Vegetable Dip Recipe

In November of 2016, I spent a week at a Mexican yoga retreat center called Haramara with a bunch of friends from my yoga studio. The cuisine offered at Haramara is spectacular and while we awaited the arrival of each main course, my yoga pals and I would entertain ourselves by guessing what the deliscious dips, served with fresh tortilla chips before each lunch and dinner, were actually made of. Spoiler alert: they were all vegan vegetable dips. So often you find vegetable dip recipes that are meant to dip vegetable in. Rarely do you find a vegetable dip made from vegetables that you dip chips in.

Fortunately, Haramara offers cooking classes, so you can attempt to make the unique meals they serve there. One of the classes taught visitors how to make these mysterious dips and of course I was eager to learn. I was reminded of this moment in my personal history a few weeks ago while I was at another yoga retreat with my yoga gang (yes, I’m a retreat junkie) and we were recounting our Haramara experiences; the dips came up and I volunteered to post the recipe to the blog so we could all eat our tortilla chips nostalgically. Enjoy!

A few notes before you get started:

  • Steaming vegetables leaves quite of lot of liquid in them, which is great. The color stays high and your dips will be creamier; however, the water will encourage your oil to separate from your vegetable fibre and look a little gross. That is what the nut it for. If you think you will have this issue, be sure to add the roasted nut to the food processor. I’m not a food scientist so I have do idea why the roasted nut keeps it all from separating, but it does.

    Vegetable-dip-recipe-helper
    This is my little guy preparing the broccoli for the oven
  • We roasted our beets buried in salt because I heard that cooking them that way makes them taste less like dirt in the end. It sort of worked. I’m not a huge fan of beets, but my husband is so I made the beet version for him. He loved it.
  • We made carrot dip, broccoli dip, and beet dip. My kids loved the carrot dip, probably because it was sweet. I love the broccoli version but it lost a bit of its pretty color on the second day, so watch out for that. My husband loved the beet version.
  • My primary takeaway from this is that I plan to make these with mixed vegetables rather than just one vegetable. That will dial back some of the stronger veggies. For example, I’ll mix roasted cauliflower in with each batch.
  • And one final note; I used roasted garlic rather than raw garlic. They use raw garlic at Haramara, but my gut just can’t take it.

 

Want more?

Visit our recipes section for more vegan and vegetarian recipes and resources.

This article originally published on GroundingUp.

Print Recipe
Vegetable Dip
Vegetable-dip-recipe
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Course Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Servings
Ingredients
Vegetable-dip-recipe
Instructions
  1. Select 2 cups of raw vegetables. You can use a single vegetable or mix it up with a few. Cooking will shrink your 2 cups of raw vegetables to 1 cup of cooked vegetables.
    Veggie-Dip-Recipe
  2. Steam or roast the vegetables and drain them well. Some veggies will hold more water than others but I'll cover that issue later.
    Vegetable-dip-recipe-roasted-beets
  3. While your veggies are cooking, roast or toast your nuts. In this case, I used raw almonds, but use whatever you like. Also, you will only need 1 roasted nut, but I always make more to eat as a snack or to store for later.
  4. Put the strained vegetables into the bowl of your food processor along with the remainder of the ingredients. Give it a whirl. This is where you decide if you need your nut. If things are watery and you think they will stay that way, add the nut. The nut oil and fibre somehow keeps the oil from separating from the watery vegetables.
  5. Process the ingredients until smooth and then process some more.
  6. When you have achieved the texture you are looking for, add it to a bowl and serve it up with tortilla or pita chips.
    Vegetable-Dip-Recipe-Broccoli
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3 Bullet Thursday

Here it is, your Thursday rundown of all things yoga information and inspiration from yours truly at the yoga BLOG, GroundingUP. Namaste!

What I’m Reading

I know that a few weeks ago I suggested you read something other than yoga books to avoid burn out during yoga teacher training. So, having said that, I’m taking my own advice and reading two literary classics this week; Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson. If you are looking for a quick easy read, go for Treasure Island; it’s shorter than Wuthering Heights and is a little more straight forward.

Now having said that, I need to confess that I am reading a yoga book as well. It’s called Myths of the Asanas: Stories at the Heart of the Yoga Tradition. The book covers approximately XX asanas and includes a description of the anatomical alignment of the pose, its benefits and attributes, and some interesting and entertaining commentary on the asana’s origins. I recommend this book to anyone interested in yoga history or training to be a yoga teacher.

What I’m listening to

From time to time I listen to the From the Heart Podcast by Rachel Brathen. As a podcast, it is very much hit or miss, but I caught an episode where she interviewed Nahko (and Medicine for the People).

