Orange, Beet, Nispero and Sprouted Quinoa Salad

I just came back from the Vet’s with Tiko, then went over to the hose where I was dyeing clothes that had stained. I found Jose right behind me, almost with tension! “Is that blood,” he said, as a profusion of red washed out of the clothes. “Ohhh, no,” I giggled. I’m dyeing my clothes! Whew. What tender concern! He had come down from the roof awfully fast, and all the workers were staring at me and listening intently.

Recipe of the Day –Beet, Orange, Nispero, and Sprouted Quinoa SalaD


1/4 c. finely chopped green onions
2 tsp. grated orange rind
1 tsp.  grated lemon or lime rind
2 T. blood orange juice
1 T. fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tsp. finely chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
3 T.  olive oil

1 c. uncooked quinoa, sprouted, if you like (See my recipe for sprouted quinoa)
1 3/4 c. water
1/2 tsp. salt, divided
2-3 oranges in sections
1 c. diced peeled avocado
6 whole nisperos or kumquats
2 medium beets, cooked and cut into wedges


To prepare dressing, combine first ten ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Set aside.

To prepare salad, place quinoa in a fine sieve, and place sieve in a large bowl. Cover quinoa with water. Using your hands, rub grains together for 30 seconds, then  rinse and drain. Repeat procedure twice. Drain well.

Combine the water, quinoa, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a medium saucepan, then bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork. Combine quinoa, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, orange sections, avocado, and nisperos in a large bowl, tossing gently to combine. Add dressing; toss gently to coat salad. Spoon 1 cup salad onto each of 4 plates; top each serving with about 1/2 cup beets.

 Word of the Day – remolachas – beets

Tip of the Day – Sprout the quinoa, if you want, by soaking the grains in waterbfor 1 1\2 hours,nthen draining and let sit until little tails appear. In one day, if its hot out!

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Veggie Dogs

Mi pobrecito Tiko, my poor Tiko, had a thorn lodged in his foot for over 24 hours, poor guy! He was really limping. Everyone tried to see where it was, but we couldn’t. So I finally took him to the Vet this morning, with a stash of hot dogs for motivation and comfort. Dr. Pablo had to give him a sedative, and then a pain-reliever in the paw, as it was “muy complicado,” very complicated. But it turned out okay. The thorn was lodged horizontally under the skin, and he got it out very nicely and Tiko is asleep now. $5 for the surgery and $1.60 for 9 pain pills, 3 – 3x a day.

Recipe of the Day – Veggie Dogs


  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c. cooked pinto beans, well-drained
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 2 T.  coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • 1 T.  tomato paste
  • 2 T. Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp.ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. white or black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/2. c. oats
  • 2 Tab. nutritional yeast.
  • 1 T. flax seeds soaked in 3 Tab. water


  1. Saute onion and garlic and cook until onion is softened, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add to the pinto beans, water, coconut aminos or soy sauce, tomato paste, and all seasonings to the food processor. Blend until it’s a thin paste.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients ( oatmeal, yeast, and soaked flax) in a large mixing bowl. Add the contents of the food processor and stir until combined until it is a soft dough, adding a little more water, if necessary.
  4. Set up a steamer in a pot of water and bring the water to a boil. Roll the dough into hot dog shapes and  place it on the foil/paper. Use the paper to help you roll it., then twist the ends closed. Makes 8 dogs. Steam for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before unwrapping. Store the veggie dogs in a covered container in the refrigerator. Warm gently in a frying pan or microwave or on a grill before serving.

Word of the Day – muy complicado – very complicated

Tip of the Day – You sure can trust Dr. Pablo Leon in Vilca. He and his brother have been nothing but awesome for my dog this year.

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Interview with Mazzi Dumato, Owner of the United Falafel Org.

I sat down with Mazzi in front of the Juice Factory, just three doors down from his restaurant, the United Falafel Org; here in Vilcabamba.  

Q:Have you had other restaurants, Mazzi?                                                

A: No, this is my first! And I’ve been here since February. I wasn’t supposed to be here but the other guy took off. I wasn’t planning on committing so much of my time to it, but now I love it so much. I literally live there.

Q: And it’s doing so well!

A: It’s doing so well because of Yasu and his cooking tips, which would have taken me a year or more to learn. He makes the flavor of the food!

Q: I think it’s also about you, Mazzi, who you are. People like you.

A: I’m very particular about service, the training of the staff. When I was in the States, CA and NY particularly, I realized what good service was. Every coffee shop in New York, how they treat their customers. For me, I know it sounds hokey, but it’s really not about the money. It’s the instant gratification I receive when someone says, “This is the best falafel I’ve ever had.”

Q: It’s the best falafel I’ve ever had. I’m thinking it’s the Ecuadorian parsley.

A: We really don’t do anything special, ingredient-wise. It sounds cheesy, perhaps, but our goal is to please people. I think the secret ingredient to our falafels, our food, and the restaurant, is the love and the preparation.

Q: Hey, what’s your retreat center in Brazil, called, Mazzi?

A: We have a healing center in Brazil, and my wife is running that. It’s called Acolher.

Special Blessings to Mazzi and his family. We love his food.

Here’s Mazzi’s recipe for his Tahini Sauce, but he won’t tell us the proprtions!


Mazzi’s Recipe – Tahini Sauce



sesame seeds

white vinegar



Heat the skillet and the oil. Toast the sesame seeds for 7-8 minutes until brown, or just changing colors. Then stone grind the seeds, 1 pound at a time, for 2 hours. We then add sea salt, prepared mustard and white vinegar.”

Word of the Day – restaurante – restaurant

Tip of the Day – Ask the owners for their recipes. It’s flattering, and you may get one!

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R’s Green Smoothie

Well, a friend of mine and I went to this puppet show to benefit the Calándria montesorri school here in Vilca. It was a presentation of the history of the sun and the moon, in Spanish. Well done! And then we were so done with the heat of the day and the bugs that my friend made me a green smoothie. My daily green smoothie which I had missed that morning, and it was so delicious!

Recipe of the Day – Rafa’s Green Smoothie


1 c. water

1 tomato

1 shredded carrot

a beet

a handful parsley

a handful other herbs from the garden

Directions: Blend, not juice. Yum!


Word of the Day – teatro -theatre

presentacion – presentation

Tip of the Day – Great with a dash of hot sauce in it!

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Clare’s Charred Pumpkin

I have my solar panel in! The company put it up on the hill between 2 houses, on top of a table my workers built, so that Tiko wouldn’t walk across it. Whew! Good thing they thought of that! I asked them to explain the whole process to me, very slowly. Which made everyone chuckle and sit down while the boss guy spoke very slowly and kindly, in spanish. The left side has the hot water, and the right, in the picture, the cold! My workers had to dig long trenches from the houses to the panel. I clean the exterior every few months with a soft rag. And it heats both houses, the little and the big. I had a long, hot shower last night, which never varied in temperature unless I turned the knob, whoa! I hadn’t had a hot shower in weeks! Oh, my gosh. And now I can sell my tanks for the propane – don’t need those anymore! And my calefons, $390 each, wow! Supposedly, I’ll be off the electric grid, too! I haven’t asked the guys how that works, but they’re coming out to check on things next week, and I’ll ask. Oh my gosh! I’ve wanted to use the sun as energy since I was 19! I read it in Mother Earth News. I am So happy about that. Gosh! It’s real and it works! Thanks So much to my family who helped out on that investment, whew! So many exlcamation marks!


Recipe of the Day – Charred Pumpkin

Ohhhh, so good it melts in your mouth. Cut the black part off and eat it out of the shell. It’s so pretty it looks like a dessert with the black against the orange. Add butter, agave, nutmeg, cinnamon and cream cheese. it’s pumpkin cheesecake. There’s no other way to describe it. You can eat it cold, as well.


1 large pumpkin

1/4 c. coconut or agave syrup

1 container cream cheese

1 egg

1/4 c. butter



Gut the pumpkin as usual. Cube into 3×3″cubes, with the shell on. Stick in the horno/oven at  400 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until it’s black on the outside. Meanwhile, melt the cream cheese with the egg and syrup. Leave the bottom side of the pumpkin black and shear off 5 sides of the cube. In the last five minutes,  spread the pumpkin with butter or coconut oil, then with the mixture of cream cheese blended with egg and agave/coconut syrup. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Cut off the black part and eat it out of the shell.

Options: savory instead of sweet, Char with basil,  salt, barely any coriander and pepper, touch of balsamic vinegar and fresh tomatoes, with sprinkled, ground, toasted pumpkin seeds on top!

Word of the Day – tanque – tank

solar – solar

Tip of the Day – You can use the sun in smaller ways, too! By dehydrating food, by taking a shower here in the afternoon, when the pipes heat up naturally, by using solar camping showers! Tell me your ways!

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Vegan Pumpkin Pie With Gluten-Free Crust

My guests were in Loja the other day, and listened to the police ask the ice cream stand guy to move. It was so cool, because you can talk with the Ecuador police about anything, if you use your intuition and “feel out the moment.” Then, they discuss it and may decide differently. They said, “no,”  but then he offered them a free ice cream and they said, “Yes!”

Recipe of the Day – Vegan Pumpkin Pie

  • 6 T. chilled coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 c. gluten-free flour (today I’m using platano mixed with oats and almonds)
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4-6 T. ice cold water
  • 2 3/4 cups pumpkin
  • 1/4 c. panela syrup
  • 1/4 c. coconut crystals
  • 1/3 c.  almond milk
  • 1 T.  melted coconut oil
  • 2 1/2 T. arrowroot powder
  • 1 3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or sub mix of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves)
  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt
  1. Mix the flour and salt and whisk to combine. Cut the oil in and work gently with a fork or pastry cutter to cut it in. Don’t overwork, just barely mix.
  2. Add ice cold water a little at a time and use a wooden spoon to stir. Only add as much water as you need to help it come together.
  3. Once a loose dough is formed, transfer to a piece of plastic wrap and work gently with your hands to form a 1/2 inch thick disc. Wrap firmly and refrigerate for a minimum 30 minutes, up to 2 days. Let it warm up, set 10 minutes or more before using. You don’t want it too warm or it can get too soft to handle.
  4. Once your dough is chilled, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare pie filling.
  5. Add all pie ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down sides as needed. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Set aside.
  6. Press the crust into your pie plate with your fingers, spreading it out until it overlaps the edge of the plate in all directions. Use a fork to indent the edges and trim off excess dough.
  7. Pour filling into pie crust and bake at 350 for 58-65 minutes. The crust should be light golden brown and the filling will still be just a bit jiggly and have some cracks on the top. Remove from oven and let cool completely before loosely covering and transferring to the refrigerator to fully set for 4-6 hours, preferably overnight.
  8. Slice and serve with my coconut cream (found on this blog) and an additional sprinkle of cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or pumpkin pie spice (optional).

Word of the Day – piepastel

Tip of the Day – Serve with honeyed walnuts! Super easy and also found on this blog!

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Pumpkin Soup

After procrastinating on opening up my pumpkins, I realized today I could ask a worker to chop it up with the machete! Franklin opened it up for me, too the top off and cut it in half. They asked what it was. So It old them it’s a vegetale – a vegetable, and a calabaza, a squash. So I made them all pumpkin pudding and pumpkin soup, both of which turned out so good. I’m gonna bring them to a Thanksgiving dinner!

Recipe of the Day – Pumpkin Soup:

  • 1 large pumpkin
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups veggie stock
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 panela cube (substitute 1 c. coconut crystals or brown sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp each sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg

options: handful kale

  1. Using a sharp knife, cut off the top of the pumpkin, halve it and scoop out the seeds and strings. Save the seeds to plant or roast! Then carve the meat from the pumpkin.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat add 1 Tbsp olive oil, onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until slightly browned and translucent. Add remaining ingredients, including the pumpkin, and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook for 7-9 minutes.
  3. Puree the soup in a blender, then pour the mixture back into pot.
  4. Continue cooking over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes and taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve as is or top with a handful of kale in the last 3 minutes of cooking, for a green pumpkin soup!
  5. Keep in the fridge for up to a few days, and in the freezer for up to a month or more.
  6. Word of the day – Nues Moscada – nutmeg

Tip of the Day – Save the seeds to plant or roast! See my recipe for dehydrated sweet pumpkin seeds.


