Thursday, October 17, 2013

Mid Pie Music Festival

Maybe you noticed, but it's been a minute since I posted about pie. After sailing through number fourteen, I realized that maybe all the butter and sugar was getting to me, and took a break. A ten day break. And by break, I mean cleanse. By cleanse, I mean I did the Advocare 10-Day Challenge with my gym (the best ladies gym in the Cincinnati area. Go check out Bella Forza Fitness! No, I'm not getting paid to tell you about this!)

These meal was super healthy, easy, and cleanse-friendly!
The Advocare system is a series of various weight loss supplements and workout enhancers. I figured I could use the challenge, and so for 10 days I had no sugar, no processed food, no alcohol (!), no mushrooms, fried food, or dairy. I ate five small meals consisting of complex carbs, fruit, veggies, lean meats, and nuts and beans. I kicked up the workouts - using the Spark supplement helped a lot, especially because I don't ingest much caffeine. Deprivation kinda sucked... but the feeling of accomplishment after was worth it.

 For me, it wasn't about losing weight, but about trying something new. I'm looking forward to continuing to tone up and push myself during workouts - ESPECIALLY because there are four pies left to my personal baking challenge!

Coincidentally, the last day of the cleanse was the first night of MidPoint Music Festival. It was fantastic timing. How did I celebrate? Pie is definitely the right answer. Surprisingly, the Pear Ginger Crumble was relatively healthy - very little sugar and (relatively) small amounts of butter - AND it's gluten free!

Larry and His Flask was the best performance I saw all weekend.
The crumble topping is made with quinoa. It was just sweet enough, and the candied ginger gave the pears a balanced kick. My sister came down for Friday and Saturday of the festival, and we enjoyed pie in between sets, alongside some fantastic Bakersfield tacos and pre-concert drinks.

The festival this year didn't have as many headliners, but we managed to find some really fun bands to jam out to. Great weather, fun friends, and the freedom to roam made for an incredible weekend experience.

Pear Ginger Crumble - adapted from this recipe

Takes about an hour to make
Serves eight

it tasted better than it looked. Promise.
Here's what you need:

  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds pears (about 5 large ones), peeled, cored and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons raw brown (demera) sugar, preferably organic
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger (or 1/3 cup, if you like a kick)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, or the seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot

1 batch quinoa-oat crumble topping

Here's what you do with it:
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 2- or 2 1/2-quart baking dish. In a large bowl, mix together the pears, sugar, lemon juice, candied ginger, vanilla extract or seeds, and cornstarch or arrowroot.
  • Scrape the fruit and all of the juice in the bowl into the baking dish. Set the baking dish on a baking sheet for easier handling, and place in the oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the fruit is bubbling and the liquid syrupy. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool if desired.
  • About 30 minutes before serving, spread the crumble topping over the pear mixture in an even layer. Bake 20 minutes, or until the fruit is bubbling and the topping is nicely browned. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Here's how to make the topping:

Put this in the food processor and pulse until ground - 
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour (grind quinoa in a spice mill to make the flour)
  • 1/3 cup unrefined turbinado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon salt (to taste)
Add 6 TBS cold butter, cut into pieces and pulse until crumbly. Spread it on a baking sheet and put in the oven at 350 for 15 minutes. Store in the freezer-  is great warmed up over raspberries.