23 June 2011

Lentil Daal

One of my favorite things on this Earth is curry. I know 1,001 uses for it and I would put in in everything if only there weren't so many other good flavors out there (like dill- I'll blog about my dill obsession later). I like to make all kinds of dishes with legumes, too, and so this is where the two heavens meet- in my mouth! *and here is where my Coven chimes in with, "That means two things!"*

Tonight I am making a lentil daal, as we embark on another round of "raw til dinner" vegan cleansing. This means we eat fruit for breakfast, take our raw multivitamin, drink lemon water throughout the day, eat a green salad or raw cabbage salad for lunch, and then have a vegan dinner chock full of proteins and greens. We follow that by downing a tincture of dandelion and milk thistle liver balancing thingie, and a cleansing senna tea at bedtime. It's fun except for the no-alcohol part. It usually drops about five pounds of unmentionable matter straight from the bowels in a week, too, and neither of us complain about that.

So here's how I threw together the lentil daal:

1 red onion, chopped
1 bulb garlic, sliced
2 tbsp coconut oil (Living Foods brand is not hydrogenated or refined)
1 lb dry lentils
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground mustard
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger (I didn't have fresh on hand tonight, but use fresh!)
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp celery seed
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups fresh or frozen spinach

15 March 2011

Flu Soup!

     My High Priestess, Courtney, made me this soup when I was living at her apartment in Inwood and got pretty sick. I'd stressed myself out preparing for an important interview for a job which I didn't end up getting, and was missing Sean because he was still working in Florida while I was searching for jobs up here. I was also probably doing too much energy work and prosperity magick without grounding myself properly and recharging, which I have a tendency to do when I'm desperate for something to happen. 
     I highly recommend this soup for any time because it's delicious, but it has a specific set of ingredients which will boost a weak immune system, help sooth  a sore throat, and prevent scurvy, if you happen to be a pirate. It is decidedly not vegetarian, but I'm sure if you're clever with your substitutions, you can make it just as healthy and tasty without the use of chicken and chicken broth. 
     Since my husband and I just had the flu really bad a couple of weeks ago, I decided to make it for us and our roommate Adam, and I changed it just a teeny bit to accommodate our fridge. 
4 cups chicken stock (we boiled the Samhain chicken carcass and used the broth from this. SO YUM!) 
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced or crushed in a press
1 bunch Swiss chard (kale is also good and has lots of vitamin C as well),
2 tomatoes, chopped (or one 16 oz. can)
1 jalapeno, finely diced
3 celery stalks, slice-chopped (or use 1 tbsp celery seeds, this is mainly for the savory flavor)
a handful of baby carrots or 1 large carrot, slice-chopped 
half a box of whole wheat pasta- elbows, penne, fusilli, really whatever shape you like
the juice of one lime
sea salt and lots of pepper, to taste
water to cover

     First, how to get chicken stock from a chicken. Most of you will know this already, but I didn't until I actually saw it done, and now I'm certain it's the only way to go! 
     Put a fairly stripped whole chicken carcass in a pot and cover it with water. Bring to a boil, then lower the temp to a rolling boil. Check it every hour or so, adding more water as needed, for at least 4 hours, more if you have the time. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to separate the chicken parts, and throw the rest of the carcass away. When you're done you should have about 4 cups of stock. The stock will be oily and yellow, and it won't smell nearly as good as it tastes. You can freeze it for up to a month in tupperware, or use it immediately. It's not good refrigerated for more than a day or two.     
     In a large stockpot, cook the chopped chicken breasts in a little stock (if you have frozen the chicken stock, the fat will rise to the top and you can skim off a bit of that to cook the chicken breasts with. Class!). I like to season the chicken with pepper at this stage, but not sea salt just yet. Salting at this point will make the chicken dry. Add the garlic and onion to very lightly brown them. Then add the chicken stock, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and jalapeno. Add water to cover and bring to a rolling boil. 
     You want to make sure that the carrots and celery get just cooked enough so that they're not crunchy, yet not soft- but remember that the longer you cook something, the less whole nutrients it retains. Set a timer for about 20 minutes and then check a carrot. If it's close to being done, you're good to finish it off by adding the chard or kale, the juice of the lime, and the pasta. NOW you can add the sea salt, and any other spices you like, to taste. I put a bit of dill in pretty much everything, and if it's not spicy enough, some cayenne pepper will do the trick. Continue boiling until the pasta is just done, and joyfully serve! This soup actually goes really well with tortilla chips- paired with the jalapeno and lime you've got chicken tortilla soup!

22 February 2011

About our move

Sooooo... Sean and I finally moved to New Jersey! It was the most frightening and harrowing experience of our life. We left on a nice January Sunday (nice for Florida!)... We planned the two day drive in between blizzards, or so we thought. The first day was perfect. Ender behaved so well, like he was a veteran of the cross-country move. We stayed in a Travelodge in Santee, South Carolina that night, and had fun watching cable and eating Japanese. We left early the next day, and things were going well. The moment we entered Virgina, however, it started to sleet. It was snowing when we hit DC later that evening, causing us to have to drive really slow, since neither of us have ever driven in the snow. When we got into New Jersey- we were absolutely terrified. I've almost blocked it out- let's just say that we crawled along the frozen highway at 35 mph with white knuckles gripping the door handles and steering wheel and gasping at every icy patch and nearly screaming whenever someone crazy would pass us going faster than 40. Somehow, we arrived at our new apartment at 4 a.m., completely broken and crying with fear. At least, I was. Sean was so brave and drove so well! I'm thankful we made it there completely unharmed and thank the Goddess we didn't hurt the moving van because I didn't purchase insurance!

As part of my votary training to become a Priestess of Brigid, I had to hold a workshop on the Goddess before Imbolc. We set it for two weeks after our arrival, which forced us to unpack, paint, and decorate in a fury instead of being lazy about it all. Afterwards we held a Housewarming/Tea Party for my birthday, which was loads of fun. Living here is loads of fun. We absolutely love it. I want to have more parties but am going to wait until spring because people don't like traveling to Jersey from NYC in the freezing cold. Gee, I wonder why?

Sean Padraic's birthday is in a couple of weeks. We're going to all the various parades, which start in Hoboken on March 5th. We're going to see Crass. Sean has his first performance with the band he is in, Derek Lyn Plastic, at Bowery Electric on March 1st. We're going to start recording more Thorazine Unicorn tracks this month, and are planning an album of dance covers done on acoustic guitar. There's sooooo much to do! It's impossible to be bored here. Just wanted to let everyone know that while we are broke, we are loving life!