Easy Peasy Quinoa Breakfast…

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Lately I’ve been cooking up a big ol’ batch of some kind of grain that I can store in the fridge and it will last me about four breakfasts.  Right now I’m workin’ on a crap load of Kasha (buckwheat groats) which is a bit hard going to be honest.  It just has a very distinct taste that I’m still getting used to.  I  don’t dislike it, but I’m liking the quinoa breakfast a whole lot more.  Here’s what I do: scoop out a bunch of quinoa from my big batch in the fridge, heat it up and add any or all of the following:

  • pumpkin seeds
  • hemp hearts
  • chia seeds
  • honey
  • agave
  • banana or other fruit
  • cinnamon
  • coconut

There are literally a million possible combinations and a tonne of other things I haven’t mentioned that you could add.  Experiment with different spices! Cardamon and coconut perhaps? Or nutmeg and apples? Top with almond milk or milk of your choice and voila! Super filling and sooo yummy.

Vegan Food Swap: Canadian Edition!

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I recently came across a fun sounding online swap whereby bloggers from Canada exchange packages of vegan food and blog about what they got.  Super excited to join, I contacted MeShell and soon after received my swap partner.  Funny enough, the gal was in the same city as me, so I was able to drop off her package personally to her house! It was fun to go shopping for someone else and I was able to include some of my faves in the vegan/organic department as well as some new to me things that I would like to try!

Anyway, I recommend that you go and check out my swappers blog because it’s way more pro and put together than mine.  She’s not a vegan but neither am I entirely (yet!) and she has a lot of great sounding recipes and awesome food photography goin’ on there…

So once I found out my package was in the mail, I was checking the mailbox every day and I got my package this morning! Check out all the yummy goodness in the photo above.  Included in my package is:

Thanks again to my swapper Kim T from Alberta!  I don’t have her blog address yet, but I’ll be sure to include it once she sends it to me.  This swap is a monthly thing and it’s hard to say how long I’ll be able to stick with it with a stable address, but I hope to do it a few more times yet.  If you’re interested in trying new vegan foods and you have some time and a spare $20 to send someone some goodies, check out the swap info via the link above! 

+++Update: My swappers blog is: http://canadianvegangirl.blogspot.ca/ Check it out!

Rainy Days and Mindfulness…

                Source: tassels.tumblr.com via Trisha on Pinterest

Sadly, this is not my current view.  A matter of perspective, I suppose, but for whatever reason, I can find rainy days a lot more tolerable if they are beautifully framed by romantic old buildings and cobblestones.  The summer here, in the Canadian Prairies, has been a bit of a wash-out so far-forcing us to reevaluate plans and making it more difficult for me to find the motivation to get the stuff done that seemed so easy while I was away from here.  I have had a lot of discouragement these days.  Not to sound overly negative, this summer has been a bit of a struggle for me.  But in those struggles, I am trying to find lessons.  I believe a lot of my disappointment in the weather, and as a consequence, in the slower business/money situation, is a result of expectations, of looking a bit too far ahead and assuming that everything would be the same as last summer when the weather was near perfect and the money came easy.  Don’t get me wrong, we are doing just fine and are very fortunate in the money we have made so far, but we have had many days where we have been rained out.

Some of my other struggles are a bit more psychological.  I am tackling these by focusing on a mindfulness practice, focusing on the now and finding appreciation in small things: a cup of tea, the beauty of the rain and the birds in the backyard, my little garden that thrives despite the weather.

As my man has told me, whatever money we do end up making, and whatever we do end up doing, it will be wonderful, as it always is.  We have never taken a leap that hasn’t worked out in the end.  There are lessons even in the small mistakes.  Whatever we are doing now, is going to lead up to whatever it is that we will be doing.  A little over a week ago, I attended a book reading/signing by Lama Marut.  He is a new author to me, and I came  across him just by seeing a poster on a telephone pole: a western man, in buddhist robes.  His book sounded intriguing and I’m always interested in a western perspective on how to incorporate Buddhism into our daily lives.  One thing he said really caught my attention.  He told the audience to look at our lives 5 years ago.  Did we ever imagine that we would be where we are today, or imagine that all the things that occurred, would occur? Most people shook their heads no.  We have no way of knowing what will come ahead of us.  Then he explained a philosophy I have heard before, but that I often forget: if there is something about your life that you don’t like and you can change it, change it.  If you have something about your life that you can’t change, don’t worry about it, because you can’t change it. We don’t know what our future will bring no matter how much planning, trying, managing, purchasing, organizing we do.  Often easier said than done, but wise words.

                                                                                                                                                             Source: facebook.com via Wendy on Pinterest

Crazy, Seedy Vegan Bars…


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These bars be seedy.  Crazy, Seedy.  Seedy like that bar your mom told you not to hang out in.  More specifically, so seedy you probably don’t want to eat them in public without a mirror.  After eating the first of these bars, I turned to my man and asked him if I had anything stuck in my teeth.  He kind of cringed in disgust since I literally had a seed stuck in every single one of my teeth.  Attractive! But they’re good.  Ohhh so good.  

Ingredients:

  • 1c. popped amaranth*
  • 3/4c. unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4c. hemp hearts
  • 1/4c. chia seeds
  • 1/4c. sunflower seeds
  • 1/4c. sesame seeds
  • 1/4c. flax seeds
  • 1c. dried cherries or fruit of your choice
  • 14 dates, pitted and soaked
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 c. spelt flour
  • 1/2 c. agave syrup
Preheat oven to 350F.
Add flour, amaranth and all seeds to the food processor and pulse until you combined. 
Add coconut, dates, cherries and agave and process on low until mixture begins to come together and fruit is mixed throughout and broken down.
Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and pour mixture into pan.  Mixture will be seedy and crumbly but should stick together when you press it down into pan.  Press into pan very firmly and bake for 25 minutes.  
 Let cool nearly completely and turn out on a cutting board.  Don’t worry if you lose a lot of seeds when you take it out of the pan or slice the bars.  You can always stick em back onto the bars.  Individually wrap bars in saran wrap.  Bars will firm up more as they cool and will keep up to a week.
*This was my first time using amaranth and I didn’t bother popping it all.  I did pop *some* of it, and then I kind of lost patience with it.  I like the crunchy, nutty un-popped texture of it this way, but if you have a lot of time and don’t mind shaking a pan over the stove for a millennia, feel free to fully pop yours.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, check this out.
**Another way I really enjoy eating this bar is crumbled up on top of my plain yoghurt with some honey drizzled all over.  Give it a try and let me know how you like them!