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  • Writer's pictureSpira

Dora’s Hungarian Squash Stew with Lemon Herbed Chicken

Yoga is not just exercise; it is a lifestyle. Exercise alone will not keep you healthy. For optimal health, you need yoga exercise combined with daily mindfulness practice, meditation, and mindful nutrition. You may have wondered what keeps the Spira yoga teachers looking so vibrant, and healthy into their 40’s and 50’s. Here is your answer in three short bullet points!

  1. We feed your mind: i.) We meditate and practice mindfulness daily!– Check out 200 hour Self Enrichment, 40 days, and Making Friends with Stress Workshops under “Yoga Beyond Asana” tab on our website. ii.) We read! Check out our book recommendations: or read our reflections:

  2. We exercise daily – Take a Spira Power Yoga class 3-6 times a week.

  3. We eat right – nourishing home cooked food made from scratch!

Spira’s Soulfood blog is dedicated to giving you weekly recipes from your yoga teachers kitchen. Nothing staged, nothing artificial in our food or our presentation. What you see on this blog is what we eat at home. We cook it, we take pictures, and we share it with the community.

Our main contributors are:

Dora hiking while her chicken is cooking in the slow cooker!

Carina: She follows an Ayurvedic vegetarian diet that works for her body.

Dora: She had lifelong chronic gut inflammation that she finally got under control with a Low Carb, Paleo, Keto diet. (No grain, no legumes, very little starch of any kind)

Keri: Who is a darn good cook of all scrumptious dishes.

Des: Who is a new mom, figuring out meals that work for her and her baby.

YOU? – Wanna contribute? Write to us:

Our first recipe comes from Dora:

Awesome dill from the country stand.

It is summertime, and we are having some hot, very hot summer days. I live out by Preston/Fall City, one of the great things about country living is fresh produce. I love driving on the country roads and stumbling onto a produce stand. No human to be found, just some chickens roaming the neighborhood around the vegetable stand. There is a bucket with a chalkboard above it: “Leave money here” along with the list of prices for available fresh harvest. The honors system, no matter how crazy your day has been, finding one of these gems will lift your spirit. There is something so reassuring that we live in a place where the honors system works. It did not take me long to dive nose first into some of the herbs; literally just picked from probably a few yards away. Dill, oh dill, not that dinky little package that you get in the grocery stores, oh no, the whole plant, root and all, freshly picked and gathered in a bouquet. I was right away taken back 35 years to my grandmother’s kitchen in Hungary. Summer squash vegetarian stew with dill. Yes, this traditional Hungarian summer dish is the perfect opener to Spira’s recipe blog.

Hungarian Summer Squash Vegetarian Stew with Dill

(prep 15 min, cook 20 min. Super quick, super yummy):

This is all you need, oh and the squash. Made from my grandma’s cookbook.

  1. About 4 medium to large yellow squash, peeled and grated.

  2. A Little bit of oil – olive, coconut, or duck fat if you are going traditional…

  3. One whole yellow onion diced as finely as you can manage. (I usually toss the whole thing into my KitchenAid, save my tears for a good movie instead. )

  4. About 2 cups of sour cream – full fat please none of that artificially reduced fat varieties. (it takes a lot of yuck, to pull all the good fat out…you will notice I eat high fat diet. Fat is not bad people! Good stuff, just you know, eat moderate portions.)

  5. 1 table spoon of flour or arrowroot as thickener.

  6. Hungarian Kalocsai Sweet paprika – make sure to use the sweet kind, or it will be, I don’t know what but it won’t be good.

  7. One to two fist full of dill, diced small.

  8. A dash of white wine vinegar. – to taste

  9. Salt and Pepper

Heat the oil and cook the onions till they are translucent. Add Kalocsai Paprika (a dash, like 2 teaspoons) make sure to lower heat, so paprika does not turn bitter as you stir it into the onions to cook. Add the peeled and grated squash, salt, and pepper to taste. Let it cook in its juices. Do not add water or stock; the squash will release all kinds of liquid goodness. Cover and simmer 5-8 minutes, just until it is little cooked but still tiny bit crunchy. Add the finely chopped dill.

Hungarian Squash Stew. All ready to eat!

Then take your sour cream and in a separate bowl and fold in the thickening agent (flour or arrowroot- arrowroot is a great gluten free alternative) once you worked the flour into the sour cream and there are no clumps! Please no clumps… then go ahead and fold it into the squash. Stir and cover for another few minutes. Add white wine vinegar to taste at the end, little by little, taste it to make sure it is to your liking. I happen to like a little more tang in my squash stew, so I add quite a bit. European sour cream tends to be sourer than American sour cream… So I have to add a bit more vinegar here. Bottom line, it is your dish, so you decide if you like it tart or not!

Squash stew is traditionally served with a roast of white meat, such as chicken or pork. It was so hot in the kitchen; I did not feel like standing over a hot stove; I decided to make a whole chicken in the slow cooker. That is right, slow cooker. I love my crock pot. Toss all ingredients in there set it for 8 hours on low setting and dinner is magically ready!

Fresh Herbed Chicken with lemon in the slow cooker.

  1. One whole chicken

  2. A bunch of fresh herbs; I went for rosemary, tarragon, sage, and thyme

  3. 2 lemons

  4. Garlic – I happen to think that you can never have too much garlic, so I go wild, how about you start with 3-4 cloves crushed…

  5. Your choice of oil: Butter, olive oil, or almond butter – oh yeah, why not go a little crazy

  6. Salt and pepper

  7. Dash of dry white wine

Stuff the chicken with half of the herbs, butter, garlic and lemon. Butter up the chicken all around, add salt, pepper, and garlic. Place chicken in slow cooker, add more lemon slices, and herbs all around it. I usually put a boat load of extra butter slices on top, just for good measure… and splash a little white wine to give the flavors a good happy mixing agent.

Cover, turn on low for 8 hours – go and enjoy your day outside of your kitchen. Come back at night, eat chicken! Yummy!!

Funny Post Dinner Note:

So while I was gobbling down my squash stew, buried under old memories; thinking; Good job Dora, Grandma would be proud, I noticed my very dear American husband selectively eating the chicken and not much else. This struck me as odd since he likes my cooking. Surprised, I asked him, so what do you think? And he said; “It is too weird, foreign. What is this sauerkraut?” My immediate next thought is not fit for public writing or out loud communication. Since I held it back from Regan, I shall spare the reader as well. I simply stood up, Regan is a lucky guy, I made a pesto sauce the other day. So I quickly made some zucchini “pasta” and added the home made pesto. I will share that recipe with you in a few weeks, just in case you have an American pallet as well…

In the mean time, train your taste buds to like different flavors. At Spira, we cook pretty internationally. So I hope you are ready for some adventures.

If you made today’s recipes leave us your feedback! Comment at the bottom of our blog.

Until next time, eat good homemade food from scratch, come to Spira to exercise, and read something good!



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