Wintery Quinoa Porridge

Occasionally, throughout the year and to my considerable delight, freezer items will get shuffled or used; revealing bags of wild, Alaskan mountain blueberries that Todd and I picked in autumn.

Like a reticent squirrel, I stash the berries in the back of the freezer, praying they will tide us over until next fall when we'll continue the tradition of picking them all over again. Usually, come August, I realize I have barely touched them and find myself working the blueberries into a many number of dishes. It's similar to my obsession with  hoarding bath luxuries (I don't even take baths!) like the flowery bubbles, salts, and fragrant fizzies. I keep them stowed away "saving" them for a worthy occasion. Alas, they never get used and I end up throwing them away 10 years later when I eventually find the dust-covered derelicts. 

Produce On Parade - Wintery Quinoa Porridge - A most divine wintery breakfast to keep you toasty warm and satisfied on a snowy morning. Wild blueberries and rhubarb from autumn mingle with fresh, winter pomegranates in this timely and humble quinoa porridge, speckled with toasted nuts and seeds.

This will not happen with my blueberries. They will not become freezer-burnt. I shall be better about using them throughout the entirety of the year. I shall deem them worthy of everyday smoothies and oatmeal. Okay, maybe not the smoothies yet...I shall make more pies. I shall celebrate the little buggers, instead of suffocating them with love. 

So, while excavating a bag of the blueberries from the back of the freezer, I also discovered some rhubarb I picked and froze a few months ago. Huzzah! And just like that, this winter-inspired quinoa porridge just fell right into place! 

Produce On Parade - Wintery Quinoa Porridge - A most divine wintery breakfast to keep you toasty warm and satisfied on a snowy morning. Wild blueberries and rhubarb from autumn mingle with fresh, winter pomegranates in this timely and humble quinoa porridge, speckled with toasted nuts and seeds.

A most divine wintery breakfast to keep you toasty warm and satisfied on a snowy morning. Wild blueberries and rhubarb from autumn mingle with fresh, winter pomegranates in this timely and humble quinoa porridge, speckled with toasted nuts and seeds. 

Produce On Parade - Wintery Quinoa Porridge - A most divine wintery breakfast to keep you toasty warm and satisfied on a snowy morning. Wild blueberries and rhubarb from autumn mingle with fresh, winter pomegranates in this timely and humble quinoa porridge, speckled with toasted nuts and seeds.
Produce On Parade - Wintery Quinoa Porridge - A most divine wintery breakfast to keep you toasty warm and satisfied on a snowy morning. Wild blueberries and rhubarb from autumn mingle with fresh, winter pomegranates in this timely and humble quinoa porridge, speckled with toasted nuts and seeds.
Produce On Parade - Wintery Quinoa Porridge - A most divine wintery breakfast to keep you toasty warm and satisfied on a snowy morning. Wild blueberries and rhubarb from autumn mingle with fresh, winter pomegranates in this timely and humble quinoa porridge, speckled with toasted nuts and seeds.

You're going to want to save this one for Saturday morning! Oh Saturday...you can't come soon enough.

Did I tell you we finally got snow?! We actually when on a night ski yesterday. Do you night ski too?

Produce On Parade - Wintery Quinoa Porridge - A most divine wintery breakfast to keep you toasty warm and satisfied on a snowy morning. Wild blueberries and rhubarb from autumn mingle with fresh, winter pomegranates in this timely and humble quinoa porridge, speckled with toasted nuts and seeds.

Wintery Quinoa Porridge

A most divine wintery breakfast to keep you toasty warm and satisfied on a snowy morning. Wild blueberries and rhubarb from autumn mingle with fresh, winter pomegranates in this timely and humble quinoa porridge, speckled with toasted nuts and seeds. NOTES: Feel free to use any combination of nuts and seeds you like. Toasting them is an extra step, but well worth it!

