Nourishing Flourishing

Archive | May, 2011

May Madness: What You Missed. Also, I love you.

31 May

Since it’s looking like I got some new readers this month (hi friends!), and it was quite busy and filled with transitions for a lot of us (congratulations, graduates!), I wanted to do a quick recap for anyone who may have missed a post. Did you realize tomorrow is June 1st? Hold the phone. What? May? Over? Time is crazy. Just ask anyone who watches Star Trek: The Next Generation dvds (not that I’m among them… uhhh…).

Even though it seems that the weeks flew by, we can rest assured that there are no rifts in the space-time continuum. Thankfully.  …I don’t really understand what that means. I just like Patrick Stewart. And I’m ok with that.

Anyway.

Here is a rundown of May (there’s more than food, don’t fear):

Easy GF, Vegan Baked Beans
Recipe Recycle: Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (Or Pizookie)
Best Guest Post Ever…Obviously.
Spicy Cabbage Soup for Sassy Sinuses
4 Challenges
Mix Tape [Post] of Awesome #5
The Nourishing Power of Literature
Booyah BBQ Socca Pizza
Bring-The-Party-In-Your-BBQ-Sauce Sauce (GF + Vegan!)
Effortless Portobello Burgers
Summer Dreaming: GF and Vegetarian BBQ Ideas
What’s Nourishing My Flourishing Right Now…
Sweet Potatoes: One of The Healthiest Foods You Can Eat (Here’s Why!)
Mix Tape [Post] of Awesome #4
Ethics of Eating: A Snapshot
Another Traveling Trick
Blueberry Scones (Scuffins If You So Desire) … And Normalcy
Good Company
Postcard(ish)
Celebrating
Learning to Love
Best Bangin’ Marinara and Eggplant Faux “Parm”
Think This, Not That #5: In Action
Eating Healthy 107: Traveling, Continued Featuring the (In)Famous Hobo Fridge. Holla!
Healthy Vegan, Grain-Free Quick Crust (and Vegetable Quiche)

I know that I must be growing as a person in some ways, because when I started to asterisk all my favorite posts, I realized that I could have marked nearly all of them. That doesn’t mean they are perfect, or maybe even interesting, but I enjoyed and gained something from writing and sharing each one. I think that’s a good sign that this has been a fruitful venture. It certainly has nourished an important part of me.

Your kind words, emails, comments, tweets, and (unsolicited — I didn’t even ask you!) “likes” on FB are another indicator to me that I am right where I need to be. What an encouragement you are! Thanks for sticking along on the ride, loves. <3 You mean so much to me.

What were your favorites?

Easy GF, Vegan Baked Beans

30 May

Oh, hey. Just bought you a ticket to Yum Town. Ready to board?

(Awkward silence.)

Sorry. But seriously. This is beyond words. Still, I am rarely without words, even if something lies far outside the bounds of them. (= I am really annoying.) So let me attempt to explain this to you. Did you know the secret to awesome baked beans is mustard? Yes. Many of you suggested I make this dish in a GF and vegan reconstruction for Memorial Day BBQs. I must admit, I was thinking the same thing. I tried making baked beans the other day by starting with tomato paste. No dice. Too tomato-y. If I have a fail in the kitchen, for some reason it seems like a statement about the state of my life more generally. Bad batch of baked beans = Katie is the worst thing ever and has no purpose. Yep. That’s why I need to write posts like my Think This, Not That series… I am a crazy=pants. So, anyway. I (wo)manned-up, and put my big girl apron on. I tried to summon all my baked bean wisdom and experiences. There was a lot of bacon in that zone, so I tried to go a little deeper… There has to be a (non-meat) secret ingredient, right? I remembered my mom always casually just squeezing half a bottle of mustard into her baked beans. Wait, I thought. Wait just a second. I know what I’m doing wrong here. I’m trying too hard to do this on my own. Think back. Use The Force.

What now, Baked Beans? I will slay you. And no pork necessary. Suckahhh.

