Tangy Sweet Potatoes and Eggs with Chips on Top(!) AND so much more
Like a Key Adventure that will make you giggle
Thank you to all who shared their feedback about the kitchen witch and for bearing with me as I continue to explore how to best communicate this multifaceted cooking practice. Something about a playground perhaps! We’ll just have to see.
Now onto the rest! This week we have a practice for bringing your awareness to touch as we cook and how we can use it to find enjoyment, understanding and calm in the kitchen. I share a link to my mini-retreats and a call for your questions for a new feature I am calling Open Kitchen. I made a form you can click through to submit them easily. I also share an article from “Stained Page News” on Teaching versus Instructing that really lit me up.
I also have the Embodied cooking class video for the Lentils with Za’atar breadcrumbs recipe from the last issue.
The recipe this week is a simple lunch for one, of Spicy and Tangy Eggs and Sweet Potatoes. I crunched up some potato chips for the top too. Oh yeah. And please scroll to the bottom for a very funny and instructive story about how I locked myself out of my apartment recently, but yoga saved the day.
A Practice for Deepening our Connection with Touch and Why it Makes you a Better Cook
Let’s continue our exploration of the senses with a dive into touch.
I want to invite you to focus on your sense of touch the next time you go to cook or prepare some food or a drink. Here are some techniques to lead you in:
Notice how often you are using your sense of touch.
Try counting to begin, just to really track how much you use your hands, or the information through your skin—for example feeling steam on your face, or the feel of the knife in your hand, or an elbow bumping into a cabinet.
As you notice these moments, see which ones feel good.
It’s best not to start categorizing it into good and bad feelings, but really focusing and noticing how your body feels about the touch you are experiencing. What sparks your curiosity or makes you want to draw away. Is there a rhythm to chopping that you find most pleasurable?
Allow your natural delight in touch to guide you into play.
As you do step 2 you will notice that something is tickling you to maybe, plunge your hand into the bag of rice or squish the tomato so hard it bursts and giggle at the juices that escape. Let yourself play. And if anyone was told not to play with your food as a kid, well let this be a reparenting experience too.
Why do this? When you bring your awareness to your senses, you are naturally bringing yourself out of your judging mind and into your body where all your cooking wisdom lives. All those years of human evolution have honed you into the right instrument to feed your unique body. This is all about creating trust between our inner and outer worlds.
So many people I meet do not trust the wisdom that their body gives them. They are looking for a “correct answer” coming from an expert rather than their own intuition. And looking for the right answer from an expert is a perfectly fine way to go about doing your taxes, but when it comes to feeding yourself, you need look no further than your own senses to guide you. And the more you learn to listen inward and trust what you are hearing, the more your satisfaction with your own cooking will improve. You may begin to notice your awareness of touch in the rest of your life and start listening to the wisdom it offers.
Mini-Retreats are Rocking
The next one is March 18th! at my home in South Slope, Brooklyn.
Each session we release our bodies with Hatha yoga, relax ourselves with breathwork and meditation, then I demonstrate my embodied cooking method and we all eat the results together. We connect as a group and finish with a meditation before floating off into the beautiful day.
Open Kitchen. Call for submissions!
I am starting an advice column feature here called Open Kitchen. I would love to answer your queries and musings about your experiences with cooking and food in particular, but also mental health, parenting and general life experience.
But to do this I need your help! Please submit your questions through this form. The questions will be anonymous so no need to think twice about anything embarrassing. Remember chances are if you are wondering something or having an experience there are many others who are as well and when you have the courage to ask the question you help all those other people too.
On Teaching versus Instructing
I loved this piece from Stained Page News (consider subscribing to them!) on the difference between recipes that teach and those that instruct. I had never heard it defined this way but when I read it, it felt like a gong ringing inside me. This is the struggle! I am definitely a teacher, not an instructor, but have to find the balance. And it’s hard because teaching requires a lot more words, and that can be overwhelming when you are looking at a wall of text for a simple salad. That is why I made TL;DRs for my recipes in Good Enough and do it here also. So you can see what is happening and learn more if you want to dive into the deeper teaching.
Last issue’s recipe, but as an Embodied Cooking Class!
Please consider becoming a paid member ($5/month for weekly classes) of the patreon community. It helps support me of course, but also when you get involved I can better understand how to support your cooking journey. Mutual support! The dream.
Spicy and Tangy Eggs and Sweet Potatoes
TL;DR: Cook sweet potatoes with garlic in half the gochujang sauce then fry two eggs in the same pan with sauce. Serve over a bed of spinach and sprinkle with crumbled potato chips.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small sweet potato, cubed
3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
2 Tbsp gochujang paste
2 Tbsp Tamari
1 tsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 big handfuls of spinach or other greens
salt and pepper to taste
5-6 potato chips, crumbled (optional)
In a pan on medium heat warm the olive oil and add the sweet potatoes cooking on medium heat for about 5 minutes until lightly browned. Stir occasionally. Add a bit of water to the pan to steam along with the garlic and cook another 5 minutes.
Mix together the gochujang paste, Tamari, maple syrup and rice vinegar and pour half of it into the pan with the sweet potatoes. Stir and let it cook, until you can pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork easily.
Prepare a bed of spinach (or other greens) on a plate and scoop all the warm sweet potatoes onto it. Set aside.
Turn the heat in the pan down a bit and add a bit more oil if there is not enough left to keep the eggs from sticking to the pan—and crack both eggs into the pan. Pour the remainder of the gochujang sauce overtop, season with salt and pepper and cover. Let cook until the whites are cooked, but the yolks are runny or however you prefer your eggs. Use a spatula to gently remove the eggs from the pan and rest on top of the sweet potato mixture. Crumble potato chips on top if using and eat!
Instead of the bed of greens you can substitute a tortilla or rice or toast would be great here too for a different experience.
A Key Adventure and Life Lesson
I am headed out of the house to visit my daughter’s class and teach them a bit of yoga for their wellness month. However, my mind has not yet caught up with my body and I am still thinking about all kinds of small tasks. So I leave the apartment, shut the door and realize I have left my purse and keys inside. And the door locks automatically behind me. I immediately realize what I have done.
I take a deep breath and think about what I can do. I call my upstairs neighbor. Lucky for me he is home. We run through a few plans. Then he asks if I keep the door to my patio open. I immediately catch his idea and latch onto it. I’m coming upstairs! “Maybe this should be the backup plan” he says. But I am confident. I go marching through my neighbors bedroom during their workday like some kind whirling mad-woman, out onto their back patio which is directly over mine below, and simply climb over the railing and shimmy down the pole.
Lucky for me, all the yoga has made this spider-woman job very simple. I did not feel in danger at all and was able to accomplish it easily. I head back into my apartment, collect my purse and keys and am out the door again within 5 minutes of being locked out.
As I am walking to the school I realize what just happened is the perfect explanation for why yoga is such a powerfully good force in our lives.
I was able to take a deep breath, not panic and begin solving my problem rather than being hijacked by a fight or flight response otherwise known as a, limbic response.
I was able to identify the quickest and most efficient solution and act decisively very quickly.
I was strong and had enough mobility to be able to get over the bannister and scale down the pole onto my roof deck.
I was able to handle the embarrassment of the situation without judging myself. I simply laughed, asked for the help I needed and moved forward with a very funny story to dunk on myself for years to come!
And truly a couple of years ago any one of those steps would have been impossible for me and I would have been reduced to panic and who knows what would have happened. It certainly would not have felt like a funny experience to me until much much later.
Now I see this as a wonderful story which I shared with the kids in my daughters class and now I am the mom who had a key adventure. And I like it!