Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Book Nook: What if Jesus Were a Coach?

 Texas Life Coach Michael Taylor has thrown a lifeline to individuals looking to kickstart their spiritual journeys and self-discovery in his new book, What if Jesus Were a Coach?

“There are many people who are hesitant to pursue their spiritual journeys because of strict religious doctrines surrounding Christianity that don’t coincide with their personal views,” Taylor said.
Data released from the Pew Research Center supports Taylor’s position, with surveys showing that the number of religious “nones” has grown by nearly 30 million over the past decade.
 
Touted as a refreshing take on spirituality and religion, What if Jesus Were a Coach? aims to inspire readers to find their own truth about God. The author shares his personal experiences and delves into the teachings of Jesus to help readers realize that there is more to spirituality than rules and restrictions.
 
A former Atheist, Taylor once had an aversion to organized religion until he undertook extensive research about world religions to determine if God existed or not.
 
My research ultimately led me to my own ‘truth’ about God, which has allowed me to create an intimacy and connection to a power greater than myself,” he said. “In this book, I share my experiences and how I was able to do that.”
 
You can learn more in this interview.

Why did you write the book?

From a very young age I had a lot of questions about God that no one could answer. From my perspective, God simply didn’t make sense to me. No matter how hard I tried to believe in God, I simply could not accept the things I was taught through organized religion. As a result, I became an Atheist. After being an Atheist for several years I decided to research different religions, and in doing so, I was able to find my own truth about God which allowed me to develop an intimacy and connection to the God of my understanding that defies description.

I wrote What If Jesus Were A Coach to share my journey of finding my truth about God in hopes that the reader will begin their own journey to find their own truth. Words can not come close to describing the incredible feeling of unconditional love I experience as a result of my connection to God, and I would love everyone to have that same experience and feeling that I have. I have come to know that God is literally love and we should all have the opportunity to feel that love and share it with the world.


In the beginning of the book, you talk about the God of Spinoza - why can this be an important concept for people as they search for answers to who God is?

A lot of people see God as this old white guy in the sky who is taking notes of their lives and judging them for everything they do. Therefore, they see God as a “who” and they believe God is just like human beings, with human emotions. The God of Spinoza sees God as a “what”. In other words, God is the Divine energy and intelligence that created and is still creating this amazing Universe we live in. This intelligence is within each of us and it is up to us to not look outside of ourselves to find it, but to look within our own hearts and minds to find it. That is the reason Jesus said; “seek ye first the kingdom of God and all things will be given unto you.” He then said, “the kingdom of God is within you.” The God of Spinoza challenges us to find the kingdom of God within ourselves.


What do you hope people will take away from this book, regardless of their religious background?

First and foremost I want readers to know that God is real. In order to develop and intimacy and connection to the love of God, a person must be willing to find their own truth about God. This means they must be willing to challenge their beliefs about God and be willing to change their beliefs which can be extremely difficult. It’s important to understand there are many paths to God and a person must be willing to find the path that is right for them. It’s also important to make a distinction between religion and spirituality. You can be spiritual without being religious by understanding God is pure love and you do not need religious dogma or doctrine to experience the unconditional love of God.


 
Coach Michael Taylor is an entrepreneur, author (10 books), motivational speaker, podcaster, and radio and TV show host who has dedicated his life to empowering men and women to reach their full potential by transforming their lives from the inside out. He knows first-hand how to overcome adversity and build a rewarding and fulfilling life, and he is sharing his knowledge and wisdom with others to support them in creating the life of their dreams.
 
To learn more, visit www.jesuswasacoach.com or www.coachmichaeltaylor.com; or connect with Taylor on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn at @coachmichaeltaylor; or on Twitter at @coachmichaelt.

Caring Causes: Find a Way to Serve (New Wreaths Across America Initiative)

 Each year, millions of Americans come together to REMEMBER the fallen, HONOR those that serve and their families, and TEACH the next generation about the value of freedom. This gathering of volunteers and patriots takes place in local and national cemeteries in all 50 states - most recently at more than 3,100 participating locations - as part of National Wreaths Across America Day. Each year, a new theme is chosen to help volunteers and supporters focus their messaging and outreach in their own communities. Today, the national nonprofit announces the theme for 2022 is “Find a way to serve.”

