Cauliflower is better than rice

Hear me out. Rice is dumb. It takes a long time to cook, has to be heavily seasoned to taste like anything and can easily turn into mush.* I also think of it as a “nothing” food similar to pasta — it’s taking up a lot of space in my belly without bringing a lot of flavor or nutrients. I mean, I’m not best friends with cauliflower or anything, it also doesn’t have a lot of natural flavor (it’s no beet if you know what I mean) but it only took 5 minutes to cook and served the same purpose as rice underneath this sugar and soy-free beef and broccoli dish we had last night.

I’d make cauliflower like this again. The beef? Maybe. Fur sure once I can add brown sugar and soy to it. It was fine. I think I cut it the wrong way and cooked it a little too long, and everyone knows cooking beef past medium rare is letting the terrorists win.

I loosely followed this recipe. Maybe if I’d had less hubris and followed it more closely, the meat would have been more tender? Flavors were there, don’t get me wrong — I know how to make food taste good. Once again, it’s salt, people — the answer is salt.

Cauliflower is just finely chopped, sautéed in a pan with olive oil, garlic and ginger and spct (salt, peppie, cumin, turmeric — my classic four) cook over medium 5-8m. Looking forward to trying this caulirice with curry next week. Stay tuned.

*Real talk — I’m just bad at cooking rice.

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Raw fish and me? We’re married.

Truth is, I’ve never met a raw fish I didn’t like. Sushi, sashimi, ceviche, oysters, nom nom nom. But because I don’t have a professional fisherperson in my friend group (a position for which I am accepting applications by the way) the only dish I feel confident making at home is ceviche. I tell myself it’s safer from a tummy perspective because the fish “cooks” in the citrus but I honestly don’t have any evidence to back up that claim. It’s never made me sick, so that’s an n of 1 — but whatever, I’m the boss. I’ve also made ceviche before and know that it meets all the Whole 30 requirements so I will probably make it once a week at minimum just so I have something to look forward to. My life is V exciting.

Normally I make it with soy sauce and pickled ginger but those are no-no’s, so this recipe has a bit more apple cider vinegar, a touch of sesame oil and fresh ginger. I also added mango for sweetness — will be continuing that in the future. Also in my plans for eating more mango will be learning how to cut mango.

Recipe:

1. Chop or thinly slice: shallot, jalapeño, onion, mint and/or cilantro

2. Cut into cubes: cucumber, avocado, mango

3. Mix above items in bowl with apple cider vinegar

4. Take skin off salmon (just pull it off, much easier than you think) and cut into cubes

5. Put salmon cubes into separate bowl with lemon and/or lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and finely chopped ginger (normally I would also use soy sauce here, but instead I added a few drops of sesame oil). I also like to add wasabi, but found tonight that this really works much better with the soy sauce.

6. Salmon should be completely covered by the liquid — sit in fridge to “cook” for 10 minutes.

7, In the meantime, I like to crisp up the salmon skin on the stove for a little crunch, if that’s not your thing, maybe add some tortilla chips into the mix? Your call.

8. I put my ceviche over greens, tonight it was kale. Add salt. Then add some more. If your food tastes bleh, 87% of the time it’s because you didn’t season it correctly. Spices are everything.

Jared thought this ceviche was really good, I missed the soy quite a bit. He also wanted to add asparagus (to this and literally everything else we make) so I’ll be carrying on as captain of this ship for now. 3 days down. 20 to go. Math is hard.

Yes, we put kombucha into wine glasses. Cause we classy AF.

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Day 2: Attempting Positivity

After reading my first two Whole 30 entries, Jared furrowed his brow and mused, “You’re going to be like this all month then?”

I can’t imagine to what he could have been referring; I’m an extremely sunny individual. With that said, I’ve decided all on my own to approach Day 2 from a more proactive stance. In pursuit of that goal, I decided to make a proper lunch for myself rather than graze on garbage snacks all day.

Since my go-to treats, cheese plate and trail mix, are verboten, I have employed the most powerful tool available to me: vinegar. If it stands still, I will be pickling it — this week it’s cucumbers, onion and beets. Next week — the world!

Not sure if it’s my new attitude or my heavy hand with the seasoning but this salad was tasty. I’d say I didn’t even miss the bleu cheese, but no one would believe me because it would be total bullshit — I always miss the bleu cheese. It could be ice cream and I’d miss the bleu cheese. Still, a solidly delicious lunch. I’m amazing. But vinegar is the real star here.

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Whole 30 – Day 1

Turkey and mushroom stuffed bell peppers.

They were fine.

Recipe:

Heat oven to 425 degrees

Cook the following on the stove in a skillet with olive oil:

1/2lb Ground Turkey

1/2 cup mushrooms; chopped

1 shallot; chopped

4 cloves of garlic; chopped

1/2 onion; chopped

1 jalapeño; chopped

Then stuff into the following:

2 Bell Peppers; halved

Finally cook in oven for 10-15min. Top with guacamole and salsa or not, it couldn’t possibly matter less. It will still be fine. Salad optional, but you should eat it.

