Live Beyond at Hope Ranch

It was truly a privilege to meet Dr. David Vanderpool and his wife, Laurie Stallings Vanderpool of LiveBeyond.Org in Santa Barbara last week.

 Dr. Vanderpool surrounded by children (Photo from Livebeyond.org website)

Dr. Vanderpool surrounded by children (Photo from Livebeyond.org website)

Dr. Vanderpool and Laurie founded #LiveBeyond Mobile Medical Disaster Relief and established a 60+ acre, long-term base in Thomazeau, Haiti continuing their relief efforts and building independent infrastructure and long-term care for the citizens of Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010.

A lifelong friend of mine Dr. Joe Aragon, along with fellow doctors Jason Boyatt and Toni Meyers, asked me to cook for the 40+ people who were invited to listen to Dr. Vanderpool and his wife discuss their ongoing mission and relief efforts in Haiti. Drs. Boyatt and Meyers volunteered in Haiti at the Live Beyond Basecamp and shared their experiences with invited guests.

I invite you to click on any of the links above to find out more about the efforts of Dr. Vanderpool and Laurie's efforts in Haiti.

Personally, I'd like to thank Dr. Aragon for helping me in the kitchen that evening, specifically, "Grill Man" and Drs Boyatt and Meyers preparing their home and sharing their personal experiences while at the Live Beyond Basecamp in Haiti.

 Dr. Aragon "Grill Man"

Dr. Aragon "Grill Man"

One recipe that I was asked for that evening was my Quinoa and Butternut squash salad:

1 cup Black and Red Quinoa
1/4 cup small cubed Butternut Squash
Dash of Clove
1/2 cup of dried black cherries
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup Lemon juice
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
10 leaves of Mint, chopped finely
Small handful of Parsley, chopped finely
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare the quinoa:
Thoroughly wash the quinoa in water before you cook it.
Then add the quinoa to to a pot with 2 cups of water in it. Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
Cook the quinoa for 15-20 minutes or until the water is absorbed. Set off heat with and uncover
Add all of your lemon juice to the pot with the quinoa in it and fluff quinoa

Prepare the squash:
Take your butternut squash and blanch it in boiling, salted water for 3 minutes.
Strain the squash and add it to a saute pan with a little olive oil, black pepper and salt
Saute the squash until tender, so that you can easily poke a fork through it and add a dash of cloves

Prepare the candied pecans:
Add brown sugar to a non-stick saute pan and turn heat to medium. Allow brown sugar to melt
Add all of your pecans, a pinch of salt and a healthy amount of cracked black pepper
Stir everything together in the saute pan to coat the pecans, be careful not to burn your brown sugar
Once the pecans are coated evenly with the brown sugar caramel, remove from the heat and pour in a bowl
Once the pecans and caramel have cooled, they will harden into a brittle, break up the brittle before mixing into the salad

In a large bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, butternut squash, olive oil, dried cherries, a handful of candied pecans, mint and parsley and stir to combine. Serve in a large bowl and top with the remainder of the candied pecans

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