So the holidays have come and gone. I can’t believe another year has flown by. It feels like yesterday that I was boarding a plane from New Delhi, to spend New Years oceanside (errr…hospitalized, rather), in Goa, India. The week that would change my life.
A lot has happened this year – some good, some bad, and some real real ugly. As I look back, though, I can’t help but smile at the evolution in myself, my family, my friends, and the consciousness of the world around me.
I have become aware of my body and how it reacts to the food and additives I take in, now leaning towards that with more sustenance and less filler that simply tastes good. My friends and I have been attending meditations, seminars on leadership and personal empowerment (Landmark!), trans-denominational spiritual services (Agape!), and engaging each other in uplifting conversations about life and love. My family has become closer; all of us making more of an effort to visit with each other. We support each other, encourage each other, sing together, motivate one another, educate each other. It’s been an inspiring year, despite the challenges, and for that I’m happy.
I had to work this week, so my Christmas plans were last minute. I got on the road around 1 pm on the 25th, hoping to reach my parent’s house in Fresno for dinner by 4 pm. I made great time and pulled up as the table was being set. As I hadn’t committed to showing up at my parent’s house for dinner, they didn’t really have the intention of preparing any special menu items to suit my fancy. So what was to follow came as a kind of pleasant surprise – collard greens with portabella mushrooms, roasted winter squash and yellow onions with olive oil and Himalayan salt, grilled asparagus, spinach salad with garbanzo beans and red onion, vegan garlic smashed potatoes, fresh rolls, and chicken Kiev. Fairly classic but far from traditional.
The menu was as multi-ethnic as those sitting around the table! It was fresh, organic, and all leaning towards healthy and clean (note to the reader: gobs of vegan Earth Balance butter doesn’t constitute healthy, so watch the intake of your saturated fats regardless of their source)! I made a comment at the dinner table, pointing out the trend, and showing my approval towards our collective shift towards wellness. I love that I’ve experienced a transformation and I can share in the awareness with those close to me. How aggravating would it be if I walked into a home serving fried foods, processed and packaged main courses, or salty, sugary nutrient poor side dishes! I would be up for the challenge of inspiring but sometimes you just want a day off! Haha Thank goodness I got one.
As I drove to Fresno I munched on organic, low fat, low salt, blue corn chips and this homemade garlic basil hummus. I figured I’d save a few dollars and make my own, rather than splurging on the Trader Joe’s brand (which just so happens to have non-organic soy, milk, nightshades, strange acids, and dextrose). Theirs actually uses white beans rather than garbanzo, which I too dabbled with recently. I can say that the white beans were very similar in taste and texture to garbanzos, maybe even a little more smooth. A friend of mine gifted me with two boxes full of fresh, organic produce from the Atwater farmer’s market which happened to contain plenty of garlic and basil. I decided to put it to work. This recipe is quite spicy, so if you want a more mild flavor decrease the amount of garlic by half.
Garlic Basil Hummus
1 can organic garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
4 organic fresh garlic cloves, skin removed
5 leaves fresh basil, torn into smaller shreds
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup raw tahini
1 tbsp organic onion powder
ground Himalayan salt and peppercorn, to taste
Puree all in food processor till smooth, scraping down sides as necessary. Cover and chill until ready to serve.