Thursday, April 30, 2009

Raw Spanish Rice, Collard Greens, and an Excited Friend!

Hello all!  I've got a couple things to talk about today including my new favorite version of Green Lemonade, a new recipe, and a non raw-foodie friend who I got excited about eating raw!!  Let's do things chronologically: 

This morning I made my Green Lemonade with a whole bunch of collard greens I had leftover from the Thai Spring Rolls.  I probably put in about 8 leaves along with 3/4 head of romaine lettuce, 2 small lemons and 2 small (locally grown!!) apples, and the result was very green, and very yummy!  

As I was drinking my green juice I was conversing online with a friend of mine the highlights include:

D: "I just don't like raw foods..."
D: "I want you to cook for me!"
H: "I will!  Seriously, those Thai rolls were so good, you would really like them!"
D: "I just got excited! Those sound right up my alley, I would like them."

That's right, I did it!  I got a skeptic actually excited about a raw recipe.  Can't wait to make it for him when he isn't on the other side of the world!  I'll be sure to follow up with his reaction at some point down the road, if only to be a punk and brag.

Lastly, I just made a new recipe!  This recipe for Raw Spanish Rice is super, super easy and quick!  Although it doesn't really taste like spanish rice it does look a lot like rice, as you can see above.  This is quite yummy, refreshing, and much lighter than standard refined carb infested spanish rice.  This recipe was inspired by another version of spanish rice in Rawsome by Brigitte Mars Enjoy!

Raw Spanish Rice
1 Jicama, peeled and "riced" in a food processor (pulse until the jicama looks rice-like)
Kernels from 2 cobs of raw corn
2 tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
Juice from 1/2 lime
Celtic sea salt to taste

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl and serve.  This is light and refreshing but could be used as a main dish.  It would also make a good accompaniment for a Raw Fajita Salad.  If you aren't 100% raw you could also pair this with a baked sweet potato for a nice hearty meal.  

Additional ingredients you might want to try in this include 1/4 cup finely chopped red onions and/or finely chopped red bell pepper. 

Music Fix: Nothing to Say-Bedouin Soundclash

Eat Happy. : )

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Raw Thai Spring Rolls: Open-faced

Thank heavens for leftovers!  I made a really yummy salad out of the leftover filling for my Raw Thai Spring Rolls really quick to have before I run off to teach tonight.  Just tear up some romaine lettuce, throw in some chopped tomatoes, red onion, and top with leftover filling from your Thai Spring Rolls and enjoy!  Quick dinner, quick post!  Later punks. : )

Music Fix: You Enjoy Myself-Phish

Eat Happy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Raw Thai Spring Rolls

I hesitated to make and post this recipe because, although it is raw, it is not technically a properly combined meal.  Although avocados can mix as a starch and with dry fruit, they are not supposed to be combined with nuts or nut butters.  The recipe sounded so good though, I just had to try it anyway.  I started off following a recipe from a book called Rawsome for Green Spring Rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce but I ran out of time to make the sauce so I ended up completely improvising and switching things up to minimize the affect of the improper combining.  It turned out so damn good, I don't even feel the need to try the original.  So unless you are completely stringent with your meal combining, I highly recommended trying this recipe out!

Green Spring Rolls 
8 servings

8 collard green leaves, stems removed and cut in half
1 avocado, peeled, chopped and pitted
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups grated carrots
3/4 cup raw almond butter
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice from 1/2 a lime
2 tablespoons raw agave nectar
2 tablespoons Nama Shoyu soy sauce

Mix all ingredients except the collard greens together in a large bowl.  Place 1 spoonful of the mixture on each collard green half, roll up and enjoy!!

Music Fix:  Come on Closer-Jem

Green Lemonade with Escarole

On my last trip to the grocery store,to my horror, they were out of kale and spinach!  I bought some escarole to use in my Green Lemonade.  I don't use tons of escarole in my diet, and am not really in love with it.  Today, with the escarole, my green lemonade was a little less sweet and citrusy as usual.  I actually ended up adding the juice from half of another lemon so that I could still enjoy my beverage.  SO my advice is, if you are using escarole in your green lemonade you may want to use two apples for extra sweetness or add an extra lemon if you like your lemonade more tart.  Basically, fix your juice so that it tastes good, no reason to put yourself through torture to get healthy, duh!

