Monday Night Dinners

Recipes

This recipe is just a side, not a complete meal. But I am super excited about these potatoes. They remind me of the my grandmother’s red rosemary potatoes that we so lovingly called ‘Greek Potatoes’ as kids. If you haven’t noticed thus far you’ll see that my recipes usually serve two people at the most. This can feed 1-3, but it is quite easy to multiply this recipe for a larger family.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Ingredients:

-2 TB earth balance ‘butter’

-1 TB olive oil

-3 russet potatoes

-2 TB rosemary

-1/2 TB salt

-1/2 TB black pepper

-2 cloves garlic

Prepare 9×13 casserole dish by smearing ‘butter’ evenly through bottom of dish. Wash potatoes thoroughly and cut into 1” cubes, make sure to cut chunks as evenly sized as possible. Put potatoes into dish and douse with olive oil. Crush rosemary as you add it to potatoes, next add salt and pepper. Mix all of the spices and potatoes up with your hands. Crush garlic and break into a couple of pieces, place around dish evenly so that the flavor disperses throughout.

Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, or until potatoes have lightly browned and a knife slides right through them like room temperature butter.

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What’s In My Cup?

Recipes, What's In My Cup?

Tea!! Playing with herbs in nightly tea is a wonderful tradition because you can pay attention to your medicinal needs that day. I am having a couple of naggy issues at the moment with my health.

I quit smoking cigarettes about 5 weeks ago and my throat has been really suffering, I believe it’s a healing crisis but the crisis is real. My mood has also been extremely messed, I’m constantly hard on myself and in turn on the ones around me. I snap at people and have a very short temper right now. Today’s mixture combines these two needs, and is dang tasty!

This Specific Blend Will Aid In:

  • Anxiety and Depression Relief
  • Uplifting and refreshing
  • Expectorant
  • Throat soothing

Simply Mix Together:

1 tsp Chamomile

1/2 tsp Licorice Root

1 tsp Spearmint

1 tsp Kava

Boil 6 oz water, pour over herbs in tea ball or bag. Let steep for 5-15 minutes or until you have acquired the desired decoction. I really appreciated the mellowing effects with a tinge of the uplifting quality of Spearmint. Although I used this as a night time tea, the Spearmint felt necessary for its amazing ability to draw happiness in to the one who blesses it. The licorice will not only help the throat soothe but it also works as an anti-inflammatory, specifically in the liver. Get a little detox along with the other great healing that will take place.

These herbs work together nicely to get me exactly where I needed to be: happy, healthy and with some soothing throat qualities.

Hold your cup as you let the tea’s aroma seep into your senses and meditate on the mantra: My Best Is Wonderful

Balancing The Heart Chakra: My First Experience in Self-Healing

Existentialism, Religion, Yoga

As mentioned in my previous post I found Yin Yoga, and my life is forever changed. My first Yin class was a little rough, a friend invited me and it was after a really horrible day at work. I decided I could really use a relaxing yoga class, but I really didn’t know what I had in store. You stay in poses for 3-5 minutes, and for a Type A Aries woman this was a very hard thing for me to practice. That first class was a serious lesson in trust. I had to trust that I needed to stop thinking, that I was even capable. I had to trust that the instructor was able to take me to this place of pure bliss and then bring me back to a livable space again once the lights turned on and the class was over.

The Beginning: A Yin Yoga Experience

I’ve been on a journey since that first class, a journey to self-healing. It was much needed and this breakthrough in my spiritual path is so needed. I have long been studying chakras, herbal medicine, yoga and meditation. With these tools I made vast strides in the beginning of my lessons, but those monumental ‘Ah Ha!’ moments that are true gifts from the goddess have since faltered in consistency.

I moved to an entirely new state, completed a full circle of the hero’s journey in my life path and had come out of what I think might be my third existential crisis; it felt time for some monumental divine thought. After my experience in Yin I had another felt another door of my transcendental experiences opening. Before a Yin class with a heart chakraspontaneous healer, she told us to set an intention on our practice. I decided to really clear my heart chakra, just balance and clear every thing that may be holding on from past pains.

