Tag Archives: retreat

Retreat Favorites: Coconut Lentil Curry

Coconut Lentil Curry
as prepared by Lyndon Marcotte


  • 1 lb bag of dry lentils
  • 3-4 small red potatoes diced
  • 1 cup of shredded or chopped carrots
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • 1 TBS or more Madras Curry Powder to taste
  • Garnish with traditional plain Greek Yogurt and unsalted dry peanuts

Cover lentils in water or vegetable broth to slow cook. Add vegetables once boiling. Cook down to thicken, then pour in coconut milk to make it creamy, add Madras Curry Powder to taste. Garnish with a dollop of traditional plain Greek yogurt and unsalted dry peanuts.

Retreat Favorites: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
as prepared by Lyndon Marcotte


  • 2 cans Chickpeas (Garbonzo Beans)
  • 1 TBS Tahini
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Black and/or Red Pepper to taste

Roast red bell pepper over open flame till slightly tender. Mix all ingredients in a blender until desired consistency. Serve with warm pita bread.

Retreat Favorites: Veggie Chlli

Vegetable Chili
as prepared by Regina Irvin


  • 1 TBS olive oil1 tsp butter or margarine
  • 1 TBS minced garlic (3 cloves)
  • 1 TBS chili powder or more to taste
  • ½ tsp of dry mustard
  • ½ tsp of ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp of celery seeds
  • ¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
  • ¾ lb green beans
  • 1 ½ cups carrot slices, cut ¼ inch thick (2 large carrots)
  • 1 cup sliced celery cut on the diagonal, ½ inch thick
  • 1 16 oz can tomatoes with juice reserved
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 2 cups strips of red and/or green peppers, about ¼ x 1 ½ inches (2 peppers)
  • 1 2/3 cups cooked kidney beans (1 16 ox can with liquid)
  • Plain yogurt to garnish
  1. In a large, deep skillet or shallow saucepan heat the oil and butter, and add garlic, chili powder, mustard, cumin, celery seeds, and black pepper.  Saute the mixture over a low flame, stirring it for 1 to 2 minutes.
  2. Add the green beans, carrots, celery, and ½ cup of juice from canned tomatoes.  Stir the mixture well, cover the pan and cook the mixture about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the onions and the red/green peppers, and cook uncovered another 10 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes, their remaining juice, and the kidney beans with their juice, and cook the chili 10 minutes longer.  Serve with a dollop of yogurt if desired.

Retreat Favorites: Kale Salad & Meditation

Kale Salad

  • 1 bag of kale (cut out large stems)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed)
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic
  • Orange, yellow or red bell pepper (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • Himalayan salt
  • Turmeric
    (use organic ingredients when possible)


Place kale in a bowl.  Pour extra virgin olive oil over kale. Squeeze lemon juice over kale (1/2 or whole lemon (taste). Using your hands blend oil and lemon juice until liquid is equally distributed over kale. Using a garlic press.  Press 2 – 3 cloves of garlic. Sprinkle Himalayan salt and turmeric. Chop bell pepper.  Again blend all together.


Be mindful as you are preparing your kale salad. Feel the textures as you blend the ingredients with your hands. Smell the aromas of garlic, lemon, olive oil and bell peppers. Also see the colors of the ingredients. Taste the flavors and feel the textures as you enjoy eating your salad. Most importantly feel the love you put in to preparing this salad for yourself and or for your loved ones.


Retreat Favorites: “Faux”bouli

as prepared by Sherry McDaniel Bovey


  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. In a small saucepan, combine quinoa and water. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Place quinoa in a medium bowl.
  2. Add tomato, shredded spinach, and onion to quinoa; stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Add to quinoa mixture; toss to coat.
  3. Makes 4 servings

Note: I tripled the recipe for the retreat.

Retreat Favorites: Curried Vegetable & Chickpea Stew

Curried Vegetable and Chickpea Stew
as prepared by Sherry McDaniel Bovey

Serves 8 – 10

Adapted from Cooking Light

1 large onion, diced
2 all-purpose potatoes, diced
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tablespoon)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
2 (16-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juices
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10-ounces baby spinach
1 cup coconut milk

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onion with one teaspoon of salt until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the potatoes and another teaspoon of salt, and sauté until just translucent around the edges.

Stir in the curry, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and chili and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in 1/4 cup of broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze. Pour this onion-potato mixture into the bowl of your slow cooker.

To the slow-cooker, add the rest of the broth, chickpeas, bell pepper, cauliflower, tomatoes with their juices, the pepper, and the final teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine. The liquid should come half-way up the sides of the bowl; add more broth as necessary. Cover and cook for 4 hours on HIGH.

Stir in the spinach and coconut milk. Cover with lid for 1 minute to allow the spinach to wilt. Taste and adjust salt and other seasonings as needed.

1 teaspoon olive oil

Serve on its own or over couscous, Israeli couscous, or orzo pasta.

Stove-Top Version: Instead of cooking in a slow cooker, simmer the stew over low heat on the stove top in a large Dutch oven or soup pot for 45-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Add the spinach and coconut milk and stir until the spinach has wilted. Taste and add more seasonings if needed.

2015 Winter Retreat FAQ

Retreat begins at 6:30pm Friday with supper. You’re welcome earlier. The cabins will be available after 4pm. We will finish up at 10:30am Sunday morning.


Bayou Chicot State Park
3469 Chicot Park Road
Ville Platte, LA 70586


Coming from the north on I-49, exit on LA 106 south. Turn left off LA 106 onto LA 3042 south, and continue to the main entrance. From the south, exit I-49 on US 167 and drive toward Ville Platte. In Ville Platte, turn right onto LA 3042/N. Dupre St., then left onto LA 3042/W. Lincoln Rd. Veer right onto LA 3042/Chicot Park Road. Park entrance is about 7 miles down LA 3042.
Deluxe Cabin Area: Cabins CB001 and CB005

Map of the Park: http://www.crt.state.la.us/Assets/Parks/parks/chicot/chicot_parkmap.pdf
Map of Deluxe Cabin Area: http://www.crt.state.la.us/Assets/Parks/parks/chicot/newcabin.jpg
Items Provided: Basic cookware, cooking utensils, dinnerware, silverware, towels and linens.

Things to Bring:

  • Loose comfortable clothing
  • A Notebook and Pens
  • Yoga Mat (if you have one, extras will be available)
  • Umbrella
  • Extra towel
  • Flashlight
  • At least one Vegetarian Dish to share

2015 Winter Retreat

from our Winter Retreat 2014

Winter Retreat 2015
“Silence and Simplicity”

February 20-22, 2015
Chicot State Park
Ville Platte, La.

Our 2nd annual Winter Retreat will be an opportunity to more fully engage simple daily tasks like breathing, walking, drinking tea, and eating mindfully, as well as exercises in journaling, nature walks, and yoga. The retreat will be held at Chicot State Park in Ville Platte, La. beginning on Friday, February 20 at 6:30 p.m. and end on Sunday, February 22 at 10:30 a.m.

The cost for the retreat will be $50 per person and will include two nights lodging. Retreat attendees will coordinate to provide vegetarian meals for the weekend. No meditation experience or religious affiliation is required to attend. Available space is limited. For more information or to reserve a space contact Lyndon Marcotte at (318)229-3811 or email: info@cenlameditation.org.