The inspiration for this year’s theme came from a few different places and seemed to be a recurring conversation throughout the last year. Notably, the American Rosie Movement, whose mission is to find and capture the stories of the World War II-era women known as Rosie the Riveters, or simply “Rosies.” These women pulled together to do the work that needed to be done for our freedom. The movement encourages youth to get involved in their own communities to serve in small ways that can make a big impact. As part of this new theme, Wreaths Across America is revamping its educational curriculum working with the American Rosie Movement and other organizations to develop action plans to inspire young people across the country to find a way to serve in 2022 and beyond.

“You don’t have to be in military service to serve your community and country,” said Karen Worcester, executive director, Wreaths Across America. “Serving others, or being in service to others, gives purpose and I’ve seen first-hand from Gold Star Families to Veterans, how it can help people heal.”

In 2021, more than 2.4 million veterans’ wreaths were placed by volunteers on headstones at 3,136 participating locations around the country in honor of the service and sacrifices made for our freedoms, with each name said out loud. Wreaths Across America volunteers work year-round to ensure military laid to rest are remembered, their families and living veterans are honored, and the next generation is taught about the value of freedom.

“Every person has something to give, whether it is their time, ideas, compassion, or resources,” added Worcester.  “What can seem like the simplest act or gift, can start a nationwide movement and that is our hope that this theme will spark in people. I think Mother Teresa said it best, ‘the greatest good is what we do for one another.’”

This year, National Wreaths Across America Day is Saturday, December 17, 2022. It is a free event and open to all people. For more information on how to volunteer locally or sponsor a wreath for an American hero, please visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org. To follow stories throughout the year from across the country focused on this theme, please use the hashtag #FindAWay2022

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About Wreaths Across America
Wreaths Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded to continue and expand the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery begun by Maine businessman Morrill Worcester in 1992. The organization’s mission – Remember, Honor, Teach – is carried out in part each year by coordinating wreath-laying ceremonies in December at Arlington, as well as at thousands of veterans’ cemeteries and other locations in all 50 states and beyond. 

Amazing Apps: Dr. Sara - Disease Detective



 Dr. Spencer Striker, an Associate Professor of Digital Media Design at Northwestern University in Qatar, has released a mobile game that offers a fresh approach to education. Dr. Sara: Disease Detective is a fully interactive digital learning mobile game about epidemiology. 

Dr. Sara: Disease Detective is a visual novel mobile game featuring the World's Greatest Epidemiologist, investigating and solving outbreaks around the globe. Dr. Striker designed and developed the game to get kids interacting and having fun while developing problem-solving skills, logic skills, increasing their scientific vocabulary, and learning more about pandemics.

 

Spencer Striker's new mobile game features Dr. Sara, a brave, brilliant disease detective taking on severe and perplexing outbreaks in hotspots around the world. In this character-driven simulation of Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) detective work, students search for the index case, racing against time to find clues to a cure.

 

While playing Dr. Sara, students take on the role of Dr. Sara in the character-driven simulation of Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) detective work - investigating and solving outbreaks around the globe.

 

Dr. Sara is a brave, brilliant disease detective taking on severe and perplexing outbreaks in hotspots around the world, searching for the index case, connecting seemingly disparate dots, confronting fear, both personal and societal-all the while racing against time to find clues to a cure. Like a cross between Lara Croft and Dr. House MD: Dr. Sara is equally at home in the lab, in the field, and on duty in the emergency room.

 

Fun, immersive gameplay features include visual novel style interactive dialogue, innovative character design, minigames about social distancing, hidden object investigation, eureka style logic puzzles, collectible scientific vocabulary, game-based learning techniques, cinematics, visual effects, original music and immersive sound design.


I had a chance to interview Dr. Striker to learn more.

Why was this game created?
Dr. Sara: Disease Detective is a visual novel mobile game featuring the World's Greatest Epidemiologist, investigating and solving outbreaks around the globe, designed and developed by digital media design professor, Spencer Striker, at Northwestern Qatar. Our goal is that the game-based learning design of Dr. Sara: Disease Detective will capture student curiosity and propel them to develop a lifelong interest in science, medicine, technology, and public health. Our game-based learning approach to science education is intended to recapture the authentic fun of scientific exploration and discovery. It is our goal that this game will increase student interest and engagement with science and inspire them to go further into this exciting field.

What educational benefits can this app provide?
As Raph Koster writes in A Theory of Fun for Game Design (2004): “That’s what games are...teachers. Fun is just another word for learning.” Building on a rich tradition of games and learning research and inspired by the COVID-19 pandemic, our new mobile game, Dr. Sara: Disease Detective (funded by a competitive grant from the HBKU Innovation Center), immerses and engages students through role-playing, meaningful choice, and multimodal interaction design. Students take on the role of the world’s greatest disease detective, in a character-driven simulation of Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) detective work—investigating and solving outbreaks around the globe. Dr. Sara is a brave, brilliant disease detective taking on severe and perplexing outbreaks in hotspots around the world—searching for the index case, connecting seemingly disparate dots, confronting fear, both personal and societal—all the while racing against time to find clues to a cure. Like a cross between Lara Croft and Dr. House MD, Dr. Sara is equally at home in the lab, in the field, and on duty in the emergency room. Dr. Sara: Disease Detective features high stakes time pressure, compelling characters, narrative design, challenging puzzles, and the natural gameplay dynamics that emerge from network science and contact tracing. Fun, intuitive gameplay features include: visual novel style interactive dialogue; original character design; mini-games about social distancing; hidden object investigation; Cluedo style logic puzzles; collectible scientific vocabulary; game-based learning techniques; cinematics, visual effects, exciting music and immersive sound design.

Why is it important for people to learn about factors that can influence the spread of a disease?
Within the framework of a mobile game experience, the student assumes the role of a "disease detective" (EIS officer) working to determine and isolate the pathways of severe contagions, as they work through social networks and interconnections of people's travel histories. In the role of an EIS officer, the student seeks to: 1. isolate and contain the spread; 2. locate the origin of the pathogen; and 3. analyze and determine the nature of the pathogen. Along the

way, the student encounters a variety of obstacles dealing with the investigative aspect of reverse modeling the contagion’s spread, as well as various political, personal, and sociocultural considerations they must traverse.
Through hands-on simulation of the network science and detective work that Epidemic Intelligence Service Officers (EIS) do on the front lines combating disease, this immersive mobile game teaches students the fundamentals of how infectious diseases spread and how they can be isolated and stopped. Students engage with the core concepts of fomites, vectors, index patient, R0, and contact tracing—and their relevance to stopping the spread of contagions. By introducing students to a mobile game concerning disease detective work, we believe the game stimulates an interest in science, technology, medicine, public health, and other related fields.  The problem-solving aspect of the mobile game experience builds capacity in research and human development in order to better respond to emergent health crises in the future.


Dr. Sara: Disease Detective has been nominated for Best Educational App at the 2021 Reimagine Education Awards.

Dr. Sara: Disease Detective is available on the Apple Store and Google Play. For more information, visit https://www.spencerstriker.com/work/disease-detective and follow Dr. Sara on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter.

 

 

About Spencer Striker

Spencer Striker, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Digital Media Design at Northwestern Qatar. Striker's work centers on interaction design, mobile media, digital media and learning, video games, and entrepreneurship. He is the creator of History Adventures, World of Characters—a fully interactive digital learning series that presents a fresh approach to history education—and Dr. Sara: Disease Detective, a mobile game about epidemiology. Striker holds a Ph.D. in Digital Media from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a Master's in New Media Production from Indiana University at Bloomington, and undergraduate degrees in Radio-TV-Film (B.S.) and History (B.A.) from the University of Texas at Austin.

