I’ve long wanted to feature a recipe with tempeh on the blog, so I’ve simply got to say this is surely overdue. The truth is, even as long-term (my whole life) vegetarian (zero meat or fish – ever), the truth is, I’m not really a huge fan of soy. Growing up, tofu was a regular feature on my mom’s vegetarian dinner table, and we kids never passed it up with her deliciously fried medium tofu cubes that tasted amazing cooked up in plenty of soy sauce and then dunked in ketchup to seal the deal. Ah, the good old days. But I digress. Continue reading →
I’ll never forget the day my late grandfather shared with me his last words of wisdom. It was during perhaps his last visit to my parents house round about the time that I was leaving home (which was very early in my almost adult life). I forget exactly what time of the year it was or who was there with me, but I do remember hearing his voice and the way his words still resonate with me to this day. Continue reading →
Life really is a funny thing. As we move forward (which we inevitably have to), it is certainly impossible to know what might inspire us from day-to-day, week to week, and so on. It could be a conversation over lunch, or a person you haven’t seen for years that suddenly pops into your life. It could be a season, or the way you feel after spending quality time outdoors in the fresh air.
I know that for me, I am happiest and most inspired when I’ve got a full, balanced plate in front of me. Pardon the corny food metaphor, but it’s just so apt! Not too much, and not too little. Just the right amount. Having too much (of anything) can certainly cause a feeling of being bogged down. The goal (for me anyways) is always to find some sort of precarious balance and this week, I am finding much strength in looking at ways to further embrace the philosophy and idea behind this blog.
Less is always more (except when it isn’t). Simple & easy might rule around here for a while, as we kick off our next set of NSF cooking classes (pumped!) which are just around the corner. Stay tuned for an update on what we are doing next week as we finalize the recipes, write the ingredient lists, and round-up the best volunteers in the whole entire world (love you guys!).
Of course, we’ll also get to some really great recipes too. Lots of them, in fact! Starting with this amazing version of a popular favorite. Yes, broccoli pesto it is, and it is wonderful, especially when you see what it goes with!
Less oil-heavy sauces means fewer calories and fragmented foods. Less traditional pesto ingredients means more variety and fun ways to eat different things. Less calorie & dairy rich appetizers means lighter eats to snack on anytime, so good taste and light feelings come together.
More fiber filled broccoli means more chlorophyll and vitamins. More lemony, zesty flavor means more punchy bright taste. More pumpkin seeds & fresh herbs means more plant-based nutrition, so eating adventurously is just this good for you & healthy.
Start by putting up some water to boil in a small saucepan and steam the broccoli for 2-3 minutes until bright green and tender, but not mushy. Once cooked, remove the broccoli from the heat and set aside.
Roast the pumpkin seeds in a 350 degree oven for 2-3 minutes until turning brown and fragrant. Prepare the lemon juice, lemon zest, & fresh herbs and set aside.
Once the seeds are toasted, remove from the oven and add them directly to the blender warm with all of the prepared ingredients. The mixture might need some agitation with a spatula to get going, but should get going to a nice bit of pureeing in little time. Blend on high until well mixed and bright green.
Serve within a day or two to ensure the best color from the broccoli and the best nutritional value. Broccoli pesto will keep in the fridge for several days and is delicious served with chickpea flat bread, or as a dip for crunchy crackers.
In my next post, I’ll share with you the latest version of chickpea flat bread that has won my heart for good.
Since our return from France in August (and the recipes I brought home from Provence), I’ve had the pleasure to try a many of these, and this one is so far my favorite! So stay tuned for an easy, filling, and nutritious version of what is fast becoming a popular food here at home (and for very good reason).
Stay tuned, you’ll want to make this one, I promise! Also do let me know if you’ve got any streamlining to do as a result of a (rather) full plate, and what is your first thing to let go!
What do you do when you feel bogged down by details?
Have you tried a broccoli pesto or chickpea flat bread yet?
Have a wonderful remainder to the week my friends and thank you as always for reading, for your kind comments, and your wonderful feedback on the recipes
I think it is safe to say we all need a little comfort in the form of our favorite foods here and there. Growing up, one of my most favorite snack foods was just this – comforting – not to mention dirt cheap and easy to make.
After all, what is easier than opening up a can of beans and heating them up? Toss a few pieces of bread in the toaster and slather on the butter….just thinking of it brings me right back to 4th grade heaven.
My 30 something year old self now knows that while the old canned standbys are still good in a pinch, there is nothing better than a warm bowl of home cooked beans and a fresh piece of bread hot out of the oven. Especially when they are this cheap, and this easy.
All you need is (just a little) love. And (just a little) time.
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Having just celebrated another birthday, I find myself of late quite keenly aware of the fleeting nature of our lives.
