A few months ago I was hanging out with boyfriend, minding my own business, and thinking about how great he is and how he's so understanding of my feelings and careful about saying things I could take and run wild with and turn into insults in my head. He was holding my hands, and I was thinking, "This is so nice," when he abruptly asked,
"Why are your hands orange?"
I thought, 'What is he talking about? Is he right? Oh my gosh, is this a deal breaker? That diamond's not going to look nearly as nice on my finger if he's right. He's totally going to ditch me for a girl with normal-colored hands.'
And I said, "What?"
"Look at your palms, they're orange."
And he is right. Other people have since asked me why my hands are orange. My dad (a knowledgeable man, and a doctor) says they're "in the range of normal." Well that's good news. I guess boyfriend can't use that as an excuse to escape.
I'm reasonably confident I know why my hands are a little orange. It's my beta-carotene consumption. Don't get me wrong, beta-carotene is an awesome nutrient, dietary vitamin A, which we need for lots of things. But really, I eat a lot of it:
I eat carrots like I'm getting paid for it - whole, peel on, like Bugs Bunny.
I also love sweet potatoes in basically everything. And DIY sweet potato fries. Or roasted rounds.
And lots of spinach and pumpkin, also primary sources.
The point is to say that I have no plans to change soon. Why? Because Saturday night I made a very orange Curry Sweet Potato Stew, and it might just be the best thing I've made this year. The spice blend and lentils are inspired by a Veganomicon recipe, and seriously, I wish I could feed this to all of you. It's like a warm nutritious sweet and spicy blanket for your wounded soul. Or stomach. Both.
Curry Sweet Potato Stew
Makes 10 cups. 350 calories per 2 cup serving.
1 tbsp oil
1 onion diced
5 carrots sliced
1 large sweet potato cut in chunks
1 tbsp curry powder (15 g - ok that's a little extra. I love curry.)
1/2 tsp turmeric (2 g)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (2 g)
1/2 tsp cumin (2 g)
1/2 tsp coriander (2 g)
1 tsp ground ginger (4 g)
1.5 cups red lentils
2 cups veggie broth
3 cups water
2 tbsp cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1. Sautee onion over medium heat a few minutes, then add spices, cook 1 minute.
2. Add carrots, give it a minute.
3. Add liquids (broth and water), bring to a boil.
4. Add lentils, cover and simmer 12 mins (they'll get mushy).
5. Add potatoes, simmer about another 25-30 mins until potatoes are tender.
6. Add cilantro and lime (or just do this bowl by bowl).
Also, a chutney really takes this to the next level. I like the Mango-Ginger Chutney from Trader Joe's. What don't I love from Trader Joe's? I'll forget about those wasabi peas.
All this to say, I'm orange, but I'm happy with my dinner. What's more important really?