The training was in the Okanagan in British Columbia, right in a mountain valley. That area was pretty ravaged by wildfires in the summer and it was quite dry, but the lake was beautiful. I think was associating BC with the rainforest-y coast, but the interior isn't like that. The mountains were pretty little and it was more bush than forest. I'm clearly a flatlander though - after two weeks I was just aching for a colourful sunset. The mountains are nice to visit. All the other people there were really lovely and kind, and I met a few women that I really connected with.
There were three guest posts while I was gone. Some of my favourite blogger friends wrote some awesome recipes to be featured here, and I was stunned by how much work everyone put into it, never mind that they even wanted to do a guest post. The online community we have is so incredible. Here's the first, second, and third post, and they all look fantastic. Take a peek if you haven't already.
Heads up, apples count as a vegetable in this recipe. It's a Moroccan spiced warm salad sort of deal with winter vegetables all roasted together and then served with quinoa, and topped with pomegranate seeds and a simple dressing. This was one of the recipe ideas I had during meditation time, ha. Don't tell my teachers.
1/2 a butternut squash, peeled (about 3 cups)
1 large tart apple, cored
1/2 a large onion
6 whole cloves of garlic
1 thumb ginger, peeled
2 tablespoons oil*
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon black pepper*
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cardamom
Salt to taste
2 cups of quinoa, cooked
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
Salt to taste
Pomegranate seeds and herbs for topping*
Preheat your oven to 375F/190C and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
Dice the squash, apple, and onion in about equal sizes. Don't peel the garlic. It'll roast in its skin and be mellow and sweet. (Make sure you peel it before you serve it though.) Cut the ginger quite large and remove it before serving.*
Mix everything together in a bowl or right on the prepared baking sheet. Get your hands in there to make sure everything's pretty evenly coated with the spices. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is easily pierced with a fork. Try not to eat half the veggies before serving them like I did.
While the vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa. Place one cup of quinoa in a pot with two cups of water and a teaspoon of salt, bring a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for about fifteen minutes, or until you don't see any water when you tilt the pot. Keep it covered and in the pot to dry slightly while the vegetables finish cooking.
Mix the olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and salt. This is your dressing.
Serve the quinoa in a large shallow bowl or platter, topped with the roasted vegetables. Add the dressing, and then scatter the pomegranate seeds and herbs over everything. It's best served warm, but quite good at room temperature too.
1. I usually use grape seed oil for cooking over 350F.
2. That was about 25 twists of my pepper mill, but I have no idea what kind you have.
3. Cilantro is the obvious choice for an herb in this dish, but I didn't have any, and my sage has survived the frost so far.
4. You can leave the ginger in if you want some surprise flu-fighters, but it'll still be pretty spicy.