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Your Guide to Ultherapy

As we age, the skin loses its natural elasticity and shine as the cells die out through a degenerative process. Though there are a lot of skin products that help in making the skin retain its smoothness and softness, most are still a temporary solution and in the long run become a hefty cost. Surgery can also be done but the pain and the costs often make people shy away from taking the option. Now here comes Ultherapy, a new alternative that gives you healthier and younger-looking skin.

What is Ultherapy?

Ultherapy is a skin treatment that doesn’t involve going under the knife or getting wheeled into a surgery room. This uses ultrasound waves to make the skin more loose and then lifting it without the need for surgery. Ultherapy stimulates the deep layers of the skin that are often addressed in skin surgery, but this therapy works without the need of injuring the tissues at all. Because of ultrasound, healthcare professionals are capable of visualizing the skin and just the right amount of energy is applied to the specific area of the skin to be treated.

How Does it Work?

Ultherapy makes use of ultrasound waves to stimulate the tissues beneath the skin, even reaching several layers up to the muscles. This makes the skin grow tighter, close pores, and make the skin look smoother. Regarded as safe by the medical community worldwide for over 50 years, Ultherapy eliminates the need for one to undergo surgery or other invasive procedures in order to make the skin look healthier and younger.

Contributed By:

Skin Tightening Clinic Singapore
Blk 125 Bt Merah Lane 1, #01-174, Singapore 150125
+6567504536
http://www.skintighteningsingapore.xyz/

Weekend Reading, 12.4.16

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Happy Sunday, and happy December to you! It was about 38° when I woke up today, which means that it’s truly starting to feel like winter. I warmed up my apartment yesterday with a seasonal baking project, which I’m looking forward to sharing later this week.

In last week’s weekend reading post, I expressed some of my conflicted feelings about the holidays. It’ll probably come as no surprise to hear that I wrote that post while I was feeling pretty low. Something shifted this week, and I’m feeling so much more grateful and at peace.

Holiday feelings aside, this week was actually marked by quite a few shifts in perspective. It’s all evidence of something that therapy has helped me to realize, which is that, if I can sit with discomfort and pain without reacting too aggressively, change will find me.

When my therapist first suggested that I work harder to accommodate difficult emotions–which is to say, not rejecting them at the onset–I was resistant. It seemed like defeatism to me, like a failure to harness my own coping tools or to proactively maintain a positive perspective.

I don’t see her invitation this way anymore. Rather, I think it was astute, a gentle challenge for me to surrender some of my own attachment to control, which applies as much to my emotional states as to the more material dimensions of my life. It has been fascinating to allow time to do some of the work when I’m in pain, rather than trying to escape or resist. I guess it could be seen as a passive approach, but it’s quite a challenge nonetheless.

There’s certainly a time and place for consciously summoning up a change in perspective, or to navigate a difficult situation with practical coping mechanisms. But I’m starting to wonder if it’s also a valuable practice to apply patience and curiosity to suffering–the former as a means of not panicking at the first inkling of pain, and the latter as a means of remaining receptive to what a painful experience might teach us.

Waiting on change has taught me that what I feel at one moment is not destined to last forever, and–as I’ve mentioned in other, recent posts–this comes as a big realization. It also invites me to dwell a little more peacefully in uncomfortable places, because I know that they’re impermanent. I hope that, over time, the capacity to dwell will become also a capacity to learn. In some ways, that expansion is already happening.

This week’s reading picks include some very interesting reporting on healthcare and medicine in today’s climate, from a look at the high price of pharmaceuticals in America, to a beautiful examination of online patient forums, to reporting on a new app that’s designed to help alleviate depression. And because I just couldn’t resist, there’s a heartwarming story of the bond between a cow and her calf thrown in for good measure. Enjoy the links, along with the following beautiful recipes.

Recipes

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The next time you’re craving a special breakfast, why not try Abby’s beautiful cranberry and pear French toast casserole? It looks festive and fancy, but the recipe is actually super simple. Almond milk and chickpea flour take care of binding, while a few simple spices add plenty of flavor.

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A vibrant, verdant Portugese pea and new potato stew from the folks at Cocoon Cooks. I love the colors and heartiness of this dish.

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I’m bookmarking Maya’s delicious savory butternut squash and beet crumble for Thanksgiving next year. Such a cool idea, and I love the way the beets turn everything every-so-slightly crimson. Yum.

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Nothing beats a skillet meal that can be easily made with pantry ingredients. Anetta’s Tuscan white bean skillet with artichokes, tomatoes, and mushrooms comes together in about 30 minutes, and it’s so flavorful and nutritious.

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As some of you saw on Instagram, my Thanksgiving dessert offering this year was a veganized version of Erin McDowell’s caramel cider apple pie. It was delicious–the cider actually added a mellow tartness to the dish–so I’m excited to see another caramel apple pie recipe, this one from Aimee of Wallflower Kitchen. She sold me with the addition of sea salt! I’m still stockpiling apples each week from the farmer’s market, so I hope to make it soon.

Reads

1. Vox takes a look at why medications are often more expensive here in the US than in other countries. It takes the commonly prescribed drug Humira as an example: on average, it’s about $822 in Switzerland, about $1,362 in the UK, and $2,669 here in the US.

According to the article, drug prices are more tightly regulated in other countries for the sake of ensuring that they’re accessible to most people. Here in the US, prices can climb quite a bit higher. This is bad for affordability, but it does mean that people with venture capital are more likely to invest in drug research, leading to innovation and the promise of better treatments. Not surprisingly, many drugs that are unavailable in other countries can be had here–which isn’t to say that they’re affordable.

So there’s a tug of war between making drugs more affordable to more people, versus incentivizing those who might pour resources into making drugs better and more diversified. Vox offers a straightforward, yet comprehensive analysis.

2. The American Dietetic Association, or AND, published a position on vegetarian diets (including vegan diets) in 2009, stating that they are safe and appropriate for individuals in all stages of the life cycle. This week, that position was revised to include the statement that vegetarian diets are also more environmentally sustainable than diets that are rich in animal products because they use fewer natural resources.

If you didn’t read the 2009 statement, if you’re curious to read the 2016 statement, or if you’d like an evidence-based paper to share with those who may have questioned your lifestyle, this is a great study to reference and share!

3. An interesting article in Wired about a new social networking app that harnesses the power of crowdsourcing to help alleviate depression and anxiety–or at least, that’s the vision of its founder, Robert Morris. The app, Panoply, allows users to share scenarios or sensations that have triggered anxiety and receive immediate feedback that helps them to reframe their experience. Over time, the site is supposed to promote a kind of cognitive behavioral therapy in which anxiety gives way to less triggering or fear-based responses.

When I first read the article, my mind jumped to all of the ways in which the app might misfire: as someone who suffers from anxiety, the idea of sharing my fears with a group of strangers–and inviting their feedback, no less–is absolutely terrifying. (I realize that I write about my anxiety often on this blog, but usually that’s after I’ve had quite a bit of time to process it and find center again.) And I’d worry about abuses to the app, or responses that end up worsening the feelings of people who are at their most vulnerable.

Still, early research and feedback on the app is highly promising, and Morris makes a sincere and impassioned case for his logic in creating it. I’ll be curious to hear how the app is received, and I certainly hope it finds an audience of folks whom it can help.

4. I was so moved by Statnews‘ glimpse at the online life of Stephen Wheeler, a manufacturing specialist who passed away from lung cancer just about a year ago. A shy and reserved man, Wheeler found community and solace toward the end of his life in an online patient community; when his wife requested transcripts of his discussions after his death, they came to more than 1,000 pages.

It is a beautiful testament to the power of patient forums and communities. For me, the article is also a tribute to the safe and unfettered sense of self-expression that can emerge online. For many of us, the internet offers a sense of connection and mutual understanding that is unique to our virtual relationships–not a replacement for our “IRL” interaction, but something different and incredibly meaningful. I’ve experienced this through blogging, and I can only imagine how patient-driven online spaces might help those who are facing unwanted and frightening diagnoses.

