Hoppin’ John and YouTube in the New Year 

Happy New Year, friends! I have spent most of 2017 quiet in the Word Press world. I have wanted to take my blog in a different direction for some time now. Being more passive than active with my creative process, ideas have been slow to blossom into what I would like this blog to become. 2018 will be the change I want to see and I do hope you’ll follow along.

I’m venturing into YouTube videos! You can find me here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZjX2ZitoUdObYjMcrcXcOw

This is an exciting challenge for me. My blogs have been about gluten free and dairy free eating and recipe sharing. I still adhere to this way of eating and my YouTube videos will reflect that. However, the spin will be focused on the direction I feel I am headed in my life which is nomadic and minimalist living. I find my current small kitchen space to be similar to what I would be using while living in a camper van or RV. In my research I have found that many people who choose this way of living eat a lot of prepackaged foods that are high in lots of things not so good for your body and low in nutritional value. Using simple, healthful ideas and easy one pot meals I’d like to show you simple, scratch cooking meals that are affordable and good for your body.

I’ll start with a New Year’s day tradition in my family–Hoppin’ John! Customary in the South, this dish is eaten on New Year’s day for maximum good luck in the coming year. I made a pot of it today and wow, it is delicious!

I wish you all things good in this 2018 year.  As I enjoy a hearty bowl of Hoppin’ John I have my own wishes for growth and prosperity in my new ventures.

Check out my Hoppin’ John recipe then take a peek at my introductory video. Enjoy!

Hoppin’ John

1 medium yellow onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 celery stalk, finely diced

1/2 red pepper, diced

4 cups collard greens

1 package of smoked beef kielbasa (or meat of choice) *optional

1 1/2 cups black eyed peas

3 cups vegetable broth

Saute’ garlic and onions for 2 minutes. Add celery and sauté another minute. Add peppers, mix until all combined and sauté until veggies are soft. Add kielbasa, stir to combine then add peas and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until peas are soft. Serve over rice. Garnish with cilantro.

FoodRadical. Getting Radical. Reflection. Change.

It has been a good, long time since my last post, hasn’t it?  A year has ended and new beginnings are upon us.  Today marks one year of living in my amazing “nest above the city”.  I am hoping this year is bringing you all continued peace and happiness as we make our way into 2016.

2015 was an amazing year.  It was my “bucket list” year.  Do you have a bucket list?  I’ve had a mental one for years.  Some of the things on that list are grandiose like taking a trip to Ireland, which I did a few years ago.  That was such a great one, I plan on checking it off twice!!  There are small things too, but desirable enough to earn a spot on my list, like make friends with a mechanic.  I did just that this past year!  In fact, I now have two!  I feel silly happy that I got to check off several “bucket list” achievements in 2015.  It put a little pep in my step each time!

My last post, Be Kind. Eat Kind. My Kind of “Kind” Bar I hinted at stressful times. Another one of my bucket list goals was to buy a new truck.  I did buy a truck only to wreck it hours later in a chain reaction six car accident on one of our local highways.  It was a horrible rainy night and there were many accidents throughout the city.  I honestly do not know how I walked away unscathed.  My arms were a bit sore, I imagine from my steering wheel death grip.  Otherwise, no injuries at all and for that I am truly grateful.  Other drivers in that mess were not as fortunate.  My truck got it good, but it is now fixed, looking new again and driving fine, thanks in part to my new friend!

I got a new addition to my household in 2015.  Isn’t she adorable!?  Getting a dog was not really on my bucket list, but I have wanted one for several years.  This sweet thing came to me a few months ago and has quickly worked her way into my heart.  She’s perfect.

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Got my rain coat & I’m ready to ride!

After eleven years of working in a different career I accepted an amazing new job back in my degree field of social work  in 2015.  It is a job that suits me perfectly.  I have found what feels very much like the dream job I have desired in my mind for years.  Pretty cool, right?!  My job satisfies my need for a creative outlet and immerses me in the kind of work that gives me such passion.  I completely love my job even when I have had a day from hell.  I wake up every morning excited to start my day.  This job keeps me very busy and as a result, I have far less creative energy or time for my blogging.  Finding the sweet dance that balances my mind, body and spirit is my daily challenge.

Although you have not seen posts recently, I have been working “behind the scenes” to change up my blog a bit.  It is a slow process.  It is not quite ready to go pubic.  I can feel the desire for change in my blog, yet I am still ironing out the direction I would like to see it take.  Be assured you will continue to see delicious food and recipe posts!  There is still creativity happening in Food Radical’s kitchen!

2015 was about change.  Abrupt, forced upon me change.  In a post earlier this year, Dip. Dip. Depression. I described what had happened to create this abrupt change.  This is the dark side of 2015.  There have been rough times and I have struggled.  In the midst of it I was constantly blessed with serendipity; my reminders that where I am is good and right.  2015 guided me to where I am currently in my life.  I am so deeply content; happy on my new path.  I feel focused and determined to continue checking off those bucket list items. These past few years have taught me that there is no time like the present.

Do what you love now.

2016 will be about change.  This time it is planned, gradual and deliberate change.  Food Radical will be making radical change in 2016.

I feel more alive and awake than I have felt in a very long time.  This past year has been incredibly transformative.  I never could have imagined the magic I have experienced in this last year.  It has renewed my faith in people; there are so many generous and giving souls in this world.  It has given me hope for the future and grounded me in the comfortable security I needed in moving forward to shape my new life.  That platform is where change happened.  It has been pivotal in goals I’ve established for myself.

As I look to this coming year I think of the accomplishments I have made and those yet to come.  I am living more wholly in my life, feeling more authentic and courageous.  This year will be about change.  I imagine it will be the most radical change I have experienced thru far.  Unquestionably, I am ready to embrace the abundance before me.  I will end with a quote from one of my favorite spiritual leaders.  His passing a few months ago left a deeply sad place in my heart.  His words have been my inspiration this past year.

“Miracles come in moments. Be ready and willing.” Dr. Wayne Dyer.

 

 

 

Fill me up with 2015–Anniversary Post

I wanted to acknowledge the one year anniversary of my blog on the actual day which was December 30th, and thought of sitting down to write a few times that day.  Unfortunately, more of my thoughts were consumed with a sudden life crisis.  I know, like I need another one, right?   However, this crisis was absolutely unexpected.  This one came way out of left field and smacked me head on, leaving me completely dazed and confused.  It sent my survival instinct into overdrive and bubbled up an anger in me that rarely rears its ugly head.  I am physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted.

I’m not prepared to go in to much detail at this moment, but I know eventually I will share what is happening because this crisis will have a profound affect on my dietary lifestyle and eating preferences.  Since this blog has become about my way of eating, cooking and living I don’t see how this could not spill over into words right here.

Today, this first day of the new year, I am relaxing.  I am empty.  Absurdly coincidental, I think.  I will fill myself with love in the company of good people.  I will fill myself with the knowledge that once again I am being reminded that I am an incredibly strong woman.  I am proud of my ability to persevere.  I will fill myself with the reverence of life and with deep gratitude for all the lessons it presents me.   I cannot think of a better day to do this than today.

Happy New Year, my blogging friends.  This writing journey has filled my soul in a way I never expected.  I have come to love this community of people and the support I have received from each one of you.  Thank you for being a part of my world in 2014.

Cheers to 2015.  I look forward to its many blessings and opportunities.  I will leave you with some of my favorite food pictures of this past year.  Peace and love to you all.

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