The recipes in this blog are raw which makes them a great idea for those hot summer days. I hate feeling heavy on humid days, eating raw helps me to feel lighter and have lots of energy. Raw foods are easier to digest and won’t slow you down while digestion takes place. Digestion takes about 50% of our energy so if you are tired a great place to look is to your food plate. Reduce the hard to digest animal products, eat more raw foods and watch your energy soar.
I found the first recipe in an Eating Clean magazine I bought at Costco last week; Tom mentioned he wanted to focus on some weight loss this summer through eating better and more exercise, so I thought this magazine would provide me with some lighter recipes that were not vegan. This recipe originally included honey and goat cheese but I skipped the goat cheese and used maple syrup rather than the honey. The spiralized beets were so pretty to look at. I used red beets although a combination of red and golden beets would have looked smashing as you can see by the picture I added. I loved the salad and it kept well over night.
Last weekend Tom and I stopped at a Farmers market in Magnetawan, Ontario a small town north of Huntsville. At the farmers market were some golden beets which I didn’t buy but I lingered over them for a while wondering what I could do with them if I did. We ended up buying some local raspberries for his father. Tom’s father lives just outside of Magentawan, on a small spring fed lake. It was a great chance to visit Tom’s dad and just relax in the great outdoors. I love northern Ontario, the trees, rocks and small lakes are so beautiful to see and the energy of nature is so calming. Sunday morning I got up and did about 45 minutes of yoga on the dock, my mind felt so still and the view was outstanding.
The night before Tom and I went for a walk along the road that circles the lake. Walking is one of my favourite things to do with my partner; I love walking, connecting and sharing thoughts. I find that walking is private time with my partner and a chance to build our friendship. Tom spent his weekends and summer holidays in Magnetawan so for him being there is like coming home, a very grounding experience. He loves to share childhood memories with me, which allow me to better get to know him.
It’s easy to find peace on slow evening walks and yoga on the dock but the challenge is to find it at home in our “real” life. This week I had a day in the city and found just as much quiet as I did on the lake. I went to the Beach area of Toronto and spent a leisurely day by not rushing. I had lunch at Tories bakery a fully vegan shop.I ordered a mock tuna sandwich that used tempeh and dulce to create a texture and taste similar to tuna. I took my time and sat quietly eating lunch, being mindful of my surroundings, at one point I enjoyed watching 3 chickadees fight over a scrap of food, I watching young moms push their babies in strollers and loved the gentle breeze that was blowing along Queen Street East in Toronto. It felt surreal to be in the city and still be calm and unrushed. It was like an urban retreat. Later on my way to the Beaches Yoga Centre I walked through Kew Beach Park taking pictures . I could have stayed on the main sidewalk but thought the very short detour through the park would be more enjoyable. I took a level one class with David G, owner of the Beaches Yoga Centre and left feeling blessed for all the abundance in my life.
I wrote a pocket guide on how to find stillness in your life, this urban retreat day was a great example of just taking moments to look around you, breath, sit quietly, eat mind fully and be grateful for all we have. Feeling quiet is within your reach, there were cars and buses passing and lots of activity on the street, but I felt like I was engulfed in the positive energy of the universe.
The day after that I went for a one hour run with my dog (Muggins), in Heberdown Conservation, I felt light, energized and enjoyed the sunshine, the sounds of leaves, birds and at times water. I enjoyed watching my dog run and jump. My love of trails is the legacy of my late husband Frank, he convinced me to go hiking with him one day. Way back when I still smoked, and it was instant love. Frank was my trail, mountain biking and later my running partner . He used to be shocked that people could live so close to nature and not spend time in it.
The year before Frank passed away we spent every almost every Sunday running trails with The Brooklin Run Club. Just 2 months before he was diagnosed with aggressive colon cancer he completed the 26k trail race in Haliburton Forest, one of Ontario’s hardest trail races. He did so in the pouring rain. It was one of his proudest moments.
(This recipe has been veganized as I replaced honey with maple syrup and omitted 2 tbsp’s of goat cheese.)
2 large red and/or golden beets, peeled
2 cups loosely packed finely chopped kale
2 tbsp shelled unsalted pistachios
1 tsp sunflower seeds
In a large bowl mix the ingredients above.
Next make the avocado dressing.
2 cloves garlic
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 ½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves, plus additional for garnish (I used a tsp of dried basil)
2 tsp raw honey (I used maple syrup)
Pinch each of seal salt and ground black pepper
To a mini food processor or blender, add all the dressing ingredients plus a tbsp of water; process until smooth. Add more water 1 tbsp at a time, and process until dressing reaches desired consistency.
Pour dressing over kale and beet mixture; toss to combine, let sit for 5 minutes to allow flavours to blend. Toss again just before serving. Garnish with additional fresh basil (if using).
RAW OAT AND RAISIN COOKIES
½ cup almond butter
1 tablespoon real maple syrup
1 ripe banana
2 cups gluten free oat flakes
1/3 cup dried raisins
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
1 pinch Himalayan sea salt
1 pinch cinnamon powder
With a fork mash the banana in a bowl.
Add the almond butter, maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla. Mix vigorously with a fork or a wooden spoon.
Add the oat flakes and raisins. Keep mixing.
Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes at room temperature.
Scoop ¼ cup of the mixture to shape each cookie with your hand. Wet your fingers a little bit if the mixture sticks too much on your hands.