Saturday, January 19, 2008

West Coast Winter

A typical winter day on the coast, windy and wet! Oh well get the rain gear on and make the best of it. Yesterday was the venture into book stores and coffee shops. Today I'm gearing up for a bike ride. Biking in Victoria is fairly easy if you find yourself sharing the roads with happy drivers. If you bike along the Galloping Goose Trail you avoid the motorized annoyances, and if you have the time and energy you can bike for hours. I also love hiking, but to get to the best scenic ocean trails you have to spend at least 30 minutes in a vehicle before your hike actually begins, and touring the city can become a wee bit exhausting if you know what I'm saying.(too many engines idling).

Victoria BC is surrounded by lush green, ocean view trails ideal for morning or afternoon walks. Best of all, you rarely see anyone all day so you get the feeling that you are somewhere far away from any cities. My favorite strolling spots are the ocean and forested trails that connect to the West Coast Trail between East Sooke and Jordan River. During the winter these trails are pretty wet, and muddy but the fresh ocean air and earthy scents will re-energize you. That stretch of coast is so pristine. There hasn't been a whole lot of development from Sooke to Port Renfrew, but it is starting to happen. The majority of that area was logged over 50 years ago, but there are some living old growth giants amongst some of the second growth forests.
Sombrio Beach has some beautiful old growth cedars lining the trails down to the water, and once you reach the beach sit back enjoy some tea, and watch for the sea lions, seals and surfers in the waves. Don't forget your toque and mitts, during the winter season!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Rainy Day Book Excursions...

I must say that I love finding wicked bargains, second hand book shops are loaded with all sorts of gems! It may take an hour, but when you find that book it's like finding a treasure without the map.

I lucked out by stumbling across Charlie Trotters and Roxanne Klein's book"Raw" at a used book shop. The pictures alone will lure you into your kitchen to create some gorgeous dishes. Don't be discouraged when some of the Raw recipes are a page long. Most Raw recipes are just very detailed.
Another amazing find was, John Robbins "Diet For A New World", and "Diet For A New America". Both books are a must read, if you haven't already experienced them.

I love receiving books as a gift! Cook books always are a score in my eyes. You can't have too many cook books. Most of my friends and family know that I am a Raw/vegan, but even if I receive a classic cook book I can get some great ideas that help me create living and vegan recipes.

My goal is to create a new recipe every day. If it is a smoothie, salad, appetizer, wrap, dip, main coarse or a beverage, whatever just have fun!!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Healthier Choices "The more we eat , the more they'll grow!"

While I was at home for the holidays in Red Deer, Alberta I found that a regular trip to the grocery store became more of an excursion. I realized that the fresh organic ingredients that I use on a daily basis on the Island just aren't available everywhere! I managed to rack up the kilometers on my mother's vehicle searching for ingredients to fix up vegan and living foods for the 3 weeks that I spent with my family.
I love any challenge, but this was hilarious!
It was great to see my Mother and 92 year old Grandmother enjoying everything I prepared for them.
I did bring an assortment of living foods that I prepared prior to flying home.
Cranberry & pistachio cookies, mocha chocolate chip cookies, chocolate & vanilla cranberry macaroons, chocolate cashew hemp balls, pear & pistachio crisps(amazing with raw vanilla ice cream)& classic nacho chips. I also did a wee bit of vegan baking, ginger snaps, gluten free pie crusts(sweetened & savory)I prepared all the pie fillings the day I made them for Christmas.

I really can't tell you how great it feels to know that you have been able to share and encourage family and friends to be adventurous with food. Just because its good for you doesn't mean it has to be drab, boring and flavorless!!!
Salads can be made a million different ways, dress them with the natural juices of fruits and veggies. Stir fry it up! Brown rice, sprouted wild rice, soba noodles, and rice noodles are a great base for any stir fry, steamed veggies or even marinated dehydrated veggies.
Even college and university students can top off their Mac&Cheese with fresh or steamed veggies! Come on buy Organic Fruits and Veggies! The more we eat the more they'll Grow!!
Stop eating out of a box! It is the simplest solution. Read labels, and if you don't know how to pronounce the ingredients or it says contains natural flavoring, you may want to seek out another option.

Make healthier choices this year!