Monthly Archives: October 2012

Jamie’s Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

Chipotle Butternut Squash Chili

This warming, cozy chili is super easy to throw together and is a great way to use up the butternut that you might have been staring at for the last few days.  This is a fairly mild chili, adding some extra adobo sauce will kick up the heat.  Serve over rice with a side salad for a complete meal.

Ingredients
1 small onion, diced
1 small butternut, peeled, seeded and cubed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
1 14.5 oz can bean of choice, drained and rinsed.
½ c vegetable broth
1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo; 3 tablespoons of liquid and 2 chipotle peppers chopped (deseed for less heat)
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions
1.  Heat a dutch oven or large pot and the grapeseed oil over medium high heat.  Add the butternut squash, onion, and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent, about 8 minutes.
2.  Add the canned tomatoes (do not drain), tomato paste, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine, pouring in the broth as you stir.
3.  Add in the adobo liquid and the chopped chipotle peppers, followed by the spices.  Stir until all ingredients are heated through.
4.  Reduce the heat to low, and let simmer for at least 30 minutes.  The longer, the better!
5.  Enjoy!  Optional toppings include avocado, tortilla chips, or spring onion.

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A Little Inspiration for the Procrastinator

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.

-Mark Twain

 

Time Management

Have you ever wished for a few more hours in the day? Why is it that some people seem to get everything done effortlessly and others feel that time constantly eludes them? The secret to managing your time well isn’t working more hours. It is about prioritizing the important things and learning to use the time you have more efficiently and effectively. The secret is working smarter, not harder.

 

Some of us, by nature, organize and get tasks out of the way before we relax, while others of us play first and work later. It is important to first recognize which type you are and whether your style is allowing you to have the life you really want. Maybe you are super-organized at work, but burned out because you don’t know how to make time for yourself. Maybe you are naturally a less organized person who knows how to relax, but you are dissatisfied because you aren’t fulfilling your goals and dreams.

 

Rather than labeling yourself or beating yourself up, realize that time management is an area of your life that you can strengthen. Like a new muscle, it takes practice and repetition to make it stronger. To help you get started, here are some steps to streamline your days at work and at home. Try the first one or two that jump out at you:

 

  • Allocate time for planning and organizing.
  • Create to-do lists that are realistic, not intimidating. Use only one to-do list.
  • Under-schedule your time: Leave time for the unexpected and for interruptions. When you estimate how long something will take, add on a third of that time.
  • Schedule your time in a way that reduces interruptions that lower your productivity.
  • Practice the art of intelligent neglect: Eliminate trivial tasks.
  • Prioritize what is most important and do that first.
  • Consider your biological prime time: At what time of day do you work best? Plan to do your most important work at that time.
  • If you say yes to everything that comes your way, learn to say no.
  • Ask for help and delegate.
  • In the evening make your to-do list for the next day, so it will be out of your brain and on a piece of paper. Leave work with a clear head and a clean desk.
  • Acknowledge yourself daily for all that you have accomplished.

 

Also take a look at the two biggest hindrances to using time effectively: procrastinating and lacking purpose. We usually procrastinate when a task seems too daunting, too large or too complex, or when we feel we won’t be able to handle it. When you get that “deer in the headlights” feeling, try “chunking”: break the large task into smaller, manageable action steps and start with the first one. We also often drag our heels or use our time inefficiently because we are bored, unengaged and uninspired. The most effective people will tell you that they love what they do and are aligned with a greater purpose. When it comes to managing your time, you may need to ask the larger questions, “Am I doing what I love to do? Am I doing something meaningful to me?”

 

As you strengthen your new time management muscle, keep your focus on getting organized so that you can live the life you came here for. Instead of being a chore, good time management can be your ticket to more fun, greater satisfaction and a vibrant, exciting life.

