Lets be real. Nobody in their right mind is cranking up the oven this time of year. It’s just not happening unless you’re making pie and have a kiddy pool on the kitchen floor. So the raw raspberry lemonade bars goodness is where it’s at and this light as air pillowy cloud of tangy lemon and raspberry on a decadent nutty crust without any added sugar is DA bomb. Top it with some coconut whipped cream and you will be in the land of blissful nummies (it’s a real place, I swear).
Have you ever thought what it would be like to be psychic? Maybe you are psychic. Please comment if so, I want to know how many psychics are reading my blog. I disgress, my writing challenge postulated the idea and I wrote a little piece on a day in the life of moi, as a psychic.
She stepped up into the precociously parked bus only to be bombarded with the inner screams of impatience of it’s inhabitants. A common chord amongst many in the busy city, nothing is ever fast enough. Places to go, people to see, and a massive shortage of time. She was always quick to scan for the ones that held an inner stillness, that didn’t let their feathers ruffle at the mere drop of a pin or tick tock of the clock. Today was like no other, as she looked through the eyes of those around her she felt dismal. There was no one on this bus wrapped in calm cascades of inner peace. What she felt was an unspoken turmoil amongst the masses, self-absorbed and lost in thoughts composed mostly of what ifs. She decided that day to stop taking the bus.
Descending the steps to a busy street her heart ached to scream that we aren’t all so separate at all. Clinging to the illusion of drastic differences between us we create a world where there are few bridges. The homeless man, whose shadow even had thoughts, his mind never turned off, he was constantly churning through his choices and how they shaped his reality. But that corporate banker who frequents the same cafeteria every day goes through the exact same process.
It’s not very often that she shows what she knows. Blending in is the best technique if you want to remain out of the egoick glare of the limelight. Today was different though. Today she was desperate to find someone who wasn’t a frantic mess. Scanning more than usual, she picked the best chances. The woman carrying her yoga bag, she must be focused more on the well being of others than her own problems. I wonder what I’ll have for lunch- damn my ass hurts from all those lunges. Nope. She continued her hunt. What even was she looking for? Just something different, someone whose world is wrapped in love, maybe even gratitude.
A plump older fellow was waddling towards her, his glasses crooked and a smidgen of mustard tucked into the crease of his lip. His clothes were ruffled and his face twisted into a sort of worried grimace. It was easy to pick up that he had just been through something heavy. He’d been helping a stranger, a neighbour that he had seen but never spoken with before that day. The old lady was losing it to the demons of dementia. She watched movies and couldn’t figure out that they weren’t her life, they weren’t reality.
He’d seen her falling from afar, down that big old hill that the kids loathed climbing on their way to school and the reason many seniors avoided this neighbourhood. It was a tumble of epic proportions, like a scene out of a movie when a person just rolls and rolls and rolls. He ran like a maniac to reach her, to grab her before she hit the pond at the bottom. The superman he’d always wanted to be kicked in, and he made it just in time. She told him she’d taken the roll on purpose, reliving her youth she said. The absurdity was still lingering in his mind. He offered to buy her a hot dog and she accepted. Now she was all he could think about, but even more so, how marvellous it felt, to do something heroic, to break out of his comfort zone.
She locked eyes with him and they exchanged tender smiles. Though she knew his inner dialogue she didn’t say a thing. But her heart softened, she let herself be at ease in knowing that she doesn’t know the whole story. She taps in for a moment, a glimmer, a glimpse into the lives of others and that is all. Her judgement faded into the distance, she decided she might take the bus tomorrow after all.
2 C young coconut meat OR raw cashews (soaked for 2-6hrs)
1/3 C coconut oil, melted
Juice of 2 lemons, about 1/3 C
4 Tbs maple syrup or honey
1 C shredded coconut
Optional- top with coconut whipped cream
1 can full fat coconut milk without additives
In a high powered blender or food processor add walnuts, date paste, lemon zest, salt and coconut oil and pulse until combined. I like to mix in the shredded coconut afterwards.
Press mixture evenly into a rectangular 15x9 pyrex baking dish and set aside.
Add all the filling ingredients to your blender or food processor and pulse until super smooth and creamy.
