This is one of those million dollar questions. Do you think people change?
I think yes and no. People can change, but it has to come from within. Like a budding flower, that burning desire has to come from within to want that seed to germinate.
Some people change. And some people will never change. To some degree, everyone has a baseline. It takes attitude, character and a non-judgmental analysis on your life in order to change. That is what self-actualization is all about.
You have to want to change. So many people in today's world are open to changing jobs, careers and changing their material status, but they are not open to changing their attitude, belief systems, character or developing themselves spiritually.
I think change requires a mix of spiritual and psychological analysis. If people took the amount of time they spend watching the television, playing video games or "flipping" through Facebook, on improving themselves, the world would be a different place. Some souls are here to change the world, but most of us are the regular Joes that keep society afloat.
Change is not a quick fix. It is a journey that is a process of highs and lows. It is self accountability.
The first step to change is to become aware. As you analyze your life, you will need self-awareness without judgement. Most people sabotage themselves because they are stuck in this mindset. Blaming other people for your problems or believing t hat change can't happen is a negative mindset. We are what we believe.
Some people are aware of their issues, demons, or problems but still don't change. Why is this?
Most people desire a quick fix. I see this in the diet industry all the time. Try this 30-day detox to lose 30 lbs. in weight." It's a hack, but not a permanent change. Humans need a no nonsense commitment to change. Most people today want hacks, not commitments.
it's the moment in quiet self-reflection that the higher and lower mind unite to make this commitment. It is the unity of the physical, mental and emotional body to realize that work must be done.
Change is not easy nor is it comfortable. It forces you to get out of the comfort zone. I am an advocate for balance, but depending on the change, some people have to go cold turkey. With the hardest addictions like drugs, sex, alcohol or cigarettes, most people can't live in moderation. They are not wired that way. A heroin addict can't just shoot up once per week. They have to go cold turkey and focus on the therapy that gets them healthy again.
Fear, rigidity and self-sabotage hinder one's growth process. Discipline and commitment is the hardest for most, which is why they slip back into old behaviors. And this very thought makes people wonder if change is even possible?
Genetics and environment plays a role on how adaptable one is to change. The older people get, the harder it is to change. It is still possible.
Spiritually, I've met people who had near death experiences come out of those experiences completely different and remove and walk away from the negativity in their life. It took nearly dying for them to "wake up" and change. Sometimes it takes a murderer in prison to read the bible, repent and realize how their life was changed because of spiritual teachings and finding God.
There is no one path to change, but it is possible. In this world. anything is possible.
What do you think? Do people change?
Addictions is nothing new to the human race. In the past, when thinking of addictions, most people think of people have an addiction to drugs, sex or alcohol. In today's digital world, humans are experiencing various forms of addictions like never before, which have created many to become emotional high addicts. Once high, you need more and more of the source in order to fulfill the hormonal flow going on in the brain.
As mentioned in a former blog post, Is Love the Most Powerful Force on the Planet?, in the past, our ancestors only experienced highs from procreation, sex and child birth.
The sad and scary part of today's addictions, is that many of these addictions are warping man's minds, creating real-life monsters, psychopaths, zombies out of many people's souls.
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, addiction is, "a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.
Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death."
It is common for people to have more than one addiction today. In fact, some people trade in one addiction for another. I had a Dietician friend who worked in a bariatric clinic and had "arguments" with the doctors as she expressed this is a psychological, and not just an addiction to bad food. She found that post surgery, many of these people traded in their food addiction for gambling, alcohol, smoking or some other negative habit/addiction. Another example is that research has found that people who have sex or love addictions or trauma, also have eating issues / addictions.
The point is that many issues root to a spiritual and psychological warfare.
Here are some addictions that plague the modern man's soul that goes beyond drugs, gambling, sex and alcohol abuse.
"Gaming disorder" is a serious issue today, especially amongst techies. Introduced in the 1970's, games today are far from the origins of the "Oregon Trail." Today gaming addiction is seen on the same level as gambling. Now that games are available 24/7, most people are hooked, playing for hours everyday instead of once at the arcades.
Research is still trying to figure out as most believe gaming addiction is a type of impulse control disorder. Some have the thrill of winning which releases dopamine, a brain chemical that elevates mood and provides a rush of energy. Many question what games do the subconscious mind as most games today are violent and include mass killing. Games "encourage" a sedentary lifestyle, which further isolates people from humans. Some people can play games and never be addicted, but most people fall into the rabbit hole and get lost in, or addicted to, a virtual reality.
Porn is one of the major issues today, which affects more men than women. Today's porn is nothing like it was 20-40 years ago. For many, watching porn starts off as innocent but can eventually lead to a "dangerous" place mentally and socially.
Porn has four stages as noted from Diagnosing and Treating Pornography Addiction. Dr. Victor Cline provides a model of pornography addiction with 4 progressive steps:
When the final sexual fluids are released, the body secretes serotonin, which promotes relaxation and calmness. Overall, porn hijacks the brain and short-circuits the system.
We all dream of falling in love with Mr. or Mrs. Right. Some people, like adrenaline and outdoor junkies, have an addiction of falling in love. They love the high one gets from the initial stages of romance, but once the honeymoon phase wears off, they discard the relationship, in search for the next perfect person. Some love addicts put their partner on a pedestal and put more energy and attention towards them than themselves.
At the core, many love addicts have this fantasy that their partner will rescue them, and provide them unconditional attention at all times, resolving any issues or problems they have. When in love, love encompasses their entire existence. They have a fear of being alone or rejected. The excitement of new love, triggers the release of these neurotransmitters, stimulating the brain’s reward system. Most love addicts have issues from childhood trauma or a lack of love from their youth, which needs to be resolved. Some of this I believe has been programmed in our heads from chronic Disney fairy tales from our youth.
Consumerism was a great experiment, and guess what it worked. In today's decadent society, many people are addicted to shopping and finding something new. Compulsive shoppers experience a euphoria when purchasing new goods. However, like the hedonic treadmill, the euphoria wears off, but needs to be refilled with buying something else. Endorphins are released, which blots out discomfort.
It is said that compulsive spending or shopping affects about six percent, or 17 million people, of the US population. One root of the problem is the lack of control one has in their life or on their impulses.
Believe it or not, exercise can be addictive. There is a reason runners get addicted to running because of the "runner's high." There is a tipping point, when healthy exercise turns into an obsession for whatever reason. Some may exercise hours per day because they fear getting fat, or want to lose weight because they think they're fat. Some exercise because of control in their life where others use exercise as a replacement to some other addiction.
Marketers and modern day boxed foods have done a GREAT job at controlling the US population. Some people have a poor palate addicted to salt and sugar, but most have emotional eating issues. These issues lead to consuming high amounts of comfort food or actual eating disorders themselves. Whatever the root cause of the issue is, the brain is affected by emotional eating disorders / impulses.
The American Addiction Center states, "The brain is designed to react to a specific amount of dopamine, researchers say, and when it is provided with a dopamine signal that is too big, changes can result. The brain can turn off dopamine receptors, to muffle the next overeating onslaught, and that means people might eat even more during the next session. Dopamine feels good, and a rush feels wonderful. People who want that rush might need to eat more to get it.
This is the same cycle of dopamine flood and response seen in people who take drugs like heroin or OxyContin. These people also need to take in more to feel the same rush, and these people find it hard to stop taking drugs. Similarly, people with a long history of overeating might also find it hard to stop, due to the brain’s changes. These people are not making the choice to overeat. They are dealing with damaged brain cells."
This is a tough addiction to identify because some people are born to work and make a difference in this world. Some people's lives and identity revolves around work. They don't have hobbies and everything else in life is secondary. Some work so much because they are security junkies. Some workaholics are perfectionists and are their toughest critics. When work controls the life of someone, it is important to step back and analyze how your job affects your life.
Have you suffered from addiction? Do you know of any "uncommon" addictions that are becoming more common in today's digital age? In college, I suffered from exercise and some form of food addiction, which is in part the reason why I wrote, "Finding Om: An Indian Journey of Rickshaws, Chai, Chapattis and Gurus." so people can heal, discover pieces of their psychology and find the connection to their spirit all while enjoying this crazy thing we call life.
The spiritual world is much like the mundane, material world. In the real world, we graduate from schools and universities and get promotions at work. The spiritual world is the same with life purpose lessons.
Overcoming negative, traumatic or hurtful situations is not easy. But we have a choice to learn and grow from it, and graduate our souls to the next level or experience in life. Living a life in vengeance or an "eye for an eye," will not leave anguish and despair in your soul, but you'll continue to manifest the same situations until you "get it." Many people who do not ascend end up leaving a carbon footprint by destroying others.
