Samosas and Vulnerability

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the stars. Last week was the Perseid meteor shower. These showers recur each year when the earth passes through the debris trail of the Swift-Tuttle comet. Although I missed watching them fall, I have decided that I felt them—deep in my belly.

We are created from stardust, after all (hopelessly romantic if you ask me.)

The few days the comets were around us, things in my life felt heavy. Like I was pulling a large suitcase everywhere I went. The people around me were on edge, drama and negativity was created out of thin air, and I felt my teeth clench at simple things.

It was that kind of week.

As I wandered around in this haze of thick air, I found myself doing what I always do: over analyzing. Why was this happening? What did it stem from? Who could fix it? I deal with my natural anxiety and type-A personality by compartmentalizing and putting things into lists and boxes. Situation B was happening because I hadn’t put enough energy into List A. etc. etc. etc.

The wheels just keep spinning.

It was like a sigh of relief when my darling friend Jess said, “It’s the meteor shower. That’s why everything is off.” Just like that she had planted the conclusion in my head that the root cause of all of it was simply because we were passing through a cloud of space particles. For some reason this gave my heavy energy a purpose, a reason for existing.

So yes, I am going to let more of my feelings stem from whatever energy the universe has decided to give to me. Last week it was bizarre and heavy. This week feels more grounded. More centering. I found myself in yoga this morning, smiling as sweat ran in rivulets down my legs. The teacher had asked us to focus on something that we felt we had been ignoring. To tune into one word that would become our mantra for the hour. For her, it was playfulness. For me, it was vulnerability.

I think that for right now I am in a place of balance. A space of letting go and healing, with a few less walls and little bit more spontaneity seeping under my skin. I am trying to let emotions be what they are, nothing more, nothing less. Who said vulnerability has to be negative? Scary as all hell, absolutely… but so much is to be learned from allowing yourself to feel stripped down and taking ownership of whatever remains.

All of this self-realization because of a few falling stars—who knew?

For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again” – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Spring Samosas with Mint Chutney

The weather is so warm in Austin that my garden consists of basil, mint and rosemary. I also have neglected growing things, and will hopefully find some motivation to get my hands dirty soon. Until then, I will seek out recipes that use mint and basil. This one is a winner. The flavors in the samosas are amazing and I love that they are gluten free as I’ve recently discovered that my stomach is so much happier when I stay away from wheat. This recipe is adapted from My New Roots, which is basically one of my bibles.

Samosas

  • 8 rice paper wraps

Filling

  • 1 spoonful of coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ cup unsalted, unroasted cashews
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 ½ cup green peas
  • ½ cup corn
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 2 cups baby spinach

Spices

  • ½ Tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of cayenne

Preheat oven to 400 degree F.

In a dry skillet over medium heat, toast cashews until lightly golden. Remove from heat, roughly chop and set aside. Dice the onion and carrots to about the size of the peas.

Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and add the onion, spices and minced ginger. Cook for five minutes and then add in the garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes, then add in the carrots. Stir to coat with spices, cook for five minutes, add in the peas, corn and chickpeas. Remove from heat and stir in the spinach, coconut and cashews.

If you haven’t worked with rice paper here’s a short run down. Fill a flat bottomed bowl or shallow dish with a couple inches of water. One at a time, place the rice paper wrap in the water and let if soften. Usually, you’ll want to wait until they soften completely. However, because you’re baking them, you just want them to be pliable, otherwise they’ll split when they’re baking. Just leave them in there for a minute or so, and when you pull the paper out you still want to see the pattern on the surface.

After you remove them from the water, place it on a clean, flat surface. Using a sharp knife, slice the circle in half. On both halves spoon a generous heap of the delicious filling. Fold the bottom corner about a third of the way up the round side of the half, followed by the top corner to meet the base of the fold you just made—if that doesn’t make any sense to you, just make a triangle out of the paper and call it a day.

Repeat until you have 16 of these bad boys. Or, if you aren’t making them for a party or a giant family, just keep the extra filling in the fridge and make these bad boys for the next few days.

After you have put together all of your samosas, melt about a tablespoon of coconut oil in a small saucepan. Lightly brush the tops of the samosas with a tiny bit of oil. Put them in the oven for 10 minutes, remove and flip over to crisp on the other side. Bake for another 10 minutes until they are lightly browned and crisp. Remove and serve with the mint chutney (recipe below).

Mint Chutney

  • 2 cups firmly packed mint leaves (no stems)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 2 dates
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Wash the mint leaves to remove dirt, spin dry. In a food processor, pulse the garlic, ginger and cayenne to mince. Add in the dates, mint leaves, lime juice and olive oil. Blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add salt to taste. Add more olive oil to thin, if necessary.

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One thought on “Samosas and Vulnerability

  1. How funny. Cuz my last weekend sucked. I was filled with a lot of the things you mentioned above, a lot of negativity swirling through my head and clouding my heart. And while nothing from the situations has yet been resolved, friday night I felt a sense of peace, of balance, of wishing to let go of that which does not matter. Such a vast difference between this weekend and last, that I made specific note of the size and fullness of the moon, of which side its light was upon, and thought to compare this to next month.

    And then to read the above feels good. Not to lay all responsibility of self elsewhere, but it is comforting to know that I apparently wasn’t alone in this recent heaviness. That maybe not all the heaviness was me wading into it but perhaps also being pushed in deeper by the stars passing so close. This is reassuring. To have not a place to lay blame for one’s thoughts or actions, but rather an illumination, a reveal of how things actually are once the shadow lifts, and of having a place to once more focus upon and move forward.

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