Tag Archives: gluten-free

Recipe: Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto

A beautiful bright green add-on to your day.

Life really is a funny thing. As we move forward (which we inevitably have to), it is certainly impossible to know what might inspire us from day-to-day, week to week, and so on. It could be a conversation over lunch, or a person you haven’t seen for years that suddenly pops into your life. It could be a season, or the way you feel after spending quality time outdoors in the fresh air.

I know that for me, I am happiest and most inspired when I’ve got a full, balanced plate in front of me. Pardon the corny food metaphor, but it’s just so apt! Not too much, and not too little. Just the right amount. Having too much (of anything) can certainly cause a feeling of being bogged down. The goal (for me anyways) is always to find some sort of precarious balance and this week, I am finding much strength in looking at ways to further embrace the philosophy and idea behind this blog.

Less is always more (except when it isn’t). Simple & easy might rule around here for a while, as we kick off our next set of NSF cooking classes (pumped!) which are just around the corner. Stay tuned for an update on what we are doing next week as we finalize the recipes, write the ingredient lists, and round-up the best volunteers in the whole entire world (love you guys!).

Of course, we’ll also get to some really great recipes too. Lots of them, in fact! Starting with this amazing version of a popular favorite. Yes, broccoli pesto it is, and it is wonderful, especially when you see what it goes with!

The Less:

Less oil-heavy sauces means fewer calories and fragmented foods. Less traditional pesto ingredients means more variety and fun ways to eat different things. Less calorie & dairy rich appetizers means lighter eats to snack on anytime, so good taste and light feelings come together.

The More:

More fiber filled broccoli means more chlorophyll and vitamins. More lemony, zesty flavor means more punchy bright taste. More pumpkin seeds & fresh herbs means more plant-based nutrition, so eating adventurously is just this good for you & healthy.

Broccoli & Lemon Zest Pesto:

  • (1) broccoli floret, washed and chopped (about 2 – 2.5 cups chopped)
  • (1/3) cup pumpkin seeds
  • (1) clove garlic (optional)
  • (1) tsp salt
  • (4) tbsp lemon juice
  • (1) tsp lemon zest
  • (2) tbsp olive oil
  • (3/4) cup fresh parsley
  • (1/4) cup fresh basil leaves

Start by putting up some water to boil in a small saucepan and steam the broccoli for 2-3 minutes until bright green and tender, but not mushy. Once cooked, remove the broccoli from the heat and set aside.

Roast the pumpkin seeds in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes until turning brown and fragrant. Prepare the lemon juice, lemon zest, & fresh herbs and set aside.

Once the seeds are toasted, remove from the oven and add them directly to the blender warm with all of the prepared ingredients. The mixture might need some agitation with a spatula to get going, but should get going to a nice bit of pureeing in little time. Blend on high until well mixed and bright green.

Serve within a day or two to ensure the best color from the broccoli and the best nutritional value. Broccoli pesto will keep in the fridge for several days and is delicious served with chickpea flat bread, or as a dip for crunchy crackers.

In my next post, I’ll share with you the latest version of chickpea flat bread that has won my heart for good.

Since our return from France in August (and the recipes I brought home from Provence), I’ve had the pleasure to try a many of these, and this one is so far my favorite! So stay tuned for an easy, filling, and nutritious version of what is fast becoming a popular food here at home (and for very good reason).

Stay tuned, you’ll want to make this one, I promise! Also do let me know if you’ve got any streamlining to do as a result of a (rather) full plate, and what is your first thing to let go!

  • What do you do when you feel bogged down by details?
  • Have you tried a broccoli pesto or chickpea flat bread yet?

Have a wonderful remainder to the week my friends and thank you as always for reading, for your kind comments, and your wonderful feedback on the recipes ๐Ÿ™‚

Yours in (just a little) Less,

62 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Gluten Free, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Recipe: Homemade Baked Beans On Toast – Part One

The ultimate in affordable (vegetarian) comfort food.

Play is the highest form of research.

~ Albert Einstein

Do you ever just need a little comfort food?

I think it is safe to say we all need a little comfort in the form of our favorite foods here and there. Growing up, one of my most favorite snack foods was just this – comforting – not to mention dirt cheap and easy to make.

After all, what is easier than opening up a can of beans and heating them up? Toss a few pieces of bread in the toaster and slather on the butter….just thinking of it brings me right back to 4th grade heaven.

My 30 something year old self now knows that while the old canned standbys are still good in a pinch, there is nothing better than a warm bowl of home cooked beans and a fresh piece of bread hot out of the oven. Especially when they are this cheap, and this easy.

All you need is (just a little) love. And (just a little) time.

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

Having just celebrated another birthday, I find myself of late quite keenly aware of the fleeting nature of our lives.

As I think back to my days as young child I can tell you my defining moments just as easily as I can tell you what my favorite things to eat were. Most often, and particularly at the beginning of each new school year, I think back to me and my siblings, convening after a long day at school to watch TV and eat food we could make on our own.

Hot beans in a bowl. With toast. Childhood comfort food. Three’s Company. Let’s do it!

Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.

~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

The Less:

Less canned food in your pantry means more room for cheaper dry goods to nourish you. Less waste and added preservatives means cleaner eating and a lighter conscience. Less sugar heavy baked beans means more naturally sweetened heartiness, and a whole lot more nourishment too.

The More:

More high fiber protein foods means easier work of digestion. More hearty, filling comfort means more warmth and goodness in your day. More cheap easy recipes means more ways to spread your money farther, because good health doesn’t have to come at a high cost.

Homemade Baked Beans:

  • (2) cups dry white Navy beans, soaked in cold water
  • (1/3- 1/2 cup) good olive oil
  • (2) medium – large yellow onions, chopped
  • (2) tsp salt
  • (1) small can tomato paste (about 1/2 cup)
  • (3) tbsp honey, brown sugar, or other plant-based sweetener
  • (8) cups cold water for cooking
  • Lots of love of and plenty of time

Start by soaking your beans in plenty of cold of water for anywhere from 8 – 20 hours (8 is about the minimum to soak thoroughly and don’t worry if you ill time the soaking – they can sit there for a while). When ready to cook, drain the beans and rinse in the colander under more fresh cold water.

Next, heat the oil in a large soup pot and add the chopped onion and salt. Cook the onion for about 10 minutes on medium-high heat, being careful not to burn them. Stir here and there, after 10 minutes the onions should be soft and translucent.

Next, add the tomato paste, beans, and 4 cups of cold cooking water. Stir well to dissolve the paste and bring to a boil over high heat with the lid on. Once the boil is reached, stir again and reduce the heat to medium, to keep the simmer at a jolly roll (not boiling but cooking nicely).

Now, kick up your feet, and get settled in. Read a book , or finish that knitting project you started. Maybe write some notes to your family to tell them you love them. Or not. But do enjoy this nice time at home.

Cook the beans withe the lid ajar for 1.5 hours, stirring here and there and adding the remaining 4 cups of water in increments as the sauce reduces. After the first hour, add whatever water is left, and the honey or sweetener, and cook for 30 minutes until the mixture is deliciously saucy.

From here, you can let the beans hang out until you are ready to bake them (you can even sneak in a bowl to eat at this point).

To bake, transfer the beans to a casserole and bake, covered either with the casserole lid or with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and serve hot with fresh bread or toast.

These beans will keep extremely well, and should be good to eat up to a week after they are made. A little goes a long way here as these guys are hearty and filling, so pile them into a container for those moments during the week when you need a little comfort.

Paired up with the bread recipe lined up for the next post, you’ll wonder if there could possibly be anything simpler or more nostalgic (especially if you grew up in my family).

You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.

~ Julia Child

I was pleased to see that 25 years later, kids still love this food as a filler up after soccer practice or after a long tough day as a teenager (because let’s face it, that is exhausting work for those of you who may recall).

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.

~ Henry David Thoreau

Next I’ll share with you the bread recipe that has literally changed my life since I discovered it. Turns out, it’s never too late to be a baker, even if you’ve never even made bread before! Stay tuned, I am really excited about this one!

Here’s to a super fab October…wishing you all the very best as always!

  • Did you have a favorite childhood comfort food?
  • Got an updated version to share with us?

Let us know! Looking forward to hearing from you all as always, and for all my vegan-minded blog friends taking part in Vegan MoFo, wishing you all the best for a month of blogging inspiration, and those of you interested, check out the link here!

Yours in Less,

87 Comments

Filed under Cheap, Cooking, Family, Food, Gluten Free, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian

Recipe: Super Powered Super Protein Quinoa Salad

Imagine a world where we always felt super strong!

He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.

ย  ~ Alexander Hamilton

Anyone up for a super powered, super nutritious, and super delicious recipe to help us stay strong?

There are few foods that fit the bill quite like quinoa does, as this amazing super food boasts some truly impressive nutritional qualities.

Quinoa is often referred to as a grain, but from everything I’ve read, is actually the seed of a plant. This could explain it’s super packed punch of pure complete protein, and it’s super light texture and taste.

And of course, if you are one of those folks who has yet to try it, you are most surely in for a treat as I’ve yet to meet a vegetarian, vegan, meat eater, or otherwise that doesn’t appreciate it.

It just makes you feel that good.

It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

ย  ~ Frederick Douglass

When it comes to quinoa, it really is all that and more.

Just ask the Bolivians, who have been eating it (where it originates) for centuries.

With the sudden rise in popularity of quinoa in North America and across the globe, it has been written (this New York Times article from last year is a great read) that the effects of this new demand for this amazing food have had some very interesting ripple effects on the diet of some of the people of its homeland.

It is for this reason I try to take (just a little) extra care not to burn quinoa when I cook it, and not to leave any languishing in the pot at the end of cooking (if at all possible). Of course, in a perfect world, we would do this with anything we cook or bring into the house, as food waste of all forms is really never a good thing, and especially when it’s this precious (because it really is).

And have I mentioned delicious? No need to worry about those leftovers going to waste, especially with delicious combinations like this.

So without further ado, here is a wonderful way to enjoy this amazing food, packed full of energy and added super power from sweet corn, whole roasted almonds, veggies, and your unadulterated love & affection.

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

The Less:

Less gluten based sustenance can mean lighter fare to keep you going. Less weight in your tummy means lighter movements throughout the day. Less prepared foods and packaged salads means more hand-made love in your house, so no matter where you eat this, you’re home.

The More:

More plant-based, clean protein means more pure energy to burn through the day. More high fiber, high frequency flavors means you’ll never waste a single bite. More color, love & homemade goodness means you’ll never skip a beat, with super powered super foods to get you primed for whatever comes your way.

Super-Powered Super-Protein Quinoa Salad:

  • (1) cup dry quinoa
  • (1 – 3/4) cups cold water

Veggies & Nuts:

  • (3/4- 1) cup whole almonds
  • (3/4) cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into one inch pieces
  • (2) cobs fresh corn on the cob, peeled and broken in half
  • (1) yellow, orange, or red bell pepper, chopped
  • (2) tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, chopped (or parsley)

Dressing:

  • (1) tsp salt
  • (2) tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • (3) tbsp olive oil
  • (1) tbsp cumin seeds
  • (1) additional tbsp olive oil for frying cumin seeds

Start by putting up your quinoa to cook. Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan with a lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to low (without removing the lid) and cook, covered for 25 minutes. Once cooked, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. After a few minutes, place it in a mixing bowl to cool. Make sure to give it a good stir with a fork – this will continue to fluff it up and will also help to release the cooking steam.

While the quinoa cooks, heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the whole almonds onto a cookie sheet and place in the oven (yes, even while it is heating up!) and allow the almonds to roast until turning a deep brown and smelling fragrant (about 10 minutes). Once roasted, remove the almonds from the oven and let cool.

Next, put up a pot of water to boil and add the two peeled cobs of fresh corn.

Cook, covered on a medium boil, until the corn is tender, about 6-8 minutes. Drain the corn when ready and place in a bowl of ice water to allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.

Chop the colored bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and cilantro and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, vinegar & salt and set aside.

By this time, you should have a pot of quinoa either cooked, almost cooked or cooled, corn cooling, and almonds cooling.

Now time to fry (or dry toast if desired) your delicious cumin seeds.

If you like, you can also sub in dried powdered cumin in this recipe, using a teaspoon to start and adding as you wish to taste. I’ve become so fond of whole cumin seeds of late that I simply couldn’t resist throwing them into the mix here..you won’t regret this extra step!

To fry whole cumin seeds, heat the olive oil for frying (1 tbsp or less) in a frying pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is ready (about 1 minute), add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, on medium high for one minute or until the seeds are fragrant and darkening a little (if they start to smoke and turn black they are burning).

Remove the seeds and their cooking oil into the mixing bowl with the oil/vinegar/salt mix and allow to cool.

Next up is the corn. In this house, it is common to cook up several cobs of corn to have in the fridge cooked and ready to go. When removed from the cob, fresh local corn is simply delicious added to all manner of salads and veggie dishes.

Once you have cooked the corn halves and allowed them to cool, simply hold the half cob of corn up on the stub end with one hand and cut the kernels off with a sharp knife with your other hand.

The sweet corn that falls off the cob is nothing short of heavenly, and once you get the hang of this, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without this.

Once the quinoa is cool enough to touch, add it to the mixing bowl with the oil & vinegar & spices. Stir to combine and add the corn, vegetables, cilantro and whole roasted almonds.

Stir everything until well mixed and beautiful. Taste to correct salt and add pepper if desired.