Think of a tyrant boss who's soul is suffering from some personal issue, and at work they use their power and control to destroy the wellbeing of their employees. Those employees, with no boundaries or spiritual backbone, go home and vent or take their stuff out on their family, which could potentially ruin the marriage.
Those who overcome their hurt and use empathy, and forgiveness (but not forget) transcend and graduate to the next step in life. How does one do this? With various tools in healing, counseling, yoga, meditation or spiritual development. The goal is to rewire the brain and begin to tap more into the higher mind.
As always, inspired by the sun,
Join Mind Body Soul Food Every Sunday for some inspiration, or Sunspiration, where we analyze quotes and sweet nothings in 150 words or less. Get inspired everyday with our Instagram account, sunspiration_everyday with inspirational quotes, motivational messages & sweet nothings.
We perceive and interpret countless thoughts throughout the day. Many people do not realize that we have two distinct levels of our mind. The higher mind, and the lower mind. The two levels of mind are in operation at moment in time. In order to live an optimal life, a balance of both is needed.
THE LOWER MIND – FEAR, DOUBT & DISBELIEF
The operations and movement of life on planet earth are usually interpreted through our lower mind. The lower mind is the concrete mind, which focuses on logic, reason and fact. Because it is factual in nature, the thinking is very linear (which logic usually is), and keeps us in a limited belief cycle. Because the lower mind is limited coupled with facts based on past limitations, this keeps us in the same cycle of accessing limited beliefs.
The lower mind is the representation of our wounded or damaged ego. Some say this is the deception part of our mind because it convinces the ego we are limited and are separate from universal power and truth. Manipulation results as the ego believes in needs to lie and cheat his or her way through to success.
The ego has many layers but include two prominent gateways, the inferior and superior ego. The inferior ego is the part of having a low self-esteem and not thinking you are good enough or worthy. The superior ego is the part of thinking that you are better and smarter than everyone else, and no one can do the job like you can. If a person is aggressive and violent and has a superior ego complex, he or she can become dangerous.
Physiologically speaking, the reptilian brain also known as the instinctual or dinosaur brain, is the lowest part of the brain. The reptilian brain is based on autopilot survival modes of fight or flight. The lower mind activates the need to procreate and mate and to stay safe.
Spiritually, the lower mind houses negative thoughts and emotions. Fear also operates here, which triggers negative thinking and behaviors. This is why movies, the news and video games have such an impact on our brains, because it instills fear and triggers lower mind thinking.
This is the part of us that is skeptical, analytical, materialistic and opinionated. This keeps us in our old patterns, belief systems and ways, which does not encourage growth and faith. For some, they’ll continue to repeat the same karmic patterns until they’ve learned to tap into the higher mind.
Since the lower mind operates on logic, the business world, financial establishments, schools and governments are mainly operated in this level of thinking. Therefore, so many people are losing “faith” in these organizations because nothing ever changes in these establishments besides the date and some new faces.
THE HIGHER MIND – PURE KNOWLEDGE & DIVINE DESIGN
The higher mind is the gateway to our soul and intuition. This is the part of your mind that your higher self is communicating through. The higher mind surpasses ego, transcends boundaries and holds universal truths. This is the part of the mind that knows no matter how difficult the situation is, we are loved, worthy and continuously protected and guided by the divine and God. This is the part inspired by beauty, vulnerable emotions, aspirations, ideals and archetypes.
The higher mind is the entryway to genius ideas, creative power and innovative ideas/solutions. Your intuition communicates to you through your higher mind. Positivity and the silver lining perspective also speaks to people through their higher mind. Many things in life are illogical because spiritual experiences are not always linear or concrete like our lower minds tend to analyze. The higher mind does not worry about the “how.” It knows a change or something will occur, but “how” it will happen is not the worry.
THE KEY TO LIFE IS BALANCING BOTH MINDS
The higher and the lower mind continuously plays mind games. Most people need to break the habit of hanging out in the lower mind. When the lower mind is triggered, some people react with visceral emotions or impulses and are like wild animals needing to be tamed.
The goal is to calm the lower mind, and began to tap into the higher mind to receive answers and guidance. If people can open the lower mind, but allow leadership from the higher mind, many profound changes can occur in life. Imbalances occur because people tend to live primarily in the higher or lower mind.
