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Boredom and Getting Fed -- Lovely Peanut Greens

"If we are to save ourselves from spiritual materialism ...  the introduction of boredom and repetitiousness is extremely important.  Without it we have no hope."   - Trungpa Rinpoche from "The Myth of Freedom"

Food is very entertaining.  There are sweets and sours, smooth and crunchy, vegan, free-range, hormone free, organic, salty, brittle, french, italian, appetizers, entrees and desserts.  There is a world of facts about cooking temperatures, frying oils, nutritional content, growing regions and cutting methods.  There is an endlessly complex possibilities of tastes - pleasurable, interesting, different and ornate.

At the root of eating is a much more boring fact -- that as human beings, we need to eat food everyday to stay alive and healthy.   Though I take genuine interest in the price discrepancy between rice flour and chickpea flour (ever wonder why gluten free products are more expensive?) I also realize that these details can become a form of entertainment, a tickle-fest for my intellect, a way to look past the monotony of simply getting fed.

More from Trungpa:
"Boredom is important because boredom is anti-credential.  Credentials are entertaining, always bringing you something new, something lively, something fantastic, all kinds of solutions.  When you take away the idea of credentials, then there is boredom..."

So this week I bring a very simple recipe that was passed along to me at the 4th Street Food Co-op.   The flavors are well balanced, but very low key.    My experience cooking and eating it was relatively boring, there was no "aha!" moment, nor any checklist completed.    Though it was boring, it was also spacious and simple -- nothing hidden to be accomplished, no credentials to fulfill.   My body was nourished, the dishes were washed, and the day went on.

Greens with Peanut

1 T coconut oil
1/2 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 t ginger chopped
1 jalapeño, minced (optional) (I used a bit or sri racha sauce instead)
1 t ground cumin
1/8 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t salt
1 yam broadly chopped
3 red potatoes, chopped
1 cup water
1 heaping T peanut butter
2 cups chopped greens (cabbage, kale, chard, spinach or collards)
2 cups cooked black eyed-peas
juice of 1/2 lime
garnish: scallions or cilantro.

1) Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot.  Add onions and cook at least 5 minutes until starting to brown.

2) Add garlic, ginger, jalapeño, and spices and continue to fry another minute or two.

3) Add the chopped yam/potatoes and water and cook with lid on for approximately 15 minutes, until the start to become tender.

4) Add the peanut butter, greens and beans with liquid.  Replace the lid and cook until greens are tender, approx. 5 minutes depending on the toughness of the greens used.

5) Squeeze lime into dish and serve with a grain such as millet, quinoa, or rice.  Garnish with scallions or cilantro


What mental ingredients am I adding to this recipe?   What expectations do I have for the shopping, cooking and eating experiences?

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this is going to be dinner tonight

thanks, patrick!

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