It’s not every day that I cook dinner for myself (or “cook” anything, for that matter), but one thing I will never go without is breakfast. Since the simplest things can be satisfying, I almost always prepare breakfast for myself, even if it just means I chop up some fruit.
As of late, though, the summer days have demanded more energy of me, and I’ve been eating sometimes 2 or 3 “breakfasts” before noon. Realizing this has drawn me towards more sustaining sources of energy, and this pudding is a perfect example. I start with a base of cashew cream for some protein, and use omega-rich chia seeds (also known as an excellent source of energy!) to thicken the texture.
Then it dawned on me, since I was making it so often, that perhaps I could use my favorite tea to infuse it with a new flavor. It turned out even more delicious than I suspected! I chose Lavender tea because it is known for its calming properties, perfect for the morning, but really you could use Earl Grey, Oolong, or even Chamomile.
Top the pudding with your favorite fruits and superfoods, or serve it with extra sweetener (like agave) for a dessert option. (Believe me when I say that this is a pudding of all trades. I even made a pumpkin version last Fall!)
Tell me, what is your favorite source of morning energy? List it in the comments below!
With Love and Lavender,
3 cups Raw Cashews, soaked*
2 cups Filtered Water
1/2 cup Chia Seeds
7 dates, pits removed
2 tbsp dried Lavender (food grade)
1 tbsp Lemon Juice
Fruit for Topping*
1. Soak lavender in water in a sealed container overnight. Strain.
2. Blend Lavender tea, cashews, dates and lemon juice until extra smooth. (I use a Vitamix, but if you do not have one you can use a food processor. Just eliminate half the liquid for processing, and whisk it in afterwards in a separate bowl.) Taste to see if it meets your sweetness standards. If not, add additional dates and reblend.
3. Pour mixture into a small mixing bowl, and fold in chia seeds until they are evenly distributed.
4. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until thick and ready to serve.
* It is important that you use 3 cups of cashews that have already been soaked, verses soaking 3 cups of dried cashews. For your shopping list, you'll only need about 2-2.5 cups of dried cashews. For information on why and how to soak your cashews, click here.
*I serve my pudding topped with shredded coconut, more chia seeds, lemon zest and blueberries!
Lemon-Lavender Pudding Parfait
I was sitting here this morning, catching up on the blogs I haven’t had time to read, when a sudden urge [read: distraction opportunity] grasped me. I awoke my iPhone and eagerly launched the horoscope app that I’ve come to use daily. I am okay with admitting that, since I immensely appreciate the little things we do just to get us through the day. For me: a silly horoscope can propel my thinking from self-centered to more generous. If that’s what it takes, who can blame me?
Today in particular, though, I was sinking into a steep frenzy of whosits and whatits and future-predictions GALORE. Anxiety, panic, not staying in the present. But when my horoscope read, “you aren’t recognizing what you already have,” I felt an oh shit jolt right through me.
I do have a lot. How refreshing to step out of the rut of discontentment just for this moment.
The words we tell ourselves about our current situation are exclusively to blame for our ability or inability to express such gratitude. I wish I had, I can’t wait until, and One day I’ll… remove us from our current reality of fulfilling abundance and displace us into Self Land. In Self Land, one need not leave the windows open. It’s sad, lonely, and scary.
In Self Land, we lose sight of a lot of things. We lose sight of the simple fortune that it is simply to wake up each day. We start to think about the things we wish we had instead of what we currently do have. Unfortunately, when those long-lost wishes do come true, we find ourselves right back in Self Land, staring at the grime of dirt beneath our feet when there’s a beautiful forest and sky above us. Here, we refuse to embrace the here-and-now, rather owning the imagined perfect life that would certainly woo our contended selves out from beneath the rocks.
I prefer to choose gratitude for the present. Learning to return oneself here often is an art form I have yet to master. Fortunately, though, life is so forgiving that we can start back at square one when we find ourself absorbed in negativity and unaware of reality. Someone said to me this week, what is your reality? This helped tremendously.
In reality, I have a roof over my head.
In reality, I am able to feed myself.
In reality, I have an awesome job.
In reality, I know how to have fun.
In reality, I am loved.
I AM loved. When I started this blog, it was part of a commitment to loving myself through the food choices I make. I show myself love by preparing delicious, healthy food on a regular basis. This dish in particular has also come to represent my love of a simple life. I have given myself permission to eat this- not once- ten times, in the past two months. I love it that much. It is easy, wholesome, comforting and light all at the same time. It makes my taste buds sing.
It also quickly snaps me out of that ungraceful food rut. I’m not kidding when I say I will never tire of this salad because I can make it notably different every time without sacrificing the parts I love so much.
The gist is as follows: roast cauliflower and whatever else you have on hand. Warm evoo, garlic and tahini. Toss. Serve over your favorite greens with a squeeze of lemon, and enjoy. Slices of avocado or crusty bread take it over the top.
To the Here and Now,
There are so many variations to the salad, so trust me when I say to experiment outside this basic guideline!
Warmed Tahini-Cauliflower Salad
1 head Cauliflower, cut into florets
2 other vegetables, chopped:
- Sweet Potato
- Bell Pepper
- Snap Peas
- Red Onion
- You name it!
Kale, Romaine, or a blend of the two!
1/2 Cup Chopped Parsley
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Tahini
4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 lemon, quartered
1. Lightly oil veggies. Roast at 350 just until fork tender. It's important to roast each vegetable separately (as opposed to all mixed together), since they may take different times to cook. I always check first at 10/15 minutes, then every 10 minutes following.
2. Meanwhile, add olive oil and garlic slices to a small soup pot. Put on Low for 10 minutes. Remove from heat if the garlic begins to fry, as you are just trying to warm the two and infuse the oil with the garlic.
3. Turn burner off and whisk in tahini and juice of half the lemon.
4. Top greens for one with 1/4 cup of each veggie (still warm!), and drizzle with the warm dressing. Squeeze another quarter lemon over each and generously sprinkle with parsley, salt, and pepper. Avocado makes a great addition!