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Archive for the ‘Recipes for the Soul’ Category

Back at the beginning of April I began a three month cleanse which meant no dairy, sugar (of any kind including honey, maple syrup, agave, etc.), gluten, and many high glycemic fruits such as pineapple and mangoes. I did this with the intention of realigning my system, clearing out stagnation from my body, and getting rid of the overgrowth of candida.

I am so glad that I committed to this cleanse! I now have a much better awareness of how my body processes different foods. I do not feel as addicted to sugar as I once was, and I can exercise more control when confronting cake or cookies. Yes, I let myself eat what I want at special occasions. I was not going to say no to birthday cake last week! However, I am more mindful now of what goes into my body.

Here are two recipes that I’ve developed that are gluten-free and healthy!

 

1. Chickpea Cacciatore

For such a simple meal, this is surprisingly delicious and filling. My husband, who did not participate in this cleanse, and loves to eat, really enjoys this dish. If you like, a little crushed red pepper can be added on top for extra flavor.

Ingredients

1 can organic chickpeas

1 can organic fire roasted tomatoes

1 cup of brown rice (cooked, yields 2 cups)

3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil

Cook the brown rice according to the directions. In a saute pan, add the olive oil and garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Add fire roasted tomatoes and chickpeas. Allow the mixture to bubble, then turn it down and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Some of the juices from the tomatoes will begin to absorb, and the mixture should thicken slightly. Serve over brown rice.

 

2. Chocolate “Frozen Yogurt”

1/3 cup full fat coconut milk (I like Native Forest)

3-4 frozen strawberries

1 tbsp cocoa powder

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a blender.Puree for about 30 seconds, or until the strawberries have been mixed completely. The mixture should be the texture of frozen yogurt. This is perfect on these hot days we’ve been having in the Northeast! You will notice that no sugar is needed because the strawberries are sweet, and the coconut adds lots of creamy flavor.

Enjoy!

 

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This recipe was inspired by a picture of a Thai dish including lentils and sweet potatoes I found on pinch of yum. It looked absolutely delicious, but I didn’t have most of the ingredients in my house last night. Instead I created an extremely simple recipe with just a couple of ingredients.

Sweet Potatoes and Lentils

1 cup of green lentils

4 cups of vegetable broth

2 sweet potatoes diced

1 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper to taste

Put the lentils, sweet potatoes, and broth into a large pot. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer until the mixture looks thick, about half an hour. Add the cumin, stir and serve.

This is a subtly sweet, hearty, and filling recipe. Enjoy!

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I absolutely love Angela Liddon’s Oh She Glows vegan food blog. She creates amazing recipes that are easy and healthy. While I am not vegan, I do appreciate the health benefits and the creativity that goes into creating delicious food from a more limited range of ingredients. Tonight, going from my previous post about comfort, I am making one of the most comforting recipes I can think of: lentil soup. I wanted to do something a little different and I found this recipe from Oh She Glows: Curried Lentil Soup.

On this chilly, late-winter night I can think of nothing more comforting for body and soul than this soup!

Photo via

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What weekend activities do you do that increase your awareness and are both fun and relaxing? Sometimes, especially in the winter, I love to plan a bunch of recipes to make during a lazy weekend. As I’ve said before, cooking and baking is meditative for me. It is one of my favorite ways to relax, do something creative, and enjoy a delicious result!

This morning I made blueberry waffles

They were delicious and fairly healthy too. As a suggestion, use whole wheat pastry flour for a lighter texture.

Tomorrow I plan on making chai-spiced apple oatmeal bread, yum!

Also, check out Dr Oz’s favorite green teas. I’ll definitely be trying the Tea Forte Cherry Marzipan.

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This evening as I cooked dinner, I really focused on enjoying the taste of each step of my Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto. I absolutely love to eat, and I love inspiring people to eat well. I have always said that if I was not a teacher, I would be a nutritionist, and in fact may step onto a similar career path in the near future. Focusing on the tasting aspect of cooking this evening was especially fun. Usually I rush right through, making tried and true recipes and not stopping to taste anything until dinner is served. However, I found my taste buds wildly stimulated by even the smallest amount of food just by focusing mindfully on the process of eating. I will walk you through the recipe step-by-step, as well as tell you where and when I tasted.

Mushroom Brown Rice Risotto (I developed this recipe from Mark Bittman’s recipe in this month’s Cooking Light)

1 cup short-grain brown rice

1 lb mushrooms of your choice

1 clove of garlic

1/2 small onion

1/4 cup red wine

3 cups vegetable broth

3 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Cook 1 cup brown rice in 2 1/2 cups water: Bring water to a boil, add rice, cook for 15 minutes (rice will not be done), drain, and set aside.

Step 2: Chop one clove of garlic and slice 1 lb of mushrooms

Enjoy the earthy, spongy texture of the mushrooms. If you’re brave, take a little taste of raw garlic, but don’t get too close to anyone tonight!

Step 3: Saute mushrooms and garlic for 6-7 minutes

Taste the sauteed mushrooms. Notice the difference between the raw and cooked ingredient. Which do you prefer? How does the texture and flavor change? 

Step 4: Remove mushroom mixture and put it into a separate bowl. Chop 1/2 a small onion and saute it for 5 minutes. Then add brown rice and stir for 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of red wine and let the wine evaporate.

You know you want to: Take a nice long sip of the red wine before putting it into the risotto. How does it feel on our tongue? I had a spicy Malbec on hand and thoroughly enjoyed my taste of it! 

Step 5: Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth at a time until you have added 3 cups total, pausing to allow broth to absorb each time it is added. Stir the risotto constantly.

Taste the risotto as you go! Notice how it is crunchy yet flavorful at first and watch and feel it soften. Notice how the flavors meld and form a perfect harmony in your mouth.

Step 6: After 3 cups of broth have been fully absorbed, add in 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese (you can omit this to make this recipe completely vegan) and the mushroom mixture

Enjoy!

How did mindfully tasting the food as you cooked feel? For me, I found so much gratitude for the food, for it’s contribution to the meal, and to how beautifully each ingredient fit in with the next. Tasting and food in general can never be taken for granted. Tasting mindfully brings presence and love into your meal.

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I love to eat! Food, for me, is spiritual. Everything from cooking, to serving, to eating feels like a prayer. Cooking is a way of interacting with nourishing ingredients, slowing down, and experiencing each small step of a larger process. The intention behind cooking is often to nurture ones you love, which imbues the food with positive, loving energy. I created one of my favorite recipes about a year ago. I was home by myself for the night and I wanted something homemade and tasty, but that would also provide leftovers for the next day. I started throwing ingredients into a pot and came up with Apple Fennel Cous-Cous. This recipe uses Israeli cous-cous which is heartier. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 large apple

1/2 onion

1 cup of Israeli Cous-Cous

1 1/4 cup of vegetable broth

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cinammon

1 tsp fennel

Salt and pepper to taste

Step 1: Gather all ingredients (As you can see, if you want to sip green tea while making this, be my guest)!

Step 2: Dice apple and onion

Step 3: Pour 1 tbsp of oil into a large sauce pot and then throw in the apples and onions as well as salt and pepper to taste. Saute for about 5 minutes on medium-high heat until the onions are translucent and the apples begin to soften.

Step 4: Add 1 cup of cous-cous, cinnamon, and fennel to the pot. Stir constantly for about 1 minute.

Step 5: Add the vegetable broth, cover and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir frequently to avoid allowing the cous-cous to stick to the bottom of the pot. You may want to add the extra tbsp of olive oil here to make sure it won’t stick.

Step 6: Make sure all of the liquid has absorbed into the cous-cous and that the apples and onions are soft. Then eat!

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