Serve this beautiful mixture still a little warm, cool, or cold from the fridge for lunch or dinner, with or without added feta cheeseย  (it really doesn’t need it here).

This can also be served a top a bed of dressed greens and cold steamed vegetables like I had several times this week.

Perfection right to the last bite.

We acquire the strength we have overcome.

ย  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The beauty of this food is that it never feels heavy. If the goal is satisfaction, it is well within reach here.

If your goals are even higher, you can bet that when the fuel is this powerful, there’s just no limit to what you can do.

Mastering others is strength. Mastering oneself makes you fearless.

~ Lao Tzu

Strength is not something you have, it’s something you find.

~ Emma Smith

So whatever your dragon is today, face it knowing you are already armed with all you could ever need. Personal strength really does come from so many places, and good food is a great place to start.

  • What is your favorite super food?
  • Got a super power or source of strength to share with us?

I know you gifted & passionate folk must have more than a few tricks up your sleeves!

With so much raw talent amongst you all, there really couldn’t be any other way…and I for one would love to hear all about it!

Yours in Less,

68 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Salads, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Recipe: Vegan Harvest Chickpea Salad

A salad to make weekday lunches sparkle & shine!

I just wish people would realize that anythingโ€™s possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try.

~ Terry Fox

Good day everyone!

I’ve got a goodie to share today, and this one has been tucked away in the ‘fave salad’ category for many years now.

One of the best things for us folks who love to prepare food is enjoying something in an unfamiliar place prepared by someone else and enjoying it so much we promptly head home to re-create it.

Sound familiar?!

Well this salad came about after a work trip many many years ago, and it was in Calgary that I first enjoyed this combo as part of a quick healthy lunch.

It has pine nuts in it, which truthfully I don’t use very much and haven’t featured on IPOM before, as they are very expensive. They are, however, a nice treat and combined with the rest of the ingredients here taste rather unreal! Of course, you could also sub in lightly roasted cashew or almond pieces if pine nuts are not on hand.

So without further ado, let’s get to this beautiful salad featuring Farmer’s Market chard & yellow zucchini.

It’s totally vegan & gluten-free too! A rather nice perk, I would say ๐Ÿ™‚

A single leaf alone provides no shade.

~ Chuck Page

It always seems I am reminded of this recipe at the end of summer when I stumble across fresh yellow zucchini squash.

This time of year they are abundant and cheap, not to mention firm, sweet, and delicious. Of course, you can sub in green for the recipe too, you’ll just miss that sunny hit of yellow in your bowl!

The chard used here adds a nice variety and provides a use for this green in its raw form that can be (for some) rather obscure in its applications.

Of course you can also sub other greens such a raw kale here too, but the case for color remains the same – just looking at the colors in this dish brings a smile to my face!

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

ย  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

The beauty here is depending on what you’ve got, this can be made year round & keeps well for 4-5 days in the fridge.

It makes for a truly satisfying & light lunch on the go during the work or school week.

It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

The Less:

Less prepared foods at lunchtime means more freshness in your tupperware. Less pre-bottled dressings means less waste, cost, and preservatives. Less reliance on traditional lunch foods means packing a brown bag becomes exciting & weekday lunches become something to relish.

The More:

More high fibre chickpeas means easy filling up on the good stuff. More colorful veggies means a feast for the eyes. More variety & raw greens means more fresh vital energy, so you’ll never miss the standard old heavy stuff.

Vegan Harvest Chickpea Salad:

  • (3) cups cooked chickpeas or garbanzos
  • (2) medium yellow zucchini, chopped into one inch pieces
  • (4-6) cups chopped Red Chard
  • (1/2) cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • (4) tbsp pine nuts
  • (2) tsp dried basil
  • (1/4) cup good olive oil
  • (3) tbsp red wine vinegar
  • (2) tsp salt, or to taste

Start by washing and preparing the vegetables.

On the stove, put up a shallow pan filled with an inch of water and turn on the heat to high. Chop the zucchini into one inch pieces and add t the pin with the lid propped just barely on.

Once the water reaches boil, turn it down to simmer and cook for no longer than 3 minutes (set the timer!), just until the zucchini is soft-‘ish’ – be careful to not to overcook! Drain the zucchini pieces and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine the olive oil, salt, and wine vinegar & mix together with a fork or whisk. Add the cooked chickpeas, sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts, and basil. Stir all gently to combine.

Add the zucchini and raw chopped chard to the mixture and stir gently to incorporate, taking care not to crush the chard leaves or the zucchini. Taste for seasonings, and transfer to a clean serving bowl and serve!

If you are making this for lunches, store covered with wrap or foil or in a to go container. Last week I packed up my containers in advance and just grabbed them in the morning when I left the house.

Feel free to add freshly ground pepper or crumbled feta to this if you like.

It is also totally wonderful just on its own and truthfully a wonderful break from heavier cheeses and nuts.

As much as I normally try to avoid using pine nuts due to their high cost, I was lucky to find a very reasonable source here in Vancouver recently, and this recipe benefits immensely from their taste and light texture. Of course the substitutes I mentioned above would add their own brand of delicious too ๐Ÿ™‚

If you choose to cook your chickpeas from scratch, simply put up 2 cups of dry beans to soak in 6-8 cups of cold water for 8-12 hours. Before cooking drain & rinse the soaked beans in more cold water and put up to boil in plenty of salted cold water (about 1 teaspoon salt added to the water). Simply Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 – 1.5 hours or until soft.

If you’ve got the time, this is a wonderful cost saver, not to mention the added benefit of having no cans to open & recycle.

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.

~ Seneca

I hope you might enjoy this celebratory combo as we continue to ring in this beautiful fall season we are having here in this part of the world!

  • Do you have a chard recipe to share with us?
  • Do you ever cook beans from scratch?

I’ve certainly posed this question about beans before and am always interested to know who is cooking their own. It is so easy but can be tough to fit in (and to look that far ahead) at the same time.

I became re-inspired about cooking my beans from scratch as much as possible after reading (and trying) a few recipes I brought home with me from my holiday, and after getting to it have been reminded of the taste & texture of freshly cooked beans, especially chickpeas – it is heaven in comparison!

Wishing you all a fabulous sparkly week as always filled with good food, good friends & loved ones!

Yours in Less,

56 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Health, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Salads, Savory, Vegan, Vegetarian

Recipes: Chickpea Flat Bread & Basil Pistou

The turn of the seasons means time for new foods.

Real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.

~ Albert Camus

Holla bloggers! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Grateful as always to be here, I spent the weekend enjoying cooking at home and getting back into the groove in my kitchen. Yes, the dancing shoes were on and everything ๐Ÿ™‚

Since utilizing fresh, accessible & affordable ingredients is fundamental to this blog, I am super excited to keep sharing more easy healthy recipes, and what fun it is to bounce off the energy and inspiration collected on my recent holiday.

This (new to me) gluten-free chickpea flat bread is as versatile as it is tasty, and when it comes to preparation, is almost criminally easy.

Paired with a topper like this Basil Pistou, it makes a perfect light lunch or side to a more substantial meal.

A man taking basil from a woman will love her always.

~ Sir Thomas Moore

Before we start, a few thoughts on food…

I’ve been teasing for quite a few posts about the foods we enjoyed while we were away. Of course I’d planned to write about this for weeks, and the truth when it comes right down to it is just this: the food we enjoyed there was dead simple.

We enjoyed amazing produce, and super fresh bread & cheese. My husband barbecued & I made (and ate) salads galore.

There were a few key ingredients that were thoroughly enjoyed to the last drop, like a balsamic vinegar that tasted as sweet as could be, gorgeous raw walnut oil for our salad dressings, delicious mustard that was added to everything, and wonderful staples like fresh bocconcini, tomatoes, sublime melons, and that amazingly fresh bread.

The crazy thing was that in France, and most notably in the countryside, the fresh healthy stuff came wonderfully affordable compared to home.

Upon our return to the Canadian west coast, fresh on the memories of the market in Provence, a visit to our local farmers market revealed that prices are in some cases 5 times what they were in France (and I was informed that the market we visited was the ‘expensive’ one for tourists by a good French friend).

There, baguettes were at the most 1 dollar (85 euro cents). A giant ball of gorgeous fresh bocconcini cost all of $1.15, and a triangle of brie just a paltry $1.96 (precisely). Sweet ripe melons were sold at every market at a mind boggling 3/$5, and two entire days worth of fresh picked fruit and vegetables cost me all of $9 at a roadside stand.

Enjoying regional foods is beautiful no matter where you are, and treating to aged balsamic vinegar (at $15 a bottle), local walnut oil ($5 a bottle), and fresh pressed local olive oil ($6) was a dream, made that much more amazing by the accessibility and prices.

Here at home, the same balsamic once imported would cost $50. Needless to say, I’m back to adding sugar to my dressings, and they taste delicious too ๐Ÿ™‚

My return has prompted many new (and renewed) thoughts & ideas about our food here at home and the dream of making delicious, healthy foods available to all.

It was inspiring to say the least, and also eye opening to see such stark differences between the different worlds. So I am back to cooking, and back to work on this project that is so dear to my heart.

I’m so excited to bring you all along, starting with these recipes!

No one has ever become poor by giving.

~ Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank

The Less:

Less store bought breads and dips means more taste & freshness without the added cost & waste. Fewer ingredients means easy work of making delicious. Less cost to make healthy goodness means your money can go farther, and who wouldn’t take a bite of that idea?

The More:

More fresh garlic means more taste and added amazing health benefits. More grain free recipes at hand means more options for those who may be sensitive. More easy ways to impress your guests means more smiles at the table, after all, nothing brings a smile like the smile of another.

Chickpea Flat Bread:

  • (1) tbsp good olive oil for oiling the pan
  • (3) tbsp good olive oil for the recipe
  • (2.5) cups chickpea (garbanzo bean) flour
  • (3.5) cups water
  • (1) tsp salt
  • (1-2) tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. Oil a square or round 8-9 inch cake pan with (1) tbsp of olive oil.

Next, measure the flour into a large bowl. Gradually add the water into the flour, whisking constantly to keep lumps from forming. Add the salt, chopped rosemary, and (3) tbsp olive oil and whisk until smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden, about 40 minutes. When done, remove the bread from the oven and let cool for a couple of minutes.

Remove from the pan and cut into slices, or, bring the entire pan to the table or serving area and serve straight from there!

This recipe made a generous amount that lasted in our house all week. If you like, this recipe can easily be halved, in which case you could use a regular loaf pan to bake it in.

We ate this with the pistou in this post but also enjoyed it days later fried in salt & olive oil as delicious croutons for our weeknight salads.

Keep any leftovers in the fridge and use within 5-6 days.

Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.

~ Buddha

I’d love to hear how this goes for those of you who are looking for easy & affordable gluten free recipes to try. It’s so easy and has a lovely digestibility, not to mention the unexpected gentle chickpea flavor. Yum.

Chickpea flour is very affordable and is available in Asian food stores (it is used in Indian recipes) as well as most health food stores.

The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer somebody else up.

~ Mark Twain

Basil Pistou:

– Adapted from Ina Garten in the Barefoot Contessa

  • (2-4) large garlic cloves (depending on your fondness for garlic!)
  • (1/4) cup tomato paste
  • (24) fresh basil leaves (or about 1 packed cup of fresh basil)
  • (1/2) cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • (1) cup good olive oil
  • (1) tbsp lemon juice
  • (1/4) tsp salt

Place all of the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend on high until smooth and well incorporated.

Feel free to start and stop the blender to whirl the mixture with a spatula (always taking care to not do this while it is running, mindfulness with the blender can be a big challenge for me!).

Transfer to a sealed container or jar and keep in the fridge. By adding the lemon juice, this recipe should not discolor, but if you choose to you can cover the top of the pistou with a film of olive oil to keep it from drying out at the top while being stored. The original recipe called for all but the salt and lemon, but I couldn’t resist adding my favorite flavor boosters, and I do think it is more delicious for it.

Use this as a spread for bread, or for pasta, in a sandwich, or as a quick perk up for a bowl of hot soup.

This one might be tough for my vegan readers as the cheese really does carry it, but with all the genius for substitutions out there among all of you, nothing would surprise me at all ๐Ÿ™‚

A quick bit of reading on the difference between pistou & pesto yielded some history on the origins of both (both have been around for centuries), and from what I read the basic difference between the two seems to be the absence of nuts in a pistou.

Great news for those sensitive to nuts, or anyone looking to add easy variety to their repertoire.

In my next post, I’ll share the pasta salad I made with this pistou. Garlicky and delicious, it was a perfect combo with these amazingly ripe local tomatoes ๐Ÿ™‚

The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

I hope all of you are basking in the glory of September, whether it is Spring or Fall where you are.

Stay tuned for more recipes and some Not So Fast news coming up! We are hard at work this fall and hope to have some fun to share with you all very soon!

  • Have you ever tried working with chickpea flour?
  • Got a favorite pesto or pistou?

I’ve seen a few great posts out there in the blog world using chickpea flour, feel free to share your faves in the comments – I’d love to know if you’ve got a goodie!

Wishing you all a super fabulous week!

Yours in Less,

92 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Not So Fast, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Snacks, Travel, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Recipe: Provencal Tomato Basil Scrambled Eggs with Garlic

Home is always where the heart is.

It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.

~ Lou Holtz

Here we are! Hot off the heels of our trip, we made it safely home here in Vancouver Monday afternoon. There really is no place like home!

Since then, you can imagine the marathon of unpacking, catch up phone calls & texts, as well as mentally preparing for all that is on the imminent horizon. Yes, it is time to dig back in to real life, and I am excited to be back!

Given the massive range of experiences that are still being digested, I figure it is high time for a recipe, and what better way to start than with a yummy & authentic way to get a taste of two of the most delicious, and most used ingredients in Provence (or anywhere for that matter)…. garlic and tomato!

There are years that ask questions and years that answer.

~ Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.

~ Babe Ruth

First, a few quick words on eggs, as this is the first time they have been prominently posted here on IPOM. Eggs seem to be (IMHO) really one of those foods that either sit well with you or they don’t.

In my early years as a strict vegan, I will never forget the day my body craved eggs. I was pregnant, and well, (just a little) hungry. Though it had been years and I’d never been a giant fan of eggs, I knew my body needed to be listened to, for I do believe (still to this day), that the body ultimately knows better than the mind ever can – if only we just tune in & really listen, and for anyone out there who has ever had pregnancy cravings you know what I am talking about (winky face).

And as each of our bodies is different, so is each of our minds.

Never mind my own personal views on eggs, these guys are inexpensive, easy sources of energy & protein.

They are also the food of choice (hard-boiled) used at the inner city Breakfast Program offered through one of Not So Fast’s partner’s in feeding people – for their high protein content and grounding nutritional quality.

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.

~ Mother Teresa

The Less:

Less boredom when it comes to cooking eggs means tastier ways to enjoy them. Less sugary, sweet breakfast foods means more garlicky, savory goodness. Less cream, milk, and cheese added means cooking up eggs is light and simple, not to mention tasty, inexpensive, and oh so good!

The More:

More inexpensive hearty protein means you can get by with just a little. More fresh tasty recipes means more simple, yet delicious meals. More uses for all those ripe tomatoes means they’ll never go to waste, so you can enjoy them at just about any meal.

Provencal Tomato Basil Scrambled Eggs with Garlic:

Adapted from ‘Provence’

  • (5) fresh eggs
  • (1) tbsp good olive oil
  • (2) medium-sized ripe tomatoes
  • (1) clove fresh organic garlic, minced
  • (1) bay leaf
  • (1/4) tsp salt plus more to taste
  • (2) tbsp cold butter
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 6-10 fresh basil leaves

Start by peeling & seeding the tomato: put up a small pot of water to boil while you prepare the garlic and other ingredients. Once the water is at a boil, add the whole tomato and turn it in the water to cover all the skin. Leave in the water for 30 seconds or so and then turn the heat off. Remove the tomato from the hot water and allow to cool. From there, the skin should simple peel off the outside of the tomato! Next, open up the tomato and quarter it. Carefully remove the seeds with a spoon and discard. Chop the remaining tomato flesh and set aside.

When you are ready to cook, heat a deep skillet and add the olive oil over medium to low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring until just fragrant (but not turning brown). Add the tomato flesh, the bay leaf, and the salt and bring to bubbling on medium heat (turn it up slightly). Once the tomatoes are hot and start to bubble, return the heat to a lower simmer temperature and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for 15 minutes. This will smell so good!

While the tomatoes are cooking, combine the butter, a pinch of salt, ground pepper to taste, and the eggs in a mixing bowl. Use a fork to cut the eggs and only mix them until the whites and yolks are mixed (but don’t go crazy on them).

Turn up the heat of the tomato pan again to medium high to cook the eggs. Remove the whole bay leaf from the pan and add the egg mixture. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches a beautiful, creamy texture.

When ready, remove from heat and continue to stir the eggs in the pan as the absorb the leftover heat. Tear the basil pieces over the mixture with your hands and stir in just before serving.

Serve from the pan onto plates with anything you desire – we enjoyed this with baguette but a lovely salad would be delicious!

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

I am quite certain my vegan readers are already thinking about how to make this perhaps with tofu instead of eggs (which would be delicious!!), and as always, I encourage any number of creative ways to make this yours!

Of course, since we arrived home I am also on the hunt for the best baguette in town, as once you get used to that delicious bread (which my body has no issues with but that is another post), it is hard to go without!

But alas, I will be fine ๐Ÿ™‚ Better than fine, really.

I know I said in my last post I’d be sharing a list of our top foods that we enjoyed on our trip, and I’ll be compiling some thoughts on food in addition to that, as the take-aways for me are still percolating.

Returning home is wonderful, and while I was treated to some beautiful goodness away, I am also grateful to live here where that goodness is still abundant as the growing season is still well underway here at home.

I’ll be headed to our local Farmer’s Market this weekend – I’ll let you know how that goes in comparison to France! As for now, I am still sifting though photos and editing when I can (mostly in the middle of the night when the jet lag has got me). Here are a few gems of the beloved Champs Elysees as seen from the top of the Arc…

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

~ Dr. Seuss

I am looking forward to catching up with all of you and getting started with this brand new season that is upon us, and of course sharing loads of good stuff from our time away.

As always I am ever so grateful to all of you for reading and sharing this journey with me (and in this case my family too!)

Many wishes, kisses, and blessings to all of you for a fabulous start to September!

  • What is your favorite way to eat eggs?
  • Have you ever experienced pregnancy cravings?

I know there are some funny ones out there….I’d love to hear yours!

Yours in Less (from back home),

62 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Feeding, Food, Gluten Free, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Travel, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Recipe: Fresh Coconut Pulp Chocolate Torte & Thoughts on Hope

More fresh ways to get creative in the kitchen.

The greatest thoughts come from the heart.

~ Vauvenargues

It’s true! We are here!

The family made it to Paris, and after a typical long travel day, we arrived yesterday to a bustling busy city at the height of tourist season. As I write this, I’ve got a fabulous internet connection in my quaint french apartment (which will be home for the next week). French press coffee at my side (brought from home), and sleeping children in the room adjacent.

Life is good, and I hope to share it as I am inspired over the course of the 3 weeks we’ll be away here.

Of course the blog will look a little different from here, and to me this is exciting, as who knows what might inspire me? There is surely no shortage of material, as I learned from the first time I visited this beautiful city just two years ago.

Today’s post is the follow-up from the recipe for Homemade Fresh Coconut Milk, which I am quite certain a few of you will attempt, if only to get to this dessert.

Nothing is impossible for a willing heart.

~ French Proverb

Taking inspiration from this popular IPOM recipe, (remember those insanely delicious Rice Krispie Treats?), I knew there had to be a most delicious way to take advantage of the by-product from making coconut milk, and after all that work, I surely wasn’t going to waste a single morsel.

And it is so delicious, that would have been absolutely criminal.

When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”

~ Author Unknown

As it happens, last week was also fun as I was nominated in a blog relay about hope by a fellow favorite blogging chum Cara at Fork and Beans (love this girl).

This ‘relay’ asks bloggers to touch on the topic of hope, an interesting word if there ever was one. I could write a whole essay on this topic (as I am sure some of us could), and hope is a funny thing, as surely we all hope, and in turn also have hopes.

To me, I think hope is the feeling we have when we simply want something to go our way. Hope is also the deep belief & longing that helps us get through the toughest of times.

Simply put, the notion of hoping always reminds me that certain things are in our control, and others simply are not. The things we can control are often the hardest to do.

Things like how we feel & think, how & what we eat, how we behave with others. Hoping is the first step in simply doing. By doing, I believe we can get closer to actually realizing our hopes and dreams.

As a hope without action is simply just that, nothing more than a thought, or a desire. By doing, we become.

And as for the things that are beyond our control? The quote below pretty much sums it up for me.

Where hope would otherwise become hopelessness, it becomes faith.

~ Robert Brault

Here are the next few bloggers tagged in this relay – I’d love to hear what these lovely ladies have to share with us as I always enjoy their unique perspectives on food, life, art, travel, and all those hopeful dreams of ours ๐Ÿ™‚

Spree at Cooking Spree, Marina at Marina Chetner, Syders from This Sydney Life, Sharyn at the Kale Chronicles, Ishita at Ishita Unblogged. Have fun with it ladies!

The Less:

Fewer ingredients makes for simple, easy working. Less heated dessert foods means more intact enzymes and less baking in the heat of summer. Less heavy, flour-based baked goods, means less allergens and less gluten, so these treats can really be enjoyed by all, no matter where you go, or who you go with.

The More:

More uses for by-products means less waste and more value. More healthy chocolate treats means more feeling good about eating them. More easy simple recipes means more incentive to get the job done, so killing two birds with one stone just got easier. Not to mention delicious, healthy, and fun too.

Fresh Coconut Pulp Chocolate Torte:

  • leftover pulp from (1) recipe Fresh Homemade Coconut Milk you should have about 2.5-3 cups (the pulp of one coconut, or feel free to sub shredded coconut for the pulp, though I suspect the result will be much drier)
  • (2) cups chocolate chips, for melting
  • (1/3) cup almond butter, raw or roasted
  • (4) cups rice krispie cereal
  • (1) tsp vanilla

Optional Topping:

  • (1) cup chocolate chips
  • (1/4 1/3) cup shredded coconut

Begin by melting the (2) cups of chocolate chips using a double boiler, or by putting the chocolate chips in a stainless bowl (use a bowl big enough to mix the whole recipe if you can) over a pot of boiling water. Once the chocolate has melted completely, remove the bowl from the heat.

Add the almond butter and vanilla and stir. The heat from the chocolate will help the almond butter to soften without heating the almond butter over heat itself (particularly good if you are concerned about this and are using raw almond butter).

Add the coconut pulp to the chocolate-almond butter mixture and mix well. The coconut will cool the hot chocolate and bring the temperature down a little. Next, add the rice krispie cereal to the mixture, and mix well with your hands, ensuring it is even.

Line an 8 inch round or square pan with wax or parchment paper and press the mixture into the pan, using your hands to get it as even on the top as possible. Put the pan into the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours.

The mixture will harden and become very firm to the touch. Remove the firm torte and with your hands take out the parchment paper, holding it in your hands carefully. Place the hardened torte back in to the pan.

From here, you can enjoy as is, or if you want to get creative or fancy (like I did), simply melt an additional cup of chocolate chips and spread over the entire cooled torte, topping with shredded dried coconut as garnish. Place the pan back in the fridge to harden the chocolate.

Serve in slices with optional fruit (raspberries are delicious!), and perhaps some ice cream or whip. You can also cut and enjoy through the week as a snack.

Hope is putting faith to work when doubting would be easier.

~Author Unknown

This dessert made a fabulous treat for a group this week as I said good-bye to my co-workers before my holiday. One good-bye was a little harder than the others.

It is rich while still being light on the tummy. A true feel good dessert!

Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.

~ George Weinberg

Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.

~ Robert Ingersoll

It is my sincere desire that anyone reading this post today can feel hope in knowing that deliciousness is never far away, and that in all of our hands is carried infinite possibilities for action of all kinds.

Whether it is cooking, writing, or any form of art, it is the hands that carry out the work of the heart and the mind.

Here’s hoping we can all enjoy some of that. I’ll be seeking in the coming weeks here from France what has begun as a fabulous time in a most beautiful place. Here’s to infinite possibilities!

  • What are you hopeful for today?
  • Got a favorite no bake dessert to share with us?

More to come readers, stay tuned! Off to see the sights as I’ve officially had enough coffee…

Yours in Less,

67 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Hope, Photography, Raw, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Sweet Treats, Travel, Vegan, Vegetarian

Recipe: Fresh Homemade Coconut Milk

It doesn’t get any simpler than this.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.

~ Confucius

Surely something so simple cannot be this easy, can it?

I assure you, with a little effort, it absolutely is, and with that effort, you will be so richly rewarded.

With all the wonderful alternatives to dairy milk out there, it is no surprise that coconut, with all of the amazing health benefits that come with it, is leading the charge in many ways as a delicious way to get good fats and loads of high quality energy into our bodies.

While it surely isn’t a local food (unless you are lucky to live where they grow of course), coconuts are widely available in markets & supermarkets all across the world, and with (just a little) know how, can be purchased for just a few dollars and used in any number of amazing ways.

Here is my favorite way to enjoy it (other than found as-is on a beach in Mexico), and I am sure I am not the only coconut milk lover out there!

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.

ย  ~ Jimi Hendrix

Picking coconuts can be a little tough, and often can yield something less than fresh.

Perhaps the greatest challenge is finding a coconut that hasn’t gone bad. I assure you, once you crack it and drain the water inside, you’ll know if you’ve got a rancid one on your hands. Such is life, and I often purchase 2 at a time just to be sure. And at such a low cost of $2-$3 each, it’s not such a bad way to go.

If you’ve never worked with fresh coconut before, you are in for a treat!

Just talking about cracking these guys open brings back some of the fondest memories of my childhood – when finding the soft spot on the coconut with my dad (and the nail and hammer) was just about as awesome as it got.

And that’s pretty awesome.

This method of making (and enjoying) coconut might not be for everyone, but if you’ve got the will and a good blender, you might just be in heaven with this.

The taste and texture of fresh coconut milk is about the creamiest, dreamiest thing I can think of, and here it can be done right at home!

So be prepared for (just a little) work, and maybe (just a little) mess, but I promise the results will be worth it. And so will the recipe coming up for the pulp in my next post ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Less:

Less canned, processed items in the home means more hands on, homemade goodness. Less packaging and labels used means less waste, resources, and energy. Less shelf stable anything means more fresh live energy, so you can infuse yourself and your loved ones with love, straight from the earth right to you.

The More:

More rich, satisfying health food means more all round satisfaction in your belly. More whole, natural fats means more easy assimilation and clean fuel. More delicious fresh dairy alternatives means lots of healthy & tasty options, so living with less is easy, while still being tempting and delicious.

Fresh Homemade Coconut Milk:

  • (1) fresh hard-shell coconut
  • (3-4) cups water
  • Sweetener if desired
  • Lots of Love & Elbow Grease

Start by grabbing a safe sharp object – a good pair scissors with a sharp tip, or my dad’s favorite (and thus, mine), a nail and hammer.

Find the three spots on the tip of the coconut and with the tip of the sharp object, gently and carefully try to poke each hole. One of the three holes is the ‘key’ to the coconut and will cave under the pressure much easier than the other two. This is how you know which one to go for! Once identified, poke the soft hole all the way through and twist the scissors or nail to make as big a hole as you can (it will be about as big as a small pencil eraser).

Drain the water inside the coconut and set aside for drinking (right away or later).

Now the fun part.

(and you might find a better way to do this).

You’ve got to break the coconut into pieces. I do this by throwing it against the concrete in my backyard as hard as I can. It’s pretty satisfying and kids do love this (just make sure they are well out of the way of flying pieces!!). Otherwise, you can set the coconut on a hard surface and hit it with a hammer until it breaks. Keep breaking up the pieces until you get pieces smaller than the size of your hand.

Then, using a firm object (like a strong metal spoon that you don’t mind bending), separate the hard shell from the coconut meat. The meat itself will have a soft brown ‘skin’ – this can stay on, just carefully (and with elbow grease) get all the furry hard shell pieces off until you have a bowl of clean pieces of white coconut. Yum!

Growing up, this was a special dessert for us.

Once you’ve got all of your coconut pieces, give them a quick rinse under cold water to get any mess from the skin off. Break the pieces into smaller pieces if desired and add all the coconut to your blender (you should have roughly 4-5 cups of coconut pieces).

Next, add 3-4 cups of clean cold water to the blender. Blend the coconut and water on high for up to 3 minutes, ensuring all the pieces are well blended (the pulp will remain quite coarse depending on the strength of your blender).

If you start with less water, make sure to add enough water to facilitate good blending.

Once you have blended the mixture for up to 3 minutes, strain the milk through a fine strainer or cheese cloth. Notice the cream that rises to the top during this process – this is so good for you and so incredibly delicious too!

From here, transfer the milk to a large mason jar or container for storage in the fridge for up to 5 days. The milk will separate a little in the fridge, but just give it a good shake before using!

One recipe will make enough milk to fill just under a one liter jar (depending on how watery you like it). Feel free to sweeten with vanilla or maple syrup as desired, and enjoy this with anything and everything you like ๐Ÿ™‚

And there you have it, fresh, homemade coconut milk. How awesome is that?

Make sure to save the pulp, as I’ve got a most yummy dessert to share with you next, when I will be posting fresh upon our arrival in France!

You’ll be ready to dive into making coconut milk just to make the dessert I am sure, but once you’ve done both, you might not be able to stop (or maybe you will).

The more I see, the less I know for sure.

~ John Lennon

I’ve said before that coconut is almost literally a vegan’s dream, and whether you are vegan or not, I have yet to meet a soul (aside from my youngest daughter but never mind her) that doesn’t love the flavor and richness of coconut.

Here it is in all of it’s pure, unadulterated glory. The best kind of glory there is, if you ask me.

There is no exquisite beautyโ€ฆ without some strangeness in the proportion.

~ Edgar Allan Poe

Beauty is not caused. It is.

~ Emily Dickinson

So if you are an adventurer in the kitchen (I know quite a strong few of you out there) – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. I’ve been relishing in the freshness of this drink all week and I’ve got to tell you, my friends and co-workers have not minded one bit, as they’ve also enjoyed the outcome of the delicious pulp too.

  • Have you ever made coconut milk at home?
  • What is your favorite way to use coconut milk?

Do tell friends! This will be the last of me from Vancouver for a while, we are literally in the last few hours here, and we leave very early Sunday morning. I’ve said my good-byes (some were very hard this time), but I am so looking forward to not only going, but to returning too.

Renewed. Inspired. Fresh.

I can’t wait to have you all join me. I hope you will!

This recipe has also been featured in Healthy Vegan Fridays #5 – check it out here!

Yours in Less,

82 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Desserts, Food, Gluten Free, Happiness, Health, Photography, Raw, Recipes, Rejuvenation, Rich & Simple, Sweet Treats, Vegan, Vegetarian

Recipe: Simple Tomato Bocconcini & Greens

Just when you thought you’d had enough freshness.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

~ Leo Tolstoy

I’ve got to admit, I’m (just a little) salad crazy.

Are you salad crazy too? I know in the summertime it is quite common, when the greens are plentiful & dirt cheap and folks get hot and will do anything to avoid turning on the stove.

The truth is, I’m simply salad crazy all year long.

It doesn’t matter the season, you’ll always find salads in this house. Light fare leaves one still feeling limber after a meal, as nothing makes me lose my spark quicker than an over full (and over-taxed) stomach.

Don’t chase your dreams, catch them.

~ Unknown

Today’s salad is a celebration of a classic. The tomato salad at its core is about as basic a salad as it gets.

Whether you use beefsteak, heirloom, romas, or tomatoes on the vine, take a few tomatoes, slice them up and you’ve got one of the best salads around. Here, I started with whole cherry tomatoes. Easy peasy.

A visit toย  the store will quickly tell you what tomatoes to buy. Buy them ripe, as ripe as you can while still being firm to the touch. These beloved healthy gems are one of those things that most people love, though there are a few folks I have met that simply don’t care for them.

Personally, I could eat them everyday, (and sometimes do).

There are the classic red tomatoes. There are so many kinds out there it’s crazy. Buy the ones that look the best to you. That way you know you’ll enjoy them more. It’s that simple.

Words have wings…so speak good things.

~ Anonymous

These orange beauties caught my eye, can you see why? They are so gorgeous, and right then and there I knew it was a tomato salad night.

Our family loves bocconcini, or fresh mozzarella balls, and Caprese salad is always a huge hit. Here is a sweet & simple version made with pearl bocconcini, but you can use what ever size you like (in tomatoes or bocconcini really). I like this as it incorporates greens into the mix – because really, why not?

Vegan? Hint: cube up some firm tofu the same size as the tomatoes and let it soak in the juice of half a lemon and a pinch of salt before adding to the mixture. Your results will look just as beautiful as this, without the added dairy. More easy peasy. More delicious.

The only thing I know, is that I know nothing.

~ Socrates

The Less:

Fewer ingredients means preparation in seconds. Fewer dressing needs means adding flavor with just a few splashes. Less need for complication means getting in the kitchen is easy, fun, and delicious, so your meal and the day to follow are yours to enjoy.

The More:

More tomato & basil means more summer flavors in your bowl. More simple dressing for salads means more motivation to make them. More easy beautiful food, means impressing friends with very little effort. And any incentive to do that is a win ๐Ÿ™‚

Simple Tomato Bocconcini & Greens:

  • (3-4) cups cherry tomatoes (mixed colors or all the same)
  • (1) cup pearl bocconcini cheese (or equal amounts cubed raw tofu marinated in the juice of half a lemon)
  • (4-6) cups clean salad greens of your choice, torn
  • (2) tbsp good olive oil
  • (2) tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • (4-8) fresh basil leaves
  • sat and pepper to taste

Simply wash your tomatoes and set them in a strainer to drain. Wash and tear the greens (arugula, lettuce, kale, sprouts) and set aside in a bowl.

Slice the basil leaves in thin ribbons. To ‘ribbon’ fresh basil, simply layer the leaves on top of one another and roll them into a roll. Slice the roll horizontally to get long thin uniform strips. These should be used immediately as they will discolor some once cut.

Drain the bocconcini and toss in a medium bowl with the tomatoes. When ready to serve, layer the greens at the bottom of a serving dish. Toss the tomatoes and cheese (or tofu) with the oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Top the greens with the tomato mixture and garnish with fresh basil ribbons. Top with additional fresh pepper if desired.

Of course a salad so simple as this requires the freshest of ingredients.

Buy the freshest, perkiest lettuce you can find. Pick it from your own back yard, or have a good chat with the guy at the farm stand when you buy it. It might make you smile as you eat it. Then again, it might not. It’s all up to you.

To live at all is miracle enough.

~ Mervyn Peake

Serve this at dinner with anything you desire. It’s great with fresh bread, pasta salad, potato salad, or even a few of these high protein Quinoa Bites.

It’s also great just on its own.

Listen to your heart. Because wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.

~ Paulo Coelho

What’s your treasure?

We’re in serious countdown mode here at the IPOM world headquarters (teehee), 5 sleeps to go until we leave for Paris and the packing is almost done! We’re tying up details left right and center here.

I’ve had a good break in the past few weeks from anything too intense and am looking forward to a true holiday (I’ve just been warned about the lack of reliable wi-fi anywhere in France), and I’ll hope to be blogging as I feel inspired to share, so stay tuned for IPOM from France!

I’ll be looking forward to September too, when plans and new initiatives for Not So Fast will get in full swing once again. One thing is for sure, it is never boring ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s a real journey, and one I’m so happy to share with you readers, as well as the amazing crew that have hopped on the bus to join me. I am amazed at the passion out there and it drives me to keep going everyday. Love & gratitude to you all.

  • What’s your favorite version of Tomato Salad?
  • Got a cause you’re passionate about sharing with us?

I’d love any links or add-ons to this super classic (and ever my favorite) summer salad, and to hear what really gets your gears going.

I always love to hear from each and every one of you, wishing you all a super swell few days!

Yours in Less,

56 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Dressings, Food, Gluten Free, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Salads, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Recipe: Fennel Apple Juice with Greens & Fresh Lemon – and a Guest Post & Giveaway!

A little rest for the tummy is sometimes nice.

Fresh air impoverishes the doctor.

~ Danish Proverb

Happy Saturday readers!

Today I am excited to share with you a number of things. Firstly, this Saturday, one of my most favorite blogging buds Somer over at Good Clean Food is hosting a super awesome giveaway.

She is also kindly hosting a guest post from yours truly for this very recipe shared here today: a gorgeous, sweet, and truly healthy green juice! Read on to get the goods here, or head straight over there and enter to win a sweet running skirt from Lululemon on Somer’s blog!

Somer and I both share a mutual love of running – and I encourage you to read her story here – her ‘becoming a runner’ story is truly as inspirational as her personality. I’m thrilled to team up with her to share this recipe and celebrate all things healthy – whether it is a healthy diet, or health through physical activity, or just a straight up healthy attitude & mind (the most important thing of all, IMO).

Today’s juice recipe is (true to IPOM form) super simple. Of course, you need to own a juicer for it, but other than that, the ingredients are easy and accessible, and won’t break the bank either.

Sweet fennel and apples team up to offer balance against healthy cancer fighting vegetables like cabbage and kale, and are rounded out with the zing and pop of fresh lemon.

I’ve posted one green juice recipe here on this blog before, but I think I may have just found my new favorite. Now that is a seriously big claim, but if you get a chance to try it, I’ve a feeling it could become yours too!

The Less:

Less chewing and digesting means less work on the system. Less store-bought, packaged juice means less sugar and cooked compounds. Less refined sugar beverages means more low-calorie energy, and less cooking means hopefully more ways to expend it.

The More:

More easily assimilated raw juices means more dynamic raw nutrition. More sweetness and balance means more satisfaction to ward off cravings. More creative ways to juice with more easily found ingredients, means more likelihood you’ll do it over (and over) again.

Fennel Apple Juice with Greens & Fresh Lemon:

  • (2) small fennel bulbs, or (1) medium, with stalks removed
    (if the only fennel available is extra-large start with half and adjust to taste)
  • (2) medium organic apples
  • (1) organic lemon, whole
  • (8) leaves kale
  • (1/4) medium-sized green cabbage

Clean and process all ingredients into juicer friendly pieces. Make sure to leave the skin on the lemon as this adds to the taste of the final product significantly.

Juice all ingredients and strain if desired (my preferred way to enjoy it), and serve immediately for best nutritional value and taste!

Utilizing kale and cabbage as the veggie base of this juice adds such amazing nutritional benefit, and both are easy to find and easy (and cheap) to grow just about anywhere. Cabbage is one of my most favorite vegetables and keeps all through the winter given proper storage.

Adding sweet fennel offsets any bitterness, and makes this green cocktail absolutely sing!

So whether you are a runner, a walker, a cyclist, or just about any other fantastic version of yourself, this juice is almost guaranteed to make you feel like a million bucks.

It might make you feel almost as good as you’ll look in Somer’s sexy running skirt if you head over there to enter;)

The greatest wealth is health.

~Virgil

Sometimes the body just needs a rest. Just like a good nap on the couch on a lazy Saturday, this juice could provide just the break you need to feel (just a little) more rested and whole. Doesn’t that sound spectacular (I’m thinking of the nap really!)?

  • What is your go to physical activity?
  • Got a favorite juice to share with us?

We’re on the countdown here to take off (8 sleeps!) and are hard at work packing and tying up details before our big upcoming holiday. I’ll be sipping and slurping this juice this weekend and enjoying (just a little) fresh air.

Wishing you all a wonderful summer weekend!

Yours in Less,

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Filed under Cooking, Food, Gluten Free, Photography, Raw, Recipes, Rejuvenation, Running, Sweet Treats, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian