new flavors and open hearts #foodie


But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean.” The voice said to him again, a second time, “What God has made clean, you must not call profane.” Acts 10:14-15

Tuesday evening, after a series of good but not great meals, we finally hit the jackpot with a Blue Apron meal that earns my first “A”-rating of the series. The main point of this experiment is to push my cooking comfort zone and to introduce new flavors; this recipe scored well on both counts.

The Miso-Butter Chicken with Freekeh & Sautéed Carrots was a little complicated to prepare (more a case of constantly rushing from one element to the next and back, a real juggling game), so I’d recommend carefully reading the instructions and planning strategy before starting. But the flavor profile was wonderful. Rebekah and I were actually excited about this meal, enjoying it to the extent that we were constantly talking about the flavors and textures while we were eating.

Some of the highlights:

  • IMG_8484Our first time eating cracked freekeh, and it will certainly not be the last. Both the flavor and the texture were unique.
  • I’ve never enjoyed kale like this. The preparation, the interaction with the sautéed carrots, and the effect of the miso-butter, and how it worked with the chicken. Surprisingly delicious.
  • The miso-butter. I did some research and am fascinated with the process. It was the perfect compliment to the stronger flavors of the freekeh, the soy, and the kale, bringing it all together.
  • Bringing together rice vinegar, scallions, carrots, and kale; not something I’d have tried on my own. Wonderful flavors.

So there you have it. I served the meal with ice-tea and a full-bodied cabernet. Definitely the best dinner of the month so far.

Take a stand against closed spirits:

IMG_8473For me, this was also a subtle reminder that there’s always something to learn, new flavors to engage, ideas that we haven’t considered before. This is what we learn from people who are not like us, groups who make us nervous, other ethnicities, immigrants, folk we don’t usually associate with.

Then of course flavor is not limited to food, it’s the way we color life, it’s how we experience one another.

Open minds, open hearts, open spirits. Love is not only invitational, it has to be open to learning too.

– Derek

culture foodie gourmet life life

derekmaul View All →

Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at, and there’s always something new in the works.

Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.

Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.

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