Spread mixture over the base and pop in the fridge to set for a few hours.
To make the coconut whipped cream pop the can in the fridge upside down for a few hours or overnight. Open the can and pour out the super liquid semi clear portion. Scoop out the coconut cream and whip by hand or in a stand mixer until fluffy. Spread over top of the filling and sprinkle with additional shredded coconut.
I made these after work one day. I got home dying of heat and starving for a combination of comfort food and healthy raw veggies. My foray into the new Asian market that just opened up didn’t last long as my son took to throwing his first public temper tantrum (milestones!). But I did manage to sneak out with some rice noodles and a jar of tamarind. I didn’t plan on posting this recipe, but the end result was so beautiful and vibrant and it just oozed with the taste of summer times bounty so I had to share it. The beauty of these Summer Harvest Noodle Bowls is that you can just use whatever fruits and veggies are in season. Every bite is different and the fruitiness of the fresh strawberries goes amazingly well with the umami Thai inspired sunshine sauce.
For the month of August I’m doing this 30 day writing challenge with Andrea Balt and Tyler Greg Knotson called Write Yourself Alive. It’s super fun and engaging so far, the whole community is so supportive and encouraging. I thought I would share some of my writing on here too, just for kicks.
Write a letter to the person you thought you would be by now and explain why you’re better off where you are…
Hey you wild souled creature, hungry for adventure, thirsty for knowledge, lusting for true love and hungry for a different kind of life. I love you so much. Because you are a part of me, a part that I often revert to, dying to escape the mundane and run with the wolves. We’ve been on quite the journey. Just when you were planning your next escape to Africa, where you would’ve studied dance and eaten with your hands on dirt floors whatever was offered, an unthinkable thing happened. A choice erupted, you faced the stark reality that now you could be responsible for another being. Either that or you could prod through jungles, jump off cliffs, eat fried crickets and make love in the street.
That furious drive to go all places, to be wild and completely free will always be with you. Your heart yearns to understand the poor men pulling rickshaws without shoes on, why entire tribes worship a stalk of magical corn and how those with the simplest of lives often seem the most fulfilled.
You never fit in, you weren’t willing to give your life over to debt and the 9-5. You fought that confinement with all your might. With an unsavoury and selfish might at times. In your quest to be this nomadic gypsy queen, you realized something. In trying so hard to always be on the move, you were getting lost. Fear of settling, fear of stillness, a mind so fraught with questions and concern. Go go go, more more more. At times when stillness did come, you found a smothered sadness and a gaping unfillable hole. Maybe at first you tried to fill it with what you thought was love. You pretended for awhile that someone else could light your fire. But it didn’t go away, it lingered until stillness showed itself and that old familiar feeling crept up. Did it matter if you were in Thailand or Australia? No. You got quiet, you started to get to know yourself a little better, to sit with it, to find solace that you weren’t the only one with holes. One day it just clicked. An earth shattering understanding that you my dear, could only find what you were looking for within yourself.
That selflessness that you so admired in others, in the mamas lifting rocks to build castles for false kings just to feed their babies, the kind stranger on the train offering food and shelter only to find that he himself barely has such things. Your heart broke open deeper each time you witnessed these acts requiring no payment in return. And then you were given a choice. To give life, to nourish another, to give over your body, your space, your quiet, your freedom- to care for another.
It’s not like you didn’t have options. No one would’ve shamed you had you made the choice to keep your freedom. You didn’t have to do it. Its not like you had any money or even a spare bedroom in your tent. But you had courage, you had love enough to give and you chose. You chose selflessness, you chose undying unhindered boundless love, you chose to overcome obstacles. Now you see that your freedom doesn’t dwell on aircrafts and cheap hostels, it is within you. You’ve really surprised yourself. Did you know you would be a good mother? Never in a million years did you see yourself here. And hell, your no typical mom either.
Being present to marvel at the amazing discoveries of this new being. Learning how to be a mom is a lot like travelling. You don’t know what to expect. You can read every book and blog on the topic and you still won’t know much. We learn through the richness of experience and motherhood is no different.