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, dry (I like red)
  • 1/2 cup nut/seed mixture, chopped (I used pecans, walnuts, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds)
  • 3/4 cup non-dairy milk
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. alma powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • dash of freshly ground nutmeg
  • small pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen, wild blueberries
  • 1 cup frozen, chopped rhubarb
  • 1/2 pomegranate, seeded (about ½ cup of seeds)

Cooking Directions

  1. Bring a medium pot of water to boil with the quinoa. Reduce to a simmer and cook for about 15 minutes, uncovered. Drain all the water from the pot, leaving the quinoa.
  2. Meanwhile, over medium heat, toast the nuts and seeds in a sturdy frying pan until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add all the remaining ingredients to the quinoa, including the nuts and seeds, but excluding the berries. Stir well until the peanut butter is completely incorporated.
  4. Now, add the berries and over low, heat the porridge until the berries are warm.
  5. Serve with an additional splash of non-dairy milk and/or maple syrup.
Produce On Parade - Wintery Quinoa Porridge - A most divine wintery breakfast to keep you toasty warm and satisfied on a snowy morning. Wild blueberries and rhubarb from autumn mingle with fresh, winter pomegranates in this timely and humble quinoa porridge, speckled with toasted nuts and seeds.
Produce On Parade - Wintery Quinoa Porridge - A most divine wintery breakfast to keep you toasty warm and satisfied on a snowy morning. Wild blueberries and rhubarb from autumn mingle with fresh, winter pomegranates in this timely and humble quinoa porridge, speckled with toasted nuts and seeds.
Produce On Parade - Wintery Quinoa Porridge - A most divine wintery breakfast to keep you toasty warm and satisfied on a snowy morning. Wild blueberries and rhubarb from autumn mingle with fresh, winter pomegranates in this timely and humble quinoa porridge, speckled with toasted nuts and seeds.

Dutch Word of The Day

Porridge --> brij (bray)

Good Deed of The Day

Did you guys see that the very first vegan butcher shop is opening up in Minneapolis?! So cool! If I'm ever in the Twin-Cities...check it out more here

Candied Ginger & Blueberry Black Bean Brownies

If you're a brownie purist, these might not be for you. I know many people like their baked goods plain jane (Dad) and don't want anything in their brownies or cookies. Not judging, okay? I'm also aware of the stigma regarding black bean brownies. I, myself, have tried several different black bean brownie recipes in the past and most of them were...to put it bluntly...icktastic.

Not these. 

If slaughterhouses had glass walls, the whole world would be vegetarian.
— Linda McCartney

I'm sorry to inform you, dear readers, that you won't hear much from me in the coming two weeks. If you want to know what I'm up to, follow my Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter to come along on my adventures! Good times are to be had, you don't want to miss it! 

These chewy, gooey black bean brownies are studded with sweet blueberries, zesty candied ginger, and dark chocolate chunks. 

print recipe
Candied Ginger & Blueberry Black Bean Brownies
Chewy, gooey black bean brownies studded with sweet blueberries, zesty candied ginger, and dark chocolate chunks.
Ingredients
  • 2 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • ¼ cup + 3 Tbsp. cold water
  • ½ cup quick oats, dry
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed well
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar (molasses or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup dried blueberries
  • ¼ cup candied ginger, minced
  • 1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate
  • dash of flake salt for garnish (optional)
Instructions
In a small bowl, whisk together the ground flax and water. Allow to rest until ready to use. In a food processor, process the oats until the consistency of flour. Transfer to a medium bowl and whisk in the cocoa powder and salt. Add the black beans through and including the vanilla, as well as the flax mixture, to the food processor and process until the black beans are completely pulverized and smooth. Preheat oven to 375 F and coat a 9 x 9 inch baking dish with a nonstick cooking spray.Transfer the bean mixture into a large bowl and slowly add in the oat mixture, stirring to combine. Stir in the blueberries, ginger, and dark chocolate. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake at 375 F for about 30-35 minutes, until the top of the brownies feel set. Allow them to cool for at least 15 minutes before cutting into them. Sprinkle with flake salt. Store in the fridge.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 16

Dutch Word of The Day

Blueberry --> bosbes (bose-bess)

Good Deed of The Day

Today's deed is a little different...it's to help me! Please let me know your favorite vegan fare in Ohio. Or your favorite vegan goodies from either Whole Foods and/or Trader Joes. Or any calming or fun activities to do on the plane. Especially if you're skeezed out by flying. 

