11/26/13

Inspired Action: Thanksgiving 2013 and Sweet Smile Soup

Prayers of Gratitude an Ocean Wide  |  Mary Marcdante

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
Melody Beattie

Thanksgiving 2013 is in two days and the Christmas music is already playing in the stores. Facebook is filled with Black Friday updates, holiday recipes, and my favorite – the gratitude posts. I can feel a deeper sense of gratitude and appreciation filling my heart and I love that! It makes any challenge I come across all the more meaningful, as a reminder that I am lucky, blessed, fortunate — pick your favorite word, they all fit for me — to be able to have these challenges because it means I’m still alive when so many others are not. It means I am dealing with “situations” that others would rather have than their own. It means that I’m able to write this message and share it with you. Thank you!

Another Thanksgiving favorite is making “Sweet Smile Soup.” The recipe below is the vegetarian version of the original 20 year old recipe that came from Audrey, the mother of my good friend Barbara who used pot roast, green beans, and brussel sprouts as the key ingredients.

I added green olives as an experiment because I love them and they tasted so good in an ancient spaghetti sauce recipe (you know how old that recipe is if someone uses the word spaghetti instead of pasta) courtesy of my friend since kindergarten Debbie. They worked!

The almond butter addition is an adaptation from a former housemate Scott, who said the secret to great tasting soup is a tablespoon of peanut butter. He was right. I also use almond butter. Either are great.

You’ll definitely want a big soup pot. Mine is 7 qts.

Here’s a link to a pdf of “Sweet Smile Soup.”

Sweet Smile Soup Ingredients

- One 14.5 oz can Muir Glen diced tomatoes with basil & garlic (you can also use Muir Glen Fire-roasted organic tomatoes w/ green chiles for a unique taste but then skip the green chiles listed separately)

- 3 1/2 tomato cans of water

- 1 1/2 tablespoons of “Better Than Bouillion” chicken base or vegetable base (THE BEST!)

- 8-12 brussel sprouts quartered (This is a key ingredient – adds a buttery flavor and texture)

- 4 carrots sliced into 1/2 inch rounds

- 1 small sweet potato or yam cubed

- 2 tbsps. of diced garlic

- 1 small can of green chiles (for kick!) or 1 inch fresh jalapeno (I like it really hot)

*1 can beans – kidney, great northern or black beans (rinsed and strained)

- 3 tbsps. of green olive juice (salty)

- 12 green olives (smaller ones or for fun use 6 jumbo green olives and give a prize for anyone who gets one in their soup – or add them one per bowl at serving if you’re not a fan)

- 1 tbsp. smooth almond butter (or peanut butter) – this is the surprise addition!

- 1/2 cup of frozen spinach or 1 c. fresh spinach, kale, or chard cut ribbon style

1 big handful of free green beans cut in 1-inch pieces

Instructions

  1. Turn on music – Suggest Suitcase CD by KebMo.
  2.  Add tomatoes and condiments to big stock pot and turn on heat to high.
  3. Cut veggies and add as you complete.
  4. Bring ingredients to a boil and immediately reduce to low simmer.
  5. Simmer for 45 -60 minutes after last ingredient is added. Taste-test carrot for desired texture – slight crunch to soft (not mushy).
  6. While simmering, call Mary Marcdante and say hi (858) 792-6786.
  7. Vouella! It’s Soup! Makes 6-10 servings. Tastes even better 2nd day.
  8. Freezing works but it will be a little mushier.

Optional ingredients for a heartier soup and different tastes/more protein/carbs

* ½ cup dry lentils (add 1 cup extra water if you add lentils)

* 1/3 c. of dry quinoa grains or brown rice added along with veggies (add 2/3 c. extra water

* 1-2 skinless chicken or turkey breasts (use cheesecloth or strain before it falls apart, debone, chop in 1” chunks and re-add to soup)

* 1 pound pot roast, seared. Add all ingredients as suggested to seared pot roast

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving recipe? I’d love to know; please share in the comment box.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Thanks for sharing!
09/1/13

The Real Meaning Behind Labor Day and Work

“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it. ~ Buddha ~ Photo by Mary Marcdante

“Your work is to discover your work
and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”
~ Buddha ~

What if Buddha’s perspective is the real meaning behind Labor Day? “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it.” How might your life be different if you made that one of your daily intentions?

I took this photo on a vacation in Provincetown, MA many years ago and when I discovered this quote by Buddha, the memory of watching this cook make malasadas flashed back to me in an instant. Have you ever been in the presence of someone who makes their work seem like a prayer of reverence and gratitude? Wishing the same for you and me and the world.

Happy Labor Day Weekend.

Thanks for sharing!
11/22/12

Inspired Action: Holy Flowing Gratitude

Thanksgiving Day, 2012

Smile. Feel the softness of your heart. It changes everything.

In those moments when you forget it’s always a Day of Thanksgiving,
and you feel the burnt edges of life’s disappointments
crusting over the softness of your heart,
when you forget how amazing you and your life
and the people you love and this earth really are,
choose.

Choose, as hard as it may be, as soon as you notice,
to go to your grateful space and breathe.
Breathe in thank you. Breathe out thank you. Smile. Over and over.
Eventually, this holy flowing gratitude will wash over you
like waves cresting in the ocean. And you will feel blessed.

Really. It will. You will. I promise. If you will try.
Just try. Right now.

See. It worked didn’t it?
Feels good, doesn’t it?

What, no luck?
Well, not to sound like that overly-critical, annoying know-it-all
you’re trying to be grateful for,
which is why you’re even trying this in the first place,
but you know you didn’t do it long enough.
Must have some heavy lifting in there. Sorry.

Go back and do it again. And relax. It will work.

I know, you’re right, it may take longer than you like,
but if you keep trying, gratitude will arrive
and the relief you feel when it washes over you
will land you in such a deep state of grace
that tears of joy might even join your party.
Long forgotten memories, people you love,
happy places, recaptured dreams
will begin to flow back into you.

Smile. Feel the softness of your heart. It changes everything.

Happy Thanksgiving.
Love, Mary

Thanks for sharing!