Monthly Archives: May 2013

Grilled Cannellini and Couscous Stuffed Tomatoes

Memorial Day is just a few short days away and whether or not you’re hosting a party or just celebrating at home with family, menu planning is in full force!  These grilled stuffed tomatoes would make a lovely, light addition to any menu and are especially nice in place of the typical heavy mayonnaise-laden BBQ fare like pasta salad or coleslaw.  Serve with a big garden-fresh salad and a protein of your choice and you’ve got a refreshing menu that won’t leave you with regrets come Tuesday.  Enjoy!
tomatoes
Serves 6
Ingredients:

1 box (6 ounces) roasted garlic with olive oil-couscous mix, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil (preferably extra-virgin), divided
1/2 cup prechopped onion, minced
6 large ripe but firm tomatoes (10 ounces each; about 4 3/4 pounds total)
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 teaspoons italian seasoning

Directions:

Preheat the grill. Coat a 9″ x 6″ disposable foil pan with cooking spray. Measure 1/2 cup of the couscous and 1 tablespoon of the seasoning packet from the mix. Set aside. Store the remaining couscous and seasoning packet for another dish.
In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, or until the onion is softened. Meanwhile, cut 1/4″ slices from the tomato tops. Discard the tops. With a serrated knife or spoon, scoop out the tomato flesh, leaving 1/4″-thick walls. Set aside. Finely chop the tomato flesh. Add to the onion along with the beans, parsley, Italian seasoning, pepper, and the reserved couscous and seasoning. Stir to combine. Spoon into the reserved tomato shells, mounding slightly. Spoon any extra stuffing into the base of the pan. Drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Cover with aluminum foil.
Place on the grill away from direct heat. Grill, rotating the pan occasionally, for about 45 minutes, or until the tomatoes are tender and the tops are golden. Allow to stand for 20 minutes.
Recipe courtesy of http://www.rodale.com
Photo courtesy of http://www.eatingtheweek.com

Reds to Root

red__aFood sustains our prana, the life force that flows within our body. Prana can also be described as the the fuel, the juice if you will, that sustains our chakra system. When we’re eating foods that nourish our body we can enhance our prana and help revitalize and balance out our chakras.

The root chakra, the space that connects us with Earth energy, is responsible for manifesting our sense of security, of comfort. When we eat healthy food, our basic needs are met, and we are more able to fully express our original, true selves. To take this one step further we can actually eat specific foods that bring more pranic energy to a particular chakra, which can be helpful with dealing with blockages and stagnant flow.

When it comes to healing chakras with foods the best tip to keep in mind is making your meals colorful and taking in more foods that match the color of specific chakra you’re working on.  So choosing red foods for the root chakra is beneficial for the healing and balancing of the energy center.

The sight of colorful and thoughtfully prepared meals can be extremely uplifting and healing for our mind, body and soul. Food carries subtle energetic vibrations that can enhance our sensory experience which directly affects how you feel on the inside whether you are aware of it or not.

Foods that are good for the health and well-being of the root chakra include those that have similar characteristics as this center.

Feeding Your Root Chakra

beets1Root Vegetables: radish and beets are best (because they’re red), however, other root veggies such as garlic, onions, parsnips, and potatoes are good options as well.

Protein: Proteins can also enhance our connection to our physicality, and therefore to the earth. Much of our body is made of protein and proteins have a grounding effect. Protein-rich foods include eggs, beans, lobster and red meat.

Spices: Cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, and saffron.

pomegranate-1000Fruit: Pomegranates and red apples. Throughout history the Pomegranate and apple has personified abundance, rebirth, immortality, fertility and metamorphosis in many cultures, depicting it as a symbol of oneness & eternal life. Red berries, cherries and watermelon are also great juicy substitutes!

Source: Squidoo

Butterfly Pose {Yin Series}

Butterfly Pose

asana_butterfly

In this week’s Yin series, we’ll cover the fairly basic yet incredibly beneficial butterfly pose.  This forward fold is particularly beneficial for those with tight hamstrings as the nature of this pose does not require loose hamstrings to get a therapeutic stretch.  Our typical American lifestyle usually means too many hours sitting at a desk, driving a car, and more often than not, on the couch.  The rounding of the spine allows for space between the compressed vertebras to counteract all of that sitting (much like in Dangling and Caterpillar) and the stress on the hips helps to regenerate “stuck” joints.  This pose (like most Yin poses) is suitable for yogis of all levels, although those with sciatica should be sure to have a forward tilt in their pelvis and may find that sitting on a rolled up mat or a cushion helps them to achieve this.  The really nice part about this pose is that you can control the stretch of the muscles while still working our target area; the connective tissue of the spine and hips (which you can learn about in our intro post here).

To come into the pose position yourself in a sitting position with optional sciatica support already in place.  Be sure that your weight is evenly distributed through the sit bones, and if you feel that your pelvis is rotating backwards go ahead and adjust the support. Once situated, bring the soles of your feet together and move them away from the body allowing the knees to fall open.  Begin to fold forward noticing the reaction of your muscles.  Once the back is rounded, adjust the placement of your feet until you achieve the muscular reaction you are looking for; the further the feet are away from the body, the less you’ll feel it in your groin.  Be sure that the feet are not so close that your groin or hamstrings could prevent you from reaching a fully rounded spine.  Remember that our goal is to eventually find stillness so that the emphasis can be taken off of the groin and instead be on the rounding of the spine and the stress on the hip joints.  Once you have found your edge, the place in a pose where there is some discomfort and intensity but never pain, remain in the pose for three to five minutes.  Allow the neck to hang (unless there has been recent trauma or whiplash, in which case it should be supported) and the hands to rest comfortably on the feet or the floor.  Keep your focus on your breath, and if the mind wanders simply bring it back to the rhythm of your breath.  When time is up, press your hands into the floor and slowly begin to roll back into an upright position.  Spend a few moments taking note of any new sensations in the body as a whole and in our target areas of the spine and hips.  A nice way to end this pose is by lying flat on the stomach, allowing the natural small backbend that comes with this to counteract our forward fold.

