Soul food. What did you eat this year that you will never forget?
What went into your mouth & touched your soul?
This year, for part of the year, our Thursday night yoga class would have a vegetarian pot luck on the second Thursday of each month. While I usually stopped at the Natural Foods Co-op and picked up something along the lines of Vegan Macro-Bento Spicey Spinach Noodles and Schezuan Dumplings, other members of our group were known to bring wonderful concoctions, many of them vegan, to share with us. One notable dish was this from my friend, potter Maya Boehler:
Barley & Corn Salad
2 cups spring or filtered water
1 cup pearl barley, sorted and rinsed
1 to 2 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
1 small red onion, diced
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
¼ cup minced fresh parsley
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons umeboshi vinegar
2 teaspoons rice syrup
Juice of 1 lime
Bring water and a pinch of sea salt to a boil in a medium
saucepan over medium heat. Slowly add barley. Cover,
reduce heat to low, and cook 40 to 45 minutes, until barley
is tender and water is absorbed.
Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
In a small bowl, combine the oil, umeboshi vinegar, rice syrup,
lime juice, mustard and a little salt. Whisk until blended. The
dressing should have a refreshing, yet spicy taste. Toss the barley,
vegetables and dressing together. Allow the salad to marinate in
the refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving.
Makes 4 or 5 servings.
This year was one of shopping local markets for fresh, locally grown veggies and participating in Meatless Mondays. Mostly, I was eating vegetarian meals, salads, and watching my Weight Watchers Points. As a result, it's very hard for me to come up with ONE soul food to focus on. Except perhaps, my Mother's Nut Loaf. It's comfort food, it's tradition, it's my Mom's recipe.
That's as close as it gets to food that speaks to my soul...hmm...there's another loaf of it in the freezer, so perhaps it will be my New Year's dinner, too!