30 Day Challenge: Day 3



Seriously, why does food have to be so good? I am finding probably the biggest challenge of this 30 day challenge is not eating after 7pm. I remember my grandmother always saying to eat after this time was a mistake. Everything my grandma has ever said, I kind of have taken to heart, even if it doesn’t make sense half the time, for it’s a sense within itself, I guess. I am not a huge night time snacker to begin with, but I just find time such a beast in the way of wanting to get all the things I want to get done in the 10 hours I have. Honestly, can it really be done?! When 3 was born, it was like the clock lost 2 hours and from that day forward, I always feel like I am running about 2 hours behind schedule. It is a chasing, answering and sharing life with little kids, planning and making meals often not appreciated, and all this with glimmer of hope that there will be at least an hour sometime in the evening to just SIT. There are times when my dinner is instead a nighttime snack, my favorite being homemade popcorn. It takes me to my happy place. Popcorn, seriously? But popcorn and I go way back. Not to date myself, but I remember in high school after one of our school plays, the group and I went to go see Austin Powers in the movie theater. I remember the awkward silence after I told my friend, the one I was in the play with, that I didn’t share and I wouldn’t share my popcorn with her. Oh…high school, how I don’t miss you. Unfortunately not much has changed. I will make the children popcorn, but when they are all nestled away in their beddies, I, without hesitation, reach for my vintage yellow Pyrex bowl and make a fresh batch of popcorn just for me. Aside from all of this, I am staying focused and steadfast. Run, really I am going to.

Image credit:www.popscreen.com

Big Barn Bowtie Pasta

Oh, finally the sun is out. Seriously, it is as though it has been raining for years. My skin is an awesome shade of pale white and my entire body is sore from my workout yesterday. I have determined, despite lack of sleep, it is time to return back to my old routine of going to the gym early again. Our nights, most days, are filled with different commitments and engagements. It seems the most logical thing to me. I can’t handle the stress that comes with time restraints or time slots to have workouts an hour before we have to go somewhere or when others will be arriving at our home. So now, in the early morning hour, I will feed 3, put him back in the crib and off I will go. I don’t necessarily feel motivated, but I am committed. I have determined in my heart that this is what I need. I know I do. The feelings of accomplishment far succeed the feelings I get with procrastination. My weight? I don’t know. I still don’t feel as though I can be bothered with that. What matters, is that I am fitting into clothes, maybe I will weigh myself on Friday. Tonight we have our homegroup pot-bless. Pot-bless? Well, we believe we are blessed not lucky, therefore, pot-bless. Three things I have prepared for it, my sister’s favorite pasta dish, big barn bowties, hummus, and vegan chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.

Big Barn Bowtie

(inspired by Rebar)
1 lb faralle
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 large onion, diced
1 tsp sea salt
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
1/3 cup minced sage
1 tbsp minced thyme (optional)
8 cups chopped savoy cabbage
1/2 cup vegetable stock, or water
2 medium carrots, half-moon slices
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp cracked pepper
1/2 cup walnuts, roasted
1/4 cup brown butter
extra minced sage and thyme
grated Parmesan cheese

How To Play:
Heat a large pot of water to cook the pasta. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large skillet. Add onion and 1/2 tsp of salt and sauté until golden. Add garlic, chiles, and minced herbs and sauté several minutes longer. Stir in the cabbage and remaining salt and cook until the cabbage is well coooked and slightly browned. Add stock or water to prevent the cagbbage from sticking to the pan. Add carrots and continue to sauté until tender.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente and prepare the brown butter.[Place 1/2 cup of butter in a small saucepan and melt over low heat. Let it simmer for 10 minutes until golden amber in color. Strain through a cheesecloth to remove solids and use immediately- I don’t strain it, I just pour it in to the dish when required]. Just before serving, season the vegetables with balsamic vinegar, salt and cracked pepper to taste. Toss in extra fresh herbs if using. To serve, toss the hot noodles with the vegetables, drizzle each serving with brown butter and top with crushed roasted walnuts and grated Parmesan.
* I toss the noodles in with the vegetables, but also add the walnuts, butter and about 1/3 cup of Parmesan cheese in with them too. I don’t think it really matters the manner in which it is served. I love Parmesan cheese, so taste and see if you need more cheese or not. I often add more than 1/3 cup.