Raw Puffed Brown Rice Granola

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Suddenly it’s been over two weeks since my last post. How does time go by so quickly?

I’ve been thinking a lot on the things I talked about in my last post and my general feelings around blogging. I still really love it, for the most part. I enjoy this space and I enjoy playing with and photographing food. Especially now as we move into summer and everything is full of brilliant color and flavor. But I am obviously not doing the greatest job at keeping up with blogging. I also realized that I no longer have the money to put into this blog to keep the plan I had that allowed custom formatting and domain name and a larger memory, among other things. So I won’t be able to post as frequently as I had been anyway because I’m actually about to run out of space here!

There’s also the time the blog requires. While food and cooking is one of the only things I talk about here, it’s not the only thing going on in my life. I haven’t talked much about my other writing here on this blog, but my dream is to become a published author someday (hopefully in the semi-near future). Fantasy has always been my first love and writing weird, dark fantasy books is where my heart and soul has been since I was a little kid. I don’t remember ever truly wanting to be another other than a writer (except when I was very young-then I wanted to be a dinosaur). I’ve been writing pretty much full-time since I graduated high school, every day working further toward my goal of getting published. At this point I’m working on writing query letters to send to agents and it’s an incredibly long and slightly stressful process (but still so exciting and so much fun).

All of the work that goes into my writing and the dream of getting published makes it difficult to remember to take time on this platform as well. It’s hard to try and stretch myself between two wonderful but time-consuming things. And in the end it comes down to the fact that this is a hobby. I’d initially hoped it might grow into more, but it didn’t work out like that and that’s completely fine. I suppose you could say that writing is only a hobby as well, since I don’t get paid for it yet, but I treat writing books like it’s my career and hopefully things will work out sometime soon.

Anyway, I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this blog, but because of the whole memory space issue posts will probably be a lot less frequent. Eventually I’ll be forced to stop, if I don’t stop before then. Right now I’m pretty much winging it and we’ll see where it all ends up!

So today I have a really simple and crazy good recipe for you. I’ve made this granola more times than I can count in the last month. I love toasty, warm, baked granola but this stuff is perfect for all those days in the summer when I’m craving something nutty and crunchy but it’s really too hot to justify turning on the oven. Or when I’m feeling really impatient and want granola five minutes ago. This stuff comes together in almost no time at all and those are always my favorite recipes. I love to eat this with fresh fruit or berries and almond milk, on top of coconut milk ice cream, with coconut yogurt and chia-berry jam, or just by the handful!

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Raw Puffed Brown Rice Granola
Makes about 6-7 cups
4 cups puffed brown rice
1 cup shredded coconut, raw or lightly toasted
1 cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup chia seeds
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
¼ – ½ tsp. ground cardamom
1-2 tsp. spirulina
1 cup nut butter
½ cup coconut oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. raw honey
Lemon juice, optional

In a large bowl combine the puffed brown rice, shredded coconut, pumpkin and chia seeds.
Place the coconut oil in a small pan over low heat to melt. Remove from the heat and whisk in the nut butter, vanilla, honey, spices, spirulina, and lemon juice.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until evenly coated.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the granola in an even layer over the baking sheet and place in the freezer until solid. (This should only take about 15 minutes.) Break the granola into chunks and place in a large glass container to store.
Enjoy!

Add-in ideas: chopped nuts, other seeds (sesame, sunflower, flax, etc), cacao nibs, cacao or carob powder, maca powder, goji berries, chopped dates, mulberries, dried cranberries…. The list could go on and on!

Much love,
Lane

Turmeric Bowl with Wilted Spinach

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I think it’s probably no secret that I’m rather terrible at posting consistently. Or I’m really great at inconsistent blogging. However you want to look at it. I ended up taking a completely unintentional month long break, first because I didn’t even have the inspiration to eat and then because I spent the first bit of this month feeling kind of awful.

My health is worlds better than it was several years ago when I was still suffering from allergies to gluten and dairy. But things are still not 100% normal. I know that a lot of it is caused by stress and my anxiety. I was going to talk a lot more about the minor little health problems that were happening, and the huge mental and emotional shifts that came along with it, but lately writing blog posts has felt very draining.

