The mind is like a parachute, it works best when it is open.
~ Dalai Lama
Holla from Hawaii everyone! I hope everyone is looking forward to a fantastic holiday weekend coming up. We are here for a few more days, which means we are here over Easter. This means the youngest will be treated to ‘Hawaiian Easter’ – which truthfully we haven’t sorted out yet, but I think I see a trip to the grocery store in my future today or tomorrow to stock up on Easter bunny supplies for a Hawaiian style Easter egg hunt Continue reading →
Well I think it’s finally here! Something that looks like summer…
Here in Vancouver the weather has finally turned for the better. It looks like the sun may stick around. This is just in time for a weekend away with my work mates as we head out for our annual retreat in a land far far away (the BC interior 3 hours outside of town here). This time we’ll be hidden away, tucked in the mountains, with access to a clean lake and hiking trails.
It will be lovely to get away. We’ll be working, of course, but amongst the fresh country air and the stillness of the mountains.
We’ll also be completely cut off from internet access with no phones either. Just us. That is a rare thing these days, and truthfully, I am a little excited! Time to turn it off, tune it in, and really ‘be here now’.
Creativity dies in an undisciplined environment.
~ Jim Collins
Today I want to share a long time favorite for me. Rolling rice wraps is as familiar to me as almost anything, and it is one of those fall backs I count on when I need to lighten up, and prepare good easy ‘grab and go’ food that I can pack and eat easily.
If you’ve never rolled rice paper before – prepare to have fun, and be surprised at how easy it is to make healthy vegetables disappear quickly right before your eyes!
I usually eat these with a thick tasty nut-based sauce, either a peanut sauce, or an asian inspired tahini sauce – but any sauce works – even plain soy sauce in a pinch.
Today I’ll share with you a recent recipe for Almond Butter ‘Peanut’ Sauce I tried from Natalia Rose’s Raw Food Detox book which was so good I had to share it with you all right away.
So let’s get rolling!
Less greasy fried spring rolls means less irritated troubled tummies. Less heavily dressed packaged prepared food means lighter, leaner fill ups. Less cooked, salted veggies means more raw vibrant goodness, and more fun ways to prepare them means you’ll always use them all up.
More fun ways to eat vegetables means more likelihood it will happen. More easy prep beforehand means easy healthy snacking in mere seconds. More on the road finger food means less greasy messy containers – so eating and clean up are simple.
Easy Rice Paper Veggie Rolls:
(1) package Rice Paper Wraps for Spring rolls (available at most stores in the Asian food section)
(3-4) medium to large carrots (unpeeled if organic)
(4-6) cups washed hardy greens (spinach, lettuce, arugula, pea greens)
(1) red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise
(1) bunch green onion tops
(1) avocado (optional, only include if eating right away)
(1) cup almond butter, raw (I am sure roasted would be delicious too)
(2) tbsp freshly chopped ginger
(1/2) cup water (to thin)
(4) tbsp fresh lemon juice
(1/4) cup maple syrup
(3) tbsp Bragg or soy sauce
(2) tbsp toasted sesame oil
(2) cloves garlic
(1/2) fresh jalapeno chile
Ready to roll?
Start by washing and prepping all of your veggies. Wash your greens, and leave them whole in a bowl and set aside. Grate your carrots and set aside in a separate bowl. Continue with the rest of the veggies, making sure to keep them all separate either in bowls or on a large platter or cutting board.
Next, prepare the sauce. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a blender, and blend on high until smooth. Transfer to a bowl or container and refrigerate (taste it first and you’ll be amazed at how good it is).
To make the wraps, prepare a clean work surface on a counter top or a large cutting board. Get a large mixing bowl and fill it with hot tap water.Take 2 of the rice paper wraps and immerse them in the bowl of hot water (make sure they are separated). Allow to soak for 30 seconds, or until completely soft to the touch (don’t leave them in for too long!). Remove one from the bowl and lay flat on the work space. Remove the second from the bowl and lay on top of the first, overlapping the two by about a 1/3 – 1/2 (see the photo).
Next, spread a line of carrots down the middle, leaving a little space at the ends for tucking in the edges. Next, add the greens – don’t be shy on the amounts as the veggies will condense nicely once rolled. In fact, you will be shocked at how much raw goodness you can cram in each of these bad boys. The veggies always seem to disappear just as I get going
Follow the greens with a few strips of red pepper, green onion, and avocado if using.
At this point, you can decide whether to add a line of sauce to the inside of the rolls or not. I have tried them both ways and both are great, however, I do like the way they keep without the sauce and I always eat them with plenty of sauce on the side anyways!
Once you are all set on the veggies, start with one end of the roll and roll up, pulling the piled veggies into the roll with your hands to condense. Once you have the veggies tucked in nicely, turn in the side of the rice paper to form the ends of the roll.
Continue the rolling until the end – the wet rice paper will seal it all up inside as it dries. Place finished rolls on a clean plate until all done. You will find as they dry they are sealed little rolls of healthy perfection.
Continue this until all of your rolls are done (when your veggies are all gone). Don’t worry about running out of a vegetable – the more I make these the more I am reminded they taste great with any combination. You can really experiment with these!
Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.
No mess, no fuss. Just good, healthy deliciousness. Serve with sauce on the side for either dipping, or with a spoon to grace each upcoming bite.
For packing takeaways, roll up with the sauce inside and eat cleanly
I find these are the perfect answer when I get a little what I call ‘salad fatigue’. They keep quite nicely for a day or two in the fridge and are wonderful to come home to when you need a quick bit to eat that won’t zap you of your energy.
Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I hope you’ll get rolling too. I started years ago, and it’s been a favorite in the kitchen ever since. It is cheap (a pack of these wraps cost less than $3) and a great way to use up veggies from the fridge.
Once you get the hang of the rolling, you’ll want to keep doing it again and again!
Have you ever made your own rice paper rolls?
If so, what are your favorite ingredients to put in them?
The variations are endless, and I’d love to hear your ideas!
Thanks for reading folks and for all of your comments and suggestions – in the next week I’ll be sharing a few more yummy classics, a little something for breakfast with quinoa and a gorgeous way to enjoy simple cauliflower.
If I am slow to respond it’s because I am off to bond with my work mates. We’ll be breathing the fresh air and having some serious fun too I suspect.
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
The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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)
(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
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.
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
All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Hello all! Hoping you all had a wonderful weekend!
We spent some time doing some more spring cleaning – and by that I mean mostly me. It was time to (finally) get to a closet project I’d been dreaming of for a while (but hadn’t the courage to tackle).
So I did it…and (seriously)……it feels just as good as I thought it would!
Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.
- Robert Louis Stevenson.
Today is also the first anniversary of the day I woke up and started something new – the idea for Not So Fast was officially born a year ago today. My how time flies!
It is wonderful to see the journey that has emerged from starting this blog (and this super fun project). It is one of true community – and THAT my friends is a (very) beautiful thing – so thank you (truly) for the support, appreciation, & the sharing & sheer inspiration that overflows from this wonderful blogging community!
You all amaze me. Truly, you do!!
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.
– Helen Keller.
So, let’s get to this yummy smoothie now, shall we?
More fresh fruit to start the day means more simple natural sugars to get you going. More bananas (from fair trade farms) means more good hearty nutrition with minimal calories and heaviness. More blended goodness means digesting is a snap – so lightness is yours for the day!
Less sweets and extras in your smoothies means simple ingredients on hand are all you need. Less of the fancy stuff means ingredients are attainable and cheap – so you can get more for less – and feel great doing it!
Light Peach & Banana Smoothie:
(2) bananas, fresh or frozen
(1) cup peaches, frozen or fresh (you can also sub nectarines)
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.