For the love of god I am so freakin cold!! For the last three hours or so I've tried my hardest to shake this chill but it just won't quit. Kind of ironic considering I planned today as an all raw food day. My weekend got off to a stressfful start, which progressed to sourness by saturday morning. The lovely weather that followed, compliments of hurricane Irene, wasnt exactly a mood booster (you'll likely be hearing about what... or who .... was in the near future) so I knew I'd need a little me time to fix this (seemingly pointless) rutt I find myself falling into.
I kicked things off with the usual lemon water
and shortly after ate the personal watermelon pictured above. Cute little fruit, wasnt it?! A few hours later I was back in the kitchen to make a 32oz juice (involving carrot of course). During this time I also got 1/2 cup of raw cashews (for tomorrow) and checked on the quinoa
I was sprouting. (I recommend Sprout People
for information on sprouting and for shopping, check out Nuts Online).
After my juice I whipped the Raw Vegan Chili, which is based on this recipe. I used I have in the house (ie: 1.5 Tbs coconut nectar to sweeten as I was out of dates) and up the spices a bit. My veggies of choice this time included: corn, zucchini, and pepper + I would be sprouted quinoa. I then top it all off with a tablespoon or two of diced jalapeno and diced avocado. Mmmmm, so good!!
During the week I had made a slightly altered version of the famous onion bread
, which is by far one of my favorites of all the raw bread/crackers I have ever eaten. If you own a dehydrator and you dont make this within the next 24 hours I can't help but question your tastebuds (unless of course you have a gripe wiith onions). My (standard american diet eating) sister and mother both stated it was good (and mom doesnt love onions). I nibbled on a little of this despite not eating the chili. Here is what I did:1 large sweet onion, peeled
1/2 large green zucchini, peeled
1 cup ground sunflower seeds
1 cup ground flax seeds
(slightly less than) 1/4 cup olive oil
2 oz. Braggs Liquid Aminos
Grind sunflower seeds and flax seeds and place both in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
Process the onion in food processor with 's' blade (until its in small pieces but not mush) and add that to the bowl. The process the zuchinni and again add to the bowl. Now add you liquids and mix thoroughly to form a dough.
Smooth dough onto teflex sheets to desired thickness (the thicker your dough is the longer it takes to dry). Set dehydrator to 110 degrees for 5 hours. At this point the exposed side should be dry. Flip bread over, remove teflex sheet, and dehydrate another 7 hours or until dry and desired texture is reached (I prefer mine to be soft like cooked bread). Break into pieces or cut with a pizza cutter, and store in refrigerator in an airtight container.
Sunday night, 9:30pm: I find myself in a mood that I can't yet find the right descriptives for. With my weekend not over just yet due to having tomorrow off, I'm making an active decision to roll with things as they are. Time and energy for the important.
That said, I'm off like a prom dress.
Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 + 30 minutes Cardio (Treadmill/Elliptical)
I began the day with a vigorous workout and had another juice for breakfast (minus the parsley due to having run out).1 lb carrots
2 green apples
1 large grappefruit
3 leaves romaine
Eager to catch some rays, I packed my little cooler (BBQ Kale Chips
, Sweet Potato Haystack Fries
, and two mini Black Bean Quinoa Burgers
topped with Red Onion Basil Aioli
). Then I got flax crackers going in the dehydrator and headed out the door.
Red Onion Basil Aioli
Scaled down recipe from Voracious Eats
1 Tbs Red Onion
1 tsp Nayonnaise
1/2 tsp fresh basil
2 twists fresh ground black pepper
Sweet Potato Haystack Fries:
Two sweet potatoes, washed, spiralized & seasoned with olive and several twists of Trader Joes Everyday Seasoning Blend. I dehydrated these iin my Good4U 9 tray at 145 for an hour, then at 105 for 15 hours.
BBQ Kale Chips
Using the BBQ Sauce recipe posted here
and the method described here
these are by far my favorite kale chips!
