Blackberry “Cheese” Cake

Blackberry “Cheese” Cake

Valentine’s Treat

This desert is an inspiration from my youth, a most yummy cheesecake! This recipe is all plant based and uses non- dairy ingredients to create a colorful and creamy decadent dessert to indulge your sensual palate this Valentine’s Day.

May this treat bring your heart joy this Valentine’s Day.

With love,

Surya


Blackberry “Cheese” Cake

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups coconut flakes
  • ¼ cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp maca root
  • 2 cups broken pecans
  • ¼ tsp vanilla

 

Blend all the ingredients together in a food processor until fine.

Grease (8 inch) cake ring with coconut oil. Line a tray with parchment paper and place the cake ring on top.

Fill the cake ring with all the mix and press it down firmly. Let it sit in the fridge while you make the filling.


Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp agar- agar (2 tbsp water and boiled until flakes dissolved)
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 soaked cashews, drained
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 vanilla
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • generous 1 cup blackberries

 

Blend the filling, start by blending the agar-agar, maple syrup and lemon juice in a high- speed blender until it reaches a custard-like consistency- make sure the texture is not grainy.

Add the cashews, salt and vanilla and blend until smooth. Add the coconut oil and blackberries and blend again until smooth.

Take the cake ring out of the fridge and top it with the filling. Chill in the freezer for 2 hours.

Before serving decorate with fresh strawberries, raspberries, crumbled pecans, and I loved using mint leaves to top the cheesecake.

 

Surya’s Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

Surya’s Holiday Thumbprint Cookies

Here is a favorite of mine, a holiday yummy to bring sweet taste to your tongue and comfort to your belly.  The cinnamon and cardamom spices will warm your body, invigorate your blood and enliven your senses. Enjoy and happy holidays!

Love and light,

Surya


SURYA’S HOLIDAY THUMBPRINT COOKIES

 

Makes 24 cookies

1 cup raw almonds (coarsely chopped)
1 cup rolled oats (grind to meal)
1 cup pastry flour (we recommend Jovial Organic Einkorn all-purpose flour)
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. cardamom
½ cup coconut oil
½ cup maple syrup
Your favorite jam


Preheat oven to 350°. Combine ingredients and make into balls on a cookie sheet. Press thumbprint into ball and fill with jam.

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Wild Mushroom Soup

Wild Mushroom Soup

Wild Mushroom Soup is a powerful infusion of herbs and spices to enjoy this solstice. Recent scientific studies have shown that wild mushrooms provide a boost of nutrients to support your immune system. They have an abundance of antioxidants (that help fight cancer) and are a great source of vitamin D to help you live longer!

Mushrooms contain proteins called lectins. Lectins are able to bind to abnormal cells and cancerous cells and identify them to be destroyed by the immune system. In this Wild Mushroom Soup, I added medicinal foods of garlic and ginger to add flavor and aroma. Given their antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties they help build the immune system further.

Lemongrass has a vibrant flavor that also has healing properties. It supports respiration, supports good sleep, boosts cellular health, and helps with most inflammatory conditions.

Enjoy this energizing and warming soup for Winter Solstice!

 

 

 

 

 


Ingredients

4 cups hot vegetable broth or kombu dashi
2 cups boiled water
1 (14-ounce) can full fat coconut milk
1 cup chopped leeks, white part only
3 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
8 ounces cubed tofu, (fry for unctuous taste)
1 package of rice noodles (boiled)
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and thinly sliced
4 cups cleaned wild mushrooms sliced or torn (oyster, hen of the woods, shitake)
2 bay leaves
2 stalk lemongrass, (crushed with rolling pin 2- 3inch pieces and allow to simmer in broth) remove at the end
2 tablespoons tamari
Juice of 2 limes ( added at the end once soup is cooked)
Freshly ground black pepper, or red pepper flakes to taste
1 tablespoon coconut butter
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 cup of cilantro, leaves only
Lime wedges


Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for another 5 minutes. Add the garlic powder and cook for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add the (kombu- shitake dashi) or vegetable broth, coconut milk and 1 cup of water, wild mushrooms, bay leaves, lemongrass, tamari. Mix well. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and cook for another 30 minutes.
  3. Season with freshly ground black pepper and add the tofu. Discard the bay leaves, lemongrass, and serve. Serve in a beautiful round bowl with rice noodles, scallions, cilantro leaves, lime wedges, and red pepper flakes if desired.
KABOCHA MISO SOUP

KABOCHA MISO SOUP

This soup is one of my favorites and offers the quintessential savory taste for the fall. At the turn of the season when the air is suddenly nippy and your body can lose its heat, this warming soup builds boosts vitality and stamina.  Miso, kombu, and shitake mushrooms have been used as traditional medicine remedies in Japan for centuries thanks to their ability to fight disease and infection. Kabocha squash is full of fiber and ginger root fights inflammation. Together they provide supportive nutrients for your circulatory, respiratory, and immune systems.

May this soup bring round-hearted joy this season!


Kabocha Squash Miso Soup

Ingredients

1 large onion or 2 medium onions
1 large kabocha squash, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoon coconut oil
1 (4 -inch) piece of kombu, (seaweed kelp)
1/2 to 1 cup shiitake mushroom caps, cut into 1⁄2-inch slices
3 teaspoons low sodium tamari
1 tablespoon of ginger juice, or minced
1 tablespoon of curry powder (optional)
1 – 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, can use maple syrup as well
2 tablespoons miso paste, preferably yellow or white unpasteurized for full health benefits 5- 6 cups of water

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion.
  2. Peel the kabocha and discard the seeds.
  3. Cut into small chunks.
  4. Heat the coconut oil over medium heat in a pot and cook the onions until soft and translucent.
Add the kabocha squash and sauté with the onions to coat with oil and soften.
  5. Add the water and bring to boil.
  6. Add the kombu and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked absorbing the savory flavor of kombu stock.
  7. Add the shitake mushrooms to a saucepan with the tamari and 1⁄4 cup of water and cook over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Add water if needed.
  8. Puree the soup in batches in blender until smooth:
  9. Add miso and sweetener to the pureed soup
  10. Fold in the shitake mushrooms
  11. Serve the kabocha miso soup into bowls
  12. Garnish with sprouts, parsley, or your favorite condiment.
Social Distancing: Could We Get Any Farther Apart? A Message from Outer Space

Social Distancing: Could We Get Any Farther Apart? A Message from Outer Space

The greatest misfortune at this time of quarantine may not be the wreckage of the economy nor the sickness and loss of life, but the unbridled, whole hog consumption of the Internet. It was already bad before the shutdown, when either sitting in an airport, going up an elevator, idling poolside, waiting at Starbucks for coffee, or out for a stroll on the sidewalk, people would interface not with a neighbor, a friend or family member, but with their screen. Now in lockdown mode, people all over the world from Taipei to Tallahassee, ranging from three years old to eighty-three are glued, unabashedly, to their personal device. For work, for news, for sex, for sport, for friendship and for religion each of us kowtows to the screen. I catch myself impulsively looking to my inbox or Instagram with anticipation for the next tidbit of something promising, something appealing, something new. In this long dreary stretch of isolation, it is as if the smartphone holds the possibility for salvation, no matter how insignificant or fleeting. Without thinking, I flip through my phone at the end of a meal, while waiting for Netflix to come up, or when doing a Big Job on the throne in the morning.

Our Android or Apple device has become a portal to our own private universe– pictures and faces, psycho babble and social jabber, heaps upon heaps of stuff real or imagined. We have come to worship the third eye of the built-in camera that spews an endless stream of maya from its gaze. Withdrawn into the burrow of phone-life, we risk losing intimacy with one another. In the bardo of social distance, not only do we lose touch with friends, but we lose touch with the family member on the other side of the couch. Face to face, in the flesh, unmediated contact is becoming rare and I worry we are falling from the graces of real time sharing. When wanting to connect, I find myself waiting for minutes and then hours for the attention of my fifteen-year old, held captive by his screen. It’s understandable. In the midst of the lockdown, the screen is our lifeline and collectively we cling to it. Without question. As a result, we permit each other unbridled time to drift through the galaxies of the world-wide-web brimming with stardust, gaseous clouds and blackholes.

Sucked into the virtual reality vortex of the smartphone are we habituating to life at a digital distance? Are we retreating into cyber tunnels from which there is no escape? Like sugar, fast food, or wanton sex, will the seductions of the screen leave us simply wanting more? Like Hal at the end of 2001 Space Odyssey, is our computer driven reality coming back to haunt us? Without hugs and high fives we may be trending into an era of digital distance from which there is no return. What an oddity of space and time we have entered. David Bowie said it best, “I think my spaceship knows which way to go/Tell my wife I love her very much, she knows.”