That class went as normal, until Shavasana. Once again Jan, the healer/yoga teacher/goddess, told us to call upon something to heal us. I called upon Archangel Rafael who I know is associated with a crystal that I recently acquired to heal the healer, it is also a green crystal so I figured it went right in line with Heart Chakra clearing. I set my intention, I called upon my angels, and what happened truly shocked me.

First my entire forehead began to burn, like my skin was on fire but I knew it wasn’t burning my flesh because I wasn’t panicked. Slowly the burning sensation travelled toward my third eye, right in the middle of my forehead, and just prickled and prickled away. I used my mental power and moved the feeling toward my heart, I simply envisioned the power or prana shooting into my forehead, moving to my heart chakra and clearing that deep pool of space. I went in and out of consciousness during that surrender; I saw demon faces and then black, I saw past experiences I’ve had and then black. I believe that I truly had an out of body experience.

Sealing My Heart Chakra: Restoration

I ran out of class that day with out saying thank you or good bye, which is out of character for me when it comes to Jan. I was a soft, mushy human life mass that was simply

@carajuanabends

@carajuanabends

confused about my experience. The next day was quite hard, at work I was hard to deal with and found speaking to others sharp and uncomfortable. I went to Yin again that night with the intention of sealing my heart. The instructor rubbed our shoulders with an essential oil during Shavasana, I had set my intention and was almost hoping for some grandiose experience after the night before. Suddenly I felt my third eye again and saw all green, then from the outer spectrum of my blackened (my eyes were closed) vision spectrum moved a darkness, then another set of green. It rotated with color like that moving inwards right toward my third eye.

This experience was extremely monumental for me. I consider myself an empathic healer, but I read years and years ago that you cannot be a true healer until you have first healed yourself. This was my first step, and the most glorious part of the journey for me is that EVERY SINGLE one of us is able to accomplish what I accomplished last week. We all have so much power sitting in our mind’s eye, just waiting to be released.

Monday Night Dinners

Recipes

This is the most delicious dairy free alternative to scalloped potatoes. Mayo has been an awesome way to explore new fats, it especially works with keeping chicken oh so very moist.  In this case the mayo based sauce provides a scalloped potato effect in the potatoes while keeping the chicken nice and juicy.

Makes for great leftovers 😀

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Casserole:

-3 chicken thighs

-2 russett potatoes, peeled and sliced (1/8th” thick)

-1/2 white onion, roughly chopped

-1 tsp kosher sea salt

-1 tsp crushed black pepper

-2 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled

-2 whole sprigs thyme

-1 TB olive oil

Sauce:

-3 TB Mayonaisse

-1 TB thyme

-2 TB Worcestershire

-1 tsp liquid aminos

-1 tsp kosher salt

-1 tsp crushed black pepper

-3 TB olive oil

1. Peel and slice potatoes to about 1/8th of an inch. Sprinkle all chicken thighs with kosher salt and set aside. Pour 1 TB of olive oil on bottom of 9×13 casserole pan and spread to cover entire bottom. Chop onion roughly and crush garlic clove.

2. Line potatoes on entire bottom of pan, try to cover entire bottom. Place onions and garlic evenly around on top of potatoes.

3. In medium sized bowl put mayonaise, thyme, Worcestershire, salt, pepper and amino. Mix thoroughly. Once all mixed together pour olive oil slowly into mixture, whisk continuously as you pour olive oil. You’re finished once you have a thick-liquid consistency.

4. Place chicken thighs evenly on potatoes and onions in casserole dish. Pour entire bowl of mayo mixture over chicken and attempt to spread as evenly as possible.

5. Put fresh herbs around the outside of the chicken, between the chicken and the dish.

6. Put into oven for 50 minutes or until juices run clear from chicken. Once cooked let sit for 10 minutes for the juices to set.

What’s In My Cup?

ayurveda, What's In My Cup?

I made some slow brewed iced tea for this post. I am a huge fan of hibiscus if you haven’t noticed yet, you will. This time I threw together some flavors of herbal relief that I have been searching for as I want to keep my spark but also decompress more often. I wanted a pitcher of tea around that would be both refreshing and relaxing.

I’ll pour a cup when I’m looking for a mellow jolt in the afternoon. It is a refreshing zing with a back taste of warm mint. Good for the lazy day off or the lunch break refreshment.

This specific blend will aid in:

  • Circulatory System health
  • Inflammation
  • Migraine relief
  • Gastrointestinal health
  • Nausea

Simply mix together:

3 TB Hibiscus in a separate tea bag

3 TB Lavender in a separate tea bag

1 Spearmint tea bag

Pour 1.5 quarts water over bags and let sit in fridge in covered pitcher for at least one day. You can leave it longer per your taste just remember that hibiscus doesn’t mess around, it will be flavorful quickly even with a cold steep. Remove tea bags and keep pitcher in fridge, it should remain good for 1-2 weeks.

Four Simple Steps to Just Being Happy

Yoga

It seems so simple, just be happy. But it is such a conscious decision moment by moment. I sure do have my dark times, and when those clouds roll over my demeanor EVERYTHING seems more difficult. I used to just crumple up and stay inside when those times hit me, but now I have weapons to fight the doldrums.

My boyfriend is an eternally happy individual, almost to a fault sometimes. He laughs big guttural laughs and smiles an enormous all teeth included smile almost all day iuevery single day. People actually ask me why he is so happy and I have raised the same question to him. His answer was simple, it was hard at first but he just kept trying. So lately, I have been working to live in that mantra: Try to be happy, just keep trying. That mantra has helped me to really make the best of my life and see the small beautiful things fluttering all about the universe that I had missed before by being too busy and angsty.

Very recently in my joy journey I have been practicing yoga daily and threw a Yin practice into my regimen to see what it was about. Yin was an extremely heart opening mind, body and spirit healing practice. I felt soft and mushy in my soul when I walked out of that class studio and when I went to work the next day my open heart was trampled over by daily rituals of angsty business from others.

The next day I was struck with the realization that I was using up all of my happiness on the people that don’t matter and coming home to my eternally happy boyfriend a puddle of smushed human emotional matter. To this thought my friend Sam informed me, ‘There is always more happy.’ His simple statement really got me thinking about the eternal pool of happiness.

This is when I decided to divide and conquer my daily rituals to pin point the things that help me dive in whenever I want.

STEP 1: As we previously mentioned, just try.

When someone really grinds your gears or disrespects you and you feel those charges of bliss depleting just try to rise above it, your happiness is most important. You can’t have the most worthwhile interactions with others unless you are putting your best self forward. Care about you, your best friend, before you worry about those around you. As Ram Dass so gloriously put, don’t prune the gardens of others just cultivate the land around unnamedyourself and let them come over for tips on how your flowers bloom. PS. just smile. it does wonders.

STEP 2: Be active. Seriously, just do anything

This one is just simple science. Get your body in motion and feel some endorphins course through your veins. Even if you just take time to stretch before you go to bed or do 20 sit ups when you wake up in the morning, it will help stimulate your body, mind and spirit. Nourishing that trifecta will always help you the naturally feel like a giggly individual. Personally, I use yoga and a connection to my physical body.

STEP 3: Eat something green.

When we cook food we put energy into it, buying fast food or even certain restaurant food can put energy of rushed, unhappy people into your being. Furthermore, all food puts different energy into our physical being (more simple science :D). If we just throw one vegetable into our daily diet, heck even venture outside of the green color family for it, it can greatly increase your mood. Not to mention increasing your digestive health and all around well being. Seriously look into organic produce, the small price difference is pennies compared to health factors of GMO and non organic farming.

STEP 4: Medicate with cannabis.

Surely this is a more controversial step in the process for some but cannabis is a real medicine. Even if you opt for CBD only, which is an isolated cannabinoid that has no psychoactive (‘high’) effect, you will find relief from anxiety, crankiness and overall doldrums.

If you battle with depression and live in a state with a medical cannabis program go inquire with a dispensary or naturopath about your options. You do not have to smoke cannabis to medicate; there are vaporizers, edibles, tinctures, rub on balms and even suppositories. Knowledge is power, do some research and speak to a professional about your best plan.

With a very real focus on any one of these four steps, it is quite possible to change the general well being of your mood to one which is positive. Focus on yourself and find the ability to rise above the doldrums at even the most draining of times.