You might think that I am about to hand you a recipe for a bowl of black beans, but I’m not. I’m here to do a couple of things:
try out some black chickpeas I got for Christmas (long story)
hack the way we all cook beans (unless you are from India, then I’m pretty sure this is just how you cook beans, but anyway…)
show you how we make chana masala at this house
I can’t properly credit this recipe because I have compiled ingredients and techniques from various places over the years and I’m way too lazy to list them all here; just know that it came from somewhere other than me.
1.5 cups dried chickpeas (we used black chickpeas for fun)
1 tsp baking soda
2 black tea bags
oil as needed
1 cup thinly sliced onions
1 tsp fresh ginger
1 tsp garlic
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup potatoes
1 green chili
1 1/4 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp turmeric
1-2 cups vegetable broth
Because I do yoga and somehow the internet knows this, every electronic media feed I see is infused with yoga-related news and products–facebook, instagram, google, every web site I visit. Unfortunately, if the Internet has not identified you as a yogi, there is no way you are getting enough yoga news. So, I have compiled a round up of what is trending for those of you so dangerously out of the loop.
Yoga Journal wants us to keep our shit together this holiday season
Goat Yoga Is Trending
Photo: Aimee Denise Photography
Cellulite–Let’s Love It! Um okay, if we have to.
News Flash!! Celebrities do yoga
The internet wants to make sure my list of celebrity yogis is ALWAYS current. So here is the latest list and a picture of Adam Levine in tights.
Coming Soon to a Studio Near You!
The Internet will not rest until I own these
Yogis at Standing Rock
The yoga world had a lot to say about the situation at Standing Rock. Seane Corn is a well known activist and yogi who dedicated her time and resources to Standing Rock.
Tao Porchon-Lynch is making us all look like pansies
This 98-year-old yoga master has been in the news for a few months now and she should be; she is a great example for all of us.
These Barley-stuffed peppers from ThugKitchen have become a staple at our house. I have wanted to get them up on the blog for a while. So here you go.
A note about this recipe: In our humble opinion, it needs cheese. So, we add 1/4 cup of shredded parmesan to the actual stuffing mix and then we sprinkle shaved parmesan as a garnish. Obviously, doing this makes the recipe “non-vegan” but we are cool with that.
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
4 bell peppers, whatever color you find cool
1 1/2 cups cooked kidney or white beans
1/4 cups chopped fresh parsley
1–In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts turning golden, about 3 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, garlic, thyme, and oregano and cook for another 2 minutes. Throw in the barley, tomato, and vinegar and stir. Add the broth, salt, and pepper and let it come to a low simmer. Cook, uncovered, until all the broth is absorbed and the barley is tender, about 15 minutes.
2–While the barley is simmering, heat your oven to 375° F. Cut the tops off the bell peppers and scrape out the seeds. Place them in an oiled pie place or loaf pan, something where their asses won’t be sliding around once they’re stuffed.
3–When the barley is done, fold in the beans and turn off the heat. (This filling can even be made a day or two ahead of time, no fucking problem.) Fill the bell peppers up to the top with the filling, cover them tightly with foil, and bake until the peppers are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let them rest for 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, ’cause those fuckers are hot. Top with the parsley and serve.
Thanks to ThugKithen for the recipe. We didn’t technically ask them for permission to publish their recipe, but those assholes can just fucking get over it.
I have always had huge admiration for well put together southern ladies. Growing up, I spent quite a lot of time in Atlanta with family and friends and never once did the South fail to make me feel like a rough neck Yankee.
As I’ve grown and matured into a professional woman, wife, and mother I have managed to sand off many of my rougher edges; however, I still can’t rally to the idea that I can or even should aspire to the qualities of a true southern lady (no matter how desperately my mother would like me to).
Southern hospitality, cultivation of beauty, strength, grace, and excellent comportment are not in my toolbox and at 40, it is probably time for me to be okay with that. But, how or if these qualities might show up in a southern yoga studio setting didn’t occur to me until I checked in at Thunderbolt Power Yoga in Buckhead, GA.
Thunderbolt Power Yoga was established in 2014 by studio owner and operator Carly Grace Hinchman. I was in Atlanta for a work thing and on the hunt for a good power yoga class. Thunderbolt Power Yoga came highly recommended by actual yogis as well as Yelp and I heard there were several Baptiste trained instructors there, so I thought I would give it a try.
The Studio Space
This studio has a strong feminine vibe. The color palette, decor, retail area, and facilities were most certainly designed with women in mind. I mention this because I found it slightly curious; where do men in the south practice yoga? In Northern California, our studio membership is about 50/50 men and women and most studios are decidedly gender neutral when it comes to design and decor. Overall, Thunderbolt has everything a yogi could ask for including great parking and a huge selection of K Deer Activewear.
I attended the Heated Power Flow class led by Elizabeth Beggs (instagram: @beggsyoga.com). The class was well attended by students at a wide variety of levels. Elizabeth led an organized and creative flow class, which included a fun little flow from shoelace pose (yin yoga) to tripod headstand and back again. She closed the practice with cool essential oil infused towels during savasana (because southern hospitality, duh!) and an OM with a beautiful Tibetan singing bowl.
This is an excellent studio and I can’t wait to go back. Here in Northern California, we take our yoga a little more “earthy.” The feminine niceties and southern hospitality offered at Thunderbolt were what I needed so far away from home.
And yes, Mom, I did get an emergency manicure and pedicure after I saw how nicely all those yogis were put together.
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.
BLACK BEANS–1 Cup Cooked
ORCA BEANS–1 Cup Cooked
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.