Time for Spring Greens

I haven’t been much of a cook lately, but on Friday, after work, I got a wild hair and decided to prepare all of the greens in my crisper.

Mostly because I knew they’d rot if I didn’t get them cooked and eaten soon.

What came out of my kitchen Friday night was nothing short of healthful and delicious. I didn’t use a recipe either! (I just started cooking so the ingredients are made up of my favorite flavors. Switch them up as you please.)

Spring Greens just in time for spring!

Roasted asparagus and steamed spinach

Cabbage Soup

Roasted Asparagus, Sauteed Spinach and Chicken Tenders with Green Cabbage Soup
Ingredients

  • 1 lb. chicken tenders
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, stemmed
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 half of a head of cabbage, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. scallions, chopped
  • 1 32-oz. carton beef broth (or chicken or vegetable… I had beef broth in stock)
  • 2 tsp. fish sauce, separated
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. sesame oil, separated
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil, separated
  • 2 Tbs. minced garlic, separated
  • 2 shallots, chopped, separated
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar, separated
  • pinches and dashes of ground allspice, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, ground mustard, celery salt and powdered garlic

Directions

Soup’s On!
Heat half the sesame oil in a stock pot over medium-ish heat. (Gas stove. I cannot measure how hot it is. The flame was about an inch high.)

Add the onions, half the garlic and cabbage, and allow to wilt slightly. Add pinches and dashes of ground allspice, cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, ground mustard, celery salt and powdered garlic. (You can never have too much garlic.) Add half the fish sauce, half the white wine vinegar and the soy sauce.

Once the vegetables have a shiny sheen and wilty texture, add the beef broth. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low for a final 10-minute or so simmer. (BTW even after all of the simmering, the cabbage will still have a bit of crunch to it. We have not killed all the texture.)

Roasted Asparagus
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with foil, spray lightly with cooking spray and spread the asparagus spears across the sheet. Add one chopped shallot, and then dust with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Toss about to get full coverage.

Roast for 15-20 minutes. (I did not have a good look at the time on these. Check them occasionally to make sure they haven’t burned. They should come out with a rich green color instead of that brown-green they are when they go in.)

Sauteed Spinach and Chicken Tenders
Heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a saute pan. Season the chicken tenders with salt, pepper and garlic. Saute until cooked through. Add the other shallot and the other half of the garlic. Drizzle with the other half of fish sauce. Remove chicken and set aside.

Toss the handful of spinach in the chicken tender pan. Salt, and then drizzle with the other half of sesame oil. The spinach will not take long to wilt.

What are you left with?

Cabbage soup

Spring greens dinnerHeaven.

Hard Charge. Wichita. Hell.

For some unknown reason, I thought it would be a wonderful idea to run a four-mile obstacle course on one of the coldest April days ever.

Let me start by saying that it was NOT a wonderful idea. It might just have been the worst idea I have ever had.

Hard Charge. Hell.

I ran (read: lugged myself along in a limping jog) for four miles through mud, freezing cold water, barbed wire, sand and grass.*

*Why does the grass matter? The Allergy Obstacle. Sneezing. Watery eyes. More hell.

My husband, our friend, Bryan, and I ran the obstacle course together despite my pleas for them to run ahead of me because I would just hold them back from enjoying the CHARGE.

Hard Charge Wichita

Thankfully, they did stay with me. I needed both of them to help me over both of the 10-foot walls. Ten feet is twice my size! I am especially grateful for my dear husband who made sure I didn’t quit when I felt like I was close to death.

Hard Charge Wichita

Bryan and my husband destroyed the course. They probably could have gotten great time if it were not for them staying behind for me.

Hard Charge Wichita

The hubs is such a beef cake.

I ran out of gas at the halfway point. My shoes were filled with mud and gravel and my clothes were soaked. I felt like I weighed an extra 20 pounds. I shamelessly skipped three obstacles.

  • The monkey bars, which were like four inches thick. I have tiny hands. Who are they kidding?
  • The ice bath. Just no. No.
  • The cars because I don’t trust the Hard Charge folks to duct tape the windows properly. I’ve seen people fall through a car.

I completed all the other obstacles. Even the freezing cold water ones and the ones where I had to climb over things that were bigger than me.

Hard Charge Wichita

But I made it through! (With COPIOUS amounts of help from Matt and Bryan.)

Hard Charge WichitaHard Charge. Hell. Never again.
(But if we sign up for next year before May 5, then it’s like super cheap.)

Do you have any advice for training for an obstacle course, warrior dash or tough mudder?

The end of April

How do I begin a blog post after I haven’t blogged since March 16?

It. Is. Not. Easy.

I will begin by explaining why I have been absent all month…

April began well.

I got a new hair cut by this fabulous lady. I have bangs!
(BTW bangs give you oily forehead. Oily forehead means blackheads.)

New Hair by JKArtCoI took my sister-in-law, her husband and her two boys to Botanica for the Tulips, Fairies and Friends Festival, which was not too fun, but OMG look how cute the boys are.

Adorable BabyAdorable ToddlerHusband and I ate amazing chicken tortilla casserole with his family for his birthday the Sunday after Botanica, and then… Monday happened.

Monday happened, and I became a giant depressed sad person.

On Monday, April 8, my sweet kitty cat, Hobbes, was hit by a car.

Ivan and HobbesAnd he did not make it.

I was devastated. I started crying when I found out it happened, and I did not stop crying until a day later when I slept for approximately 15 hours.

On my husband’s actual birthday.

That week I also started feeling like absolute crap. Almost everything I have eaten lately has not set well in my belly… It’s probably stress.

And abject loss of cat sadness.

Of course when you lose a beloved pet, especially a sweet little orange one like Hobbes, you tend to do irrational things.

Like get another one to fill the empty hole in your heart.

New CatIsn’t he cute?

We can’t bring him home until he’s at least two pounds and completely weaned from mommy’s milk, but the humane society is taking good care of him until we can pick him up! I’m excited!

April was just a rough month for my husband and me.

Ivan had it pretty ruff, too.

Hard Life

Also in April… Hard Charge. (Hell.) But we’ll talk about that on another day. I promise I won’t be gone long.