Friday, August 6, 2010
I started working on a list of my current favorite recipes, and foods in general. It's a work in progress.
Not all of the recipes are raw, however, but all are vegan.
Copy and paste,
1. Kohlrabi Cream Soup:
1 ¼ kohlrabi, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
1 large clove garlic
Handful of fresh basil leaves
Hot water (to desired consistency)
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
1 green onion, cut into rings
Hulled sugar snap peas (optional – but it’s best to use them, it’s sooo good!)
Blend all ingredients except 1/3 of the avocado and ¼ of the kohlrabi well until smooth.
Garnish with the rest of the cubes of kohlrabi, green onion rings, black pepper, the rest of the avocado and the sugar snap peas.
2. Raw Summer Cauliflower Slaw:
1 ½ - 2 cups Cauliflower Florets
3 Carrots, peeled and julienned
½ cup diced summer squash (I used “patty pan”)
½ cup Broccoli Florets (optional –The recipe works well without it, but it’s a nice touch)
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 green onions, cut into rings
1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar (I like 2 or more)
½ tablespoon – 1 tablespoon olive oil (I like it on the lesser side)
5-8 larger Basil Leaves, minced
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Mix well and store in sealed container in the refrigerator. I liked to put mine in a washed and re-used fruit container from the store, and then I put the lid on and shake it up really good, and store it in that container.
3. Cucumber Basil Pesto Soup:
1 large cucumber, cut into chunks
Large handful of fresh basil
1-3 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 large clove garlic, minced
1-2 teaspoons agave nectar
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste
Hot Water (to desired consistency)
Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.
Garnish with mushroom and cucumber chunks that have been marinated in some balsamic vinegar with a few drizzles of agave nectar, a dash or two of sea salt, few good shakes of black pepper, and a couple good shakes of crush red pepper, and finely diced onion.
4. Bekka’s Quick, Easy, and Painless Pickles:
4-7 Pickling Cucumbers, sliced
1 – 1 ½ Yellow Onion, chopped
5 cloves Garlic
4 – 6 small sprigs Fresh Dill
1 – 1 ½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
½ - 1 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
2 – 4 tablespoons Agave Nectar
Crushed Red Pepper
First sprinkle sea salt over slices of pickling cucumbers and let sit. You may add the garlic, dill, and the onion to this, or you may just leave it aside, but that should be kept to the side as well.
Kindly add the remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan, stir, and bring to a low boil on medium heat.
Add cucumbers, onion, garlic, and dill and immediately remove from heat. Stir efficiently making sure that all slices are well covered or submerged in the mixture. Quickly cover with a plate and let sit. I like to let mine sit on the hot burner with the heat off. Let the mixture sit for an hour or more. Check on it after 30 minutes, stir well and note progress. They are pickled when they are an olive-like tone green, and when, well… they look like pickles! If there are some that are not yet to this stage, which there probably will be, take care and cover them well in the mixture. Immediately re-cover with the plate and let sit another 30 minutes. Repeat the stirring and observation process as before. If or, when they are finished pour into a large (must check size) open mouth jar. Seal hand-tight and store in the refrigerator. Yum!
5. Bekka’s Easy and Delightful Green Beans:
Green and Wax Beans, ends trimmed and beans cut in half
1 large glove Garlic, minced
Few large Fresh Basil Leaves, delicately minced
1 tablespoon Cold-Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Stir ingredients in a bowl until the beans are well coated. Lay the mixture out evenly onto a dehydrator tray. Dehydrate at 105 degrees Fahrenheit for a few hours, or longer, depending on how you like them!
6. Bekka’s Vegan Version of Turnip Au Gratin
2 – 3 Turnips, peeled and cubed
1 – 3 Carrots, peeled and chopped
A few medium-sized Broccoli Florets
½ - 1 cup Onion, diced or sliced
1 large clove Garlic, minced
6 tablespoons “Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread”
½ cup Non-Bleached White Flour
2 cups Plain Soymilk
½ - ¾ bag of Cheddar Style Daiya Cheese
½ - 1 cup Vegan Breadcrumbs (I use a brand called JASON)
More Cheddar Style Daiya Cheese spreads and some Mozzarella Style Daiya cheese
OPTIONAL: Nutritional Yeast
Boil turnips until tender and drain. Cook carrots as desired. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan melt the Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Spread. Slowly add the flour to the buttery spread, stirring constantly. Now, slowly add the soymilk stirring constantly until thick. Next, add the Cheddar Style Daiya Cheese and stir well and until completely melted into the mixture. Turn the turnips, carrots, broccoli, onion, and garlic into a medium casserole baking dish and add the Cheesy mixture. Stir well. Top with breadcrumbs and gracious amounts of Cheddar and Mozzarella style Daiya cheese. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes, until it is bubbly and the cheese on top is completely melted. If desired, sprinkle Nutritional Yeast on top before eating.
7. Simple Raw Chocolate Treat:
Raw Cacao Powder
Raw Agave Nectar
Pure Vanilla extract, a drop
Dash Sea Salt
Add a generous amount of agave to the cacao in a bowl. Stir with a fork until the mixture starts to form clumps. Keep stirring until it stirs into a doughy ball. If you can mash the fork into the mixture as you stir rapidly and form a creamier texture this is best. Add more agave accordingly. Add salt and vanilla, and stir well.
Either eat as is or freeze overnight for a firmer texture and different approach!
8. Sundried Tomatoes
9. Dehydrated Cucumbers with Sea Salt
10. Kale Chips
11. Red Delicious Apples and Almond Butter or With Almond Butter Mixture and Raisins
13. Roasted turnips
14. Beets Livingston
16. Corn Avocado Salad
17. Raw Spaghetti
18. My salad dressing
19. Black Bean Burgers
I stayed in by myself tonight instead of beings social. I took some pictures with my cat because I'm not a "cool" person.
It's my birthday in two weeks...what kind of cake should I make myself? Give me opinions! Raw or baked, doesn't matter, but all ideas must be vegan or able to be easily veganized :)
Friday, July 23, 2010
I lived off this stuff for weeks.
How has everyone been? I'm sorry I've been absent [as usual]-- lots has been going on! The man and I finally got a place together and so the past few weeks has been spent setting that up, moving, and settling in.
I also had a quite interesting, busy, and most of all: life-changing week last week.
I may or may not have mentioned going off of hormones two months ago. Going off hormones was the best thing I ever did for myself and for my mental and physical health. I feel like a REAL PERSON again. I'm able to express myself creatively once again. It's interesting how much that tiny little pill was effecting me, and I barely noticed it happening until it had spun out of control.
At any rate, I may or may not have also mentioned that I've never wanted kids, and that I've had quite a history with being afraid of and trying to avoid pregnancy-- I've always said that I wanted my "tubes tied", and a couple years ago, I made it a realistic and reachable goal of mine to accomplish as soon as I could find a doctor to do it, and as soon as I could afford it financially.
So on Monday I had an appointment to meet with a doctor to discuss having a tubal ligation. I found him randomly on the website for the group of clinics that are covered by my insurance. I read his bio and "fell in love" so to speak. He sounded promising, and he also sounded like an amazing doctor overall.
My mother came with me to meet with him because I had kindly asked her to since she had seen me go through all that I went through regarding my reproductive issues. Her support was indeed helpful. The three of us discussed it collaboratively sharing opinions, asking questions, and by the end of the appointment it seemed apparent that we all agreed this was the best solution for me. [something I was already aware of a long time ago]
Tuesday he called me to tell me he would do it for me.
By Thursday I was setting up an appointment for a pre-op consultation for Friday, and the actual surgery for Saturday.
And the rest is history :)
I couldn't be more pleased with my decision, and I am just so elated to finally have accomplished this. And better yet! It appears that this isn't going to cost me even a quarter of as much as I expected to be paying. Always a bonus.
Recovery has been annoying but bearable, and I get to return to working on the organic farm tomorrow which I'm totally ecstatic for.
Speaking of... my photo was actually included in one of their weekly newsletters.
Try to spot me on page three!
Kohlrabi Cream Soup.
We've been getting the most delicious kohlrabis from the farm and I've been enjoying it blended with avocado, some farm fresh spring garlic, hot water, and garnished with some farm fresh sugar snap peas, more chopped kohlrabi, and chunks of avocado. yum!!
Anyway, life has been good.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Did I mention this?
It's a CSA program, and you can either buy a share of produce for the year, or you can participate in the workshare program where you work 4 and a half hours every week to get your weekly farm fresh veggies. I work every Saturday morning 8 AM-12:30 PM. It's been wonderful so far. Hard work? It's difficult for me to say that it is because I enjoy it so much, but it definitely is physically a bit of work. My body feels good and sore every Sunday...just the way I like it. So far we've been working on weeding certain crops, and we just harvested the spinach this last Saturday.
Check it out!
Working on Saturday was a challenge with my newest tattoo...
It's basically a symbol of my dedication to eating and living a cruelty free life. (Eating) Hence the placement of the tattoo. It didn't hurt much to get it done, but the healing has been a struggle. Oh boy...no more stomach tattoos! (We'll see if I actually live up to that threat, haha)
My friend does tattooing at a shop in town, and she's been doing mine (and my boyfriend's) for free... so I baked her some very naughty vegan confetti cupcakes as a sign of my appreciation. Man, I hate baking. I mean, I actually love it. But I hate all the frosting I just HAVE to lick off my fingers every 30 seconds.
Since I began the journey to RAW, I still allow myself to indulge in some cooked or baked vegan delights every now and then, and vegan cake is one that I just can't resist. It's horrible. It makes me feel horrible...and it makes me feel horrible BECAUSE I can't seem to control myself around it. I never liked having dependencies on ANYTHING...which is why I quit smoking, coffee, soda, etc. It makes me feel all icky inside to feel that something else has control over me. And I feel like cake totally does. It sounds silly... but I'm sure some of you have felt what I'm feeling.
Anyway, I've been blending up cucumber soups...making sweet potato chips on the dehydrator... but nothing worth taking a photo of.
Hmm...I'll write more when more interesting things are happening :)
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
This is a huge step in my raw journey, and it makes all the effort that I put into eating healthy seem so much more worthwhile. Honestly, the effects of Raw were so incredibly hindered by that tiny little pill that I took everyday that it's mind boggling. It's only been a couple weeks off of the pill, and I already feel like a new woman. Like MYSELF again.
With that said, I've also started my pursuit to finding a doctor that will give me a referral for a tubal ligation. This is something I have thought very long and hard about, in addition to doing plenty of research about my other options and the procedure itself. I've never wanted kids, and I would look forward to having a little spontaneity without having to worry about the possible consequence. My mom has been so supportive and has even offered to take off of work the day I'd have my procedure done whenever I do find a doctor to do it for me. It's really nice knowing that I have her support while I know a lot of mothers wouldn't be so supportive of the idea of never having grandchildren. It's refreshing to know that her interests are pure and unselfish.
At any rate, I've been eating good, exercising, and feeling better and better. My creative spark has returned and I came up with a simple and unique, but delicious recipe with a photo :)
Diced red onion
I apologize for the lack of measurements, but when I create, I don't pay a lot of attention to measurements. I also made this as a small side to an entree, so it was not a portion large enough to record measurements for. Never the less, the method is as follows:
On a plate lay down a "bed" of julienned carrots. Arrange zucchini slices atop the carrots, and gently sprinkle a bit of sea salt over the zucchini slices. In a separate bowl, combine raisins, diced pineapple, red onion, chopped basil, a few drizzles of olive oil, a couple drizzles of agave, and a dash of sea salt. Mix well, and pour over your carrot and zucchini plate. Garnish with basil for visual effect ;) ENJOY :)
I ate this in addition to a zucchini pasta, because I'm a total zucchini freak!
That was my hefty plate of food. It's still shocking to me how thin I'm able to stay just by eating raw foods... I eat SO much!
The pasta was simply spiralized zucchini with some mushrooms topped with Fresh Corn and Avocado salad. When I make that salad I always use basil... I never use the olive oil (totally unnecessary), nor do I use pepper. It's sooo dee-lish! It's something I make a couple times a week! I'm addicted.
I've also recently tried apricots for the first time ever! I don't know how I never tried them until recently!
Anyway, I shall be off to tend to the rest of my duties for the day...hope everyone has a happy and safe rest of the week!
Thursday, May 20, 2010
For the sauce:
2 and 1/4 medium vine ripe tomatoes
2-4 sundried tomato halves, soaked
as much fresh basil as you like!
about 1/4 of a medium sweet red pepper
blend it all to desired consistency!
then I spiralized two zucchinis and finely chopped another 1/4 of a medium sweet red pepper and tossed that in with the zucchini noodles and then poured the sauce over it all after it had time to settle in its flavors after a few hours :)
Disney World was AWESOME!!! more to come....
Friday, May 7, 2010
Unfortunately, it seems that my ideals are much misunderstood in our modern and oh-so chemically "enhanced" society. I'm just plain "weird" or "eccentric", even, for many of the values I hold dear.
This came to me because of a discussion on a message board regarding animal testing. And, as I was typing out my very passionate reply (obviously being against it) I realized that no one there would probably agree with where I come from in regards to not toying with nature to the point that we do. I feel that I am constantly repeating myself, when I try to point out that we as a human race have caused so much destruction to our world and to OURSELVES by persistently defying natural laws. It seems that we try to BE the law, instead, and I just think this is a really scary thing!
Many rawists understand that much of what modern science performs animal testing for, can be treated or even prevented through a natural lifestyle. I have heard so many success stories of diabetics and other chronically ill patients who have turned their lives around just by avoiding all the crap! Which is a large reason as to why I think that animal testing is downright cruel and unnecessary. A lot of the health issues we face in our world today are a result of our own lifestyles or our relatives lifestyles, etc. Obviously, this doesn't go for all things, but it seems that people keep running to and relying on pharmaceuticals to have a quick fix while they continue to lead toxic lives, and I just can't stomach it.
I understand that it isn't EASY to live a healthy life in the world today. Of course, it's much easier to be ignorant to the choices we make and how those choices affect our vitality. It was easy (but definitely not cheap) for me to smoke three packs of cigarettes a day at one point in my life. It was easy for me to chug soda after soda, scarf down pizza, and sit on my butt all day.
It was easy alright, until I found myself at the doctor constantly sick with chronic sinusitis, swollen extremities, pains of various sorts, constant digestive issues, etc. And of course, doctor after doctor would recommend a pill or something, but never would they tell me to change my lifestyle. I figured this out on my own.
At any rate, people tend to make excuse after excuse for keeping their filthy, self-destructive habits...but then when it catches up with them, they are devastated and want to save themselves at the very last minute.
Of course, I could fall ill myself, despite my taking care of myself. But you know what? At least then I will have known that I did everything I could, and it just be what nature had intended for me.
My point is, why do animals have to sacrifice their lives at our expense and especially for our own self-destructive mistakes?
On another note, I gotta say, it always makes me laugh, the attitudes of a lot of people that surround me whom have some icky habits of their own. A friend of mine and myself went frisbee golfing the other day and got on the topic of health, and I always give her hell about her smoking, because well, I'm her friend, and I care about her life. [and on a side note: Some might think it's better to hold your tongue and keep your opinion to yourself... but I think if you care about someone and you see them hurting themselves, it's your duty as a loved one to voice your concern for them...if you don't, afterall, what kind of friend are you? ] She made the classic comments like: "well, everything gives you cancer anyway!"
Oh boy. And IF she happened to get cancer, I highly doubt her attitude would be the same, and she'd probably regret every cigarette she ever smoked. Right?
"everything gives you cancer anyway!" = a statement that people make in efforts to make an excuse for their bad habit, so that they can lie to themselves a little to pretend that they don't really care. it's just justifying the behavior, and it isn't at all a logical school of thought.
She then says to me, another thing that a lot of other people often bring up when they are trying to justify their unhealthy habits, "Well I know of someone who got lung cancer who never smoked a cigarette in their life".
So? The rare occasion that a person gets lung cancer having never smoked in their life, validates literally BEGGING for lung cancer by chain smoking? This just makes no sense what-so-ever to me. It's such a black and white way of thinking, and it's again, just another way of the person trying to justify their habit.
I also pointed out to her that many other factors play into these diseases than just the obvious things like smoking. The hundreds of other products you consume, for one thing, also have an affect on your health, aside from sleep patterns, exercise, sunlight, a positive outlook on life, etc.
Said person who gets lung cancer without having ever smoked, may have also worked at a factory where the air is filled with toxins... or lived near a manufacturing company, etc.
And these are things that I do, and will always continue to also pay attention to in my life. I would never in a million years work in a facility where just breathing the very air might kill me. I will never choose to LIVE somewhere that isn't very sustainable for human life. These are all part of the choices we make everyday, and what we decide on can have a big impact on our fate.
I grow more and more frustrated everyday as I hear all my loved ones make up excuse after excuse for their self-destructive tendencies.... and then looking at ME like I'm the crazy one!
Like I said before, I understand that making healthy choices isn't always easy. It took me a few tries to finally quit smoking... and even longer to quit caffeine. I still miss a lot of things that I used to eat as a kid, and I probably always kind of will. But I definitely don't miss the impact that they had on my health, and the even bigger impact that they probably would have had if I would have continued it.