What Do Vegans Bring Backpacking?

To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world.
— John Muir

John had it right. If you haven't had the profound pleasure of visiting Alaska, come on up already! And when you make it up here, give us a holler, we'll show you around.

Blueberry picking is my favorite thing ever.  Period. I cannot put into words how deeply I yearn to go on our adventures to pluck those juicy, sweet little orbs. It's on par with Christmas. For real. That magical feeling swells and swirls in my heartstrings in anticipation of mid-August when the blueberries are ripe and perfect. I think about it all year long. 

Vegan + Prius = Level 100 Eco-Hippy. 

Vegan + Prius = Level 100 Eco-Hippy. 

We like to pick our berries up at Sheep Mountain, in solitude. It's a vast place that's dominated mostly by four-wheeling hunters (Boo! #sorrynotsorry), but never really see anyone. People aren't generally backpacking where we go. Reason number one, the water situation is less than ideal. I mean, we got water, but we had to bushwhack the same amount of time we actually spent hiking up to our campsite. Reason number two, stupid four-wheeler noises in the distance day and night. Reason number three, it's out of the way. Way out of the way. 

On the plus side, there's lots of berries. The night before, we dehydrated a noodle recipe that I unfortunately wasn't able to document and do a post on. Maybe next week? But, I can give you some insight into what foods vegans bring backpacking. Or, at least the kinds of things that Todd and myself bring. Here's what we brought on this trip. Maybe it will give you some ideas!

  • 2 servings of homemade, dehydrated Teriyaki Pasta
  • 1 bag of falafel chips
  • 1 tub of hummus
  • 4 Prime Meatless Jerky strips
  • 2 Nutz over Chocolate Luna Bars
  • 2 Fruit Leathers
  • 1/2 Endangered Species dark chocolate bar
  • 1 box of Hot Tamale candies
  • 2 servings of homemade oatmeal packets
  • fresh blueberries picked for our oatmeal
  • 2 Starbucks Via coffee packets
  • 1 single serving Silk Very Vanilla soy milk
  • 1 single serving almond milk caramel latte
  • water
  • small concentrated Crystal Light bottle (in case you filter some funky tasting water, it happens)
  • snacks for the road trip up included Annie's Chocolate Bunny Grahams, Original Sun Chips, Gatorade, Monster Energy Drinks (don't judge), and Justin's dark peanut butter cups.

Our backpacking adventures may or may not also kind of be a junk food adventure as well. We don't eat a lot of processed foods at home and so when backpacking, we tend to go a bit crazy.

It can be heavy and cumbersome to bring fresh fruits and veggies, ensuring that they are properly prepared and packaged so they don't get damaged. I did try to bring some fresh foods. Okay, so I bought some apples...that we left at home....

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In case you're wondering, yep, Bob has his own pack. It's the best thing ever. Also, please don't judge me based on this photo. I am just now realizing how absurd I look.

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I know you're not supposed to cook next to your tent (I did work at REI afterall), but it was super windy we we got to the top and at that very spot on the right of the tent, was the only place of calmness. 

Regrettably, we were a bit early on the bluebs. Next week they'll be perfect. I only picked a small amount, until I finally felt bad and quit. Some bushes had ripe berries, a few were totally green, but most were somewhere in between and I felt pretty guilty picking them. 

Last year we went super late (not really thinking of picking berries) and hit the motherload up at this spot. However, a lot of the berries were seriously past their prime and tasted fermented almost! See last years trip in this post.

Bob did a little doggy meditating in the sun the next morning, when the wind was gone. I almost brought my yoga mat, but I only had my heavy one at home. It would have been a most epic yoga practice though!

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Todd snapped some early morning pics while I was still sleeping in the tent with Bob. There's a few more fun photos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter that you won't want to miss. Like the time we had to eat with twigs...#mybad.

camping (7 of 10).jpg

Yep, I think it's settled that we'll be heading up there again very soon. I can hear those little blueberries calling my name! Bob can too.