Like many of you Christmas has kept me super busy. It was bittersweet in a way. It was my first Christmas without my late husband but also a wonderful Christmas season filled with family, new friends and a dance on New Year’s Eve. A friend once told me that I have to write the next Chapters of my life and I am being open to new things and loving the energy change is bringing into my life.
For those of you not on Facebook I had an article published in the Globe and Mail, part of a series on Canadians who experienced life changing things in 2014 – following is the link to my article
We have a very vegan Christmas dinner, since my mother, sister and brother-in-law are also vegan. While I did cook a turkey with trimmings for my “meat eating” relatives but we also had a great selection of plant based foods as well. My father announced that he was starting to like vegan food, I’m sure that is as long as it’s the side dish to the turkey. One thing that I loved was sharing the meal with both my parents, they have been divorced for 30 years and both are happily remarried, what a great example they set for our kids when they come together for these family meals and interact well. This year my ex husband joined us for dinner and he too was made to feel welcome. I love that about my family.
The Oh-She-Glows (OSG) cook book was the highlight of the meal as several dishes were made from recipes in that book. I had my first fail recipe from that cookbook. The squash/quinoa baked with “parmesan” was barely touched and truthfully I didn’t like it either. However my sister Debra brought a dessert plate using several recipes and they were amazing. She also made a roasted beet salad that everyone loved; the beet salad also from the OSG Cookbook. I love that cookbook and just finished making the African Peanut Stew recipe that I posted last week. Tonight I am going to share that stew with a friend of mine who took me to a dance on New Year’s Eve. Like most men he likes his meat but he is open to trying new things and last night I taught him yoga for the first time (for him).
I had a date on New Year’s Eve, it was great, fun to dress up and get out and dance, 2014 was by far the hardest year in my life and as it leaves behind it’s lessons and memories, I look forward to 2015 as I have set some fun personal goals with a girlfriend, I have Salsa lessons with Tom to look forward to and I have been hired to teach Plant Based Nutrition at some workshops for the Durham School Board, and have also applied to be a speaker at a new thought conference in Toronto.
I just made the following recipe for the first time, it worked great, I didn’t use chick pea flour, I used whole wheat flour as I would have had to run out to get chick pea flour. Chick pea flour is gluten free so if you use it the recipe becomes vegan and gluten free.
Quinoa, Kale, Sweet Potato Patties
This recipe is from the following blog – http://yumuniverse.com/black-quinoa-sweet-potato-kale-cakes/ that I found today, by googling quinoa/kale/vegan recipes. I had tons of kale I wanted to get rid of.
I used regular quinoa that I cooked in a rice cooker while I baked the sweet potatoes. I also added about a quarter cup of whole wheat flour to the patty mixture before cooking as it was too soft and wouldn’t bind.
They are great tasting, the added flour and leaving the mixture to sit and bind did help the patties stay together.
2 cups organic black quinoa, soaked for at least 4 hours
1 1/2 cups pure water
2 cups organic sweet potato
6-7 large organic kale leaves, de-stemmed
2 tbsp fresh, organic lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
2 cloves organic garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Piece of kombu (optional: great for quality salt, trace minerals, electrolytes, etc.)
About 1 cup garbanzo flour (garbanzo/fava bean flour works well too)
Cold-pressed virgin coconut oil for skillet/pan
Let’s Get Started:
Wash, peel and roast your sweet potatoes in an oven at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until very tender.( I peeled them after I baked them, it’s easier once they have cooled down a bit),
Once you put the potatoes in the oven, bring water and soaked quinoa to a boil. If you have some, put a piece of kombu in the pot (during the entire cooking process). Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 10-20 minutes (soaked quinoa takes less time to cook than unsoaked) until all water is absorbed. Try to only peek once around the 10 minute mark since the steam is an important part of cooking and you want to keep the temp as consistent as possible. This is why I like a glass lid—so you can see what’s cookin’.
Once quinoa has absorbed all the water, turn off heat and let it sit, covered, for 2-5 minutes. Then fluff with a fork. You can toss or eat the kombu—it’s up to you.
Wash and chop your de-stemmed kale. Either in a food processor, or with good old fashioned elbow grease, mash your potatoes. Remove the skins if you like—I do for this recipe.
Place sweet potatoes, kale and quinoa in a large glass bowl and mix well. Add lemon juice, salt, cumin, coriander, garlic and cinnamon. Mix well.
Place some garbanzo flour on a plate.
Take some of your mix and coat both sides, then shape into a nice cake.
Heat a pan or skillet over medium heat. Coat the bottom of your skillet or pan with some coconut oil and place cakes in. Cook about 10 minutes on each side until golden brown.