Monday, June 27, 2011

Veggie Burgers Recipe ~ Burger végétalien pour l'été

Inspired by my friend Kat Guerrerio's veggie burger recipe, Craig and I created these burger accidentally and they are marvelous!  My suggestion is to make a bunch and freeze them.

  • 1 cup brown rice / 1 tasse riz brun
  • 1 cup red lentils / 1 tasse lentilles rouges
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt /  1/2 c. à thé sel de mer
  • 1 tsp tumeric/ 1 c. à thé curcuma
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter or olive oil / 1 c. à table beurre de coconut ou huile d'olive
  • 1 chopped onion / 1 oignon haché
  • 1 clove garlic chopped / Une gousse d'ail hachée
  • 1 cup finely chopped spinach or kale / 1 tasse d'épinards ou de chou frisé finement haché
  • 1/3 cup ground walnuts / 1/3 tasse noix moulues
  • 3 tbsp salsa (optional) / 3  c. à table salsa (optionnel) 

  1. To cook rice and lentils, bring 3 ½ cups of water to boil with 2 cups of grain, salt, turmeric and coconut oil. Then lower heat, cover and let simmer for approximately 20 minutes.
  2. While grain is cooking, sauté onions and garlic for approximately 5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Once grain is cooked add onions and garlic to the grain mixture along with spinach, walnuts, and salsa.
  4. After allowing mixture to cool for 1 hour in the fridge, make into patties and bake in an oven preheated to 300°F for 30-40 minutes. Flip them and cook for another 10-15 minutes at 400°F to crisp, keeping an eye on the patties so that they don’t dry out.
  5. Top with fresh vegetables (avocado is great on this) and your favorite condiments and enjoy!

  1. Pour cuire le riz et les lentilles, faites bouillir 3 ½ tasses d'eau  avec les lentilles, le riz, le sel, le curcuma et l’huile de noix de coco. Baissez le feu, couvrez et laissez mijoter pendant environ 20 minutes.
  2. Pendant que le riz et les lentilles cuisson, sauté les oignons et l’ail pour environ 5 minutes.
  3. Dès que le riz et les lentilles sont cuits, ajoutez les oignons et l’ail avec l’épinard, les noix, et la salsa, bien mélangez.
  4. Après avoir laissé refroidir le mélange pendant 1 heure au réfrigérateur, faites des galettes cuire dans un four préchauffé à 300°F pour 30 à 40 minutes. Les retournez et cuisez encore 10 à 15 minutes à 400°F pour qu’ils deviennent croquants, tout au long en gardant pour vérifier qu'ils ne brûlent pas.
  5. Garnir avec les légumes frais et condiments de votre choix et bon appétit!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

So Hum Summer Solstice Yoga Practice

It was a glorious summer solstice!

For the fifth consecutive year, I am running my Sunrise Yoga by the Lake program this week and next. We meet at 6:00am on the pier in Pointe Claire Village near my studio, and begin with a 30 minute group meditation. The pier faces East and it's so heavenly. We hear a variety of birds and the water gently lapping the shore. It's not exactly the beach, but it kinda feels like we're on the ocean. The group then practices asana at their own pace. Mostly, they are my teacher training students, who are all working on the Ashtanga Primary Series, but there are a few other students that come as well. It's nice for them to have the opportunity to do a self-guided practice, as it builds their confidence and allows them to work on postures we might not get to in a group class. I am, of course, on hand to help with adjustments and answer questions.

Seeing as it is the Summer Solstice (and my grandmother's birthday and my half-birthday!), we decided to do 108 Sun Salutations. It was amazing. A beautiful flow. I love my teacher training students so much. They are such a great group of super enthusiastic nut balls and we have a lot of fun together. The sun salutations were their idea, but I was in to it as well. So we meditated first, using our personal mantras, which were presented to us individually in a ritual given by Chopra Center teacher, Sheila Southon, who taught the group the Chopra Primordial Sound Meditation course this spring. Those who didn't yet receive their personal incantation, followed the mantra of the universal breath "So Hum"-- sooooooo on the inhale and hummmmm on the exhale. It's a very relaxing practice, which I highly recommend.

Our Sun Salutations were done together, but in silence. Only the breath moved us. We did regular surya namaskar A, holding downward dog every sixth salutation. So awesome to practice outside at dawn on this special day. I must admit, I've been nostalgic about my 108 practices from last year. Although I doubt I could ever do 108 days of 108 sun salutations again, I have such fond memories of that time. Last year on this day, my mom and I joined the yogis from the Naada Yoga studio at the lookout on Mount Royal for a sunrise practice, which was also blissful.
(Link to last year's solstice blog post)

 After yoga, we have a picnic breakfast, which is such a huge treat. My student Bruce says that the fresh bagels I bring each morning from St Viateur are the reasons he joined the teacher training program!

I know it seems crazy to get up so early (4:48am to be exact) and practice, but as I've said a thousand times (or so it feels) this week, it's a lot easier to get up for yoga and meditation than it is to go to work. I suggest trying a week of consecutive practices at 6am. The benefits are enormous, as one practice builds upon the last.

