My sister wrote me a message this morning, asking me if I wanted to go for a run with her this afternoon. This has never, at least not that I can remember, happened before! My mom is really big on running – she does marathons and triathlons – and I have running phases (meaning I’ll enjoy it during summer when the weather is nice, but in the winter, my weaker self is suddenly very strong). But my sister, she has rarely gone running in the past couple of years, at least if she did I was never told about it. So, when she asked me today, I jumped at the chance!
Running is nothing that has ever come easy to me. I have always been very sporty, especially as a teen, I was part of three sports teams simultaneously (basketball, soccer, and swimming), and I really started missing doing sports when I went off to university. I have been trying different things over the years – from yoga to zumba, I have probably done it all. And, occasionally, I’d feel like the only option I had to work out was to go for a run. I tried it out at least once a year, especially since my mom has gotten so into it. But, it just never seemed to satisfy me. After all, running through the forest or along the river for half an hour, just to turn around and run back again? What’s the point? (When my boyfriend reads this, he is going to laugh his head off – as this describes his view of running exactly.)
The point of running, or any sport whatsoever, I have come to realize, is not necessarily that there is a real POINT to it. If you think about it, there isn’t a real point to playing a soccer game, either (and I am allowed to say that, I played it for 7 years): 11 players chasing a ball? Really?!
I know that sports make me happy, period. So, after trying out running regularly for what felt like the hundredth time last spring (2013), I suddenly enjoy it sometimes. Of course, my motivation is higher when the sun is shining and begging me to come out of the house (I have always preferred any outside-sport), but, even in fall or winter, once you actually manage to get off the couch, the mental and physical reward is huge. I therefore go running not because I love or need it (like my mom), but because I know that once I am done, if not before, I will feel much better in every way. There are other options of doing sports, obviously, and, like I said, I have tried out many. But, when it comes down it, now that I have gotten used to it, running is the simplest and most satisfying option to get rid of that excess energy, or stress, or anything negative.
My mom will most likely be amused by this post, as this is what she has been saying for years now, but it has taken me a while (and there are always phases where I just can’t bear running because the weather is so bad or I get bored with it) to understand at least a tiny part of what makes running so addictive to many people.
Having run for an hour with my sister today, I got to enjoy one more benefit of running: If you go for a run with another person, you can actually combine chatting, gossip, and doing sports! You definitely can’t do that productively if you are playing a team sport or swimming!
Anyways, tonight I was especially hungry after all that catching up with my sister, so I decided I’d make this:
It can be made vegan by leaving out the salmon and cheese on top (instead, you may want to use cashew or almond butter as a topping).
- 1kg potatoes (if you want it to be less filling or are watching your carbs, use only half the amount and leave out the second layer potatoes)
- 200g fresh or smoked salmon, whichever you prefer (I used smoked)
- 300g fresh or frozen spinach (I didn’t have time to get fresh, so I used frozen)
- 150ml soy cream
- 2 large tomatoes
- 1 small piece Emmenthal (grated, size of piece depends on the amount of cheese you like)
- 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
- seasoning: dill, paprika, salt, pepper, nutmeg
1. Cook the potatoes, peel them, and cut into slices. (I cooked them this afternoon, making the preparation time this evening shorter.)
2. Into a casserole dish, brush 1/2 Tbs. olive oil.
3. Now make the first layer: Stack the potatoes into the casserole dish until the bottom is completely covered.
4. For the second layer, add spinach and salmon. If you are using frozen spinach, make sure it has completely thawed before you use it, and pour away any excess water. You may want to use your hands to squeeze the water out of the spinach – too much water will make the casserole runny.
5. Slice the tomatoes, and add the third layer. Sprinkle some salt, pepper, dill, and paprika on this layer. Depending on how much seasoning you usually use, use more or less to make it as tasty as you like.
6. The last layer is another potato layer. As I mentioned, if you do not want this dish to be as high-carb, leave out this layer. If you do so, this may only serve two, though.
7. In a seperate bowl, mix together the soy cream with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Make sure this is seasoned well, otherwise you may need to add more salt when it is served.
8. Pour into the casserole dish. Then, sprinkle the grated cheese on top. (My Emmenthal piece weighed about 75g.) On top of that, add some more paprika – this will make the dish look even more appetizing.
9. Preheat oven to 200°C. Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how brown you like your cheese.
When I served the casserole, it didn’t really look all that pretty anymore, which is why I only added a picture of the entire casserole above. See the picture below for what it looked like on the plate:
It’s a bit mushed up, but it tasted amazing! Let me know how you like it!