16 February 2013

Simple Gifts: Sweet Potato Supper

Post III of III in Simple Gifts series


What’s missing? What does it mean to miss something? What am I missing? What are you missing? What do I miss right now?

I saw this article on missing someone was “recommended for me” when I was reading an article about yoga on Mind Body Green.  What my cookies say about me, I tell ya.

It seems as if in the past eight or nine years I have spent an ungodly amount of time missing something or someone.  Several places and several people, actually, from which I was apart in space and time for various reasons.  I think it plays into my Romantic Goth affect, wistful pining away for someone/something. While an absent person or thing or place has often been and will continue to motivate me to get better grades, work more efficiently, save money, et cetera, focusing on what’s not here and now means focusing on fantasy. Fantasy’s nice and all, but in Buddhism, we know that clinging to delusions brings suffering. Plain, simple, harsh, but meditate on it, and you’ll know soon enough where you stand—or sit—on the matter.

In a phrase I heard Jillian Michaels use a few times in Extreme Shed & Shred (oh, yes, Virginia, I like Jillz), “dig deep,” and look at what’s here, now. I just ran together Ram Dass and Jillian Michaels. All hail pop health and wellness culture.

A simple gift…simple sweet potato supper. This is not so much of a recipe as it is a meal idea. Ownie Mom invented this when she told me she had a baked sweet potato with steamed spinach and a “pool of almond butter” for supper. I think the very liquid almond butter was a gift from me when I bought it in bulk at the Whole Earth Center in Princeton, NJ.

Starch: 1 roasted sweet potato
Protein: 1 tablespoon almond butter
Veg: a pile of greens, steamed or raw
Condiment: mustard, rice vinegar, sauerkraut, or salsa (or all of the above)

The serving size is up to you and what you require nutritionally.

Notes notes notes: I have made this with whole baked sweet potatoes (I buy organic so I can eat the skin). How do you roast a sweet potato?

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with foil. Wash sweet potatoes well. Prick all over with a fork. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife.

I have also used half acorn squash to similar effect. The point is to eat a vitamin-A rich starchy vegetable. It’s a change from a pile of rice or quinoa. This meal would be a part of a good tattoo or piercing healing regimen as well since it’s rich in vitamin A, which helps heal wounds, has quality greens for stress-reduction, and has simple, whole-foods proteins and fats for healthy skin. Maybe I should write that as my first health coach publication, the body-mod healing diet. Don’t steal my idea!

Avocado also goes well. One week when I had a bargain on avocados, I had squash, avocado, collards, and kraut. Roasted nuts—peanuts are my nut of choice at the moment since I have two 5-lb bags of in-the-shell peanuts—also go well.

Greens: steamed or raw. When I first ate raw collards about a year ago, they were difficult to handle digestively. With lots of chewing and water, I upped my tolerance. I like my kale and collards raw now, but obviously do what your body likes. My mom likes her sweet potato with steamed spinach, but I prefer crunchy collards or kale.

Condiments: when I discovered sauerkraut in mac and cheeze, I had to add it to everything. I rinsed the big pile that’s in the acorn squash picture to keep the sodium at a reasonable level. I also like Salpica green olive salsa.

That’s it! Eat it hot, cold, or indifferent, and see what happens.

I found this spirited rendition of “Lord of the Dance” on YouTube. I’m not going to clutter your enjoyment of the music with words.

In fact, my Lenten observance this year is doing without music with lyrics for Lent. That is, I will not elect to listen to music with lyrics on my shiny devices or in my car. Obviously, I can’t help but hear music with lyrics at work (when I hear it, which is, like, in the bathroom or at closing). However, by choosing not to listen to music with lyrics, I can clear my channels of other words and focus on finding my own. I can feed myself with words from text. In order to write poetry, I need to read poetry, and by consciously choosing the sources of the extraneous verbal matter I pour into my skull, the resulting product (brain fluid?) will be different. This is my variation on a “reading fast” that Julia Cameron assigns in week 4 or 5 of The Artist’s Way. Since I listen to music with lyrics much more often than I read for fun, the effect of a music fast is the same for me. Plus also, since what’s left of the lyrical music in my life during this time comes from church and SCA music-making, it’s a devotional exercise.

Yes, I do miss the OBX.
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