Tofu~Blackbean Tacos

I know it isn’t Taco Tuesday but hey, tomorrow is Tuesday so maybe you can use this recipe for your taco cravings!

Vegan and Gluten Free!


  • Hard taco shells (you can certainly use soft ones, if you prefer)
  • 1/2 brick of firm tofu-use a fork to crumble into a ‘scramble’ like consistency
  • 1 can of black beans-rinsed and drained.
  • 1/2 onion-diced
  • 1/2 green pepper-diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric paste
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper (if you like it!)
  • salt to taste
  • vegan cheese, salsa, greens to garnish.


  1. Heat oven to 350 F and put the shells in for 5 minutes to crisp, if you are using the hard shell.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a fry pan on medium.
  3. Put the onions and peppers in the pan with oil.
  4. Cook onions and peppers for 5 minutes.
  5. Put in the crumbled tofu in and black beans. Mix thoroughly.
  6. Add all the spices and mix again.
  7. Cook for 10 minutes to get the spices all mixed and the beans and tofu heated up.
  8. Fill the taco shells and garnish with vegan cheese, salsa, hot sauce and greens!

tofu tacostofu tacos


Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Hey everyone!!!

So we took a little break but we are back and baking!

What better way to come back to the blog than by sharing something chocolate!  This cookie is gluten free and vegan and chocolatey and chewy goodness.


  • 1/2 cup Earth Balance
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg replacer…we used 1 tbsp chia seeds with 2 tbsp of water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 tsp xantham gum
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats-gluten free Only Oats are what we used
  • 1/2 cup of dried cranberries


  1. Line a baking sheet with a parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix together in a stand mixer or an electric hand mixer, the Earth Balance and the sugar. Mix until combined and fluffy consistency.
  3. Add the chia egg and vanilla, and beat until blended.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, xantham gum,  cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Add to the wet ingredients in the mixer bowl and mix just until combined. Add rolled oats and the cranberries.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  7. Once you take them out, they may be very soft but the cookies with crisp on the outside if you let them cool.  The insides will remain nice a chewy gooey though!


Red Chili Tofu and Quinoa

Super quick and spicy!

I needed to make something quick last night and couldn’t face another bowl of pasta, so I took a look in the cupboard and the fridge and came up with a red chili tofu bowl on a bed of quinoa.

This is very loosey goosey in the measurements and are open to any interpretation you wish.  If you like more spice…pile on the red chili paste or even throw some cayenne in there.  I added some maple syrup to mine because…well…it’s maple syrup and it should be added to as many recipes as humanly possible.

**I also made this with half a block of firm tofu.  If you need to cook for more people, just adjust the recipe accordingly. ***


  • 1/2 block firm tofu
  • 2 Tbsp  olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Red Chili paste
  • 1 Tbsp Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp ground ginger (I used the fresh ground in the jar but I think dried would work as well)
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup rinsed, chopped fresh spinach (although kale would definitely work too)
  • 1 cup rinsed, chopped cucumber



  1. So today I tried a new, locally (Ontario) grown quinoa.  It is made by Quinta Quinoa and I found it to be very flavourful and delicious.  I used their directions for the cooking of the quinoa in case it varied from others I have used.  They recommend that you rinse the quinoa in cold water first thoroughly.  Then in a pot, add 1 cup quinoa and 1 1/4 cup of water.  Bring to boil and then cover, lower setting to low/medium and cook for 14 minutes.  I found it took a little longer but that could be my pot.  Set aside the quinoa when cooked.
  2. In a skillet, add the olive oil, and the seasonings (red chili paste, ginger, lemon juice, and maple syrup.  Heat on medium.
  3. Mix them all thoroughly and then add the tofu that you have sliced into 1cm x 5cm x 1cm strips.  Obviously, don’t get the ruler out for this.  If you like cubed, then cube them.  Get creative with this!
  4. Add the tofu into the skillet and coat with the heated spicy mixture.  Cook for 5-8 minutes to brown the tofu on all sides, so you’ll have to flip them a bit.  The main thing is to get them all coated in the spicy goodness.
  5. Place a helping of quinoa in a bowl. Add some tofu and the greens and cucumber.  If you need a little more zap, add some sriracha.

