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Roasted Parsnip Soup

29 Nov

Here’s the November article from Bodhi Tree’s Breathing Room Newsletter. I also made this soup for a recent Monday Night Supper Club potluck. It worked very well as an amuse-bouche garnished with a little thyme and a baby parsnip. Delish!

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Yoga, in its purest form, is about being present and aware in every moment of your life. We are all built with five tools that act as a gateway to this present moment awareness: the senses. Some moments your senses may be engaged with perfect clarity; you are aware that you feel the body you’re in, see the colours around you, hear the sounds in your environment, taste each morsel you eat and smell every aroma that wafts your way. Other moments, due to stress, routine or the mind’s games, your senses may be clouded, or on auto-pilot.

Along with the senses, asana, meditation and pranayama use drishti (focal point), intention (love!) and mantra (om) to help you focus, calm the mind and bring about present moment awareness, if only just for a second. What’s great about these techniques is that they can be applied outside of yoga as well, to work, relationships and even cooking.

This month’s recipe stars parsnips, which are abundant at farmers’ markets as Autumn matures. Using a recipe that focuses on one ingredient will help you engage your five senses, becoming present and aware as you’re cooking. Pay particular attention to how the parsnip’s aroma changes from raw to cooked. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss!

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Roasted Parsnip Soup

1 kg/2.2 lbs. parsnips, cut in half
1 large onion, sliced
1 head garlic, top ¼” cut off
2 carrots, cut in half
2 stalks celery, cut in half
2 Tbsps. olive oil
2 tsps. fresh ginger, minced
1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
1 L/4 cups vegetable stock
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated nutmeg to taste

Preheat oven to 375 F. Arrange all vegetables on a parchment lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive
oil and toss with salt and pepper. Bake 40 minutes, until vegetables are soft and garlic is golden.

In a large pot, squeeze garlic out of its peel, combine with roasted vegetables and stock. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Purée in a blender or food processor. Add ginger, thyme, nutmeg and season to taste. Garnish with fresh thyme and roasted baby parsnips.

Serves 4-6.

Happy Cooking!
Jacinthe

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Pumpkin Carrot Sweet Potato Soup

15 Nov

I made this soup last week after a trip to the dentist – I’ll spare you the details – left me only able to eat soft foods for a few days. I had one small pie pumpkin left, an abundance of carrots and some fresh sweet potatoes (or yams, depending on who you ask).

What resulted is a rich and creamy soup (without cream!) that’s perfect for fall days and sore mouths.

Pumpkin Carrot Sweet Potato Soup

2 medium sized yams, cut into 1″ cubes
1 small pie pumpkin, cut in quarters, seeds removed
3 medium sized carrots, cut in 4
1 onion, small dice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup orange juice
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and pepper to taste

Roast yams, pumpkin and carrots on a parchment lined baking sheet at 350 F for 30 minutes, until just starting to brown.

Meanwhile, in a large soup pot, saute onions in olive oil until translucent. Add thyme and garlic and saute until just fragrant.

When roasted mixture is done, add it to the pot along with stock and orange juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. When cooled slightly, partially or fully puree mixture and pour back into a clean pot. Add lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a sprinkle of fresh thyme leaves. Can be frozen or kept in fridge for up to 5 days.

Enjoy!
Jacinthe

Butter Chicken or Tofu with Saffron Rice

8 Nov

One of the things I miss about living in Toronto is getting the quarterly LCBO magazine, Food & Drink. The recipes are some of the best I’ve ever tried, including this Butter Chicken.

Seriously, this is a dish that you’ll want to break out when you really want to impress. It looks like it’s complicated, but really it’s just the same ingredients added repeatedly at different stages of the process. Especially a garlic-ginger purée that’s super easy to make and can be frozen for other uses.

Chicken marinating in a spiced yogurt mixture.

Tomatoes and spices boiling down.

Sieving the tomato mixture after it has reduced.

I made this for the latest Monday Night Supper Club potluck, which happened to be on Halloween. I dressed up in a beautiful sari I received as a gift and went East Indian style! Lori Andrews over at The 10 Cent Designer made this Cucumber Dill Salad that went perfectly.

Butter Chicken – Slightly adapted from LCBO Food & Drink Holiday 2008 Amaya Restaurant Toronto

Combine and let marinate for 20 minutes:
lb./454 g chicken or 1 block/454 g extra firm tofu
1 tsp ginger puree (recipe below)
1 tsp garlic puree (recipe below)
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/4 tsp garam masala

If using chicken, bake at 425 F for 10-12 mins.

In a large pan combine and let simmer (med-low heat) until tomatoes are breaking down (about 25 mins):
1 can (2 cups/16 oz.) diced tomatoes, juices reserved
2 tsp ginger puree
2 tsp garlic puree
2 cardamom pods
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cup reserved tomato juice Continue reading

Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

1 Nov

Lentils are a great alternative to using ground meat for Shepherd’s Pie. Green lentils keep their shape, while orange lentils melt into mush; using both gives a similar texture to meat.

This is definitely a dish for potlucks (even meat-lovers like it) and to make when you’re on a budget – each serving works about to approximately $1.50 (depending on how much butter, cream, and cheese you use)!

I like to make a double or triple recipe of this, portion it out into 7″x5″ 3-cup Pyrex bakeware, then freeze for easy weeknight meals. Continue reading

Black Bean and Corn Soup

7 Oct

This soup became an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink kind of recipe and is probably that tastiest soup I’ve ever made. It will be great now that the weather has cooled down. Serve it with Garden Salad with Edible Flowers, any salad or roasted vegetables.

Black Bean and Corn Soup:

2 tbsp. olive oil
2 large onion, finely diced
2 med red bell pepper, finely diced
1/2 tsp. jalapeno pepper finely diced, seeds removed
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
500ml shredded cabbage
500ml shredded carrots
500ml chopped mushrooms
1 shredded zucchini
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
3 tbsp. tomato paste (or1/4 cup ketchup)
2 can diced tomatoes, drained
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn, thawed and rinsed (4 cobs)
9 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste Continue reading

Grilled Salmon with Cilantro-Citrus Sauce and Coconut-Lime Rice

13 Sep

I was rooting around in the fridge for lunch the other day and came across a pair of salmon steaks that needed to be cooked off. It was a beautiful day so I cranked up the BBQ. A little experimenting resulted in this delicious cilantro-citrus sauce that goes well with most light fish and even shrimp.

Grilled Salmon with Cilantro-Citrus Sauce and Coconut-Lime Rice:

4 – 6oz salmon steaks
1 zucchini, cut into 1/2″ slices on the bias

Drizzle the salmon steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss zucchini is a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper. With BBQ on high, sear salmon for 2-3 minutes, or until it doesn’t stick to the grill. Grill zucchini at the same time. Flip and sear second side. Reduce heat to medium/low/medium and cook until salmon is just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Continue reading

My Go-To Spice Mix

27 Jul

Sometimes I get stuck about what to make for dinner, especially when I’ve waited until I’m starving or I don’t have a lot of time to make and eat something. It’s during these times that this spice mix (that I always have on-hand in the cupboard) comes in totally handy. It quickly turns chicken breasts, pork chops and even firm tofu slices into the star of a meal when paired with rice, roasted veggies or on top of a salad.

Go-To Spice Mix (modified from Emeril’s Essence)
4 tablespoons salt
4 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoon lemon pepper
2 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoon dried oregano, and/or thyme, and/or rosemary, and/or marjoram

Combine all ingredients in an airtight container. Store for up to 6 months.

To use: Drizzle your protein of choice in a little olive oil, then rub in a generous amount of the spice mix. Grill on both sides and viola – perfectly seasoned dinner! This stuff also works well on any type of roasted vegetable.

Hearty Chili

30 Jun

Here’s the original article in the Bodhi Tree’s July 2011 Newsletter.

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Summer is on its way and it’s a beautiful time of year to switch up your practice a little. With the short amount of warm weather Calgary gets, remember your present-moment thinking and get outdoors whenever you can. Getting out into Mother Nature will serve to purify your body and mind from the chaos of the city.

If you like hiking, focus on walking consciously, counting your steps; take a break in a serene spot to spend some time in seated contemplation; or strike one of your favourite poses in a beautiful setting, getting someone to capture it on camera so you can post a picture somewhere that’ll inspire you day-to-day. Continue reading

Curried Carrot and Ginger Soup

24 May

Here’s the original article from Bodhi Tree’s May 2011 newsletter.

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Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations, are often the first series of poses that many new yogis learn; a sequence of postures designed to warm-up the large muscle groups and invigorate the body. Doing a few salutations to the sun is a great way to self-practice while bringing focus and clarity to the mind. For  students who are building a self-practice at home, or for beginner teachers, the basic formula of these salutations is easy to build onto, allowing you to incorporate different poses on a whim, or according to a plan. That said, it can be easy to fall into a Sun Salutation rut, repeating similar poses due to their ease, but not necessarily challenging your body and expanding your mind. Continue reading

No-Tomato Lasagna

19 Apr

Suffering with food allergies and/or irritations can get very limiting when making traditional recipes like lasagna. My dad’s partner, Sue, has an extensive list of foods to avoid (there’s an actual document she maintains to send to friends and family), including soy, wheat, dairy (specifically lactose), peppers and tomatoes. Continue reading