Tag Archives: Dessert

Recipe: Summer Fruit Crisp, Vegan & Gluten-Free

 

Summer Fruit Crisp | In Pursuit Of MoreSummer Fruit Crisp | In Pursuit Of More

Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is.

~ Unknown

Stretching ourselves into unknown territory is hard, actually it could quite possibly be the hardest thing there is to do at all. If I think about those I admire, It’s always clear that the reason I do so is based on one thing: the fact that someone has been or has done something amazing. Something not many others would dare to do, or maybe, even think possible at all.  Continue reading

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Filed under Baking, Desserts, Food, Gluten Free, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Sweet Treats, Vegan

Out Of Control Peanut Butter Bars

 

Out of Control Peanut Butter Bars | In Pursuit of MoreOut of Control Peanut Butter Bars | In Pursuit of More

So I’ve definitely been holding out. All these years, right under my nose, there was this recipe. Yes, this recipe. Those of us veggie folks who grew up in these parts of the world know a thing or two about where to eat when visiting Victoria. Other than a few great spots that have popped up in recent years, Rebar remains the one spot that never fails to satisfy, and their awesome vegetarian cookbook has produced some of the most delicious recipes ever prepared in my kitchen over the course of the last 10 + years. Continue reading

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Food, Recipes

Recipe: Fresh Coconut Pulp Chocolate Torte & Thoughts on Hope

The greatest thoughts come from the heart.

~ Vauvenargues

It’s true! We are here!

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

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

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

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

Nothing is impossible for a willing heart.

~ French Proverb

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

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

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

~ Author Unknown

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Where hope would otherwise become hopelessness, it becomes faith.

~ Robert Brault

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

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

The Less:

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

The More:

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

Fresh Coconut Pulp Chocolate Torte:

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

Optional Topping:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

~Author Unknown

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

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

Hope never abandons you, you abandon it.

~ George Weinberg

Hope is the only bee that makes honey without flowers.

~ Robert Ingersoll

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

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

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

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

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

Yours in Less,

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

Recipe: Summer Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Duty makes us do things well, but love makes us do them beautifully.

~ Zig Ziglar

Holla friends and readers!

I’m back in action after a tremendous few days. I mentioned in my last post that I might be (just a little) absent here in the blog world while I tackle a fairly big project.

I am happy to report it was (for me anyway) as successful as I ever could have hoped, and it is great to be back here – I am looking forward to catching up with you all!

On Saturday, Not So Fast hosted its first ever faster sponsored cooking class for youth.

You may have read here, about Not So Fast and the food support we offer through ‘living with less’. If you are new to IPOM, I would be honored to introduce you to Not So Fast here.

As a result of Chris & Carla’s amazing effort and contribution to our cause, we gathered with 10 enthusiastic youth to cook a nutritious meal together (yup it included lentils & barley!).

We not only cooked food for the kids to take home, but we also cooked enough food for the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner to feed 40 people!

It was a giant challenge (I love a giant challenge), and with the help of some super amazing people, we prepared a (rather tasty) menu that embodied the simple philosophy of the recipes found here at IPOM.

It was nothing short of amazing.

Today I’ll share with you the fantastic dessert we prepared for the evening. This is a classic summer dessert in every sense of the word. Stay tuned for more from the weekend, but for now, let’s talk (just a little) summer dessert!

Love is the absence of judgment.

~ Dalai Lama

First, the rhubarb.

This locally abundant (here in BC) spring & summer treat has earlier been featured in these yummy dessert bars, but there is nothing as classic as pairing them with another classic.

Strawberries. Local strawberries. The truest sign of summer if there ever was one.

Local strawberries flood me with memories of garden patches covered in green mesh to keep the birds out. Fortunately little hands (mine) were always wily enough to push around the mesh to find the little red gems under the white blossomed strawberry plants (don’t tell).

This recipe is not for those who are shy in front of sugar (or butter or flour), but I am quite confident my vegan and gluten-free readers have more than an ample supply of tricks up their sleeves to make this combo shine with any sub or clever replacement.

After all, everyone should enjoy this classic combo, right?

The Less:

Less ingredients in baked treats make quick work for the chef. Less store-bought summer pastries means more goodness for far less cost. Less heavy, crumbly topping means more flavor for less portion size, so enjoyment needn’t come at a heavy cost.

The More:

More real, straight up ingredients means simple purity in taste and method. More fresh local summer fruits means more of the classic tastes like we remember. More flavor, sweetness, and balance, means your guests will go for seconds, so making this for a gathering means you’re guaranteed to be a star.

Summer Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp:

~ Adapted from Canadian Living

  • (3) cups chopped fresh strawberries
  • (3) cups chopped fresh rhubarb stalks
  • (3/4) cup granulated sugar (you can also use brown, feel free to reduce to 1/2 cup if you prefer)
  • (2) tbsp white or whole wheat flour

Topping:

  • (1) cup white or whole wheat flour
  • (1/2) cup slow oats
  • (3/4) cup brown sugar
  • (1/3) cup cold butter, cut into pieces
  • pinch each cinnamon and salt

Start by buying the freshest fruits you can. Rhubarb can be bought several days ahead for this, but fresh strawberries are the best, especially if they are locally grown.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Wash your fruits and cut them into (somewhat) uniform sizes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the granulated sugar and 2 tablespoons of flour and mix all with your hands gently.

In a separate bowl, toss together the flour, brown sugar, oats, and cinnamon and salt. Add the cold butter and cut the mixture with a pastry cutter, or your hands (like yours truly does).

Grease well an 8 inch square pan. Spread the fruit mixture evenly to cover the bottom, then top with the crumble topping and press together lightly to ensure it is even.

Bake at 375 degrees for 50-60 minutes, until the topping is fragrant and golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before serving. Serve as is, with tart plain thick yoghurt, or vanilla ice cream.

Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.

~ Norman Vincent Peale

My heart is full lately. It’s full of the promise that summer might just come. It’s full of the warmth of the community I am proud to be a part of.

It’s full knowing that the classics never go out of style, and easy comforting summer memories are easily at hand with just a few simple steps.

Everyone who got where he is has had to begin where he was.

- Robert Louis Stevenson

It’s safe to say this was a giant hit at the dinner. The kids didn’t cook this one, but the volunteers who make it all happen all year-long sure enjoyed it.

I’ll share the simple menu we prepared together in an upcoming post, after I catch my breath and finish the last few bites of this delicious crumble :)

Yes, my heart is full. Full with gratitude for all who took part and contributed their time and talents to pulling this together. You know who you all are!

Carly prepares to cap off the crumbles…

Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

~ Dalai Lama

Enjoy this delicious version of a summer classic. As the days are now (hopefully) as long as our smiles, the time is now to revel in the goodness of fresh local foods.

I am looking forward to catching up with you all, I hope you are all fabulous!

  • What is your favorite summer fruit dessert?
  • Are you reveling in the glory of local berries?

Do tell as I am sure there are more than a few berry lovers out there!

My humblest thanks for reading (as always) – stay tuned for more from this weekend, and here’s to the official start of the summer season!

Yours in Less,

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Filed under Cooking, Desserts, Fasting, Food, Not So Fast, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Sweet Treats, Vegetarian

Recipe: Almond Chocolate Rice Krispie Squares

There’s more to life than chocolate, but not right now.

~ Anonymous

Anyone up for a special treat?!

This has been a very special week here at IPOM, and for (little, wee) me. Many hard weeks of patient, persistent, and tough pushing on seem to be paying off.

There are some big decisions being made, some plans being laid out, and some fruit ready for the picking from from what has been (what feels like) a (very) long, a (very) careful, and (at times) a very trying growing season (yes, more corny metaphors…..I can’t help it!).

There is one reason only these things are happening, and that is I am lucky to be surrounded to by truly great people.

These people give of their time, and of their talents, and most of all, from their hearts. For these people, and for you readers who are so wonderfully supportive, I am so very grateful. Thank you.

So I made dessert this week to celebrate! It was rather overdue, and plus, I get to thank a couple of special people for the inspiration on this one.

It’s better to regret what you have done than what you haven’t.

~ Paul Arden, Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite

The inspiration for this recipe came to me from one of my blogging buds – Sarah from the Healthy Diva – who whipped up a batch of a lovely sounding dessert (originally from Oh She Glows) for a charity bake sale.

I checked it out and not only did the recipe sound amazing, but it was also right up my alley – gluten-free, no baking, and now, loaded with chocolate.

I made a few changes to the original, and the results are, well, more than worthy of this wonderful week!

Thanks to the Diva for her amazing efforts (in both cooking and giving) and to another wonderful reader also named Sarah (wink) who expressed her love for rice krispie squares this week in one of her comments.

The Less:

Less marshmallow sweetened rice krispie treats means less gooey, sticky messes to clean. Less heavy, flour-based treats means you can eat these and still feel light as air. Less time baking treats in the oven means less energy expended, so we can save it for something (or someone) else who needs it more.

The More:

More natural nut butter richness means sweet cravings become welcome. More crispy sweet rice cereal means less mess and more crunch. More yummy homemade treats means more yummy homemade smiles, ones you can share everyday.

Almond Chocolate Rice Krispie Squares:

  • (4.5) cups rice crisp cereal (I use the traditional Kellogg’s but you can use any kind)
  • (1/2) cup roasted or raw almond butter (feel free to sub cashew or pumpkin butter too!)
  • (1) tbsp coconut butter, butter, or margarine (optional)
  • (1/2) cup honey (or brown rice syrup)
  • (1/4) tsp fine salt, or to taste
  • (1) tbsp vanilla extract
  • (1) cup chocolate chips (we love Chipits in this house)

Get ready a 9 inch by 9 inch baking pan and butter lightly (either coconut butter or butter) or line with wax or parchment paper.

In a small pot, combine the nut butter, honey, sea salt, and coconut butter.

On very low heat, stir to combine and warm only very gently. Remove from heat once smooth and well mixed and add vanilla extract.

In a large bowl, combine the rice krispies and chocolate chips with the nut butter/honey mixture and mix (you need your hands for this!). Mix well with a firm hand, squeezing the mixture tightly to ensure evenness throughout.

The chocolate chips will melt as you mix and you will end up with a gooey mixture of pure amazing-ness.

Press the mixture into a square pan either greased with a little butter or lined with parchment paper. Push down firmly to pack it in tightly and evenly (this can be a bit of a meditative exercise). Once smooth, pop these babies in the refrigerator until set!

When cold and set, cut into small squares, triangles, (or whatever shape you desire really) and enjoy!

Keep these guys in the fridge to maintain their yummy firm texture.

Amazing, delicious, nutritious, and so easy!

I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.

~ Pablo Picasso

The beauty here is you need very little to be satisfied.

These little guys are loaded with nutrition from the almonds, sweetness from the bees (or rice syrup if you choose for my vegan readers), and crispy chocolatey perfection.

As is often said here at IPOM, it’s about celebrating & reveling in the little things, and a little really does go a long way here!

Talent helps, but it won’t take you as far as ambition

~ Paul Arden

These will now be household staple here as it is rare we don’t have all the ingredients in the house.

Once you taste these you’ll really understand :)

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

~ Lou Holtz

So with that, I am signing off for a relaxing weekend with old friends over food, family, and (just a little) poolside banter and a few long, deep breaths of clean country air.

I am feeling incredibly grateful for life’s lessons this week, and know that the secret to doing anything is always just in starting.

From there, the road is bumpy. It’s messy and full of failure. But it is also exhilarating, and full of giant triumphs and smiles.

If you always make the right decision, the safe decision, the one most people make, you will be the same as everyone else.

~ Paul Arden

I can’t imagine any other way I’d want to live, and I am so happy you are here with me too!

  • What’s your favorite rice krispie recipe?
  • Are you as in love with chocolate as we are?

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!

I might be a little MIA for the next few days and will try to keep up with you all as best I can. I am looking forward to some amazing meals and can’t wait to share it all with you when I get back!

Let us know your thoughts friends – I’ve a feeling there are some chocolate lovers out there with me :)

Yours in Less,

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Filed under Cooking, Desserts, Food, Gluten Free, Nut Recipes, Photography, Recipes, Rich & Simple, Snacks, Sweet Treats, Vegan, Vegetarian