I love to eat! But I'd rather not spend a lot of time cooking. I developed these crockpot recipes with inspiration from Heaven's Banquet—Ayurvedic Vegetarian Cookbook by Miriam Hospodar, and The Ageless Woman—Natural Health & Beauty After Forty, by Dr. Nancy Lonsdorf, an expert in the system of natural medicine called ayurveda.
For a recipe index, see the Blog Archive below.
Crockpot Soupe Basics:
I'm an intuitive cook; I use words like "about" or "handful". My recipes make about four servings of hearty soup. The basic measurements are: 1/4 - 1/3 cup whole grain; approx. 1/3 cup lentils; 1.5 quarts of water; 1.5 - 2 Tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter, highly recommended by ayurveda) or vegetable oil; 1 teaspoon of salt; 1 rounded Tablespoon of spices; and about 3 cups of mixed veggies. I use, and recommend, organic ingredients for the purest food and optimal nutrition. I hope this blog helps you enjoy good eatin', good health, and creative cooking! I love to hear your comments.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Little Green Gumbo

I had gumbo for the first time recently in Jackson, MS, when my Dad and I went to see the Raoul Dufy exhibit (terrific - go see it before July 5 '09). It was also a return visit for him - 48 years ago he was a Freedom Rider, was arrested at the Jackson bus station and spent the summer at Parchman Farm penitentiary. But that's another story...

Back to the gumbo. It was good! When I got home I checked my favorite cookbook (Heaven's Banquet) and found a couple of recipes. Mine is the 1040 EZ version.

Night before: finely chopped kale, about 5 cups (chard and collards would also work well, and could be a mix of greens. I'll try that next time.) Finely chopped 2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped one smallish sweet potato (not a yam), and grate about 1/2 Tbsp of ginger root.

Next morning: Get out your trusty 3 qt pan
Heat sunflower oil, add 1 Tbsp of "Gumbo Filé" (powdered sassafras and thyme). I was planning to get all the herbs Miriam mentioned in her recipe, but lo and behold the co-op had Gumbo Filé!)
Add the ginger root, and sautee briefly. Add veggies and sautee a few minutes then fill the pan half full with hot water. Bring to a boil and transfer to your crockpot. Stir in 1 tsp of mineral salt and 3 bay leaves.

Let soup simmer on high while you do your thing: shower, meditate, exercise... whatever it is you do. I returned about an hour and a half later. If you plan to leave the crockpot longer, put it on medium or low.

Final steps: Wash and rinse 1/2 cup of rice. I like organic white basmati. Add water and bring to a boil for a few minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the partially cooked rice to the crockpot. It will continue cooking in the thermos.

Fish out the bay leaves.

Heat a small amount of sunflower oil or ghee on LOW (a skimpy 1 tsp is plenty), and add a dash of hing (asafoetida) if you like. It smells bad but becomes very fragrant when heated. Don't let it sautee for more than a couple of seconds - it goes from stinky to good to horrible really fast. Spoon some soup into the pan and swish, then stir it into the soup. Get out your thermoses, ladle it up, and head out the door.

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