March 14, 2009
Some amazing things are happening. I wake up easily. I'm not craving snacks. Doors of opportunity are opening. Unicorns are appearing in my living room. Ok, not that last one. But seriously, since my last post things are really going unexpectedly awesome.
A few days ago I was able to attend a meeting of a local group called Medford Health Matters. Since the meeting was midweek I was only able to attend because I didn't have to go to work! It was great to interact with real people trying their damndest to make a difference in the town they live in. (A far cry from the fancy 20th floor conference room meetings in my old advertising job about the best way to make a product sound healthy without actually making health claims because they aren't true.)
The group seemed authentically happy to have me there and we are working on ways to collaborate and bring some whole body health programs to our town. We met in a community center that was only a 5 minute walk from my house. I had never even known it was there! I met the guy who runs the center and now we are talking about me teaching a yoga class at the center.
Finally I am happy to announce that I think I have found my very first health counseling client! Hopefully we will start working together next week. I'm grateful to have more time in my day to focus on this and go through all the steps for the first time.
Ok, I'm ready. Where are the unicorns? I feel like anything could happen next.
But let's get to the talk about food, shall we? One of the other awesome things about not working 9-5 is I was able to use a lamb bone in the freezer to make some truly amazing soup, pictured above. I had no idea what I was doing and it turned out to be perhaps the tastiest soup I've ever eaten.
But where'd I get that lamb bone? I actually bought meat, yes, 1.25 lbs. of bone-in lamb the other week. Max and I made an Indian style stew with the meat and then of course the bone got put to good use. Both were excellent recipes, so read on:
This apparently means 'lamb with onions, tomatoes, yogurt and veggies' in Indian. I doubled the recipe and am giving you the big doubled version here. But instead of doubling the amount of lamb (At $9/lb.? No way!) I added lentils. For the lamb and all ingredients please use the best quality, sustainably farmed, organic options you can find and afford.
3 Tbl. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes, or more for more spice
1" piece of ginger, peeled and minced
2 onions, chopped fine
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbl. curry powder
1" fresh turmeric root, peeled and minced (or use powdered)
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1.25 lbs. bone-in lamb, cubed (keep the bone in the freezer for future use)
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups butternut squash, chopped small
2 carrots, chopped small
20 green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces
4 potatoes, cut into 2" chunks
10 oz. sliced white mushrooms
1 cup red lentils
3 cups water
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup chopped cilantro
1. Heat oil in large stock pot over med-high heat. Add cumin, red pepper, garlic and ginger. Saute for 30 seconds then add onions. Saute, stirring, 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add tomatoes. Cook for 5 minutes. Add yogurt and stir continuously for another 5 minutes.
2. Add the salt, curry powder, turmeric, and cayenne. Cook for 1 minute then add lamb cubes and cook in sauce for 10 minutes. Add all veggies, lentils and water. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 1.5-2 hours. Mix in lemon juice and cilantro.
Serves 8ish. Tastes even better the next day!
Approx. cost per serving: $3.15
Michelle's Homemade Lamb Broth Soup
Making broth from animal bones is a great way to get minerals like calcium. The longer the soup simmers, the more nutrients will swim out into your broth.
1 Tbl. olive oil
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 onion, quartered
12 cups water
5 carrots, chopped into fourths
4 red potatoes, cubed
1 lamb bone or any odd animal bone/part
2 Tbl. sea salt
2 cups red cabbage, chopped fine
2 whole garlic cloves
3 cups arugula leaves and stems, chopped roughly
1. In large stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and red pepper and cook until onions start to turn translucent.
2. Add water, bone, carrots and salt. Bring to a boil, then turn heat very low and cover. Simmer for as long as you've got – I did 5 hours.
3. Then add cabbage, potatoes and garlic cloves. Simmer another hour.
4. Add arugula and mix, the leaves will wilt instantly.
Approx. cost per serving: $0.65