spice girl

So, in a deviation from my usual work out routine of getting up and making coffee, I recently began lifting weights. Not entering a female body building competition just yet, I decided after a winter of hibernation and the over consumption of cheese and wine, I need a little bit more spring in my step. So in an attempt to eat more protein and less crap, I started drinking something called Vega. Ah! It's ALIIIIIIIVE!

Its a challenge to find veggie proteins that don't taste like saw dust. I dig Vega for its protein and nutrition, certainly not its taste. This dish on the other hand is healthy, veggie, and has protein rich seeds + legumes to boot. Amidst the chaos of life, I found refuge in the kitchen this week. So here's how you can add some spice to your life:

Potato Chickpea Salad (Serve hot, or cold over greens)

Potato Mixture:
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup) + 1 tbs olive oil for saute
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced peeled ginger
2 tablespoon curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 c sun dried tomato paste
1 1/2 tbs mango chutney
2 large sweet potatoes diced + boiled (until softened but still firm, this isn't a recipe for mashed potatoes!)
2 large red potatoes diced + boiled
1 large green apple, diced small

Make chickpeas separately:
1 tablespoon olive or canola oil
1 (19-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
dash of salt

Serve with a tablespoon of raw sunflower seeds on top, and some chopped cilantro if you have it.
(I didn't have any cilantro so its only garnished with raw pumpkin seeds in the photo below.)

Saute onions till soft, 5 minutes over medium heat, then add ginger + garlic. Saute 2 minutes, then add spices, toss onions to coat in spice, saute one minute then add the sun dried tomato paste + chutney, scrape bottom of pan, use the the paste + chutney to pick up all the flavor. Saute one minute. If it gets too dry you can add broth or water to make it saucier. Or, if you do want it to be a cold dish (salad) you can wait until this mixture has cooled, and add 1 1/2 c of plain yogurt and some fresh green onion (I didn't want any dairy in mine). -- After the mix has cooked, before it dries out, remove from heat and add the potatoes (drained) + apple.

To cook chickpeas saute them in the oil, add spices and cook for about 5 minutes. Mix with potato mixture OR add it atop when serving. Delicious over a bed of spinach that has been tossed in lemon and oil. I served it up with some sauted rainbow swiss chard. ENJOY!

lessons from mother.... earth

"The universe is indifferent", according to Don Draper on Mad Men. I'm not sure I agree, I think the universe has an off kilter sense of humor that lands us in awkward circumstances for its very own amusement. From these situations we can assimilate lessons, learn from them, and in the future avoid them if at all possible. Here is one thing I've learned amidst the turns, twists and stumbles of fate: love your mother. Whomever she may be. And maybe, if you're lucky, she'll love you back, and plant you in a bright and sunny spot, where you can grow and thrive.

So you've decided to plant a garden, you sew the seeds, fertilize the soil, provide it sunlight, and rain. You are patient with its growth cycles, you talk to it, you intervene when you see it needs pruning, water, or light. You also give it a lot of love, in such case its safe to assume that the garden will love you back. What more does a bean sprout need? But if you step, stomp, and spit on it, if you scream, yell, and kick it, it will wither up and die. If you grow it up just so you can cut it down to size, while you tower over it with your garden shears, it won't be beautiful, productive or happy. It will be a sad stump of a sprout. What a crying shame. People should really give more thought to gardening. It's a huge responsibility.

So love your mother, and if you're lucky she will love you back. Fortunately for the universe, there are mothers everywhere, with keen instincts to grow, care for, and nurture those of us that need a little bit more tending to. Lucky for me, there are many women who put me in their brightest light, who shower me with support. Daunting as the garden shears towering over me might be, I continue to rise, grow, and shine on.

"... you may break, you may shatter the vase, if you will, but the scent of the roses will hang round it still."


The Strike


It begins at the roots, rises up towards the sky, she comes as swiftly as she leaves.

I woke up one morning to the sound of screaming.

She was stirring somewhere deep.

I found myself shaking uncontrollably from its piercing wrenching shrieks.

She was stirring somewhere deep.

I felt it in my arms and legs and hands and feet, my chattering teeth.

She was stirring somewhere deep.

I stood on shaking ground, as the the soil began to sink.

She stopped for a moment, and I finally had relief. Breath. Just breath.

But she began again, stirring in me, somewhere deep. I couldn't reach.

The crying sounds of earthly pains, of exhausted weeps, pulling heart strings.

I tried to shake it from my core, but it was far far too deep. I couldn't reach.

The trees began to holler, the grass began to cry, into itself, the earth begins to shrink.

I woke up one morning to the sound of screaming.

It begins at the roots, rises up towards the sky, she comes as swiftly as she leaves.