I know I'm not perfect, and no one is, but what I can't understand is not even being interested in TRYING to overcome your bad habits and take care of yourself. If you slip up sometimes and have a burger, or a coffee, I don't think you're a horrible person... but I cannot understand this overall COMPLETE lack of ambition to even CARE about what you are doing to your body. Yes?
Sorry for the lengthy rant, but it was something that I had to get out of my system, and I felt that this was the best place for that. I know that anyone who reads my blog who is interested in raw foods, will probably at least somewhat see where I'm coming from. And I hope that I'm right about that :)
In other news: it's Friday! and in just two days I'll be on my way to the Sunshine State! Thank god, because it's only 43 degrees out here today. When I scheduled the trip, I wondered if going in May would have much purpose, thinking that it would already be so nice out here by then... so I'm glad that I still get to feel like I'm getting away from the crappy weather!
I am still nervous about what food will be like out there, so I brought some non-perishable raw food bars and raw cashews just in case. I'm hoping they won't be necessary since my stomach isn't very fond of nuts, but it's better than eating some of the cheap, processed foods that I know they have there.
In terms of raw food, I'm concocting a "dressing" tonight for some zucchini noodles made of tomato, half an avocado, lemon juice, and spinach. I hope it turns out... I don't really know how it will all go together, but it seemed like it would be yummy. Hopefully it is!
Well, I won't be back until May 15th, so no blog updates for awhile. Hope everyone has a happy and healthy week!
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
At any slight instance that I feel trapped, physically or emotionally, I lose it a little. It's the same reason I'm not sure I'd ever go on a cruise...
Anyway, I've been looking around online to make sure there's going to be food for me to eat. And luckily I've run across a few places like this...
"Harambe Fruit Market" in Animal Kingdom. I can't wait to eat all the fruit!
At any rate, I had been wanting tomatoes like crazy lately, and they were on sale for 99 cents a pound at my local grocery store, so I decided to whip up a little something inspired by this.
What I changed: I didn't use a pepper or celery, and instead of basil I used cilantro. I also used a half of a cup of fresh corn. I only used one tomato, and a half of a zucchini. It was good! I will be having more without the corn tonight :)And maybe I will try the celery though I still don't know where I stand with celery...
I actually think the corn upset my tummy a little. Since I went fruitarian I haven't had much of any problems with gas (which is downright crazy because I have always been really gassy, haha) but I got a lot after eating this, and I know it wasn't any of the other ingredients.
Anyway, speaking of all this food. I am going to have myself some oranges :)
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Day one of banana frenzy!
I had already been following 80/10/10 guidelines for a week or so, but I decided it would be in my best interest to go on a mono-diet of bananas for a few days, maybe a week, to kick some of the nasty nagging little cravings that are left lingering in the dark corners of my mind :P
So far so good. I'm on day 3 of no coffee, and feeling pretty damn good, although I will admit I had struggled with headaches most of yesterday. I listened to my body, and went to bed early, got rested up and I feel much better today!
I had a nice long lunch today too... shh, don't tell the boss! I work for my father's building restoration company as the secretary. It's complete opposite of what the rest of my being is about, really, but it's the only job available to me right now in this economy.
At any rate, he takes day trips to Madison, WI to our state capitol because our company is doing some repairs on the state capitol building right now. With that said, when he's out of the office I like to treat myself to an extended lunch time (because, I literally have nothing to do 90% of the time anyway).Instead of heading to the gym during my lunch hour today, I decided I'd take a run on the bike trail (which is near my house) outdoors. The weather wasn't very nice when I left...pretty windy and chilly. But when I was almost home from my run it started perkin' up! So I took the opportunity to eat my lunch o' bananas outside with my pooch.
Yep, that's my old geezer, Molly :) She's 14 and despite a little arthritis she's in tip top condition for an old lady :)
Anyway, the long lunch...the run, the sun, the dog, and the bananas were *just* what I needed to lift my spirits.
If the weather stays nice (hopefully will get even nicer) I plan on going disc golfing with the boyfriend. The crazy fellow ordered 93 dollars worth of discs off the internet and they are supposed to arrive today.
I know... it's crazy. Brian and I tend to be on the same page with most things in life, but not when it comes to things like this... i.e. spending money freely on lots of fun, unnecessary things. I, especially, don't really like to buy much of anything if A) it isn't absolutely necessary B) it's brand new. I usually try to find my items used as second hand shops and such, but then again, my interests also differ slightly from Brian's.
I do like disc golfing, but half of my discs were found or given to me, and I've only purchased about 5 in my life. Besides that though, his interests lie much into video games, movies, and music...and while I also enjoy music and movies, I tend to not spend much, if any, money on it.
I do however... like to spend money on vacations and travel when I have the rare chance to...
Did I mention I'm going to Disney World in just 10 days?? (I wonder how finding fruit will be?)
I'm really stoked. Spending this kind of money was a HUGE step for me, because I do lean towards frugality. But, it was time that I go somewhere and do something fun for a change... I haven't been out of state aside from quick trips to Chicago (only a couple hours away) since I was 12! That's 11, almost 12 years. That's just not right.
'Course, I thought about going somewhere that would seem more life enriching such as Jamaica...but, the fact of the matter is, I wanted a vacation that had it all, and a Disney Vacation has it all. There's so much variety, and the weather is gorgeous in Florida. I wanted to be reminded of my childhood again, in these stressful times.
I try to keep my stress to a minimum, and I hold onto my inner child with all my might, but sometimes, not often...but sometimes...the world does me in. Between worrying about my employment (our company is probably going out of business), and worrying about the world in general.. Sometimes I literally carry the weight of the world on my shoulders, unintentionally.
Never the less... I know just what I need to get myself back on track each and everytime I start to crumble under stress. And it's a good feeling to know that you've always got a hold on yourself!
Well, that's about all for now... 'til next time :)
Monday, April 26, 2010
at any rate, I will attempt to try to keep up to date with my blogs and post my progress, etc. sometimes I'm just ADD... :)
Friday, March 5, 2010
I had totally posted a blog on Wednesday evening, to find today, that it had never posted. Aww!