I also wanted to mention a little something about not eating unless you are hungry.  I know a lot of us have been programmed to believe that it is unhealthy to skip breakfast, which it absolutely is, IF and only if you are actually hungry.  It is possible that when you wake up your body is still dealing with what you had yesterday, especially if you ate a heavy or improperly combined dinner.  If you aren't hungry, it means that your body does not need or want food yet, so don't force it!  I used to believe that I should eat breakfast even when not hungry if I was going to be exerting myself.  I thought that if I didn't eat, even though I had no appetite, that I might pass out at the ballet barre.   I have completely proved myself wrong and today is an example.  I had planned on making juice before I went to ballet, but I didn't wake up hungry so I decided to skip it and just drink some water with lemon while I got ready.  I rode my bike 30 minutes, took a 90 minute ballet class, and then rode my bike 30 minutes home.  Guess what, I'm still alive and feeling great!  I was hungry on my trip home and probably should have brought an apple or something to eat when I did actually get hungry, but I didn't feel weak or faint at all.  My point is, trust your body; if it needs nourishment it will surely tell you.  If you aren't hungry your body is telling you it doesn't need any food right now, so don't force it!!  Please don't get me wrong here, if you are hungry you should eat, have some green lemonade or fresh fruit.  There is absolutely no reason to deprive yourself if you are hungry, but if you aren't don't worry about it, your body is an astounding entity and its messages shouldn't be ignored.

Listening to: After Dawn-Weathertunes

Eat  Happy.  : )

Ridiculously Good Caramel, Banana, Almond Butter Mash.

Yes, this is a raw recipe, I swear!  I love, love, love eating nut butter with bananas.  Sometimes I will do just that as a super quick, easy meal.  Right now I have a stash of my raw caramel  so I mixed some in with my raw almond butter and banana and it was potentially one of the yummiest things I've ever tasted.  Its incredibly simple to make, so much so that I hesitate to put it in official recipe form but it'll be easier to read this way:

Almond Butter, Caramel Banana Mash

1 banana, mashed 
1-2 tablespoons raw almond butter
generous drizzle of raw caramel  

Mix everything together in a cereal bowl and enjoy!!

Music: Glory Box-Portishead

Eat Happy.  : ) 

Change is Good and Tasty.

I don't have a recipe for you today, but that's because I went out for dinner at my new favorite restaurant and had an awesomely raw dinner.  

I live in Buffalo, New York, a place known more for its wings, pizza, and roast beef than having any healthy tendencies.  The exciting news is that our little city is in the midst of a dining make-over!  I don't believe that we should completely give up our food legacy, but restaurants with healthy alternatives, bountiful vegetarian options, juices and smoothies, and even raw entrees are definitely necessary in our little world.  Those restaurants are popping up, slowly but surely and it is oh so exciting!

Today I dined at Merge, a restaurant with tons of vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and even some raw options.  I enjoyed a raw pizza with a walnut flax-seed crust, nut cheese, a very tasty tomato sauce, topped with fresh spinach and mushrooms.  The crust is perfectly crunchy and the nut based cheese is light enough to not overpower the dish.  The pizza is served with a healthy side of greens and definitely satisfied my appetite.  If you are in the Western New York area please stop in and check out Merge.  The food is great, the art is plentiful, and the people are lovely. : )

Someday, sooner rather than later I hope, I will work some magic in the kitchen and see if I can recreate the raw pizza in my own home. But, since I'm a big fan of easy to prepare simple meals, I may end up leaving this one to the trusted chefs at Merge.  

I encourage you to go out and explore your neighborhood for vegetarian/vegan/raw friendly restaurants and enjoy what your community has to offer.  If you're feeling adventurous, try going into a restaurant that does not have a raw entree, give them a list of raw foods you can consume and ask them to make up a raw concoction for you.  The chef will probably be delighted with the challenge as long as you aren't a brat about it. :P   I have yet to try doing this at a restaurant, but I have read many suggestions to try it out, so it must be worth a shot!

Eat Happy. : )

Listening to: The Garden-Mirah

Sesame Ginger Dressing and Curried Cauliflower

I am at a raw until dinner level with my diet right now, so I made a dinner last night that included some cooked vegetables.  We started with a nice raw salad with my delicious version of Sesame Ginger dressing then had some curried cauliflower, a recipe I found online and detoxified a bit.  This meal, though partially cooked, is still super healthy and completely detox worthy. So, unless you are a 100% raw foodist, you should certainly give these recipes a try!  Enjoy!

Sesame Ginger Dressing
1 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup brown rice vinegar
3 inch ginger
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons Nama Shoyu soy sauce
1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Blend all the ingredients together in a blender.  There is oil in this one and the flavor is strong so you can use it pretty sparingly on your salad.  It was great on a salad with romaine lettuce, red and green onions, tomato, cucumber, and shredded carrot.

Curried Cauliflower with Peas and Spinach
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth, divided
2 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 head cauliflower, stem removed and chopped into small florets
1 cup spinach (I used frozen, thawed)
1 cup frozen peas, thawed (i'm sure fresh would be just fine!)

