This week we’re focusing on the heart (4th) chakra where love, compassion, service and healing reign. The energy of this chakra governs your chest, shoulders, arms and hands, with the latter being a sort of energy “distributor” through hugs and healing touch.
The heart chakra is green, so it’s probably no surprise that vegetables are the most important food group for this chakra – especially the veggies that have a lot of chlorophyll in them. Chlorophyll is the main agent in the process of photosynthesis, making it a big oxygen producer, which shouldn’t be surprising, since the element of the 4th chakra is air.
The easiest way to identify the most chlorophyll rich vegetables, is to go for the green leafy ones. Spinach is the king of chlorophyll rich foods, which makes it the ideal heart chakra food. But we also adore the rich and creamy avocado. It gives the heart an extra boost because it’s packed with lovely oils that uplift the 2nd (sacral) chakra as well. This matters because both the sacral and heart chakras are feminine in nature. In other words, avocados are Goddess Food!
Among the seven main chakras of the body, the heart has the coveted center spot, making it a sort of bridge between Heaven and Earth – connecting our lower (more earthy) chakras with our upper (more spiritual) ones. Fortunately, we have have an abundance of heart-centered foods we can choose from. Here’s a quick, alphabetized reference list:
HEART CHAKRA-BOOSTING FOODS
artichokes, arugula, asparagus, avocado
bitter melon, broccoli and broccoflower, brussel sprouts
“choy” family of asian greens, cabbage (green, savoy & Chinese)
celery, collard greens, cucumber
French green lentils
Green: onions, peas, pepper, grapes, olives, beans, split peas
great northern beans
herbs – any green variety
leafy or mixed and mustard greens
romaine and butter lettuce
snap peas, sprouts of all kinds
swiss chard – any variety
One of the challenges of heart chakra energy is to not overdo it and burn out. The third chakra represents honoring the self and the fourth chakra represents loving others. It’s very important that these energy centers strike a balance, because with too much heart, you become a “doormat” and with too much core, you become self-centered.
So, as you eat your veggies, try to balance them with some carbs to fuel your third chakra. And if you’d like a tasty, quick snack that will bring you into balance between your 3rd (solar plexus) and fourth (heart) chakras, try this: Air-popped popcorn with some dried herbs of your choice sprinkled on top.
Corn is a third chakra food, but when you air-pop it, you give it the lightness of the heart chakra and its element – air. Then, sprinkle on some delicious dried herbs or cook up some home made herb butter and enjoy!
And now for our heart chakra main dish:
French Green Lentils with Kale & Green Beans in Homemade Curry Paste
These lentils are actually very green in real life when prepared as we have; photos capture the red tomato paste. French green lentils are famous for retaining their emerald green color and tiny round shape even when cooked, making them an ideal heart chakra food – you’ll love them!
Many find the thought of making their own curry paste from scratch daunting. Never fear – it’s far easier than you’d think, and we’re sure you’ll be delighted by your results!
1 1/4 C French green lentils
4 C kale, chopped in narrow ribbon-like pieces
1 C green beans, cut on the diagonal
2 TBSP fresh ginger, finely grated
1 large clove garlic, mashed & minced
2 tsps coriander seeds, partially ground
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
1 large shallot, chopped quite finely
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp sea salt or black lava salt
1/2 tsp chili flakes (or to taste) + a sprinkle for decorative topping
1 TBSP tomato paste
1 TBSP filtered water (for curry paste)
1/2 C filtered water (to cook green beans in)
5 C filtered water (to boil lentils in)
3 TBSP grapeseed oil
1 package green pea sprouts, naan bread, avocado slices & lemon wedges for the serving platter
* A bunch of Gorgeous Green Gratitude
Soak the French green lentils in filtered water for one hour. In the meantime, prepare the curry paste as follows:
In a small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, partially ground coriander and cumin seeds. Heat the grapeseed oil in a non-teflon pan, e.g., a “Green Pan” (no fume) and toast the spices in it for 10 – 20 seconds; then add the minced shallot. Sauté about 5 minutes on low-medium heat to brown and carmelize the shallot and spices. The ginger will crunch up a bit and you’ll notice a pleasant, nutty aroma rising up to greet you! Now add the turmeric, tomato paste and chili flakes with a TBSP of water and stir to blend well. Set aside in a bowl and voila! You have homemade curry paste at your disposal.
Next, wilt the kale in the pan you just prepared the curry paste in over low heat, for about 2 – 3 minutes. Set aside in a bowl. Pour the remaining 1/2 C filtered water in that same pan now, bring to a light boil, and cook the green beans until the water has almost boiled off. Now add the curry paste – stir to mix well, top with salt and set aside.
Bring 5 C of filtered water to a boil, drain the lentils you’ve soaked and add them to the boiling water to cook for 20 minutes or until firm but cooked. Drain and return to the pot. Add ground cumin and wilted kale mixing it lightly into the warm lentils; then the green beans in curry paste. Blend carefully with a wooden spoon that will not break down the shape of the lentils. Place on a large serving platter, sprinkle with chili flakes to decorate the top, and build a wreath of pea shoots around the lentils to finish your green presentation. Serve with warm naan bread, avocado slices and lemon wedges (good squeezing for those who like a dash citrus). This is a very satisfying feast — feel the love!
Okay beautiful souls – it’s a wrap. Well no, it’s a French green lentil curry, but it would be great in a wrap too, with some extra greens, chilis and mint raita too! Until next time…
May everything you eat, Feed Your Soul!
Alanna and Vicki