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Journal

Embodied Rituals for Skin + Soul

Filtering by Tag: Vegan

Spring Miso Soup

Katie Gordon

Hi All!  It's been SO long since I've posted that I don't even know how to catch you up.  So let's just skip that for now so that I can share with you this awesome miso soup recipe that my amazing roommate and I made tonight.  The original inspiration for this recipe came from my mentor and friend, Nicole. As most of you know, I've been studying Chinese medicine in conjunction with Shiatsu Anma massage for awhile now and I've been getting into macrobiotics/eating and getting in tune with the seasons.  When I stick to it, I've noticed I feel much more grounded and at home in my mind and body.  Now that it's finally feeling like spring here in New England, it seems like a good time to start talking about Spring in terms of TCM.  Just in time for Summer to roll around...

Spring is the time for us to renew our relationship with our liver, which has been working extra hard all winter to digest the fats and heavy foods that have been sustaining us for the last few months.  Energetically, the liver is responsible for establishing a smooth flow of energy through the body and mind.  For these reason, Spring is also a great time to cleanse the liver, but more on that later.  Here are some basic guidelines for spring food:

- Eat light(ly)!  Not just less, but light foods.  Think organic greens, sprouts, lots of fresh veggies (of which there will be lots in the farmers' markets now), and grains. - Simple food preparation.  Steaming and sauteeing are quick and easy ways to cook most of those fresh veggies you just picked up. - Incorporate sweet and pungent flavors to move stagnation and get your chi (or qi if you prefer) moving. - Limit intake of salty foods.  Salt as a flavor has a sinking and contracting energy, which is the opposite of what we want to do in the spring.  Side note: I know miso is salty, but it's an exception because it's awesome and good for your liver.

Keep in mind for this recipe that it's soup, so feel free to vary any amounts (I didn't measure exactly) or add in/leave out whatever you're feelin' or not.

Also, mushrooms are a superfood.  Fact.

Spring Miso Soup:

8 c. water 2-3 c. chopped and whole fresh mushrooms (I used shiitake and cremini mushrooms, chopping up some and leaving some of the shiitake whole to make things interesting) 2-3 green onions, chopped 5-6 Tbsp. red miso* pre-cooked barley** handful of dandelion greens, chopped

Clean your mushrooms, chopping up some or all, and put them in a bit pot with the water, heat to a boil, turn to a simmer, and let them simmer away for an hour or so.  You don't have to do it this long, but it makes a richer mushroom broth and also extracts more of the nutrients in the mushrooms.

Now that you have your mushroom broth, throw in the chopped green onions to simmer for a few minutes.  In a small bowl, mix your miso and some warm water until the miso is completely blended, thinning out the mixture as needed, and add it to the mushroom broth.

Add in your barley and your greens.  Honestly, I didn't measure the barley at all, so just put in however much you think looks good, let it heat, and you're all set!

Notes: *I used red miso, though you can use any kind.  Red and yellow are both great for your liver, and have a bit more flavor in my opinion.  You can even use both.  Feel free to experiment and see what you like. **To make the barley, I put 1 c. pearled barley in a pot with 3 c. water, brought it to a boil, then let it simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.  The package said it would take over an hour, but it definitely didn't, so just keep an eye on it.

Serves 6 or so.

Triple Sesame Bowl

Katie Gordon

Hey y'all.  I know it's been a long time.  I'm not going to apologize because knowing me, this long hiatus might happen again, but just know that I was thinking of you.  Every time I baked cookies (not that it happens too often as of late), picked some lovely vegetables from the garden (I've been trying to keep up with the cucumbers), or finished a completely satisfying meal at home, I'd tell myself to write about it.  And then I wouldn't.

I've been feeling pretty scattered with all the stuff going on in life recently, so I'm working on eating more grounding foods: brown rice, sweet potatoes, seaweed, nut and seed butters, etc.  Here's a bowl I made last night after getting home from work.

Note: For some reason it's taken me this long to realize how awesome it is to cook a lot of rice at once so I have some for the next few days.  It makes it super easy to throw together bowls on those nights you need some nourishment, but don't have the energy to make a big production out of dinner.  Just mix up the veggies and spices you use in the sauce ;) 

cooked brown basmati rice cooked adzuki beans broccoli florets 1 head of baby bok choy

sauce: 1/2 tsp. miso (I use brown rice miso, but feel free to experiment) 1 tbsp. tahini (add more to taste if you like) 1/2 tsp. apple cider vinegar ground ginger cardamom

drizzle of toasted sesame oil sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds dusting of chinese 5 spice blend

Steam broccoli until just tender, then throw in the baby bok choy and steam for another minute or so.  While waiting for the broccoli to steam, make the sauce.   Mash together the miso, tahini, and apple cider vinegar in a bowl to make a paste.  Sprinkle in the spices to taste.  You can also mix up the spices, using whatever you have on hand or whatever sounds good.  I like to use warming spices (yes I know it's August) because they're good for digestion.  Add whatever spices you choose to taste, then slowly add room temperature water until you reach the desired consistency; mine is usually about the consistency of melted ice cream.

Once the veggies are lightly steamed, add the rice, beans, and veggies to the bowl with the sauce.  Top with the toasted sesame oil, seeds, and Chinese 5 Spice blend.  Take care not to add too much of the oil because it can be over powering.

Makes 1 bowl.

An apology...and a cookie

Katie Gordon

Wow, thanks for sticking around!  Let me tell you what I've been up to the last few months.  It's been a doozy (is that how you spell doozy?).  First of all, I'm just about to finish my first 15o hours of Shiatsu massage.  It's been amazing, exhausting, humbling, and totally worth every minute.  Now starts the intern clinic that I'm super stoked for and hopefully more workshops full of anatomy and chinese medicine fun! I've also been teaching two new yoga classes every Saturday, which has been awesome because my students are bad ass and continue to show up every week :) Anyway, between work, school, and teaching I haven't had much time for cooking and other fun things, so it's good to be back.  As a way of an apology, I'm leaving you with an awesome new recipe for cookies that I adapted from Joy the Baker.  They're chocolate-y.  They're delicious.  They're vegan.  You should definitely make them.  And sneak lots of bites of cookie dough in the process.  *Bonus: Since they're vegan you don't need to worry about salmonella! (not that I do anyway) :D

Vegan Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. sea salt 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon (optional, but you should really add it) 1 c. vegan sugar 2 Tbsp. flax seed meal 1/2 c. apple sauce 1/4 c. coconut oil 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/2 c. vegan chocolate chips

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

In a small bowl, mix the sugar, flax meal, apple sauce, oil, and vanilla.  Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the chocolate chips, and mix with a wooden spoon (or spatula) until all the dry ingredients are moist.  I kneaded the dough a bit with my hands, but be careful not to over-mix.  Dump the dough onto a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap, form into a disc, wrap, and refrigerate for an hour (or overnight).

Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the racks in the center and upper third of the oven.  Form tablespoon-size balls, roll them in granulated sugar, and place on the prepared sheets.  Press each one down slightly with the heel of your hand because they won't spread much.

Bake for 9-10 minutes.  They'll be slightly soft in the middle.  Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before removing them to wire racks to cool completely.

Yields about 28 cookies.

Tricolor Quinoa

Katie Gordon

I'll skip the part where I apologize for not writing in forever and tell you all how busy I've been the last month or so.  This fall has been going by way too fast and I had planned on posting all kinds of pumpkin, apple, squash, and other fall recipes (don't worry there will still be some in the next few weeks), but it just didn't happen.  I've also been experiencing some kind of food/cooking slump in the last few weeks for some reason, which I'm sure we've all gone through.  The kind of thing where you just don't feel inspired, nothing grabs your attention.  But with Thanksgiving tomorrow and volunteering to make desserts for the family dinner, I've forced myself out and it feels good to be back in the kitchen. This recipe is one that's pretty easy to throw together after getting home from work, knowing you have to make something for dinner, and trying to use up produce from last weekend's farmers market.  I adapted a recipe from The Urban Vegan, a book from which I'll definitely be using and adapting many recipes.  Most of you know by now that quinoa is high in protein, but it's also packed with fiber, iron, and calcium, making it a true superfood!  However, for added protein I mixed in adzuki beans at the end.  Feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you like/have on hand and need to use up.

PS: Rob, note the usage of kale and quinoa...I thought you'd appreciate it ;-)

Tricolor Quinoa

1 T. olive oil 1/2 onion 2 cloves garlic 2 c. water or veggie broth 1 carrot 1 bell pepper 1 c. kale 1 c. quinoa, uncooked 1 strip kombu broken up into pieces, optional (good source of iodine)

Season to taste with fresh herbs including but not limited to: sage, rosemary, or thyme (especially lemon thyme...yum!)

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil, add the onion and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes.  Pour in the water or broth, carrot, pepper, and kale and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add the quinoa and kombu, stir, and turn heat to low.  Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the veggies are soft.  When you have about 5 minutes left, add the fresh herbs so the flavors can all combine.

Yields 4-6 servings.

Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash Soup

Katie Gordon

You may be wondering why I'm posting a soup recipe in June.  Well to satisfy your curiosity, I'll tell you a story...

My friend, Deb, and I had been planning to make a fantastic dinner together last Friday.  It had been a hot and humid few days, so on Thursday we decided we'd make gazpacho with quinoa-stuffed peppers.  Perfect summer dinner, right?  Then temperatures dropped overnight back down into the low 60's (yes that's cold for me) and we reconsidered our plan.

I had come across this recipe in an old issue of Yoga Journal in an article discussing how through an Ayurvedic diet based on your body type, your body will naturally find its ideal weight.  The sweet potato and heating spices in this recipe make it an ideal meal for those who are vata-dominant because of its heating, heavy, and calming qualities.  More on Ayurveda coming soon...

Sweet Potato Butternut Squash Soup

2 Tbsp. Ghee or Olive Oil 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks* 1 medium sweet potato 1 large onion, loosely diced 2 garlic cloves, smashed 1-inch knob of fresh ginger, chopped 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp. ground cloves (optional) 1 tsp. ground cumin 1/2 tsp. turmeric 3 c. water or broth 1 c. coconut milk (or half-and-half) Salt and pepper to taste Freshly minced parsley to garnish

Heat 1 Tbsp. ghee or oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep saute pan.  Add squash, sweet potato, and onion.  Saute for 7-8 minutes or until ingredients turn golden brown.  Reduce heat to low, add garlic, and cook about 10 more minutes, or until vegetables are a caramel color.

In a separate soup pot, add 1 Tbsp. ghee or oil, ginger, and the spices.  Saute until fragrant.  Add broth and vegetables to soup pot.  Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, partially covered, until the squash is tender.

Puree in a blender until smooth.  Return to soup pot.  Add coconut milk, salt, and pepper to taste.  Heat and serve.  Garnish with parsley.

*Please be careful when peeling your butternut squash...I sustained an injury while doing so, and though I won't go into details, suffice it to say my index finger/fingernail suffered a close call with the vegetable peeler.

Toots and Peanut Butter Banana Cookies

Katie Gordon

This past Sunday, Cam and I saw Toots and the Maytals play at the House of Blues.  For those who don't know, The Maytals are a reggae band from Kingston, Jamaica that go way back to the 60's.  As in pre-Marley.  Toots coined the term "reggae."  He's kind of a big deal.  Their sound combines ska, reggae, soul, rock, and even gospel with hits like "Monkey Man", "Pressure Drop", and "Take Me Home Country Roads".

The crowd on Sunday was eclectic, to say the least.  There were kids around 11 with their parents, all the way up to people my grandparents' age, who, by the way, looked to be having the best time out of everyone.  Anyway, I tried taking pictures, but they didn't turn out well, so here's one of my favorite pictures of Toots:

And now for the recipe portion of this post...

I don't only make cookies...I promise.  I have tons of recipes for salads, bowls full of grains and veggies, beverages, stir fries, sandwiches, scrambles, soups, and other goodies.  But for some reason, I've been more than a little obsessed with baking recently, and cookies are so easy and satisfyingly delicious.

The other night I promised Cam some kind of baked good in exchange for bailing on going to his weekly gig at Serafinas.  I had bananas in the fridge that were that perfect color of yellow-almost-brown necessary for turning into a  bread, but did NOT have eggs.  Now, just to warn you for future posts, I've also been unusually excited about vegan baking, so I figured, why not try substituting bananas for eggs?

I came across a recipe on Fat Free Vegan that didn't have too many ingredients.  Normally when things say fat-free, I steer clear.  Fat-free usually means not very good, especially when it comes to baking.  However, as the title of Susan's post says, they're "lower-fat", so I decided to make an exception.  And let me tell you, these were AMAZING!  Also, I don't think I need to remind you that peanut butter and bananas are one of the greatest combinations in the world.  So, I had to share the recipe with you.

Peanut Butter Banana Cookies: adapted from fatfreevegan.com

1/2 c. natural, no-sugar added, unsalted peanut butter (chunky or smooth) 3/4 c. raw sugar 3/4 c. mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas) 1 1/2 c. unbleached flour (you could also use whole wheat pastry flour) 1 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. salt 1/2 c. non-dairy chocolate chips, optional (the original recipe called for 1/4 c. but that didn't seem like enough to me)

Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix together the peanut butter and sugar, then add the mashed banana and mix until creamy.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, to the peanut butter mixture.  Add the chocolate chips.  Avoid over-mixing the dough, otherwise the cookies may come out too dense.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the cookie sheet.  It's very sticky.  You just have to deal.  Flatten with a wet fork (yes, it's important that the fork is wet, or else the dough will stick to the fork and you'll get frustrated because there will be peanut butter dough stuck all over your fingers, hands, arms, face, and shirt...and no, I don't know that from experience).  Bake for 10-12 minutes, until bottoms are golden brown.  They'll be soft when you take them out, but they'll set nicely as they cool.  Also, they'll stay somewhat moist because of the banana and oil in the peanut butter.  Don't be alarmed.  This is what makes them so good.

This recipe makes about 20 cookies.  They are especially delicious dipped in almond milk.

Banana-Mash Cookies

Katie Gordon

I love coconut.  I eat it, drink it, and slather myself in it from head to toe.  I love anything that smells like real coconut, and especially enjoy experimenting with it in recipes.  So when I came across this cookie recipe on Heidi's blog a while ago, I immediately went out and bought all the ingredients.  One thing about these cookies is that I love all the ingredients by themselves.  How can you go wrong with dark chocolate, banana, oats, coconut, and almond?  Unfortunately, that also means it took me a long time to actually get around to making the cookies.  Everytime I had all the ingredients on hand, I'd end up eating one of the essentials.  A bunch of bananas will last about 2 days in our house, and once those are gone, I might as well use the chocolate chips for another recipe, or just to eat on their own.  The coconut flakes would be willingly sacrificed to sweet potatoes, oatmeal, granola, and yogurt.  Once I was left with the almond meal and coconut oil, I'd start over again. 

So this past Sunday, driven inside by the rain, Cam and I decided it was a good day to bake.  After looking through some saved recipes, I remembered these.  And what do you know?  We actually had everything, except for the chocolate, on hand (although in retrospect, we have a chocolate bunny that might have come in handy).  I love when well-intentioned baking endeavors work out.  Now we have a plate of delicious, nutricious cookies sitting on our table, which I justify eating for breakfast because they're small and healthy and made of oats and banana :)

Banana-Mash Cookies

3 large, well-ripened & well-mashed bananas (1 1/2 cups) 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to just melting (you can also use olive oil) 2 cups rolled oats 2/3 cup almond meal 1/3 cup coconut, finely shredded and unsweetened 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt 1 tsp. baking powder 6-7 oz. chocolate chips or dark chocolate bar chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, racks in top third of oven.

In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, vanilla, and coconut oil.  In another bowl, mix oats, almond meal, coconut, cinnamon, salt, and baking powder.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined.  Add the chocolate chips.  On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, drop small spoonfuls of the dough (about 2 teaspoons full).  Bake for 12-14 minutes until the edges start to golden.  I left mine in for 14 min. and they turned out perfectly. 

Makes about 3 dozen little cookies.