Friday, June 29, 2007

Life Balance

One of the great things about working at Micrososft is that work/life balance is measured and considered a metric of health for a group. In the last few weeks, I had the opportunity to discuss with my manager "how do I measure work/life balance" in an effort to get an individual understanding and work toward improving the balance.

My answer included these two measurable quantities (among other things):
1. At what rate am I finishing books?
2. Am I cooking for myself more than I am eating out?

Now that I have defined these metrics, and I am paying attention to my own progress, I consciously try to fulfill them.

Sicne I started counting, I've finished about one-and-a-half books. This is enabled by the fact that I started taking the bus to work about 80% of the time four weeks ago. (The other 20% is split between carpooling and driving alone.) Riding the bus is great. It gives me back about an hour-and-a-half that I would otherwise not have in my day. I love driving, but not in traffic. Walking to and from the bbus stops also gives me a nice chance to be outside.

Today, I also cooked a healthy, quick meal for myself. I thought it was tasty, so I'll share it with you. This was partly inspired by a recipe on Everyday Italian with Giada DeLaurentiis.

  • Whole wheat penne
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • Red pepper, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Basil (dried), Garlic powder, S+P
  • Tuna
  • Parmesean
  • Fresh Mozzerella
Cook the pasta according to the directions. Drain it and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a skillet. Use extra because this becomes the sauce.
Saute the peppers until they're soft, then add the spinach and cook it until it gets limp.
Add the tuna and and all seasonings, mix well
Add the pasta to the skillet and stir together
Add parmesean and mix to melt

Serve topped with slices of fresh mozzerella.

This dish comes out very colorful with the green spinach and red peppers. If I were to do it again, I would use fresh everything, Then again, the beauty of this dish is that it can be made with mostly pantry ingredients. I would definitely use fresh garlic (I was already in the checkout line yesterday when I remembered garlic). Fresh basil would completely change the flavor, but can't you just imagine how delicious a bite with basil, red pepper and fresh mozzerella would be?

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