My orange pals, Pumpkin and Kona, are always providing me with a show while I'm in the kitchen. Pumpkin, the cat, races around the house with Kona, the golden retriever, hot on his heels. The chase is followed by more play in the form of a boxing match. Pumpkin's paws are no match for Kona's but they still play box for a few seconds. The two are the best of friends but this winter they seemed to have gotten even closer.
Pumpkin is really a housecat but sometimes I take him outside on a leash. When winter arrives, he becomes a complete sissy pants. Snowy, rainy or windy conditions are completely unacceptable to him. He'd rather sleep or play with Kona and me.
Eleven-year-old Kona, on the other hand, loves to go for a romp in the snow. Put her out in the snow and she instantly becomes a puppy again. I wish snow would do that for me!
Snowy, wintry days do have one affect on me. They make me hungry for carbs, which I'm sure I've mentioned before. The problem is I need to keep my carb intake low while I continue to battle candida. One of my recent cravings was for muesli. I'm not sure where that craving came from because I've never been a big fan of granola or muesli, largely because of the calories and the ingredients.
Most granola or muesli contains oil, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal and tons of sugar/honey, which ups the calories. I decided to try to make allergen-free muesli using quinoa flakes and seeds. It turned out to be tasty and easy to make. I started sprinkling just a tablespoon's worth on top of tofu mixed with fruit for a quick treat, breakfast or dessert as pictured above. Now, I pretty much avoid tofu/soy at least for now while my thyroid is on the mend. As an alternative, I sprinkle it on berries or pudding, thickened with chia seeds. Here's a link to my recipe for chia-seed pudding http://catsinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2009/08/chia-seed-parfait.html
2 cups quinoa flakes
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1-2 T. SweetLeaf stevia powder
Optional: 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with pan spray. Spread the quinoa flakes mixed with seeds, stevia powder and cinnamon, if desired, on the pan. Spray the top of the muesli with some additonal pan spray or mist with olive oil if you prefer. Place in the oven and toast the mixture for about 5-10 minutes, depending on your oven. Toss the muesli often to insure even toasting and respray if needed. When the muesli is golden brown, remove it from the oven to cool. Store the muesli in a container in the freezer.