• Vegan Falafels

    These days, with so many resources available on the internet, eating healthy is easier than ever. We love looking for recipes from our favorite vegan foodies all over the web, and this week, we were lucky enough to come across this middle eastern treat courtesy of Natalie Prigoone. So, grab your food processor and a can of chickpeas and let’s get cooking! 

    These cute little falafels were made by my mum. I made the accompanying babganoush and tzadziki . This is when cooking works: Everyone does their little bit and then brings it together for something far greater.

    Falafel recipe

    400g can chickpeas
    1/3 cup organic besan flour
    1/4 cup chopped parsley
    1 small onion
    Salt and pepper
    1 tsp ground coriander seeds
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    2 cloves garlic (crushed or use micro plane for a fine grate.

     

    Method

    Hand chop herbs, and onion.

    Drain and rinse chickpeas.

    Blend all ingredients in food processor on the pulse option. You don’t want mush. Keep it a little chunky. Scrape down sides as you go.

    Refrigerate mixture in a bowl for 30 minutes to firm up.

    Roll into small small balls and shallow fry in your favourite oil. Coconut or olive oil work well.

    Cook both sides until golden.

    Serve with salad, pita, babaganoush and tzadziki. Yum.

    NOTE: Reserve the liquid for something else. It’s called Aquafaba and is a great vegan substitute for an egg in a meringue. Many other uses.

    By Natalie Prigoone

    Natalie Prigoone, the great uncooking

     

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  • Conquering Pride: The Enemy Within.

    Life is full of obstacles. But most of them are external to us: Illness, death, divorce, job loss, and family troubles. You get the picture. But I want to examine an internal obstacle, one that is often difficult to see within us and very easy to see in others. Pride. But what is pride? Isn’t it a good thing? Let’s look a little closer.

    A lovely nearby school has a motto that has been bothering me.

    Their motto is: Friendship, Pride and Respect. It sounds innocent enough, but the use of the word “Pride” is what sits uneasy with me.

    We hear that it’s important to take pride in your work, and take pride in your appearance. Yet, pride is listed as one of the 7 deadly sins. Holy scriptures talk about how civilizations were lost and people fell because of pride. Prophets old and new warn of pride.

    “Hypocrisy, pride, self-conceit, wrath, arrogance and ignorance belong, O Partha, to him who is born to the heritage of the demons.” ~ The Gita, XVI. 4

    So just what is pride? Why do some people aspire to cultivate more of it, while wise sages warn us to stamp it out?

    Clearly we have a conflict of definitions.

    Some people use pride in a positive way. And for our purposes let’s replace that positive version of the word with ‘self respect’, ‘dignity’ or being conscientious. All good things.

    And let’s define the sinful side of pride as Ego. That is, comparing yourself to others, putting your self above others. Being boastful, arrogant or conceited. With those definitions sorted, let’s continue. Why am I so bothered?

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic because of a book I read,

    Ego is the Enemy” By Ryan Holiday.

    He says that Ego is a conscious separation from everything. We pit ourselves against others.

    Isn’t that interesting! The very purpose of yoga is connection to everything. Yoga seeks to connect our body to our spirit, and our consciousness to other people, and to God.

    Ego seeks validation and status. Ego wants likes, and followers, recognition. Ego and pride can make us un-teachable. You can’t learn if you think you already know it all.

    We need to be humble in order to learn. Be an eternal student. The one, who learns the most, grows the most. And growth is the hallmark of a happy and productive life. You will not find answers to improve if you are too conceited to ask the questions.

    Ego is defensive and tells us we don’t need to improve.

    Ego makes us hostile to feedback.

    Pride tells us we shouldn’t have to put up with this.

    C.S. Lewis warns, ‘Beware of pride. The proud man is always looking down and cannot see what is above him.’

    The proud man cannot effectively commune with God. Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952

    Pride is essentially competitive in nature. We pit our will against God’s. When we direct our pride toward God, it is in the spirit of “my will and not thine be done.” As Paul said, they “…seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s.” (Philip. 2:21.)

    The central feature of pride is enmity— Enmity means “hatred toward, hostility to, or a state of opposition.”

    Our enmity toward God takes on many labels, such as rebellion, hard-heartedness, vain, puffed up, and easily offended. The proud wish God would agree with them. They aren’t interested in changing their opinions to agree with God’s.

    We can find warnings about Pride if we turn to the Bible.

    Proverbs 16:18-19

    “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall. Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.”

    Saul became an enemy to David through pride. He was jealous because the crowds of Israelite women were singing that “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.” (1 Sam. 18:68.)

    The proud make every man their adversary by pitting their intellects, opinions, works, wealth, talents, or any other worldly measuring device against others.

    In the words of C. S. Lewis: “Pride gets no pleasure out of having something, only out of having more of it than the next man. … It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone.” (Mere Christianity, New York: Macmillan, 1952, pp. 109–10.)

    We see enmity toward our fellowmen everywhere. We see it in the parking lot, the office and even in our families.

    We see people daily trying to elevate themselves above others and diminish them.

    Here’s the tricky part. Pride is easy to spot in others but rarely admitted in ourselves. Most of us consider pride to be a sin of those on the top, such as the rich and the learned, looking down at the rest of us.

    There is, however, a far more common ailment among us—and that is pride from the bottom looking up. It is manifest in so many ways, such as faultfinding, gossiping, backbiting, murmuring, living beyond our means, envying, coveting, withholding gratitude and praise that might lift another, and being unforgiving and jealous.

    Any time you think you are better than someone else or you are judging someone, that is pride. It’s not always relegated to the man who has the shiny car and is hoping for admiring glances. The person who knowingly scratches the car is being prideful, because they are comparing themselves.

    Pride does not have to be boastful. We can be proud even when looking at someone who we perceive has more than us. That man you see getting out of his flashy sports car, and you smugly think to yourself, ‘I bet he never spends time with his family.’ Or the woman with the perfect body, ‘I bet she’s had some work done.’ Or ‘That outfit is a bit skimpy.’

    Sometimes we are the most ego driven when we feel we have a lot to prove. Those that feel confident with their accomplishments and who they are can usually control their egos more masterfully.

    The proud are easily offended and hold grudges.

    Have you ever witnessed someone in a queue say, ‘Don’t you know who I am?’

    Real people of importance and those in real positions of power don’t need to say things like that.

    The proud withhold forgiveness to keep another in their debt and to justify their injured feelings.

    The proud do not receive counsel or correction easily. (See Prov. 15:10; Defensiveness is used by them to justify and rationalize their frailties and failures. (See Matt. 3:9; John 6:3059.)

    The proud are not easily taught. They won’t change their minds to accept truths, because to do so implies they have been wrong.

    Pride affects all of us at various times and in various degrees. Pride is the universal vice. So how do we overcome this weakness?

    The first step is becoming aware of when we are having prideful thoughts. An excess of pride may cause you to think you don’t need a daily yoga practice. It may cause you to compare yourself to other people in your yoga class. It may even cause you to avoid your practice altogether because you feel you’re not good enough and don’t want to embarrass yourself. Let go of all that. Allow yoga to provide that process of stripping away the natural man and getting back to your true self, your divine self.

    When we say the words ‘Namaste’ we are saluting the divine in others and in ourselves. May we strive to more fully see this divinity, and let go of the struggle. Be one with all.

    Next, let us choose to be humble. The antidote for pride is humility. Rejoice in your talents and accomplishments, but in a way that is modest. Either we can choose to be humble or we can be compelled to be humble.

    “Blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble.” (Alma 32:16.)

    We can choose to humble ourselves by conquering enmity toward our brothers and sisters, valuing them as ourselves, and lifting them as high or higher than we are. We can choose to humble ourselves by receiving counsel and chastisement.

    We can choose to humble ourselves by forgiving those who have offended us.

    D&C 64:10. “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men.”

    We choose to be humble when we see another person’s point of view. When we give someone the benefit of the doubt. When we allow people to make mistakes that are different to the ones we habitually make.

    There is a bumper sticker doing the rounds which says ‘Don’t judge me because I sin differently to you.’ We each have failings, let’s be more gracious towards each other.

    Thomas S Monson has said

    “Life is perfect for none of us. Rather than being judgmental and critical of each other, may we have the pure love of Christ for our fellow travelers in this journey through life. May we recognize that each one is doing her best to deal with the challenges, which come her way, and may we strive to do our best to help out.

    Charity has been defined as the highest, noblest, strongest kind of love, … and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with [her].”

    The upside is that when we let go of all this comparing, judging, and criticizing. We feel connected to other humans. And it is in the times of greatest connection that our greatest happiness is found.

    By Natalie Prigoone

    Natalie Prigoone, the great uncooking

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  • Vegan Creamy Mushroom & Leek Sauce with Caramelized Onions

    How is it already January 2018? If you’re anything like most of us over here at OmStars, the new year completely snuck up on you and now you’re probably scrambling to get on top of well-intended, New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, exercise regularly, and practice more yoga! Luckily, the internet is teeming with healthy recipes from vegan food-lovers that are delicious and easy to make. Today, we’re excited to share an amazing recipe by Natalie Prigoone, author of The Great Uncooking: Real Food, Raw Food. It’s a Vegan Creamy Mushroom and Leek Sauce with Caramelized Onions, served over Cauliflower rice.

    For this recipe, you will need:

    • 4 Mushrooms
    • 4 Inches of Leek
    • 1 Large Brown Onion
    • 2 Cups of Hot Water
    • 1/3 Cup of Cashews
    • 1 Tbsp of Nutritional Yeast
    • 2 Cloves of Garlic
    • 1 Tsp Massels Vegan Stock Powder
    • 1/2 a Lemon
    • 1/4 of a Cauliflower.

    Directions:

    • First, wash and chop all your vegetables. Then heat a drizzle of olive oil on low heat in a large pan, and set a small pot of water to boil.
    • Using the pan with the olive oil, sauté your onions, mushrooms and leaks for approximately 10 minutes, taking extra care not to burn the onion. Natalie suggests adding a little salt during the cooking process to help the onions release some water.
    • Meanwhile, pour your freshly boiled hot water into a blender with your cashews, yeast flakes, garlic and stock powder and blend until smooth. (Tip: You’ll want to make sure that you allow some steam and pressure to escape through the opening at the top of your blender by leaving the small, plastic cap on only loosely).
    • Use a food processor to make your Cauliflower rice. Cut the cauliflower into small chunks, and process until it resembles rice.
    • Pour your Cashew cream mixture into the pan with your sautéed veggies, stirring occasionally until the sauce thickens. Then serve the completed mixture over your Cauliflower rice, and garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. According to Natalie, this is important for balancing the palate.

    This recipe serves 2, and it’s is a delicious and healthy way to stay on track with your new years resolutions. Give it a try and let us know what you think! Plus, check out some of the other amazing recipes that Natalie Prigoone offers on her course, The Great Uncooking, available with your membership to OmStars.com.

    Recipe by Natalie Prigoone

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