Thursday, August 9, 2007

The One-pot Wonder

I love this recipe. I adapted it from "The Self Healing Cookbook" by Kristina Turner. (link below) It's especially good for early recovery because it’s easy, so nutritious and can be cooked on the weekend and eaten throughout the week. Early recovery can leave a person feeling like they're floating in outer space most of the time. The ingredients in this recipe are grounding and will help with that awful spacy feeling. As anyone who has been in recovery can tell you, there are lots of times in life when it feels like early recovery again. Moves, break-ups, deaths, job changes, pregnancy – all these things can throw us into a susceptible state both physically and mentally. Healty food can can work as a recovery tool in those times, providing the support our bodies need while our spirits and minds are working to heal.

Here is the basic recipe:

½ cup basmati brown rice
½ cup lentils
½ cup potatoes
½ cup carrots
½ cup onion or leeks
4 garlic cloves
1 cup greens
1 strip kombu
1 strip wakame
2 cups water
large pinch sea salt (for heaven’s sake throw out that table salt!)

Okay. First, coat your pot with a high-heat tolerant cooking oil such as coconut, grapeseed or safflower. (You'll want a covered pot that can go from stovetop to oven.) Soak the kombu and wakame in very hot water for 15-30 minutes. These vegetables are purchased dried and will expand in the water. Remove sea vegetables and leave the water in the pot. Wash and chop your land vegetables into bite-sized pieces. Chop sea vegetables. Pre-heat oven to 350-degrees. Wash the rice and lentils and place in the pot with your mineral-soaked water. Layer vegetables on top of the rice and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil on the stovetop. As soon as the water boils, take off the stovetop and place in oven. Bake, covered, for 45 minutes to one hour or until all the water is soaked in. Notice that there's not one ingredient in this dish that doesn't provide excellent nutritional value. No sugar, no flour, no butter. Nothin' but the good stuff.

Now let me tell you about those two funky sounding ingredients you may never have heard of: kombu and wakame. These are sea vegetables and they may be my best discovery of the past year. (Thank you, Mary!) What’s so great about sea vegetables? Well, just about everything. They’re loaded with calcium and iron, two nutrients especially important for women at every phase of life. They also provide B-vitamins, Vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous and iodine. Now, on to the minerals: selenium, zinc, copper, rubidium, nickel and molebdenum abound in these lovely ladies from the sea. Because of the depletive agricultural methods employed over the past century, our land vegetables are sorely lacking in most of these nutrients. Since I’ve been using sea vegetables in cooking, my hair has quit falling out in handfuls. The shower drain is no longer clogged with strands of hair that belong on my head! That’s enough for me to realize that I’m getting something from these vegetables that I don’t get anywhere else. Here’s to thick, shiny, full beautiful hair!!

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can literally use any vegetable combination. Last night I used blue potatoes, onion, garlic, kale, carrots and zucchini. I also experimented with the lentils and used tiny dark bulghar lentils. I prefer the larger ones, but the bulghar gave the dish a beautiful dark purple color. The road to recovery is paved with brightly colored foods! I have used sweet potatoes, peas, green beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli, daikon radish, spinach, collards, mustard greens, celery, mushrooms, squash, swiss chard – the list is really endless. I always use one or more root vegetables and at least one leafy green. I always use garlic, and onion or leek. You can also use more or less rice, and more or less lentils according to your taste. Just adjust the amount of water to match the amount of rice and beans. Wanna make more? Just increase your quantities and use a bigger pot! The only drawback I have found to this dish is that it doesn’t freeze well; put it in an airtight container, though, and it will last for 5-6 days in the refrigerator.

I hope you like this recipe as much as I do. Let me know what vegetable combinations you like best and how you feel after eating this luscious food.


claud said...

Finally I can print this recipe out!! This is such Robert Food.

Thanks, A!!

Angela said...

Thanks, Claude!

Janet said...

I LOVE kombu !!! Thanks :-)