A conversation, a calendar & a great bottom-of-the-barrel recipe

So yesterday, I don’t remember how the conversation turned to the $5 left in my wallet, but nevertheless it did and my husband turned to me and said, “Are we really that bad off right now?”

I was kind of hoping he’d ask and not the least bit surprised, so I was pleased that it gave me a chance to explain to him that no, it’s not that, I’m just trying to be strict with the money because otherwise a little extra here and a little leeway there turns into this big snowball effect and I end up not managing our money wisely.

Delicious FrittataWe spoke a bit more, about ways to save, his first inkling being to take a part-time job on the weekends, and I tried to reiterate that that isn’t the point — the point is to do better with what we have, to continue spending time together as a family and to communicate more about these issues. I want him to feel included. I appreciate his input. I can’t take all the responsibility by myself sometimes, nor do I want to.

It was refreshing and reassuring, and tomorrow being the start of the month makes the timing all the more essential.

One of the examples I gave him about saving not having to be sacrificing was this want I had for a dry-erase calendar (with room for notes) to hang on the fridge. I have about three calendars going at all times, which may not be very efficient, but I don’t like to mix work and play, and I don’t really think tacking my bills up on the fridge with magnets will do the trick either. So this one had to be for things like errands I need to run when, cleaning chores I need to do by day/week, reminders to hit the ATM on Thursdays for the nanny, etc. There’s one style on there I particularly like, so I printed one out for August and hit the ground running. Change doesn’t have to feel like sacrifice, I told the husband. You can’t get nervous or tense just because we ran out of puffs for the baby and he’s turning his nose up at bananas but we have no strawberries right now. He’s not starving! We’re fine! We just need to stop overspending, and perhaps a little of my enthusiasm can rub off on him so that we’re both enjoying finding creative ways to save AND spend more time together, appreciating what we have instead of feeling the lack of something we don’t.

By the same token, I was determined to show the family that our meager fridge remnants didn’t mean a sad, sorry dinner! With half a dozen eggs, two sweet potatoes and some thyme from my pathetic salmon cakes, I made a delicious frittata, which we enjoyed with some organic local Lacinato kale chips and a glass of red wine. Although for some reason the baby didn’t even want to try the sweet potatoes, we enjoyed it thoroughly and there’s even a quarter left over for lunch today. I have plans for tomorrow already in terms of picking up what I need at a discount (allergy medicine and coffee, for one), and altogether these advances make me feel like things are looking up.

Happy Sunday! Hope your weekend wraps up nicely.

Continue Reading

Raw Chocolate Orange & Cardamom Truffles

In late 2015, I discovered raw food. I set myself a challenge to eat raw for 30 days but didn’t complete it – I only lasted 10 days. I was really disappointed in myself at the time but I now know that moving from a normal diet to a raw vegan diet overnight is not easy. It is just like any other lifestyle change, something you must do gradually.

I have read many articles written by raw foodies, all of who took a long time to transition from a normal diet to a raw vegan diet, and although I know I could never be exclusively raw, I love the idea of having a 50% raw diet.

I have been experimenting with raw foods now for some time, and this year plan to post many new raw recipes that I am super excited about! This recipe is my first attempt at my very own original raw recipe. These little balls of goodness are delicious, and are very simple to make. Many raw recipes call for ingredients that aren’t in the average household pantry or fridge, but I am confident that most of you will have these ingredients on hand (maybe with the exception of cacao powder, which you can pick up from your local health food shop).

Raw Choc-Orange & Cardamom Truffles

Ingredients (makes 10)

  • 1 cup pitted dates
  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup almonds
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 2 tablespoons cacao powder (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 10 extra almonds
  • Pinch of Himalayan sea salt (optional)

Steps

Place dates into a bowl and pour over orange juice, soak for 30 minutes. Remove seeds from cardamom pods and grind into a find powder using a mortar and pestle. Put nuts into a food processor and process into a find powder then add dates, orange zest, scrapings from vanilla pod, cacao powder, cardamom spice, sea salt and chia seeds.

Gently pulse processor until all of the ingredients are combined. If the mixture gets to sticky or bulky for the processor to mix, transfer to a bowl and use a wooden spoon, or better yet – your fingers!

Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture, place and almond in the center and roll into a ball, gently roll in cacao powder until coated. Store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.

This dessert combined with this yummy frittata would be the perfect meal if you were staying in for the night.

Continue Reading