days, my students will be showing off all of their hard work from this school year. In four short days, change will come. Stress will go higher than I think I can prepare myself for, and then it will all be over, in a flash. Two hours doesn’t seem valid, it doesn’t seem to be enough time to even come close to explaining everything we’ve learned this year, learned, together.

The anxiety has kicked in already. The unknown, oh how it can be such a silent killer. Not knowing what to expect, not knowing what is going to happen next, well, it puts me in a complete funk, and today I felt it. Working on lesson planning for two weeks from now (as I know I will not have any time this week or weekend) for quite a few hours this afternoon was a drag but cooking helped. Cooking always helps.

Menu for today – started out with my vegan St. Patty’s day meal as promised. I didn’t get creative as I had hoped though. Not out of lack of interest or time, but because of olfactory – my memorial smell and taste of true St. Patty’s day meals – corned beef and boiled vegetables. So, I boiled potatoes, onions, carrots, brussel sprouts and cabbage in mustard seed, fennel, black peppercorns and bay leaves. It was exactly what my brain wanted, and I was pleased.

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Then I roasted some beets. Picked a huge bag up at the market yesterday for 2 bucks. I’ve been craving beets for awhile now and I’m so glad I got some. Delicious and nutritious – source of energy, vitamins and minerals (especially iron and potassium), help purify your blood from toxins, lower your blood pressure, and surprisingly – are a natural aphrodisiac. I made a balsamic salad with the roasted beets, fresh orange slices, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds over kale for Rach and I when working today at the university. Maybe if I actually ate the salad for lunch instead of chips and guacamole I wouldn’t have had so much anxiety and blah-ness later in the day.  You are what you eat – and salty corn chips, not so happy.

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Anyways, I finished my cooking day with a few more things. New things! First, raw Brussels sprouts salad – processed in my ninja storm and tossed with a homemade apple cider vinaigrette (olive oil, apple cider vinegar, pepper, garlic, and maple syrup) and chopped pecans. Oh wow, so fresh and crisp. Ate a bowl for a taste test instead of a spoonful it was so good.

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Then it was on to some Sriracha oven roasted cauliflower tossed with general taos (wegmans brand sauce) pan seared broccoli and bok choy over brown rice and topped with fresh scallions. Had it for dinner and made two containers for lunch this week at work. If I could eat bok choy every day, I probably would. Just saying.

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Then I decided to be bold and go places I’ve never gone before. Ha, oh did I fail. So, as you read a few weeks ago, I’ve started making my own almond milk. Success. Every time. Delicious. Every time. Dare I try, coconut. I did. I bought a young coconut, thinking that because it didn’t have the hairy hard shell of a mature coconut that it would be easier to open. Oh was a wrong. Not easy, not difficult, but surely a challenge. After getting it open I poured the water into my ninja. I chopped away some more and got it completely open. Scooped out the flesh (meat) that is kind of like a jelly as this maturity – tastes amazing. Blended it all together and didn’t like the flavor. In all honesty I think it was because of the coconut water – which I love in smoothies, so I plan on using it in smoothies this week. Just definitely cannot drink on it’s own. Next time I think I’ll try a mature coconut and just use the flesh and blend it with tap water.

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Lastly, I used up the last of my polenta that was in the fridge. I sliced it up into french fries, tossed them in olive oil and Italian seasonings and baked them at 450 for 15 minutes, flipping over just a few times. Oh my. These may become a new addiction. Inspired by a local restaurant – polenta fries are super gooey and creamy inside and crisp on the outside. I’d say next time that I want to add some cayenne seasoning as well to give them a nice kick!

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I’ve decided to unwind before this crazy week by watching a movie and going to bed early. Happy healthy eating this week! ❤

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