I’m thinking about renaming this blog to “Andrea’s Animal Encounters with the Occasional Recipe” because lately it seems that half of my posts are about random animal experiences. I bet if I added pics of cute baby animals my reader numbers would increase. People love a good baby panda photo.
My latest and not-so-greatest experience involved a snake and I 100% hate hate hate hate snakes. Ugh.
Here is the scenario:
Me, a friend, an 8 mile run, a sunny day, and a semi-wooded bike path. We weren’t 100% into it, but we told ourselves we were doing good. Runners lie to themselves a lot. 16 half-miles seems more approachable so we will call it a half mile run done 16 times. Easy as pie. Mmmm. Pie.
6 miles in and I was praying that the last 2 miles would go by really fast. I needed to be done. (In keeping with my theme, I was technically 12 half miles into the turn and had a mere 4 half miles left. See? It’s really that easy)
Yonder, I spotted a stick on the ground. (yes, I just use the word yonder)
As we approached, I (mostly-dehydrated and semi-delirious) thought to myself that the stick looked a little like a big, dead worm.
We (mostly dehydrated and semi-delirious) ran awfully close to that stick.
I screamed. Incredibly loud.
And jumped. Incredibly high. (Keep in mind my max vertical jump is about 4 inches on a good day)
To impress my readers, I’m going to say this stick turned snake was indeed a deadly boa constrictor. I’m going to tell you it hissed, squirmed, and lunged right toward me attempting to sink it’s venomous teeth into my right calf muscle. I’m going to tell you that my reaction was appropriate and not overreactive. You weren’t there so I guess you will just have to trust me on the details.
Snake experiences for people who have snake phobias are life changing. And yes, once I recovered from the immediate hysteria, I did attempt to jog back to the site and snap a picture. The snake had already slithered off to go attack it’s next victim. There is no instragram pic to back my story.
Enough with the snakes – let’s eat.
Roasted Cauliflower & Wilted Spinach Salad
Source: Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook
1 small head of cauliflower, cored and chopped into bit-sized pieces
4T olive oil
1/2T dried herbs of choice (basil or oregano work well)
3C whole wheat penne
4C baby spinach
1/2C oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1T balsamic vinegar
Preheat oven to 400. Bring a pot of water to boil on the stove (for the pasta)>
Toss cut cauliflower with 3T of olive oil, herbs, salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet.
Roast cauliflower for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and fork-tender.
While the cauliflower cooks, cook the pasta according to package directions.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and toss with 1T of olive oil to prevent it from sticking.
In a large bowl, combine spinach and penne. Add in sun dried tomatoes and balsamic. Once combined, add in hot cauliflower.
Stir until combine allowing the hot cauliflower to wilt the spinach slightly. Taste and add additional balsamic vinegar, salt, or pepper if desired.