Yes. It’s me.

And yes. It’s been a while.

Suffice it to say, I have been on a journey. This journey – still in progress – has been unlike anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. I’ve made decisions that may appear most ‘un-Julia-like’ to some. Well, the old and cloistered and ever-worried and conservative Julia, that is. But as those who know me best can attest, I have opened myself up to a world of opportunity and excitement, and frankly, have never felt so (absurdly) filled with joy.

It is quite something for me to not be motivated by fear and stuck in the ‘what will others think?’ rut. As a result of taking a hard look at these barriers and taking my first cautious steps around them, I feel significantly confident, and more focused on what my true skills, abilities and gifts are…and I’m exploring new ways of sharing these with the world.

Enough already. More on all of this to seep out as the odyssey continues.

Meanwhile, the food ramble endures. And so I share with you a most delicious nosh devoured with dear friends last evening.

Have you tried a hassel-back yam?

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‘Hassel-back’ simply refers to way this starchy tuber is prepared – in this case, diagonally cut in an accordian-like fashion.

It’s all the rage, don’t you know.

Here’s what I did.

I sliced through the yams, every 1/8 of an inch or so, about two-thirds of the way down. I had mixed some extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and crushed garlic in a bowl, and then generously slathered the yams with this mixture. These jewels were nestled onto a parchment-covered baking sheet and commenced to baking at 425 degrees. They were in for a one-hour roast.

Great start!

To ramp up the food excitement, I added a sizeable number of Brussels sprouts to the baking sheet at the 30-minute point. These petits choux were neatly halved and tossed in a bit of olive oil, sea salt and pepper.

Done.

A hearty kale salad was next on the roster.

Kale leaves were torn into bite-sized pieces, tossed into a bowl, and massaged with a smidge of olive oil and sea salt. These greens sat in marinating splendor while I whipped up the following dressing:

2 tbsp organic peanut butter (or you can use almond butter)

1 tbsp roasted tahini

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 tbsp of organic maple syrup

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tbsp tamari

water to bring to desired consistency

This heavenly sauce was drizzled on to the waiting greens, and gently worked in with my hands. I tossed in hemp hearts, chopped raw walnuts, sliced organic cherry tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts.

(Wee side note: there were salad left-overs…and we have discovered that this green delight actually tasted better on Day 2…so much flavour and the leaves had become uber-soft and pliable. So perhaps making the salad a few hours ahead of your meal is a good suggestion, to get a good wilt going?)

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The finished plate.

Yes. I drizzled some of the nutty sauce over the yams. And yes. That is a little blob of guacamole on the side. Because a day without avocado is simply not an option.

 

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