Tag Archives: raw

Recipe: Easy Rice Paper Veggie Rolls

Ready to roll?

Good is the enemy of great.

~ Jim Collins

Well I think it’s finally here! Something that looks like summer…

Here in Vancouver the weather has finally turned for the better. It looks like the sun may stick around. This is just in time for a weekend away with my work mates as we head out for our annual retreat in a land far far away (the BC interior 3 hours outside of town here). This time we’ll be hidden away, tucked in the mountains, with access to a clean lake and hiking trails.

It will be lovely to get away. We’ll be working, of course, but amongst the fresh country air and the stillness of the mountains.

We’ll also be completely cut off from internet access with no phones either. Just us. That is a rare thing these days, and truthfully, I am a little excited! Time to turn it off, tune it in, and really ‘be here now’.

Creativity dies in an undisciplined environment.

~ Jim Collins

Today I want to share a long time favorite for me. Rolling rice wraps is as familiar to me as almost anything, and it is one of those fall backs I count on when I need to lighten up, and prepare good easy ‘grab and go’ food that I can pack and eat easily.

If you’ve never rolled rice paper before – prepare to have fun, and be surprised at how easy it is to make healthy vegetables disappear quickly right before your eyes!

I usually eat these with a thick tasty nut-based sauce, either a peanut sauce, or an asian inspired tahini sauce – but any sauce works – even plain soy sauce in a pinch.

Today I’ll share with you a recent recipe for Almond Butter ‘Peanut’ Sauce I tried from Natalia Rose’s Raw Food Detox book which was so good I had to share it with you all right away.

So let’s get rolling!

The Less:

Less greasy fried spring rolls means less irritated troubled tummies. Less heavily dressed packaged prepared food means lighter, leaner fill ups. Less cooked, salted veggies means more raw vibrant goodness, and more fun ways to prepare them means you’ll always use them all up.

The More:

More fun ways to eat vegetables means more likelihood it will happen. More easy prep beforehand means easy healthy snacking in mere seconds. More on the road finger food means less greasy messy containers – so eating and clean up are simple.

Easy Rice Paper Veggie Rolls:

  • (1) package Rice Paper Wraps for Spring rolls (available at most stores in the Asian food section)
  • (3-4) medium to large carrots (unpeeled if organic)
  • (4-6) cups washed hardy greens (spinach, lettuce, arugula, pea greens)
  • (1) red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • (1) bunch green onion tops
  • (1) avocado (optional, only include if eating right away)

Sauce:

  • (1) cup almond butter, raw (I am sure roasted would be delicious too)
  • (2) tbsp freshly chopped ginger
  • (1/2) cup water (to thin)
  • (4) tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • (1/4) cup maple syrup
  • (3) tbsp Bragg or soy sauce
  • (2) tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • (2) cloves garlic
  • (1/2) fresh jalapeno chile

Ready to roll?

Start by washing and prepping all of your veggies. Wash your greens, and leave them whole in a bowl and set aside. Grate your carrots and set aside in a separate bowl. Continue with the rest of the veggies, making sure to keep them all separate either in bowls or on a large platter or cutting board.

Next, prepare the sauce. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a blender, and blend on high until smooth. Transfer to a bowl or container and refrigerate (taste it first and you’ll be amazed at how good it is).

To make the wraps, prepare a clean work surface on a counter top or a large cutting board. Get a large mixing bowl and fill it with hot tap water.Take 2 of the rice paper wraps and immerse them in the bowl of hot water (make sure they are separated). Allow to soak for 30 seconds, or until completely soft to the touch (don’t leave them in for too long!). Remove one from the bowl and lay flat on the work space. Remove the second from the bowl and lay on top of the first, overlapping the two by about a 1/3 – 1/2 (see the photo).

Next, spread a line of carrots down the middle, leaving a little space at the ends for tucking in the edges. Next, add the greens – don’t be shy on the amounts as the veggies will condense nicely once rolled. In fact, you will be shocked at how much raw goodness you can cram in each of these bad boys. The veggies always seem to disappear just as I get going πŸ™‚

Follow the greens with a few strips of red pepper, green onion, and avocado if using.

At this point, you can decide whether to add a line of sauce to the inside of the rolls or not. I have tried them both ways and both are great, however, I do like the way they keep without the sauce and I always eat them with plenty of sauce on the side anyways!

Once you are all set on the veggies, start with one end of the roll and roll up, pulling the piled veggies into the roll with your hands to condense. Once you have the veggies tucked in nicely, turn in the side of the rice paper to form the ends of the roll.

Continue the rolling until the end – the wet rice paper will seal it all up inside as it dries. Place finished rolls on a clean plate until all done. You will find as they dry they are sealed little rolls of healthy perfection.

