Archive for 2008

A Hearty Stew for the New Year: Jan. 2009

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

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Hearty Lentil – Garbanzo Stew

Utensils: Dutch Oven or Crock Pot, Sauce Pan, Cutting Board, Knife, Strainer or Colander
Prep. Time: 15 min. (plus extra time if you sprout lentils and soak chickpeas)
Cooking Time: One hour to simmer
Category VEGAN

Ingredients (Organic whenever possible)

2 cups water or soup stock
2 cups (sprouted) lentils*
one cup cooked (or soaked*) chickpeas
½ cup sliced celery or fennel (1/2 in. pieces)
one carrot, scrubbed and cut into rings
herbs to taste (parsley, chives, thyme, etc.)
miso+ or salt & pepper
one-two Tbl. olive oil
kale (optional)
+ Items in bold italics can be found in the Glossary

Directions

*Note: I recommend soaking dry garbanzos the night before, draining them in the morning, and placing them on a cookie sheet or pan in the freezer for a couple of hours before starting the stew. If you prefer the short cut, just purchase one can of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and drain them. The lentils really need no soaking, but for increased nutrition, soak two nights before, drain into a colander and allow to sprout 48 hours, rinsing two to three times and draining before adding to the pot.

1. Place frozen or cooked garbanzo beans and (sprouted) lentils in a crockpot or Dutch oven and add water or stock to cover the lentils & beans. (Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to add a little more water or broth during cooking.)

2. Add celery or fennel, carrot, and herbs to taste, as well as salt and pepper. (If using miso paste, wait until the end of cooking.) When using soup stock, you will need less seasoning, so add accordingly.

3. Put the flame on LOW or the crockpot on LOW and allow to cook for at least one hour. Check to be sure there is enough liquid. If not, add ½ cup – one cup as needed.

4. (Optional step): Near the end of the cooking, rip two or three leaves of kale and cook on a low flame with enough water to cover in a separate sauce pan for 20 minutes to remove the sometimes bitter taste. Drain the kale and add to finished stew. (Leftover water can be cooled and used for plants.)

5. If using miso, take some of the liquid from the stew, place in a small bowl, and mash one tablespoon of miso into the liquid until it is dissolved. Then add back to the stew. Do not use boiling water, since it destroys the enzymes in the miso.

6. Add the drained and cooked kale, the olive oil, and mix together. Serve using a slotted spoon, unless you want the extra liquid.

Nutrition Note: Miso is a wonderful addition to many of my dishes. I plan to post a profile of miso this month in the Product Information Corner.

New Year’s Tips for the Body, Mind & Spirit

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

Note: The photos in this posting are from a recent trip to State College, PA, soon after a mid-December snow fall. The starkness of the trees and landscape are quite compelling to me—spare and bare, like the desert, only snow instead of sand. These 25 hints are also bare and spare: simple concepts that many of you may already be embracing.

1. Do what you love—health & healing will follow.
2. Find which foods work for you and eat them most of the time.
3. Find an exercise program you enjoy and do it regularly.
4. Take a high quality multivitamin and mineral for life.
5. Surround yourself with people that make you feel good.

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6. Take care of unfinished business. (Do whatever you need to do to release your anger, resentment, fears, worries, insecurities, or anything else that keeps you from being happy and healthy.)
7. Heal your relationship with your parents. (I would add with anyone in your family circle.)
8. Make fun and relaxation a priority on your daily schedule.
9. Learn to love yourself.
10. Find your inner peace and hold on.

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11. Connect with your Source (God, Divine Spirit, Higher Self, etc.) as often as you can.
12. Treat the earth well. We can’t live without her!
13. Do the best you can and trust others to do the same.
14. Stay light. Don’t take yourself and your life too seriously.
15. Ask for help when you need it.

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16. Create a refuge for yourself. Surround yourself with objects, pets, and nature that support your peace.
17. Take care of your body. Your body is your temple, so if you treat it with kindness and attention, it will be your friend for life.
18. Enjoy sex as loving communion.
19. Embrace nature as your healer.
20. Live each moment to the fullest. Be completely present.

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21. Cultivate and treasure silence, regularly, every day.
22. Patience it not just a virtue, it’s a necessity.
23. Know what makes you tick and then do what makes your heart sing.
24. Take responsibility for your own life. No one else will.
25. Make loving and being of service your highest priority.

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(Original Title: 25 Tips for a Wonderful Life – Author unknown)
You may not agree with all these statements, and even if you do, attempting to accomplish all of them at once is daunting. Might I suggest you tackle one each week, so that by mid-year you will be well on your way to a wonderful life?

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