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Meal Prep Monday: Chicken curry + coconut rice

Happy Monday! Our weather over the past week has been insane. It started out gorgeous on Tuesday and Wednesday, with over a foot of fresh powder:

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And then it got ridiculously cold (like, negative degrees cold), then snowed some more, and then poured rain all weekend. The storm drains are all blocked up with snow so the roads have flooded on top of the packed snow/ice, so driving around town right now is like a real-life version of the winter level of MarioKart. I may start carrying a stash of banana peels around with me so I can throw them out the window in front of tailgaters.

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Me on day one of the storm.

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Me right now.

Anyway, on to this week’s Meal Prep Monday! If you’re new to meal prep, you can read about my meal prep method here.

This weather has me craving warm, rich comfort food, so for this week’s lunches I decided to prep coconut rice and chicken curry. The idea for this came from my coach, who told me she adds coconut milk to her rice to make it creamy and delicious and I was like YES I MUST TRY THIS.

To make the rice, I just replaced half the water with coconut milk and cooked it like usual. I co-hosted a baby shower on Sunday and knew I wouldn’t feel like coming home and slaving over homemade curry, so I kept it super simple and used this simmer sauce:

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I try not to eat too many jarred sauces because they tend to be really high in sugar and artificial ingredients, but the ingredient list for this isn’t too terrible: Onion, Water, Tomato, Tomato Puree, Coconut Cream, Tomato Paste, Expeller-Pressed Canola Oil, Spices (Including Turmeric), Lemon Juice from Concentrate, Salt, Sugar, Garlic, Ginger, Gum Arabic, Xanthan Gum, and Carrageenan.

I just sauteed some onions,  mushrooms, and chicken in a little olive oil, then threw in this sauce once the chicken was cooked through and simmered it on low for 15 minutes. It tastes AMAZING with the rice – I’m super excited to eat it for lunch next week.

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Since I’ll be eating the same lunch throughout the week, dinners will have a bit more variety: I plan to make Pioneer Woman’s Sausage, Potato, and Kale soup (using turkey sausage) as well as PaleOMG’s slow cooker Barbacoa (which I will likely wind up throwing over the coconut rice since I’m not actually Paleo). Both of these make enough to provide ample leftovers, so I’ll be cooking a grand total of two days this week. Which means I can spend more time huddled in front of the wood stove trying not to freeze.

What are you prepping this week?

I Need a Vacation

I’m juggling a bunch of different projects and planning several events at work right now, and I think the stress is getting to me because I had a minor panic attack in the car on the way to work yesterday over power strips. Specifically, whether I remembered to add power strips to an event purchase order. I know I *thought* about adding them, but did I actually do it? I don’t think I did … GREAT, I’M GOING TO BE FIRED AND I’LL LOSE MY CAR AND MY HOUSE AND I’LL HAVE TO LIVE UNDER THE BRIDGE LIKE A TROLL.

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Contributing to the stress is the fact that I haven’t taken a vacation in almost a year. Partially because my new workplace puts employees through a six-month probationary period before they’re eligible to use vacation time, and partially because I’m one of those people who thinks their office CANNOT POSSIBLY function without them so they hoard their vacation time and wind up having mental breakdowns over power cords.

The good news is that I only have to wait a few more months before I finally get a vacation: A bunch of my best college friends and I are planning a summer trip to Palm Springs in August, and I cannot wait. We all lived in a house together our senior year, and we did a lot of reality TV watching/Chipotle eating/general adventuring around the LA area. It was basically the best time ever. Here is a picture of us hanging out in Santa Monica approximately one million years ago:

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That mint shrug is near the top of the Terrible Decisions I Made in College list.

I moved up to Northern California the year after I graduated, and it’s been way too many years since I’ve seen them (see vacation hoarder comment above). I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself at work, to the point where I feel genuinely guilty requesting time off, even if I’ve earned it. However, I’m finding that the older I get, the more I care about doing what’s best for myself, and that includes taking time off. Basically what I am saying is God help whoever winds up sitting next to me on the flight to LA.