Artists continuously tapped into their creative power sometimes cannot navigate on planet earth. Those continuously living in their lower mind will never ascend because of fear or believing in that there is nothing better out there for them.
One example is say someone is a sugar addict or a smoker. The body feels like crap long term and eventually the higher mind is going to start “crying” and request that the body start eating healthier or stop smoking. Using logic, one may start to research support groups, cessation products or a health coach.
A person who experiences childhood trauma may feel permanently lost or damaged enough to where they unworthy of love and acceptance. These people tend to live in the past and need to focus on changing the present and connecting to a higher source for help and healing. The higher mind can lead them out of mental anguish and despair, but it takes a while to retrain the brain and rewire the neurons to get out of negative thinking patterns.
What are your thoughts on the higher vs. the lower mind?
Memories live inside us. Good or bad, memories have a way of uplifting or plaguing a man's soul. And I'll never forget the time spent in Nice, France. It is one of my favorite cities in the world. Part of my soul thrives in the ocean, and with it's Roman, Greek and Italian influence, Nice is a place of its own.
Words cannot describe the feelings and aura of Nice. At sunset, the ocean is like a canvas painting. The old town is as beautiful as a rose garden in the summer. And the food recipes are as ancient as Rome itself.
Check out my travel images + stories from my travel blog, The Lemon Tree. Discover more at: 20 Amazing Photos from Nice, France that Will Stir Your Soul
Ratatouille is a French Provencal stewed vegetable dish that originates in Nice, France. There are many versions of it, but usually it consists of eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, onion, garlic, tomatoes and local green herbs for flavoring. The dish originated in the 18th Century and "touiller" means "to stir up."
I made this the old traditional way of stirring vegetables in a pot to simmer. In modern times, food bloggers create beautiful circular arrangements of squash and zucchini for baking, but the easier and less time consuming way is to make it like they did in the 1700's.
Cooking time: 20-30 minutes
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 small onion, chopped (used purple)
2 peppers, chopped (any color, I did one red + one green)
1 very small eggplant, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 14.5 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tbsp fresh oregano
2 sprigs of thyme
salt+pepper to taste
In a pot, cook the onion + garlic in olive oil for several minutes. Add the eggplant and peppers and cook + stir for several minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer until edible and fragrant. Continue to stir so the vegetables do not stick on the bottom of the pot.
Enjoy as a side dish or part of the main course.
Let's Connect! Enjoy my other recipes below!
There is a part of me that is so strong, like a Scottish Warrior. And there is a part of me that is so sensitive like a delicate flower.
Throughout my 34 years on this globe, I've long known that the way to changing the world is through the use of healing yourself. My journey of this began in Australia at 20 and then in India at 22, which is why I wrote Finding Om.
So many people on this planet have issues, but do not want to confront them. Some of it is cultural as hiring a psychologist is shameful. No matter what generation you come from, all of us have experienced trauma in some form or another. Some trauma roots from world wars, others from abuse from drug-induced hippies, and now today, from mass violence that plagues societies.
We are rarely just ever okay. Those who live in a bubble are probably fine, but those who have endured hardships, abuse, divorce, violence and other forms of trauma need healing. But only you can heal you self.
The first step is admitting you have a problem, and the second is putting action to actually healing yourself. Healing doesn't happen overnight. Like everything in life, it is a journey of rediscovering yourself and loving yourself. Discover videos on how to heal ourselves on my YouTube Channel.
As always, inspired by the sun,
Join Mind Body Soul Food Every Sunday for some inspiration, or Sunspiration, where we analyze quotes and sweet nothings in 150 words or less. Get inspired everyday with our Instagram account, sunspiration_everyday with inspirational quotes, motivational messages & sweet nothings.
Is your mind playing tricks on you? Or are you really, truly receiving a message from God? First in order to understand where I am going with this post, we must read the "Parable of the Flood," story.
A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately.
A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”
The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”
As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”
The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”
The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.
A helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”
Shortly after, the house broke up and the floodwaters swept the man away and he drowned.
When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”
And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”
Often times we have thoughts in our heads, or prayers to God that we may not realize is truly be heard from the unforeseen world. The key to understanding signs is to know whether the sign comes from the light or the dark. So many people experience synchronicities, which they believe are messages from God. I agree, but at certain times of my life, I experienced these synchronicities that I believe rooted from darkness.
