Never Say Never

A couple of days ago I said to Paul ‘if there’s one thing that I can say with absolute certainty it is that I would never ever ever go into politics. There’s absolutely no way’.

The name calling, bickering, fighting that goes on within the political arena I find terribly off-putting and quite unnerving to be honest. It’s like the playground loud-mouth bullies have grown up, put on suits and declared they want to run the country.

Not for me. Never.

And then I stumbled across this – the very next day – in the TED watching session which I indulge in before getting out of bed in the morning… which can be a thought provoking, inspiring way to start the day.

In this very funny talk Sandi Toksvig talks about a political party that would absolutely spur me into going into politics.

Never say never.

xA

How to Be a Salad Queen

Paul and I eat a lot of salad. He often has a chunk of steak sliced and tossed through whereas I have beans, chickpeas or sometimes squid or smoked salmon. If you have the basic ingredients at hand it takes literally 10 minutes to make a great salad.

The key to super success is having a balance of textures, flavours and colours as well as a finished dish that looks great.

Textures: soft baked kumara, avocado, hummus, crunchy seeds or nuts, crisp salad vegetables / sliced or grated raw vegetables / fruits, firm beans or other pulses, fruit such as nectarine, apple, feijoa, tamarillo, tomato, plum all give an interesting mouth feel to the salad.

Flavours: tart lemon juice, tangy feta or parmesan, sweet balsamic drizzle and fruits, salty tamari or soy sauce, creamy sweet dressing, fresh vegetables, spicy chilli sauce and ungent avocado or olive oils are some of the flavours to include – not all at once though.

Less is usually more when it comes to food combinations.

Think about what you like to eat and start there – if you’re new to making salads start by making them to please your own palate first and then you can refine your recipe until you get it just right.

This salad I made for lunch one day last week.

Serves 2

Ingredients

10 pieces of crumbed squid – baked in the oven until crispy and sliced thinly

1 large cup prepackaged coleslaw (grated carrot, red and green cabbage, parsley)

½ perfectly baked kumara, chopped roughly (recipe in an earlier post)

2 knobs blue cheese, crumbled

2 really big tablespoons hummus

Small handful of pumpkin seeds

Small red chilli sliced finely – optional if you like a bit of heat

Creamy Caesar or Ranch dressing

Tamari (you can use soy sauce) this takes the place of salt.

Fresh Cracked Pepper

Method

I always like to use nice bowls, you can see my favourite blue one in the picture. People eat with their eyes first. It doesn’t matter if you have mismatched bowls – there’s something quite nice about that too. If you can serve salad in a bowl slightly larger than you need so that there is more bowl showing (if that makes sense) it looks great. Any colour bowl will do.

First place your kumara in the bottom of each bowl, follow with the coleslaw and then the squid – so you have three layers. Just plonk them on top of each other – don’t worry about being too careful. Drizzle over your dressing and tamari – not too much you can always add more later – over dressed salad is a bit yuk. Using your fingers (or two forks) gently toss the ingredients together by scooping and lifting the kumara up from the bottom of the bowl to mix with the squid and slaw. Don’t try and get it perfectly mixed – just separate the layers really and distribute the dressing a wee bit. Next put a big dollop of hummus on one side of the salad, sprinkle the blue cheese and seeds over the top and finally add the sliced chilli pepper and cracked pepper . Serve and eat immediately.

Vulnerability. It’s Powerful

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I have been watching reading and LOVING Brene Brown since discovering her a few years ago. She has a natural ability to come across as completely normal – which makes her so relatable and easy to listen to. Her genius cuts straight to the heart of every topic using every day language. A  witty storyteller with an insight into what makes people tick. Us tick.

She nails it.

Brene’s message that vulnerability is not something that we are raised to be resonates with me. A lot.

It is REALLY uncomfortable for me to be vulnerable, makes me feel out of my depth and out of control – it may be for you too.

“Vulnerability is not a weakness, and that myth is profoundly dangerous. Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” Brene Brown

I hope this TED talk about the power of vulnerability makes you FEEL empowered … and if you’ve seen it already, click below for another watch – it seems to get better every time.