Book Nook: Love Unfu*ked

Most people want to be in positive relationships - relationships that are fulfilling and provide connection. Gary John Bishop wants to help people find that, in a no-nonsense way. I had a chance to review LOVE UNFU*kED: Getting Your Relationship Sh!t Together. It's written to cut through nonsense with an approach that may seem counterintuitive. 

Instead of focusing on the relationship itself, Bishop encourages readers to focus on ourselves - facing our own shortcomings and being honest with ourselves, knowing how to be the best partners we can be. 

In a way, that approach makes sense. We can't control other people, we can only control ourselves. This book - and its language - may seem a bit harsh, but for some people, this book will be exactly what they need.

I had a chance to learn more in this interview.


Why did you write this book?

I'm committed that people have the life they want. That sometimes includes facing some uncomfortable truths. I wrote this book for those that are willing to deal with that discomfort so that they may forge their own pathway. 

 

What sets it apart from other relationship books?

I'm not telling you what to do in this book. In many ways you'll need to unlearn some things that you had swore were true and reconsider some of your sacred relationship cows. I'm really out to cause a paradigm shift in how you fundamentally do relationships. 

 

Why do people tend to fall into relationship ruts?

Almost all human beings thirst for change while simultaneously resisting it and our relationships are no different in that regard. We're waiting for life to "do" us when we need to wake up to what we're doing (and not doing) instead. You have the relationship you are creating and in the absence of your own creation you'll do what you do by default. 


How can people break negative patterns to find real, lasting relationships?

You have to begin with the truth. Stop blaming, stop excusing and justifying and get straight to the heart of who you have become. If it's good news, you haven't dug deep enough. You cannot change a relationship until you finally realize who (or what) has been driving it. 

GARY JOHN BISHOP is one of the leading personal development experts in the industry. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Unfu*k Yourself, as well as Stop Doing that Sh*t, Do the Work, and Wise as Fu*k. His “urban philosophy” approach represents a new wave of personal empowerment and life mastery that has caused miraculous results for people in the quality and performance of their lives. He is also the host of Unfu*k Nation: the podcast. More at https://garyjohnbishop.com/

Book Nook: The Unforgettable Logan Foster


 I had a chance to review a new adventure series with author and professional TV writer Shawn Peters’ debut, The Unforgettable Logan Foster

This was a great book for my girls. I have a middle-schooler and a 9th grader, both of whom just don't quite fit the mold - so Logan, a hero who also doesn't fit the mold, really resonated with them. Readers see Logan's journey towards confidence and hope, and the book reinforces the lesson that sometimes just being yourself is a superpower. The book explores themes that don't always show up in middle grade books as well, like adoption and neurodiversity.

Shawn Peters has spent more than two decades writing professionally for television and advertising. Married and a father of two kids, Shawn is by his own description a suburban-dad trope-fest. He enjoys coaching his kid’s teams, playing old-dude softball, and comparing IPAs with other dads. In his spare time, Shawn makes ultra-nerdy Dungeons and Dragons puns on Twitter under the handle @DnDadJokes. 

 

https://www.shawnpeterswrites.com/

https://twitter.com/ShawnTweeters

Fun Freetime: Fraggle Rock - Back to the Rock

Jim Henson’s fun-loving, musical Fraggles are back! Join Gobo, Red, Wembley, Mokey, Boober, and new Fraggle friends on hilarious, epic adventures about the magic that happens when we celebrate and care for our interconnected world.


 
“Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock" (premiering January 21st) is executive produced by The Jim Henson Company’s Lisa Henson and Halle Stanford, and longtime Henson collaborator John Tartaglia. Matt Fusfeld and Alex Cuthbertson, who serve as showrunners, also executive produce as well as New Regency’s Yariv Milchan and Michael Schaefer. Co-executive producers are Dave Goelz and Karen Prell, and executive music producer is Harvey Mason Jr. The series is produced by Ritamarie Peruggi.

