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Who taught you how to...

How many times in my life have I heard "who taught you how to", or the "who taught you that". How many times did I stop what I was doing thinking "did someone need to teach me this?" Or, am I not qualified to do this since I didn't take a class, or a lesson, or a workshop anything that would make me better qualified to perform said task, sport, writing, teaching... Spending the last few months at home with my son who started the Culinary Institute in Napa, and sharing my kitchen with him, has definitely brought to my attention my lack of culinary skills. As a joke he will ask on occasion, as I am slicing, cutting, emulsifying any number of kitchen tasks, who taught you how to...? My answer is "Nobody"!!! When you come across something you truly enjoy doing, or a passion for something that brings you great joy, that will be teacher enough. We can all be successful at anything we want to do without being taught, there might be some skills that are more of a challenge than others, if this is the case then by all means take a lesson or class. Don't let it stop you from doing the things you love, cooking, gardening, playing tennis, painting...

You would be amazed at how many people out in the world you might ask "Who taught you how to..." would say no one, or I taught myself, my Dad taught me, my Mom taught me, I watched my uncle do it, I spent a lot of t time with my grandmother growing up. Any number of answers that would make them sound less qualified to be good at said task. What I am trying to get across is that you don't need a degree, certificate, medal, or professional title to show that you are good at something. Don't let that stop you from doing the things you love and sharing them with others. We all have so much to learn from each other, sometimes being self taught can make the success even greater and more gratifying. There can be so much to learn in the process, things you may have missed had you taken a class. What really helps make you good at most things you choose to do, is your love for it, your desire to succeed, the enjoyment it brings you, your commitment to it.

So get out there and take on anything and everything that brings you joy, excitement, makes your heart beat faster, calms you, brings you peace, all the things you want, and see how great you become. Embrace your successes, self taught and all!!!! Savor your skills!!

Veggie Burrito Bowl

3 tbsp olive oil, divided

1 1/2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1" cubes

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2 bell peppers red, yellow or orange, seeds removed and sliced into thin strips

1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 (15.5 oz can) black beans, rinsed and drained3 cups cooked long grain brown rice (1 cup uncooked)

3 tbsp salsa 

1/2 cup guacamole, homemade or store-bought

chopped cilantro and limes for garnish

Preheat oven to 425°F. In large bowl, add sliced peppers, onion, 1 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Toss to combine and spread on one side of large baking sheet in an even layer.

In same bowl, toss together the sweet potato, chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, kosher salt, black pepper and 2 tbsp olive oil. Spread sweet potatoes on the other side of the baking sheet in an even layer.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender. Flip the sweet potatoes, peppers and onions halfway through.

While sweet potatoes are roasting, cook rice according to package instructions. Mix the rice with the salsa verde. Set aside.

Assemble the burrito bowls. Add rice, sweet potatoes, peppers, onion, black beans, and a scoop of  guacamole on top. Garnish with lime and cilantro.

You can add an animal protein if you choose.

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