5. Finally, the sweet story of a cow named Betsy and her calf, Nutmeg, whom she guarded fiercely throughout his early life. The article is sad in that it calls attention to the trauma dairy cows experience when their young are forcibly taken away, but the ending is happy, and the images are so touching.

On this tender note, I’m wishing you all a great Sunday. Sweet things lie ahead on the blog this week!

xo

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Pumpkin Chickpea Cashew Curry

Pumpkin Chickpea Cashew Curry | The Full Helping

Before the month is overtaken with the preparation of cookies, cakes, candied nuts, chutneys, jam, and other homemade gifts, I’m taking a week or two to settle into simple, wholesome, comforting food. I’ve just wrapped up my final month of testing recipes for the new cookbook, and exciting as it all has been, I’ve never been more ready to take a step back from the kitchen. I’ll be making a lot of easy soups and stews over the course of the next month, beginning with this easy pumpkin chickpea cashew curry.

This recipe also marks my return to something resembling a normal batch cooking routine. I’ve lost touch with consistent meal planning and batch cooking lately; with all of the recipe testing at hand, my cooking patterns have become totally erratic. I’m looking forward to getting back into a groove: planning, grocery shopping, taking the time to put pots of grains and legumes on the stovetop each Sunday.

I made a decision that recipes in the next cookbook would always call for cooked legumes in multiples of 1 1/2 cups, so that the quantities could be easily translated into cans. Canned legumes are a lifesaver for the busy home cook! With that said, I do stand by the idea that there’s a lot to be said for soaking and boiling legumes from scratch. Is it necessary? Nope. But it usually means that beans hold their shape better than they would from the can, and it can also means that herbs, seasonings, and other recipe components can be added to the cooking process, resulting in more flavorful beans. Plus, batch cooked beans can be frozen, making them easily accessible if you’d like to store them for future recipes.

Pumpkin Chickpea Cashew Curry | The Full Helping

This approach to batch cooking is shared by the folks at GRAIN, a dry goods supply company that’s working to foster more personal connections between consumers and farmers. Founded best friends Shira McDermott (author of the wonderful In Pursuit of More blog) and Janna Bishop, GRAIN brings freshly milled, farm-direct wheat berries, farro, French lentils, laird green lentils, kabuli chickpeas, and golden quinoa directly to customers on their website. The products are always sourced directly from Canadian farmers with full transparency. The packaging, which is strikingly thoughtful, features an original illustration of the farmer who grew the product.

GRAIN’s mission is to deliver the best quality dry goods possible, but it encompasses an entire ethos around food and cooking. The GRAIN shop features mills and bread baskets for homemade bread making, and each GRAIN product is shipped with an inspiring, easy-to-follow recipe card. Shira and Janna are passionate about empowering the home cook to feel more connected to food and its origins.

GRAIN products come with a story, and they represent an effort to celebrate and honor Canadian farming. Canada is celebrated the world over for its hard spring wheat in particular, but also its chickpeas and lentils, the majority of which are shipped abroad. Shira and Janna are interested in helping a new generation of North Americans to discover legumes and grains from this “bread basket” of the world–and to encourage the next generation of farmers to continue their work.

Pumpkin Chickpea Cashew Curry | The Full Helping

I eat chickpeas nearly everyday, so you’d think I couldn’t possibly be surprised by a new chickpea product. But GRAIN’s promise of exceptional freshness proved to be true: there wasn’t a stale or shriveled bean in my entire box of kabuli chickpeas, and when I cooked them, they were all brightly colored, plump, and firmly shaped. They’re truly delicious, and it has been so fun creating a recipe with them.

Pumpkin Chickpea Cashew Curry | The Full Helping

This pumpkin chickpea cashew curry is a perfect example of how an entirely satisfying meal can come together quickly with just one batch-cooked legume as a base. Cashews are blended with pumpkin puree and red curry paste to create a rich, creamy, flavorful sauce, then mixed with sautéed onions, sweet potato, and (of course!) pre-cooked chickpeas. It’s a perfect dish to serve with rice, quinoa, millet, or bulgur, along with fresh herbs and a generous squeeze of extra lime juice.

Pumpkin Chickpea Cashew Curry | The Full Helping

Pumpkin Chickpea Cashew Curry
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Recipe type: main dish, quick and easy
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free optional
Prep time:  5 mins
Cook time:  15 mins
Total time:  20 mins
Serves: 4-6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (plus extra as needed)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours (or up to overnight) and drained
  • 1½ tablespoons tamari
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2-3 tablespoons red curry paste (adjust based on your preference for heat)
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 yellow or white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated on a microplane
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced or grated on a microplane (to taste)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced (about 1 lb)
  • 2 cups broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 cup green beans, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • For serving: Chopped fresh cilantro, chopped green onion tops, lime wedges, sriracha, chopped, toasted cashews or almonds, cooked rice or quinoa
Instructions
  1. Place one cup of the vegetable broth, the pumpkin, cashews, tamari, lime juice, and curry paste into a blender. Blend till smooth and set this sauce aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onion is soft and clear. Stir in the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, for another minute, or until the garlic is very fragrant.
  3. Add the sweet potato to the skillet, along with the additional cup vegetable broth. Cover and simmer for 6-7 minutes, or until the potato is just fork tender. Add the broccoli and green beans, cover, and simmer for another 2-3 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Stir in the chickpeas, then the pumpkin cashew curry sauce. Stir; if the mixture seems too thick, feel free to add extra vegetable broth as needed. Stir in the lime juice, then taste the curry and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve the curry with a cooked grain of choice, lime wedges, and herbs, if desired.
Notes
Leftover curry will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge. It can be frozen for up to 3 weeks.
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Pumpkin Chickpea Cashew Curry | The Full Helping

This is one of those recipes that begs for your own modifications and twists. Try butternut, kabocha, or delicata squash in place of sweet potato, zucchini or eggplant in place of broccoli and green beans. Stir in a few generous handfuls of spinach, bok choy, chopped collards, or another leafy green to add even more fiber and minerals to the meal. What matters is adjusting the seasonings to your liking, blending up a creamy sauce, and, of course, having some quality legumes at the ready.

If you’d like to try GRAIN products for yourself, you are in luck: the company is offering free shipping on its products (not the household appliances) to all US and Canadian readers until December 5th. And if that doesn’t pique your interest, GRAIN is also offering 15% off all orders to readers of this blog. Simply enter the coupon code FULLHELPING15 at checkout!

In the meantime, if you’d like to get to know the brand and its founders a little better, you can check out the GRAIN journal, which features wonderful recipes, or check out the company’s inspiring Instagram page. I’ll be getting to know GRAIN products better in 2017, and sharing more of the recipes I create with them here on the blog.

A happy Wednesday to you all–it’s been pouring here in New York, which may be my invitation to stay in and get some batch cooking done!

xo

This post is sponsored by GRAIN. All opinions are my own, and I love these exceptional dry goods! Thank you for your support.

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Weekend Reading, 11.28.16

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Welcome to a Monday edition of weekend reading! To those of you who were observing the Thanksgiving holiday this past weekend, I hope that you’re easily settling back into the swing of things.

With December just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about the holiday season and its various meanings. The winter holidays are presented as a time of togetherness and celebration, but what’s often left unsaid is that they can be quite lonely, too. This could be true for any number of reasons: perhaps the season forces you to confront difficulties or rifts within your family. Perhaps it brings out tensions or differences of opinion between you and those you love. Perhaps, for whatever reason, you have a hard time partaking in group gatherings. Perhaps there is somebody you miss, a sorrow that emerges, or a memory that becomes more vivid and poignant at this time of year.

I’m feeling a bit of all of those things right now. What I’m feeling most of all is the challenge of being an introverted person during this extroverted and stimulating season. I retreat inward in groups, especially very outgoing ones. I crave connection during the holidays just as many of us do, and I want to enjoy rituals and celebrations. But it’s often the case that holiday gatherings leave me feeling drained, or even a little alienated, rather than connected.

