Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sesame Kaleslaw

We had a BBQ today, and our hostess has a gluten allergy. So while shopping this week, we kept our eyes peeled for inspiration on what to bring. And inspired, we most certainly were!

This could easily be called coleslaw as it had cabbage in it, but I definitely wanted to steer the idea away from your standard coleslaw recipe right from the start. Anyway, while we were shopping at the local restaurant supply store, I saw a giant bag of slaw-cut greens. Kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli stems, both red and green cabbage. It was beautiful! And I wanted it in my mouth right then. We used some of the bag earlier in the week for stir fry noodles. And then we mixed up a nice big bowl of slaw this morning.

Salad: 
Mix of slaw greens
Scallions, sliced large & on the bias (I'll save you the googling, that's a diagonal cut)
Sesame seeds, either black or white
Nuts would be amazing, as would crispy noodles (but we didn't have any, and it didn't NEED them)
Dressing, below

Dressing:
Mayo (a mayo substitute would also work well in this recipe to make it vegan)
Rice vinegar
Wheat-Free Tamari (or soy sauce if you aren't worried about the gluten)
Sesame oil
Sweet: Orange marmalade, plum jam, apricot jam might be good too.

Whisk the dressing in a bowl or measuring cup. Toss with slaw greens, scallions, and sesame seeds until everything is just covered, or it is dressed as you like it. A cup of dressing (maybe half mayo) made a nice big party bowl but there was NO puddling at the bottom--keep in mind, the kale wrinkles take up a lot more dressing than you think they will. But this dressing is SO big on flavor that you don't want it swimming like a more traditional cole slaw. Juuuust enough to coat.

Our original plan was orange marmalade, but it went bad. I was looking around for an alternative and remembered the dozens of jars of plum jam still sitting on my cupboard. One less-set one opened for a sweet plum flavor in the dressing made it a GORGEOUS pink color (which was totally lost on the green leaves but whatever), and two jars gifted to our hosts was a quick "thank you for inviting us."

It was just a nice, simple recipe that, with the pre-cut bag of greens, took 5 minutes to whip up--including gathering, cleaning, and Mr. Moon having to climb on a step stool looking for a plain jam. I'm sure we will tweak this a little, add some nuts or something, since we have extra greens. Some chopped up spicy pre-roasted chicken or marinated tofu on top sounds like a nice, fast post-work dinner.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Riding the roller coaster of life's joys and sorrows

The last few months have been one of life's most ambivalent times. You know the ones, where good things are happening and you think you should be feeling guilty being happy when others or even ourselves are hurting over the pain and loss that life brings us. Navigating grief while planning a wedding has been on our minds a lot. We know that Mr. Moon's father's absence in our wedding celebrations will be notable, and trying to find ways to grieve and honor him in such a joyous occasion hasn't been easy. It's not even a situation to which we've found a solution that feel right, yet.

But this entire endeavor I think has been good for me. Despite my lack of mental health care at the moment (which is a long story and a rant for another day), I've found myself navigating a lot of intense emotions and stressful situations with more grace and self-love than I really expected to experience. Mr. Moon and I have our spats for sure, but those even haven't been as intense as we've expected. Ultimately we've been good about remembering that we are on the same team, even if it doesn't always feel like it. I certainly feel that our relationship is making great strides with this entire process, as we focus on a common goal and utilize each other's strengths to come together to make it happen, as a team.

I'm not looking forward to the lull after the wedding, though. I know that there are some serious issues within myself that I've been setting aside to deal with at a better time. It's a habit I learned in childhood and one with which I know I will always struggle because to be honest it's not always a bad thing. Learning to cope in better ways is the top of my list of things to work on when I have the mental capacity to focus on it. But it's been nice to see how far I've already come in the same area. I'm finding I'm much more prepared to settle my own panic attacks, coping with more situations as they arise rather than bottling things up until I explode, and most importantly I've been getting better with my self-care in general to keep my stress levels in check. All those months and years of learning these new skills, and now that they're put to the test I'm passing with flying colors. It's glorious.

There's still much to do and I'd better be getting back to it. But I really can't wait to share some of our engagement photos when they come in!
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