At this point I’m not quite sure what I’m doing with Green Spirit Adventures. I still love cooking and coming up with recipes–I don’t think that will ever change. And for the most part I still have a lot of fun photographing recipes as well (though I do have a habit of making it feel like a chore on busier days). But a large part of the reason I originally began food blogging was to connect with people. As an extremely introverted person this is really difficult for me to do. I’m also terrible at social media, so that doesn’t help much. There is an incredible community of food bloggers (and readers!) out there… I’ve just done a terrible job of actually communicating with anyone.

Then there is the amount of time that goes into each blog post. The time spent creating and testing the recipe, time taking and editing the photos, the time spent writing the actual post–and sometimes time wasted fighting with WordPress or Facebook or Pinterest because technology never quite seems to be on my side. There are days when the amount of time doesn’t quite seem worth it. Of course I enjoy what I do, but I could just as easily enjoy it all by myself, without the added pressure of doing the blog post portion of it–especially when I’m never certain anyone else is enjoying what I’m putting out into this space.

Bottom line–some days, blogging takes up a lot of energy.

The deeper I go with Reiki and this self-healing process the more internal everything becomes. Though it’s a completely different internalization than mindless or defensive internalizing I did before. This isn’t so much about suppressing what I’m feeling or experiencing–it isn’t a case of numbing myself out. Instead it’s a process of looking deep within, healing old wounds and finding many unexpected hurts that also need to be looked at and healed. It is a deeply personal and sensitive process and while communication is a huge part of this work it is in turn making it harder for me to connect and express myself in other ways. Usually I talk a lot about my life in this space, and with this sort of healing work it becomes progressively more difficult to share things simply because there are no words for these experiences. It is impossible to fully share what it is like to work with such wordless, formless concepts.

I also seem to have a very limited amount of energy to use on anything related to communication and the internet. Answering emails or Facebook messages (no matter how little the message may be), writing and posting a blog, doing online work for the Reiki training I’m in-all of these things draw from that “reserve” of energy. Some days communication flows really easily while other times that energy gets drained so fast and I struggle to write even the shortest email.

This is all just a lot of random musings and an attempt to explain where my brain has been at lately. There has been a lot of shifting happening and a lot of clarity coming through. I think that, if I continue with this blog, a lot of things will change. I’ve contemplated new projects or series to bring to this space, or possibly more “lifestyle” posts instead of just recipes all the time. If anyone has suggestions I would love to hear them! I don’t get a lot of feedback about this space, but when I do it really means so much. Also, if anyone has ideas for how to… food blog better, I guess, I would love to hear it. Most of the time I feel like I’m simply throwing content into the void of the internet in the hopes that it will resonate with someone.

I also want to extend some gratitude to everyone who has stuck with my incredibly erratic blogging. I don’t think I’ve ever been the most consistent, but it means the world to me that people stop here to read what I have to say and to take a peek at the recipes I’ve created!

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Turmeric Bowl with Wilted Spinach
Serves 4
Potatoes and Chickpeas
1 medium sweet potato
1-2 large Yukon gold potatoes
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1 tsp. ground thyme
Salt and pepper
Coconut oil

Buckwheat and Spinach
1 ½ cups cooked buckwheat (or other grain)
4 cups fresh spinach
1 large garlic clove
Splash balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
Lime or lemon juice

Mustard Almond Butter Sauce
¼ cup mustard
¼ nut butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast, optional
Black pepper, to taste
1 tsp. dill weed
Drizzle of honey
Juice ½ lime

For the chickpeas and potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400°F
Peel or thoroughly was the skins of the potatoes and cut into bite-sized cubes. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet along with the chickpeas. Drizzle with a little coconut oil and sprinkle with the spices, salt and pepper. Stir until everything is evenly coated.
Place the potatoes and chickpeas in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisped.
For the buckwheat and spinach: Heat a bit of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Mince or grate the garlic and add to the skillet. Sauté for about a minute, or until fragrant. Add the spinach, stir, and cover. Cook for 2 minutes.
Stir in the buckwheat, vinegar, lemon/lime juice, salt and pepper and cover again. Cook for another minute or two. The spinach should be cooked through but not yet completely limp/mushy.
For the sauce: Place all of the ingredients in a glass jar or container and whisk until thoroughly combined. For a thinner consistency add a bit of water.

Much love,
Lane

Lemon Hemp Bars

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Completely without meaning to I’ve gone nearly a month without posting a recipe. There’s been a lot going on and lot of thoughts about what I’m doing with this blog crowding my head, as well as some little health struggles—but more on that in another post.

Today I want to introduce you to an amazing company! You may have heard of Sun Potion before, but if not you should definitely take a moment to check out their site. I’m a huge lover of plants and all things related to the natural world, so I instantly fell in love with Sun Potion and their passion for medicinal plants and herbs. Mother Nature holds such incredible healing for us and the people and Sun Potion work hard to create amazing products.

They graciously sent me two of their products to try out and play around with in my recipes. The bars I’m sharing with you today are packed full of delicious flavors and good-for-you foods. I’ve been on a bit of a hemp seed kick lately and I’m forever in love with coconut, so those two star as the main ingredients. With a little bit of honey, some lemon and fresh ginger these are filled with bright, radiant spring flavors.

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Lemon Hemp Bars
Makes 8 bars
1 cup hemp hearts
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbsp. soft coconut oil
1 tbsp. chia seeds
½ tbsp. raw honey (or maple syrup, if vegan)
½ inch piece ginger
Zest of ½ lemon
¼ cup berries, optional (for color)
1 tbsp. Sun Potion Tocos, optional
1 tsp. Sun Potion Reishi Mushroom Powder, optional

Place the hemp hearts, shredded coconut and coconut oil in a food processor and blend until the mixture starts to stick together a bit.
Add the remaining ingredients and continue to pulse until the mixture balls up.
Scoop the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper. Place another sheet on top and smooth the mixture out into a square about 1 inch thick. (You could also press it into a small pan, or even into muffin tins.)
Place the bars in the freezer for at least an hour. Remove, cut and enjoy!!

Much love,
Lane

Although Sun Potion sent me their products to try all opinions are my own. I really think they’re a lovely company!

Turmeric Millet Puff Bars

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Today it really looks and feels like spring, so this is going to be a very quick post before I go spend the rest of my day playing outside!

These turmeric millet puff bars are the snack of my dreams. They’re bright and sunny and full of delicious flavors and textures. The puffed millet is light and fluffy and nutty, the seeds and walnuts add some crunch, and the almond butter makes the bars filling and creamy while the cinnamon and dates add layers of lightly sweet flavors. Among all of this the turmeric totally shines, adding not only its stunning color but also its lightly peppery, spicy taste to the mix. These come together super quickly for a yummy, fuss-free snack.

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Turmeric Millet Puff Bars
Makes 16 bars
½ cup almond butter
½ cup coconut milk
3 tbsp. coconut oil
3 pitted dates
3 cups puffed millet
1 cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup sesame seeds
2 tbsp. chia seeds
1 tsp. ground turmeric
Dash of cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Place the coconut oil in a small pan over low heat. Once melted stir in the almond butter and coconut milk. Whisk to combine and remove from the heat.
Pour into a food processor or blender. Add the dates and blend until smooth.
In a large bowl stir together the remaining ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir until thoroughly combined.
Scoop the mixture into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper. Press into an even layer and place in the refrigerator or freezer until solid. Remove from the pan and cut into bars.
Enjoy!!

Much love,
Lane

Springy Kale and Quinoa

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Lately I’ve been doing a lot of cooking without intention. At least, without an intention for the end result. Usually I try to focus on doing a bit of meal planning so it takes the pressure off later and I’m not let feeling hungry and not knowing what I want to eat, or not having ingredients ready. Instead I’ve been trying to listen a little deeper and cook with whatever sounds good to my body in that moment. It’s really fun to throw together ingredients without the thought of a specific type of recipe sitting in the back of my head, guiding my choices. When I start I’m not sure if I’ll end up with a salad or stew or something altogether different. In a way cooking like this is almost a mini-meditation.

This meal was the result of one of my intention-less experiments a few weeks ago and I’ve made it several times since. It was exactly what my body was craving in that moment and it continues to hit the spot. I’m already looking forward to spring foods such as nettles, dandelions and spruce tips, but it’s going to be a while before they’re popping up around here. Yesterday we had more snow and the temp has been hovering in the upper thirties/low forties most days. It doesn’t quite feel like full spring yet, but delicious meals like this are helping to lift my spirits.

Despite not having nettles or other spring greens I’m still trying to pack as much green plant-powered goodness into my meals. This dish is full of kale, green onions, and herbs. The quinoa and mushrooms add a wonderful, grounding, earthy flavor and the cashews add a sweet, nutty layer as well as some crunch. With a little bit of garlic, pepper and lemon juice everything ties together for a really simple but flavorful meal.