Butterfly can be enjoyed for much more than 3-5 minutes and can be done while watching TV, talking on the phone, or wherever you see fit! Enjoy this pose as a regular part of your Yin practice.

Photo courtesy of http://www.yinyoga.com

Celebrate You and Your Gifts

red-flower-bud-starting-to-blossom

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom”

~ Anais Nin

The great 20th century French painter, Henri Matisse, is quoted as saying, “It has bothered me all my life that I do not paint like everybody else.” I think it’s safe to say that it’s a good thing he didn’t! I always find this quote quite striking that a truly talented, adored and famous artists as Matisse has shared similar thoughts and fears of sharing his unique gifts with the world. His along with many others’ fear of stepping out from underneath the shaded trees to share your truth, your passion and your gift with the world is not uncommon. However, taking the risk of stepping out and into your own uniqueness will always and only be received with love and light. We all carry unique gifts that the world and universe grants us. Our job is to uncover our talent and share this with the world around us. Henri_matisse_Paintings_ml0002

In light of May and all the work we’ve highlighted this month on diving into and clearing out our root chakra, let’s take a moment today to celebrate our very own uniqueness allowing for each of us to grow towards our greatest light. The courage and bravery of stepping out resides within you and the first step to this new found growth is celebrating YOU.

Meatless Monday Broccoli Soup

green-detox-soup-1-honestfare.com_

Y3’s Detox Approved Broccoli Soup

Ingredients

2 cloves of garlic

1 medium onion

2 Tablespoons of grape seed oil

1 large bunch broccoli (reserve some of the broccoli florets for garnish-Optional)

2 cups of milk of choice ( we like rice or almond milk  for this recipe)

1 cup of oats

3 cups of  vegetable stock or Chaga (Click on Chaga for all of the benefits of this medicinal mushroom) We use Chaga in our recipes whenever we can.  We love Chaga.

1/4 cup miso

1/4 cup water

Sauté garlic and onions in oil. Add remaining ingredients (Reserve Miso so it doesn’t boil) cover and simmer for 10 min. Add miso last and stir to combine. Purée soup in a food processor or high speed blender.  Steam the broccoli florets as a garnish to float on top when you serve the soup.

Serve for breakfast, a light lunch, as a side dish or pair with a salad or sandwich.

Variations:

  • You can really use any green vegetable here or a combination of veggies.
  • Add Nutritional Yeast for a punch of B vitamins and a smoky cheesy flavor (We love nutritional yeast)
  • This recipe has been a favorite in the test kitchen for an acceptable detoxifying soup that can be a smoothie or green drink replacement while on a cleanse
  • As mentioned this is detox approved. But, there are numerous ways to make it richer and/or even more cleansing, like adding parsley or cilantro to help purify the blood and liver, or if you prefer richer, add cream or real cheese for a Broccoli Cheddar Soup
  • Sprinkle with nuts or seeds-We love Go Raw 100% Organic Sprouted Pumpkin Seeds (Can be purchased at most organic markets, we get ours from Whole Foods)
  • Experiment with different spices, it’s hard to go wrong here
  • Omit Miso and play with other flavors that suit your taste

Photo Courtesy of honest fare.com

Recommended Reading – Moola Bandha The Master Key

Moola BandhaOccasionally we suggest a book to inspire and or enhance a theme we are focusing on.  We do not get paid to promote these books and we only highlight those that we hold in the highest regard.  The Month of May at Y3 is all about the first Chakra (wheel of energy), the Muladhara Chakra.  While there are many good books that cover this subject, this book is 132 pages dedicated to the subject of the Moola,  the root, and focuses on its’ theory and practice from a physical, pranic (energetic) and psychotherapeutic view.  It covers both beginners and advanced techniques.  No study of the Muladhara Chakra can be complete without the study of the Moola Bandha (root lock).  If the practitioner truly wants to bring their practice to a deeper level and unleash the untapped energy that is present in each and everyone, we highly recommend Moola Bandha, The Master Key, by:  Swami Buddhananda

Simple Grilled Artichokes

With more and more time spent outside, why not celebrate spring’s bounty of produce by firing up the grill? This super simple recipe comes together quickly and would pair nicely alongside a variety of dishes.  Additionally, it’s fairly flexible which allows for some (optional!) creativity such as adding Parmesan cheese or toasted pine nuts.  Grilled artichokes are definitely best served fresh off the grill while the insides are still steamy and moist, but warm or room temperature will still be tasty.  Enjoy!

grilled artichokes

Ingredients:

2 lemons 4 artichokes 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste Directions To prepare artichokes: Fill a Dutch oven with water; add the juice of 1 lemon. Trim leaves from the top of an artichoke. Remove the outer layer(s) of leaves from the stem end and snip all remaining spiky tips from the outer leaves. Trim an inch off the bottom of the stem and use a vegetable peeler to remove the fibrous outer layer. As each artichoke is prepared, drop it into the lemon water to prevent it from turning brown. When all the artichokes are prepared, cover the pan and bring to a boil. Boil until the base of the stem can be pierced with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium. Slice the artichokes in half lengthwise. Scoop out the choke and first few inner layers in the center until the bottom is revealed. Brush each half with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill the artichokes until tender and lightly charred, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a serving platter, squeeze half a lemon over them and garnish with the remaining lemon half cut into 4 wedges. Serve warm, at room temperature or chilled. Recipe and photo courtesy of http://www.eatingwell.com