Tag Archives: quotes

A Letter to Readers & An Upcoming Move

Never Stop Dreaming | In Pursuit Of More

Dearest IPOM readers! I mentioned a few posts back that I am a big fan of the New Year, and with it all the promise each new opportunity/moment offers us in life. There should always be time to dream, and to plan the life we want, like we (maybe) used to do when we were kids.

The amazing part about being a grown up is we actually get to pursue those things we want, which is maybe a big part of why I always wanted to grow up so fast when I was young. But honestly, how awesome is that?Β  We are really only as limited as we think we are (IMO). My favorite quote of all time is by Goethe, “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it. Action has magic, grace and power in it.”

I was thrilled to read your comments affirming that many of you have a similar reverence for embracing the opportunity for positive change, whether it be at the beginning of a New Year or anytime, and as usual my heart balloons when I read your wonderful comments and well wishes.

Never Stop Dreaming | In Pursuit Of More

As part of the evolution of this process, I will be moving this blog to a new host in the coming week or so, and want to invite you all to (hopefully – with both fingers crossed!) continue to follow me there. Not much will be changing, but you might see a slightly more streamlined site, as I prepare to further my mission of embracing less to find more.

More substance, and a whole lot more of what matters, including continuing to share with all of you, the readers of this blog. I am super excited to move forward and want to thank you all in advance as IPOM ventures forward, and grows up maybe (just a little).

Re-subscribing to the blog will be incredibly simple, and a follow by email option will be easy and accessible. The major change for many of you is that my posts will no longer appear in WordPress reader for those of you who follow me there. Those of you who already subscribe by email will not be affected at all.

Never Stop Dreaming | In Pursuit Of More

Every young girl has dreams – and hopefully they stay with her even when she gets big. Thank you for all of the inspiration & encouragement this past year! I am so looking forward to the coming months of wonderful food and hope we can continue to share stories & inspire each other in the months (and years) to come.

  • What changes are you implementing this year, if any?
  • Got any dreams you’d like to share?

Thank you to all who have played a part in the coming together of this project, and again to all of you for sharing your hearts and your stories with us πŸ™‚ Next up, we’ve got a sweet new recipe or two, so get ready for something delicious!

Yours in Less,

Email Handwritten Signature

39 Comments

Filed under Happiness, Inspiration, Lifestyle

Recipe: Easy Crusty Home Baked Bread (Baked Beans on Toast – Part Two)

Bountiful. Beautiful. Home Baked Bread.

IPOM Crusty Bread (1)

If thou tastest a crust of bread, thou tastest all the stars and all the heavens.

~ Robert Browning

Baking beautiful bread?

Bread. Beauty. Bounty (alliteration today is brought to you by Cara). Today is the day!

I’ve been excited about this one for weeks, that is ever since I discovered it (I haven’t stopped baking beautiful bread since that day).

This was a recipe I randomly & luckily stumbled upon, and I am not sure through which medium it actually came to me (I am thinking Pinterest) – however, it must be noted it was this amazing blog post that got me going.

Insert major gratitude here.

Over the years, I’ve certainly tried all manner of bread recipes. Yeast and flour and I have never really gotten each other, and it could be that the precise nature of all things baking just does not come naturally for me.

I am happy to say that I’ve finally found the one recipe that has made me a bread baker. The day has come, and now, if you want it, it is yours for the taking too!

Good bread is the most fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh butter, the greatest of feasts.

~ James Beard

Not only must we be good, but we must be good for something.

~ Henry David Thoreau

It is true that not all good folks enjoy bread freely these days. With the rise in sensitivities to gluten, more and more people every day are avoiding the stuff.

Wheat being one of the oldest crops known to man-kind, it always seems crazy to me that evolution would take us down this road. Especially considering wheat’s status as the ‘staff of life’ and the fact it is an age-old source of sustenance that has been relied upon since the dawn of human existence.

Wheat berries are cheap, they can be grown all over the world, and in their whole form are full of sound vitamins, minerals, and other healthy nutritious properties.

Used in their most natural form, whole wheat berries can be made into all manner of salads, added to stews, or famously sprouted for making raw breads or used to make rejuvelac and to grow wheatgrass.

