ALTERED SPACE // What We Eat

Most of the time I prefer to eat at home. I like the experience of going out to restaurants, and communing over a meal with a big group of friends or catching up with someone I haven’t seen for awhile over lunch, but I’m always left wondering about the quality of the ingredients and the way what I ate was cooked. When you cook, you’re putting your Shakti (primordial energy) into the food you make and whoever eats it, is also integrating that energy. So it’s really important to get yourself into a good mood before you start cooking! You can also say mantras while you prepare meals, think loving and peaceful thoughts, and stay relaxed by being aware of your breath. According to Ayurveda, the highest level of nourishment is achieved when you also take such environmental factors into consideration when you eat. Here are some helpful tips to bring more awareness into your regular eating routine:

1. Eat in a quiet, calm environment, 2. Eat only when you are hungry, 3. Do not eat when you are upset, 4. Eat at a comfortable pace, 5. Don’t overeat; leave 1/4 to 1/3 of your stomach empty to aid digestion, 6. Eat freshly prepared foods, 7. Eat what is in season and local.

This week I had a really profound conversation with a friend about how the most important thing is that we have a good, healthy relationship with food. So many people are chasing the “ideal weight” or trying another weight loss fad, and end up sacrificing not only nutrition, but the sheer joy of delicious food! During the following week, I encourage you to take a few extra moments when you eat to really taste and appreciate the food you are blessed with, and if you feel old Samskaras (patterns) of emotions like guilt or shame arising, allow them to subside by taking a breath and becoming more present in the moment. After all, as Hafiz said, it’s a gift!

Impressive Beet Risotto

Ingredients: 1/2 stick unsalted butter OR 4 tablespoons of EVOO, 1 jalepeno, 1 small yellow onion, 3-5 small to medium beets, 1/4 cup Parmesean cheese, 4 cups warm water, 2 cups Arborio rice

Preparation:

1. Dice onion and jalepeno and sautee on medium/high heat on the stove until coated and soft (in your oil or butter) in a big pan or wok. Stir gently as it cooks, 3-5 minutes.

2. Dice beets and stir them in. Mix completely and slowly add in the rice as you continue mixing. Get the rice all coated in the mixture.

3. Slowly add in water about a 1/2 cup at a time. Stir until absorbed and only then add more. It’s going to increase in volume a lot! Take your time and enjoy this part.

4. After you have mixed all the water in, turn down the heat to medium/low and cover it up. Cook covered until rice is tender, about 8-10 minutes.

5. Lift lid and stir in the grated Parmesean cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy!

*If you use red beets, this dish looks BEAUTIFUL on a plate! Bright, vibrant red offsets pretty much anything else you plate up next to it, or if served solo, this risotto is plenty filling and looks nice with a little sprig of greens in the middle of the bowl.

*If you use golden beets, no one will guess it’s BEET risotto! Astound your friends and surprise your kids…and husband…by letting them know afterward!

If you get a beet the size of your baby's head, you'll only need one!

If you get a beet the size of your baby’s head, you’ll only need one!

This yields 6-8 moderate portions or 4-6 big portions.

OM,

Diana

ALTERED SPACE // WHAT WE EAT

People ask John & I all the time, “What do YOU eat?” Basically, we eat healthy, we eat fresh, we eat organic, we eat local, but most importantly, we EAT. We love food. We are Italian after all, so our taste buds are as developed as our unibrows. So it is with a great deal of pleasure that I will occasionally bring you a little Menu. Here is “What We Eat!”

This recipe is one that I could easily eat every week if there weren’t so many other great meals begging to be subbed in. It’s fast, it’s easy, and it’s seriously delicious. Don’t ask me about calories because I don’t know, but I feel safe saying this is a “light” meal. Unless you put sour cream on the side, which I sometimes do, but that’s your call my friend!

Rainbow Chard & Rice

Ingredients: 1 bunch of Rainbow Chard, 1 medium yellow onion, 1/4 cup oil (your choice, I prefer evoo), 1 cup water (OR broth for extra flavor), 2 tablespoons of curry, 2 cups rice (again, your choice, I like basmati), flax oil

Preparation:

1. Start rice. Chop Onion. Separate chard stalks from leaves & chop each pile up.

2. Warm oil in skillet or wok on medium. Put in chopped up onion until soft, about 3 mins.

3. Add just the chopped up chard STALKS w/ half of the water or broth, about 3 mins.

4. Add chard leaves & stir in curry powder, stirring occasionally, about 3 mins.

5. Add rest of water or broth, cover and steam 3-5 mins (to your preference, I like mine really green).

6. Plate, squirt on some flax oil, add any condiments you like (sour cream or even a chutney) and ENJOY!

This will serve 2 hungry people as your main meal or 4 regular people if you also offer a salad or something else. I’m sorry I don’t have a photo but we ate it before I could take a picture! It’s that good 🙂

OM,

Diana

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