The Winter season has officially arrived with the magic of the Solstice. Ahhhhh, can you feel it? Time to turn inward, to hibernate, to contemplate. This is a time to gently release the old, that which we no longer need, and to create space for the new. Here in Northern Ontario, we endure long months of cold, wind, ice and snow, a beautiful insulation for this time of deep clearing.
During our annual hibernation period, we can support our bodies and these processes above with simple whole foods that also bring about feelings of warmth, joy, and satisfaction. Mindfully preparing a big pot of soup and enjoying the fragrance as it simmers on your stove can soothe the soul in wonderful ways.
Choose organic and local where possible, with a foundation in seasonal foods (think root veggies, winter squashes, dried beans and legumes) topped off with a splash of superfoods/superherbs and raw living foods to balance out your diet and nourish your body, mind and Spirit.
Be sure to get outside, get some sunshine on your face, catch a snowflake on your tongue, connect with those you care about most, and share these Soul Food recipes in community . . . occasionally.
This Indian inspired squash soup is absolutely delicious and warming with its blend of anti-inflammatory and digestive aid spices. The Red Curry squash looks like a small, red-orange pumpkin without the deep ridges in the sides.
The flesh is bright orange and has a mellow, somewhat nutty flavor. If you don’t have or can’t find one of these little gems, a similar dense flesh winter squash such as kabocha. Roast your squash ahead of time as they’re in season and freeze it to have on hand for soups and smoothies alike!
This recipe is one variation of endless combinations of two simple basic ingredients, rice and beans/lentils. The traditional version uses basmati rice and mung beans, which I LOVE and often use when making this recipe, but I thought I would include this variation using green lentils for variety! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Add coconut oil to a large pot over medium/high heat. Add whole spices and temper for 30 seconds. Add powdered spices and temper for 30 seconds more, stirring constantly so they don’t burn. Add the ginger, onion and garlic, and sauté for 5 minutes.
Add in potatoes and cauliflower if using (these can be left out if you choose a simpler version of Kitchiri), and saute for an additional 5 minutes. Add the rice and lentils/beans, stirring for another few minutes.
Finally, add the water and salt, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium/low and simmer, covered for about 20-30 minutes more or until beans/lentils and potatoes are soft. Note: longer cook time for whole mung beans. Remove from heat and stir in juice of 1 lemon.
Serve in bowls garnished with all or some of the following: a dollop of coconut oil and/or hemp seed oil drizzled over top, fresh diced tomatoes, chopped green onion, sunflower shoots, a drizzle of fresh lemon juice, and a bit of hot sauce if you want to add a little kick. Serves 4-6.
A delicious transition meal, part cooked, part raw and fermented, for a satisfying comfort food meal that is sure to please!
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and saute for a few minutes. Season with desired amount of salt and pepper. Add potatoes, and saute uncovered for a few minutes more. Cover, turn heat down to medium low, and continue to cook until potatoes are tender (about 10-15 min.) Sprinkle on Daiya cheese if using, and replace lid for another couple of minutes to melt the cheese over top.
Place a couple fork fulls of sauerkraut on a plate, serve potato hash on top, and garnish with fresh tomatoes and/or sunflower/pea shoots!
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Article By Leanne Wierzbicki, Guest Blogger for the BodyMind Institute
An intuitive Yoga teacher, healer, High Vibration Living Coach, David Wolfe Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach, and author, Leanne Wierzbicki and her message of Breathe-Live-Believe is unique in her commitment to Green Yoga, a practice that translates the 5000 year old moral teachings of Yoga into living a sustainable and green lifestyle, one in which we not only learn to purify and transform the body, mind and spirit, but one where we take those teachings off the mat and into the environment. She offers Hatha style and Restorative (therapeutic) private, semi-private and corporate Yoga and healing, Trauma Sensitive Yoga for First Responders, High Vibration Living and Holistic Nutrition Coaching services, Plant Based Whole Foods Classes, Workshops, and Retreats. She is also the author of the forthcoming book “Soul Food: Transitioning to Compassionate Whole Food Choices That Heal Body, Mind and Spirit.” Find her online at http://www.breathelivebelieve.ca.
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