Here you are little girl, a woman now, a mother, a lover, a giver, with no regrets and weepy eyes that over flow every time you think about the moment you met that wrinkly little star seed for the first time. You relive it over and over again, so that no matter what happens you never forget. I can’t say that for any waterfalls or meals eaten with my hands on dirt floors. I can say that motherhood has made me better than the person I thought I would be by now.
As the fresh prince of bel air would say, my life got flip turned upside down.
Sometimes self love is the hardest thing. Especially if you’re like me and continually put others first. Even when doing so does them a disservice. Life’s a real B sometimes, forcing you to make those tough decisions and question your self worth.
My gusto for culinary delights has decreased over the stress of these past weeks, along with my waistline. Again with the self love thing, food often tops the list of things I have tortured myself with in the past. Emotional eating, or its opposite is a reality for so many of us under duress (and who isn’t). Inspiration is creeping back in to my life, mostly thanks to Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks and food gawker. I’m not worried about macros or calories or paleo right now, my focus is on enjoyment and quality, something that will cheer me up without creating digestive havoc. Enter: gluten free rice ramen noodles. As many of you can surely relate I was obsessed with ramen noodles as a child and ate them raw or cooked day and night. It’s slightly terrifying just how many MSG packages I must have consumed along with my favourite comfort food.
I don’t often eat peanuts or peanut butter because they are actually a legume and can be difficult to digest. Conventional peanuts and peanut butter also have very low standards when it comes to moulds like aflatoxin and by the time we get them are often rancid. But there are a few good companies out there and really what other flavour compares to peanut? It’s directly correlated with fond memories of childhood lunches and has long been a staple food in this part of the world. Once in awhile I need to get my peanut fix so I opt for this brand of peanut butter which is made with coconut oil. Coconut oil has natural anti-fungal compounds in it so I like to think that it helps preserve the integrity of the peanuts. No real studies on this but I don’t get that rancid taste from this peanut butter like I would others.
One of my favourite Vietnamese restaurants makes this luscious peanut noodle soup with loads of fresh cucumber noodles. There’s something about peanut and cucumber, I think it rivals PB&J any day. Paired with the sweetness of mango and thick luscious ramen noodles these Cucumber Mango Gluten Free Ramen Bowls brought my appetite back pretty quickly. I’m back in action folks…and ps. I missed you.
What could be easier and more satisfying than making your own sweet indulgences? To me, these truffles are like HIIT for the dessert world. Super healthy and effective, yet short and sweet, and while Tabata isn’t nearly as easy as these babies, it takes the same amount of time for the same amazing rewards.
It’s actually shocking how effective a short Tabata workout done three times a week can be. Why spend hours in the gym when you can get er’ done and feel that great endorphin high in your own home! I’m sold. In the same regard, why slave away for hours making delicate patisseries when you can throw together a few ingredients and have scrumptious 4 ingredient superfood truffles in mere minutes.
They were gobbled up just as fast. I brought them to my lovely friends blessing way, which is like a baby shower but better. She’s bursting with life and baby could arrive any day now. Mommas need raw cacao to fuel those last days, it’s a fact. You can coat these truffles with whatever superfoods or seeds you may have lying around- I used hemp seeds, raw cacao and bee pollen but other options would include sesame seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, goji berries, matcha, or other crushed nuts.
And speaking of mommas, my mom and grandma left yesterday, waaaaah. I wish they lived closer, I miss them already. It was so nice to reconnect in person. It’s hard not having family close by, a big sacrifice for living in such a beautiful place. Maybe some day the mountains will call them over for good.
I’m a lover of freshly ground unique spices, the type that transport you to faraway lands. The ancient combinations of herbs, roots and seeds that grow together and have been used together for thousands of years. Raw Spice Bar specializes in these special blends that pair ancestral combinations with the modern twist of being delivered to your door step every month.
Delivery subscriptions are all the rage, from a new pair of panties every month to craft charcuterie, the options are endless. For foodies and anyone looking to try new recipes, raw spice bar provides 3 different spice blends freshly ground, high quality and 3 different recipes. This month the theme was Persian New Year, though I made this recipe up with their Mast-0-Khiar spice blend, I tried the one for braised lamb shanks with advieh, a spice blend of green cardamom, angelica and a few others. They were to die for and so easy to throw together.
Mast-O-Khiar is a spice blend made from dried mint, dill, rose petals and black peppercorns. Paired with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt, it makes a unique Iranian inspired salad dressing that goes really well with earthy beets.
I recently got a spiralizer and have officially fallen in love. Almost every vegetable is spiralizable (new word) and beets are no exception. This time I roasted them (after spiralling) to bring out their natural sweetness. You could also eat them raw for a fresher, juicier variation. If you don’t have a spiralizer, fear not, you can cut the beets into chunks, roast them until tender and slice them thinly before dressing. Served alongside fresh greens, with a bit of plain yogurt or goat cheese this is a truly uniquely delightful flavour combo. I hope you love it as much as I do.
3 Beets, peeled and spiralized Or cut into chunks and roasted
4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs raw tahini
1 Tbs mast-o-khiar spice blend (dry mint, dill, rose petals and black peppercorn)
1/4 tsp sea salt
fresh greens (optional)
plain yogurt or goat cheese (optional)
To roast the spiralled beets, set oven to 400 and spread on baking sheet, roast for 15-20 minutes until soft. For chunks of beets roasting time will be a bit longer, just until tender and then thinly slice.
Let the beets cool.
Combine olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, spices and salt until smooth and pour over the cooled beets, toss and serve alongside fresh greens with a drizzle of plain yogurt or a few chunks of goat cheese.
Hello lovelies, it’s been awhile and I’m all up in a spring tizzy. My how time flies as the days get longer, along with the to-do list. My mom and grandma are visiting right now, gigi is meeting her great grandson for the first time!
As a lovely surprise I made them this decadent raw pie, oddly reminiscent of a pink creamsicle. The rhubarb in our garden is off the hook, it’s the gift that keeps on giving. The more you pull, the more springs up. I find myself searching for new ways to use rhubarb, aside from pie there are few ideas out there. Any ideas?
The new moon just passed so we took the opportunity to plant seeds in the garden. In biodynamic gardening, planting and harvesting is planned according to the lunar cycles. Which makes good sense, as the moon affects the ebb and flow of all H2O containing life. As the moon grows so do the plants, hopefully, fingers crossed, it’s the first year I’ve had a garden in awhile.
More about this pie. Roasted rhubarb is the way to do rhubarb, this roasted rhubarb + vanilla cream raw pie is healthy and light yet super satisfying. You’re going to love it, even if you hate rhubarb. I tricked my mom, who claims she hates rhubarb, but when I gave her a slice she unknowingly bit into it and thought it was oh so delicious. This brings to light a lot of misconceptions about rhubarb. Many folks think it’s too sour or stringy or bitter. I beg to differ, especially when roasted as it caramelizes the natural sugars. Do give this pie a chance, I wouldn’t lead you astray.
3/4 C raisins or dates (soaked for at least 30 mins)
1/2 C + 1/2 C + 3 Tbs coconut oil
2 C raw cashews (soaked 4-8 hrs)
1 C coconut milk
3/4 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
1/3 C raw honey or maple syrup
pinch sea salt
4 large rhubarb stalks
1/3 C raw honey or coconut sugar
Preheat oven to 400F and roast rhubarb on a baking sheet for 20 minutes.
Using a food processor or high powered blender, combine raw almonds, rainsins or dates and 1/2 C coconut oil until smooth. Press this crust into the bottom of a 12 inch springform pan. Set in the freezer while making the filling.
Clean out the blender or food processor. Add the drained cashews, 1/2 C coconut oil, coconut milk, honey or maple syrup and vanilla and blend on high until super smooth and creamy. Pour over the set crust and place back in the freezer while making the topping.
Clean out the blender or food processor and add rhubarb, 3 Tbs coconut oil and honey or coconut sugar. Pour topping evenly over the vanilla cream and allow to set in the fridge or freezer for at least 2 hours before serving.
Hey I'm Chantelle, my alter ego would be a mermaid if I wasn't such a terrible swimmer. I love writing authentically and cooking in my pyjamas. My favourite pastimes include eating avocados, travelling the world and hanging out with a toddler.