Crustless Slow Cooker Spinach Quiche

Listening to the guests and owners of the Raw Food Retreat talk about the inability to get a hot shower, i was assured I still am not alone in Ecuador whenever the water pressure is low. Their solutions were the same. With a calefon (hot water heater affixed to the wall), once you find the correct setting, leave it and never let anyone touch it. (I have a sign on mine.) Then, after you know there is gas in the propane tank and a healthy battery, do either or both of these. Turn the water off and on, off and on, until it becomes hot. Or, turn on all the faucets in the house to get the pressure up. Haven’t tried that one yet.

Recipe of the Day – Crustless Slow Cooker Spinach Quiche

Ingredients:

2 huge handfuls chopped spinach
1 T. Coconut oil
2 c. Baby mushrooms, washed and chopped
1 medium red bell pepper
1 1/2 c. Nut/seed or  cheddar cheese
8 eggs
1 c. Almond or other sour cream
2 T. snipped fresh chives
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/2 c. finely ground almond flour
1/4 tsp baking soda

Directions:

Lightly grease slow cooker with oil. Chop the spinach, onions and mushrooms
Heat 1 T. Oil over medium heat, and saute pepper and mushrooms together until fragrant, about 4 minutes
Mix together eggs, sour cream, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add grated cheese and chives and mix to combine
In a small bowl, combine almond flour and baking soda. Fold into the egg mixture
Add the vegetables in the eggs mixture and pour into the slow cooker
Cook on high for 2 1/2 hours or low for 4-5.

Word of the Day – precion – pressure

Tip of the Day – I have full disclosure to my guests: that the water in the big house is heated by solar panels. Thus, the heat is supplied by the sun. If there hasn’t been sun for three days, the water may not get hot. In the casita, the water is heated by calefon. If there hasn’t been enough rain to supply pressure to heat to move the calefon, there my not be hot water. We’ve been lucky to have hot showere most of the year.

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Eggplant Chili

We had a pretty good storm last night. A whole bunch of my camping stuff got soaked, but the sun came out shortly after, and today everything has dried out already. I just finished sewing all the little holes in the mosquito net. Good thing I had my technology unplugged!

Recipe of the Day – Eggplant Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1lb. mushroom
  • 1medium green onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1eggplant, peeled and cubed
  • 11/2 c. tomatoes
  • 1c. tomato sauce
  • 1⁄2 c. water or broth
  • 2 T. chili powder
  • 1 T. yucca or corn starch
  • 2 tsp. coconut sugar, optional
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to tast
  • dash pepper
  • 2 c. kidney beans, cooked
  1. Directions:
  2. Add mushroom, onion, and garlic to a large pot; cook over medium heat until mushrooms are slightly wilted, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients except the kidney beans.
  4. Stir to combine.
  5. Cover and lower heat; simmer for 2 hours.
  6. Add in kidney beans; stir.
  7. Cover and cook 30 minutes; adjust seasoning to taste.

Word of the Day – tormenta, truena – storm, thunder

Tip of the Day – Do this with ground beef, turkey or chicken, if you’re a meat eater.

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Pickled Bamboo

You know what’s amazing? How this set of guests is picking up slack for me in my stressed time. I’m supposed to be the hostess and see to their needs. Instead, D talks to me about human relations, and calms me down. W takes Tiko for long walks and keeps charge of the gate, even during storms! G is offering to stain the shutters if I can get the stain. And I is getting Vilca Retreat a new coffee pot. Whoa, Angels! I am so grateful to them!
Recipe of the Day – 
Pickled Bamboo

INGREDIENTs:

  • 1 fresh bamboo shoot
  • 5 T.  apple cider or rice vinegar
  • 3 tsp. coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp. Bragg’s amino acids or fish sauce

Directions:

1. Cut the bamboo shoot in half lengthways, strip off the outer layers and then trim a little off the base.

2. Cut the bamboo into 1/4″ wide strips and add to a pan of cold salted water.

3. Bring to the boil and boil rapidly for 10 minutes. Drain and refresh bamboo under cold water.

4. Repeat this process of boiling from a cold-water start, draining and refreshing twice more, to remove any bitterness.

5. To pickle the bamboo, place the apple vinegar or rice vinegar and sugar in a small pan, and stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar is dissolved.

6. Then simmer, uncovered and without stirring, for about 5 minutes, or until mixture is slightly reduced.

7. Remove from the stove, stir in the soy or fish sauce and the prepared bamboo.

8. This keeps for several weeks in the refrigerator.

Word of the Day – bambu – bamboo

Tip of the Day – You can get your bamboo shoots in a jar at a nice local Japanese food store, or cut them yourselves when they are less than 12 inches tall!

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Marinated Mushrooms

I’m very tired these days from the new workout added to my classes – biking 25 minutes to San Joaquin at dawn, teaching 1-2 classes and biking back, and sometimes into town, as well. But i guess I never or seldom biked at 6 a.m,. and it is gosh-darn beautiful. The pristine white geese are lined up in a row today. The horses all have their heads turned towards me, or is it to the rising sun? Three Ecuadorians call my name out, “Dorotea?” which makes me smile.

Recipe of the Day – Marinated Mushrooms

Ingredients:

s Portabella/Crimini mushrooms, chopped into 1/2 inch squares

1 T. coconut aminos or wheat-free Nama Shoyu

1 T.Raw coconut or apple cider Vinegar

1 T. dried basil Optional – 1 T. vegan worcestershire sauce

Directions: Marinate mushrooms in sauce for 12 hours. Serve as a side or topping to any meal.

Word of the Day – hongos – mushrooms

Tip of the Day – Serve over brown rice, yum!

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Lemon Polenta Cake

“Are we camping again,” Tiko, my dog asks? “Oh, good. Because, you know, Dorothy, I’m always camping. i know where to find water, how to sleep and eat in the forest, and how to go pee. I will guard you. And I like it when you camp with me.”


Recipe of the Day –
Lemon Polenta Cake
Ingredients:
2/3 c. polenta or yellow corn meal
1 3/4 c. Ground oats
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
14 T. Coconut oil
1 c. Coconut sugar
3 eggs, whisked or 3 T. Flax seeds soaked in 9 T. Water
zest of 1 large lemon
juice of 1 large lemon
1/2 c. plus 2 T. Coconut sugar
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottom of a springform pan with parchment paper and oil th sides with coconut oil,
1) Whisk together the polenta, oats, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.
2) Melt the oil and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Place flax or Crack eggs into bowl and beat gently.
3) Working in stages, gently mix together 1/3 of the oil mixture, 1/3 of the dry ingre
dients, and 1/3 of the beaten eggs. Repeat this process twice more with the remaining ingredients, until all ingredients are just incorporated.
4) Fold in lemon zest, and pour batter into prepared pan.
5) Just before the cake is finished – after about 30 minutes of baking – make the glaze. Heat lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
6) While the cake is still hot, use a toothpick to poke small holes all over the cake. Spoon the glaze evenly over the cake, and spread as necessary. Run a knife around the edges of the pan to precent sticking, before you release it. Warm slightly.

Word/Phrase of the Day – mi – my

Tip of the Day – You can do this cake while camping, by cooking over a low heat in a covered skillet. It works!

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Squash Blossoms Tomato Salad

Coming home to my own retreat after teaching yoga at the Monarch’s retreat, two musicians were playing on the front porch, two talking in the driveway, and two were tucked away in their casita, with one resting in the pods/cacoons. I can’t say i’m sorry the eldest is going, though. In my five years of airbnb, i have never had guests fight. This man, with his antagonism and arrogance. drove one person to leave two days early, and another couple to seriously think about it. Luckily, he’s gone now, whew, what a trial.

Recipe of the Day – Squash Blossoms Tomato Salad

Ingredients:

1 big handful fresh thyme
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest

juice of 1/2 lemon
2 thin zucchini thinly shaved with your chai bo or mandoline
4 small squashes,yellow and green, thinly shaved on a mandoline
4-5 cherry small tomatoes, cut in half crosswise (1 cup)
6 zucchini or other squash blossoms, quartere
1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, torn if large, plus more for sprinkling

Pinch of red-pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. Salt
Coarsely ground pepper
1/4 c. Nut/seed cheese or ricotta
Directions:

For the thyme oil -Place thyme on a cutting board, and bruise with the dull edge of a knife. Place thyme and oil in a small saucepan. Cover, and heat over medium heat until small bubbles appear. Turn off heat, and steep thyme, covered, 20 minutes. Discard sprigs, leaving loose thyme leaves in oil. Whisk together lemon zest and juice and 2 tablespoons thyme oil (reserve remaining oil for another use; it can be refrigerated up to 2 weeks).

Combine half the dressing with the zucchini, pattypan squashes, tomatoes, zucchini blossoms, basil, red-pepper flakes, and salt. Season with pepper, and toss. Divide half the salad between 2 plates, and dot with half the ricotta. Top with remaining salad and remaining ricotta. Drizzle with remaining dressing, and sprinkle with basil.

Word of the Day – huesped – guest

Tip of the Day – Search for pretty, edible squash blossoms for this salad. They don’t have to be zucchinis.

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Spirulina Chocolate Truffles

I taught yoga for the staff at Monarch (The Raw Food World estate today. Their retreat starts soon and I’ll be teaching the retreatants, but this week the staff! In a beautiful bamboo forest on their land in their yoga house. They (the staff) invited me to their raw food lunch of guacamole salad and spirulina chocolates by the swimming pool and sauna, whoa. That was a very cool day. I asked Chef Karl what he was serving for the breakfasts next week, and he said raw granola, fruits, nut milks and almond butter, man!

Recipe of the Day – Spirulina Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients:

½ c. walnuts
½ c. dates, soaked 10 minutes, pitted & chopped, (Save the date water)
¼ c. shredded coconut

1/8 c. spirulina powder

1 pinch Vanilla powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

pinch sea salt, to taste
Orange zest, to taste (optional)
Water, as needed for binding

Walnuts, finely chopped (garnish)

Dark Chocolate Sauce

2 T. coconut oil
2 T. cacao powder
1 ½ T. date water or coconut nectar
Pinch salt

DIRECTIONS:

Truffles

Put the nuts in a small food processor fitted with an S-blade. Grind,
Add the dates and shredded coconut together with vanilla and spirulina, cinnamon, sea salt and orange zest to taste until it forms a ball.
Roll the dough into small truffles. You can use a small cookie scoop or a measuring spoon for this so they look uniform,
Put the truffles in the freezer while you make the chocolate sauce.
Dark Chocolate Sauce:

Melt your coconut oil on low heat. Mix the oil with the date water or syrup  and  salt in a small bowl.
Gradually add the cacao powder and stir well.
Take your truffles out of the freezer. Using a fork, dip the truffles in the chocolate sauce.
Add a sprinkle of finely chopped  nuts for garnish, or other toppings such as orange zest or cacao nibs.
Pop the truffles in the freezer for 10 minutes so the chocolate can harden.

Word of the Day –enceño – I teach

Tip of the Day – Replace the dates with other dried fruit such as raisins, apricots, apple slices, figs.

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Stevia Matcha Lemonade

Matcha is a powder made from green tea with more antioxidants as the tea, as you consume more of the catechins that have been associated with everything from reducing cancer and blood pressure to protecting your brain against aging.

Recipe of the Day – Matcha Stevia Lemonade

1 qt. Water

juice of one lemon

3 leaves stevia, or two drops liquid

4 mint leaves

ice

1 tsp. Matcha powder

Directions: Fill a pitcher with water, juice of 1 lemon, stevia, mint leaves, ice, and matcha, and stir well.

Word of the Day – limonada – lemonade

Tip of the Day – Add a pinch of the powder to other recipes!

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DIY Tater Tots

When yoga was over, a student pulled my ear in close to his mouth, and whispered. “You didn’t pay your Midas Touch Cafe bill, so I paid it. I won’t put in a donation today, okay?” Whoa! I  knew I would do that someday. Had some granola, sat around with students over a cup of tea, then slung my backpack on and left! It’s too dang like home, at that cafe, is the problem. I’m way too comfortable,

Recipe of the Day – Tater Tots

Ingredients:

8 medium potatoes, cooked, peeled, and hot
1 T. Potato flour
1 dash pepper
1 tsp. salt or seasoning salt
2 T. minced onions or onion flakea
2 T. Coconut oil

Directions:
Finely shred the potatoes while they are still hot.
Stir in flour, salt, pepper and onion ,
Heat 1/4-in oil in heavy pan.
Form into small balls and drop in oil; fry until slightly golden.
Drain on paper towels, then freeze for tater tot casseroles or to serve alone.
When ready to serve, remove from freezer.
Bake in single layers on a greased baking sheet; at 400 degrees until desired crispness.

Word of the Day – comodo – comfortable

Tip of the Day – A good thing about small towns, is people watcjing out for you!

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Raisin Fudge

After having the same male guests for a good ten days or so, I’m starting to get more assertive. “Can we stay another four days, Dorothy?” “Only if you start putting the toilet seat down,” At first, when five men arrived, I woke up singing, “It’s raining men, hallelujah,” Now, it’s, “Hey, clean your own coffee cups!” Ha ha. Nice to have strong men around to do a few things for me, though!

Recipe of the Day – Raisin Fudge
INGREDIENTS:

1 c.  walnuts
1 c. raisins

1/3 c. cacao powder
Dash of cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
Directions:Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until mixture starts to form a ball. Press into  a square or round glass dish. Freeze until firm. Slice. This may be kept refrigerated or frozen.

Word of the Day – cortés – polite

Tip of the Day – When verbal messages don’t get through, little post-its do. Some people do better with the written word in front of them.

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