Happenings + End-of-the-Week Fridge Meals

Hello friends, it's a busy time, as you might imagine. I've been neglecting writing here mostly because I haven't felt that I've had anything thoughtful to write. The days come and go like waves. I finish my assignments, read some for my magical realism course and psychology courses, take a bike ride, and go to sleep. It's been peaceful in way, despite taking a full course load and finishing my honors thesis, but laced with the feeling that there is something more that I should, could, want to be doing, something dissatisfying beneath the surface. I know much of it is wrapped up in my impatience for my new life, as it were, to start. I've been so ready to be done being a student, to find my new apartment, to have said apartment all to myself, to start my new job, to feel like I'm a real adult in a way that I can't as a college student. Even though I know nothing will go as smoothly as I imagine it will, that living alone in a new city, being in a long distance relationship again, and adjusting to a new job for which I clearly have the skills but not the content knowledge will all be difficult, I am still ready. I have been ready for a long time. And now I am impatient, because time has to pass in the way that it does, slowly and out of my control. Yes, of course I am excited for end of college shenanigans, for graduating, for traveling, but I have to wait for all of those things too.

Why can't you relax, you weirdo? Why can't you just be happy? Why do you have to be so impatient? I have asked myself all of these questions, too. Impatience is a part of who I am. It makes me ambitious, but can also make me dissatisfied. I like to think that I have a good balance of feeling impatient for the new and content with the present: I enjoy being alone at home with my books and cooking and quiet; I like commitment and rules and order. But psychoanalysis isn't very scientific, and especially not when one is psychoanalyzing oneself, so maybe I'm not as balanced as I think I am. Anyway, what I'm trying to say is that I'm not someone who identifies as a thrill-seeker or someone bound by instant gratification. While I have dreams and aspirations just like the next person, I seem to feel more discontent about not being able to reach those things right now. Granted, this makes me unafraid of commitment or of becoming a grump (watch Star Trek TOS for that reference), but also makes me less able to enjoy being a college student who messes things up in the way young, inexperienced people do.

But this is a cooking and food blog after all, so now that I've gotten my internal monologue out on paper (screen?), let us turn to food. I've been cooking a lot, but not anything that I've felt super compelled to take pictures of. I've been trying to be more budget and diet friendly, now that it's spring (or trying to be spring - Chicago is distinctly not out of its post-winter phase yet) and I don't need to hunker down with carbs stuffed with carbs and cheese plus a warm brownie to feel human again at the end of the day (although I'm not opposed). I've been cooking more like I used to at home, in high school, when I was vegetarian and using more grains and vegetables. I've also been perfecting the art of the end-of-the-week-fridge meal, i.e. the night before you plan to grocery shop again for the week and you are like, wow, what is all this crap and what am I going to make with it for dinner?? Last week I pulled together a hummus, fried egg, roasted zucchini, lettuce-herb salad, and lentils with red curry paste and soy sauce pita pocket that was super delicious. Pictured below is a couscous salad with roasted red cabbage, onion, dried apricots, and parsley with roasted broccoli and spiced chickpeas, out of which I got several meals. It's amazing what you can do with an almost empty fridge.