“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal” Paulo Coelho
I’m someone who needs to always switch everything up. My routine, what I cook/eat, what supermarket I go to, even my hair!
I can’t explain it, but I like to feel excited every day. And If I know that I have to do the same thing, I tend to dread it a bit. Like not wanting to get out of bed dread. Needless to say I don’t have a long-term established routine for much.
Isn’t that what living is about though? Finding inspiration and joy every day?
All this just to say that I was in desperate need to switch things up. I know that when feelings of boredom start to occur around food, it’s time.
At the supermarket
We decided to pay BJs a little visit instead of going to our regular stores. Although there’s plenty of exciting different things there, BJs is NOT the place you go to buy produce or food free of plastic/package. Their entire concept is bulk shopping, so it’s to be expected.
This always leaves me with a heck of a challenge though. Because I have to fight those very dominant feelings of guilt. In the weeks that I buy ALL of my produce plastic-free, I feel so accomplished. Hey, it’s the little things. But in the weeks that I bring home unnecessary packaging, I start having mental images of sea turtles and birds trapped in our mess.
But you can always do the best with what’s available. And that’s what I did – tried being as strategic as possible, going for bulk foods that don’t go bad and that I often use. As for produce, I went for the organic sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, avocados, pineapple, and bananas. These were not FULLY package-free since they came in their little net-like material. It’s a step up however, from buying chopped pineapple and spinach in those huge plastic containers.
I’m not going to lie, I felt a little bit like a failure. And the words “sustainable nutrition” were definitely taunting me.
This week started a little on the guilt side. See? I told you that I am not perfect. But I did make the most out of my shopping, especially in terms of nutrition. And I made some delicious and epic meals.
In the kitchen
How does one switch things up in the kitchen? Well, what works for me EVERY TIME is turning to cookbooks. Call me crazy, but flipping through cookbooks fills my heart with pure joy. It gets my creative juices flowing for sure.
Do I usually follow recipes?
Not really. I use the books more as a way of learning about different combinations and flavors. Then I just feel my way around the kitchen. Well, feel, taste, smell, see, and hear my way around the kitchen.
The good thing about buying produce (and food) in bulk is that you get to pick a themed superstar food and explore different ways to prepare it. Like sweet potatoes. I used it to make bread, to make a pie crust, and it even goes quite well in smoothies.
From garden to table
Guess what? I harvested my first Bok Choy from the garden. Thanks to the great university of YouTube, I found a video mentioning that one can cut out the exterior leaves instead of taking out the entire plant. That way, the plant keeps on giving instead of having to start again from seed. Enter mind-blown emoji.
So I put on my brave girl pants and gave it a go.
It felt AMAZING to know that (parts of) what we ate that day for lunch, came from our little garden. And it only made us want to take our gardening to the next level. Imagine being able to get all of our produce from the garden!
Want to know how I made my Bok Choy? I got you!
First thing’s first, you have to give the leaves a wash and soak for a few minutes in some water and vinegar. This is just to make sure there’s nothing lingering around that you don’t want to be eating. Next, chop up the leaves roughly and it’s now ready to be cooked. I like having my Bok Choy with Asian-inspired flavors. So I cook mine in a pan with onions, garlic, freshly grated ginger, soy sauce (gluten-free for me), sriracha, and a little bit of sugar.
IT . IS . HEAVEN!
But alas, not everything comes out as expected in the kitchen…
I also decided to make a raw key lime pie with the key lime from the garden. I decided to wing it recipe-less. Did it taste like a key lime pie. NOPE. Nothing at all like it in fact. But it came out pretty good in terms of flavor. And before you know it, you’ve created something special. I call my creation Nutty Caramel Tart.
Can I give you the recipe? Well, if remembered what I did, I surely would. But it was complete experimenting. So next time. I promise!
Until the next chapter!
If you take one thing from today’s chapter, is that whenever you feel despair, deflated, or defeated, it’s time to shake things up. And the best way to do this is by learning and educating oneself. It helps put life and one’s “problems” into perspective.
Ten times out of ten, when I step away from what I’m fixating on, the answer comes naturally. Because that’s when I am open for inspiration to make its way.
Also, today’s chapter of the Going Green Diary is brought to you by Jordin Spark’s One Step At A Time. Not that Jordin Sparks is sponsoring this or aware of The Nutrinut ;). But this song started playing while I was writing and I found myself tapping my feet and singing along. Seems quite appropriate, don’t you think? Taking one step at a time.