Serendipity and Soup

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Serendipity is one of my favorite words. Not only does the meaning rock, I just like saying the word. It rolls off the tongue in a happy kind of way. The dictionary defines serendipity as: “Luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for.” I have had many opportune moments in my life and I believe there are certain things you can do to ratchet up your serendipitous experiences.

It has been said that luck (or serendipity) follows those who work hard and prepare. I completely concur with that statement. If you want something and decide to work hard toward that purpose, you will undoubtedly realize your goal. You have to prepare, so when serendipity comes knocking, you can open the door of opportunity. You can’t sit on the sidelines and feel disgruntled when things don’t go your way. You have to act to realize.

No matter how old you are, no matter what has happened in your past, if you have a goal, don’t let anyone tell you all the reasons you can’t achieve it. In fact, it’s probably best to distance yourself from the naysayers. They will only drag you down and make you doubt your abilities.

I’ll give you an example from my personal experience. I didn’t finish my bachelor’s degree until I was 43-years old. I worked hard, finished and then was offered an assistantship to continue my education and complete my master’s degree. All tuition was paid for and the department gave me a really cool job to boot! I finished my masters in a year and a half, as opposed to two years, because a fantastic teaching opportunity presented itself if I could finish a semester early. I’m now a lecturer at university, in addition to having another writing job on the side! I couldn’t see exactly where I would land when I re-started my education, but serendipity kept showing up, as I worked hard preparing; and, I kept taking the opportunities presented to me

When it comes to serendipity, good old-fashioned hard work, towards a concrete goal, will always increase your odds of fate working in your favor. Opportunities really are everywhere, you just have to be prepared to grab ahold when you seen one you like!

When you’re working hard toward attracting more serendipity into your life, you must consume enough high quality calories to keep your brain fueled and your body strong. Once again, we’re back to food!  If you are carb-starved, you won’t feel like keeping up a good work ethic. Having a big pot of soup cooked and ready to serve will keep you full, satisfied and bursting with energy to strive toward your goal. I like to make a HUGE batch of soup on Saturday or Sunday. That way I have a ready-to-serve healthy meal prepared when hunger strikes. The following recipe keeps well all week and can be served with a grain of your choice such as millet, quinoa or rice. Here’s to working hard and enticing more serendipity into your life. Keep Shining. Peace Out!

Serendipity Soup (Adapted from The Starch Solution)

2 onions finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

2 cups lentils (any kind)

2 cans chickpeas, drained

2 cans fire roasted tomatoes

2 cups chopped potatoes

2 cups chopped sweet potatoes

½ cup chopped mushrooms (any kind)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons chili paste. I use Sambal Oelek, found in the Asian aisle of most grocery stores.

4 cups chopped fresh spinach or kale

Sea salt to taste

7-8 cups vegetable broth or water (depending on how thick you like it)

Fresh cilantro

In large soup pot add onion, garlic and ginger. Pour in ½ cup water and sauté for around 10 minutes. Add paprika, cumin and coriander, along with the lentils, chickpeas, tomatoes, potatoes and the water or veggie broth. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for around an hour (until potatoes are good and soft; you really can’t simmer it for too long). Add the lemon juice, chili paste and greens and cook until greens are tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt to taste. I like to add some fresh cilantro to the top of mine.

Note: you really can’t go wrong with soup. If you want to add more/different veggies or spices, feel free to experiment to come up with a recipe that is more suited to your tastes! Enjoy!

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