Five reasons to be happy today + that Thai Chicken Laksa

Today could be any other day, but let me just say it – it isn’t! I woke up and mentally pepped up myself into showing up for work today. And then all these good things started pouring into my endorphin bank making it quite effortless to get out there into the world. I know it’s been tough lately, especially if you’ve been following the news. But just for today, maybe a bit of positivity might change small things for you, and then for the people around you, and then to others around them, so on and so forth.

So what’s so special about today? Here are my five reasons why today is just meant to be awesome:

1. It’s the International Happiness Day!

The General Assembly of the United Nations has proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness, recognising the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives. The UN invites member states and their citizens to observe the International Day of Happiness in an appropriate manner, including through education and public awareness-raising activities.

So in this regard, I have made it my mission to pass on some good vibes and a happy fuzzy feeling to the people I come across with today. Hope you get to spread a bit of love yourself. Why not cook a nice meal for your friends, family or neighbours? Try out the Mango-coco tapioca pudding for some sweet happy dessert!

2. Today officially marks the first day of Spring.

Spring is here! And I couldn’t be more excited. It’s time to gradually shed some layers of clothing, and enjoy the sun and the warmer days. Spring also means different local fruits and veggies come into season. We’ll definitely put those seasonal spring produce to good use, so watch out for some asparagus, purple sprouting broccoli, and spring greens! Our favorite pear, the Williams, is back as well, so we’ll drop some nice recipes to celebrate this lovely pear.

3. Solar Eclipse

Solar eclipse, a natural wonder of this universe is making a presence today. On this side of the globe, a partial solar eclipse was visible (at least, if you weren’t graced by these stubborn clouds like we were).

For most spiritual people, the solar eclipse is not something to celebrate. In fact, it is believed that, at this time, negative energies amass more black energy bringing greater threat to humankind. I tend to lean towards a more metaphysical approach though.  This spectacle, this grandiosity (beyond human standards), is one of those things which leaves me in a true state of awe. It is a little reminder of how small we are amidst these immense beings/bodies which incite such incredible phenomena. This humbles me to the core and I hope it does to most of the world as well. With the current state of our existence, it definitely calls for a moment of reflection and a little humility (and perhaps a ton of responsibility) with our actions.

4. It’s freaking Friday!

A no-brainer there. (on cue: Friday, I’m in love)

5. This yummy Thai Chicken Laksa.

Some inspiration from Jamie Oliver’s recipe which we ended up tweaking here and there to have that perfect mix of spicy and savoury.

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Thai Chicken Laksa
Serves 2 (+ leftover laksa for the week!)

2 chicken thighs
1 tsp Chinese five-spice
1 tsp honey
1 tsp sesame seeds
salt and pepper
smoked paprika
1 fresh red chilli

1 litre chicken stock
1 medium sweet potato, peeled
2 cloves of garlic
1 thumb-sized piece ginger
1/2 fresh red chilli
1 tsp turmeric
1 bunch spring onions
1 tbsp peanut butter
4 dried kaffir lime leaves
1 bunch fresh coriander
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fish sauce  + 4 tbsp fish sauce
vermicelli/rice noodles
1/4 green/white cabbage, sliced
400 g coconut milk
1 lemon

Season the chicken with salt, pepper and the five-spice and let it absorb the flavours for 15-20 minutes. Pan-fry the chicken until nicely charred and cooked through, and set aside.

Boil the chicken stock in a pot. Grate half of the sweet potato into the stock. Slice the other half of the sweet potato into thick strips.

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Blitz together the peeled garlic and ginger, the chilli, turmeric, trimmed spring onions, peanut butter, dried lime leaves, 1/2 of the coriander, sesame oil, soy sauce and 1 tbsp fish sauce. Mix together to a paste, then pour into the stock. Add the rest of the sweet potatoes as well as the cabbage. Add the coco milk and 4 tbsp fish sauce, and squeeze in half of the lemon. Remove from heat and add the noodles. Cover for 10 minutes.

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Drizzle the honey over the charred chicken, squeeze over 1/2 of the lemon, and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve 2 bowls of laksa topped with coriander leaves and slices of fresh chilli, and enjoy! Happy eating! ✌︎

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