Namaste

Yin Yang Yogis Fall Harvest Soup

Yin Yang Yogis Fall Harvest Soup

We love fall. The nights are getting cooler and crisper, the crackling sounds of a roaring fire in the fireplace are comforting, and most importantly we love the smell of our favorite Fall Harvest Soup simmering on the stove. You can use any squash you prefer. But, we recommend using assorted squash for more complexity and depth than a mono-soup.

Makes a Large Soup Pot
1 Butternut Squash
1 Acorn Squash
1 Delicata Squash
1 Kombucha Squash (pumpkin & sweet potatoes are a delicious alternative too. But, this is the combination we used)
3 Sweet Onions
1 tablespoon Grape Seed Oil
3-6 Garlic Cloves to taste
1” piece of fresh Ginger, grated
1 tablespoon ground Sage
5 sprigs fresh Thyme
½ tablespoon Nutmeg
Cayenne Pepper to taste (optional)
1 32oz box of organic Veggie broth
1 cup Coconut Milk or plant based milk of choice
Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper to taste

Garnish:
Diced Apples
Sprouted Raw Pumpkin Seeds (we used the “Go Raw” brand found at our local organic market, you may substitute other nuts or seeds)
Coconut Milk for drizzle

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Cut the squash in 1/2, scoop out stringy bits and seeds
Place the squash cut-side down on a greased baking pan (we like coconut oil spray)
Bake for 40-60 minutes, ovens vary, cook until a fork enters the squash easily

While the squash is baking, heat the grapeseed oil in a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Cut the onions in half and then cut into ¼” to ½ ” slices, add to skillet, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes until they start to carmelize.

When the squash is ready, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cool enough, scoop out flesh and place into a large stock pot. Add the onions, broth and spices, mix well and simmer over low to medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Add coconut milk and stir in well. In small batches puree in a high-speed blender until whipped into a creamy consistency, an immersion blender can also be used. Return to pot & bring to a simmer. Serve immediately in soup bowls garnished with diced apples, a sprinkle of the pumpkin seeds and a drizzle of coconut milk. This recipe makes a large pot of soup. But, believe us it disappears quickly, it really is THAT good. Enjoy, and Happy Fall!!!

Yin Yang Yogi Chai Tea

Yin Yang Yogi Chai Tea

Served throughout India as “Masala Chai” which translates to “spiced tea,” yes, “chai tea” as we refer to it in the west, literally means “tea tea” this beverage dates back thousands of years. The simmering aroma of the exotic spices of this medicinal blend instantly brings us back to our many trips to India where it is served everywhere, all the time, year round, hot and iced.  As we transition into fall we can think of nothing more soothing and satisfying than a rich and creamy cup of Masala Chai.  Enjoy and let us know how you like it.

 

Serves 4

1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

1 tablespoon of cardamom pods

6 Whole cloves

6 black peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick

1” piece of fresh ginger, thinly sliced (optional: if you like the extra flavor and heat or are recovering from the flu or a cold)

4 ½ cups of filtered water

2 tablespoons of Darjeeling, black tea or any loose tea of choice (you may use tea bags but the quality found is generally better with loose teas)

1 cup of Milk or plant based milk of choice (We prefer fresh home made almond milk which we always have on hand)

Sweeten to taste with brown rice syrup, honey, sucanat, agave or organic raw sugar

There are hundreds of recipes for chai. Feel free to add or eliminate spices to your own taste. Some variations could include vanilla bean, a bay leaf, star anise and nutmeg to name a few.  We have had great success with the above recipe and have never had a complaint.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a mortar and crush with pestle just to release their aroma.  Be very careful not to turn into powder.  If you do not have a mortar and pestle place on a cutting board and use a heavy pan to crush.

In a medium saucepan add the crushed spices and fresh ginger.  Pour in the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Lower the heat and simmer uncovered for approximately 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat, add the tea leaves, and let steep for 5 minutes.  Strain immediately, it will become very strong quickly, discarding tea leaves and spices.  Stir in the milk and sweeten as desired.  Bring the mixture back to the saucepan and return to simmer for a few minutes until milk and sugar are warmed through.  Serve immediately.

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