However, when wheat berries are milled, bleached, bagged, and left in giant storehouses to spoil & turn rancid, it’s no wonder that our bodies are struggling to recognize wheat for the simple, life-giving grain that it is.

Change your thoughts and you can change the world.

~ Norman Vincent Peale

So if you are sensitive to wheat & gluten, but can still eat it from time to time, do source out organic freshly milled flour if possible. You might just notice a difference in how you feel after eating it (or you might not).

Whole wheat, all-purpose, or white, the most important thing to know is that it is fresh.

Just like roasted coffee should be ground right before use, or nuts & oils can go rancid if left for long periods of time at the wrong temperature, all milled flours are susceptible to the same conditions, so use it fresh.

Like all of your food (if you can).

There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.

Β  ~ Mahatma Gandhi

The Less:

Less store-bought, packaged bread products means less cost, waste, and potential preservatives. Less reliance on commercial food supply lines means more control of your health, your home & your pocketbook. Less complicated recipes to produce authentic foods means more likelihood you’ll do it, because everyone deserves to be a baker (if desired).

The More:

More fresh-baked bread from freshly milled flour means (hopefully) fewer reasons for healthy bodies to reject it. More novice friendly methods means more confidence you can do it, so you can turn pro starting right now. More homemade comfort food on the table means more enjoyment all around, and isn’t that what we are all seeking after all?

Easy Crusty Home Baked Bread:

  • (3) cups all-purpose flour
  • (1/2) tsp active dry yeast
  • (1 3/4) tsp salt
  • (1.5 – 1.75 cups) cold water from the tap
  • Whatever additions your heart desires: fresh or dried herbs like rosemary, grated cheddar cheese, dried fruits, nuts & seeds, the ideas are endless!
  • One oven proof casserole with lid, preferably ceramic or cast iron (though I read you can use any oven proof dish and cover it with foil, I have an Emile Henry clay casserole I got for my wedding years ago)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together all the ingredients except for the water. Next, add the water (in bits or all at once) and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or tough plastic spatula.

Once mixed, the dough should be sticky, like the picture shown below.

Feel free to play with the amounts of water used as I have used anywhere from 1.5 cups (the original recipe amount) to almost 2 cups. A good friend of mine uses a bread recipe very similar to this and suggested to add more water particularly if I play with other flours – ie. a mix of white & whole wheat.

Once the dough is well mixed, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave to proof on the kitchen counter for anywhere from 12 – 20 hours.

Seriously, this is (just one) of the beautiful things about this recipe.

You can start the dough at anytime and get to the baking when it works for you. I have baked after 12 hours proofing and I have baked after 22 hours proofing. All delicious, all the time.

Proofed Dough, ready to bake.

When you are ready to bake (and have a free hour and a half), turn on the oven and heat it to 450 degrees. Once the temperature is reached, put your oven proof dish in the oven and heat it for 30 minutes.

Just before the heating time for the dish is ready, flour a work surface with a very generous handful of flour. With your hands, pull the proofed dough out of the bowl and set it atop the floured surface.

Shape the dough into a roundish loaf and evenly coat it with the flour. Don’t worry about any inconsistencies with the shape of the dough – it will all sort itself out in the baking process.

This is a no knead recipe. Yes, that is right, no kneading!

So. Very. Awesome.

Remove the hot pot -careful it will be HOT! – and place the dough carefully into the dish. No oil or anything required.

Place the lid on top (or foil if this is your method – use good oven mits!) and place the dish into the hot oven still set to 450 degrees.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, keeping the oven hot by not peeking (I love having a hot and heavy lid that prevents me from peeking).

I have done both times and prefer the 35 minute time, the crust gets (just a little) crustier that way, but feel free to play with a time that works for you.

After 30-35 minutes, carefully remove the dish from the oven, and voila! Hot, beautiful, glorious bread. Remove onto a wire cooling rack and allow to cool before slicing.

For best keeping, do not store in a plastic bag until the loaf has cooled completely as this will diminish the crust on the loaf. A paper bag or on the counter is great right after it is made.

Though if you make this in time for a family meal I can almost guarantee leftovers will not be an issue.

Serve with soup, salad, curry, pasta, or make into crusty bread sandwiches with tofu steaks, cheese, lettuce, and ripe red tomatoes.

