Turmeric continues to have its grand love affair in the food world. I've been very enthusiastic about it; the vibrant colour, health benefits and taste– warming and slightly pungent but in an unassuming way. Turmeric is like some of my favourite kinds of people– modest but vivacious all at once. My favourite ways to enjoy turmeric include, but are not limited to:
- In coconut or olive oil while frying eggs (turns them a pretty yellow colour)
- On top of popcorn with coconut oil, sea salt + nutritional yeast
- In smoothies, juices, kombucha
- In legume or grain-based bowls like rice, quinoa or lentils
- Golden milk (the best winter pre-sleep drink)
It was a rainy day with howling winds while I cooked this dish and took photos. I had on the new Childish Gambino album (Awaken, My Love), a funky and soulfully introspective record. This dreamy yet contemplative setting gave way to a wandering mind and the food began taking on human characteristics through my camera lens. Behind her leafy appendage, the cauliflower appeared to shield her face and shy away from the camera. Hypnotized by her gentle cruciferous soul, I could feel all the conflicting thoughts of her beauty and roughness, her appropriateness or lack there of, her implied place in the world vs where she feels drawn to, her fixed reality vs lofty dreams, her innocence vs sexuality, her deepest fears and desires– that at some point have been mine and every other woman's. Then I was like, “Whoa. This is just a cauliflower. Chill." Either way, I took care to remove her leaves with tenderness, aware I might be leaving her vulnerable and exposed. Just in case.
It's a strange time right now in the world but I think it's bringing like-minded people and women closer together. Women have been distanced for far too long– pitted against each other, programmed to mutually judge and compare ourselves to one another.
Enough of that trash.
It feels terrible and makes us weaker individually and as a whole. It tells others and men that it's what what we expect and that we are okay with it. Let's all support and be there for one another in this weird and contrasting life, okay? It's grounding and unifying to know others are there for you. I used to have this irrational fear that would give me severe anxiety attacks while alone and out in public. My fear was that something would happen to me unexpectedly like a seizure or heart attack and no one would help me. I imagined they would all just stand watching me die and do nothing. I don't know where it came from but I had no faith in humans as a whole and wouldn't happen when I was in the company of people who were undoubtedly there for me. I don't have this this fear anymore, in fact I mostly feel the opposite. Mostly. Recently I have confusing and conflicting thoughts with everything happening in America, but then I shut that shit down because it makes me feel weak and powerless. And we cannot evolve or move forward if we all start feeling weak and powerless. We need to strive for more connectedness than ever right now. Practicing gratitude and appreciating others has probably been the biggest factor in making my life a better and more joyful place. Why stop now that there are things happening I don't agree with? There have always and will always be things happening I don't agree with. I don't know what to do with the shit storm of information that is America right now, but I do know that can't let it suck me into a downward spiral of hate and disappointment about the world. I am trying to find a place of just being while I figure out.
Right now we need some comfort. We need some nourishment. We need to feel like everything is going to be okay. I find that simple comforts are the easiest things for me to be grateful for– my warm bed, loving friends and family, a bowl of pasta or cup of tea. This meal is just that. It's comfort, it's about feeling gratitude for everyday things. A bowl of hug if you will.
I've made this dish at least once a week for the last month. It's so tasty, very quick to make and really versatile. You can use whatever vegetable(s) you have in your fridge and each time I top it with something slightly different– almonds, sunflower seeds, pepitas, a fried egg, soft boiled egg, whatever herbs I have, dulse flakes, or hot sauces of all kinds. Enjoy with some lemon-mint water or switchel for an extra detox feel.
TUMERIC DAHL + CAULIFLOWER BOWL
inspiration: cozy winter evenings
the feels: warm + hearty
eat with: flatbread, naan,lemon + mint water, ginger hibiscus switchel, golden milk, poached/boiled/fried egg, green tea w/honey.
might like if you're into: yoga, kitchari, congee, hand made quilts, eucalyptus steam rooms, detox water.
makes 4 servings || time: 20 minutes
- 2 cups dried red lentils
- 2 cups hot water
- 2 inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 3/4 cup full fat coconut milk + extra for drizzling on top
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 lemon or lime, cut into quarters
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup cilantro + 1/4 cup parsley, chopped for garnish
- optional: chili flakes, a fried/poached/boiled egg
- Rinse lentils in cold water and strain. In medium pot heat the coconut oil, add onion, ginger, garlic and turmeric. Stir frequently and sauté for a couple minutes. Add hot water, salt and lentils to pot and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer stirring every few minutes until lentils appear thicker with no extra liquid (around 7-8 minutes), add coconut milk and garam masala. Cook for another 7-10 minutes or until the lentils look porridge-like or cooked to your preference.
- While cooking the lentils, in a small pot add water and lightly salt. Bring to boil. Add cauliflower and boil for about 5 minutes (or until just cooked). Drain.
- Spoon dahl into bowls, add cauliflower, a squeeze of lemon/lime and pour extra coconut milk over top. Sprinkle on chopped herbs, sunflower + sesame seeds, black pepper, chili flakes + egg if desired.
Dahl recipe adapted from Hello Glow.