Ode to the Lentil: Part II

Oh little green lentil, how I love thee. This is Part II in what will be a long series! In case you missed it, here’s the original “Ode to the Lentil.”

Today, after a pleasant Petaluma morning run, I made myself a scrumptious lentil breakfast burrito and some coffee with almond milk and nutmeg (it was my fiancé who convinced me that nutmeg sprinkled on a hot beverage needn’t be limited to egg nog!).

In case you’d like to give this meal a whirl, here’s the non-recipe (non-recipe because it’s hardly scientific and 100% customizable):

Lentil Breakfast Burrito

– 1 tortilla (I like Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Brown Rice Tortillas — but you have to heat them up because their texture is a little weird!)
– 1/2 avocado, sliced
– 1 scoop of cooked lentils (I made these ones last night with salt, oregano, cumin, and chilli flakes)
– 2 organic cage-free SBEs (soft-boiled eggs) – or fried or scrambled or scrambled or no eggs at all!
– some steamed spinach (or raw would be good too)
– salsa to taste
– salt and pepper to taste

1. Start the water to boil the eggs. [*Bourne Hungry Tip! Take the eggs out of the fridge and place them by the stove so they warm up while the water comes to a boil; warmer eggs are less likely to crack when you put them in the water!] Once the water is boiling, place the eggs in carefully and boil for 6-8 minutes, depending on how soft you want your SBEs.

2. While the eggs are cooking, put your tortilla in a frying pan. The rice ones don’t stick, but be careful with flour or corn ones — a little Pam might be a good idea.

3. Pile on the lentils, salsa, and avocado and heat it all up on medium-low.

4. Steam the spinach on the stove with a little bit of water in the bottom of a saucepan, or just pile some raw leaves on the tortilla.

5. Once the eggs are cooked, put the tortilla concoction on a plate, crack and peel the eggs, salt and pepper to taste, and there ya go!


Racing for a Good Cause

Last Saturday morning, Becky and I drove down to Vacaville to participate in a fundraising event to benefit patients of Neurofibromatosis. Becky’s dear friend has a granddaughter with NF1. Brooklyn is a sweet, playful 4-year-old who had a blast being the star of the show on Saturday. Last year Becky donated a red wagon to decorate for Team Brooklyn, and Brooklyn got to ride in it for the 5K walk. The cute red wagon was back in action this year! Brooklyn can now walk much better than she could last year, so she got out of her wagon to walk the last few yards and confidently cross the finish line.

Team Brooklyn was comprised of about 50 friends, family, and caring community members who wanted to show their support for Brooklyn and her family. It was fun and inspiring to meet them all.

It was really chilly that morning, so I was happy to be running the race instead of walking — simply to warm up! I counted this 5K as a training run and did quite well, considering that I tweaked my knee a bit earlier in the week (time for yoga!). Peña Adobe Park in Vacaville is very picturesque — rolling green hills, pretty trees, and nice trails…and of course a few vacas (cows) to live up to its name!

Running is one of my favorite things to do, and running when I know that it’s for something bigger than myself is even better. After the race and after cheering on Brooklyn as she crossed the finish, Team Brooklyn socialized and took a team photo. It was a lovely spring day, and I feel very privileged to have been able to run for a great reason.

My positive, healing thoughts are with Brooklyn’s beautiful family; it is an honor to be on Brooklyn’s team!


Ode to the Lentil

This evening, I reflect on the wonder that is the lentil, the humble lens culinaris. I learned how to cook these little guys — the green ones in particular — from The Kitchn’s article “How to Cook Lentils on the Stovetop”, and this changed my culinary life. Seriously — lentils are magic.

I find them to be amazingly versatile, super flavorful, and way easier/faster than soaking and cooking other beans. Tonight, I want to share with you a non-recipe for [gluten-free, vegetarian] Lentil-Quinoa-Kale Patties. It’s a non-recipe because I really just threw some stuff together and gave it a name; don’t expect specific measurements, but also fear not! If you’re not much of a home cook, I still encourage you to give this a go. You really can’t go wrong.

This non-recipe features the pulp left over from juicing a bunch of kale. It is not a necessary component, but it certainly gives it a nutrition boost. (Oh and if you’re not a kale fan, fear not! Aunt Becky hates the stuff, but loved the patties!)

So, here we go:

– 1-2 cups cooked quinoa (depending on how many patties you want!)
– 1-2 cups cooked lentils (use the Kitchn’s method for cooking, and I’d recommend adding whatever you want in the way of herbs and spices: rosemary, thyme, oregano, chili flakes, etc.)
– 1/2 – 1 cup kale pulp or just some shredded greens
– a couple cloves of garlic, minced
– salt and pepper
– 1 egg
– about a 1/4 cup of flour (any kind), just to make the mixture stickier

Preheat your oven to 400F and mix all the ingredients together in a big bowl. The mixture will be quite thick and gooey. Use your hands to form little patties (about 3 inches in diameter…omg don’t use a ruler), and put them on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake them at 400 for about 20 minutes, or until they’re browned on both sides. I recommend flipping them with a spatula halfway through cooking.

Then, serve them on a bed of spinach, drizzle with a little olive oil, and enjoy! Becky and I liked them with mustard; maybe you will too.

There will definitely be an Ode to the Lentil sequel: stay tuned!

P.S. Lentils have a lot of glutamic acid, which explains why Sean [falsely and jokingly] accused me of adding MSG to a lentil dish I made for us one night; he described the lentils so good that they made his eyes pop out! Gotta love that natural umami flavor!

What’s your favorite lentil recipe? Seriously — I want it!


Mindfulness and Long-Distance Running

I’ve been a runner for a long time. I started out running around my Pleasanton neighborhood while in high school for 15 minutes at a time. I slowly upped my running distances, and I distinctly remember the day I ran for an hour straight. I was on the island of Nantucket, nannying for a family I worked for in LA, and on my day off I decided to run 30 minutes out and 30 minutes back. I was winded and exhausted, but I had a great sense of accomplishment!

I’ve run two full marathons — one in 2009 (5:07) and one in 2011 (4:21) — and I’m now training for my third (2:20…just kidding; my goal is 4:15!). On October 12, I’ll run the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon in British Columbia. I followed the same schedule the last two times, and I’m using it this time too (it’s this one here).

I recently finished reading Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Henepola Gunaratana. I think it’s an excellent how-to manual for people interested in starting a meditation practice. I’ve been gung-ho for the last few weeks, and it is my goal to keep it up. I’ve always loved running for the way it allows me to clear my head, and now I’m realizing that I can turn my running into an extension of my meditation practice. I can relate to what Gunaratana says about what one discovers while cultivating mindfulness:

“Somewhere in this process, you will come face to face with the sudden and shocking realization that you are completely crazy. Your mind is a shrieking, gibbering madhouse on wheels barreling pellmell down the hill, utterly out of control and helpless.”

But, he continues, “No problem. You are not crazier than you were yesterday. It has always been this way, and you just never noticed.” This is so true. And through all these years of running, I’ve thought that I was clearing my head by letting all my craziness run rampant in my mind. What will really help me clear my mind is being mindful of each breath, each step, and each sensation I encounter on my runs.

This, of course, is insanely difficult, and I do not mean to sound like I’ve mastered anything! But it’s something that I will be working on while training. I’ve never been a music-listener while running, and now I’ll shift from entertaining every single thought to being mindful of what’s really going on inside me and around me in the present moment: breath, footsteps, wind, planes, passers-by, lizards in the bushes…

Has anyone out there tried walking or running meditation? Any advice for a runner in marathon training?

California Fare

Aunt Becky asked me what I was really missing, and I replied, “Raspberries.” So she stocked her fridge with raspberries and blueberries, and I was in berry heaven this morning at breakfast!

My mom asked me the same question, and so I have unsweetened almond milk, fresh produce, hummus, chips and salsa, and my dad’s BBQ’d veggies kebabs to look forward to down in SoCal!

For lunch today, I had to go to Whole Foods. I got myself a lovely salad and a fun probiotic drink. I was flabbergasted by the prices — even more than I was when I lived in the Bay Area, since Thailand’s prices have completely spoiled me. I remember now why we call it “Whole Pay Check”. Now that I have no pay check, I think Whole Foods will need to remain a special, occasional treat!

And tonight, ladies and gentlemen, I got to partake in real Mexican food at Petaluma’s own Velasco’s North of the Border. More than anything else, I missed Mexican food while in Thailand. Becky and I shared chips, salsa, and guacamole, and I had a delicioso veggie burrito bowl. Craving satisfied!




Bourne Hungry: Hungry for LIFE, LOVE, & VEGETABLES

This blog is a way to document my new life in Vancouver, BC! I’ll talk about:

Hungry for a Healthy Body, Mind, and Planet

Hungry for Community

Hungry for Endorphins

Hungry for Mutual Learning

Hungry for New Experiences

Hungry for an Open Mind…and Open Hips

I want this to be a place where I can document my new life, keep family and friends updated from around the world, and build community in Vancouver and beyond. Thanks for stopping by!