Some Healthy Food Fun: The Wanderlust Food Diaries (of a chronic daydreamer)
A picnic on the Oregon Coast with singer Vatrena King


On the Menu Turkey meatball "sliders"
Video how to make turkey meatball sliders
Music by  Vatrena King

"There is a place, a space, between the judgment and grace, that's where I belong"
    --Vatrena King (from the song "In Between")


Is it my imagination, or does anything else feel that there is a lack of passion in the world? Except for a passion for war and money that is.

I'll get back to that in a minute. When I think about my music, it has always been richly diverse, from my time enduring, R&B/Smooth Jazz favorites, George Benson and Al Jarreau, to my new breed of much needed neo-soul artists such as Maxwell, Jill Scott, Alicia Keys, India Arie, and John Legend.

My favorites are not even of the R&B genre, being the Scottish rockers from my college MTV days "Big Country", the extremely talented Phil Collins and Sting, and my favorite artist of them all, the "You can't put him in any genre", Michael Franks.

I don't bring in a lot of new music, but I ran across this musician Vatrena King, when watching this flick All About Us starring Boris Kodjoe many years back. I heard her song, "Short Story Long" playing as the credits rolled, and I said first time I heard it, I said, "That's gonna be my life's theme song". Tromping all around the country working in the past three years, from Cleveland, to Connecticut, and now Oregon, my prediction came true, playing that song to death at the airport, walking home form the gym, while preparing my morning smoothie vegetables, walking on the Oregon shore staring at the Pacific, or just about anywhere. Currently I find my self all up into the Vatrena's song "In Between", from the "Trying to be Human" CD.

Not to cut the story off, but this is a food blog, so I gotta handle some business and get into some healthy delicious eating. I'm getting a little hungry myself.  In this section of my blog called "My Passions on a Plate: The Wanderlust Food Diaries", I get to have my so called "Fantasy Food Journeys", going wherever mind takes me, past, present, future, real or imagined.

So, with this new-found energy form this fresh, new to me singer, Vatrena King, having hit me with a burst of energy, inspiration, and passion that is seemingly lacking in the world around me, "Trena" and I, and her music of course, are taking a trip to the Oregon coast for a picnic. On the menu will be spicy turkey meatball "sliders".

Turkey Meatball Sliders

Italian turkey sausage and optional grass fed ground sirloin
Fresh Parsley
Seeded Fresh Fresno Chiles
Organic Shallots
Garlic Clioves
Fresh Mozzrella chunks

Pasture Fed Egg
Bread crumbs from a quality bread (I prefer Sami's Bakery Millet and Flax Bread)
tomato basil marinara

olive oil
Pink Himalayan Salt
Coarse ground Black pepper
Quality bread (what I mean by quality is bread without cheap and toxic ingredients like hydrogenated oils. I like Sami's Bakery millet and flax bread. A truly quality bread is hard to find, I am trying to evolve to making my own)


Now that the hunger is satisfied, and we're just watching the crashing waves on the Oregon coast, back to this whole "passion" subject. After playing Vatrena's "Short Story Long" song to death, I eventually broke down and purchased the entire "Trying to be Human" CD from iTunes. Forgive me Trena for taking forever. I must say I am inspired again. Finally, a singer with some passion. I am all immersed into this track "In Between" on the CD. However, every track is hot, cool guitar rifts show up sporadically here and there, nice. Two other tracks, "Forest" and "Welcome to the Change", are gonna rise up my personal charts in the future, but I can't play them to death just yet because I can't multi-task my favorites songs like that. Those two tracks are like a couple of $300 bottles of Napoleon Brandy. You don't open them up and guzzle them down right away, you save them for when the time is tight. That soul/country/folk/technotronic electronic voice in "Welcome to the Change" is a killer. Currently, I am still playing "In Between" death. Just like food, it takes about 5 months for a song to become part of my molecular structure. Anyhoo, I've got some Vatrena King live music below, as well as Christmas song that showcases that incredible voice......

The great philosopher Lao Tze said one way to learn about yourself is to learn about the things around you. I think Vatrena's cut "In Between", has helped me learn that I was perhaps always in between a lot of different things, and I have never been the type that is easily categorized. One day I'm watching a "chick flick", next day I'm watching some intense war movie that no woman could probably stomach. In my moving around the country for the last three years, Cleveland, then Connecticut, now Oregon, somewhere on this journey, I realized I was really digging the "me that is me", because of my diversity and dynamic nature. I think in the song, Vatrena is saying, "If you are 'In between', then celebrate it".

A funny thing happened when I was working on this article in that a lady wrote me an thanked me for the analysis and very detailed work I put into one of my articles. She said, "the world is lucky to have people with such a PASSION for health and wellness". I was a little humbled, just as whem Vatrena took the time out of her schedule to write me and say that she was humbled by my connection to the song "Short Story Long". I guess get what you give to mother earth.........


I suppose we are all passionate about something. It may be easy for singers, but for the rest of us, we just have to dig in and find those passions that truly express us. When I stare out at the Blue Pacific, it dawned on me that it was always here, I was just looking in all the wrong places, never within myself, or at least that's what the crashing Pacific Ocean waves seem to be trying to tell me.

BTW, the picture below is not of Vatrena, it is my "stunt double" from my archive of cool pictures. I just had to use it to "set my scene" on the Oregon Coast.

"Sail Forth. Steer for the deep waters only. Reckless O soul, exploring. I with thee and thou with me. For we are bound where mariner has not yet dared go. And we will risk the ship, ourselves, and all." --Walt Whitman

Vatrena King's music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, and CDbaby
An article on Vatrena King can be found here.

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