Thursday, January 13, 2011

Building my Nest

I am in a serious nesting phase right now.  My office spaces, files, and planning for the next year at the middle school and high school are organized to within an inch of their structure-lives.  Everything is labeled, explained, organized... the organization is completely obsessive (and extremely satisfying!) and puts my mind at rest just in case I go on leave before expected. With the school-situation manageable at this point, I want to be home and snuggling and working and playing and making my nest for our lil' one and family every minute of  every day.  One of the ways this desire has manifested itself is through an urge to bake and cook.   (Maybe that's just the urge to eat...)  Last night, I stopped at Wegmans on my way home from school with a desperate craving for vegetables, so I bought the ingredients for Mom's Veggie soup and Moosewood's Vegetarian Chili (as reprinted in Yoga Journal).

I made the soup last night, and I have already eaten it for three meals.  It is among my top three soups of all time, and is definitely my favorite homemade soup (Francesca's Cucina Wedding Soup in my non-veg days and Sarabeth's NYC Tomato Soup round out that list) - I eat it in a vegetarian style (vegetable broth, cheese on top), but without cheese it's vegan, and the original recipe calls for chicken broth, so you can go that route as well.
Mom's Veggie Soup (with ominspiredmama's tweaks!):
Heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a big soup pot
Add one medium purple onion, all chopped up, chopped carrots, chopped celery (I never measure - I cut up around 15 baby carrots and 4 stalks of organic celery)
Stir all together in oil for about five-seven minutes.  Your kitchen will smell heavenly!

Add 8 cups of broth - I like organic low-sodium vegetable broth from Wegmans, but you can use low-sodium chicken broth too - two cups of no-salt added diced tomatoes, three small cubed butter potatoes with skin on(or one large potato/5 fingerling potatoes), one tsp basil flakes, 1/4 tsp ground black pepper (I actually just grind black pepper into the pot until it feels right).  Bring soup to boil and then simmer/stir for 10 minutes.

Next, add veggies! I add a different variety every time I make the soup, and I love featuring in-season veggies (although this iteration does not demonstrate that particular love).  For the first time, I added cannellini beans and I will never leave them out again! I am always searching for ways to get enough protein, and I really liked this addition.  Aside from the beans (and potatoes and tomatoes), my most recent soup had a full bag of spinach, one cut up orange pepper, two heads of broccoli, and a can of no-salt-added corn.   Let this simmer for 20 minutes, and then it is ready to serve!

The soup is sweet, and stew-like.  It is great tasting right away, but even better in a day or two.  Although impractical for fancy presentation, I love topping it with a bit of shredded mozzarella.  The cheese gets super messy and stretchy, but it is a delicious compliment!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

365 days of living my Yoga

Handsome Husband, Blue-Eyed Boy, Legoboy, (BEB and LB are my 7 and 8 yo stepsons!), Sadie, Lucie, and I are all snuggled up on our couch right now just about to watch "How to Train Your Dragon".  We have had a spectacular start to the New Year today.  I started my day with Baby-mama Yoga with Edie (75 minutes of bliss - today she told us she would like to open class to post-natal mamas too!!! I am thrilled!) while the boys hung out at home in their pjs, and the rest of the day has been snuggling, scruffling, naps, playing, cooking and eating, Rose Bowl Parade watching, Syracuse Basketball watching, and experiencing that wonderful renaissance that is the excitement and inspiration of a new year.

Anyway, I thought I would put this out into the cyber-ethos to help me solidify this idea. I am inspired by Yoga Journal's 21 Day Challenge, but I would like to do my own 365 day challenge! One year of daily yoga practice.   I know, I know what you are thinking... New Year Resolutions last a week and fade.  I do think this is possible and I do believe that I can do this! Here's the secret - I think about Yoga and living Yogically every day,  I DO yoga every day, but not always with an intention and purpose.  My goal is not necessarily about a 90 minute daily asana practice (though I do hope to keep up the asana practice I have cultivated, even when the lil' one is here, particularly with the continued inspiration from the fantastic Yogis and Teachers and Mentors at CNY Yoga), but rather, setting aside time every single day to mindfully do the yoga I do already, but with intention and focus. I want to mindfully practice Pranayama (breathing) every day, Meditation or a moment or moments for self-reflection and connection every day, some Asana (stretching and movement, but with thoughtfulness) every day, and I want to keep, close to my heart, the intention of living joyfully and in love and sharing joy and love with my family - all of those who are snuggled up with me right now about to watch "How to Train Your Dragon". 

Love and joy to you on the start of this New Year!

from January Kripalu Online

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.
—Edith Lovejoy Pierce, American poet