Health in a Bowl: Kale and White Bean Soup (vegan)

Want to feel healthy and clean on the inside? EAT THIS SOUP!!

We enjoyed it over the Christmas holidays in between rich meals and ended up making it a total of FOUR times for our families! My father-in-law, who is a tough critic of non-meat dependent meals, ate three bowls when he first tried it!

With all of my promotion of this soup, I also must say that the recipe came originally from The Food Network. However, I have doctored it and made it my own every time. The recipe below is pretty tried and true.

Health in a Bowl: Kale and White Bean Soup
inspired by this Food Network recipe

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Ingredients:
1 large bunch of Kale
1 large sweet onion
1 package of your favorite mushrooms
5-6 cloves of chopped garlic (yup!)
2-1 qt containers of vegetable broth
2-3 cans of white beans (northern or cannelloni)
1 can tomatoe paste

Splash of red wine
Bay leaf
Basil
Oregano
Salt/pepper

1. Chop and prepare Kale, onions, mushrooms, and garlic.
2. Heat a large soup pot with several tablespoons of olive oil. Add chopped onions and cook until fragrant and soft. Add mushrooms until they begin to shrink and look delicious. Then add garlic and cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add salt and pepper.
3. Add vegetable stock and tomato paste. Bring to boil.
4. Add Kale (center stems removed, leaves washed and chopped coarsely)
5. Add spices and wine. Allow soup to simmer for approx 20 mins (longer and on a lower temperature if you have time)
6. Add white beans and cook for another 10 mins.
7. Taste for salt/pepper. I found that I liked a lot more pepper in this soup than I usually add to my recipes! Season to taste of course!

I love serving my soup with some freshly baked rolls from the bakery at my local grocery store. Leftovers can also be paired super well with a delicious salad, sandwich, or (my favorite) a MorningStar Spicy Black Bean burger. Enjoy!!!

Letting Down Our Guard

“Whenever you are waiting for anything in order to live and love without holding back, you suffer.

Every moment is the most important moment of your life.

No future time is better than now to let down your guard and love.”

-David Deida

Hearty Vegan Veggie Chili

It has been a grueling summer in NYC, and I (along with every New Yorker) have been looking so forward to brining out my trench coats, boots, and light jackets.

And yesterday, it happened.

We woke up and felt a chill in the air. Our apartment, without the (expensive) efforts from our AC window units, was actually cool!! I groggily searched for my fuzzy robe and slippers, proudly adorned my new fall gear, and thought of only one thing:

Eating a chili dinner followed by Netflix beneath a cozy blanket.

And it was delicious!

Here’s what I needed to make it!

Shopping list:
1 lg yellow onion
1lb mushrooms (portobello would be delicious, but another other mushroom does the job as well)
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 halepeno (unless you lovvvveee heat. Then I’d do 2. Be ready-that’s all I have to say)
2 small zucchini squash

2-28oz cans diced tomatoes
3 cans HOW MANY OUNCES of beans (drained and rinsed)
I chose two black and one kidney. Whatever beans are your favorite-they all get the job done!

2 cloves of garlic (or less/more if you like)
2 Tbs chili powder
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp Cayenne powder (or to taste)
Olive oil

Optional Vegan Garnish Ideas: Avocado, green onions, cheddar cheese, sour craem

1. Heat up oil in a large pot. Cook each ingredient until fragrant(3-4 mins) in the following order: onions, peppers, squash, jalapenos, garlic.

2. Add spices (2-3 mins)

3. Add diced tomatoes and (drained and rinsed) beans.

4. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat on low for 20-30 mins.

Enjoy garnishing it with avocados, green onions, sour cream, and/or cheddar cheese.

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Enjoy!! 🙂

Gratitude

Whenever I hear the phrase “gratitude journal” I feel my stomach sinking with guilt. How many times did I hear Oprah or one of her guests encourage their viewers to grab a pen and a notebook, make a commitment, and begin acknowledging the wonder that is present in their lives every day for 30 days. And how many times did I join them and the thousands of viewers on this quest for cultivating gratitude only to fizzle out on my commitment by (or before) day 5? Maybe I need more will power or the ability to make commitments or start challenges that I am fully motivated to continue or complete.

Or maybe…I can scratch all of that self-blaming and self-criticism that floods my mind. Maybe, just maybe, I can feel grateful for the opportunity to begin again? To know that I don’t have to do what Oprah says to be a spiritually guided or centered person. Perhaps, I can follow my inner guide instead. And this inner guide is downright giddy about the following aspects of my life for which I feel grateful in this moment:

The sunset viewable over the NYC skyline
Watching my kitten spot a squirrel outside and acting with more urgency than I feel when trying to catch a subway car when running late
An unexpected (albeit terrifying) week off where I feel like I have finally caught my breath
A future dinner date with one of my very best friends
A clean apartment
An apartment!
Family coming in town this weekend
My dear husband

The list of my blessings goes on and on and on. So why then dwell on what I do not have? The truth is, I make the choice whether or not I see and appreciate the blessing in my life. For it is my response to the events in my life that determines my happiness or misery, freedom or resentment, bliss or obligation, fulfillment or dissatisfaction. I choose happiness, freedom, bliss, and fulfillment which today means that I focus on all that I have. And I have it all. As long as I make the conscious effort to see it that way.

To living and feeling grateful in this moment and the next,

EB

Granting Myself Permission to Thrive

I just spent an entire week at home in NC. Although it’s absolutely wonderful in many ways, the trip tends always to be seriously taxing.

In trying to balance the needs of our parents, my needs went right out the window, especially when it comes to my health and spiritual needs. No one asks me to chuck my peace into outer space, but I do it. Unconsciously.

But now that I’m home, now that my time is no longer obligated to anyone, I find myself faced with an interesting predicament: the power of choice. In all things. In every moment.

Could I then choose that which makes me happiest? The moments that support me–thriving?

What does it look like? It looks like me doing what I want.

In every moment.

And that’s the key…that I am IN every moment.

And so I begin to practice: living in the present, the Now.

Embracing uncertainty.

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Here marks my first attempt to write, create, and publish without attachment to a particular result. Questions of “who will read this blog? Who will care? What if ‘they’ hate me?” are officially deemed unhelpful. This is a space where I practice non-judgment towards myself and others. A space where I can explore and challenge myself into taking steps every day towards tapping into my authentic, sacred self.

I will write, live, and love as the spirit moves…without self criticism or judgment. It starts now—my creative journey to love myself and others more fully. Let the adventure begin!