-Heat about 1/4-1/2 cup vegetable broth in soup pot, cook onions, curry powder and ginger in the broth until onion is soft.
-Add tomato and cook another 2-4 minutes.
-Stir in the rest of the vegetable broth and tomato paste.  Add the cauliflower, spinach and peas. Cover the pot and let simmer for about 15 minutes.  The cauliflower should be tender. Uncover and cook more if you would like the sauce to be thicker.  Add salt as needed.  This would be great served over some brown basmati rice!  Enjoy.

PS. The recipe originally uses butter instead of the first 1/2 cup of vegetable broth, so I ended up having to add extra vegetable broth later as it absorbed pretty quickly.  I think 1 cup should be fine, but don't be afraid to use a little more liquid if necessary or desired.  

Musical feast of the day: Canned Heat-Jamiroquai

Get Juicing!

If you are a raw foodist, an aspiring raw foodist, or just someone who wants to be healthy, you should be consuming green juice!!!

In my quest for optimal health, I have discovered the importance of consuming “green juice” on a regular basis. I really didn’t believe that I could stick to juicing because I am pretty lazy, BUT I actually found that juicing is kinda fun to do, and the cleaning process really is not bad at all.  PLUS, the health benefits from consuming green juice are pretty astounding, and I can tell you first hand that my body feels great when I consume green juice daily.  I can’t even describe it, but I swear I can feel my body thanking me and getting healthier with every sip. If you are interested in maximum health, you should get some freshly extracted vegetable and fruit juice into your life.  

I promise you I would never recommend eating/drinking something that tastes disgusting because I believe very strongly in the enjoyment and fun of eating.  I have included the recipe for my favorite green juice, “Green Lemonade” from Natalia Rose’s book in this blog, it has also been mentioned previously on my site since its an integral part of my diet.

               Why You Should Get Some Green Juice in Your Life:

·      Fresh vegetable juice is the most live-enzyme rich thing you can consume.

·      Freshly extracted vegetable juice is the most easily absorbable form of nutrition available on the planet.

·      Consume the organic water, chlorophyll, and enzymes from the greens without having to eat huge heaps of greens.

·      All the chlorophyll, organic minerals, and enzymes in green juices will neutralize acidity in the body.

·      Nutrients you get from drinking juice freshly extracted from leafy greens include: calcium, iron, protein, magnesium, potassium, folate, and lots o’ vitamins!

·      Barely any digestive energy is expended because the fiber is removed.   The enzymes go straight to the cellular level and get to work cleansing your body.

·      Access concentrated nutrients and enzymes that are trapped inside the fibers of the vegetables and not easily accessibly by the body until they are released by the juicer.

·      Organic hydration-you are getting water derived from plant sources which has minerals that are easily absorbed. 

·      Bottled juices have been pasteurized so all of the live enzymes are gone.

                                Tips on Juicing:

·      Consume on an empty stomach (first thing in the morning, 30 minutes before or after fresh fruit, or 3-4 hours after a properly combined meal).

·      Drink your juice as soon as possible after making it.  Its very perishable and the integrity of the enzymes get compromised quickly due to oxidation from air exposure.

·      Get a decent juicer.  I bought a pretty cheap one at Target and have had absolutely no problem with.  I have read, however, that Breville juicers are the best and make the juicing process an easy one.  If you can afford it, get a Breville.  If not look for one that has a large mouth so you can put whole produce in it, discards pulp to keep things from getting clogged, and is easy to clean.  You can purchase your juicer right here,http://weebly-link/26964851 !

·      I recommend consuming some green juice (such as the green lemonade recipe below) in the morning as the first thing you put in your body.  Starting your day off with something so good for you really helps get you going in the right direction for the rest of the day.  Also, its good to give your body something easy to digest in the morning so you aren’t wasting energy trying to deal with a heavy breakfast!


Green Lemonade:

1 head romaine lettuce (cucumber, celery, or spinach can also be used)

5-6 stalks kale (collard greens, chard, or any other dark leafy green is cool)

1-2 sweet organic apples (gotta love Fujis!)

1 whole organic lemon-yes, you can leave the peel on!


Process each ingredient through the juicer and enjoy!   Trust me, the lemon and the apple completely take away from the green-ness!

Eat Happy. : )

Listen to: New York City-Moe.

Easy Gazpacho Recipe

Gazpacho is one of my all time favorite summer pleasures, and eating raw is a good excuse to have it all year long!  Here is my quick and easy recipe for gazpacho with a little bit of sweetness and a big kick.


5 large tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon celtic sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor until finely pureed.  Enjoy!

Listening to:  Ruby Blue-Roisin Murphy

Raw Pad Thai

One of my favorite dishes in the whole wide world used to be Pad Thai, a Thai dish with rice noodles, veggies, fried tofu, peanut sauce, and in many versions, shrimp and fish sauce.  With my new raw tendencies, pad thai is not really an option, it is an ill-combined dish with legumes, so thats a double whammy against the digestive system.  Plus anything fried isn't really a winner and soy products shouldn't be consumed regularly either.  All that being said, however, I wanted some thai goodness in my life so I decided to try a variation of Natalia Rose's recipe for Raw Pad Thai.  I had to make some changes based on what I had in my kitchen but the result was very yummy and satisfied my thai cravings.  It also went over well with my thai food loving mother, step-father, and best friend Kayli.  Kayli proclaimed "this is really good, I wish there were noodles under it, but that's just because I like noodles."  Success. : )

Raw Pad Thai

3 cups shredded cabbage
2 large carrots, julienned
1 large zucchini, julienned
2 cups of mung bean sprouts
1 cup of raw 'peanut' sauce (recipe below)
Crushed red pepper flakes

Toss everything together in a large bowl.  Top each serving with some extra bean sprouts and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  

Raw "Peanut Sauce"
1 cup raw almond butter
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, whole or chopped
1/2 cup water, more or less, to thin
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons nama shoyu soy sauce
4 teaspoons sesame oil
3 cloves garlic
a couple generous sprinkles of red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like it.

(Rose's recipe also calls for long thin noodle-like strips made of three young coconuts, but I have yet to master the art of preparing meals with young coconut.  She also does not include bean sprouts and throws in 1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped.  My step-father is allergic to most nuts except almonds so we also omitted the 1/2 cup of crushed raw cashews to top each serving, I bet that would make the dish even tastier!)

Tasty music:  Can't Get High-Widespread Panic

One of my favorite dishes in the whole wide world used to be Pad Thai, a Thai dish with rice noodles, veggies, fried tofu, peanut sauce, and in many versions, shrimp and fish sauce.  With my new raw tendencies, pad thai is not really an option, it is an ill-combined dish with legumes, so thats a double whammy against the digestive system.  Plus anything fried isn't really a winner and soy products shouldn't be consumed regularly either.  All that being said, however, I wanted some thai goodness in my life so I decided to try a variation of Natalia Rose's recipe for Raw Pad Thai.  I had to make some changes based on what I had in my kitchen but the result was very yummy and satisfied my thai cravings.  It also went over well with my thai food loving mother, step-father, and best friend Kayli.  Kayli proclaimed "this is really good, I wish there were noodles under it, but that's just because I like noodles."  Success. : )

Raw Pad Thai

3 cups shredded cabbage
2 large carrots, julienned
1 large zucchini, julienned
2 cups of mung bean sprouts
1 cup of raw 'peanut' sauce (recipe below)
Crushed red pepper flakes

Toss everything together in a large bowl.  Top each serving with some extra bean sprouts and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.  

Raw "Peanut Sauce"
1 cup raw almond butter
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, whole or chopped
1/2 cup water, more or less, to thin
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons nama shoyu soy sauce
4 teaspoons sesame oil
3 cloves garlic
a couple generous sprinkles of red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you like it.

(Rose's recipe also calls for long thin noodle-like strips made of three young coconuts, but I have yet to master the art of preparing meals with young coconut.  She also does not include bean sprouts and throws in 1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped.  My step-father is allergic to most nuts except almonds so we also omitted the 1/2 cup of crushed raw cashews to top each serving, I bet that would make the dish even tastier!)

Tasty music:  Can't Get High-Widespread Panic

Raw Fajita Salad

A few days ago I was craving Mexican. I wanted fajitas badly, but I also wanted to stick with an all raw, salad-y dinner.  I decided that marinating fajita veggies in some sort of cumin dressing would do the trick for me so after perusing the internet for some fajita salad recipes I mixed a few and came up with this:

Raw Fajita Salad:
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
3 Bell peppers (any mixture of red, yellow, green, and orange), julienned
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup Nama Shoyu
1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Head Romaine Lettuce

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
Guacamole (recipe below)

1.  In a small bowl, mix garlic, Nama shoyu, oil, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne together.
2. Pour dressing over zucchini, peppers, and onion and let marinate for at least one hour.
3. Chop lettuce up to desired size, and put in a salad bowl with tomatoes.  Pour vegetable and dressing mixture over lettuce and top with a generous dollop of guacamole. 

My Guacamole Recipe:

3 avocados, sliced and chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lime
generous sprinkling or so of cayenne pepper
dash or so of salt

Mash everything up together in a bowl.  Yum.

There ya go!  Enjoy your fajitas without the aftermath of heartburn and indigestion! Yay!

Today's song of choice: Dear Mr. Fantasy-Traffic

Eat Happy. : )

Challenge Everything.

What's up punks?  My father just posted a topic in the discussion forum that is certainly worth reading, go take a look. What this discussion made me think about is how we really need to challenge everything.  That's part of what being a "raw food punk" means to me.  There is a lot of information out there.  A lot of it is biased, one-sided and to be quite honest, blatantly wrong.  For this reason, we need to be responsible about what we take in as absolute truth.

 I think it is important to challenge everything you read.  Know all sides of a topic before you make a final decision about your opinion on it. Try things out for yourself before you create a rule for your life that may not be worth following for you.

 I have been reading more and more information about raw food lifestyles in pursuit of being as knowledgeable about every side of the topic as possible.  As I do this, I find that it is important for me to know for myself through experience how foods make me feel and what is best for my health.  I recommend the same for you.  Take information you find here or anywhere else and try it out for yourself, see if it is successful for you and challenge it if it doesn't feel right.  Reading something should get you thinking, researching, and experimenting, not jumping to action just cause someone tells you its the right thing to do.  If you think I'm wrong about something, or you try a recipe and hate it, let me know!  We can all benefit from being challenged, its good to think critically about everything that we apply to our lives, especially concerning our health!

Eat happy, be a punk! : P

Listening to:  Female of the Species-Squirrel Nut Zippers

Raw on the Go!

I have been way too busy for my own good these days.  Working too many hours on an irregular schedule and trying to have a social life, dance, and take care of myself, yikes!!  For this reason, I have been eating out a lot lately, which does not give me much in terms of brilliant recipes to share but it has certainly challenged me to find super healthy options on the go.  
My favorite discovery is that going to the salad bar at the grocery store took me less time today than it may have taken to get something processed heated up in a drive-thru.  I walked into Wegman's, our main grocery store in Buffalo, got myself a huge salad from their ever expanding salad and prepared food bar and was out in five minutes.  That's right, 5 minutes to actually walk into an establishment, choose my own combination of foods that were fresh and healthy and get back to my car.  That, my friends is proof that you can eat fresh, good, whole, raw food on the go, on your busiest of days.  Many groceries stores also carry pre-packaged salads which can also be a good option, but they usually combine nuts, cheese, meat, dried fruit sweetened with sugar, etc.  I recommend finding somewhere with a decent salad bar and going crazy!  Do heed some caution, however, on putting too much on your salad.  Just cause it has lettuce on the bottom, doesn't mean it is automatically raw and healthy.  Keep it simple, if you are putting avocado on your salad, don't put nuts or vice versa.  Keep the dressing as simple as possible too, like some nice balsamic vinegar and fresh ground pepper.  Play with different combinations of veggies to see how many different salads you can create!
I also highly recommend taking lots of raw fruit with you when you know you will be on the go all morning and keeping a stash of dried fruit and raw nuts with you at all times.  I wouldn't rely too much on the nuts and fruit to make up the majority of what you consume while out but it is nice to have when you have no other options and start considering frosted banana bread...I speak from experience. : )

Music Fix: Master Blaster-Stevie Wonder

Eat Happy!

My Favorite Sandwich, Naked!

In my transition in to raw food living I had a favorite sandwich that I would eat probably at least 3 times a week: sprouted grain bread, avocado, alafalfa sprouts, red onion, tomato and dijon mustard.  Now, for those of you transitioning and still eating sprouted grain products, go for it, make that sandwich (toast the bread!) and enjoy.  BUT for those of us who are leaning more towards all raw and prefer to skip the bread, I present you my naked sandwich (salad):
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons dijon mustard
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 packets stevia
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients in a blender and pour some over..
Romaine lettuce
Alfalfa sprouts
Thinly sliced red onions
Chopped cucumbers
Halved grape tomatoes
1/2 a ripe avocado chopped up

(The portions of the veggies or variety of veggies are completely up to you!)

Eat Happy! : )

Music to listen to: Ball and Chain-Sublime

Raw Lasagna!

I made a pretty elaborate raw entree the other night and am very excited to report that it was a very successful endeavor.  I do not soak, sprout, or dehydrate at this point, but I still pulled off a really wonderful Raw Lasagna, based on a recipe from "Rawsome" by  Brigitte Mars.  The tomato sauce is sweet and perfectly basil-y and the pine nut cheese, although not necessarily cheesey has a wonderful garlic, saltiness that combines so well with the sweet sauce and seasoning of the marinated zucchini.  Enjoy!

The Sauce:
4 dates, soaked for about 2 hours 
1 1/2 cups sun-dried tomatoes, soaked with the dates
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon celtic salt

Combine all sauce ingredients in a food processor and process until well blended but still chunky.

The Cheese:
3 cups pine nuts
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional, not raw)

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and puree.

The Veggies:
4 cups spinach
4 Zucchini
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon celtic salt
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

Wash and dry the spinach, set aside.  Right before assembling lasagna, chop up the spinach,  throw a little olive oil on it (as little as possible) and massage the spinach to wilt it a bit.  Use a cheese slicer or mandolin to horizontally slice the zucchini into wide, very thin strips.  Combine the other ingredients in a dish and marinate the zucchini in it for about an hour.

To assemble the lasagna: Start with a layer of the zucchini on the bottom of a glass pan.  Then add dollops of the cheese, a layer of spinach, and a layer of sauce.  Repeat the laying process, slightly pressing down after each zucchini layer to spread the cheese, as it is quite hard to spread over the zucchini.  I topped mine with a zucchini layer as it seemed like the easiest way to serve, and it looked really pretty too.  (Makes 6-8 servings)

Eat Happy! : )

Currently listening to: Heartbreak Even-Ani Difranco

Raw Ranch Dressing

This dressing literally makes me want to eat salad at every meal.  I would chow down on a huge bowl of just lettuce if this dressing was on it.  I made it tonight and threw it on some lettuce, cabbage, yellow bell peppers, and grape tomatoes.  So. damn. good.

"Raw 'Ranch' Dressing"
1 cup raw macadamia nuts
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon sage
1 tablespoon chives
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon rosemary
( I used all dry herbs)
1 tablespoon celtic sea salt
water, added gradually to desired thickness

Blend all ingredients together in a blender or food processor and keep in the fridge.  It'll keep for a week or two.   
This recipe is from Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose, gotta love her.

Also, Michelle Obama is planting a garden in at the White House and hoping to educate people and get children interested in the benefits of eating fresh food and moving towards a more sustainable food system!  Think local when your buying produce, people and if you can grow your own!!!  My Father and I are going to start working on the garden on his acres and acres of land in the next couple weeks, can't wait to grow, prepare, and enjoy my own food!  

Eat Happy!  : )

Song-Earth Jam-Bela Fleck and the Flecktones

Raw yogurt creation

We are seriously lacking in groceries at my house today.  In a rush for breakfast, and with no juice ingredients or fruit for me to eat I grabbed an avocado. For a moment, I wondered what the hell I was going to do to make an avocado into an easy, tasty breakfast on the go...I suppose having such a challenge is what breeds creativity because I am pretty sure I came up with raw yogurt off the top of my head this morning due to a lack of apples!  So here's what I did:  I took a whole avocado, peeled and pitted, and mashed it up, then I added juice from about a 1/4 of a lime, some agave nectar (maybe about a tablespoon, i just gave a good squeeze), and a little bit of sea salt.  I mixed it all up in a tupperware and ate it in the car (with a spoon, obviously!)  I couldn't believe what I had ended up with, it was sweet and tangy and creamy!  The combination of the lime juice with the agave nectar and the creaminess of the avocado was like eating yogurt.  Im going to keep making this and try with a little bit of vanilla too to see how close to vanilla yogurt I can get.  I bet it would also be good with lemon instead of lime and even more of the citrus juice to make it more like lime or lemon "yogurt."  Yum!

Enjoy. : )

Currently Listening to- Turn On Billie-The Pierces

Quick Asian style Salad

I totally had to do a punk move last night and point and laugh at my mom.  She has intentions of going at least semi-raw with me but is taking baby steps and changing her diet slowly, but surely.  No, that is not a reason to point at laugh at her, I know that!  But, since her process is gradual she still orders take-out mexican sometimes and orders things such as DELUXE BURRITO...sounds scary, right?  As someone who doesn't do so well with strict rules, I understand her 'throw all caution to the wind' attitude, but then come the consequences of eating a white flour tortilla with meat, cheese, refried beans and heavy sauces....
 I, however, opted out of Mexican and made myself a huge, ridiculously good, new salad which I shall share the recipe for at the end of this post.  After dinner, I felt great, satisfied, not stuffed, comfortable and full of energy.  MOM, however, felt gross, uncomfortable, and all together stuffed.  So, as someone who encourages my mother to eat salad with me, I had to point and laugh when, after eating about 3/4 of the dinner, the words "that's disgusting" and "I feel so uncomfortable" came out of her mouth.  So sure, not a contest, but I most certainly gave her a nice "i told you so" grin. : P

In a follow-up interview, conducted...right now...Mom says she was thinking "it was good in the moment but why did I eat that?" She also knows that she would have been better off eating something more detox-worthy. Ya live, ya learn. 

So, last night, although my parents were eating a mexican meal, I went with a meal with a more Asian flair and concocted this salad:

Romaine lettuce
Red Cabbage
Red Pepper
Green onions

(I didn't really measure, here are my estimations, but taste and see what you like!)
1/2 cup already made teriyaki sauce ()
1 tbsp almond butter
juice from half a lime
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Blend all ingredients together.

Julienne all the veggies, mix together and pour dressing over the salad.  I made this based on what I had in the fridge but I bet it would be super good with bean sprouts, maybe some broccoli, and some sesame seeds sprinkled on top.  Enjoy this salad, and bask in the glory of feeling comfortable and completely un-weighed down by your meal!

Currently Listening to:  Groove Me by King Floyd

Raw "Chicken Salad"

I tried a recipe today that I got from and I am so excited about it that I had to write about it before I even washed my plate. : )
I switched the recipe up a little based on what I had available at my house so here is my version of cashew "chicken" salad
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw pecans
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 celery stick chopped
1 small shallot, peeled and chopped (the recipe called for 2 green onions)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 tsp dried dill
1/4 tsp curry powder
1 tsp (ish) agave nectar (recipe called for 1/2 small apple, chopped but  I was out and don't like to put fresh fruit in with other foods anyway..)
sprinkling of sea salt to taste

Throw everything in a food processor and process for a couple of seconds to chop and mix everything, don't over process so you can keep some crunch in there!   I served mine in 1/2 of a red bell pepper which gave it lots of crunch and added some flavor.  This was so so good, I'm stuffed. : )

Ps. this is day three without a latte, I can officially say that I consume absolutely nothing processed 100% of the time. YES!

Currently listening to: I wanna be free-Femi Kut

No Starbucks for me thanks and Easy Mexican Lettuce Wraps!

 just to have to brag about my big achievement yesterday: I worked a 7.5 hour shift at Starbucks and did not have a latte, or any sort of drink with processed soy milk!!!  I feel like the first couple days are the toughest so making it past day one is a big deal!  The truth is, I could feel a difference in my body...just from leaving out the one processed thing I still had in my diet.  I usually feel really skinny in the morning and then once I have a latte I feel a little, I guess I would say, bloated and definitely not as skinny as I had felt when I started my day.  Yesterday however, I felt just as thin, light, and energetic at 9pm as I did at 9am, YAY!  
I was in a rush for dinner last night so I threw together some lettuce wraps that actually turned out really great.  I made some quick guacamole with 2 avocados, juice from half a lime, 1/2 a large clove of garlic, some salt and chili powder.  It wasn't my favorite guacamole that I have made but it was good enough.  I then spread some of the guacamole on a romaine lettuce leaf and topped it with some raw corn, grape tomatoes, and julienned red pepper.  Wrap it up and enjoy!  This probably took me like 10-15 minutes to prepare so its great in a rush.  Lettuce wraps are easy and you can get really creative with the fill-ins, just work with whatever you've got in the fridge!  

Raw Brownies and Raw Tahini Cookies

I consider myself an aspiring chef.  I love to cook, but I'm not quite at the level where I feel confident messing around with recipes and/or creating my own.  Today, however, I took a bounding step to being a creative chef in my own right!  I am aware that eating raw food is way healthy for me (and you!), Im also aware that dessert is really great and not something many people want to give up.  So, let us be healthy and enjoy dessert, why the hell not right?  And there lies my new life-goal (I have a lot of them), taking desserts that we all enjoy and making really great, ridiculously yummy, raw versions of them.  

Today I wanted to re-try the brownies I made the other day and make them less, as I say, date-y tasting.  I added some vanilla and a little extra cocoa powder to the recipe and achieved success!!!   They are so good, and although not warm and gooey like the cooked version, these raw brownies have the flavor of the real thing.  I shall eat and share them with pride!  I can't give you an exact recipe because I'm a lazy measurer as of right now, but Ill give you a rough version.

One of my favorite vegan treats are Tahini cookies from my local Co-op, Im not sure if their version is raw, but I decided that I could try to mess around with some and create raw tahini cookies of my own.  I tried two different versions, cinnamon raisin and maple pecan.  I used raw tahini, raw honey, cinnamon, old fashioned oats, and then extra cinnamon, walnuts and raisins for version A and maple syrup and pecans for version B.  They are really sweet, and quite tasty.  I think you could make large ones and eat them for breakfast to satisfy a muffin craving, also I think these could definitely hold tons of different ingredient combinations.  I encourage and look forward to experimentation with these ones!!

This week Im going to try to create a raw version of pecan pie bars and experiment with different toppings, mix-ins for my brownies.  That reminds me, I made raw caramel today that is currently chilling so I can drizzle it on my brownies, yum!!!

Raw Brownies-
1 cup ground pecans
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp agave nectar
1 cup dates
1 tsp vanilla extract (thats a complete estimate)

Process all ingredients in a food processor. Press into a brownie pan (I don't have the right size that made the thickness I wanted, so I pressed them into half of a circular cake pan).  Cool for at least ten minutes to firm them up a bit.  ENJOY!

Raw Tahini Cookies-
6 tablespoons tahini
1/2 cup raw honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup oats
any other mix-ins you want, experiment with proportions, but be careful not to try to get too much stuff in there or else you won't be able to form cookies.

Blend the tahini, honey, and cinnamon then mix in the oats and whatever else you want by hand!  Shape cookies and put in the fridge to cool and harden.

for maple pecan version: add in about 2 tablespoons of maple syrup and about 1/2 cup pecans
for cinnamon raisin version: add an extra couple sprinkles of cinnamon, 1/4 cup of walnuts and 1/2 cup raisins....ish.

Raw Caramel:
1 cup raw agave nectar
4-5 teaspoons sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend together.  Chill for at least 2 hours, but take out to let warm at least 20 minutes prior to serving.

Currently listening to: George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic-We want the funk...gotta have some fun when you're in the kitchen. : )

Trial and Error

Okay, so I have admitted that I don't always eat 100% raw, but lately I've been feeling pretty tempted to go 100%.  Today I grabbed a vegan peanut butter rice krispy treat from my local co-op, just for fun.  I ate a few bites and immediately felt gross. Its really true, there is energy in raw food, and when you eat food that is cooked/processed you don't get any of that energy cause its already zapped out.  As I'm writing this blog I can still feel my body processing that little bit of rice krispy treat(with no refined sugar or flour, i might add) or maybe not even processing...feels more like its just sitting in my stomach.  Ew.  I found myself, just a couple bites in, looking forward to the salad and gazpacho that I was planning on making for dinner...that's right, i want vegetables more than a peanut butter rice krispy treat!  I think I may be clinging to the part of me that used to say "Screw it, I want that dessert so I'm going to eat it" even though it may not even really be there anymore.  Is it possible that my cravings for sweets have declined based on eating a mainly raw diet...I think so, win!!
I came home and did some online research and was reading about people who tried the raw food diet and whose cravings changed and I realized how much of it applies to me!  I feel such a difference on the days I eat all raw, so much cleaner and lighter and more energetic.  Even soy lattes weigh me down, and I practically live for those.
Doing my readings I remembered how my tastes have changed thanks to raw food:
-I crave salad.  
-I can pass up bread...I used to be a carb addict.
-The baked goods at Starbucks look unappealing.
-Id rather have green juice in the morning than anything else.
-After I eat crappy food, I never feel guilty but I do really want a cucumber.
-I don't care that much about chocolate...I love dark chocolate but I have no problem saying no to candy.
-I can honestly say I don't crave junk food...when its in front of my face I have a bit of an issue, but I would never even think of ordering myself a pizza or buying a bag of doritos.
Wow!  Its nice to read about other people's experiences and open your eyes to your own progress!
All this checking in has given me two new goals:
-No more soy lattes.
-Eat 100% raw on most days, even for dinner.
I am re-inspired, and off to make gazpacho and salad!
Also, I am in the process of trying different raw desserts...I tried brownies, so good!  Im going to spend tomorrow experimenting with different recipes to create my own treats.  Im thinking about trying to sell them at my local farmer's market if it goes well...I'll keep you posted!

Currently listening to: Come on Get Higher-Matthew Nathanson

Raw Tacos

 I am currently sitting across the table watching my step-father, who i mentioned really likes chicken wings and steak, eat raw cheesey tacos, a recipe I made tonight from Natalia Rose's book Life Force Energy.  He actually said "these are good!" without being asked...good news!
In other news, I am currently doing lots of research on raw food preparation and am seeking out tons of new recipes to try, taste, and talk about here!  I have so far looked at two books; The Complete Book of Raw Food by Julie Rodwell and Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney.  Both books were pretty good, the first has a ton of info and is very helpful and both have tons of tempting recipes.  Both books however are dominated by recipes that need lots of preparation and equipment like a dehydrator so I wouldn't highly recommend them unless you are ready to spend some time in the kitchen. 
I'll leave you some recipes for the tacos and the two versions of juice i've had...I've had to improvise a little because we were low on groceries.....Have a lovely day. : )

Cheesey Tacos:
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp minced garlic
fresh squeezed juice from one lime
1 cup raw corn cut from cob
1 cup diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste (sea salt and fresh ground black pepper)
I cup shredded raw cheddar-style goat cheese or sliced avocado
Cabbage or Lettuce leaves, whole to use as a wrap

Mix the first six ingredients together. Put mixture into a cabbage/lettuce leaf with either avocado slices or the cheese, wrap up and enjoy!!

1 cucumber
bunch of spinach
2 oranges, peeled

and another...
1 head romaine lettuce
5-6 stalks kale
2 oranges, peeled
Both versions were decent...but not my fave.

Song of the day:  Smoke by Free Henry!  Mom and I just can't get it out of our heads...ugh!