One veggie, Two veggie, Three veggie, Four

Aside from the copious amounts of yoga, fresh air, relaxation and sunshine, one thing that leaves you feeling like a million bucks at Kripalu is the food. Organic, fresh, colorful…you can feel your body jumping for joy inside when you eat your meals because it knows its being nourished something fierce. They also only serve desserts two days a week and don’t offer coffee or much caffeine. If you feel like your body is going to go into a tailspin without either of these items, though, they do sell them at a little store on the main floor. Coffee and Newman’s Organic Peanut Butter cups and cookies await if you just…can’t… go…without (for the record, I’ve never caved).

In the three days that I was there, I ate so many vegetables, it was crazy. With the exception of a piece of haddock one of the nights, my plates were loaded with veggies, nuts, seeds, beans, yogurts, fresh breads, eggs and some fruit. Probably doesn’t sound all that exciting…your’re thinking hemp and sprouts, right? Faaaar from it. Kripalu proved to me, although I have been experimenting with this more and more in my home kitchen, that a more plant-based diet can be wildly satisfying. And from the ever-increasing readings that I’ve come across, it’s just plain healthier. I’m worlds away from becoming a vegetarian (go without fish or bacon, are you loco?) but I am also seeing that more plants can be a very good thing.

It’s all in your intention and how you prepare the food, how creative you get and the quality of ingredients you use. Intention is a big thing at Kripalu. What is your intention for your yoga practice? What is your intention for the day? When you start thinking this way, setting these goals (big or small) and putting thoughts at the forefront of your mind, it’s interesting the shift and motivation that it creates.

lavenderI’m going to share with you two recipes that I love from Kripalu. One is for breakfast and the other, for anytime and perfect for the upcoming summer season. I guzzled the iced tea (yes, they do offer some caffeinated teas) and the scones…well, let’s just say that I pulled the ultimate class-less move. After having breakfast on the last day and enjoying these scones SO much (swoon), I actually-in a stealth move-went in and out of the dining hall twice so as to abscond with 5 of theses babies for the trip home and breakfast the next morning. Shhhhh, ok! They are that good.

Psssst….these two things would be GREAT for a Mother’s Day Brunch. Just putting that out there.

More stories and recipes to come. There are many good ones 🙂 Have a great day, everyone!

Lavender Black Tea with Honey, courtesy of the Kripalu Summer Salads, Sandwiches, and Soups cookbook (Makes 8 cups)

4 cup water
7 tea bags of English Breakfast tea
3 Tb. dried (cooking grade) lavender*
2-4 Tb. honey
4 cups ice

Bring water to a boil in a 4-quart sauce pot. Remove from heat and add the tea bags and lavender. Steep for 5 minutes, then strain into a pitcher. Stir in the honey and ice. The ice will melt, bringing the tea to the perfect strength. Refrigerate until cold. Serve chilled.
*dried lavender for cooking can be purchased at Whole Foods in the baking section

Vegan Ginger Scones (don’t let the vegan part scare you), courtesy of Kripalu Breakfast Savory and Sweet cookbook (Makes 12 scones)

1 cup cold, non-hydrogenated shortening
1/2 cup sweetened soy milk
1 1/3 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup white sugar
2.5 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. sea salt
2/3 cup chopped candied ginger

Preheat oven to 375. Grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
Slice cold shortening into small flakes and keep cold. Combine the oats, pastry flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the cold shortening and use your fingertips, a pastry cutter or a fork to cut the cold shortening flakes into the dry ingredients. Do not overmix; the mixture should be mealy, not heavy and pasty. Pour in the soy milk and use your hands to gently combine. Add the candied ginger and continue to mix to form a heavy, fairly wet dough. For a tender texture, it is beneficial to handle the dough lightly while mixing and during the subsequent rolling.

On a floured board, roll dough 1-inch thick and cut into 2-inch rounds (or other similar-sized shapes). Combine any scraps of dough and gently re-roll and cut. Place scones on prepared baking sheet.

Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes (cooking time will vary depending on their size). Remove from baking sheet and serve immediately or let cool.

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