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Springy Kale and Quinoa
Serves 2-4
½ cup cashews
8oz. button mushrooms
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 large garlic clove, finely grated
1 bunch Tuscan kale, chopped
Large handful fresh herbs, chopped
2 tsp. coconut aminos
2 green onions
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh lemon juice, to taste

Heat a bit of coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cashews and toast for 5 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. Thinly slice the mushrooms and add to the pan along with the garlic. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft and slightly crisped around the edges.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir together until the kale is slightly wilted. Add salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste.
Divide between plates or bowls and enjoy!

Much love,
Lane

Sunflower Seed Cake Donuts

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I hope everyone had a beautiful equinox last week!

I had every intention of posting long before this, but it’s been a tiny bit insane around here. This week marks the end of Level One of my Reiki training (!!!) and I’ve been working hard at finishing up a couple of projects. I made and photographed these donuts weeks ago so that I’d have a recipe on hand and wouldn’t get behind in posting.

Obviously that didn’t quite work as I’d planned.

Anyway, I still have a few things that need to get finished up today, so it’s just a real quick post for now.

I bought a donut pan probably about a year ago and this was only the second or third time I’ve used it, and the first donut recipe I’ve posted on the blog. These particular donuts are absolutely incredible. They’re deliciously cake-like and full of nutty, lemony, cardamom flavor. It’s the perfect combination and I’ve used it in a few other recipes since. Like all of the sweet things I make for this blog, these donuts are very low in sugar. You can certain add more sweetener to them if you have more of a sweet tooth but I find that the applesauce and the tiniest bit of coconut sugar gives them just the right amount of sweet and still allows the other flavors to shine.

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Sunflower Seed Cake Donuts
Makes 6 donuts
1 cup sunflower seeds
2/3 cup teff flour
½ cup almond flour
¼ cup arrowroot flour
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cardamom
1 tsp. psyllium
Pinch of salt
Zest 1 lemon
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup water
1 tsp. vanilla
Coconut sugar (I used about a teaspoon but you can add more if you have more of a sweet tooth)

Place the sunflower seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat. Toast for 7-10 minutes, or until fragrant and browned, stirring occasionally to prevent burning.
Pulse the toasted sunflower seeds in a food processor until broken down into a flour-like consistency. Add the teff flour, almond flour, arrowroot flour, baking powder and soda, cardamom, psyllium, salt and lemon zest and pulse to combine.
Melt the coconut oil in a pan over low heat. Whisk in the applesauce, water, vanilla and coconut sugar. Pour over the dry ingredients and pulse until thoroughly combined.
Scoop the dough into the donut pans and place in the oven. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until browned around the edges. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Note: for the frosting I simply whipped up some coconut cream (from the top of one can of chilled coconut milk), a bit of vanilla, and some shredded beet. You could use raspberries for color if you don’t like beet, or use any other type of coconut whip frosting, or enjoy the donuts plain.

Much love,
Lane

Soba Noodles with Broccoli Mash

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We had a short stretch of beautiful spring weather (actually a few days nearly felt like summer). It was good to get out in the mud and stretch my legs on some long walks in the afternoon sunshine. But it was fleeting. In the last four days we’ve had a beautiful fresh snowfall, lightning, rain, sleet, some bits of hail, and lots of thick gray clouds. I don’t mind too much. Early spring is always a weird mix of pretty much everything you could imagine. I am looking forward to getting out in the gardens and working back into the groove of extra-long daily walks (my dog Rowan is pretty excited for those too), but the gloomy weather is providing me with a good excuse to stay inside and do some cleaning.

I’ve been in a pretty solid nesting mode for the last year or so, but there are certain times when it seems to peak and I find myself wanting to clean, reorganize and rearrange the whole house, focusing both on cozy and wide, open, clear spaces. Even simple things like sweeping the house every afternoon are bringing me such huge waves of joy. The clearer my mind gets the more I want my surroundings to reflect that and sweeping has actually turned into a beautiful energetic practice for me. It’s also nice to see the way our home changes with the seasons, reflecting our needs for warmth and closeness or light, open spaces.

Most of the things I’ve been eating lately have been a reflection of quick, simple spring foods. Since my cleanse I’ve been challenging myself to get creative in the kitchen again. During the long winter it’s easy to get stuck in the rhythm of soups and roasted veggies on repeat. Though they’re delicious (you’re never going to hear me complaining about an abundance of soup) and provide plenty of room to play with spices and flavor combinations it feels good to be working with something different. I’m also enjoying the return of fresh greens to the kitchen and am very impatiently awaiting the farmers’ market this summer.

This meal comes together in about ten minutes. No joke. It’s also a perfect combination of cozy and bright, which I can’t seem to get enough of during this transition of winter to spring. I love the way all of the flavors meld together; the earthy, nutty taste of the soba noodles, the fresh, vibrant flavors greens and garlic, the mild heat of pepper. I could eat this for days.

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Soba Noodles with Broccoli Mash
Serves 4
1 large head broccoli
2 large cloves garlic
1 tbsp. mustard
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
¼ cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

1 package soba noodles
2-3 stalks kale, leaves only
2 large handfuls parsley
3 green onions
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

Cut the broccoli into florets and place in a steamer basket. Bring an inch or two of water to boil and place the steamer basket in the pot. Cover, reduce to a simmer, and steam for 3-5 minutes.
Drain out the water and place the steamed broccoli into the bowl of your food processor. Add the garlic, mustard, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until smooth.
Note: for a creamier consistency add some cooked white beans or tahini.
Cook the soba noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain the noodles and add a drizzle of olive oil to keep them from sticking together. Finely chop the kale, parsley and green onions and stir into the noodles. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Divide the broccoli mash and noodles between plates, top with pumpkin seeds and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice. Enjoy!

Much love,
Lane

A Giant Post of Cleansing Recipes

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To say I’m excited about this post would be an understatement. It’s been about two weeks since I’ve blogged (I hadn’t intended for it to be that long of a gap, but there were some technical issues) and I’m long-winded and ramble-y on normal occasions. It’s no lie that this is going to be a giant post. Consider yourself warned.

I spent an embarrassingly long time trying to come up with a title for this post. I think that sometimes words like ‘cleanse’ or ‘detox’ get a bad rep. Even I think the word detox still sounds a little harsh sometimes. I also think that in some cases people think of cleansing as some weird fad to quickly lose weight or something along those lines instead of a way of living and nurturing your body. Which brings me around to my next point. All of the recipes here are cleansing—that’s the wonder of eating an intuitive plant-based diet. But I needed to call this blog post something, so there you have it.

I know from personal experience that a straight up juice cleanse or fast doesn’t work well for me unless it’s for no more than a day in the heat of summer. I also know that, whether I’m cleansing with juices or simply drinking one in place of a single meal that day, I need to go heavy on the veggies and light on the fruits. It’s how my diet is regularly. During the summer, when fresh fruit and berries are in season I can usually handle a bit more, but even when I’m making smoothies I usually only use a bit of green apple or some berries to add sweetness. The longer I’ve been eating a seasonal, plant-based diet the more I’ve noticed the way my body handles the sweetness and what foods are the best for me to eat. For instance, I’ve found that I really can’t eat bananas. Obviously that’s not going to be the case for everyone. It’s important to listen to what your body wants and needs—when you take a moment to truly get in tune with your body it will tell you what it needs to thrive. Like I said, in the summer I can tolerate more fruit and if you live in a warmer climate where fruits are abundantly in season this will probably be the case for you.

I’ve also been eating a very low-sugar diet for several years, so that’s simply what my body is used to. I love bitter, earthy tastes now that some might not care for so much. I’ve made notes in the recipes for the juices and the smoothies if you’re a little bit newer to this and don’t want something quite so bitter or tangy. I love the taste of spirulina but I know other people who say it tastes like pond scum to them. (If you’re using smaller amounts of it spirulina is a very easy taste to mask, so don’t be afraid to try it.) In my opinion food it meant to be played with. For the most part these recipes are rather inexact, even though I’ve given amounts as a general guideline. Feel free to play with the recipes and substitute things that appeal to you, play with the tastes until you find something you love. There is absolutely no point in eating something “healthy” if you think it tastes awful. And when you’re eating fruits and veggies it’s all healthy. Simply listen to the wisdom of your body and you’ll end up with one heck of a delicious creation that satisfies exactly what you were craving.

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All right. Onto my reasons for this “cleanse”.

