Hermitage Retreat Cook Amy Gates Shares Tasty Winter Recipes
A reflection on practice by Other Teachers & Folks We Value
We are delighted to welcome our new Mountain Hermitage retreat cook Amy Gates by sharing a couple of her excellent healthy recipes for the winter season. Amy traveled here last summer from her home in the Bay Area to cook for the Hermitage’s 5-week retreat with Sayadaw Vivekananda & Marcia Rose…and like so many others, she fell in love with Taos & northern New Mexico. This self-described “fun-loving, travel-obsessed nature junkie, health food enthusiast, natural foods chef & holistic health coach” is now living here full time.
Amy began cooking for the Dharma several years ago at the Insight Retreat Center in Santa Cruz, CA for teachers Gil Fronsdal & Andrea Fella. “It was here,” she says, “that I found a love in cooking for retreats. With my passion for wellness & personal interest in meditation, I find great joy in supporting others’ practice through love & nourishment in food.”
Hermitage students & staff have been enjoying Amy’s positive energy & internationally inspired vegetarian retreat meals. Simple but so delicious. We are grateful to have her as part of our Hermitage community…supporting our practice with nutritious & tasty food!
Find out more about Amy on her website: www.amythekitchenfairy.com
Warm Winter Chai: (Serves 8)
1/2 gallon water
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 c pureed ginger
1/3 c cardamom pods ground
1 tsp whole coriander
2 cloves whole
3 whole peppercorns
1/4 c loose leaf assam or black tea
1 Tbsp vanilla
2-4 Tbsp coconut sugar, or sweetener of choice
1 cup, or more to taste, whole milk, half and half, or non-dairy milk of choice
1. Add the water and spices to a large pot and boil for 1 hour. Let sit on stove overnight.
2. Bring to just a boil. Add 1/4 c loose black tea. Brew for 5 minutes.
3. Strain tea and discard spices.
4. Return to stove and bring to a simmer. Add sugar, vanilla, and milk of choice, stirring until sugar is dissolved. ENJOY!
Garlic Thyme Tempeh: (Serves 4)
8 oz tempeh
2 Tbsp tamari
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 cup veggie broth
2 Tbsp balsalmic vinegar
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup fresh thyme, leaves whole, soft stems roughly chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1. Set up a steamer basket and pot on the stovetop. Slice the tempeh into two thin squares across the middle, sort of like a clamshell. Now slice each square corner to corner, into triangles.
2. Steam the tempeh for 10 minutes.
3. In the meantime, mix all marinade ingredients together in a big bowl. When tempeh is ready, transfer it directly into the marinade. Let marinate for 1 to 4 hours, flipping occasionally.
Preheat lightly oiled grill on medium high (indoor or outdoor). Cook tempeh for 5 minutes on each side, flipping with a metal spatula, so that it doesn’t stick. Tip: rub thyme and garlic on each side. Some will fall off, but not all of it.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place marinated tempeh on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until crispy and lightly browned on each side, about 15 minutes per side. Flip half way through.
Pumpkin Sage Polenta: (Serves 4-6)
3 cups water
1 cup polenta
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (canned is fine if you do not have freshly roasted pumpkin)
1 tsp sage, chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed (or nondairy alternative)
1. In a medium saucepan, bring water to boil.
2. Whisk in polenta, lower the heat and let the polenta simmer, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.
3. Add the pumpkin, salt, and sage, and continue stirring for about 15-20 minutes, until the polenta begins to pull away from the sides of the saucepan.
4. Stir in the parmesan cheese and butter. Serve immediately while hot and creamy.
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