Crumbs on the Floor

Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa Bowl from Happyolks.comSweet Potato Curry Quinoa Bowl from Happyolks.comSweet Potato Curry Quinoa Bowl from Happyolks.comBack in the kitchen again; things are well with my soul. There are no pressing questions that need attending, no decisions that need making. I answer only to the boil, simmer, crackle, melt. From where I prepare vegetables I can see children with kazoos across the yard and I can hear the new neighbors moving furniture upstairs. I wiggle my toes on the linoleum and I can feel a few breadcrumbs leftover from before Christmas. It’s good to be here, good to be home.

January has lived up to it’s reputation. Turbulence. Upheaval. Shifting. Stirring. The boozy eve of the new year has long since passed, but it wasn’t until today that it felt like the glass ball actually stopped dropping. I fell in love (or lust?) with a new city on the first, my intuition took a sabbatical around the third and by the thirteenth (until, well, yesterday) I was scrambling on the floor searching for my good sense. New places, new faces, and new ideas shook me in ways that were at once thrilling and dislocating. A strong under-toe of emotion leeched at my ankles. Panic set in. Suddenly I found myself clinging to things in the temporal world to validate and repair the disequilibrium I felt at my center.

Who are you? What will you do? And, where are you going? 

I held on. I pushed away from the ledge. I wrote. I forgot. I remembered. On the plane home I let it rush in. We (humans) can be so hard ourselves when we get off track. We fight those ugly parts of our being so fervently without stopping to look at the mess and think about it before cleaning it up. I’m generally in the “one foot in front of the other” camp of life wisdom, but sometimes it’s okay not to move at all. Just sit. Kneel. Stand in the kitchen with breadcrumbs on the floor. Just be there. Just swim in it for a little. See what comes up.

It may take a day, three, or a whole lunar cycle. It settles. I promise.

Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa Bowl from Happyolks.comSweet Potato Curry Quinoa Bowl from Happyolks.comSweet Potato Curry Quinoa Bowl from

Sweet Potato, Curry, and Quinoa (in a bowl) 

Serves 2-4 (we’re hungry folk)

  • 1 cup fair trade quinoa
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/4 cup ghee (clarified butter)
  • large handful of spinach
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1 clove garlic
  • fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup curry powder of choice
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Scrub potatoes. With skins on, cut into 1″ cubes and lay out on a baking sheet. Toss with a bit of oil and salt. Bake at 475′ for 20 minutes. Combine two cups of water to one cup of quinoa (remember to rinse first!) in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cook for 12-15 minutes until water is fully absorbed. Remove from heat.

Roughly chop red onion and saute in a large saucepan with the ghee until softened. Add minced garlic and grated ginger to the onions and saute for a bit longer, adding stock if it seems to stick to the pan. Remove from heat. Add sweet potatoes when they are just beginning to brown and crisp on the edges. Add a cup of stock and the curry powder, stirring to coat. Let simmer for 5-10 minutes, adding stock, a bit of ghee, and some salt to develop flavor. Add some well chopped spinach and toss to barely wilt.

Serve over a bed of quinoa with a sprinkling (or more) of currants.

Sweet Potato Curry Quinoa Bowl from

  1. Kasey

    I know that feeling of everything around you changing and trying to find some sort of balance in myself. I find that a plane ride is often the best time to reflect–some of my best blog posts have been written while on a plane, wi-fi free…Sometimes life happens so fast, you can only reflect when you’re high up in the air. Welcome back, friend! xo


  2. Emma Galloway

    Oh I hear ya loud and clear. Life seems to be speeding up at such an alarming rate for everyone these days and I totally agree, sometimes it’s just nice to be able to just be still.


  3. Anna @ the shady pine

    A beautifully written post…a nice reminder that stillness in itself can be enough and we don’t always have to do something about whatever it is that we are bothering about.


  4. la domestique

    So glad you’re back in the kitchen with a delicious recipe! I’ve got a post involving sweet potatoes coming up on Wednesday, so we’re on the same wavelength. :) The month of January has got me all stirred up as well, and I’m hoping for a bit of peace to settle my mind in February.


  5. Mercedes

    I think we just found what I’ll be having for lunch. Sounds like Jan has been packed full of life so far!


