I own a few journals, and in one of them I began to keep score for two teams: college and the real world. It wasn’t a standard points system, exactly. I simply wrote lists of what I didn’t miss about college and what I liked about the real world. Surprisingly, the first list became pretty long. But one thing I can say for certain that the real world has over college is food.
At my small school, the dining hall food was terrible. I feel bad, really, because I’m sure the chefs did the best they could with what they were given. However, as a foodie, that stuff just didn’t cut it for me. I ate a lot of salads, bread, and plain pasta in those four years. Okay, fine, I also ate a lot of curly fries until they stopped serving them sophomore year. Sure, we were able to escape to Dunkin, Roche Brothers (where we became notorious for requesting boxes of 60 chicken nuggets), Bertucci’s, and the local Saki restaurant. Still, I was pretty low on cash in college, and high on laziness, so I usually just sucked it up and ate the dining hall food my parents paid for within my tuition.
Now, I am no longer a slave to the dining hall menu. If I want mac and cheese every night, I can have mac and cheese every night. If I want any kind of salad I want, I can make it and use my favorite dressing. I can experiment with cooking because I have a kitchen I share with only two people, rather than an entire dorm. I go through my cooking phases, but lately I’ve been in a Trader-Joe’s-prepared-salads phase. I’m trying to experiment with cooking more, so I thought a good motivator would be tracking it on my blog. I mean, my mom and best friends are actually fully interested in what I’m eating, and they mainly makeup my readership. And maybe if this blog gets famous, some recent post-grad bored at her job will have fun searching through the archives and scrolling through pictures of my food because it’s more entertaining than answering the phone every five minutes. You’re welcome, future post-grad. I hope this inspires you to cook and maintain a balanced diet.
So, it must have been a rough week for me, because sometime towards the end of it I purchased a pint of Ben & Jerry’s new Core icecream. I bought the Peanut Butter Fudge flavor, and it was heavenly.
I don’t care what’s in that fudge in the middle– it tastes incredible. Think peanut butter made from chocolate instead of peanuts. I knowwwww.
After shoveling a half a pint of Ben & Jerry’s into my five foot-tall body, I woke up on Saturday with a need to go to the gym, which I did for the first time in a month. When I did ballet, I hated running and detested people who legitimately loved it. I’m on my way to becoming one of those people now, though I still think ballet is the best and most fulfilling form of exercise. Endorphins, man. They’re where it’s at (Jess, they are real. Just accept it). Running on the treadmill after a month without formal exercise felt amazing. My post-workout meal (and let’s be real, my post-workout shower) contributed to that top-of-the-world feeling following a rush of endorphins.
That would be Fage 0% fat Greek yogurt mixed with peanut butter, topped with blueberries and chia seeds. A friend turned me on to peanut butter and Greek yogurt and now it’s one of my favorite meals/ snacks. The blueberries and chia seeds add a nice flavor, crunch, and loads of health benefits. And of course, I had to sip on some pomegranate juice while I watched some post-workout Parks and Recreation (you can make any activity healthy/productive by prefacing it with “post-workout”) , which my best friend and I are obsessed with. Tip: the plain flavor is good by itself, but if you’re thinking of making it into a healthy cocktail, the blueberry pomegranate flavor pairs better with vodka than the plain pomegranate pictured above. Just sayin’.
So after my workout, I got lazy. Luckily, my best friend got lazy with me. We decided to treat ourselves by ordering in for the first time since we got our apartment. Yea, that’s a quality about myself that I severely dislike. We took advantage of DiningIn and both ordered sesame chicken and garlic noodles from P.F. Chang’s. It was beoynd.
What I’m most proud of, however, is the meal I cooked by myself last night. I had yesterday off for a really small medical procedure. And by medical procedure I mean I had to have a plastic surgeon sew my ear back together after my dog kinda ripped it in half by trying to pull a heavy earring through the bottom of my ear. Thank goodness she’s so cute.
Look at dat faaaaaace.
Obviously I needed to treat myself after my first ever surgery, so I went for an almond milk latte and giant Heath Bar cookie at Peet’s with my best friend from ballet who was visiting from Texas. Apparently, even after that mini grub fest, I simply needed to make spaghetti squash. And so I did.
Man was this easy. Well, cutting the damn raw spaghetti squash in half was not easy, and I almost cut myself open for the second time that day in the process. Thankfully, I survived, threw the thing on a baking sheet, doused it in extra virgin olive oil like I was Mario Batali, and cooked it for about 50 minutes at 375°. Once it was fully cooked, I followed Gracie‘s recipe for Creamy Avocado Spaghetti Squash. Oooohhhh it was so good. I don’t even really like squash, but in the form of creamy, stringy, slightly crunchy spaghetti, it’s like, where has this been all my life? I will definitely be experimenting with other spaghetti squash recipes in the near future, though this one will remain one of my favorites.
My goal is to maintain enough motivation to keep improving my cooking skills, and, hopefully, inspire some of you to do the same.
Have a wonderful end to your week! Rest up for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations this weekend. I know I will 🙂