My personal favorite? Fresh out of the oven with butter. A bowl of hearty warm beans. And not a whole lot more (or less) πŸ™‚

The history of the world is the record of a man in quest for his daily bread and butter.

~ Hendrick Willem Van Loon

Whatever makes up your daily bread, doing so with reverence and appreciation of all things past can give us a better understanding of how it is we got where we are today. Things don’t always get better with time (but thankfully many things do).

In our modern world full of processed, packaged, ‘middle grocery aisle’ foods, fresh foods from fresh ingredients are still best. It’s been that way for thousands of years. Funny how some things never change.

Fresh is still best.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.

~ Dr. Seuss

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

~ Mother Teresa

This recipe is cheap, easy, and simple in a world with so many options when it comes to tackling what (can be) one of the hardest foods to master in the kitchen.

Suitable for kitchen novices and experienced cooks alike, I’ve got full faith that anyone can be just hours away from blatant, breathtaking, bread-baking brilliance!

  • Are you a bread baker?
  • What is your favorite bread recipe?

We’re coming off a gorgeous holiday weekend here in beautiful Whistler (thanks to all for the truly fabulous company) – here’s to wishing all of my Canadian readers a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Next up, I’ve got the best brussels sprout salad you’ve ever had.

So stay tuned. It will be worth it, that I can promise you.

Yours in Less,

66 Comments

Filed under Cheap, Cooking, Food, Health, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Vegan, 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

On Gratitude, Gratefulness & Always Giving Thanks

Gratitude. What does it mean to you?

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.

~ Thornton Wilder

It’s that time of year again!

The time here in the cooling (and beautiful) Northwest when we start thinking about cozy sweaters, warm scarves, pulling on our favorite boots, and about Thanksgiving.

This is the time of year when every corner grocery store stocks tiny mini pumpkins and you can’t take a step without hearing a leaf (or seven) crumble under your well-meaning fuzzy-socked feet.

Happy October everyone!

The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.

~ William James

This week I am particularly thankful for big progress here at what I like to lovingly call world IPOM headquarters (tee hee).

Not So Fast is making progress at a healthy and (mostly) manageable pace. I owe big gratitude to all who are taking part in this creative and amazing labor of love. Your energy and support are the only reason NSF is anything more than just a random passing idea.

I’ve got a giant heart here and it’s all full because of all of you. Yes, you (that is pointed squarely at you too IPOM readers).

Risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.

~ Leo Buscaglia

Not So Fast is hard at work planning a full school year of cooking classes for kids and families living in our fair city’s poorest neighborhood.

We want to not only share simple food with those who are keen to join us, but we hope to (maybe) offer (just a little) hope, confidence & much needed access to eating well into lives that are (likely) much more limited than our own.

A quick visit to our local farmers market drives our mission home for me with motivating intensity each and every time I go.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.

~ Epictetus

This time of year showcases producers of all types offering up the very height of glory in the fruits of their (hard) labor.

I get goosebumps just thinking of perusing & buying fresh corn, squash, kale, sweet cherry tomatoes, heirloom variety apples, and the last of the summer fruits and berries of all kinds.

It is nothing short of pure vegetable heaven this time of year, and every bit a true food lover’s paradise, no matter what your dietary preferences. You’d have to be inhuman not to get inspired this time of year after a visit to the market.

That is, unless you can’t afford it.

I wrote a few posts back about my visit to the market where I (oh heavens me) happened to find myself with only a meager sum of cash to get me through my visit. That visit where I had to control my desires and my will.

Imagine (just for a second) that you had to do that every day?

Not because (like me) you just weren’t organized, but because you simply didn’t have the dough. I ask this question not to instill guilt, or a sense of anything other than awareness.

Awareness that no matter what your means, there is always someone who has less than you, and always someone who has more.

Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayer and worn with thanks.

~ Thomas Goodwin

As we prepare here in Canada to celebrate our national celebration of Thanksgiving (we are 3 weeks ahead of our American friends), many of us might be busy planning menus, inviting guests, or maybe just looking forward to our next three-day weekend.

My wish for this coming weekend, and for all the weekends to follow is simple:

My wish is that each day that comes next might be just as good as the day before, and that no matter what life throws at me, I always remember the important things. Like having a healthy loving family, a cozy roof over my head, and two strong legs to walk my sorry a** to the store when I’ve run out of milk (again).