As I think back to my days as young child I can tell you my defining moments just as easily as I can tell you what my favorite things to eat were. Most often, and particularly at the beginning of each new school year, I think back to me and my siblings, convening after a long day at school to watch TV and eat food we could make on our own.
Hot beans in a bowl. With toast. Childhood comfort food. Three’s Company. Let’s do it!
Men do not quit playing because they grow old; they grow old because they quit playing.
~ Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.
Less canned food in your pantry means more room for cheaper dry goods to nourish you. Less waste and added preservatives means cleaner eating and a lighter conscience. Less sugar heavy baked beans means more naturally sweetened heartiness, and a whole lot more nourishment too.
More high fiber protein foods means easier work of digestion. More hearty, filling comfort means more warmth and goodness in your day. More cheap easy recipes means more ways to spread your money farther, because good health doesn’t have to come at a high cost.
Homemade Baked Beans:
(2) cups dry white Navy beans, soaked in cold water
(1/3- 1/2 cup) good olive oil
(2) medium – large yellow onions, chopped
(2) tsp salt
(1) small can tomato paste (about 1/2 cup)
(3) tbsp honey, brown sugar, or other plant-based sweetener
(8) cups cold water for cooking
Lots of love of and plenty of time
Start by soaking your beans in plenty of cold of water for anywhere from 8 – 20 hours (8 is about the minimum to soak thoroughly and don’t worry if you ill time the soaking – they can sit there for a while). When ready to cook, drain the beans and rinse in the colander under more fresh cold water.
Next, heat the oil in a large soup pot and add the chopped onion and salt. Cook the onion for about 10 minutes on medium-high heat, being careful not to burn them. Stir here and there, after 10 minutes the onions should be soft and translucent.
Next, add the tomato paste, beans, and 4 cups of cold cooking water. Stir well to dissolve the paste and bring to a boil over high heat with the lid on. Once the boil is reached, stir again and reduce the heat to medium, to keep the simmer at a jolly roll (not boiling but cooking nicely).
Now, kick up your feet, and get settled in. Read a book , or finish that knitting project you started. Maybe write some notes to your family to tell them you love them. Or not. But do enjoy this nice time at home.
Cook the beans withe the lid ajar for 1.5 hours, stirring here and there and adding the remaining 4 cups of water in increments as the sauce reduces. After the first hour, add whatever water is left, and the honey or sweetener, and cook for 30 minutes until the mixture is deliciously saucy.
From here, you can let the beans hang out until you are ready to bake them (you can even sneak in a bowl to eat at this point).
To bake, transfer the beans to a casserole and bake, covered either with the casserole lid or with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours. Remove from the oven and serve hot with fresh bread or toast.
These beans will keep extremely well, and should be good to eat up to a week after they are made. A little goes a long way here as these guys are hearty and filling, so pile them into a container for those moments during the week when you need a little comfort.
Paired up with the bread recipe lined up for the next post, you’ll wonder if there could possibly be anything simpler or more nostalgic (especially if you grew up in my family).
You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just good food from fresh ingredients.
~ Julia Child
I was pleased to see that 25 years later, kids still love this food as a filler up after soccer practice or after a long tough day as a teenager (because let’s face it, that is exhausting work for those of you who may recall).
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.
~ Henry David Thoreau
Next I’ll share with you the bread recipe that has literally changed my life since I discovered it. Turns out, it’s never too late to be a baker, even if you’ve never even made bread before! Stay tuned, I am really excited about this one!
Here’s to a super fab October…wishing you all the very best as always!
Did you have a favorite childhood comfort food?
Got an updated version to share with us?
Let us know! Looking forward to hearing from you all as always, and for all my vegan-minded blog friends taking part in Vegan MoFo, wishing you all the best for a month of blogging inspiration, and those of you interested, check out the link here!
Anyone up for a super powered, super nutritious, and super delicious recipe to help us stay strong?
There are few foods that fit the bill quite like quinoa does, as this amazing super food boasts some truly impressive nutritional qualities.
Quinoa is often referred to as a grain, but from everything I’ve read, is actually the seed of a plant. This could explain it’s super packed punch of pure complete protein, and it’s super light texture and taste.
And of course, if you are one of those folks who has yet to try it, you are most surely in for a treat as I’ve yet to meet a vegetarian, vegan, meat eater, or otherwise that doesn’t appreciate it.
It just makes you feel that good.
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
~ Frederick Douglass
When it comes to quinoa, it really is all that and more.
Just ask the Bolivians, who have been eating it (where it originates) for centuries.
With the sudden rise in popularity of quinoa in North America and across the globe, it has been written (this New York Times article from last year is a great read) that the effects of this new demand for this amazing food have had some very interesting ripple effects on the diet of some of the people of its homeland.
