Deb Morgan

Deb Morgan

Deb, Kripalu’s Former Executive Chef, draws on more than 25 years’ experience in the world of natural foods, including owning and running an organic restaurant and tea shop. Deb is an enthusiastic chef and is author of the Kripalu Seasonal Recipe Book series. Her approach to food and cooking is grounded in a deep belief that love is the main ingredient in a healthful diet.
Posted on May 25th, 2012 by in Kripalu Kitchen

Foodie Friday: Ahimsa in Action

This past weekend, on a visit to my soon-to-be mother-in-law’s house, I was remembering my first few years as a newly converted natural foodie. I was about 19 and heavily into macrobiotics. In those days (the mid-1980s), macrobiotics focused on a very simple diet primarily of brown rice, cooked vegetables, beans, and seaweed. Dairy in all its forms was completely out, as was any sugar–except that we were still using brown rice syrup and barley malt as our “binge foods.” Meat was off the menu too, except for the very rare occasion of having some fish.

Imagine my poor mother that first year I came home for Thanksgiving after leaving the nest now in what I lovingly remember as my “macro-neurotic” state.

There I was: refusing the turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy while asking to have the stuffing made with whole-grain bread and saying things like, “Mom, don’t kill me by putting butter or turkey stock in the stuffing! I won’t eat it!”

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Posted on May 11th, 2012 by in Kripalu Kitchen

Foodie Friday: When Smiling Panda Bears Lie

Lately, I’ve been playing around with a gluten-free diet. I often find that wheat feels heavy in my body, so a gluten fast this time of year often helps me lighten up. Because I don’t have a severe reaction to eating gluten, when I go gluten-free I don’t feel overly concerned about consuming any “incidental” amounts of gluten—mainly I just stop eating bread, pastries, and pasta for a few weeks. That said, during my gluten-free windows, I become more aware of how pervasive gluten is in the American diet and I’m always happy when I see companies making an effort to identify it or make versions of their products sans gluten.

Unfortunately, I also become aware of how the marketing potential of what has become, to some, a fad diet can turn this dietary choice into a sneaky way to pawn off cheap food to the unsuspecting!

Case in point: I bought some pre-made maki rolls from a local all natural grocer. In the Berkshires, we’re lucky to have several great locally owned stores that sell whole foods and organic produce. I went to Guidos, which is a wonderful combination of a main store (with all the basics) accompanied by several privately owned sub markets, much like the old indoor year round farmers markets I remember from my childhood in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

So back to my purchase, and, more specifically, the little packets of soy sauce that came with it. As I often take my makis home, I rarely use the soy sauce provided. If they’re all-natural I might save them for a picnic or travel. If they aren‘t, I simply discard them and wish the store would commit to using the all-natural kind.

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Posted on April 27th, 2012 by in Kripalu Kitchen

Foodie Friday – My Top Five

Has anyone ever asked you the classic foodie question? You know, the one that goes something like, “If you were stranded somewhere and could only eat five different foods forever, which would you choose?”

Of course, the location of said strandedness makes a big difference in the answer: juicy watermelons sound perfect for a lifetime on a desert island, but not so great in the snowy Arctic! Climate aside, it’s a great question to ponder, and one that we chefs seem to get quite a bit.

Depending on my mood, a few of my top five foods can change. Past winners have been winter squash, lacinato kale, brown rice, cannellini beans, and arugula. Or I’ll cheat with a broad answer like, “any fresh vegetable or fruit” or the generic “beans, grains, and veggies.” Sometimes I’ll answer with some of my favorite dishes, such as butternut squash soup, risotto, and lasagna. Or sautéed greens with cannellini beans tossed with pesto; kichari; a nice dahl over rice with cilantro mint chutney; tabouli; sourdough bread; arugula salad with dates and raw cheese with balsamic … the list easily gets longer than five!

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Posted on April 13th, 2012 by in Kripalu Kitchen

Foodie Friday: Recipe for Connection

Well, my intention to have more dinner parties this year is being met, and most importantly, being met stress-free! Wait, do I hear you asking, “a stress-free dinner party? Is it possible?” To which I answer an enthusiastic, Yes, yes, yes! Since my last post about a fun Moroccan themed dinner party,  I’ve hosted two […]

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Posted on March 30th, 2012 by in Kripalu Kitchen

Foodie Friday – Ode to the Spring Cleanse

You know how Italian restaurants traditionally have red tablecloths? The theory goes that red stimulates the appetite and thus patrons will order more food if the dining room has a red décor. Well, I can’t say that I have definitively experienced an increase in hunger in a red dining room; however, I will tell you the three magic words that make me ravenous every time I utter them

Here we go (but please don’t say them too loud): “Fast, cleanse, diet.” Just writing them has me thinking of chocolate croissants; now I’m thinking of a nice dark roast coffee to go with them (notice how I said “them,” not “it”). Mmmm….

I first noticed this strange word association phenomenon back in 1988 while living in the Kripalu Yoga Fellowship in Sumneytown, Pennsylvania. There were 60 folks living on the property at the time and we shared a communal kitchen in which a small team of us would prepare all the meals. It had been decided that the entire community was going to do a three-day raw juice spring cleanse/fast. What a great idea, I thought. Having community support would make it easy. We wouldn’t have any other foods around to cheat with, and since our workload would be lessened we would be able to take it easy and allow our bodies to cleanse.

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