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.
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
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.
- 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!
1/2 teaspoon good quality salt Read More...
Getting 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...
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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...
A winner of a side dish, or add garbanzo beans or left-over chicken for a full meal. Read More...
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