I like to think I’ve become an expert on running pains. Really, they come in a lot of flavors. There are the aches and the stabs, the fractures and the strains, the wandering shooting pain that radiates up and down the entirety of your gastrocnemius muscle whenever you stand on your tiptoes or try to walk up and down steps (you know, for example).
I also have a very high threshold for pain tolerance. Which is both good and bad. Good because it means that I might not tell my husband that I wish he were dead quite as much as the average woman during the whole birthing process. (Ahem. Eligible bachelors – are you reading this?) Bad because there are certain pains that you just shouldn’t tolerate. And I am not very good at distinguishing those from the ones that are just normal everyday pains because, well. They feel the same to me.
However. All this means is that when I called my orthopedist yesterday to try to make an appointment to talk to him about my calves and how they kind of feel like they’re repeatedly being stabbed with a large knife whenever I walk on them. He really should have dropped everything.
Instead, he said (okay, his receptionist said), “Hmmm I have an open appointment on December 21st.”
And this was after I told him that I couldn’t walk. (A lie. I can totally walk. But sometimes when you’re dealing with irrational people like this. You need to say irrational things. Speak to their level of understanding. You know how it is.)
So I tried to play it cool. “Oh, you must mean November 21st,” I said.
He chuckled. (Chuckled? Can someone please show me the humor in this. Because to me, crippling pain. Not funny. NOTE – mom, I am not crippled, nor am I in crippling pain. Intense shooting pain, yes. Crippling pain, no. Please do not call me in a panic. Thanks.) “Uh, no. December 21st.”
“Uh, yeah,” I said. “I will totally make that appointment on December 21st. That will be so useful.” In my most sarcastic voice possible. Then I hung up the phone. Because honestly, if this isn’t cleared up by December 21st. I will likely have to be placed in some kind of psychiatric asylum. And then he will have to carry that guilt for the rest of his life. Not my problem.
At this point, I was in some kind of manic rage. And the only two things that I could foresee calming me down. Were Pioneer Woman. And pasta. Obviously.
So I headed over to PW Cooks. Read a few of her posts. Laughed out loud a bit too much and..uh..too loudly. And then stuffed myself full of her pasta with tomato-blue cheese sauce.
It has curative carbalicious properties. I know it. And if you use almond milk instead of heavy cream…you won’t feel any guilt at all about eating it. Your thighs won’t even quiver. I swear it.
(And just in case you were worried. I called one of my coaches and made an appointment at his physical therapy office. For Monday. This Monday. Yeah, he cares about my health and well being. Ain’t that something.)
Pasta with Tomato-Blue Cheese Sauce
Serves 4, adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks
1 lb pasta
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper to taste
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1/2 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup almond milk
1 bundle of spinach from the Farmer’s market…probably around 4-5 cups
extra blue cheese for crumbling
1. Set a pot of salted water to boil for the pasta.
2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil. When shimmering, add the three cloves garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds or until garlic becomes fragrant. Add in the canned diced toamtoes (I used San Marzanos…always the way to go). Season with sugar, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. If your water is now boiling, go ahead and add in the pasta. Pour the blue cheese crumbles and the milk into the tomatoes and stir until melted. Put the spinach leaves in the strainer that you’re going to use to strain the pasta. Pour the pasta water (and pasta) over these while straining so that the spinach gets cooked instantly. Mix the pasta and now-cooked spinach with the sauce in a large bowl. Season to taste. Serve in bowls, topped with an extra tbsp of blue cheese crumbles.
Please send me your entries for REGIONAL RECIPES: BRAZIL by December 1st!