Gluten-free Date Bars

Okay, I had another date! This time with Tiko, ha ha. I put on my orange beaded necklace over my tank top, and Tiko and I went out way late – at 6:30 p.m. We got a taxi, went to the little restaurant, “Agave Blu,” on the corner in the Square. And watched “In Time,”  with Bill Nighy. I had guacomole and salsa with lady friends, and could watch Tiko in the doorway as he played and garnered attention from the passers-by. Very romantic – Vilca at night, with the lampposts shining, kids playing, the sounds of dinner dishes and the clinking of glasses. The air was sweet and warm, and the company great! Very fun for me!

Recipe of the Day – Date Bars


  • 2 c. dates, pitted and chopped (about 20 dates)
  • 2 c. cashews
  • 1/2  c. cacao powder
  • 1/4 c. carob powder
  • 1/2 c. almonds, sprouted, if desired
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut
  • 1 pinch vanilla powder
  • 3 T. cold water or tea


  1.  Place dates, cashews, cacao, carob, almonds and sea salt in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
  2. Add coconut and vanilla pulse again adding water a little at a time until mixture starts to form a ball.
  3. Press firmly into a 9-inch square baking dish. Chill for 1 hour before serving.

Word of the Day – dátiles – dates

Tip of the Day – Sometimes it’s worth it to take yourself out. The person you may have been looking for, is you!



Cucumber Water

It’s 4:00 – time for the workers to leave, but they showed no signs of leaving. I put their Friday money in my pocket and came around the corner of the house to find Jose watering one garden with all the force the water can bring! Woohoo!!! Finalmente! Finally! After weeks of watering every single plant by hand; which was taking  almost three hours! The canal is cleaned of debris, and water is flowing again! Woohoo! “Hey, Jose, I’ll trade you all the money in my pocket for all that water!” He laughed heartily. I/We just did the entire circuit in forty minutes. Oh, my gosh.

Recipe of the Day – Cucumber Water


1 pitcher water

1 cucumber, cut in slices

optional : mint leaves, lemon slices, or both.

Directions: Place all the ingredients in a pitcher and chill until cool. The longer it sits, the stronger the flavor.

Word of the Day – pepino – cucumber

Tip of the Day – You can’t believe how different and refreshing this water is. I serve it to the workers occasionally and its gone so fast!

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Berry Banana Kombucha Frostie

I had a date! Well, I didn’t know it was a date ’til my daughter told me. But the guest here with his four children asked me out to town in the morning, where we sat and had a smoothie. Being a Montana man, which is where I come from, he treated me to a taxi, and bought the smoothie, and even  pair of red earrings, what! Wow. So awesome to have some male attention. And just to feel like someone likes you! Too bad he was just here for two days, rats!

Berry Kimbucha Frostie

Recipe of the Day –Berry Banana Kombucha Frostie

You won’t believe how good it is to mix a fermented Kombucha, bubbly and light, with the whipped  perfection of a fruit frostie! The flavor outcome will vary depending on what berry and what flavor of kombucha you use, so play around and have fun with it!

1 frozen banana
1 1/4 c. chopped strawberries
1 1/4  c. raw kombucha
1 T. lime juice
edible flowers – I used Alyssum, or sprigs of mint


Blend all ingredients, and serve. Optional ideas are to use blueberries or raspberries, instead of strawberries. Add 3 T. chopped mint before blending.
Serve over crushed ice with an edible flower in the glass. Add a little Stevia for more sweetening, if desired.

Word of the Day – servir – serve

Tip of the Day – As my daughter says, “Do it, Mom! Go out!”


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Tarragon Dressing/Masala Bowl

“Can I have some of this long grass for my burro, Dorothy,” asked Jose as he headed toward the compost bin with his machete.  “Of course, take it all,” I said. How often does one hear that!
I’ve been worried because this is the longest we’ve been without rain. I water and water, but now am getting very little to use from the canal, from the mountains. It’s so sad. I hope it rains soon.

Recipe of the Day – Tarragon Dressing/Mixed Masala Bowl


¼ c. Dijon mustard
¼ water/coconut water
2 T. lime juice
2 T. sweetener – Stevia, honey, maple syrup, coconut syrup
2 T. dried tarragon
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. sea salt

Blend all ingredients or whisk by hand until well combined. Toss with a beautiful salad or mixed masala bowl.

Word of the Day – el tazón – the bowl

Tip of the Day –Make your salad before you get too hungry. That way you won’t be tempted to eat other things!

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Quinoa Burgers

They’re moving my bedroom furniture in to both rooms! So exciting for me! The workers are laughing because I’ve never seen my bed before. It was packed and taped and moved to the back of the furniture so tightly on the back porch, and is so dang heavy, I couldn’t get in there to see it! It’s beautiful, hand-carved furniture made of eucalyptus, all matching, seriously thick, dark wood and all curved, muy rustico (very rustic)! I love it so much. Read the post (Mashed Papitas) on how I came upon the furniture for the whole house in one go, and didn’t have to shop for it!

Recipe of the Day – Quinoa Burgers


  • 1 1/2 c. sprouted or cooked quinoa
  • 2 T. ground flax soaked in 6 T. water
  • 1 c. finely chopped kale leaves
  • 1/2 c. oats, ground into a flour
  • 1/2 c. finely grated sweet potato
  • 1/4 c. finely chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 c. fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 T. finely diced  green onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T. tahini paste
  • 2 tsp. fresh oregano
  • 1 T. red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp.  sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 c. platano or other gluten-free all-purpose flour
  • red pepper flakes, to taste


Dehydrate at 105 degrees until warm (4-8 hours) or

fry in a frying pan in 2 T. coconut oil or

bake in a warmed over 400 degrees F. Mix the flax with the water to sit, then combine the rest of the ingredients. Shape into patties and place on baking sheet or frying pan. Bake 15 minutes, then flip and bake again for 8-10 minutes. Cool. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat on an oiled skillet over medium heat, 3 minutes per side.

Word of the Day –hamburguesas – hamburgers

Tip of the Day – 1) To cook quinoa, rinse 1 cup uncooked quinoa in a fine mesh strainer. Place quinoa in a medium pot and cover with 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and then cover with a tight fitting lid. Simmer covered for 14-17 minutes until most of the water is absorbed and the quinoa is light and fluffy. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork, and then place lid back on to steam for another 4-5 minutes. This makes almost 3 cups of cooked quinoa . You only need half for this recipe. To sprout quinoa, soak for 1.5 hours, drain and let it sprout for 1 -1.5 days.

2) To make oat flour, add the oats into a high speed blender and blend on the highest speed until a fine flour forms.

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M’s Cold Quinoa Salad

On a Monday morning, it’s tempting for me to just go over and tell the workers what I want done today. But instead, I ask how their weekend was, Jose tells me he had to water alot. “Yeah, we need rain badly,” I say. Then, I say, “Hey, can you finish the caulking on this room first, before you start the tiles? I’ve got a man coming with five children as guests tomorrow.” I’ve learned alot this year. No one wants to start the week with that, here. And probably most cultures. They want to know you care first.

Recipe of the Day – Cold Quinoa Salad

This is my sister’s Cold Quinoa Salad Ingredients:

 2-3 c.of cooked or sprouted quinoa

Hanful of freshly diced cilantro

½ – 1 c.cooked black beans

Handful of seedless red grapes

Sprinkle Pomegranate seeds (optional)

1 c. diced mango (optional)

1 c diced  noodles of zucchini (optional)

2 c. diced kale or spinach (optional)

1 avocado


½ c.tahini

1 cup OJ

Small amount of low sodium soy sauce or Bragg’s Aminos

1 T. miso (optional)

Dash of hot sauce or chipotle (optional)

Directions: Mix together all the ingredients. Then mix together the dressing by hand or in a small blender.  Pour over salad.

Word of the Day – quinoa – quinoa

Tip of the Day – Say “hi” before you give instructions, and ask about the workers’ health before you laden them with details, Dorothy.

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Q&A – Should I expect stomach problems when I travel to South America?

I remember, 8-9 years ago, asking the Raw Foodists, Matt and Angela Monarch,

Q: “Did you ever have stomach problems in Ecuador, particularly Vilcabamba?

A: “No, on a  raw food diet we’ve never experienced problems with our stomachs.

Then, I asked the Nurse at the Bozeman, Montana Vaccination Clinic for her advise on traveling to Ecuador and other parts of South America. I was eating a raw food diet, but my son and husband were not. Here’s what she said:

Q: “Is there anything we can do to protect our bellies from stomach discomfort while we travel to South America?

A: Yes! Take one tablet of Pepto Bismol every day for a week before you travel to South America, then one each day of your trip. Don’t drink the water; carry water with you. And don’t even brush your teeth with the water. Make sure when you take a shower, you don’t drink any of the water. Wash all your fruits and vegetables well before eating.

And here’s what happened. I didn’t take the Pepto at all. I’d been doing serious cleanings and fasts, getting rid of the plaque on my intestines before coming to Ecuador. So I didn’t think the bacteria would have anything to hang on to. I didn’t get sick once, nor in the following travels to Ecuador.

My son and husband took the Pepto Bismol regularly. As I recall, they each had some minor queasiness for one day each trip, but that was all: no throwing up, none of the “runs,” etc…

Now, on this past December trip, the family, all of us got sick after eating at a particular restaurant; but nothing due to the water.


Spicy Black Bean Dip

I’m off to Loja for wheatgrass seeds today, finally found the place – Diego’s, also called, “Fruta al Paso.” on the 18th of November Street. I caught my neighbor going by, and when he lifted his eyebrows, I was like , “Yes, I want a ride to town!
And actually he isn’t my neighbor, but a very friendly guy named Juan, who grazes his horses on the land adjoinging mine. And I was so happy not to pay a taxi, but what I didn’t realize, was that we were trailing his horses all the way into town, literally on their hooves! It was actually really fun. I couldn’t believe how close he got to the last horses’ hooves. The clip-clop of their dance down the road, coupled with glinting light of the white feet of the grey horse, lulled me into a hypnotic meditation all the way down the hill. What a nice way to go into town!

Recipe of the Day  – Spicy Black Bean Dip.



2 c. black beans
1 tsp. onion
1-2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. red pepper
1 T. balsamic, apple-cider vinegar, or coconut vinegar
1 T. coconut aminos
optional – 1 T. vegan worcestershire sauce
salt to taste

Directions: YOu can cook the black beans as usual, soaking overnight and cooking according to package directions. Or sprout 2 c. black beans by soaking them in water for 12 hours, then rinsing every twelve hours for five days, until the length of the sprout is as desired. Black beans aren’t known for their sprouting. If you get 50% of them sprouted, consider yourself lucky. Grind them in a grinder or food processor and add the other ingredients.


Word of the Day – frijoles – beans

Tip of the Day – Beans are non-fat and plentiful, so eat them up with the gusto they deserve!

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Spinach Artichoke Dip

I walked outside to note watch the arrival of a big truck. My roof tiles, yeay! Jose was rolling up his shirt and rubbing his belly, in the way so many of the men do here. I wish everyone in the world would do that. I wish bellies were as common to see as…faces, and that we had no thoughts about them. But it makes me wonder, why do the young men here never do that, the lean ones with probably good abs underneath. Are they considered unattractive? And the bigger, rounder bellies more so? Hmmm…..I’ll have to ask someone, a woman perhaps.


Recipe of the Day – Spinach Artichoke Dip

1 1/2 c. raw almond sour cream (cashew or macadamia nuts), or nut/seed yogurt
To the sour cream, add:
3-4 spinach leaves, finely diced
16 oz. diced artichoke hearts
1 T. Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. black pepper or Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
1/2 tsp. garlic
herbs of choice – I used thyme, cilantro, basil, mint and garlic greens
Sea salt to taste


Dircections :To make the yogurt: Soak 1 1/2 c. nuts in water for 12 hours, sprout 1-2 days. Blend with 2 c. water, strain through a cheesecloth. The liquid will be your sour cream. Let that sit on the counter with 1 T. lemon juice, barley water or rejuvelac, with a paper towel on top, for 8 hours. Keep the almond meal/pulp in the bag and hang the bag for 8 hours to make almond ricotta. Stir in the other ingredients and season to taste. Chill.
Serve with raw crackers, vegetables or rolled up in spinach/lettuce leaves.

Word of the Day – estomago – stomach

Tip of the Day – Eat well and rub your belly in circles. It’s actually good for your digestion!

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Mystic Mango Smoothie

Okay, I geared up and took Tiko to town, walking, I mean. I haven’t taken him in a couple months, walking around the town, because the pull of the other dogs is so great, and the pull of Tiko on me even worse!

But I kept repeating, “Leave it, leave it,” whenever we chanced upon another dog, and we did pretty good, thanks to the new leather harness. He laid down under the table, where I was having a smoothie, and took a nap at my friend’s house. So all in all, a good trip! Now maybe I can teach him to come teach Tai Chi with me!

Recipe of the Day – Mystic Mango Smoothie


  • 1 1/2 c. orange juice
  • 1/2 c. water, tea or coconut milk
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1/2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
  • 2 c. frozen mango
  • 1 Tab. honey, coconut nectar, or 3 drops liquid mango Stevia
  • Directions:
  • Blend and chill, or pour over ice cubes in a cold glass.

Word of the Day – mango – mango

Tip of the Day – Don’t worry about your dogs in Ecuador. They are loved, free most of the time, and welcomed in many places. The people kind of fear my German Shepherd, but I think it’s because the police use them, as well. And Tiko’s teeth are pretty sharp-looking!

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