Sunday, May 19, 2013
You might feel a connection with nature which could make you feel spiritually uplifted today. Enjoying the wonders that exist in the world around me always bring me a sense of joy, knowing that because I am also part of nature, the peace that I experience in the beauty around me is also an essential component of who I am.
These last two days spending hours working out in my front and back yards has put me in touch with who I truly am. Being in my natural environment and even just taking a few minutes to close my eyes and with each breath and imagining my body and skin expanding and dissolving to become one with the trees, grass or air that surrounded me, increased the sense of unity that I have with nature.
You should see all I have accomplished yesterday! My laundry is washed dried needs folding and put away, bathroom scrubbed, floors are swept mopped and rooms dusted. Dishes done; dishwasher LOL Even cleaned some of the windows.
Then I headed over to the green house and picked up the remainder of the plants I wanted set them aside on the garden stairs,, and weeded my entire front yard and flower beds the old fashioned way; on hands and knees. Weeded the dandelions out of the cracks in the walkways down the front walk and side walk. Mowed all the lawns front and back and then started my planting. I had it almost done when somebody decided he needed to interrupt me and wanted supper. Well I knew if I had to stop and eat this body wouldn't let me go again. So I laid it aside until today I only have the petunias to plant along side the house. I bought double burgundy's.
We had showers during the night but it was still dry enough this morning to finish up the outdoors. All is planted in beds, boxes planters, lawns raked. And now here comes the thunder and rain! WOOT! WOOT! I beat it! But my yard is done! Even got the car cleaned out and wiped down. I have one garden box made too. Need two more and then I can fill them too! Going to put in beans peas carrots and potatoes Pretty much my night shade veggies. I do have one tomato and it's planted in my Topsy turvy
Oh my! It's really storming out there! The rain is really coming down! I love the sound of thunder! Perfect timing! And it's making everything fresh and wet and green.
We all need to have this experience.
The harmonious quality of the natural world is a reflection of our souls. Since so much of our lives are spent enclosed in concrete structures, it is easy to forget just how much a part of this earth we really are. When we expose ourselves to the tranquility and peace that resides in nature, however, we become more closely aligned with our spirit, for we are much more able to access the part of ourselves that is wild, free, and pure. Connecting to the environment today will nourish your spirit, revitalize your soul, and bring you true delight.
Friday, May 17, 2013
On those days that you feel ill at ease with your emotions, and your feelings may be oscillating back and forth, it might seem easier for you to deal with your emotions by hiding from the rest of the world which might make you want to seek the comfort of home today. Hint: Learning to watch our emotions with detachment could help cope with these fluctuations better. If we can take a few minutes every hour during the day to watch each inhale and exhale until our breathing becomes even we may consider imagining that we have a marquee in our minds on which our thoughts float. As we watch our thoughts, we might want to name them, such as anger, happiness, fear, etc. Observing our thoughts in this way may help realize that our mind is always changing and, because of this, our moods do not have to depend on our thoughts.
did you know that naming our emotions allows us to see that since they vary constantly, we do not have to get wrapped up in them? The times when we are moody occur because we pay attention to our mood swings and let them direct how we feel. Seeing that every second our thoughts and emotions incessantly change, however, enables us to release the hold they have on us. Realizing that our thoughts do not have to define our moods and in turn our lives, helps us feel more secure, grounded, and at ease with them. By detaching from your emotions today, you will discover that true comfort rests in letting go of the negative and continue to fight for what you desire.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Yields about 9 cups/2.25 qts/~2.12 L of broth
8 cups/2 quarts/~1.9 L of filtered water
2 large onions, diced
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
3 large stalks of celery, sliced
Mushroom stems and ends *optional
1/2 bunch of parsley and a few sprigs of fresh herbs like thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp. whole peppercorns
Dash of salt *optional
Pressure Cooker Method:
1. Place the vegetables, water and seasonings into a pressure cooker. Fill with water and bring to high pressure and cook for 5-6 minutes until vegetables are very tender. Use the quick release method (putting in the sink and pouring water over the lid until it releases) and let it cool until you can open the lid.
2. Strain vegetables from broth in a large mesh strainer and use a ladle, nested measuring cup or bowl to press out the excess liquid from vegetables through the strainer to yield the most broth.