When logically analyzing the messages, you have to see what you are experiencing and how your intuition reacts to that experience. Some people with karmic bonds will experience synchronicities, but this situation or experience is merely a test to see in what direction of life you'll go into. Some karmic bonds are invitations to do shadow work, and though signs were there, that person or experience is not for your higher good. The "sign" is to walk away, bless, forgive and let go.
Signs come in many shapes, sizes, directions, thoughts and feelings. Mystical and religious people have different view points on signs. I've known many Christian people who say signs from animals or nature are mere coincidences meanwhile other philosophies believe nature communicates to humans and are messengers from God.
We live in a logical world, and most people can handle logical signs from God. If people had visions of spirit beings they would most likely freak out, not able to handle the intensity.
So many people crave divine signs or experiences that is so "explosive" it looks like it comes out of a Hollywood movie. It doesn't work like that.
I will share one story. A person I knew was financially struggling. She kept having conversations and worries stir in her brain about needing help. Low and behold, within hours someone comes to her door and provides a bag of pet food as this woman knew she was strapped for cash.
Was this a sign from God? Absolutely. We must be grateful for each and every gift from the divine. A million dollars or a winning lottery ticket just doesn't pop into our lives. In my analysis, that sign is a message from God saying that you've been heard, and I will take care of you.
Maybe your soul is crying inside from overworking, and then you keep seeing the words or advertisements about Yosemite, and you've always wanted to visit that park. Maybe its a sign to take a break and book a vacation. Or put your soul's desires first by visiting the park, which is your dream.
One client once lived in Hawaii. His aunt has been ill. One evening in Seattle there was a double rainbow that lasted over an hour. He got the inkling that his aunt just died because this was a sign in Hawaiian culture about rainbows being a bridge to heaven. Later that evening he got a call that his aunt indeed passed away that day.
Signs are signs. They are guiders, but are not strict rules. Some signs are prophetic, others are just divine messages trying to guide you into a certain direction in life. If something is meant to happen, it will.
Remember the divine has no timeline. Some signs and synchronicities occur for years before something actually cultivates.
You must check with your intuition and see what feelings arise when the signs come. Just don't miss the boat because you are expecting something that originates from a fantasy.
People who do not have a spiritual foundation do not understand the purpose of our souls being here on earth. Most people think of planet earth as a playground to enjoy life an in the material world. Now this is not to say that we shouldn't have fun in life, but we are here to grow and evolve our souls. Every soul has a mission and chooses it's life in order to grow, evolve and conquer hardships. But the main reason for our soul is to understand love.
Our souls are here to understand how to give and receive love and learn how to forgive themselves & forgive others.
Each and every soul has a different mission in life. Many forms of spirituality speak that love is the main reason for us being here. We are here to understand love from various angles and lenses. We need to love ourselves (not to the point of narcissism). We need to let people in to show us love. We need to share our love with others. We need to love our home and our planet.
The Bible contains great wealth of information and speaks of love 64 times.
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. — 1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. - 1 John 4:8
God loves his children. And we are children of God. God is love. And love is a complex energy. There is a light and dark side of love. All of God's love comes from the light, which also includes understanding forgiveness.
When you know, understand and experience love, you know God. We often equate love to romance, which is where we learn most of our lessons, but love is a relationship of all kinds. And this is why community and the family nucleus is so powerful.
In today's world of independence, we see people trying to receive love in many forms. Throughout my time of being single post divorce, I notice so many people bury themselves in work, projects, school or additional hobbies to receive some form of love and acceptance.
Love, like anything in life, is a choice. You can choose to give love, and be open to receiving it. Love is selfless and should not have expectations, though reciprocity is necessary for long term growth.
Planet earth is a ghetto, and we will endear many hardships in this fallen world. One of the greatest forms of love is through forgiveness of other people's actions and to release feelings of anxiety, revenge and vengeance against the other person.
In this digital age, and age of social isolation, it is easy to find acceptance and fulfillment through online communities, artificial intelligence and pornography.
Nothing is stronger than the human emotion, and nothing can replace real life intimacy physical, mental, emotional, intellectual and spiritual intimacy.
Knowing love is knowing yourself and having awareness of your actions and what affects you. Knowing love is respecting everything on this planet from the earth to animals. Knowing love is understanding we are here to serve and uplift ourselves and humanity.
