Monthly Archives: September 2010

wednesday wisdom

Fear less, hope more;
Eat less, chew more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Love more, and all good things will be yours.
(Swedish Proverb)

Buddha feet, Bodh Gaya, India.


meatless monday: christine’s kitchen cupboard

Last Thursday, I helped my sweet friend and across-the-hall neighbor Christine pack up her apartment for her move home to Austin, Texas. In the process, she decided to load me up with her half-used Metrocard, and a very heavy shopping bag of her perishables that her roommates wouldn’t likely eat. Among the goodies gifted to me: sugar snap peas, organic Pink Lady apples, 2 unopened containers of hummus, half a bag of baby carrots, sun-dried tomatoes, Earth Balance Buttery Spread, 2 loaves of Ezekiel bread, an avocado, a spicy chipotle white bean dip, and a jar of organic virgin coconut oil. I’ve never cooked with coconut oil before, but Christine began singing its many virtues and I just had to try it myself.

This slightly syrupy oil is great for stir frying veggies, as it will hold a higher heat than  olive oil in your wok. Christine informs me that the research is ongoing about the numerous benefits of using coconut oil, including skin and hair care, strengthened immunity and digestion, and prevention of heart disease and certain cancers. The coconut oil gives a kiss of sweetness to whatever you’re cooking with, so you can skip the sugar altogether.

The following recipe was inspired by (and is thus dedicated to) Ms. Christine, whose veggies and virgin coconut oil  made for an extra fancy, super easy Friday lunch. Christine, I miss you already!

Tofu Veggie Stir Fry Lunch
In a wok or large saute pan, heat 2 tbsp. organic virgin coconut oil until simmering. Add a handful of baby carrots cut lengthwise in quarters (do we call that “julienne”? Kitchen vocab expanding daily, folks!), toss in a handful of sugar snap peas, a handful of halved mushrooms, and a few thick slices of extra firm tofu.  Saute until snap peas are soft and tofu is lightly browned. Serve immediately over a bed of greens or on top of brown rice. Lightly salt if desired.

wednesday wisdom: postcard wisdom

I bought this postcard at a little bookstore on Valencia in San Francisco: Your heart is a muscle the size of your fist: keep loving, keep fighting.

meatless monday: spicy peanut noodles

Maybe you’ve already heard of Meatless Monday: it’s a not-for-profit initiative that encourages Americans to cut out one day of meat per week for better personal health, and the health of the planet. In association with Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Meatless Monday has long been a standing tradition in this country: Presidents Wilson, Truman, and Roosevelt all called for voluntary meat-free days during both world wars. So it’s not just another hippie-dippie flower child movement, okay Dad?!

In addition to cutting out meat for your own health, reducing your carbon footprint and saving the planet, you get to experiment with some pretty awesome new ingredients, including funky root vegetables (winter months), alternative protein sources (and not just tofu), and other exciting goodness. We’ve been getting a lot of bell peppers, cucumbers and onions in our CSA as of late, so this recipe will kick off our Meatless Monday. (Adapted from Vegetarian Times).

Spicy Peanut Noodles
8 oz. whole wheat linguine
1/3 c. peanut butter
2 tbsp. soy sauce (or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos)
1 1/2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. chile paste with garlic
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
3/4 c. cucumber, chopped
3 green onions, sliced diagonally into 1/4-in. pieces
2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
4 lime wedges for garnish

Cook linguine according to package instructions, set aside. Combine peanut butter, 1/4 c. water, soy sauce, vinegar, chile paste and sugar in large bowl; whisk until blended. If sauce seems too thick, thin it with a little water; it should have the consistency of cream. Add linguine, bell pepper, cucumber and green onions, and toss well. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with lime wedges, and love it!

wednesday wisdom

Welcome to your weekly Wednesday Wisdom column, where you’ll find a midweek dose of inspiration in written form. From Patanjali to Paul McCartney, Jesus to Jay-Z, Shakespeare to Sharon Salzburg, and every one in between, a little food for thought and a moment to remove yourself for reflection.

We’ll start with a classic, Yoga Sutra 1:2, the very definition of yoga itself:

Yogas citta vrtti nirodhah.
Yoga is the restraint of the changes of the mind.

Happy Wednesday.

3 New Yorkers, 2 sleeping bags, 1 tent and a Jaguar: weekend camping at the farm

Once a year, our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farm, Windflower Farms, hosts a weekend getaway for its NYC members. This past weekend, Michael and I, along with our dear friend Hannah Elliott, headed upstate to camp, eat, and tour the farm with about 70 other nature-lovin’ city folk. Hannah is the Auto Editor at Forbes, so naturally we took the 2010 Jaguar XK convertible for a weekend test drive to see if it could withstand country roads, scorching suns, wet bathing suits on the leather upholstery and buckets of tomatoes bouncing around in the back seat.

me, Hannah, the farm, the Jag.

Farmer Ted on a row-planter of his own invention.

Farmer Ted, his wife Jan, and their sons graciously welcomed us with a tour of Windflower’s operations: onion houses, arugula beds, lettuces, cabbage, bok choy (and every other green in existence), squash and cucumber, gorgeously fat tomatoes, rows and rows of corn, a raspberry patch, and an innovative experiment with a small chicken coup. During the afternoon, we took the Jag for a joyride to Battenkill River, where Michael braved the icy waters and the rope swing. Back at Windflower, our evening began with a potluck supper that surpassed every potluck supper I’ve ever experienced in my life. CSA members are not only innovative in cooking delicious dishes, but also generous in their offerings. Fresh green salads, rice with roasted veggies, bruschette, whole wheat pasta with pesto, hummus, enchiladas, artisan cheeses and jams, biscuits, couscous, quinoa. Not to mention dessert of every kind: peach pies, cherry and apple tarts, cakes, brownies, and giant cookies. Fabulous.

the communal table.

The potluck supper epitomizes everything good about being in a CSA. There’s something deeply gratifying about sharing food with people who care deeply about food. All aspects of food are considered here, from tastiness to environmental impact, from nutritional value to food-as-medicine, to the ever important sharing a meal as an act of community. To say that the potluck meal was a success would be an understatement. That night I curled up in the sleeping bag Michael and I shared, in our borrowed tent (thanks, Kevin!) with not just a full belly, but with a full sense of contentedness with our little community of believers.

Hannah and Michael on tent assembly. Start to finish took 7 min. 18 sec.

Sunday morning, Ted and Jan treated us all to a breakfast spread that included breads and jams, eggs, fruit, and homemade donuts that were cooked on a barbecue. (!) Before heading back to NYC we made two quick stops to see some chickens and goats at a neighboring farm, and then an attempt to see the German Shepherds of the New Skete monastery, which resulted in cheesecake instead (that’s another story).

picking raspberries.

see? raspberries.

coney island, upward dog, beach