It is for this reason I try to take (just a little) extra care not to burn quinoa when I cook it, and not to leave any languishing in the pot at the end of cooking (if at all possible). Of course, in a perfect world, we would do this with anything we cook or bring into the house, as food waste of all forms is really never a good thing, and especially when it’s this precious (because it really is).
And have I mentioned delicious? No need to worry about those leftovers going to waste, especially with delicious combinations like this.
So without further ado, here is a wonderful way to enjoy this amazing food, packed full of energy and added super power from sweet corn, whole roasted almonds, veggies, and your unadulterated love & affection.
With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.
~ Eleanor Roosevelt
Less gluten based sustenance can mean lighter fare to keep you going. Less weight in your tummy means lighter movements throughout the day. Less prepared foods and packaged salads means more hand-made love in your house, so no matter where you eat this, you’re home.
More plant-based, clean protein means more pure energy to burn through the day. More high fiber, high frequency flavors means you’ll never waste a single bite. More color, love & homemade goodness means you’ll never skip a beat, with super powered super foods to get you primed for whatever comes your way.
Super-Powered Super-Protein Quinoa Salad:
(1) cup dry quinoa
(1 – 3/4) cups cold water
Veggies & Nuts:
(3/4- 1) cup whole almonds
(3/4) cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped into one inch pieces
(2) cobs fresh corn on the cob, peeled and broken in half
(1) additional tbsp olive oil for frying cumin seeds
Start by putting up your quinoa to cook. Combine the quinoa and water in a saucepan with a lid and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn the heat to low (without removing the lid) and cook, covered for 25 minutes. Once cooked, remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. After a few minutes, place it in a mixing bowl to cool. Make sure to give it a good stir with a fork – this will continue to fluff it up and will also help to release the cooking steam.
While the quinoa cooks, heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the whole almonds onto a cookie sheet and place in the oven (yes, even while it is heating up!) and allow the almonds to roast until turning a deep brown and smelling fragrant (about 10 minutes). Once roasted, remove the almonds from the oven and let cool.
Next, put up a pot of water to boil and add the two peeled cobs of fresh corn.
Cook, covered on a medium boil, until the corn is tender, about 6-8 minutes. Drain the corn when ready and place in a bowl of ice water to allow to cool while you prepare the rest of the vegetables.
Chop the colored bell pepper, sun-dried tomatoes, and cilantro and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the oil, vinegar & salt and set aside.
By this time, you should have a pot of quinoa either cooked, almost cooked or cooled, corn cooling, and almonds cooling.
Now time to fry (or dry toast if desired) your delicious cumin seeds.
If you like, you can also sub in dried powdered cumin in this recipe, using a teaspoon to start and adding as you wish to taste. I’ve become so fond of whole cumin seeds of late that I simply couldn’t resist throwing them into the mix here..you won’t regret this extra step!
To fry whole cumin seeds, heat the olive oil for frying (1 tbsp or less) in a frying pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is ready (about 1 minute), add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring, on medium high for one minute or until the seeds are fragrant and darkening a little (if they start to smoke and turn black they are burning).
Remove the seeds and their cooking oil into the mixing bowl with the oil/vinegar/salt mix and allow to cool.
Next up is the corn. In this house, it is common to cook up several cobs of corn to have in the fridge cooked and ready to go. When removed from the cob, fresh local corn is simply delicious added to all manner of salads and veggie dishes.
Once you have cooked the corn halves and allowed them to cool, simply hold the half cob of corn up on the stub end with one hand and cut the kernels off with a sharp knife with your other hand.
The sweet corn that falls off the cob is nothing short of heavenly, and once you get the hang of this, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without this.
Once the quinoa is cool enough to touch, add it to the mixing bowl with the oil & vinegar & spices. Stir to combine and add the corn, vegetables, cilantro and whole roasted almonds.
Stir everything until well mixed and beautiful. Taste to correct salt and add pepper if desired.
Serve this beautiful mixture still a little warm, cool, or cold from the fridge for lunch or dinner, with or without added feta cheese (it really doesn’t need it here).
This can also be served a top a bed of dressed greens and cold steamed vegetables like I had several times this week.
Perfection right to the last bite.
We acquire the strength we have overcome.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The beauty of this food is that it never feels heavy. If the goal is satisfaction, it is well within reach here.
If your goals are even higher, you can bet that when the fuel is this powerful, there’s just no limit to what you can do.
Mastering others is strength. Mastering oneself makes you fearless.
~ Lao Tzu
Strength is not something you have, it’s something you find.
~ Emma Smith
So whatever your dragon is today, face it knowing you are already armed with all you could ever need. Personal strength really does come from so many places, and good food is a great place to start.
What is your favorite super food?
Got a super power or source of strength to share with us?
I know you gifted & passionate folk must have more than a few tricks up your sleeves!
With so much raw talent amongst you all, there really couldn’t be any other way…and I for one would love to hear all about it!
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.