God is love. He wants you to love Him, and trust in Him. He also wants you to spread love on the planet. Love yourself. Love your home. Love your parents and others even if they disappointed you.
Some research states that it takes men 8.2 seconds to fall in love. The heart has no limit in its capacity of unconditional love, but we must also use our head in order for that to not be taken advantage of, or our kindness used against us.
What do you think about love? Let's Connect! Check out my other YouTube videos!
I hope everyone is having a good summer. Wow, is it now officially summer. I have taken a wee bit of a break from social media, and a well needed one. I felt as if I needed time away from the digital sphere and just work on things in the real world.
I did not, and still do not miss social media. I would not use it except as a writer it is necessary to have an online presence. Anyways, I am about six weeks too late posting this asaparagus recipe, but it is well worth it regardless of its timing.
Roasting vegetables is one of the most common forms of cooking produce. However, adding a twist with nutritional yeast gives this a cheesy flavor, which is now my preferred method of cooking and consuming asparagus.
Asparagus is one of those seasonal vegetables that has a unique history and past. It is believed that humans have consumed asparagus for over two-thousand years. A distant cousin of the onion family, asparagus originates in the Mediterranean.
The Greeks considered asparagus to be sacred and was used as an aphrodisiac. The ancient Greek doctor, Hippocrates, used this vegetable to treat symptoms of diarrhea and urethra pain.
The Romans ate asparagus as an entrée or alongside cooked fish. Europe forgot about asparagus during the Middle Ages, but made a comeback in the 16th Century as it was served by the royal courts. In the 17th Century, the French cultivated asparagus since King Louis XIV was very fond of it. By the 18thCentury, asparagus was available in the markets. What a history, and that’s the shortened version.
For a more Mediterranean flare, I added a variety of colorful cherry tomatoes, which also tastes delightful covered in nutritional yeast. Enjoy!
Dairy-Free Roasted "Cheesy" Asparagus + Tomatoes
Serves - 4
1 lb. of asparagus (or 1 bunch)
10 oz. package of cherry tomatoes (used sugar plum)
1-2 tbsp olive oil
2.5 tbsp nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper + garlic salt
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the last 1-2 inches off the ends of the asparagus. Place the asaparagus and tomatoes into a bowl and mix with olive oil. Mix the nutritional yeast and the spices together. Sprinkle over the vegetables (save about a teaspoon) and mix until well-covered. Arrange the vegetables on a baking sheet and roast for 21 minutes.
Many moons ago I worked at a vegan cafe in college named Squeakers. Veganism and vegetarianism was a "big thing" back in the early 2000's in Northwest Ohio. As a college student at Bowling Green State University, this is where a passion for cooking further ignited. I loved that job, and still to this day was one of my favorites. I guess deep down at heart I am not a desk-job type of person. Cooking is a form of creation and to me, it is therapeutic in nature.
One simple and easy recipe we served was a spicy tofu peanut wrap. It is one of the easiest recipes to make and is a quick meal to put together for work lunches. Back then we used San J International Thai Peanut Sauce, since that was the only thing we had on stock at the small cafe and health food store.
Today, you can use other brands though I do suggest San J, and the best part is that the sauce is Gluten Free. For this round, I used Trader Joe's Spicy Peanut Vinaigrette Dressing.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do! Wraps are simple, easy and easily digestible in the summer months. The cooling raw vegetables make this a perfect picnic or on-the-go lunch. Enjoy!
Spicy Tofu Peanut Wrap
1 14 oz. block extra firm tofu, drained and press
1 bottle of Peanut Sauce
1 package of wraps
optional: avocado, sprouts etc.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. While heating, remove the tofu from its package and wrap in 2-3 paper towels. Press the tofu by placing in a dish with a heavy bowl on top. Press for at least 15 minutes (or hours if possible).
Cut the tofu block in half and then cut slices as seen in the image above. Smother the tofu in peanut sauce in a bowl and then pour evenly onto a baking sheet. Use about half of the bottle of peanut sauce for baking. Bake for 15 minutes, then flip the tofu, and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the tofu cool. You can eat the wraps with the tofu cold or hot. Place lettuce, tomato, carrots and other toppings into a wrap. Place 3-4 sliced pieces of tofu on top and add a small amount of peanuts in the wrap. Drizzle additional peanut sauce on top and enjoy!
Let's Connect & Check out my other sandwich recipe ideas!
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com