Never settle for anything less than extraordinary. Every morning I say this to myself, and I believe it. You have this one great, sweeping life, so why should it be mediocre? Why should it be a thing through which you slouch rather than something to which you triumphantly leap? Even in my darkest days — and I’ve had my share, believe me — I try to ferret out beauty from even the most trivial things.
Today I witnessed someone settle. My friend Kate was trying on skirts and I was there to provide honest feedback and comic relief, and I watched as a woman stared at herself in a dress that clearly gave her discomfort. You could tell that she really wanted to make the dress work (she tried on various sizes, deliberated extensively with her friend and two sales associates), and stared at herself in the mirror as if willing the dress to be everything she wish it could.
It took everything in me to not interrupt. To tell her that there are other dresses, ones which will put her heart on pause, the kind that will make her jump up and down. But I didn’t, and I watched her skulk to the register and spend $200 on the ordinary.
Since I’ve returned from Europe, I’ve been having this craving for virtuosity. Call it a croissant rebellion, but I’m finding that I want quinoa, kale and piles of vegetables. However, eating healthy sometimes suffers a bad rap, and no matter how hard I soak quinoa it’ll never be a bacon cheeseburger and fries.
I MEAN. LET’S GET REAL HERE. LET US FROLIC IN THE WORLD THAT WE LIKE TO CALL REALITY.
I’m determined to find delicious recipes that will surprise me. Recipes that will not have me reaching for a bowl of cereal in an hour’s time. Enter the yummy sweet potato hash. When I found this recipe in Women’s Health, I ripped it out and was determined to make it, and I’m THRILLED to relay that the hash does not disappoint. From the extraordinary flavors to the fact that it was actually FILLING, my only regret was not making more of it. In future iterations, I definitely see me adding toasted pistachios or pine nuts, and perhaps a smattering of goat cheese.
My recommendation? MAKE THIS NOW. AS IN RIGHT NOW.
INGREDIENTS: Recipe adapted from Women’s Health, with modifications
For the quinoa*
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup quinoa, rinsed under cold water for 1 minute
For the hash
2 tsp coconut oil
a pinch of red pepper flakes (1/8 tsp)
3/4 cup cubed sweet potato (this is about 1/2 of a large sweet potato)
1/2 cup chopped kale (I prefer baby kale leaves of Tuscan kale, not the curly kind)
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 cup of the cooked quinoa
1/8 tsp sea salt
*This will make four servings. I like to make quinoa in bulk, so I can add it to sweet + savory dishes.
For the love of god, please rinse your quinoa. Your dish will benefit from sitting under a faucet for a minute. Once your quinoa is rinsed, add it to your stock and bring the mixture to a boil. Once it’s bubbling, reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed.
While the quinoa is cooking, melt your coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes and the cubed sweet potato, then sauté for 5-7 minutes. Stir in the chopped kale, minced garlic and the sea salt, and sauté for 3 minutes, or until the leaves have wilted. Add the cooked quinoa and heat through for another minute.