Ingredients:
1 can (about 1 1/2 C) cooked white beans (I used Great Northern, but Cannelini or even Pinto would work too)
1/2 C water
extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion (I always use red, but do whatever)
1 large or 2 medium sized cloves garlic
2 Tb ketchup (I strongly suggest this awesome agave-sweetened kind by Organicville. It’s rocked my condiment-loving-world.)
2 Tb yellow mustard (prepared — not the powder)
2 Tb molasses
1/2 t paprika
1/4 t garlic powder
salt, pepper, cayenne

Recipe:
1) Chop onions and add them to a stovetop pan with olive oil (I used about 1 Tb evoo) over medium heat.
2) Dice garlic, and add to onion. Sprinkle both with salt, and cook until almost caramelized (browned).
3) You should have a crust of residue from the caramelizing; add just a splash (2-3 Tb?) of water to “deglaze.” Remove from heat.
4) Add rinsed, cooked beans and sprinkle with salt (important to salt the beans, especially after they’ve been rinsed). Set aside.
5) In an 8×8 pyrex baking dish, mix remaining ingredients (I added just a sprinkle of cayenne — feel free to omit).
6) Add beans, onions, and garlic.
7) Place in a preheated 350* oven. Let cook until a nice little pseudo-crust has formed on top (~20/30 minutes?), and remove.

Yum Town arrival.

I will be the first to say I think these are even better if they sit overnight in the fridge. Aren’t most things? Especially beans. Also, my husband thinks this dish would be additionally awesome with a higher ratio of beans — feel free to add more, of course! I like mine either way.

Edited to Add: Also, I would strongly recommend doubling, tripling, or quadrupling this recipe. It’s ridiculous. One person already made this and said: “Dude…those baked beans were out of control good. Only thing I would do differently is double the recipe!” So. Take the wonderful Hilary Tina’s advice. She knows what she’s talking about. : )

I was aiming for a flavor similar to the Busch’s of old, but I think I might actually prefer some extra mustard for tang. The wonderful part of this dish is that you can easily adapt it even after it comes out of the oven. Try a taste. Not zingy enough? Add more mustard. Not sweet enough? Add a glop more molasses and/or ketchup. It’s a beautiful thing, this dish. A beautiful, tasty thing.

Featured in Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Have a great (Memorial) day! What are you cookin’ up (activity-wise, and food-wise)?

Recipe Recycle: Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars (Or Pizookie)

29 May

Thanks for understanding that I needed a day to regain my balance, friends. I’m sorry to unexpectedly not show up yesterday, but…life happens. I stayed up the night before last until around 1am hammering out a (very long) post, but when the time came to push “Publish” for Saturday’s (intended) post, it just didn’t feel right. There are some times that I need to write, just to vomit all my thoughts up in a tangible way (sorry for that image…), so that I can revisit and edit them later into something more useful. So it’s not that I just flaked on you, if that makes a difference. I want my posts to be worth reading!

But, to be transparent, I also felt that it would have been disingenuous to post – to say I’m striving to live a holistically healthy life, yet all the while I’m sick, totally depleted, can barely get off the couch, and am still forcing myself to spend hours and a good deal of energy blogging. Is that health — to push myself to the limits of exhaustion, denying myself the rest that I need? No, and I think I would have been a hypocrite if I would have posted yesterday. I often discuss the significance of being good to ourselves, listening to our bodies (and minds) to better understand our individual needs. Stressing out about putting together a new post and other blog-related responsibilities would have been destructive for me, and diametrically opposed to the mission of this website. It would not have nourished a flourishing life for me. Sometimes, “pushing through the pain” is the worst possible option. Sure, canceling plans on (blog-reading) friends sucks. But in the end, it’s what’s best for everyone.

However, I think I can make my “calling in sick” day up by having awesome posts this week. Right? That will be my goal. In the meantime, I have a wonderful recipe for Memorial Day. Or any day. You know, whatever. You’ll notice that this is, admittedly, nearly the same recipe as my Dark Chocolate Chip Biscotti. But, the great news is, it’s also just as delicious! This new method actually saves a few steps. And…it’s a giant cookie. Any objections? Good.  Just think of it as recycling : )

Ingredients:
2 1/2 C blanched almond flour (you can easily make your own — yay!)
2 Tb arrowroot powder (you can probably sub a little coconut flour or extra almond flour if you don’t have it)
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/3 C agave or honey
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 Tb vanilla
~1/4 C dark chocolate chips

Recipe:
1) Mix all dry ingredients except chocolate chips.
2) Add wet ingredients and stir to combine (it may seem too dry — just trust and keep stirring, or wet hands and mix that way). Add chocolate chips.
3) Lightly oil an 8×8 glass baking dish (I rubbed some coconut oil on mine).
4) With wet hands, press dough into the dish.
5) Place in a preheated 350* oven. Remove when it begins to brown on top, and a fork comes out clean in the middle. Cut into bars.

