Have I told you about my newest obsession? No?
Well, since you insist…
For the last few months a group of friends and I meet in our terrace to do “power yoga” with a friend trainer. This is not my first time, nor is it for the other participants, but in my case the last time I attended a yoga class I was a few sizes smaller and more than a decade younger. My yoga adventure lasted all of four weeks. Not only did I suck at it, I found it extremely boring.
I am one of those humans that have trouble decompressing; relaxing stresses me out. I have a hyperactive mind, and my old yoga class, with its esoteric overtones, quiet music and smell of incense ended up incensing me. By week two I was trying to come up with excuses not to show up, by week four I felt like screaming, and that’s when I quit.
It’s not like I was missing the exercise, I was running several times a week then, but I really wanted to stay flexible, something runners usually have a problem with.
Fast forward to today: I am heavier, much older, and even more impatient than in my pre-motherhood days. You’d think I’d stay away from yoga like the plague. Luckily Ilana shamed me into doing it, something I’m grateful for.
Unlike my first yoga class, there is nothing esoteric about it: It’s all about moving, flexing, sweating and laughing like mad people. Each class is like a social gathering for us, a small group of friends (who also happen to be neighbors), all of a certain age, and with the same wicked sense of humor. We exercise our laughing muscles as hard as any other. A little self-deprecation goes a long way. I’ve found that I am not that bad at it, and will probably be pretty decent with a few months of practice.
But what we enjoy the most is the food. Well, yeah, isn’t food part of yoga? If it isn’t then we didn’t get the memo. I am using my friends as tasters for many of my recipes. The losing weight part may not be going as intended.
This will be in our next
tasting yoga class. And I am sure it will be a success. I have taken a Dominican dessert (arepa), and turned it into a savory dish that combines kale, cilantro and spinach from my garden, with delicious Del Monte® Whole Kernel Corn — who sponsors this recipe.
Look at the picture above and tell me if that doesn’t look good. It tastes like it. It’s the texture and added nutrition that makes this arepa a new favorite for me. Serve this as a side dish with stewed meat and fish dishes, or cut into small pieces and serve as vegan hors d’oeuvres. Perfect for the holidays!
For a chance to win a $100 Crate and Barrel gift card, answer the following question in the comments below: What is your favorite fruit or vegetable to stock in your pantry?Buen provecho!
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
- 2½ cups of vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt (or to taste)
- 1½ cups of cornmeal
- 2 cups of Del Monte® Whole Kernel Corn
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups of kale and spinach, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 5 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
- 2 sprigs of fresh oregano
- 1 teaspoon of salt (or more, to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon of pepper (or more, to taste)
- Heat oven to 300 ºF [150 ºC]
- Grease a 9 x 9 x 3 inches [22.5 x 22.5 x 7.5 cm] non-stick baking pan with some of the oil.
- Taste the vegetable broth, season with salt to taste (only if necessary). Mix in cornmeal and let it rest for an hour.
- Add Del Monte® Whole Kernel Corn, onion, spinach, eggs and kale, remaining olive oil, and cilantro. Mix well.
- Pour batter into the baking pan and cover with aluminum foil, pierce the aluminum foil three times with a fork..
- Bake for 40 minutes, or until you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature before removing from the pan.
- Heat olive oil over very low heat.
- Add garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it releases its aroma.
- Add the tomatoes and simmer covered until they are very tender.
- Remove the twigs from the oregano and add the leaves to the pan.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Using a potato masher, mash the sauce over the heat until there are no big clumps.
- Pour into a sauce dish.