Continue this until all of your rolls are done (when your veggies are all gone). Don’t worry about running out of a vegetable – the more I make these the more I am reminded they taste great with any combination. You can really experiment with these!

Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.

~ Unknown

No mess, no fuss. Just good, healthy deliciousness. Serve with sauce on the side for either dipping, or with a spoon to grace each upcoming bite.

For packing takeaways, roll up with the sauce inside and eat cleanly πŸ™‚

I find these are the perfect answer when I get a little what I call ‘salad fatigue’. They keep quite nicely for a day or two in the fridge and are wonderful to come home to when you need a quick bit to eat that won’t zap you of your energy.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hope you’ll get rolling too. I started years ago, and it’s been a favorite in the kitchen ever since. It is cheap (a pack of these wraps cost less than $3) and a great way to use up veggies from the fridge.

Once you get the hang of the rolling, you’ll want to keep doing it again and again!

  • Have you ever made your own rice paper rolls?
  • If so, what are your favorite ingredients to put in them?

The variations are endless, and I’d love to hear your ideas!

Thanks for reading folks and for all of your comments and suggestions – in the next week I’ll be sharing a few more yummy classics, a little something for breakfast with quinoa and a gorgeous way to enjoy simple cauliflower.

If I am slow to respond it’s because I am off to bond with my work mates. We’ll be breathing the fresh air and having some serious fun too I suspect.

Have a wonderful weekend all!

Yours in Less,

77 Comments

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

Recipe: Sunny Day Orange Date Shake

Oranges and Sunshine – aren’t they the same thing?

I hope so!

Well dear blogging friends, how are you all? I hope you are well!

Here in Vancouver, we are plowing through our coldest June ever on record, with more rain than I (and most Vancouverites) would surely like, and a view to wake to each morning of brooding overcast grey.

I tell you, it’s a (wee) bit of a downer for those itching to get outside, and for anyone hoping to capture a little fun summer lovin’.

But if the sun won’t shine, I refuse to let it dampen my mood. So I decided to catch a little sunshine of my own πŸ™‚

The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you.

~ Unknown

Honestly, if I wasn’t so distracted with chasing my dreams (they are a long way off and it’s a crazy ride), I might just let the weather get to me.

But the truth is, I’ve got a lot to keep me busy, and most of all, an awful lot to be thankful for (and I suspect you might too).

So what if the sun isn’t shining?

I’ve got my health. I’ve got my family. I’ve got food on the table.

And really, what more is there?

Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.

~ Unknown

The Less:

Less store-bought cooked juice means more live enzymes and vital energy. Less refined sugar and sweets means more natural whole highs. Less high cost sugary drinks means less hit in your pocketbook, so you can put your money towards the real stuff.

The More:

More natural whole sugars means more healthy sustained energy. More well-balanced smoothie mixes means more well-balanced daily fuel. More liquid sunshine in the form of orange juice means more bright vitamins and minerals, so you can get that brightness into you πŸ™‚

Sunny Day Orange Date Shake:

  • 1 whole large orange (navels are so good right now!)
  • (1/2) cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • (6) dates, soaked overnight
  • (1) tbsp tahini (roasted or raw)
  • (1) frozen banana
  • (1/2) tsp grated orange zest
  • (6) ice cubes (optional)

Liquid sunshine in your glass is just this easy..

The night before, put up your dates to soak in fresh cold water to cover, and freeze your banana*.

*I freeze ripe bananas whole in their peels. This makes it easy to pop them in the freezer when they are getting, well, brown and too far gone (but perfect for bread or smoothies). To peel, simply remove the banana from the freezer and run it under hot water for a few seconds. With a paring knife, simply peel the skin off the banana like you would the skin of an apple.

In the morning (whether overcast or sunny) peel your orange. Grate your zest. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth and luscious.

You might need shades when you do this, it’s going to be bright!

Most of the shadows of life are caused by standing in our own sunshine.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Serve in a cold glass and enjoy. The tahini adds a hint of protein and weight that makes this smoothie feel substantial, without being heavy.

The zest will sit with you a while on your palate and leave a trail of sweetness long after you take the last sip.

Just like sunshine leaves a bit of color and warmth on your face.

I know summer will come.

But for now I’ve got this smoothie.

And I’ve got my dreams. I am all set.

If you see a friend without a smile; give him one of yours.

~ Unknown

Here’s to finding happiness from within, knowing that at any moment you can change your outlook.

I am surely not immune to outside forces wreaking havoc on my moods or emotions, and I too succumb to feelings of frustration and doubt. I am human after all.

But then I get into the kitchen, crank the tunes, and start peeling oranges! Nothing is (ever) that bad, and for that I am grateful everyday.

  • Whats your recipe for getting out of a funk?
  • Got a great rainy day activity to share with us?

I’d love to know your secrets to finding sunshine, no matter what the day looks like outside!

Yours in Less,

81 Comments

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

Recipe: Kale Veggie Slaw with Sesame Miso Dressing

Raw veggies make me feel so good!

A day without laughter is a day wasted.

~ Charles Chaplin

Have you laughed today?!

I mean, really laughed? The side-splitting, joyful, exhaustion and tear inducing laughter that used to get us sent to the hallways in high school?

I love laughing. Laughter makes me happy. We try to laugh a lot. But sometimes I need to lighten up.

I’ve just returned from a (super) busy time of travel for work. Being on the road and working takes a tremendous amount of energy – and I am so grateful to have the weekend to catch up and return to my regular routine.

And to laugh!

The human race has only one really effective weapon and that is laughter.

~ Mark Twain

I don’t know about you, but I am a lot more prone to laughter when I am feeling spiffy.

Spiffy to me means my tummy is happy, my heart is happy, and my family and friends around me are happy.

To achieve all of these, I must take care of the 1st: making my tummy happy.

Because if my tummy is happy, my heart is happy knowing I am taking care of myself. When my heart is happy, it shines, and when it shines, it casts its light on anyone else around me.

And they are happy too.

You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

~ Buddha

Seem too simple? I’d love to hear what brings happiness and laughter your way, because (IMO) there is no such thing as too much laughter (except when it is in the middle of science class).

This salad is a flavorful explosion that will bring a smile to your face. Featuring beautiful raw kale, broccoli stalks, carrots, and the ever humble rutabega, I’ll be bringing this to many a summer patio this year!

Let’s dig in!

The Less:

Less lettuce means less more creative ways to use up vegetables. Less cooking means more raw nutrition. Less store-bought dressings and pre-grated veggies means less cost, preservatives, and packaging. Less conventional foods means more adventurous meals, and maybe a few laughs along the way too!

The More:

More cheap vegetables means filling up for pennies. More vibrant raw veggies means more vibrant raw smiles. More kale and broccoli means more super-powered greens, and more savvy delicious potluck salads means you’ll always get an invite!

Kale Veggie Slaw with Sesame Miso Dressing

  • (1) cups grated carrots (about 2 medium)
  • (1) cup grated broccoli stalks (about 3)
  • (1) cup grated rutabega or turnip (1/2 large)
  • (3) cups green emerald kale, chopped fine
  • (1/2) large red bell pepper
  • (1/2 – 1) cup roasted cashews (whole or pieces)

Dressing:

  • (3/4) cup canola oil
  • (2) tbsp dark sesame oil
  • (1/4) cup apple cider vinegar
  • (1/4) cup white miso
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped ginger
  • (1/2) cup water

Start by combining all dressing ingredients except for the water. With the water ready, blend on high and add the water to the blender in a slow steady stream, until the dressing is light and frothy.

Transfer to a clean jar. This recipe makes more than required for this salad and is amazing on rice or quinoa, or any fresh green salad!

It’s hands down a wonderful vegan dressing that is smooth, flavorful, and incredibly delicious!

If you have a food processor with a grating attachment, or a salad master grater, you can grate the vegetables this way. Otherwise a hand grater (on a medium grate, don’t do it on a super fine cheese grater) will do. Grate each vegetable into a mixing bowl one at a time. You can opt to peel the carrots or not, but I always do for salads like this as they tend to keep better this way.

Grate the carrots, rutabega, and broccoli stalk all to the same size and mix well.

I’d rather be able to face myself in the bathroom mirror than be rich and famous.

~ Ani DiFranco

To chop the kale, use a good chopping knife. Chop the washed kale leaves as you would fresh herbs, into half-inch pieces or so, and add to the bowl. Chop the red pepper to a medium dice and add to the mix. Feeling good yet?

Toast the cashews in 350 degree oven until brown (about 10 minutes) or in a dry skillet on the stove-top. If using pieces, add straight to the bowl, or coarsely chop whole ones before adding.

To dress, start by adding 2/3 cup of the dressing to the bowl and mixing all well. If you like, add more dressing to taste. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds or more roasted cashews and serve!

This salad keeps well for at least a day in the fridge. In fact, my daughter said it was even better the next day, so no one needs worry about leftovers here!

When the kids will eat kale, that’s always a good sign, and while one of them still won’t touch it, I am pretty happy to have the hubby and teenager enjoying it now πŸ™‚

Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.

~ George Gordon Byron

Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson

By being yourself, you put something wonderful in the world that was not there before.

~Edwin Elliot

So amazing with a few slices of ripe avocado.

Bliss in a bowl!

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

~ Victor Borge

This might be funny to you. Or not.

