Thursday, February 28, 2008

Snack Time

What do you make when you've run out of time and ideas?

Throw together some guacamole tacos.

I just mixed in some onion powder, celtic sea salt and lemon juice with my avocado. Then I piled the guacamole onto romaine lettuce leaves and topped with some leftover homemade salsa and raw black olives. You just fold them up like tacos to indulge. This was so quick and satisfying. It was pretty filling also.

Variations: Add some dulse sprinkles, chopped cilantro or diced red onion. Instead of romaine leaves, use collard or cabbage leaves.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Raw Food for Friends

A couple of weeks ago, we had three friends over to teach them raw food preparation. They each had been eating raw for a little while, but wanted some more ideas. So my daughters and I fixed all sorts of goodies for them as they watched on. Starting with opening young coconuts, moving through salads, then dehydrated goodies, ending with desserts. Here are just a few of the items we enjoyed that day.

This first is a picture of my 13 yo daughter's own recipe for a mock tuna salad.

Below is a picture of our beet ravioli made from Raw Food, Real World's recipe.

This is one of our favorites. It's the asian inspired marinated veggies from Rejuvenate with Serene.

And, although this picture doesn't look quite appetizing, it's Juliano's meatloaf recipe with barbeque sauce.

It was a great day with great food and great fellowship. The only problem was food combining so many differents foods all in one afternoon. Don't think we'll be doing that again anytime soon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Coconuts, Coconuts, Coconuts

We have seen soooo..... many videos demonstrating the opening of young coconuts. We've seen hatchets, hammers, and jabbing/stabbing knives. I don't particularly want either of my daughters to lose a finger or hand just to enjoy this precious treat. So when we found this latest method, we were thrilled.

My daughters had a real hoot this afternoon making this video for us. Unfortunately, a few of the coconuts had already turned, so they just kept opening more. At least you get to see how easy it is each time.

My 16yo daughter just shaves off the cone top, finds that "just right" spot, and voila! Beautiful, sweet coconut water. As Serene Allison says, they are truly gifts from God.

My husband and I bought these crystal glasses at William Sonoma and keep them in the freezer. They are perfect for the delicate taste of young coconut water. The thin rim of the crystal and the ice cold taste is wonderful.

My daughters choose the more rustic form of drinking their treat. Just stick in a straw and sip.

More leftovers for my Smoothie

Smoothies are the perfect items to make with leftovers. You just can't go wrong with any combination in a green smoothie. (At least I haven't disliked one yet).

In this smoothie, I used the last of a pineapple and the last bag of spinach. I added some frozen peaches, bee pollen and a tablespoon of E3Live. Very, very good.

Leftovers and Cooked Food

Every now and then I have one of these moments where I'll have a bit of cooked food. For example, I used Muir Glen pizza sauce a couple of months ago on my raw pizza to save some time and effort. Today, it was using some organic whole wheat chili tortillas to make raw veggie wraps with leftovers.

Sometimes I'm ok with that and other times I'm not. I normally don't know until after the meal. Although the wraps below were absolutely delicious, they just leave me with that "stuffed feeling" that cooked food brings. But for people who are wanting to eat a "mostly" raw diet, they would be fantastic.

So what was in them and why did I succumb to the tortillas? Well, Greenlings is delivering today and we're trying to empty out our two refrigerators to make way for our goodies. Our youngest daughter has just been diagnosed with food allergies including gluten, wheat, eggs, turmeric and mustard among others. Further testing is to come, but she will definitely no longer be eating tortillas. So mommy came to the rescue and decided to help out the other sister with finishing off this latest bag of chili tortillas.

The rest of the ingredients in these wraps were my leftover curry hummus, shredded chinese cabbage, shredded carrots, cauliflower and diced red pepper. And, oh, I also just had to throw in one of the Bubbies pickles.
I think that once every few weeks with cooked is enough for me (maybe too much). Every time I indulge, it just reminds me of why I'm eating raw. P.S. My daughter is starting her own blog documenting her journey with food allergies. She's basically starting from scratch now eating just a few items and will slowly be adding more every few days. (Of course, there will be foods that she'll never get to taste again) It may take her many months, but she is so patient and very creative. It will be a slow process of healing her body. I'll let you know her blog site address soon. It will have MANY raw food dishes.

Curried Hummus

One of my favorite meals is hummus with tabouli. This hummus is based on a Gabriel Cousens recipe. I just took my favorite recipe and added a bunch of curry and cayenne. I'm not giving exact measurements because curry and cayenne both seem to be really personal spices. Some like a little, and some like much more. Me, I just dump until it feels like enough.