In addition to “Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock,” Apple’s growing partnership with The Jim Henson Company includes “Harriet The Spy,” the first animated adaptation of the iconic children’s novel; the popular “Fraggle Rock: Rock On!” shorts; the 88 episodes of the original “Fraggle Rock” series and, recently added bonus specials, “Down at Fraggle Rock,” “Doozer Music” and “Fraggle Songs,” all of which are now available to stream on Apple TV+. 
  
Apple TV+ is available to watch across all your favorite screens. After its launch on November 1, 2019, Apple TV+ became the first all-original streaming service to launch around the world, and has premiered more original hits and received more award recognitions faster than any other streaming service in its debut. To date, Apple Original films, documentaries and series have been honored with 155 wins and 561 awards nominations.
 
About Apple TV+
Apple TV+ is available on the Apple TV app in over 100 countries and regions, on over 1 billion screens, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, popular smart TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, VIZIO, TCL and others, Roku and Amazon Fire TV devices, Chromecast with Google TV, PlayStation and Xbox gaming consoles, and at  tv.apple.com , for $4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial. For a limited time, customers who purchase and activate a new iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac or iPod touch can enjoy three months of Apple TV+ for free.*
 
For more information, visit  apple.com/tvpr  and see the full list of  supported devices 
 
*Special offer is good for three months after the first activation of the eligible device. One offer per Family Sharing group. Plans automatically renew until cancelled. Other restrictions and terms apply; visit  apple.com/promo  for more information.

Monday, January 17, 2022

Book Nook: For the Love of Laxmi

 



In her new book For the Love of Laxmi: Everyday Desi Biases and the Imprints They Leave, Bijal Shah introduces children to Laxmi, a young girl living in a South Asian household who experiences relatable everyday moments and their subtle undertones. Shah hopes to open a conversation for all generations to discuss the everyday remarks and comments girls so often hear in the community that don’t have a lighthearted impact.

Bijal Shah was born in India and raised in the U.S. She has always been fascinated by the dichotomy of being raised in these two cultures - the little bit of holding on, the little bit of assimilation - and everything in between; that’s how Laxmi was born. Writing has always been a huge passion for Shah, but she never thought her first book would be an illustrated book.

For the Love of Laxmi is a play on For the Love of God - Laxmi is the name of an Indian Goddess known for wealth, prosperity, and good fortune,” Shah said. “The irony in this is when girls are born in a household, they say, ‘Laxmi of the house is born,’ yet she is not really treated that way.”

Shah points to the lighthearted everyday comments that become the seeds of insecurity. Comments such as you run like a girl or if you don’t oil your hair you will go bald are said in jest or habit, but they have a more lasting impact on the way girls and young women view themselves throughout their lives.

“While the words may be lighthearted, the impact isn't. It creates limitations and unnecessary insecurities. These stories and moments exist in our mothers, grandmothers, and generations before,” Shah said. “I often wonder what they would have been, what their full potential would look like if someone hadn't told them their purpose was to be a housewife.”

Shah is already working on parts two and three of the series. Each book will cover a different decade of Laxmi’s life and how the comments and judgments affect her life. Shah also hopes to turn the book into an animated series focused on the balancing act of growing up in different cultures and its impact.

Shah said, “I couldn’t love Laxmi more, and I hope you love her too.”

I had a chance to interview her to learn more.

Why did you write this book?

As I grew older and started recognizing the importance of therapy and mental health, I would hear a lot about 'Inner child healing' but always saw that used for the "bigger issues," but for me, I think the boxes we put ourselves in, the limitation we create for ourselves, all starts with everyday benign comments we hear at a young age.


For example, hearing "you've always had unruly hair" all the time while growing up will eventually convince you that your hair isn't something great or worthy of a compliment - this sounds small, but I see it happening all the time. For example, when you tell a child they are bad at Math or Drawing, they'll continue using that narrative without trying to explore. 


Why is it important for families to examine common cultural biases?

Because I think as Immigrants living here, there is a constant push and pull - the effort of assimilation in one culture while trying not to let go of the other. And when you add cultural biases in that, it's another level of pressure and confusion. 


How can biases children encounter early in life follow them as they grow?

Growing up in the Indian culture, I saw that our career paths were pre-decided in most cases - either you joined the family business or became a pharmacist, doctor, or engineer.  


I didn't do either of those, and the judgment I felt in my community among people in the same age group was crippling in a way. And I almost dread social activities.


Or you grow up believing divorce is a taboo in the Indian culture; you'll hear parents talk foully about couples who had. You are surrounded by movies and soap operas that treat divorced women as burdens and faulty humans.


When I separated from my husband before I could heal myself, I felt like I had to have answers, and I had to tone down a little bit; I had to play small because if I hadn't, the immediate assumption would've been, she is too bold and probably didn't compromise. 


How can adults recognize their own biases and seek to counteract them?

I think it's important to be mindful of every sentence - I think it's important for an adult to look at their current insecurities and figure out where they were rooted and how they can heal from them.


I think it's important to understand the words that impacted you - the good and the bad. See what encouraged you and what is still the seed of all insecurities. Thank the ones that inspired you, and address the ones that left a negative mark, and from there, constantly remind yourself that the box you've created around you is arbitrary. 


For more information, visit fortheloveoflaxmi.com and follow Shah on InstagramFor the Love of Laxmi is available at AmazonBarnes & Noble, and Target.

Soul Sustenance: An Expressive Arts Meditation for Overwhelmed Moms


by Janis Harper



How do you look after yourself as a mother? How do you find a few minutes a day in your hectic schedule looking after everyone else to turn that care onto yourself? And what do you do? Take a bath? Have a glass of wine? Read? Try to nap? All good options, for sure. But sometimes when we “try to relax” our mind keeps buzzing, which keeps us in a state of overwhelm. Sometimes we need a little self-healing time. 


This is an arts-meditation adapted from my new visionary novel, “Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story” and podcast.

 

Close your eyes. Imagine that it’s just you sitting in a room. Just you, alone. There’s no one else here. It’s just you in a room by yourself. You don’t have to think of anyone else. All relationships fall away. Take a deep breath and let it out slowly. You have no thoughts of anybody. Why should you? It’s just you. Feel the relief that comes with knowing that. Ahhhh. Breathe deeply through your nose from your belly, up through your lungs, and out through your mouth. What a relief. It’s just me.

Feel the beautiful calm in the space around you right now, for these few moments. Sink into that calm. 

Now, very gently, feel what’s inside of you right now. Is there a place where something uncomfortable or painful is living? If so, find it now, in your body, in what you imagine to be inside your body-self. 

Look at it if you can, and notice whatever images or sounds are attached to it. Don’t relive an experience. Just observe it as it exists inside of you right now, in whatever form you see it taking. Let’s stay with the observation for a few minutes.

What does it look like? What color is it? What is its shape? Does it have a texture? If words come out of the feeling in your uncomfortable area, say the words; if there are sounds, make the sounds. If you want to make a movement, a gesture, do so. If you want to write or draw, go ahead. Let your body speak to you in whatever way it wants. Listen and watch carefully for its messages, then express them in whatever way feels right. Do this for a few minutes, then stop. Keep breathing. 

Now breathe fully; feel the breath throughout your entire body. Concentrate on your full breath for a few minutes. Breathe in “here,” and breathe out “now.”


Janis Harper is the author of the visionary novel Jonas and the Mountain: A Metaphysical Love Story: An eastern mystic, a western psychic, and a broken man who falls in love with them both at the holy mountain of Arunachala in South India. More than an unusual love story, Jonas and the Mountain is a quest for the deepest truth, an excursion into the nature of reality. It also contains teachings and expressive arts activities that the reader can use as self-exploration. Listen to Janis take you through more activities on her 8-episode podcast, “Jonas and the Mountain Journeys”: https://sacredstories.com/category/podcast/jonas-journeys/


Janis Harper is an expressive arts therapist and writer, musician, and actor. Her writing can be found in literary journals and anthologies, including two creative nonfiction anthologies that she conceived and edited: Body Breakdowns: Tales of Illness and Recovery and Emails From India: Women Write Home. Music from her 2015 folk-roots album Better This Way is available online. Janis’s lifelong passions for the creative arts, metaphysics, spirituality, and philosophy come together in Jonas and the Mountain. Although she has published mainly nonfiction, she considers this novel to be the truest work she’s ever written. 

