Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Quarantine Food Diaries, Day 7, Buddha Bowl, Gentle Qi Gong

It's raining today in New Jersey, bringing to mind my favorite word, petrichor. Have you ever had someone who has been running outside walk past you when they come in? If you close your eyes, fresh cut grass, ozone and damp stone, that's what petrichor smells like. I take a deep inhale, expanding through the ribs and savor the cool, musky scent it feels almost as if it were waking up each cell of my body so, I don't mind the rain. I can remember sitting in a yoga class years and years ago, before I taught, and heard the word Santosha it is the sanskrit word for contentment. I always connect the rain with this word, funny how our brains make connections. The yoga teacher was describing one of the Niyamas or daily practices of Yoga, these are laid out as daily habits or duties for proper living in the world. Right about now to kick the corona virus's ass and stay woke while doing it this ancient list of practices is what we need on our fridges. Santosha is described as the finding of contentment within each moment.  My memory of the first time I heard this word was on a similar rainy day to this one.  I had rolled out of bed, left unhappily crying children and brought my sleep deprived achy body to the mat. I cursed the rain, the cold, the lack of sleep, my loss of identity, the loss of my former physique, I was a bag of squirrels filled with discontent uncomfortable in my own body and mind, but I had the discipline to get to my mat and sit down and shut up. He went on about how beautiful the rain was, the appreciation of the sun because of the rain, the blooms and lush green of the mosses and grasses because of the rain. I began to feel a shift then and it has never left me, this being in WONDER of the present moment. It is also a discipline to do this, it becomes easier and easier with practice and more awareness. 
I am struck by my calm in this time of complete uncertainty we collectively face but I attribute this to Santosha. I am in WONDER  of what I am witnessing in the human race, resilience, community, creativity,  oneness.  I am in WONDER and awe at the transformation in the physical planet, clearer waters, dolphins in Venice, pollution clearing, fashion brands making scrubs and masks, LVMH making hand sanitizer instead of Channel No.5 parfum. 
It's worth reminding ourselves of the very basic daily duties we have to ourselves both individually and collectively. 

Decided to make a Buddha Bowl today. Not exactly sure how this term came into use but I use it to mean a warm bowl of grains and greens and a protein with a hearty dose of fragrant flavor. After having spent a week in St. Maarten just before we were all quarantined I picked up island spices for a good dry rub. But if you have a cabinet full of spices I encourage you to make your own, chili pepper flakes, lemon rind, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, salt, maybe a little cumin. 

Deep Green Salmon Buddha Bowl


1 lb  Whole Foods Atlantic Salmon
dy rub of your choice,  paprika, lemon zest, cayenne pepper, salt, garlic powder, cumin
1 avocado
1 butternut squash cubed
2 garlic cloves minced
1/4 broth ( chicken or veggie)
1 head lacinato kale
1 cup quinoa white and red
2 tblsp pesto (make or buy) 

Rub spice mixture along the length of the filet and oil a cookie sheet and place the filet on it.


one bunch basil
1 garlic clove ( medium to big)
1/ 4 cup dry toasted pine nuts 
1/4  parmigiano grated
olive oil drizzle
The kety to making a good pesto is a small food processor for these quantities and adding olive oil last to "wet" the ingredients amking a thick paste not an oily mess.  The way pesto expands over pasta or any thing is with the addition of the cooking water of your pasta or quinoa in our case. 

saute´ butternut squash in olive oil salt,  pepper , I love using umami spice ( Trader Joe's) and garlic, browning a little before adding broth, cover and set to medium heat to cook through 10 min. 
wash and take the spine out of each of the kale leaves, roughly chop and place atop the butternut squash, don't mix in. re cover and let "steam" five minutes. uncover and toss together.

Meanwhile cook quinoa according to directions, and the last 10 min of cooking time for both squash and quinoa ( reserve a 1/2 cup of the water once it has been salted and is boiling), place the salmon under the broiler. 
In a large metal bowl combine all ingredients should you wish to make this a Buddha bowl and not a separated Poke Bowl. 
adding the pesto in really thickens the ingredients so don't be afraid to add some of the reserved quinoa water. 

top with slices of avocado and enjoy!

I have been offering movement daily and at various levels, today's offering is something anyone and everyone can do. It is movement that will assist in lymphatic drainage, boost the immune system, build blood flow and recharge your body and mind gently. 
Qi gong movements are gentle and intentional for medicinal purposes. 
Please enjoy 15 minutes or so daily.


And if you like the music  you can listen to this playlist on Spotify

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