Sunday, April 25, 2010

Recipes, Raw Food & Relaxation

Happy Sunday evening! How has your weekend been? Mine has been pretty low-key - Friday night and last night were spent chilling with friends (Friday involved the neighbor coming by for mojitos - the first not raw thing I've had in awhile - and last night was going to Ybor - walking distance bars - to watch the Rowdies, the Tampa soccer team, play on TV)... this morning I had one of these to recover: (sorry for the dark picture)

-glorious blend of strawberries, kiwi, mango, banana, bee pollen, spinach, and spirulina... and my sigg full of ice cold aqua ;)

a few hours later I ate one of these salad monsters:

spring mix, arugula, cilantro, red, yellow & orange bell peppers, grape tomatoes, carrot, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, dulse, avocado, hemp & sunflower seeds.... plus a tasty vinaigrette with a spicy asian twist: fresh tangerine juice, raw coconut vinegar, coconut aminos, garlic, fresh ginger, raw almond butter, fresh cracked black pepper, and red pepper flakes. It was the salad of my dreams! eaten with chopsticks of course, because, well, chopsticks make life more fun :)

I was at Starbucks a few weeks ago getting an iced coffee (black, plain, strong - so delicious!) and I got a few snacks (which were devoured before I could photograph them, oh well):

I'm so impressed! Starbucks is jumping on the raw bandwagon. And I was way excited to find dried cherries without added sugar. Do yall have a hard time finding dried fruit without added sugar? Other than raisins and apples, I find in nearly impossible, except online. I make my own in the dehydrator sometimes, but I get really impatient.

I made this tasty graw-nola recently:

-pumpkin seeds
-sesame seeds
-hemp seeds
-handful goji berries
-handful zante currents
-date paste (soaked dates blended with fresh tangerine juice)
-raw agave nectar
-maple syrup (not raw, but good for you and so rich in flavor)
-sea salt
-1 chopped apple
-1 chopped pear
-1 cup raw almonds, soaked and chopped
Mix all ingredients together, dehydrate at 115* until desired crunchiness. Eat with fresh sesame mylk and strawberries:


I made a mushroom quiche from the fabulous Russell James. The batter:


The mushrooms (1 cup - I used baby bellas) are soaked in lemon juice (about a tablespoon) and sea salt (about 1/2 teaspoon). Blend 1 cup zucchini, 3/4 cup soaked cashews, sea salt to taste (about 1/2-1 teaspoon), 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast, 1-2 cloves garlic, 1/2 medium onion and freshly ground black pepper until smooth in blender. Chop 1 cup packed spinach in food processor with a tablespoon of olive oil, freshly ground black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt until chopped but not pureed. Chop 1 cup grape tomatoes to fine dice. Combine with drained mushrooms, spinach, and pureed zucchini mixture, and put in small tart pans (you could make a nut crust, but I opted not to). Dehydrate at 115* overnight until done:

Mine took about 12 hours. They were very rich and creamy and "cheezy"... a little heavy though as we've had really hot and humid weather this week. There may have been some of these bad boys in the dehydrator with the quiches:


There definitely aren't any kale chips left :) they were pretty tasty while they lasted! anyone else have trouble letting them make it to crispy crunchy perfection? even if I let them make it to the end, I pretty much demolish them the second they come out (or within 24 hours). I love kale chips! (I usually make mine extra cheezy and spicy!)

I also hopped on the Moonie Pie train and made a batch - I added some coconut and raw almond butter to my batter...



pretty tasty! The middle one I served to my husband - he was a fan :) I could barely take the picture because he was so eager to dive in! He drizzled his with local raw honey.

... and finally, I've finally experimented with chia seeds. I had some leftover cashew chocolate kream in the Vitamix today, so I added some water and about a tablespoon of chia seeds and made this lovely thick chocolatey scrumptious shake:

I love how the straw stands straight up in it! expect some more chia seed experimentation in the future...

it's time for me to get this melty ice pack off my knee (the humidity has been making it more achy for some reason :/) and drink my tea (I made some yerba mate with fresh mint & lemon - my allergies have been crazy lately). The heat makes me tend to want more greens & salads, fresh juice & smoothies, and less nuts and heavy dehydrated goodies - even raw chocolate seems to just give me a headache and seems to be too heavy right now. It's great to be surrounded by so much fresh produce - stay tuned for recipes and have a great week!

xoxo

Friday, April 23, 2010

It's Friday!

Hooray for the weekend! Got anything fun planned? we're just chillin', doing some house hunting, and I've got some savory goodies baking in the dehydrator - mushroom quiche and kale chips with a twist (pictures to come!)

something fun to do - go over to Averie's blog and enter to win some coconut oil... hooray for healthy fat! happy weekend!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Strawberry N'ice Kream!


I sprinkled these lovely berries (and yes, they really are that stellar, magnificent color! Plant City, right next door to Tampa, is known for her beautiful berries) with some maple sugar (not exactly raw, but tasty and so good for you, with manganese & zinc) and a drizzle of agave. I added them at the very end to this concoction, whipped up in the Vitamix:

I don't think the bowl for the ice cream maker was quite cold enough last night, but the mixture did get thicker... so I just threw it in a pyrex bowl into the freezer.... Straight from the freezer:

It takes quite a bit longer than traditional ice cream (even of the dairy-free variety) to soften, but when it does....

...so worth the wait! I loved the creamy consistency and strawberry-liciousness. My hubby wasn't quite as fond, but hey - you win some, you lose some right?

I also have some garlicy, jalapeno-cheesy (from the nutritional yeast) crackers *baking* in the dehydrator.... hopefully they will be as tasty as they smell! I just love playing around in the kitchen. Makes me wish I didn't have to go to work everyday so I could spend more time cooking and uncooking and creating. ah well, more pictures and recipes to come!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Raw Fudgy Vegan Brownies & Strawberry Ice Kream

Happy Tuesday! Last night was craving chocolate and, inspired by Averie,
I made this delicious concoction:


I substituted raw almonds & cashews for the walnuts (I think the cashews made it more butter-y), and added a tablespoon of raw coconut butter (from a new jar, so there was some coconut oil from the top layer), plus a sprinkle of sea salt. I also only added a dash of agave, and even that made it too sweet for me overall - still tasty though! I love the raw cocoa powder I've been using. I got it from Earth Shift (after readng the Fitnissista's recommendation of the website) and it has the most magnificent, fudgy taste to it. Love it! I skipped the vanilla - the only vanilla we had in the house was the McCormick which has corn syrup in it... sorta ruins the whole raw thing, and why do they have to put corn syrup in it?

I ate this recently:

... totally my favorite flavor so far. On the sweet side, but I love
that it has spirulina in it (which, to be honest, I don't really taste -
but it's green & pretty & so good for you!) - and it is really
satisfying. I had half on our way to the Outlet Mall in Orlando on
Sunday. I scored some fun stuff at Victoria's Secret, a few tops at the
7 jeans store and a new bikini at Betsey Johnson - hey, you gotta be
ready for the beach season, even when you live in Florida ;)

Something fun to do: Go check out Katie's blog and enter the Chopstick
Challenge. As you've seen from a few of my photos, you know I'm no
stranger to chopsticks... but you probably don't know that I use them
for almost everything! My husband happens to be half Vietnamese, but
that's not why... I just like them! Also, check
out her contest to win a Shopping Spree at iherb.com
!

Plans for the rest of the night include using these beauties:


to makes some raw ice cream! I'm so excited! We just got the ice cream maker, so the bowl is freezing away in the freezer. I just bough the Raw Godesses' e-book (both actually! plans to do the moonie pie challenge this week...), so I'm going to try her recipe for the n'ice cream - love strawberry season! Have a fabulous evening!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Farmer's Market Bounty

The Saturday Morning Market was glorious! The goods: Rustic Italian seasoning (basil, oregano, sun-dried tomatoes, onion, garlic & parsley), truffle salt, local raw honey (I got the spring - they harvest one each season, and they also make a cinna-honey that is out-of-this-world divine) lettuces - kale, swiss chard, butter lettuce crusty loaf of bread for the hubby - it was a local German bakery that smelled great, and they had tons of different types of fresh bread - rye, fruit breads (with raisins, dates, apples), asiago and parmesan ciabatta & focaccia... on and on and on. Even though I never really think about bread anymore, it all looked good! I loved the fact that there are no preservatives, and the ingredient list is so basic - flour, water, yeast... nothing weird or unpronounceable - and all organic :) I very rarely (such as when we were in St. Lucia) will give gluten-free pizza or pasta a try, but I find that I really don't like the flavor - and I think I wouldn't like the glutened variety any more either... it's just not something I enjoy the taste of anymore... but raw sunflower seed-flax crackers with spicy cashew-red pepper sheeze? Count me in! That day, I also made standard hummus (chickpeas, extra virgin olive oil, garlic & lemon) for the hubby, served up with pita wedges & cucumber slices I find that hummus and I don't get along so well anymore... (sadly, the black beans didn't last night either). Something about beans & legumes & I - raw & sprouted or cooked - I just can't seem to digest them, even in small quantities. Anyone else suffer from this problem? lunch - so predictable... big bowl of bounty from the market - kale, chard, butter lettuce, plus arugula and spring mix, dressed with cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, zest & juice of a lemon, Rustic Italian seasoning, a sprinkle of truffle salt & freshly cracked black pepper. So scrumptious! When I eat food like this, I feel like I am doing such a fantastic thing for my body... it makes me *feel* fabulous to eat this way... I think that's what my way of eating really comes down to for me - how it makes me feel. and thankfully today, my tailbone doesn't hurt like hell, so maybe this means some yoga in my future - the doctor said a little cycling, swimming or walking on the treadmill should be okay; basically, take it easy and *don't* do anything that hurts (which is hard for me, because I tend to try to work through the pain and try to just ignore it, but in this case I can do more damage, so I need to watch it)... a little exercise would be great! I've been feeling super lethargic lately without it. Any suggestions on exercise when you need to take it easy?

something fun to do: go over to Gluten-free family's blog and enter their amazing giveaway for glass straws! I haven't tried these beauties yet, but I've been wanting to buy some every since the lovely Miss Gina mentioned them... I love the idea of glass versus plastic, and drinking out of straws is way fun!

Visit from the Raw Revolution Fairy

Good Morning bloggies! Welcome to the weekend :) I was visited from the Raw Revolution fairy this week where I got this lovely package of goodies:

I sampled the Chocolate & Raspberry bar first:

and the inside:

so decadent and delicious! A little higher in calories than I normally like for a bar (270), but at 90.5% raw and with these ingredients: cashews, dates, agave nectar, cocoa processed with alkali, almonds, raspberry powder & sprouted flax seed, and a totally scrumptious taste, it's hard to say anything bad :) I give these bad boys two raw almond-butter-covered thumbs up! I can't wait to try some of the other flavors. Thank you Raw Revolution!!! Check out their website for some more info on what makes these bars so stellar!

I had this tasty green juice first thing this morning:

It was cucumber, kale stems, an apple, lemon, ginger, celery & spinach. I like to have green juice every morning, right after my mug of warm water with lemon... it is totally energizing and seems to start the day off right!

Then an old friend joined me ....

after seeing this post of Averie's, I knew I had to get some! It was extremely yummy :) I had it black, with a touch of agave. It's making me pretty wired since I don't have coffee very often anymore! I love making coffee in the french press. It's fun, and it adds that certain je ne sais quoi flavor - love it!

Last night, I made this lovely concoction -

from roasted sweet potatoes and this pot

of sauteed onion, garlic, jalapenos, tomatoes, and black beans. Also in there were these:

Oven-roasted poblanos! The easiest way to do these is to just wash them, lightly coat in oil (from a misto works great), and put in a baking dish at 400*. Once they look like this:

remove from the oven and put in a bag: (the steam helps the skin to release from the pepper)

Once cool, peel and you have:


then chop and use as desired. Really simple right?

Last night was pretty chill. Tonight I have a birthday/graduation dinner for my best friend at a steakhouse with a fixed menu. Salmon is an option, which I'll probably order, though to be honest - I'm not a salmon lover. If I do eat it, I like it raw - sashimi style (no rice). As my diet tends to be more and more raw, and since I can't eat gluten (allergy) and tend not to eat dairy (I avoid cow dairy 99% of the time and occasionally eat goat or sheep cheese) and rarely eat seafood and never eat meat, I'm not always the most versatile dinner guest. It's funny - just a year ago, I was the girl who could out-eat any of the guys at the all-you-can-eat-meat Brazilian steakhouse (just the thought makes me cringe now). Now, I eat a high-raw, almost vegan (seafood maybe once a month, cheese maybe every other week) diet. What do you do in situations where you don't want to make a big deal about your diet, but it's socially awkward?

In other news, I had the MRI on my knee this past Monday. Apparently, I tore a bunch of ligaments, chipped some bone and damaged some cartilage - surgery scheduled for May 13. This will help to stabilize my knee so this doesn't happen again... so hopefully a good thing. For now, as the swelling decreases, the bruising is coming out - not so pretty. Also, my entire tailbone is fractured.... painful.

Anyway - enough ramblings for now - I am off to hit the farmer's market in St. Pete with my mom - the weather is glorious here! Hope it is where you are too!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Raw Sunflower Seed-Flax Crackers & Morning Juice

My morning started bright & early when this munchkin ("Maki," short for Macchiato, which means 'spotted' in Italian)

started barking at quarter to 5... ah, the life of fur-baby parenthood ;) I brought her to my parents for Easter yesterday and she ran around with their pup all day, so Maki was exhausted by the time we got home - she crashed out around 9 while I was in the shower and didn't wake up again until this morning.

I made some raw crackers this weekend - raw sunflower seeds, yellow squash, flax meal, raw hemp seeds - totally delicious!


Kale chips - what actually made it from the dehydrator (on the second batch ;)


I used this amazing purple kale for part of the batch of chips - so yummy (not to mention pretty!) it's softer than the green kale I've been getting, and still organic and totally delicious.


This morning's batch of produce - apple, carrot, kale stems, romaine, beets, celery, and an unpictured handful of spinach and orange...


... all juiced to make this beauty - totally delicious and energizing!


... and a salad to look forward to for lunch this afternoon - spring mix, dehydrator tomatoes & baby bellas, carrot, cucumber, red pepper, avocado, and raw sunflower-flax crackers


Happy Monday bloggies!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

A New Kombucha

I was at Whole Foods today and tried a new Kombucha - usually I get the GT's gingerade (sooo yummy!) or citrus, but today I was adventurous and got this beauty...


it's pink! and guava :) quite delicious

I've got some kale chips in the dehydrator using a twist on Averie's recipe - I added in a super ripe Roma tomato, freshly ground black pepper, several cloves of garlic (about 6 medium size cloves for about one pound of kale), and I upped the lemon flavor - zest & juice of two lemons (I've been getting some awesome citrus lately from the farmer's market) and added a splash of raw apple cider vinegar. I had to stop by Publix (before I was planning on the Whole Foods trip) and they didn't have heads of kale, so I just bought the bagged kind... thus the kale chips are going to be more like clusters of little kale leaves - still delicious! Here they are going into the dehydrator:



and here is dinner:


spring mix, baby portabellas, red pepper, carrot, cucumber, fresh strawberries from Parksdale farms (the mecca of all things strawberry!), avocado and hemp seeds, topped with homemade vinaigrette - cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, fresh tangerine juice, salt and pepper. Simple & divine!

I have tomorrow off so the weekend starts now! Yay!