Crisis and Suicide, There is Always Hope & Ordinary Vegan’s Holiday Lentil Dip

December 13, 2012

I read the saddest story today. Kate Middleton's nurse who was the recipient of a radio prank committed suicide. Jacintha Saldanha, who helped care for the pregnant Kate Middleton was fooled by a radio station prank when two disc jockeys called posing as Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth. Jacintha believed them and unwittingly helped provide confidential information about the Duchess.  Reportedly, she was devastated when she found out about the prank.

I want to talk about suicide today, because the holidays are coming up and people are more vulnerable this time of year. Losing someone you love to suicide is one of the greatest losses a human being can experience, and most difficult to understand. A long time ago, I personally lost someone to suicide,  and if I can help one person by sharing this information, I would write about it each and every day.

Suicide is preventable. Most suicidal people do not want death, they want the pain to stop. Suicide is a desperate attempt to escape from suffering that has become unbearable. But despite their desire for the pain to stop, most suicidal people are deeply conflicted about ending their own lives. They wish there was an alternative to committing suicide, but they just can't see one.

Most suicidal individuals give warning signs or signals of their intentions. The best way to prevent suicide is to recognize these warning signs and know how to respond if you spot them.

Major warning signs for suicide include talking about killing or harming oneself, talking or writing a lot about death or dying, and seeking out things that could be used in a suicide attempt, such as weapons and drugs. These signals are even more dangerous if the person has a mood disorder such as depression or bipolar disorder, suffers from alcohol dependence, has previously attempted suicide or has a family history of suicide.

Other warning signs that point to a suicidal mind frame include dramatic mood swings or sudden personality changes, such as going from outgoing to withdrawn or well-behaved to rebellious. A suicidal person may also lose interest in day-to-day activities, neglect his or her appearance, quit their job, give away personal belongings or show big changes in eating or sleeping habits.

Take any suicidal talk or behavior seriously. It's not just a warning sign that the person is thinking about suicide — it's a cry for help.

We all suffer. Many of us experience extreme suffering, and for some of us the suffering we experience seems unbearable. If you are suffering, please remember that it is just turbulent weather. There is always sunshine behind the clouds. The Buddhists believe personal suffering leads to enlightenment,  and those who are suffering will grow and blossom from the experience. If you feel you are in crisis, please reach out to someone immediately.  Always  remember you are loved, and your life is precious to us.

For help call the Suicide Helpline:  1-800-273-8255

The holidays are coming up and making delicious, healthy dips can be helpful especially when you are surrounded with unhealthy choices. This lentil dip can be served with fesh vegetables such as raw carrots, cucumber and celery, or slightly cooked cauliflower and broccoli also work well. You can also use the dip as a spread on freshly baked bread and crackers. Feel free to add the spices that you like. The lentils are the mainstay, and everything else can be changed.

Lentil Dip
Recipe type: Appetiser
  • One cup dried french lentils (almost 2 cups cooked - makes a lot)
  • 1-2 ba leaves
  • 1 sprig of sage
  • ½ onion (and/or other vegetables such as carrot, celer or fresh fennel - I love the addition of fennel
  • 1 tbsp salt & ground black pepper to taste
For the dip
  • About 2 cups cooked lentils (as above)
  • One shallot
  • Chili (more or less depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoon coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • One teaspoon fennel
  • Reserved lentil liquid
  • Juice from a ½ lime
  • Smoked paprika powder (e.g. bittersweet Pimentón de la Vera)
  • Sea salt
  • Some olive oil
  • Cilantro
First step is to cook the lentils.
  1. Rinse the lentils and cook them gently together with about two cups water, bay leaves, sage, salt and onion (etc) until soft (about 15-20 min). You may need to add a little more water. It’s important that you don’t cook the lentils dry and there should be about a cup of tasty liquid left when the lentils are done. When done reserve the liquid as it will be used later. Let the lentils cool and remove all bits and pieces of the sage, bay leaves, onions etc.
  2. Chop the shallot into tiny pieces.
  3. Saute on very low heat until it starts to caramelize. Raise the temperature a little and add chili together with the spices.
  4. Stir everything together and add the lentils to the pan. Poor some of the water over and let cook for just a little bit.
  5. Let the lentils cool a little before blending together with garlic in a food processor.
  6. Add lime juice plus some of the reserved lentil liquid to create a smooth texture.
  7. Season with flakes of sea salt and smoked paprika powder. Lastly add as much cilantro as you wish.
  8. Just before serving add a splash of olive oil on top.
almost 2 cups cooked - makes a lot


Vegan Day 591 – Wish me luck!



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