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Update: I got a Vitamix!

February 27, 2011

Have I ever mentioned that I love smoothies?  I drink one almost every day.  It seems that smoothies are becoming more and more mainstream.  Evidence: Many of my friends now drink smoothies; Arizona made Callie a kale smoothie on Grey’s Anatomy a few weeks ago; and February’s edition of Real Simple magazine did a two-page spread on smoothies.

To support my smoothie addiction, I finally gave in and bought a Vitamix blender!  I’ve had it for a couple of weeks now and have been enjoying the smoothest smoothies ever.   Real Simple gave a recipe for a carrot-pineapple smoothie [3/4 cup pineapple, ½ cup ice, peeled orange, 2 chopped carrots, 1 banana].   I had tried carrots in my smoothies with a regular blender but was turned off by the chunky texture.   Now I can enjoy perfectly smooth and frothy carrot smoothies whenever I want. 🙂

Today I used my blender to make creamy cashew cheese to fill beet “ravioli” and served it with lightly steamed beet greens.  WOW!

And for dessert?  Chocolate banana ice cream!


Vegetables are beautiful

February 6, 2011

Every weekend I browse the web for new raw recipes to try.  A few weeks ago, I came across this Macro Bowl recipe.  Arranging colorful foods in a bowl is definitely an art form.  Using the ingredients that I had in my refrigerator I filled my bowl and then topped it with the Dragon Sauce.  I prefer cucumber noodles made with a vegetable peeler so that became the bottom of my bowl.  Then I arranged Mixed Sea Vegetables, sunflower greens, carrots, and radicchio on top.  A very delicious and beautiful combination!

I loved this combination so much I decided to make a vegetable wrap with the rest of my Dragon Sauce.  The smell of collard greens cooking turned me off from ever purchasing them, but they have been looking so pretty at the Farmer’s Market this winter that I bought a bunch for my wraps.  I cut each collard leave in half, removing the toughest section of the stem as I cut.   Then I piled cucumbers, red peppers, Mixed Sea Vegetables, and cilantro on the collard.  Top it off with some Dragon Sauce and tightly roll.  Raw collard greens are surprisingly mild and crunchy!


For the Knock-off Dragon Sauce

1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup tamari
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup tahini
1 clove garlic

Blend all ingredients in the blender until smooth.

Asian noodles and spicy oranges

January 16, 2011

This has been a very cold winter, and it’s only January.  Last weekend, Atlanta had many inches of snowfall (like 3-8 inches depending on your exact location), and there is still snow on the ground!  Being from Georgia, I don’t think I’ve ever experienced snow staying on the ground for more than a day or two.  Needless to say everything shut down for days because we are not equipped to handle such icy conditions.  I actually had the entire week off from work!

Working makes me tired and stressed.   When I’m tired and stressed I eat.  And I eat a lot.  I really have an embarrassing lack of self-control especially when it comes to sweets.  However, this past week I got plenty of sleep, relaxed, and just enjoyed being with my husband.  Leaving the house was difficult, so there wasn’t much to do but lounge.  I enjoyed every minute of this extra time home and feel fabulous.

When I feel good, I eat better.  When I eat well, I feel great.  It’s a cycle that I know I should extend to my busy work weeks, but that is easier said than done.

I enjoyed lots of simple raw meals this week: many green smoothies, salads, and fruits with almond butter.

I also tried a few new recipes this week:

Asian Noodles
from http://www.sweetlyraw.com/2009/08/summer-eclectic.html

Noodles:
1 bag kelp noodles
generous splash of tamari or nama shoyu
squeeze of lime juice
drizzle of raw sesame oil
Mix the noodles with tamari or nama shoyu and oil. Marinate for 4-8 hours.

(Marinating your kelp noodles really does make them softer and better.  I had always eaten mine crunchy up until I tried this recipe.)

Veggies (thinly sliced):
bell pepper
cucumber
carrot
sugar snap peas
bok choy

Sauce:
2 T lime juice
2 T tamari or nama shoyu
2 T apple cider vinegar
1-2 T chopped cilantro
1 1/2 T minced ginger
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp agave or honey

Whisk all sauce ingredients together. Pour over the noodles and veggies. Garnish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Spicy Chocolate Oranges

2 oranges, peeled and sectioned
2 T coconut oil, melted
2 T raw cacoa powder
2 T agave
1 t cinnamon
pinch of sea salt
pinch of red pepper flakes

Put the orange slice in the refrigerator to chill.  Stir together coconut oil, cacoa powder, agave, and cinnamon.  Then dip each orange section into the chocolate mixture.  Lay on a plate and sprinkle with sea salt and red pepper flakes.  The chocolate will harden on the chilled orange.  Eat immediately or refrigerate.  Freeze if you want an even colder treat.

Brussels Sprouts!

December 27, 2010

First of all, I always thought these mini cabbages were called brussel sprouts, however, I recently learned that they are named after the region of Belgium that they came from, Brussels.

Not only was I wrong about the spelling of their name, I also didn’t know how to prepare them.  I have enjoyed Brussels sprouts that others have cooked, namely the Kung Pao dish at Café Sunflower.  Yum!  When I’ve cooked them, they turned out bitter and eating them was almost painful.

When I came across a raw recipe for Brussels sprouts, I was pretty excited to try it.   Joanne makes them look pretty tempting in her Raw Vegan Brussels Sprouts Salad with Orange Chia Vinaigrette recipe at Foods for Long Life.  Just like she promises, the sprouts are tasty and not the least bitter.  I halved the amount of agave that she used just because I don’t like my dressings too sweet.  I think this salad tastes best after sitting for a few hours and the dressing has softened the sprouts just a bit.  Isn’t it pretty?


I like this recipe so much, I took it to share with my family for Christmas.  For some reason, salad isn’t part of my family’s holiday meal traditions, but I think everyone tried some.  For my holiday meal, I also made a salad with clementines, pomegranate seeds, and walnuts with a Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Delish!  I tried to keep my meals mostly raw, however, I set no limits on desserts for the holidays!

Here is my Christmas meal:

 

However, most plates in my family looked like this:

I have definitely been having a hard time eating right this month!  The December weather has been abnormally cold, and there are treats every where!

What do you do?  Do you make exceptions for the holidays?  Does your family support your eating habits?  How do you stay raw in the winter?


I love Indian food!

November 14, 2010

While living in Portland, OR, I fell in love with the amazing Indian restaurants within walking distance of our apartment.  We never found a place that we loved as much here in Atlanta, which is just as well since my favorite Indian dishes don’t exactly fit into my raw food diet.

I’ve come across a few raw Indian dishes online and made a few this week.  I had made Coconut Chik’n Curry with Rice from Sweetly Raw sometime last year and forgot about it.  We enjoyed it for dinner on Monday night, and now Charlie is asking if we can please have it again this week.   Raw samosas were featured on Raw on $10 a day a few weeks ago, and I decided to try them this week to stick to my Indian theme.  I could not figure out how she made hers in the samosa shape!  I made a few in triangles, gave up, and made the rest patties.  I loved the mango sauce on top.  Finally, dessert was banana topped with Carrot Halwa.


Raw Carrot Halwa

1 carrot, grated
handful of raisins
handful of pecans
1 T agave
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp red chili powder
1 banana

Mix all of the ingredients except the banana in a bowl.  Either mash or slice the banana.  Top with mixture and enjoy!



Today’s post is bought to you by the letter C

November 5, 2010

Time to celebrate the Vegan MOFO!  November is the Vegan Month of Food.  Our November has started off with chilly weather.  We’re even expecting freezing temperatures tonight!

Colder weather (plus the stress of school) makes it hard to stick to healthy eating.  But here are two vegan recipes to be sure to keep you warm:


Penni’s Rawkin’ Raw Chili

1 cup almonds, soaked overnight (or walnuts)
1 cup carrots
1 med portabello mushroom
1/2 cup finely minced red bell pepper
1/3 cup finely minced red onion
1 finely minced jalapeno, without the seeds
1 cup sundried tomatoes, soaked (reserve 1 cup soak water)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup soaked golden raisins
1/4 onion
1 T chili powder
2 cloves garlic
1 T olive oil
2 t sea salt
2 t apple cider vinegar
2 t dried oregano
1 t cumin

Optional toppings:
black olives
fresh cilantro
red onion
avocado

Put nuts and carrots into a food processor and run until well blended. This will be your “meat base,” so don’t over process. Once ground, place into a large bowl and set aside.

Either on a cutting board or in your food processor, chop the mushroom, red bell pepper, red onion, and jalapeno. Add this to the bowl.

In a high powered blender, add all of the remaining ingredients and blend until you have everything well combined and liquefied. Stir this mixture into the bowl with the existing ingredients to complete the chili.

I recommend placing this into a dehydrator set at 145 degrees for about one hour. Stirring the chili every 15 minutes will help to warm it evenly. Although your dehydrator will feel hot, the temperature of the food will not exceed 110 degrees in this amount of time.

Serve the chili warm and top with the fresh ingredients of your choice. Enjoy!

 

Chia Chai Smoothie

1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 chai tea bag, steeped in 1 cup water (cooled)
1/2  cup  vanilla almond milk
1 frozen banana
pinch of cinnamon
pinch of ground ginger
1/2 cup crushed ice
Make the chai tea and allow it to come to room temperature.  Put the chia seeds in the tea, allowing them to soak up the tea forming a chia chai gel. Easily done at night, this gel will keep well in the refrigerator until your ready to use it. Add the chia chai gel, almond milk, banana, spices and crushed ice to a blender and process until you have a frothy, creamy shake.

Goodbye summer. Hello fall.

October 3, 2010

Suddenly fall is here, and I already miss the days filled with banana ice cream and mango watermelon soup.


To get into the autumn spirit, I wore a plaid shirt today and put a beautiful mum on our front porch.  Yesterday I made Grated Beet Salad packed with fall flavors.  Today we enjoyed fresh lettuce from our garden with pears and goat cheese (not raw but yummy and filled with B12) and raw apple pie.

Grated Beet Salad

2 cups grated jicama
2 cups grated raw beets (3 medium beets)
1 avocado, thinly sliced
1 navel orange, peeled, sectioned, each section cut into thirds (save any juice)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 T lime juice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 1/2 T olive oil
pumpkin seeds

1. Place beets in medium bowl along with jicama, avocado, orange, and cilantro.

2. Whisk together any orange juice you save from cutting the oranges, lime juice, cumin, and coriander. Whisk in oil. Pour over beet mixture, and toss to mix. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Sprinkle each serving with pumpkin seeds.

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