Rest and be thankful.

~ William Wadsworth

I’d love to know what you might be thankful for not just this season, but all year long. I’ve a feeling our needs are not that different from one another, really.

Food, shelter, love.Good people. Good food. A good laugh here and there.

Not too much for ask for I reckon, especially when there is just so much to go around.

I am so happy to have you all here at IPOM to continue to celebrate simple healthy food and the idea of living with (just a little) less.

Many blessings to you, your loved ones, and the communities you live in.

Because the truth is as we move forward in our collective lives is just this: we are all in this together.

I’d love to hear what you might be pondering in preparation for this coming holiday weekend (and for those of you who are looking that far ahead in the US). No matter where you are, thanks for joining us!

I’ve got some recipes coming up that I hope you’ll love πŸ™‚

  • What are you planning for Thanksgiving?
  • How do you give thanks?

Yours in Less (as always),

44 Comments

Filed under Children, Cooking, Fasting, Feeding, Food, Food Insecurity, Going Without, Happiness, Health, Hope, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Non-Profit Organization, Not So Fast, Photography, Recipes, Rejuvenation, Success, Uncategorized, Victory

Recipe: Basil Pistou Pasta Salad with Spelt Penne & Fresh Market Tomatoes

Let’s enjoy the summer flavors while we can!

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

~ Marcel Proust

The quote above is one fit for the bounty that engulfs us at this time of year (at least in this part of the world!).

Harvest season always give me the chills, and it is worth noting that I am currently head over heels, knee-deep & no turning back in love with fresh farm produce.

Anyone else with me on this?!

This past Sunday, I was excited to hit the Farmer’s Market and arrived to realize I had but a meager $25 cash to stock up for the next few days with fresh produce for our growing family.

At first I panicked, thinking it impossible that I could resist the urge to buy armloads of all the beautiful apples, peaches, and every other thing my heart desired.

And then (after a stop at the bank machine only to recall I’d given my ATM card to the teenager to buy jeans), I decided I’d see instead how far I could make that $25 go.

The fragrance always remains on the hand that gives the rose.

~ Gandhi

After all, ever since the market experience in France and the subsequent realization that things just are not the same here at home, it is still incredibly important to me to support our local farmers whenever I can.

It is also important to me (to try) to buy just what we need and not an apple more. So I am happy to report I did just fine, in fact, I really think I did better than fine.

We’re halfway through the basketful of ripe yellow tomatoes I bought and we’ve got lettuce in the fridge to make another round of salads tomorrow night.

There’s nothing rotting or screaming ‘eat me‘ after being purchased on a whim without a plan, or a thought to where it would go, or to who would consume it.

And it feels really good to know just how far $25 can actually go with (just a little) discipline, restraint, awareness, and forethought.

And have I mentioned how absolutely incredible those tomatoes are right now?

Not to mention the basil, and the zucchini, and the beans, peppers, eggplant, and just about everything else we can call ourselves lucky to have at our fingertips. Less may be more here, and when it is this good, that is really all we seem to need.

This pasta salad brings together all those things to love in one bowl, & I hope you’ll enjoy this combo as much as we did!

You cannot do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Less:

Less mayo-based pasta salads means more variety and more fun, flavor, and healthy fats. Less white noodles and wheat based foods can mean less sensitivity for those that matters to. Less boredom at mealtime means dinner and lunch are super fun, especially with harvest veggies & herbs so easily at hand.

The More:

More local flavor boosters means more summer flavors in your bowl. More grain based goodness means more grounding, fuel, and energy. More healthy fresh veggies to dress up your meals means more color, life, and vitality, so meal times are as lively as can be.

Spelt Pistou Pasta Salad:

  • (2) cups dry pasta (I used spelt penne for this one)
  • (1/3) to (1/2) cup Basil Pistou
  • (1/3) cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • (2-3) ripe tomatoes, cut in wedges
  • (1/2) yellow, orange, or red pepper, chopped
  • (6-8) leaves fresh basil, cut in ribbons
  • black olives for garnish & black pepper (optional)

Make the pistou as described in this post (the last IPOM post). Feel free to play with your favorite pesto as well, I was super pleased to make this with the pistou as outlined as it was quite similar to a recipe shared with me by a good friend recently.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain when done. While the pasta cooks, prepare the sun-dried tomatoes, chopped pepper, fresh tomatoes, and basil ribbons*

*Cut basil ribbons by layering the leaves on top of one another and rolling them to make a tight roll. Then, using a sharp knife, cut horizontally to make uniform ‘ribbons’. Hint: you can also keep it real and rustic by tearing the leaves with your hands.