We always like to hear if you have put your own spin on our recipes, so let us know how you have made this one!


The beauty of Less Stuff

A new year usually brings some resolutions for most of us.  Aside from the obvious of wanting be more healthy or more active, we also look for ways for our lives to be easier.

We feel the need to organize and declutter our belongings.  We go through items and decide whether we have used them over the course of the last year and then decide if we will use them in the future.  We rationalize the items we want to keep that hold sentimental value or that we hold onto ‘just in case’.  Not that this process isn’t helpful; many of us find it necessary to feel more clear and able to move onto the next year with a clean slate.

The problem is that we make room by getting rid of stuff, only to fill it with more stuff.  It is different stuff, but stuff nonetheless.

So what if we didn’t replace the items with other items?  What would happen to us?  Would we feel like we were lacking something?  or…would we feel like we were freer?

In the past I have tried to stick to the rule of  ‘if I buy something, something else has to go”  If I bought a new sweater (well…used more like), then I would have to give away a sweater I hadn’t worn in a while.  This kept the growth of stuff to a nil.  However, this year I am going to try to learn to live without the replacements as well.  If I get rid of a sweater, there will be no need to get another sweater for example.  The purchases will only be necessity based.

Using this logic, I am assuming, I have mostly what I need (aside from food obviously), so I will check in on occasion and let you know how I am doing with this.  The goal in this little experiment is to acknowledge that we have way more than we need.  The result I hope is that without replacing items I give away or purge from my home, that the temptation or ‘need’ to replace will wain.  With that, less stuff happens.


Curried Two Potato Soup

Yup, it’s cold!

I wanted soup and only had one fairly large sweet potato.  I didn’t think that would be enough to make a good pot of soup with so I grabbed a couple of medium sized white potatoes I had and used them too.

WHAMMO…..Two potato soup!

I added some curry, turmeric and some cayenne pepper just to add some more heat.

I must say, this soup turned out better than I had anticipated…so I thought I’d share it with you all.


  • one medium sized sweet potato
  • two medium sized white potatoes
  • half a white onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (make this a healthy dose to make sure the potatoes are covered)
  • 6 cups of water or broth (I used water this time and it was very thick and creamy anyhow)
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper



  1. In a large pot, put in your olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Cut up the onion and put into the heated oil. Stir and cook to soften the onion.
  3. Once the sweet potato and white potato are peeled and cubed, toss them into the pot with the onions.  Stir to combine with the onions.
  4. Put in the spices.  Stir and coat the potatoes.
  5. Cook and stir for another 5 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Add in the water or broth. Stir.
  7. Continue to cook on medium/high until a smooth boil.
  8. Turn heat down to low/medium and cook until the potatoes are soft. This took about 20 minutes.  I also like to leave the lid off for this part to evaporate a little water if I think there is too much.
  9. Once the potatoes are cooked, take off heat.
  10. Let is cool a bit before using immersion blender or pouring into a blender to smooth out the chunks of potato.

All that is left now is to make a yummy piece of toast or bagel (that is what I had last night) and enjoy.  The little kick of cayenne will definitely keep the heat going.

Hope you all enjoy this souper easy recipe!  Doh!

sweetpotato soup

Curried Roasted Chickpeas

Soooo…when you don’t wear your glasses when you are cooking and you pick up the wrong can out of the cupboard, open it, what do you do?

While making some chili the other day, I wanted to add in some lentils and quickly grabbed a can that I assumed was lentils and once opened, found them to be more chickpeas.  Since I had already put them into my chili, I was just going to put them into a plastic container and put them into the fridge, but then I thought…hey…why not just roast ’em!

Super easy recipe and a nice addition to the chili or just as a snack on their own.


  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil (enough to coat the chickpeas)
  • 1 tbsp of curry powder
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1 or 2 shakes of salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Line your baking pan with parchment
  3. Rinse and drain the chickpeas
  4. Put them into a large bowl and add the oil.  Shake to coat the chickpeas.
  5. Put in the curry powder and cumin and salt, shake again to coat.
  6. Put the chickpeas on the pan with the parchment and spread them out.
  7. Bake for a total of 40-50 minutes but I made sure to stir them every 10 minutes.  Bake until crunchy.  If they aren’t baked enough they will be mushy so don’t be afraid that they are in a while.
  8. Store in an air tight container and use on their own or as a garnish.

IMG_2818roasted chickpeas

Lady Bird Review~Spoilers!

There are spoilers…so if you haven’t seen Lady Bird, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

For a date night this weekend, we saw the movie, Lady Bird , and although I hate to sound like every other review, it really was as good as they say.

AND…if you are of a certain vintage or you have seen Pretty in Pink  you may agree with my assessment that Lady Bird is a beautiful rebirth of this classic.

For the purpose of this review, I am assuming you have seen the 1986, John Hughes classic about Andy (Molly Ringwald), who is a beautifully unique girl facing her final year of high school and the need, or want to fit in.

I came away with some similarities between the two story lines.  I am NOT saying there is any plagiarism here, nor am I dismissing the talented Greta Gerwig’s writing or her directorial debut. If anything, Gerwig has made her Pretty in Pink more complex and dives deeper into the intertwining relationships we have throughout our lives.

So I hope you enjoy these few examples of each film that compliment each other allowing us to enjoy both equally.

  1. Mother figure. Although Andy’s character doesn’t have a mother figure present, we get glimpses of the challenging relationship she has with a woman who chose to leave her and Andy’s father.  We see Andy in many situations where her mother would have been the person she would be turning to for guidance, and she is literally unavailable to do so.   In Lady Bird, Christine (Lady Bird) and her mother have a troubled relationship, which is the main focus of the story.  Her mother is emotionally unavailable for her and there would be scenes throughout the movie where Lady Bird would turn to her and she would show no support.  Both characters have a deep love for their mothers but also need to grow to understand why they are the way they are.
  2. Father Figure. Andy, in Pretty in Pink, has a wonderful relationship with her father.  She has become more of a parent to him when his wife leaves and Andy is left to help pull him out of a deep depression.  He is her emotional support even though he is an emotional wreck himself.  He is lacking in drive for himself to be able fulfill his dreams but believes wholeheartedly in his daughter and he is  her biggest cheerleader.  Lady Bird’s dad is similar.  His career did not go the way he had hoped over the years and subsequently loses his job late in his working life.  He is left depressed and feeling hopeless while his wife works double shifts to keep their modest home running.  He is the heart of the home, like Andy’s dad, and Lady Bird knows that he is her ally.  He believes in her and understands her need to explore the world, perhaps fulfilling his need to explore that never was realized.
  3. The best friend.  Both movies have the unwavering best friend, who by association doesn’t make them cool in the eyes of the cool people at school.  Duckie, Andy’s best friend is a unique individual who can’t help but be himself, which is completely different from most at school.  Andy and Duckie make fun of the ‘preppy’ kids who have money and are more popular but would love to be in their shoes for just one day.   Lady Bird’s best friend is Julie.  Julie, like Duckie, also is unapologetically herself.  Her and Lady Bird dream of the living in the ‘rich’ area of their home town.  Julie has been there for Lady Bird and likewise, through their childhood and now, as they enter adulthood.  They know things will change after they graduate but their bond will not be severed because of what the future may hold.  Together they have made their way through a difficult childhood and a not so popular time in high school.
  4. The ‘cool’ guy aka ‘the wedge’.  The bonds between Andy and Duckie are tested as is the relationship between Lady Bird and Julie when the cool, popular guy shows some attention.  Andy struggles between her loyalty to Duckie and her feelings for Blaine, the preppy, rich guy that finds her intriguing.  She finds herself having to chose and also feels that she is never going to be good enough for Blaine because of where she lives.  She is embarrassed by where she lives and the state of her home, much like Lady Bird, who lies to Kyle, one of the cool, rich guys, that she ends up crushing on.  She lies to the rich, cool group just for fear that they will not like her if they knew where she lived.   For both Lady Bird and Andy, their best friends are left out in the cold for the brief moment of being one of the popular kids.  Duckie and Julie are forced to watch their best friends from the side lines as they forge new friendships with people they never liked before.  Ultimately, they are both let down by the guys they fall for when the differences in their social status are bigger than they can deal with.  Andy, however, will find that Blaine may just be one of the good guys when he redeems himself at the end (an ending I was truly never happy with).
  5. The Dress.  Prom night means getting a great dress.  For Andy, it means creating something from bought second-hand, as she had done for most of her wardrobe.  She creates an original dress that, of course, is pink.  Her father is in awe of her talent and beauty the night of prom.  Even though her relationship with Blaine seems to have imploded at that point and her friendship with Duckie seems to be in disrepair, she goes alone to the prom.  Duckie, the loyal friend, is there to walk her into the prom as they had walked through their childhoods together.  Lady Bird also has prom to deal with. She and her mother buy a second had dress that her mother alters to be more ‘prom like’. Lady Bird’s family is stunned by how beautiful she looks, even her mother and normally ambivalent brother. Lady Bird gets picked up by Kyle even though at that point they would have broken up when she finds out just what he was really like.  Kyle and his friends decide they are too cool to go to prom so she asks to be dropped off at Julie’s house.  She finds Julie at home alone the night of the prom and their relationship rekindles when Lady Bird helps her get ready.  They walk into prom and at each other’s sides, just as they had been throughout their lives so far.

So, I leave you with this….watch both….notice the similarities…notice the differences…and you will love both.  Yes, one is 30 years old now, and sure, some things are dated, but Pretty in Pink lead the way for movies of its kind.  Lady Bird has taken the reigns and amplified it up to 11. (again, you will get this if you are a certain vintage).  Thank you Greta Gerwig for giving us a beautifully done movie that has reminded me of another film that I hold close to my heart.

Here is the trailer for Lady Bird, in case you haven’t seen it. (Although you shouldn’t have read this if you haven’t)


Wordless Wednesday

Hey guys!

If you follow us on Insta, you may have seen some wordy stuff the last few days that we hope you have enjoyed.  Today, I bring you Wordless Wednesday.

This is a collaboration of visual and audio art.  The visual artist is Rachel Berriman

Rachel is a Concordia graduate from Montreal, Canada.  The audio art comes to you from Connor Jessome, a graduate of McGill and York Universities.  They have blended their talents to give you a soothing and mystical experience that we hope you enjoy.

To see and hear the whole collaboration,  please click here on link.

A visual taste is below…:)  (for some technical reason I couldn’t get the audio and visual to work on here)

Please feel free to share.


Daily Prompt: Relocate

It has been a while since I participated in the Daily Prompt but this one I felt was one that stood out to me and I felt compelled to write!  Which, I guess is the whole idea of the Daily Prompt!

Relocating can bring about so many contrasting feelings.

Excitement about the unknown and new adventure that you are embarking on.

Sadness that you are leaving what and who you know and maybe love.

Anticipation of what is to come in your new surroundings.

Anxiety about the future and what it holds for you.

We have relocated a couple of times over the years.  We stayed within our own country, so the familiarity of our surroundings were slightly different but nevertheless, it was not home.

Some places grew to feel ‘home like’ and we even think we would have been quite happy had we stayed.  Work transfers brought us back home to Hamilton again and out and back a few times after that but we always made our way back to Hamilton.

The last time we returned, we knew we would stay put.  Our kids were of the age where they were forging new friendships and were all in school and we didn’t feel right about upsetting that balance in their lives.  Little did we know, that coming back home again would mean so much to us.

We grew a new love and appreciation for our home town (well technically my home town but my husband’s long time home).

As much as relocating is a great way to experience life outside your comfort zone and learn new surroundings, to know there always a place that you hold in your heart as home is a very special thing to have.  We were lucky to be able to come back to ours and share it with our family.

I would like to share with you a poem I wrote a while back after returning home to Hamilton.

Home to Hamilton.

The rusting carcasses of the steel mills where the sweat of the iron workers ran like the rushing waterfalls of the city, line the shores.

The north end neighbourhoods emerge out of the wasteland to expose their colourful, vibrant selves alive with the generations that call it home.

In the East, development spreads like wild fire; closer and closer to the vineyards of Niagara. What was once a village has blossomed to encompass all levels of our region.

Escarpment divides and unites at the same time.

The landscape has been altered. Where there were farms, we now have homes.  Where there were fields, we now have stores.  Where there were trees, we now have roads.

We question if the metamorphosis was necessary, yet we are drawn there with no remorse.

To the West, where entrance was once exclusive, now embraces all cultures, ethnicity and ages to its mature tree lined streets.

Trails run through the city’s weakened wilderness.  They are arteries that lead to the heart of the city.

Downtown. Avoided by some, cherished by others.

At the water’s edge, the sailboats’ rigging clangs against the masts.
The breezes blow into the open doors of the galleries guiding the lovers of art.
The smells of the multi cultural cooking fills the air.
The flow of people lead to the park in the core where those who want to be themselves can.

The vast contrast of steel mills and waterfalls, of industry and art, of academia and labour blend to become our home.


via Daily Prompt: Relocate

Giving Tuesday

You all know Black Friday….Cyber Monday…..but here is a day that we can all benefit from and get behind…

Giving Tuesday!

I just wanted to highlight a couple that are close to our hearts here at Crave…


Ladybird Animal Sanctuary

Ladybird Animal Sanctuary’s Mission:

Ladybird Animal Sanctuary is a unified voice for abandoned, abused and neglected animals in our community. Together, through a system of volunteers, foster homes, educators, animal lovers and exceptionally generous people, we aim to eliminate the unnecessary suffering of domestic animals in our local high­-kill shelters. Ladybird rescues cats, dogs, small animals and even farm animals­ and we never shy away from rescuing senior animals, those with costly medical issues and the so­-called ‘hard to adopt’. Through our success stories, we know that every life is worth saving and that a loving home is just around the corner for these deserving creatures.

Based out of Hamilton, Ontario, there is no “physical” sanctuary but they rely on many volunteers to foster these animals.  They also rely on donations to be able to pay for veterinary bills, food, and many other costs that are associated with rescuing the animals from high kill shelters.


Ladybird Animal Sanctuary has many ways you can give today; from monthly donations to super cute gift ideas for the holidays.   Please click on the link ‘Ladybird‘  to help sustain this much needed effort in the Hamilton area.

We would be remiss if we didn’t include one of our favourite places on Earth…Piebird Farm Sanctuary 

Piebird Farm Sanctuary

From its beginnings in 2005, Sherry and Yan have built a safe haven and loving home for many animals that were sure to face a life of misery and eventual certain death.  Over the last 12 years, not only have they resurrected a beautiful farm house into a Bed and Breakfast, they have built an amazing cottage for guests to stay.  The animal friends along with Sherry and Yan, are the ultimate hosts at this peaceful setting.  Home to goats, chickens, roosters, turkeys, ducks, bees and kitties, this piece of paradise shows just how these animals are meant to live their lives.

To keep this wonderful place going, please consider donating by clicking the link, ‘Piebird‘  There is also an online store if you are looking for some super gift giving ideas. Just click on ‘Shop‘  OR…how about a destination gift for someone…or yourself?  Booking is easy online for a stay at the B&B or cottage.

These are just a couple of places we wanted to share for Giving Tuesday.  We know there are many, many more charities that are helping people in need as well as other animal charities.  We hope you find one that speaks to you and if these do, that is awesome!

Happy Giving Tuesday!!!

Quinoa Stuffed Portabella Mushroom

Snack Attack!

So…I made a salad one day and then the next day thought…”I bet this would be awesome stuffed into some portabella mushrooms!”



This is the salad I started with….


  • 1/2 cup brown quinoa
  • 1/2 cup black quinoa
  • 1/2 yellow pepper cut into small pieces
  • 1 heirloom carrot, sliced
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1 sweet potato, roasted (see the method below)
  • 1/4 pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • shake of salt


  1. Peel and cube the sweet potato and put into large bowl.  Dash with olive oil, curry powder and salt and mix well.  Put onto baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes on 375F.  Mix half way through to make sure they cook evenly.  Take out when done and let cool.
  2. In the mean time….put the 2 cups of water in a pot and get it boiling.  Once boiling, pour in the quinoa and stir.  Cover and turn down to low and cook for about 13 minutes.  For some reason the 13 minute mark is usually best.
  3. Chop up your pepper and carrots and get your pomegranate seeds ready.
  4. Let the quinoa cool as well before putting into a large bowl and mixing in your roasted sweet potato and other veggies and pomegranate seeds.
  5. In a small jar or bowl, mix the 2 tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, and honey or maple syrup.
  6. Pour over the mixture and let sit….or eat as is for a salad!


I had a bunch of the salad left and decided it would be awesome to stuff some big old Portabella mushrooms with it for a delicious snack or lunch.



  • 4 big old Portabella mushrooms, stems removed
  • the salad from above…lol
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 375F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment.
  2. Wash and de-stem the mushrooms
  3. Mix the olive oil and balsamic together and thoroughly brush the mushrooms back and front with the mixture.
  4. Take your salad and completely cover the upside down mushroom once you have put them on the baking sheet.
  5. Evenly distribute the hemp hearts and ground almonds on top to make a little crunchy coating.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes and take out and enjoy!

The lesson learned here is that sometimes one dish you make could morph into something else the next day!  Just because we had one thing in mind, doesn’t mean it can’t develop into something else later.  Be flexible and welcome the new developments!


Running Tunes Thursday

New Feature perhaps?!


Alternate title for this particular post would be: 

Why Build me Up Buttercup is one of the best songs to run to.

It is a little wordy though…so perhaps we will continue with this as a weekly feature…

I know I’m always on the look out (or in this case, ear out) for new tunes that can motivate and keep my feet going.

If you’re unfamiliar with The Foundations song from the 60’s, Build me Up Buttercup, check out the video below.

So why is it such a good song to run to?

  1. It’s fun.  You can’t deny this catchy tune is one to make you smile.
  2. It has an echo….echo…echo….By this I mean that they say part of the words and the back ground singers repeat it.  SO…why is this a good thing?  Well, first if you don’t know all the words, you can chose to sing the echo.  If you happen to have a running partner with you, you can split it up and one can take the lead while the other sings the echo.  This would also work in a group run situation too.
  3. Build Me Up Buttercup…It is a motivator in the lyrics alone!
  4. You can keep this one going over and over and over and over and over …you get what I mean.  The song fades so there really isn’t a hard stop here.  Put on repeat and keep it going!


We would love to hear some of your fave running/hiking/walking/workout/biking tunes to feature on our Running Tunes Thursday!



A Gen X’rs look at Minimalism


Minimalism isn’t just for Millennials anymore.

Nor is it for their (most) parents, the Baby Boomers (they get everything). The funny thing is that even though these two generations probably don’t see eye to eye on a number of issues – and Yes, I am generalizing, I know – they have both embraced Minimalism for many of the same reasons.

It just makes sense.

Less stuff = More life

Minimalism, or at least the new trending hashtag of Minimalism, was propelled out of necessity from a generation that was finding the ever increasing costs of housing, food, and transportation were not matching their starting salaries after graduating from University, especially if they are laden with student debt. Upon finding this ‘less is more’ way of living, and Instagramming this way of living, the retirement approaching Baby Boomers started to realize that this new approach may be exactly what they need in their lives.

Now, I am stating the obvious when I say that the Baby Boomers who have embraced Minimalism probably are still in much better financial shape than the Millennials who found themselves as minimalists by necessity. The generation who lead the exodus to the suburbs and the 4 bedroom house with double garage are now sitting in their 2500 square foot homes as empty nesters and wondering what their retirement years will look like. (Again, I am generalizing) By living as minimalists, they can live with less stuff in smaller apartments or condos in order to afford to travel and check off their bucket lists.

But what about the Gen X’rs?

