A Mess with A Message

(photos radpix.ninja)

No! Yes! No! That can't be why you are posting these action shots of a Vitamix explosion... Au contraire, it most definitely is... For those of you who can interpret Stream of Consciousness, this does in fact mean that I had a Vitamix explosion in my kitchen today. Not only did the most powerful blender on the planet get to thrust its contents all over every surface imagineable in my kitchen, there happened to be a wooden spoon in there at the time. Yep. Think "Will it Blend?" video... Not only that, the blender was turned on by my bumping a bowl, which in turn came down on the power switch of the machine. Since my hands didn't directly touch any part of the machine, it was a good minute before I realized that no, the Vitamix was not possessed, it had just been turned on indirectly. I was so shocked by the noise and the spectacle, and the bizzareness of it all that I couldn't even get upset.

I did ask myself the question (a few times) "What on Earth was that about?" "Why did that happen to me right now?" You see, I was in the last quarter of cooking for a catering job. There were only 5 minutes left on the clock.... It was about as ugly as ugly can get. Fortunately, I was catering for some very understanding friends, and I had another large preparation in the oven which did seem to be behaving itself. I triaged the mess, cleaning up what I could in five minutes and then gathered together my other preparation, so I could deliver it in time for today's lunch. My friends were very understanding about the unexpected turn of events. One of them even said knowingly, "Ah. The soup just didn't want to come to our house today." Lol! That was an understatement...

I came back and had a chance to truly assess the damage, and then I began to get a little upset. You have no idea how much surface area there is in a space until an orange squash puree splashes onto it... Knowing full well that everything happens for a reason, I had to ask myself (and God really) what on Earth that was about, what was the lesson behind it? While I had my head in the oven (Long story. Somehow the oven also got trashed in today's adventure), the answers came to me - 1) Slow down. Like, really, slow down. 2) Learn when it is okay to say "no" to a job. 3) It was obviously time for a Deep Cleaning in the kitchen. 4) The mess I was facing was a reflection of the mess in my own heart. Just as I had to stop everything else and focus on cleaning the kitchen, it was now time now for me to take a look at some of those things in my heart that hold me back, the qualities of my lower self. In the Vedic literatures, these undesirable qualities are sometimes metaphorically referred as dirt on the mirror of the heart. Apparently, it is now time for a Deep Cleaning in the temple of my heart. Thankfully, I do have a strategy, my meditation practice, for cleaning my internal mess. I just haven't been employing it as I should. Trust me, once I got the message, I broke out my mala. Tempt not the Universe to give you an even bolder and more obvious hint than the one you are getting right now...

(photo yogaandsmoothies.com)

This Week's Menu:

Entree #1 - Home-style Vegetable Lentil Soup

For some reason, I often think of this soup as a "vegetarian starter-kit." Maybe it is because lentils are relatively easy to come by. They cook super quickly and don't require any advance soaking. The celery, carrots, potatoes, and spinach are all soup vegetables that your mother might have used. Or maybe it is that the whole lentil, 4-veggie & mild spicing combo just bring out the soup-loving kid in all of us? *GF, soy-free

(photo fatfreevegan.com)

Entree #2 - Fijian Coconut Milk Soup

This soup is one of my son's favorites. He does not generally like anything with coconut in it. However, he likes potatoes and is a huge fan of yuca. Since this soup has both of those root veggies in it, I was able to convince him to try it once upon a time. From then on coconut began to have some relevance in his world. This creamy, savory soup makes a fantastic meal because it is both light (just veggies and coconut milk) and flavorfully satisfying (oh yeah, and spices) at the same time. *GF, soy-free

(photo archanaskitchen.com)

Entree #3 - Mung Bean Butternut Stew

This recipe is a cross-cultural fusion disguised as an Indian dal. The mild, nutritious flavor of the mung beans combines with the sweet creaminess of the squash, the freshness of tomatoes and greens, the zing of fresh ginger and garam masala, and the thick heavenliness of coconut cream, to make a truly memorable way to eat your beans.

*GF, soy-free

(photo bostonglobe.com)

Side Dishes:

Brown Rice - $1/serving (1 cup)

Basmati Lemon Rice - $3/serving (1 cup) What can I say about this rice other than it is one of the approximately one bajillion great contributions that South India has given to the world. It is lemony, savory, fragrant, and downright delicious enough to be its own main dish. *GF, soy-free

(photo sailusfood.com)

Funtastic Greens Salad -$6/lb. This is one of our favorite salads over here at Govinda's. I love the crunchy variety of the greens meeting the peppers and nuts. Add in those unexpected sweet notes coming from the raisins and Asian pears, the tangy zing of the mustard vinaigrette dressing, and you have a dish that will tempt even non-salad folks like me, to go back for seconds. *GF, soy-free

(photo allrecipes.com)

Raw Mini Carrot Cakes - $3/ea. or 2 for $5. I promised a couple of customers that I would make a non-chocolate dessert this week, to balance out the cacao-heavy menu from last week. While I was going back through old newsletters looking for a recipe, I happened to find these fun little raw treats. They are super healthy (how much healthier than raw carrots and creamed cashews can you get?). Yet because they are spiced with a blend of pie-type spices, you might actually forget that they are not really a baked good. This recipe became a favorite with one of my friends who doesn't even like carrots! *GF, soy-free

(photo thefullhelping.com)

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