I have been wanting to write this post for a while (same with the last one), but illness again got in the way. But that is life isn’t it? There are ups and downs in life and riding them out has become a lot clearer to me after my recent visit to the ocean.
For a very long time, I would say at least over a year, I have been feeling like I needed to go on a trip alone. Stretch my wings and venture out as a way of self care, not for any other reason than I felt it would be good for my mind, body and soul to be in the sun, on a beach, in some quiet. And boy was I right. I realized that this trip wasn’t just going to “happen”, I was just going to have to make it happen. I think for a while, I was also afraid, fearful of being on my own in unfamiliar environments, fearful of spending that kind of money on myself, and fearful of taking a chance on a good opportunity. It has been a long time for me, of when I actually could travel and it just seemed too good to be true. So going on this trip, was also about conquering fear.
Along came Sansara Resort in, Cambutal Panama. Remote. Quiet. and breathtakingly Beautiful. You can check out their site here or their instagram here and see for yourself why. I originally signed up for a yoga retreat, which turned out to be more of a fitness retreat. Which was fine because I opted out of those things and got to spend more time alone in the hammocks, on the beach and just absorbing the benefits of the ocean. I am so grateful to the peace and tranquility the space there offers.
I also had the opportunity to learn how to surf. This was another big step for me in conquering a fear. My fear of water. I mean I love being close to it, but on, and in, and fully immersed in the open water was absolutely petrifying due to a near-crowing incident almost ten years ago. It was scary, but also so amazing as well as I just embraced where I was at in each moment. Not just physically, but emotionally and mentally as well. And coming out the other side having accomplished that, was exhilarating in and of itself.
So I challenge you, what kind of fears can you face today? I don’t believe it is all about these grand scale conquering fears like that I described above, but the courage it takes to face all our daily fears in dealing with chronic disease.
One of the local foods in Panama is of course plantains, so I created this tasty AIP-compliant version of an empanada using plantains in the dough to commemorate the trip. There are several steps, and many ingredients, but don’t let that scare you away! They are well worth the time and effort. I have been trying to get Ottos Cassava flour for over a year now, and finally got my hands on some (found here for you Canadian peeps). So it is included for the first time in one of my recipes. And I sure like how this turned out.
*Notes: I use canned beets in this recipe, instead of prepping and cooking beets to save time and staining. Plantains should be two fists long each, yellow with black/brown spots. These keep well in the fridge for a couple of days for next days meals.
- 1 c carrots
- ½ head cauliflower (approx 2 c)
- ½ c chicken bone broth
- 3 tbsp coconut milk powder
- ½ c nutritional yeast
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 2 large ripe plantains
- 1 c. cassava flour (Ottos)
- ½ c. water
- ½ tsp baking powder
- pinch sea salt
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 c cooked beets
- 1 c cooked carrots
- 1 tbsp avocado oil
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp thyme
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- ½ c coconut oil
- Chop carrots (can combine both amts) and cauliflower into large chunks and place in boiling water.
- Boil until soft.
- Meanwhile, saute onions in oil.
- Once soft add ground beef and spices.
- Peal plantains, and chop.
- Pulse in food processor until finely chopped.
- Add cassava flour, baking powder and water.
- Puree for a couple minutes until very smooth.
- Remove from food processor, and clean it.
- Once beef is cooked, turn down to low.
- Once cauliflower and carrots are cooked, remove from heat and drain.
- Separate carrots, removing 1 cup from pot.
- Puree the 1 cup of carrots with chopped beets.
- Add to beef mixture and gently stir.
- Clean food processor again.
- Add cauliflower, rest of carrots, broth, yeast, coconut milk powder and sea salt to make "cheese sauce"
- To assemble the empanadas, you need another frying pan with heated oil.
- (See pictures for more direction)
- Take roughly two tbsp of dough and roll into a ball
- Press between two sheets of wax paper and roll into circle with rolling pin
- Scoop a tbsp of beef mixture onto dough
- Scoop a tbsp of cheese mixture onto meat.
- Using back of wax paper, roll the other side of dough on top of filling
- press down corners
- Once a couple are formed, place empanadas into oil
- Cook until brown then flip
- Cool on a plate lined with paper towel
- Serve with more "cheese" sauce