A warm and beautiful mini-retreat this weekend at Just Breathe. Part yoga asana, part pranayama (breathing practices), part education and awarness, part meditation and lunch, our first mini retreat was all relaxing and fun!
Cheapest therapist in the world is right at your finger tips--morning pages--a big word dump. An active stress relieving way to sort out your head.
After a beautiful yin practice everyone settled into a deep relaxed state to enjoy a guided meditation.
Naturally, I was so pre-occupied I did not get a single pic of our lunch, which was completely plant based and gluten free, except the cookies. We enjoyed a pumpkin lentil soup with turmeric rice, roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds and cilantro. Hummus with celery sticks and tortilla chips, my fav. A green salad with romaine lettuce, apples and cranberries dressed with an orange vinaigrette, herbal tea and Moroccan Almond cookies.
We shared good, nourishing food and conversation, the perfect way to end our retreat.
Vegan Pumpkin Lentil Soup
1 TB olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 carrots, sliced
1 TB fresh ginger, grated
1-2 TB yellow curry powder
¼ tsp cayenne
3 c water or vegetarian broth
1 c red or green lentils, or a mix of both.
1 can coconut milk (15 oz)
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh cilantro, minced
Roasted sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds
*options—serve with rice, brown rice or farro.
Rinse the lentils by putting them in a fine mesh sieve and running them under cold water until the water comes clear. Set them aside and let them drain before adding to the soup.
In a large pot over med high heat add the olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the onions and saute for 3 min, or until they begin to soften. Add the carrots and garlic and cook for another 2 min. Add the ginger, curry powder and cayenne, cook about 1 min, stirring constantly, to let the spices bloom.
Add the water or broth, coconut milk, lentils and pumpkin puree. Stir to mix completely and bring the soup almost to the boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook for 8-10 min, until the carrots and lentil are cooked. The soup will begin to thicken, so keep an eye on it and stir frequently. If it becomes too thick add more water or stock.
When your soup is done, taste it for seasoning and add salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve it in warm bowls with fresh cilantro and roasted seeds. For a heartier complete meal I serve the soup with rice or farro. You can find farro at Winco in the bulk bins, rinse it like the lentils and then cook 1 c of farro in 2 c of water, bring it to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for 8-12 min. Farro is a nutty grain that adds great texture and nutrition, it is not gluten free.
1 can (15 oz) chick peas
2 TB lemon juice
1-2 TB olive oil
1 heaping tsp cumin
¼ tsp garlic powder
Pinch of cayenne powder
Partially drain the chick peas, reserving about ½ of the liquid. Put all ingredients into a food processor and process until smooth. If your mix seems sluggish and not smooth begin to add water a tablespoon at a time, this is a not an exact thing. Just keep adding and processing until you a have a creamy smooth mix. I like my hummus lemony and spicy so I taste it and add more lemon and cumin until I get a mix I like.
Put the hummus in a bowl with a swirl of olive oil and a little shake of paprika always looks pretty.
I serve it with veggie sticks and tortilla chips because I love the salty crunchy chips with the creamy hummus.
Moroccan Almond Cookies
2 ¾ c ground almonds
1/3 c sugar
2 TB butter, softened
1 tsp slmond extract
½ tsp salt
20-24 small almonds
2/3 c confection sugar
Preheat oven 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Place confection sugar in a small shallow bowl.
Place all remaining ingredients in a bowl and use a fork to combine until you have a smooth, slightly sticky dough. Scoop the dough in heaping teaspoonfuls and roll each into a small ball, then roll each ball in confection sugar until completely covered.
Place each ball onto the parchment paper and press slightly to flatten the ball into cookie shape. Place a small almond in the center of each cookie.
Bake for 12-15 min until the cookies are cracked and firm on the outside. Remove and cool on a rack completely. Store cookies in an airtight container. Can easily be frozen as well.
Yogi, instructor, seeker