So I started a new teaching job this week. It’s a job that could be for a few weeks, or it could be until the end of the year…which is great. It’s at a wonderful lovely little country school, with a great staff, and a class, which all things considered is lovely (although a tad too chatty for this teacher’s liking)…all of which are great. But the circumstances and timing of how I got there mean there are a lot of details and loose ends which fall on me, in addition to being thrown in a class near the end of the year.
I can’t complain. It’s a job, and I am working, which is more than I can say for a lot of other teachers in my province. It’s just that all the added stress and workload have turned me into a bit of a stress case. Oh, I know, I’ll go blow off some stress with a good workout at the gym…
OH WAIT, I CAN’T.
Yep, you heard that right. So I had this really weird, random pain high in my left side off and on for about a week. Some days it was non-existent, and on the days it was around, it would come and go, and be really intense when I moved certain ways. Rolling over in bed was almost unbearable. Monday morning I woke up and it was really awful, so I went to the walk-in clinic Monday night.
The doctor thinks it’s muscular, and prescribed me anti-inflammatories, and told me to avoid lifting/most exercise for a couple of weeks!!!! Good news, it’s feeling better so far (making the gym oh-so-tempting). Bad news: all I can do is walk (which I’ve been doing for an hour every morning). Reading all of your wonderful blogs is torturous in a way, especially when I hear Maren talking about how awesome the “Bikini Body Circuit” in Shape magazine is, when I have that very magazine, and would like nothing better than to tear it out and do it. But the last thing I want to do is injure myself further, so I guess, *sigh,* I’ll follow doctor’s orders.
Onto happier things. I’ve been playing more with the garam masala I told you about last week (thanks for the suggestions, by the way). Shana (I know it seems like I talk about her all the time, but I can’t help it, she’s just awesome like that) suggested squash soup. So on the weekend, I made a big batch of squash and cauliflower soup, then at the end, stirred in some chopped roasted beets just to mix up the soup’s flavour/texture a bit (as you can see, they make the soup look pretty wonky/psychedelic when you stir it up).
Mmmm…that girl never steers me wrong! The subtle spicy sweetness of the garam masala worked with my beloved squash so well. On a cold day, it made a delicious accompaniment to another quinoa-crusted pizza Margarita (FYI, I froze one crust, then reheated it in the oven for a couple minutes. It was a tad crumbly, but worked out just fine). I drizzled my naturopath-recommended flaxseed oil over the top (I actually kinda like the taste of it, and don’t mind adding the stuff to every meal).
I used some of the leftover soup to make a creation that was one of those “so ugly only a mother could love,” swamp-water-esque, but “I promise you it’s really delicious” concoctions that I am surprised didn’t draw any comments from my coworkers, although I’m sure they must have inwardly been asking themselves, “What the heck is that new teacher eating?!?!” Into a glass container, I threw more roasted beets, frozen edamame, and some leftover sautéed mushrooms and kale, then topped it up with soup and a drizzle of oil. When I reheated it at school, I added some goat cheese crumbled on top. Beauty contest winner? Nope. Random? Heck yes. Delicious? Absolutely!
More G.M. success Tuesday night. I used it in a sort of Indian/Morrocan-esque turkey, bean and vegetable stew that was fabulous served over leftover cooked quinoa (best thing ever to have in the fridge – so versatile, yummy, and time saving). No recipe for you, but here’s an ingredient photo, and basically you just brown the meat, add the veggies and brown a bit, then add the tomatoes, water, beans, salt and spices and simmer away until it’s all tender and blended together. There were a LOT of spices in there: in addition to the garam masala, I used chili powder, cinnamon, curry powder, cumin and coriander. But it wasn’t too spicy at all. Added bonus? More great leftovers, a busy teacher’s best friend.
Here’s a new food revelation for you: It’s ok to eat a bigger steak than you probably should if all you’re having with it is salad and then a banana soft serve sundae for dessert. I’ve said so. It’s official. I give you permission. I mean, although it was very think, look at the New York strip loin: probably twice as much as I should be eating at one sitting. But no carbs, grain, bread or meat in sight. Just a nice, big, ol’ salad. Yep, I think I’ll go ahead and eat it all. Also, you know you’ve made one mean salad when you cook steak, and the person you cooked for can’t stop talking about how good the salad was. Not gonna lie, it WAS pretty darn tasty. Spinach and arugula (that may or may not have been just a tad yellow, but that’s ok, we ate it anyway and haven’t died…yet), grape tomatoes, basil, dill, green onions and grilled portabella mushrooms, bell pepper and zucchini. Any guesses as to what kind of oil I used to make the dressing? Hint, it rhymes with pax bleed and has lots of omega-3s….
Oh, and because I am such a naturopath-devotee, that steak was free-range organic….NOT! Because, let’s be honest, steak is dirt-cheap anyways, so I can totally spare the extra money and buy organic (Sorry, all the chaos in my brain is making my sarcasm flare up just a tad, that happens sometimes). You all know that I like to be super-rebellious and live on the edge. In fact, we did buy one free-range, grass-fed steak last week. It’s in the freezer, haven’t eaten it yet. But we already had these steaks in the freezer, purchased from a non-organic, yet local shop. Not very well going to let that go to waste, am I? Ok, sarcastic steak rant over.
So that’s my life in a nutshell right now: I’m a potato and wheat-free, sugar/fruit combo avoiding, hour-long walk going, gym-avoiding, garam masala cooking, non-organic steak eating, blogging, teaching maniac! Here’s the thing. Like most bloggers out there who are at all honest, I’ve definitely had those “maybe I should quit/take a break” thoughts, especially with how busy life is right now. But somehow, in a way it made me want to blog more…maybe as sort of an escape/outlet…does that make any sense? Mind you, by next week it might change, so don’t be shocked if I disappear from the blogosphere for a couple of days. But for now, (and always really), I’m glad I have you here, and thanks for reading.
If you ever had an injury that kept you away from the gym, what did you do? How did you cope? Have a great weekend guys. Keep calm, and cook, eat and blog on (whichever applies to you).