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This is essentially a gluten-free, vegan (if made with agave and vegan chocolate) version of a cookie bar or pizookie. It’s surprisingly healthy, and insanely delicious. Imagine a hint of crunch on the outside, and soft chewy yum-ness with burst of dark melted chocolate on the inside. I would suggest doubling the recipe if you plan to bring this to a Memorial Day cookout, because it is addictive!

What are you doing for Memorial Day?

Or, just tell me what you’re doing to nourish your flourishing life right now : )

xoxo

Best Guest Post Ever…Obviously.

27 May

Happy Friday!

Though I’m sure you’ll be busy perusing my blog for Memorial Day recipes (wink, hint, nudge, joke), you can click here for my guest post featured at The Athlete’s Plate today. I promise it’s worth a read. Promise. I’d love to hear your thoughts after you check it out! <3

In the meantime, I’m going to catch up on comments and emails… Because it is just getting ridiculous how behind I am. I miss you!

xoxo.

Spicy Cabbage Soup for Sassy Sinuses

26 May

So.

Allergies.

We meet again.

I am not pleased to see you. There, I said it. I get that you are just hypersensitive and want to be all up in my biznass, but seriously, Immune System – I’m a big girl now and I can take care of myself! You are way too overprotective. It’s embarrassing. I walk around with swollen eyes all day long, totally drained, with these powerful headaches, just because you apparently didn’t get the memo that lilacs are not poison. They just smell nice. Chill out, antibodies.

As a result of this autoimmune fun (and by “fun” I mean “horror”), I was in a daze yesterday. Occasionally, my allergies get debilitating — seriously. I’ll spare you the details, but imagine the worst headcold you can, and then throw some Satan into the picture for interesting twists. Yep, that’s about accurate. It can drag me down to just laying on a couch, mumbling incoherently about how I want BFF Manfriend to “pull the plug.”

He is a patient, saintly man. I know this. (And yes, I did drama in high school — why do you ask?)

Anyway. I suspect there may be an actual cold in the background of the allergies as well right now. It’s hard to distinguish the two sometimes, because they tend to go hand in hand, egging each other on in their torturous ways. So I finally went ahead and tried to make something that would kind of “clean out the attic” – if the attic is my head, and my sinuses are the forgotten corners. (Can you tell I’m still delirious? Good metaphor. Not.) There is one type of soup I crave when I feel unwell – whether it be a flu, a cold, a life disappointment, or a paranoid immune system that hates lilacs (WHO HATES LILACS?!?! Come on, I.S.!) It has to include a tomato base, cabbage, garlic, and some heat. Everything else is take-it-or-leave-it. I made do with what I had, and it was amazing. So, for all my fellow allergy and/or cold sufferers, know that while this won’t cure you, it definitely takes the edge off. And the congestion out.

This is yet another free-and-easy, loosey-goosey, do-what-you-will-and-hyphenate-extravagantly kind of recipe. There’s nothing all that creative going on here; it’s really just vegetables. I’m sure there are a bazillion (roughly) other similar recipes out there. And with good reason. It’s utterly simple – the only added spices are salt, pepper, and cayenne (well, and enough garlic to keep the Twilighters away. Joke.). Yep. It’s easy, crazy healthy (I mean – CRAZY), and comes together in probably 15 minutes. Chop chop, stir, pour, stir, shake, stir, eat. It’s even pleasant to make – rhythmic chopping and a comforting smell wafting through your kitchen. What’s not to love?

The fact that I’m allergic to the best smell in the world – lilacs. Ah. Touché. That’s not to love.

This soup can be eaten cold, like gazpacho, warm/room temperature, or hot. Because things are sort of, kind of, maybe, but not for sure yet, starting to warm up around here (it’s Colorado. We have 4 seasons in every single day so…we have to be noncommittal about our assessments.). I devoured this after I got home from working out – two big bowlfuls. It was spicy enough to keep me downing the H20 to rehydrate, but not to the point that I couldn’t taste and enjoy my meal. It was the perfect ending to my day! And it definitely made a difference in my…uh…overcapacitated sinus cavities, and itchy throat.

