I never thought that being vulnerable would leave me feeling so strong. But it has. Vulnerability to me has always seemed like showing weakness. Like you were not able to work it out by yourself and that having to ask for help or for what you need just showed your flaws to the world. However, it turns out that by being vulnerable actually shows your authenticity, the world views you in a more authentic way and will invite back much more than what you asked for.
I feel this has definitely been my growth point this week, as I couldn’t decipher whether I was being vulnerable or what being vulnerable meant. I think I’ve always struggled to ask for help, and I think my natural mechanism in the past has been to shut down, rather than to open up; Trying to deal with things myself, cutting myself off from my friends and then falling in a downward spiral whilst I tried to sort myself.
So it turns out this is not the most successful strategy!! (Shock!) All those feelings, struggles and emotions that we have, most of the time just want to be heard, listened to or doused with tears. They want to feel validated, acknowledged and then they can move on. When they are pushed down, and ignored and locked in a box, they come back so much bigger, with way more volume than before because they want to be heard!
I guess our transient lives have meant that to spend a lifetime in the same place, with a best friend, or mother or sibling who knows you inside out, who hears all of our troubles is far more unlikely today. And if we are not being vulnerable and letting new people into our lives, it’s unlikely that we can find new people to do this with. I think for me this has been a consistent inconsistency since teenage years, but the biggest change in the last 6 months.
I have spoken out when I needed help, ask questions when I felt unsure and reached out to people in an honest way and said, I need to get this out can you listen. By unlocking this part of me that had been closed for SO long, has allowed a whole new energy to flow.
So where I thought before that it was important to be strong, infallible and like a rock, it turnouts that the opposite is true. Being vulnerable takes courage and a fearlessness to allow people to see the true you and for you to love what you see in the mirror regardless…. because that is the authentic you.
This week I wanted to share this recipe that I found in a Sainsbury magazine 11 years ago by Nigel Slater….I’ve made it fuss-free considering you make your own spice paste, and appropriate in #nationalvegetarianweek and in respect to my teenage years as a veggie!
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It is possible to make this paste in a large pestle and mortar, but definitely easier in a blender/spice blender. To ensure a smooth paste I like to pestle and mortar the seeds before I add them to the blender, but not obligatory.
- 5 birds eye chillis/2 large red chillis, roughly chopped
- 5 spring onions, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped
- Golf ball sized knob of ginger, roughly chopped
- 1/2 lime juice
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 green cardamom pods, smashed into powder in pestle and mortar
- 1 tbsp groundnut or rapeseed oil
- 25g fresh coriander
For the curry
- 2 large aubergines, cut into 8 wedges
- 2 tbsps oil
- 6 medium tomatoes, cut into 4 wedges
- 1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
- 25g fresh coriander leaves (optional), chopped
- To make the paste, roughly chop the garlic, chillis, spring onions and ginger. Grind the seeds and cardamom in a pestle and mortar. Add the chillis, spring onions and garlic to the blender and blitz. Then add the ginger and cumin and coriander seeds and cardamom.
- Add the oil, coriander leaves and stalks and blitz until smooth. Keep pushing the mixture down and re-blitzing until smooth. I sometimes add a tbsp of water to help the process.
- If you have more time you can griddle your aubergines on the BBQ but normally I will chop them into 1-inch squares and fry them in the wok in oil on a medium-high heat and get some colour on the aubergines.
- Take the aubergines out of the pan and add the other tbsp of oil. On a medium heat add the spice paste, letting it sizzle. Stir with a wooden spoon then add your tomatoes. Add in the aubergines, coconut milk, stir and simmer.
- I like to simmer this for up to 30 minutes so that the tomatoes start to break down, although you could simmer just for 15 minutes and serve. All personal preference! I’ve been cooking this recipe for 11 years now and I like it broken down and authentic
- Serve the extra coriander leaf stirred through if you like, with rice.
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