Quinoa Granola

granola
Wikipedia moment! Apparantly, the same person who invented the graham cracker was also a major catalyst in the vegetarian movement. Reverend Sylvester Graham (July 5, 1794 – September 11, 1851) was an American dietary reformer who, around 1829, invented the Graham Diet – which consisted mainly of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole wheat and high fiber foods, and excluded meat, milk and all animal byproducts in an effort to purify our mind and body. Graham was also amongst the first to argue that chemical additives used to make bread whiter in color and more commercially appealing also made it unwholesome. Well at least that was a far cry from 1590 when the city of Paris actually declared it legal to use the bones of dead Parisians to be ground into flour and baked into bread during the famine!

Unfortunately, Graham also believed that vegetarianism was essential to an asexual lifestyle, and that consuming animal byproducts caused sinful lusts. So next time you feed your toddler a graham cracker just remember that it was invented as a substitute for sex!

Today I am invoking my inner free love hippie and sharing a rather pleasant recipe for Quinoa Granola.It’s mild cinnamony sweetness combines well with the tartness of the dried cherries and the nuttiness of the quinoa and almonds.

QUINOA GRANOLA
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
1 cup slivered or roughly-chopped almonds
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
6 oz. dried apricots
6 oz. dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, stir together oats, quinoa, almonds, honey, coconut oil, salt and cinnamon until combined. Spread the mixture out on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, stirring once halfway. Remove and let cool, then stir in dried fruit and toss to combine. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

Advertisements

Pho, Pho and Away!

tentOn Friday, Asher woke up with a high fever and a cold sore on his mouth so naturally we built a camping tent in our living room. That’s him in the background playing on his toy laptop and moaning, while Everett wonders what’s going on. Today, he finally ate his comfort food of crappy Kraft mac and cheese, which inspired me to share my most favorite sick day soup – Vegan Pho!

I am very proud to say this is actually my husband’s recipe and is one of my all-time favorite foods. The broth is full of sweet and spicy exotic spices, and the udon noodles mixed with the crunch of fresh herbs make this a soul satisfying dish. And because this recipe requires whomever in your household is least likely to burn themselves to roast the ginger over a fire, your house will have the added perk of smelling like sweet delicious roasted ginger!

VEGAN PHO
1/2 bag of udon noodles
6 quarts of vegetable broth OR 6 quarts of water with 2-3 bullion cubes
1 bunch scallions
8 cloves of garlic
3” ginger root in skin
6 whole star anise
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole bay leaves
1 container extra firm tofu
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 Tablespoon soy sauce

Toppings
1/2 head of napa cabbage, roughly chopped
1/2 head of purple cabbage, roughly chopped
1 cup roughly chopped peanuts
1 container of bean sprouts
1 bunch of Thai basil, whole leaves
1 bunch of cilantro, whole leaves
1/2 jalapeno sliced into circles, seeds removed
1 lime sliced into quarters
Sriracha sauce

Bring a medium pot filled with water to a boil. Add udon noodles and cook for 15 minutes. Drain noodles and run under cold water for 2 minutes, then toss with sesame oil to prevent sticking. Cook tofu according to my previous post Roasted Tofu Special Treat. Using stainless steel tongs, roast the whole ginger over your stove’s open flame about 5-7 minutes then set aside. In a large pot, bring vegetable broth to a boil then add whole ginger, scallions, garlic, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, star anise, and soy sauce. Boil on medium heat for 20-25 minutes. Remove all solids from the broth so it is a clear, light brown color. In serving bowls, combine two parts broth to one part noodles. Arrange toppings side by side on a large serving plate and allow guests to add desired amounts fresh to their pho. Heaven! Serves 4 -6.