 


For more: https://janisharper.ca 


Saturday, January 15, 2022

Mealtime Magic: Quinoa Mac & Cheese and Pizza

 Although comfort foods get a bad rap for being unhealthy, in honor of National Quinoa Day on January 16thAncient Harvest has developed quinoa-based Mac & Cheese and Pizza recipes that are better for you. The recipes are protein packed and can even be meal-prepped in advance for a quick and easy solution to satisfy your cravings. 

Quinoa Pizza

Prep Time: 5 minutes + soaking

Total Time: 55 minutes

Ingredients

For the quinoa pizza crust:

¾ cup Raw Ancient Harvest Traditional Quinoa, soaked*
¼ cup water
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil

Optional pizza toppings:

½ cup pizza sauce
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil
*Any toppings you would like to use

Directions

Soak the quinoa overnight (at least 6 to 8 hours). Cover the quinoa with an inch of water or more.

Once you’re ready to make the crust, preheat the oven to 425ºF. Line an 8” or 9” round baking pan with parchment paper. Spray the entire surface with cooking spray. You can also use a baking sheet, but the baking pan helps keep it perfectly round.

Drained the soaked quinoa, then transfer to a blender. Add ¼ cup of water, baking powder, salt, and olive oil. Blend on high until smooth and creamy.

Pour batter onto the prepared pan. Spread it out into an even layer, about 1/8” thick.

Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the quinoa pizza crust, flip it directly onto the baking pan (remove the parchment paper). Return the pizza to the oven baking for another 10 to 15 minutes until it’s starting to brown, and the edges are crispy.

Remove and top with sauce, cheese, and any other toppings you’d like. Bake for another 12 to 15 minutes until cheese has melted.

Remove and let cool for a few minutes in the pan, transfer cutting board, and slice. Garnish with basil and serve immediately!

Servings: 1 to 2 servings


Quinoa Mac & Cheese

Enjoy this Mac & Cheese recipe by @zazachef_cook.eat.repeat We used Ancient Harvest Traditional Quinoa to make this dish. 

Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup Ancient Harvest Traditional Quinoa
2 cups bone chicken broth
1 tsp sea salt
½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
2 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp butter2 tbsp gluten-free all-purpose flour
2 tsp garlic powder
2 cups oat milk (or any milk)
¾ tsp dry mustard
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
12 oz medium cheddar cheese grated
¼ cup gluten-free breadcrumbs

Directions

In a medium-size pan over high heat bring the broth to a boil add the Ancient Harvest Traditional Quinoa stir, turn the heat to low, and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, it usually takes a few minutes extra when you cook with quinoa with broth as opposed to water. Remove from the heat and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid, fluff the quinoa, and set aside.
In the meantime, heat the butter in a medium saucepan to medium to low heat. Add the gluten-free flour, stirring until smooth for 2-3 minutes. Gradually add in milk, whisking to combine. Cook, stirring often until thickened, about 4-5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in garlic, mustard, cayenne, and cheddar. Cook over low until the cheese is melted. Stir in the quinoa and mix well. Transfer the mixture to a prepared pan or individual muffin cups.
In a small skillet over moderate heat, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter. Stir in the breadcrumbs and cook, stirring, until they are golden and toasted, 3 to 5 minutes. Sprinkle the toasted breadcrumbs over the tops of the quinoa and cheese.

Bake until golden and bubbling, about 15 minutes. Let the quinoa cheese cool for 5 minutes before serving!

Servings: 4