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Know Your Zucchini, Know Yourself

Let’s take a minute to talk about zucchini. Zucchini is the one vegetable that seems to be so abundant by the end of summer that people are begging their neighbors and friends to take grocery bags full of the squash. I always try to avoid taking zucchini, because I really don’t like to eat it in its simplest form: raw. However, last summer I was hypnotized by the size of a zucchini my mother and I found at a French market.

Congratulations on your zucchini baby!
Congratulations on your zucchini baby!

When the awe of how a single veggie could reach this size, and be sold for just a couple dollars, wore off, I struggled to make it go away. I made muffins with it. I baked brownies with it. I made it into chips. I topped it with tomato sauce and cheese to trick myself into thinking it was pizza. I felt triumphant when I reached the end of it. I never wanted to look at a zucchini again.

This summer, I’ve been receiving zucchini in my CSA box, and while my husband will eat it raw with hummus, I have usually resorted to the easiest cooking method: steaming. Yet, today at lunchtime I was inspired. I chopped a fresh onion (also from my CSA box) and sauteed it in olive oil with garlic, and then, once it was caramelized, threw in the zucchini. It smelled divine. My mouth watered as I grated some parm over the top.

This picture does not do it justice

 

On a completely unrelated note, I want to direct your attention once again to Claudia, The Breakfast Drama Queen. As a breakfast fanatic, her blog makes my mouth water even more than today’s lunch. I recently did a little cookie recipe testing for her; they were delicious and I can’t wait for her e-book.

Thanks to Claudia, you, readers, have a chance here to get to know a little more about me. She tagged me in her post, which, by the way, has some fun Bastille Day recipes included.

Here are 11 facts about me:

  1. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was in high school. It wasn’t necessarily a choice based on ethical beliefs, but rather because the thought of eating an animal freaks me. Throughout the years, I’ve come to form ethical beliefs about “factory farming” and non-sustainable fishing practices, but I still usually keep those to myself.
  2. I can never take a photo during my yoga practice with Catniss photo bombing, but I love it. Now, if she isn’t in the photo, I bring her in for a retake.
  3. Although I really enjoyed my visits to Ireland, England and France, especially after having studied European history voraciously growing up, I most want to travel though Central and South America in the upcoming years. (And we’re talking years, because Nick and I won’t have enough time off in the next few years to really travel to the extent I’d wish.)
  4. Speaking of history, the one period of American history that I can’t get interested in, and therefore know almost nothing about, is the Civil War. I just can’t.
  5. I have experienced deja-vu so frequently throughout my life, sometimes I wonder if I’ve had deja-vu about having deja-vu…other times I wonder if things I remember happening ever actually happened…
  6. I love roller coasters. I don’t think I’ve ridden one since I went to Disney World the summer after my freshman year of college. My husband has been promising to take me to Holiday World for three summers now, but it hasn’t happened. I love that feeling of almost flying and I need my fix!
  7. I’m a sucker for a good quote, if you couldn’t tell this already from reading my other posts. My favorite part about writing research papers was always selecting the little golden nuggets to strategically place within my own writing.
  8. My favorite color is green because it reminds me of nature, growth, health and relaxation.
  9. I guess I can’t say it was love at first sight for me and my husband, but I did know even before we started dating that if we began a relationship it would be something special. It didn’t take me long to realize that I had no doubts about being with him for the rest of my life. It was effortless, like something I had always known inside me since I was born. (I hope this doesn’t embarrass him!)
  10. When I can’t sleep, I bake. My family has been the beneficiary of my insomnia since high school.
  11. My current goal in my yoga practice is to gain control in my crow pose. I have always had a strong desire to grasp this pose, and I frequently dream about doing it. I was told this to a yoga teacher, and she told me that if I was dreaming it, that meant I would do it someday. Currently, I can get both feet off the ground, but just barely.

 

And here are my responses to Claudia’s questions:

Do you expect to keep blogging for years to come?

I hope to blog as long as I can maintain the energy and integrity of my writing. I know that I don’t have many readers, but I do hope that the few that regularly check my posts (besides my husband and parents) find food for thought, or at least a spark of inspiration from my own adventures. As soon as I feel my writing has become forced or stale, I will no longer subject the internet to my ramblings. Besides, I started writing for my own enjoyment; if I lose that joy, it’s not worth it.

Favorite meal of the day?

My most favorite meal, hands down, is breakfast. This could be a result of my being, or the reason why I am, a morning person. I almost always have the same thing: oatmeal with peanut butter, cinnamon, and a banana. And coffee. Sometimes I will venture on variations of the oatmeal theme, but nothing quite beats the classic. It’s my comfort meal, no matter what time of day.

Imagine your life ten years in the future. What do you hope it will look like?

In ten years I’ll be in my early thirties. That seems so far away. Instead of making concrete goals for 10 years down the line, I want to be open and curious about the path intended for me.  However, by then I hope to have started a family with my husband. Even though I’m not yet graduated from my yoga teacher training program, I see myself teaching and making a positive impact on the community.

Favorite food?

I already described my favorite meal…so now to pick my favorite food. I think I have to say peanut butter because it’s so versatile. I can eat it creamy, crunchy, with dark chocolate in it, with dark chocolate chunks sprinkled in it, melted into oatmeal, spread on a banana, drizzled over raisins, with an apple for dipping, oozing on a sweet potato, baked into cookies, on a sandwich, stirred into yogurt, and straight out of the jar.

I’ll be right back, I’m going to go get some peanut butter…

Are there any political/social issues that you’re particularly passionate about?

I have the greatest passion for the people I’ve spent time with, helped, been helped by, and learned from in Honduras. There’s not a simple way for me to describe my relationship with the country, the programs I work with, or the friends I’ve made. There is such a deep connection that affects my daily thoughts and shapes my life.

What was the best piece of advice you have been given (recently or otherwise)?

The best piece of advice I’ve received recently has been to consider other people’s opinions none of my business. This doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate others’ advice (obviously) or feedback, but that I only need to take to heart what will be constructive for me and a source of positive growth. I’ve spent a lot of time comparing myself to others, and to my previous accomplishments, without any benefit, so this really hit home for me when it was shared during a meeting for the 40 Days to Personal Revolution program I’m participating in.

If you could change one thing about your life, what would you change? Would you change anything?

I am tempted to say that I’d make my body less injury-prone, but at the same time, working past my physical injuries has taught me some valuable lessons in compassion for myself, strength, and positivity.

Maple syrup or honey? Or is there another sweetener you prefer?

On pancakes, I definitely prefer honey. When baking, I typically use agave, but will use honey on occasion as well. It usually depends on whether the recipe is vegan or not.

Are you a morning person?

Absolutely. I love the morning. I love the quiet, the soft light as the sun rises, the peacefulness, the new start…and my mug of coffee.

How has your blog changed since you first started it?

I initially imagined this blog having a more humorous tone, but I think my sense of humor has been incorporated in more subtle ways.

Imagine aliens have just come to earth and what you to explain humanity in one sentence. What would you say?

We’re a group that has its ups and downs, that strives to solve as many problems as it creates, and that has the potential to better this planet.

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3 thoughts on “Know Your Zucchini, Know Yourself

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