2014-04-18

Homemade Pizza: Dough & Topping

Makes a medium sized pizza and takes 60 minutes for both the dough and topping prep. from scratch. I used a few unusual toppings such as the Chinese cabbage leaves and the juice from kimchi. You can find my kimchi recipe here ~ http://theyogaway.blogspot.com/2013/01/kimchi-time-great-korean-staplechill.html. If that's not your thing you can use anything for your own topping.


To get started you need:

Dough
2 cups Whole wheat flour
1 tbs sea salt
2 tbs agave or reg. sugar
2 Tbsp Olive oil
1 1/4 tsp dry yeast
1 cup warm filtered water
1 tsp honey

Toppings
1/2 cup Kimchi liquid
5-6 leaves from prepared Kimchi
5-6 tomatoes (cut in half)
2 gloves garlic, chopped
1/2 half onion, chopped
Any kind of cheese

Spices include basil, oregano and fresh pepper

Method
For the dough,  in a bowl mix together the water and the yeast. Stir and let sit for 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl mix together all the dry ingredients. When ready make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the water w/ yeast, olive oil and honey. Mix well.
Sit aside for 10-15 minutes with a cover.

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 350 F (or 200 C).

For the toppings blend together the tomatoes, kimchi liquid, garlic and onions.
Add oregano, basil and salt (to taste). Mix well.

On a baking sheet especially if using a pizza stone add lightly flour to the paper and roll out the dough.
I rolled this one pretty thin and cut the excess edges in order to then create a crust. Before adding the topping transfer the paper with the dough to a flat plan (only to help place the paper with dough onto the stone).

Add the tomato paste and place in oven for 15 minutes.
Open and create another layer with thinly sliced tomatoes, cheese and fresh pepper.
Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown.
2014-04-17

Pongal

A great South Indian breakfast treat usually prepared for the festival 'Sankranti' (meaning a harvest festival). Easy and fun to make, Highly recommend as part of the yogi's diet as its light on the body and is easily digestible. Here's what you need to get started and how to make it.


Ingredients
1 cup basmati rice
1- 1/2 cup filtered water
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
10-12 cashews halved
salt to taste
1 tbs coconut, grated

Tempering
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp peppercorns
4 Tbs ghee
2 Tbs oil
2 1/2 cm fresh ginger, grated
curry powder (optional)
coriander powder (optional)

Method
In a small pan roast the rice until brown. Set aside.

Add water and rice with the turmeric powder and bring to a slow boil.

Roast without oil the cashew nuts. Set aside.

For the tempering grind and prepare the cumin seeds and peppercorns. fry in ghee the peppercorns and cumin seeds along with the ginger as well as the curry and coriander powder.

Add to the boiled rice and salt (to taste). Stir in the coconut and cashew nuts.
2014-02-25

Homemade Bread with Honey


This is a no-knead bread recipe that is incredibly simple to make. The recipe and process is from Bryan Russo (a chef) and also a yoga student. There are 2 versions (one with, and without, honey). I found using honey was the nicest.  The crust was harder and the inside chewy; just like it ought to be.

Ingredients:
3 cups of flour (I used whole wheat flour)
1 1/4 teaspoon of salt (I used table salt)
1 1/2 cup of filtered water
1/4 teaspoon of dry yeast
1/3 cup honey (optional)

Material:
Large spoon
2 mixing bowls
Large cotton cloth
Virgin olive oil
Pan or pizza stone
Plastic wrap and elastic

How:
1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add water.
    When using honey do it after the water.
2. Coat generously a bowl with olive oil.
    Place dough in it.
3. Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap.
    Use elastic to keep it air tight.
4. Let ferment for 12-18 hours.
    Fold the dough over twice.
5. On a cotton towel coat generously with flour and place the dough in it.
6. Cover light the dough and gently fold over the cotton cloth.
7. Let sit for 1-2 hours in order to rise.
8. Pre-heat your oven at 250 C or 400 F. Use a pot or pizza stone.
9. When ready place on pizza stone or pot. Let bake for 30 mins.

