Recently, I've been streaming another season of an 80's revival show based around karate (you can probably guess which one). Now, I'm not an "80's person" though I did grow up in the 80s / 90s. I also am not in any way experienced with karate or the teachings personally. So ,what gives on the show that I can't stop thinking about and WHY exactly am I binge watching it?
One, it's familiar. It has familiar faces, familiar songs and familiar names. Humans like that kind of stuff; juts reminiscent enough to draw you in while still offering a fresh take on the narrative. The narrative is also more complex than the 80s classic film that the new story line arcs across. It's more complex because it offers a viewpoint that neither "side" in the classic rivalry is correct; neither "side" is wrong. In fact, when the sides are blended, the complexity of the teachings lead to a much stronger and creative fighter.
That, ladies and gentlemen is a narrative that we NEED in our lives right now. At a time that is so divided; each "side" thinking that their way is the only way, the right way, the "true" way, we need complexity. We need gray areas to move forward, or we will always be stuck in the past with nothing new to say and nothing new to ponder. We need to embrace the complexity of all sides to be better together.
Sustainability Spotlight: Much like the show I mention above, my life has become much more complex and rich with color. It no longer resembles what it once once pre-pandemic. In many ways, I appreciate the change. In some ways, I still cling to a semblance of my past out of nostalgia, but more so, out of a desire to have "control" over my future. See, I never want to forget the past, and I never want to discount what happened in it because the past is my present, and my present is my future. That's how pathways of life work; it's all one continuous thread with many directions built upon what was, strengthened upon what is, and molded into what will be.
Pre-pandemic, I had a long commute every day to and from work. On good days, I only spent an hour and a half total commuting. On bad days, it was over 3 hours. Yes, 3 hours in my day - gone to a car, walking, train, walking, and back again. But you know, the thing that I kept about my commuter status despite losing the commute is my meal planning. Not only was meal planning a time saver for my weekday dinners (or grab and go breakfast / lunches), and not only was meal planning a cost saver (I didn't eat out any day of the week), but it was also sustainable.
Meal planning on a Sunday is still a part of my routine. I make ahead what I can and reap the rewards when it's time to get dinner on the table. Like this sheet pan meal. All you have to do is make the marinade and cut all your veggies a day or two before you make the meal. Then, it's dump, bake and enjoy (look, you don't even have to stir - how amazingly easy is that)! It saves on dishes (one pan wonder), it saves on waste (you shop only for what you need and use it in the meals), and it 100% saves on you ordering out during the week because you don't "feel" like cooking. How many nights do you not feel like cooking? It's okay to raise your hand, it happens to everyone! Meal planning takes that out of the equation.
See, this sustainability spotlight is complex - look at how many reasons meal planning is good for you! (this is my past benefit - it helped me). Now, let's see how it helps the planet (this is my present and future benefit - it helps me and the Earth). Since it's a vegan meal, we add on no animal ingredients. Since it's whole foods based, we add on no food manufacturing / processing. All of these items saves on pollution to the planet as well. In keeping an old commuting "time saver" I am keeping a past habit to help my current and future home sustainability efforts!
Friends, never forget your past, always remember where you want to be in your present, and plan for your future so that your contributions to sustainability are just as complex as this world we live in; just as complex as you! Oh, and if you get a chance, maybe check out Cobra Kai (yeah, I said it - still the most bad a** name for a dojo) to see what I mean about choosing "sides." No one is right, no one is wrong, we all need to find our own way, and sometimes that way is the best of a blended mix of approaches (like this recipe for sustainability efforts).
2-3 large portabello mushroom caps (sliced)
3 colored bell peppers (sliced)
1 large poblano pepper (de-seeded & sliced) - If you want mild heat, I suggest omitting
1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2-3 tbsp adobo sauce
1 tsp each of the following seasonings:
chipotle chili powder
2 tbsp hemp seeds
2 tbsp avocado oil
3 tbsp filtered water
1/2 small orange (juiced)
1 small handful cilantro
Flour (or corn) tortilla shells
Optional Garnishes: Sliced avocado & more cilantro (chopped)
Add mushrooms through red onion to a large flat container (with lid) and mix with hands to incorporate.
Add all ingredients of Chipotle Marinade to a personal blender and blend until smooth
Pour marinade over veggies in the large container and mix again with hands until all vegetables are coated in the sauce. Seal and allow to marinate overnight (up to 72 hours).
Take marinaded veggies out of fridge and pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
On a parchment paper lined jelly roll pan (Note, definitely use the parchment paper, otherwise the veggies will be soggy), spread out all veggies and marinade evenly on the paper.
Slide pan into oven and roast for 35-40 minutes until vegetables look browned and sauce is a bit "dry" looking.
Remove from oven and serve immediately.
Serve veggies in warmed tortilla shells topped with avocado slices and extra cilantro.
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie