Great Food Blog – For The Love of Raw!

My New Roots

I’d like to thank Louise Bell from @table_tonic for introducing me to this fabulous food blog. Our daughter has been vegetarian now for six years, and I’m always looking for new recipes to inspire our family to eat healthier and support her choice.

What I love about this blog

  • Recipes = original and easy to follow
  • Photography = love the pics!
  • Writing Style = tells a story, draws me in

Must Try Recipe = The Raw Brownie

You can find Sarah on Facebook. You can also get to know her better on the FAQ Page on her blog.

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Hearty Hamburger Soup

September is just around the corner. The evenings are cool, it’s misty in the morning, it’s time for a steaming bowl of hearty hamburger soup. Also a way to enjoy this season’s fresh tomatoes!

Hamburger Soup 

The amount of each ingredient can vary depending on the thickness of the soup you desire.

In a large stock pot brown:

  • ½ – ¾ lb. each of spicy Italian sausage and (extra) lean ground beef

Once cooked almost through add:

  • ½ – 1 cup each of diced celery, onion, carrot – combine well and keep stirring about 3 minutes

For last minute of sauté add

  • 3 or so cloves of crushed, fresh garlic

Now add:

  • One 19 oz. can black beans
  • Two to four liters organic, low sodium chicken or beef stock
  • 3 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 cup or more cubed sweet potato
  • 4 – 6 good shots of worcestershire sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 – 4 cups fresh, diced tomatoes

If you don’t have any fresh tomatoes add:

  • One 28 oz. can diced tomatoes (Unico) with liquid

You can top up your soup with water if a bit more liquid is required or desired

Bring to a boil then simmer until sweet potato is cooked through – taste and add salt &/or pepper as needed.

Stir in

  • ½ cup chopped, fresh cilantro

Serve with chunks of bread torn off a country style, hearty loaf


Optional Additions:

  • ½ cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 serrano pepper finely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh corn

For a vegetarian version substitute Yves veggie ground round or a head of roughly chopped cauliflower for the sausage and beef, and use organic vegetable stock instead of chicken or beef stock.

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The View From The Top

Very early Saturday morning my friend Kathi and I arrived at the base of Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver. We love the Grouse Grind, a 2.9 km trek up the mountain, committing to the climb at least once a week. Each time we begin we see the sign pointing the way to BCMC – another option for getting up the mountain. So this time we decided to climb the alternate route.

The beginning of the BCMC is a bit easier, the incline not so aggressive at the start. The rest of the climb is, for the most part, challenging with much less maintenance than the grind and much more natural rock and root present on the trail. The destination is the same, the top of Grouse Mountain, although we did deviate from the trail near the top for a bit of added adventure. Climb time is roughly the same.

And the view from the top ~ absolutely spectacular

From about the 3/4 way up the climb the flies became bothersome. I didn’t really enjoy their presence and they continued once at the top. After grabbing an iced coffee we wanted to enjoy the spectacular view and made our way to an outdoor seating area. Surrounding the tables are long planters filled with fresh herbs, so great! Unfortunately, the scent of lemon thyme did not help keep the flies away… We were hoping it would.

Needing to keep moving, we walked behind the chalet to the wildlife habitat where two grizzly bears have found sanctuary. Grinder and Coola were both orphaned as cubs and now live on top of Grouse Mountain.

The paws & the claws are large and quite intimidating, but we watched two very calm bears enjoying a swim and chewing on some plants. Pretty amazing sight right in my ‘backyard’ and an amazing way to begin the weekend.

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I’ve Been Away

My Son & Our Dog in the Sunshine

I’ve been away.

I’ve taken time away from blogging. An overload of work, both at my regular job and my freelance work, has kept me away.

Then there was the enjoyable vacation. Taking time out as a family to work on our friendship, to communicate, to play games and make smores, to walk and play at the beach, was a much needed and welcome refresher.

I also took time to be alone with myself and with God. Time to help settle me down, to remember what it means to be quiet, to be at ease in the midst of His great peace.

And I must not forget to mention the much needed break from technology by choice. Very important decision. I recommend it. I recommend unplugging from the laptop, ipad, desktop and cellphone. Let media be silent for awhile. Let your mind rest…

And now I’m back.

What that looks like here will depend entirely on what is inspiring me to write. Gone is the notion that I must ‘produce’ content. I prefer to ‘create’ content that enriches me enough to share and hopefully bless you who continue to read.

What that looks like at work means, as a freelance writer and editor, I will work on projects that I believe in and inspire me. As a communications manager I will communicate with clarity, integrity and purpose. And I stay open to new opportunities.

So thank you for continuing to check in. Thank you for the encouragement I receive from you.

Lee Anne

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Loving A Border Collie

Herding, not to be confused with hoarding which requires therapy and professional junk removal, is a natural instinct for a border collie. Just watch them the next time they’re in with a group of dogs. They instinctively circle the pack and will always chase or follow any straying dogs.

Our Border Collie, Ladybug, is a rescue dog from the local SPCA. She was found in northern British Columbia chained to a fence. When we adopted her she was about 8 months old. At first they weren’t going to let us adopt her, she had a tendency to bite and our kids were younger. But we were persistent, and after spending time with a behaviourist at the shelter, they let her come home with us.

And yes, she did bite. She was afraid and needed to learn how to trust again. So we loved each other through that stage, and now she is truly the best dog ever! And really smart. Say the words, walk, run, leash, boot, jaunt or any version of putting two feet in front of each other and she is standing in front of you with a rather eager look on her face!

And so I take her running with me. But now we have a dilemma. I recently trained for a half marathon. We started slow (I was coming back from injury) and gradually worked our way up to 20k runs. Yep, that’s right, 20k with a border collie. So the race is over and I’m not running too many really long runs right now. And that’s not a good thing for Ladybug. No longer satisfied with a 15 minute walk around the neighbourhood, she needs vigorous, frequent play times… So we’re trying to wean her from the long run. We’ll see how it goes.

Today she chased down balls while the boys played tennis – rather convenient for the boys since balls seemed to be flying around… And though it may be a lot of work (most pets are), it’s great having a smart, personable, friendly and snuggly dog!!

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Colours of My Weekend

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The Travel Bug

I’m naming today Travel Tuesday! Travel has been on my mind a lot lately, due in large part to my serious need for a vacation. How can I tell? I wear flip flops to work and gauzy, white shirts are the only purchases as of late. Exotic destinations scroll through my mind as if a reel to reel projector is set on auto-loop just inside the right hemisphere of my brain.

Living near the Pacific Ocean, I love being near the water, so the destination must include a fabulous beach. I could go inland for a short while, as in, ‘let’s tour the Italian countryside and stop at wineries and villas along the way,’ but I would always need to make my way back to the water.

Travel destinations on my mind include Costa Rica, the Mayan Riviera, Fiji, Maui, and multiple stops along the California coast line. Having been to not-a-one, I’m open for suggestions. I didn’t realize choosing would be so difficult, so I’d love your input. And while you’re considering your favourite places to vacation, here are some fabulous views to inspire your next travel getaway!

A Tranquil Scene in Costa Rica via

A private beach on the Mayan Riviera

Glorious Fiji via

A Spectacular Vista in Maui via

A Sunset in Santa Cruz

Vancouver, BC - My Home

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