This is my last post of the year. I started this blog in January along with a Whole 30 like challenge to help me change up and shake up my life. And it has been a successful journey – I quit my old job, was offered a new job that is better for me in every way at this stage in my career, have upped my game in the kitchen and discovered my creative juices in vegetarian recipe creation. While I don’t eat in a Whole 30-like fashion year round, it forced me to experiment on myself with elimination diets, do a bit of research and listen to others in terms of their dietary needs. I don’t have a problem with legumes, but people I know do. If they can’t eat chickpeas, they don’t often get to enjoy hummus which is unfortunate because I find it to be the best dipping sauce, best condiment, and best veg protein substitute. So to give my legume-free friends an experience with hummus, I created a chickpea-free hummus with zucchini, almonds, cashews and tahini.
This has been a monumental week in American history. People in my family will have the right to share the same privileges that I do with my significant other and Americans will continue to have access to healthcare. There is nothing more important than health. If we are sick, we cannot take care of ourselves or others. Maintaining our health – mentally and physically – is of paramount importance to be able to contribute to others and the world. I suffer from chronic depression, and for the most part is not apparent from the outside, but it is a part of my life. As I near the completion of the fourth decade of my life, I am able to better recognize the signs and symptoms and try to work through it, rather than feed into it, literally. When I suffer through a period where it lays a dark veil over my eyes, I crave comforting food that does not make me feel better. So I make every effort to create food that both comforts me, but lifts me up so that I can continue to work towards brighter days. One way to brighten up my life, is to brighten up my plate. Recently, on a work trip to Chicago, I dined at Trencherman, and had the most amazing green pea falafel with grilled carrots and a coconut, hemp, vadouvan spiced cream. As I took my first bite, my first thought was “OMG” and my second thought was I need to make this, my way – gluten-free, dairy-free and full of protein. It was comforting, satisfying, and keeps me light and happy, even during darker times.