Lately, I have found myself in the position where I need to grab a packable lunch last minute. A few hours later, I’ll eat it all by myself with just my thoughts to keep me busy because I can’t get a cell signal. How did I get myself in this position?
Moving to Texas meant all kinds of changes. One of them, that I did not foresee, resulted in me not working anymore. For the past several years, I’ve worked part time. In PA, I started working for the same company as my husband and truly enjoyed it. Since it was his job that brought us here, I wrongfully assumed that my employment would be carried over as well. That did not happen.
No problem, I thought. I’ll just find a nice part time job that is local so that I am available for my kids. Easier said than done. It seemed like the school district would be an easy fit for me. I applied for a few office jobs within the district. I thought it would be easy to land a job, since every listing only required a high school diploma and a few years experience. With my college degree and experience that seemed to surpass any required qualification, I applied and waited for my phone to ring.
Once again, I was WRONG. I can’t even get an interview or a “thanks for applying” email. While that is a whole new rant that I best not partake in, let me skip ahead to where I ended up. Substitute teaching. I can’t get myself to be considered to work in a school or district office, but with one click I received an email saying I’ve been hired as a substitute teacher. I just need to go to the 3 hour training and pass a background check. Simply put, they don’t want to consider me for an office where I would facilitate parents bringing forgotten lunches or homework to their children, BUT I can lead a classroom of children with no background in education. Is that a rant? Naaahh… Just the facts.
My path of thinking is to start subbing and getting to know district staff, which will let them realize how awesome I am. Then, perhaps I will be on my way to a job where my day consists of helping a parent sign out their sick child while simultaneously clicking the door open for visitors. The demo for picking up a substitute assignment looked easy. Just log in online and select an open position. Once again, that’s not how it happens.
Turns out, teachers care about who is filling in for them and have their special list that they use for a planned absence. This means that the only time a position opens up for a school that has a schedule that coincides with my son’s, is in the morning. Of course, it’s not as simple as waking up early and checking the website. That would be too early and allow for me to plan accordingly. It’s more like an automated phone call while I am in the middle of packing lunches past the point of having shower time. If it is a job that I can accept, the morning turns into a scramble of getting everyone off and figuring a lunch for me to grab.
So that’s the deal with Cashew Quinoa Bowl. It’s ready when you are. Let it sit in the dressing, or add when you eat it. It’s really a personal preference. So far, I’ve eaten alone, hovered over my lunch bag that was only filled with half a pbj and yogurt. Not at all what I want to eat. I want my veggies and protein so that I’m primed to go on a run when I get home. That part is annoying. Running in the hot hot sun in the afternoon is quite challenging, but a must for my sanity.
My Cashew Quinoa Bowl is crunchy and satisfying. Eaten with a spoon, there is less chance for spillage and stains that arise with a dressed green salad.
My kids think the sub idea is crazy, and at times I might agree. Walking through the halls can bring back some stressful flashbacks (homework, papers, tests!), but it brings back good memories as well. I’m hoping not much as changed, because when I was in school, walking into class and finding out there was a sub was always good news.
- 1 cup dried quinoa, cooked (makes about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
- 1 Roma tomato, seeded and diced
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 1 cup red cabbage, chopped
- 1 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- 2 cups cooked chicken
- 1 cup cashews
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp chili paste
- 1 tsp honey
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tbsp oil (I used 1 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp coconut oil)
- Combine all dressing ingredients and set aside.
- In a large bowl, toss all salad ingredients.
- Drizzle with dressing to taste.
- Alternatively, prepare individual servings dressing as you serve.