This week was a challenging one. You know, the kind of week that makes you go from an extreme to the other. A week filled with big dreams, hopes and expectations, that suddenly turn into huge deceptions. The kind of week that forces you to step back, take a deep breath, and remember that everything is going to be ok.
Things did not go the way I planned. Some projects I was putting too much hope on slipped through my fingers, and I got forced to go back to the essential: remember that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. That there’s no need to try to control and change things. Life will unfold naturally and the things that are meant to happen will manifest into my life, perhaps in another form, or at another time. And that’s ok.
Everything is perfect, right now, exactly the way it is.
I found the strength to be thankful for all the beautiful things that I am blessed with already, even though the things I had wished for were not going to happen just yet. I forced myself to recognize that abundance is not something we acquire, but something we tune into. This week was powerful in that it taught me to let go and to be grateful for what’s here, at this very moment.
So I did just that. Because yes, there’s always some beauty to be found, even in the darkest moments. I went into the kitchen and started cooking. And it turned out I created a truly beautiful and delicious dish that I’m sharing with you today.
My inspiration for creating recipes usually starts with an ingredient. In this case, it was those beautiful pears from the Farmers’ market. Because the days are cooler and my body is craving warmer meals, I knew I wanted to roast the pears. So I started from there, and everything else just came about naturally after that, forming an incredibly tasty toast that you’ll be very proud to serve to your next guests.
These toasts are seriously bursting with flavours and textures. You’ve got the sweetness and juiciness of the roasted pears, the peppery flavour of the arugula, the deep nutty flavour of the rosemary roasted walnuts, and you’ve got this delicious, ginger-orange cashew ricotta.
If you’re vegan, lactose-intolerant, or just want to switch things up, this ricotta is for you. Making a dairy-free “ricotta” by using nuts as a base is not new, but I gave it a very interesting spin by flavouring it with warming ginger and sweet and tangy orange and lemon juice. If you’ve never made nut-based ricotta before, you should seriously break the ice with this recipe. You’ll be blown away by how easy and delicious it is. This is an incredibly simple but effective blend of flavours that compliment the other elements of the toast to perfection.
Notes: If you’re gluten intolerant, feel free to go with your favorite gluten-free bread.
- 2 medium pears, sliced
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 loaf whole grain bread, sliced (gluten-free if desired)
- 2-3 cups arugula
- A drizzle of flax oil (or extra-virgin olive oil)
- Pinch of sea salt, to taste
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 1 cup cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours)
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (about ½ large lemon)
- ½ tsp ginger powder
- Preheat the oven to 375F. In a small bowl, combine the chopped walnuts, coconut sugar, sea salt and chopped rosemary. Add the melted coconut oil and stir to coat.
- Place the nut mixture onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until golden and fragrant, stirring once halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Place the soaked cashews in your blender or food processor, along with the orange juice, lemon juice and ginger powder and blend until you get a smooth and creamy consistency. If it's too thick, add a little bit of warm water to thin. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 450F. Lightly toss the pear slices in melted coconut oil to coat.
- Place onto a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 8-10 minutes.
- Place arugula in a bowl and drizzle with a tiny bit of flax or olive oil, just enough to moisten the leaves. Add a pinch of sea salt to taste and toss.
- Toast bread and spread with a generous portion of the cashew ricotta. Top with a small handful of arugula, a few slices of the roasted pears, and some roasted rosemary walnuts. Serve warm.
Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into.