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Please Accept This Photo of My Cat in Exchange For Actual Content

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Here is a picture of my cat hogging every single pillow on the couch so I don’t get disqualified from NaBloPoMo. (Dave just told me if I fail he’s going to make me post a badge that says NaBloNoPo.) It was a busy, busy day at work but hopefully things will slow down tomorrow. It’s almost Friday! Woo!

My Face Hurts

I woke up at 4:45 this morning to the sound of the cat emptying his stomach contents on the floor next to the bed, and again in the hallway. A few minutes later when I was bent over cleaning up the cat hurk, I noticed that the entire left side of my upper jaw was achey, and that if I open my mouth it sends jabbing pains up the side of my face. My first thought, of course, was that it’s probably terminal jaw cancer, but Dave assured me it’s probably just a sinus infection since I’ve been whining about my nose being stuffed up for weeks.

I’m juggling too many projects at work to be able to take a sick day, but I did just email this warning to my coworkers:

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And because the pressure in my face is overpowering my brain at the moment, here are some pictures from the highlights of my weekend. (Spoiler: It’s mostly food. Because of course it is.)

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It was overcast and rainy all weekend, which is basically my most favorite weather in the world. I went for a six-mile run in the drizzle Saturday morning and then spent the rest of the weekend wrapped in blankets on the couch and enjoying the diet of a 15-year-old boy.

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Case in point: On Saturday night I discovered the California Burrito (carne asada, nacho cheese, french fries, and guacamole). I think I’m officially down to one functioning artery.

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And because potatoes fried in oil and covered in fake cheese wasn’t enough, we came home and made sundaes. I forgot how much I love Reddi-Whip. I keep sending Dave on “errands” in the back of the house so I can spray it directly into my mouth from the can without him seeing.

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I bought a pretty new scarf.

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Avocado eggs benedict. We poached just the whites in an effort to keep our hearts from shutting down completely after our weekend of gluttony.

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Dave’s mom and sister let me dig through their clothes donation piles on Sunday, and I scored this super cozy black sequined circle scarf that I’m currently putting on and taking off every 30 seconds due to my fever. It’s going to be a long day.

Five Things

I didn’t take many pictures this week, mostly because it’s so damn hot out that pretty much all I did this week was go straight from my air-conditioned office to the air-conditioned gym to the air-conditioned bedroom. Where I watched crap TV and wasted time on Pinterest. Which is why you’re getting “Five Things I Pinned” today instead of “High Five for Friday.”

Because the bedroom is the only room in my house with air conditioning, I’ve been trying to find at-home workouts that don’t take a ton of space to complete. I usually stick to Jillian Michaels DVDs for my at-home workouts, but they tend to require a lot of space to move around. When I did Ripped in 30 in my living room Tuesday night I literally had sweat POURING off of my face onto the floor during the last set of plank moves. It was the first time in my life that I could actually feel my scalp sweating. Not an experience I’d like to repeat. This glute workout looks like it would be effective, and could definitely be done in the space between my bed and the dresser. Score.

Above ground pool

This may be the only above-ground pool I’ve seen that doesn’t look like it belongs in a Schlitz commercial. Also, that cat cruising along the edge is cracking me up. Whiskers would claw our eyes right out if we got him within 10 feet of a pool of water.

I love this idea for jewelry storage. (Not that my current method of “leave it on whatever surface is near me when I take it off” isn’t just as chic.) Anthropologie has a ton of little bowls that would work perfectly for something like this.

We made this cilantro lime skirt steak with chimichurri sauce for dinner Monday night, and it is so great. Tip: Make extra chimichurri sauce and put it on everything you eat for the rest of your life.

Night Stand

I’ve been trying to find well-designed yet inexpensive furniture for the new house, and this night stand from Target is lovely.

If you’d like to, you can follow me on Pinterest here.