The melody and the words to the famous song, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” by The Byrds floats quietly yet pointedly in my mind as I sit here reflecting on how very quickly life seems to go by, and all of the changes that it brings along with it.
My husband and I just recently had our yard slightly re-landscaped and covered with fresh green sod; and during the process it struck me, as I looked at the who-knows-how-old-by-now yellowed and thatchy grass that sat in dry clumps after being turned up and torn out, that there is a time for the old to be taken out, and for new to be introduced so that life may continue to thrive and progress.
We removed a few old shrubs and small trees that had begun blocking our front windows as well, and once we saw how much more open, bright and airy—more streamlined and simplified—our yard would be, we became so excited at the prospect of seeing the project get completed so that we could enjoy a totally revamped and fresh take on something we had gotten so used to seeing in a (by now) uninspired way.
It seems all to easy for us to get comfortable and want to stay in what is familiar to us in our lives simply because we feel we know it so intimately, even if we've outgrown that current state or have exhausted all that is has to offer.
But the effects of time spare no one; and nothing ever stays the same.
Whether it's an old lawn way past it's prime that can no longer be revived with fertilizer and ample watering; or a yard with shrubs and trees that block too much of the spiritually therapeutic and uplifting light from entering in more fully; or whether we stay in personal situations that have been left undernourished and un-nurtured, and have become dry and emotionally brittle; or whether we've become accustomed to playing certain roles in our lives that once were very necessary and useful, but now, are in need of altering and shaping into something different, there comes a time for renewal—a season for change.
There is a season for everything; and once that season is over, the old must be replaced with something new and appropriate for that specific time of life.
Old ways need new life breathed into them; relationships that have been developed in one way may need to evolve into something more mature and refined; and the fruits of the previous season need to be replaced by the fruits that the current season brings in with such ease.
It's interesting how this beautiful nature that surrounds us doesn't seem to fight the law of change, renewal and rebirth.
As we come out of our previous season and enter into the summer season, I look around at all of the gorgeous and vibrantly colored foods that are now available to us, juicy and ripe at the peak of their freshness and abundance. Produce calls out to be used creatively in new recipes, and inspires us to think a little outside the box.
It's healthier, lighter fare; and it provides our bodies with all the nutrients that we could possibly need, while providing our taste buds and palettes with refreshing bursts and crisp-tender bites, such as found in a crispy-fried cauliflower burger topped with smokey roasted red peppers.
Nature's seasons are always changing, always providing newness and the appropriate remedies in the food that becomes available to us, meeting us where we are.
We, however, don't always flow so easily, do we? But perhaps we can be taught.
Seeing my yard in sort of a state of “upheaval” recently, all turned up and almost unfamiliar, made me think about my own life and how there is a time—a season—for all things. It became symbolic for me as I examined the various areas of my life where some sort of change or shift is about to take place for me, and it was a little disorienting and slightly unnerving for a moment.
But then I realized that if I surrender fully and invite whatever newness or refinement is needed to come in, it would be like those fresh, young blades of grass that had been planted in our yard; and what would spring up and grow would be exactly what is needed for this particular time in my life, making for quite a breathtaking and inspiring view, ultimately.
Here's to each new flavorful season in our lives; and for the renewal, refining and shaping that it can bring, not to mention the fresh perspective.
Taste what's good and pass it on.
Crispy Cauliflower Burger with Spicy Hummus-Mayo, Roasted Red Peppers and Melted Provolone Cheese
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Makes 2 burgers
• 1 head cauliflower, green leaves removed from bottom, but stem left intact
• 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
• ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
• Black pepper
• ½ cup flour
• 2 eggs, beaten
• Vegetable oil, for frying
• 2 slices provolone cheese
• 2 potato-bread buns, toasted
• Spicy Hummus-Mayo (recipe below)
• Leaf lettuce
• Sliced roasted red peppers (from jar)
-To make cauliflower “steaks”, place the cauliflower head in front of you with the stem down; cut the parts of the cauliflower head on either side of the stem off, and reserve those for another use (*see some delicious recipe options below); cut the remaining part of the head with the stem still intact in half, creating two round, “steak”-like pieces.
-Blanch the cauliflower steaks by gently placing them into simmering water for about 2-3 minutes, just until crisp-tender; remove and shock in ice-water to cool; drain and pat the “steaks” dry with paper towel, carefully.
-Combine the panko breadcrumbs with the grated parmesan cheese in a large bowl, along with a pinch of salt and some black pepper, and set aside for a moment.
-Bread the cauliflower “steaks” by dipping them in the flour, then into the beaten eggs, then into the panko/parmesan mixture; set aside on a plate while you heat your oil for frying.
-Heat enough oil in a large non-stick pan to shallow fry, about 1-2 inches; once oil is hot, add the breaded cauliflower “steaks” in and fry for roughly 2 minutes per side, or until golden-brown; place the “steaks” on paper towels to drain.
-Top each “steak” with a slice of provolone cheese, and place it under the broiler (or small toaster oven) just to melt the cheese.
-To assemble the burgers, spread some of the Spicy Hummus-Mayo onto both top and bottom toasted buns, then add some leaves of lettuce; place the cheesy cauliflower “steak” over the lettuce, then top it with a few slices of the roasted red peppers, and cover it with the top bun; serve while hot with choice of sides.
Spicy Hummus-Mayo Ingredients:
• ½ cup garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
• ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons mayo
• 1 teaspoon lemon zest
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon cracked black pepper
• ¼ teaspoon paprika
• ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
• Pinch or two red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your preference)
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
-Place all of the ingredients up to and including the red pepper flakes into the bowl of food processor, and blend until smooth; with processor running, drizzle in the oil, until well blended; use immediately, or store in fridge until ready to use.