Cleaning & Cauliflower: Two of My Favourite Things??

I’ve been having awful internet connection issues lately! Writing to you today from my local library…


I have so much frustration and pent up rage towards our home internet/tv/phone service provider right now. Problem after problem after problem. I’ve been on the phone with them at least once a week since moving to Australia, each session lasting for at least an hour. Typically after the hour passes, nothing has even been resolved. I’m usually fairly friendly during such calls, but lately I’ve been a total b*tch right from the conversation’s get-go. I’m at my wit’s end…

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Gahhh! Sorry- had to vent.

Annnnnywaaaay….



I don’t know about you, but for me, with a change in seasons always comes the common cold. I’m definitely finding this fall (or spring here in the southern hemisphere) is a bit better since I’m out of the classroom. As any teacher/child care worker knows, season change + 30 kids in a room = recipe for illness. Lately, I can feel myself just ‘hanging on’, and I’m hoping that through good eating, moderate exercise, and extra sleep, I can ward off any lingering bugs! Being pregnant is definitely not the time for acquiring a cold, that’s for sure.


One of these things is not like the other…



Frequenting the gym can also compound this issue. I was reading an article the other day about the most common places that germs linger in a gym setting. Here are a few that I totally agree with (some of the others were a little over-the-top/OCD for me).

1. Gym Bag
Where do you put it down when you’re at the gym? What was in that locker before hand? When I get home, I’ve been making sure to keep mine out of the bedroom and not on any furniture (beds, couches, etc).

2. Water Bottle
Never open the mouth-piece it with your hands!!!…and wash the bottle regularly.

3. Fitness Classes
You’re bound to use equipment that was touched by someone who has been coughing, sneezing, the works. Yesterday morning, I saw soooo many people put away their equipment after Body Pump class and just saunter out of the gym (I actually counted only 5 of us who lined up at the bathroom sink). Wash those mitts after every gym session.

4. Cardio Equipment
Yeah, Yeah…most gyms have signs that ask people to wipe down their machines after use. However, I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s witnessed Sweaty Sally or Harold the Hacker dismount the stair master and trek off into the distance, coughing away, leaving their machine to “air dry”. Lately I’ve been taking a little extra precaution in ensuring that I wipe down the machine before I use it, as I’m just trying my best to avoid getting sick.

Obviously I’m not going to avoid the gym or public workout areas to keep from getting ill! I’m not a germ-a-phob by any means. I just feel it’s important to be extra cautious in environments like this, particular this time of year. 


On a healthier note, I recently had the weirdest pregnancy craving yet. Not chocolate or peanut butter sandwiches or pizza or fruit. But CAULIFLOWER! I never buy cauliflower. There’s nothing overly wrong with it, but I just think people typically forget about it OR find it excruciatingly tasteless and boring. I mean, come on…it’s notoriously the “veggie-tray-leftover” for a reason.

I decided to try a roasted cauliflower dish to mix things up a bit. Here you have it:


Roasted Cauliflower w/ Quinoa



Ingredients

   Cauliflower Head (1 large: chopped into florets)
   Mushrooms (6-7 large: sliced)
   Quinoa (1 cup uncooked)
   Garlic (2-3 cloves)
   Sliced Almonds ( ½ cup)
   Raisins ( ¼ cup)
   Feta (2/3 cup: cut into small cubes)
   Olive Oil (4 tbsp)
   Cumin ( ½ tsp)
   Salt ( ½ tsp)
   Ground Pepper ( ½ tsp)
   Vegetable Broth (low sodium; ½ cup)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 200*C.

2. Combine garlic, olive oil, cumin, salt and pepper in one bowl.




3. In a mixing bowl with a lid (or alternative container), mix cauliflower florets and mushrooms with olive oil mixture.  Shake for one minute to coat vegetables.   Pour mixture into a baking dish.


4. Roast cauliflower and mushrooms for 20-25 minutes.  Remove periodically to mix & rotate.

5. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa to package instructions. This typically will be 1 part quinoa and 3 parts water. My ratio was actually 1 : 2 ½ : ½  (quinoa : water : vegetable broth) to give it more flavour. 

6. Add almonds and raisins to the quinoa while it’s boiling.

7. Pile your quinoa on a plate, followed by the cauliflower and mushrooms. Sprinkle feta cubes overtop!


Note: Normally, Adam would rather eat tree bark than cauliflower, but he said he really enjoyed this dish! Yay!


There are actually tons of cauliflower alternatives out there; I’ve been seeing a bunch floating around on Pinterest as of late. I even came across this Cauliflower Mac & Cheese dish on Kelly’s Blog: Eat Yourself Skinny (there are others out there, but this is a healthier choice)! Or how about this one?

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Just puts it into perspective!

Well, I’m glad that I got this post in despite all of my internet drama. I’m hoping it all is resolved tomorrow when the technician comes over for a visit. Back to my afternoon snack of toasted almonds, raisins, and dried apricot (which I’m hiding under my library table), and a couple more hours of studying! 




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