Try this again!
First and foremost... I have to update that unfortunately I was unable to continue at a 100% raw diet. There are many personal reasons that I don't quite feel like discussing at the moment, but rest assured that I still intend on trying to do it again someday, when I am in a better place in my life. At the moment, however, I am working at still keeping raw food a big part of my diet since I still fully believe in the liftestyle... I simply just am not capable of doing it the correct way at this point.
With that said, you'll be seeing lots of cooked vegan foods in my blog from now on! So onto the goodies!
Now onto other things :)
Still in the spirit of raw, I picked up some raw coconut kefir yogurt "sour cream" at Slow Pokes Local Foods in Grafton, WI. It was SO good. BETTER than real sour cream... I dollopped it on my utmost favorite raw dish which is a simple zucchini pasta adorned with salsa, avocado, corn, mushrooms, carrots... I may have thrown some nutritional yeast in there too...
Now, you'll have to excuse me... As much as I LOVE to cook (and un-cook) and as much as I can make things taste pretty awesome if I do say so myself... I don't know a THING about plating, or photography (and my camera is a crappy Samsung... sucks!) so these photos aren't even 1/10th as beautiful as many of the photos you see on vegan bloggers' entries...
At any rate, also in the spirit of raw, I made some delicious "Tahini Cheez Sauce" that I came across on Heathy's blog.
Make sure that if you're even slightly interested in raw foods, to give that recipe a go! It's simply delcious!
It reminded me lots of red pepper hummus, but "cheezier". I loved it, and ate it on everything for a few days. It was especially good on raw jalapeno-walnut burgers... Mmm! and the avocado fries that I made with them, were also delicious dipped in this wonderful sauce!!
(Un)cooking has taught me so much about actual cooking. When you don't have the stove or oven to help you out, or convenient flours, etc. you learn a lot about proper spice blending and such. There's no denying that a Raw Lifestyle is definitely a restrictive one, at least, in comparison to what's available to us in our modern world. So, when you go from having almost infinite options of ingredients to work with down to just a select few whole foods, your food preparation skills are really put to the test.
It seems that when I went back to eating cooked foods, my cooking skills had drastically improved even though I hadn't really cooked a meal in 4 months or so. I find myself understanding recipes a lot more, and how I can modify them to better suit my tastes... like I said, spice blending is so important when you're RAW, and I feel like I have a much better understanding of each spice's place in the world of food now because of it.
At any rate...
Upon making the decision to stray a bit from raw, I had really went to town on eating some old cooked favorites like vegan pancakes, garbanzo hummus, etc.
Then, I made this wonderful dish I stumbled upon on VegWeb.com. "Sweet and Sour Seitan". I had been craving Chinese food for the longest time, and I had only had Seitan one or two times in the past and LOVED it, so I wanted to try working with it.
Oh it was so good!
Now, I made my own sweet and sour sauce from a recipe I found on VegWeb as well, but I didn't care too much for it. It was beyond salty for one thing... and it wasn't much like sweet and sour sauce at all. None the less, it paired up just fine with the dish I made... but I doubt I'll be using it again, or if I do, I'm going to be making some severe modifications to it. For one thing, I will cut down the amount of soy sauce DRASTICALLY, use maple syrup for half of the sugar portion of the recipe and probably add some corn starch to thicken it... there are other things that could be tweaked too...
I was thinking of leaving the recipe under the photo, anyway, but I honestly don't recommend it, so I decided against it. Sorry. If you are interested in it, however, just feel free to ask me for it.
Onto the seitan!
NOM NOM. I served it with brown rice and little vegetable spring roll snacks that I found at Outpost Natural foods. They were so cute!
Sweet and Sour Seitan
1-2 packages of seitan (or your favorite recipe)
3/4 cup flour
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup water
1 green pepper cut in chunks
1 red pepper cut in chunks
1 onion cut in chunks
1 can pineapple chunks
jar of sweet and sour sauce(or your own recipe)
Mix together flour, water, cornstarch, salt and baking soda in medium bowl.
Stir seitan into batter until well coated.
Fry coated seitan in 2 inches of hot oil for 3 minutes or until golden brown.
Drain Seitan, keep it hot.
Combine green pepper and onion and sauté for 5 min. Add pineapple and sweet and sour sauce, let simmer for 15 minutes. Pour over seitan and serve with rice.
Preparation time: 30 minutes
This was SO good. YOU HAVE TO TRY IT.
My boyfriend and his friend ate it up and raved about it. Yum!
What else has been cookin'?
Oh, I made the boy some of my Sloppy Tweedle's. The recipe was adapted from my mom's Sloppy Joe recipe from when I was a kid, and I veganized it :)
So here, I hope you all try this and enjoy it as much as I have since I was a tot!
1 bag vegan Boca crumbles
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar or sweetener of choice (I actually use stevia or agave)
1/4 cup ketchup
about 12 ounces tomato sauce
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce (I use Annie's Naturals)
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
Dash of cayenne or Frank's Red Hot (sometimes we do both)
1 chopped jalapeno
8 vegan hamburger buns
This recipe originally calls for 1 - 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, but I find that it never seems like enough so I use a bit more than half, about 3/4 of a 15 ounce can instead. However, you can measure this to your liking.
1) Cook the onion, green pepper, and "beef" crumbles in a large skillet until the veggies are tender and the crumbles are thoroughly cooked through. I cooked mine in a bit of oil, but you could probably cook it in a bit of water instead.
2) Add all the rest of the ingredients to the skillet. Mix together very well. Cover and let simmer for 10 to 20 minutes.
3) Serve on hamburger buns and enjoy!
Makes: 6 to 8 sandwiches, Preparation time: 5 minutes, Cooking time: 20 to 30 minutes
On the agenda for the weekend?
Sweet potato biscuits, more hummus, and vegan "pigs in a blanket"...