It’s difficult not to perceive this as my own failing, or deficiency. But I’m coming to understand that, while it’s important to fight past the resistance and find my own way in groups, my orientation is not necessarily something I need to apologize for. One step was to read Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, which helped me to realize that introversion is simply one way of being in the world. Not better, not worse, simply its own thing. It may be less socially reinforced than extroversion, but it has its own gifts to offer.

Creating practical boundaries is also helpful. Whereas I used to try to force myself to put on more of a show in groups–which only heightened my sense of disconnect–I’ve developed a capacity to speak up in a way that feels intentional and honest. And I know how to regroup and re-energize in the days before or after a lot of socializing. Yoga, meditation, and cherished activities like reading or cooking allow me to get centered again if group dynamics have felt overwhelming. If a craving for connection hasn’t been met, I might take the time to compose a thoughtful email, pick up the phone, or suggest coffee with a friend.

In that same vein, I’ve been giving some thought to what it might feel like to allow loneliness to be a teacher of sorts, rather than viewing it as reason for sadness or despair. Pema Chödrön says that “relaxing with loneliness is a worthy occupation,” because it trains us in the difficult art of finding ease within uncomfortable emotional states. She asks,

When you wake up in the morning and out of nowhere comes the heartache of alienation and loneliness, could you use that as a golden opportunity? Rather than persecuting yourself or feeling that something terribly wrong is happening, right there in the moment of sadness and longing, could you relax and touch the limitless space of the human heart?

I do not pretend to know, at this moment in my life, what it means to “touch the limitless space of the human heart” in the face of alienation. But the quote resonates with me all the same, because I suspect that loneliness does present us with an opportunity of sorts. I think that it gives us a chance to sit quietly with ourselves and regard whatever comes up with compassion and respect. I know that some of the loneliest periods of my life were those that taught me the most, that offered me the most opportunity to grow.

I’m keeping all of these things in mind as the holiday season gets underway. The get-togethers that make this time of year so special to others may never be what I look forward to the most, and in fact, they may demand that I do a little emotional safeguarding. But I can appreciate the season in other, equally meaningful ways. For me, these include listening to the sacred music I grew up with, domestic rituals, and taking the time to write greeting cards by hand. Food–especially the creation of homemade gifts–is a big part of my personal holiday observance, too.

The other day in yoga, my teacher invited us to carry out our breath practice with our left hand planted gently on the ground and our right hands resting on our knees, the palm upward. She was offering us this posture, she said, to help us stay grounded through the holidays. It did indeed seem like a perfect physical expression of the equanimity that can be so important at this time of year: receptiveness and openness on the one hand, grounding and self-support on the other. A capacity to receive and appreciate offerings while also maintaining one’s boundaries.

However you choose to observe or experience the holiday season, I wish you meaning and peace within your choices. And in keeping with these ideas, this week’s roundup features plenty of articles and musings on head and heart, along with some tasty seasonal fare.

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If you’re craving something cool and simple after a long weekend of cooking, then Erin’s apple, kale, and brussels sprout salad is for you. I love the addition of medjool dates and creamy avocado!

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Last week I was excited to see two of my favorite bloggers teaming up to create a beautiful vegan recipe together! Kimberly of The Little Plantation and Lauren of Lauren Caris Cooks created the marinated pumpkin salad with quinoa and pomegranate that you see above, and it’s a beauty. Read Lauren’s take on the recipe here, and Kimberly’s here!

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I’m loving Amanda’s silky smooth, Mediterranean-style white bean hummus. Speaking of socializing, it’s a perfect recipe to bring to parties or serve as an appetizer, and the hearty toppings (artichoke, pine nuts) are a nice touch.

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It’s hard to think of a more beautifully colorful or festive dish than David and Luise’s Moroccan eggplant and chickpea stew. I had no idea that saffron is used as a Christmas spice in Sweden, but it makes this dish all the more vibrant.

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For a little sweet treat, I’m ready to put on my baking mitts and make Nicole’s caramel apple crumble wedges. After a week of rolling and shaping pie crust, these look delightfully low-key (and very delicious).

Reads

1. If the theme of introversion speaks to you, you may smile to read Lynn Beisner’s guide to surviving Thanksgiving as an introvert. I find a lot of her tips helpful, especially the suggestion of having a certain activity or quiet space that helps to make gatherings easier. I always feel calmer and more purposeful if I can help with cleaning or cooking at a holiday event.

2. For the longest time I struggled to accept compliments and praise; I was quick to deflect them, whether by brushing them off altogether or by minimizing what was being praised (“it’s no big deal,” etc.).

Over time I’ve come to see that there is a particular kind of generosity and grace that resides in accepting other peoples’ appreciation, and I’ve realized that my consistent rejection of praise can be potentially hurtful or ungrateful.

This is the theme that Sally Kempton tackles in her Yoga Journal article on “the art of receiving.” Kempton seems to understand keenly why and how it can be so very difficult to receive; in fact, she suggests that receiving is “a yoga in itself”:

Receiving is a yoga in itself—one that demands a high degree of sensitivity, awareness, and even skillfulness. For one thing, we need to recognize that we’re being given a gift—whether it’s a birthday present, a compliment, a teaching, a helpful piece of feedback, a genuine service, a loving gesture, or a blessing from the invisible realms. Second, we need to cultivate enough stillness and openness to take it in. Third, we need to appreciate it, to value it, or, at the very least, to value the giver’s intention. Fourth, we need to feel that we deserve it—that the gift is neither too much, too little, or too out of line with who we are. In fact, the word “receive” comes from the Latin word recipere, which means “to take back.” This implies that what we receive is already ours in the sense that we do, indeed, deserve it, that it completes something within us, or simply that we’ve attracted it by the nature of our being.

We may sometimes struggle to understand why someone is offering us a certain kind of praise or compliment. In the face of our own bewilderment, we might simply trust in the validity of another person’s appreciation, rather than rejecting what we feel we haven’t earned. I haven’t come close to mastering this practice, but even my small efforts have taught me a lot about gratitude.

3. This week the New York Times took a look at supplements from a practical perspective: which are worth our dollars? Not too surprisingly, most of the research we have suggests that whole foods are always the best means of obtaining the nutrients we need, and many supplements fail to deliver on their promises when examined in double-blind, placebo-controlled trials.

Of course, this isn’t to say that targeted use of supplements isn’t often necessary. For vegans, it’s absolutely necessary in the case of Vitamin B-12 and often advisable for Vitamin D and/or DHA. The trick is to be able to identify which nutrients can be sensibly, adequately, and realistically obtained through diet, and which can’t. My feeling is that it’s usually the best option to source a nutrient through food when possible, but there are plenty of exceptions to this rule.

4. Entrepreneur Jonas Koffler reflects on what he learned from having a stroke at the age of 26. A quintessential go-getter, Koffler had been working at a breakneck pace and ignoring ominous health signs when a stroke rendered him unconscious at the office. Like many young and ambitious people, he had been carrying on with the belief that his body could and would withstand any amount of stress.

In the end, he learned otherwise, and that lesson gave way to many others in how to live a more balanced and meaningful life. Koffler’s experience may be unusually dramatic, but I think that many of us have had similar wakeup calls when it comes to slowing down, cultivating gratitude, and expanding our definitions of success.

5. A good article on the art of setting boundaries. What resonated most with me is the importance of direct language, of not dissembling and couching one’s needs in a lot of apologies and verbal obfuscation. This is a habit that I’m certainly guilty of–not stating my boundaries directly enough–and it’s a definite handicap. On the one hand, it doesn’t encourage me to own my own needs; on the other hand, it wastes other peoples’ time, because it forces them to parse through my indirectness. I’m working on it, and it’ll be an ongoing process in the new year.

On that note, I hope that this Monday is off to a promising start for all of you. I have an easy, cozy, and hearty recipe on the way later this week, which I’m excited to share.

xo

The post Weekend Reading, 11.28.16 appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Vegan Autumn Harvest Salad

Vegan Autumn Harvest Salad | The Full Helping

When I was little, the days after Thanksgiving were loaded with leftover turkey sandwiches, dressed up every which way. My leftover traditions are quite different now, but they still include plenty of leftovers. Usually I throw everything in a giant salad: leftover roasted sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, all of it. It’s a treat, a flavorful smorgasbord that I look forward to every year, but this year I realized that I didn’t have to wait for Thanksgiving in order to create a salad that felt like a celebration of the season. This vegan autumn harvest salad is brimming with roasted sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, and crisp apples, and it’s a wonderful way to give thanks for fall.

The salad is also a celebration of local produce. The greens in particular have a special story: they’re a mixture of baby kale and baby arugula from Satur Farms, a New York state vegetable farm that produces green leafy vegetables (including bok choy, rapini, and chard), herbs, microgreens, salad greens, and even specialty vinegars.

Vegan Autumn Harvest Salad | The Full Helping

I recently had a chance to visit Satur Farms as part of an opportunity to learn more about a new labeling initiative that will make it easier for New York state consumers to identify and support local produce. The New York State Grown & Certified label is a voluntary program for state farmers, which ensures that they work to conserve natural resources and use farm-safe practices. The program–and its associated New York State Grown & Certified seal–allows shoppers to consciously support locally grown foods and environmental stewardship.

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nys_certified-seal-blue-1

Satur Farms is located in the North Fork of Long Island, near the Long Island sound. Its owners, Eberhard Muller and Paulette Satur, have a lifelong interest in food and how its grown (Muller was a chef before he began working at the farm full time). They’re passionate about quality produce and using sustainable methods to grow and harvest it. Their farm is one of many that will be participating in the new NY State Grown & Certified program.

Eberhard and Paulette were delighted to host me and a small group of bloggers several weeks ago, and to show us how they grow their specialty salads, leafy vegetables, heirloom tomatoes, root vegetables, and herbs.

Satur Farms

Paulette and Eberhard use cover crops and crop rotation to help protect the soil on their farms. They’re also committed to recyclable packaging and to using as much vintage farm equipment as they can. It was interesting to hear about their methods and to see their vegetable crops in various stages of growth, from tiny little seedlings to lush, bright green bunches of kale that were almost ripe for picking. I’ve enjoyed Satur greens for a long time, so it felt like a special treat to see their origins.

Sprouts
Plants

I was lucky enough to come home with baby kale and baby arugula from Satur Farms, as well as some local apples, and I was eager to put them to use in a salad that would feel big, abundant, and seasonal. I paired my produce with some cooked spelt berries, which I love using in autumn salads: their nuttiness and chew seems to compliment root vegetables so nicely. If you’d like to make this salad gluten free, you could easily use cooked brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, or sorghum in place of the spelt berries.

I felt very grateful when I was eating this salad: grateful for nourishing plant food and the people who help to harvest it, grateful for the earth’s bounty, grateful for the pleasures of a simple recipe. (In the days right before and after a big holiday, simplicity can feel more precious than ever!)

Vegan Autumn Harvest Salad | The Full Helping

Vegan Autumn Harvest Salad
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Recipe type: salad
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free optional, soy free, tree nut free
Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  45 mins
Total time:  55 mins
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
For the roasted sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts:
  • 1 lb sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cubed (2 medium small potatoes)
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved (for small sprouts) or quartered (for large sprouts)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (such as safflower or grapeseed)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
For the salad:
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1½ tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked spelt or wheat berries (substitute cooked quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, or sorghum)
  • 4 heaping cups baby kale, arugula, baby spinach, or another salad green of choice
  • 1 large or 2 small apples, thinly sliced
  • Optional: Dried cranberries, toasted pumpkin seeds, or toasted almonds, for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Transfer the brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes to one or two lined baking sheets and drizzle them with oil. Use your hands to evenly coat the vegetables with the oil, then sprinkle them generously with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast for 35-40 minutes, or until all of the vegetables are fork-tender and gently browning.
  2. While the vegetables roast, whisk together the shallot, vinegar, Dijon mustard, and olive oil. Season the vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper and set it aside.
  3. When the sweet potatoes and brussels sprouts are ready, allow them to cool slightly. Combine them in a very large mixing bowl with the spelt berries, greens, and apples. Add and handful of dried fruit (such as cranberries), nuts, or seeds if you like. Add the vinaigrette and toss well to combine. Season the salad to taste with extra salt and pepper, then serve.
Notes
Dressing and roasted vegetables can be prepared a few days in advance.
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Vegan Autumn Harvest Salad | The Full Helping

As you can see, this salad serves a nice big crowd, but you can easily cut the ingredients in half to create something smaller. And if you’d like to modify the salad to accommodate your Thanksgiving leftovers, do! You can replace the sweet potatoes and sprouts with any roasted vegetable, the spelt berries with leftover stuffing or croutons, the apple with cranberry sauce or something else that’s sweet.

Whether or not you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this afternoon, I wish you a day full of blessings.

xo

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Empire State Development . The opinions and text are all mine.

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Brussels Sprout Hash with Coconut Bacon

Brussels Sprout Hash with Coconut Bacon | The Full Helping

Eager to avoid my customary trap of overly ambitious holiday menu planning, this year I’m all about simple vegan Thanksgiving offerings, including last week’s vegan cornbread stuffing and stuffed delicata squash. Today, I’m turning that same mentality to side dishes and sharing an easy brussels sprout hash with coconut bacon.

I’ve often been appointed the person who’s in charge of side dishes for Thanksgiving meals, since so many of them are easily veganized. Being in charge of sides, I’ve learned, is no easy task. They may seem less ambitious than an ornate main dish on first glance, but they can be every bit as time-consuming, especially if you’re tackling a bunch of them for a single meal.

Brussels Sprout Hash with Coconut Bacon | The Full Helping

This hash is my answer to side dish overreaching. Shredding the sprouts ensures a lightening-fast cooking time, and the seasonings are simple: just onion, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, and a touch of maple syrup and vinegar for sweetness and acidity. The coconut bacon can be prepared well in advance, but even if you decide to cook it along with the sprouts, it needs only 13-15 minutes in the oven, so it’s easy to finish as the sprouts are being prepped and cooked.

This dish may not please Thanksgiving traditionalists, who are accustomed to whole roasted or pan glazed sprouts. I love oven-roasted sprouts, too, but I’m really happy to have a new way to prepare one of my favorite crucifers. The coconut bacon adds just the right amount of sweet/salty intensity to the dish. If you’re not a coconut lover, you can definitely use my shiitake bacon or your favorite store-bought vegan bacon instead!

Brussels Sprout Hash with Coconut Bacon | The Full Helping

This has was made even easier with the use of my GreenLife cookware. The GreenLife brand makes safe, healthy ceramic nonstick cookware that is also budget-friendly and perfect for new and seasoned cooks alike. I love that the pans allow me to saute and simmer without having to worry about ingredients sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning; it means that I can multitask a little as I prepare food, rather than hovering over one dish.

If you like, you can add some other vegetables to the hash, like celery, carrot, broccoli stems, or leafy greens. And you can also use leeks in place of the onion, or a combination of leeks and shallots. Like most hash recipes, this one is easygoing.

