Rainbow Tower Salad

If you want toasted sesame seeds, make sure to toast them yourself, instead of buying them toasted. They are so much more delicious! It’s worth the minute.

Have you ever been through a long period of time that feels like it may never end, that was so devastating, you lost inspiration?

I tried to reach at my inspiration again. Where was it? I was too devastated. I was curled into a ball, crying, imagining, resting, and healing. Each step of healing was a reason to celebrate. I really did. The way I used to get my inspiration was changing.

Food changed. I used to do so many experiments, whatever came to my mind each day. I ran out of the budget to do that, and even a kitchen.

I landed in a kitchen, where I was yelled at for being specific about my food choices.

And the inspiration just kept wilting, the sadness and pain improved.

For the sake of my health, and lowering food costs and mess in the kitchen, I began to eat extremely specific and minimally. I could feel my body vibrating more clearly, as I spent four months this way. I felt like I was failing as a cook though.

Everything I thought I was doing right, and how I was on the way up, was put away. Part of my path was to see things in a new way, and there is light at the end of the tunnel.

I almost forgot that spirit was guiding me when I created all those crazy soups. Mixed with my own creative impulses, and ability to listen, take signs, use what I had available, share resources, on and on, but most importantly, was to realize that the whole journey started because I decided to let go and let spirit guide me. Taking a hike every day was essential.

Only recently, like today, have I realized, some of these important cosmic memories.

I was sick of soup, and taking pictures of soups. I wanted to like it, but I didn’t feel good about it. The world wasn’t exciting, and I didn’t have my own kitchen to harness my magic in. Have you ever gotten sick of hearing the same songs? Even though all the soups were different, it felt like the same songs. Nothing really wrong with the song, but you just don’t feel it anymore. It’s not the songs fault. What’s actually happening, is that I’m waiting for the next evolvement to happen.

Here’s the recent things that inspired this today.

Today, someone asked me, “is all you cook soup”?!  I was thinking, oh my gosh, I am so much more creative then this, why am I trying to play it off like I’m just doing soups, or even just cooking, for the sake of trying to make my instagram all about soups, so that I could be consistent.

I bought a papaya for this salad. Doesn’t seem like a big deal, but I can’t remember the last time I bought a papaya, except a babaco papaya from a local farm. I bought one at Whole Foods today. It felt good not to be so concerned about it, and just accept that sometimes I’ll add a non local ingredient.

I started making croissants for a friend who helped me in huge ways, confirm what I had been saying silently in my mind, which was awakening and heart wrenchingly challenging, in a way that only he could do. It’s inspired me because it took me out of my fears of using certain food ingredients, reminded me that I have the ability to be calm and patient, feel my body again, and I’m doing something that is new and enjoyable with food, instead of trying to just perfect soups. It’s a pattern interrupt, which helps to re-enliven things.

I did it for myself. The nature of cooking for other people is that they’re paying for it, so you want to please them. I’ve gone into this new thing, even when I’m making food for someone else, that, I’m pleasing myself while making it. It feels better.

I remembered the reason I was inspired in cooking. It was the connections, the friendships, the stories, the feelings, the symbols, creatures, attitudes, the evolvement of seeing myself in new ways, synchronicity’s, and creating new characters in me. And when that was taken away from me, and I thought I was dying, what could I do then besides accept and heal.

Sometimes it’s easier to silently forgive someone for acting in an un-evolved, hurtful way, then to have to explain anything to them. I know that they don’t actually want to respond that way. It’s ok to have boundaries, to take space without reason, it’s ok not to respond, it’s ok to shake your booty any time you want to. Things look scary, but I’ve had to take a risk at having boundaries. I had to jump off a cliff, let the tower crumble, and burn the pedestal. There was something that everyone did right.

And that’s how I came up with this thai inspired salad today. It’s not soup! I blessed the salad before I took the picture, and then again after I took the picture. I just can’t help but to feel that every time I take the picture I want to honor the food, and then recharge it again because I just took a piece of it’s soul when I took the picture.

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Ingredients: Red Cabbage, Papaya Chunks, Fermented Watermelon Radish, Paper Thin Sliced Cucumbers.