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Whole 30

Or as I like to call it, wholly bullshit. Any diet that allows bacon and mayonnaise but prohibits whole grains and greek yogurt is a not rooted in any principles of healthy eating. With that said, as part of his never ending quest for self-denial, my partner has recruited me as accountability buddy and culinary architect for his next personal Everest: the Whole 30 Challenge.

As if we weren’t basic enough, we will now be spending the next month living an existence devoid of sugar, grains, dairy and alcohol. What I think I’ll miss most is my personality, as I’m sure to become someone who talks about how much better I feel now that I’m off sugar. The truth is, I’ve never really been on sugar and I already eat healthier than most people I know, but if it makes his heart sing, I’ll spend a month cooking fun new recipes and pretending I don’t miss beer. What’s better is I can blog about it, thus ensuring everyone I know is subject to the nonsensical ramblings of someone who hasn’t eaten cheese for weeks. You’re welcome in advance.

Because this journey doesn’t begin until tomorrow, I did what any reasonable 30 year old woman would do — I ate cookies and pizza for breakfast and a cheese plate for lunch. Then I took to Pinterest for inspiration and created a 30 day menu. I will post the results here for as many days as it takes for me to hate life, after which I will likely not bother. The best part of doing this now is that afterward, we’ll never have to talk about it again. I expect to experience nothing earth shattering and for it to be basically fine. So, stay tuned — it should be an aggressively mediocre month.

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Reunited and it feels so good.

Finally, after 30 months, three states, nearly 50 labors (attended, not personally experienced) I have graduated from Vanderbilt and moved to Seattle to be reunited with Sugar.

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I am also glad to be back together with Jared, who has been extremely supportive of me in a way that makes me smile from the inside-out. I can’t express the overwhelming sense of accomplishment and relief that comes from having successfully completed this stretch of long-distance relationship-ing. I am hopeful we won’t have to do this again, but I know better than to make declarative statements on that front. I also have some exciting news that has to do with pregnancy — those belonging to my future clients at my new job (see what I did there).

I have accepted a position as a certified nurse midwife with Empowered Pregnancy, a new birth center opening this summer in Kirkland, WA. We will be offering full scope midwifery and women’s health services to those living in the greater Seattle area. I will now wait while you take a moment to like our Facebook page. If you chose to ignore my instructions, I am a little salty with you, but will support your choices. Speaking of supporting choices, I am also working as a clinician with Planned Parenthood which, combined with opening a new birth center, is pretty much my dream scenario.

I’ve spent the last six weeks sitting around, reading, wandering and re-watching The West Wing, which may sound like a queen’s existence, but I’m ready to get back into the world of three dimensions and put this pricey education to work. Hopefully I will be able to use my new-found lack of time to be a more active blogger, which would bring me great joy. Or maybe this is just an Monday morning energy boost, who can tell?

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Student Midwife Life

Confidence is a tricky thing. From where does one derive it? I am an obnoxiously self-assured individual and am still finding myself feeling extremely insecure during this trying summer of isolation and expected growth. This is the time we’ve all been waiting for, right? It’s been a four year journey for me, almost to the day, since my mother-in-law looked at me and suggested I’d be a good midwife. And I decided to believe her.

It has been with the love and support of my family that I successfully made it to Vanderbilt. “Sure, completely change directions in life, we support you,” said my family. “$150,000 to follow your dreams? Go for it,” said my partner. I am seriously-hashtag-blessed. Both to have the family I grew up with and that which I have been able to make for myself. My latest home, Nashville, has brought me a group of extraordinary women I never thought would mean so much to me. It is because of you that I have made it this far in an obscenely challenging program, and it is you who I miss on these lonely nights in Tampa.

I think of the joys, sorrows, community and contention our group has dealt with and fostered and it brings me strength. I love how different we all are and how much we rely on each other. It would be an invasion of privacy to share with the web-i-verse the tender moments we are able to confide in one another via our private Facebook group, just as it would be inappropriate to share a video of my husband singing Celine Dion if such a video did exist. Point is, we are in this together and I am finally able to appreciate how much I need all of you.

I am grateful for your support and thank you all for being my friends. No one else can understand why an otherwise strong, adult woman might burst into tears whilst watching a Parks and Rec episode post-call except you (the Grand Canyon is beautiful and April and Andy love each other!) I expected this two-year detour to be a quick pause on my real life, but it has shaped me more that I realized, and for that I thank you.

This summer is hard. The insecurity is real and the self-doubt is crushing but knowing we are in this together makes it all a little easier. As a brilliant future midwife and president said — I’m not going to worry about it until it actually gets between me and the next step — I’ll be taking that advice to heart. And just in case this got a little too real and sappy, let this video assure you, my every sincere thought is dipped in sarcasm…. ❤

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