Cool Beans

Yesterday, we hit the Berkley Bowl, a famous independent grocery mecca in Berkley, CA. This grocery specializes in offering a huge variety of organic and natural products. The produce section alone is mind-blowing. But we spent our time in the bulk food bins on this trip.

These beautiful Orca (aka Calypso) Beans caught my attention; so we brought them home to see what we could do with them and how they would compare to our standard black beans.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

BLACK BEANS–1 Cup Cooked
Calories 227
Fat 1g
Carbohydrates 41g
Fiber 15
Protein 15

ORCA BEANS–1 Cup Cooked
Calories 240
Fat 1g
Carbohydrates 46g
Fiber 28g
Protein 24g

 

 

 

 

Clearly, the ORCA beans dominate when it comes to fiber and protein, but that’s not where it ends. These beautiful beans cook twice as fast as black beans and don’t require any overnight soaking. But how do they taste and how do we serve them?

Recipe: Simple Orca Bean Bowl 

Ingredients:
2 cups of dried orca (calypso) beans
5 cups of water
1 teaspoon of salt
3 teaspoon olive oil
1 cube Knorr Vegetable Bullion
1 cup onion
3 cloves of minced garlic
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste

1–Rinse beans and remove any rocks or other strange items that may be lurking. Boil them with 4 cups of water for 1 hour with a teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil.

2–While the beans boil and in a large pot, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil, onion, garlic, basil, and parsley. Sauté that for 3 minutes or until the onions become translucent.

3–When the beans are finished boiling, rinse them and add them to your sauté pot with 1 cup of water (or more if you like your beans soupy) and the cube of vegetable bullion (hint: dice up the bullion cube before you toss it in so that it dissolves faster). Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so the beans don’t stick to the bottom of your pot.

Now, make your bowl:

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We live on bowls around here. Our standard is to layer greens, then mixed grains, then get crazy. In this case, we added carrots, celery, an heirloom tomato, tiny roasted potatoes, and of course, our beautiful new beans. Oh and we sprinkled all that with goat cheese, because it is goat cheese.
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What, 2 cups of dried beans makes a TON of cooked beans? Exactly, put the rest in 8 ounce containers and freeze them for next time.

This article was originally published on www.groundingup.com.

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Because the chicken sees.

Years ago, when I first started yoga, I noticed that most of the “serious yogis” I met had some fairly specific diets. They were vegan or vegetarian and anti-GMO and pro-biotic. They did detoxes and cleanses and only ate natural unrefined sugars. But why? Was it because they were health and fitness enthusiasts or was there something about yoga that was doing this to them?

I had to do a lot of reading and research to get to an answer that made sense to me because there are a lot of elements involved in answering the question, “what is the yoga diet and, OMG, why?

I came across this story Ram Dass tells while I was researching the yoga diet as prescribed by the old traditional yogis. They believed that a sparse diet consisting of fruits and a few nuts was required to achieve spiritual enlightenment (or hunger hallucinations which may have been mistaken for the astral plane).

The story goes something like this:

A holy man gave two men each a chicken and said, “Go kill them where no one can see.” One guy went behind the fence and killed the chicken. The other guy walked around for two days and came back with the chicken. The holy man said, “You didn’t kill the chicken?” and the guys said, “well, everywhere I go, the chicken sees.”

There seem to be 5 straight forward rules when it comes to eating like a yogi.
1–Don’t eat too much.
2–Eat light, healthy, unadulterated foods which are easily digestible.
3–Eliminate foods with strong flavors and smells and reduce consumption of stimulants like caffeine and booze (um, okay).
4–Be aware of where your food comes from and how it is prepared. Avoid foods that involve violence in the sourcing. Obviously, meat requires some killing but this also applies to harvesting fruit or vegetables from a plant before it has fallen to the ground of its own accord.
5–Consecrate the food before you eat it.

The first three rules seem like what the American Heart Association has been telling us for decades–eat healthy portions of a balanced diet and you will be all set. But in yoga, it is more than that.

Those first three rules are about maintaining the physical body so it is ready and able to complete the eight limbs or stages of yoga in the quest for enlightenment. Inherent in those rules are directions for abstinence, austerity, discipline, generosity, and a breaking of bad habits with the idea being that a self-controlled person can better attain spiritual freedom.

The last two rules about awareness and consecration are clearly spiritual in nature. Most of us are good with consecrating our food before we eat it; in Christianity, that is the equivalent of saying grace at the dinner table. Amen. Done. Let’s eat.

However, remember the dudes with the chickens? Well this is where the vegetarians and vegans get on board. Yoga says that GOD is everyone and everything. He is you and me and the apple tree in the front yard–and that chicken.

In yoga, a violent act is a violent act against GOD, and the chicken sees.

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com.

 

 

Basic Maple Granola Recipe

We like to keep granola on hand, not because we eat it for breakfast, but because it is a great snack and a way to quiet down our sweet tooth without feeling guilty later. So when we came across this granola while cooking our way through the ThugKitchen Cookbook, obviously, we had to try it.

And because this is our little corner of the Internet, we are going to give you our opinion about it, which is that it is way too sweet. Everything else about the recipe is fantastic; but when we make it next time, we will reduce the maple syrup a bit, up the salt, or get crazy and do both.

Ingredients
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds*
1/2 cup almonds*
1/4 uncooked millet**
1/2 cup maple syrup***
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)****

* Basically, 1 cup of whatever nuts you prefer.
**No millet? Fuck it, just add more oats.
***Legit syrup can get kinda fucking expensive. But so can granola. Save up for the good shit.
****Or use any dried fruit you like.

1  Heat your oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with some parchment paper.

2  Mix together the oats, seeds, nuts, and milled in a large bowl

3  In a medium glass bowl, stir together the maple syrup, oil, and vanilla. Pour this all over the oat mixture and stir that shit around until everything looks coated. Add the cinnamon and the salt and stir.

4  Pour all of this evenly over the baking sheet and stick it in the oven for 40 minutes. Stir it every 10 minutes so that it cooks evenly. You’ll know this shit is done when everything looks kinda toasted and the oaks feel crispy instead of damp. Stir in the dried fruit now if you’re using any. Let that all cool on the baking sheet and then store it in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

5   Want to mix it up? Try these nut and fruit combos; almonds and chopped, dried apricots or strawberries; walnuts and dried pears or figs; pecans and dried cherries; peanuts and dried apples or bananas. Just use whateverthefuck sounds good to you.

Thanks to ThugKitchen for the recipe. We didn’t technically ask them for permission to publish their recipe, but those assholes can just fucking get over it.

This article was originally published on www.groundingup.com.

Yoga Towel Hack

Years ago, when I first started doing power yoga, I purchased a yoga mat towel, used it once and then never again.

Why, you ask? Because it required constant straightening and fussing throughout the practice. I don’t need to add annoyance to my life; I have more than enough.

Ideally, your yoga practice will have as few distractions as possible because you are doing mental as well as physical work. Yoga is for minimalists; technically, you don’t even need a yoga mat. Regardless of what the yoga industry wants your wallet to believe, yoga requires no gear.

Now, with that said, I will admit that 40 minutes into a power yoga practice, when your mat is good and sweaty, a mat towel seems like an excellent idea. Particularly when it is time to lay down for floor work.

So how could I have my yoga mat towel without the fussing and straightening? And then, years of pondering this question and my husband’s obsession with office supplies led me to a Savasana-induced epiphany.

Behold!!!

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These are 1 inch binder clips securing the yoga towel. I have one at the top, middle and bottom of the mat on each side; which may or may not be overkill depending upon how much of a foot-dragger you are. (Note: a yoga foot-dragger is not the same as the foot-dragger in the urban dictionary. So calm down)

 

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You may want to experiment with clip sizes; fortunately, we have all the sizes at our house for some inexplicable reason. If you need some, just drop us an email:-)

This article was originally published on grounding.com.

Thug Kitchen Cookbook

Is this racist? Can a vegan cookbook even be racist? I found myself asking that question earlier this week as I thumbed through my latest amazon.com acquisition.

You see, in an effort to shake up our vegetarian cuisine routine in the kitchen, my husband purchased the #1 New York Times Bestselling cookbook, Thug Kitchen: Eat Like You Give Fuckbecause it came highly recommended and we do indeed give a f%@k about what we eat.

A few years back, an anonymously written BLOG called ThugKitchen, featuring vegan recipes and healthy eating tips, where “you can be verbally abused into a healthier diet,” became poplar, prompting the spin-off of a series of cookbooks. Hence, our new cookbook and this BLOG post.

So what is racist about it? Well, the anonymously written content suggests a black male humorously intimidating the reader into preparing a healthy meal. As it turns out, a young white couple living in Los Angeles is standing behind the counter at Thug Kitchen.

This revelation came to light in 2014 prompting the debate: is this harmless inauthenticity designed to encourage healthier living or is it cyber blackface for profit? Is it wrong for two white people to pretend to be black people writing about food?

I’m not going to take a formal position; people can make up their own damn minds. And, while the concept of the cookbook does raise an eyebrow (unless you Botox), it also serves up some really stellar information and recipes in favor of healthy eating for everyone, no matter who you are.

So while the Internet debates just HOW racist this cookbook is, we have decided to try some of the recipes.

Warning: if foul language offends some of your more delicate sensibilities, this cookbook, including the recipe below, is not for you. Turn back now.

TEMPEH PEANUT NOODLES WITH BLANCHED KALE  

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Our notes: This cookbook offers simple recipes that don’t require obscure ingredients, take forever to prepare, or trash your kitchen.

PEANUT SAUCE
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter*
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave syrup
1 teaspoon chili-garlic paste or Asian-style hot sauce (optional**)

NOODLES AND VEGGIES
12 ounces noodles***
6 cups kale, sliced into bite-sized pieces
1 teaspoon grapeseed or refined coconut oil
8 ounces tempeh (Tempeh is not our thing; next time we will use sprouted tofu)
1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup sliced green onions

* Don’t buy peanut butter that has anything other than peanuts, a little oil, and salt listed   as ingredients. Anything else is unfuckingnecessary.
** Optional but you should suck it up and do it.
*** Soba, udon, spaghetti, whatthefuckever.

1–First make the peanut sauce. In a medium glass bowl, whisk together the peanut butter and water until it looks creamy. Add all the other ingredients and keep stirring until everything is incorporated. Simple shit.

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Our notes: We used our stick blender to mix this sauce because that is the only way to emulsify anything in a reasonable amount of time.

2–Now cook the noodles according to the package directions, but use a larger soup pot than usual. In the last 30 seconds of cooking the noodles, add the kale to the pot and stir it into the water to make sure it’s all covered. After 30 seconds, drain the pasta and kale and run it under cold water to stop the cooking process and keep the kale green. That’s called lazy-ass blanching. Some people might say to do that shit in separate pots, but those are usually the motherfuckers who don’t wash their own dishes, so fuck them.

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Our notes: This is a picture of lazy-ass blanching and it is our new favorite kitchen hack. This cookbook paid for itself with this one tip. Sorry for the crappy picture; I’m not a photographer, I work for an insurance company, and I don’t know how to photograph steam.

3–Grab a big wok or skillet and heat up the oil. Crumble in the tempeh in bite-size pieces and saute it around until it starts to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and garlic and cook it for 30 seconds more. Turn off the heat and add the noodles and three-quarters of the peanut sauce. Mix it all up to make sure everything is covered and that the tempeh is blended into the noodles. Taste it and it isn’t saucy enough for you, add the rest of the sauce now. Otherwise, hold on to that shit because the noodles really absorb the sauce as they sit, so it’s nice to have extra for leftovers. Top with the green onions and serve warm or at room temperature.

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Our notes: This is the finished product. We garnished with chopped peanuts and limes in addition to the scallions because they made it prettier.

Overall, we loved this recipe and will work it into our menu rotation; however, the tempeh, which is fermented soy beans, was a little to funky for us (because it is fermented soy beans), so we will make this recipe using firm sprouted tofu next time. Otherwise, enjoy!

Thanks to www.thugkitchen.com for the recipe. We didn’t technically ask them for permission to publish their recipe, but those assholes can just fucking get over it.

This article was originally published on www.groundingup.com.

 

What is 40, exactly?

Tomorrow, at approximately 3PM, I will be 40 years old. I feel like that should mean something specific. I keep telling people I’m almost 40, hoping someone will reply by telling me what I’m missing about this milestone. Because for me, 40 feels like 39 plus one day.

Will I be wiser tomorrow? Am I supposed to be taking stock of my accomplishments and failures and planning for my next 40 years? Do I need to take a deep dive into my psyche to check in on how I’m doing at the proverbial halfway point? Is it time for a midlife crisis?

My parents, both of them Baby Boomers, celebrated their 40th birthdays in 1987. I remember both of them having these big “over the hill” parties with black balloons and cemetery themes. Inexplicably, someone presented by dad with a cake featuring two naked breasts –I cannot unsee that boob cake.

Not long after their birthday’s my Mom decided to completely unwind her life. She demanded a do-over, suffered a “midlife crisis”, divorced our Dad and moved my sister and me from Colorado back to her hometown in Iowa.

In the 1980’s the midlife crisis was commonly accepted as a legitimate phase of life, like puberty, and everyone was doing it. Technically defined, a midlife crisis is a transition of identity and self-confidence that can occur in early middle aged individuals.

However, I have noticed that my generation isn’t really doing the midlife meltdown anymore, or at least not defining it as such. There is a large body of psychological and sociological research that indicates the midlife crisis isn’t an actual “thing” after all.

But even without the research, we somehow came to the conclusion that age is arbitrary and that as individuals, we won’t likely all be in exactly the same place at exactly the same time in our lives. And that it is completely okay for that to be the case.It’s just life.

The clock will continue to go around and around regardless of where we are in our careers, where we live, what we look like, or what kind of car we drive.

Unless you are an atheist, you probably believe something comes after this life–heaven, reincarnation, hell, wherever Scientologists go when they die (note to atheists: your life expectancy is 78.9 years.).

So from my perspective 40 isn’t halfway to the end. And, I’m right here, right now, appreciating the blessings in my life and working through the challenges just like everyone else. I just happen to be 40.

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