Each time Christmas rolls around I think this is the best time of the year. Then the first week of January comes, and it quickly takes it’s place. Those who have known Scott and I well over the years are accustomed to our very minimalist lifestyle. It began when we were dating, and has continued (pretty well) ever since. Not to be confused with those really beautifully curated minimalistic homes with one of every perfectly placed piece costing more than I make in a year. The kind of minimalistic tendencies that leave rooms empty, closets filled with just enough outfits to last through the week, the record player sitting on the floor, one bath towel per person, and barstools that double as our couch side tables (depending on where we are sitting). Part of this stemmed from having small wallets, another part came from my decluttering tendencies, and a third part was because we just didn’t care enough to see completing any purchases through – especially not when we could either save the money or go on a fun trip. Coffee table? Who needs one. (We do.)
Come January everyone is set on creating new, organized ways to interact with their life and I get really excited to let my crazy side come out a bit. Every nook and cranny gets cleaned and gutted, and as our donation pile grows I can hear our friends and family saying what could you possibly be giving away? please keep the couch, we need that to sit on when we visit. All major furniture pieces aside (because there are so few) the rest of the house is fair game. It’s amazing how little you need to lead a happy, healthy life each day. So much goes unused that need not take up space in our home.
My biggest struggle is the nature of my job as a recipe developer/photographer. Between props, free items, needed items, etc, I feel as if I can easily get swallowed in the more-is-more mindset. One of my goals this year is to break that mindset into bits. This will mean having to say no more often, and possibly creating a donation box/basket stationed in our home to move needed items to continuously as life happens. Before starting Faring Well living this sort of life came naturally, and I hope to reinstate that this year with the blog included. I hope to also invest in a few things that make home feel more like “home”. Pieces that feel like us, serve a positive purpose, and ones that even just make guests feel more comfy in our house.
Since I seem to have dove into my thoughts on the new year a bit, I’ll continue with one last thing that has been on my mind – ethical, sustainable clothing (and all items, really). This isn’t something I’ve ever poured myself into in the past, and hope to make a point to improve in this area this year. Is it something you find yourself passionate about too? Maybe we can talk about it more here in the future, and share back and forth tips and recommendations. I know I could use a few!
So there they are, not really concrete goals as much as general aspirations to hopefully work on improving upon a little bit each day this year. I’ll make some helpful choices, some hurtful ones that will set me back, and know I need to be gracious with myself. Perfection is not the goal, but the pursuit of awareness with love and generosity is (for me). I’d love to hear any aspirations you have if you feel like sharing, we can cheer each other on this year. Let’s be realistic and set no limitations, I think it’s possible to have both. – xx
I made it to the end of my post without mentioning food – whoops! It’s coconut curry. With root vegetables. Crispy oven baked tofu. Basmati rice with avocado and all of the good seasonings for some non-tratiiotnal Thai comfort food. Need I say more? ENJOY.
Ps. Scott and I are heading to NYC for the next few days to celebrate our anniversary that happened last month. Any tips on place to get fresh and tasty vegan food? Cozy herbal lattes? It’s going to be cold – brrr!
ROOT VEGETABLE COCONUT CURRY
Makes 3 servings, easily doubled to make 6.
1/4 cup diced yellow onion
1/4 cup sliced scallions
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks of lemon grass
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1 1/2 cups diced sweet potato (I used the purple variety)
1 1/2 cups diced carrots
1 13.5-ounce can of full fat coconut milk
sea salt to taste
juice from 1/2 a lime
handful of fresh cilantro
1 8-ounce block extra firm tofu
2 teaspoons tamari
fresh black pepper
3/4 cup white basmati rice
1 1/4 cups water
Preheat the oven to 400F.
Begin by making the tofu. Gently press the block of extra firm tofu between a cloth towel to squeeze out at extra liquid. Slice into 16 cubes and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Drizzle with the tamari and toss. Coat in freshly ground black pepper and gently toss again. (Alternatively you can swap the tamari with lemon juice and make a lemon pepper tofu, also really delicious.) Bake the tofu for 40 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
Cook the rice. Combine the rice and water in a small pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook for 10 minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed. Remove the pot from the heat, leaving the lid on to allow the rice to steam for an additional 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork and serving.
Make the coconut curry. Slice off the top half of the lemongrass stalk, leaving the softer white portion to cook with. Remove any tough outer layer of the stalk and slice in half. Press down, slightly crushing the lemongrass with the back of your knife. Place in a medium sauce pot along with the onion, scallions, curry paste, garlic, turmeric, and ginger. Give it a splash of water and place on the stove. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and toss until the onions are cooked and the spices fragrant (adding another splash of water if needed).
Next add the diced sweet potato, carrot, coconut milk, and a bit of salt to taste. Toss together and add enough water to just barely cover the vegetables. Bring to a simmer and cover. Let cook until the vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust any seasoning if needed, then remove from the heat and stir in the juice from half a lime plus a handful of chopped cilantro.
To serve: Divide the rice between three bowls. Top with the coconut curry, baked tofu, a few slices of avocado, fresh cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Enjoy right away.
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