Oh hai, blog. I’ve missed you. I knew it was time for a new post when I looked at my last entry and it was full of snow photos.
I’ve been in the midst of a life & work transition, and the outside world has been changing, too. In just four weeks, we’ve gone from snowstorms to lilacs, from shoveling & grumbling to sitting outside & soaking up the sunshine. Being a Minnesotan is hard work, I tell ya. But the warm season makes it worth it.
I want to capture every flower, to bottle every beautiful scent and stare at every gorgeous bloom until it becomes part of my permanent memory. This is the time when I stock up on as much of Mother Nature as I can, for next winter when I will inevitably crave it with all of my being.
But what I’m the most excited about, what lights me up inside out, is that Mama Gaia is now offering up her bounty. This is my favorite time of the year for cooking, from now til the end of October, when I go to the farmer’s market, wide-eyed, empty bags in hand. I stroll down every aisle, taking in all of the beauty & watching as the growers handle each vegetable with such care. I almost cry when I buy tomatoes from one of them, to see their ruddy, wind-swept face rich with life, from being so close to the soil. Their eyes gleam from caring so much. They are ambassadors of the land, these farmers. They are heroes.
I watched an amazing video a few weeks ago, maybe you saw it. It was called “This is Water,” and it was the commencement speech given by David Foster Wallace at Kenyon College in 2005. I strongly encourage you to listen to the speech (the video has since been taken down for legal reasons). The gist of Wallace’s speech, or at least what I got out of it, is that we’re all in this together, and we’re each in control of our own reality. We’re much more connected to one another than many of us realize. Each of us has something to give. There’s more to everyone than meets the eye.
That video inspired me to keep writing this blog, to keep singing, to keep doing these things that I do from my heart, that feel right & good. If we all give what we can, if we all give just a little bit of light, the ripple will spread and the world will be that much better for it. Someone’s day will be a little easier. Someone’s grief will be a little more bearable.
Part of what I share is recipes. I don’t have gorgeously styled photos, or exotic ingredients, because I don’t think that’s what real people need. I think real people need a delicious & healthy meal at the end of a long day. I think people need a simple place to start making a pretty big change – eating less meat. I think that’s what my recipes & blog provide, and I’m proud of that. I’ve added a Paypal donation button to my blog, because I’ve decided to be OK with accepting money from people in exchange for my work. If my recipes have helped you, or you’ve been inspired by the words & photos I share here, I invite you to make a donation. I’ll be working on some products in the near future (a veggie breakfast e-book & my 1st full-fledged cookbook), but for now I’m accepting donations. And that feels good.
Thanks for stopping by today. Here’s a recipe. Love love love, and take care.
Ginger Peanut Noodles with Carrot & Tofu
1/2 cup cooked spaghetti noodles
3T peanut butter
1/2 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 tsp soy sauce
1 clove garlic
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp agave nectar or maple syrup (or sugar)
Lemon or lime juice
1/3 block firm tofu
Fresh chives or cilantro (optional)
Place the tofu on a cutting board and press several times with a dishcloth or paper towels, turning a few times. You can also place something heavy on top of it, like a saute pan, for 5-10 minutes.
Dice the garlic and ginger. Place into a medium bowl, and add the peanut butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, water, and sweetener. Mix together using a fork or whisk, adding more water if necessary (it will depend on which kind of peanut butter you use).
Cut the pressed tofu into 1/2″ slices, and then into triangles. Swirl a little peanut oil in a saute pan and carefully add the tofu. Saute over medium-high heat for 3-5 minutes. Turn carefully with a fork or spatula, and saute the other side for 3-5 minutes. Turn a few times again if needed; the tofu should be a golden brown on the outside.
Once the tofu is cooked to your liking, add the peanut sauce and spaghetti noodles. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix well until coated with peanut sauce, and all ingredients are heated through.
Transfer noodles & tofu to a plate or bowl. Use a vegetable peeler to remove outer layer of carrot, and then to add strips of carrot to the dish. Top with fresh chives or cilantro, and finish with a little bit of fresh lemon or lime juice.
This would also be great as cold leftovers! Happy Memorial Weekend.