Monday, February 22, 2010

Cauliflower Au Gratin

I think I'm scarring my boyfriend.
He has started saying, "Oh I am craving some stress foods." Or "Let's go out and get some stress foods!"
And he means like eggs and potatoes. =)

Potatoes are not always the best to cook with, high stress foods and all.
So I made Au Gratin this weekend with Cauliflower.
And it is good!

I found the recipe on Eating
Skillet Cauliflower Gratin
And you can do it vegan, quite easy too.
I used soymilk instead of regular.
But did not skimp of the cheddar.
Oh hell no.

I poured it over buckwheat since it was very creamy and rich. It serves as a sauce for a grain quite nicely.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quinoa is Quooolll!

Well this self healing is quite the process. The entire office smells of coffee and I'm twitching. I want coffee! Haven't had coffee in a while.....

Coffee is an expanding food. It makes me expand so much that I feel like I grow wings. I guess its the caffeine. Reminds me of the Red Bull commercials. Clever marketing. Since caffeine literally does expand you. You feel like you're gonna fly..

Foods help us expand and contract. The world runs on a cycle of growth and death. Open and close. In and out. So, it is no surprise that food will do the same. Some foods such as alcohol, coffee, sugar, fruits, and even tomato and potato are incredibly expanding. They are the foods you want to eat on a hot summer day to expand out into the sunshine.

Then on the other end of the 180 degree scale you've got contracting foods. The foods you want to eat on a cold winter day. Beef, eggs, oil. Salt. Miso, even. But like any scale, some foods expand and contract your chi/energy more than others. A big burger is going to be more contracting than a plate of eggs. And a plate of eggs will be more contracting than a bowl of miso soup.

So. You can guess the same will apply to the expanding side. Alcohol will expand you into a million tiny pieces. Coffee does a nice job of it too. So does sugar.
So our life is about balance. The balance of the happiness with the pain. The confusion with the clarity and the expanding with the contracting. So, when we eat a big burger we crave a nice shake or coke to balance us out.

If I eat a huge plate of chicken with all sorts of salt and pasta and then wake up the next morning with an uncontrollable urge for coffee or sugar, no wonder. My body is craving balance.

The problem with eating at these extremes (contracting meat and expanding sugar) is that it creates of lot of work for our body. Our body is working to balance back and forth back and forth. Imagine one of those metronomes on high. Tick tock tick tock. Rapidly flying back and forth. Its crazy hard to keep up. But if we continue to eat lots of red meat and oils, then its only natural our body will crave the sugar and alcohol. It needs to feel balance. Pretty interesting stuff, huh?

The Self Healing Cookbook is introducing new recipes that allow us to live and eat away from the edges of the scale. It's an education on the old phrase: "We are what we eat" We start to tick tock, to balance out on a more simple rhythym. You have some contracting whole grains and tofu and balance it with some expanding fruits.

So, I've been feeling great. And its definitely an adjustment as well. But rather than saying, "I'm not going to have coffee because I think it's bad for me" I say, "I'm not going to have coffee because I dont want to move too far to the edge of the scale. I dont need to expand out that far. I feel just great right here."
After a while, the chi that is generated by living in the middle begins to grow and grow. It feels great....

And in this snack saturated consumer market, its not easy. And it doesn't mean I'm not still eating sugar, meat, alcohol, oil, and dairy. I am.
But they do not make up my life. They are treats. I am living in the middle scale area and every time I choose to eat a high stress food, I do it intentionally and understanding what it is.

Anyway, the point of this post was to share a Quinoa Salad recipe my dear friend Lisa and I came up with the other night. It's good!!

Quinoa is Qool

Cup of Quinoa
Handful of chopped cashews
Handful of chopped raisans
Two green onions
Lemon Juice
Salt and Peppah.
So, for every one cup of Quinoa, you need 2.25 cups of water. Let the water boil, toast the quinoa in a seperate pan. Just roll the quinoa around on med high heat for about five to seven minutes till it gets toasted. Yummy.
Once the water boils throw the quinoa in there. Cook on low, covered for twenty.
Chop up nuts and fruit and green onion. Toss it all together.
Add salt and pepper and lemon.

The thing that turned this salad from tasty treat to heavenly was a recipe we got from the Self Healing Cookbook. It's a Tahini Dressing.
Let's see if I can remember the recipe..

3 Tblspn Tahini
1 Tblspn Olive Oil
2 Tblspn White Miso
1.5 Tblspns of Lemon Juice
1/2 cup of water
Handful of chopped basil (parsley or cilantro would work too)
Salt and pepper.

Drizzle that dressing on the Quinoa salad. omg. yum.
Top it with sprouts. Why not?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowy snow snowballs and ironic irony

Wooooheee. 14" at American University. SNOW. Hoooo! Haven't been to work since Thursday. Not going tomorrow either. This is craziness.
Looks like its gonna calm down a bit but its still quite windy. I've been at home. Cooking lots of good food.
Self Healing Cookbook is going strong.
Made a nice aduki bean, vegan sausage, mustard greens soup. Ate it for two days. Dan liked it too. Also made a real tasty dressing for a salad. Here's the recipe:

Yummy Creamy Vegan Dressing

4 oz of tofu
1 clove of garlic
(steam 'em for about three minutes and no more, then throw 'em in the blender)
Also put in a tblspn of sesame oil, tblspn of lemon juice, 1/3 cup of water, tblspn of light miso and four or five sprigs of parsely.
Dash o salt and pepper. Make sure you've got the sea salt stuff. It's better for you.
And whip it. Blend it. Grind it.
For just a minute.
Yummmy, creamy. Healthy dressing.
Keeping that chi in balance.

Happy snow storming.
Oh and I've just got to post our famous video.
A few friends of mine and I made this video when we were snowed in this weekend. We're working on another now. My dear girl Alison Hanold edited it and its kindof had a mini following on some DC blogs like Kojo Nnamdi, Washington City Paper and Prince of Petworth. That's no small thing. There's been like 1,500 views! Ha!
It's like raiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnn on yer weddin day.

Monday, February 1, 2010


So, this book is really having an effect on me.
I mean, this idea --that greasy sugary food is not the answer to fixing my moods but rather the source of my mood swings, really has some leverage.
And I'm talking from a little experience now.
Now, granted, I'll be the first "work" follower to tell you its not about what you eat but what you believe about your story.
However, can't it be both?
Cause I'm finding it is.
This weekend I didn't drink any caffeine. That was tough. I had a pretty noticeable headache on Saturday but nothing compared to my typical headaches from no caffeine.
I cooked this butternut squash sauce that was real good.
Here's the recipe:
3 T Sesame seeds, roasted over medium heat until they smell toasty
Throw 'em in the blender with a T of miso paste and a cup of butternut squash. Also a dash of cinnamon. (and a smidge of water, not too much)
The result was a very tasty sauce that I put on brown rice with some collard greens. Not the most amazing flavorful meal but a nice calm tasty filling meal.

The key here is that whenever I feel hungry or craving something, I can fulfill that craving. If I want something sweet, I can. If I want something filling, I can.
It's just a matter of staying in the middle ground of food and not flying from one side of the yin yang meter.
It's really quite a simple lesson but so fascinating.
It is important however, to have occasional treats.
I think I would whither up and die if I always ate in the middle of the yin yang.
Or atleast until I become a better self healing cook.
There is a local Japanese Market on the same block as our new condo.
Dan and I went shopping there last night. We got a handful of cool stuff like, smoked dried squid (soup tonight!)
and Umeboshi Plums.
Those look like pretty tasty little things.