Today I’m linking up with the Recipe ReDux to share a recipe related to our March theme of Spring Cleaning.
Out of all the ways I could have started this post about spring cleaning, the one I kept coming back around to was the idea of decluttering and making shifts and small tweaks in our inner life. For all my clinical training and the amount of logic and math my everyday requires, it’s still important to me to focus on other aspects of life and wellness.
I grew up in a house full of crystals. When I was a kid, if I complained of a sore throat, my mom would say, “Your throat chakra is blocked. What do you need to say that you feel you can’t say?” We spent car rides listening to Abraham Hicks CDs and similar law of attraction stuff. Rather than get drunk at high school parties on the weekends, my friends and I used to spend hours drinking crappy diner coffee, talking late into the night about the universe and listening to the epic mix CDs we’d made each other. When I got my first iPhone, a lunar calendar app was one of my first downloads. Mindful movement like yoga is a regular part of my life because it helps me feel grounded, centered, and connected.
The older I get, the less I pretend I don’t care about stuff like the alignment of my chakras—that s*** matters to me.
We had a pair of eclipses recently (we generally get 2 pairs per year), and while I felt like it was overall positive, eclipses have a way of shaking things up, whether you’re ready or not. I have certainly felt the effects, and have been in a phase of cleaning out old stuff and building new.
One odd-but-not thing about eclipses is that I always notice things start breaking around them. Handbags break, watch batteries die, doors come off the hinges for no good reason…This time two big things caught my attention:
*Broken closet shelves, necessitating the purchase of a new organization system and reevaluating the contents of what I’m keeping in my closet.
*When I went for my semi-annual cleaning at the dentist, it turned out I had two cavities.
What the what? Cavities? For someone who eats very little sugar and brushes my teeth maybe too often, I was shocked. I thought that only happened to kids and sugar freaks with bad oral hygiene.
“Sometimes they just happen,” the dentist said. Then, “Do you grind your teeth?”
Turned out I’d worn holes in my mouthguard. So, um, noted. Clearly, I’d been more stressed than I was admitting to. I know that times of transition, even when positive can be stressful—how ironic that anxiety about money and building my business had played into my developing expensive-to-address dental issues. We all have our stuff, and my whole life I’ve carried stress in the teeth—and the shoulders. Couldn’t call it unexpected.
The message was loud and clear: Get a handle on your stress.
This involved a lot of journaling and identifying specifically what was stressing me out so much. For me, it kept circling around to being spread too thin and taking on too much. This got me to take an honest look at what to let go of, what to scale back on, and what to prioritize. Taking action on those decisions was scary but valuable. A lot remains to be seen.
And yes, it did get me thinking about the actual physical contents of my home, including my kitchen. As is often the case, cleaning out the cabinets was super-cathartic. This month’s Redux prompt was a great excuse to actually put some thought into how to make use of what I unearthed.
For today’s post, I was supposed to take 3 ingredients I currently had in my cabinets and/or fridge and make it into a recipe. After some digging around, I selected the following:
- Mirepoix (mix of diced onion, carrots, and celery)
- Canned tomatoes
I added a fourth clean-it-out ingredient: red wine. I sometimes buy wine and then don’t get around to drinking it. Since thirty, my body has decided it hates wine and gives me a terrible headache whenever I do drink it. Prosecco and champagne are luckily fine, but I rarely open a bottle at home unless I have guests.
The result was this delicious spicy soup that was perfect for a cold evening when I was just feeling brave enough to venture eating solid food after walking around with a novacain-numbed expression on my face all afternoon. It’s delicious on a day when your chewing and swallowing capabilities are intact as well. I hope you enjoy!
Spicy Tomato Chickpea Stew
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 container mirepoix (or 1 small onion + 1 stalk celery + 1 carrot)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup red wine
- chili powder
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, unsalted
- Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.
- Add mirepoix. Saute five minutes or until veggies are soft. stir in spices.
- Add garlic. Saute one minute or until fragrant
- Add wine. Bring to a boil. When volume is reduced by half, turn heat down. Add chickpeas and tomato. Add 2 cups water. Stir well to combine.
- Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to medium-low. Simmer 20 minutes or until soup has reached desired thickness.
To serve, eat as is or top with a poached egg and a sprinkle of goat cheese. This is also delicious over steamed greens or with cauliflower rice stirred in.
The Recipe ReDux is a monthly recipe challenge founded by registered dietitians that aims to inspire the food lover in every healthy eater and inspire the healthy eater in every food lover.
I never know a good time to schedule a dental appointment—guess it depends what you’re having done. This day, I went with a 3:30 pm slot. Since I knew it could be a long time between lunch and dinner (I was going right from lunch to a business meeting to the dentist), I had a big breakfast of savory oats:
I attempted some cottage cheese a few hours after my procedure and then had a bowl of this soup a few hours after that. It took me a good twenty, thirty minutes to eat it! Luckily, I woke up the next morning feeling mostly back to normal, but my goodness.
Always an adventure.
How you do you deal with stress? Do you try to plan dentist visits for a certain time of day?
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