Abundance Reset + Vegan/Paleo Curry

Are you ready to cook with me on this little island paradise? (Wouldn’t that be fun!) Here’s what ya gotta do. Think of your favorite place to buy groceries. Can you picture the produce department? Get a good visual in your mind. Now take it down to less than a dozen veggies. Turn up the heat about 30 degrees F so they’re practically wilted. That’s where we start our culinary adventure. 
It’s a far cry from Whole Foods, Von’s, or Trader Joe’s with their perfectly manicured piles of greens, reds, purples, yellows… And yet the humble produce stand here is teaching me about abundance and challenging what I once thought I needed. 
Variety may be touted as the “spice of life” but there’s a subtle beauty in knowing what to expect (here it’s carrots, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, cabbage, tomatoes, onions).
What I’ve learned…
The gift is finding the balance between creativity and routine.
The gift is seeing the abundant bounty in a blemished tomato.
The gift is being present with what is right in front of your nose.
These are the souvenirs I’ll cherish. 
While I’m here, I’m here. 100%. I’m happy with the offerings. Overjoyed. Grateful for this mini rainbow. And when I see cilantro or ginger nestled in the mix, I do back flips in celebration.
Coconut Kisses!
My Go-To Abundant Dinner
2 Tablespoons coconut oil
2 green onions, sliced
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, minced
1 inch ginger, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons curry powder
2 cups coconut milk
2 cups chopped broccoli
1 cup chopped cauliflower
1 cup sliced carrots
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
1/2 lime
Heat the coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add the green onions, jalapeno and ginger. Stir well. Allow to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and curry powder. Mix well.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until the garlic starts to soften. Stir frequently. It will be paste-like so you’ll probably need to smoosh it around.
Add coconut milk and stir thoroughly to incorporate the paste into the milk. Add the veggies and cover. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until veggies are your desired tenderness. Squeeze lime over the top and stir in cilantro leaves.
Serve over rice or quinoa or alone.
Chef’s Tips:
  • Add whatever veggies you have!
  • If you have sweet potatoes or other tubers, add small cubes about 10 minutes before the other veggies to allow ample cooking time. 
  • You could easily add chicken or shrimp to this recipe.
  • Make extra for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner!
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Beauty as a Teacher: Sustainable Seafood

offshore lobsterInitially I was struck by the sheer beauty of her plates as I saw them on social media. I KNEW there was a story behind it, and I was right. I had to meet Mia Shark the owner/visionary of Offshore Restaurant. As an avid diver and having lived in Hawaii, Mia’s love of the sea is evident. With her background as an event planner and caterer, she combined her passion and talents to open one of the best restaurants here on Utila to spread the word of sustainable seafood through exquisite food.
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My Caribbean Go-To Sauce

caribbean lunch
When the supply boat comes in and it has cilantro, I make this. Every. Single. Time.
It’s actually an adapted Israeli recipe, but it works well whether we’re eating rice and beans, local eggs, fresh fish or even slices of cucumbers. I’ve even watered it down and made a salad dressing with it!
Here I slathered some homemade hummus on top of a slice of bread, then added some “magic” sauce. All finished with a few slices of ripe tomatoes. A crispy side salad and a few grapes (the size of golf balls!) and lunch was done.
I’ve yet to find the wild version of cilantro called culantro that grows around here… I’m looking forward to trying it when I do.
SCHUG
1 bunch cilantro, well washed, chopped (stems included)
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (remove half the seeds/ribs for less spicy)
juice of one large lime
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1-2 teaspoons salt
Put all ingredients in the bowl of a chopper or food processor. Pulse until almost smooth.
 
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The Best Oil I’ve Ever Had

coconut oilGetting into the groove here in the Caribbean… veggie variety is hard to find. No problem. The darkest green leafy is iceberg. Ok, we’ll live. But I drew the line at oils. I’m a stickler for some things and this is numero uno. 
On the shelves of the stores there are plenty of cooking oils, but I couldn’t bring myself to use any of them. Vegetable oils, corn oils, vegetable shortening and other highly refined rancid oils are terrible for the body so I had to hold out. We’re in the land of the coconut and coconut oil is an excellent high heat cooking oil. I KNEW there had to be something special, and boy, I was not disappointed.
After asking around, I met a woman on Facebook who sells homemade coconut oil made by a local Garifuna family. It is THE best oil I’ve ever used in my life. 
The first thing I noticed was it’s in a bottle. With a neck. I don’t know where you live, but back home I need a wide mouth jar because this stuff is solid 95% of the time. I gotta scoop not pour! It’s warm here (I love it, but, fyi, my computer didn’t. It died on day 3) so a bottle works just fine.
The next thing I noticed was the smell. It’s like no other coconut oil I’ve had. So rich! And with a hint of smoke. I learned they make this old school style, over a fire. See how special this is?!
And then, the taste. Oh jeez. My curry never tasted so good! Even just the slightest drizzle used to saute my ginger, green onions, jalapeno and garlic elevated it to a more complex flavor profile.
I got so curious as to how coconut oil is made, I poked around on YouTube and found this video. I will absolutely make my own before I leave. Please let me know if you do too! I’m Facebooking while away… connect with me here.

HOW TO MAKE COCONUT OIL VIDEO. Read More...

I did the obvious and it worked like a charm.

Still crunch time around these parts. We’ve been redoing our kitchen, getting ready to leave for the entire summer and I’m finishing up a big corporate program. As our departure date gets closer and my to-do list seems to be getting longer not shorter, I’m challenged to sit down to a meal and not have things rattle around my brain. Yup. Even me.
I know that’s not what I want for myself because I tend to eat more, gobble food quickly, and feel unsatisfied when my plate is empty… all not my intention. So imagine my surprise when I did the obvious and it worked. I’m pretty sure it will work for you too.
As I was eating dinner the other night, I felt stress pulsing through my body. Then all of a sudden I heard my own voice in my head saying “I’m eating quinoa. I’m eating quinoa and broccoli. I’m eating quinoa, broccoli, and onions. I’m eating quinoa, broccoli, onions, and curry powder…”
Could it be any more obvious or simple?! And you know what happened? I brought myself to the present moment. All my worries about how I botched the paint job on the ceiling faded away. All the fear about getting my dog’s paperwork ready for the trip disappeared. Sweet relief!
I chewed more slowly. I actually tasted my food! And I know my digestion thanks me.
So, what do you think? Are you going to try it? Give it a go, and pop on to my Facebook Page to let us know how it went for you. Read More...

Sunflower Spread

I’m packing this for our plane trip, along with celery spears and radish rounds. The fat and the protein from the seeds will satisfy my munchies and keep me away from the junk at the airport. And the crunchy vegetables will help me release any anxiety as we face a long day of air travel! Read More...