About Me

My photo
Springdale, Arkansas, United States
Yoga and reading are my passions - followed closely by jewelry-making and cooking plant-based meals. My husband is my guinea pig for my recipes and thankfully he's a willing subject! Be sure to visit my Etsy store: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheBookishYogini?ref=search_shop_redirect

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta

My sister, Dina, was just here for a visit, along with one of her twin sons, Christopher, who is in the Marines.  He is shipping out to serve a term in Okinawa, Japan very soon.  We will miss him greatly while he's gone, but hopefully, my sister and I will get to take a LONG trip to visit him in a year or so.  Plus there's also Skype!

Having a bountiful garden this year, Dina brought me some eggplant and squash from her garden.  She also found a couple of recipes for me to try out using the eggplant.  Eggplant is an excellent source of  fiber and manganese.  It is a very good source of enzyme-catalyzing molybdenum and heart-healthy potassium.  Eggplant is also a good source of vitamin K and magnesium as well as heart-healthy copper, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, and niacin.  Eggplant also contains phytonutrients such as nasunin and chlorogenic acid.  (Source:  The World's Healthiest Foods)

Below is the recipe I chose, due mostly to its' simplicity!!  It turned out pretty tasty, and a little bit spicy - which we liked.  I served this dish with some buttered Naan bread.

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta (adapted from Eating Well)

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium eggplant, (about 1 lb), cut into 1/2-inch cubes.  I did not peel my eggplant.
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cans Hunts Basil, Garlic and Oregano Diced Tomatoes (I used one can tonight, but it definitely needed more liquid for sauce)
1/3 cup chopped pitted green olives
2 T. red-wine vinegar
4 tsp. capers, rinsed
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp. dried basil
12 oz pasta (We have preferred Pozza's Pasta, a local brand, for as long as I can remember!)
Parmesan cheese, to taste,

1)  Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.  Add eggplant and cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds to one minute.  Add tomatoes, olives, vinegar, capers, pepper, crushed red pepper, and basil, and cook, stirring, 5 to 7 minutes more (while the pasta cooks).
2)  Meanwhile, cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions.  Drain and divide the pasta among six shallow bowls.  Spoon the sauce over the pasta and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Eggplant Pomodoro Pasta

Friday, July 26, 2013

Be Here Now

Recently I finished reading Be Here Now by Ram Dass (formerly Richard Alpert), written in 1971.  The edition I purchased is the Nook e-reader enhanced version, complete with the reproductions of the author's handwritten text and illustrations.  Thankfully, there is a transcription of the handwritten writings, as I cannot tell which direction to turn my Nook to read some of the drawings/writings!  The author was obviously under the influence of LSD or some such mind-altering drug when he did the original writing.  I didn't let that scare me off though!   Notwithstanding the books idiosyncrasies in style, it does have a lot of good ideas.   In fact, I actually quite liked the book.

I often struggle with trying to do too many things at once, with the result that none of the things I'm working on get my full attention.  Sometimes, my husband has made me realize that I wasn't REALLY listening to what he was saying, since I could not respond to his question or statement - my mind was somewhere else.  If anything, this book has awakened more awareness that I need to BE HERE NOW more often than not.  Give my full attention to the person I am talking with.  Give my full attention to the recipe I am preparing.  Yoga helps us to return to the NOW by focusing on our breath and noticing how we feel in different asanas.  

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summer Salad

My favorite summer salad that is soooo easy to prepare is Black-Eyed Pea Salad.  The first time I ever had this salad was in Newnan, Georgia.  Each week I attended an oil painting class and once a month we would have an "Eating Meeting", where each student would bring a dish and we would paint, then eat, and then paint some more.  Donna Haynes brought this dish and I fell in love with it!  Donna is a talented painter, and she and her husband now run a Bed and Breakfast in a beautiful, historic home in Pine Mountain, Georgia called The Chipley Murrah House.  Her paintings grace the walls of the house, surrounded by Victorian style furniture and the gorgeous gardens outside.  Callaway Gardens is a short distance away.  We've been to Callaway a couple of times to see the azaleas in bloom.  One summer we went there and saw The Beach Boys in concert.  That was fun!

Black-Eyed Pea Summer Salad

1 can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 can white shoe peg corn, drained
1 cucumber, peeled and diced
1 tomato, chopped (can use a can of diced petite tomatoes if you don't have a fresh tomato)

Mix all ingredients and marinate in Italian dressing of your choice in the refrigerator.  The longer it marinates, the better it tastes!  Will keep for several days in the fridge.