I hope wherever you are on this fine evening, you are in the company of loved ones (perhaps even enjoying a hearty laugh).

I am so looking forward to catching up on life this weekend (this includes catching up with all my blogging buddies!).

After whipping up a batch of spicy spinach hummus and putting up some rice to cook, I am headed outside….I can hear the sounds of children’s laughter out there, and I think I might be missing out!

  • What’s your most extreme laughing memory?
  • Ever found yourself literally on the floor or (worse) kicked out of class?

I’ve always cherished the gems I carry with me and I’d love to hear yours! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful week! It’s so nice to be back πŸ™‚

Yours in Less,

114 Comments

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

Recipe: Light Peach & Banana Smoothie

Welcome to the week friends!

All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Hello all! Hoping you all had a wonderful weekend!

We spent some time doing some more spring cleaning – and by that I mean mostly me. It was time to (finally) get to a closet project I’d been dreaming of for a while (but hadn’t the courage to tackle).

So I did it…and (seriously)……it feels just as good as I thought it would!

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.

– Robert Louis Stevenson.

Today is also the first anniversary of the day I woke up and started something new – the idea for Not So Fast was officially born a year ago today. My how time flies!

It is wonderful to see the journey that has emerged from starting this blog (and this super fun project). It is one of true community – and THAT my friends is a (very) beautiful thing – so thank you (truly) for the support, appreciation, & the sharing & sheer inspiration that overflows from this wonderful blogging community!

You all amaze me. Truly, you do!!

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.

– Helen Keller.

So, let’s get to this yummy smoothie now, shall we?

The More:

More fresh fruit to start the day means more simple natural sugars to get you going. More bananas (from fair trade farms) means more good hearty nutrition with minimal calories and heaviness. More blended goodness means digesting is a snap – so lightness is yours for the day!

The Less:

Less sweets and extras in your smoothies means simple ingredients on hand are all you need. Less of the fancy stuff means ingredients are attainable and cheap – so you can get more for less – and feel great doing it!

Light Peach & Banana Smoothie:

  • (2) bananas, fresh or frozen
  • (1) cup peaches, frozen or fresh (you can also sub nectarines)
  • (3-4) dates, pitted
  • (1- 1.5) cups almond milk
  • (4-6) ice cubes
  • cinnamon or cardamom to sprinkle on top (optional)
  • a lovely cinnamon stick to dress up the glass (optional too of course!)

Combine all of the ingredients in your blender and blend on high until frothy and beautiful. Feel free to add more almond milk or water as needed to get the mixture rolling.

Enjoy on your deck (in a clean mason jar maybe πŸ™‚ ) with a good book, view, or just one or two quiet moments to yourself.

The best things in life aren’t things.

~ Art Buchwald

Be helpful. When you see a person without a smile, give them yours

– Zig Ziglar

Me and my little inspiration...

With all this nice weather – smoothie season is about to kick in to high gear – I am getting giddy just thinking about it!

Here is a quote that I found particularly awesome this weekend:

Life is not about weathering the storm….it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

  • What smoothies are you loving these days?
  • Got any tips on how to dance in the rain?

Let’s get moving, shall we? I am already…

πŸ™‚

Yours in Less,


70 Comments

Filed under Food, Gluten Free, Happiness, Not So Fast, Photography, Raw, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Sweet Treats, Vegan, Vegetarian

Recipe: Sweet Life Coconut Chocolate Chews

There’s always room for a little sweetness in life.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.

~ Mother Teresa

Want to stay sweet?

Life is quick, yes – and so it should be good.

And by good, I mean full of sweetness and joy – not just for us as individuals but for those special people we share our lives with.

Good actions give strength to ourselves and inspire good actions in others.

~ Plato

Being good (comes with being sweet) isn’t as easy as we wish it was. Like anything worth doing, being good, consistently, is hard work.

So make it easy for yourself. Start with you!

Treat yourself as you would have others treat you!

Whip up a batch of these delicious bars, throw them in the fridge, and enjoy a healthy feel good treat whenever the mood strikes you.

Share them with friends. Live the sweet life. Never look back.

The Less:

Less processed foods in your sweet treats means more real energy to infuse goodness into your cellular self. Less flour based treats means easy simple sugars, protein, and whole foods in their pure form that are a snap to break down and provide long burning fuel that doesn’t need baking. Less refined ingredients in the form of oils and less heat from not cooking means your food stays in tact in its raw state. Less ingredients mean your stars can take their sweet spot at center stage.

The More:

More real chocolate, nuts, and coconut means more rich satisfying goodness that will feed your soul and your stomach. More super foods and dried fruit means less of the sugared stuff is needed to be satisfied. More sweetness on your tongue means more sweetness where you speak, so whispering sweet words and spreading kindness have never been easier.

Sweet Life Coconut Chocolate Chews:

  • (200) grams good dark chocolate
  • (3) cups shredded coconut (part can be roasted lightly)
  • (1/4-1/2) cup cocoa nibs
  • (2) cup pitted dates soaked 4-6 hours in cold fresh water
  • (1) cup raw whole brazil nuts, coarsely ground
  • a pinch of good sea salt (or two)

Start by soaking the dates 4-6 hours in advance using the same method as I described here for Coconut Date Bliss Balls.

Once ready to make, begin by melting your chocolate using a double method of your choice (I outline mine here).

Grind your brazil nuts using a hand blender grinding attachment, a food processor, or my latest accessory: a hand nut grinder ($12.99)! If you choose to roast a portion of your coconut, heat the oven to 350 degrees and roast the coconut for a few minutes only, 2-3 minutes should be plenty.

Drain the soaked dates (reserve the soaking liquid in case you need any) and add to a blender. Blend the dates on high without additional water until blended (it’s okay if there are a few chunks). If you feel you need to, add a little of the date soaking water to facilitate better blending, just be careful not to make it too wet.

Combine all prepared ingredients – melted chocolate, roasted or raw coconut, blended dates, cocoa nibs and ground nuts – in a large mixing bowl and mix together by hand. Add a little pinch or two of good sea salt to the mixture if desired (you’ll want to do this part but only with really good sea salt).

Good sea salt is important.

Line a 9 by 9 inch square pan with parchment paper (if you don’t have parchment paper a little oil or butter inside the pan will be fine). Spread the mixture into the pan and press with your hands to make a firm even layer of yummy. This is like a massage of love onto your dessert and so essential to the taste!

Think good thoughts while you do this (maybe take a few long deep breaths too)!

Once pressed (and blessed), throw the pan into the fridge to set for an hour or so. Remove from fridge to cut into whatever shape you desire and store in a sealed container either at room temperature or in the fridge (I opt for the fridge).

Enjoy your sweet treats – you deserve them…really! We all deserve sweetness, whether bestowed on ourselves (by ourselves) or by others.

That it will never come again is what makes life sweet.

~ Emily Dickinson

Wherever you find yourself on this gorgeous March day, I hope your day is smelling sweet, and your kitchen is smelling even sweeter!

As for me, I’ll be taking in the sights and sounds of the soccer field sidelines and reveling in the sweet moments I am collecting to tide me over for my future. My kids won’t be young forever – and neither will I πŸ™‚

  • What are you reveling this fine weekend?
  • Any good deeds you’d like to share with us?

Go ahead, make our day!

Thanks to all of you for coming back to visit – your support, comments, and blogging inspiration are truly wonderful and I love hearing from you – so wherever you are on this fine day: thanks for being you!

Yours in Less,

39 Comments

Filed under Desserts, Gluten Free, Nut Recipes, Photography, Raw, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Sweet Treats, Uncategorized, Vegan

Recipe: Lively Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce

An easy take on a few fresh favorites (for all)!

A really great talent finds its happiness in execution.

~ Goethe

Good day folks! Here it is, as promised, the brightest, greenest, freshest sauce to hit our fridge (that won’t go brown) in a long long while!

I should start by stating that I could eat foods inspired by Mexican flavors everyday without any issue (really, at all).

I mean, really, this food is made with quite possibly the simplest, freshest, and most flavorful ingredients out there – not to mention being outright cheap and easy to obtain and prepare.

I’ve yet to meet a person who disagrees with me on this either – and I think I’d be challenged to based on the general love I see for all things taco related online and elsewhere (delicious food truck anyone?).

Let’s just say: LOVE.

Yes, there it is – for veggies and meat eaters alike to vegans and gluten free folk. There is something for everyone here….most all an abundance of fresh flavor that you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy!

Let’s go through the list when it comes to the amazing flavors that have permeated our house these days:

Limes: easy to find and cheap. Cilantro: easy to find (and grow) and cheap. Green onions: same.

The rest? A little goes a long way here: a few nuts (which could easily become dairy too if preferred), a little oil, water and salt (and don’t forget to add a little kale of course!) – and you are set!

A gorgeous any-day meal inspiration to top just about anything.

This sauce is part of a trio of sauces I have been playing with – so far this version has gotten the most play simply for the ease of ingredients, and the fresh color and flavor.

I’ll be posting the other sauces too, but let’s get started with the basics!

The Less:

Less store bought cooked and pasteurized sauces means more freshness to enhance your favorite foods. Less salt, sugar, and other additives means less stress and more rest for your hard working cells. Less wondering what to put on your food makes less work of enjoying whatever (just happens) to be on hand.

