Change of seasons

Happy change of seasons, ya’ll! Wow, I can’t believe how cold it has been this weekend! Just last week it was in the high 80s and I was complaining about sweating through my summer dresses while teaching my students. Now I can’t seem to get enough layers on me to get rid of the fall chill that’s trickling down my spine.

My mom and aunt came out to visit this weekend and we had a blast! We enjoyed the public market in the morning, some antique shopping, a fantastic dinner at my local vegan spot, and a night in cuddled up watching a chick flick. Just what I needed after a very long and very stressful week at school. I bought myself a quaint mug for small sips of morning coffee and a bouquet of fall flowers to brighten up my life (preparing for another possible stress-filled week) and enjoyed them both as I worked on lesson plans for the week this afternoon.

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I also spent this afternoon cooking two dishes for this week – comfort food dishes, obviously, to warm me up during this cold week ahead! Each dish is prepared with fresh vegetables from either my garden, my mom’s garden, or local farmer’s gardens 🙂

First off — my mom’s cauliflower fried rice. She is obsessed with this stuff so I figured it was time to try making it for myself. I started out with 1/2 yellow bell pepper (from my mom’s garden) chopped, 2 portobello mushrooms chopped, 1/2 red onion (from the market) chopped, 3 cloves garlic (from my mom’s garden) chopped, and 2 medium sized carrots (from my garden) chopped. I sauteed these veggies in a little bit of olive oil and ground black pepper.

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Then I processed the cauliflower into rice using my ninja storm. This took seconds, so please don’t tell me this recipe is too difficult and time consuming, cause its so very easy 🙂

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Then I added the cauliflower to the sauteed vegetables and turned the heat up to crisp everything up. I ended with some freshly grated ginger and about 2 tbs of some sesame ginger dressing (Iron Chef brand).

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Can’t wait to eat this yummy dish this week – full of nutrients and flavor!

Next up – one of my favorite comfort foods, stuffed peppers. These peppers are loaded with protein, about 20 grams per, thanks to the french indigo lentils that have a whopping 13 grams of protein per serving and lean ground turkey. These peppers legitimately have less than 10 ingredients – super simple, yet so delicious.

I start out by cooking the lentils and brown rice together (about 1/2 cup of each) in 2 cups of water. I let that boil, then turn the heat down to a medium heat simmer with the cover on, stirring occasionally. Then I brown the ground turkey in a pan with some red onion and garlic. Once it starts to brown, I turn off the heat, add in some ground black pepper, thyme, and rosemary. Then I top it off with wegman’s ‘Grandma Pormodoro’s Sauce’. I combine the lentils and brown rice with the turkey and stuffed the peppers (from my mom’s garden) that I had already pre roasted (in the oven at 375 for about 10 minutes) and top with some more sauce. I put them back into the oven for another 15 minutes to let everything meld together and bam, done!

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I love prepping my food on Sundays. It’s a relaxing routine that I missed over the summertime… lesson planning, playing music, and cooking. Having just these two dishes done for the week makes things so much easier for me throughout the week. Lunches are either of these dishes or salads, already put into glass Tupperware, ready to go!

Here’s to enjoying the last bits of sunshine today coming through my window (totally not going outside, its in the low 50s!) and finishing up my lesson plans for this week. Looking forward to continuing our journey of learning about chemistry through inquiry experiences in my classroom!

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