Mindful Eating

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Eating Without Meat gathering from 10/22/11

Last week brought another Eating Without Meat gathering.  I have been wowed by how good the food is month after month.  It truly just keeps getting better.  I think we all agreed that the indisputable hit of this feast was the African Sweet Potato and Peanut stew served over short grain brown rice.  Hearty…creamy…a touch a sweetness…I’ve already made it for my family! We had 4 new friends attend this gathering and by the end of the afternoon, I think we all truly felt nourished—in many ways.  Here is a sampling of the delicious food that was served. Links to the recipes or the actual recipe follows:

Rice Salad with Dried Fruit & Nuts

½ cup brown basmati rice, rinsed

1 cup Lundberg Wild Blend rice

(or use ½ cup each of brown basmati, wild rice, and short-grain brown rice  for a total of 1 ½ cups)

Combine rice in a pan with 3 cups water and ¼ tsp salt.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer for 40-50 minutes.  Meanwhile put in a large mixing bowl:

1 cup dried cranberries

1/3 cup currants

½ cup dried apricots (cut in pieces—I use kitchen scissors for this)

When the rice is done add it to the dried fruit.  (The heat of the rice softens the fruit.)  While rice is still warm, pour over this dressing and mix:

¼ cup lemon juice

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

May be refrigerated when cool, depending on when you want to serve it.

Before serving mix in:

¾ cup whole pecans, toasted

½ cup chopped parsley

¼ cup chopped mint

¼ cup chopped basil

Serve at room temperature.

Other Recipes:

African Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

Black Bean Salad with Mango & Kiwi (no recipe provided)

Vegetarian Chili Verde

Dan’s Special Salsa (no recipe provided)

To Nourish and Sustain Us…

As much as anything, it is our beliefs that shape us and give form to our lives.  Our beliefs determine the choices we make, the roads we take and the options we leave behind.

It seems so simple….we eat.  But what?  The answer to that may partially be dictated by our beliefs about food:  What is food? Where does it come from? Do ingredients matter? Does how something is raised matter? Does the distance from its origin to the plate matter?  Does what you eat affect your health? There are many more questions, and all of it is food for thought, literally. But beyond our individual beliefs, our food choices are also influenced by our culture, our family, our friends and our lifestyle. No matter what the factors are in our lives, I believe that when it comes to what we feed our body, we should do so mindfully.

It is my hope that through this blog, people who have similar beliefs about food can connect.  That like-minded people can come together and be supported and affirmed.  But also, it is my hope that this can be a place of learning and sharing.  The name of this blog, is Eating Without Meat of the Lowcountry.  We are a group that meets once a month for food, community and sharing. Some of us are vegetarians, some are vegan, some have adopted a plant-based diet, and some are somewhere in between. The one thing that unites us, is mindful eating, for our health, our planet and/or our beliefs.  We hope you join us.

Jaime