Authentic Indian Kitchari + INSTANT POT GIVEAWAY!

 

Greetings Beloved Ones! Today I am very excited to share an ancient, healing recipe with you… KITCHARI (kitch-a-ree). AND, even more exciting is an Instant Pot Giveaway! Woohoo!

If you’ve never heard of kitchari, you’re not alone. Many people have never heard about it and its deep, rich flavor and aromatic spices. Kitchari is a mainstay of traditional Indian households. All traditional East Indian people know that when one is weakened or sick they should eat only kichari for a speedy recovery. It’s basically an Indian dal made with split mung beans. 

Ayurvedic medicine, deemed “the mother of natural healing,” holds an ancient tradition that if one eats only kichari for at least three weeks, it will cure all diseases. The reasons  stated are that kichari is a delicious, light and easily digestible food that supplies all one’s nutritional needs while affording the internal organs the opportunity to recover from dietary excesses and/or deficiencies that are the foundation for disease.

A “kitchari fast” or “kitchari cleanse” is gaining popularity in the US these days, where all you eat for one day—or up to five days—is this lovely dish. I did this once and didn’t notice any real benefits but I’m sure it’s because I eat this way all the time! 🙂 However, if you’re new to healthy, plant-based, whole-food eating, or if you feel you need a cleanse, doing a one or two-day kitchari fast may be a perfect way to detoxify and rest your overworked digestive system. 

Kitchari means mixture. That’s because traditionally, it is made with mung beans and rice. Basmati rice to be precise. I don’t add rice to my kitchari. I prefer just the beans. I don’t eat white rice (the usual rice used) and since brown basmati, while delicious and nutritious, would be my substitute, I feel that it may be too heavy to digest, thus negating the positive quality of this easy-to-digest meal. Kitchari fasting is ultimately a mono-diet, which means the body receives a limited diversity of food and therefore needs to produce a limited number of digestive enzymes. The work of the digestive system is lessened, allowing for greater healing and cleansing to occur. Water only fasting is simply not practical for many people. This is a great solution and will afford your digestive system a much needed rest.

And here is a link to Amazon where I purchase my mung beans. These are the best I have found: Banyan Botanicals Split Mung Beans

For the spices, my go-to source (if you don’t live near an Indian Market) is Indian Foods Co. They will have everything you need to make this recipe.

Back to that Instant Pot giveaway!!! If you don’t have one yet, here is your chance! It is by far the best electric pressure cooker on the market. I use mine practically daily! It’s especially good for cooking dry beans. It’s also great for whole grains and many other wonderful dishes.

ENTER TO WIN YOUR OWN BY WATCHING MY VIDEO HERE

And please leave a brief comment below if you would like. One winner will be selected randomly. This contest is open for one week, through June 21. 2017.

GOOD LUCK!!!

Healthy trails, 

 

 

 

 

Broccoli Stalk Rice!

 

Hello, hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I don’t even know how long it’s been… life doesn’t stop. Situations arise and we make the best of them. I was in Florida for a few weeks taking care of my mom again. This time the doctor said she can’t live alone anymore. So we had to sell her condo and get her set up in an assisted living facility. Yikes. It was a very hard move for her, having been so independent her whole life.  While I was down there, I also got to spend a bunch of time at the nursing home she was in before we moved her. It’s very sad to see so many of our elderly in need. But on a high note, we found mom a good place to live and sold her condo very quickly! So I guess it was meant to be.

Otherwise, I’ve been busy with my screenwriting, which is another labor of love for me. And Mountain Man and I have been setting up the new garden! It’s always fun to plan and get the soil ready… we’re almost ready to plant. I can’t believe it’s May already!

I’ve also been working on my art. Don’t tell anyone but I’m OBSESSED with mandalas right now. And drawing them is great “therapy.” It’s almost like meditating. There is something very centering about the process. And with all of the dispersing energy I was immersed in while in Florida, I can use all the centering I can get! It is so good to be back home in my mountains, with my man.

Here is one of my latest drawings called “Heart Centered.” 

 

So, enough chatter, let’s get to today’s recipe! Have you ever purchased a nice, big head of broccoli, removed the florets and then just stared at those huge, fibrous stalks, wondering what to do with them and feeling guilty for ultimately throwing them away? Yeah, me too. Although since having a garden, they usually just wind up in the compost. Well, I brought home two such glorious heads and decided to try something new. What about pulsing those stalks in the food processor like I do with cauliflower for cauliflower rice? Hmm…. why not? In they went.

I was skeptical at first, not knowing how they would taste, and especially how they would turn out being so hard and woody. But guess what? They were great! And I did a little research and found out that the stems are just as nutritious as the florets. Score! I’m sure others have done this but I wanted to share with you how easy this is for a yummy side dish.

You can add whatever spices and flavorings you like or have on hand. I just used dried onion, a little red bell pepper and a seasoning that I love called 21 Season Salute (Trader Joe’s). So there you have it. An easy, low calorie, low fat, high nutrient wonder!

