Om Maker

Wellness with Janina Church
June 5th, 2012

Grow Artichokes!

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This is the easiest edible I have ever grown.

Last year, around late summer, I picked up a 1 foot tall artichoke starter plant at the feed store. I put it in a gopher cage and planted it in my garden box. Since then I have done nothing but lightly water it. It is now HUGE and has been popping out sweet artichokes for about a month now. Every other week we harvest 4-5 chokes and gobble them up. The children get so excited when it’s time to harvest. My youngest especially, because he loves them!  Finally another veggie on his “yes” list. Yes!

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Seriously, it’s huge! This shot was taken about 2 weeks ago.

It is almost touching the eves of the house now.

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Artichokes taste quality is astringent. Which makes it a great spring/summer veggie for an ayurvedic diet. Astringent quality foods are cooling and drying and can be a hard taste to sell to the children. Some other astringent veggies are broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, leafy greens and turnips. See what I mean? Most of the time I sneak astringent into our food by using spices such as turmeric, saffron and hibiscus, as you really don’t need to gobble up tons of astringent foods to balance out your diet taste wise. As a mother, though, it sure is nice to see them add more green to their diets!

Namaste

 

March 14th, 2012

Kitcheree the wonder food!

Kitcheree (sometimes spelled Kitchadee) is a traditional Indian food made from split mung beans and basmati rice. It is indeed the wonder food! It’s easy to digest, cleansing to the digestive system, a complete protein and absolutely delicious. I try to cook it once a week for the family to help keep our digestion balanced. The children love it! Especially my youngest who lovingly calls it “yellow rice”. It is often my quick go to when I need a fast dinner as it only takes 25 minutes to cook.

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As I mentioned earlier, the combination of the rice and beans are a complete protein, so it can be a great protein source if you are vegetarian. When prepared with all the fixings, this meal encompasses all the six tastes, which in Ayurveda is part of eating a balanced diet, as each taste feeds our body, mind, senses and spirit and satisfies each of the dietary building blocks.

Because kitcheree is easy to digest and nourishing, it can be ground up and fed to your baby when they are getting into solids. It can also be eaten as a mono cleanse. I try to do this about once a month to reset my digestive system. Depending on what is going on in my schedule, I will eat only kitcheree for one or two days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I feel great and I don’t at all feel starved of nourishment when doing this. Making it way more fun than a juice or broth cleanse….

Kitcheree can also be customized for each body type and time of year. Add some fresh grated ginger when you are needing to warm up or dried coconut when you need to cool down. Here is my basic Kitcheree recipe you can jazz up to your hearts content:

 

 

Kitcheree

3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) or olive oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 cup white basmati rice (rinsed)

1 cup split yellow mung beans (rinsed)

6 cups lukewarm water

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups seasonal veggies (optional)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

lemon wedges

 

  • Gather and measure all your ingredients and have them ready to use.
  • Melt ghee or warm up oil in a large saucepan on medium heat
  • Add the mustard, cumin seeds and turmeric.
  • When the seeds start to pop, quickly (we don’t want the herbs to burn) add the rice and beans.
  • Stir for about 1-2 minutes or until the rice just starts to smell toasted.
  • Add all the water at once. Add the salt and veggies at this point if you are using them and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Serve warm with chopped cilantro, pinch of salt or Braggs Amino Acids and a lemon wedge. If you have extra ghee,melt some and try drizzling a couple tablespoons of it over your dish for a richer flavor….mmmm!

Enjoy!