I was recently in a yoga class where the teacher spoke about our inhales and exhales as a kind of radiating energy. She instructed us to inhale and feel as if we were bringing everything into ourselves - into our heart's centre. When you exhale, she continued, imagine that your exhale is radiating outwards past the the people around you, out of the studio, reaching out to the ends of the city, country, and world. That exhale can stretch out to your friends and family, push the boundaries of what you know and extend far from your body. Sitting in the midst of that stillness, I felt an intense and tangible force emanating from the people gathered there. It was silent, but an active and buzzing silence that made me sure every person in the room was fully engaged. It is a rare thing to find yourself in a space where it feels like everyone is paying attention. Each mind was focussed and alert, but in an individual and quite personal way. I don't often find myself receptive to these kinds of situations, but this moment felt true to me, and left a lasting impact on the way I engaged with my own body and breath at that moment.
To be honest, I have never really been into astrology and energy practices in a serious way, it just isn’t my thing. Lately though, I’ve been thinking a lot about the transfer of energy between people. It can be a simple thing, like the way you outstretch your arm to reach someone or the sudden moment of connection as you meet eyes. Or, it can simply be your breath, extending the radius of your person far past your physical being. There are so many conversations and spoken practices about energy that have never reached me in a true way, but really feeling that breath in my body, passing over the stillness of the room as everyone collectively exhaled, THAT was something I could feel deep within myself and knew to be my own truth.
These quesadillas are another simple gesture. Getting back into the routine of working full time and spending my days serving other people food can make me less engaged with my own eating habits. I wanted to make something that was easy, filling, healthy, but also comforting. I had been planning a sort of gluten free savoury crepe situation (still coming soon I hope) but it was turning out to be more complicated than I had time for. Then, I saw these beautiful sourdough naans at one of my favourite grocery stores and it all sort of came together. These quesadillas are crispy, fresh, gooey with vegan cheese, and all around a crowd pleaser. Trust me, you are going to love them once you give them a try. You can even see how excited my brother was about them that when I asked him to hand model for me (thanks Sasa!) he couldn't resist just taking a bite! Let me know if you try out a recipe, and have a great week friends :)
Roasted Broccoli + Sauerkraut Quesadillas
Makes 8 triangular pieces
Miso Cashew Cheese
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup water
- Juice of half a lemon
- 4 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp miso paste
- 1 tsp tapioca starch
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 medium sized head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 bell pepper, julienned
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 4 pieces of naan (tortillas work too)
- 1/2 cup sauerkraut (or to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 and line a baking tray with parchment paper, set aside.
Combine all of the ingredients for the cashew cheese sauce in a high powered blender and blend until smooth (about 2 minutes for me, but it depends on the blender). Pour sauce into a small pot and place over medium heat. Whisk the mixture continuously. After about a minute, the sauce will start to form clumps and become very lumpy, don't panic! This is good. Continue whisking until the clumpy mixture forms a smooth, thick paste. The cheese will start to come away from the sides of the pot and form a mass in the middle, when this happens it is finished. Remove from heat and set aside.
Toss the broccoli florets with sesame oil, salt, and pepper and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, or until crispy.
To assemble the quesadillas, heat a cast iron pan over medium heat. Take one piece of naan and spread about 2 tbsp of cashew cheese on one side. Layer the roasted broccoli, sliced bell pepper, and sauerkraut and then drizzle with more cheese sauce. Place the other piece of naan over top like you are making a giant sandwich. Place the quesadilla onto the cast iron pan and press it down with a pot lid. Cook on each side for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and slice into four pieces. Serve hot! These will keep in the fridge for a couple of days, but they are best when fresh.