So, based on my last blog, you may be wondering about that Super Hero Podcast I was telling you about. The funny thing is, I was a bit underwhelmed by it overall. Yet, it must have left its mark on me because here I am thinking about it again. Odd!
Perhaps it is time to figure it out. What is my superhero power if not restricted to (a) invisibility or (b) flying since both of those are, well, not really possible in our current existence.
I started to think about a variety of things … cooking, being a devoted friend, keeping in touch with people (family/friends) maybe it was less about it being a superpower and more about it being a quality I am proud of or want to emulate. I think on many levels I like to see others comfortable and happy. That’s hardly a superpower. But I do think there is power in my actions and words that span the gamut. For example, I think there is happiness found in the appreciation or gratitude of acknowledging others actions. The power of thank you. I often times hear at work that people can go almost entire days, locked up in their offices, not really talking to anyone in person – maybe just responding to emails and participating in phone calls here or there. Taking a moment to stop at someone’s office, just to say hello and notice they are there. There is the power of kindness and caring. When I am in meetings, I try to make an effort to connect with the people there, how interesting they must all be if just given the chance to expose their hobbies or something beyond their basic work conversations. This is especially true at the quintessential business dinner that can sometimes drone on without ever giving you the chance to learn about another’s life or interests. The power of human connection. And then there are all those times when you can be anything, and you choose above all, to be kind, by making someone other than yourself feel important, valued and appreciated. The power of being altruistic. When I think about it, people carry powers beyond their general awareness. For example, being a mentor, champion or friend to someone personally or professionally is a rare find. The power of giving to others emotional needs, to make a difference by being the difference. Sometimes just doing something unexpectedly for someone gives you the power of surprise and delight. And if you can get another person to laugh or smile, you’ve achieved the power to give happiness.
I am certainly not saying that I have these superpowers, I don’t. I can be just as clueless as the next person. In fact, I was once given the backhanded compliment that for an intelligent person I could be surprisingly unaware of seemingly obvious things around me. I am sure it is true on some level and yet, it must be something that happens to me when I hit overload as more times than not I think on average I feel a little too much emotion and empathy to others. But I digress. Let’s get back to true power….we all have it. The power to make a difference, and not just philanthropically, on an emotional level. I’d like to think one of my superpowers is the power to entice people to want to spend time with me around the table engaged in a good conversation. What’s your superpower?
While keeping in the theme of power- there is undeniably power in sustenance and that brings me to this week’s slightly unusual recipe that summons the intensely colored purple potato. Purple potatoes are the brilliantly-colored cousins to the classic brown Russet potato and are also healthier than the typical potato. Like other varieties, purple potatoes are high in potassium. Similar to the Russet potato, purple potatoes contain the same amount of calories, protein, and carbs. What sets purple potatoes apart from the others (besides their insanely gorgeous color) is their antioxidant content. They contain about four times the antioxidants when compared to Russet potatoes. The antioxidants make the potassium even more useful for lowering blood pressure, and when consumed purple potatoes may help prevent some types of heart diseases in addition to strengthening the immune system. > SUPERPOWERED POTATO<
This recipe could swing both ways – dessert or breakfast. It is absolutely one of the recipes that my daughter’s LOVES to devour every time we find ourselves in Hawaii — Hawaiian Haupia Pudding & Purple Potatoes. And while I am certain that a few of you will turn up your noses at this one, I implore you to give it a try. The combination of potato and pudding is undeniably unusual but somehow these textures and flavors work. The earthy blandness of the potato is an unusual compliment to the sweetness in the floral coconut pudding. I tend to like to eat this mixture slightly warmed or at room temperature and with a ratio of more pudding than potato. On occasion, we’ve even added fruit and nuts to this mixture and had it for breakfast as an earthy parfait. Given the lack of sunshine these days due to the California Wildfires, this recipe is certain to put some rays of happiness in your belly.
Hawaiian Haupia Pudding & Purple Potatoes
ROASTED PURPLE POTATOES
2 1/2 pounds purple potatoes, washed, dried, and punctured on all sides with a fork
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook 20-25 minutes, until browned and tender. Turn once and remove when a fork inserted easily comes out.Set aside to cool and then remove the skin.
Potato History: There are several varieties of purple potatoes, including the Peruvian, Purple Fiesta, Purple Majesty, and others. The purple potato originated in the mountains of Peru and Bolivia. These potatoes are high in antioxidants. They can be used in just about any recipe calling for potatoes.
Hawaiian Haupia Pudding
1 (14 oz) can full-fat coconut milk
3 TBS cornstarch
5 TBS granulated sugar
3/4 cup water
In a bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch, add the water and whisk until the ingredients are combined. Note: If the preferred consistency is more firm, similar to the consistency of finger jello, it will be necessary to use more cornstarch (approximately 5 TBS total).
In a medium saucepan, cook coconut milk over medium heat. Stirring regularly. When the coconut milk just starts to simmer, add the sugar/cornstarch mixture, and whisk. As the mixture starts to boil it will thicken. Continue to whisk, the mixture will start to look slightly translucent. Cook for approximately 10 minutes. When you bring your whisk up, the haupia should drip off of it and you can see the trace of the drip in the mixture for a few seconds before it disappears.
Transfer into a bowl and allow to cool on the counter before refrigerating. Refrigerate until solid and completely cooled. Note: If you are making the firmer version, pour mixture into an 8×8 pan; the sides should pull away from the pan. Cut into 2-inch pieces (16 pieces total).
To create the dessert, cube or slice potatoes into the desired shape. In a bowl or mason jar, add haupia, then potato cubes, and continue to alternate layers.