Friday, January 29, 2010

Fulfilling the promise

I have been meaning to get the recipes posted that I have been speaking of and finally I have one of several . .

The first I'll share is the chocolate caramel tarts that I posted those scrumptious photos of the other day. I have now made this recipe TWICE!

<- I ate that half last night -- mmmmmmmm. The recipe was found on a blog. I'll post my rendition of the recipe soon.

The recipe called for maca  and I will say that I did not use the maca either time I made it - to me maca has such a VERY strong flavor and I decided to omit it.

I also made my first raw 'cheeze' spread last night. It came out rather well.

Errrr, the SECOND batch came out very well.
The first batch I tried to make completely in my mini-chop/processor and it just couldn't handle the cashews. . . the entire thing ended up being watery and VERY grainy.

I gave it a second go by first putting the cashews (unsoaked) into my coffee grinder. This created a cashew flour with I then put in the mini-processor and added the lemon juice, nutritional yeast, water, onion salt, garlic.
I was much more pleased with this second batch but I did not dive in as I had just consumed that half a tart you see in my fat little hand up there!

I also have a feeling that the flavors will continue to develop so I am waiting to snack on this tonight. I am not completely sure what I will put the spread on...but I'll think of something!


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Where am I?

I guess the honeymoon phase is over.....the original 'high' of raw has subsided. You know - that initial period when you've experienced such a vast change in how you feel that you are just on cloud 9?

I think I'm entering a place where that has worn off and I'm now getting into the nitty-gritty of figuring out how to make this work day to day.


I'm excited that I feel as if I am finally gaining a workable knowledge of 'un-cooking'.

By following some of the recipes in the books that I checked out of the library recently, I am developing an idea of how to combine ingredients to get the results I want.

I am making less 'throw-away' meals and more good food which is nice because many of these ingredients aren't cheap.

It upsets me to dump out a bowl of raw organic ingredients that cost damn near an arm and a leg -- however, if I make something that is edible, in the long run I don't think my overall grocery bill is that much different because the food is more substantial. It sticks with me. . . and its 'nutritionally dense'. A little goes a long way.

Challenges that remain:

I still need to figure out portion and longevity.

I'm basically un-cooking for one.

Moi. Myself.

It can be hard to make a small enough amount and most of my kitchen tools would like a certain amount placed in them to run efficiently - especially if I want the blades to connect with the ingredients!

There is also a bit of planning involved. While the dishes themselves don't take that long to make, there is some prep work that often needs to be done. Soaking is one of those prep things. Oat groats need to be soaked, as well as nuts. I also like to soak my gojis and then there is sprouting! I haven't yet gotten really efficient in soaking and then planning meals several days in advance. If I soak on Monday I'll use it to make something on Tuesday or Wednesday - that might last me two then I need to soak again on Wednesday at the latest....

My head is spinning.

Its just different from my usual habit of walking in the door from work, opening fridge and freezer, noting what is available and throwing together a fabulous meal in under 45 minutes.

I SO LOVE TO COOK. (and I still cook for my family)

But now I am starting to love uncooking - I'm not all that good at it yet - but I am finding my creative voice in it which is REALLY nice for me.

I did make a meal this week that I really enjoyed.

I combined raw walnuts, medjool dates, mushrooms, onion, sweet red pepper, garlic, nama shoyu, and I think some flour that I ground myself (either flax or almond).

The ingredients were left coarse - pulsed in the little mini-processor - not pureed.

It ended up making a mixture that resembled ground beef -- and it tasted really good.

The mixture was placed on lettuce leaves to which I added some shredded carrot and jicama. The jicama had been marinated for a few minutes in nama shoyu and chili oil. (dont' they look like french fires??)

I did sprinkle a tiny bit of feta cheese on them as well. Rolled them up and dug in!

I need to try one of the recipes I have for raw cheeze. Then I can take off the feta and the dish will really be raw!

So, yes, I am finally starting to get excited about making my food again. Cooking was (is) something I get so much enjoyment from and I was sort of missing - even moreso I suppose when the kitchen was torn out and being renovated.

Where are you in your journey?

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Two-fer Today *NON-RAW alert* :)

WOW, a day with TWO posts. Unreal.

But I had food porn to share....


Round (mostly) brown, chewy.....


They are made with wheat, white, and flax flour.....and topped with poppy seeds, salt, sunflower seeds, garlic, and minced onion. Oh, and more flax seeds.
I am looking forward to seeing if my family likes them, since they are definitely not on my raw foods plan!!


Spicing it up!

Some people say that variety is the spice of life.

While I think some other things might qualify as the spice of life....I do agree that variety is one of them. And with that in mind, I continue to try some recipes (rather than just winging it myself).

Today is my third recipe in just a few days! I posted a picture the other day of some cookbooks. Most of these I have checked out of the library - - since they will have to go back before to much longer, I am planning on making some recipes from them. So far I think y favorite of the bunch is the one Karen asked about the other day.

Its called: RAW The UNcookbook (New vegetarian food for life) by Juliano

I like the way the book is formatted....the photos, the today I tried the Butternut Squash Soup on page 17.

Recipe from the book:
3 c butternut squash - peeled and chopped
1 mango, cubed (peeled of course!)
2 t. curry
4c orange juice
1/2 c. honey or dates

Combine all ingredients in a blender until creamy. Garnish with banana, mint, jalepeno...etc.

Now, how I did it...

So, I used a Carnival squash - about 1/3 of it, cubed, didn't measure how much that came out to be. And I used 1 mango.

For the orange juice, I just squeezed the juice from one orange and then I also added a little fresh lime juice.

I also added half a banana and then the honey (which I did not measure either). Oh, and I added a heaping teaspoon of curry powder.

I garnished with sliced banana and a little dash of hemp seed.

I really liked this although I think it would have been plenty sweet without the honey. Next time I will trade the honey for dates - just a few - I think it will help enrich the flavor. I might also add a dash of cayenne. I like a little more spice.

This is definitely a KEEPER. I will make this again for sure.

Another thing I made today.
***NOT RAW ALERT - stop reading now if cooked will offend you ;-) ***

I made bagels. They are cooling now......I do still cook for my family - remember?? Ashley over at (never home)maker has been talking about bagels, about posting reciped and tips, so still fighting off the haunting memories of a bagel disaster from about 12 years ago...I decided to give it a go. I think they just might be edible this time! I will post later with photos...but I can tell you right now that they smell like heaven.


Hmmm, wonder if I could do a Juliano and Janice sort of thing.....

nnnnnnnaaaaaaaaaaaah. I'm not that organized!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Crisp, clear, and . . . tangy?

Its a beautiful day, the sun has been shining, its cold - but clear...crisp...fresh. (Much like RAW food!)

Cub scouts was last night and then we had a basketball game today (which we lost by one or two points..RATS! But it was SO exciting!)

Then it was a quick trip to the grocery store for me and then LG had a friend over. While they were hanging out I decided to try my hand at a recipe I saw the other day on the Raw Freedom Community Forum.

Its for a lemon poppy seed cake. Here is mine.

Pretty huh?

The base is almonds which I ground in a coffee grinder into a flour.....and flax seeds which I also ground...and then there's shredded jicama and apple and the juice of a lemon, poppy seeds...and a few other things. The frosting is coconut oil, agave, lemon juice.

It turned out according to the recipe I think....although I'm not sure exactly what I think about it.

It has a good flavor....and a so-so consisteny.....(not overly wet but not as 'cake-like' as it probably could be. next time I'd up the almond flour).

I also wasn't sure what to think about the frosting. I placed the entire cake into the fridge afer it was done and the icing ended up being hard....and 'weird'....I can't realy explain it but I wasn't crazy about the texture of it.

The cake was overall rather tangy -- my Mother tried the cake and liked the entire thing, so its quite possible it was just me.

I will post the entire recipe and some of the other recipes tomorrow - I PROMISE!!



Friday, January 22, 2010

Raw Delights

There are so many things I love about eating raw.

One thing I love is that you can (generally) eat a lot of food without

#1 being too full,

#2 feeling all sluggish, and

#3 feeling guilty

Its a delight!

Its a delight to know I'm eating
food that will sustain me
and heal me


all those negative things going on

(lunch of zuccini, onion, green pepper, carrot, pomegrenate seedies, my homemade spicey asian sauce)

Its a delight to eat this raw Chocolate and 'Caramel' and Pecan dessert








(chocolate caramel pecan tart ala Carmella from The Sunny Raw Kitchen, with a few modifications)

I haven't picked up little tartlet pans yet so this is set into a dipping saucer. So I can't pop them out and set them on a plate to look so pretty.....but either way it eats really really well. :)

Another delightful thing about going raw.



I love books.

Some are better than others - and I'll let you know which ones I enjoyed more and why.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Real Raw, Real Life

I'm still not yet 100% back to eating where I was.

I almost wrote that I'm still 'struggling' to get back...but that isn't exactly true.
The naked truth is that I am not struggling.

I'm not really trying. Not really.
I am in limbo-land.

I am eating what I want during the day (raw) and then at night I'm eating what I don't want.....well, noooo, not exactly true.

The naked truth is that I'm eating what I want during the day and eating what I want at night - its just that the night time food isn't raw.
But its what I wannnnnnnnnnnnnt. (in my best whiney voice)

So I've been giving in to that inner child that says "but I wannnnnnnnnnnnnnt it".

And I've enjoyed it.

But I haven't felt near as 'vibrant' as I did two months ago.

While I haven't given a ton of thought to it, I've given it some thought and what I think is that I'm in a period of apathy. One of those 'blah' phases. And I'm attributing it stress, which we have our fair share of right now. As I write this though I am also wondering about 'post holiday let down'. I'm not convinced that this is a cause, but it could contribute. Maybe its post holiday, post renovation, post court, post-insert-something-else here........

Whatever it is, when it comes right down to it. Its a choice.

How I eat is a choice. What I eat is a choice.

Its true for all of us, if we're over the age of minority.........or even a little younger perhaps.

And its not even that its an important choice we make....its one of the MOST important choices/decisions that we make each day. What we put in our body. Think about it.

It fuels and hydrates us makes us, in large part, what we are in a manner of speaking. It affects every organ of our body. It affects our emotions and our energy level. It affects our body's ability to function....on every level.

I am convinced that what we eat affects our long term health. Whether we are positioning ourselves to enjoy good health down the road...............or not.

So with all of that in mind.

why oh why am I not feeding my body, mind, life better?

Good question.

OK, don't want to be a total killjoy. I will share that I DID receive one of my coveted kitchen gadgets for Christmas. I got the Pineapple corer/slicer (which is a great gift - for someone else or for you - its under $15.00 !). YAY!
Here it is resting after doing all the hard work for me! (ok, so cutting a pineapple open isn't really hard work - but boy does this make it even easier!)

So how does it work? You cut the top of your pineapple, then place the corer in the center of your pineapple and twist, like a corkscrew.

Its really easy to use and is a breeze to clean - I just rinse mine under hot water.

After you run it through the pineapple , you pull up, then remove the top by pressing on the circles. Turn it over and your pineapple slides right off! My family says it looks like a slinky.

I do recommend doing it in a large bowl rather than on a cutting board, that way you won't waste ANY juice!
You can use the shell to hold a nice fruit salad - that would look really cute!

Or if you compost I guess you can put it in there.

I am not sure I recall all the composting information, I need to read up on it - I think we're going to start so we'll be ready for our garden come spring!

And for fun - do you know what this is??

Looks like spaghetti noodles doesn't it?

Its zuccini! RAW!

I ran a half a zuccini through my other new toy - my Spiralizer. Or Spiral Slicer as they are sometimes called. Its a cool gadget that makes LONG spaghetti like noodles out of veggies.

I am thrilled with mine. It works well and is SO easy to clean!

More later!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

And we're off!

Off and running I hope! I am testing backgrounds so things may change for a few days til I settle in on something that I like.

Today I'm pulling a bit from the post on my other blog and then am also adding some background info.

Sooooooooo, How'd it all start?

For me, I went raw after reading a half page blurb in Good Housekeeping or some women's magazine. Unlikely and unimpressive start huh?

The article was about digestive enzymes and how to correct ours when most of us have them all out of whack.

It recommended trying for 70% raw for about 10 days. I thought ok....I have some digestive issues, lets give it a shot. I did a day or two and it was great so I went online for more info (being the skeptic that I am, I wanted to know more). I found out that there are some folks who live close to 100% raw for life.


I decided I'd do the 10 days and then see.

What I saw was increased energy, better mood, less gas (ewwwwwww)....and I couldn't see why I'd go back to my old dietary habits.

I didn't start this to lose weight. I started it to feel better and feel better I do.

I have read a lot since. (I'll get a book list going and some website links. )

I don't push this on others. But if someone expresses interest (and a lot of people have) then I'm willing to share, and more than happy to ENCOURAGE.

Because I really do think its a healthy way to go.

So from my other blog posted just after the holidays (if you've read that blog post - just skip to the bottom!) :

I got a bit off track with my eating over the holidays.

Don't we all seem to do that??

It actually started veering off track with the kitchen renovations but then began to deteriorate more when we began baking cookies two days prior to Christmas.

I'm getting back on track now, but its slow going. When I went raw it was overnight at 95-98%. The only non-raw items were soy sauce and some oils. . . maybe some spices too. Right now I'm somewhere around 80% MAYBE.

Its climbing though because I am back to making some of the things I really enjoy. AND, to top it off, I have begun a new blog where I can ramble on and on about the raw life. . . address is rawfoodsblog and the temp title is "I'm Raw" - not very inventive but I didn't want to infringe upon anyone in the raw world and all my first thoughts are someone elses website names already, sooooooooooo

I ended up temporarily with "I'm raw" because its become a joke in my house. I say it all the time. I say: "Guess WHAT!!?" and they finally know the answer that I 'shout' back --


It started because I have so much energy and I'm so 'on' all the time now...I guess it gets on people's nerves (not really, but in a fun way - ya know?) so I'm always like - "Ya know why???? I'm RAWWWWWWWWW!!!" and on and on it goes.

Snack the other night was raw chocolate pudding (made with cocoa and homemade nut mylk and other ingredients - details coming on RAW blog)Its topped with raw whipped kream (made from a base of raw cashews.....mmm, so light and airy - you wouldn't believe it unless you tasted it - I'll post that one too soon)

There is some some chia pudding (very similar to tapioca pudding) and the base is a mix of raw walnuts, pecans and medjool dates.

I sprinkled a little bit of cinammon over the top.


For lunch yesterday I had this delectable dish.

Yummy zuccini and squash with homemade dressing on top. (recipe coming on RAW blog)

Don't you dig the pink party plate? Compliments of our community drawer here at work. :)

More of the above is what will be posted on the new blog - as well as some of they whys I went this way and my honest experience in doing so. All in 'real time' -

almost like '24'.

But without the ticking clock

or the bloodshed

but with all the excitement!

or maybe not.........

Guess you'll just have to 'follow me' and find out!! ;-)

OK, so recipes. Hmm, don't really have them handy.
Lets just go with what a typical day looks like and then I'll add recipes tonight or tomorrow.

In the mornings I make anywhere from 40-64 oz of Green Smoothy. MMMMMMMM.

I know it looks like swamp goo. But it really does taste good! Some better than others to be sure, but none have been horrible. Excpet the one day that I inadvertently let the coupon package from the spinach bag fall into the blender. It is AMAZING how a little plastic and a couple of coupons can ruin a ton of green smoothy. It was a major waste.

And I've 'wasted' some other things too. I love to cook and after the first couple of months of eating pretty much straight raw foods, simple forms, no real 'recipes'...I decided to start experimenting a bit. I have used recipes found on other sites as a guideline but haven't followed them step by step. This has resulted in some gag inducing concoctions.

But I've also found some lovely combinations. Like the sauce on the above zuccini 'spaghetti' - this is what went into that:

a tiny chunk of raw ginger

soy sauce

cold pressed olive oil
raw cashews
a couple of medjool dates
(and probably something I am forgetting)

I put that in my little mini-processor that I've had forever. It is finally REALLY coming in handy! Its just a little 1 cup thing - under 15.00 but does a great job emusifying sauces.

ok, got a little sidetracked.

I drink about 20 oz of smoothy on my way to work. Sometimes I drinnk another glass at work during the day. Other times I drink another big glass of it on my way home from work. (20 oz or so)

For lunch I may have some fruit - either a fruit salad or just a few pieces of fruit....sometimes a green garden type salad. Though I usually add some hemp seeds and nuts and things.

For dinner sometimes I will just have a big slushy fruit smoothy....or I'll have chocolate pudding with whipped cream. Since the base of the pudding is avocados (seriously) its healthy! You'd never know it was made from avocados. (seriously) and the whipped cream is cashews and lemon rind and some coconut oil and mayeba few other things. . . oh like dates or agave for sweetness.

I do sometimes have a slice of sprouted bread which isn't raw but its sprouted which is better than processed breads. I like Ezekial bread. Toast that with a little raw almond butter. YUM!

More later!