Monday, July 22, 2013


My sister can make ANYTHING!  Believe me, she's AWESOME!  The recipe below is from my dear sister, Dina at Five Cats From Crazy.  These lotion bars are SO easy to make!  To use a lotion bar, warm it up between your hands for a minute or less, then glide it down your legs, or any area that needs moisture.  Your skin will feel a tiny bit oily/greasy at first, but it rapidly absorbs.  These bars are especially good for itchy, wintery skin.  The ingredients can mostly be found at Ozark Natural Foods, on-line, or from any good natural foods store.

Final Product After Hardening

Top View of Mold
After Pouring Into Mold

4 oz shea butter (try to find deodorized shea butter as regular can have slightly "off" smell, can also use deodorized cocoa butter).  I couldn't find anything labeled "deodorized". 
4 oz beeswax pastilles
5 ounces jojoba oil (can use sweet almond oil instead)
4 grams Vitamin E Oil (optional)
2 tsp Essential Oil of your choice (Fred loves Eucalyptus & I love Lavendar)

1. Weigh out ingredients.  I weighed and put all (except fragrance) in a coffee can and then put the can in a pot of boiling water to melt it all together.  Stir with a disposable spoon.  **Crimp the top of the can also, to make it sort of have a spout for easy pouring.

2. Mix well, stir in essential oil, and pour into molds or lotion bar containers. **Found clear plastic molds at Hobby Lobby that makes 4 rectangular or 4 oval bars.  This recipe made exactly 4 bars for me.

3. Mixture will harden in approximately 1-2 hours. The cooler the mixture is upon pouring it, the less pockets you'll get in it (but don't wait too long to pour it!).  When hardened, they will pop out of the mold easily.  
Before everything cools/hardens in the coffee can after pouring, wipe it out well with a paper towel.  Would NOT advise washing or pouring down sink because of hardening beeswax.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Southern Beans & Greens

One of our favorite plant-based recipes is Southern Beans & Greens. It's relatively easy to make and doesn't take very long - maybe 30 minutes. Leftovers taste even better than when first cooked!

Southern Beans & Greens - adapted from 21DayVegan Kickstart Program - GF (Makes about four 1-cup srvngs)

1 cup water
3 cups drained, cooked or canned (2 cans) black-eyed peas (or great northern beans, not good with pinto beans)  (Note:  to cook beans from dry, soak overnight covered by  2-3 inched water, then cook on low in crockpot 8-12 hrs covered in fresh water - 6 cups per 1b.)
½ tsp crushed garlic (about 2 small or 1 large)
4 cups chopped or torn kale, collards or turnip greens, center ribs removed, lightly packed
Freshly ground sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Green Tabasco sauce, to taste (added at plate)
Nutritional Flakes, to taste (added at plate)

1)  Combine beans, water, and garlic in a large sauce pan (I used a big enamel pot).
2)  Place chopped greens on top of beans  and bring to a boil.
3)  Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until greens are tender, about 15-20 minutes.  
4)  Remove from heat and stir in oil, salt, and pepper.  Add Tabasco sauce at plate to taste.

Nutrition (approximate as analyzed by "MyFitnessPal" app):
Calories:  181 per cup
Fat:  1.1g
Chol:  0
Sodium:  500.2mg
Pot:  483.3mg
Carbs:  30.6g
Fiber:  11.8g
Sugars:  3.7
Protein:  13.3g
Vit A:  49%
Vit C:  22.7%
Calcium:  12.4%
Iron:  18%

Good with sliced tomato and cornbread

Thursday, July 18, 2013

I'm Still Here...Summertime Busyness...

Wow!  I had not realized it's been more than two months since I've posted anything on my blog!  I am still here!!  A lot has happened since 5/12/13.

My husband lost his Mother on May 29, 2013.   She will be greatly missed.

We gained a new daughter-in-law on June 15, 2013!  She is a wonderful young lady!

I attended YogaFit Kids Yoga and Level 2 teacher training in June.  Then I just finished YogaFit Level 3 training last weekend!  Whew!!

I am third from the left.

July has seen my husband teaching swim lessons four days a week, plus outdoor and indoor aqua pilates classes.  I think he is growing flippers for feet!!

I am currently teaching only the SilverSneakers YogaStretch Classes two mornings a week at Branchwood, but additional teaching opportunities are on the horizon starting in September at Metfield Country Club in Bella Vista.  Stay tuned for official times and dates.

This summer is speeding by.....

Peace and Namaste'

Enjoy one of my favorites by MC Yogi: