For as long as I can remember, oatmeal has been part of my breakfast rotation. The weekday oatmeal is generally topped with hastily chopped bananas, a handful of raw nuts, dried fruit and maybe a spoonful of peanut butter. It certainly serves its purpose, but weekend oatmeal is a little more luxurious, with adequate time to saute fresh fruit and nuts in cinnamon and maple syrup. My mornings come before the sun rises, and the early hours of weekend are particularly serene – leaf blowers not yet roaring to life, children still snuggled in layers of blankets and perhaps one of the few opportunities to take time for myself throughout the week. A version of this recipe was first published in the fall 2014 issue of Chickpea Magazine, and I paired it with an essay titled, a morning date with you. One of my favorite excerpts: “Self-care is intentionally putting yourself first. Far from being selfish, it encourages you to carve out time to care of your health.” A year later, the sentiment still rings true. Perhaps during the next few weeks you can find a day to make this for yourself before dawn, before anyone or anything needs you, and just be.
I’m holding consistent with my last post – it’s soup season! This makes a large batch, so it’s perfect for dinner now and freezing half for later. Or, if you’re cooking Thirty-Two Project style, ideal for feeding your family, and another family! Sometimes, I wish the current pace of my life lent to more leisurely cooking, instead of bordering on my near frenetic speed in the kitchen. I know this is a season. Audrey already plays more independently than she did a year ago, and soccer practice for Aidan means a wave good-bye, not parking myself in a lawn chair for an hour and a half to watch. But there’s not as much margin in my schedule as I’d personally like, and moving slowly throughout the kitchen is a luxury I’m not often afforded. This Quinoa Chili is not only a hearty, healthy meal, but ideal for those times when concentrated focus at the stove is minimal.