2013-12-31

Anti New Year’s Resolutions and 4 Things for Life Instead

                                           
On the eve before New Year’s Day my father will check himself into the hospital. He will be undergoing 2 relatively standard heart procedures. These are, however, precursors to finding out if a heart bypass is necessary. Needless to say no operation is fun especially on the very last day of the year. When my dad asked me what I would be doing it struck me that the whole end of the year thing is over-rated and commercialized like Christmas. I replied with something like, “I don’t believe in the new Year hype. I think it’s more important what you do every day during the whole year rather than focusing on one particular night.”

That said, there is a lot of pressure around this time of year to clean up your act and set new goals. I wonder how many people have achieved them or fell short and gradually let the rest of the year slide. Any resolution we make should be made for the whole year and not a well intended ‘to do’ list that gets stuck in first gear.  

Instead of creating another list here are 4 things for the entire year. Because when we talk about a resolution for the year we should be talking about a resolution for life.

1. Smile

The first time I brought my newborn baby to the mirror was during an intense fussy period.  I was amazed when he took a moment to recognize himself and after a brief pause actually smiled.  It wasn’t a shy grin either but a real ear to ear “hey, that’s me and I like me.” As frustrating as it was for me (a new mom) to figure out how to handle a fussy baby, it reminded me of how we each have the power and the ability to look at ourselves and say, ‘hey, that’s me and I like me.” If a baby can do this I am positive we can do the same and learn from this shining example of built-in self-esteem, as well as self-approval.  

2. Reflect

Modern life certainly has left this out of the packaging. Everything appears like a quick-fix with the underlying message, “you need to move faster.” There are practices both in Yoga and Buddhism that stress the importance of regular reflection. Thai Forest Monk Ajahn Chah said there were 30 days in the month and 2 of these days should be used for retreat from your daily routine. It shouldn’t be that you don’t have time or cannot afford to do so. Isn’t that you can’t afford ‘not’ to do it? Perhaps the better question is how. How to reflect? Read on.

3. Be Calm

If you don’t know how to meditate, breathe or concentrate now is a good time to find out how. You don’t have to pay a lot of money to learn these skills. In fact, all teachers will tell you meditation cannot be 'taught'; it is an experience. You can, however, learn the skill of sitting, hand positions, a mantra and other techniques to enhance your knowledge and ability. Swami Veda Bharati (a disciple of the late Swami Rama) advises a 2-minute daily session. Whether you are sitting at a desk, behind a steering wheel or pushing a baby cart you can take 2 minutes to breathe, close your eyes and go within.

4. Recharge

With heavy work schedules, family obligations, personal goals, plans and business pursuits, it is definitely hard to fit it all in. And then there is supposed to be time to relax? One of the wisest things I ever read was by author Robert Sharma who said when people believe they don’t have time to smell the roses it’s like driving your car and never stopping for gas.  Obviously no one does this, but we often neglect ourselves. Take the time to exercise, go for a walk, hang out with friends or do something you love or like as a way to recharge yourself. It’s the same as stopping at the station to fill up.   

In 2014, throw away your 'to-do-it' list and instead make these 4 things your everyday plan for a happier and more balanced life. 


2013-12-11

Homemade Eggplant Chutney


Fast, easy and fantastic. Here's a recipe I made (a combination from two Indian women I took lessons from). It came out great and acts like a meal onto itself. You can eat this with any bread or rice rather than the traditional chappati.

You need:
1 eggplant
2 tbsp coriander spice
1 1/4 tsp tamarind paste
1 chopped small ginger
1 cup grated coconut
salt to taste

For tempering
2 tbsp virgin olive oil
2 tbsp mustard seed

Chutney:
1. Bake the eggplant for 15-20 minutes. Prick with a fork before baking. Add oil to the skin.
2. Once the eggplant is baked (a knife will enter the skin smoothly) peel and chop.
3. Add to a blender the coconut, coriander, salt and tamarind paste. * I also added chopped ginger.
4. Blend together with the eggplant and add a little filtered water. Be careful not to overblend.

Tempering:
1. In a pan add the oil and mustard seeds. Cook until they pop.
2. Gently add the chutney and stir.

Preparation:
30 minutes
2013-11-10

Creamy Carrot Soup

Here's a soup I made after changing a bit of the original instructions. Instead of making a separate broth I used the water from boiling the carrots. I also added white wine, which added flavor to the end result. It turned out thick, hearty and tasty. And takes about 20-30 minutes to prepare.


You need:

~ 7-8 medium sized carrots
~ 4 tablespoons of butter or ghee
~ 2 teaspoons of sugar
~ 1 cup of white wine
~ 1 cup of cream
~ 1 cup of basmati rice
~ fresh thyme
~ salt/pepper
~ 1/2 teaspoon ginger

Directions:

Peel, slice and boil the carrots until semi-tender with 4 cups of water.
Wash and boil the rice in a separate pot. Let sit when ready.
Drain and simmer the carrots  in a saucepan with the sugar and ghee.
I usually cook with ghee and not butter. Add also the rice.
Add salt and thyme as desired.

Using the boiled water for the carrots as the broth add the wine. Stir and let sit.

Once the carrots are soft, add these to the water and blend or puree.
Add pepper as desired along with more thyme. Add ginger.
Whisk in the cream using a half or full cup.

Serve it!
2013-07-21

Summer Seeded Yogurt

A great dressing, which is easy to make and tasty. Great for a summer dinner. I revamped a recipe I found from a Sivananda-Yoga cook-book (based on many of the meals they serve at their international ashrams). The effect was pretty good.


You need:

~ Plain yogurt (2-3 generous tablespoons)
~ sunflower seeds (1 teaspoon)
~ cumin seeds (1 teaspoon)
~ fresh lemon juice (1- 1/2 teaspoons)
~ black mustard seed (1 teaspoon)
~ mustard powder (1/2 teaspoon)

* Original recipe calls for caraway seeds and no mustard or sunflower seed. You can also use fennel instead of the cumin, however.

Directions:  

In a frying pan heat with fresh olive oil (1 tablespoon). Add the mustard seeds and let 'pop'. Once done add the cumin and sunflowers seeds and fry until golden brown. Or, cook until you smell the aroma from the seeds.

In a bowl stir together (you can also blend) the yogurt, lemon juice and the seeds along with the mustard powder. Mix until blended and place in the fridge for 1-1/2 hours.

Serve over raw or cooked veggies. I used baby corn, fried zucchini, cold beets and chick peas.

The Journey So Far

Here I share my love of Yoga, travels and experiments in the kitchen. I''m also sharing my life's adventures that have taken me from growing up in Toronto, living in South Korea, returning to Toronto to run a Yoga school for 15 years and more recently, moving to Southern Germany.

What I've learned so far is how its often necessary to let go of some dreams in order for others to become true. This is the way I see it anyway and the journey so far. Having recently given birth to my first child it is also the beginning of another new beginning.


ME

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Heather Morton
is part of a select group of people certified in the AtmaVikasa Yoga system and is the first Canadian to be certified in both the 1st and 2nd series. Having made 15 extended trips to India she studies with her teachers annually. In 1997 she founded The Yoga Way (TYW), Toronto's only school for 6-week yoga progressive programs and not drop-ins. She ran the school independently for 15 years. TYW also offered charity classes by donation. As a teacher she holds several degrees including a Fine Arts degree and a Masters of Education. Her post-graduate work was a 2-year ethnographic thesis on Yoga for children in the Indian school system. She has produced CDs, 2 DVDs, manuals and podcasts. Freedom of the Body DVD is the first of its kind as an instructional practice to the elements of yoga backbends. Heather has been featured in Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail and Yoga4Everybody magazine. She contributes to MindBodyGreen, Hello Yoga, Elephant Journal and many other on-line resources. Her writing shares her insights, varied experiences and yoga as a life practice.
View my complete profile

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