Healthy trails!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulled BBQ Jackfruit + Quick Barbecue Sauce

 

bbq jackfruit

Am I late to the Jackfruit party or what? Yes, there are many recipes out there for barbecued jackfruit and here I am creeping across the finish line. But… it’s not a race after all, is it? And while the rest of the plant-based world has been experimenting with jackfruit as a meat replacement, I’ve been enjoying creating recipes using MY particular favorite such product: Soy Curls

So I made these. And I must say, there were good. But next time… I’m using Soy Curls! I just think the texture of the curls is so much more meaty and substantial. Jackfruit, at least the canned variety that I buy, is just too soft for my texture-sensitive palate in this particular dish. I do really enjoy it in other things though. One that comes to mind is my Krabby Patties … oh, sooo good! Anyway, I did create a fabuloso quick barbecue sauce for this recipe that really rocks which I will definitely be using again.

Yes, I have been glaringly absent from your inbox of late. But I have a good excuse. I’ve been working non-stop on my latest screenplay which is finally done and off to contest-land and other outlets which will hopefully prove fruitful in getting my baby up onto the big screen. And, as fate would have it, I also recently optioned a different script and that project is looking mighty hopeful indeed! And, in addition, I’ve been working on a new website which will be more broadly devoted to holistic, spiritual and health issues (not just recipes). I’ll keep you posted and let you know when it’s live!

Meanwhile… here is today’s recipe. Enjoy!

Healthy trails, 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edamame Wasabi Noodle Salad ~ Low fat!

 

Yeah! Here is a salad I concocted today that is ultra yummy. I used tofu for the sauce instead of my usual go-to… cashews. I probably would also have added some tahini. But hey, it didn’t need it! The tofu was light and fluffy and just perfect. It’s got a little zing from some wasabi powder and fresh ginger… perfect!

Have you tried bean pasta yet? Oh my, it’s good. Albeit, the texture takes a little getting used to. 😮 I had been getting the black bean noodles but recently came across EDAMAME NOODLES! Wow! But wow on the price, too. Look around, you may find a better deal. I actually found some in a discount food store for $2.89 a bag! Bought every bag they had. Haha! It’s amazing what is available to us these days. Feeling blessed. 🙂 Of course, you could simply use rice noodles but I thought why not go the extra mile with some extra nutrients?

So, four pounds down today in as many days of my new LOW fat regimen. Not that weight loss was the goal but I’ll take it! Still working towards the ideal weight all these years later … this is working.

Healthy trails,

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Donuts with Chocolate Glaze + How Can a Vegan Have High Cholesterol?

 

Okay, dear ones, here it is. The dessert you’ve been dreaming about! That is, if you like chocolatey, heavenly donutty things. Mm-hm. That’s me! Well, I’ll be slowing down CONSIDERABLY on these types of treats for a long while starting… tomorrow. No, actually I already started omitting these kinds of foods, but I enjoyed the heck out of these babies prior to my new and (sigh) a bit restrictive way of eating. I know what you’re thinking. “Don’t you already have a restrictive diet?” Well, no, not actually because I’ve still been using nuts (cashews, cashews, cashews!!!), nut butters, nut flours, coconut products… see where I’m going? Yep. FAT. Let me explain…

I recently had some blood tests done as a matter of regular diagnostics at my new doctor’s office (who is a fabulous holistic M.D. by the way). So I get the results back and I am literally HORRIFIED by the numbers!!! What the heck??? My cholesterol is UP, my triglycerides are UP, my Vitamin D is DOWN. Huh? I’ve been plant-based for nearly FIVE YEARS. I take Vitamin D supplements… What’s going on? Well, I did a whole huge bunch of research and I suspect that it is… wait for it… genetics! Whoa! Really? Yes, really. There are a small number of us poor souls who have a specific genotype called Apolipoprotein E (commonly shortened to APOE) which makes the body hyper-respond to fat. Any kind of fat. So, even though my fat intake has been from plants, and even though I haven’t been gorging on coconut oil, it’s apparently still been way too much for this body of mine. For you scholarly types, here is an extensive article about this genotype: APOE Perhaps the lowered Vitamin D is somehow also connected with this madness. I’ll keep you posted.

It’s really enlightening though that immediately after I completed Dr. Fuhrman’s 6-week plan, all of those numbers were in a good place. On that plan, there is very little fat intake. Somehow I fell off the low fat path. I thought I was good to go by simply being plant-based and really didn’t think much about cholesterol since then. So, less is more as far as fat intake goes for me. I will continue to eat small amounts of nuts and seeds and the occasional avocado though, as some fat intake is needed for many reasons. 

