Cleansing Kitchery

26 02 2012

Happy Sunday once again. It’s a snowy one here but a good day for CBC podcasts and to cook up a pot of Kitchery. I am honestly surprised I hadn’t shared this recipe with you before. For the yogis out there, they’d know it, especially if you’ve been to practice in India. Kitchery is a very basic meal of ghee, mung beans, brown rice and herbs. It is a staple for doing panchakarma which is an ayurvedic whole body cleanse. And when I say whole body, I mean from the nasal passages to bowel to skin. It is quite intense and meant to balance. During the cleanse (about a week or so) you eat nourishing and very easily digested foods, namely kitchery. I’ve talked about a mono-diet on this blog before and it’s my experience that it is a good way to stick to healthful living. Cooking a one pot soup or quinoa salad and eating it every day for lunch or dinner ensures you are eating well and it is just so convenient when you are busy, which most of us are. Last week was an insanely busy week of work with ordered in lunches and dinner events which didn’t end on the weekend with two more dinner outings. Fun but I am finished with eating out for a bit ;). A pot of kitchery will do the trick this week to balance body and mind.

I like to add the vegetables to the kitchery instead of steaming them on the side, which is quite normal. One pot stop. You can add whatever vegetables you like, I grabbed what was at the market yesterday. I add asafoetida to this recipe and to some Indian dishes when cooking without onions and garlic. If you read this blog often you’ll know that onions and garlic are not usually considered a calming (sattvic food), so when cleansing, we eliminate them. Asafoetida is a herb used in India and some Middle Eastern countries and known to support digestion. It stinks so bad though, I keep mine double zip-locked! You only need the smallest of a pinch to get the flavour and benefit. If you don’t have it, no worries, but look for it in your Indian grocery.

  • 1/2 cup Mung Beans, soaked for awhile or up to over night
  • 1 tbsp Ghee (I use my favourite coconut oil-ghee blend)
  • 1/2 cup Brown Basmati or Jasmine Rice, rinsed
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 2 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1/2 inch grated Ginger
  • 6 cups of filtered Water
  • 1 cube low sodium Veggie Stock
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt (or to taste)
  • Pinch Asafoetida
  • 2 cups chopped Carrots
  • 2 cups chopped Parsnips
  • 1/2 head Cauliflower, cut to small florets
  • 1 bunch Dinosaur Kale, de-stemmed and chopped

Heat the ghee in a soup pot, add the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds, the cardamom and ginger. Stir until they become aromatic, a couple of minutes. Add the mung beans, rice, water, salt, veggie stock, turmeric and asafoetida. Bring to a boil, then let simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes. Add the veggies, except for the kale, cook stirring now and then, for 30 minutes. The rice and mung beans should be softening by now and water absorbing. Add the kale, cook covered until the rest of the water is absorbed and kale cooked, about 15 minutes. You may need to add a bit more water, just keep an eye on it.

Wishing you a healthful week,

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Roadtrip: Kelowna and Vernon

1 08 2011

Enjoying the summer? We have had a busy agenda so far. This past week we made it out to the Okanagan in BC for our second annual trip to stay and visit friends in both Kelowna and Vernon. Can you call something twice done annual? Sure. This year we stayed at the Palliser Lodge in Golden, BC on the way out so our drive wasn’t as long and we didn’t have to leave early in the morning from Calgary. It was lovely, quiet and just what the doctor ordered. I was fighting a summer cold, but I warded it off with Vitamin C, Echinacea and homeopathic Coryzalia (besides my pillow and lots of rest). I was not risking a cold for wine tasting and buying. 😉

Our first stop was, well, uh, um, a winery. I changed into a summery frock in the Orchard Mall parking lot and we headed to Summerhill Winery for a light lunch and glass of wine before meeting up with our friends. Priorities eh, kidding, it was a scheduling opportunity. At Summerhill we had a build-it-yourself cheese platter. The one thing that I was in love with were the Truffled Wild Mushrooms. How easy would this be to make. Saute various wild mushrooms (chanterelle, morels, porcini etc) in some light olive oil and a bit of truffle oil. Yum. I’m gonna remember this one to try one day. We picked up wine after lunch and headed to Cedar Creek, their Merlot is a favourite of ours. It was all business, we know what we want, taste the newest press, choose, buy.

Cheese, Fresh Bread and Truffled Mushrooms

On the way home from BC we always pick up fruit. This is where my rants about organic versus local get stirred up in my head. We bought as much organic as we could, but it is not as prevalent and usually only found at the farmers markets that we missed. You can get pesticide free fruit, not necessarily certified organic, this is a good alternative though. It is expensive for farmers to certify when they can’t control the farms around them spraying. Anyhow, we did our best and picked up a box of apricots for grandma (she likes to make jam), a box of peaches (Tony’s favourite), a small box of cherries (they had a late harvest this year and we ate half of the box on the way home) and a big box of blueberries. What to do with all this fruit? Eat some fresh, bake some and freeze the rest!

I am not a jam maker, per se. I like to make fresh jams without sugar and they don’t preserve for long, so I make small batches of freezer jams and use frozen fruit through the winter to make new batches and other things. I bought the blueberries mostly for my green smoothies. Green Smoothie = fruit + green leafy vegetables, i.e. spinach, kale, swiss chard, beet greens etc. It’s the first thing I eat every morning. 1.5 cups of fruit to 3 cups of veg. Blend it up well with 2 cups of water. Good for the body, mind and soul (and digestive track :)). Drink this before a healthy breakfast, good to go.

Banana, Blueberries with Spinach and Swiss Chard from my garden

Freezing fruit for winter is easy. I like to wash it all off with a veggie wash. I fill the sink, immerse the fruit for a few minutes and then rinse. Let it dry a bit. Place berries on a cookie tray to dry, use a dish towel or paper towel if you’d like. Cut fruit like peaches into slices and place on tray. Freezing like this doesn’t take long. When frozen throw fruit into a freezer bag, pressing as much air out as possible. If you have an airtight bagging system, use that of course. I don’t, but might invest in one. Enjoy fruit all winter long.

What is your favourite summer fruit or fruit recipe?

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Lunch at Work v.1

17 07 2010

At work, not sure what to eat? I have said before that buying lunch while working is more of a treat then a necessity, at least that is how I approach it. I am not a fan of buying lunch every day especially if the choices are less than desirable and unhealthy. I do my best to pack food to work where ever I go. I eat a lot in the day and not so much at night, and this helps with sleep, digestion and getting up to practice.

I got a comment (thanks Heather) for ideas for packing lunch to work. For this I am going to start a blog series called Lunch at Work, with new versions as they come to mind. I eat a fairly ‘mono-diet’ so it might be awhile before the next one. The recipe i’ll share today can be changed so many ways so experiment! I started a new contract assignment two weeks ago and between friends in town, yoga workshops, Stampede and adjusting everything else I was doing and adding in an additional 8 hours of work a day, lunch preparations were tough, but I made it through. Here’s the low down on surviving a crazy two weeks and an idea for lunch.

Breakfast: This stayed consistent, green smoothie packed with me. 1 banana, 1 pear+1/2 cup of ice or 3/4 cup frozen berries, 2-3 cups of raw spinach or kale. Blend together until smooth, go.

Second breakfast (lately, sometimes eaten at lunch): 1/2 cup sprouted oat groats or kamut, cooked with a bit of cinnamon. 2 tbsp toasted nuts, drizzle of agave syrup. See previous post Kamut for Breakfast. I make two portions at a time, ready in the fridge, eaten cold, no need to stop and make oatmeal.

Lunch: The best thing I brought to lunch was a rice salad. I did buy lunch a couple of times. The deli/cafe at my client is really good. They have lots of healthy selections and soup options.

Rice Salad: Cook 1 cup of whole grain, brown or mixed rice. I love this one from Planet Organic bulk, it takes about 45 min to cook. You can keep the cooked rice in the fridge and make a fresh salad each night, or even add with some dinner left overs. It’s important to eat whole grains through the day, it is long-lasting energy and high in fibre = better metabolism.

To 1/2 cup of cooked rice I added 1/3 cup mixed beans (canned or pick up your favourite mixed bean salad from a deli, planet has a few good ones), diced veggies like carrots, red/yellow pepper, cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, cilantro and sprouts. I had a few olives left over so I added those one day. Another day I added cubed goat gouda I had in the fridge. Toasted pine nuts left from a bean dish I made tasted yummy. For dressing, make it simple, olive oil and apple cider vinegar, fresh cracked pepper. Eat cold on the go.

Afternoon: Always, always, an apple. I love apples and I can’t wait to start buying delicious organic apples from BC this summer. As well I pack a ‘power cookie’. I make dozens at a time and keep in the freezer and in a jar on the counter. That recipe another time.

Eat well, be well,

Nat





More Sprouts

14 05 2010

Here is a great lunch that includes sprouts, so easy to throw on whatever you like. I had 1/2 cup of brown rice left over, warmed that up and placed into a bowl. I warmed up Lemon Tahini dip, mixed it with some chickpeas and added that to the rice bowl (can’t see them in the picture but they are under the veggies). Over the stove I steamed  carrots, broccoli and curly kale and added that to the bowl. Sliced up a few black olives and sprinkled the whole thing with sprouts (those are the Spring Salad Mix), sesame seeds and fresh ground pepper. You could give the bowl a squeeze of lemon if you’d like and Voila! Healthful lunch on the fly.

Eat well, Be well,

Nat





Just Eat It: Kale Chips

14 02 2010

My good friend Dana owns the Yoga Shala in Calgary. In her monthly newsletter there will be a section dedicated to good food, it’s called ‘Just Eat It’. This month we published Kale chips. I adapted this recipe from a raw food class I took. I really enjoyed the raw food class, some of it was basics I had known and other things I had just not bothered to try. I have been experimenting with raw food recipes for awhile now. I don’t eat all raw, there is something so nourishing about a good bowl of soup in the winter that I have a hard time giving up. I’d say raw is more prevalent in the summer months for me. But I have replaced my ‘fruit+hemp powder morning shake’ with a ‘green smoothie’ (fruit+lots of spinach or kale or any leafy green+water). I feel a big loss if I miss out in it in the morning. It is simply the easiest way to get 1-2 servings of fruit and 2-4 servings of veggies and all before lunch! Keep increasing the ratio of greens to fruit, it helps maintain blood sugar levels. Sip throughout the morning.

Kale chips seem to be a popular raw food snack. It is so easy and so good for you. Kale is a leafy green and is high in vitamins K, A and C, fibre and an antioxidant. This veggie packs a healthful punch and even Dana liked them (maybe because they are disguised like chips).

1 bunch organic curly leafed kale, washed and dried

1/8 cup walnut oil

1 Tbl lemon juice

1/2 tsp sea salt

Pinch garlic powder or 1 clove minced garlic (optional for sattvic yogis)

Tear kale off the thick stem into bite size pieces, place in bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients. ‘Massage’ the oil mixture into the kale, so it is evenly coated. Place in single layer on sheets in dehydrator for 2.5 hours. Or, preheat oven to lowest setting (150F-175F), turn oven off. Place kale in single layer on baking sheets, put in oven. If you have an oven thermometer, check the temperature every 30 minutes and warm oven again when it drops below 90F. Your finished when kale is dry and crisp, about 2 hours. I have an oven that heats to 150F, I just leave it on, flipping and moving the kale around every 30 min. If you are a raw food purest, this would be inappropriate, but drying kale in the oven is still more beneficial than eating potato chips! If you love them, double or triple the recipe. Eat it.

Eat well, Natalie