Next week: Raw Indian Samosas and Baha Tofu Tacos with Cilantro Cole Slaw!
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
gotta update more.
gotta get batteries for my camera to take pictures for all of you :)
those are the top priorities on my to-do list, as of right now.
I just picked up some coconut milk kefir custard from the local foods store I visit.
The woman who owns the place is simply amazing. She makes all these wonderful raw items (as well as gluten-free bakery and other healthy cooked items). I've tried her different varieties of cashew spreads (red pepper, basil, and plain), raw slaw (it's got just about every veggie imaginable in it!), raw granolas, etc. They've all been ridiculously good!
I recently also picked up some Indian Spiced Kraut from her shop, which is made locally in Wisconsin. (Will post picture asap!)
Sometimes I wonder how people stay thin on a raw diet... all I ever want to do is try all the tasty foods! :P
At any rate, I've been experimenting with juicing, as well as raw soups. Much success thus far! I've tried Heathy's Cucumber Cilantro soup and what the hell_ does_a vegan eat anyway's tomato and corn chowder in the past week, and both were exquisite.
I experimented making some more dehydrated potato chips... made some BBQ style sweet potato chips and some oniony regular potato chips... both were delicious and barely made it all the way through dehydrating! They were so good I couldn't stop eating them.
Anyway. My dad and I were supposed to head out to the cafe I spoke of in a previous entry... Cafe Manna... until I realized on their website that they had changed their menu around and left very litte raw options available, now. A bit disappointed.
I received an e-mail today from a local farm about participating in a workshare program. If I put in a certain amount of hours of work per week on the farm, I get free produce! I'm really excited about this, and I'm hoping it will teach me a lot about the growing process of produce, etc. since I eventually would love to grow much of my own food someday. The woman said we could meet after next Tuesday, so I hope all goes well :)
Well, I will be sure to update more later with pictures!!
Friday, January 29, 2010
This week I did lots of experimenting. Since I've only been raw three months, there are still SO many things I haven't tried, and still so many things that are new to me. I'm getting more and more creative and putting more time and energy into my lifestyle. When I started my raw journey, I'd eat a smoothie for lunch, a salad for dinner (and usually the same damn one every night), and Larabars and fruit for snacks.
Anyway I've been having tons of fun trying new things... I still try to keep it relatively simple since I'm a beginner and all, but sometimes the simplest things turn out to be the most amazing! For example, I read on Gone Raw, that pitting a date, and sticking a couple pecans in a date can be a tasty little treat (And essentially a Larabar minus the chopping of nuts and dates) and I was blown away by how tasty, yet how simple it was! That's what is so intriguing to me about having a "from Earth" type of diet. So many people dismiss how many wonderful things come from our beautiful planet... "fruits and vegetables?! I'll stick to my bag of chips and hamburgers!" they say.
I won't deny that I used to feel the same way. I think almost everyone (unless raised as a vegan) probably has. Even when I went vegan at first, I was a total junk-food vegan... which most people don't understand is TOTALLY possible! I ate all the convenience foods...the Amy's dinners...which might not be as bad for you as McDonald's... but still certainly not something you should be living off of like I was. I ate macaroni and cheese, pizza, and refined sugars like no tomorrow. Even just a year ago, I was living off of candy. I never in a million years thought that I could love veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds the way that I do now. Even things that I didn't like before, have become favorites of mine. Besides peanut butter that was loaded with sugar, I haaated nuts... and now I can't get enough of raw almonds, pecans, cashews....
to be honest, they taste so much better when they aren't roasted and salted. Ick!
Anyway... a couple pecans and a date, and I was in heaven.
I also have been dehydrating my little butt off. This week I made red pepper tortillas brought to you by "what the hell does a vegan eat anyway"... which is turning out to be one of my favorite spots on the web to visit...
I filled them with some romaine lettuce leaves, avocado spread, salsa, chopped zucchini, and fresh corn. Deee-lish! I know I'll be making those tortillas over and over again... so good! Nice and soft, the way I always liked my wraps. Nom nom...
While those were sitting on the dehydrator, I peeled a humongous sweet potato into strips, tossed them in some olive oil and spices, and threw those on the deydrator too for sweet potato chips. I've only had them a day, and I'm almost done with them already. They are SO damn tasty, I can't get enough. Just as addicting as "regular" chips. I will definitely be making those again, too, but I'll have to hold myself back a bit, otherwise I'll definitely over-indulge.
Just off the dehydrator this morning came some "bread"--- well, I'm not sure I'd call it bread. It's thinner, and a bit chewy (but it holds together just fine so it works!). I took the same concept as the red tortilla wraps, and I used equal parts flax to equal parts water. I threw in a mashed up banana and some cinnamon, and threw it on the dehydrator for about 12 hours. I made this "bread" so that I could indulge in some cashew butter and "jelly" sandwiches...
PB & J used to be one of my faaavorite things before I went raw, and one of the hardest things I had to give up. I mean, I ate it almost daily. I discovered that raw cashew butter was just as good if not even BETTER than peanut butter, so I got it in my head to make some cashew butter and jelly sandwiches. Now, for the bread, I would have used some agave or maple syrup to sweeten it up just a tad... it's pretty bland. It doesn't matter much since the cashew butter and jelly will be adding flavor to the whole deal... but, if I were to want to eat this bread on it's own the agave would be a good idea.
The jelly I made, was just mashed up strawberries and agave... though it's significantly runny, so I have to find a way to thicken it up a bit. I'll be experimenting with that over the next few weeks, I'm sure... but strawberries and agave is SO tasty, anyway.
I sampled some bread with a bit of cashew butter and jelly at lunch time... and even though the jelly was spilling out just a tad, it was still tasty as hell!
