Sunday, March 27, 2011

It's been a while!

     Yes, it has been a while! I took a little break, but now I'm back! :-) Thank you for your patience and I hope you will continue to be faithful to await each post I write...I know you do... ;-)

     Well, I am just getting over a terrible cold - okay, maybe it was allergies. I don't know. It felt like a cold to me, but everyone who lives in Texas has said it is the pesky allergies of the Lone Star state. Who knows. But I am beginning to feel like my energetic self once again - so thankful!! :-)

     This past week we have focused on grains, beans, and meditation. It has been quite interesting. One of the main thoughts recently is being conscious in the kitchen. For instance, the energy (mood/attitude) you put in your food has a great impact on your food and how it will affect your body. Think about it. How does your body feel after quickly eating a frozen meal that has been microwaved and then rushing off to get to your next meeting? On the other hand, how do you feel after you've patiently spent time preparing a well-balanced meal which you enjoy while peacefully sitting at your kitchen table with a friend? The energetics of food should not be overlooked. Consider the environment and your attitude as you prepare your food. It makes a difference. Do you have negative thoughts or worries as you eat or cook? Are you having a "dicussion" while cooking or eating? Or do you think pleasant thoughts as you prepare food that will nourish your body? I had never given this much thought in the past, but we are what we eat - and not just the food, but how the food has been impacted before it even reaches our plate.

    I have a few questions for you and I don't ask you these to make you feel bad or even self-righteous (depending on your answers), but rather for awareness on your approach to being conscious in the kitchen.

     1. Do you use a microwave on a regular basis?
     2. Do you typically purchase organic or conventional produce?
     3. Do you eat your food on-the-go or at your kitchen table?
     4. How many whole foods (not in a package) do you actually eat everyday?
     5. Do you consume "food" that includes ingredients you can't pronounce?
     6. Do you vary your methods of cooking - sauteing, braising, baking, blanching?
     7. Do you create a lot of "racket" in the kitchen (i.e. banging pots, etc)?
     8. Are you appreciative of the ingredients you are using?

     The next time you step into your kitchen, be mindful of your approach. Take the time to deliver yourself and your loved ones a meal that will nourish every part of the body (not just easing the hunger pangs). Everyone deserves a pleasant and peaceful experience while cooking and while dining. This is all just food for thought. :-) Perhaps you are one of those skeptics who think this entire post and thought process is ridiculous, but I encourage you to think about everything that I have presented. Be mindful. Be thankful. Be connected with what you are putting inside of your body - it's where you live...please take care of yourself!

     Alrighty, I leave you with two recipes - a grain dish and a bean dish. Invite these nourishing elements onto your plate. Your body will thank you. :-)

Quinoa Salad with Pecans and Cranberries – 4-6 servings
1 ½ cup water or stock
sea salt to taste
1 cup quinoa
¾ cup pecans
3 scallions, sliced in thin rounds
1/3 cup celery, finely diced
1/3 cup parsely, finely chopped
¼ - ½ cup dried unsweetened cranberries, finely chopped
Dressing:4 tsp EVOO
2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp lemon Juice
½ tsp ume vinegar
4 tsp rice vinegar
ground black pepper
1. Bring water to a boil. Add salt. Stir in quinoa. Cover, turn to low and cook 15-20 minutes.
Toast pecans in a 350 degree F oven for 10-12 minutes or until lightly toasted. Cook completely and coarsely chop. Set aside.
Combine all dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add scallions, celery, parsley, and cranberries to dressing. Set aside.
When quinoa is done, transfer it to a bowl and fluf it with a fork. Set aside to cool.
Once the quinoa is cooled, add the dressing mixture and the toasted pecans to it and stir well. Adjust salt to taste. Salad is best if set aside for at least an hour to allow flavors to blend. Serve cool or at room temperature. This keeps well in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Peppered Red Lentils – 4 servings
1 cup red lentils
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
2 onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp EVOO (optional)
¼ tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
3 sprigs parsley
Place lentils, bay leaf, and water in pot and parboil (bring to a boil, skim off foam).
Add onion and garlic and cook for 15 minutes.
Add oil, salt, and pepper and cook an additional 5 minutes or until beans are soft.
Adjust seasoning to taste. Garnish with parsley sprigs.

Blessings to you and on your food. :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment