Raw Petit Fours

You know, you can complain wherever you go. That everything is not perfect for you. That there’s violence, or meanness. But then you’re at Carmita’s. And a little penny falls out while you’re searching for change. A penny that your son carved ten years ago, carved out in metal shop so that only the face of Lincoln remains. And you laugh and tell Carmita that story, and that that penny has been in your wallet for ten years. And she pauses, then takes the penny, moves to the side, under the counter, and comes up with your little precious penny in a tiny, perfect, sealed bag. So that it will always be protected, and never confused with your other change. She did that.

Recipe of the Day – Vegan Petit Fours Continue reading “Raw Petit Fours”

Tom Kha Gai

First my daughter took the pain away. Then, several days later when it returned – another Reiki friend took out another layer. Then Thom – the Body Alignment Specialist. I think he healed me in one session. i really do. people stopped in the streets to tell me how amazing I looked. It’s amazing what being free of pain can do to your face. He presses gently, with strong hands, into the muscles that are incorrectly tensed, relieving the pressure with zero pain. And engages the muscles that need engaging. I’ve never had my sacroiliac put back with such ease. He also taught me to stand, sit, bicycle and swim correctly. And I am still out of pain, whoaaa…

Recipe of the Day – Tom Kha Gai

Ingredients:

1 1” piece ginger, peeled
10 kaffir lime leaves or 1 Tbsp. lime zest and ¼ cup lime juice
6 c. vegetable or low-sodium chicken broth
1 Lb. tofu or. skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1” pieces
8 oz. shiitake, oyster, or maitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps cut into bite-size pieces
1 1/2 c. coconut milk
2 2. fish sauce or soy sauce (We don’t have Fish sauce here)
1 tsp. coconut sugar
2 stalks fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed
Options: peanuts, pineapple, chili  oil, cilantro leaves with tender stems, and lime wedges (for serving)
  • Using the back of a knife, lightly smash lemongrass and ginger, then cut  into 4” pieces. Bring lemongrass, ginger, lime leaves, and broth to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors are melded, 8–10 minutes. Strain broth into clean saucepan; discard solids.

  • Add tofu or chicken and return to a boil. Reduce heat, add mushrooms, and simmer, skimming occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are soft, 20–25 minutes. Mix in coconut milk, fish sauce, and sugar.

  • Divide soup among bowls. Serve with chili oil, cilantro, and lime wedges. Sprinkle with peanuts.

Word of the Day – ayudame – help me

Tip of the Day – You can also do light surface cuts along the sections, which helps release the lemon flavor. Then blend them in a food processor.

Grain-Free Mocha Brownie Bites

Thanks to my gorgeous guests who give me papayas, oranges and now…avocados from their land, woohoo! Organic and delicious!

Recipe of the Day – Grain-Free Mocha Brownie Bites

Ingredients:

4 eggs

3/4 c. cacao powder

1/4 c. coconut oil

1/4 c. coconut milk

1/4 c. coconut crystals

2 tsp. coffee

Pinch vanilla powder, or 1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

Options: handful coconut, handful cacao nibs, walnuts , 1 c. yucca flour, 1 c. oats, (But honestly, I like it better without the grains – fudgy!)

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix the eggs, oil, milk and coffee.Add the cacao, baking powder, salt and then the vanilla. Pour into a greased pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool completely. They will be fudgy!

Word of the Day – pusimos – we put

Tip of the Day – Use honey or coconut nectar, and they will even more fudgy! Add an avocado for chocolate avocado bites. You won’t be able to tell it’s there once you mix it with the cacao.

Veggie Pineapple Chili

After coming home from the pool and bike riding, having your dinner made sure sounds good. Do this in your crockpot, if you want!

Recipe of the Day – Pineapple Chili

Photo courtesy of heather likes food

Ingredients

  • 3 c. tofu or ground meat.
  • 1 medium whit onion, chopped
  • 3 c. chopped pineapple
  • 8 c. chopped tomatoes
  • 2. c. cooked black beans
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 T. chili powder
  • 4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • optional : 1 c. daiya or regular white cheese, tofu or almond sour cream and hot sauce.

Directions

  1. In a non-stick skillet over medium heat, cook tofu/meat and onions, stirring to crumble. Drain off any fat and transfer to your slow cooker.
  2. Drain the pineapple, separating the juice and the fruit. Add the juice to the slow cooker. Cover and store the fruit in the refrigerator (it will be added toward the end of cooking).
  3. Add tomatoes, black beans, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin and garlic to the slow cooker.
  4. Stir gently.
  5. Cook on low (6-8 hours), adding reserved pineapple during last hour or two of cooking, or on high (4-5 hours), adding pineapple during last ½ hour – hour of cooking.
  6. Serve topped with cheese, sour cream and hot sauce, if desired.

Word of the Day – notacion – swim therapy

Tip of the Day – You can leave out the beans, adjust the spices to make it hotter, if you like.

 

 

Date Cookies (GF)

“I ordered a new computer cable, Clare,” I said to my daughter. “You know how to do that, there, Mom?” she asked. I realized, all of a sudden, how comfortable I was here. “Oh, yeah! You just Whatsapp the guy in the Cuenca store and ask him if he has it. Then he gives you his Pinchinca bank account money. They you go down to Patricia’s store and give her the money and his name and account number. Then when he gets it, he sends it to you! Piece-a-cake.”

Photo by oh my sugar high

Recipe of the Day – Date Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 c. dates, pitted and chopped (about 20 dates)
  • 2 c. walnuts
  • 1/2  c. cacao powder
  • 1/4 c. carob powder
  • 1/2 c. almonds, sprouted, if desired
  • Pinch sea salt
  • Filling:
  • 1/2 c. shredded coconut or 2 T. coconut oil
  • 1 pinch vanilla powder or 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 T. of the soaked date water, tea or water
  • 6 dates, soaked 10 minutes

Directions:

  1.  Place dates, walnuts, 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. Take 1/2 the dough and set aside. Press 1/4 cup into 6 little rounds (the bottom half of the cookie) or into 6 muffin tins.
  4. Mix the coconut, vanilla and liquid. Spoon onto each cookie.
  5. Top each cookie with the rest of the cookie dough.

Word of the Day – pedir – to order
Tip of the Day – You can make this with any type of nuts – cashews, almonds, peanuts. Taste them with the dates first, if you want, to see the combination.

Clare’s Pequenito Pot Pies

Aren’t these beautiful? My daughter made these little pot pies!


Recipe of the Day –
Pequenito Pot Pies

Ingredients:

2 c. cooked vegetables of choice

1 c. cooked chicken or tofu

1 c. vegetable or chicken stock

1 c. coconut or milk cream

1 can (16.3 oz) Pillsbury™ Grands!™ Flaky Layers refrigerated Original biscuits
Directions:
Heat oven to 375°F. In medium bowl, combine vegetables, protein and soup; mix well.
Press each biscuit into 5 1/2-inch round. Place 1 round in each of 8 greased regular-size muffin cups. Press up the sides as well.. Spoon 1/3+ cup filling into each.
Bake at 375°F 25 to 30 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from pan.

Word of the Day – tarta – pie

Tip of the Day – Do these gluten-free, by using your choice of bean flour, quinoa flour, oat flour or a mix of them together!

Chocolate Glaze

Mi pobrecito – Lucas. His hips started swaying to one side. Then got worse until he didn’t want to stand up or walk! One vet said it was Long-dog Syndrome – hip dysplasia from his genes, even though he’s not even 3 years old yet. And the other said, herniated disc. Both gave meds which only made it worse. So, poor thing. I hope it’s temporary. He’s such a positive guy!

Recipe of the Day –  Chocolate Glaze

Ingredients:

1/2 c. plus 1 T. water
1 c. plus 2 T. panela or coconut crystals
1/2 c. thick coconut cream
1/4 c. cocoa powder
3-5 drops chocolate stevia, liquid, adjust to taste

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup water, coconut sugar, coconut cream and cocao powder. Simmer for about 20 minutes until mixture slightly thickens.
  2.  Place 1 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over top and let soften 5 minutes. Remove chocolate mixture from the heat and whisk in gelatin mixture  and stevia until thoroughly combined.
  3. 3. Set over an ice bath and whisk until the glaze thickens and reaches about 80 degrees, about 1 minute.
  4. Word/Phrase of the Day – caderas malas -bad hips
  5. Tip of the Day – Go to the coconut lady. Have her pour out the coconut juice. Drink as much as
  6. you want, but leave a little for your recipe. Have her scoop out the cream and she’ll put it in a baggie for you. Try not to eat it before you get home!

Amaranth Greens or Salad

Amaranth is  a very nutritious leaf that makes nice salad greens. It’s  techically a seed, not a grain. The leaves are nutitionally similar to beets, Swiss chard and spinach, but are much superior. And they are all over the place, in the wild, when in season here. They  contain three times more calcium and niacin than spinach leaves. an excellent source of carotene, iron, calcium, protein, vitamin C and trace elements.


Recipe of the Day –
Amaranth Leaf Salad

photo by serious eats

Ingredients:

4 c. amaranth (washed , picked and towel dried leaves .)

1 T. olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

pinch of salt

Directions- Toss.

Word of the Day – amaranto – amaranth

Tip of the Day – Growing amaranth is possible all year round in the tropics. That’s one of the reasons it is an essential and ubiquitous plant in my permaculture garden.

 

Flowering Amaranth PlantsPhoto by Dysviz

 

How I Harvested My Cacao – DIY Cacao Tea and Nibs

I’m harvesting my first cacao pods! I’ve shelled the dried seeds to use as cacao tea. And the beans to ground for my desserts. The nibs to use in my oatmeal and cookies! It worked very well. No bitterness at all. Beautiful!

Recipe of the day – DIY Harvest Cacao

Ingredients:

3-4 Cacao Pods, slightly soft and dark red

Directions:

Cut the pods in half. You can cut off the ends first, if you like. Scoop out the insides. You can eat the white flesh around each seed, if you like. But you don’t have to! They dry in the dehydrator and taste like candy! Throw the whole mass on the dehydrator sheets and dry at 150 degrees F. for 20 hours. Put in a bag and mash with a mallet. The shells will come off and you put them in a bag for cacao tea. Put the nibs in another bag, and the white shells in a third. The shells are your tea!

Word of the Day – cosecha – harvest

Tip of the Day- You can put them in the sun. It’s just that the bugs come so fast. You can dry them under 105 degrees F, to keep them raw. But going over 150 degrees will make them bitter and burnt.