In the past couple days, I think I've eaten more than I usually eat in almost a week. Haha. I want to try so many things, and sampling it is the best part! It's a good thing I keep up with my exercise ;)
This weekend, I'll be trying the lovely Carmella's tomato dressing recipe... I intend on pouring it over some zucchini pasta (I know! It's all I ever eat!) I can't wait to try this stuff!! It looks delicious in the picture, has simple and low-fat ingredients...how can you go wrong??? Anything tomato is good by my standards!!
Again, I wish I had pictures to share, like all of you have such gorgeous images of your food!
And since the monthly cravings are starting, I'm sure I'll be experimenting with some cacao... I want to try some raw chocolate and cashew butter cups! wish me luck :)
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
I'd be posting a lot more often if I had batteries in my camera to take pictures of some of the wonderful food I've been eating and the things I've been up to, but I always forget to re-charge those little suckers.
In the meantime though, I'm happy to discuss restaurants, things I've been trying, things I want to try, and life.
The first thing I want to bring to everyone's attention is a lovely little restaurant here in Wisconsin called "Cafe Manna". I went there a couple months ago with my dad to try some of their raw options. In Wisconsin, we don't have much to work with when it comes to vegan eateries, much less raw options, so I was stoked to come across this place. Not everything is raw, but everything IS 100% meat-free which is a rarity out here... and the fact that they at least have raw options at all, is good enough for me!
The place itself is really discrete located at the end of a strip mall. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but it has a really gorgeous, inviting interior. Plus it's eco-friendly! The floors and front counters are made of bamboo. Window and bathroom counters are “paper stone,” constructed of recycled paper. Recycled metal light fixtures, walls covered with 100% non-toxic paint and foyer partitions fashioned of recycled plastic complete the Café’s decor. They further support the environment by using carry- out containers made from sugar cane, corn, potato or vegetable protein. They use no plastic or styrofoam. (Taken from the about page on their website)
When we were seated the wait staff was so warm and welcoming, and told us all about the place, showed us around the menu, and gave us the low down on all the different options. (Vegan, Raw, Gluten-Free) We received a complimentary appetizer of "Baba Ghanouj". It wasn't raw, but it was vegan so I had a bite to try, and it was pretty good. My dad loved it and took it upon himself to gobble it all up.
We also ordered an appetizer of marinated Crimini mushrooms which were incredible... I could have eaten three bowls of those.
For dinner I ordered the "Crunchy Nutty Sandwich"
which consisted of veggies, guac, and nut-mayo on raw sprouted almond bread. It came with rainbow coleslaw and vegetable chips. It was SOOO good, I made a total pig of myself and cleaned off the entire plate.
And even though I was feeling really bloated and full already, I just HAD to try their raw dessert, the "Banana Fig Pudding"It was sooo good...and they were sweet enough to spoil me and also give me a try of their raw carrot cake with raw carrot cookies for free. I was in heaven.
With that said... if you're from Wisconsin or if you're ever visiting, I HIGHLY recommend this place... I can't wait to go back and try the "Mushroom Extraordinaire" and the "Pecan Pate" appetizer!
As far as things I've been creating goes... I've done a bit of experimenting, though not as much as I'd like to. Many of the things I want to try...such as Russell James' Curried Cabbage Pillows... I simply haven't gotten around to doing because I am never in one place long enough to put things on my dehydrator. It will definitely have to be something I try on the weekend. Perhaps this weekend will be the weekend!
I'd also really like to try some recipes that I either just can't bring myself to spend the money on the ingredients (ingredients like macadamia nuts...holy hell are they expensive) or the ingredients are hard to come by. I did locate a market that sells young coconut, but apparently it's in a pretty rough neighborhood, so I won't be going there without my boyfriend to escort, hahaha.
At any rate, over the weekend I finally gave Ani Phyo's simple raw flax pancakes a try. Oooooh my god I think I died and went to heaven. I mixed some cinnamon and raisins into the batter, and topped them with blueberries... fantastic. Even the non-raw boyfriend loved them. I loved them so much I ate three of them and then laid around on a bloated tummy all evening afterwards, hehe. I will definitely be making these again REALLY soon, and when I do, I'll make sure I capture a photo of their glory. Mmm...
I just got a dehydrator for Christmas, so I haven' t tried much on it yet, but I have tried kale chips, and ATTEMPTED to make some corn chips. Well the kale chips were a success, and the boyfriend really liked those, too. (He actually has liked nine out of ten raw concoctions that I've introduced him to, which is awesome that he is so open minded!) I made mine with a lot less ingredients than most people seem to... I drizzled a very minimal amount of olive oil on the bunch with some sea salt...massaged the kale for a bit... through them on the tray and sprinkled some nutritional yeast flakes and cayenne pepper atop... glorious! I gotta say... I've been missing popcorn a lot, and this was even BETTER...
And the corn chips. Well I don't know what happened there. It might have been a few things... for one thing, apparently I had two trays stuck together, so they might not have gotten the proper, and even enough heating they deserved ... and well, I'm not sure I used enough corn, or processed it quite enough. They didn't taste bad, but they were rather chewy, not as much "chippy" and, they were very very thin...
Next time I'll use LOTS more corn, make sure my damn trays aren't sticking together, and possibly stick them in there for even longer.
In the meantime, I've been living off of variations of zucchini pasta. I just can't get enough of it, and the spiralizer is so much fun to use! I've made all sorts of sauces...marinara, alfredo, you name it!
I've also been really lovin' on homemade cashew butter with cinnamon and raisins with some apple slices dipped in it. So good!!
Anyway... besides eating all the delicious food, I've been using the energy I get from it to keep active at the gym during these cold months. Man I am SO happy I signed up for the gym. My mood has been 110% better this winter because of it... I've always been prone to seasonal depression, but I haven't noticed even a hint of it!
I feel so proud of myself, too! Everytime I am able to increase the weights I am lifting...or run for longer distances, etc... it makes me feel so great about myself.
