After months of planning, weeks of packing, and days of unpacking, I’m exhausted, exhilarated, and excited to finally be settled into an apartment I absolutely adore.
From the green and white checked tiles in my sunny, spacious kitchen, to the bay windows in my living room, to the delicate but sturdy glass-paned bookcase in my dining room, I am completely head over heels for the damn place.
This past weekend was full to the brim with moving without a moment’s rest, and the past couple of days have been no different, except of course for work and working out in between.
Needless to say, I’m beat, but I’m happy, and my happiness is most likely the culprit of my over-exertion but what the hell, I love to be busy!
Here are some reasons for my merriment and general case of rose-colored glasses.
- This Beautiful Kitchen. I’ve already begun creating concoctions, wafting aromas of delectable dishes into the air, christening our apartment with my cooking. It’s the big, room-for-dancing kitchen of my dreams, complete with the floors I’ve always wanted in my favorite color! Easily my favorite room in the place (as if you couldn’t tell…)
2. My Mama! My beautiful mom came to visit two weekends ago and has truly been just as excited as I am for my new venture. The trait I am most proud of came from my mom: a sense of wonder and constant excitement for what life will bring. I’m the luckiest betch on the planet to have a mother who is so genuinely proud and excited for me throughout every stage of life.
3. My Roomie. I’ve spent the past two years growing more and more in love with my muse. I’m proud to call him my man, and proud of the both of us for taking the leap together once again and making our wishes come to fruition as a dynamic duo. I love him. Nuff said.
4. My Homemade Chana Palak! Remember when I mentioned how my mom’s meal at Thali of India stole the show when we took her and my stepdad out for Indian food?? Well after a few days scouring the internet for a Chana Palak recipe I felt would match what I tasted, I found a few that I combined, and added my own touches to, to make this beauty!
- 1 can organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 4-5 cups fresh spinach
- 1 large onion
- 4 plum tomatoes
- 3 large cloves garlic
- 1 small green chile
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 cup homemade coconut yogurt* or any plain coconut yogurt
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- 1 1/2 tsp. corinader powder
- 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 tsp. tumeric
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 3 tsp. salt (or to taste)
*For the Yogurt:
Using a blender, immersion blender, hand mixer or whisk, blend together 2 cans full fat, organic coconut milk with 2 probiotic capsules (just the powder from the capsules). Place in a large mason jar and tightly close the lid. Place in an unheated oven for at least 24 hours, ideally 48. Open up to see if it smells tangy/yogurty, and you have yourself some delicious, thick, creamy, additive-free homemade vegan coconut yogurt!
Talk about a good morning right there, am I right??
For the Chana Palak:
In a large pan, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add minced green chile and spinach. Sautee until right when spinach starts to wilt. Take out of the pan and set aside.
Cut onion into quarters and put in a blender/chopper with the garlic and ginger. Blend until everything breaks down and purees. Add to a hot pan and cook for 5 minutes or so until onions are translucent.
Add all of the spices to the onion/garlic/ginger mixture, and sautee for another minute or so to toast the spices.
Puree tomatoes and add to the pan. Turn heat to low, put cover on, and simmer everything for 15-20 minutes until liquid absorbs.
Once tomatoes have cooked down, whisk in the yogurt and add the spinach, mixing everything together. Lastly, add the can of chickpeas, cover and cook for another 15-20 minutes until mixture reaches desired thickness.
Serve over basmati rice, die, and go to heaven. This shit is GOOD.
While you can use store bought yogurt for this recipe, in my experience, coconut yogurt from the store is NOT anything close to the homemade stuff. If you want the full spectrum of taste and rich flavor, it’s so easy to make your own yogurt and so worth it!
Another option is to use 1 cup of cull fat coconut milk and about 1 tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to get the creamy and tangy elements but I have not tried it so I can’t vouch for it. Either way, enjoy!