Monday, October 15, 2012

Coping Mechanism

Urdvah Mukhasvasana
Adho Mukhasvasana

No, that's not Jackson walking across my laptop. Nor am I having a stroke. Those are actually words. In Sanskrit. If you think spelling them is hard, try saying them. To a roomful of people.

This is what the first weekend of Yoga Teacher Training held for me. While this first weekend was exciting, interesting, and energizing, it was also overwhelming and intimidating. On the third day of our training, we had to "teach" each other the poses of Sun Salutation A. If you have ever taken a yoga class before, this is a pretty common set of poses. Even my father knows Downward Dog. What is not so common is saying the Sanskrit names for each pose to a room of 20 people!

In preparation for my teaching debut on Sunday morning, I did what I normally do to calm my nerves and kill some time. I cooked my little heart out!

For me, cooking serves many purposes. Besides the obvious need for nourishment, cooking is a way of coping with something that may be stressful, of releasing energy, of procrastinating. Maybe you can tell from the photo below just how much "coping" I needed since I cooked enough food for a small army.

In case you can't read my chicken scratch, I made:
  • Applesauce
  • Beer Bread
  • Spicy Broccoli + Red Lentil Dal
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Cookies
  • Tomato Pepita Sauce
  • Bean-stuffed Poblano Peppers
All before leaving for my training at 1 PM. In.Sane.

One of the dishes I made used my fresh farmer's market broccoli. Yay! This dish is spicy. If spice isn't your thang, feel free to adjust the spices to your liking.

Spicy Broccoli and Red Lentil Dal

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: entree vegetarian red lentils broccoli

Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 c chopped fresh broccoli
  • 2 1/2 c vegetable broth
  • 2 c milk
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice + lemon wedges for garnish
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • paprika, to garnish
1. Add oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the uncooked lentils, chopped sweet onion, cumin, and mustard seeds. Cook on low-medium heat for about 6-9 minutes until the mixture begins to sizzle.
3. While this mixture is cooking, roughly chop the florets. Place stems and florets into a food processor and process to desired consistency.
3. Add broccoli and veggie broth to saucepan. Stir well. Add salt.
4. Cover and cook this mixture on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. After about 20 minutes, add in milk, lemon juice, turmeric, garam masala, red pepper flakes, curry powder, and additional salt (to taste) if necessary.
6. Cook on low for another 10 minutes. Serve.
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