I dyed my bangs (back to) purple. To match my coat. haha
Friday, January 8, 2010
Just as a brief introduction, my new blog is inspired by a newly adopted raw vegan lifestyle. I feel that this is a good way to share information with other raw foodies, document my findings, and create a sort of timeline that I can look back on about my chosen raw path.
I adopted the raw diet almost 3 months ago, but had been living a cruelty-free lifestyle for some number of years now.... 6, I believe. So the transition wasn't as rough as it certainly could have been.
I'd say my path to raw began a long time ago. I struggled my entire adolescence with eating issues... whether I was struggling with anorexia or bulimia, or simply eating dangerously unhealthy foods. When I ate a "normal" SAD diet, I never felt good about myself, so I'd restrict, restrict, restrict, or I'd find ways of "getting rid of" the things that I put into my body. It would become very exhausting at times, and I was in and out of therapy constantly throughout high school and afterwards up until recently. It would become exhausting, and I'd fall back and just indulge in everything I could for awhile until I felt awful about myself again. It was a really dangerous, and mentally taxing vicious cycle...
When I went vegetarian at 17, I had no idea what raw was. And, I wasn't too concerned about being healthy. I wanted to be thin, but just like most people in our modern world, felt it would be too much effort to do in any healthy way. (looking back and realizing how much painful effort I put into damaging my body I can't grasp how this made sense in my head at some point. boy, what a twisted way of looking at things...)
At any rate, I was your typical "junk-food vegetarian" and when I went vegan a short time later, that didn't really change. I was all about the convenience foods, and the desserts. It was my mission to find vegan food that was fast, cheap, and full of fatty flavor. Ew.
As my journey went on, I started reading about the raw diet. I kept it in the back of my mind for quite some time, and thought about it, but felt like I could never do it.
Over the years my unhealthy habits lead to many problems. I was a chain-smoker, I drank, guzzled soda pops and energy drinks until no tomorrow, you name it. I suffered from chronic sinus infections that I just couldn't get rid of. I was always tired, always sick to my stomach, and I felt depressed. I suffered from anxiety and panic attacks. It was just horrid...
Finally, just 2 years ago, I decided to quit smoking. My doctor had told me that my lungs had sounded awful for my young age, and that if I didn't do something about my habit soon, I'd be in some serious danger. It scared me enough to make quitting really easy.
And once I quit cigarettes, I wanted to be healthier yet. I felt so proud of myself...like I could do ANYTHING. So I quit drinking alcohol, quit soda, gum, etc...
But I still had the eating issues to address. I'm not sure if it was learning more about the dangers of the food that's out there today that kick started it (you know...hydrogenated oils, preservatives, etc.) or if it was just a matter of time, but about 3 months ago I decided to take the plunge.
It was difficult at first, I will admit, but not as difficult as I ever thought it would be. The hardest thing was getting rid of sugar. I was your average run-of-the-mill sugar addict. I mean... to the point where I broke down into tears after a couple of days without sugar.
Sugar might have been one of the main motivations to adopting the raw lifestyle. My sugar intake was out of control, and I felt awful about myself because of it... not to mention, I was putting myself at serious risk for diseases like diabetes.
At any rate... after the first month on raw things got easier. When I started experimenting more with cashew sauces and what not, things got interesting and more fun. At the end of my first month, I indulged in some cooked food and didn't feel too well afterwards. I don't just mean physically, but I just didn't feel good about me.
Raw has given me a chance to have a new and improved relationship with food. Whereas I used to eat sparingly to control my weight, and get upset when I did eat... I now eat every couple of hours, and I feel great every time, because I know I'm doing such good things for myself. I feel more connected and at one with the earth, and the list of benefits goes on!
So I decided to hold onto my new lifestyle. Over the past few months, I've still gotten cravings, and I've let myself have nibbles of those old favorites as not to put too much pressure on myself and set myself up for failure.
With that said, what had inspired me to start a blog, was my recent experience with sugar. A couple days ago when I had gotten a painful urge for chocolate and peanut butter, I let myself have some and whipped up a vegan peanut butter cup (which I normally could have eaten like 10 of). I took two bites, and absolutely hated the taste of it. I realized at that moment, what I had done. I overcame yet another unhealthy habit!
It inspired me to start journaling.
So, to kick-start my first entry, I'd like to share a recipe, and a photo (not of the recipe).
The recipe is nothing fancy shmancy, but I sure love it...
You will need:
Bottom Spinach Layer (optional)
Sunflower Seed topping
For the bottom spinach layer I use:
about 1/4 cup of spinach
1 carrot (peeled into shavings/pasta)
a handful of mushrooms
a bit of garlic
Mix ingredients together on the dish you will be serving on. Set aside.
dash of sea salt
Spiralize the zucchini, and sprinkle sea salt over to soften. Set aside.
1 ripe avocado
dash of vinegar (any kind you like to use)
dash of sea salt
cut open avocado length wise and remove pit. scrape out insides with a spoon and transfer to a small bowl. mash it up with a fork and add in vinegar and sea salt to taste. set aside.
Salsa (this makes an entire batch)
6 roma tomatoes, quartered
1/2 sweet onion, quartered
2 green onions, chopped
2 jalapenos, quartered
1/2 cup cilantro
2 small cloves of garlic, minced (more or less to suit your own tastes)
1 1/2 tbsp. vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt
Use the chopping blade on your food processor. Add all ingredients to your food processor and pulse for 1-2 seconds at a time until desired consistency is reached. Store in a container (keeps for a couple days)
handful of sunflower seeds
garlic powder, to taste
Italian seasonings, to tase
Add all ingredients to a coffee grinder and grind until powdery.
Then the rest is simple, simply layer the zucchini noodles onto the spinach layer, and then the avocado, then as much salsa as desired (rest to be stored), then the sunflower topping, and you're ready to eat! I like to mix mine up a lot. And fresh corn is also a really good addition at just about any spot in this recipe.
And before I start my weekend, I'd like to share a photo of one of the best sauces I ever made: