The Fork In The Fight: Navy Bean Root Vegetable Stew

Andrea and Grace have a lovely history together.  Go here to learn more about them, and to read the first three posts in their first segment of The Fork In The Fight series.  Look forward to reading Part 3: Introduction to Ayurveda later this week!

The Fork in the Fight: recipes for restoring our souls and thriving in the face of cancer

Part 2: Navy Bean Root Vegetable Stew

This is the second post in the second segment of the Fork In The Fight series.  In this three-part segment, we will be sharing a recipe for the soul in finding retreat in creativity, a recipe for the body with a delicious navy bean stew, and a recipe for the mind as Andrea introduces the world of Ayurveda. Stay tuned!  Check out Part 1: Recipes For Calm And Creativity.



The Recipe
 

We are both soup lovers and this navy bean stew is no exception! It’s perfect for using the last of your winter root vegetables before spring seasonals arrive. Andrea’s best friend, who is vegan, told her this is the BEST recipe she has made her (and Andrea has been cooking with her for 10 years!). Even if you are tempted to substitute in some animal products (like cream or cheese), we dare you to be bold and try it this way first because it’s just that good. 🙂 It’s easy to add more later.

Navy Bean Root Vegetable Stew
(adapted from Gillian McKeith’s You Are What You Eat)

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Fresh ingredients chock-full of vitamins and minerals!

Ingredients

  • ½ lb. dried navy beans (or lima beans)
    • This will cook to 1lb. of cooked beans
  • 3 carrots, diced
    • Try daikon radish, red or golden beets, watermelon radishes, or a variety of turnips
  • ½  of a rutabaga, peeled and diced
    • Try jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes) for a nuttier flavor
  • ½ a red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 red onions, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp turmeric ground or 1 tsp peeled
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp fennel
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch Himalayan pink salt
  • Handfuls of pea shoots, arugula, thinly sliced kale, or a local green of your choice

 Directions

  • Prepare by soaking the ½ lb. of dried beans overnight (or for several hours) and cooking in a large pot of boiling water. Perfectly cooked beans are soft in the center but not split on the seams. Remove from heat and let the beans cool in the water completely. P.s. By starting with dried beans, you are eliminating the extra processing and sodium that can be found in canned beans.
  • While the beans cool, you can cut, peel, dice, slice and chop your way through all the vegetables.
  • In a large pot on medium heat, add the onions, bay leaves, and a splash of water, stirring occasionally. Once the onions soften, add the rutabaga, carrots, and enough water (or vegetable stock) to cover. Let boil and then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the beans and remaining spices and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Top with fresh greens and serve immediately with a hunk of fresh bread.
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Share this simple, nourishing dish with your friends and loved ones!

Tips and Hints

  • If you are have leftovers and want something new, the soup does well with a bit of raw milk cheese and day old bread on the bottom of the soup bowl!
  • While the beans are cooking, you can roast the vegetables! This will bring out the sweet and nutty flavors that make the soup divine. Andrea suggests roasting with coconut oil salt & pepper

BONUS Recipe!

 Antioxidant Supplement ‘Jam’
(from William Siff of Gold Thread Herbs) 

A jar filled with antioxidant goodness.

Ingredients

  • 1 large mason jar with lid
  • 1 cup rose hips, roughly
  • 1 cup of pomegranate or blueberry organic juice concentrate, roughly
  • 1 handful goji berries, elderberries, and/or hawthorn berries
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 pinch saffron
  • Citrus peels, to taste
  • Fresh ginger, to taste

Directions

  • Pour the rose hips into the mason jar until half way full and cover with juice.
  • Stir in the remaining ingredients and let sit for several hours until it becomes paste-like. If you are using seeded berries, be sure to let them soak in water.
  • Take 1 tablespoon every day! You can add it to a cup of hot water or onto a bowl of porridge.
  • The jam can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 months.

 

With love and gratitude,
Andrea and Grace

Put A Fork In It! Send us your comments, suggestions and food-fighting ways to support a healing life.

The Fork In The Fight: Recipes For Calm And Creativity

Andrea and Grace have a lovely history together.  Go here to learn more about them, and to read the first three posts in their first segment of The Fork In The Fight series.  Look forward to reading Part 2: Navy Bean Root Vegetable Stew and Part 3: Introduction to Ayurveda later this week!

The Fork in the Fight: recipes for restoring our souls and thriving in the face of cancer

Part 1: Recipes for Calm & Creativity

This is the first post in the second segment of the Fork In The Fight series.  In this three-part segment, we will be sharing a recipe for the soul in finding retreat in creativity, a recipe for the body with a delicious navy bean stew, and a recipe for the mind as Andrea introduces the world of Ayurveda. Stay tuned!


retreat
Andrea’s California retreat.

 

Solitude & Retreating – Andrea

Over the past month, emerging from the wilderness of ocean waves in Big Sur for a retreat with Scott Blossom, and hours in front of books, family or movie classics, I’ve found that turning inward, away from the social engagements beginning to brew, has been a very sound choice. Even with my partner and husband away for one month on his own sabbatical of sorts, with solitude and quiet setting in around the clock, longing for even more has not been uncommon for me. I have canceled a few appointments, and gotten to bed early. A few nights I have also stayed up late watching a new favorite television indulgence, sipping wine and writing. These, too, have been a practice of healing. There are many ways to wander inward. Cooking, Meditation, like the practice we shared in Breathing Into Self-Awareness And Ease, Yoga, and writing are my top four. What are yours? Not sure, but want to try something creative and different? We encourage you this month to fight for some YOU time. Take a stab at something creative. Find stillness in the gentle movements of your hand while painting, drawing, or writing.

Stillness & Creativity – Grace

Boy, do we all know that life can be messy and unexpected, and sometimes just completely overwhelming! There can be moments when it all seems too much or we lose sight of reality. It has taken mistakes (loads) and time (a lot) to teach myself to breathe, to be gentle, to seek happiness in all moments, and most importantly, to act positively and decisively when I feel stress creeping in. I learned much of this along my cancer journey, but I continue to turn to use these newfound superpowers everyday and you can easily master them, too. The most helpful of them all has been meditation (followed closely by x-ray vision).

I am a creative person and a voracious reader. During treatment I didn’t always have the energy to think creatively or concentrate on reading but I still yearned for those outlets. This is how I stumbled upon “doodle meditation.”

After finding an interesting audiobook or podcast, I’d grab a pen and paper. As I sat listening to these stories, I would begin to doodle. I never had anything in particular planned, but I always started with a single point and drew outwards from it, balancing a squiggle here, with a squiggle there. I made a point not to concentrate on my drawing, but rather to let my hand and mind doodle freely as I listened. I would feel more relaxed after even a few minutes of this, and my buzzing and whirring anxieties would be calmed.

Whenever I find myself stressed or too caught in a moment, I start up doodle meditation. It’s the easiest thing in the world and absolutely everyone can do it.

How to Doodle-tate:

  1. Find a great audiobook, podcast, or music. If you are looking for a book that can’t help but make you excited to be alive, try “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall.
  2. Next, take out a piece of paper and pen. I like to use felt tip pens but any pen and paper will do.
  3. Starting with a single point, draw a shape in the middle. Any shape!
  4. From there, draw what comes naturally. An arrow pointing left or a small spiral twisting right? Or three polka dots under a zigzag?
  5. Perhaps most important to this whole process, don’t stop to think about what your doodle looks like or what should come next. Practice freeing up your mind and just letting the pen move.
  6. Keep doodling for as long as you like!

Doodle meditations are a simple and fun way to take a break and I hope that you find joy in them! If it seems too unstructured to start with, I recently came across Zentangle and would absolutely recommend them. While my doodles weave randomly, Zentangles are “artistic meditation” that use patterning beautifully. On LacunaLoft, Mallory recently posted about coloring for stress and shared a gorgeous free coloring and creativity guide, too!

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Andrea tried the doodle-tate exercise and loved it. Isn’t her drawing whimsical?

We would LOVE to see what you create so if you try doodle meditation and want to share your creations, please comment and we will reach out to you. We may even feature your doodles in our next series!

With love and gratitude,

Andrea and Grace

 

Put A Fork In It! Send us your comments, suggestions and food-fighting ways to support a healing life.

Why And How To Start Journaling

“Journal writing is a voyage to the interior.” -Christina Baldwin

Journaling is a mysterious hobby. I’ve been keeping a journal for years, but I’ve only discussed it with a handful of people- it just doesn’t come up in conversation that often. When someone does discover that I journal, though, they are invariably intrigued. I am asked, “How do you do it?” “When do you find time?” and “Do you have any tips?” However, it’s the unspoken question: “WHY do you keep a journal?” that’s the most meaningful of all.

In the interest of shedding some light on a secretive habit, and hopefully inspiring some of you to give it a try, here are my answers to those questions…

How to start journaling

First, figure out your preferred medium (how you write best). When I started my journals as a teenager, I used big sketchpads and bold markers. (I was inspired by the work of the artist/writer Sark.) I have about 15 of these journals, and I’ve managed to keep them safe and private throughout several location changes. They are a storage issue, though, so I’m grateful that I’m now more comfortable writing on my laptop. I keep a word document called “journal” (original, I know; if you don’t trust your housemates not to snoop, call it “alfalfa pie recipe” or something as unappealing) and start a new file every year.

How to create a journal entry

I like to start with a day/date heading, so that if I choose to look back on previous entries, I can orient myself easily. Other people prefer writing blog-post style, or simply picking up where they left off the day before. It’s your choice.

The biggest potential roadblock to journaling is the dreaded “blank page” syndrome, where you’re sitting there having no idea how to start. You can solve that problem by starting the same way every time, either with a journal prompt (the same one every day, or a variety- Lacuna Loft can help with this); a list, a la Bridget Jones’s Diary; or by cataloging what you did that day. I take the last option, and I’ve never once had to sit and watch the cursor blink. Generally, starting with what I did becomes how I felt about what I did, which leads into deeper topics. If it doesn’t, well, at least I wrote something.

When to journal

This is entirely up to you, of course, but from personal experience I strongly recommend writing every day. Once you skip a day or two, it becomes a lot harder to reestablish the habit. It also helps to write at the same time every day. I like to journal first thing in the morning.

And now the big question:

Why keep a journal?

This is a personal question, and everyone will have a different answer. I don’t mind sharing my reasons, in the hopes that one or more will resonate with you.

1. It keeps me feeling positive and grateful. Like most people, I tend to focus on the negative things that happen to me. Writing about my life gives me instant perspective on my problems. It helps me to remember that when my doctor called with questionable test results, my husband stood there and massaged my shoulders, then offered to get me frozen yogurt. Telling the story of that moment brings the positive memories into greater focus.

2. It helps me release feelings I didn’t know I had. Throughout my teens and twenties, I had a lot of trouble getting in touch with my own feelings. I would act out by overeating or fighting with family, and I would know I was unhappy, but I honestly didn’t know why. Journaling helped put an end to that phase in my life, by giving me time and space to talk about my feelings to the one person who really needed to understand them (me).

3. It’s a great warm-up to the other writing I do. I’m also a musician, and I’m a big believer in a daily warm-up that sets the tone for the practicing my students and I do each day. The same goes for writing. Once I’ve journaled, I feel much more ready to dive into the bigger projects I have scheduled.

4. It documents my memories. I often return to journal entries from meaningful times in my life, such as when my son was born, to remind me what really happened and how I felt about it. It’s also a great resource if my husband and I disagree about when something happened- I can just look it up!

5. Maybe my journals will be a memoir one day. Hey, it could happen!

Best of luck with your journal habit! If you’d like to talk more about journaling, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at leannesowul@gmail.com, or visit my website, leannesowul.com.