I always serve my hummus the same way. I plop down several spoonfuls in the center of the plate and make a well in the center. This makes a nice bed for the tabouli.

The tabouli in the picture is pretty simple. Just a whole lot of parsley, red bell pepper and green olives. I squeezed meyer lemon juice all over the top, sprinkled some celtic sea salt and drizzled olive oil over the whole thing.

The fragrance of this dish was spectacular! The curry and the fresh scent of the parsley. Not a morsel was left on the plate.

Red Roses for a Veggie Lady

My sweetheart of 23 years knows I love red roses. He's currently clearing an area in the back of our property to put in some new flower beds. He loves them too.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Dining Out Raw

Another successful dining experience. Excellent service and excellent food.

Started with water with orange slices.

I didn't even have to ask for a raw appetizer. It was automatically served as an "amuse bouche" (palette teaser). Scrumptious. Sliced tomato with a zucchini, cucumber, mushroom, olive relish and generously drizzled with olive oil and freshly cracked black pepper. They prepared these right at our table. I asked for more than one, so they presented me with three on my plate, (no extra charge).

This was the exciting part. I went online before we ever went to the restaurant to see what they offered. I wrote out all the ingredients I wanted on a salad and handed it to our server. He came back to the table and said the owner/chef would personally prepare my dinner. It was absolutely fantastic with a perfect olive oil/lemon juice dressing. It may not look like it in the picture, but this was a HUGE salad, just as I requested. Couldn't have been better. It had so many depths of flavors because they included every veggie they had on the menu. And with the addition of raisins, well "c'est magnifique"!

The next amazing thing was that they were so pleased to assist me with my special meal, they're going to put my little recipe on file for my subsequent visits. Now that's service.

And yes, once again my "paparazzi" was there with her camera. She never leaves home without it. Sure wish I new how to use a camera like that.

Delivered To My Door

Speaking of Greenling's, I just can't say enough. Here's some pictures of our last Tuesday's local produce box. These are local, in season fruits and veggies that are wonderful. And they're delivered every Tuesday right to our door. Every week is like opening up a new birthday present. We LOVE Tuesdays.

When Life Brings You Lemons

Actually, brought me these gorgeous meyers. We order them by the case. The case a couple of weeks ago looked like oranges, they were so large and deep yellow.

It's been pretty warm around here, so we've been getting the garden in shape. And, yes, it was so hot, that our daughters made us a fresh pitcher of meyer lemonade. They just added pure water and agave nectar to the juice. Really refreshing and perfect after working in the heat. (We've been hitting the 90's already.)

Thanks to my personal photographer. She's really getting creative with her shots. She loves to take pictures and it seems like I'm always standing there just dying to dive into my food. I did take a sip here before I let her have it.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Raw Bean Burger with Bubbies

Here's another meal I made using Whole Foods raw items. Bean burgers are pretty popular in this area, so I decided to make a raw version.

I took some of the wonderful romaine that came in our Tuesday box and used it as my "bun".

Then I spread on some of the "refried beans", placed the raw patty over that, and spread on some hatch chili mustard we brought back from the Santa Fe farmers market. Then the whole thing was topped off with Bubbies pickle slices, avocado, a few onion slices and a dollop of homemade salsa.

Whata burger!

I heard about Bubbies on a couple of raw food websites and thought I'd give them a try. Are they raw? I don't really know, some say so. They don't use vinegar, just veggies and salt. Are they good? Please, just give me a fork and a cold jar. My oldest daughter and I fought over the sauerkraut and it was gone in two days. Fortunately, we have another. We're seeing how long we can wait before we open and devour the next one.

Raw Food Restaurant

We not only don't have a raw food restaurant where we live, but we have only one vegetarian restaurant, and that's 40 minutes away. So when we went to Austin recently, we went to the largest Whole Foods for dinner and shopping. They have a mini raw food restaurant in the store. Yummy. I brought home a few a la carte items to replicate some of it at home.

This is a tostada that I used their shell and "refried beans". Just topped it with spinach, guacamole and tomatoes. It was so nice to just assemble and not have to make our own. I'll show a few others later.

Altering Recipes

We like to take recipes from cookbooks and play around with them to make raw versions. Here's a simple example from a Barefoot Contessa cookbook. It's a simple avocado salad that called for black beans. We left that out (along with the corn) and added some capers and yellow onion (I didn't have any red). It also has yellow bell pepper and a great lime dressing. Fresh, simple and raw.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Asian Lunch

Here's what my creative daughters came up with for lunch today. They each made their own.

This first one is a coconut "asian goulash". That's what she named it because she just dumped different ingredients in her dish. The base was young coconut meat. (I was the happy recipient of the coconut water). Then she added:

Red bell pepper

The dressing was a mixture of nama shoyu, toasted sesame oil, and hot chili oil.

My youngest made a veggie stir fry. Her base was soaked wild rice and added:

Broccoli (from the garden)
Orange pepper

Her dressing was lime juice, toasted sesame oil, celtic sea salt, and pepper.

I'm assuming they both were delicious by the absence of talking and the crunching of veggies.

Summer? Gazpacho

Maybe I'm antsy for summer, but I've really been enjoying variations of gazpacho the last few days. I've been getting some really red juicy organic romas from Whole Foods that will do until the garden comes in.

This is a blended soup of roma tomatoes, cucumber, garlic, cilantro, lime and celtic sea salt. I blended it up in the vitamix and topped it with avocado, scallion and more cilantro. Very creamy and fresh tasting. It will do for now.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Eating Out

Who says you can't eat out and stay raw. These are just some examples of dinners I've enjoyed at restaurants. I just look at the menu and pick out "ingredients" from all the dishes that sound good to put on my salad. I ask for a large mound of their darkest greens and then request different raw goodies to be placed on top. I usually ask for them to make me a lemon/olive oil dressing. Sometimes they just bring me the oil and lemon on the side.

Sometimes they get creative in the kitchen and make something beautiful. Yumm. I LOVE mango in my salads.

This one was so great. The chef actually came to our table personally when he was told of my request. He had a notepad and pen and wanted to make sure he got it just right. As you can see, I think I got a little bit of everything. Asparagus, peppers, olives, oranges, tomatoes. It was so good.

OK. This one was easy. This was at a raw food restaurant in Seattle. I can't remember exactly what went into this one, but at least I ordered it straight from the menu.

Funny thing is that even at the nicest of restaurants, my dishes normally look so much better than their cooked specialties. It's like God's rainbow on every plate.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

This was one of those impulse buys. I ran into the store to get just a couple of items we needed, and I passed right by the florist area on my way to the register. Just LOVE sunflowers. I think they're my favorite. Maybe because of their size, or just that luscious golden color. Anyway, they made it into my little carry basket also.

Our resident photographer, (my photog daughter) played around with them to try to capture the beautiful colors that God has bestowed. Wow! Breathtaking!

Simply Mango

Sometimes simplicity is best. And when I'm looking for something satisfying and delicious, there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING better than a juicy organic mango. These came from Whole Foods and are the best we've tasted in quite awhile.

Simply delicious, and simply mango. That was my meal.

Herb Salad with Guacamole

Love Salads! I look in the fridge to see what looks and sounds good at that moment. Today it was an herb salad with guacamole.

I started with an herb mix from our organic veggie delivery service. Then I added a mound of guacamole made with avocado, lime juice, onion powder and kelp powder. Next came generous sprinklings of chopped cilantro and dill over the whole salad. Tomatoes finished the salad with color. Then for a last touch, I squeezed more lime juice over it all.


P.S. Our veggie delivery service is wonderful. They deliver fruits and veggies that are grown from local farmers right to our door. They have the most unbelievable customer service I've ever experienced. And the product, well what can I say? We're a very happy family.

Pizza Time

Looking forward to pizza again. But not yet. I'll be waiting awhile before starting back into seeds and nuts. But to give a flavor of some goodies in the future, here's one of our favorites.

This is probably known best as a fridge pizza, because it just depends on what's available and what we're in the mood for.

This pizza was made with an onion bread crust, similar to the one in the Rawvolution recipe book. I topped it with some seed cheese, collard green and then I sort of cheated. I didn't take the time to make a fresh tomato sauce, but used some Muir Glen organic pizza sauce we had on hand and then added my veggies--baby salad mix, avocado, fresh dill, parsley, oregano, green olives.

We never turn out the same one twice!

Juice Feast

I've recently finished a juice feast. That means that for a couple of weeks, I consumed nothing but juicy juices, primarily green juices. It's different from a fast in that I drank as much as I wanted through the day and added extras such as super green food powders, bee pollen, hemp seed oil, etc. I included a minimum of 2 lbs. of greens each day in addition to all the other veggies and fruits I wanted. And, boy, what variety. Spinach, escarole, beet greens, turnip greens, collards, chard, cilantro, parsley, romaine, and I could go on and on. Add in zucchini, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, ginger, lemons, limes, carrots, beets. It felt like every drink was alive.

This smoothie is one of the foods I used to transition out. (You don't just jump right into eating all solid foods. I probably won't even get into seeds and nuts for a few weeks.) It was scrumptious! Greens, banana, blueberry, mango, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, bee pollen, hemp seed oil.
32 oz. in all. (Obviously I had to refill my glass) Very sweet!