Nahko and his band are very much idealists out to change the world by advocating for a long and evolving list of causes. The music style is mostly singer songwriter with a rock leaning. The lyrics are about mindfulness, seeking the meaning of life, and saving the world with love and kindness and whatnot.

For me personally, I’ll need to be incredibly high and on day 3 of a yoga festival before this music is going to resonate with me, but he’s getting tour dates and selling albums, so this is clearly for someone.  If you are local and going to BottleRock Napa Valley, you can catch him there Friday, May 25.

Quote I’m Pondering

Some of my readers may know that I’m learning to love Tim Ferriss. He is kind of an ass but he does have some great insight around time management, life goals and success.

Therefore, I dutifully read his blog, listen to his podcasts, and subscribe to his emails. Anyway, the deep thought for my week is something he said recently which is, “How can I make this a gift?” He asks this question when something unfortunate or infuriating happens to him.

Is your flight delayed indefinitely? Tim Ferris wants to you to find a way to make the situation feel like a gift. Um, okay, did you just get 5 hours at an airport (bar) to call your mom, or respond to an email backlog or draft that strategic plan you haven’t been able to focus on? Looks like you did. You are welcome. And thanks, Tim Ferriss, I hate you a little less today. Oh, and fuck you, American Airlines.

Want More?

This site is full of yoga tips, information and inspiration. Check out the recipes section for vegan and vegetarian recipes to fuel your practice or eat a little cleaner. For some deep thoughts about yoga philosophy go here. And for past 3 Bullet Thursdays and other yoga tips and hacks go here.

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com

 

 

 

Real Life Ways To Build A Meditation Practice

We all know how en vogue meditation is right now. Unfortunately, while mainstream, most people will tell you they aren’t good at it or that they know they should do it but they can’t get around to it. And when it comes to meditation, this is all of us. In this article, I’ll cover some simple, yet not commonly mentioned, ways to build a meditation practice that sticks.

It is interesting to talk to people about meditation because it is one of those activities that beginners bring so much mental baggage to. I also find that people don’t really know what meditation is, which is completely legit.

There are so many forms of meditation on the market right know, it’s not a wonder the idea overwhelms anyone who might be interested. For example, there is transcendental meditation, zen meditation, walking meditation, kundalini meditation, guided visualization, qui gong, zazen, heart rhythm meditation, vipassana…you get the idea.

For the purposes of this article, we are talking about mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation is the simple observation of your own thoughts. As an observer, you don’t engage with them. You just let them pass. Dismiss them and return to your focus which is either your breath or some other concentration focal point in your immediate present state.

Instead of breath, many people use a body scan technique, observing each individual body part as they sit or lay down. Others observe the lights that appear when we close our eyes. Science nerds, these are called phosphenes. Scientists aren’t exactly sure where this light comes from but suspect the light originates from light generated from the cells inside our own eye. Whoa! Regardless of where the light show comes from, it can be a helpful tool in staying on track during mindfulness meditation.

Meditation’s benefits on the mind and body is robust and well documented to say the least. It includes improved mental focus, stress reduction, addiction cessation, insomnia resolution, weight loss, and anxiety and depression relief.

However, the goal of mindfulness meditation is to train our brains to put space between our thoughts and our actions so we can break down our conditioned responses to our feelings about life, many of which cause us stress, anxiety, or anger. Mindfulness also shows us what thoughts our mind goes back to most often or a pattern of thinking that isn’t serving us.

The yoga world overflows with tips and instructions designed to help people get their meditation practice started, enhance it, and the stick with it. So be sure to start your meditation research with a Google search to see what the internet has to tell you and then refer back to this article for a few tips and ideas I haven’t seen on the web.

Pro tip: proper meditation preparation does not require a high colonic, taro card reading, or a sage burning in order for it to work; don’t trust everything you read on the Internet.

Before you even sit down

One of the things I have noticed most often about meditation practices is that people, myself included, aren’t doing the right kind of preparation.  The standard meditation instructions typically go like this: 1) find an easy seated position 2) close your eyes 3) begin by observing your breath…

The funny thing about our brain is that it will find ways to entertain itself while we are trying to quite it. It is very much like a toddler at bedtime in this way. Suddenly we need to fidget, we have an itch EVERYWHERE, we have to go pee, we are hungry oh and also thirsty. We don’t like the guided meditation we chose and want to download a different one. It is too cold/too hot and our hands feel weird. This is the practice. This is all of us.

