Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hello Vitality - Life and Recipes

Incase you were not aware (title of blog tends to prevent ignorance here), I am prone to uprooting my life and making big changes, often on a whim, though that is somewhat less the case as I age.  Maybe it's the crazy weather (we're talking 0-60 here), the impending end of my lease and time in Chicago with my amazing Roomy, and the big decision of what to do next.  I tend to get a bit (very) anxious around times of big decision making and kind of freak out.  I don't know anyone who really knows how to handle me when I'm like this, especially no guy.  I don't really know how to handle myself, so I don't blame anyone of course.

I'm making a few big(ish) changes this week.  I chopped off my hair (story of my life), am getting a more permanent addition, which I will divulge more about soon, and I trying to direct all of my energy and attention on myself.  Yeah, just me.  I'm being exceptionally selfish, but I feel a lot of weight for this next move for some reason.  I want it to be the right decision.  I feel like wherever I choose to go next I will be staying for a while.  I need to not be emotionally distracted and I need to kind of go into my own bubble in order to figure out what the best decision is for myself.  Self-hibernation?  Is that the right word?  I don't know.

On another note, I have the recipes from my last workshop!  It went well and we had some great conversations.  20 spritely souls attended and I prepared food in advance so we could do more talking and less waiting and watching me run around preparing food.  I cut things a bit close and completely forgot to take picture unfortunately! But here are the recipes:

Green Juice
1 Bunch Kale
1 Grapefruit - peel and pith removed as thoroughly as possible
1/2 (peeled if not organic) Cucumber
2 Granny Smith Apples
1 inch nob Ginger - add more if you like ginger

Beginning with the greens, turn on juicer on the low setting and juice the first 2 ingredients.  Turn juicer onto high and juice the remaining ingredients.

Breakfast Salad
2 heads of romaine - chopped
1 pint container fresh blueberries
1 ripe Pear - chopped
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

Toss all produce together.  Whisk oil and vinegar and drizzle on top of salad.  Toss to coat.  Consider any fruits to add. Bananas are awesome in breakfast salads.  Also consider a vanilla peanut butter dressing!

Arabic Rice and Lentils (Mjaddarah)
3/4 yellow onion chopped
1 Tbs Olive oil
About 3 Tbs Cinnamon
1 cup lentils (gets 2 cups water)
1.5 - 2 cups Basmati Rice or other long grain rice (gets 3-4 cups water)
Salt to taste
Cumin (optional)
Serve with yogurt

In a large pot, heat about 1 Tbs olive oil in a pot.  Add onions and cinnamon (cumin if using).  Sauté for 1-2 minutes.  Add lentils and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add rice and water.  Bring to a boil then to a simmer.  Cover pot and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes, checking water absorption to prevent burning after 15 minutes.

You can purchase a non-flavored, preferably unsweetened non-dairy or good quality yogurt (key words: organic, pastured, grass fed & finished) if you are eating dairy.  You can also make a homemade Cashew Yogurt by soaking cashews for 3 or more hours and blending or processing with lemon juice.  For a less sour tasting yogurt, add water as well and adjust liquid to get proper consistency.  To get a really smooth texture, I'd recommend a high powered blender.

My Mom's Hummus
1 can Garbanzo Beans, or soaked and boiled (this is a nice link)
Water of the Garbanzo Beans
4 Tbs Tahini
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Salt to taste
Cumin to taste

Put garbanzo beans in a food processor with the other ingredients, adding the liquid of the beans a little at a time at the end in order to achieve the desired consistency.  For a smoother texture put in a blender.  You may need to make a larger batch depending on the size and shape of your blender. 

Gluten-Free Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto
Quinoa Pasta - Elbow noodles - cooked as directed on box
Half a jar of dun-dried tomato pesto
Alternative: Make your own
Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Olive Oil

1/3-1/2 cup Parsley - washed and dried

Bring water to a boil, add pasta and while pasta cooks, use your food processor to combine either the jar of sun-driend tomato pesto with the parsley or the homemade sun-dried tomato pesto with the parsley.  Drain noodles and immediately mix with sauce to prevent noodles from sticking.  Top with Vegan Parm.

Cashew Parm
1/4 cup Cashews
Lemon juice - 1/4 lemon, add more if you prefer
3-4 Tbs Nutritional Yeast (Red Star Brand is preferred)
Salt to taste if you are using unsalted Cashews

Put all ingredients into food processor and process.  Add nutritional yeast if mixture is too wet.

Quick and Easy Banana Cream Pie
1 Pie crust - pre-bake (see recipe or buy frozen)
3-4 bananas depending on size
16 oz non-dairy yogurt of choice
1 can coconut milk
1 Tsp Vanilla
1-2 Tbs Maple Syrup

Place can of coconut milk upside down in the fridge.  Allow to set for at least 2 hours.  Prepare Pie crust and allow to thoroughly cool.  Mash bananas and mix with yogurt.  To be quick, throw both ingredients into a food processor, but this will result in less texture.  Pour mixture into pie crust.  Open can of coconut milk from the bottom of the can, which should be facing upwards since you flipped the can over when you put it into the fridge.  Pour out water or retain to add to other dishes in the future.  Scoop out the cream and whisk with vanilla and maple syrup.  Scoop on top of pie and either refrigerate to allow to set or serve immediately.  Consider drizzling with chocolate sauce or adding coco powder to the coconut cream for a chocolate topping.

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