On to these heavenly donuts. They’re amazingly light, not too sweet, SUPER chocolatey and, of course, vegan and oil-free. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

 

 

 

 

 

Borscht

 

Greetings, lovlies. So… soup. Yes, in the northern hemisphere it is soup weather! Although I could live on soup all year long, I especially enjoy it during the cold winter months. Borscht has been a staple in many eastern European countries for hundred of years. There are MANY variations in the recipe, according to a dear friend who spent some time in Russia and other slavic countries. The recipe derives from an ancient soup originally cooked from pickled leaves and the flowering stems of common hogweed, an herbaceous plant growing in damp meadows, which lent the dish its Slavic name. With time, it evolved into a diverse array of tart soups, among which the beet-based red borscht has become the most popular.

Red. Yes, this soup is NEON red. I think it’s because I used purple carrots, purple cabbage, red beets and purple onion. Heck yes, can I get a HELLLOOO for a heapin’ helpin’ of ANTHOCYANINS! Anyway, beautiful looks and health benefits aside, it is DEElicious! I hope you’ll try some for yourself.

Healthy trails,

 

 

 

 

Goji Golden Milk

 

What’s better than golden milk? GOJI golden milk! My goodness, there are SO many recipes available now for golden milk. And is it any wonder? This stuff is pretty magical. Turmeric, that is! It’s got such a bounty of health benefits, not the least of which is its amazing anti-inflammatory properties. It is also proven to help with rheumatoid arthritis. Check out my friend, Dr. Greger’s, video on this topic.  Turmeric also helps with sleep, and guess what? So do goji berries, so this is really a kicked up golden milk! 

For a fantastic article that covers, in-depth, the health benefits of goji berries, check out Goji Berry Benefits 101 – Everything You Need to Know.

You can use any plant-based milk you prefer for this golden milk. I used a full fat coconut milk for an extra creamy, dreamy delight. But for a lighter version, simply use rice milk, soy milk or almond milk. Besides all of its health benefits, this drink just TASTES GOOD! And it’s perfect for enjoying during these cold, snowy months, too.

Healthy trails,

 

 

 

 

Gluten-free, Oil-free, Vegan Corn Muffins!

 

Yes, yes, yes! I finally nailed it. Do you know how long I’ve been working on a recipe for corn muffins that don’t: fall apart, taste like chalk, are too crumbly, are dry, are too hard…. ? And on, and on. Well, a really long time actually. I lost count of the years!!! Baking without using oil and wheat is a definite challenge and I’ve mastered it pretty well. But corn muffins/corn bread is another story. Until now. These guys have a great “crumb.” That’s a baking term that means the texture is nice. 🙂 They’re moist and have the prefect sweetness. 

What’s the secret to a great gluten-free bake? LIGHT BUCKWHEAT FLOUR is what I have found to be the perfect wheat flour substitute. You could use regular buckwheat flour but I love that there is a light version, just for presentation sake… the dark buckwheat can make things look gray which isn’t so appealing to look at! 

Product link disclaimer: If you’ve been visiting my site for a while, you may notice that I use NO ADS in my posts. I really don’t like to be disturbed by pop-up ads when I’m browsing myself, and I’ve seen ads for items that really have no place on plant-based blogs. So I do make a very small amount of commissions if you click through and purchase an item on Amazon via my site. Thank you for your support in allowing me to continue posting recipes for you!

Healthy trails and happy baking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gingerbread Pancakes ~ Vegan, Gluten-free and Oil-free!

 

vegan gingerbread pancakes

Hey y’all! I just had to pop on here this morning and share this recipe with you because it is… SO. GOOD. And with Christmas around the corner, I thought you may want to try these out! They would be great for a holiday brunch. With a couple of tweaks to my basic, gluten-free pancake recipe, these gems were born. Yay!

I made a yummy cashew-based sauce to top them off but you can use whatever pancake toppings your heart desires. I hope you enjoy these as much as Mountain Man and I did!

Healthy trails and Happy Holidays from my kitchen to yours!

 

 

 

 

 

Oil-free Vegan Breakfast Sausage Patties (made with Soy Curls!)

 

vegan breakfast sausage

Hold onto your tastebuds because these babies are the real deal when it comes to sausagy flavor AND texture. Yep. Soy Curls once again steal front and center stage. Do try them! They’re amazing. Easily available on Amazon or via my kitchen store here.

I don’t know about you, but I was raised on the Standard American Diet (SAD), laden with cholesterol-rich animal products. It’s been five years since I began my plant-based journey, so that’s… 55 years of eating SAD food! And, yes, I admit it. Sometimes I miss (just a little bit) the flavor and texture of those old habits enemies favorites. So sometimes I try to recreate my old favorites using healthy ingredients. Like this one. Ta-da!

I made these for my dear friends who are part of our vegan supper club… for brunch. They were a big hit and now I happily share the recipe with you. Yay! This yields 20 patties; yes for a crowd. Feel free to cut it in half. These patties would make a perfect addition to any vegan brunch table, holiday or not. Don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you. It’s mostly spices. Yeah, it’s all about the spices. Enjoy!

Healthy trails,

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before baking

before baking

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