Recipe: Curried shrimp and spinach soup

This is a go-to recipe that is a HUGE favorite at our house. Luckily two-pound bags of shrimp go on sale for $5 every few weeks, so it is also pretty cheap!

Ingredients:
1/2 pound Shrimp (estimate and use more or less depending on what you have)
Favorite Curry Spices (such as different curry powders, paprika, spicy peppers, ginger, cumin and Tumeric is what give the lovely orange color. MaSu is the Sauce and Spices Master, so I just tell him mix me a curry and he does so in a little bowl)
Spinach (we usually use a full bag or whatever is on hand)
Coconut Milk (when we make a full pot it requires 2-3 cans, adjust to how thick you want it and how much shrimp you have)

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First, you need to mince up the spinach and mix it with coconut milk, a hand blender in the pot would be good, but I use a Ninja blender because I don’t have one of those fancy gadgets yet.

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Then mix up your spices and sauté your shrimp in whatever oil suites your fancy, this time was some coconut oil. Bacon grease and butter (if can tolerate dairy casein/lactose and not doing a whole30) are also great.

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Add your blended spinach and coconut milk and mix together. Bye-bye orange color but hello flavor!

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It may not be the prettiest looking soup, but it is mighty tasty and very healthy!

Henna

This is an experiment in an eastern tradition. I will be applying Henna to my hair.

Henna powder and plant

Ground and whole Henna

Also known as lawsonia inermis, henna is a plant. It is a large bush, or some would consider it a small tree, that grows in hot, dry climates. It may have been used in Jericho eight thousand years ago and its proven that it was used in Egypt five thousand years ago to color hair. The famous Lucille Ball imported so much henna that she joked she “was keeping the economy of Egypt afloat with her annual orders of henna”.

Henna is something I have been curious about for a long time. I have had the tattoos done occasionally, and MaSu and I actually had henna-ed hands at our wedding ceremony. It was so much fun because two days before the wedding our officiate (whom spent many months in India) came over and did the designs on both our hands.

MaSu and WEFA’s Handfasting

hooping at reception

Hoopdancing at Reception

Sadly, we did not take a good picture of just them, so these are the only two glimpses. But We will always know that we had matching tatts on opposite hands with “MaSu” and “WEFA” written there.

Anyways, back to topic, I have wanted to dye my hair with henna, because I do not want to deal with all the chemicals and their (known and unknown) problems in conventional hair products. After months of reading, I am taking the plunge. I have read countless sites on what and what not to do (I love Crunchy Betty’s humor!)

The best resource I have found is www.hennaforhair.com and their free e-book.This book covers EVERYTHING, from the history of henna, to scientific explanations of how the lawsone enters the shaft of the hair and binds with the keratin. It easily explains that henna doesn’t actually “color” the hair, but just reflect the light with a redder hue, and why it only give a red tint to those with black hair.

A very important side note here, you can only get RED from henna. Any place that tries to tell you there is “black henna”, “neutral henna”, or any other thing but red it is NOT henna. It is other plants sometimes (but not always) combined with real henna. Examples would be Indigo for black and cassia for neutral. The single herbs are not necessarily bad, but they have different properties and you want to be very careful because if they add these to supposedly “henna”, companies will sometimes add metallic and salts that can react badly if you have ever done anything else to your hair. The henna you want is BAQ, or Body Art Quality. This stuff is ground finer and is not going to harm your hair in any way.

In fact, henna has other positive effects to your hair besides red color. It can smooth the hair, and is a great natural conditioner. I shall see how this turns out.

Henna on my head (in jar)

Mixed henna and current faded hair color

To finally get this ball rolling, I started soaking the henna powder with lemon/lime juice and a bit of apple cider vinegar (consistency of thick mashed potatoes) for 12 hours. Then apply to hair very thickly (like frosting a cake!) and wrap with plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Let sit for 2-4 hours. Then rinse with warm water. That is all there is to it! It may be crazy for the first day or 3, but it darkens as it binds. The true color will be visible on the 4th day.

Allo Again!

Obviously, I was MIA for quite a while… It is rather hard to keep a blog up to date when I was busy with work, not sure how other bloggers balance it all!

Currently, I am out for medical leave due to a large (9 lbs! like a baby!) cystic tumor that killed my right ovary and had to be removed. MaSu uploaded the pics to Facebook, but I wont make you see them.

, It is up in the air as to if I am going back to work as of yet. If I don’t, you will (hopefully, gladly) be seeing more content around here.

As it is, I got the pictures taken to re-post an awesome recipe (a go to, takes less than 15 minutes yet still whole foods!) type recipe.

See you again soon!

Good bye

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This table is full of things we can no longer think of as edible. Some we are sad to see go. Like rice and cous cous. Others, good riddance. Bye fake milk products and mixes. Our friend is taking all of it to the bunk house, to feed those that want it. We are going grain free,  and this time, we are more serious.