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

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Lunch at Work: Three Bean Soup

5 02 2012

Okay, I looked at the calendar, it says it’s February but you’d never know it with the weather we are having. Soup for lunch is a staple for me in the ‘winter’ but this winter is a bit funky. Enjoy it while it’s here but be a little concerned about what it means in the bigger scheme of things. Anyone that doubts climate change should go outside for a walk on February 5, in a light jacket. I saw kids playing basketball at the park across the street yesterday.

We go to Costco about once a month to pick up our toiletries and such. More and more organic foods are arriving there which is super exciting. I noticed a few months ago a new addition to the TruRoots products, sprouted bean mix.Until recently Costco was only selling their quinoa but now has the bean mix and chia seeds. Nice. The bean mix is super good and quick. The beans have been sprouted and dried so you can have cooked beans in about 15 min. It has lentils, mung beans and adzuki beans in it. I made up this super simple soup and have eaten it a lot for lunch this ‘winter’. I skip the onion completely but if you want, add it in with the carrots and celery for a proper mirepoix. The veggie stock has onion in it anyhow.

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
  • 2-3 large Carrots
  • 2-3 stalks Celery
  • 2-3 medium Parsnips
  • 2 cups TruRoots Bean Trio
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Small bunch of Parsley
  • Sprig or two of Thyme (remember you can keep parsley, thyme, rosemary etc in the freezer)
  • 5 Pepper Corns
  • 2 cubes of low sodium Veggie Stock
  • 9- 10 cups of filtered Water
  • 1 can of Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 1 medium Zucchini
  • Sea Salt and fresh ground Pepper to taste

Prepare the veggies by chopping them small. For soup I like to cut my carrots and parsnips into half-moon like shapes, celery the same, unless it is quite big, then I might cut it lengthwise first. Heat the oil in a soup pot, add the carrots and celery and cook on medium heat until they start to soften. Add the parsnips, beans, spices, stock and water. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for 15 min. Check the beans for softness. Add the tomatoes and zucchini, simmer covered again for another 10-15 minutes. If you think you need more liquid, add a bit more water or next time add less beans. This ends up being a thick and hearty soup which I like at lunch. Experiment, add other veggies of your choice.

My Sunday-post-primary-practice-yoga-ladies were talking today about the cost of food and the ‘healthlessness’ of our society these days. An important element to this is that we have lost our means of being resourceful people in regards to eating. I hear all the time that vegetables are expensive. I don’t say they aren’t but in relation to what? Being compared to processed foods like KD and ichiban, not a fair comparison. It’s what is more nourishing that matters. This soup costs less than $10 and it feeds me for five or more days (I added it up below). I’m full and have done good for my mind and body. The other options? Probably the same price at way less value. And if you’re buying lunch every day, totally different story. This post is for my Sunday ladies, love our time together. 🙂

Eat well, be well,

Nat

  • Bean Trio $15 (enough for about 6-8 pots of soup)
  • Bag of organic carrots $4
  • Organic celery stalks $3
  • 1 Organic zucchini $2
  • Bag of Organic parsnips $4
  • Organic Parsley, Thyme $4 (and freeze left overs for later)
  • Bay Leaf, pepper corns $4
  • Box of organic veggie stock $5
  • Can of organic tomatoes $2
  • Oil of some sort, salt and pepper – nil (I assume most people have something of the sort)
  • Water – nil
  • 1 hour of time
  • Total: $43 and you have ingredients to make more soup or other things. Don’t buy organic and maybe save a bit more, but not much these days. Shop local and within season.




Parsnip Soup

19 01 2011

I recently went to NOtaBLE for lunch with a fellow Health Food Junkie and we had the most amazing parsnip soup (followed by a killer grilled cheese, not so healthy, but satisfying :)). The soup was very simple, parsnip, apple with a blue cheese creme fresh on top, yum. I hadn’t made parsnip soup before, so I looked around for recipes. I found this recipe on Food Network Canada and it looked great, developed by a holistic dietician. I made a few changes based on taste. With the research I did I can experiment with recreating the parsnip and apple soup now too.

There is so much to love about this soup recipe.

1. I love parsnips and could eat roasted parsnips every winter day. Mmmm, roasted with carrots and beets. Parsnips are full of vitamins, minerals and fibre. I got these fine organic parsnips from my favourite market, the Kingsland Farmers Market.

2. It calls for coconut oil. According to some health practitioners coconut oil is the most healthiest of oils. It is a saturated Medium-Chain Fatty Acid (MCFA) and is metabolized differently then saturated and unsaturated Long-Chain Fatty Acids which is what animal and vegetable fats are. Although saturated they do not negatively effect cholesterol. I won’t bore you with the science, but it is worth looking into for yourself and while you’re at it, look into why you shouldn’t be congesting margarine and oil like products. Some fats are good for you, investigate this, it is part of healthy digestion, metabolism and weight management.

3. It has white cannellini beans so it is a hearty soup, with a good source of protein and fibre.

4. It is so easy to make! You don’t even peel the carrots or parsnips. Buy organic and scrub them a little with a veggie scrub.

1 cup dried White Beans, Navy or Cannellini, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1 Yellow Onion, chopped (for sattvic, skip)
2 stalks Celery, chopped
1 Carrot, unpeeled, chopped
4 medium Parsnips, unpeeled, chopped
1 clove Garlic (or 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder, or skip for sattvic)
2 tbsp Organic Coconut Oil
1/2 tsp fresh or dry Thyme
1/2 tsp fresh or dry Sage
Sea Salt
Fresh Cracked Pepper
5-6 cups of Filtered Water

  • In a soup pot, add the coconut oil, carrots, celery and onion over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until the vegetables start to brown, about 5-10 min.
  • Add the beans, garlic, thyme, sage, salt and pepper, stir well. Cover with water, about 2-3 cups. Bring to boil and then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add parsnips to pot and cover with water plus two inches over the top of vegetables, about 2-3 cups. Bring to boil and then turn down to simmer for another 20 min or so, stirring occasionally. When both the parsnips and beans are tender remove from heat.
  • Using a hand blender, blend the soup until smooth (or let soup cool and use a blender). If the soup is thicker than you’d like (and it will thicken a bit more) add a 1/2 cup or more water. Adjust with salt and fresh cracked pepper.
  • Serve with homemade or sourdough bread. Yum.
  • If you want to make this same day, replace the dried beans for 2 cups of canned beans, do only one boil/simmer step, add the beans 10 min into simmering and then blend when the parsnips are done. That should work but dried soaked beans are always better – keep them in the fridge for a day or so if you run out of time to make the soup.
  • I doubled the recipe, made a nice big pot!

Eat Well, Be Well,

Nat