Friday, June 25, 2010

New House, Blueberry Protein Ice Cream & Veggie Flat Bread

Hello bloggies! TGIF! What a week! I have some exciting news on the personal front -- we closed on our first house today! I am beyond excited! Expect some pictures to come... especially as we embark on tons of renovation projects (it was built in 1924!!!). I was super anxious all week, waiting for the loan to get approved, and the walk-through, and today was signing signing signing - but now we have the keys! Yay!

So after the paperwork mountain today, I had to go to work, then me & a co-worker friend changed the rear brake pads on my car, then I finally got home and was not exactly hungry, but munchy and had a ton of blueberries and Heaby's Protein Ice Cream came to mind. Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 6+ months, you know about protein ice cream. Clearly, I've been living under a rock. Haha! This is what went into my Vita:

in case you need a photo interpreter, the liquid is half tea made from this:

(totally delish, by the way; very refreshing in all this heat), and half coconut milk, I used all xantham gum and no guar (it's what I had), liquid stevia, a raw protein/meal replacement powder (that, to be perfectly honest, I'm not a fan of the taste of), bee pollen, about a cup of blueberries, 2 big handfuls of ice & a sprinkle of sea salt. This is what it turned into:

Let me reiterate.

The most delicious thing ever. Why have I been under that rock all this time? Thank you Heather! You made my totally awesome Friday totally scrumptious! I really have no words, other than... I want this ice cream in every flavor possible (hello Baskin Robbins!)

I had this pizza-like craving yesterday, so I decided to try to make a flatbread-esque recipe based loosely on some raw recipes I've made in the past, plus my recent cracker hacking :) Here's the recipe:

2 Tbsp chia seeds mixed with 1/2 cup water to make gel

1/3 cup flax meal

1/3 cup sunflower seeds

1/3 cup nutritional yeast

2 small cloves garlic

1/2 chopped tomato

1/2 cup chopped red pepper

2 large handfuls chopped kale or spinach

1 zucchini & 1 yellow squash, blended to smooth puree

1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper, or to taste

1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

crushed red pepper flakes & cayenne, to taste (I like it spicy!)

Here's the batter with the squash puree:

All stirred up:


Spread on a silpat and baked:

Baked at about 300*, about 30 minutes per side should do it. I started at 350* which was too high (notice the burnt, er crunchy crispy corners). Here's the bottom:

And a snack with a tomato and basil:

Even though the recipe needs tweaking, the taste was super yummy!

It's pluot season!!!

I've been eating lots of these lately. So good!

I'm off to enjoy the rest of my Friday night (read: finish laundry, get some shut-eye and get up early to clean and pick out paint!) Have any good plans for the weekend? Tell me all about it!!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cracker (Recipe) Hacker

It's Huuuump Day! I'm a nervous nelly today :/ super full of anxiety. Hopefully by this time on Friday I will be sharing some very exciting personal (non-food related) news! Wish me luck :)

My gluten-free buddy Averie made some crackers the other day, and I had to try her recipe. I had recently tried these store-bought gluten-free crackers:

My main issue with them is they have a little soy in the form of soy sauce (soybeans only), but I try to avoid it. I was feeling snacky though and wanted crackers and they were out of Mary's the day I got them... The were good enough that hubby loved them! He ate them with hummus. Of course, I made a few tweaks ;) Hers were a sweet cracker, and I went the savory route - I used her measurements on chia, flax & sunflower seeds, then added a squirt of agave (about a tablespoon), a few tablespoons of Southwest Chipotle Mrs. Dash, a few grinds of the salt & pepper grinders, a *lot* of nooch (because I like it cheezy :), maybe 1/3 cup or so, a few shakes of cayenne and crushed red pepper flakes for spice, and cumin. Here's the dough spread on a silpat, ready for the oven:

and a close-up:

I just baked them at 300*F and skipped the dehydrator. I was feeling eager to try them and too impatient to wait ;) I baked them for about 25 minutes per side. Note that they will harden up as they cool! So take them out when they seem chewier and they'll get crispy. Here's the crackers straight from the oven:

and all cut up:

a comparison to the store bought cracker:

What was interesting was they didn't smell southwestern while they were baking -- they smelled like pizza! Like sundried tomato and oregano. It was crazy. So good though :) I had one with a little avocado for a snack:

It hit the spot! Creamy, cool avocado with a crispy, spicy cracker! Total comfort food.

Dinner tonight was cheezy massaged kale:

Dressing was fresh squeezed orange & lemon juice, Whole Foods German mustard, salt, pepper, Mrs. Dash lemon pepper, squirt agave, dash cayenne, shake crushed red pepper flakes, raw apple cider vinegar, all whisked together and massaged into kale with nooch and 1/4 avocado. So good!

It has been super hot and humid here. It's like a free sauna outside right? But I got the go-ahead from my physical therapist to resume some cardio (no running yet, but elliptical and bike are okay) and I've been doing some upper body strength training (awesome arms, abs & chest workout today after work). How do you deal with the heat (if it's hot where you are)? Do you shove your hair in a messy ponytail everyday? haha, that's what I do! I want to chop my hair all off, but my husband loves it long :) and to be honest, I do to... but it gets so unmanageable since it's naturally curly, and with the Florida humidity it never really seems to dry after I wash it. Any good hair tips?

The weekend will be here soon! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Raw Vegan Dark Chocolate Snowball Bites

Hi Friends! What's shakin'? How's your weekend so far? Mine's been fantastic! I had a lovely girl's dinner (read: salads & a bottle of red wine! which was crazy since I'm barely drinking these days) out with a fabulous friend last night at this outdoor cafe, on the river downtown. It was great to catch up on some girl time. Today I did a few errands, spent time with the hubby, and we have some friends in town tonight.

I made a delicious green smoothie this week:

1 c frozen strawberries

1 c pineapple

1/2 c frozen bananas

1/2 c frozen mango

2 big handfuls spinach

small shake from the bee pollen jar

1/2 cucumber, peeled & chopped

green juice - 1 cuke, 2 pears, 1 green apple:

before blending:

nice & smooth, with a lovely glass straw:

This morning my darling husband made pancakes! I love pancake Saturday :) These had coconut (shredded coconut, blended in the Vitamix into flour), almonds (also ground in the Vita into flour), honey to sweeten, a touch of salt, baking powder, cinnamon and water to make a batter. Here's the final product:

Sorry for the stiff looking picture :) This one was straight from the fridge. I forgot to take pictures this morning, and I always like to store no-preservative, gluten-free goods in the fridge. We ate them with more honey (all out of maple syrup and agave, but you could use either to sweeten the batter), vegan margarine, and blueberries & pineapple! delicious! The batter was a little dry, and I think next time I'll add some coconut oil :)

I've also made one of Averie's delicious chocolate recipes: raw vegan dark chocolate snowballs! I used maple syrup for my sweetener, and then I pressed it all into a tupperware container and froze it. I took the mixture out, diced it up and got this:

topped with an almond butter crown:


I'm off to chill - have an awesome weekend! Tell me all about it!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Doggy Downtime

Hello bloggies! Happy hump day! hope you are ... humping along! lol. This one's going to be short... This little gal

got fixed today (and microchipped! she's officially part of the family now :) and she's wearing the cone of shame. I didn't have the heart to take a picture of her wearing it. But I will post this one of her and the hubby passed out over the weekend:

poor Maki keeps walking into things with her cone! she's deaf (we rescued her - a friend's cousin found her, abandoned, and they already had 3 dogs, and Rich had been begging for one for ages... so I finally gave in. I'm still not a dog person really, but I do <3 mine now!) so she looks really pathetic right now... I'm off to spend some time with her and the hubby before bed...

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Coconuts & Almonds

Sunday evening already! The weekend always seems to fly by... then again, I can't believe it's already halfway through June - wasn't it just January?! Yesterday, I dove into a lovely mug of coffee (Starbuck's Cafe Verona), made in my french press... I love that thing! (and when Rich & I moved in together, I gave my coffee maker to goodwill since his had been used, um, never and was *clean* - but his uses those conical filters and I've made a mess every time I've tried to use it). I have my eye on the Cuisinart coffee-on-demand carafe-less (one less dish to wash! the funny thing about me & dishes is I don't *mind* doing them but I am notoriously horrible at them. Rich blames my eyesight. When my friend Will is in town and cooking in my kitchen, he pre-washes every pot and pan he uses. I caught him once and *he* looked guilty. I've never been so embarrassed. I love a clean house. I, unfortunately, am not born to clean. I try, but it is not my forte. I redeem myself by cooking :)). Anyway, I made coffee, then steamed milk (unsweetened chocolate Almond Breeze) and pumped and foamed it in the milk pumper-frother (manual-style... maybe I need an espresso machine with a milk frother too! Why is frother not a word? My mac keeps underlining it red...). Here is the cup of glory:

So tasty! It almost gave me enough energy to clean the house. But I'm still using the gimpy knee excuse :) haha

After we got home from the soccer game (x2!!!) last night and my knee was throbbing, I conquered my first coconut:

it was beautiful. And I finally got to use my Global cleaver! (awesome wedding gift) Shoutout to the Fitnessista who man-handled many at 105* as a cheffer! and the fresh coconut juice was insanely tasty. It didn't have much meat, so I threw it in the Vita with my fresh batch of dark chocolate avocado mousse (it didn't want it's picture taken). I threw it in the freezer so it got cold and frosty, then topped it with fresh strawberries. No words. totally delicious. There's been a lot of talk in the blogosphere lately about local food ... the strawberries were from California, but for a giant 16oz container at 99cents... and they were soooo good, and I bought them at my local farmer's market - I may be headed back to stock the freezer :) I generally prefer local food, but strawberry season here is over for the year, and I love my berries!

I finally made it to Tar-jay today and scored some more coconut & almond:

even though I like the idea of "natural," I have to agree with Averie that sometimes the natural products just don't work as well. I bought the Almond Milk body wash on her recommendation and it smells sooo heavenly! One natural product that I do like is the Tom's of Maine deodorant. I had tried the unscented and found it did not work for me, but then I tried the apricot:

and it's way better :) Anyone have any recommendations on natural (or not) products that they love?

Whole Foods yielded even more coconut & almond:

new-to-me Coconut Milk creamer (since I'm drinking coffee again). I like my iced coffee black, and sometimes hot coffee black, but I thought I'd give this stuff a try. And even though fresh almond milk is (in my opinion) tastier and fairly easy to make, sometimes it's just easier out of a carton. And it was on sale :)

Eats today: Massaged kale salad:

Spiralized zucchini noodles, red & yellow peppers, carrots, shredded romaine, mint, cilantro, & basil - all topped with a Thai style spicy almond butter sauce:

Almond Butter Thai Sauce Recipe:

1/2 cup raw almond butter

2 Tbsp maple syrup

1 Tbsp agave nectar

1 1/2 Tbsp coconut aminos (can substitute namu shoyu or soy sauce or tamari)

3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar

juice of half an orange (about 1/4 cup)

1 tsp red chili flakes, or to taste

1" chunk fresh ginger

1/2 stalk fresh lemongrass

1/4 cup water (add more or less, depending on desired thickness)

Put all ingredients in Vitamix and blend until smooth. This would also be fabulous with toasted sesame oil in it (which I had intended on using, but we were out).

The veggies all tossed together with the sauce:

Spicy and sweet and savory... love it!

I'm off to finish the laundry (which seems to be producing like bunnies!) and do some stretching . Have a fabulous evening and Monday morning! I'd love to hear about your weekend :)