Brussels Sprout Hash with Coconut Bacon | The Full Helping

Brussels Sprout Hash with Coconut Bacon
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Recipe type: side
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free optional
Prep time:  5 mins
Cook time:  20 mins
Total time:  25 mins
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb brussels sprouts, trimmed and shredded
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ½ batch easy vegan coconut bacon or 1 heaping cup diced vegan bacon of choice (tempeh, seitan, shiitake, etc.)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion. Saute for 4-5 minutes, or until the onion is just clear. Add the brussels sprouts and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Continue cooking for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the sprouts are bright green and tender.
  2. Whisk together the smoked paprika, vinegar, and maple syrup, then add them to the pan. Continue cooking for another minute or two. Stir in the coconut bacon, then taste the hash and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve.
Notes
Coconut bacon can be prepared up to two weeks in advanced and stored in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
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 Brussels Sprout Hash with Coconut Bacon | The Full Helping

Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving this coming week or not, this hash makes for an awesome, all-purpose fall side dish. I’ve been serving it with cooked grits or polenta, tossing it into salads (it’s great with greens and roasted sweet potatoes), and serving it as a quick and delicious green offering alongside dinner. It’s so good.

I hope you enjoy the hash, and if you are celebrating Thanksgiving this week, I wish you a lovely holiday. I’ll be back on the day itself with a grateful and abundant vegan harvest salad–something you can dress up with your leftovers or simply enjoy as a tribute to autumn’s bounty. Till then,

xo

This post is sponsored by the GreenLife brand. All opinions are my own, and I love this nonstick cookware. You can learn more about GreenLife products, purchase online, or find GreenLife near you here. Thanks for your support!

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Weekend Reading, 11.20.16

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

This week has flown by, as weeks before or after big holidays tend to, at least for me. I was pretty sick the week before Thanksgiving last year–an unwelcome visit from acute gastroenteritis–so I never had a chance to really plan or enjoy a vegan menu for sharing. I barely managed to get my vegan sweet potato and lentil shepherd’s pie ready for dinner at Steven’s grandmothers’ place.

I’m feeling well this year, which means that I can indulge my usual excitement about sharing at the holiday table. I’m planning on the millet and black lentil stuffed squash I shared last week, vegan apple pie, and a few other odds and ends. In spite of the fact that a pumpkin dessert wasn’t requested, pumpkin pie is my favorite, so I made it yesterday and enjoyed it as an early Thanksgiving offering to myself, using my favorite recipe.

It’s funny how holidays and the traditions that surround them change and shift over time. When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was all excitement and celebration and reveling in other peoples’ cooking. When I first became vegan, it was a pleasant challenge, an opportunity to make plant-based the recipes I knew and loved from holidays past. One of my favorite Thanksgivings in memory involves veganizing a whole Thanksgiving meal and serving it to my mom–just the two of us, cozy and quiet, eating together in my tiny apartment. (I’m not sure how I managed to cook so much in that postage stamp-sized kitchen, but I did.)

During my post-bacc, Thanksgiving became a reprieve, an opportunity to come home and regroup after the first push of the semester. I don’t really remember the food during those years, but I do remember how good it felt to flop onto my mom’s couch, call my friends, enjoy New York for a few days before returning to chemistry and biology.

Recently, Thanksgiving has felt by turns like a break or an interruption, which is probably how it feels to many of us as we get older and life becomes busier and more complicated. This an odd one for me because the past year has been so craggy, and I’m feeling changed by it. Whether or not those changes are visible to others I’m not sure, but I do feel as though I’m showing up differently for many things, holidays included. I’m allowing myself to understand that rituals and traditions change along with us, expanding to accommodate our growth.

As I reminisce on Thanksgivings past, it’s impossible for me not to quietly remember how many of my shared meals were tainted by the experience of my eating disorder. As anyone who has struggled with food knows, gathering around the table can be complicated business: it’s meant to be a form of communion and sharing, but instead it can feel profoundly isolating.

This week, I wrote an article for Food52 on sharing a table with someone who has an eating disorder. It includes some tips on how to plan and strategize so that everyone can feel a little safer and closer. It also addresses small ways that we can bring more empathy to the way we approach EDs, both within and outside of the family home. Respect and kindness are powerful tools in managing a difficult and frustrating illness. If you or anyone you know is feeling anxious about gathering for the holiday season, or in general, perhaps the article will be of help.

Onto this week’s links, which feature some of my favorite holiday picks from the blogosphere. I’d be very thrilled to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with any or all of these vegan dishes!

Recipes

stuffed-mini-pumpkins-2

Emily and I are on the same wavelength this week, both feeling excited about the possibilities of stuffed holiday squash. I’m loving her adorable stuffed mini pumpkins, which feature a quinoa, kale, and pecan filling. What a beautiful contribution to any festive meal!

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Cranberry sauce is well and good, but I’d always prefer a vibrantly spiced, sweet-and-savory cranberry chutney. This recipe from Food52, which is seasoned with ginger and mustard seeds, is calling my name.

holiday-stuffed-sweet-potatoes-with-sunflower-pecan-crumble-2481-copy-3-682x1024

I’m all about simple and stress-free holiday food this year, and Ashley’s baked sweet potatoes with sunflower pecan crumble are a wonderfully streamlined and no-fuss alternative to traditional sweet potato casserole.

tracis-bourbon-pecan-pie

For dessert, I’m all over Traci’s vegan bourbon pecan pie, which is gorgeously decorated and oh-so-decadent. And let’s not forget the vanilla ice cream and chocolate topping.

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After a long week of cooking, gathering, traveling, and so on, it can be a real joy to sit down to a simple and wholesome breakfast. Shira’s beautiful winter farro breakfast bowl is on my list of breakfasts to enjoy next weekend, as I wind down and catch up on things.

Reads

1. A friend of mine shared this article from The Globe and Mail with me some time ago, and after I read it I struggled to untangle what I felt about it. The article is about “food broadcasts,” which are known as mukbangs in South Korea, where the trend seems to originate from. The videos show their makers devouring big helpings of food, and they’re often incredibly popular.

What’s interesting about the article is that it delves into so many of the psychological ramifications of creating and also experiencing these videos. Some have suggested that they’re part of an adjustment to a culture in which more and more of us are eating solo; in South Korea, the article notes, eating alone is still somewhat stigmatized. For one broadcaster, the videos have been part of anorexia recovery. For others, it can be a form of vicarious enjoyment and pleasure.

Having read the article a few times, I’m still not sure what I think: on the one hand, it’s difficult for me to criticize any medium that gives people inspiration, freedom, or a sense of self-expression surrounding food. On the other, I can understand the concerns that some ED treatment providers express in the article, and at least one broadcaster reports cycles of behavior that sound reminiscent of BED. I appreciate that the article touches on all of this complexity.

2. I’ve spent a lot of time studying childhood and young adult feeding through school in the last year, and I was pleased to read this article on kids going vegan or vegetarian. Unlike many articles on vegan diets for kids, it features the perspective of health care professionals who have thorough understanding of vegan diets and can offer a balanced perspective. It’s great reading for any parent who is nervous or confused about supporting kids through the transition to a plant-based diet.

3. I mentioned the opioid epidemic in a recent weekend reading post, that time in the context of a greater push for primary care physicians to recognize and screen for addiction. This article examines our country’s climbing rates of opioid addition from the perspective of emergency room care. Helen Ouyang, an emergency physician, describes the difficulties of responsibly managing possible opioid addiction while also offering her patients the painkillers they very often need.

4. When I was volunteering in pediatrics during my post-bacc, I was touched to learn that touch therapy could help infants in the NICU to grow faster and become stronger. Since then, especially in my own work, I’ve tried to be sensitive and attuned to the power of touch as a conduit of healing.

So, I appreciated this article, which details one mother’s evolving understanding of touch and its importance in her life. I like that the essay addresses touch in many contexts: between parents and kids, between strangers, between lovers.

5. Finally, a fun article about a “sisterhood of supper” that emerged when journalist Jane Cunningham Croly was told in 1868 that women were banned from an upscale dinner at the famous New York City restaurant Delmonico’s. Croly went on to establish the first independent women’s club in the United States. It’s name was Sorosis, derived from a botanical class of plants which bloom into fruits on one body, like a pineapple.

The group’s triumph came one year later, in 1869, when they were able to gather at Delmonico’s for their own, all-female womens’ club meeting. At the time it was considered improper for women to eat without male escorts in public, which made the meal somewhat groundbreaking, especially at such a reputable establishment. It’s a colorful story of solidarity, activism, and the power of collective effort.

With that, I wish you a great close to the weekend! I’ll be back tomorrow with a very easy and flavorful holiday side dish — the kind of recipe you can whip up at the last minute if you need a green veggie to round out your meal. It’s a new favorite for me, and I hope you’ll like it, too.

xo

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Millet & Black Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash

Millet & Black Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash | The Full Helping

For the longest time, I approached holiday meals as an opportunity to veganize anything and everything. The way I saw it, people crave tradition, especially at this time of year, so it was my task to take every classic Thanksgiving or Christmas recipe and render it vegan. It led to a lot of fun kitchen experiments and at least a few holiday recipe keepers–my sweet potato lentil shepherd’s pie, cabbage rolls, and (most recently) vegan cornbread sage stuffing among them.

Lately, though, I’m starting to approach holiday meals not as a mandate to veganize classics, but rather as an opportunity to simply cook the food I love. These millet & black lentil stuffed delicata squash are a perfect example of a holiday entree that’s festive and great for crowds, but which doesn’t feel like a forced attempt to hew to tradition. They’re wholesome, hearty, earthy, and they make a very pretty presentation, too.

Millet & Black Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash | The Full Helping

For the past month or two I’ve been experimenting with cooking grains and lentils simultaneously (most recently, in my one pot Italian quinoa and lentils). I used to always cook lentils separately from grains, folding them in after they were fully cooked, but I’m realizing that it’s not difficult to cook most lentils along with a grain that takes a similar amount of time (about 20-30 minutes). It saves me an extra pot to clean and streamlines the cooking process.

It’s not a perfect method; lentils can vary in cooking time depending on how fresh and how dry they are, so occasionally I’ll end up needing to add more water to the grains and lentils as they simmer. Most often, though, it works like a charm, and if I pre-soak my lentils overnight, they virtually always finish cooking as the grains do. Win, win.

That’s the idea behind this millet and black lentil stuffing, a simple, toothsome, and nutritious mixture that you can serve as a simple pilaf or with the roasted squash, as illustrated here. Stuffed vegetable dishes can be quite an undertaking, but using delicata squash ensures quick roasting time (35 minutes or less, unless your squashes are really big). I love the flavor and texture of delicata squash, and this recipe allows them to shine.

Millet & Black Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash | The Full Helping

This recipe is my final celebratory contribution to the Pulse Pledge, a movement that celebrates the UN’s recognition of pulses as a sustainable, economical, and nutritious protein source. The Pulse Pledge encourages everyone to commit to eating pulses at least once a week for 10 weeks, and its website features a ton of enticing recipes to help inspire those who are new to cooking with beans, lentils, and dry peas. I’ve had the most wonderful time developing recipes for the International Year of Pulses, and since legumes are one of my favorite superfoods, my celebration of them will continue well into 2017 and beyond 🙂

Millet & Black Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash | The Full Helping

Millet & Black Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Recipe type: main dish, holidays
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free, tree nut free
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  45 mins
Total time:  1 hour
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 average size delicata squash (about 10-12 ounces each), split in half lengthwise and seeds removed
  • Vegetable oil spray or vegetable oil for brushing
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup millet
  • ½ cup black lentils
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • Black pepper to taste
For the gravy (makes 1½ cups)
  • ¼ cup unbleached, all-purpose flour (substitute chickpea flour for a gluten free version)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 1½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Black pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F and line two baking sheets with parchment or foil. Spray or brush both sides of the squash with oil. Place the squash, cut side down, on the baking sheets. Roast for 25-35 minutes, or until the squash are fork tender and browning.
  2. While the squash halves roast, heat the oil in a medium sized pot. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring every now and then, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear. Add the garlic and millet. Toast the millet for about 2 minutes, or until it smells a bit nutty. Add the salt and broth. Bring the millet to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender (but a little al dente) and the millet has absorbed all of the liquid. Remove the millet from heat and allow it to steam while you make the gravy.
  3. To prepare the gravy, heat the flour and nutritional yeast in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir them frequently, and continue cooking until they smell toasted and the flour is just golden (about 5 minutes). Remove them from heat and whisk in the vegetable broth, tamari, olive oil, thyme, and garlic powder. Return the mixture to low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the gravy is thick and bubbly. Season to taste with black pepper and remove from heat.
  4. When the squash halves are ready, flip them over. Taste the millet and black lentil stuffing and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Stuff each squash half with the stuffing, then top with the gravy (or another sauce or dressing). Serve.
Notes
Millet and black lentil stuffing can be prepared a day in advance, and the squashes can be roasted a day in advance. Gravy can be prepared up to 2 days in advance, or frozen for up to 3 weeks.
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Millet & Black Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash | The Full Helping

 As you can see, I couldn’t resist whipping up a batch of my go-to, simple vegan gravy to top the stuffed squash, though I’d suggest that they don’t need the gravy. It takes minutes to make, so it’s worth it if you’re a gravy lover, but you can also use a tahini dressing or a simple handful of chopped fresh herbs to top the squash if you’re short on time.

When the millet and lentils were done, I was worried that the color might be a little too bland, but the beautiful, golden millet halves keep the dish festive and pretty. If you’d like to make it even more festive and colorful, you can top it with some dried cranberries (or cranberry stuffing) before you add the gravy/sauce. No matter what, this is a hearty and healthy dish to bring to any gathering–or to simply enjoy on your own. If you’re not planning to serve this to a crowd, the recipe can be halved and made to serve four instead.

I haven’t figured out precisely what I’m contributing to my family’s Thanksgiving meal this year, but I can say that this recipe is a decided contender. Perhaps it’ll end up on some of your tables, too–either sooner or later.

With that, I wish you a great end of the week, and I’ll be back for weekend reading.

xo

This post was created in partnership with the USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. Opinions are my own. Thank you for your support! To learn more about the Pulse Pledge, visit www.pulsepledge.com.

The post Millet & Black Lentil Stuffed Delicata Squash appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Simple Vegan Cornbread Sage Stuffing

Simple Vegan Cornbread Sage Stuffing | The Full Helping

I love stuffing. It is my favorite Thanksgiving food, and I’ve made a batch every year for the last six or seven. Until this year, I had yet to find a recipe that wasn’t moderately time consuming or laborious, which I didn’t really mind, because I expect holiday cooking to take some time. This year, though, I’m more focused than I ever have been on Thanksgiving recipes that are festive without being overly time-intensive, and this simple vegan cornbread sage stuffing fits the bill. It’s got all of the flavor of traditional stuffing, but if you make the cornbread a day or two in advance (and even if you don’t), it comes together without a lot of fuss.

simple-vegan-cornbread-sage-stuffing-6-copy

I used my simple, whole grain vegan cornbread in the recipe. It’s a good choice because it’s easy to make, and you can prepare it ahead of time even if you’re busy prepping other things. If you’re worried about time next week, you can prepare the cornbread this week, freeze it, and defrost it before using, or you can use a vegan cornbread mix. If you have a bakery or health food store that sells vegan cornbread, go ahead and use that. You’ll need about eight cups of cubed cornbread in total, which is about seven square slices from my recipe (I had two leftover, which Steven and I enjoyed with some leftover soup).

simple-vegan-cornbread-sage-stuffing-4

I’ve made stuffing that feature lots of herbs and a whole slew of ingredients (bread, cranberries, squash, brussels sprouts, onions, and more), and I’ve loved those results. But, with the idea of simplicity in mind, I kept the seasonings intentionally sparse in this recipe. Sage is the prominent flavor, along with fresh parsley. The vegetable component is a humble trio of onion, carrot, and celery.

No matter how often I read that the mark of culinary mastery is a capacity for restraint, I tend to worry about simple recipes, questioning whether an extra dash of this or the addition of that would make the meal bolder or stronger. It’s a tendency I really ought to get over, or at least learn to tamp down, because the more I allow simple combinations of ingredients to speak for themselves, the stronger I think my recipes become. I got all of the affirmation I needed when Steven tasted this stuffing and called it his favorite of the many I’ve made.

simple-vegan-cornbread-sage-stuffing-7-copy

Simple Vegan Cornbread Sage Stuffing
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Recipe type: main dish, entree, holidays
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free optional, soy free, tree nut free
Prep time:  15 mins
Cook time:  45 mins
Total time:  1 hour
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegan buttery spread
  • 1 large white or yellow onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 large or 3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 8 cups cubed vegan cornbread (about ¾ of a batch of my whole grain vegan cornbread recipe)
  • 2 teaspoons dried or rubbed sage (more to taste)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup loosely packed, chopped flat leaf parsley (curly parsley is fine, too)
  • Black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Heat the oil in a very large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until the onion is tender and clear. Stir in the cornbread, sage, salt, and 1 scant cup vegetable broth. Warm all of the ingredients through, then taste the mixture and add black pepper and extra salt as needed. The cornbread should be moist but not mushy; if you need to add an extra splash of broth, do. Fold in the chopped parsley.
  3. Transfer the stuffing to an oiled rectangular baking dish (either 8 x 11 or 9 x 13 will work). Pour the remaining broth over the top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the top of the stuffing is just golden. Serve.
Notes
Cornbread can be made up to 4 days in advance. The stuffing can be prepared a day in advance and baked before serving. Leftover stuffing will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
3.5.3208

simple-vegan-cornbread-sage-stuffing-copy

I love to use cornbread in stuffing: I enjoy its mild sweetness, and I also love its crisp-tender texture after baking. But I’m guessing that a cubed, rustic bread of your choosing would also work really nicely in this recipe.

If you’re looking to serve this as a centerpiece, or if you’d simply like to add some extra protein to the stuffing, I recommend stirring in some of the tempeh sausage crumbles from this recipe before baking (along with the parsley). Or you can add slices of your favorite vegan sausage; I’m guessing that the Field Roast smoked apple sage sausages would be killer! Simple tempeh bacon or my lemon pepper tempeh cubes would also work well, as would seitan grounds.

Whether you dress it up or down, I hope you enjoy this carby and comforting stuffing sometime soon–and if you’re sharing, I hope your loved ones will enjoy it along with you. I’ll be back on Thursday with another festive meal idea for your holiday table. Till soon,

xo

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Weekend Reading, 11.13.16

Weekend Reading | The Full Helping

Years ago, when I had just transitioning to a vegan lifestyle, I spent most of my time secretly hoping that people would ask me why I was vegan. Like many new vegans, I was all conviction and ardor. I felt like a soldier in a great and important battle, and I welcomed a fight.

Over time, the desire to take up arms waned. I found that a lot of conversations about my lifestyle felt not like dialogs, but attacks, and I was less prepared for battle than I thought I was. I was reminded of the fact that verbal debate has always made me painfully uncomfortable; an introvert, I’d always prefer to express my opinions or views in writing than in an argument (staged debates in high school history classes were basically my idea of a nightmare). When debate turns hostile, I feel overwhelmed with a sense of futility, a sadness that two perspectives can’t be respectfully accommodated within the same conversation.

So, I started to express my activism in ways that felt more effective and impactful to me than heated exchanges at dinner parties or family gatherings. I started my blog. I brought vegan food to social gatherings in the hope that it would speak for itself. I found online communities of individuals who approached food thoughtfully and were genuinely interested in hearing a variety of perspectives. I found fellow food lovers–the blogging community, and my family of editors and fellow columnists at Food52–who could respect and relate to the desire to approach one’s diet with passion and intention. And I tried to steer clear of arguments that felt hopeless from the get-go.

Yesterday, I arrived at an event that I expected to be congenial, a small and casual gathering of people who love food. I was the only vegan there, and much to my surprise, I was immediately questioned about my lifestyle. It had been a while since I’d articulated my veganism in a group of strangers, and I did my best to summon up the explanation I’ve crafted over the years. I tried to speak thoughtfully and gently, in spite of being taken aback that the topic had come up so quickly–and, I thought, aggressively.

Little by little, it turned into the kind of exchange I dread, a situation in which questions that were framed as “curiosity” about veganism quickly revealed themselves to be a series of quarrelsome challenges. I stammered my way through it, feeling simultaneously irritated that I’d been caught off guard and also as though I was doing a very, very bad job of explaining myself. I say that I’m always ready to be an ambassador for veganism, but at that moment, I really didn’t want to be. Not just then, not this week. What I wanted was to eat lunch in peace, to find some common ground in a group of new acquaintances.

The conversation did ultimately draw to a close, but it put a pall rest of the day. This morning, I spent some time reflecting on it, mostly with the fear that I could have handled it better: did I say the right thing? Was I forceful enough? Too forceful? Did I seem defensive? Did I handle the talking points clumsily? Was my discomfort visible, and if so, did that reflect poorly on veganism?

And then, in the midst of this self-doubt, I read my friend Paul Shapiro’s recent interview on the Animal Charity Evaluators blog, which I’m linking to in today’s weekend reading roundup. Paul has some wonderful things to say about the challenges of maintaining one’s equanimity as an activist, especially when debates do feel personal or hurtful. He articulates beautifully what it means to approach a difficult conversation without defensiveness, aggression, or resentment, but rather with the intention of acting as “a vessel to help animals.” He says,

Sometimes criticisms seem unfair, unjustified, or even ill-motivated. All I can think about then is, “What’s best for animals?” It’s not best for animals for me to take criticism personally or return it.

When asked how one develops a thick skin as an activist, he responds,

The same way you literally get thicker skin; you coarsen it through practice. I try to have a “malice towards none and charity towards all” attitude . . .
There’s a saying I often use which is, “if you walk in the rain you might get wet,” and we choose to walk in the rain every day by being public advocates for animals. If you go out on a limb and become an animal advocate and a face for the movement, you’re going to get criticism, both from people who want to help animals and people who want to harm them. I view myself as a vessel to help animals—that’s really how I view my life. So I’m hoping to hear criticisms in the spirit of wanting to do better and become a more effective advocate for animals. I try not to let it feel personal, but rather just focus on moving the ball forward and recognizing that I’m walking in the rain by choice and I might get wet every once in awhile.

Once upon a time, years ago, when I’d just come home from a dinner that was eerily reminiscent of yesterday’s lunch, I expressed to a friend how vulnerable I felt when confronted with unwanted interrogation. “You know,” she said, “it’s OK to not have the conversation sometimes. You don’t always have to take the bait.”

I appreciate and agree with what she was saying, which is that in spite of wanting to be ambassadors, we’re also people. Veganism isn’t just an abstract ideal; for many of us, it cuts to the heart of who we are and what we care about most. It’s OK to not always want to dive into conversations that can’t help but feel deeply personal. It’s OK to rest, to sit one out.

Yet I take tremendous inspiration from Paul’s attitude and words. If you choose to identify as vegan, you’ll inevitably be asked to talk about it from time to time. To regard oneself as a vessel of sorts can lend an impartiality and sense of purpose to otherwise difficult and provocative conversations; they become opportunities to give animals a voice, rather than perceived attacks.

One may not always get very far; I certainly don’t feel as though I articulated the full scope of my perspective yesterday. Whatever you do say may inevitably feel incomplete or imperfect. But the challenge is to stick with a scenario in which very different world views are being expressed without being overtaken by hopelessness. It’s an important lesson, and it feels particularly significant to me right now, for reasons that stretch beyond this topic.

Yesterday will not go down in history as my finest moment as an activist. But I’m glad that, rather than excusing myself to the bathroom and starting to cry, which is what I wanted to do, I tried to stay calm and did my best to speak up–regardless of how inelegant my words might have been.

You can click through to Paul’s entire interview as you check out this week’s links. You might also enjoy my friend Matt’s reflections on 15 years of veganism. Like me, Matt has become less interested in gearing up for a fight as his veganism deepens and progresses. He, too, regards himself as an ambassador for animals, but at this point veganism is just one part of a whole identity that contains many other values and sources of meaning. I can relate. No matter what ideals you hold dear, perhaps you can identify with this process of integration, too.

Enjoy the links, and the very tasty recipes.

Recipes

muir-glen-lentils-1a

One of my favorite recipes from this blog–and I mean a recipe I make all the time, at least once every month–is my slow cooker masala lentils. I love the combination of simmered lentils with tomato, and that’s an ingredient pairing that Amanda is paying tribute to beautifully with her smoky tomato lentils cooked in coconut milk. These lentils look incredibly rich and flavorful, and I’m excited to try them.

vegan-black-sesame-waffles

Ever the culinary creative, Rika has come up with an awesome recipe for vegan black sesame waffles. I usually keep black sesame seeds around for sprinkling onto soba noodle salads or rice bowls, and this is a cool new way to use them.

cinnabread2

In the mood for a therapeutic baking project? Alexandra’s apple cinnamon bun cake is a very nice place to start (and she has some very comforting words to offer if you’re a little scared of working with yeast breads–which I am!).

smoky-sweet-potato-lentil-tortilla-soup-12

I usually turn to Alanna’s blog for awesomely creative baked goods, but this week I’ve got my eye on her hearty, smoky, sweet potato lentil tortilla soup. Just the thing for a simple, stick-to-your ribs fall supper!

zimtsterne

It is not too early, in my mind, to start thinking about cheery holiday baking projects. And Constanze’s cinnamon stars–which are both vegan and gluten free–are a lovely place to start. So are her speculoos truffles. (So are most of her baked goods.)

Reads

1. Opioid addiction is a growing epidemic in this country, claiming more and more lives with each passing year. Julian Mitton, a primary care doctor in the Boston area, makes a powerful plea for primary care physicians to begin addressing this addiction within their practices.

2. Yet more evidence that focus on weight, dieting, and food restriction is bad for teens and adolescents. It’s time for pediatricians and GPs to shift their language toward healthful lifestyle practices and self care, and away from numbers.

3. As I mentioned, my friend Matt reflects on his fifteen years as a vegan, starting with his impassioned early days and culminating in the conscious, compassionate, rich perspective he embraces now. My story doesn’t exactly parallel Matt’s, but I can certainly relate to a journey in which veganism was at one point the prime thing, maybe the only thing, and over time becomes simply one expression of a broader way of living and looking at the world.

I’m struck by these sentiments in particular:

. . . [M]y worldview is expanded from ten years ago. And while my place in the world is bigger than it was because of the opportunities I’ve had, I’m still just one person.  There’s only so much I can do.  But what I can do is significant: lead by example.
. . . if you are new to veganism and angry about how animals are treated, I’m with you. My advice is to channel that anger into something positive.

The positive thing Matt alludes to may be as personal as a lovingly prepared vegan meal, and it may be as public as a piece of writing, a documentary, or a speech. It might be a conversation you have with a family member or friend. It may be a trip to an animal sanctuary, a day spent volunteering with rescued dogs or cats, or the time you take to connect and play with a non-human animal in your life. No matter what it is, cherish it as a means of transmuting grief and frustration into action.

4. My medical nutrition therapy professor, who is a breast cancer survivor and chose to “go flat” after her own double mastectomy, shared this article with us, and I was moved by it. I think it’s important that a variety of options exist for men and women who are undergoing surgery, and I’m glad that the choice to forgo reconstruction is being supported and embraced.

5. Finally, Paul Shapiro’s interview. Whether you’re struggling with activism or simply feeling overwhelmed by the task of interpersonal communication and the quest for mutual understanding, I hope it inspires you as it has inspired me.

This week: some tasty and wholesome vegan Thanksgiving dishes to savor and share. I’m looking forward to sharing them with all of you!

xo

 

 

The post Weekend Reading, 11.13.16 appeared first on The Full Helping.

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Curried Butternut, Red Lentil, and Apple Soup

    lentil-butternut-apple-soup-6

This curried butternut, red lentil, and apple soup is the happy merger of a number of my favorite soup flavors: squash, apples, onions, curry. It’s surprisingly complex for a soup that features only a few main ingredients and is really easy to prepare. Best of all, it’s one of those soups that can be either pureed into something that’s sort of like a bisque or left chunky and more like a stew. It comes together quickly–about 25-30 minutes, tops–and you can use it as a base for adding leafy greens or other extra vegetables if you’re so inclined.

lentil-butternut-apple-soup-2

The soup is a little more than that. It’s my small attempt to evoke comfort and sustenance in a season and time when these things feel distant to many of us. On Sunday, in my weekend reading post, I mentioned that the change of seasons often reflects or enhances or compliments change and upheaval within. Transition can be dizzying, just as it can be liberating. It’s natural for anxiety to come up as we ready ourselves for winter, a response to darkness and short days and the impending quiet of turning inward.

It’s also November, which means that holidays are coming, and with them all of the commotion and mixed feelings that they can create. The winter holidays were dear to me growing up, and I remember feeling mystified that anyone might greet them with anything short of glee. I understand now how complex they can be, how draining, no matter how much goodwill is at large.

And in the midst of it all, a great many people woke up today feeling confused, saddened, angry, or fearful. I have little wisdom to offer here: I’m no more sure of how to contextualize bewilderment or unrest than anyone else. What I do know is that when I’m feeling overwhelmed or baffled, I often look to food as an anchor. I can’t sift through how I feel about the big things, but I can piece together a meal. I can combine a few ingredients, and much to my amazement they will become something that is nourishing and sustaining. It’s not everything, but it is something, and it matters.

So, on this very gray November morning, in the midst of change and transition that may be far from easy, I offer you soup that is sweet, savory, and hearty. I hope it will warm you up, and maybe lift you up.

Curried Butternut, Red Lentil, and Apple Soup | The Full Helping
Curried Butternut, Red Lentil, and Apple Soup | The Full Helping
Curried Butternut, Red Lentil, and Apple Soup
Author: Gena Hamshaw
Recipe type: soup
Cuisine: vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free
Prep time:  10 mins
Cook time:  30 mins
Total time:  40 mins
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 pound peeled and cubed butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
  • 1¼ pounds peeled and chopped apples (about 2 large or 3 small apples)
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and clear.
  2. Add the broth, curry, salt, pepper, red lentils, squash, and apples to the pot. Bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils have melted into the soup and the squash and apples are very tender. Stir once or twice during cooking. When the soup is ready, you can puree it partially or completely with an immersion blender (or not).
  3. Taste the soup and adjust seasoning if desired. If you’d like to enhance the soup’s sweet notes from the apple, stir in 2-3 teaspoons maple syrup. Serve.
Notes
Leftover soup will keep for up to five days in an airtight container in the fridge. It can be frozen for up to 1 month.
3.5.3208

Curried Butternut, Red Lentil, and Apple Soup | The Full Helping

As I mentioned, it’s easy to wilt some leafy greens into this soup if you’d like to add even more nutrient density (and a little calcium). And if you don’t have butternuts squash, acorn squash or sweet potatoes will be great, too. I recommend serving it with a hunk of whole grain bread, at which point you’ll have a pretty complete and satisfying meal, with plenty of leftovers to look forward to — unless you bring this soup to a holiday gathering, which isn’t a bad idea at all.

Speaking of holidays, many of us have a lot of cooking and entertaining ahead. In anticipation of that, I’m enjoying the opportunity to sit down and help myself to something simple and wholesome. Next week, I’ll be sharing some slightly-more-elaborate and festive recipes for your holiday table, recipes that will hopefully give pleasure to everyone you’re gathering with.

Till soon,

xo

The post Curried Butternut, Red Lentil, and Apple Soup appeared first on The Full Helping.

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