Those of us born between 1965-1984 are still very much in the middle of their working lives. Since the youngest of this group are still in their early 30’s, they may just have finished their education or are just starting out with families of their own. The older X’rs probably still have children in school, living at home and are still a good 10-15 years away from retirement.

How can minimalism work for Gen Xr’s?

As a Gen X’r with three kids, all of whom are now living out of our home, as of this year. We are parents of a university student and one who has completed (at least for now) university and one who is following a passion for art and working full time. We are very new to the this empty nest, although, truth be told, the door tends to be a revolving one for a few years before they actually leave, and we are more than ok with that.

Generation X by name, is sort of this lost generation, heck, we don’t even have a cool name to put to us. The generation is between “go to school, get a job, get married, have kids, buy a house, work for 30 years and retire” and “I want to find my passion and live it. All we have is today”. Believe me, it is a confusing place to be. We are often caught between two different lives we ‘think’ we should be living. If we compromise with either view, we are letting ourselves down and inevitably we are letting down others who are counting on us. The chronic sense of disappointment to those who ‘wanted more’ for us and those who think ‘we deserve more’ leaves us in limbo; unable to act for fear of making the wrong choice.

Here is where I think Minimalism can help us out.

  1. Begin by doing a regular rotation of ‘if one things comes in, one goes out’. We have tried this and it works really well. If we are in need of a new article of clothing in particular, we only replace, and not add to the the wardrobe we have. This allows us to be more choosy with our purchases and also to look at what we have and eliminate the things we are not using. By doing this, we can keep hold on storage that is necessary. We don’t need the extra bin or closet because we are still keeping the same amount of items in total.
  2. If you have kids, re-use items as the child grows out of them. I think this pretty much goes without saying. There are plenty of items that kids just don’t wear out. They grow out of clothing and shoes and sporting goods way faster than they wear them out. So use them for the next child in line. When you get to the end, if they are still in working condition, there are definitely places to donate gently used items.
  3. Buy used if you can. Why we have the need to buy everything brand new, pay full retail (or even sale price) is absurd. Just like the previous recommendation, there are people who have donated items to local vintage or resale stores that are in perfect condition. This not only saves you money, but also teaches your kids that brand new is not always necessary.
  4. The bigger house is not always necessary. This one may rub people the wrong way. What I mean by this is that as soon as we have our first child, then maybe start planning for the next, we think we have to have 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. We have this misconception that we have to have closets as big as some bedrooms are and ensuite bathrooms with a shower big enough for a party of 5. I am not begrudging anyone for wanting to purchase a bigger home for whatever reason they have, but this purchase is one that ends up giving people the most stress. The way I see it is that while the kids are small (0-6) they are basically in the same room you are most of the time. When they are 6-16, they may want some of their own space, which may constitute a room for them to hang out in. Then from 16 and up they are usually in and out of the house, and eventually leaving to go to college or university or work. Some move out when they go to school at 18 and never move back. So if you look at the time line, they are really only in need of their ‘own’ space for about 10 years. Take my word for it, the 10 years goes by fast. I guess what I am trying to point out here is that if the purchase of ‘too much’ house will cause you stress or require you to spend more time away from it to pay for it, then maybe it is just ‘too much’ house. Find one that fits you because when your kids leave, the echo is deafening.
  5. Your kids don’t want you crap…or your parents’ crap. This sound callous, I know. I am sure there will be things that I leave to our kids that they will cherish. There are things I have from my own parents that I cherish and couldn’t imagine getting rid of, but the china, crystal, knick knacks, silver serving pieces, and costume jewelry are literally collecting dust. I ended up with my Grandmother’s china and crystal and my Mother’s silver serving set. I also inherited a set of blue collectable plates that hung in my Mom’s kitchen. After years of storing them in a cupboard and moving them each time we moved, I decided to wash them and use them as daily dishes. They are completely mismatched but now they are in regular rotation in our daily dishes. The china and crystal gets used whenever we have a family dinner and yes, it gets washed in the dishwasher. The silver is in a box. Still. The thing to remember is that they are things. Things don’t hold the memories we associate with them, the memories are in us. Sure, there are always going to be items we just can’t part with, but if we were to use the money we spent on these things for experiences with the people we are leaving them to, they would be able to carry that memory forever.

I am not a person who tells people how to live their lives. I don’t begrudge anyone who wants the newest iPhone or the expensive pair of shoes. If those items are bringing them joy, without causing them stress later, then who am I to judge how someone spends their money.

The path of Minimalism is a very personal one. We need to use the tools that work for us in our own lives.  Minimalism for a Gen X’r may look completely different than for the Baby Boomer or Millennial, but by adopting some of the tools for Minimalism while still in our working lives, we may find that we gain something we can’t buy…time. The more effective we are in living a meaningful life and using our free time to engage in that life, the time we spend and the time we have becomes more valuable.

Instead of living to pay for things we may only use for a short time, look at the time it will take away from living to pay for them.

As a Generation X’r, we find ourselves in a unique place in history. We may be stuck between two diverse generations, but it may be us that leads the way to a happier, less stress filled future.

Thai Coconut Curry Stew


Val and I were in stew mode and she came up with a yummy Thai Coconut Curry Stew.  Full of Veggies and Tempeh.

If you’re on the road to eating vegetarian/vegan, give Tempeh a try for your protein source.  It can be used in so many different ways and it is gluten free as well.


Marinade for Tempeh

  • 220 g Tempeh
  • 2 tbsp lime juice & 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp shredded ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red chilis
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • *Use 2 tbsp coconut oil for cooking tempeh

Ingredients for Stew

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp red curry paste
  • 1 tbsp Tamari sauce
  • juice of 1 fresh lime
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 cups baby bok choy
  • *Garnishes: thinly sliced red onion, unsalted peanuts and lime wedges


1. In a medium glass mixing bowl whisk all the ingredients for the marinade together. Cube the tempeh into bite sized pieces and add to bowl and mix until evenly coated. Marinade for at least 30 minutes.

2. Heat a cast iron pan on medium high heat and add 2 tbsp coconut oil. Add the marinaded tempeh to the hot pan and cook until tempeh is golden in colour. Keep an eye on the pan, to ensure the tempeh doesn’t burn. Set tempeh aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat another pan on medium heat and add coconut oil, shallot, garlic, ginger and cook until shallot is tender @ 5 minutes. Stir in red curry paste and cook an additional 2 minutes, stir to prevent burning.

4. Add coconut milk, broth, tamari, maple syrup, turmeric, carrots and mushrooms. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Add bok choy, lime juice and tempeh, cook another 5 minutes.

Serve in medium sized soup bowls with a lime wedge, chopped peanuts and thinly sliced red onions to garnish.


The Tragically Hip-A Thank You

As many of you know, or at least those of you from Canada, the day we knew was coming finally made its unwanted appearance this past Wednesday.
Gord Downie; singer, activist, poet, Canadian in every sense of his being, passed away from terminal brain cancer.

I hesitated re-blogging this post from 2016 and I was going to write a new post just to say good bye, but as I read through it again, I realized that as we watched those final concerts back in the summer of 2016, we all said our collective good byes. We knew we would never meet the same way again. We just hoped that some day we wouldn’t have to know it was so final.

I take this time then to say thank you to Gord and his brilliant, yet ironically, fragile brain. Thank you to his band mates for sharing him with us. Thank you to his family and close friends for giving us this time to say good bye.


As a Canadian, we have things here we hold dear. Tim Horton’s. Hockey. Healthcare. Tragically Hip.  If you’ve grown up here, or have moved here, even if you don’t listen to their music, The Tragically Hip have created what would be categorized as Canadian Rock for 30 years.  When I say Canadian Rock, in no way do they compare to Nickelback, so don’t go there.  For those from the US and other countries, you probably know some of our other well known bands like The Guess Who and Rush.  Although lyrically they have Canadian-ness about them, there is just no comparison to the poetry of Gord Downie, The Hip’s front man using that metric.

I write this with the assumption that those who will read this may not be from Canada and may not be familiar with The Tragically Hip.  For those who don’t know, we, as a country…

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