The village of Tsharka

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After college, I spent three months in India volunteering at a Buddhist orphanage. At the end of the trip I went to Nepal to see where  some of the kids used to live. A week of trekking later, we ended up in Tsharka: a small, stone village in the Himalayas. There was no school in the village and my mother, ever up for challenge, decided to help open their first one. It’s been 10 years and the school is in need of funding to pay for the salaries of the teachers and much needed repairs. I’d love for you to check out the website for my family’s non-profit (International Community Development Foundation), read the story of how everything came to be, and if you feel so inclined, donate to help the cause that is so dear to my heart.

Visit the website to help: www.icdfnd.org

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Quinoa granola

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As I’m sure you’ve noticed from my lack of posts, I haven’t had much time to cook or blog lately. Between work and travel life has nothing short of crazy. But, this weekend my boyfriend and I decided to stay in the city instead of going to the beach where we’ve been spending most of our summer. It sounds weird, but it was really nice to do my errands, go to the gym and experiment in the kitchen. I’ve been seeing quinoa granola on some of my favorite blogs, so Sunday I decided to try it for myself. I combined a couple recipes to have all my favorite things in it, namely cashews and cranberries. I’m sure I’ll end up eating it at my desk and shoveling it in my mouth in-between meetings, but at least it’s wholesome, healthy, and not a Luna bar.

Quinoa Granola

Ingredient:

3/4 cup quinoa
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup shaved coconut
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup natural applesauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins

directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with a Silpat baking mat or parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain well. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, oats, almonds, cashews, shaved coconut, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together applesauce, honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir until combined. Pour the granola onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread into an even layer. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until granola is golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes or so.

4. Stir in the dried cranberries and raisins. Let granola cool completely. Store in an air-tight container for up to one month.

Enjoy with homemade cashew milk or yogurt.

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