The Faint Rumblings of Change

I find myself feeling boredom a lot lately. Things bore me. Lots of people bore me. My therapist (yes I’m seeing a therapist again) says it’s okay for me to just take some time for myself to heal and adapt and adjust to my new single life. Logically I know she’s correct, but I can’t help but hear the whispers of guilt in my ear that says “you’re stagnant… you’re not DOING anything…”

In 2017 I had a very concrete goal. It took me a long time to build up enough internal courage to start working on that goal. It was a huge life change, leaving my marriage, and the strength it took was boosted mostly by adrenaline.

They say that change is only made when staying the same hurts more than changing. I feel in my blood that there is more change coming for me. I get a lot of people asking me when I’m going to write again, but I’m still fighting the depression that keeps me from doing the things I used to love. The fact that I’m here today says a lot about how far I’ve come.

The good news is I’m starting to get ideas for new blog entries. I’m contemplating a Frugal February meal plan. We shall see! Anyway, thought I’d actually publish something here for a change. I’m not dead: I’m becoming the butterfly.

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Recipe: Greek-Style Cauliflower Steaks Over Black Lentils

It’s been a while since I’ve felt truly inventive.

Late summer and early autumn have had me swimming against the tide of my own emotions. I’ve been treading water for weeks, just trying to keep up with day to day life, and my creativity has suffered. Food has briefly become the enemy as my emotional energy has lowered and my desire to spend hours in the kitchen has fallen to almost nil.

water-2725337_640To give you an idea of how hard it’s been for me to get up the energy to write this blog entry, I had planned to cook this meal on Monday. I had dropped my car off for some minor repairs on Sunday and they couldn’t finish it before close, so I couldn’t pick up my car until almost noon on Monday. I missed my favorite class at the gym. I managed to pick up groceries, get to my therapy appointment and do my laundry, but all I had the energy for at dinner was some pasta. I managed to make my cauliflower steaks on Tuesday night and I took the photos but was too tired to edit them or write.

Halloween was Wednesday and I’m training new employees at work and I came home, ate some leftover pot roast in marinara on a nice Italian roll and treated myself to the best donut ever: a vanilla cut cream from Deluxe bakery. And then I promptly fell asleep watching Cable Girls on Netflix. Because I’m the coolest chick on the block. 😉 It even took me two days to write this out. But I did it!

My plasma donations have contributed to the lack of desire to cook a bit, as my protein is almost always so close to being too low for donation that I’ve just been eating meat meat MEAT, and truth be told, it’s been tedious for me. After the third month in a row with a low protein deferral, I decided to give myself an extra bit of time off to relax my need to so much protein and go back to the vegetarian meals I used to love.

Autumn brings dark and cold (although today it was a lovely sunny 75 degree day) and I want warm, comforting, hearty food that sticks to my ribs without feeling unhealthy. A year or so ago was the first time I tried making cauliflower steaks with lentils, but this time I wanted to try something different: Greek flavors!

The key to a near-perfect cauliflower steak is buying two heads of cauliflower.  You’re never going to get four evenly sized cauliflower steaks from a single head of cauliflower. Your best bet for getting nice thick steaks is to cut the head in half down the center, then to slice one inch steaks off from the cut ends. Don’t throw away the leftover cauliflower! Save it for cauli-rice or cauliflower chowder.

Liberally brush olive oil on a rimmed sheet pan covered in foil, and lay the cauliflower steaks flat. Brush the other side with olive oil too, then pop into a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. In the meantime, make the basting liquid:

In a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, oregano and red pepper flakes.

Stir to combine and use half of the dressing to baste the cauliflower steaks and bake for another 20 minutes.

To serve, lay each steak down on a bed of black lentils (I cooked mine until very soft and seasoned only with salt), baste with the remaining basting liquid, and top with feta cheese and fresh parsley. Doesn’t that look gorgeous?!

IMG_4323The salty feta works perfectly with the toothsome cauliflower and creamy lentils, and all of that is brought together perfectly by the garlicky lemony basting liquid. A hearty, filling vegetarian meal for a cool autumn night. ❤

Greek-Style Cauliflower Steaks Over Black Lentils

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Stick to your ribs vegetarian meal with Mediterranean flavors.

Ingredients

  • 2 large heads cauliflower
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 oz. lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 oz. feta, crumbled
  • 4 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 2 cups black urad lentils, cooked according to package directions, and salted to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with 1 tbsp. olive oil.
  3. Slice each cauliflower in half down the center, then slice off a 1″ steak off of each side. Save the leftover cauliflower for later.
  4. Lay the four steaks on the oiled baking sheet, and brush with another tbsp. of oil. Roast for 20 minutes.
  5. While the steaks are roasting, combine the remaining olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes and kosher salt. When the 20 minutes is up, use half of the mixture to baste the cauliflower steaks, and roast for an additional 20 minutes.
  6. To serve, lay down a base of lentils and top with a cauliflower steak. Brush with the remaining basting liquid and top with a sprinkle of parsley and feta cheese.

AML’s Beginner Kettlebell Workout (with Update!)

UPDATE: Just a note. If you have issues with shoulder bursitis you might want to replace the windmills with a different kettlebell movement. Windmills can be very hard on the shoulders, which I’ve discovered after a mild case of bursitis. My suggestion would be to replace the windmills with a simple Kettlebell Clean. Other than that I still do all of these kettlebell moves on a regular basis and still love them!

Over the past few months I’ve been showing some of my walking group girlfriends how to use kettlebells. It’s been intermittent at best, but recently I made the suggestion that I could design a beginner workout for them, and that suggestion was met with great enthusiasm! So here’s what I came up with:

AML Beginner Kettlebell WorkoutThe Moves (link takes you to a YouTube video):

Download it in easy to read PDF Format here: BeginnerKettlebellWorkout

This past Wednesday Sharon and I went over it at the gym, and Saturday morning I tried it on my own, just to see the pacing. I used a 30-lb bell for everything but the Russian Twists, which I did with 20-lbs. You should use a kettlebell that is the right weight for you.

The warm up took me approximately 3 minutes, the workout approximately 10 minutes and the cool down approximately 4 minutes. I didn’t take many breaks during the workout, but feel free to break in between steps, just keep the break a maximum of 20 seconds. Feel free to adjust the warm up and cool down portions if you prefer, and as the workout section becomes easier, repeat it up to 3x with a 2-3 minute break in between.

grab life (With Good luck!

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