This is the time of year when my body can’t quite figure out what to eat. It’s not really winter anymore but we’re not fully into spring yet and there’s nothing really growing around here, so it feels like nothing is in season. Do I want more soups and roasted veggies? Do I want salads and smoothies? I find myself craving warm and cozy as well as light and fresh. Sometimes the paradoxical cravings are enough to drive me a little insane. I find myself daydreaming about gardens this time of year so things like winter squash and root veggies (which I love, don’t get me wrong) start to seem a little lackluster. In Wisconsin spring usually means teetering between winter and spring—one day we could have several inches (or on some occasions a foot or more) of freshly fallen snow which, the following day turns into mud puddles. This was exactly the kind of weather we had when I began this cleanse. We got several inches of fresh snow and the next day the temps rocketed and it was almost completely gone by afternoon. One moment I wanted to be curled up in a blanket, sipping tea and soup and the next I wanted to lie in the sunshine with a giant salad.

On top of all this there was a definite emotional side to my need for this cleansing period. In the Reiki class I’m taking we focus deeply on self-healing and the shadow self. Since the beginning of this year I’ve been going through intense healing and growth that is honestly difficult to put into words. In my chakra series two summers ago I touched on some pieces of my healing process and I’ve talked before about my anxiety/depression and panic attacks, but there are larger things that I will likely get around to speaking out about in the future. With the intense healing involved in this class I’ve found that my triggers have gotten much worse. I’m not going to sugar-coat it; it sucks. There are days when I don’t want to get out of bed, when I feel like I’m going insane, when it seems like things will never, ever get any better and this is how my life is going to look until I die. It feels like the waves will never stop pushing me under, like there will never stop being dark things to uncover and heal (or rather, be crushed by).

And it’s true. It won’t ever stop.

Healing is an ongoing process and there’s really no such things as being done with any of it or putting it behind us. There are always more layers to heal, wounds to uncover that we never previously realized we carried with us. But it doesn’t always feel unbearable. For me even the darkest moments are beautiful because I spent years refusing to feel or heal anything. To have proof, even in the form of these intensified triggers, is actually kind of rewarding. I’m constantly astonished by the deep level of healing I’ve accomplished in just three months.

It’s also easier to go through these dark moments now that I know how to surrender. It is remarkably easier to surrender to the sadness or the fear or the shame and truly, deeply feel those emotions than to push them away and allow them to eat away at me while I pretend not to feel them. It is easier to feel the pain than to deny its existence. I’m not saying it’s fun, and my initial reaction is always to cover things up; to distract myself with something that seems more pleasant than whatever I’m currently going through. But integrating with the shadow self is where I find my strength. Because when I sink deep into the pain and the sadness, when I reach down and find what the root of that emotion is, it’s never strong enough to overpower me. The sadness (or the guilt/shame/fear/anger or whatever emotion you’re feeling) is never all there is. Those “negative” emotions are never the core of who you are. I’ve found through this healing that those emotions are not things to be shoved aside and ignored. Instead they’re tiny pieces of me that need to be taken care of. They need to be witnessed and nurtured.

My body needed some extra care recently as well. As I felt like I was crumbling beneath the weight of my triggers my body began to reflect that. It didn’t want to have anything to do with food. I only wanted to sleep and sleep and sleep. I needed a bit of a reset.

I listened to what my body wanted and came up with the six recipes I’m sharing with you today. When I started I told myself I was going to take things purely day by day. I didn’t set a goal to cleanse for a certain amount of time. There was no feeling of “abstaining” from food. In the end this was the best cleansing experience I’ve ever had. Because I was still eating a bit of smoothie and soup every day and keeping up the healthy fats my body didn’t feel as worn out at the end as it has with other cleanses I’ve tried in the past. (I struggle with adrenal fatigue, so going long periods of time without eating—even if I’m flooding my body with nutrient-dense juices—is not always the best idea.) I also created a beautiful, nurturing environment for myself to cleanse in. After sobbing my way through one of our hour and a half classes I realized that I need a space to openly feel what I was going through. This cleanse created space in my body and mind to process the deep healing—and, as a huge bonus, I got crazy excited about food again. It was so much fun to do something a little different, combining my body’s needs for cozy and fresh at the same time. I had a blast dusting off my juicer, which hasn’t seen any action since autumn, while simultaneously simmering a huge pot of broth on the stove.

For the first three days or so I mostly had juices and broth (and lots of herbal tea and water) with a bit of soup or a smoothie later in the day. During the fourth, fifth and sixth days I began adding in some of the cooked veggies reserved from the broth and began slowly adding in more of the soup and smoothie to gradually get my body used to digesting food again. It was so lovely to simply listen to my body and exactly what it needed, moment to moment. My focus, even since completing the cleanse, is to bring an even more heightened awareness to all of my meals—and truthfully, to my whole life.

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Onion and Fennel Soup
Serves 4-6
1 large onion
1 large fennel bulb
1 parsnip
½ apple, peeled
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 inch piece ginger, minced
Scant 2 ½ cups coconut milk
1 cup water
1 tsp. ground thyme
Splash of rice vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a bit of coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Thinly slice the onion, fennel and parsnip and add to the coconut oil. Sauté for about 15-20 minutes, stirring frequently, until browned and caramelized. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for another 3-5 minutes.
Pour in the water and coconut milk and add the spices. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Let it all cook together for another 5-10 minutes and then puree with an immersion blender. (You could also transfer the soup to an upright blender.)
Adjust the amount of salt or pepper if needed. If you’d like a thicker soup you could add in a can of cooked white beans. The consistency can also be adjusted with the amount of coconut milk and water used.
Enjoy!

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Healing Broth
Note: You can easily adjust how much broth you make by the amount of water you begin with. I actually didn’t measure when I was filling my large soup pot, but it was around 8-9 cups.
Water
1 large onion
1 large beet
3-4 large carrots
1 medium sweet potato
2 stalks of celery
3-4 large garlic cloves
2 inch piece ginger
2 inch piece turmeric
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp. cumin seeds
1 tbsp. fennel seeds
1 tbsp. coriander seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste

Roughly chop all of the veggies and place in a large soup pot with the water. Add the bay leaves and whole seeds. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for at least an hour.
Carefully strain out the veggies and spices and pour the broth into glass jars or containers to store.
(I kept most of the veggies (and the whole seeds) to eat and fed some of the rest to my dogs and chickens. You can of course compost the leftovers.)

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Dreamy Fennel and Spinach Smoothie
Serves 1
Note: If you’re new to green smoothies you can add more apple or sweeter fruit such as a banana. You can also decrease the amount of spirulina or omit it completely.
2 large handfuls spinach
1 large handful of fennel fronds
½ large avocado
½ cup coconut milk
1 tbsp. almond butter
2 heaping tsp. spirulina powder
1 tsp. lucuma powder
Juice ½ lemon
1-2 inch knob fresh ginger
1 cup water or almond milk

Wash the spinach and fennel fronds. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend smooth.

Beet Juice
Serves 1
1 large beet, greens included
¼ orange, optional
1 lemon and/or lime
Large handful kale
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled

Sunset Juice
Serves 1
2-3 large carrots
1 small sweet potato
1 lime
2 inch knob of ginger, peeled
2 inch knob of turmeric, peeled
½ small green apple, optional

Cleansing Green Juice
Serves 1
1 bunch of kale
Large handful spinach
Large handful parsley or cilantro, optional
½ small green apple, optional
1-2 stalks celery
1 lemon and/or lime
1 inch piece ginger, peeled

For each juice, wash the veggies and cut into whatever size is needed to fit through your juicer. (You can definitely leave the skins on veggies like carrots and beets, though you will want to remove the rind of lemons and limes.)
Note: If you have cucumbers on hand those are a great way to add some extra water content to your juices—that’s what I love to do during the summer. I didn’t have any so I simply topped the juices off with water (which is what I used to do when I made my juices in a blender).

Much love,
Lane

Savory Amaranth Porridge with Cauliflower and Black Beans

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I know I’ve talked about my love of mornings in numerous posts, but I really love mornings. I’m always up before the sun and I love that last hour or two of night. The silence and stillness and the sense of peace that fills every moment. I love watching the way the shadows of the world turn blue in the last minutes before the sun begins to rise. I also love my routine, this precious time to truly connect with my body before I begin my day, and my routine has become even more sacred since beginning my journey with Reiki.

In the dark I light a candle, burn some smudge, play with the crystals and feathers and beads on my altar while oil pulling. I take a moment to focus on my breath and see what I’m carrying with me that day, what tension needs to be worked out on the yoga mat, what thoughts are already spinning through my head and what I can do to help myself feel safer, more grounded. I’m working on bringing my intuition into every moment of my life. Intuitive eating is a practice most of us have at least heard of and I’m now working to bring those same ideas to how I move, how I speak and dress, what activities I fill my day with. As I deepen this practice everything becomes simpler and I become more me.

I’d had a few other plans for recipes to blog about, things that were a little more “exciting”. But I’m still feeling that pull to the simple and easy. This porridge comes together in about 30 minutes with very minimal effort. I know I have a dozen other recipes for porridge, but to me porridge is something like soup or salad or smoothies—there are such a wide range of possibilities that you really can’t have too many recipes.

As much as I love starting the day off with fresh fruit, a smoothie, or something else on the sweeter side, I also really, really love savory breakfasts. There are so many mornings when the slow, gentle grounded feelings I move through in my yoga and Reiki practices translate themselves into wanting more grounded, savory foods. That’s not to say that there is anything bland about this recipe. Amaranth itself has layers of delicious earthy flavor, and roasted cauliflower is probably one of my favorite foods ever. The black beans add an almost nutty flavor and the spices give a pop to the whole meal, making for a totally sensational breakfast. (Though I have also been enjoying this porridge for lunch and dinner.)

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Savory Amaranth Porridge with Cauliflower and Black Beans
Serves 2
½ cup uncooked amaranth, rinsed
1 ½ cups almond milk or water
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cumin
1 bay leaf

1 small head of cauliflower (about 3 cups of florets)
1 can black beans, drained
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground paprika
½ tsp. ground thyme
Dash cayenne pepper, optional
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°F
Wash the cauliflower and cut into florets. Spread in an even layer across a lined baking sheet with the drained black beans. Drizzle with a bit of melted coconut oil and sprinkle with the spices, salt and pepper. Gently toss the cauliflower and beans until everything is evenly coated in the spices and oil.
Place in the oven and roast for 25-30 minutes.

While the cauliflower is roasting place the amaranth, almond milk, salt, cumin and bay leaf in a pot. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce to a simmer and cook the amaranth for 20-25 minutes. You can add more water/nut milk to adjust the consistency if desired.
Divide the porridge between bowls and top with some of the cauliflower and black beans. Enjoy!

Much love,
Lane

Lentil Salad with Roasted Squash and Beets

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I’m really loving the slight lengthening of the days. I’m not quite ready for spring yet (I want a few more good snowstorms first) but I like the sunnier mornings and evenings, the extended light hinting at the end of a long, sleepy winter. I love how the sky turns pink and blue in the mornings, how the light catches on the slivery frost-covered branches, and how at night the horizon glows orange as the stars settle into the deeper blue.

I’m soaking up all the sunshine I can get, sinking into the way it warms my face and how good it feels to live in these little in-between moments when everything is filled with light and gratitude. I love the ease of my days and the way every moment feels fresh and full of creativity and inspiration. There is a feeling of playfulness and just as the earth will soon be waking with the boundless potential of spring I also feel my spirit expanding with all of the endless and unknowable opportunities ahead in life. The healing work I’ve been doing is bringing a whole new level of depth to every moment of my life and I could not be more thankful.

This delicious meal is probably one of the simplest I’ve ever posted. I take the time to soak lentils the night before cooking them, but even if you don’t take that extra step lentils are still one of the easiest things to make, and the simple roasted veggies take almost no effort at all. But the flavors are incredible; earthiness from both the lentils and the beets, the beets with a hint of sweetness alongside the squash, the lentils adding a bit of nutty flavor to the dish, all of it mingling with the fresh taste of the kale and the warmth of the spices. I could eat this all day. It’s refreshing but also the perfect comfort food, and the combination of colors makes it a rather stunning meal. Of course, it doesn’t really matter what your food looks like as long as it tastes good—but it’s always fun to have beautiful colors to play with.

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Lentil Salad with Roasted Squash and Beets
Serves 4-5
1 cup dried lentils (French green or beluga lentils work best for this recipe)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground coriander
¼ tsp. ground thyme
Dash of cayenne pepper
Large handful fresh kale, chopped
Salt and pepper
Fresh lemon or lime juice

1 small butternut squash
2-3 large beets
Coconut oil
Salt and pepper

For the lentil salad: Thoroughly rinse and drain the lentils. Place in a large pot and cover with a few inches of water. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes (less time if the lentils have been soaked). Pour off the excess water and allow the lentils to cool slightly.
Stir in the olive oil, spices, kale and lemon/lime juice. Divide between plates or bowls and top with the roasted squash and beets.

For the roasted squash and beets: Preheat the oven to 400°F
Peel the squash and beets and slice thinly or chop into bite-sized chunks. Spread in an even layer on a lined baking sheet and drizzle with melted coconut oil, salt and pepper. Stir to be sure all the pieces are coated in the oil and place in the oven.
Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until tender.

Much love,
Lane

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