Last week we bought a food processor. Like adding a KitchenAid Stand Mixer to your wedding registry, getting your very first Cuisinart symbolizes a transition into adulthood. No more smashing graham crackers in a plastic bag with a hammer to make a cookie crust for my Thanksgiving pumpkin cheesecake! No more tears shed over chopping onions! (This makes me sound like I’m in the kitchen way more than I really am).
Here are some of the good things to come out of the Cuisinart Elite Die-Cast Mini Prep as of late:
Coconut Almond Date Rolls:
Chop/grind a bunch of medjool dates (pitted) with a sprinkle of water to make a paste. Roll into logs, dip in shredded coconut, garnish with raw almonds.
Arugula Almond Pesto (inspired by Elide, vegetarian chef of In Sabina):
Pulse on Chop 5 times 1/3 c. raw almonds; reserve in bowl. Chop 5 seconds 2 cloves of garlic and 3/4 tsp. kosher salt. Add 1 1/2 c. arugula and 1/2 c. olive oil; pulse on Grind 10 times then Grind continuously for about 15 seconds. Add the reserved almonds; pulse 10 times on Chop to blend. Refrigerate.
Chop 1/3 c. arugula for 5 seconds; remove and reserve. Chop 2 garlic cloves until finely chopped, about 5 seconds. Add 1 can chickpeas (rinsed and drained), 2 tbsp. tahini, 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1/4 c. water, 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds, and reserved arugula. Process until smooth. Add 1/4 c. olive oil and process until blended. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve with Wasa crispbread and green apples.
Looking forward to making other things: guacamole, banana and almond milk smoothies, this English pea puree that the Top Chef judges went nuts over. What other suggestions do you have?
After spending a glorious two weeks in Italy and leading a wonderful group of students who joined me at In Sabina for my annual yoga retreat, I arrived back in New York feeling renewed and inspired in profound ways. Reflecting on the lovely yogis, many of whom I’d never met before this trip, and smiling about the sweet memories I’ll forever carry, I kept coming back to our accidental, adopted mantra for the week: “When in Rome.” (The second half, “do as the Romans do,” was omitted but implied). This applied to everything from taking a nap by the pool, to attempting a particularly challenging arm balance in class, to opening yet another bottle of wine as we laughed late into the night. “Well, when in Rome!” became the slogan that carried us through the week as we gracefully floated from event to event: yoga on the open-air platform, delicious meals prepared by In Sabina’s beloved chef Elide, excursions to Rome and Orvieto and Casperia, numerous impromptu gelato runs. “When in Rome” was the perfect mantra for a group committed to being receptive, open and willing to experience Italian culture and the teachings of yoga.
Mantra is a powerful and effective tool in yoga. By repeating mantra during meditation, one not only manifests that mantra, but one also becomes its essence. Repetition, like the movement of the ocean, also has a way of easing our minds into meditation itself: forget “clear your mind;” instead, fill it with mantra!
Ashtanga Yoga Opening Mantra:
Vande gurunam caranaravinde
sandarsita swatma suhkava bodhe
nih sreyase jangalikayamane
samsara halahala mohasantyai.
sahasra sirasam svetam
(For the peaceful resolution of the deluding nature of repetitive existence, I bow at the lotus feet of the Gurus, and behold the awakened joy of my own Soul; this is the ultimate refuge that acts like a shaman, a true source of spiritual enrichment.)
Get excited: Alana and I will be teaching these two Saturday beginner workshops at Sangha Yoga Shala in September. If you (or a loved one) are curious about yoga and unsure where to begin, pass this along. We’ll cover everything from the physical asana (postures) to the more general (Why do we “ohm”? When is the best time of day to practice yoga? Why do we end class by lying down?). Develop a strong foundation and a basic understanding of yoga before beginning a personal practice, and you’ll reap the benefits for a lifetime.