The More:

More fresh greens in your everyday repertoire means more of the good stuff without trying. More lively citrus juice means more zip and flavor without sacrifice. More homemade raw goodness makes more (of any) foods come alive. More lively food means more lively meals, which can lead to more liveliness at the dinner table and who knows just where else?

Lively Cilantro Jalapeno Sauce:

  • (3/4) cup raw whole cashews or pieces
  • (1) whole bunch cilantro, stems removed (yup – the entire bunch!)
  • (1) fresh jalapeno pepper
  • (1/2) bunch green onion (tops only – about 1/3-1/2 cup, no need to chop!)
  • (1-2) leaves green curly kale
  • (4) tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • (1) cup water
  • (2) tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • (1) tsp good sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high. Keep things moving with a spatula if you like, and let it go until it is well blended and super duper bright green!

Use the whole jalapeno if you don’t mind a little kick, otherwise feel free to remove the seeds first if you prefer a milder flavor.

There you have it – pour into a jar and keep sealed in the fridge. This will last at least a week in the fridge – see how long it lasts you!

This sauce works brilliantly (as you can imagine) smothered on a freshly warmed corn tortilla and topped with any range of beans, chopped veggies, with or without meat or cheese. It also works to top any kind of veggie burger and is delicious on the Quinoa Protein Bites posted here!

β€œWhat lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Here it is with a few Ancho Chiles blended in..

The beauty and simplicity within each of the ingredients in this recipe remind me that good food is always just a step away and needn’t be complicated to be prepared well, or enjoyed.

On a personal note, I am so enjoying the comments and feedback from all of you this week – particularly the notes on your favorite childhood snacks – it’s so fun to be taken back for just a moment to what we ate in the good old days!

Thanks to all of you for taking part – I hope you are enjoying the week!

  • Are you a giant fan of Mexican inspired foods?
  • What are your favorite cheap and easy meals?

Feel free to share your lively thoughts below – and enjoy this one!

Yours in Less,

33 Comments

Filed under Cashews, Cheap, Cooking, Feeding, Food, Raw, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Recipe: Everyday Green Smoothie

Okay, who is totally loving the extra daylight?

To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.

~ Buddha

And now for something completely different…and maybe (just a little) more healthy. After all, it is spring, and spring calls for:
  • lighter food
  • lighter clothing
  • lighter thinking
  • lighter evenings (yay)!
It’s time to talk smoothies (just a little).
Can we just stop here for a moment in revel in the health benefits and yummy flavors of endless possible combinations of blended fruits?

Okay. Good.

Now, lately (and I know I am not alone here), I have been enjoying many versions of the green smoothie. I like to add avocado to make it creamy and satisfying (again, sooo not alone here). The other fruit I add is totally dependent on what’s around. In keeping with the theme of ‘less is more’ – I try whenever I can to incorporate cheaper, more local fruits into my blended delights – like the frozen cranberries pictured here (a giant BC crop that is largely exported), or cast-off apples, frozen BC berries, etc. But the beauty really is – anything goes!

The Less:

Less heavy meals means easy work for your body and mind, not to mention a light energetic feeling to boot. Easy to digest fruit sugars give the body a nice buzz that doesn’t crash and leave you down in the dumps. Less pasteurized fruit juices and over the counter smoothies means more fresh enzymes and less additives, sugar, or other things you don’t want or need.

The More:

More fresh fruits means more vital energy pulsing through your veins. More blended live enzymes means the body gets a hand digesting (imagine digestion that wasn’t taxing!) More greens, fiber, and good fat from this combo will result in all round feel good vibes. Everyday.

Everyday Green Smoothie:

  • (1) avocado (feel free to use a half or a whole)
  • (1) cup chopped fresh or frozen fruit (berries, summer fruit, apple, mango)
  • (1) banana (you can sub this out too)
  • (1) cup liquid – apple juice, water, almond milk*
  • (1-2) leaves kale or a handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • (1-2) dates (optional)

Add your ingredients to the blender, blend on high for a minute or two, and enjoy!

* Start with one cup of liquid and add more if needed.

One the topic of liquid, I am a little old-school and have a thing about mixing fruit with other foods – years ago (like almost 20 years or so) I read a number of books on proper food combining and have never really dropped the idea that fruits should be eaten alone or not at all.

With that said, almond milk in smoothies is utterly delicious. My own personal experience tells me almond milk can combine with longer digesting fruits like banana, but it is up to the individual to find what works for them on this one.

For more current info on this topic by someone I really admire, check out the beautiful New York based raw food cleanse guru Natalia Rose here.

This is one of my go to post-fast meals, especially for the morning after a fast day. Or, if I feel that I can’t go without food entirely on a fast day (it happens), it’s common for me to whip up a fairly generous portion of this to take with me to consume when I need it (but never before).

Because fasting isn’t always about not eating, and consuming smoothie for a portion of a day would be a great way to ‘go without’ for many who typically eat heavier, more taxing foods as habit or preference.

The way you think, the way you behave, the way you eat, can influence your life by 30 to 50 years.

~ Deepak Chopra

  • What is your fave smoothie fruit?
  • Are you enjoying the extra daylight too?

I love receiving your feedback and know many of you will have a lot to add here – I’d love to know your favorites!

On another note, my feet really look great – though who are we kidding, I think I only go for the massage!

I looked for some of the suggested shades (thank you!), was unsuccessful, and ended up choosing something called “Clubbing all Night” by OPI. Don’t quote me exactly on the name, but it’s a delightfully sparkly orange that is making me very happy – not to mention making me imagine myself as (just a little) bad ass with that name…

Next up: a little something with quinoa!

I hope you are all having an amazingly wonderful week – and here’s to lighter living in honor of the arrival of spring!

Yours in Less,


31 Comments

Filed under Cheap, Cooking, Fasting, Gluten Free, Happiness, Raw, Recipes, Rejuvenation, Vegan

Recipe: Superfood Coconut Energy Cookies

We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.

~ Japanese Proverb

Anyone out there tried making almond milk yet with any great success?

I’ve been swooning over it myself these days (and so has the teenager!) and have looked forward to coming up with new ways to use up the pulp (I’ve now finished the last batch of ice cream).

Here is the latest go with a use for almond pulp, and my, its yummy! No need for anything other than the ingredients, a bowl, your clean hands, and a good song!

The Less:

Less waste, less sugar, less sweetened, baked treats. Less packaging from making almond milk. Less cooking means less energy, and less appliances means less time spent on clean up πŸ™‚ Less wondering what to do with this superfood stuff!

The More:

More seriously potent fiber from hemp hearts and cocoa nibs. Lots of good energy, protein, and yummy healthy fats too. More dancing if you make them like we make them (we dance a lot).

Superfood Coconut Energy Cookies:

  • almond pulp from one recipe Mindful Almond Milk (about 3/4 cup)
  • (2) cups shredded unsweetened coconut (you can roast a small portion of you like)
  • (3) tbsp almond or any nut butter
  • (1/2) cup hemp hearts
  • (2) tbsp maple syrup
  • (1) cup quick oats
  • (1/4-1/2) cup cocoa nibs (you can also sub in teeny tiny chocolate chips or a roasted ground nuts)

It’s simple really..

Mix all together with your hands – form into little cookie shapes no bigger than two inches in diameter. Feel free to play with amounts until you reach a firm texture that will mold and hold shape well.

Voila! Keep in the fridge – I took these into work and they totally vanished (if you want any maybe don’t do that)…these little treats are two bit perfection as a little snack or a treat – you could even snag them for a quick breakfast.

This is a move you could try. Or not.

You can dance anywhere, even if only in your heart.

~ Author Unknown

Let us know what you think (and how you are, will you?!)

  • Do you dance in the kitchen?
  • What are you dancing to this week?

Next post, more oats…

Have a wonderful day!

Yours in Less,

42 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Nut Recipes, Oatmeal, Raw, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Sweet Treats, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian

Recipe: Killer Kale Pesto

There’s just something about the promise of Spring.

Oh heavens!

The sun came out yesterday, and it seems, decided to stay for a while (the forecast is clear for at least another day).

Insert multiple smiley face emoticons here!!

Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.

– Helen Keller

It’s safe to say it’s been a (very) welcome change and the views of the twinkling snow capped mountains are particularly breathtaking. Yesterday was the day that I just knew spring had come knocking here in these parts:

  • the larks have come singing
  • the daylight has come to linger for a (just a little) while longer
  • I nearly injured myself in my hustle to peel my boots and thick tights off to get outside.

Craving the fresh air and the outdoors after work, I hurled myself outside to enjoy the remaining glorious daylight, the bustle of activity around the park, and the smiles and quips of the many who were of the same mind as me.

Oh happy day, the larks were still singing too!

Of course in my excitement, I under-dressed as it was still finger-numbingly cold (a total newbie move). But I didn’t care.

You cannot dream yourself into character: you must hammer and forge yourself into one.

~ Henry D. Thoreau

What a perfect start to the week, and the perfect time to write another post about one of my all time favorite green vegetables.

Are you with me?

Yup, it’s KALE again! I just can’t get enough of this stuff these days – evidence on this blog is here and here.

Here it is, the most perfect pesto with a twist! This recipe can be made with or without the cheese (and I assure you) is stunning either way. It’s almost entirely raw too.

The Less:

Less store bought processed foods is always a good thing. Less processed salt and cheese is too. Less emphasis on oil and basil means more room for other greens, nuts, and your pure, unadulterated love.

The More:

More satisfying richness from real foods means less craving for it in less pure foods. More fresh kale, parsley, and fresh herbs means more rich green nutrition (that you can grow yourself!). More lemon will have you smiling, and more (killer) flavor will go an awful long way.

Killer Kale Pesto:

  • (1) cup pecan halves, raw
  • (1/4) cup pumpkin seeds, freshly toasted
  • (3/4) cup olive oil
  • (1) cup green curly kale, chopped
  • (1/2) cup fresh basil
  • (1/4) cup fresh parsley
  • (1) clove organic garlic
  • (1) tbsp salt
  • (5) tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • (5) tbsp good quality grated parmesan cheese (optional)

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lay the pumpkin seeds on a flat tray and pop into the oven while it heats (my trick with dry roasting nuts – I put them in while the oven gradually reaches temperature, this keeps them roasting evenly and prevents that dreaded over roasting – ooooops!). Toast until fragrant and turning golden, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the other ingredients and add to the blender, starting with the pecans first. Once toasted, add the seeds right away to the blender while still warm – the heat from the warm seeds will assist in better blending and the result will be a much smoother blending process and slightly more delicious pesto.

Blend on high and move around with a spatula to get it going*. Blend all until you reach a thick well blended consistency and there are no bits of kale left.

*Of course you can also use a food processor for this, but alas, I do not use one!

Voila! Scrape with a spatula into a clean jar. This will keep refrigerated for a while in the fridge (at least a week or more). You can also freeze in small containers!

This seriously delicious pesto adds an exquisite touch to a boring old piece of toast, a flavorful topping for a cracker, and an even more delicious component to a polenta appetizer or pizza (like I made tonight with broccoli – double green hit – super yum!).

I’ll share a few of my thoughts on polenta (and how to make a number of delicious dishes with it) in a later post, but for now, join me in an ode to freshness in the form of sunshine, fresh greens, fresh air, fresh inspiration, fresh finds, and best of all fresh ideas!

There may not (really) be anything new under the sun, but what old gem doesn’t benefit from a little freshening up from time to time?

  • How do you stay fresh?
  • Do you love kale as much as I do?

Oh, please do tell.

Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself

~ Zen Proverb

Welcome to all the new readers this week and and a huge, giant thanks to all the wonderful people I have met along the way so far! I really, truly enjoy all of your comments, and appreciate every single one!

This week I’ve got a yummy raw energy cookie to share, oil-free granola, and some other delicious bits and pieces..

I hope you are all starting a truly fabulous week..!

Yours in Less,

208 Comments

Filed under Cooking, Nut Recipes, Photography, Raw, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Finding More in coffee and (just a little) fun with friends.

More Chocolate anyone?

This one is pretty straight forward.

Like Chocolate? Check.

Like Coffee? Check.

Like sweet, iced, lusciously energizing beverages? Check.

Let’s not talk about our occasional jaunts to Starbucks, K? I won’t tell if you won’t, and for the record, they do a lot of things pretty well, and I kind of have to credit them with getting me hooked on coffee in the first place (and life is (just a little) better with coffee in it, in this girls’ very humble opinion).

In all seriousness, I consider myself very fortunate to have access to some of the very best roasted coffee in the world – check out the roaster I work for here – and I don’t really hit many Starbucks, unless I am traveling.

But who doesn’t love a decadent pick me up now and again?

Crafting this insanely delicious concoction isn’t rocket science, but you do need to be prepared (as in you have to have made the almond milk and the ice cream from the last two posts)…

Almond Iced Mocha:

Combine everything in your blender and enjoy!

You might also want to cover your bases with a good activity planned for after ingesting this.

(No, really).

Chances are you’ll be pretty juiced and I’d really hate to see that energy go to waste…

Got a book to finish? Write it. Gardening? Have the shovels and gloves ready! 10K time you want to beat? Now’s your chance.

Or, if you are anything like me, you might just kick back and enjoy another kind of activity that I wish I could do more often.

The joy of doing nothing.

The energy of the mind is the essence of life.

~ Aristotle

However you choose to enjoy your time, do it well.

And do it often!

So that will wrap the sweet stuff for a bit…(I promise)..

I am excited to share some wonderful savory recipes and an idea for a series I’ve been working on.

Here are a few shots of the Not So Fast photo shoot we did on Sunday, it was a blast!

 

Huge thanks to all the new readers who have shared your enthusiasm with me, you are all amazing!

  • What do you do with your excess energy?
  • Are you a coffee drinker too?

Happy Wednesday folks!

Yours in Less,

27 Comments

Filed under Desserts, Going Without, Happiness, Non-Profit Organization, Not So Fast, Nut Recipes, Photography, Raw, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Running, Success, Vegan