Hello!

Welcome to Praise Seitan! Food, Drink & Travel From the Heart of Seattle. It's a food, beverage and travel blog that combines recipes and globetrotting tales with personal stories about my journey of healing and self-discovery.

I hope you enjoy my fun, flavorful and healthy vegetarian recipes. Enjoy, and all hail our vegetable overlords!

To learn about my freelance writing and editing services, visit my business website.

Pride Provençal Bowls / The Reunion

Pride Provençal Bowls / The Reunion

This is my first Pride month, even though I’ve celebrated it many times. That’s because this will be the first time I’ve celebrated it out.

Out as what? Well, that is something that is still being revealed to me; that is evolving and changing constantly. It involves calling in romantic and partnership experiences with all genders; it involves an exploration of gender-fluidity and non-binary identification; it’s most definitely not strictly heterosexual. I am finally beginning to accept what I have always subconsciously known: that I may dance up and down the Kinsey scale at various times, but my most true tendency is toward the Sapphic.

I think the idea of having to not only label ourselves, but to label ourselves based on our relation to other people, is a somewhat silly notion. Why are we defining who we are in our souls based on who we date? I believe that a more perfect union would be a world without labels and acronyms, but since the society we live in relies on them — and since it’s just plain convenient shorthand in the dating world or when building your tribe of like souls — I suppose I have to choose one.

I am pansexual. I also call myself bisexual at times and identify strongly with that community. The point is, I am attracted to all types of people, and equally open to dating anyone I connect and resonate with, regardless of their gender identification or their bodily experience. While I appreciate that our cultural vocabulary is expanding, I wish that there was a larger category of “not straight” I could opt into, where we could all equally welcome and build community with one another, rather than drawing further lines around who we are and what we want. But this is what we have for now, and so, there you have it.

80663332-9C88-4A58-8120-CECD2BA6B78D.jpg

I’m coming out; I want the world to know. It’s a beautiful and difficult and enlightening and heartbreaking journey; one that began long before I entered this material plane. Coming into the truth of this feels like coming home, and yet feels like an entirely new experience all at once. I’m slowly entering into some of these communities of people and putting myself out there. I’m experimenting with leaning into the masculine side of myself, wearing more gender-fluid dress, allowing my personality to breathe and blow whichever direction it wants on any given day.

I wore a tie the other day. It was the first time doing so since I had dressed in drag as a child for a play and first felt that strange electricity; the surge of power, the transformation in my soul, the “right-ness” of that garb, infusing me with the truth of my identity as one who walks the line. Like all the confidence I wished I had growing up and throughout my life was suddenly mine for the taking. I feltl strong and sharp. In command. Aligned. It may seem silly that clothing could have so much power, but it’s because it is more than just an outfit — it’s a signifier of what’s beneath, a symbol of resisting cultural biases as to what a man and a woman “should” be.

It feels good to let my inner child come out to play; and that child always knew, as enamored with costume-changing as I was. Try something on, see how it feels and change it if it doesn’t suit you. I will wear eyeliner and ties at once if that’s what my soul wants. Because inside, the real shift is happening; yes, I’m changing.

I’m waking up to the truth of who I really am, in a way that transcends earthly bodies and socio-cultural identification. I’m learning about myself as a being who moves between realms; who transcends duality, and has done so in a number of ways through all lifetimes and dimensions. On a deep soul-level of knowing, I am becoming aware that I have always worked in the space between male and female; light and shadow; life and death; between universes and realities and planes of existence.

We all do, really, to some degree. Some of us just haven’t realized it yet.

The journey is ongoing, but one thing I know for sure is that I am re-amalgamating my true soul essence, and nothing about my relationship with myself or with others will ever be the same again. That’s something to celebrate, even though it is often confusing and at times overwhelming.

I’m never going back.

This is me. And this is the month to add my voice to the collective that refuses to fall in line with what has been handed down to us as the “norm” of gender and sexual identification. This is what “normal” looks like: It’s as diverse and varied as humans are; it’s unique to each one of us, not easily categorized or identified, and nor should it be. It’s weird and messy and perfect and beautiful. It’s whatever we want it to be, because it is our own.

This is the month to stand up and say: There are no rules. Love is love. Humanity is love. Our soul essence and the universal energy that connects us all is love. From love we come and to love we all return, and in this we are all exactly equal, for we are all the same, made of the same stuff. Whether we are liberal or conservative; gay, straight, bi, pan, trans, or anything else; Trump supporters or charity workers or Fortune 500 execs or the homeless that fill Seattle’s tent cities; we are all one, and yet we are all unique, bringing our own individual reflection and refraction of the light to the world.

This is the beauty: that we are all united, and all fundamentally the same, and yet each of us couldn’t be more different. This is the very fabric of the universe: composed of the same matter, and yet constantly evolving, atoms splitting, infinitely expanding.

It’s time to start living in my truth.

spring fruit vegetable bowl french

And naturally, to honor this, I share with you a recipe that bears as many colors as the Pride rainbow. Creating this infinitely customizable bowl was, and should be, a process as free and flowing and joyful as Pride month and the spring season it flourishes within. You can swap out whatever veggies, toppings and herbs you want; use whatever is fresh and delicious looking at your local farmer’s market, and nourish yourself inside and out. It’s French-inspired, because Paris Mind is the mindset that allows for true exploration and expression, from the most real essence of my soul. And yet it is mine. Go out and make it yours. xx

warm salad bowl
spring vegetable bowl

Pride Provençal Bowls

Some combination of the following vegetables:

1 small bunch asparagus, cut into 2-3” pieces

2 spring onions, sliced thinly

1 leek, cleaned and sliced

1 small bunch petite carrots, sliced lengthwise

1 small handful broccolini, cut into bite-size piees

1 handful sugar snap peas, cleaned and whole

1 handful of basil leaves, shredded

1 handful of mint leaves, shredded

1 handful of Italian parsley leaves, minced

1 big handful of arugula or salad greens

1 Tbsp capers

1 - 2 Tbsp coconut butter or regular butter

Sprinkle of Herbes de Provence blend of your choice (I used World Spice Merchants’, of course)

Salt and pepper to taste

Toppings (customize at will):

A few slices of avocado

1 hard-boiled egg

1 big scoop of sauerkraut or other fermented product

Sprinkle of walnuts or nuts of your choice

Sliced strawberries or other berries

Sprinkle of cheese

Drizzle of your favorite salad dressing (I used Annie’s Homegrown Lite Poppyseed dressing)

spring veggies provencal

Directions:

Prepare the veggies and herbs while you get a big pot of water boiling. Once it is rolling, blanch the broccolini and carrots for one minute, then add the sugar snap peas and asparagus and cook for one minute more. Drain all the veggies and set a large skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.

carrots and asparagus
fruit and veggie bowl

When hot, add the butter to the pan and add back in all the veggies except the peas. Add salt and pepper and Herbes de Provence and saute for a minute or two, then add almost all of the herbs, and continue to cook until the pan becomes delightfully aromatic and the veggies take on a bright pop of color. Add the capers and the peas and stir for 30 seconds more.

sauteed spring veggies
French vegetable bowl

Remove from the heat, toss with your greens, drizzle with your chosen dressing and top with whatever toppings you feel called to use. It’s your bowl: you do you, baby. And of course, enjoy.

spring warm salad
spring vegetable fruit provencal french bowl salad
Check Out My Guest Post on the Eat Seattle Blog!

Check Out My Guest Post on the Eat Seattle Blog!

The Power of Co-Creation / Gilbert's Cheese Experience Launch

The Power of Co-Creation / Gilbert's Cheese Experience Launch