Dressing: 1 bunch cilantro, olive oil, fermented turmeric sauce (available at www.savraw.com), smoked sea salt, black pepper, chipotle powder, chili powder, lime juice, mustard, and a little juice from the fermented watermelon radish.

Shower the tower in freshly toasted sesame seeds. Eat the rainbow tower, be grateful. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Soupe De Potiron

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When I was in High school, at Hollywood High Performing Arts Magnet, I started a petition to try to change the School lunch program into something healthier.

I realized pretty quickly that wasn’t going to happen so fast, or from a petition. I consider it a step in the right direction, when I visited there this year, and saw several benches were torn out where we used to hang, and were replaced with garden beds.

Less then a decade later, my Son, Zane Allister, was in Kindergarten at Topanga Elementary, and I wanted to do something about lunches. I realized at some point, that if it was illegal to donate and create a salad bar for the lunch program, but Parents were allowed to bring cupcakes inside the class on their kids Birthday, then I could bring salad anytime I wanted. Often my son would walk out of class with a cupcake loaded with high fructose corn syrup, from a Birthday celebration. I tried not to make a thing about it, but I wanted to donate vegetables for the kids.

I asked the teachers each year if I could, and once in a while I donated to the class. I washed fruits and veggies, shaved the carrots, cut the celery, prepared cucumbers. Simple fruits and veggies, direct from local, organic farms, to provide the kids with some extra nourishment in the middle of the day, inside the classroom. The Teachers were happy about it, and the kids walked out of the class with eyes wide open, thanking me.

Once my Son was in 5th grade and wanted to be a part of the play, I was asked to be the Assistant Director, which also gave me the opportunity to provide organic fruits and vegetables for after school snacks.

Today, Zanes in 7th grade, and it was my turn to make lunch for the school at Topanga Mountain School, where he attends.

Two days ago, I sent a picture on instagram, of the 2 surprise Snowball Pumpkins that popped up in  the middle of a sweet baby pumpkin field at T & D Farms. My Aunt made the comment….

“Soupe De Potiron”??? (also called “Potage Aurore” or “Dawn Soup”). A wonderful blend of pumpkin/potiron and tomato with thick cream, dash nutmeg, according to cookbook written by my grand-mother La Mazille…she was a big time “Bonnes Soupes” maker.

My Aunt Isabelle was the wife and muse of My Great Uncle (by blood), and one of my favorite artists, Judson Huss. So I was pretty happy to see her comment about soup art.

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I gathered anything the farms that I already buy from weekly, were willing to gift to the School. I normally don’t ask farms for donations because I want them to receive more, but in this case, we were all happy about this possibility.

I realized, even though I had a different type of winter squash, I pretty much had the ingredients for the soup she mentioned.

Which squash did I have!? The coolest one, of course! It’s name is, “Sweet Candy Roasted Georgia Squash”. From “The Garden Of” farm.

 

IMG_1056Some people like more or less cream, some like leeks, some don’t, some want a few fresh tomato chunks, some are willing to try my side of fermented salsa. The point is, I don’t have a measured recipe for this soup, but you’ll know what to do for your own. Here’s my current version of “Soup De Potiron”. It couldn’t be a better time of season for a blend of heirloom tomatoes and pumpkin. Tomatoes will be out soon, and winter squash will still be in. So if you wanna do this later, freeze some tomatoes from Tutti Frutti farm! You can get #2 heirlooms, for $10 per 10 pound box, best deal for incredible tomatoes!

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~Heirloom Tomatoes

~Sweet Candy Roasted Georgia Squash

~Raw Organic Pastures Cream or Nut Cream

~Cilantro

~Leeks

~Himalayan Salt

I laid it out for the kids, so that they could pick out their own toppings, and mixings. Most wanted the cream! Some didn’t, so it’s good to give them the option. Same with the squash, some just wanted plain tomato soup, not squash, tomato soup.

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The squash was roasted in chunks.

The heirloom tomatoes, were pureed and then simmered. I lost two liters while simmering, and stirring, so that it would be less watery. I only added rice vinegar and himalayan salt.

Sautéed leeks on the side, sautéed some corn, cut fresh tomatoes, and basil from home greenhouse. The kids just grabbed the toppings they wanted, and all seemed happy and nourished with the lunch. If they wanted cream, they could just stir some in.

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