Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Quarantine Food Diaries Birthdays and Autumn Kale Salad, Avocado dressing and Smoked Chili Pepitos

I’m two days away from another birthday, I’m in grad school for mind body medicine with a specialization in healing foods, I spend my days teaching yoga, inventing new recipes and reading literature on the mind body connection.

What could be better?

Can you believe I have teenage girls who absolutely hate me? It’s true, the cliche’ has finally hit me too. I’m not exactly sure why I thought I could avoid this rite of passage with my specific brand of mothering, clearly it makes no difference whatsoever.

Though my evolution to extreme presence and mindful behavior is a daily discipline I am not surrounded at all times by those doing the same, nor was I always so acutely aware and mindful. So here I am watching the cycle of the human condition and trying to pay attention, stay present and see from all sides, though my feelings are hurt. It stings. 

Interaction always has two sides and hurt builds

up over time. Children are little souls with little life experience but great big overwhelming feelings peppered by hormonal surges and the hearty development of the ego for sense of self apart from the family.

It’s all necessary development for separation but as a mother who is an empath and disciplined to living intentionally, it  can feel like fingernails down a chalkboard.

So I cook. 

I cook to nourish my body, to soothe my hurts, I walk wounded back deep into my sanctuary of a kitchen to heal because there is not always an answer, or a should’ve or could’ve, there is just what is and the hurt that makes way for the fertile soil of new growth.

I’ve decided massaging kale with avocado, olive oil and salt will be therapeutic.  A recent trip to a nearby farmer’s market has me left me with a giant bush of perky red kale and some tiny sweet potatoes. The oven is on, I’ve stacked a small 1/16 of a cord of wood on my balcony and I’m making the first fire of the season.

I pop the sweet  potatoes in the oven and kneel to pay the reverence deserved to the healing energy a fire can offer. 

I soaked my kale to let free any critter that might have been chameleon like, hid amongst the lacy edges and deep purple veins

And I let the tears roll. 

Pema Chodron says the beauty is in letting their be room for everything, the joy, the pain, the grief and the mundane, the healing comes from the room you leave open to all of the experience. She says there is no real fixing things for good, that things come together and then they fall apart and they come together again, it’s just like that. And it’s ok.

Autumnal Kale Salad

1 bunch organic red kale ( shred into bite size pieces, de vein)

1 avocado

1-2tbsp olive oil ( depending on how big your avocado is)

1/2 juice of lemon

3 -4 tiny sweet potatoes ( mine were like ginger roots they were so small) 

1/4 of a red onion thinly sliced

1/2 cup of cooked quinoa

2/3 cup Pepitos 

1/4 tsp turmeric 

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

A dash of chili oil or chili powder 

Salt and pepper

Roast sweet potatoes skins on until soft.

Dry off washed and shredded kale ( I make bite size pieces not a slaw) .

Boil quinoa and set aside, I put a piece of kombu seaweed in my boiling water with the quinoa as it imparts iodine , vitamin A and manganese all the nutrients hard to get into the body otherwise. 

Sprinkle Pepitos onto a parchment lined baking sheet and dust with the spices listed above, coat with chili oil if you have it, if not use chili powder or even cayenne and coat with olive oil, finish with salt and pepper. Try the small seeds before putting them in the oven and see if your taste buds want to adjust the balance of flavor!

Roast just until the spices start to perfume in the oven, any longer and they will burn and taste bitter. 

My oven was on at 350 for the sweet potatoes and it took 10 min. 

Find a big bowl and place kale, olive oil, the avocado, lemon juice , salt and pepper in it and begin massaging. Literally squish the avocado into the leaves of kale, this is your dressing! 

After the kale has relented it’s stiffness and become softer you’re ready to add in all the other ingredients. Sweet potatoes, onion, quinoa, Pepitos and toss maybe adding a dash of smoked paprika, salt, and pepper as well as a touch base more olive oil !

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