Fate Pacifica


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353 Days Until Christmas, Let’s Grow our Own Tree – Update

About a month ago I shared a post about the Christmas ornament we had that contained 5 scotch pine seeds. If you didn’t see it, here’s the link. The instructions clearly stated that the seeds should be planted in late winter. Here in Central Alberta late winter means March, and I just don’t have the patience….so, I planted them right after New Year’s. We’ve been extremely happy with the Potting Shed Creations products we carry. We’ve tried the bamboo grow pot herbs, the micro greens, and the bonsai trees. So I was confident these would be fine as well however, I would not have been surprised if the seeds didn’t sprout, because of the early planting.

I’m happy to report that about a week ago I noticed something green poking through the soil. Over the next few days a couple more. I’m hopeful for the last two, however I’m not holding my breath.

-mike


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Imagine a World….

Cause Pic copyWe all want to save the planet, and donate to charity, and volunteer, and live a healthier lifestyle. We all want to do better and love thy neighbour and all that stuff right? Some things just aren’t that easy. We live busy lifestyles, we have kids in sports or scouts or dance, we ski or sled or play slo-pitch. We have family to visit and meals to cook, dogs to walk and on top of all that, we have to keep our houses clean and do yard work. We’re busy people, really busy! Sometimes doing “good” just doesn’t fit in to our life. It’s not an excuse, it’s just life. But what if we tried to squeeze in 5 minutes, 5 simple minutes or less, to do something great. Something totally selfless and random. We’ve all heard the term Random Act of Kindness (RAK) before right? You might have been the recipient of  a RAK, or you might have been responsible for a RAK, it feels good doesn’t it?

We can’t solve all the worlds problems overnight, and many people out there think that the little thing that they do, doesn’t make a difference. I’m a firm believer that all the little things DO make a difference. So I decided to start a campaign. A RAK campaign. I set up a pledge on Causes.com to ask people to pledge to commit one simple Random Act of Kindness, one simple RAK. It doesn’t get much easier then that right? You don’t have to do it today, or tomorrow, or even next week, you just have to do it. It’s that simple.

Don’t know what to do? I’ll post a list of suggestions at the bottom of this.

Don’t know where to start? All you have to do is log in to Causes.com, sign in (you can even use your Facebook login) and sign the pledge. If you want to take it a step further, share a story of any RAK’s that might have happened to you, or that you did.

I’m convinced that if we get enough people to start committing RAK’s that the momentum will grow. Grow to a point where it becomes contagious, to a point where people realize that the little things do add up. And perhaps with all the little things piling up, it just might influence some people to start to tackle bigger things, things that can really have a profound effect on on our world! Imagine that? Imagine a world….

Random Act of Kindness ideas:

  • give someone a hug
  • shovel your neighbours driveway
  • buy someone a coffee
  • pop a quarter into someone’s parking meter
  • write a letter to someone who made a difference in your life
  • thank the police or fire department
  • donate clothes to charity
  • volunteer your time
  • bring baked goods to work
  • donate blood
  • ask if you can help
  • say good morning to a stranger
  • return a shopping cart

Please join me in this campaign, it’s easy. Here’s the link -> https://www.causes.com/campaigns/72518-rally-the-planet-to-imagine-a-better-world

mike

 


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Sweet Potato & Quinoa Chili

EnjoyEverybody has a favourite chili recipe, everyone except me that is….until now. Making chili is actually pretty easy, you just need to pay attention to the spice ratio. When you’re using cumin and chili powder, it’s very easy to put too much of either of these spices in…boom, you’re supper is ruined. This recipe is fairly basic and is vegan, for those keeping score. This one although easy, requires a bunch of ingredients. Feel free to play around with the beans or swap onions for celery if you like. This should feed 4-6 people, depending how hungry you are.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup black beans (1 can)
  • 1 cup kidney beans (1 can)
  • 1 cup pinto beans (1 cup)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1.5 cups diced celery
  • 1 large cubed sweet potato
  • 5-6 cloves minced garlic
  • tbsp olive oil
  • tbsp chili powder
  • tbsp cumin
  • tsp oregano

Step 1

  • heat up a large pot over medium heat
  • add a tbsp of olive oil
  • once heated up, toss in the 1.5 cups of celery and cooked just until it wants to start browning (this is just to soften it up a bit so it’s not overwhelmingly crunchy)
  • toss in the minced garlic and let it cook for another minute

Step 2

  • add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil
  • vegetable broth, beans, quinoa, spices, sweet potato, etc
  • bring to a boil

Step 3

  • once it has come to a boil, turn the heat down and cover with the lid off a little  so the chili can simmer
  • let simmer for 45min to an hour, stirring occasionally

Simmer

At this point your chili should be ready to eat. I found the consistency perfect, but if you find it too thick, add a little more broth. If you find it too runny, let it simmer a little longer with the lid off.  Also, if it’s not hot (spicy) enough for you, add a little more chili powder. It really depends on your chili powder. If you feel like it, garnish with something to spruce it up. I used fresh yellow pepper but coconut yogurt or cheese would be pretty good too. I used all organic ingredients for this dish and it cost less than $15.

As usual if you have any questions or comments, feel free to share. Let me know how this recipe works out for you 🙂

mike

photo credits – http://www.alterecofoods.com/products/quinoa – http://chefsnightout.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/sweetpotato1.jpg – http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-I_53-eIRIvA/UToP26PEP3I/AAAAAAAAH4E/uRenpYRCxo0/s1600/TomatoEarlyGirl.jpg – http://img2.timeinc.net/health/images/slides/black-beans-challenge-400×400.jpg – http://www.fitho.in/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/Kidney-Beans.jpg – http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0d/Celery_1.jpg/1280px-Celery_1.jpg – http://img.21food.com/20110609/product/1307455511371.jpg – http://www.tajagroproducts.com/Lal%20Mirchi%20powder/tajagroRed-Chilli-Powder.jpg – http://www.misshomemade.com/images/garlic.JPG – http://www.thecandidadiet.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/oregano-620×360.jpg – http://www.ferrantioliveoil.com/images/main-pic-olive.jpg – http://liveeatbewell.com/RipeTomato/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/veggiebroth.jpg – http://happyhealthyveggie.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/pinto.jpg