We went out for a few drinks to celebrate my upcoming birthday a couple nights ago. Nothing wild , just a little night out with some of the good friends I’ve made here. It was really nice. My co-worker and I almost share the same birthday, plus, she got engaged this past week, so we had a lot to cheers to.
I like birthdays, not for parties or presents, but for the moments they mark for me (and also, cake). I tend to always remember each birthday, and like to think back to who and where I was when I turned 18 (guh!) or 24 or now 28. I appreciate seeing myself change and grow every year, getting to know who I am more and more as I get a little older. It has got to be the longest, most compelling relationship we will ever have, the one we have with ourselves. And each year seems to turn a new chapter.
I’ve moved around a lot these past years, changed jobs and countries, made new friends and cherished relationships with old ones. I’ve found little more courage and gained a bit more confidence, I’ve climbed mountains I never thought possible (literally) and have many stories I am proud to tell. They’ve been big years for me. I can imagine the day when I think back to when I turned 28, of who and where I am right now. How I still have so much to learn, and so many more chapters to turn. I’m so in love with this crazy life.
So, there might be a cake post coming, maybe not, we’ll see. But for now, there’s sweet potatoes and a new year ahead. A little more of myself to discover, lots more memories to make, and who knows, maybe a couple more flaming shots along the way.
“How strange to see the wrinkles on the sides of my eyes growing and getting deeper the older I get. I laugh. A lot. This is the proof and they are my scars of happiness.” – Tyler Knott Gregson
LENTIL STUFFED SWEET POTATOES WITH CHARD, FETA + PISTACHIOS
A no fuss week night meal, with a few extra sprinkles to make it jazzy. Minimal effort yields big flavor. Gluten free. Serves 2.
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cups chopped chard or kale leaves
3/4 cup cooked beluga lentils
Olive oil and apple cider vinegar, to dress
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup lightly salted roasted pistachios, shelled and roughly chopped
Handful sheep’s milk feta
Lemon zest, cracked black pepper and fresh parsley for serving
Preheat oven to 400 F / 200 C. Prick sweet potatoes a few times with a knife and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 35-40 minutes until soft. Sweet potatoes are done when the skin has pulled away from the flesh a bit and the center is soft. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the potato.
Meanwhile, dress the lentils with a little olive oil and apple cider vinegar, (if you are using canned ones maybe warm them through a bit on the stove top in a splash of water first), and stir in the toasted sesame seeds.
Remove the potatoes from oven and slice each one in half. Open up and stuff with chard leaves, then top with warm dressed lentils. Top it all off with pistachios, feta, lemon and parsley.
Let me in on your kitchen creations – tag your photos #happyheartedkitchen and share the love!