I’m really not a jealous person. I love to celebrate the success of others and support people as they work towards a goal, but I’ve gotta admit it, a little green monster has sprouted in my heart over the past two weeks, and it’s all Facebook’s fault.
This is the first year that I can remember that I haven’t been on a winter or spring vacation, and all of the spring break photos that my friends are sharing have started to get to me. Pictures of them walking the shores of exotic beaches, and views of swimming pools, palm trees, and turquoise waters from the balconies of their rooms have plastered my wall, and it’s too much.
This has been one of the longest, coldest, darkest winters that I can ever remember. Not getting out of here has created a shift in my usually sunny disposition, and I don’t like it one bit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for my friends and family’s escapes to Paradise Island, but couldn’t they have taken me with them? And do they have to show me how much sun and tequila they’re consuming while wearing big, white, toothy smiles?
Of course they should, I would, yet I can’t help feeling a little bit annoyed every time a new vacation pic pops up on my feed. Even more aggravating, my reaction to them. I want to just smack the whining little voice in my head that asks – why can’t I be sipping a cool tropical drink under a beach umbrella while listening to steel drums? Whaaaaa……Whaaaaa…..Whaaa………….
Who have I become? What did this winter do to me? I was only joking when I claimed that I was frozen to the core and didn’t think I’d ever warm up. Could it be that I have created a self-fulfilling prophecy? Has this polar vortex that I’ve struggled with over the past months turned my once warm and happy self into the Snow Miser!!!!! Is this what a nervous breakdown looks like? I better get to my yoga class before I lose it.
I wasn’t kidding, I went to yoga, and now I’m back.
It’s amazing what an hour of deep breathing and focus can do for my mood, and my imagination. As I l was lying on my mat, putting my intentions out into the universe, coconuts, curry, and soup began floating in my eyes. You know, when your eyes are closed and you see red dots (which freaks me out), I saw those three things. Coo-coo? Oh yeah, that’s me.
Honestly, it was a good thing, because it made me realize that if I can’t go to the tropics, I’ll bring the tropics to me. Besides, everyone knows that soup is goof for the soul, so a tropical soup was exactly what I needed to melt the Snow Miser that had turned my soft side to icicles. That’s right Mr. Freeze, Linda was going to bring on the heat, buh-bye!!!!
So this is where the inspiration for this curried coconut black bean soup was born. I cranked up the reggae music, did my Caribbean dance moves as I chopped, diced, and stirred – that’s right Alex, I did that – and ended up feeling jovial and refreshed. That’s the power of music and food, ahh yeah mon.
This soup is easy to make, I suppose you could soak your beans overnight if you are that organized, but I wanted to make this soup fast so I used canned beans. Make sure your rinse them well, the slimy liquid that they’re packed in creeps me out, and it will change the consistency of your food.
You can use light coconut milk if you want to reduce the fat and calories, but regular coconut milk gives the soup a richer texture, it’s your call.
I made a beautiful, fresh tropical salad (recipe to come) with spinach, radish, cucumber, and mango to go with the soup. As you can see, I really was feeling creative.