The Finish Line + Channa Masala


It’s official.

I am finished with school*.  :D

It hasn’t really soaked in yet.  I literally just got home from taking my last exam.  I am mentally exhausted because this last summer class has been brutal, but I am so, so very happy.  I feel like I have finally reached the finish line in a very long, slow and oftentimes tedious race, and I could seriously cry with joy.  I also kind of feel like I want to throw up.  Is that normal?

Without the love, support and encouragement of my amazing Mom, I don’t know how I would have made it through.  When I was officially divorced at the beginning of 2010 and decided to take advantage of having a fresh start by going back to school, it seemed like a never-ending road of intimidation- I would have to take some pretty tough classes for a Community Health degree (epidemiology, two semesters of Spanish, microbiology, anatomy & physiology I and II and chemistry, to name a few), I was 30, broke, newly a single Mom and had been out of school for several years.  I experienced an embarrassing amount of anxiety about going back, but I knew that I would seriously kick my own ass later on if I didn’t do it.  So back to school I went.

I have a bad habit of not giving myself proper credit for my accomplishments.  In the back of my mind I think, Well, there are plenty of single Moms that have it much harder than me!  Lots of people go to school and have kids, and many have to work on top of all that!  This is true, but that doesn’t mean that my journey has been easy in any way.  I DID IT.  And I’m graduating with honors!  I definitely feel like celebrating.  :)

The next step is a 16-week internship, which I am thrilled about.  I am crazy about my preceptor, and I know that I’m going to learn so much from her.  I also plan on taking the CHES exam to get that certification under my belt before officially walking the stage in December and beginning the job search.

Good things are in store, and I don’t think I could possibly be more excited.  :)

*I definitely want to earn my Master’s Degree but want to get out into the working world and enjoy some school-free relaxation before I take that plunge.  That’s the plan, man.


In other news, I made Eat, Live, Run’s Channa Masala on Monday night, and it was fantastic

This could not have been better, and it was incredibly easy to make.  I happened to have all the spices on hand already, so it was also really inexpensive.  M was over for dinner, and we ate the masala with sautéed garlic kale and warm Baklava’s Bakery plain Greek bread (I searched high and low for vegan naan but they all contained buttermilk!  Next time I’ll make my own).

I ate leftovers last night with brown rice and more kale, and froze the last serving for a rainy day.

Seriously good stuff.

I will be blogging much more often now that I have a good couple of weeks of sweet freedom before my internship begins at the end of the month.  Tomorrow I’m taking the kids to see Ice Age, and on Monday I’m going with M to finally see what all the fuss is over Trader Joe’s.  I have never been to TJ’s before, so I am geeking out with excitement.  It’s embarrassing.  Who gets hyped up about going to a grocery store, anyway?  (I CAN’T WAIT!)

Do you have a Trader Joe’s near you?  Any must-buys that I should add to my list?

I don’t have an extensive menu planned out just yet for the week ahead, but I do know that I’ll be making FatFree Vegan Kitchen’s Old-Fashioned (tofu) Chicken Salad for sandwiches (this sounds so good to me with the almonds, sage and sweet relish!) as well as the Smoky Refried Bean Soup, which I’ll top with diced avocado, pico de gallo and crushed multigrain tortilla chips.  :D

Just think of all the free time I’m going to have to look at food porn and cook now!  I want to make these and this and this and this!  And THESEThese, too.

(And this!)

I’m off to try to wrap my head around the fact that I now have a homework-free life and hit the grocery store.  Have a fantastic Thursday, friends!  :)



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23 responses »

  1. Congratulations!!! Finishing school is a HUGE accomplishment and you deserve to congratulate yourself. :) Yay!!!
    And I must say, beware of Trader Joe’s…you’ll spend your life savings in there because everything is so AWESOME! LOL. It’s really affordable, but I always leave with, like, a million more dollars spent than I meant too. :)
    Congrats again!

    • Thank you so very much! Yeah, I am setting a strict budget for how much I’ll allow myself to spend at TJ’s! And I will let you know how that goes. ;)

    • Congratulations on school. I personally don’t think the Trader Joes is near as good here as in California, but if you’re coming all this way, might I suggest you stop at their sister store, Sprouts. It’s on the same street, two miles south. I think you might end up liking it more.

      • DAMN! You’re right. I totally forgot about that. Okay, so we will have to find somewhere else to eat- thanks, Evan!

        We actually have a few Sprouts in this area and I visit them pretty regularly. We’re getting a TJ’s in Plano soon, so I wanted to visit one that has been open for awhile before deciding to brave the crowds at the new one. :)

  2. Congratulations, Sara! You did all of that and raised those boys AND cooked awesome food! You are really something! I am glad you kept on blogging and cooking while you did all of that awesome work for school! You go, girl! :)

  3. Congratulations!!! What a huge accomplishment!
    And don’t worry, you’re not the only one who freaks out over going to TJ’s. I go once a week and I *still* absolutely love it. Check out their breads, tortillas, marinara sauces, and sunflower seed butter. SO yum!

  4. Congratulations Sara! It sounds like the past couple of years have been a roller coaster for you. You’re a real fighter and didn’t let anything pull you back, hats off to you!

    Chana Masala…what can I say, in the culinary world it’s like one of the 7 wonders:) I can’t imagine my life without chickpea:) You should give those Cheesecake Brownies a try someday, they are awesome;) So glad you like them.

  5. Congrats on being finished with school – what an amazing journey!

    Your chana masala looks incredibly good and simply to make.

    Oh how I love Trader Joes – I don’t have one close to me but when I would visit my Sister in DC the first thing after getting picked up from the airport would be to go stock up at trader joes – they have so many cool vegan eats and i think its just a fun place to shop!

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