Picket Line Food!

 

Most readers of this blog come here because they’re interested in eating, cooking, health, plants-based diet, vegan food prep. They want to look at pictures of food and try out a new recipe. That’s cool. I’m happy to be your host. Today, I have a new recipe for you and I have pictures of food, but first, I want to have a chat …

I’m a teacher.

I’m a teacher on strike.

Since I’ve been working in schools, I have experienced the steady erosion of funding for public education. Twelve years ago, the provincial government stripped our collective agreement, our contract, of certain clauses without consultation, without negotiation, without bargaining. These clauses had to do with class size and class composition. Prior to this stripping, our collective agreement had language limiting the number of students in classes and limiting the number of students with special needs in classes. If a class was over the limits, another class had to be opened. In case you didn’t know, it is illegal to rip up collectively bargained contracts and this was reiterated, reinforced, confirmed and asserted when the teachers’ union took the government to court – not once, but twice. And still, the government refuses to obey the law and provide restitution. For this reason, and many more, I am on strike.

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 Don’t worry! Don’t give up on reading this post yet. I know this is a food blog and I will provide you with some. Here’s the connection:

While I’ve been out on the picket line, my colleagues and I have been overwhelmed by the support from parents, local businesses and members of the community. Drivers coast past honking, waving and smiling. The local pizza joint provides us with pizza and the neighbourhood tea house provides us with scones and croissants. Parents bring us cupcakes and muffins and cookies. Everyday we have plenty to eat. Even I, the plants-based eater in the crowd, has indulged in a few chocolate chip cookies and a banana muffin or two (complete with eggs and butter, I’m sure)! Earlier, this week, I thought, “No more!” I’m most wonderfully grateful for the support and good wishes and gifts from the community, however, I need some healthier food choices on the line. So, I made these little morsels pictured above. I got the recipe from Connoisseurus Veg, but changed it up a bit. These little Quinoa Trail Mix Bites were a hit on the picket line, along with a basket of local, organic strawberries. We all appreciated a break from the sweets.

Quinoa Trail Mix Bites

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1/3 cup almond milk

2 tbsp. ground flax seed

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 1/4 cups oats

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup almonds, some whole and some coarsely chopped

1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup dried fruit, chopped (I used dried cherries and apricots)

Mix milk and flax seed together and set aside for 10 minutes. Stir everything else together, then add the flax/milk mixture and mix together completely. Spoon into greased mini muffin tins (if you have them) or put 2 heaping tbsps. into regular muffin tins. Press down with the back of a spoon. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 + minutes. Let cool completely in pans before removing.

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Note: these little titbits are somewhat crumbly. If you can think of a way to help them stick together better, I’d be happy to hear about it. Agave nectar instead of brown sugar, maybe?

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