Vegan Diaries – Green Bean and Mushroom Stir Fry

 

green bean stir fry

A good stir fry is an easy meal. Grab what’s in the fridge and toss it in a pan! Green beans are great in a stir fry. The trick is to make sure they are steamed for a few minutes before they hit the pan. They stay crisp and soak up flavor.

 

 

Ingredients

  • green beans 1/2 lb
  • onion roughly chopped
  • shitake mushrooms 1 c sliced
  • fresh garlic minced 2 cloves
  • fresh ginger 1 T
  • scallions chopped 3 stalks
  • sesame oil 2 T
  • soy sauce (or Tamari) 2 T
  • veggie stock 1/4 c
  • water 2 T
  • juice from one lemon

Preparation 

  1. Steam green beans for 2 minutes (you can also blanch them if steaming isn’t for you).
  2. Set green beans aside.
  3. Begin to saute the onions and garlic in a pan with the oil stir for two minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms, ginger and saute for three more minutes.
  5. Add the stock and soy sauce. Cook for three minutes until the liquid reduces by half.
  6. Add the green beans and scallions.
  7. Add water (if necessary).
  8. Add lemon juice.
  9. Cook for two more minutes and serve!
I had mine with a salad and carrot ginger dressing (my all time fave dressing, seriously. If I were 6 years old, I’d marry it)
That said, serving this over brown rice or quinoa would be tasty too.
Try a veggie stir-fry for friday instead of ordering take-out. It’s cheaper, tastier and better for you!

What’s in your favorite stir fry? 

Namaste y’all!!!

 

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Love Unconditionally and Don’t Forget to Breathe

Love Yoga-2

I’m sidelined from my asana practice until my wrist heals. It’s annoying, but it’s also a chance to pause and reflect.

I love my practice without any conditions. When I can’t get to my mat it doesn’t mean that I’m not doing yoga, it simply means that I’m not doing asana. Yoga is not just about handstands and working on fancy arm balances (though they are fun). My practice loves me back. It has no expectations, no judgements. Yoga accepts me as I am whether I am feeling strong or weak.

My yoga is more than what happens on my mat. Yoga is a way that I get through ups and downs.

Yoga is how I work through pain when I am hurt. I’m given a way to move more slowly and listen to what part of my being is calling out.

It’s a chance to say to my body, I hear you. I am listening. Things don’t always go the way I want, but things occur the way they do. Yoga is my way to acceptance of how things are, not how I wish them to be. In this moment, I am restricted in movement. Rather than fight or deny it, I’m being with that idea, because it is so. Acceptance opens up a path to healing. How can I not love this? Yoga has shown me that I must love all of the time, no matter the circumstances.

Most importantly though, yoga is how I breathe. Yoga is how I love.

Yoga is life.

Namaste y’all.

 

 

Don’t forget breathe. Keep head your above water, but don’t forget to breathe.

-Alexi Murdoch

 

Keep it Simple

Kiss Me

As a society we live for the weekend and TGIF. Looking forward to something takes away from our present.

Enjoy today. Not because it’s Friday, but because it’s right now.

 

Keep it simple.

Namaste y’all.

Start Now- Beginner Meditation (Audio included)

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Meditation may seem intimidating if you’ve never done it before. Here are three tips to get you started:

1. Just try- don’t worry about being perfect, or getting it. The act of being still, even for a few minutes will benefit you.

2. Get comfortable. Sit in a chair or on the floor. You can also lay on your back, but don’t get in bed. Remember the point is to relax, not sleep!

3. Have no expectations.

 

Included is a recording that guides you through a brief session. The audio is nine minutes long from start to finish.

Give yourself a break and woosah!

This meditation is perfect:

  • First thing in the morning
  • When you need a midday break at work
  • When you are feeling stressed
  • After work
  • Before bed (but not in bed)

 

Namaste y’all.

 

*Do not listen to this while you are driving, walking, biking or using any other vehicle. 

 

Something Happens and I’m Head Over Heels

Sunset_Backflip

Something happens and I’m head over heels, I never find out ’til I’m head over heels

– Tears for Fears

 

“You’re a rotten driver,” I protested. “Either you ought to be more careful, or you oughtn’t drive at all.”
“I am careful.”
“No you’re not.”
“Well, other people are,” she said lightly.
“What’s that got to do with it?”
“They’ll keep out of my way,” she insisted. “It takes two to make an accident.” 
― F. Scott FitzgeraldThe Great Gatsby

 

Marin Blvd in Jersey City crosses with the entrance of the Holland Tunnel, one of two tunnels that get one into Manhattan from New Jersey. On Sundays it’s crammed with drivers who think they are clever by hopping off an earlier exit, cutting through Jersey City and ‘sneaking’ into the tunnel. This ‘shortcut’ has not been a shortcut for 15 years. With the population increase of Jersey City and surrounding areas, most folks know about it. You are probably adding time to the trip. So people who aren’t local zip through Jersey City as if they are still on the highway.

Not the safest of circumstances for folks on bikes. There are plenty of cyclists who take on the traffic of Marin Blvd, but I don’t feel like my hybrid bike is fast enough to keep up. If I were on a road bike, I’d feel differently.

I digress.

After a great class at Jivamukti, I hopped on my bike to run a few errands. It was windy and I was taking in the fall day. I made the mistake of taking for granted my surrounding and assumed that the sidewalk wouldn’t have any unusual obstructions.

A curb appeared on the right side of the sidewalk. My hands squeezed the brakes but it was too late. I knew I was going to crash. The tire hit the curb and over the handlebars I went. I knew I had to prepare and relax my body. I tucked my right shoulder and exhaled because something in my brain thought the exhale would relax my muscles so I wouldn’t resist the blow of the ground. Hugged into a ball shape I landed on the pavement with a thud. People ran over to me. I thought that probably wasn’t a good sign.

I looked up at the sky, wiggled a bit and didn’t feel any broken bones. My hands were shaking and I stood up. Since I didn’t fall back down instantly, I figured I must be okay. The chain had fallen off my bike and I need a new handgrip for the right handlebar- but everything seemed in order. It wasn’t until the protective cloud of adrenaline had left that I actually

When you get a bike you have to understand that at some point you will crash. As my dad eloquently put, “It’s not a matter of if, it’s when.” You can only hope that you are prepared and not in a high traffic environment. Even though I took a serious spill my yoga practice (asana, pranayama and meditation) saved me from getting seriously injured.

 

When you are having an accident or a traumatic event occurs it seems that everything is happening in slow motion. I did some research about this phenomenon. Check it out below:

 

Amanda Lewis, Shrewsbury

This is because our estimates of time depend on how much we remember, and more memories are laid down in an emergency. Experiments have investigated this. In one case volunteers fell back into a net from 50m, experiencing terrifying freefall for three seconds. They said they seemed to be moving in slow-motion, and estimated the fall had taken between four and six seconds, rather than three.

To find out whether they were really experiencing events more slowly they were given a wristwatch displaying random numbers flickering just too fast to see. During the fall they could not see the numbers any more clearly, so time doesn’t really slow down. They just remember it as though it did, probably because the amygdala, a part of the brain implicated in fear, is highly active and affects the way memories are made.

Scienefocus.com

 

 

 

Keep it safe!

 

Namaste y’all!

 

the teacher appears

Bharat manages to say the most profound things with so few words. This is just one of the many posts I love from Lonesome Lotus Yoga. Namaste y’all.

LONESOME LOTUS YOGA

Doves sing down the sun

Chickens sing it up

Stewards of their gifts

 ◊

Drifting down river

I see a man swimming

Hard against the flood

With precious breath he calls to me

Other way brother

 ◊

I found three stones

By a pond in moonlight

Three ways before me

The Teacher appeared that time

Saying

First you must love Truth

◊◊◊

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Adventures in Teaching Yoga – Rikers Island

Discipline Working with the Inner Chaos

Today was my last class with the women on the fifth floor of Rosie (RSMC).