Start by tossing the still hot pasta with the pistou in a mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Add the chopped peppers and 2/3 of the prepared basil leaves and stir well.

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with olives, remaining basil ribbons (or torn leaves), fresh tomato wedges, and black pepper. Don’t be shy to add a little splash of extra olive oil to the top either, that never hurts πŸ™‚

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.

~ Charles Dickens

Make sure to enjoy this one with friends, especially if you are among those sensitive to the effects of garlic!

Leftovers can also be enjoyed heated up a little to release the flavors and soften the pasta if has been stored in the fridge. I took this to work and shared the love with one of my favorite girls of all time, I don’t think she minded one bit!

Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world.

~ Buddha

There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy.

~ Ralph H. Blum

Served with a loaf of crusty fresh bread, extra olives on the side, and good friend to share it with, I can’t imagine a better way to enjoy this beautiful, bountiful season we are having.

I’ll be sure to tell the tomato man this weekend how much we’ve enjoyed the fruits of his labor these past two weeks. I’ll be especially proud to tell him we didn’t waste a single morsel.

Enough is a feast.

~ Buddhist Proverb

With all the business we have in this life it is common to hurry through our days checking off to do lists and trying to cover as many bases as we can. Sound at all familiar?

Providing for loved ones adds an extra challenge. Will they have enough? What will they feel like eating? For any of you out there who know the challenges we face just stocking the house (never mind the cooking), we want to hear from you!

  • Do you stick to a strict grocery budget?
  • Got some tips you can share with us when it comes to buying ‘just enough’?

Wherever you are, I’d love to know what is inspiring you in the kitchen these days, whether it’s in the grocery store, the gym, or the community center parking lot where the producers congregate to sell their bounty.

Next up? A harvest chickpea salad, inspired by a spontaneous Farmer’s Market find πŸ™‚ Stay tuned!

Yours in Less,

48 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Food, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Salads, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, 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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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

Market Day in Provence: A Picture Journey

If only the world could stand still a moment.

β€œLet us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair…”

~ Susan Polis Schutz

Alas it does seem a while since I posted, bonjour everyone!

Truth be told, it’s been somewhat challenging to blog from the road here, as time inside is limited and my mind is flooded with new sensations, views, ideas, and inspiration, none of which have solidified enough to properly put to words.

It is also (put more simply) that I am (and for the first time in a long time and maybe actually ever) in pure honest vacation mode, and my mind has turned off (mostly) everything.

All to make room for the new.

Here, in Provence (where we arrived Friday after a few glorious days in Burgundy), I was treated Sunday to my very first Provencal market experience, and what a treat that was!

The adorable and ancient village where we are based, called L’isle Sur La Sorgue, is somewhat popular for its markets, most notably antiques.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.

~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Provence itself as a much larger area, (I just read in my French history book) has been celebrated since the Roman times for its particularly good fresh produce.

With the area being somewhat continually drenched in hot sun (it has been between 35 and 40 degrees steady since we arrived), one would think it obvious that this food would be good, and I had heard that indeed, it was.

But I was not prepared for this.

There are simply no words that could adequately describe the taste of the food that grows here, for this is (for any fruit and vegetable lover) a total mecca.

So in the absence of new recipes, I do hope you’ll enjoy a little tour of the town and the market with me here – as I’ve tried to do it justice, but I’ll let you be the judge πŸ™‚

Life isn’t as serious as the mind makes it out to be.

~ Eckhart Tolle

Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose.

~ Eckhart Tolle

I am quite sure I read there were over 300 stalls at this market on Sunday, and judging by the fact that we couldn’t even see it all, I believe it.

This little village, with its narrow ancient streets, transformed into a bustling shopping zone with sellers & producers offering everything from soap, to clothing, records, antiques, jewellery, shoes, bags, scarves, spices, and of course food.

Oh, the glorious food.

Happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.

~ Unknown

Forget every stereotype you’ve ever heard about the French being anything less than polite. Here, they are warm, and excited to see visitors delight in their hard work. In fact, here in the south, the people are downright wonderful.

There are so many characters in a small village like this. And their food, their food.

It is truly sublime, not to mention very cheap (I’ll share more in my next post on just how inexpensive it really is).

Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.

~ William Shakespeare, Shakespeare’s Sonnets

In my next post I’ll tell you the top foods we’ve been enjoying here, especially since arriving here in Provence where we’ve got a full functioning kitchen, a barbeque, and an outdoor eating area to enjoy the food and the company under the open skies.

After Paris, and then a few days in hotel in Beaune, we are happy to be enjoying a lovely amount of space here, and are taking advantage of the fresh food & views available right around the corner.

L’espoir fait vivre.

~ French Proverb, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.”

We’ve got just a few more days here, so the likelihood that I’ll get another post out before the end of this trip is quite small, but you never know – I’ll have months of inspiration to share and enjoy from the perspective of life at home.

But not just yet!

From here, we head south for a night to enjoy the ocean before returning to Paris for the last two nights – we head home Monday. I hope you all are enjoying the final weeks of summer, and I’ll look forward to catching up soon!

  • If you traveled to Provence, what would be on your list to eat?

Let us know, and thanks for joining me!

Yours in Less,

65 Comments

Filed under Aspirations, Children, Cooking, Family, Food, Happiness, Health, Hope, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Photography, Rejuvenation, Salads, Travel, Vegan, Vegetables, 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 toΒ  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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ™‚

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

Simple Living Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower & Kale Pesto

More simply delicious. More simply easy.

How many things there are which I do not want.

~ Socrates

I definitely suspect know that I have a thing for vegetables. Most kids would travel to the big city (Toronto) to visit relatives and enjoy the spoiling that inevitably unfolds when in the company of doting extended family. Not this girl.

I can only imagine the shock and bewilderment when I arrived at my aunt’s house in Toronto (at the ripe old age of 12) – and upon being asked which of my favorite foods I would like to stock the house with, I promptly jotted down a list of my favorite vegetables. For steaming. It’s true.

Things really haven’t changed much.

Time is what we want the most, but what we use the worst.

~ William Penn

Always start with the freshest greens you can find.

If you’ve been reading IPOM for a while, then you might already be familiar with my favorite pesto of all time – the IPOM Killer Kale Pesto posted here .

It is insanely good either fully vegan or with added cheese, and it makes a wonderful addition to almost anything (including the delicious spelt pasta pictured here).

Case in point this recipe for roasted cauliflower.

Roasting cauliflower produces a taste and texture experience that is (IMO) out of this world, or rather ‘totally out of bounds’ as a few of my besties have been known to say (but not about cauliflower).

It is easy to cook, cauliflower is quite cheap, and guess what: it’s totally good for you too.

The years teach much the days never know.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Less:

Less fried or deep-fried foods means less troubling gas or potential indigestion. Less grain based or overly starchy side dishes mean more vegetables to compliment meals and make easy work of food combining. Less regular ways to prepare old ‘standbys’ means more variety to add to your tables, so even one or two ingredients tastes like a party on your tongue.

The More:

More ways to eat veggies more easy filling meals. More cruciferous greens and plant foods means more anti-cancer and disease fighting properties. More fiber, roughage, and water based foods means ‘using it and losing it’ is effortless. Because digestion needn’t ever be that taxing.

Roasted Cauliflower & Kale Pesto:

  • (1) large Cauliflower
  • (3-4) tbsp good olive oil (or a few good glugs – I learned that term here and love it)
  • a few pinches of salt
  • (1 – 2) tsp fried cumin seeds (optional)
  • (1) recipe Killer Kale Pesto

Start by heating your oven to an aggressive 400 degrees. This is by far the best roasting temperature and can be used to roast all veggies from sweet potatoes, to tomatoes to zucchini & eggplant.

While the oven heats, trim and wash your cauliflower. Remove any of the leaves that are still on and discard or compost. On a cutting board, turn the whole head of the cauliflower upside down and slice into ‘steaks’ just under an inch thick, starting from the base of the head. Cut them as thinly as you can while still having them hold together is the key here.

You should end up with several ‘steaks’ and a few other smaller pieces that will not hold together with the rest. It’s all good, and the strays will be just as delicious as the larger ones. Sometimes even more so.

Generously oil with the olive oil a flat baking tray and set the cauliflower pieces down on the oiled side. Once they are all on and oiled on one side, turn them over to ensure each side gets coated (just a little).

Sprinkle the pieces lightly with a little salt if desired and put up to roast. Cook for 20 minutes and then flip to the other side and cook for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray before serving.

Before serving, feel free to sprinkle with fried cumin seeds and serve however you wish. This version with Kale Pesto was so amazing that I just had to share it with you all!

This kept also incredibly well and the leftovers made for a wonderful midday meal while I was out and about.

Serve warm or at room temperature alongside a green salad, a protein dish, or (my choice) on its own.

It is quite filling and the nuts & oil in the pesto provide more than adequate sustenance and calories to make a light & satisfying meal for most (just not my overly manly husband – bless his heart).

So whether you are old pals with cauliflower or just getting to know it, this is a most enjoyable (and completely delicious) way to serve it to even the most newbie vegetable eater.

Leftover kale pesto can find it’s way into the rest of your meals long after you devour this cauliflower. Or you can just make it again too!

And it’s so easy, there really is no good reason not to.*

*Unless there is.

Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have.

~ Eckhart Tolle

Who is rich?Β  He who rejoices in his portion.

~The Talmud

I hope whatever you do that you will do so with joy (as much as we can muster which at times is hard), and with gratitude and also with pleasure.

We don’t have long in this life but we do have right now.

I’ll be taking the weekend to visit some family with my youngest daughter before we run out of time this summer. Now that summer is finally here, it’s time to enjoy it while it lasts, and with that I am off yet again to visit the islands this time.

  • Have you always loved veggies?
  • What is your favorite way to eat cauliflower?
  • Did anyone enjoy the coconut quinoa this week?

Wishing you all a most fabulous weekend (thank you all for reading!) with whomever you choose to spend it with. Be it friends, family, or just yourself. Enjoy!

Yours in Less,

67 Comments

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

NSF Update: On Cookies, Craft Beer & Giving Back

You are about to meet a very special couple.

Carla & Chris. Chris & Carla. I love these guys, and soon, you will too (I hope).

Both are bound by love and their mutual interests. Chris and Carla are both (beautiful) healthy folks who live the good life in pretty much every sense of the word. They work hard, they play hard, they eat well, and give back when they can.

While these two beautiful souls are surely extraordinary, they are also just really good, regular folk who are blessed to have their health, their happiness, and each other.

Like me or (maybe) like you.

Carla has been a huge supporter of Not So Fast since the early days, and so a few months ago both Chris and Carla decided to put themselves to the test for the benefit of others.

For those of you who are new to this blog, you may wonder what this has to do with food and delicious recipes. If you like, you can find more info here and here (I’d be honoured).

IPOM exists to share healthy, accessible recipes and inspire new (delicious) ways to live with (just a little) less.

This is a story outlining how small changes can be turned into real food for real people who have less.

How does it work?

Go without: Chris and Carla decided to fast for 40 days, by going without one specific luxury for 40 days.

The money they didn’t spend on what they would have consumed would be donated to feed those who have less.

Make It Real: Keep a journal (we are making something very special for this). Write in in your calendar. Tweet it.

By giving record, you make it real. After all, shouldn’t you take credit for your awareness and good deeds?

Feed People. We’ll do that, and soon we’ll tell you how. Or, get involved in your local community.

Here are Chris and Carla’s Stories…

Carla’s Challenge: Carla chose to go without any refined sugar for 40 days.

For those of us who are lucky to work with this lady like me, we know she works hard. She takes great care of herself. And she likes treats (but not too many).

We knew this would be tough..

Chris chose to go without all alcohol for 40 days.

This was in the midst of a few upcoming weddings. And weekends (those darned weekends)!

Chris, like Carla, is somewhat the picture of good health. They are both moderate people. But they, like all of us, have vices*, or things in their life they do not wish to be controlled by.

*(unless you don’t)

Here are a few thoughts direct from Chris and Carla themselves.Β 

This is proof that no matter how small, little changes add up, and can result in positive benefits for you and for someone else!

Chris speaks on going without:

Why did you want to do this challenge? I am faced with various challenges everyday, but at the time I felt that I do not challenge myself enough. I think I was feeling a little complacent. I think I avoid challenge to avoid additional stress in my life.

Why did you choose beer to give up? I chose all forms of alcohol, not only beer. In the past I have given up only beer but just replaced it with other forms of alcohol, like wine, so the challenge was absent. Recently I became aware of how much alcohol I consume. I am not abusive but I have a drink a day. I truly enjoy the taste of beer and wine and look forward to that after work or with friends. I could not remember the last time I went a long period without consuming any alcohol (more then a couple days anyway). So it seemed like a good idea. Another big part is health. As I get older I become more aware of health choices. I felt it could do my body good to stop drinking for a while.

What did this exercise teach you about yourself/each other? That I was more dependent than I thought on alcohol. After a long day at work or at a social gathering, I found I would be a bit grumpy knowing that I was not going to have a drink. There was a very noticeable absence in my life for the first couple weeks. I think though the social aspect was the most interesting. In my life alcohol is often consumed in the company of friends and with that comes good conversation and discussion. I missed that and found that I was less social during this time. I even think friends called me less knowing that they might be drinking alone if we went out. Giving up alcohol felt like a bit of a sacrifice, if only in the superficial sense.

What were you able to contribute as a result of this or who did this positively affect? I think the most positive effect was on me, both health and financially.

Has it affected you in any other ways? My fast came during the season of Lent so there was a spiritual element to it. Although that was not as prominent during this time, I did make a point of thinking about why I was giving something up whenever I longed for it. This would lead in many different directions, from self-satisfaction/dissatisfaction to thinking of those who have no choice in what they do not have, to health and pride.

Would you do it again/build something like this into your daily routines? I will consider doing this again in a year and currently I conscientiously practice giving things up on a week to week basis.

Carla speaks on going without:

Why did you want to do this challenge? To encourage more reflection in my life – to help remind myself of how blessed I am for what I have, and that there are many who have to go without –being able to choose to go without is a luxury. I also wanted to support NSF by giving to those who have less.

Why did you choose sugar? I chose sugar for health reasons… and because I crave a little sweetness at least once a day. I knew it would be a little difficult.

What did this exercise teach you about yourself/each other? It taught me self discipline and encouraged generosity and reflection. It was encouraging to see how well Chris did in his fast and it helped me stay on track. Seeing that Chris and I could complete this challenge (not without our moments of weakness…), who knows what else we could take on.

What were you able to contribute as a result of this or who did this positively affect? Food issues are important to me – where our food comes from, how it is produced, what we put in our bodies and food waste. We are donating $$$ to NSF for a local food project they are involved in.

Has it affected you in any other ways (either positive or negative)? This fast has taught me that I don’t need sugar (and probably a lot of other things in life) – and should try and treat it as something special – that I’m lucky/blessed to be able to have, while others have to go without.

Would you do it again/build something like this into your daily routines? Yes.

Making it real…

Carla used this little notebook to record what she was giving up, and the value of it too.

In it I found little gems of her writing.

Putting words to something somehow makes it real, like thoughts once they become spoken words.

Do you keep a journal?

Everyday is a new challenge..what’s yours?

Chris and Carla donated enough money to sponsor a very special NSF event coming up.

I can’t wait to share this with you as the planning is in the works as we speak. Seeing the results of their challenge has inspired many great things and I can’t thank them enough for their courage and willingness to take part.

Not only will their funds provide much needed food, but we will also be sharing cooking skills that will (hopefully) enable folks to keep feeding themselves. Stay tuned as we roll out more πŸ™‚

I’ll be keeping the recipes flowing too, starting with these delicious cookies in my next post…

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.

~ Oscar Wilde

  • Have you ever considered giving up a vice or a habit?
  • If you did what would it be?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, and thank you my friends for reading about this amazing effort by amazing people. I told you you’d like them. Was I wrong? πŸ˜‰

There is lots more to come, and I’d love to hear from you all!

Here’s to a super week everyone!

Yours in Less,

66 Comments

Filed under Discipline, Fasting, Feeding, Food, Going Without, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Non-Profit Organization, Not So Fast, Uncategorized