Isn’t my massage place cute!? I discovered Zen Massage a few years ago – it’s only $40 for an hour Swedish massage! No strings or tricks – just a cute house without frills. Deep tissues are $10 more and worth it every time.
I discovered my massage hero, Narval, a few years ago. He is awesome and knows exactly where every muscle and trouble spot is. I’ve never had a bad minute with him! So any Charlotteans looking for a masseuse, ask for Narval!
I told him about the neck pain that I’d had before, during and after Christmas, which I was pretty sure was connected to a knot under my shoulder blade [ which, thankfully, is almost all gone now.] As soon as he got to work he said it felt like I had injured it because there was so much inflammation and a "birds nest" in there. YIKES! Inflammation is bad!! I wonder if I did something in yoga one night? I just remember waking up one morning with what I thought was just a crick in my neck. And I had a really bad headache one night a few weeks later. So glad it’s feeling much better though, and I can turn my neck all the way back with no pain these days. My massage felt amazing, and the before and after was such a difference!
I drove to EarthFare in serenity and picked up a few groceries for the week.
First on the list was some turmeric! Known as one of the kings of anti-inflammation in the spice world, I thought it would be fun to get some to help my back. I love curry powder (which has turmeric) but I don’t think I’ve ever had it plain. More details below!
I also found…..the elusive kabocha!! It says it’s kabocha. HEAB, what do you think?
I was so excited about this find that it moved to top priority on the dinner menu! [For more info on kabocha, this post by HEAB! I don’t know anything about it!]
I cut him open, which I thought would be impossible, but it was really pretty easy because he was so hollow! I removed the seeds with a grapefruit spoon and then sliced into pieces.
Then poured myself a mocktail while I prepped the rest of dinner
I rubbed the squash in olive oil and salt and put it in the oven at 400* for 20 minutes. After 20 I was surprised to find it sizzling and nearly burned! Good thing I like char. I gave it another 10 minutes after flipping and pulled it back out. Guess I have a hot oven!
The other components of dinner included brown rice cooked with a tsp of turmeric, roasted broccoli and tofu in some tamari. Thought I got photos of those but I guess I didn’t!
I wanted this dinner to be like the Harmony Bowls they have at the Laughing Seed in Asheville, so I decided to make a sauce to bind it all together.
It was simple: about 2 tbsp of Futters Pumpkin Seed butter and 1 tbsp each of tamari and warm water.
Kabocha: It was nothing less than fabulous! Sweet like butternut but thick like acorn (which is still plenty sweet too!). Honestly, I think acorn is 99% as good and much more widely available, but I’ll definitely be looking for kabocha some more! What I liked most was that the skin was much thinner than acorn so I didn’t feel like I was about to scrape out my intestines by eating it skin and all!
Turmeric: WOW. Nothing like curry powder! It was spicy like cinnamon but almost had a MINTY aroma to it. Will definitely be cooking with it more!
Broccoli: Roasted in tamari (which is just fancy soy sauce) for 15 minutes was awesome. Roasting is my favorite broccoli delivery method.
Tofu: I used the Nasoya pre-cubed cubes. I think they are too small! I prefer to cut my own cubes so they don’t get quite so crunchy.
Pumpkin Seed Sauce: Amazing! I’m sure you could do the same with any kind of nut butter. It was rich. Umami!
I was on my own for dinner tonight, so after its photo shoot, I moved over to the couch and watched 3/4 of the movie Iron Jawed Angels all about women’s suffrage! GREAT movie!! I am not the biggest Hilary Swank fan and I loved her in this. (Going to finish it the AM ’cause I’m tired and had to blog!) GO WOMEN!
Stopped into Harris Teeter for some more of these:
I think a hot bath would be a fun way to end the night Narval says I need to relax my back. He wanted me to ICE it but in this weather, I don’t know if I can….
Newest obsession –> Blame It On The Pop