Unfortunately, mother nature had different weather plans that I anticipated but this turned out to be a good thing in that I found myself at the Christmas Tree Shop (never a bad thing) and scored a little gem but I'm saving that for tomorrows post :-)
In regards to the flax crackers, I am about 14 hours in and they are looking fantastic. Once they are ready I will post a picture but in the mean time, here is the recipe:
Spicy Summer Salsa Crackers
Adapted from Raw Foods on a Budget
1 1/2 cup flaxseeds, whole
3 cups water
1/2 cup chia seeds
1 cup white corn
1 large locally grown red tomatoes
1/2 medium red bell pepper
1/2 medium white onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1/8 cup olive oil
1 tsp cayenne
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Soak flaxseeds overnight (or at least 6 hours). When soak time is complete, pour seeds into a large bowl. Next, you will make a liquid sauce to add to the flaxseeds. Remove the corn from the ear using a knife. Now, blend the corn, tomatoes, red bell pepper, white onion, garlic, and olive oil until completely liquified. Then pour the liquid mixture into the large bowl with the flaxseeds. Mix until the liquid mixture is well distributed. Chop up the cilantro and add to the mixture. Now add chia seeds, then the salt, increasing the quanitity to taste.
Pour approximately one third of the mixture onto one Teflex sheet (or parchment paper) and spread it to 1/8-inch thickness. Repeat the process, until you have used all of the mixture. You will need 1-2 more Telfex sheets. Place all sheets in the dehydrator.
Dehydrate the flax crackers at 105-degrees. When the top of the crackers are dry (about 12 hours), turn over and remove the Teflex sheets. Dehydrate for 36 more hours.
And on that note, I am off to do my nightly meditation (I have uploaded it above) and then bed as I am scheduled to be at work at 7am.
Have a great night everyone!!
Sunday Funday (and the end of July - Crazy!!)
I was up and at 'em early today which made for a productive morning. I thought I had plans this afternoon but apparently I've been "stood up". In a word: Meh! No point in harping, but it goes without saying that I'm annoyed. I mean, who does that?! Don't makes plans with someone if you don't intend to keep them - it's really that simple. On the flip side, I can't really complain 'cause something a whole lot better came my way:
Time spent with the herd is time well spent!!
My early start on the day resulted in some noteable deliciousness (another plus) as well as the completion of household chores. Adding to the list of positives is that starting tomorrow I have every month off for the month of August. Yippieeeeeeeeeee!! I never was a fan of mondays but something tells me that will change even if said change is temporary.
I am hoping to hit the beach tomorrow, which inspired me to get BBQ Kale Chips
and Sweet Potato Haystack Fries
going in the dehydrator this morning (pictures and details to be posted tomorrow). I then set to work on the Cherry Chocolate Granola Squares
(as the S'Mores
one I made got devoured) and the Black Bean Quinoa Burger
recipe came out based on everything else I had made in that it just seemed most fitting.
I began the day with a Celery Rejuvenation Juice
(from Raw Foods on a Budget) which consists of celery, apples, ginger, grapefruit, and parsley but found that I didnt have much of an appetite throughout the day. Fast forward to dinner time: I had a little left over kale from the bbq chips that I wanted to use up and I recently picked up oat groats during a Wild By Nature trip. Savory oats arent usually my cup of tea but this totally did it for me :-)
Anywho, hope you all had a fabulous weekend. Positive vibes for the week ahead!
2 cups Gluten Free Rolled Oats
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1/2 cup coconut nectar
1/4 cup sucanat
1/8 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground salt
1 1/2 cups dried cherries
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Line a baking dish with foil and spray generously (I used the perfect brownie pan foor this). Set aside. Preheat the oven to 350F.
Spread the oats, sunflower seeds, ground flax and unsweetened coconut onto a baking pan. Place in the oven and toast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, combine the coconut nectar, sucanat, coconut oil, extract and salt in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Cook until the sucanat has completely dissolved.
Once the oat mixture is done, remove it from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees F. Immediately add the oat mixture to the liquid mixture, add the dried fruit, then the chips, and stir to combine. Turn mixture out into the prepared baking dish and press down, evenly distributing the mixture in the dish and place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container for up to a week.
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed well, drained & half of the amount mashed
1 Tbs tomato paste
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 cup diced peppers ( I used a mix of red & green)
1/2 cup gluten free rolled oats, ground into flour
1 Tbs ground flaxseed + 3 Tbs water, microwaved for 20 seconds ( = flax egg)
2 tsp liquid smoke
Hamburger Seasoning, to taste
Combine all ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Place in fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven 300F. Line baking pan with parchment paper. Form mixture into patties (I got 8 mini burgers) and bake 40 minutes, flipping half way through.
Savory Oat Groats & Kale
Adapted from Martha Stewart
1/4 cup onion, diced
1 tsp garlic, minced & divided
1 carrot, peeled & diced
1/2 cup oat groats
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth (I used Trader Joes)
1 1/2 cup kale, washed, destemmed, and torn into pieces
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Dash crushed red pepper
Generously spray a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and half the garlic. Cook, stirring, until onion is translucent. Add the carrots and the groats; cook 1 minute. Now add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 25 minutes.
