Lunch for Sophia

What do you serve when you have 75 Yogis over for lunch? I’ve found that the easiest way to address all the likely eating styles is to make it whole food, plant based: vegan and gluten-free. Of course, I have to add Ayurvedic, nourishing, and delicious ~ and I want eye-opening, mouth-watering, belly-tapping delicious.

So, at the Sophia Conference this past weekend, this was our menu:

1. Soup for Sophia: Prepared with love in our “Dancing Plums” kitchen with talented friends, personal chef Georgia Ferrell and Yoga teacher Paige Sapp. The recipe is here.

Sophia Lunch #AyurvedicSoup
Tara Gita: In-Sight Photography

2. Pumpkin Quinoa Salad: A rich, hearty salad from Wendy McGuire’s Ganosh Gourmet.

#Pumpkin Quinoa Salad

3. Edible Flowers & Vibrant Greens: Also from from Wendy McGuire’s Ganosh Gourmet.

#Edible Flower Salad
Tara Gita: In-Sight Photography

4. Incredible Desserts: Bourbon-vanilla brownie bites, Carrot cake with bourbon-vanilla-flecked cream cheese frosting, Chocolate-nut bars all prepared with nourishing beauty by author and gluten-free chef Stephanie Weaver of Recipe RenovatorRaw Key Lime Pie made by Carolyn Sanders Kull from Cafe Gratitude’sI Am Grateful recipe-book.

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#vegan carrot cake
Tara Gita: In-Sight Photography
#raw #vegan #chcololate crispies
Tara Gita: In-Sight Photography

#keylimepie #raw #vegan

5. Peace Tea: A unique and sweet blend handcrafted by Katie Parham and Nicole Plaisted of San Diego Herb Co.

#sandiegoherbco
Tara Gita: In-Sight Photography

Everything was incredibly wonderful, and brought forth with so much beauty and grace. Thanks to everyone who contributed. You live in my heart with oceans of gratitude.

WHAT IS THE SOPHIA CONFERENCE?

I thought Lori Naylor described it perfectly ~

“My experience of the Sophia Conference was simply magical. Thank you for this gift of love, devotion, and Divine Sisterhood. It represents the ways of our grandmothers and the generations of women before them; to gather together in love, nurturing and nourishing each other so they can return to their families, friends, and communities filled up, to give again. It is women tending to women so they can tend to others. We have lost this practice in our culture and the Sophia Conference was a reminder that tending to one another is a spiritual practice we cannot afford to lose. Our daughters depend on us to maintain this tradition and continue to pass it from generation to generation.”

#GoldMusic

#celebration

#Hemalayaa

#Hugs

tara

Thank you Tara for so many wonderful photos. Thank you sweet sisters who attended this year or past! Thank you sacred sisters and brothers everywhere who seek to nourish this world with your love and your light.

Namaste!

Soup for Sophia

What do you serve for lunch at The Sophia Conference?

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After a huge morning of friendship, inspiration, art, poetry, yoga, contemplation, dance, music, beauty, laughter, sisterly sharing and divine feminine wisdom that is so whole-person, whole-earth, whole-span-of-existence, deep-down nourishing that you feel perfectly filled up in that satisfying, down-to-the-bones sort of way…

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How do you create a feast to follow Anne-Emilie Gold Cultivating the Voice of the Sacred Feminine

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Or Shannon Thompson of Shakti Rising leading women back to their “sacral truths,” remaining in that raw place long enough to heal the wounds of competition and betrayal, so we can join together as sisters, promising to honor, respect, protect, defend… and speak truth to one another.

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Sharing and releasing, laughing, loving and learning can be hungry work! How then create a bounty to warm and nourish beautiful bellies, and match the grace of the day?

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Last year’s Tuscan White Bean Soup was hearty, and especially suitable for the stormy day we had. But while that is a vegetarian soup, and utterly delicious, it is not vegan nor gluten-free. We had an alternative soup on hand, but were surprised by how many chose the alternative, and saddened to have a divide in our culinary experience when united is the very purpose of the day.

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So this year our Ayurvedic lunch would be vegan and gluten-free. Inspired by recipes found throughout this blog, and prepared with enormous, enormous help from Paige Sapp and Liscia DiGiacomo who poured great love and devotion into “all this yumminess,” and Georgia Ferrell whose detailed, attentive and fluid orchestration was priceless, we managed to serve a feast of replenishment. Hopefully, it inspired more divine realizations, authentic voicing, truth-telling and sacred connections.

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So what did we serve? Lunch centered around a Curried Vegetable Ragout, something my mother, appropriately for this occasion, calls Thanksgiving Harvest Stew. We made it Vegan by replacing the ghee with coconut oil, leaving out the Korma sauce (contains milk) and instead doubling up on the spices, adding chopped tomatoes and an additional cup of Coconut Milk (which we had fresh, as we were also making Coconut Yogurt and had coconuts galore).

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We also left out the yellow pepper and festive cranberries, adding instead heaps of zucchini, spinach, bok choy and chard, and garnishing it with toasted pepitas for a healthy crunch.

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We served it with hearty breads, gluten-free crackers, a variety of  Seasonal Salads,  Rosemary Roasted Vegetables, this Coconut Yogurt, a vegan Raita made with Coconut Yogurt, this Cilantro Pesto and a gorgeous bowl of Yam Puree.

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For dessert, it was a Fruit Compote with fresh Coconut Creme, organic, fair trade Chocolate of every shade, and Carolyn Kull’s I Am Awakening Raw Key Lime Pie, a recipe everyone wanted.

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Altogether it was a symphony of flavors, a rising harmony with a light, clean resolve. Much like the Sophia Conference itself: integrating, uplifting, energizing, satisfying.

I think food should be like that: a complement, a support, a reflection, a symphony even. For food, after all, is a love story.

I hope you will love this ~

Soup for Sophia

4 tbsp coconut oil
1 T curry powder
1  t ginger powder
1 t garam masala
1/4 t ground red pepper, preferably something rich like ancho or aleppo
1  yellow onion, chopped fine
3-4 cloves garlic
1 potato, chopped into small pieces
4 carrots, diced into bite-size coins
2 celery stalks, diced
1 head cauliflower, broken into small pieces
1 lb. french beans, cut in thirds
1 zucchini, chopped into bite size pieces
4 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch kale, torn into pieces
1 bunch collards, chard or bok choy, torn
1 bunch spinach
optional vegetables: broccolini, yellow crookneck squash, snap peas
2 heirloom tomatoes,  chopped and seeded
1 can organic coconut milk
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, or pecan pieces, toasted
optional: gluten free tamari, to taste

Clean and prepare all the vegetables. Melt oil in a large pot over medium low heat. Add spices and sauté for one minute. Stir in onion and cook until transparent. Add the garlic and stir.  Add the potato and sauté until its edges begin moving towards translucence. Stir in carrots and celery, and sauté another few minutes. Add cauliflower, french beans and zucchini. Stir thoroughly to coat all the vegetables.

Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to low for five to ten minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, then add the greens. After 3-5 minutes mix in the coconut milk. Allow to simmer a few minutes so the flavors and juices merge. Season to taste.

Garnish with nuts or seeds, and serve warm with your favorite bread or crackers.

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Immense gratitude to Tara Eby of In-Sight Photography for these images that really helped capture the soul of Sophia. If you are interested in learning more about “Sophia” activities, or can help us move towards non-profit status, you are invited to visit  Sophia.

#fruit compote

Since “everyone” wanted the I Am Awakening Key Lime Pie recipe, I am giving away a copy of Cafe Gratitude’s I AM Gratitude Recipe Book  as a Sophia Gift. Please comment below. Let us know your favorite recipe for cultivating the divine feminine.  I’ll pick at random from commentors early next week.

P.S. Congratulations to Amy Steckdaub for winning the book. Fully deserved as you give us so much of your time and love in service to The Sophia Conference.

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Namaste!

 

For Fathers I Am Grateful

I am Grateful Live Coconut Cream Pie

In our household, the World’s Best Dad Award goes to my husband whose devotion to his son proves that dads can do just about anything. He loves coconut, so we are making him this Live Coconut Cream Pie for tonight’s Father’s Day Dinner. It is heavenly and raw with a pure, healthy goodness to show Dad just how much we love him.

As a Summer Opener, Father’s Day comes just as the weather is heating up. At this time, Mother Nature lovingly, knowingly, provides the refreshment we need. Her seasonal harvest, including cucumbers, summer squash, melons, berries and herbs like dill, mint and cilantro, is balancing and cooling.

For its chill factor and numerous other benefits, Coconut, grown in the hot tropics where it is practically always summer, is that perfect hot season food. Offering sweet, healthy hydration to restore moisture, minerals and electrolytes, coconut is so delicious and so perfect for humans it has even been used in I.V. drips.

Coconut Meat and Water make this Pie Perfect

This recipe comes from Cafe Gratitude’s I Am Grateful Recipe book by Terces Engelhart, which I so gratefully received from a friend. If there is one raw food recipe book to have, for me it is this one. Along with great recipes it is filled with techniques, inspiration, and a fabulous Resource list at the back.

With only a few dates to sweeten and a bit of spice, this Live Coconut Cream Pie is almost all coconut, making it a great reason to eat dessert and celebrate Dad all summer long!

LIVE COCONUT CREAM PIE

For The Crust

2 1/2 cups coconut flakes
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 teaspoon salt
Heaping 1/4 cup well packed, finely chopped dates

For The Filling

1 1/4 cups coconut milk
3/4 cup coconut meat
Heaping 3/4 cup well-packed, finely chopped dates
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 pinches of salt
3 tablespoons lecithin
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons raw coconut butter (I used a mix of coconut oil and coconut manna)

I added a dash of Cardamom too, to aid digestion deliciously.  

Garnish

3/4 cup dry coconut flakes

I toasted half the flakes and once cool, mixed in with the raw flakes so it created a lovely dapple of gold, caramel and snow white sprinkle over the pie. It is not technically raw, unless you toast at a very low heat, very slowly, but worth it to me for the color and crunch. 

To Make the Crust

Put coconut flakes, salt, and vanilla in your food processor and process, adding small amounts of dates until it gets sticky. Press crust into a greed (with coconut butter/oil) 9-inch pie pan.

To Make the Filling

Blend coconut milk, meat, date, vanilla, and salt until smooth. Add lecithin and coconut butter and blend until well incorporated. Pour into prepared crust. Set in fridge/freezer until set (about an hour). Top with thin layer of coconut flakes.

I Am Grateful’s Live Coconut Cream Pie

We made this pie yesterday for the South Park Old House Street Fair, where it was gobbled up before you could say, “Look at the detail on that charming Craftsman Bungalow!”

The Coconut Cream Pie was hosted by the Urban Gourmet folks who were there to let locals know about their imminent opening at 30th and Fern. I’ll have some of my “Dancing Plums” specialty foods there ~ things like Organic Split Mung Beans, Ayurvedic Herbal Jam, Detox Protein Shake Mix and weekly Raw Pies. I’ll let you know when it opens as I am sure we will celebrate with more Live Coconut Cream Pie.

Dancing Plums is named in memory of my father George L. Plumb

Once Dancing Plums is launched, I look forward to posting with many more simple ideas for keeping cool, strong, and elegantly at ease all summer long. I am also looking forward to my next Ayurvedic Nutrition and Cooking Class for August 7th. Lots of bubbly ideas and new inventions for that! Details are on our website.

Meanwhile, I wish you a bountiful summer of nourishing food, love and lazy days.

Namaste!