I have named a part of my brain Phyllis. She is named after Phyllis from The Office, who can be sweet but also a mother$%#*@. She is tender and understanding at times, but mostly she's just annoying. I still love her though because she's part of The Office. Some facts about Phyllis (The Office): 1. She is married to Bob Vance from Vance Refrigeration and looooves to talk about him. 2. She is part of the party planning committee and flies a bit of a freak flag. 3. She takes an allergy medication that makes her smell like sulphuric farts. 4. She likes to dance. Get your Phyllis fix here, here and here. Also here if you're feeling muy caliente.
I named my ego Phyllis because they are similar; they both worry about stupid things, they're obnoxious, and both can be a complainy downer who judges and limits themselves. She (my ego) wants anything and everything but then tries to guilt me when we get it.
Going to bed with Phyllis (my brain): Phyllis: “Hey, remember that slightly awkward interaction today?" Me: *cringes* “Thanks for reminding me." Phyllis: “D'you think that person is still thinkin' bout it?" Me: “Ummmm no. Probably not. Why are we still thinking about it?" Phyllis: “Oh I dunno. For fun." Me: “It's not though. It's not fun at all Phyllis. Okay?! Goodnight!" *Three minutes later* Phyllis: “Hey, remember that really annoying song with the barking in it? That one about the missing dogs?" Me: “Uhhh yea." Phyllis: “Want me to sing it to you?" Me: “No. Do not sing it to me Phyllis." Phyllis: “........But–" Me: “NO. DON'T YOU DARE! I HATE THAT F$#*ING SONG AND IT MAKES ME REFLECT ON A VERY WEIRD TIME IN MY LIFE!" Phyllis: “Sighhhhh. Okay." Me: “... Oh thank god." *30 seconds later* Phyllis: “K, I'm gonna sing it to you just once." *Three hours later Who Let The Dogs Out is still playing in my head*
Watching TV with Phyllis: Phyllis: “Hey, remember when you were supposed mail in that rebate for $100?" Me: “Yes." Phyllis: “And then you never did." Me: “Uhhhh yeah. I remember." Phyllis: “And then you finally went to mail it in and it had expired the week before, but you left it for 8 months sitting on the table and just never did it because you're lazy and I guess you think money grows on trees." Me: “Yes! I remember! Get over it Phyllis!!" Phyllis: “...........okay." *Returns to TV again.* Phyllis: “Just hear me out though for one minute. I'm really smart, I'm your brain– so I promise I have a point." Me: “......fiiiiiine. Go ahead." Phyllis: “All's I'm going to say is, maybe this means you're a bad person... That's all." Me: “Uhhhhhh no it doesn't Phyllis. That makes no sense. Not mailing in a rebate has nothing to do with being a bad person." Phyllis: “Are you sure you're not a bad person? Sometimes you cancel plans with people. Or you look at text messages and don't reply right away. And sometimes you call in sick for work when you're sick but not in-the-hospital-with-SARS-sick. Me: “Put a sock in it Phyllis!" Phyllis: “... that's what she said."
Sometimes I need to remind myself that Phyllis doesn't run the show. In both the tv series and my mind, she is a part of it and she is welcome there, but she is not in charge. I once heard sn analogy of this part of the mind that described it perfectly– You're driving a car and your ego is a child sitting in the backseat. She is always telling you where she wants to go, what she wants to do and even asks to drive the car even though she's a child and that would be ludicrous. She gets angry that you won't let her drive, sings gleefully at times, throws tantrums at others, and sometimes she falls asleep and you get some peace and quiet. But she's just a child and you understand that, so you love her and you let her know that she is always welcome to come along for the ride and provide input for the journey you're both on, but she is not the driver. She's not in control, but she's a part of the family.
This recipe makes Phyllis be quiet for a few moments. It's comforting, satiating and very healthy so she can't say $h*! if she's all up on her high horse. During this cold season I'm being extra good to myself and nourishing my body with primarily plant based meals so this is an all vegan recipe with no lack of flavour. Some tofu steaks would be excellent with this dish and for my non vegan bebes– a poached or fried egg, piece of fish or some shrimp would be divine.
Feel free to change elements of the dish up: quinoa or noodles for the rice, collard greens for the kale, almond butter for the peanut– I'm confident they would all be delicious alternatives. Keep the coconut milk though, preferably full fat. It lends a rich creaminess to the dish which vegan meals are not commonly associated with.
No go turn down the volume on your Phyllis and enjoy yourself.
BRAISED COCONUT MILK + PEANUT GREENS W/ GINGER TURMERIC RICE
inspiration: southern stewed greens has a baby with asian stir fried greens
the feels: rich, creamy, soft, crunchy, savoury
eat with: green or mint tea, lime + mint water, white wine(champagne, riesling, chenin blanc), pilsner beer
might like it you're into: thai food, southern cooked greens, coconut curries, turmeric dahl, maneki neko, The Office, superfoods
makes 4 servings || time: 30 minutes
coconut milk + peanut greens
- 1 large bunch dinosaur kale (or any greens)– washed, stems removed and chopped into ribbons
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 medium onion, cut into half moons
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter, smooth or crunchy (made with only peanuts)
- 2 teaspoons tamari/Bragg's/soy sauce
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 red thai chili pepper, sliced finely in rings
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, white and/or black
- 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
- optional: cilantro or basil, to garnish
ginger turmeric rice
- 1 cup white basmati rice
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 1 one-inch piece of ginger, finely grated
- 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon sea salt/himalayan salt
- Rinse rice and drain. Add all ingredients from the rice portion to a rice cooker. Turn on and let cook until done. (If you don't have a rice cooker then add everything to a pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes off the heat; fluff with a fork.)
- While rice is cooking, boil a large pot of water. Once boiling, add chopped kale and cook for 2 minutes. Remove and run under cold water or place in a bowl of ice water to stop cooking process and keep them green (this step also removes the bitterness).
- Place a large wok or saucepan over medium-high heat, add the coconut oil. Once hot, add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes or until they are translucent. Reduce temperature to medium and add the coconut milk, tamari, lime juice, peanut butter and chili. Stir until the peanut butter is mixed through evenly. Add the kale to saucepan. Cook over medium for 5 minutes. If more liquid is needed during this process you can add a bit more coconut milk or water.
- Serve rice as the base, top with braised kale and onions, and sprinkle the sesame seeds, peanuts and herbs on top. Spoon extra coconut peanut sauce on to rice if desired.
*notes: one 400 ml can of coconut milk is all you need for this recipe. It is the exact amount required between the greens and rice.