It a happily-ever-after soup.

Ingredients:
extra virgin olive oil
½ head or 1 very small cabbage
½ small red onion
2 medium-sized carrots
2-3 stalks celery
6-8 cloves garlic (I used 7, varying in size)
1 28 oz can chunky tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
~ ½ C water (optional)
salt + pepper
cayenne (or hot sauce, or both)

Recipe(ish):
1) Chop cabbage by first slicing the head into ribbons, and then slicing in the other direction.
2) Chop onion, carrots, celery, and garlic as well. I like mine diced quite small in this recipe, but do what you like.
3) Drizzle enough olive oil into a large pot so that when heated to medium, it covers the bottom in a thin layer.
4) Add vegetables, salt generously (to make them sweat a little), and stir.
5) Once veggies are starting to soften, add tomato sauce/diced tomatoes. and stir. You may want to add some water to thin it out to your desired consistency — I used about ¾ C or so.
6) Add salt, coarse ground pepper, and cayenne and/or hot sauce to taste. Stir, reduce to a lower heat, and let simmer for about 5-10 minutes. Serve.

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I like it with some crunch still in the carrots, so my times reflect this. Feel free to cook longer if you wish. It’s even better the next day! I feel so much better after eating this. It’s not a panacea, but it is delicious, healthy, and quick.

Take that, Sinuses.


Do you have allergies? Any special cures?

My doctor relative swears by drinking a teaspoon of your urine in a glass of water every morning. Something about the amount of antibodies… I mentioned this on Twitter once to some hilarious reactions… Thoughts?

(Do you hear the desperation in my voice?)

4 Challenges

25 May

Note: This isn’t meant to convince you to be vegetarian, judge you for not being vegetarian (seriously, would never do that), or anything along those lines. They’re just some ideas if you want to explore something different this week. No pressure, no preaching, no crazy. Just ideas, if you want them! If not, feel free to skip this post. No offense taken ; )

You want to know something hilarious? I don’t eat meat, and I don’t know when National Vegetarian Month is. Well, no, I do now — after I wrote a post about it last night. About 5 months early. Oops. Well, why waste a good post, right?! I thought it was too good to be true that National Celiac Awareness Month and National Veg Month would coincide. It might as well be National Nourishing Flourishing Month. Anywho, here are some good challenges for the remaining week of…Meatless May. Yes… Meatless May. Because that was totally my intention when I wrote this. Yes… (Oh! Just found out it’s National Vegetarian Week in the U.K. Maybe that’s where I went wrong…)

If you take me up on these little challenges, I would love to hear your reflections.(P.S. Still behind on comments…sorry! Catching up today hopefully.) If you don’t care, no worries. I just wanted to post this because I’ve gotten a lot of questions about vegetarianism lately, and I thought I could try to show that this lifestyle is not so strange after all. Knowledge is power, as they say (and by “they” I mean Schoolhouse Rock)… So if you feel up to it, use the last bit of this unofficial, non-national, self-imposed meatless month to explore something different.

Challenge #1: Don’t eat meat for the next week. As in, no seafood too. Straight-up, old school, 2 legit 2 quit no meat. Some of you may scoff at this, but if this seems easy, I would say, “And read all the labels on everything you consume, and ask lots of questions if you go out to eat, and put down that Guinness, and get rid of the marshmallows, gummy worms, jelly, worcestershire sauce, salad dressing, and cheese made with rennet.” Trickier than it seems initially. This little exercise might help you to better understand why your veg friend is a little paranoid about ingredients.

Challenge #2: Watch Earthlings, Food Inc., or Forks Over Knives. I’m actually taking myself up on this one! I never see movies in theatres (well, unless it’s the new Harry Potter, in which case we plan our trip to visit my family around its release date, and watch it with my dad. He’s a fan, to say the least. And considering we drive that far to celebrate with him, we just might be too…); it saves us a serious amount of cash, and at the same time strengthens our Patience muscle. So, I probably won’t be watching Forks Over Knives yet, despite being curious. I will be viewing Earthlings, though. And from what I hear…I’m going to have a hard time getting through it! But I don’t want to make excuses for choosing not to know something, so…here goes. As with all documentaries, I plan to take the information with a grain of salt; good research matters to me. Either way, I’ll make sure to post my thoughts afterwards.

Challenge #3: Start reading a vegetarian blog. No, this isn’t shameless self-promotion (though I am good at that). I just think exposing ourselves to other perspectives can be beneficial — not in an “I’m-now-becoming-vegetarian-too” way, though. Instead, it’s that vegetarianism suddenly doesn’t seem so foreign and one dimensional, and we learn to empathize with other’s convictions. (And hopefully realize they aren’t judging us constantly.) Plus, you save money when you cook vegetarian food! This is a great way to get recipes and ideas along those lines, especially when hosting vegetarian friends. My suggestions? Peas and Thank You, Daily Garnish, No Meat Athlete, and Edible Perspective.

Challenge #4: Have an open conversation with a vegetarian. It’s not about me trying to get you into a conversion-conversation. Not even remotely. If they get preachy or damning, politely change the topic (and accept our apologies for this person. Oy.). But as much as you can, try to understand where the person is coming from. I can tell you that when people really hear my position, and — though in the end they may respectfully disagree — make me feel as if they’ve genuinely given it the dignity of real consideration, it gives me such encouragement. And that encouragement comes not from the thought that I might have influenced their personal ethic or anything, it comes purely from feeling like I’m being treated as an intelligent peer, rather than a label or stereotype. Encourage your vegetarian friends by showing that you value their lifestyle, even if you might not fully agree with it.

 

What do you think? Would you try one of these to better understand the vegetarian lifestyle?

If you are already vegetarian and have done all these challenges, what would you add?

Mix Tape [Post] of Awesome #5

24 May

It’s been a while since the last Mix Tape Post… Normally I try to do Mix Tapes on the weekend so that you have more time to read these gems, but… I just wanted to share anyway. And, I hear Tuesday is the hardest day of the week. Maybe this will get some of you through it. If not, I’d recommend a margarita. That seems to do the trick when reading my Mix Tapes doesn’t. Am I right, or am I right? Please share any highlights you had reading, eating, or living-wise in the comments, too (and yes, of course you can link-up to your own posts, silly)!

Enjoy!

someecards.com - I tend to believe everything I read

Good Reads

Got Culture? How the arts really do make you healthier. (See, that last post wasn’t for nothing!)

Pesticides and Toxins from GMO Food Found in Blood of Pregnant Mothers This recent research flies in the face of claims that pesticides on our food just move in one end of the body and out the other, without leaving a trace. Pesticides are linked with miscarriage, as well as numerous other diseases and conditions, so this should be even more alarming than it already seems. Also, recent studies have shown that pesticides ingested by pregnant mothers has an effect not only on children’s general health, but also lowers their IQ. This article titled, “Pesticides and Our Kids,” is a great follow-up to read.

Can Gut Bacteria Affect Mental Health? I am so thankful to see many, many studies like this one pooping popping up everywhere. After changing my diet significantly to try to rebalance intestinal flora (and to heal from the damage long-term gluten ingestion had done to my body), my life has completely changed. I am the healthiest I have ever been, both physically and emotionally. I truly think committing to activity and restoring the right bacteria ratios in my body through diet are the reasons for this. More and more, especially with the skyrocketing occurrence of autism and ADHD, the medical community is starting to pay heed to the idea that our body is not segmented into hundreds of different, mutually-exclusive parts; our body is composed of systems that interact with each other. We shouldn’t be surprised that one (perhaps seemingly unrelated) system affects another so significantly. Did you read this? Did you know 1 in 6 kids now has a developmental disorder (autism, ADHD, etc.)? Interesting that changes in diet can completely change the autistic behaviors of many of these children.

Belly Fat, Not BMI, Increases Risk of Death I have read similar findings in the past. Unfortunately, most people don’t realize the dangers of carrying excess weight, particularly on your stomach. It’s not an aesthetic issue, it’s one of health.

Four Words That Will Change Your Life Forever You just have to read this. Seriously. (Especially if you’re a parent.)

The Really Simple Way To Get Work Done The key to being productive. Bam.

This post on Peas and Thank You reviewing vegan protein powders. While one doesn’t need protein powder as a vegetarian/vegan, they come in awfully handy sometimes. We have been experimenting with a handful, and all have been kind of…well…disgusting. Sorry! But true. I seriously thought I might upchuck at one. Eeps. This was a great primer to start narrowing down our options again.

 

Good Eats

The easiest homemade almond milk I’ve ever seen. So simple. And I love simple.

