I just wanted to write a quick note to let you all know what’s been happening around here of late, as it has been (just a little) busy juggling work & family & blogging & Not So Fast all at once, and it is all so worth it. Continue reading →
A group of folks got together to spend just under two hours with a group of kids from our fair city’s toughest neighborhood to cook together. To cook real food ~ food that needs no more than a few basic skills to make, skills like peeling, chopping, stirring, boiling, cutting, slicing, and best of all, caring. Continue reading →
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.
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
It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.
~ Lou Holtz
Here we are! Hot off the heels of our trip, we made it safely home here in Vancouver Monday afternoon. There really is no place like home!
Since then, you can imagine the marathon of unpacking, catch up phone calls & texts, as well as mentally preparing for all that is on the imminent horizon. Yes, it is time to dig back in to real life, and I am excited to be back!
Given the massive range of experiences that are still being digested, I figure it is high time for a recipe, and what better way to start than with a yummy & authentic way to get a taste of two of the most delicious, and most used ingredients in Provence (or anywhere for that matter)…. garlic and tomato!
There are years that ask questions and years that answer.
~ Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up.
~ Babe Ruth
First, a few quick words on eggs, as this is the first time they have been prominently posted here on IPOM. Eggs seem to be (IMHO) really one of those foods that either sit well with you or they don’t.
In my early years as a strict vegan, I will never forget the day my body craved eggs. I was pregnant, and well, (just a little) hungry. Though it had been years and I’d never been a giant fan of eggs, I knew my body needed to be listened to, for I do believe (still to this day), that the body ultimately knows better than the mind ever can – if only we just tune in & really listen, and for anyone out there who has ever had pregnancy cravings you know what I am talking about (winky face).
And as each of our bodies is different, so is each of our minds.
Never mind my own personal views on eggs, these guys are inexpensive, easy sources of energy & protein.
They are also the food of choice (hard-boiled) used at the inner city Breakfast Program offered through one of Not So Fast’s partner’s in feeding people – for their high protein content and grounding nutritional quality.
It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.
~ Mother Teresa
Less boredom when it comes to cooking eggs means tastier ways to enjoy them. Less sugary, sweet breakfast foods means more garlicky, savory goodness. Less cream, milk, and cheese added means cooking up eggs is light and simple, not to mention tasty, inexpensive, and oh so good!
More inexpensive hearty protein means you can get by with just a little. More fresh tasty recipes means more simple, yet delicious meals. More uses for all those ripe tomatoes means they’ll never go to waste, so you can enjoy them at just about any meal.
Provencal Tomato Basil Scrambled Eggs with Garlic:
Adapted from ‘Provence’
(5) fresh eggs
(1) tbsp good olive oil
(2) medium-sized ripe tomatoes
(1) clove fresh organic garlic, minced
(1) bay leaf
(1/4) tsp salt plus more to taste
(2) tbsp cold butter
freshly ground pepper
6-10 fresh basil leaves
Start by peeling & seeding the tomato: put up a small pot of water to boil while you prepare the garlic and other ingredients. Once the water is at a boil, add the whole tomato and turn it in the water to cover all the skin. Leave in the water for 30 seconds or so and then turn the heat off. Remove the tomato from the hot water and allow to cool. From there, the skin should simple peel off the outside of the tomato! Next, open up the tomato and quarter it. Carefully remove the seeds with a spoon and discard. Chop the remaining tomato flesh and set aside.
When you are ready to cook, heat a deep skillet and add the olive oil over medium to low heat. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring until just fragrant (but not turning brown). Add the tomato flesh, the bay leaf, and the salt and bring to bubbling on medium heat (turn it up slightly). Once the tomatoes are hot and start to bubble, return the heat to a lower simmer temperature and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for 15 minutes. This will smell so good!
While the tomatoes are cooking, combine the butter, a pinch of salt, ground pepper to taste, and the eggs in a mixing bowl. Use a fork to cut the eggs and only mix them until the whites and yolks are mixed (but don’t go crazy on them).
Turn up the heat of the tomato pan again to medium high to cook the eggs. Remove the whole bay leaf from the pan and add the egg mixture. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches a beautiful, creamy texture.
When ready, remove from heat and continue to stir the eggs in the pan as the absorb the leftover heat. Tear the basil pieces over the mixture with your hands and stir in just before serving.
Serve from the pan onto plates with anything you desire – we enjoyed this with baguette but a lovely salad would be delicious!
With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
I am quite certain my vegan readers are already thinking about how to make this perhaps with tofu instead of eggs (which would be delicious!!), and as always, I encourage any number of creative ways to make this yours!
Of course, since we arrived home I am also on the hunt for the best baguette in town, as once you get used to that delicious bread (which my body has no issues with but that is another post), it is hard to go without!
But alas, I will be fine Better than fine, really.
I know I said in my last post I’d be sharing a list of our top foods that we enjoyed on our trip, and I’ll be compiling some thoughts on food in addition to that, as the take-aways for me are still percolating.
Returning home is wonderful, and while I was treated to some beautiful goodness away, I am also grateful to live here where that goodness is still abundant as the growing season is still well underway here at home.
I’ll be headed to our local Farmer’s Market this weekend – I’ll let you know how that goes in comparison to France! As for now, I am still sifting though photos and editing when I can (mostly in the middle of the night when the jet lag has got me). Here are a few gems of the beloved Champs Elysees as seen from the top of the Arc…
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
~ Dr. Seuss
I am looking forward to catching up with all of you and getting started with this brand new season that is upon us, and of course sharing loads of good stuff from our time away.
As always I am ever so grateful to all of you for reading and sharing this journey with me (and in this case my family too!)
Many wishes, kisses, and blessings to all of you for a fabulous start to September!
What is your favorite way to eat eggs?
Have you ever experienced pregnancy cravings?
I know there are some funny ones out there….I’d love to hear yours!
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.
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
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?
There is lots more to come, and I’d love to hear from you all!
Welcome! What is In Pursuit Of More? The blog about living with (just a little) less. By going without, we can gain - by giving to those who have less. Want to make a change in your eating habits for the better? Imagine how you can turn that into something positive for those who would otherwise go hungry. Go without so others don't have to. That's living with (just a little) less.