Recent Posts by kirsten

Sunday sadhana

By Sunday, March 5, 2017 0 , , Permalink

Friends in Converse, credit Kirsten Akens 2017

To me, sadhana is a daily spiritual practice allowing time and space for an individual to turn inward.

As Yogi Bhajan (of the Kundalini yoga tradition) says, “Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.”

Sadhana could be taking a walk in nature, doing breath work or yoga asanas on a mat, spending time meditating or chanting, reading and reflecting on a poem, journaling or simply watching the sun rise.

Please accept this post as a possible starting point for your own practice today.

My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.

— Warsan Shire, Kenyan-born, London-based, Somali poet and writer of Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth

“New Recipe a Week”: Vegan Buddha Bowl

By Tuesday, February 28, 2017 0 , , Permalink

Vibrant Vegan Double Broccoli Buddha Bowl, credit Kirsten Akens 2017

Not every new recipe a week I try works out, but every now and again, one gets elevated to permanent Pepperplate status.

Tonight’s is one of those.

I’ve been a big fan of the vegetarian 101 Cookbooks website for many years. I also have two of Heidi Swanson’s cookbooks: Super Natural Cooking, and Super Natural Every Day. (I’m been wanting her third, Near & Far: Recipes Inspired by Home and Travel, but haven’t grabbed it yet.) I think I’ve only made one or two recipes over a decade of following her that have completely bombed. (And when I say, completely bombed, I mean they weren’t winners for our taste buds. Not that the recipe was somehow bad.)

Just about a year ago, I did a Top 25 list of “new recipes a week” that were winners for our household. Lots of them were Heidi’s. (And I should mention, I still stand by that list, if you’re wanting a place to find some new cooking and baking inspiration.)

All this to say, tonight I made Heidi’s Vibrant Vegan Double Broccoli Buddha Bowl. And even though I *may* have added a little too much garlic (is that actually a thing?), it was quite tasty — and quite pretty, with all the greens popping to the forefront. I told my husband it was like a salad, but more interesting. For what it’s worth, I added all the toppings she recommends (minus the hot sauce for me — but my husband liked the hot-sauce addition). The only thing I would change for next time is I would toast the almonds longer. I think it would add a little extra both in flavor and crunch.

This Buddha Bowl was really easy and quick to put together — especially since I cooked up quinoa in my Instant Pot over the weekend — which was also super easy, thanks to my friend JL’s cookbook Vegan Pressure Cooking. Her book is helping me to focus more on pre-cooking grains and beans, and to freeze them so weeknight cooking goes a lot faster. Once I’ve got this trick solidly up my sleeve, I’m hoping to learn to make and freeze breakfast burritos — if you have any suggestions on this process, let me know in the comments below.

Do you have any vegetarian or vegan recipes you’ve been blown away by recently? I’d love to hear about them in the comments. I’m always on the hunt! And … happy cooking!

Sunday sadhana

By Sunday, February 26, 2017 0 , , Permalink

Love, credit Kirsten Akens 2016

To me, sadhana is a daily spiritual practice allowing time and space for an individual to turn inward.

As Yogi Bhajan (of the Kundalini yoga tradition) says, “Sadhana is self-enrichment. It is not something which is done to please somebody or to gain something. Sadhana is a personal process in which you bring out your best.”

Sadhana could be taking a walk in nature, doing breath work or yoga asanas on a mat, spending time meditating or chanting, reading and reflecting on a poem, journaling or simply watching the sun rise.

Please accept this post as a possible starting point for your own practice today.

Finding my people has been so game-changing for me that now I wonder if that isn’t the most important reason why we need to do our work in the world. (Though I know intellectually we will all have our own motivations.) I want people to be brave, I want them to not get trapped on the idea hamster wheel, I want them to put their stake in the ground so their peers can find them. So none of us has to be who we are in the world alone. … Letting ourselves be seen opens us up to being loved.

— Jen Lee & Tim Manley, The 10 Letters Project: A Year of Art and Friendship

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