Avocado Pesto & Other Nut Free Alternatives From Gena at Choosing Raw. I’m not even surprised anymore when she whips out deliciousness like this.

Effortless Portobello Burgers Too easy. And as Katie pointed out, these can easily be raw — just let them marinate and don’t cook ‘em!

Bring-The-Party-In-Your-BBQ-Sauce Sauce Let’s get it started in hurr. Vegan, gluten-free. What more can you ask?

Booyah BBQ Socca Pizza (I started salivating — literally — just typing that.) If I could eat this every night for the next month or so, I would be an ecstatically pleasant woman to be around.

Muddy Caesar Salad from Ricki at Diet, Dessert, N Dogs. Vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, and from what I can tell, raw too! This looks like a perfect way to start in on some summer grub — fresh food and lots of salad! (Whoa, did you know she has a PhD in Modern American Literature? The English major inside me is swooning…)

 

Good Times

I had another highlight-of-my-life evening with people I adore. Thank you so much, dear ones. And a very special thanks to the man who made it happen, and was more than generous and accommodating to my high-maintenance eating gluten-free and vegetarian needs. If you ever need someone to give you the best meal of your life, let me know. I know a guy. (Oh, and Father-of-The-Guy, Wendell, I hope you liked your doughballs! xoxo)

I’m back to my old book-ish ways. And I like it.

I’m doing a great deal of reflecting on my priorities, what a flourishing life looks like for me, and how to nourish that.

My brother moved to Denver. Woo! Just a short drive away now.

We planted a tree in remembrance of my brother-in-law, Andrew. Yes, that was part of what I was doing in my hometown this past week. I haven’t shared this part of my life yet, but at this point, it’s been less than a year, and I’m just not quite ready to discuss it on the blog. But I will say that it’s truly amazing how much this wonderful man changed me, and it is comforting to think on how this tree will bring such joy to those who sit under it in years to come.

 

So… I have an outrageous amount of comments to catch up on… Sorry! I know I am shamefully behind; traveling will do that. But thank you for all the comments you left, despite my belated response. : ) They mean so much to me!

 

Highlight of reading, eating, and living of your week?

The Nourishing Power of Literature

23 May

Remember how one of the things I was working on this summer was reconnecting with my creativity, and reading more for personal edification (rather than academic)? Well, this is a multifaceted adventure, with a variety of paths I plan to take. But I did end up in the library yesterday. Accidentally. And as I stumbled into a non-history-and-philology-related section (hm, had nearly forgotten those exist…), my whole world fell down, cracked, and opened to me once again.

We went on a walk without an intended destination. But the intrigue drew me to veer left; I simply couldn’t fight it any longer. The pull of old, worn books could ruin me one day — I lose all focus, wandering for literally hours at a time, sitting down in the middle of an aisle to peruse my latest treasure, running my fingers over the cold, musty pages with a deep and strange reverence. I feel like I am on sacred ground each time I enter a library; I step lightly, wide-eyed, touching every shelf’s hardcover spines with affection and wonder… All the while smiling like a fool.

Words and tales – and I am not ashamed to say it — have always been my dearest friends. Poems, prose, novels, dictionaries, even — these are my best teachers, empathizers, and enemies. Literature, very often, confronts and opposes us. It demands that we not look away, that we see the world from a different experience, that we become uncomfortable with the “us” we see traced throughout the story. It paints an accurate portrait of our worst (and best) selves. It highlights the disparity between these two identities we hold. It cultivates growth.

Certainly, then, you can understand why I am so eager to very purposefully set aside time each day to nourish myself through reading (and not a purely academic work, for once). When I look back on the poets, artists, and other distanced mentors who have shaped me, and how profound these changes have been, I set my excuses aside. I realize that there is no time like the present to prioritize this — this need to explore again the art that can sink into my being, and bring to fruition good things I never knew were sown within as seedlings. Literature gives me hope for myself, and humanity. It opens me to the hurt of those otherwise unknown to me. It sloughs off the callus of my jaded negativity and presumption. It points me toward the person I so achingly long to be. It calls me to keep working for that dream, with the weight of understanding with humility that I am incapable of fulfilling this ambition on my own. It is both inspiring, and humbling.

