Welcome to Meatless Mondays Australia!
To inspire your meat-free culinary creations, this week we are excited to share with you a delicious dish from the renowned and much loved chef Iain ‘Huey’ Hewitson. Huey has a beautiful philosophy in his recipes of ‘real food for real people’ which makes the whole cooking process a lot easier to tackle. We also discuss the health benefits of eating brown rice and let you in on a quick and easy health tip for when you are feeling stressed, as well as a quick and easy tip to help you save the planet. And for your inner wellness, we teach you a simple Nature Meditation that you can do at any time, anywhere to give your body, mind and soul some time to relax simply by using your own senses. Enjoy your Meatless Mondays and make the time to live, laugh and love!
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Food of the Week
Rice is a staple food for much of the world’s population. Rice is nutrient dense and provides carbohydrate, protein, vitamins and minerals. The nutritional content of rice varies depending on the type of rice and whether it is brown or white. Brown rice contains more nutrients and dietary fibre than processed white rice.
Brown rice contains:
- Complex carbohydrates for energy
- Protein and essential amino acids for healthy muscle tissue
- High levels of B-group vitamins, such as thiamin, niacin and riboflavin
- Vitamins D and E
- Manganese, selenium, magnesium, tryptophan, zinc, iron, calcium and phosphorus
- Essential fatty acids
- Resistant starch and dietary fibre for a healthy bowel
Eating brown rice has been shown to:
- Assist in the prevention of cancer, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes
- Help to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Reduce allergies
- Decrease the symptoms of asthma
- Lessen the pain and inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis
- Assist with weight loss
Rice is gluten free making it an excellent choice for people suffering from gluten intolerance. It can be used in a variety of dishes, including soups, and is delicious and good for you as well.
And don’t forget to look for the locally grown product so you don’t add to your carbon footprint. If your greengrocer or supermarket doesn’t stock locally grown produce, please encourage them to do so.
Recipe of the Week
Huey’s Red Rice from Mexico
This week’s recipe comes to us compliments of celebrity chef/restaurateur Iain ‘Huey’ Hewitson, star of the TV cooking program, Huey’s Kitchen. We know you’ll love it. Thanks Huey!
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 long red chillies, seeded and finely chopped
2 cups basmati rice
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2½-3 cups vegetable stock
½ cup tomato passata (Italian tomato cooking sauce)
1-2 heaped teaspoons chilli paste
7 spring (green) onions, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
Heat a little oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot and gently sauté the red onion, garlic and chillies until just tender, regularly stirring.
Add the rice with the dried oregano and chilli paste. Stir to coat well.
Then add 2½ cups stock, the tomato cooking sauce, chilli paste, 4 chopped spring onions and seasonings. Stir well, pushing any rice down from the sides, and bring to the boil.
Turn down the heat, cover and gently simmer until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed, stirring now and again and adding more stock if needed.
Then stir through the coriander with the remaining spring onion.
Serve as is for a main course or as an accompaniment alongside any grill.
Healthy You Quick Tip
Heading straight for a coffee to give you a quick boost when you are stressed creates unnecessary extra strain on your body. Replace that coffee with:
- Green tea, which is low in caffeine and high in antioxidants
- Fruit or vegetable juice, which will supply vitamin C and magnesium, both of which are depleted when you are stressed.
Healthy Planet Quick Tip
Electrical appliances such as TVs, VCRs and computers can generate up to 85kg of greenhouse gas per year when left in stand-by mode. You can do your bit by:
- Switching off all appliances that really don’t need to remain on stand-by
- For items such as VCR/PVRs and fax machines that do need to be on stand-by, buying only low-wattage models with good Energy Star ratings
- Unplugging appliances that you only use occasionally.
The Power of Nature
“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair” – Kahlil Gibran
Every day we surround ourselves with noise and conversations, and we clutter our minds and bombard our senses with the activities of daily life. We live in the world consumed with everything we can see, hear, smell, feel – the rush of traffic in the mornings, the honking of horns, the petrol fumes in the air, our shoes pounding the pavement.
What does it feel like then when you can stand at the top of a building or the balcony of your house and just watch the world down below? Or if you look up and around you and let your eye meet new sensory stimuli – a sunrise, a sunset, cloud formations, tree tops blowing in the wind? At this new level of awareness there is a sense of freedom, of peace, of stillness. We feel relaxed and happy and all the thoughts and clutter stop momentarily.
We don’t make enough time to look for these little signs along the way even from street level. Even as we rush about if we look around, the wind is blowing, rain is falling, a rainbow is formed, the clouds change colour. All of this movement takes place in stillness.
Grant yourself permission to relax and savor the stillness. If you attune yourself to the calm around you, worldly distractions will be minimised and the unadulterated flow of your consciousness will reestablish itself in your mind. The needs of your body, heart, and soul will then be revealed to you, empowering you to tap into the essential healing energy of the universe that surrounds you every day, every minute. You can guide your focus toward a more tranquil state of being if you just take the time and make the effort.
So this week we show you a simple Nature Meditation that you can do in every season to give your body, mind and soul some time to relax simply by using your own senses.
Begin by walking around an environment you choose in a relaxed and open way until some aspect of the natural world attracts you. You may feel as though you are being naturally guided to a place – it may be a tree in your backyard, the local park, the pier at the beach. Find a place that resonates within. Once you have found your place stand or walk around slowly and allow your senses to fully engage with your surroundings. Let go of the stimuli of the outside world, just stop and observe. Be in the present moment. It is your time to just be.
Sit in your place you have chosen and start by breathing it in. Breathe it in with all of your senses and remember that the oxygen you are breathing in is produced by the trees, plants and environment around you, and that the carbon dioxide you are breathing out is being breathed in by the trees and plants. If you are near the ocean breathe in the fresh sea air and fill your lungs, and if you are in the mountains breathe in as much crisp air as you can and feel the freshness engulf your body. Spend some time in the mutual flow of breath exchange.
Start asking yourself gentle questions. These questions are a guided meditation to take you through your experience with each of your senses.
Ask yourself what can you feel. Reach out and run your hand over a few things – a branch, a leaf, sand, pebbles. What do they feel like? Soft? Hard? Sharp? Smooth? Ask yourself how your body responds. Is your sense of touch heightened if you close your eyes? Be with your environment. Breathe it in.
Ask yourself to look around. What colours do you see? What are the patterns you see around you? Are there different shapes and sizes? How does your body respond to each different thing you see? Be with your environment. Breathe it in.
Ask yourself to listen. What sounds do you hear? Are they far away? Close? Loud? Soft? What is making the sounds? Are there birds? Animals? Is it man made? How does your body respond to the quality of each sound? Be with your environment. Breathe it in.
Ask yourself what can you smell. What are the aromas? Are they gentle? Strong? Sweet? Delicate? How does your body respond to each different scent? Be with your environment. Breathe it in.
Ask yourself what can you taste. What can you taste in the air? If you are in your garden pick a leaf of a herb and ask yourself what are the textures coming through when you eat it on its own. Be with your environment. Breathe it in.
Now with all of your senses notice the movement around you. Look at the movement of people walking by, trees, bushes, flowers and grasses in the wind. If you are near water, look at the movement of the water. Feel the wind on your face, in your hair. Let it gently play with you. Is the breeze strong or gentle? What is the temperature like on your skin? Let your body be responsive to the wind. Let your body be responsive to your environment.
Look, smell, taste, listen and feel the symphony of nature around you.
Take this experience with you into your daily life and routine. Feel your body tune into a state of relaxation and peace. Every day the universe gives us these gifts. Make the time to tap into the experiences around you to realise the power that surrounds you.