Buttered toast, bunches of kale.

How does it feel? What next? Congratulations, what are your plans? How long you sticking around?

In two simple words: No idea.

Three days post graduation and Portland is (of course) raining again and I find my lethargic self lounging on the couch with the Food Network keeping me company in the background as I peruse the careers section of every company website I have ever bore even slight interest in.

Why oh why did I have to major in International Affairs when my career aspirations lie in positions which look for applicants holding degrees in marketing, communication, or journalism?

Any tips on getting a foot in the door in the fashion/broadcast journalism/media/magazine industries?

***

Enough about career snazz, I’ve been busy trying to rejuvenate and enliven the fraction of a person this stressful semester has made me:


Remedy: 10-14 hours of replenishing sleep per night and a healthier quantity of Peet’s Espresso Roast

Plus now I can take all the time in the world at the grocery store reveling in the inspiration evoked by bunches of kale, mustard greens, and an endless variety of mushrooms…

Whole Foods swag: 4 filets of steak, 2 Jamaican jerk marinated chicken breasts, 2 vanilla Oikos (on sale 4 for $5), big n beautiful aubergine, blueberries, eggs, thyme, and a bunch of Kale

New Seasons Market: cherry tomatoes, Chez Gourmet wild mushroom veggie patty thingies, Melitzano (Greek aubergine/parsley salad), Italian Parsley, and Un-pictured: 5 lbs of organic strawberries (ONLY $2.99 per lb), 2 containers of vanilla Siggi’s Skyr, Kefir, Blueberry Crumble cake loaf, zucchinis.

As has been ingrained into my psyche over the course of the past six years, proper functionality, health, and livelihood is impossible without sufficient nutrition. Now that I no longer have to spend twelve hours a day in the library subsisting on lukewarm coffee and take out sriracha drizzled rotisserie chickens, I can get a little creative in the kitch utilizing new fresh local ingredients (and realizing it’s actually OK not to have meat with every meal)**

“Deconstructed taboula”: chopped parsley, artichokes, pearl onions, cherry tomatoes, aubergine hummus, Melitzano, topped with a Chez Gourmet Wild Mushroom/grain veggie patty (8 grams protein, 110 calories, and ONLY 125 mg of sodium…delicious and very favourable nutrition stats). Unintentionally vegan meal (but then again my dinner consisted of 2 barbecued mini steaks, a breast of jamaican jerk chicken and mango habanero salsa)

Lunch ingredients. Making a valiant effort to up my daily veggie intake…

Zucchini, artichokes, pearl onions, sundried tomatoes, and thyme sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes

With my (failed yet still delicious) attempt at 2 fried eggs, Melitzano, chili sauce and a slice of the king of toasts (Dave’s Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains.) There was also an un-photographed second slice of a nostalgic childhood favourite, BUTTERED TOAST. The craving was intense and cravings must exist for a reason.

The process of rejuvenation also prescribes chillaxing with homies over sunny meat & mango fest BBQs and late night passionfruit bellini/hors d’oeuvres happy hours at Henry’s Tavern (to prevent the onset of antisocial-itis):

Waffle Fries with gorgonzola cheese sauce. $4

Mini chicken satay with peanut sauce: $4

Anne’s super creamy Mac n Cheese with gorgonzola & prosciutto $4

Basic Caesar Salad…must have also been $4?

Pear/Manchego/Walnut/Arugula/Prosciutto salad with Jalapeno Pear Vinaigrette…Anne thought it was too spicy, I picked out the bits of peppers and arugula. $4

Amalia’s olive tapenade hummus & pita, which she took to go since we basically ordered the entire menu.

Henry's 12th Street Tavern on Urbanspoon

**In reference to the comments regarding meat inclusion: I know I have a strange obsession with including meat in every lunch or dinner to be set before me. Don’t get me wrong, I love meat- everything from the texture and flavour to it’s satiating properties- however my compulsion with always adding a breast of chicken or slab of filet mignon to everything I order or make has limited my options and prevented me from indulging myself with other desirable selections. I am aware it sounds silly and absurd to have a “meat inclusion compulsion”, but there are times I crave a warm finger-flour-ifying massive falafel gyro, a brie/pear panini on rustic ciabatta, or fresh handmade gnocchi tossed with wild mushrooms and truffles but instead opt for some semi-generic salad topped with a breast of grilled chicken in order to keep my protein ratio high. I suppose that having a nutritionist back in my high school days may have tampered with my mentality regarding the “shoulds” of eating.

Thus, I have decided to create a thirty-day challenge for myself: One vegetarian meal per day of whatever I want and a chance to get creative and hopefully sever some of my deeply-rooted food complexes.

End reference**

And, just out of curiosity-

How much do you spend per week on food/groceries? 

How often do you eat meat? If you’re vegetarian, what are your primary protein sources?

3 thoughts on “Buttered toast, bunches of kale.

  1. I budget $150/month for groceries, and it’s easy enough for me to stick to. Sometimes I dip into “fun money” if there’s a pricier special ingredient I want to try (like tahini, etc).

    As far as the vegetarian thing, I’m thinking as you get into it, your body will crave those things naturally. That’s what happened with me, at least! I went from an occasional meat-eater to a “lets just see what happens” vegetarian, and now a year later, I couldn’t be happier or miss meat less! There are lots of amazing protein sources for vegetarians – Greek yogurt, eggs, and tons of vegan ideas like beans (which are awesome with brown rice and Daiya), hemp seeds, nut butters and nuts, tofu, seitan, tempeh…the list goes on and on and on!

  2. I don’t want to shock you with the amount I spend on groceries…I’ll whisper it into your ear some day.

    I understand the impulse to always include meat…or at least, lean protein. Probably that carbphobia has inserted itself firmly into your mind…as I also detect the lack of sufficient carbs in a lot of your dishes. I would suggest starting with grocery shopping: stock up on good sources of carbs, and lay off the meat for a while…you need to defy your tendencies in order to break them.

  3. I feel like I always have the opposite problem and find myself avoiding meat – although I’m not vegetarian. I should do the reverse and challenge myself to add more meat to my diet!

    Also, I might be able to give you a little helpful advice on fashion/ journalism and magazines. If you’re interested, my email is hannahsoopark@gmail.com – feel free to send any questions you might have.

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