Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Quinoa Bake

Last fall I found a great recipe 'just in time' for my son-in law's BD! He & I both LOVE quinoa in any form, and as soon as I made this the first time, I knew it would become a family favorite! Leanne of 'Healthful Pursuit' is a nutritionist in Canada, & has a wonderful blog full of recipes & tips for healthy eating, many GF & vegan!
Her recipe was made for 2, so I expanded it, & also began with boiling water, as I'd learned that trick oven baking rice 35 years ago! So here's my version!

I begin with fresh squash from my farmers, Katie & Casey of Oakhill Organics, & often bake another while I have the quinoa in the oven, as I like to have fresh baked pumkin or squash on hand for smoothies & including in recipes.
Following their suggestion, & just poke the squash with a knife a few times (like a baking potato) & put in a pan with a bit of water in the bottom. After it's baked, I cut & scoop the seeds, which I sprinkle with a bit of salt & perhaps curry powder or pumpkin pie spice, & stick back in that hot (but turned off) oven - or do that later. The seeds make GREAT snacks!

Pumpkin Pie Quinoa bake (my version)
vegan & gluten free, does contain coconut
- heat oven to 350* & lightly oil a quart or larger casserole

1 1/2 C boiling water
1/2 C OG pumpkin puree - I chop  pre-baked squash in the blender & process with water or coconut milk,  {you could use tinned}
1/2 C quinoa
1/4 C amaranth (total of 3/4 C, could use all quinoa)
1 Tbsp Teff (for extra nutrition - can skip if you don't have any)

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla

optional additions:
1 T maple syrup
2 Tbsp cacao nibs,
1/4 C dried fruit: raisins,  cran-raisins, currents ...

Bring water to a boil
puree pumpkin with sufficient liquid to blend

Mix spices & other ingredients with pumpkin puree
Heat coconut oil in a pan on stove top, & lightly toast quinoa & amaranth for a few minutes, stirring; then pour boiling water over
mix with pumpkin & rest of ingredients
Transfer to baking dish, cover & place in oven
Bake COVERED for 30 minutes, then remove cover & add topping; bake an additional 10 minutes UNCOVERED

1/4 C coconut shreds mixed with sunflower seeds (can pre-toast if you wish)
1 Tbsp coconut oil in chunks
sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice & cinnamon
1 tsp or more maple syrup if you wish

You can use this method to bake quinoa plain or with onions, garlic etc - any additions you'd use on top of the stove. It turns out very fluffy - it's important to bring the water to a boil first, as that allows it to cook in the alloted time! I tend to mix quinoa with amaranth, & often add a Tbsp teff (for nutrient density, the seeds - African Millet - are tiny, so mostly bran & germ)

I often bake a batch, either plain or with pumpkin, while I'm roasting veggies, it takes a little longer than stove top, but is nice if have something else to do while it's cooking!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Spa Water

Happy Easter!!
It's a lovely, sunny day, & I've been playing in my garden .... came in to put on some music, & found this fun post on making your own 'spa water' with fruits & herbs, etc marinating a bit in your water!

A dear harper friend often gathers FLOWERS (edible & OG) & herbs, & keeps a supply of pretty pitchers on hand for gatherings. The first I attended, she sent me out to the garden with a basket to gather the herbs & flowers, then we rinsed them & put into the pitchers with lemon slices for the tables! Beautiful. And tasty!

So if you struggle to drink enough water - try some 'spa water' with flowers & herbs from your own (hopefully unsprayed) yard! Remember to stick to plants you KNOW - here's a nice chart of edible flowers, with some tips on use & cautions.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Experiencing the Divine

Today Jamie's prompt is 'What do you wish to Experience?'

I wish to experience the Divine in each moment! To experience life in the present, not caught in the 'story' of the past or anticipation of the future! And to share my light, my Chi with others! Certainly to enjoy thinking of what has happened, or what's coming up, but coming back to THIS breath, THIS step, THIS heartbeat!

On the weekend, my daughter's little family & I headed to the mountains - Breitenbush Hot Springs 35th Anniversary & "Tribal Reunion" .... old friends, familiar grounds, for many of us 'chosen to be some of the 50-60 who live on the land at one time,' even when we've been 'in the world' again for years, THIS land is home!

We walked to the gravesite of a lovely woman who preceeded me on the land, led by her 20something daughter, & surrounded by other friends. There was snow on the ground, a sweet fairy/angel on the grave, & the sun came out for us! {I'm in the middle, in my long dark robe}

The girls who knew her as mom or 'auntie' spoke of her braiding hair, checking in. Others who knew her bespoke of her JOY, even when she was ill (cancer) & in the process. One of our brothers who had a run with kidney disease spoke of seeing her in a hospital corridor, & again, her beauty, smile, JOY & light!

That light, that Joy in the moment - ah, bliss! A truly happy person is filled with chi. When someone is ‘bubbling over’ with joy, they are overflowing with positive chi. That’s why we love to be around happy people; they are virtual fountains of chi, replenishing others wherever they go.” {David Daniel Kennedy}

Debra embodied this during her lifetime, bubbling over with Joy, even in illness!

My daughter, 11 year old granddaughter & I took yoga Sunday AM, & were reminded of coming back to the breath, out of the story, into the moment. May we all be so blessed!

What do YOU wish to experience?