recipe: golden elixir!

This elixir brings together a bunch of Sattvic foods into one delicious and healthy mix!  Composed mostly of raw honey, turmeric and ginger, try it drizzled over granola or stirred into your tea to give your immune system a boost.  Golden Elixir is great to keep on hand all year round to promote healing.  Make it extra special by using local honey, such as Bee Project Apiaries!  They are doing amazing work to promote urban beekeeping and to keep our bee population thriving; find it regularly stocked at Parlour and Little Sister.

This recipe is adapted from Tara O’Brady’s in her cookbook, Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day.  It is a beautiful book full of gorgeous photos, stories and interesting recipes.

Golden Elixir

makes ~1 cup

¾ cup honey, preferably raw/local
3 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, preferably raw and unfiltered
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp ground turmeric
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix everything together in a jar until smooth.  Let it sit for at least 30 minutes before using (to let the flavours marry), and keep it stored in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Feel free to try variations: next time you could replace the cinnamon with nutmeg or cloves!  If you find fresh turmeric root, you could try replacing half of the fresh ginger with it.  Enjoy!

I was gifted dried turmeric root from a student, so I grated that into my latest batch of Golden Elixir (see photo) – but you can use turmeric powder and save yourself from the grating process!

Tara O'Brady's Golden Elixir

food for thought: reawaken!

Michael Stone is one of those rare teachers that is able to bridge traditional wisdom with contemporary living.  I have had the opportunity and joy of practising with him a few times, and his books are an extension of his in-person teachings.  As a yoga/Buddhist teacher and psychotherapist, he writes with clarity and passion, urging us to live fully and with presence.  In one of his books, Awake in the World: Teachings from Yoga and Buddhism for Living an Engaged Life, he relates that contained in the practice of yoga and Buddhism is the continual reminder that we are not discovering wisdom, but recovering it.

“Yoga teachings are not a response to life that stands apart from its movement.  Yoga is a living question that continually points its practitioner back toward his or her own life, back into the body, straight into community.  An ongoing practice recognizes that there is a transcendent mystery beyond the techniques that a practice employs.  Awakening is not the end result of a systematized process.  Reawakening love and intimacy for one’s self and beyond requires practice.  This is not because love is something far away from us but because we forget.  We forget that intimacy is near.  We forget how to relax with others.  We forget we are whole.  Realization is a kind of remembering rather than an achievement or virtuosic accomplishment.  Practice awakens the dormant and often invisible interiors of mind, body, and heart in order to establish a more tender, responsive, creative, and active self.”

How can the way we eat be a facet of responsible living?  Through the act of cooking, sharing food, and nourishing ourselves, we can practise yoga: practise being awake, giving love, taking responsibility, and being in relationship.  How can yoga manifest through our daily actions?

recipe: zucchini quinoa pizza.

Here is a creative way to reintroduce dairy (cheese, sour cream) into your meals tomorrow on Day 11.  By using quinoa to make a pizza “crust,” you create a high-protein, gluten-free vegetarian base upon which to scatter thin slices of zucchini (or another thinly shaved vegetable) and goat cheese!  Feel free to try any variety of toppings that suit your Dosha and taste preferences.

Did you know that there is quinoa grown right here in Manitoba?  Look for Tamarack Farms‘ quinoa sold at Organic Planet (877 Westminster Ave).

Zucchini goat cheese pizza with a quinoa crust
(adapted from Raw: Recipes for a modern vegetarian lifestyle, by Solla Eiríksdóttir)

makes 1 pizza

For the crust:
¾ cup (115 g) quinoa, uncooked
½ tsp sea salt flakes
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
¼ cup (20 g) grated cheddar cheese
1 tbsp olive oil

For the topping:
½ cup goat cheese
¼ cup sour cream
½ zucchini, very thinly sliced
Hemp seeds (for sprinkling)
Olive oil (for drizzling)

Soak the quinoa overnight in water, covered.  The next day, drain the quinoa and blend it with ¼ cup water, salt, garlic, pepper, and oregano, until it is smooth.  Pour the batter into a bowl and stir in the cheese and oil.

Put a 9” tart ring on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and pour the batter into the ring.  Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for about 20 minutes, and then remove.  Wearing oven mitts, cover the crust with another baking sheet, and flip the baking sheets over with the crust between them.  It is a daring maneuver, but if you feign confidence you will be fine.  Bake on the second sheet for another 5-10 minutes.

Remove the crust from the oven and lower the temperature to 350°F.  Mix together the goat cheese and sour cream, and spread it over the crust. Lay out the zucchini slices, and bake for another 10 minutes.  Right before serving, sprinkle over some hemp seeds and olive oil. Slice and eat.

This makes one pizza, but I think if you double the recipe you could forgo the tart ring situation and have enough batter to spread across an entire baking sheet to make a rectangular pizza crust.

Quinoa zucchini pizza

recipe: butternut squash and wild rice salad.

Spring can start and stop a few times in our part of the world, which can be confusing for our bodies and minds to adapt to.  If you are feeling a little ungrounded, try making this: the earth nature of the butternut squash and wild rice can help keep our feet on the ground when the wind changes direction.  This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and is suitable for all days of the cleanse except Days 4-8.

Butternut squash and wild rice salad

makes 4-6 servings

1 butternut squash
1 cup dry wild rice, soaked overnight in cold water
1 small yellow onion
1 large handful button mushrooms
1.5 cups chopped sugar snap peas or frozen green peas
1 large handful of fresh parsley
a few leaves of fresh mint
olive oil
1 lemon
sea salt

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.  Place cut-side-down in a roasting pan that is at least 2 cm deep and pour in enough water to come up about 1 cm.  Roast in a preheated 375 F oven for about 20 minutes, or until a knife easily slides into the flesh.  Let cool before handling.  When you are able to touch the squash without squealing, cut off the skin and dice the flesh into small cubes.

butternut squash

Meanwhile, bring the wild rice to a boil in 3 cups of water.  Cover and turn the heat down so it simmers for 40 minutes or until tender.

When the rice is almost done, prepare the other vegetables: dice the onion and fry in a tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a frying pan or skillet.  Let it grow translucent and gain some colour.  While waiting for that to happen, roughly slice the mushrooms.  When the onions are soft and touched with brown edges, throw in the mushrooms and sugar snap peas (or green peas), and continue to cook until tender.  Remove from heat.

In a large bowl, add everything together: the diced squash, the cooked wild rice, and the veggies.  Roughly chop the parsley and mint and add those as well.  Squeeze over the juice of the lemon and add a few glugs of olive oil.  Toss and taste, adding enough salt to your liking.  I like eating this at room temperature, but eating it warm is pretty good too.  You can also replace the butternut squash with another kind of squash or even beets – feel free to try different iterations of this recipe to suit your tastes and your Dosha!

squash wild rice salad