Generously spray medium skillet over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add remaining garlic; cook until it turns golden, then stir in kale. Continue cooking and stirring, until wilted.
Stir kale into the groats. Cover and cook until liquid is completely absorbed and groats are tender but still chewy, about 5 minutes. Season with fresh ground pepper and red pepper flakes, to taste.
Minds out of the gutter, kids!
I'm feeling under the weather (headache that won't quit, sore throat, eyes leaking & burning) but haven't posted in almost a week so I wanted to get something up today. Instead of racking my brain for a hot & exciting topic to discuss, I'm going with what's on my plate on a typical run of the mill work day. That said, I apologize in advance *chuckles*.
I kicked my morning off with the usual lemon water (place lemon wedge in mug, pour boiling water over wedge, allow to seep until cool enough to drink, enjoy!) and promptly made my way to the shower. In an attempt to feel better, I indulged my senses in a little essential oil aromatherapy and although I didn't emerge from bathroom a cured woman ready to take on the day, I was in notably more alert and in a slightly chipper mood.
Armed with my juicer, food storage containers, and my lunch bag, I returned to the kitchen and packed just enough deliciousness to see me through the work day: a large carrot apple & spinach juice
, a giant sack of grapes (almost 2lbs worth of both red & green), 1 handful of Spicy, Salty, Sweet Brazil Nuts
, tomato & red onion on (freshly baked while I slept) Flax & Oat Bread
and broccoli slaw & shredded cabbage w/ homemade tomatoe & herb dressing.
As I packed my snacks & made my lunch, I couldn't help but recall a recent conversation that went something like this:
There we lay, my beach mate and I, basking in the hot sun, when he turns to me and asks:
Him: Are you hungry?
Me: Me? No, I'm not hungry. Why?
Him: Cause you look hungry.
Last I checked I didnt look underfed or malnourished. However the fact that I found myself on the beach with person clearly indicates I'm a glutton for punishment. Fortunately I never said I was or pretended to be perfect, but moving on to more worth while subject matter: new recipes :-)
Flax & Oat Bread
1 1/3 cup warm water
3 Tbs applesauce*
3 Tbs Coconut Nectar (or honey)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cup bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup ground rolled oats (not instant)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1 pkg yeast
Mix all wet ingredients together and pour into bread machine. Then mix dry ingredients (except yeast) and pour over the wet ingredients, evenly spreading it to the ends. Make a shallow well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the yeast. Close lid and set to basic. Choose crust (I prefer medium). Kick back for the next 3 hours (or go to sleep like I did) then enjoy when ready!
I made my own unsweetened applesauce via placing 1 apple, peeled cored and sliced along with a little less than 1/3 cup pure water in a small sauce pan. Cover and cook until apple is tender. Remove apple slice from the pan and place in processor or blender (I used the magic bullet for this) and pulse until desired consistency is reached.
Spicy, Salty, Sweet Brazil Nuts
2 cups raw brazil nuts
1/2 Tbs coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp apple (or pumpkin) pie spice
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 Tbs coconut nectar
1 Tbs Sucanat
Fresh ground salt, to taste
Preheat toaster or oven to 300F. Line pan with parchment paper and arrange nuts in a single layer. Toast nuts approximately 15 minutes or until fragrant and hot. While nuts are cooking, in a measuring cup, combine coconut oil, pie spice, cayenne, coconut nectar, and sucanat. Pop in microwave 30 - 45 seconds. Remove nuts toaster/oven and scoop into a small bowl. Pour seasoning mixture over nuts and toss to coat. Once well coated, return nuts back to the parchment lined baking sheet and return to toaster/oven for another 10 - 15 minutes. Remove and immediately grind salt over nuts. Allow to cool & store in airtight container.
Hungry, exaughsted, and with quinoa on the brain, I arrived home and immediately kicked myself for forgetting to soak and sprout the quinoa I had set out (drats!). Fortunately the world doesn't end if (or when) you cook your food so out came the pots and pans for a quick & delicious dinner of Mediterranean Chickpeas, Tomato, & Quinoa.
1/4 cup onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 can all natural diced tomatoes
1/2 8 oz can all natural tomato sauce*
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
1 tsp mexican chili powder
1/4 tsp fresh ground cinnamon
1 can chickpeas, drained & well rinsed.
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Fresh ground salt, to taste
Generously spray a medium size sauce pan with olive oil and heat on medium. Add onion and garlic to pan and cook until soft and translucent. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 25 - 30 minutes.
Remove from heat and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy as is or serve over quinoa (as I did).
Shortly after dinner I fixed a cup of tea and enjoy such with a mini nut butter cup
(a night is not complete without dessert - however, it should be noted that all eating was done during daylight hours only!!)
Just as I was settling in, I received an irritating telephone call. The notable part about it was that once again I ignored the little voice which screamed (this time it said "don't answer" but I did and of course I regretted it within 10 seconds tops, mainly due to the usual one sided expectations that never cease to end with this individual. You know the types: quick to drone on and on about themselves but never reciprocate inquiries about you; quick to indicate they want to see you and say come over yet equally quick to give an excuse as to why they can't come to you instead.... ). In said situations I find it best to take the high road via politely declining (no lame excuses needed) & ending the calls - then letting it go (no sense in wasting energy being annoyed about it, particularly when you know the situation isn't going to change).
And on that note, I'm going to dash off to my bedroom, where my nightly guided meditation awaits.
Positive vibes to all for a fantastic night!
Whoa! Where have I been?! Time isnt on my side lately which is why havent posted. It's safe to say I have been eating though so in an attempt to catch up on the past week of deliciousness I'm gonna keep it short sweet and to the point by going straight to what's been cookin in my kitchen:
3 Tbs Gluten Free Rolled Oats
1 Tbs Chia Seeds
1 small banana
1 tsp nut butter
2 Tbs pineapple chunks
1 tsp rum extract
1 Tbs unsweetened coconut flakes
2 Tbs unsweetened almond milk
Mash banana. Add rest of ingredients and mix well. Grease pan and heat on medium heat. Plop mix into the pan. Cook 3 minutes and flip/. Cook another 3 minutes. Drizzle with agave (or maple syrup) and enjoy!
Cool as a Cucumber Juice
1 cucumber, peeled
2 medium granny smith apples. cored and cut
4 stalks celery
1 cup filtered water
handful of parsley
Blend in blender then strain.
Baked Shells & Trees
Adapted from Appetite for Reduction by Isa
1 8 oz box Quinoa Shells
1 bag fresh broccoli florettes
1 cup Pankos Crumbs, ground & seasoned to taste
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup all purpose flour (I used Namaste Perfect Blend Flour)
2 tsp onion flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp tumeric or paprika
2 Tbs vegetable broth powder
2 cups water
1 tsp yellow mustard
Cook pasta according to directions and steam broccoli.
To make sauce: Place nutritional yeast, flour, garlic, onion flakes, salt, tumeric (or paprika) and broth powder in a bowl and mix together. Add a water and use a fork to mix and beat out any lumps. Once smooth, pour into a 2 qt sauce pan. On medium-high heat, cook sauce stirring often for approx 5 minutes. Once it comes to a boil, turn heat down to to medium-low. Sauce should start thickening and bubbling. Cook for an additional 5 minutes stiring constantly until its reached a thick smooth melted cheese consistency. Mix in the mustard and taste for salt.
In a large bowl, combine cooked pasta, steamed broccoli, and hot cheese sauce. Mix well until all ingredients are combined. Pour into a casserole baking dish. Sprinkyl bread crumbs on top. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until top is golden brown. Enjoy!
2 Pepper Stir Fry
2 peppers of different color, washed, cored, and chopped
Protein of your choice (chicken, tofu, etc)
1/2 - 1 Tbs Stir Fry Sauce
Pepper to taste
Stir fry peppers and protein in vegetable broth or water, add stir fry sauce half way through (This method allows you to cut down on sauce)
Adapted From Healthy Happy Life1 bag Trader Joe's tiny potatoes, halved (about 3 cups)
3 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbs Mrs Dash Original Blend
1 tsp cayenne
3 tsp cumin
3 Tbs Nutritional Yeast3 Tbs water
7 twists Fresh Ground Pepper
Sea Salt, to taste, once cooked
Preheat over 425F Wash and cut your taters (half small ones, quarter the larger ones). Mix lemon juice, olive oil, and seasonings in a medium bowl, adding water as needed until creamy dressing is formed. Toss in your popatoes and stir until each one is well coovered. Lay on parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer and cook approx 20 minutes (or until potatoes are tender). Broil an additional few minutes for extra crispy deliciousness. Remove from oven and allow to coool 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy.
Pineapple Roasted Vegetables
2 medium zuchini, sliced
2 bell peppers of different color, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 16oz pineapple chunks in unsweetened natural juices (undrained)
Handful of baby carrots, chopped
2 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp celery salt
1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425F. Chop the vegetables into similar sized chunks and place in bowl. Mix thoughly, then drain half of liquid. Add olive oil, garlic, and seasoning. Toss well and place in casserole dish. Roast vegetables for approximately 25 minutes or until tender, stirring every 10 minutes. Enjoy!
Happy April, Kids!!
I'm not one for april fool's jokery but instead am using the day to mark my transition back to a high raw foods diet. My journey back to the raw food lifestyle shall begin with Thrive in 30
I am a huge fan of the thrive books (by Brendan Brazier *swoon*). The Thrive Diet is chock full of information and it's one of the few books I find myself referring back to over and over. If you haven't read it yet I strongly recommend you check it out. Even if you don't embark on your own transition to such a style of eating you will nonetheless get something out of the book. The information is well organized and its easy to refer back to when needed and the recipes are a yummy bonus!
Yesterday I attended a training in NYC which evolved into a spontaneous rendevenous with Darin. Instead of cooking, we ordered from Curlys Vegetarian Lunch
328 East 14th Street (btw 1st & 2nd Ave)
Darin ordered the On Buffalo Wings (6.95) + Chorizo, Peppers & Onions Classic Chilaquiles (8.75)
I went with the Dragonbowl Q (10.95) + Garlicky Kale & Butternut Squash (5.00)
Everything was delicious and for me, it was a perfect pre-transition meal. I did end up baking up a batch of Low Fat Vegan Vanilla Cinnamon Cupcakes, which turned out to be extra phenomenal when drizzled w/ the left over caramel sauce from tuesdays feast.
( I I ) <---- my snout!
I made my way home at about 9pm stuffed to the gills but in a delightful mood and looking forward to the upcoming dietary changes, as it also ment changes to this blog, such as more juices, smoothies, salads, and raw desserts. Yummy!!!
And speaking of juices, this morning I made the Island Flush from Raw Food Cleanse (by Penni Shelton). It was tastey! I dont have a juicer so I used the blend and strain method. I ended up with 32 oz of deliciousness!
1/2 small pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 small handful of cilantro
4 stalks of celery
1 lime, peeled
2 apples (I used granny smith)
If you have a juicer, push all ingreidents through and enjoy. If you have a blender, place ingredients in commericial blender and blend. The strain through a mesh paint strainer bag. Enjoy!
Well, my dance class is cancelled tonight but I do have other plans so I am going to end here. Have a great weekend - xo
Woe is me!! Today I woke up feeling the effects of yesterday's feast (worth every minute but nonetheless!!) so today is a day of detox. I kicked off the morning with a large cup of ginger tea and spent a little time catching up on my blog reading. I then headed out to get a pedicure and to do some light shopping (mainly for a mesh paint strainer bag but also to price juicers).
I found 1 gallon mesh paint strainer bags at Home Depot, which was conveniently next to Wal Mart so I swung by there to look at juicers but didnt see any. Target was also in the vacinity but I ended up going home to make a juice with my new strainer bag.
Spring Cleaning Juice
From Aura's Kitchen
4 Ribs Celery
2 Granny Smith Apples
1 knob Ginger
1/2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 cup pure water
Blend in commercial blender. Strain in mesh paint strainer bag. Enjoy!
After my juice, I whipped up a batch of Spirulina Balls:
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw cashews
4 medjool dates
2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbs unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbs spirulina
1/4 cup raw (unsalted) almond butter
3 tbl unsweetened almond milk
sesame seeds & unsweetened shredded coconut for garnish
Grind sunflower seeds and cashews in food processor (or coffee bean grinder). Add cocoa, coconut, and spirulina. Mix well. Add dates and continue to mix (in food processor). Now add in almond milk and almond butter. Consistency should be moist but able to form into balls but not too sticky. Roll amount (recommend ~ 1 tbl – 1 inch diameter) of “dough” between hands. Roll in sesame seeds and/or coconut. Roll again to sink topping into ball. Store in refridgerator or freezer!
Spirulina is a type of blue green algae. It contains protein, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids. Spirulina is comprised of 62% amino acids, making it an excellent protein source and it contains b-vitamins, both of which are reasons for why I use spirulina as a nutritional supplement.