Tag Archives: summer

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

Yours in Less,

114 Comments

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

Recipe: Fierce French Lentil Salad

The only way to improve a lentil is to make it (just a little) fierce & French!

โ€œThe only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.โ€
โ€• Socrates

Greetings fine blogging friends!

I’m back home after a brief business trip to the foothills of the Rocky Mountains (a fancy way of saying Calgary).

I have returned home to a few new blooms in the garden and dare I say….just a tiny bit of a tan on my face?!! Okay, that might be stretching it a (just a little) but I did spend a couple of days in the warm Prairie sun – it was pretty sweet ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s always extra-super-amazing to be back home, no matter how long I leave for.

โ€œUnless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.โ€

โ€• Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

In keeping with my last post (and a few before that I think!), here is one of my favorite go-to cold protein salad recipes. I hesitate to call it a recipe, as it’s more just a food I love, and a food I fall back on time and time again.

More lentils! But not just any old lentils.

I am talking about French lentils, or Puy lentils as they are also called (they originally came from Puy, France). Those of you who read this blog regularly might just say I have been training for France my entire adult life – which is about as long as I’ve been enjoying these deliciously sophisticated legumes!!

Not exactly the French countryside, but every once in a while it's fun to pretend. This view is right up the street from my house in the city. Doesn't it look quaint?

โ€œCount your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.โ€

โ€• John Lennon

It could be hard to find these in some parts of the world, and I’ve always found them successfully in health food or organic grocery stores. A suitable substitute would be ‘Beluga’ lentils, also black and a little plumper.

I have read that French lentils take longer to cook than other lentils, which I have never found to be the case – it could be because I steam them, instead of boiling them (which for me always turns this kind to mush).

Does anyone else do this too?

I can’t tell you where I learned this from, or how I learned it, because I honestly don’t remember – but what I can tell you is it makes them ridiculously good!

Let’s get to this fierce salad, shall we? Yes!

โ€œI can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then. โ€

โ€• Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

The Less:

Less boiling in hot water means more in-tact nutrition in your final product. Less canned beans and lentils means more texture, and less waste, recycling, and cost. Less heavy & starchy beans means a lighter feeling in your tummy, and less heavy tummies means more light smiles and happy times – and (maybe) (just a little) less gas. Good, right?

The More:

More high fiber legumes means more roughage in your system. More rich protein and satisfaction means you need to eat less to get full. More yummy textures and flavors mean more variety and substance. More taste and versatility means you can serve these to anyone – even if they aren’t lentil lovers (yet!).

Fierce French Lentil Salad:

  • (1) cup French lentils or Puy lentils (can sub Beluga lentils)
  • (1) pint grape tomatoes,ย roasted (or 1/2 cup thinly sliced or chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil)
  • (1/2) cup green onions
  • (3) tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • (2) tbsp red wine vinegar
  • (1) tsp salt (or to taste)
  • (1/2) cup roasted almond slivers or blanched sliced almonds
  • (1/2) cup cubes of feta cheese (optional)
  • fresh black pepper

The Lentils:

The trick here is to soak the lentils at least 12 hours. I usually put up a bowl to soak over night and cook them in the morning or the following evening.

Combine the lentils with lots of cold water and soak. When ready to cook, drain the lentils and rinse in a colander with plenty of cold water. Put the lentils into a vegetable steamer with enough water to last long enough to boil 25-30 minutes. Bring to a boil, once the steam water is boiling, turn the heat to medium-high and cook, covered for 25-30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft. You can test them by tasting or squashing one between your fingers – it should crush easily, but you don’t want it to be mush either.

Once the lentils are done (soft but firm), transfer them to a bowl to cool. After about 5 minutes, add the olive oil and salt (you can also add the vinegar at this stage) to the still warm/hot lentils – this allows the oil and salt to soak into each lentil’s individual little soul, infusing it with yummy depth and fierce flavor!

From here, you can store the lentils in the fridge until you want to use them. Or, proceed with the following steps!

The Tomatoes:

If you are using roasted grape tomatoes, rinse the tomatoes in water and drain. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the tomatoes in a tbsp of olive oil or so and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place on a flat oiled sheet, and roast the tomatoes until wrinkly – anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour. They should be black a little on the bottom. Remove and cool on the pan before transferring to a bowl.

This step can be done well in advance – I often buy ‘cast-offs’ from the produce section of wrinkly tomatoes that are too old to eat fresh. They are usually dirt cheap and I roast them and keep them in the fridge. Delicious on sandwiches or on top of a salad or roasted veggies – even on pasta with capers!

The Nuts:

Roast the nuts by placing them dry on a flat cookie sheet in the oven. Roast at 350 degrees for about 3-4 minutes, or until fragrant and turning brown.

Roasted almonds are the family favorite and we have a bowl of them in the kitchen pretty much all the time. The kids love them, the husband loves them, guests love them. I often toast up a few cups and use them at dinner.

Leftovers are brilliant on breakfast cereals or Mediterranean yoghurt in the morning with hemp hearts & maple syrup ๐Ÿ™‚

To create the salad, combine the oiled & salted cooked (and cooled) lentils in a bowl with the nuts, green onions, and optional feta. If you are using sun-dried tomatoes, add them when you mix as well. For the roasted tomatoes, add these to the top of the mixture in the serving bowl(s) just before serving.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.โ€

โ€• Theodore Roosevelt

This dish (or a version of this dish) is a fabulous picnic salad or addition to a summer potluck. Served with greens, fresh baguette or crackers, and a glass of French wine, the only thing better would be, well, being in France! ๐Ÿ™‚

โ€œBe yourself; everyone else is already taken.โ€

โ€• Oscar Wilde

Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.โ€

โ€• George Bernard Shaw

A classic shot of T and me on my first trip to Paris, summer of 2010.

Getting out there into the big big world helps us to appreciate coming home (just a little) more, and I always come home (just a little) more thankful for all the relationships I am so lucky to be a participant in.

Whether it is the friendships and connections forged on the road or the smiles on the kids faces when you walk in the door (yes – even after one night away – lucky me!), interactions with others are always an extraordinarily special gift.

It’s a good life, indeed. Isn’t it?

Thanks to all of you who continue to read and support this (little) blog – your comments always make my day, no matter where I am!

โ€œIt is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.โ€

โ€• Albert Einstein

  • What’s your favorite potluck summer salad?
  • Have you a favorite lentil variety or recipe to share with us?

Let us know! I hear there is a sweet vegan potluck coming up (click the link for more info over at an unrefined vegan), it’s time to start planning contributions!

I can’t wait to see what we are all bringing to the table, and a giant thanks to Ann at AUV for bringing it all together and for all the inspiration!

Yours in Less,

59 Comments

Filed under Food, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Salads, Savory, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Recipe: Sesame Seaweed Gomashio

Time to lighten up!

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

~ Leo Tolstoy

Lighten up you say?

Yes, friends, it’s time to lighten up (just a little) here at the world IPOM headquarters!

It’s been a really great few months since this little blog began. Actually, let’s get real, it’s been a phenomenally fun few months for this girl – sharing recipes and thoughts on food and life has been a wonderful experience so far, one that has been made rich by all of you!

A moment of gratitude by an old barn - one to remember! Namaste!

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Now, I’d love to have you all believe that I am truly pleased with myself at every given moment.

Truly I would!

But that would just not be right, or even close to accurate, now would it?

The real deal is that after a long dreary west coast winter, I’m feeling (just a little) more ‘well fed’ than I’d like.

You know all this cooking inevitably leads to eating – which IS (of course) a good thing – but I know my body well enough to know when it’s time for an ever so slight re-calibration.

Be the change that you wish to see in the world.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Just like a barista whose espresso is running (just a little) too fast, I’ll be tightening up the grind a little to reach that sweet spot that makes the coffee (along with the body and soul) sing.

Of course, the body is most certainly not an espresso machine, or a few grams of coffee beans – but I do like to think it’s a whole lot simpler than that.

โ€œKnowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.โ€

โ€• Aristotle

We'll be there in no time!

You won’t see any dramatic or drastic measures of any kind here, even though that is most certainly in my nature to do (which is precisely the reason I won’t do it).

Instead I’ll be cutting back (just a little) and making small changes that are sustainable. It’s that time of year anyway!

โ€œTrue life is lived when tiny changes occur.โ€

~ Leo Tolstoy

So with that, I’ll be posting the same healthy recipes and sharing the same good eats as always.

I’ll be eating (and sharing) a lot more salads. Come the season, fresh fruits will play a much bigger role too. Watermelon will once again become a household staple (it always is in the summer when it’s cheap and sweet).

It’s time to put away the soup pots and the casserole dishes, and bring out the salad graters and dusty popsicle sticks. (It is almost summer after all).

Prepare for the summer spreads..

Today I will start with a simple healthy recipe to top your green salads with.

This recipe with Japanese roots has been a household staple in my family since I was young, and my mom still has it on her dinner table every night. Sprinkle it on everything from salad to brown rice to pasta, and you’ve got protein, minerals, calcium, and loads of flavor easily at hand.

โ€œThose who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.โ€

~ George Bernard Shaw

The Less:

Less overly salty condiments means less sodium in the diet overall. Less store-bought toasted seeds means more fresh oils that aren’t rancid from lingering on a shelf. Less store-bought anything means more pennies in your wallet, and less waste, packaging, and less than clean karma to boot.

The More:

More seaweed in your diet means more fine minerals in your blood. More sesame means more calcium too. More home toasted seeds means more flavor and freshness, and more healthy condiments on hand make sprucing up meals a breeze.

Sesame Seaweed Gomashio:

  • (1) cup un-toasted sesame seeds (Japanese tradition says use un-hulled, but either is great)
  • (1) small handful of Dulse seaweed (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
  • (1) tsp sea salt, ground fine (optional)

Start by heating a non stick or cast iron pan on medium heat until warm. Add the seeds and stir. Tear the dulse piece into smaller pieces and add to the seeds while they continue to warm up.

Stirring frequently, toast the dulse and seeds together for 5-7 minutes on medium-high heat. They are done when fragrant, turning brown, and the sesame seeds start popping here and there!

Remove from heat and let cool a little. Transfer to a hand blender with a grinding attachment, a food processor, and grind.

Growing up my mom had a hand grinder (one of those old metal ones that attached to the edge of the counter). I remember grinding gomashio on a regular basis as part of our kitchen duties. I always think one day I will get one of those.

Sesame seeds are a vegetarian’s best friend (unless for some reason you are intolerant).

High in calcium and protein, these little nutritious dynamos pack a flavor punch.

Used often in Japanese and Asian foods, they add a wonderful flavor to the simplest of foods.

โ€œI’ve got nothing to do today but smile.โ€

โ€• Simon and Garfunkel

Sea vegetables also pack a highly beneficial list of nutrients for our bodies that are hard to get.

Loaded with minerals from the sea like iodine, they are naturally salty and especially tasty when toasted.

Added to traditional gomashio, they add a fleck of lovely color and natural salty flavor, so the additional salt is totally optional here.

โ€œCount your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.โ€

โ€• John Lennon

Gomashio can also be used as a condiment for macrobiotic eating – which is a wonderfully gentle way of approaching food and one I often gravitate towards when I feel the need to fine tune.

โ€œLife belongs to the living, and he who lives must be prepared for changesโ€

โ€• Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This tasty add on to your meals compliments with amazing flavor and texture on a basic green salad, a steamed veggie bowl, or just plain cooked rice or quinoa.

โ€œTo improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.โ€

โ€• Winston S. Churchill

Can't wait for these summer sunsets (under a full moon no less)

So with that dear friends, I’m looking forward to getting on with getting on!

With so many fresh local foods to look forward to here in this part of the world, it couldn’t be a better time.

  • Are you making any adjustments to your routine in prep for summer?
  • How do you re-calibrate?

I’d love to hear how you are celebrating (and preparing for) the oncoming season.

I’m off for a few days traveling for work – I’ll be blog stalking from the road but my comments may be (just a little) sparse – rest assured I’ll be back in just a few days though!

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend – thanks (as always) for stopping by!

Yours in Less,

39 Comments

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

Recipe: Lively Yellow Potato Salad

You’ve got to love anything this comfortable in its own skin.

“Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.”

– Lao-Tzu

Holla bloggers!

Welcome to another springy post! I’ve got to tell you (though it’s still a little cool), it’s pretty sweet here when the sun is out!

The patio furniture is coming out this weekend and the new garden topsoil has (finally) settled. Even the outdoor hockey net is out in the lane again and I can hear the sounds of balls hitting the garage doors in my neighborhood on weeknights.

Life is (at last) happening all around, folks are getting outside, and spring is in full swing.

Oh my! It’s a good thing!

Spring brings with it the promise of summer, and warm evenings spent outside. With that, comes time for warm weather sides and salads, either to accompany the barbecue (for the carnivorous hubby) or just to have as they are (my way).

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.”

– Cesare Pavese

Here is a lively potato salad to start the season of outdoor living featuring my favorite – the humble (and often maligned) potato!

As a vegetarian (who eats little dairy and at times none), I’ve always been (just a little) saddened at the (IMO) unfair rap that poor old potatoes get from many fad diet doctrines out there.

These little gems that grow in even the poorest of soil are amazingly nutritious (especially the skins), easily available and totally dirt cheap considering some of the other foods we buy to eat well. High in easily digested healthy carbs, potatoes are filling, tasty, and super versatile.

Happiness is making the most of what you have.

-Rosamunde Pilcher

Bake them, steam them, roast them. Grate them, fry them (not my fave), or even dehydrate them (I once tried them as raw potato chips in my raw days – they were actually okay!).

Here is a healthy way to enjoy these gluten-free darlings – without all the high-fat dairy-based toppings commonly associated with potatoes – this was a big hit at the office this week!

Now let’s get to the heart of this post!

The skins are super nutritious, so leave them on! Do try to buy organic if you can - but don't stress too much about it either!

The Less:

Less fried or over-processed potatoes means cleaner, more honest nutrition. Less mayo-based dressings means less fat and less clutter in your food. Less packaged or store-bought picnic food means less packaging at (way) less cost. Less costly food means more money in your pocket, and that’s a sweet feeling for sure.

The More:

More potato based eating means more vegetable based carbs so putting them where your body needs them is a snap. More cold salads means set up is a snap, just grab it from the fridge and go! More fresh veggies to dress them means more color and crunch, so you can settle in to your summer with style.

Lively Yellow Potato Salad:

Veggies:

  • 6 cups yellow flesh potatoes, chopped with skin on (about 2.5#)
  • (1) bunch dill, chopped
  • (1) red pepper, chopped
  • (1) 398ml can artichoke hearts (5 each)
  • (1/2) cup red onion

Dressing:

  • (1/4) cup good olive oil
  • (2) tbsp red wine vinegar (add more to taste)
  • (1-2) tsp sea salt
  • (1) tbsp good prepared mustard
  • (1) tbsp sugar (any kind you like – feel free to add more if you use extra vinegar)
  • Fresh pepper if desired

Start by combining the chopped potatoes in a pot with a little water (about 2 cups). Put them up to boil in the water by bringing to a boil with the lid on. Once boiling, turn the heat to medium low and cook, covered, for 12-15 minutes, or until pricked easily with a fork.

While the potatoes cook, chop dill, pepper, and red onion and add to a large mixing bowl.

Drain your artichokes and cut by first quartering them lengthwise, then cutting the quarters horizontally to get slightly smaller pieces. Add to the bowl along with the other veggies.

Next, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk together until combined (and gorgeous). Is there anyone else out there that gets excited by this stuff?

Gosh, sometimes I feel like a real nerd…

Once the potatoes are soft and ready, drain them in a colander and let sit for a minute or two to cool and shed excess liquid from the boiling process.

Transfer the hot spuds to a separate mixing bowl and allow to cool an additional 3-4 minutes or so. The reason for this is to get the potatoes to the most optimal temperature for soaking up the dressing.

If you add the dressing too soon, the potatoes will soak it up too quickly and the heat can affect the flavor of the dressing. By allowing them to cool only slightly, you get a potato that is still warm (but no too hot).

When the potatoes are only steaming slightly and you can touch them with your hands for a few seconds comfortably (about 3-4 minutes after cooking), add the dressing and mix. Allow the potatoes to sit in the dressing and soak it all up another 5 minutes while they cool a little further.

Once they are only slightly warm, toss in the large bowl with the waiting chopped raw veggies and dill.

Mix gently to evenly distribute! Wonderful!

Serve as is straight out of the mixing bowl or transfer to a clean serving dish.

A gorgeous salad to take to a summer potluck – a totally refreshing and zesty take on traditional cold potato salad, sans mayonnaise or dairy of any kinds!

For those who eat eggs, I would serve this salad with classic deviled eggs and a green salad for a perfect summer meal. This is also great as a side to any protein dish.

Live each day as if your life had just begun.

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

It’s great with olives too, and a side of extra smiles.

That man is the richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.

– Thoreau

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.

– Anais Nin

Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting on the last post. It was great to hear from all of you runners, yogis, cyclists, swimmers, and walkers! It does a heart good to hear your stories and especially those of you who might be trying something new – I’d love to hear how you make out!

“In seeking happiness for others, you find it for yourself.”

~ Anonymous

Here’s to new recipes and new experiences!

Whether it is a new food, a new friend, or a new activity, starting something new is always a thrill.

One this girl never gets tired of ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Did you try something new this week?
  • What is your favorite way to enjoy potatoes (if at all)?

You know how much I adore hearing from you all, wishing you a wonderful day!

Yours in Less,

61 Comments

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

Recipe: Sweet Summer Smoothie

Is it summer yet?

A life without love is like a year without summer.

~unknown

Alas, that is an (ever so slightly) bittersweet question as I write this.

With spring officially here, it takes a special something to ward off the disappointment at the weather continuing in its normal Vancouver fashion…..yes, in rain!

And lots (and lots) of it.

These are the days we look for other reasons to smile, when the sun is there but hidden, and the light that brightens our outlooks has to come from within. As much as we keep our own spirits up (because really it’s not that bad), sometimes a little boost can help. This smoothie really does the trick!

Fresh, light, and creamy, the flavors of this smoothie can be our reminder that summer really isn’t far off, even if you grab it to go with your umbrella (yet again).

As much as we enjoy supporting and eating local foods whenever possible, there is really no substitute for the juicy tropical flavor of a fresh mango. Paired with creamy almond milk, ice, and red strawberries, it’s divine. It’s definitely enough to get you through to the next real sunny day.

โ€œSummer is where the girls go barefoot and their hearts are just as free as their toes.โ€ โ€” Unknown

At this time of year in North America, there is also a glut of California strawberries that flood the market and are cheap as borscht (well, maybe not quite but that’s another post!).

As much as I try to freeze a good supply of local berries in the summer, my little freezer just doesn’t hold enough to last through the winter. On my list this year (maybe finally?!) – a deep freeze! It’s been a long time coming and its overdue.

There is nothing like the taste of frozen local berries, but when those are not available, at least I can get a generous amount of imported berries at this time of year that are still delicious and affordable.

The Less:

Less pasteurized fruit drinks means less cooked sugars and more vital energy in your beverage. Less added foods means easier blending and easier sourcing. Less looking to the future means you can feel the way you want to today – just because summer isn’t here doesn’t mean you can’t be there.

The More:

More lively fresh fruits means more natural sugar highs. More natural sugar highs means avoiding nasty sugar lows. More natural carbohydrates means less cravings for them elsewhere. More good summer vibes means more happy thoughts as you eat – because who doesn’t daydream about long summer days when it rains?

Sweet Summer Smoothie:

  • (1) cup fresh strawberries, stems removed
  • (1) cup almond milk
  • (1) cup ice or 4-6 regular sized cubes
  • (1) mango – I like the Ataulfos (the yellow ones – pictured here is ta tree ripe Mexican produce department cast off)
  • (1) ripe Bartlett pear (optional)

Combine all ingredients in your blender and blend on high until smooth. Serve as you wish and enjoy!

Of course with all smoothies – be creative! This is one of my favorite combos and the addition of almond milk makes for an ultra creamy sweet (yet still totally light!) treat. I added a ripe pear here simply because I needed to use it up (my daughter doesn’t like that so much – but I tell her too bad – we aren’t wasting it!).

No matter what the weather, you’ll be thinking of your favorite summer dresses and the smell of salty ocean breezes in no time (or not, but at least you’ll have a delicious smoothie)!

โ€œSun is shining. Weather is sweet. Make you wanna move your dancing feet.โ€

~ Bob Marley (lyrics)

So it may be still a biiiit early for that quote. But you get where I am going and as sure as the rain falls today, summer will come in all its glory…and it will go.

Enjoying what we have today (even if it’s not perfect) and looking forward to the future is a big challenge – but its a good one that won’t ever go away.

With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s a good life, isn’t it?

For now, I’ve got this little butterfly to tide me over when I need a little hit of summer lovin’.

My daughter gave it to me just today and I found a home for her right away – hanging from my car mirror ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope you all are enjoying this wonderful week – thanks for stopping by the blog and for all your lentil love!

I’ve got a little favorite coming up with french lentils – stay tuned and keep me posted with any feedback on any recent recipes!

  • What’s your favorite way to enjoy mangoes and summer fruits?
  • Do you have a deep freeze to freeze away all of your local treasures for a rainy day?

I’ll let you all know when I check it off the list. For now, I am off to put some reggae on. Time to dance ๐Ÿ™‚

Yours in Less,

42 Comments

Filed under Gluten Free, Raw, Recipes, Rejuvenation, Rich & Simple, Snacks, Sweet Treats, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian