“New beginnings, seeds planted and sprouting, self-awareness, warmer weather, phyto-nutrients; these are some of the things to look forward to in the spring season,” so says Chef Allen Campbell, our Find Bliss Boston food guru.  He also suggests that planning a 2-3 day raw fruit and vegetable fast to eliminate toxins and rejuvenate our organs can be for many of us a game changer after a long winter of rich, hearty foods.  “For best results, I would suggest weaning into and weaning out of a fast like this… Eliminating all refined foods, grains, meat, dairy, sugar and caffeine for a couple days before you start will better your chances of making it through this fast, if this is your first time. Gradually bringing back the grains, and other foods will be less of a shock to your digestive system when you’re ready.”

In addition, Chef Allen is just back from an extended immersion abroad – travels which found him sampling the rich landscape and history of India – a continent whose culture dates back some 4,500 years.  His twist here on the native dish Khichadi is a simple enhancement to fuel your spring menu…

india_boston_yoga_1I recently got back from a journey through India seeking enlightenment through yoga and meditation. I went from Delhi to Rishikesh to Bodhgaya, Nalanda, Varanasi and Sarnath following the path of Buddha and sitting in on many teachings and ceremonies. I chanted with monks, practiced yoga with the sunrise (as bathing and cremation rituals took place) along the sacred River Ganges, took cooking classes with local Ayurvedic chefs and danced, sang and joined in on the carnival of colors during the biggest festival of the year, Holi!

While in Rishikesh, the holy city often referred to as the “Yoga Capital of the World”, I went to the home of a woman named Roopali.  There, in the foothills of the Himalayas she taught us how to make Khichadi, a dish commonly eaten by yogis and also the first food for babies, as it’s easily digestible. Here is my spin on this comforting, delicious bowl.

legumes_boston_yoga

Khichadi

½ c yellow lentils (soaked)

¼ c red lentils (soaked)

¼ c jasmine rice (soaked)

1 T onion, diced small

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2” ginger, minced

2 T coconut oil

2 T tomato puree

1 t ground cumin

1 t ground turmeric

1 t ground coriander

1 ½ qt filtered water

1 ½ c kale, chopped

1 c spinach, chopped

2 T cilantro, chopped

½ lemon, juice only

salt to taste

Method:

In a pressure cooker over medium heat, sweat onion, garlic and ginger in coconut oil until light brown. Add tomato puree and all spices and cook for a minute. Add lentils and rice and toast for 3 minutes continually stirring. Add water and close lid. After 18-20 minutes the whistle will sound and you can remove the lid. Continue to cook for 5 minutes and season with salt. In a small mixing bowl, combine kale, spinach, cilantro and lemon and season with salt. Scoop Khichadi in a bowl and serve marinated greens on top. Serves 3-4

*If you do not have a pressure cooker, use a saucepan and cover for 35-45 minutes. The texture will not be somewhat pureed as Khichadi is but flavors will be the same. You could also pulse in a food processor for the pureed texture.

 

allen_campbell_boston_yoga Chef Allen Campbell is a regular food contributor to the Bliss Network.  Taking care of his mind and body through exercise, organic stress relief and more importantly a primarily plant based diet form the origins of his culinary philosophy.  Chef Allen also shares his vision through culinary workshops, personalized meal plans and more.

 

 

 

Images, courtesy of Allen Campbell