This whole babies-moving-away-to-college thing is harder than I thought it’d be. I thought there would be long busy days of super-productivity and date night every night. Maybe that will happen in time, but for now, it’s dinners trying not to look at the empty spots where they used to sit, turning music on really loud so the house doesn’t feel so empty, and many other little adjustments that have to be made when life changes. Eventually, I know this will be normal, and I will be able to appreciate the freedom and peacefulness of this new lifestyle of independence and few responsibilities, but for now, I look forward to weekends when I’ll again have a noisy, bustling, lots-going-on, no privacy, happy, chatter-filled home again!
A few good things that have come of my newfound empty nest though, are: I’ve been able to play music a lot more, sometimes spending an hour or more at the piano; I’ve had plenty of time to read my Bible and pray, which keeps me going strong when I feel like falling apart; I’ve wanted to be more social (so if you know me, look forward to some invitations!); I have had time to be creative and new business ideas are swirling in my head just waiting for the right timing; also, I’ve been trying new healthy recipes that I can share with you all!
Here is another lunch or light dinner idea that I’ve had several times already and really enjoy. I got the idea from Pinterest, (where all good ideas are born) and adapted it, since I have a hard time just following a recipe, instead, feeling the need to just see what it would taste like if I added _____, or substituted _____. Tsk tsk. 🙂
cucumber noodle lettuce boats
- 1 english cucumber, spiralized, julienned, or VERY thinly sliced into strips
- red onion, diced
- tomato, diced
- 4-6 romaine lettuce leaves
- toppings: sliced sweet/bell peppers, sun-dried tomatoes (the smoked ones are AMAZING if you can find them!) shredded carrots, sliced red cabbage, etc. Use as little or as many toppings as you want (or have room in your boats for!)
Mix together the cucumber, onion, and tomato and set aside. I haven’t put specific amounts of onion or tomato because I don’t measure. I just put on as much as I like, usually one sorta thick slice of onion (chopped) and maybe a half a tomato. Now for the dressing:
creamy tomato dressing
- 1 cup tomato
- ½ an avocado, peeled and seeded
- 1 stalk, celery
- 1 T. onion
- 1T. your favorite vinegar (I use garlic rice vinegar, it’s nice and light)
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning (or to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 of salt, optional
Blend in a tiny blender. Pour all of the dressing over the cucumber noodle mixture and stir well. Place the salad into the romaine leaves. I usually overfill mine and end up making a ridiculous mess, so maybe you can learn from my mistakes and not end up with this all over your face, lap, and the floor. 🙂
Once you have your cucumber salad-filled boats arranged on your plates, top with sliced peppers and sun-dried tomatoes, as well as any other toppings you chose, and sprinkle with more Italian seasoning and black pepper. If you find these need extra salt, feel free to add it.
Because I am vegan, I don’t add any meat to this recipe, but I’m sure it would be perfectly lovely layered with some grilled chicken strips and a sprinkle of shredded cheese. Shredded chicken or some tuna would also be great additions, mixed in when you add the dressing.
I hope you enjoy these as much as I do! Next time I make these, I’ll take a picture of me wearing it because I’ll inevitably overfill my lettuce boats again, and inevitably end up with it all over me, standing over the sink with a giant smile on my face!
Have you gone through (or are in the middle of) some life changes recently? Please share! I’d love to hear from you!