ghee

The Easiest Breakfast in the Freakin' World

Ok.

Ingredients:

1 hard-boiled egg (these take some time to perfect, allow yourself the time to learn the art)

multigrain bread

preferably fresh

frozen spinach

Gomasio (sesame seeds, sea salt and garlic powder)

coconut manna (coconut oil mixed with the flesh too--it's amazing)

fresh raspberry jam

1 tsp of ghee (search for ghee on this site--I've written about it before)

Instructions

1) Put the ghee in a pan and add the frozen spinach.

2) Toast the bread.

3) Slice the egg.

4) When the bread is toasted, add the coconut manna and jam.

5) When the spinach is thawed, put it on a plate and shake gomasio over it.

6) Sit and realize how simple and delicious whole food truly is...

Madras Vegetable Curry--SO GOOD WITH GHEE!!

Ok. Do you love butter? Because I love butter. I really do.

Even more than butter, I love GHEE. Ghee is clarified butter which means it is butter that has been clarified; having had the impurities of saturated fat and milk solids removed.  Ghee is lactose-free.

Fat is really important to good health, so make sure you're eating the GOOD kinds. Not all fat is alike. Ghee is your fat friend.

I grabbed this recipe from the interwebs and made it several weeks ago. It is fast, easy and delicious (you know I like my recipes that way).

This past Sunday, my beloved and I were sitting at home taking a much-needed restful Sunday to ourselves. I proposed taking her out to dinner vs making food that night which would give us leftovers for the week!

Guess which she chose? To cook at home together.

This is one of the many reasons why I love her.

She chopped veggies, I did other prep and together we made this delicious meal in about 35 minutes. We watched a few episodes of Friday Night Lights in between. Can you believe Coach Taylor might leave AGAIN?! We already went through this in Season 2...sheesh.

I digress...

Here's MADRAS VEGGIE CURRY take 2--THIS time I added ghee at the end. I should have used it instead of the peanut oil that the recipe called for. I can do that next time and I'll let you know how it goes--better yet, you try it and let me know!

 

Madras Veggie Curry

Ingredients 1 Tbs peanut oil (or ghee!) 2 cups chopped onion 2 Tbs curry powder salt to taste 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces 2 medium carrots, sliced 1 small cauliflower, cut and broken into florets (smaller pieces) 1 cup vegetable broth or water 1 15-oz can of diced tomatoes 1 5 or 6-oz package of fresh baby spinach leaves (we used frozen this time, it was still really rad) 1 cup nonfat (we used low-fat) yogurt

Instructions

1) Place a large saucepan or pot over medium-high heat and wait 2 minutes. Add the oil and wait about 30 seconds, then add the onion, curry powder and salt. Cook, stirring often, for 5-8 minutes or until the onion is translucent and beginning to soften.

2) Stir in those chopped sweets, carrots and cauliflower, making sure they get completely covered with the curried onions and sauté for another 3 minutes or so.

3) Stir in the veggie broth, tomatoes and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to simmer, partially cover the pot, and cook gently for another 8-10 minutes or until those carrots and sweet potatoes get tender.

4) Add the spinach and give it a stir. If it's fresh, it will wilt within seconds. If it's frozen, it will melt and blend nicely.

5) Stir in the yogurt and remove from heat.

6) SERVE over brown rice (see Brown Rice Life Lessons), millet, or quinoa.

7) if it needs it---stir in a wee bit more of ghee and salt. LOVE YOUR FOOD!

Ayurvedic Breakfast--Warm and Wonderful for Chilly Mornings

 

From the Chopra Center website:

Ayurveda is a 5,000-year-old system of natural healing that has its origins in the Vedic culture of India. Although suppressed during years of foreign occupation, Ayurveda has been enjoying a major resurgence in both its native land and throughout the world. Tibetan medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine both have their roots in Ayurveda. Early Greek medicine also embraced many concepts originally described in the classical ayurvedic medical texts dating back thousands of years.

More than a mere system of treating illness, Ayurveda is a science of life (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge). It offers a body of wisdom designed to help people stay vital while realizing their full human potential. Providing guidelines on ideal daily and seasonal routines, diet, behavior and the proper use of our senses, Ayurveda reminds us that health is the balanced and dynamic integration between our environment, body, mind, and spirit.

Recognizing that human beings are part of nature, Ayurveda describes three fundamental energies that govern our inner and outer environments: movement, transformation, and structure. Known in Sanskrit as Vata (Wind), Pitta (Fire), and Kapha (Earth), these primary forces are responsible for the characteristics of our mind and body. Each of us has a unique proportion of these three forces that shapes our nature. If Vata is dominant in our system, we tend to be thin, light, enthusiastic, energetic, and changeable. If Pitta predominates in our nature, we tend to be intense, intelligent, and goal-oriented and we have a strong appetite for life. When Kapha prevails, we tend to be easy-going, methodical, and nurturing. Although each of us has all three forces, most people have one or two elements that predominate.

For each element, there is a balanced and imbalance expression.

When Vata is balanced, a person is lively and creative, but when there is too much movement in the system, a person tends to experience anxiety, insomnia, dry skin, constipation, and difficulty focusing. When Pitta is functioning in a balanced manner, a person is warm, friendly, disciplined, a good leader, and a good speaker. When Pitta is out of balance, a person tends to be compulsive and irritable and may suffer from indigestion or an inflammatory condition. When Kapha is balanced, a person is sweet, supportive, and stable but when Kapha is out of balance, a person may experience sluggishness, weight gain, and sinus congestion.

An important goal of Ayurveda is to identify a person’s ideal state of balance, determine where they are out of balance, and offer interventions using diet, herbs, aromatherapy, massage treatments, music, and meditation to reestablish balance.

This system is on my mind these days, particularly as my body adjusts to the winter months. Seasonal affective disorder has always been a problem for me (at least since moving to Boston) and this winter I'm determined to eat and live in harmony and balance (as much as possible) to prevent disagreeable symptoms.

So far, so good.

In addition to my private practice, I also work at Cambridge Naturals--a locally owned natural products and health store in Porter Square Shopping Center in Cambridge, MA. We have some wonderful customers from a wide range of fields, backgrounds and interests. One day a particularly nice person offered me this recipe for a delicious AND SIMPLE Ayurvedic breakfast.

Give it a try and pay attention to the following right after eating and throughout your day:

-any physical sensations -any mental or emotional changes

Feel free to post comments here! Share the wealth for health!

Ayurvedic Breakfast

Ingredients

1 Tb ghee* (melted)

1 Tb raw honey or coconut oil (melted)

1 tsp of powdered (or grated) ginger root, cinnamon and turmeric

sprouted wheat bread (or cooked whole grain of your choice)

Instructions

1) mix ghee, honey and spices together with a knife in a small bowl

2) toast bread**, add the spread---AND WOW!

This is easy, fast and really delicious. No more excuses for leaving the house without anything in your stomach AND it's a huge improvement from your daily bagel and cream cheese. Why?

Here are the benefits of what you're eating:

Ghee: Ghee, also known as clarified butter in anglophone countries, is made by simmering unsalted butter in a cooking vessel until all water has boiled off and the milk solids, or protein, have settled to the bottom and a scum has floated on top. After removing the scum the cooked and clarified butter is then spooned off or tipped out carefully to avoid disturbing the milk solids on the bottom of the pan.[2] Ghee can be stored for extended periods without refrigeration, provided it is kept in an airtight container to prevent oxidation and remains moisture-free. The texture, colour or taste of ghee depends on the source of the milk from which the butter was made and the extent of boiling/simmering.-Wiki

To be honest, I have run into some dead-ends when it comes to ghee. Ayurveda contends its health benefits, but Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D., doesn't recommend it highly. Do your research and make a decision that feels right for you.

Raw honey: when it hasn't been pasteurized or heated, many of the original enzymes and nutrients remain intact. Raw honey is a very medicinal food--not just a convenient sweetener. Not all honey is the same so make sure you're getting raw honey which is the most nutritional--not the stuff in that container of a little bear with a hat. I'll write another blog post about this in the future.

Turmeric: a spice that has proven to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation can take many forms, not just aches and pains. It can show up as IBS, acne and depression.

Cinnamon: a spice that may regulate your blood-sugar levels. In this recipe, I noticed I didn't crash mid-morning.

Ginger: A warming and healing spice. Good for digestion and may have anti-bacterial properties, among many others.

Coconut Oil: I haven't had much personal experience with this other than another quick recipe I'll post in the future. I intend to cook with it using heat soon, and I'll let you know what I discover. In short, though, many people believe in the health benefits of coconut oil which are many, so read this article:

I enjoy this breakfast immensely and look forward to discovering and sharing more solutions for battling SAD naturally in the coming months!