Pineapple Wheatgrass Juice

Yesterday, after cleaning my juicer outside (don’t have a kitchen sink installed yet), I brought all the pieces in and dropped the auger, which, to my horror, slid across the tiles and broke into two pieces. “Are you really going to… Dorothy?” Yep. I hunkered down into crouch position and cried. I’ve waited so long to have my wheatgrass again, got the juicer back from the States, got my wheatgrass growing in September, only to break the auger. I did hear the wisdom, whispered in my ear,”All is perfect. All is as it should be.” Which cut the tears into peace pretty quickly. Then went in to town to get a new glue gun glue stick. Hey, what are the words for glue stick? I tried, “adhesivo, (adhesive,) tuba para mi pequena pistola, (tube for my litte gun), and cinta liquido (liquid tape.) ” ha ha! None of those worked. Then I saw the glue sticks in a display case! They’re called “silicona” (silicone!).”woohoo.I didn’t really expect it to work, but with my wheatgrass and one lettuce leaf at a time, it’s working this morning, whew! Could be a one-off, but I’ll take it! Yeah, it was a one-off. It broke on the last little bit of wheatgrass. But my maestro is in town so we called him to get me some silicona.


Recipe of the Day- Pineapple-Wheatgrass Green Smoothie

  • 1/2 c. green grapes
  • 1/2 shot of wheatgrass or 1/2 packet of powdered wheatgrass
  • 1/2 peach, pitted
  • 1/2 c. pineapple, cubed
  • 1 banana, frozen

Directions: Blend.

Word of the Day –pistola de pegamento – glue gun

 Tip of the Day – When you don’t have the spanish word, act it out, look for synonyms, point. They won’t laugh at you, but may laugh with you! Such a generous culture, and rarely, if ever, impatient. Make their day!

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Coconut Cream

Usually I buy a coconut ($1.50), a pipa, a young green coconut. They chop off the top for me. I drink some of it to lessen the weight while I carry it around. Then, when I get home, I pour the rest into a container, cut it in half and scoop out the cream. Then blend a little of the coconut water with the cream, to make a pudding! (See my recipe for pudding on this blog.) Well, today, my friend, L, showed me you could go up and ask for it mixed! For 10 cents more they open it up, scoop out the cream or the hard coconut, and mix them together for you! Giving you two huge glasses of coconut cream, wow! What an effort for another 10 cents. I’m so in. Now, I just have to remember to bring a container, para llevar (to go.)

Recipe of the Day – Coconut Cream


  • Ingredients:
  • The meat of the coconut
  • 1/4 c. juice of the coconut
  • 1 Tab. coconut oil
  • 2-3 T. cacao/carob powder
  • pinch vanilla powder (or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 2 tsp. honey or coconut syrup or stevia powder
  1. Pulse the coconut and juice, and then blend thoroughly. Slowly add the oil until reaches the desired texture, then add the other ingredients.
  2. Options: Replace the cacao/carob with berries, or nothing! And 1 Tab. chia seeds and let sit for a pudding.

Word of the Day – para llevar – to take out

Tip of the Day – Keep frozen bananas in your freezer to make this into a quick smoothie. Then add cacao or carob powder, strawberries or vanilla! Wow, it’s daily amazing. Or spread this coconut cream on pancakes, raw desserts, brownies…etc….

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Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I think my favorite store in Vilcabamba is the Papeleria – paper store. It’s across from the kids’s elementary school. I get a little thrill of joy when I look at the cases of paper, coloring books, the cans of pencils and pens, water colors, etc… Tomorrow I have to get some more glue for more hot glue gun and I’m so happy to have a reason to go there. Plus, it’s right next to the bakery which smells so good, and brings me fond memories of my daughter loading up on their banana bread. And then you can hear the voices of the kids, singing or reciting, so all your senses are thrilled!

Recipe of the Day – Peanut Butter Banana Bread

  • 1 T. flax soaked in 3 T. water
  • 3 medium ripe bananas
  • 3.5 tsp baking powder
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/2 c. mani/ peanut butter
  • 2 T. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 c. panela or brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. coconut crystals
  • 2 Tab. coconut syrup, honey, or liquid sweetener of choice
  • 3/4 c. almond or coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 c. almond meal
  • 1/2 c. cacao/carob powder
  • 1 c. gluten-free flour (like oats, barley, platano, almond)
  • 1 c. oats
  • 1/3 c. chocolate bits
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a loaf pan with parchment paper or coconut oil. Soak flax in water for 5 minutes. Mash the banana and all with the other ingredients, except the chocolate pieces.
  2. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. When ready, it should feel firm and be crackly on top.- about 1 hour or a little more.
  3. Let cool completely before cutting .
  4. Store completely cooled leftovers in a covered container for up to several days, though best when fresh. Slice and freeze for longer term storage.

Word of the Day – silicona – silicone/hot glue sticks

Tip of the Day – You can also do this raw by dehydrating for 12 – 24 hours at 105 degrees.

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