1. Remember what’s harder than doing nothing

Make a list of all of the things that you have done that are more difficult than sitting still for 5-7 minutes. Have you given birth to a child? Gone to the dentist? Taken a really difficult test? Given a Board presentation? Those are all things that are more difficult and much higher stakes than sitting still for a few minutes.

And if you crash and burn during your meditation session, who cares? No one will know and you can try again tomorrow.

2. Find a comfortable position

Finding a comfortable position, seated or otherwise, for meditation is harder than it sounds. Even people who don’t have chronic aches and pains or an injury have trouble staying seated in meditation comfortably. It’s important to remember a few things about this.

The first is that you should spend time other than when you are trying to meditate deciding what your meditation posture will be. Try it out while you are watching TV. Try different cushions, leaning against a wall, cross legged or straight legged, in a chair or on the floor. The options are endless but meditation time isn’t the time to figure it out. Have a go-to position and the props you need ready before you decide to meditate.

The other thing is that your meditation duration will likely be less than 10 minutes. Much anxiety about comfort comes from the irrational fear that we are going to be stuck in one position forever and we obsess about making sure it is just exactly right since we will be trapped there without any means of escape. Chill, it’s just a few minutes and you can always move if you need to.

3. Figure out what you are going to do with your hands

Not knowing what to do with our hands is a common meditation concern. And, much like with the sitting position, you are going to need to experiment to see what feels best. Some people rest their hands on their knees or clasp them lightly in their lap. Here is a link to the two most common mudras, or meditation hand positions; chin mudra and dhyana mudra.

4. Select your meditation soundtrack

Music for meditation is such a personal choice, I have trouble even recommending anything. Some people need musical melodies, some need silence, monotonous sounds, waves crashing, or birds chirping. Anyway, there is a little bit of all of that in the list of links to meditation soundtracks below.

Moby

moby-og-image meditation music

 

 

 

 

Meditation Master

Meditation-Masters-image-meditation-tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buddha-Bar

Buddha-Bar-meditation-tips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sounds of Nature

Sounds of Nature Meditation Music

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Select your guided meditation

If you decided that a meditation soundtrack isn’t for you, I suggest you start with some guided meditations. There are so many great guided meditation apps on the market right now. Most of them are free with the option to upgrade or make in-app purchases.  I recommend you give these a try to see if one of them works for you.

Insight Timer-Meditation App

InsightTimer-image_meditation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calm

Calm-image-meditation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Headspace

Headspace-image-meditation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Have a light snack

Meditation is hungry and thirsty work. Sitting for 10 minutes really seems to take it out of us and our brain wants to think about how hungry we are. An easy way to shut that thought down is to remind your brain that there is no way it could be hungry or thirsty because you just ate and had some water.

7. Go to the bathroom

Oh hey, we just ate and had some water. Don’t we have to get up and pee now? Nope, because you are going to go the bathroom right before you sit down. Sorry, brain, try again.

8. Set a timer for 7 minutes

This is a guideline. Many people want to start a meditation with just 5 minutes on the clock and if that is what it takes to get them there, than that’s perfect. However, it takes the brain several minutes to settle into the meditation groove, particularly for new meditators, so if you can do 10 minutes do 10. 7 minutes is a nice compromise. Meditation, once you are in it, has the ability to make time meaningless and when the session is over, you may not have much sense of how long you were seated.

9. Stay

Establishing a strong and consistent meditation practice is something that requires physical and mental discipline. Even if your brain refuses to observe and dismiss thought and instead takes you on the guided tour of your most embarrassing junior high school moments, stay. Give your brain something to do by counting your exhales. Use this as an opportunity to make your body comfortable with the idea of stillness.

Want more of this?

Visit the Tips & Tricks section for more great ideas from yours truly.  Then, poke around on the rest of the site to see what else you find that lights your fire. Oh, and don’t forget to comment below with any additional real world tips you have for meditators.

This article originally published on www.groundingup.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Detox Broth

A few years ago, when I participated in a 30 Day detox program through my yoga studio, someone gave me a recipe for detox broth. I had heard of juice cleanses, that crazy cayenne pepper and maple syrup cleanse, and the Betty Ford Clinic, but I had not as of yet, heard of a detox broth.

The recipe that fellow yogi gave me consisted of onions and a few root veggies and water and that was about it. I never actually prepared the recipe because it just didn’t sound that good and seeing as I don’t live atop a toxic waste dump, I don’t technically need a detoxing. But it did get me thinking about the idea of detox broth and set me on the path to a version that was not only drinkable, but actually enjoyable.

