Recipe: Roasted Tomato Basil and Rice Soup

Normalizing psychiatric care is vital and there are some things everyone should know. I’ve previously discussed stigma and today I wanna address…

Accessibility and Connectivity

Finding a psychiatrist you connect with is like dating, only the stakes are higher. Not only are you looking for someone you get along with personally, you’re searching for the right fit medicinally. You want to be in someone’s care who takes more than 20 minutes every 4-6 months to understand the inner-workings of your mind and know what meds would best compliment your brain chemistry. The consequences of faulty prescription can be lethal.

Couple this ideology with the fact that a new psychiatrist = a fresh emotional upheaval. You’re having to hash out and essentially relive everything that may be helpful for a doctor to know in order to assess your mental health needs. This requires a verbalized excavation of traumatic experiences and it is draining. If the psychiatrist isn’t a good fit, or you move away, or your financial situation changes, or anything happens that causes you to change psychiatrists, the cycle has to start all over again.

Another disconnect that, to me, causes an egregious margin of error is the psychologist / psychiatrist team up. This model has a patient seeing a psychologist frequently who then communicates their thoughts to a psychiatrist who then prescribes you meds. Psychologists cannot prescribe meds and are often cheaper and therefore more accessible. It’s most certainly better than nothing, but to me this kind of one-two punch care leaves too much room for poor communication and faulty, insufficiently monitored RX prescriptions.

The current mental healthcare situation in the United States is dire. Receiving adequate care is a privilege, even a luxury, and that is so, so wrong. Have mercy towards those struggling with mental health issues in the U.S. The system is not currently equipped to support those of us who do, and it is extremely disheartening for folks just trying to live their best life like anyone else.


Stay warm with this delicious, hearty, and healthful tomato soup.

Ingredients

1 1/2 c cooked brown rice
4 1/2 lb plum tomatoes, quartered
10 garlic cloves
3 T olive oil
~1 1/2 t sea salt
1 t black pepper
1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 T cane sugar
4 c vegetable broth
1 t thyme
~1/2 c basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Prepare brown rice.
  2. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  3. Arrange tomatoes cut side up onto two large, foil-lined baking sheets and drizzle them with two tablespoons of olive oil. Using your hands, stir tomatoes around to coat them well. Sprinkle tomatoes with sea salt and black pepper and place garlic cloves in between them.
  4. Roast the tomatoes for 50 minutes, until browning and juicy. Remove from oven and set aside.
  5. Heat remaining olive oil in a large pot over medium. Add onions, a big pinch of sea salt, and the cane sugar to pot and sauté for about ten minutes, until the onions are golden.
  6. Add roasted tomatoes and garlic (along with all their juices), the vegetable broth, and the thyme to the pot. With a potato masher, mash the tomatoes a bit to help release their liquid.
  7. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Uncovered, simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. In batches, transfer soup to a blender or food processor. Add basil, and puree until smooth.
  9. Return soup to pot and taste. Add extra sea salt and black pepper to taste, if desired.
  10. Finally, stir in rice.

Serves 4-6.

Leftover soup will keep in the fridge for up to five days or freezer for up to two months.

Adapted from Roasted Tomato Basil and Rice Soup.


Today’s my brother’s birthday, and I like him a bunch. Here’s a touching photo of the love we share, featuring approximately one mullet.


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Recipe: Life-Changing Lasagna

Here lies John Joseph’s incredible vegan lasagna that will satisfy everyone. If you don’t know who JJ is, he’s a punk musician who got stabbed, shot, and went to prison for a while, and now he’s in his 50s, has eaten vegan for several years, and has done ten Ironman competitions. He’s both abrasive and hilarious.

His recipe is loaded with super foods and spices:

  • Asafetida helps gas issues
  • Turmeric destroys free radicals in the body
  • Molasses is loaded with iron
  • Broccoli has chlorophyll, excellent for healing prostate issues

I’m not gonna lie, this recipe is time-consuming, so I recommend making it for a celebration or big family dinner. It is special and so worth it. I love making it, and if I’ve ever made you lasagna, I def love you.

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Ingredients

Sauce
4 T organic Earth Balance
3/4 c olive oil
3/4 t asafetida (hing)*
1 t ground turmeric
1/4 t coriander
1/4 t fenugreek
1/4 t ground cumin
1 1/2 t black mustard seeds*
2 dried chilies, chopped
2 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
5 cups pasta sauce
3 1/4 t sea salt
1/3 c tomato paste
1/4 c molasses
3 t Italian herb blend

*I bought asafoetida and black mustard seeds on Amazon. They’re great to have in your spice arsenal!

I know this sauce ingredient list looks bonkers, but trust the recipe. You will love the end product.

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Lasagna
1/4 c coconut oil
8-11 oz Beyond Meat beef*
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 c vegan ricotta (store bought or homemade)
2 8 oz bags vegan mozzarella shreds
1 broccoli head, chopped into florets
1 zucchini, sliced
1 box lasagna, rinsed (not cooked)
1 bunch spinach, roughly shredded
organic Earth Balance, for greasing
olive oil, for greasing

PLEASE READ! This recipe calls for Beyond Meat beef crumbles, but my local store didn’t have those. I got the Beyond Meat hamburger patties instead, cooked them according to package directions, and then broke them up in the pan. It worked great! This particular brand is not necessary, just be sure to look at the ingredient list of whatever you buy (ideally you always do this). Beyond Meat is composed of pea protein, and the vegan ricotta and mozzarella shreds I use are both cashew-based. There should not be anything mysterious in these items.

Also, it is critical that you do not cook lasagna prior to assembling the dish! The lasagna will cook in the sauce in the oven. More flavor is absorbed into the sheets of pasta this way.

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Instructions

Sauce

  1. Melt Earth Balance in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Stir in olive oil, asafetida, turmeric, coriander, fenugreek, cumin, black mustard seeds, and dried chilies.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and allow them to cook down a couple minutes, releasing their liquid and flavor.
  4. Stir in pasta sauce, sea salt, tomato paste, molasses, and Italian herb blend. Lower heat to a simmer and cover sauce for 30 minutes.

Lasagna

  1. Melt coconut oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.
  2. Add your “beef”, season with pepper, and cook following package instructions. This should take about ten minutes.
  3. Remove “beef” from heat and pour into a big bowl. Mix in the vegan ricotta and a handful of vegan mozzarella.
  4. Place broccoli florets and zucchini slices in a steaming basket over an inch of water in a large pot and cover.* Steam over high heat until broccoli is easily pierced with a fork. When done, move to a large bowl and mulch it up using knives.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  6. Grease a large casserole pan with a dollop of Earth Balance and a dash of olive oil.
  7. Order of assembly:
    1. Sauce
    2. Lasagna
    3. All ricotta mixture, pressed down and spread out evenly
    4. Sauce
    5. All broccoli / zucchini mixture
    6. Shredded spinach
    7. Sauce
    8. Vegan mozzarella
    9. Lasagna
    10. Sauce
  8. Cover pan with foil and bake for one hour.
  9. Remove from oven, remove foil, and add remaining vegan mozzarella.
  10. Uncovered, bake for ten more minutes.
  11. Remove from oven and top with remaining sauce.

*If you don’t have a steaming basket, put your veggies directly into an inch of water to steam and then drain.

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Serves ten.

Adapted from No Death, No Dairy Lasagna.