Food Patterns in the Body

Sister Amy sent me this to post.  She says, “Just give me 3 minutes and 16 seconds of your day and I guarantee you will not look at fresh fruits and veggies again in the same way!”  While I’ve read of some of these correlations before (i.e. a walnut looks like the brain, the organ best served by the walnut) what I really love is the greater implications of this idea…  Not only does our beloved Earth-Garden produce all that we need to thrive, everything is “coded” in accord to the energy it correlates to and serves!

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RECIPE: Ginger Peach Tofu Dinner

The origin of the Cultivating Heaven blog was my blog, Heavenly Cooking, where I collected and commented on my family’s favorite Vegetarian and Vegan meals.  I’ve been into a Veggie lifestyle throughout various spans of the past 17 years and raised my two-oldest children as Vegetarians back when few around me had heard of such a thing.  In 1995 I even managed to have one of my recipes featured in Vegetarian Times, which gave me confidence in my ability to prepare delicious Veggie cuisine.

But what I admittedly didn’t understand was that Veggie doesn’t automatically equate with healthy.  I was conscious of protein in-take and organic when we could afford to be,  there were times when I even grew a good portion of what we ate, but I didn’t start grasping “Healthy” until about two years ago.  That’s when I started experimenting the Alkaline diet and incorporating raw foods that weren’t just straight from earth and vine, but actual compositions of raw ingredients.  I deleted my old way of doing things and started this blog.  And although I recently expanded Cultivating Heaven into a vessel that holds more than just a single aspect of my life, I still intend to share stellar recipes on occasion.

Case in point.  The other night I made what my DH calls “the best tofu he’s ever ate”.  That’s saying a lot because we love tofu at my house!  In fact, DH still raves about the teriyaki tofu I served him the first night we met!  I call this stellar because it’s both healthy and crazy-delicious!!

[NOTE: INGREDIENTS ARE LISTED IN THE ORDER USED; SOME INGREDIENTS APPEAR MORE THEN ONCE ON THE LIST]

INGREDIENTS:

*     1 15 oz can or 2 cups cooked chickpeas, drained

*     2 tablespoons olive oil (best if cold-pressed)

*     1 teaspoon real salt or Celtic sea salt

*     1 teaspoon chipotle powder

*     juice of ½ lemon

*     8 oz. extra firm tofu, drained but not pressed

*     1 tablespoons ginger pulp

*     1 tablespoon sesame oil

*     1 tablespoon tamari or Braggs

*     2 teaspoons sirachi

*     1 tablespoon coconut oil

*     1 large sweet onion, diced

*     1 teaspoon real salt or Celtic sea salt

*     1 cup peaches, fresh or frozen

*     ½ cup water

*     2 tablespoons honey

*     1 tablespoon ginger pulp

*     2 teaspoons sirachi

*     ½ teaspoon real salt or Celtic sea salt

*     1 tablespoon organic sherry

*     juice of ½ lemon

*     1 large roasted red pepper, diced

*     3 green onion, thinly sliced

*     several tablespoons raw almonds, thinly sliced

*     prepared brown rice or a light quinoa

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. While the over preheats, rinse and dry chickpeas with a towel.  Spread them into a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil.  Evenly sprinkle on the salt and chipotle powder.  Squeeze the juice from ½ the lemon over the oiled and seasoned chickpeas.  Set aside.
  3. Next, get the tofu ready to put into the oven with the chickpeas.  Usually I press my tofu well, but not for this recipe.  This allows it to have the same baking time as the chickpeas without drying out.  Just put the whole tofu block into a small baking dish.  Put the designated quantities of ginger, sesame oil, tamari and sirachi on top of the tofu.  Using the back of a spoon, rub it all together and then down the sides.  Flip over, and then over again, so that the mixture is generally spread around.  This dish has several steps, so make it easier on yourself by taking short cuts like this.
  4. Put both the chickpeas and the tofu into the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  5. While these are cooking, melt the coconut oil in a skillet and get your onions sautéing.  Don’t forget to salt them.
  6. While the onions are working toward the right translucency, start the ginger-peach sauce.  I used peaches I’d frozen from the summer glut.  They were already peeled and halved, and I didn’t bother to break them down any further.  After they’ve cooked awhile a few good mashes with a steel or wooden masher will sauce them just fine!   Just pour the water over the peaches, toss in the honey, ginger, sirachi, and salt, give it a few stirs, and bring it up to a low-simmer.  You’ll want this to simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  7. When the onions just start to stick, deglaze the skillet with the sherry.  Cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until any liquid is more of a sauce-like consistency.  Remove from heat and set-aside.
  8. When your chickpeas and tofu are out of the oven, give the peaches a few good mashes, if they require it.  Add in the juice of ½ lemon, roasted red peppers, and the sautéed onions.  Heat through.  As this is heating, cut tofu into cubes.  It will be hot but shouldn’t require much handling.
  9. To serve: Make a nice mound of rice or quinoa in a bowl or on a plate.  Top with a portion of the tofu.  My family is seven strong, so I divide the tofu into 8 portions, leaving a portion for my DH’s lunch the next day.  Cover the tofu portion with several tablespoons of the ginger-peach-veggie mixture.  Garnish liberally with roasted chickpeas, green onion slices and a generous spoonful of almonds.  AMAZING!!

Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows

I am nearing the middle of a week-long fast right now, so it feels rather peculiar to be discussing dietary preference.  However, I’ve wanted to share this book trailer for Why we Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows for some time now, and am ecstatically working my way down a list I plan on discarding by the day’s end!

So, a friend gushed over this book and posted the trailer.  The trailer prompted me to borrow it and see for myself!  As promised, even if you’re already Vegetarian or Vegan, this remains both insightful and compelling!  I have seen many reviews which suggest this book makes the inconvenient truth of  “Carnism” more accessible to carnivores, and while that may be true, I feel its most important to focus on the unique spirit of this information – which doesn’t blame or shame an individual for their choice.  Rather, what makes this book so original, logical and compelling is that it examines our relationship to animals and diet from a cultural perspective and gets people thinking about how to take responsibility instead of blaming a faulty system for their choices.  Selective empathy is a conscious choice!

Window Cleaning Chemical Injected into Hamburger Meat

So what do you do if you’re in the beef business and have all sorts of extra parts and trimmings that used to be sold at a great profit to the pet food industry, before a law was passed against it due to Mad Cow fears?!?!?

You chop it, scrape it together into a pink mass, inject it with ammonia to kill the e.coli and sell it to McDonald’s, Burger King, the School Lunch programs, and certain other fast food chains, restaurants, and grocery stores. According to the FDA, it’s perfectly fine for people to consume ammonia in their hamburgers!!

This is originally from an investigation done by the New York Times.  Sometimes the Truth is harsh…

Window Cleaning Chemical Injected into Hamburger Meat

Vegan Radio Shows Scheduled for February

Have you heard of Spiritual Awakening Radio?  It’s producer is James Bean, the SantMat Mystic – a man who has taught me so much across the years simply through his generous sharing of “the world of spirituality”.

Thus I was excited to see that every week during February he’ll be interviewing guests about vegetarianism, the vegan diet, and raw foods.  The theme will be:  Be Veg, Go Green, Save the Planet!

Check out his broadcast at Healthylife.net every Friday between 10-11 am, Pacific Time!

Mahavira Jain

Awesome Raw Eggplant!

Who says that eggplant is no good raw?!

First, pick yourself a nice firm eggplant that is, well, shaped like an egg.  That is, more bulbous than elongated and slender.  Typically the more slender and long the eggplant, the more bitter it will taste.

Now, wash it, dry it, and slice it in the manner you want to enjoy it.  Don’t peel it, as the peel will soften in the marinade and retains a large portion of the nutrients.  I prefer to cut it into bite-sized “cubes”.  However, slices are great for making sandwiches!

Next, whip up half a batch of Moroccan-Inspired Marinade.  Seal it up with your eggplant, give it a good shake to coat and refrigerate for at least an hour… longer for a stronger flavor.  Enjoy!