Detox Broth Recipe

In general, I aim for a broth that tastes like my midwestern grandma’s vegetable soup, which is no easy task considering the first ingredient in her vegetable soup is beef or pork shoulder. Oh, Iowa, I love you.

I’ve provided a list of ingredients and quantities for those of you who feel more comfortable cooking with an actual recipe, but honestly, I recommend just winging it. Add more of what you like the flavor of. My broth is never the same twice because I usually only make it when I have a bunch of vegetables laying around without a purpose in life.

If you are on an IBS diet, than you’ll want to steer clear of the vegetables that will cause a flare up. Here is a list. I have heard that tomatoes can bother people on anti-inflammatory diets, but I include them because a life without tomatoes seems hardly worth living.

I guess some people drink their broth cold, but that’s not my style. If you subscribe to ayurvedic philosophies, you’ll tell me the hot broth is good for my Vata dominant dosha. I love it, so you might be right.

Want more?

Visit the recipe section for vegan and vegetarian recipes

And don’t forget to comment below with what you put in your broth. I’m always looking for new variations to try.

This article originally  published on www.groundingup.com.

Print Recipe
Detox Broth
A vegetable based broth designed to aid in digestion and taste good. There really isn't much to this recipe from an instructions standpoint. I'm sure we could complicate it with lots of steps and timing, but that's really not necessary in this case.
Detox Broth
Servings
Ingredients
Servings
Ingredients
Detox Broth
Instructions
  1. Roughly chop all of the ingredients and combine in one large pot.
    chopped vegetables for detox broth
  2. Cover the chopped vegetables in 10 cups of water. Bring the ingredients to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 60 minutes.
    simmer the detox broth
  3. The vegetables will have lost much of their color and will be extremely soft when the broth is ready. At this point, a few cups of water will have cooked off, so you can add more water and continue to boil, or call it good and move on to the next step.
    Simmered detox broth
  4. It's now time to separate the vegetables from the broth. I send it all through a colander first to separate the large vegetables from the broth. I then send the broth through a sieve with cheese cloth to remove a lot of the vegetable fiber that comes through the colander holes. You only need to do this if fiber from certain vegetables bothers you. You can also reduce the amount of fiber in your broth by cutting back on the cooking time. The longer you simmer, the more the vegetables break down and the more fibers you up drinking.
    straining detox broth
  5. Pour the broth into some form of storage vessel and you are all set. I like to use 8 and 16 ounce canning jars. You can freeze the broth or just store it in the refrigerator if you plan to drink it in the next 5 days.
    Detox Broth
Recipe Notes
You'll notice that my broth is pink. That's because I use purple kale and tomatoes, which make it that color. If you have a sensitive stomach, I suggest you omit anything form the cabbage family.

Three Bullet Thursday

Hi all, this is your Thursday dose of “Three Bullet Thursday”, a quick list of yoga lifestyle information I’m processing.

If you are a yoga teacher, yoga student, vegetarian, philosopher, lover of metaphysics, or just another human out wandering around, this is the list for you.

What I’m Reading–Island by Aldous Huxley

This book was published in 1962, so it isn’t new. However, Island seems to be experiencing a bit of a revival in the literary world; I’m assuming it’s due to the presidential situation in the United States and the overall state of the world.

The book outlines an utopian life on an imaginary island where the inhabitants built a culture based upon eastern philosophies and religions including yoga, buddhism, and meditation.

Meditation as a lifestyle is a prominent theme. As a novice meditator myself, I found those sections particularly interesting and useful.

If you like philosophical discussion or you want to know how to turn your yoga retreat center into its own country, this book is for you.

What I’m Listening To–Johann Johannsson’s Orphee album

Johann Johansson is an Icelandic composer best known for his film scores; think “Arrival” and “The Theory of Everything”. Technically, this 2016 studio album, Orphee, belongs in the electronica genre. I’m loving it because there are no words and beautiful melodies.

Deep Thought I’m Pondering–“Bring with you a heart that watches and receives”

“Bring with you a heart that watches and receives,” is a quote by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, a beloved American poet known for “Paul Revere’s Ride” and the Song of Hiawatha.

The quote struck me while reading Island by Aldous Huxley. Contextually, the author used it to elaborate on the concept of receptivity or open mindedness. The idea being that if a person chooses to project rather than receive there is room for misinterpretation and confusion. However, if one chooses to receive with an open heart and mind, clear communication, insight, and truth will be transmitted.

Want more?

Read the blog for more yoga lifestyle information and inspiration including past 3 Bullet Thursdays, Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes, and Yoga Philosophy.