Cooking for the Soul

Nature, travel, music, writing, prayers, exercise, reading. How do you nourish your spirit?

For me, the answer is all of the above!

While I didn’t intentionally set out to do so, my last few posts have been about how I prioritize the mind, the body and the spirit in my journey as a special needs parent.

Time is a luxury for any parent, especially time to one self and to pursue one’s interests. But it is essential to refill your cup so you can continue to pour for others, especially your little one.

Cooking appeals to me, because it is something that I can do at home and disappear into, while keeping T nearby.

It is satisfying, because the pursuit can lead to endless possibilities to explore – and you can enjoy the fruits of your labour instantly and to share that enjoyment with others.

Lately, I’ve been enjoying exploring ethnic cuisine, because it allows me to try out ingredients I often don’t get to use.

Indian cuisine is among my favourite. The photo at the top of this post was taken at a spice shop in Kerala, a south-western state in India, during the hubby and my cross-country visit in 2012.

I still dream about the food we had those three wonderful weeks that seem like a lifetime ago.

I’ve always been intimidated by Indian cooking. But I recently gave two favourite dishes a try.

Chicken biryani is my favourite Indian dish and who knew it would be so simple to prepare using this Amy + Jacky’s Pressure Cooker recipe?

It was nice to cook with spices I’ve never used before, including star anise, cloves, green cardamon pods, turmeric, and garam masala. I also cooked with basmati rice for the first time!

The bulk store is the best place to get these ingredients in small amounts, so you don’t spend a fortune getting huge amounts of each spice.

I had a few hiccups along the way with repeated “burn error” messages on the Instant Pot but I kept going and eventually had to wing it. 

It turned out pretty good – and very aromatic!

This Labour Day, I tried my hand at butter chicken, a family favourite, using another pressure cooker recipe from Amy + Jacky.

The ingredients list and process were not as intimidating as I had thought.

I didn’t realize heavy cream and yogurt were the trick for the yummy sauce.

I was happy with the results and the hubby approved!

I also like to try different ways to cook vegetables, even though T is incredibly picky and avoidant of veggies, especially carrots.

Brussel sprouts is a vegetable I never cared much for until the last few years and now I love them.

These simple Recipe Tin instructions used olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper, Parmesan cheese and panko to coat the veggies before roasting them in the oven.

The best recipe I’ve found yet and paired with roasted salmon for a light filling meal.

And there’s always room for dessert! The satisfying ones draw from home grown ingredients.

I’m not much of a sweets person nor do I bake much. But I enjoy harvesting the rhubarb from our garden to make into a strawberry rhubarb pie using this recipe from In Diane’s Kitchen.

Very simple to make and tastes great, even if the crust was not applied properly and some of the filling spilled out onto the baking sheet this time.

T helps me from time to time with my cooking adventures and we keep our projects simple.

This was a no-bake cheesecake recipe we had originally done last summer and re-did this Spring when we were finding learning activities to supplement virtual schooling.

T did a good job as always with helping.

But more often than not, T prefers to stay out of the kitchen and play with his toys instead.

And that is a-ok with me. 

It’s good to have your own interests and to use those rare quiet moments to yourself.

While the moments to recharge my mind, body and spirit are limited, I’m thankful for them and the opportunities to make the most out of them.

And I wish the same for those of you who are on similar parenting journeys.

24 thoughts on “Cooking for the Soul

  1. I find cooking very therapeutic and a great way nourish the spirit (and tummy) too. This looks like quite the feast you’ve prepared. That’s great that T helps out. I find it’s always more fun to cook (and eat) with others. Teamwork makes the dream work.

    1. Thank you, Linda. I agree with you on the nourishment of the spirit. It’s so important to make time for things that do that for you – like nature and the outdoors!

      Hope you’re continuing to have a great Roadtrip.

    1. Thank you, LaDonna! 😊 For sure, with school starting again this week, there’s an even more important focus on balance. 🤞🏻Please take care as well.

    1. Thank you SP! 🙂 The bulk store is the best. Otherwise Indian spices tend to come in these giant bags in the groceries that I’d never finish using in this lifetime.

      We have Malaysian cuisine here too and I love the spicy curry noodles in particular and the mango lassi drink with lychees on top. Not sure if these are considered the staples in Malaysia but we love it here.

  2. The food looks great! I try to eat a lot of veggies but I burn out on their blandness. I’m going to have to try the seasonings and panko to make them more interesting!

    1. Thanks Robyn. I tend to like my veggies bland but I live with a guy who is the opposite. 😆 This will sound silly but I’ve never heard of panko before until this recipe. I’m now thinking of all the different things I can throw panko over now. 🤣

  3. Oh, Wow! This is a delicious gourmet treat! Food is life. Food is joy. Food is love because it brings family and friends together. Cooking is one of the main activity in my home. It excites. It brings closeness. It’s learning both old and new. Thank you for a wonderful feast and adventure.

  4. What delicious looking food! It is so obvious how much you like cooking. I can’t wait to travel again but until my daughter graduates from NP school in June we have to get the grandkids on and off of the bus every school day. You are always such an inspiration if I haven’t told you that before!

    1. Thank you, Diane! I get lots of daily inspiration from your blog.

      Good luck to your daughter. What’s NP? Nurse Practitioner? Good luck with the upcoming school year. It will fly by before you know it. And hopefully we’ll all be traveling again fairly soon!

    1. Thank you, Juliette! The pie was kinda a crumble. 🤣 But yes, it turned out quite nicely thanks to the recipe I followed.

  5. Great post! I personally need to travel more which isn’t a COVID thing, just never liked venturing far from home but now I realize how important it is. I especially love the line about refilling your cup so that we can pour for others. Beautifully said & powerful! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Tammy. I do encourage traveling if you are able to. The best gift you can give yourself. 😊 And the cup analogy is definitely not one I created but I agree with it wholeheartedly. 🙏

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