Where have I been? What have I been doing? How have I failed to update this blog for so long? Well, where do I start… I’ve continued to have a very busy, yet glamorous life, as you can see…
I’ve been working but not much more than regular work hours, something about the past year has really made me feel like my time off work I should focus less on working more, and more work into spending time with people, and trying new things.
My cousin moved back into my neck of the woods, and I have tried to take the opportunity whenever possible to hang out with her and the kids – they are awesome (yet outrageously squirmy) subjects to photograph, and sometimes the chaos of full house is calming to me…. But I’ll save that for couch time somewhere down the line, haha. In the meantime, me and these babes have regular photoshoots and yell in incomplete sentences to each other.
I have taken up yoga again recently, which has been brilliant for me. I have finally found this very easy way to pull away from my hectic schedule. I put my phone away, lose contact with the outside world for a full 75 mins, it’s just me and my mat.
I am almost a year out from quitting smoking, and since I have not created very many good habits to replace it with, I have leaned on yoga a lot lately, especially since my gym closed without much notice last year, and I only joined a new one this past week. In 2015 I managed to complete four 5k road races, and if I didn’t feel like I was coming down with something (maybe thanks to the above squirmy germy playmates mentioned above, or it’s just that time of year….?) I would be running one today! In order to not be too squirmy myself- I’ve tried to remain as active as possible, which included a hike on Christmas Day with my sisters (seen below) and I even got myself a Fitbit for any necessary motivation.
I haven’t stopped cooking for myself, but recently I’ve been approaching it in a very different way. I joined weight watchers with a friend, and have taken this as a great opportunity to examine what I see as a portion, where the protein is coming from, how can I try to add more vegetables into this, or that… One thing I have noticed is when I read how much a serving is, it doesn’t seem like it will be enough. When I eat, for example, a 3oz serving of protein, it turns out it is often filling enough.
It’s pretty often that when I’m cooking, I have this little notebook next to the stove, and I jot things down so that if I make the same thing again, I’ll make the changes I think about while cooking, or if I’m working off an existing recipe, I’ll write down the ingredients I changed, or added, but sometimes I don’t measure things the same way, and when I want to write down a recipe, instead of how many carrots it was, I want to use a recognized measurement, so… one of the things that I have used when I find myself asking how many cups of carrots were in that recipe? Maybe not the most accurate, but helpful in a pinch! I’m always happy to find new resources like this, or for substitutions online.
chick & bae spinach
this recipe based off one from the NYT
ww points per serving: 6
1 tablespoon, olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (or pressed – which I’ve been doing a lot since finally I got a new garlic press)
1⁄2 teaspoon, ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon, table salt – or to your taste
1 teaspoon, black pepper – or to your taste
2 tablespoons, tomato paste
15oz (one can) organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 1⁄2 – 2 cups carrots, peeled and then sliced to bite sized pieces
1 cup of water (or low sodium vegetable broth, or a mix of your favorite bullion cube and water)
1⁄2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, or add “to taste”
6 oz of fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
1. In a heavy bottom pan, start with the olive oil, on medium – low heat, add the onions and cook them down for about 5 minutes until they are fragrant and become slightly translucent. Add the garlic about halfway through cooking the onions. Make sure you stir constantly!
2. Add the cumin, salt and tomato paste, mixing constantly so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
3. Once the paste gets a little darker in color, which is a few minutes after adding, add the carrots, the chickpeas, water (or broth if you choose to go that way), cayenne and bring to a simmer for about ten minutes – you’ll notice you can break the carrots with your spoon, and know that the chickpeas are also soft enough.
4. Add the spinach a little at a time, and mix in – as it wilts. Once it is all mixed in, add the black pepper and maybe play around with how much cayenne pepper you’ve added.
One thing that I will definitely do next time is to make sure that I’m using a heavy bottom pan, because it’ll be easier not to scorch anything accidentally… I think I’ll also try experimenting with a mix of baby kale and baby spinach and adding more than just carrots next time!
To re-heat, I found it was brought back to life a little better when I added a tablespoon of water (sprinkled over) before I microwaved it. I ate this with some orzo and a boca burger one night, and then with some mahi mahi, the next night. It’s going into the rotation, I think. I really like this recipe, and it was really quick and easy and best of all versatile.
I hope to be able to be better at updating this year – perhaps set aside some time for myself, and instead of watching some terrifically bad tv show that I love watching…. maybe instead, complete this fairly simple task of posting a recipe I really liked.