Sunday, July 31, 2011

Bloomin' Onion

The other day after my ultrasound, my mom and I went to a raw, vegan restaurant called Leafy Greens Cafe in downtown St. Pete to grab some dinner. I didn't have my camera, but we shared the Mediterranean Pizza and the Sandwich. They were both tasty, but the sandwich was amazing! It was my mom's first time having onion bread and she loved it! I am lucky that my family (both mine and my in-laws) are extremely supportive of how I choose to eat. They always stock up on tons of fresh produce, organic greens, kale and avocados when I visit. My parents (mom especially) will always try what I cook up too - they both love massaged kale salad and now request it frequently. Yay kale!

(my kale salad lover)

Anyway, the onion bread on the sandwich got me thinking - it's been forever since I used my dehydrator, so it was time to whip up a batch. Only downside? It makes the house smell... like a bloomin' onion :) not necessarily a bad thing! I didn't measure anything (per usual), but I used a recipe loosely based on this one (I use less oil). Here's the batter:

Into the deydrator:

So hard to wait for it!

but so good when it comes out :) I sliced some for sandwiches and used the rough edges to make crackers. sometimes it's okay to be a little rough around the edges!

I used some of the bread to make sandwiches with Italian pizza cheeze with alfalfa sprouts, julienned carrot, red pepper, grape tomatoes and guac.

I also did some with collard wraps:

Served with spicy almond butter dipping sauce:

and kale!

It was delicious!

What tasty food have you eaten lately?

Friday, July 29, 2011

1 + 1 = 3

Hi friends! Big news to share - we are going to have a baby! (my mini-belly :)

and the baby inside:

It has been so difficult to not joyfully spread the news to family and friends and the blog world - it's so fun that I get to tell everyone now! I just had my 12 week appointment to check for Downs syndrome and some other stuff. The ultrasound technician said everything looked perfect! I took a short video of the ultrasound screen since my hubby couldn't be there:

and here's some more still shots:

(love that little hand!)
The baby was moving around the entire time, flipping and waving its arms and the mouth opened and closed like it was talking! so freaking cute. And hearing the heartbeat was the most magical sound I've ever heard - I am already so in love with the baby. I can't wait to find out if it's a boy or girl! We think it's a girl, and the Chinese gender predictor confirmed this ;) but, of course, either would be awesome! For the first three months, I didn't have any morning sickness (had some nausea), but I was extremely tired. My life = work. sleep. eat. sleep more. This past Sunday, however, (officially 12 weeks), I couldn't sleep - then I woke up on Monday before my alarm, did yoga and took Maki for a long walk. I have felt amazing all week - energetic and happy (particularly elated after yesterday's ultrasound going so well) and like all is right with the world. I called a few relatives last night to share the news, and their enthusiasm and love made this whole experience that much more special.

Food-wise, I've mostly just been craving produce (even more than usual!). There's been a few weeks I've eaten an entire watermelon within a week. So refreshing ;) Of course, kale salad still makes a regular appearance!

and I made a batch of Angela's veggie burgers - the best recipe I've ever tried! I made a few substitutions (such as gluten-free cracker crumbs for oats) and they were fabulous. I will be making these again.

Aren't they enormous?

Avocados are one food I just cannot get enough of. So delicious to me right now! (as they were before). Sometimes I just cut up a whole one and eat with lemon and sea salt. Mmmmm. I had my first tempeh experience recently, inspired by Mama Pea at Peas & Thank you (can't wait to make her Spicy Tempeh tacos!) and Gena at Choosing Raw - I made Gena's Quinoa & Bean salad with Cumin Vinaigrette -

I've been eating this for lunch every day this week. Super filling and tasty but not heavy - a great work lunch. I also made Gena's Vegan Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas -

the molasses in these gives them a great boost of flavor and they are easy to put together. (Okay, I admit - I used a jar of green chili / tomatillo salsa instead of making sauce. What can I say? I have a baby in my belly and we are hungry and impatient at the end of the day! It goes something like this: Give. me. food. now.). And then there was tofu taco night:

I am loving all the summer produce. And smoothies: (layered nana / strawberry / blueberry in a glass and a blueberry mango smoothie!)

What's your favorite thing about this time of year?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette (vegan and gluten-free)

Hello hello! Who is excited about the loooong weekend? I know I am! We are leaving for vacation (Portland ME, Boston, New Haven CT and Fire Island NY) tomorrow for 10 glorious days - I am stoked! Before I go, I thought I would leave you with a recipe that is bright and fresh, perfect for dressing up a summer salad (and it's vegan, gluten-free and soy-free! and can be nut free)

Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette (makes about one cup)


1 medium-sized clove garlic

1/3 - 1/2 bunch cilantro (stems are okay)

juice and zest of one juicy lime

juice and zest of half an orange

~1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

~1 T local, raw honey (if available)

~4-5 walnut halves

sea salt & cracked black pepper to taste

water to thin to desired consistency

Blend all ingredients in a food processor. That's it! Sorry the measurements are so vague, but I think many times (especially with dressings), you really just have to taste as you go. Sometimes you need more acid (add lime), sometimes salt, sometimes sweet (if it tastes too acidic). Let you palette be your guide!

I served this over a salad of spring mix, walnuts, green olives and crisp jicama, topped with hemp seeds. It was a perfect blend of salty, sweet, savory and crunchy!

My sweet tooth has been kickin' lately... yellow cake (GF Betty Crocker made vegan with Earth Balance & flax egg) with chocolate frosting (coconut milk + Ghiradelli semi-sweet chips + brown sugar)

Chocolate chip cookie balls (GF Betty Crocker with Earth Balance + flax egg)

Enjoy your weekend! Let me know what shenanigans you're getting into ;)