Archive | November, 2013

Black Lentil Soup

26 Nov

Compared to their traditional counterparts black lentils are tiny spherical black legumes also known as beluga lentils because they look like caviar. Due to their smaller size they cook quicker and make a great side dish, salad addition, or soup. I like this soup because the spices make it a warming dish, great for chilly winter weather.

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Ingredients

1 cup Black Lentils

1-1 inch piece of fresh Ginger, peeled and thinly sliced, plus 2 Tbs minced

3 Tbs Unsalted Butter

1 medium Onion, diced

2 cloves Garlic, minced

1/2 Tsp ground Coriander

1/2 Tsp ground Cumin

1/4 Tsp Cayenne Pepper

1/4 Tsp Gram Masala

2 quarts Low Sodium Chicken Stock

1 cup Crushed Tomatoes

Salt to taste

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Method

1. In a medium pot cover lentils and sliced ginger with 1 inch of water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat until lentils soften, about 10 minutes.

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2. Drain lentils and set aside, discard sliced ginger.

3. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the pot. Add onion, garlic, and minced ginger. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 8 minutes.

4. Reduce heat to low and add spices, cook stirring, until fragrant about 4 minutes.

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5. Add stock, tomatoes, and lentils bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils soften further and soup has thickened, about 1 hour. Season with salt portion in to bowls and serve.

 

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Considerations

  • Make this soup vegan buy using vegetable stock and olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter.
  • Top soup with avocado, which adds richness to the final product.
  • Add chopped kale or spinach just before serving.

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Yoga

12 Nov

Yoga is one of my favorite forms of exercise. It has many benefits and is a great compliment to strength and cardiovascular training. There are also many types of yoga, providing something for everyone.

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I have been practicing yoga for the past 8 years with power yoga being my method of choice. I love it because it engages your mind, body, and spirit and never fails to make me feel great or put me in a better mood. When practicing it is one of the only times I am able to fully clear my mind and let go of every thought.

Benefits of Yoga

  • Increased flexibility
  • Increased strength
  • Improved posture
  • Improved lung capacity
  • Stress reduction

Types of Yoga-these are just a few, there are many more

  • Hatha- The foundation of all yoga styles. It incorporates postures, breathing, and meditation.
  • Bikram- Practiced in a heated room, which promotes flexibility, detoxification, and the prevention of injuries.
  • Kundalini- Thought to be the yoga of awareness it focuses on the breath and movement to awaken the energy at the base of the spine to travel up through the 7 chakras.
  • Power- A faster paced practice where one pose flows in to the next, creating an aerobic workout.
  • Restorative- A method to passively let muscles relax buy using/lying on blocks, blankets, and bolsters

As with all activities there is the risk of injury when practicing yoga. It is important to listen to your body and know your own limitations to prevent injury when doing physical activity. In yoga there is the potential to over stretch or strain muscles.  Also if you have a preexisting condition such as severe osteoporosis or are pregnant consulting your doctor before beginning a yoga practice is advised.

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NAMASTE