On Friday March 23, we had a Pot Luck and Yoga event at Yoga Life. The acronym for Pot Luck And Yoga is P.L.A.Y. and play we did – the evening started with a lively yoga practice led by Joanne and Drew accompanied by an inspired Brandon Silaco on drums and percussion. There is nothing like live music to stoke the spirit and in this case, our appetites, too. A savasana with more than a few growling stomachs was followed by a spectacular assortment of food that crossed the full spectrum of flavors, textures and cultures. Pleasing to the eye and palette, every dish was lovingly prepared, you could actually taste the TLC in each bite– Yum! Add some quality time off of our mats with longtime and new friends and the recipe for a full-filling night was complete!

Here are some pics and recipes from the evening:

Snap Pea Pasta Salad
1 package pasta (whole wheat or gluten free varieties will work, too!)
1 lb fresh snap peas or snow peas (can use frozen)
1 medium red pepper
1 cup diagonally sliced scallions
1/3 cup very low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter (no salt added)
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (or 1/4 tsp. powdered)
1 dash pepper

Prepare pasta, rinse with cold water and drain well. Run cold tap water
over snap peas in strainer to thaw completely (if frozen). Drain well.
Mix pasta, peas, & red pepper (and some scallions — save some for garnish).
Cover and chill. Combine remaining ingredients and blend with wire whisk.
Pour over pasta mixture and toss to coat. Garnish with remaining scallions.
Store in refrigerator.
Thanks for this one, Rachel Z, we got seconds!

Kitchen Sink Brown Rice
Brown Rice
The Kitchen Sink – the name of the recipe pretty much says it all, brown rice with an assortment of whatever you like thrown in. These are some of the ingredients that typically work for us:
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper
1 yellow or orange pepper
1-2 carrots, depending on size. Cut into small cubes.
2 scallions
1 zucchini, cut into cubes
1 yellow squash
Jalapeño to taste
Roasted pumpkin seeds
Fresh herbs: Cilantro, Parsley
Seasoning: Salt and pepper to taste. Optionally add red chili flakes, turmeric and/or cumin – all to taste (don’t go overboard!)

Cook the brown rice:
Put oil or butter in a pan and heat on med/high
Add dry rice to the pan. Cook 1-2 minutes or until rice emits a nutty scent
Add water to rice in a 2:1 ratio (2 cups water for 1 cup rice)
Bring water to a boil, stir once, let boil resume
Cover bowl and turn down the heat to simmer for 50 minutes or until water is absorbed
Take off heat and let sit covered for another 5 minutes
While the brown rice is cooking:
Heat 1 tbsp oil that supports high cooking temperatures (canola, grape seed) in a pan
Add minced garlic – try not to burn the garlic and then vegetables in this order:
Carrots – let soften then add Peppers, Zucchini and Squash
Add oil as needed.
Mince the jalapeño with the cilantro and parsley. Use as much jalapeño as you are comfortable with. Add to mixture mixture and cook with a little salt until jalapeño softens slightly.
Add salt, pepper and other seasoning, with the exception of red chili flakes, toward the end of cooking the veggies.
When the brown rice is complete, add the veggie mixture to it. Add additional salt, pepper and red chili flakes, if using. While still hot, add the scallions and freshly roasted (or store bought) pumpkin seeds. Add additional oil or a touch of butter, if needed.
This dish is especially good with homemade guacamole and salsa!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 1/4 whole wheat flour
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 sticks butter
3/4 c granulated sugar
3/4 c brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 package chocolate chips
about a cup of oatmeal (I like a mix of the original and the quick one
minute kind, so there are some big and some smaller pieces of oats
Preheat oven to 375

Combine dry ingredients
Cream butter with a mixer in a large mixing bowl — then add both sugars and
vanilla extract. Then add eggs one at a time. Then slowly add the dry
ingredient mixture.
Turn off mixer and mix in the chocolate chips and oatmeal with a spoon
Bake on ungreased cookie sheets — only about 7-8 minutes, until the cookies
have browned a bit. Best to undercook, rather than overcook.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies.
Thanks to Cindy O for this scrumptious cookie recipe!