Our last class began with a dharma talk about mindfulness. What did everyone think the word meant?

‘Respect’ said someone from the back of the room. ‘Paying attention.’ said another student. ‘Being open to change.’

I asked them to add the word breathing to their definition of mindful. As we practiced I invited them to pay attention to their breathing, using their own definitions of what it meant to be mindful. We started class with meditation and a body scan. This theme of staying in touch with the body and breathing was with us every movement. I noticed today that every seemed focused inward, which was really lovely. While it’s great to see that people are engaged when I’m teaching, the real transformation is for these women to be able to give themselves a chance to breathe and get in touch with their own feelings off the yoga mat. I’m hopeful that this may have been a way to do that.

We practiced a therapeutic class with gentle yoga in between the postures. I have one student who practices sitting at the table. With her feedback we we able to put together table therapeutic practice (bolster and blocks included). It was fantastic because I’ve watched her grow from watching the class, to moving her arms and eventually sitting at a table right next to us. For the past three weeks I’ve incorporated table poses (I’ve been careful not to call them modifications-empowerment v. limitations). The best part is that she was able to use the bolster. The students at Riker’s don’t have opportunities to truly be comfortable. Getting a chance to rest on a bolster or hug something soft is a great release.

We spent almost two hours together and though I was sad, I’m confident that a few women feel empowered to breathe a little better.

In the end that’s really what it’s all about.

Next Tuesday begins a new adventure in building 16.

I am grateful.

Namaste y’all.

If you are interested in learning more about Liberation Prison Yoga click here

 

 

Meatless Monday- Meatless Meatballs!!!!

 

 

 

meatless meatballs

Official Meatless Monday Blogger

I must confess when I first thought about doing tofu meatballs I was skeptical. I’m not big on foods that try to be meat. You can’t call a carrot a burger, I won’t be duped. But always one to try anything once I plunged ahead and made these.

Yummalicious. Seriously. What they need is a publicist. Tofu meatballs just doesn’t work and Seasoned Tofu balls is just as absurd, but I digress. The Book of Yum had a recipe that was easy to prepare. The Book of Yum is a great blog dedicated to gluten-free vegetarian cooking.

  • 2 lbs firm tofu, drained
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 whole green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • one egg or egg substitute
  • generous amounts of freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated vegan or regular cheese (optional)
  • 1/4 cup soy or regular yogurt whisked well
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free bread crumbs, made in a food processor (I used panko)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • more freshly ground pepper
  • 2 or 3 tbsp. olive oil
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Slice tofu horizontally and wrap in kitchen towels and put a cutting board on top of the wrapped tofu. Put something on top of the cutting board, like a pot, for additional weight. Leave it to drain for 20 minutes. Then wrap it in a clean thin cotton dishtowel, knead it and squeeze as much water out of it as possible.
  3. Knead the tofu in a large bowl for five minutes and then add the garlic, green onions,  salt, pepper, and cheese. Knead it for another few minutes. Whisk the egg and work it into the tofu dough.
  4. Combine the ground bread crumbs, spices and pepper in a large flat bowl or pie pan. Make small, walnut-sized balls out of the tofu dough and roll each ball in the dough.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick pan or well-seasoned cast-iron pan on medium and fry your tofu meatballs on each side until golden brown.
  6. Top the tofu with some cheese and cook in the oven for abut 3 minutes

You could serve with a marinara and have a hero or hoagie because I’m from NJ and that’s what they are. I mean that’s what they should be called everywhere, because I’m from NJ and that’s how we roll.

I had mine on a salad.  I also roasted a slice of red onion and orange bell pepper drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

Enjoy!

Namaste y’all.