  6. Sarah

    Still sad that I missed you in your favorite new city :) I know the feeling. I think at the conclusion of the panic and shiftiness, when things settle, the answers to the questions are always the same. That’s comforting, despite the fact that I can never remember it at the time.


  7. celia

    This is a beautiful dish. I love your blog and photos, all so lovely !


  8. Amanda

    Thank you for an unbelievably honest post. It completely resonated with my somewhat unsettled mood today. It’s hard to remember that amidst the mess and mistakes, there is kindness. We must be kind to ourselves if we ever want to grow and change. xo


  9. Laura

    Oh gosh I need to take a lesson from you, lady. I’m always in that line cook mentality. Life decisions, breakfast choices, appetizer on table 6, I just push through to the finish line, clean as I go, get ‘er done and move on without any dwelling whatsoever. Lovely thought to let things simmer and bubble up a bit and see what happens. So glad you’re back :) And the curry looks BALLER.


  10. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    Gorgeous darling! This is the kind of meal I just love to eat this time of year… healthy, satisfying, and, most importantly, flavorful dishes. Can’t wait to give this a go!


  11. Melissa @ thefauxmartha

    I know I say this all the time, but I just love your writing style. Glad you’re back! And still keeping my fingers crossed you make your way to CO this summer.


  12. Veronica

    This looks beautiful and delicious!
    Another wonderful post… Unfortunately, it’s human nature to feel like failure when things don’t go according to plan… Several years ago, someone gave me an advice to never make plans but instead to have a more general goal and direction in mind. In doing so, I feel more at peace and am easier on myself.
    Take care,


  13. Cherie Hausler

    What brilliant wisdom to arrive at this early in the year! Bravo. Your writing is such an invitation to create in its own right, but this recipe will have me in the kitchen in a minute! Thank you.


  14. Dramatic Pancake

    I find January always hits hard after months of holiday distractions and everything whizzing by in a blur. I struggle with finding balance, too, and it’s not always easy slowing down when you feel like you need keep moving! Lovely post as always, and I can’t wait to try this curry!


  15. yossy | apt2bbakingco

    Another beautifully written post Kelsey. I also find myself in a time of great transition and sometimes it feels impossible to find my footing. I try to remember that while it feels like nothing is under control I know that nothing is completely out of it and I too have faith that the universe will right itself, even if it takes awhile.


  16. Margarita

    Beautiful post! This looks delicious!


  17. Margarita

    Beautiful post… Can’t wait to try this recopy soon!


  18. Keri

    Kelsey, your words are beautiful. Your food is inspiring. Thank you for sharing.


  19. Winnie

    Just lovely.


  20. Beth

    Kelsey, Your writing and your recipes are the same, inspiring! I always love both! You have so honestly and eloquently captured in words what most of us experience and struggle with; all the while feeling like we are alone in these feelings. Truly we are not. Thanks you for sharing intimately! Love you to pieces! And I have all the faith in the world in your beautiful heart!


  21. adrienneats

    Beautiful story, Kelsey. You really have a way with words. Lovely dinner for this dreary winter weather. Welcome back!


  22. sarah

    These photos are gorgeous. And, as always, your words struck home. I’m just moving out of a season of just ‘being in it’ – it was so hard, but so good. “Stand in the kitchen with breadcrumbs on the floor. Just be there. Just swim in it for a little. See what comes up.” – this is brilliant.


  23. Kathryn

    Oh I just love your images and your words – they’re so evocative.


  24. Chez Suzanne / The Wimpy Vegetarian

    Love your writing, and love the message here! Welcome back!


  25. ileana

    Hope you’re feeling more settled by now.

    This quinoa bowl looks great.


  26. art and lemons

    Beautifully said! There’s nothing like lusting after a new city along with a good philosophical examination to bring in the new year with a chaotic flurry. Then, as you say, the settling happens and then you have a bowl of this…


  27. Brandon @ Kitchen Konfidence

    YUM! That looks so delicious.


  28. Maria @ The Hypothyroid Athlete's Kitchen

    Beautifully said. And this recipe is not only beautiful but also delicious. I made it a few days ago when I needed something comforting after we got some unsettling news about my father’s health. It was like a warm blanket enveloping me, and I ate it sitting in my counter enjoying for once the silence of my house. Girlie, you have a way of touching people with your food. That is such a blessing.


  29. Sarah

    Wow, that looks incredible. And I think I have everything to make it this weekend!


  30. Kiele Gregoire

    beautiful post, as always, Kelsey. nicely put. i totally smell what you’re cookin’, and i couldn’t agree more. i’ve been recently feeling the same, and realizing, nothing is perfect except true feelings. and it all settles back to that, which feels good. it just takes time and you have to know how to give it that time. great recipe too, thank you for that. your happyolks photos are breathtaking, i love the two of the sweet potatoes. i roast sweet potatoes all the time and those just bring me right there. my images of them never come out THAT beautiful :)


  31. Cookie and Kate

    Once again, I’m struck by your way with words. I’m glad you’re back in your element. Sometimes I just have to stop doing everything that matters and vacillate between anxiously fidgeting and sitting, thinking, until I’ve figured out what to do next. It can go on for days. Then it’s off to the races again.


  32. The Cozy Herbivore

    I love the idea of combining quinoa and sweet potatoes. This looks like such a delicious, hearty dish– perfect for a chilly winter evening!


  33. Tiffiny Felix

    Hello! I wanted to let you know I’ve included this post in my “5 Recipes I would love to make” Friday round-up :) Thanks for such a fabulous recipe (it’s almost like you combined all my favorite flavors, just for me 😉 Please let me know if you’d like me to remove your picture and link from the post. Thanks!


  34. Hannah

    This is the most beautiful, poignant piece of writing I’ve come across in a long time. I hope you don’t mind, I’ve saved it on my computer for those times when I feel a similar panic, and must remember to just sit with it. Thank you for this.


  35. caitlin

    Wow! I made this tonight and it was SOOO good. Excellent recipe! I am new to your blog but I will definitely be a regular reader after this. {Beautiful post and photography as well!}


  36. Cody

    I’m making this for dinner right now FYI…


  37. Oana from dishchronicles

    This was such a beautiful post. Thank you for writing it. Oh, and kick-ass recipe, as well.


  38. Becky

    I just found your blog and everything about it is so beautiful. I’m making this tonight and was wondering how many your recipe serves?


  39. Curried Sweet Potato & Spinach Over Quinoa | The Hoot Eats

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  40. Rebecca

    This is the BEST winter-warming dish–and your writing so lovely! Thanks for sharing!


  41. Krystl

    ooh this turned out so good. Had to tweak for what I had in the pantry. My first try with curry and kids LOVED it. Son had seconds which is a rare thing!


  42. Renea

    This sounds wonderful! In January I will be doing a 21 day Daniel Fast. This means that I will be eating no animal products. Any suggestions for a substitute for the ghee. Also I do not eat currents or raisins. I can just leave them, unless you have a substitution suggestion.


  43. taran

    made this for new years eve party. I will let you know how peeps like. it looks beautiful. i didn’t use all the curry because I was afraid people would get a bit turned off.


  44. Theresa

    I just found this recipe. Delicious! I subbed peas for currants, coconut milk for broth, and coconut butter for ghee. Wow. Amazing.


  45. Lynn Landry

    I found this recipe through pinterest and I happened to have most of the ingredients. I used dates instead of currants and I only had ground ginger. I try to go back to my pinterest sources when I can. This tasted lovely. Your instructions were so easy to follow. Thank you.


  46. Made it « The Happy Camper Project

    […] smiling. Spread joy. Whatever you do, do not complain. One of my favorite bloggers, Kelsey from Happyolks, wrote something beautiful that I try to remember […]

  47. Lisa

    Looks great. Are you using sweet potatoes or are those yams?


  48. Sophie

    I enjoyed this so much. I can’t find currants in this town so I chopped some dried apricots instead. My potatoes roasted in about 20 minutes so this was an incredibly quick dinner! I thought the curry flavor was so delightful — I added some turmeric as well — comforting, wholesome, made the house smell so cozy. Even cold leftovers are rocking my day at work. Thanks girl!


  49. Liz

    This was absolutely delicious! Comforting and satisfying. Thanks for this recipe — I have a feeling that I’m going to be making this dish regularly!


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