Defaulting to kindness is this very simple idea that I try, rather mightily, to uphold in my day-to-day endeavours. It’s an easy and graceful thing that applies to relationships, work strategies, food on the table, the methods we choose, self care, and overall personal stillness. Dogma doesn’t muscle its way into such a direct mode of life. I don’t always succeed in this–that much has to be obvious. Inner landscapes are complex in the greatest of beings. I struggle under time constraints, matters of patience, when things go off the rails, disorganized dwellings, in the face of criticism… I become irritable as all hell if we’re being real.
So it’ll come as no surprise that, upon receiving some rather passive aggressive emails/messages of all sorts relating to this blog in the last couple weeks, I got thisclose to meeting those notions of skepticism with something to the tune of “OMG. BUT R U OK?” Hitting the send button was the next step in that absurdly demonstrative reply. Then I thought of kindness (almost begrudgingly), and trying to default to that state. The mere thought didn’t offer instantaneous optimism, but its warm lightbulb glow entered my realm of possibility in a gentle and persistent way. Slowly returning to the center, thank goodness.
I can appreciate having a point of view, dedication to a personal observation, and the confidence to bring it all forward. It’s silly to be dismissive of any and all reactions because… it’s just something that I do on the internet. Considering the point, trying to turn the scene around, saying thank you, having a better life (+ acknowledging that the internet is WAY REAL)–that’s all easy on paper and, as it turns out, easy in practice over time. Feeling much more solid in this space lately (this album on repeat and big cups of vanilla rooibos while sifting through the emails/everything else is helping) and I’m glad that you’re all here.
So in that vein, I thought I’d share more of an every day kindness that I grant myself. This is something you might catch me fixing up for lunch on a normal day. I might pre-roast the whole squash and make up the dressing at the beginning of the week, reheat the strands with some stock in a sauté pan and top it all up as I’ve done here. I never make a dressing or sauce the same way twice, and this peanut lime one is no exception. The list of ingredients seems long, but it’s largely a compilation of pantry items that can be subbed, swapped or chopped altogether.
Stay kind, in your life endeavours and your lunches, peeps. xo
spaghetti squash noodle bowl + lime peanut sauce recipe
notes: Definitely use the sharpest knife you’ve got for the spaghetti squash. You don’t want to be pulling a stubborn knife out of a half-cut squash, commanding someone nearby to dial 9 + 1 in standby emergency preparation
squash etc ingredients:
1 large spaghetti squash, cut in half lengthwise + seeds scooped out
4-5 kale stalks (7-8 if you’re using lacinato), stems removed
1 shallot, peeled
1/2 cup chopped toasted nuts of your preference (I used cashews)
3 tbsp sesame seeds (toasted, raw, whatevs)
chopped leafy herb if you feel it (cilantro, mint, thai basil etc)
1 bunch of broccoli, cut into florets
salt + pepper
lime peanut sauce ingredients:
1/2 inch fresh ginger, peeled + rough chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled + rough chopped
1-2 tsp sriracha (or other hot sauce you like)
2 tbsp peanut butter (or tahini, sunflower seed butter, almond butter etc)
1 lime, peeled + chopped
1 tbsp rice vinegar (or apple cider/white wine vinegar)
2 tsp agave (or honey etc)
1.5 tbsp tamari soy sauce
little scoop of extra virgin coconut oil (optional, but I love the coconut fragrance here)
tiny splash of toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the squash halves, cut side down, onto the sheet. Bake for about an hour or until the flesh pulls away in easy strands.
While the squash is baking, slice the kale leaves into 1/3 inch-ish ribbons and place in a large bowl. Cut the shallot in half lengthwise, slice the halves into thin half-moons and set aside. Chop up the herbs and toasted nuts as well, set them aside with the shallows.
Once you’ve cut the broccoli, set a medium saucepan with about an inch of water over medium heat. Bring it to a simmer. Place the broccoli florets into a steamer basket and set aside until right before service.
Place all of the sauce ingredients in a blender and bend until fully incorporated. Taste for seasoning and set aside.
When squash is cool enough to handle, place the steamer basket of broccoli into the pot with the simmering water. Put a lid on it and allow broccoli to steam for 3-4 minutes, or desired doneness. While broccoli is steaming, scrape the spaghetti strands out with a fork into the large bowl with the sliced kale. The heat from the squash should wilt the kale slightly. Pour a big splash of the dressing into the bowl, season with salt and pepper and lightly toss the squash and kale.
Remove broccoli from the heat. Portion the squash and kale into 4 bowls. Top each bowl with the steamed broccoli, sliced shallots, chopped nuts, sesame seeds, chopped herbs and extra sauce.
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