1. Place vegetables, water and seasonings into a large pot and bring to a boil. When it’s boiling turn it down to low and simmer for an hour. Don’t let your vegetables overcook and completely fall apart, check on them after 45 minutes or so.
2. Strain vegetables from broth in a large mesh strainer and use a ladle, nested measuring cup or bowl to press out the excess liquid from vegetables through the strainer.
Use the broth right away or let it cool and store in a sealed container(s) in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can freeze any extra you won’t use in that time. Use in recipes or for daily sautéing for onions and garlic.
For the pressure cooker, I chop the vegetables a little smaller. For the stovetop you can cut them into bigger chunks and keep the garlic whole, as they will cook longer.
This recipe is really flexible, if I need more for a soup recipe I’ll just add a little more water and dilute it. When I’m making it, I will use what vegetables I have but the main important ones are onions, carrots and herbs. The point is you want the water to taste like vegetables and not like plain water and homemade broth gives the best flavor for soup.
You can also use any other vegetable tops or skins if you like, but leave out the celery leaves, as they can be too bitter. I suggest that the vegetable peels be organic if you do use them. You can also add leeks, green/spring onions, other root vegetables, already cooked beans etc. to add more depth to the flavor.
Things You Do Not Want To Add To Vegetable Broth
Don’t add cruciferous vegetables as they contain sulfur and can make the broth bitter and smell unpleasant. No kale, collards, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts or leafy greens aside from fresh herbs. You’d get more out of eating or juicing the greens than adding them to your broth. It won’t make it taste better for your recipes. Please do not add raw beans, grains or pasta to your vegetable broth either.
My stock is done cooking so I open the lid.
I ladle it out into a strainer/colander that is over another pot or bowl.
Pick up the strainer/colander filled with cooked vegetables and strain it.
I push the juices out the veggies to get any extra broth
Now my vegetable broth/stock is ready to be used in my recipes!
How about a cup of fresh vegetable broth?
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Cooking without oil and creating oil free recipes like salad dressings is pretty easy in most cases. It’s very easy to cook without olive oil. You can steam, boil, sauté (in water or vegetable broth) or bake food all without any added oils. Oil has 120 calories per tablespoon and is 100% fat. When you’re looking to cut a few calories in your diet and give your arteries (and waistline) a little break from things like butter, olive oil, cheese, etc this is a good way to cook.
Baking/Roasting Without Olive Oil
When you’re baking in the oven, not adding oil or cooking spray will just make your dish take a little bit longer to cook, but that’s about it. You can add a little water to your roasting pan if you are worried about burning, or turn the temperature down just a little and cook it for longer. For instance, you can bake Russet potatoes in the oven at 400 F/205 C for about an hour without any oil rubbed on their skin and they will cook just fine. It’s also less carcinogenic if you avoid cooking oils at very high temperatures. I roast things like squash, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, cauliflower and more in the oven without oil. Add a little water or vegetable broth to a roasting pan if you like, or use a little balsamic vinegar and water for oil free roasted Brussels sprouts, or roast your russet potatoes dry in the oven like I show you here.
In baked goods, substitute applesauce or mashed banana for any oils. Canned pumpkin works great too in certain recipes. In my vegan baked goods I add a 1 tbsp. ground chia or flax and 2 tbsp. of water to substitute for the eggs, and then I add applesauce for the amount of oil and I find that this helps give moisture and texture to whatever I am making. My Fat-Free Two Bite Brownies and Fat-Free Pumpkin Raisin Muffins will show you how to do this.
Sautéing/Cooking Onions Without Oil
Many people think you need oil to cook with over the stove. When you’re sautéing onions or garlic in a pan you can sweat them dry over medium heat, as long as it’s non stick. Doing this for 5-6 minutes should be just fine and you won’t have a problem with anything getting stuck. If you’re going to cook them for longer then you can add a little water or vegetable broth if necessary. The better the pan, the less stick you will have though. You can also use a ceramic pan.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
16-20 stalks of celery
2 handfuls of kale
1 chunk of ginger
1. Wash and/or peel all of your ingredients.
2. Pass all of the ingredients through a juicer.
3. Serve immediately and enjoy!
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