Happy Friday.

I’m starting off with a slightly near and dear topic to my heart.  Creativity (and the lack thereof…)

One minute I am feeling inspired and ready to conquer the world and the next, nothing.  Wander around, feeling lost.

I really believe that there are times I only use the right side of my brain.  I hear music, I see color, I smell a flavor, I get inspired and that consumes my brain.  As a music conductor, there are moments when I get lost in what I am doing.  There are moments when the music consumes who me are and I am living in that moment, living in the music.

I love my job but there are some days I feel terribly uninspired.  I sit in my office, digging into scores, trying to get behind the notes and my brain wanders.  I can’t stay focused.  The notes on the page begin to blur and rehearsals are ugly, to say the least.

While my blog helps to break me out of this funk, there are times this lack of inspiration spills over into other areas.  I stand in front of my refrigerator and just stare for a lengthy amount of time.  I think about grabbing my camera and heading out, only I sit there and continue to just think about it.

It’s these low points that I start to question everything I do and everything I believe in.  I hate looking at other’s work because instead of inspiring it makes me feel even worse.  Like I’ve failed because I’ve lost my creativity and that I’ll never get to a point where I’ll be happy with my work whether it’s music, food, or photography.  I get burnt out.

This is a dangerous area and slightly over dramatic.

I get in ruts.  It happens.

The thing to remember is it happens and it’s not the end.  I just need to step back and reassess.  I need to to get out, explore, and get inspired again.

It’s not a thing to worry about, it’s a challenge.  It’s a challenge to find new ways to look at the world, to look at music, to look at food.

That all may be a bit a bit over dramatic (seems to be a theme) for this stew but really, it’s that good.

There’s a little bit of spicy, a little bit of sweet, and a little bit of savory- all rolled into one.

I remembered this great stew I had a csa potluck once.  It’s also referred to as African peanut and sweet potato stew.  It was delicious, creamy, and filling.  No heavy cream, no fillers.  This is the perfect stew when I’m having a down day.  The colors, the fragrance, and the taste help lift my spirits.

This is a great bit of comfort food (that’s healthy too!)

Peanut Stew with Sweet Potatoes and Spinach
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2-3
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tablespoon ginger, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon clove
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, ½” cubes
  • 2 21/2 cups veggie broth
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
  • Brown Rice to serve, optional
  • Peanuts, lightly toasted
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a pot. Add onions and saute for 3-4 minutes, or until onions are fragrant. Stir in garlic and ginger, continuing to cook for two more minutes.
  2. Stir in clove, salt, cayenne, and cumin. Start on the low end of the cayenne pepper and add more only if you want it spicier. Cook for 1-2 more minutes until spices are fragrant.
  3. Next add in sweet potatoes, carrots, veggie broth, and honey. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer over low heat. Stir in peanut butter and let stew cook for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Once the sweet potatoes are soft, stir in spinach and continue to cook until spinach has wilted. Serve with over brown rice if desired and top with toasted peanuts.
Notes
To toast peanuts, roughly chop peanuts and place in a skillet over medium-low heat. Occasionally shake pan and let peanuts toast for 5-6 minutes. *<a href=”http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/RecipePage.aspx?recipeid=190441″ data-mce-href=”http://www.weightwatchers.com/food/rcp/RecipePage.aspx?recipeid=190441″>Adapted from this weight watchers recipe (yes, I said weight watchers…)</a>

 

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