Over the past week, my mornings have been exceptionally spacious. For the first time ever, my regular morning yoga clients are out of town at the and all my coaching clients and group yoga classes are in the afternoon or evening. So, I’ve been taking advantage of these rare – actually unprecedented -mornings in my life. My enjoyable activities not only include reading the New York Times with my husband (also a freelancer) and yoga, but cooking slightly more involved breakfasts.
Now, the word “involved” really only applies to the wider array of ingredients used, as what I’ve been reminded of is how simple good, well-rounded breakfasts are to make. Here’s one of my favorites that makes a great lunch or dinner:
Last week was unusually frigid and left me craving warming, wholesome meals. So, I decided to cook one of my favorite and incredibly simple lentil dishes: Black Beluga lentils Indian Style.
Believed to be Middle Eastern in origin, Beluga lentils are very high in protein (about 24% of the legume is protein). When raw, Beluga lentils have a shiny, glistening appearance, so much so someone believed these little legumes resembled the black roe of the Beluga sturgeon (no relation to the whale!). You can find these lentils, which are also excellent in salads, at your local health food store or online. Yes – they’re costlier legumes, but I think worth every cent. I get them at Brooklyn’s Union Market where 15 ounces of organic Beluga lentils cost $3.99. This warming recipe, which I decided to serve up with organic brown rice and collard greens, can also be made with red lentils.
This whole meal, for 2 + leftovers, comes to about $7.42
On a whim, I recently bought a small container of goat’s milk at Zabar’s on the Upper West Side. While drinking the earthy tasting, calcium-loaded substance, I was reminded of Mahatma Gandhi’s reference to goat’s milk in his autobiography “The Story of My Experiments with Truth.” After years of complete abstention from animal products in observance of ahimsa (the yogic self-discipline of non-violence) and frequent fasting, Gandhi-ji’s health was in jeopardy. His new doctor, Dr. Dalal insisted the emaciated Gandhi-ji add goat’s milk to his diet. After some resistance, he complied and his health improved in due time. Resentfully, Gandhi-ji committed to drinking goat’s milk for the rest of his life to stay strong.
Goat’s milk is acclaimed for being beneficial for digestive health, loaded with vitamins and minerals, non-mucus forming, immune system boosting, having anti-inflammatory compounds, and fighting bone-demineralization. It’s also less allergenic than cow’s milk as it’s alkaline versus acidic, making it an option for lactose intolerant people. Likewise, it’s naturally homogenized, so nutrients and positive bacterium aren’t lost in the pasteurization process. It has a slightly higher fat content that cow’s milk, though the fat globules in goat’s milk are smaller and easier to digest. While reduced fat versions are available, I prefer to buy the full-fat version and drink it in small quantities.
My man and I are back from Vegas with bands on our fingers! We cruised into JFK late Saturday night after a few beautiful and amusing days in that most interesting place. In brief, I couldn’t have imagined a better wedding day. I promise to share more in the near future about tiny, 11 guest event… and photos.
One thing I was craving after a day of travel and too many kettle chips was a healthy share of vegetables and a bit of protein. Here’s what we settled upon: roasted purple potatoes with rosemary, sweet dumpling squash, sautéed rainbow chard, and organic BBQ chicken wings. We got our bounty of organic groceries at Ditmas Park’s Flatbush Food Coop after a run around the neighborhood.
By the way, if you’re having a small dinner party, this is an easy menu. The wings are also awesome for a Super Bowl fête.
The weather has been all over the place. Damp and nearly 60 degrees yesterday, chilly and chance of wintery mix today. After a pleasantly full day (taught a lot of yoga, worked on my new website [Stay-tuned…], picked up wedding bands/tied up some loose ends to get ready for the very tiny Las Vegas wedding we’ll be having on Friday, and volunteered at the soup kitchen of the New York City Rescue mission), I came home last night craving something light, semi-wintery, fresh, and fragrant.
Kabocha squash curry with sautéed kale and Moroccan inspired couscous. Sure, this meal isn’t loaded in protein… You could always serve it up with some lentils on the side. I wasn’t too concerned about protein last night, as I’d had a lot earlier in the day: scrambled eggs with baby spinach I made for brunch and the bit of meatloaf I ate at the rescue mission (their Chef Pedro makes some impressive dishes!).
A bad photo of my squash cooking
Please forgive the poor and incomplete photography! I cooked this meal a day or two before deciding to create this blog.
My good old pasta maker.
One thing I’m really looking forward to in 2013 is the weeklong yoga retreat I’ll be hosting with Summer Shirey in Umbria, Italy in October. To start gearing up, I decided to make homemade pasta last Saturday for Summer, her husband, and my man. I was relieved to learn that making pasta is like riding a bike… the last time I made it was as a girl with my mother back in the early 1990’s.
Using the same, old hand crank machine, I set out to make papadelle.
My sense of time has been uncharacteristically loose over the past week. With the cessation of my daily radio show (which required pretty strict time management) and the fact that my regular morning yoga client is out of town, life’s been, well, less structured. I suppose a little change in routine from time to time is a good thing.
Something else out of the norm I just did: eat a carb generous supper after 10:00pm. From a health standpoint, I definitely don’t endorse late meals on a regular basis! But, hey, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta.
Here’s what we ate:
Rigatoni with butternut squash and a bit of Parmesan cheese freshly grated on top.
My inspiration for the dish came from 2 places: