Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Quarantine Food Diaries, Day 8, Kung Fu Panda Dumplings

" Your mind is like water, my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear. " 
- Kung Fu Panda

Our sacral chakra is known as the watery place, situated in the lower abdomen it is our place of emotion, creativity, fertility, intimacy, empathy and where we feel change. When we experience dramatic change in our lives, or if we do not feel secure in sharing our emotions our sacral chakra is out of balance. Many of us have been told not to cry, or not to express excitement as it looks like hysteria, that we do too much of something, or too little in our personalities. Take these thoughts, any of the thoughts that have made you feel like you could not or should not express emotionally and hold them for a simple meditation. Put on our playlist (link below) and for 3-5min focus on the breath, inhale and exhale, notice if one is shorter than the other. Place your hand above the pubic bone, your sacral chakra and breath into your hand. Visualize a body of water, whatever comes to you, imagine it rough and cloudy and recall these thoughts inhibiting your emotional, creative or intimate expression. Take your hand and physically pull these blockages from this space, removing the emotional debris, in your mind visualize a pristine calm and transparent body of water in your mind's eye.

I love the image of water as my emotional life, ebbing and flowing, never static, allowing for moments of wellbeing and moments of stress with the knowledge that nothing stays the same, that change is inevitable and the real key to it all is being able to see the emotions, acknowledge them and not hold onto them, but rather to try and see them outside of yourself, as an observer.
Think for a moment about how we can see others struggles and why they struggle so much easier than we can see our own. It is because we are not attached to their struggles as we are ours. We have a broader perspective without a personal attachment. So this is a choice we can make for ourselves as well but it takes discipline, every moment.  I choose to allow myself to feel and hold a feeling when it is good sweet feeling but somehow I choose to hold thoughts and feelings that are negative with even a tighter grip, why is that? That is my daily work, moment to moment discipline, to let go of not only the negative thoughts that like to linger longer but also the sweet ones, seeing them as the same thing.  In yoga we talk about finding that sweet spot between effort and ease, sthira and sukha, in our holding of emotions we can apply the same teaching. Harmony. Things are not just easy, and they are also not just hard either but being the observer and letting each thing come in and leave without disrupting your deeper sense of calm and rather only seeing surface ripples is the harmony found in  sthira and sukha.

Kung Fu Panda Dumplings
makes 30-40 dumplings

1/2 lb ground pork ( if you want to make these without meat substitute mushrooms here) 

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 cloves grated fresh garlic
1/2 tbsp soy sauce or aminos
1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp cornstarch ( binding)
1/2 tsp sesame oil 

40 wonton wrappers

Dumpling Dipping Sauce:

2tbsp mirin
2tbsp soy sauce or  aminos
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp grated garlic
to add heat 1/4 tsp chili oil

mix all ingredients together. So I made both veggie version and pork version. They were both amazing.  Place a small amount of raw filling in each wonton wrapper, wet two sides and fold over into a triangle, pressing firmly along the sides. Gently flip over and stick two corners together. 
see pic!! You can make these either in a broth like a simple chicken or veggie broth, add in a few mushrooms and scallions, or you can saute´ in a shallow pan with a little sesame and olive oils until lightly browning on one side, add 1/2 cup of water cover and steam through. When the water is evaporated the dumplings are done. serve with a dumpling sauce.

Sweet and Spicy Deep Greens

1 Bunch Red Kale
1 clove grated fresh garlic
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp Mirin
2 Tbsp Soy sauce or aminos
1/4 cup veggie stock
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp chili oil

Saute´ garlic, ginger and torn,  de-spined,  kale in sesame oil and olive oil, on medium to high flame, add soy sauce and mirin, it should sizzle, toss a bit and then add stock and cover 5 min. 
Done. add a few drops of chili oil of you like it spicy. 

Mediation water journey playlist 

Join me on Zoom tomorrow at 9:30am for a gentle Vinyasa class 10$ drop in with yoga studio Balanced Planet, link on how to :

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