This week has been all about enjoying the fruits of hibernation and self-care. Most of my time was spent creating, cooking, reading, and moving (yoga, walking, and the like). It was all a glorious and grounding distraction from some of the more unsavory realities facing our world.
The answer, of course, is not to ignore these realities. But I believe that taking care of myself is paramount above all else. When I am feeling good – mind, body, and soul – I can be a better member of this planet and facilitate positivity, change, and kindness. So this was the kind of week I needed to get to that headspace.
Looking back at this roundup reveals I was doing a bit more than just hibernating, but I find so much joy in all of these projects that it doesn’t feel hectic or stressful. Here’s my week!
I wrote this piece for Creators.co:
Here on Cured Life:
- The Nature of the Beast: Embracing Our Extremes – How do we make peace with the ingrained parts of our personality that have steered us towards destruction?
- The Pleasure Trap – An interesting look at the biology behind why we find ourselves making bad decisions, and how we can hone in on our nature for good (a theme for me this week!).
- How To Harness The Transformative Power Of 2017: A Psychic Explains
- 5 Alternative Culinary Icons Disrupting The Image Of Vegetarianism
- A New Type Of Food Pantry Is Sprouting In Yards Across America
COOKING + EATING*
Ah, the dwindling light on winter days. I do my best to keep these photos as vibrant as possible but alas, when the sun sets there’s only so much you can do with indoor lighting.
There is indeed a roasted portobello cap under that stack, which includes some nut cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, Kalamata olives, onions and peppers, fresh basil, and a balsamic reduction.
It was an incredible lunch that came together SO quickly and easily!
- Our Garden Chili with Cheesy Sun-Dried Tomato Biscuits (biscuits also from Blissful Basil).
This collection of beans came from the garden. The mix includes the following varieties:
– Bolita (brown)
– Cherokee Trail of Tears (black)
– Tuvaglieda (white and brown/purple speckled)
– Rattlesnake (speckled brown)
– A few Sievia Lima Beans, which you can’t see in this jar
This is the very first time I have used dried beans from the garden for a meal, which feels shameful. I am trying to be better about using our reserves, breaking the cycle, and not relying on canned items.
This meal certainly reinforced that goal! Such a wonderful variety of textures and flavors from the beans.
I added the following (also from our garden): canned tomatoes, garlic, onions, jalapeños, bell peppers, homemade hot sauce, and dried zucchini. Also included some frozen corn, green onions, cilantro, and lime.
The biscuit isn’t quite discernible in the photo, but it was also top notch.
- Lots of Oatmeal!
Dreary mornings made better by digging into a bowl of mixed berry oatmeal with lots of seeds, nuts, and extras for crunch!
No recipe here, just a 2:1 ratio of liquid to quick-cooking oats, then whatever I’m in the mood to mix in.
- Crispy Coconut Lime Cauliflower Tacos, recipe found here.
The only thing to say about these tacos is that they BLEW MY MIND!
Seriously – the crunch on the cauliflower was amazing – and gave me nostalgic fish taco vibes, harking back to my former life. I added avocado and cilantro for even more oomph, as well as a side salad and some roasted shiitakes.
Winner for best meal of the week!
- Green Lentil Bowl with Purple Veg + Baked Falafel + Tahini Sauce
If the tacos were the best, this dish was the worst.
But worst is a pretty harsh word – it was just fine. I put this collection together off the top of my head, deciding that our purple sweet potatoes, red onions, and red cabbage should all come together for a party. There was a lot of kale snuck into the lentils and falafel too.
It was just a bit off, and not as satisfying as I’d hoped. I’m just thankful that lemony tahini sauce is so damn delicious! (tahini + lemon juice + water + garlic powder + salt – it’s that simple)
- Creamy Polenta with Tempeh Sausage and Tomatoes, recipe found here.
Nearly every food photo I take has a dog lurking somewhere nearby, unseen. I thought it only appropriate to include that reality.
This dish was also a big hit!
Not familiar with tempeh? It’s a firm, fermented soybrean product that’s been bound together through the culturing process. It comes in block/bar form and can be used in a variety of ways. I personally love the flavor and meaty texture, and while “sausage” is a generous word, this dish certainly brought forth those flavors. I added fennel seed for even more.
- Chickpea Flour Pancakes with Cauliflower and Shiitake Mushrooms, recipe found here.
I have made these 3 times in the last 2 weeks – a new favorite!
Again, I added a tahini sauce + cilantro for even more taste explosion. And some hot sauce. I’m always thinking about the little things I can add to really enhance a dish.
*As I begin to once again share more plant-based eating/cooking content, I have been thinking about providing a bit more substance behind how I make this lifestyle work. Photos and links are great, but I feel as if there’s a gap between the glossy finished product and the million steps that took place beforehand.
In the near future I will be rolling out a series of posts I have been working on that break down my approach, helpful tips, real talk about overcoming challenges – mental, physical, social, etc – how to make a lifestyle like this work for you (whether you want 10% or 100% of it), and much more.
I published these two episodes (my favorites thus far!) on my podcast:
Episode 11: Shinrin-Yoku, Bathing Yourself in the Forest
Episode 12: Full Moons!