QUINOA, BROCCOLI & RAMSONS CAKES w/ RAMSONS PESTO

QUINOA, BROCCOLI & RAMSONS CAKES w/ RAMSONS PESTO

Theme of this month: Growing!
Growing up as the eldest child of three has made me a care taker and a bit of controlling at times ( my sister will nod in agreement if she reads this)! I had this on my mind a lot lately, stumbling upon related stories of sibling stories. It’s fascinating how much alike you are to a person who is born as an older sister etc. too. Most of the time how you think and react in a situation – it is not you alone – but the position you were born and grew into. I made peace with the sister role, I am able to see the qualities I gained and own. But since I am more independent now I think more and more of the other part of me that is hidden under the many roles you play as a person. 
Being a daughter, sister, girlfriend, friend, granddaughter, niece, babysitter, cook, salesperson, teacher, neighbor…and so on. Where is me? It is a part in all of that, roles you are put into, how you behave in them is the way that you are. How can you reach that inner truth?
Sometimes you have to be by yourself, letting go of all the other roles, thinking about pleasing others, taking care of others, maybe playing an extra role by playing nice when you are the complete opposite inside. Maybe then it is time to just be alone and listen to yourself. Deep within. That is the only way to grow and become yourSELF! And it is the only way to be authentic and grounded in all the other roles. 

I have two siblings with whom I have lived together under one roof for the last 16-22 years. 
Of course I have grown to become the annoying controlling sister, who else would it be? I have struggled with the way they see me and wanted to change me and situations constantly. Tried to shut my mouth when I saw they made a mistake or were about to make one. Especially tried hard not to say the most annoying sentence of all ‘I told you’! 
I remember the time when my brother was about the age of 3, my sister and I took care of him together, dressed him funny, went out to get ice cream and all sorts of fun childhood stuff. I did not yet feel pressure of being the older/wiser sister, it was more of a thing we did together. My sister and I shared the role of a care taker and it was all fun and relaxed. 
Growing older I had more pressure of being a good example, annoying them with good advice, phases of not wanting to take care of them all the time, I felt like taking care of everything and everyone. I felt left out in this role. It didn’t matter what my intention was, nice or not, they did not want to listen to me or even considered seeing me as an inspiring bright person. 

Maybe that is why I started to reflect and seek truth in myself to release me from a role. To be seen apart from that. I guess I don’t want it to be any other way than it is now. Being a big sister to those beautiful souls who fill out my heart completely, made me the way I am today. Turning all the flaws of early responsibility into positive skills. I know how to take care of others, how to listen, how to sometimes speak up and tell someone the truth they need to hear, sometimes just be still and let them figure it out by themselves. I can nourish them, their bodies, minds and souls. Maybe I can teach them a bit along the way. Sibling or friend, I believe the more I am myself, not feeling trapped in a role, I can give and share my love and happiness. A part that I always want to be able to live out!

Growing is also the theme of Kapha season. Ayurveda divides the year according to the most prevalent dosha during each period. One of the qualities of Kapha is stability, the healthy habits you form this spring can stick with you all year ’round if you let them. Kaphas qualities in late winter through spring are heavy, slow, cold and oily. Like its elements water & earth. 
Kapha promotes anabolism, the process of building up the body, growth and creation of new cells.
There are many ways to stay balanced in this season and one way is through food. Focus on foods and activities that are light, dry and warm. 
Signs you have excess Kapha are colds, allergies, congestion, flu, fatigue, grief, sadness, depressions, dullness of mind, weight gain. 
Growing healthy habits in the spring, the perfect time to detox and lighten up.
A Kapha Balancing list for spring

Moveto balance out the slow, sluggish feeling of kapha, you should get moving. Do whatever makes you feel good and gets you breathing deeply. Dance, run, ride a bike, jump, do yoga. You name it. Shake the heavy winter coats and moods off!
Sleepto counter the dullness of sleeping to much, it is best to go to bed early by 10 pm and rise early 6 am. Those are the Kapha times of night and day, when you get a deep and restful sleep, to have more energy for the day. Avoid naps.
Eateating light and warm to maintain a balanced digestion, more bitter, pungent and astringent taste. Spice things up with cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Avoid food that is heavy, oily, cold, salty, sour.
Bodydo some breathing exercises, try dry body brushing, a full body sesame oil massage, warm showers. 
Mind seek a variety of activities, people to be around, conversations to be stimulated. Learn new skills, grow new habits, learn to let go of things.

Quinoa, Broccoli and Ramsons – abundant in spring and stars of this recipe.
I am lucky to have a friend with a garden full of ramsons. So last sunday we met in her garden, harvested a huge pile of ramsons with some others and made pesto. It was a perfect sunny afternoon and the combination of harvesting and then eating the freshly picked food was incredible. It should always be that way. After the garden gathering in the evening sun we joked about when to meet next to forage & harvest the future seasonal abundance. But nothing is quite abundant and a multitude of leaves as ramsons. Heart and belly nourished I came home with two glasses of pesto and bundles of leaves. My mind full of ideas. Since I had to use the leaves pretty fast and had a busy packed week ahead of me, the only reasonable thing to do was soup and baby cakes. I just had to look in the fridge, see the leftover quinoa, a lonely broccoli and it was decided. Quinoa and broccoli are also great kapha pacifiying foods. I added some pesto to the cakes, later added more of that pesto and the cakes to a salad lunch box to bring to work ( that is my food-planning-role acting out).
The plant has been used as a spring tonic to cleanse
the blood and boost the immune system.

Ramsons leaves boost the functioning of the internal organs, are high in vitamin A and C, contain manganese, copper, iron and magnesium. Go do some spring activity in the kitchen! Make some tasty pretty green baby cakes!

QUINOA, BROCCOLI & RAMSON CAKES
makes 12 baby cakes

1 1/2 cups quinoa 
1 bundle of ramsons, leaves
2 middle-sized potatos
1 broccoli
1/2 cup oat flour
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp ramsons pesto ( recipe below)
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp raw honey ( or maple syrup)

Directions
Cook the potatos until you can mash them with a fork. Use leftover quinoa or cook 1 cup for 15 minutes in a small pot. In the meantime chop the broccoli in small pieces. In a large bowl combine the mashed potatos with the oil, pesto, salt and honey. Add the quinoa, broccoli, flour and flax seeds. Stir and mix until a thick formable dough develops. Chop the leaves very thinly and slowly fold them in. Preheat a large pan on medium to high heat with some heat resistant oil. Form little flat baby cakes with your hands and bake them in the pan, 3 minutes on each side. Let them cool down a bit to harden.

RAMSONS PESTO

1 bundle of ramsons leaves
3/4 cup good quality olive oil
1 cup cashews
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp maple syrup

Directions
Put all ingredients in a food processor for a few minutes until it reaches your desired pesto consistency. Store in a glas jar with some extra olive oil on top in the fridge.

I hope you can grow out of old habits that you want to get rid off. Maybe now is the right time. Start to plant a little garden of herbs and salad, so you can nourish & balance yourself!
Play whatever role you want, how about the role of YOU? 

Wild & happy spring time,
with love,
Gina