so seemingly small,
to the whole universe
as tiny whispers
like the sounds
of butterfly wings,
and the clear voice
of the living truth.
I remember preparing food when my heart was filled with gratitude. The food literally gave itself to me to be made into a dish to nourish body, mind and spirit.
Before learning to eat raw foods, it was almost impossible to think of any food apart from fresh fruits, veggies, nuts or seeds that did not have associations with being cooked. Since we have grown up with cooked food, this is understandable. When Rex and I started to eat mostly raw food, I intuitively felt that when we could eat sprouted foods our health would improve, and for us, this has proved to be the case.
Many times in the grocery store we've been drawn to the beautiful terracotta colored Wehani rice. One day we decided to buy some to see if it would sprout. After two days, little tails emerged, and the rice tasted sweet and nutty, with flavor akin to basmati rice. Even though it was a bit crunchy, it was totally edible, and after eating some we were very hungry for more! Soon Wehani rice became one of our staple foods. We prepared it with a little oil and garlic, and a dash of salt, or, the rice went into smoothies. We could feel strength coming into our bodies from this living food, and without any of the problems we'd had in the past with cooked grains.
Here's a delicious little side dish that can give the teeth a bit of a workout! Serve solo, or with a bed of fresh greens.
Beautiful Wehani Rice Salad
1/2 cup sprouted Wehani rice (directions follow)
1/2 cup grated carrots
2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds (dry, or soaked 6 hours)
2 tablespoons chopped almonds (dry, or soaked 6 hours)
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, or other favorite herb
1 tablespoon unseasoned Spectrum brown rice vinegar
4 raw olives
1/4-1/2 teaspoon Celtic or Himalayan salt
Optional Ingredients: use as many as you like.celery
mung bean sprouts
fresh ginger root
hot chili peppers
handful of raw cashews
hemp seed nuts
sprouted buckwheat (Soaked for 6-8 hours, rinsed and drained 2 times a day until tails appear, usually within two days.)
Directions: serves 2
Sprout rice first by soaking for 8-10 hours in sprouting jar. Drain soak water with sprouting lid attached. Rinse and drain, placing jar upside down over plate. Rinse and drain twice daily, until little tails emerge, about two days.
Rinse and drain before using. Place rice in a bowl. Grate carrot, finely chop green onions, loosely chop almonds, cilantro and olives, and add to rice. Add salt and vinegar. Mix thoroughly. Serve with your favorite salad dressing.
Note: see more about how to sprout in The Wonder of Sprouts.
Wehani Rice Smoothie
Because Wehani Rice can be little hard to chew, adding it to a smoothie is an easy way to eat it. We put 1/2 cup sprouted rice into blender, add water to just cover the rice and blend on high speed until it's as smooth as possible. (With our blender, it still has some texture.) Then we add several bananas or some mango and blend until creamy, adding more water as necessary to desired thickness. Sometimes we use almond milk in place of water, or add some vanilla extract. Makes 2 frothy servings. Enjoy!
A Little Story—The Power of Love-Imbued Food
I once read a true life story about a man who was incurably sick, who was healed without the help of any medicines through the efforts of his wife's cooking. According to the author, every aspect of the meal—from the preparation, to cooking, to presentation, was done with conscious intention. Three times a day—maybe even more—a tray of food that was sumptuous to behold and nourishing to eat, would be brought into his room. These offerings, brimming with beautiful colors, patterns, smells, tastes and textures, and often adorned with flowers, came into his bedridden existence, flooding him with love. After two years he was cured. He swore by it, the power of love-imbued food.
Years later, another story made its way to me. A woman had been diagnosed and operated on six times for cancer. At the age of twenty-seven, life looked rather precarious and grim. In a dream, her grandfather came and told her she had strayed far from the ways of her ancestors. On awakening, she decided to leave her high paying, rat-race job in New York city, and headed for a cabin in the mountains, preparing to die. Once there, the woman was directed through dreams to rediscover her East Indian roots in the ancient Auyervedic tradition. She was instructed on how to prepare food with conscious awareness, and to do any cooking over a real fire that was close to the earth. She was taught how to listen to the stories held within the food as she prepared each meal. In three months she had completely healed, all cancer gone into remission. New life coursed through her entire being.
Now, I almost hesitate to share this part, but it was my true experience.
With those stories imprinted in my heart, I once entered into an ecstatic experience of conscious food preparation. The final outcome could not have been surpassed. The taste was indescribable—something we couldn't really describe as a taste, but thought we could, felt we could. Whatever it was, the food tasted incredible, and the body loved it.
My experience happened during the preparation. As I held each piece of fruit or vegetable, I first gave deep and reverent thanks for its existence and life that was now going to end. This was the fulfillment of its purpose. I asked each piece of food to release its vital force to me, and to tell me the story of its life.
A stream of images began to pass through my mind of sun and rain, warmth and cold, of wind and movement, light and dark, of passing shadows. I saw the trees and gardens, the earth the food had grown in, the sky, the night and stars. Each piece blessed me just for remembering to ask. I was stunned that I could almost smell the air, hear the rustle of leaves on branches, feel the grasshoppers and ants, and sense white roots reaching deeply into the moist, cool soil.
I was not prepared for the ecstasy I felt when a vivid sensation came, a joyful crying out, "I give you my life essence!" Each and every piece gave without hesitation in a flood of white light and love. This energy poured into my palms, hands that cradled the food. I had no idea such a consciousness existed. It was almost too much to take in.
Within this heightened state, I remembered to stay present, carefully cutting with precision and gratitude. The fruits and vegetables would yield to the knife so easily after I had listened to, and embraced, their stories. The meal preparation became a joyous pleasure as the smells and aromas filled the kitchen. Intuition was my guide: Which spices should I use? What amounts of apples, or onions? How much marjoram, garlic, or sesame oil? Now some finely chopped celery? A dash of lemon? Yes, listen, intuit, listen.
I recalled the faces of the people who have eaten food thus prepared—especially their eyes. A luminous joy registered there. The foods were whispering, giving thanks, and each person heard, received, and was filled.
Thanks for being with us.