Eating our way through the zodiac ~SAGITTARIUS~
Something in me became unbound when Jupiter entered Sagittarius. It started with a spontaneous 540 kilometer road trip to Quebec, the province that I was born. All in all I spent a mere day and a half in the city of Montreal when something came alive in my body, in my thoughts and with my desires. It was a day and a half of laughter, endearing conversations, amazing food, atmosphere and an incredible feeling of freedom. Montreal has always been a favourite escape for me, but something was different this time….this time I wanted to call it home. By the time the Sun joined Jupiter and Mercury in Sagittarius I was telling my son, my family, my friends, that I was moving!
It may not be a surprise to you that Sagittarius rules my 4th house of home, of ancestry, of family. I have Sag’s ruler Jupiter in Gemini, my parents from two different countries – my mom from Shawinigan, Quebec, my dad from Belfast, Northern Ireland. My Sagittarius mom left her small hometown for dreams and adventure in beautiful British Columbia and met my Piscean dad, who had fled the ‘religious’ conflicts in Northern Ireland. With two small kids and my mom pregnant with me, they went to Shawinigan when my grandfather passed during a heart operation. My grandmother passed within 4 months of his death and 10 days before I was born. Our family stayed in Quebec, moving a couple of times, and having one more child before returning to BC … then we moved to Australia… and ended up in Ontario when I was 12. With wandering parents, I never really knew my Quebec family, nor my N. Ireland family, but when visiting both regions I have an acute sense of coming home, of familiarity and peace.
Sagittarius is the mutable fire sign. It is passion and adventure that doesn’t mind steering off course if it sees a greater opportunity calling from another direction. Above all it is freedom seeking! Freedom to believe, freedom to explore, freedom to experience….so it can teach, educate, preach and share all the wonders that the Sag believes wholeheartedly. The downside of this great passion, can bleed a pedantic attitude and judgementalism, because they embody their quest of righteous behavior according to their personal inclinations…which may not sit well with all! But goddess love them… they act from an unrestrained enthusiasm to bring betterment to the other. One day I will write a book… “Everything I know about Sagittarius I learned from my Mother” and one word that comes to mind for her is tenacious! I have never known a woman or man who is so driven. At 80 years old she is still the hardest working woman, fighting the cause, sharing the dream, motivating… and yes, preaching her beliefs.
Sagittarius holds the element of fire and so has a choleric temperament of being hot and dry. Its ruler Jupiter is sanguine, and its temperament is warm and moist. Many imbalances of the Sag come from over-extending their energy…too much heat. They constantly go go, burning the candle at both ends. Sagittarius rules the hips, pelvic region, thighs, femur, buttocks, sciatic nerve and lower spinal cord. With its polarity sign Gemini it governs the nervous system, particularly the central nervous system. With Jupiter, it also has affinity to the liver, pancreatic function and fat metabolism. I can’t remember where I heard this but someone said to think of the symbol of the centaur for Sagittarius – half horse, half man … its legs require exercise and they need plenty of fresh air! Sag’s are prone to sports injuries. I have clients with the Sun, Moon or Mars in Sag who are athletes… and injuries are a major concern.
St. John’s Wort, Rosemary and Sage are beautiful herbs to support Sagittarius. They all contain properties that support, balance and strengthen the nervous system, they all work on muscle pain due to over-exertion and they all support liver detoxification. St. John’s Wort is specific for pinched nerves, neuralgia and sciatica. Gemstones and crystals can also be a tool for support, healing and to shift energy to where it needs to go. Turquoise is the stone of the wanderer and the stone of warriors. Sodalite assists with committing to one goal at a time and Black Obsidian is a protective stone that can ease mental stress and is wonderfully grounding.
It is meal time and I just so happen to have a couple of travelers in town for my Sag dinner. My niece is here from Victoria BC and my brother in-law from Montreal…hmmm interesting. Julia follows a vegetarian diet and I can’t think of better vegetarian meals than with Indian fare. I cook with Indian spices often...in a former life, I could have been a Cinnamon Peeler’s wife…
Sagittarius Dines in India - Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower + Red Lentil Dal + Spiced Spinach and Kale + Carrot Pickle + Raita + Brown Basmati Rice
Read through all the recipes before starting. In order of preparation I would: Marinade the cauliflower, then make the Carrot Pickle and Raita. You can prepare all three the night before if you like or in the morning of the meal. Once the cauliflower has had a few hours to marinade, put in the oven to roast and make the Red Lentil Dal and then the rice, and lastly the Spinach and Kale. I made this meal for 3 people and there are lots of leftovers except for the Spinach and Kale. You will want to double up the ingredients for this dish if serving more people.
Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower Recipe courtesy of Kelsey Nixon and adapted by Jane Sloan
1large head cauliflower, washed and leaves trimmed 1⁄2cup Greek yogurt 3garlic cloves, minced 1teaspoon minced fresh ginger 1tablespoon chili powder 1teaspoon curry powder 1⁄2teaspoon ground coriander 1lemon, juice of, plus more for finishing kosher salt
With a paring knife, carefully remove a cone-shaped piece of the core of the cauliflower, while keeping the head intact. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, ginger, chili powder, curry powder, coriander, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Coat the head of the cauliflower with the yogurt sauce and let marinade for at least one hour and up to 12 hours (I covered the cauliflower with another large bowl and let sit in the fridge for 6 hours). Transfer the cauliflower to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast until tender, 30 minutes for a small head and up to 60 minutes for a large head. I roasted the cauliflower for 1 hour and it was perfect…not mushy and not crunchy.
Red Lentil Dal
1 cup red lentils rinsed well
1 Tbsp Ghee
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp cardamom
½ tsp cayenne
6 or 7 dried curry leaves
1 medium red onion chopped
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 cup vegetable stock
1 cup water
With a mortar and pestle grind cumin, fennel and mustard seeds to crack the seeds.. it doesn’t need to be all powdery. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can use a coffee grinder or you can use powdered spices. In a medium sized pot, melt the ghee on medium to low heat and add the seeds, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom and cayenne. Saute until fragrant 3-5 minutes. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and curry leaves and saute for another 5 minutes. Add the red lentils and 1 cup vegetable stock and 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cover. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for 1 hour.
Spiced Spinach and Kale
1 container prewashed baby spinach
1 container prewashed baby kale
1 cup of diced tomatoes (I used a can of roasted diced tomatoes)
1 Tbsp ghee
1 large clove garlic minced
½ onion finely chopped
1 -2 inch nub of ginger minced
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground star anise (I pulverized a couple of whole start anise in a coffee grinder)
Steam the spinach and kale. Squeeze out most of the liquid, roughly chop and set aside.
In a pan melt ghee and add garlic, onion, ginger, garam masala, turmeric and star anise. Saute until fragrant and the onions are softened.
Add spinach, kale and tomatoes and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes. Turn off until ready to serve. Heat just prior to serving.
Carrot Pickle – Recipe courtesy of Hebbar’s Kitchen and adapted by Jane Sloan
3 small carrots cut in 3rds and julienned
2 inch nub of ginger julienned
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp chili flakes
¼ tsp hing/asafoetida
10 dried curry leaves
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Juice of 2 lemons
Pulverize mustard seed, fenugreek, and curry leaves in mortar and pestle or coffee grinder.
In a large pan melt 2 Tablespoons coconut oil on medium heat and add ginger and carrots. Sautee for 5 minutes. Remove carrots and ginger from the pan and set aside.
Add 1 more Tablespoon of coconut oil to the pan and when melted add mustard seed, chili, asafoetida, curry leaves, paprika, fenugreek and salt. Saute for 3- 5 minutes and turn off the heat. Add back the carrots and ginger back into the pan and stir well. Transfer the carrot/spice mixture to a small bowl and add apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. Mix well and transfer to glass jar. When cool put in the fridge until serving. This pickle should be made ahead of time to marinade and blend flavours. This pickle has a kick of heat!
I cup of greek yogurt
¾ English cucumber, grated and let sit in fine sieve for 1 hour to drain the liquid (drink this cucumber juice once drained)
¼ cup mint leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp sea salt
Once the cucumber has drained, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl to combine well. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and refrigerate until serving. This should also be made ahead of time so the flavours can blend and mature.
Brown Basmati Rice
1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed well
2 cups water (I used the steaming water from the spinach and kale)
½ tsp sea salt
To a medium size pot, add the rice and water and salt. Bring to a boil, cover and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 40 minutes. Turn off until serving and keep covered.
Written by Jane Sloan, Nutritionist (RNCP), Metabolic Balance Coach.