And don’t we need both in our life? Don’t we need to be keenly aware of our potential, and our error, to become more flourishing persons? I know that I do. So here is my first step. Consistency. Picking up a text at random is all fine and well, but I have found that for myself, some etching out of my day for only this endeavor is the most beneficial. Imagination is, interestingly enough, what grounds us in an acute awareness of reality. And I need that awakening.

I’m off to go fall madly in love with some ink, and all the humanity behind it. Here’s a selection from “Poetry,” by Marianne Moore, to get things rolling…

I, too, dislike it: there are things that are important beyond
all this fiddle.
Reading it, however, with a perfect contempt for it, one
discovers in
it after all, a place for the genuine.
Hands that can grasp, eyes
that can dilate, hair that can rise
if it must, these things are important not because a

high-sounding interpretation can be put upon them but because
they are
useful.

How has literature changed you? Do you wish you read more often?

What are you reading now?

Booyah BBQ Socca Pizza

22 May

So… About yesterday. Um. My bad. Things were much crazier than I expected, and it is now 1:30am on Sunday as I get ready to finally put my post up. Yeesh. Long day much? Good thing you’re a forgiving bunch ; )

When I prepared to make the BBQ sauce the other day, I was ruminating over what exactly I would use as a vehicle for carrying this deliciousness into my mouth. Sorry, but BBQ sauce is less of a “complement” to food than a food all on its own in my mind… What can I say? I guess that’s another reason my BFF Manfriend calls me The Sauce Queen. I just love condiments. It’s a weakness.

Anyway, obviously I made some portobello burgers and topped them with this smoky, sweet, tangy nectar of the heavens, but I knew this sauce had potential. It could be so much more than a ketchup-replacement. It just needed the chance to shine. So, what do you think my first stop on the Various Sauce Uses trolley was? My other weakness, of course…

Yes.

BBQ Socca Pizza.

One ticket to Yum Town, please.


If you want to see some of my other socca friends (aka meals), check out this post, and definitely this post. To learn what socca is and see yet another recipe for it, click here.

 

Ingredients:
1/2 C chickpea flour
1/4 C water (feel free to add more if you want a thinner crust, opposite for thicker. Mine was the consistency of pancake batter.)
Generous salt (salt is the main flavoring, so don’t skimp!)
1-3 Tb extra virgin olive oil for pan
Bring-The-Party-In-Your-B.B.(B.)Q.-sauce sauce
organic or vegan cheese
chopped onion (I prefer red, but only had white for this go)
chopped green pepper

Recipe
1) Mix water, chickpea flour, and salt together.
2) Heat 1-3 Tb extra virgin olive oil on medium in a large, flat skillet/pan. (I used my beloved small cast iron.)
3) Pour batter into pan, spreading evenly with a fork if needed to achieve consistent height throughout.
4) Let the bottom crisp, and when it is sturdy flip.
5) Let the other side crisp as well, and when the texture is right for you, it’s done! (I like mine crisped nearly to a char in some places, as you might see in the photos… It reminds me of woodfired crusts!)
6) Add sauce and toppings, and place under broiler briefly for melting if needed (watch carefully!)


This is yet another wildly easy, throw-it-together-in-10-minutes-and-devour-in-two kind of meal. It puts traditional BBQ pizzas to shame; and to be frank, I think it might have something to do with the sauce. Why lie?

The best part? This is high-protein (from the garbanzo flour), high-fiber (= super satiating), grain-free, gluten-free, vegetarian, and depending on what type of cheese you use, vegan. Unlike other BBQ pizzas, you can name and understand every ingredient in here! I know, right? Best idea ever. (Worst idea ever: take pictures of it in the rain. Photos will not be up to standards. Lo siento.) Just throw some salad on the side and bask in the wonder of your efficient and delectable meal-making. Preferably while watching a Harry Potter marathon with your family, half-heartedly working. (The half-heartedly part wasn’t intentional, but you know how these things go.)

And on that note… Go get your B.B.(B.)Q.-in’ on! Trust me. You will want to have this sauce on hand at all times. It can make anything magical…anything. (I am willing to put my money on the fact that it would even be scrumptious with ice cream. Fact.)

P.S. Props to the commenter who predicted I would slather this on pizza. Total win.

Part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free

Best part of your week/weekend?

Real Life.

21 May

Hey friends! Ran into some tech and travel issues, so unfortunately posting will be a bit delayed today… Sorry : (


Hope so!

xoxo