I haven’t been inspired to make food in a creative way at all lately, hence the long gap between posts. I keep leaning on the same combinations and techniques with our day-to-day meals, all while this blog sits here without new content. I have to be honest and tell you that it’s been putting me in a bit of a weird shame spiral. I come up with something to post and then talk myself out of posting it because a) it probably won’t get too much engagement, b) the recipe is too simple, c) something like it already exists on the internet, d) I am literally the only person that wants to eat this, or e) there are thousands of other things more important than this recipe blog going on in the world right now. I feel awful about it!
So all of this runs through my mind and before I know it, the negative self talk hits a a point of no return. I start wondering what the point is, spend an hour on NBA Reddit, sink deeper into the shame spiral by reminding myself that a lot of people would love to have my job, go out to do something else, start angrily pulling weeds in my garden because I’m in a MOOD, and then I basically forget about the whole thing. I am not looking for compliments and reassurances right now! Just sharing my experience.
There are a lot of content streams on the internet/social media that people with websites or any level of influence feel pressure to be a part of. When Instagram launched IGTV this week (in addition to stories, curated story highlights, and live events), something snapped! Some of these platforms are incredible for certain people and certain brands. I understand their function. Sometimes it just feels like these entities want to keep us glued to our phones though.
As a content creator, it feels like these platforms are constantly asking for more from me so that I can grow my business on THEIR terms. With everything I post, my true hope is that someone will be inspired to get off of their phone and cook something (or just live their life, whatever!). I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I also truly hope that whatever I post gets a ton of clicks so that this entity can continue to be financially viable. That is a very real factor. I know in my heart that trying to keep up with these tools is counterintuitive to my goals in this life. Making stuff just to be on a consistent posting schedule will inevitably lead to useless crap that nobody needs, me feeling gross about it, lower engagement etc.
It becomes this delicate science of playing the game to be seen. You post photos/videos with a certain type of styling and colour scheme. You make a clickbait-y title. Maybe you’ll add a dash of TMI to your captions, who knows! I sort of reject the game entirely, then subsequently feel like I’m not doing it right or possibly screwing myself over, and then eventually I arrive at this place of “why even bother?” It’s such a bad place to be! You kill the dream before it even starts. In my case the “dream” is actually getting a post up to share with you all. It’s a small thing, but also a big thing given the mental blocks that can fall into place.
When I’m in the zone of inspiration and ideas, I love sharing photos, recipes, the creative process, and my human experience here and on Instagram. I truly do! I’m a firm believer in the idea that if something doesn’t add to your life, it subtracts. Period. If my posts can add to someone’s life and if I’m actually contributing something of value, we’re all set. I get into these (frankly quite curmudgeonly) ruts once a year or so, and the thing that always brings me back is this: say no like it’s your superpower and do the next right thing until you hit your goal, however big or small that goal is.
I will be over here nurturing my known strengths, working on my goal of adding to your lives vis-à-vis delicious plant-based recipes, shutting out those things that just aren’t meant for me, possibly dreaming of a silent retreat in Arizona (kind of lol but kind of serious), and just steadily amplifying that tiny voice that says “I can do all things.” This is a giant load of STUFF for a post that only mentions cold veg mango noodles and hot/sweet sesame dressing in the title, oops. Thanks for making it to the end and for being here :)
COLD VEG AND MANGO NOODLES WITH SPICY SESAME CITRUS DRESSING RECIPE
Print the recipe here!
NOTES: My man and I polished off this whole recipe ourselves as a base for some grilled veg and a few other things. As a side, I think it could be stretched out to 4-6 servings.
-You could add some cooked and cooled brown rice noodles to this to make it a bit more hearty.
-This cold veg mango noodles salad would be amazing with some grilled tofu that had been marinated in something spicy.
-I prefer the mango to be just on the edge of ripe here. You want a bit of sweetness, but you don’t want it to be mushy.
-This salad is best when prepared right before serving. You can prep all components and toss with dressing at your destination, but even then I find that the cucumber and zucchini seem a little limp and not as crisp.
SPICY SESAME CITRUS DRESSING:
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon agave nectar/maple syrup
1 tablespoon gochujang chili garlic paste
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated with a microplane/rasp
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
5 tablespoons avocado oil
COLD VEG MANGO NOODLES:
½ cup shelled frozen edamame
1 large zucchini
1 large English cucumber
1 barely ripe mango
½ cup packed and mixed soft herb leaves like: cilantro, Thai basil, mint, or regular basil
big handful of sprouts of your choice (I like sunflower shoots)
extra toasted sesame seeds for garish
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted & diced
Make the spicy sesame citrus sesame dressing: in a sealable jar, combine the orange juice, lime juice, agave nectar, gochujang, sesame seeds, grated ginger, salt, pepper, and avocado oil. Seal the lid on tight and give the jar a good shake. Check the dressing for seasoning, adjust if necessary, and set aside.
Set the frozen edamame in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Set aside.
Using a julienne peeler or spiralizer (affiliate links), turn the zucchini and cucumber into long noodle-like strands. The inner parts of each vegetable tend to have a lot of seeds that are hard to cut into strands. Save these parts for another use (like smoothies or a for juicing). Place the zucchini and cucumber “noodles” in a large bowl. Drain the edamame and add them to the bowl.
Peel the mango and cut it into matchsticks/thin strips. Add the mango to the large bowl. Lightly chop the soft herbs and add them to the bowl as well, reserving a few for garnish. Add the sprouts to the bowl as well.
Give the dressing one more shake and pour it over the veg and mango noodles. Toss everything to combine and lightly coat each vegetable “noodle” with dressing.
Garnish the top of the cold veg mango noodles with extra sesame seeds, herbs, and avocado. Serve immediately.