Now I must go to bed, for early mornings require early nights!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Wheat Free Blueberry Pancake Recipe

Photo by Craig Bannerman
After many months of searching for the right method for making wheat-free pancakes, I finally succeeded in making the BEST PANCAKES EVER. And I am now sharing the recipe with you:
(voir ci-dessous pour la recette en français)
1 1/4 kamut flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons sucanat (natural unprocessed sugar)
1 organic egg or egg replacer*
1 1/2 cup almond or soy milk
1/2 tablespoon coconut butter, melted
1/2 cup frozen blueberries, thawed (or fresh blueberries)
Sliced banana
Maple syrup
    1.  In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking powder and sucanat. Then, beat egg and milk into dry mixture.  Mix in the coconut butter and fold in the blueberries.
    2. Set aside for 1 hour. (Important step! It makes the batter rise and makes fluffy pancakes!)
    3.  Heat a lightly oiled (with coconut butter) frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle. Before flipping, wait until edges brown slightly and bubbles appear through the pancake.
    4. Brown both sides and serve with sliced banana, maple syrup, and a smile!

     * Make them vegan! For egg replacer, mix one tbsp of ground flax seeds with three tbsp of warm/hot water. Stir until gelatinous and use in recipe instead of one egg.
    Crèpes sans gluten au bleuets
    Après plusieurs mois de recherche afin de réussier les cêpes sans gluten, j'ai finalement réussit à faire les MEILLEURES CRÊPES À VIE.  Et je partage maintenant la recette avec vous:

    Photo de Craig Bannerman
    1 1/4 t farine de kamut
    1/2 tsp sel de mer
    1 tbsp poudre à pâte
    1 1/4 tsp de sucanat (sucre naturel non processé)
    1 oeuf organic ou substitut d'oeuf*
    1 1/2 t de lait d'amande ou de soya
    1/2 tbsp beurre de coconut fondu
    1/2 t bleuets (décongelés ou frais)
    banane tranchée
    sirop d'érable

    1. Dans un grand bol, mélanger farine, sel, poudre à pâte et le sucanat.  Ensuite battre l'oeuf et le lait dans le mélange sèche. Ajouter le beurre de coconut et y plier les bleuets.
    2. Laisser de côté pour 1h (étape importante, ça fait lever la pâte et donnes des crêpes plus moelleuses!)
    3. Chauffer une poêle légèrement huilé au beurre de coconut à chaleur moyenne.  Verser la pâte sur la poêle.  Avant de tourner attendez que les côtés brunissent et que des bulles apparaissent au travers de la crêpe.  Brunissez les 2 côtés, servez avec des bananes tranchées, du sirop d'érable et un sourire!
    *Pour remplacer l'oeuf, mélangez une cuillère à soupe de graines de lin moulus avec trois cuillères à soupe d'eau tiède / chaude. Remuez jusqu'à ce que gélatineuse et l'utilisez dans la recette au lieu d'un œuf.
    et voilà, les meilleures crêpes à vie!

    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Urban Goddess Retreat

    Les déesses urbaines!

    I had the greatest time at our Urban Goddess Retreat last weekend. We (myself and organizing partner Jasmine Goyer) couldn't have asked for better participants or a better location. There was fantastic group chemistry, lots of deep belly laughing, and great conversations. Perhaps I underestimated how amazing a gathering of extraordinary women can be. Our female attendees spanned four decades and came from a variety of professional backgrounds, from contemporary artist to YMCA kids camp coordinator.

    The setting was ideal: a beautiful spa in the country, just an hour or so from Montreal, with comfortable rooms, great treatments and delicious food. It was a serious luxury for me to teach in this retreat environment, where no one had to drive or go anywhere else after our meditations and long asana practices. The hospitality and integrity at Spa Eastman was really optimal.

    Coupled with our yoga and meditation sessions, Jasmine and I invited Vered Haiun to teach Dancerotek (sensual erotic-clothing-stays-on movement) and Masala Bhangra (Bollywood style dance). Let me tell you that Vered is one of my heroines. A dance instructor for over 20 years, she oozes "VaVaVoom" from every pore of her body.  Moving around all sexy-diva-like to super loud music was the FUNNEST!

    We also brought in Tracey Mackenzie, the no-nonsense-tell-you-like-it-is feng shui guru, to share some design strategies to help us improve the flow of energy in our home environment. Tracey is also incredible and she inspires me so much. In fact, when I go home on Sunday night after the retreat, I immediately reorganized my living room, threw out an old chair, took the desk I never use out of my bedroom, and scanned the rest of apartment for clutter. (Still a work in progress...)

    Anyway, I think the greatest gift I received over the weekend was the freedom to indulge my sensual, feminine, joie-de-vivre side that often gets forgotten when I get stuck playing boss or teacher. I was inspired by the other women on the retreat and I look forward to growing this project. We'd like to offer a monthly Urban Goddess soirée with different speakers and a retreat like this one every season.

    Do you have any ideas? I'd love your involvement, even if you live far away and can't physically join us.  (We are also envisioning an online community to share tips, videos, projects, discussions, etc.)

    Welcome gift basket with goodies from Vega, Manitoba Harvest, Pukka Tea,
    Energy Baths, Green & Black, and RSVP Magazine!
    Practicing tree pose overlooking the beautiful forest.
    The Urban Goddesses take Goddess Pose

    Jasmine Goyer and yours truly.