*Tips for the empty-nesting & midlife years & yummy veggie recipes
Vegan Red Curry:
It really is not hard to make a delicious thai curry. It takes a good red curry paste and lots of yummy vegetables and protein of your choice (mine is vegan so I use tofu). Here is the recipe that I have fine tuned over time. I top it over brown jasmine rice but you can use quinoa, white rice or any grain you choose.
When the kids were little I was basically functioning in survival mode. The baby years were filled with sleepless nights, rushing to get the chores done, and juggling my part-time work in between my motherhood job. Then came the preschool years. I was helping in the classroom on my days off from work. I was racing around helping toddlers clean up their playdough mess, preparing snacks, and breaking up toddler fights over toys. Fast forward to the early elementary school years...this is when I finally found ways to access peace. YOGA. I had always liked it but never had I craved it like those days that my kids were young. I would drop the boys off at school and race to my yoga class where I would sweat it out with 20+ other moms and chant toward peace.
Now that I am an empty-nester and the kids are away at college my chaotic moments as a mom are not as frequent but then came the call (after he was in college 3 days) that he was at the ER with a broken wrist... The mama chaotic moments still come (and go) but I always have my mat. I have my meditation cushion and the sound of the ocean streaming thru my speaker...
A few ways to tap into PEACE:
Get outside and tune into your 5 senses:
-Listen to the sounds of nature, the smells, look at the colors you see, the sensations you feel, the tastes...
-Get yourself in the tub and lock the door and soak...Put some epsom salts, lavender, and jojoba oil in the tub and tune into a few moments of PEACE.
-Take a mom date with yourself. Schedule a couple hours (or more) a week to take yourself on a date anywhere you choose. It might be to lunch with a good book, a day at the ocean, a trip to the mountains, going to an art gallery...whatever it is spending time alone with yourself is a perfect way to recharge and get some moments of calm.
This plant based soup is so tasty and it is perfect for dinner with family & friends during the chilly Fall months. I recommend adding extra spices because that always makes it better!
For 8-10 (you can cut in half if you want less) You can also freeze it in a bpa free plastic container.
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 red or sweet onions diced
3 carrots chopped
3 celery stalks sliced
5-6 cloves garlic minced
3 large sweet potatoes or red potatoes peeled and sliced
2 yellow squash sliced
3-4 Cups chopped butternut squash
8 cans 15 oz each vegetable broth
4 cans 15 oz each diced tomatoes
4 can 15 oz garbanzo or white beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
3-4 cups chopped kale ribs and stems removed
Bunch of fresh italian parsley to top
freshly ground salt and black pepper to your liking!
-Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and herbs. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, squash and chickpeas. Cook for 10-15 minutes until veggies are cooked. Stir in the kale and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper and top with fresh italian parsley. Serve with your favorite bread (mine is gluten-free but a tasty sourdough would be yummy!)
This recipe is for a large family or group of friends serves 8-10 and I always make big portions as leftovers in my house are always welcome!
Where is it that you feel happiest? For me it is sitting on the sand and listening to the sound of the waves... For eight years I lived in one of the most beautiful areas of California. I lived a few blocks from the beach in San Diego, CA. I spent most days walking or running on the beach and finding refuge from busy days of graduate school. These days we live inland in Northern California (NorCal), but I find ways to escape to the Pacific. Here a few of my favorite areas in NorCal to visit to reconnect with the ocean and nurture my soul.
-Marin Headlands. This area is just outside San Francisco and it has majestic views of the ocean as well as views of the city. There are many rugged hiking trails as well as areas to picnic on the beach.
-Point Reyes National Seashore. Pt. Reyes National Seashore is a vast expanse of protected coastline in Northern California. There are incredible sandy beaches to picnic on and the views are endless and serene.
Check it out the next time you are in NorCal.