Yoga, balance and cooking in bulk.

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by JL Fields on January 17, 2013

To say that I’m feeling centered would be an understatement. Last week I signed up for yoga at a local studio. New students get the first class free or can pay $25 for one week of unlimited yoga. I opted for unlimited yoga and took six yoga classes in seven days. My body was very sore for the first four days. On day five I noticed that I could bend without my abs aching – that I could reach with my arms without my limbs shaking.  I feel so, so good.

I am reminded that when I feel centered in my body – when I feel strong mentally and physically – I want that feeling to reach into other aspects of my life.  I get more focused at work.  I find time for fun outside of work.  I find balance.

That feeling ebbed over into the kitchen this week.  I reconnected with my love of bulk cooking – my love of investing a few hours in the kitchen so that I have easy access to healthy, prepared whole foods all week.

Just a few hours in the kitchen the other morning

Pressure Cooker and Rice Cooker on JL goes Vegan

resulted in

  • 10 cups of homemade vegetable broth (pressure cooker)
  • millet (rice cooker)
  • split pea soup (pressure cooker)
  • brown rice (rice cooker)
  • crackers – with the juice pulp + veggies, wheat berries, nuts and seeds (dehydrator)
  • chickpeas (pressure cooker)

I love having beans and grains readily accessible for meals.

Split Pea Soup with Millet on JL goes Vegan

Split Pea Soup and Millet

Chickpea and Brown Rice Soup on JL goes Vegan

Chickpea and Brown Rice Soup

Let’s talk about the chickpea soup.  I simply poured two cups of vegetable broth in a large sauce pan. I added half a cup of cooked chickpeas and half a cup of brown rice. I diced half a tomato and added it to the pan, plus two handfuls of mixed greens and a healthy squirt of Sriracha.  I enjoyed a hearty bowl of soup for lunch – done in about 10 minutes! That salad – sauerkraut, cucumber and carrot – was topped off with croutons. Those croutons were intended to be a raw bread.

Pulp Crackers on JL goes Vegan

I loosely followed this recipe, using pulp from juicing. I added sun-dried tomatoes, wheat berries and added the sun-dried tomato soaking water to make the batter wetter, and spread it thick, but it turned into crackers, not bread.

Pulp Crackers 2 on JL goes Vegan

Crumbled crackers = awesome croutons!

I’ve also been juicing and making smoothies:

Smoothies and Juice on JL goes Vegan

Smoothie: almond milk, blueberry, mango, and rolled oat (uncooked) smoothie
Juice: carrot, celery, apple, ginger, lemon, and lime juice

Green Smoothie on JL goes VeganAlmond milk, arugula, spinach, chard, flaxseed, ginger+ frozen blackberries, clementine and banana

Yesterday I was up early to get some work done before an 8:30 yoga class. I realized I needed something on my stomach, but not too much.

Almond-Coconut Nut Butter on JL goes Vegan

Do you have 12 minutes and a food processor? You can make this homemade nut butter, too!

  • 2 cups raw, unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup dry coconut flakes 

Blend the almonds in a food processor for 12 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the coconut at 7 minutes. 

And now it’s time to make a smoothie, get some work done and get to yoga class at noon. I hope you find balance in your day.

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  • http://twitter.com/JoannaMPH Joanna

    I love non-orange orange juice!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Hi, @twitter-153253724:disqus! One of my favorite juices!

  • Kelly C

    Any pointers for cooking chickpeas in the pressure cooker? I would be using them whole in a curry. Thanks!!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      @0f685698bfae2617890c54a412974269:disqus, If you have the time, soak them, as it cuts back on the cooking time. Having said that, I didn’t soak mine! LOL Since I’m cooking at high altitude I take the high cooking time of suggested ranges and then add another 1/4-ish time. So, the high end cooking time for unsoaked chickpeas is 40 minutes, quick release. So I cooked them for 55 minutes, natural release. I took the lid off, added salt and the juice of an entire lemon, and simmer, uncovered for 5 minutes. PERFECT!

      • Kelly C

        Thanks!! I appreciate it! Just taking a peek through your recipes now.

        • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

          Awesome, @0f685698bfae2617890c54a412974269:disqus, email me if you haven any questions (jl AT jlgoesvegan DOT com)

  • http://bite-sized-thoughts.blogspot.com/ Kari

    It looks like you are doing wonderfully with cooking in bulk! It is a great investment when I do it (investment in terms of time return rather than financial, although that too) but will confess to not always managing it. I’m working on always having beans / legumes cooked at the moment and that is at least going well!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Beans and grains are great, @bitesizedthoughts:disqus! You can build so many meals around those two important vegan food groups!

  • http://twitter.com/groovygreenlivi Lori Popkewitz Alper

    Your smoothie looks fantastic. I never thought to put oats in. Next time!

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      Let me know what you think, @twitter-133799147:disqus!

  • Pingback: New (to me) vegan-friendly restaurants in Colorado Springs + Vegan news you can use (1/20/13)

  • Eibhlin

    thanks for the cooking in bulk idea! one of those ideas where you go “now why didn’t i think of that?” it will certainly make life (and burgers) a lot easier in the future.

    • http://jlgoesvegan.com JL

      It really helps keep my life organizer (and my meals delicious and healthy), @00bb28621d17a81af5305de127e8d2e0:disqus!

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