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Garden, gardens, and gardens!

September 6, 2010

I love living in Decatur, GA!  We are walking distance from many amazing restaurants, adorable shops, the local Farmer’s market, and so many gardens.  I am filled with inspiration every time I go outside.  As we approach fall, the gardens are lush and green.  The yards in our neighborhood are filled with colorful flowers, shady trees, and vegetables plots.  One neighbor has giant watermelons on the vine taking over her entire yard.  I love it!

In addition to vegetable gardens in front yards, there are also several community gardens nearby.  Riding our bikes around town today, we enjoyed passing the DHS Community Garden and the Oakhurst Community Garden.  Both are doing a great job growing veggies and involving many community members.

This weekend, we went to Farmer Ds to buy some seeds and seedlings for our fall garden. We also picked up tiny lettuce seedlings at the Oakhurst garden, which often has extra baby plants for sale.  I think we will install raised beds in our front yard in the spring, but for now we are doing a container garden on the deck!  Spinach, Swiss Chard, various lettuces, dill, and cilantro are the newest additions!



Fruit Burritos

September 5, 2010

While living in Portland, OR, I discovered my love of crepes.  There were quite a few crepe carts and restaurants within walking distance from my apartment.  Obviously, the sugar and globs of Nutella I enjoyed so much inside such crepes are not raw.    🙂

I’ve attempted crepes before, but Ani Phyo has taught me that adding flax seed meal to any crepe recipe results in a more crepe texture and less fruit leather texture.  I have been dehydrating many different flavors of “crepes.”  I LOVE the chocolate taco using a chocolate crepe filled with chocolate banana ice cream.  I’ve been filling the crepe shells with raw almond butter and fruit and brining them for lunch.  Students ask, “What is that?  Is it a burrito?”  Sure, it is a fruit burrito!  Yum!!

Apple Crepes

1 large apple cored, diced
1/3 cup flax meal
1 T agave syrup
enough water to blend

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Spread evenly onto a Teflex sheet.  Dehydrate for about 6 hours at 105° or until completely dry.  Makes about 4 crepes.


My new kitchen

September 5, 2010

We are now first time homeowners!  The past several months have been a whirlwind.  We moved in a couple of weeks ago and love our new place.  Being that I have an obsession with food, the kitchen was the first room we unpacked.  Sadly, there are still boxes to unpack in others rooms, but it is slowly getting accomplished.

One of the things we love this most about this house is that the living room, dining room, and kitchen are actually one big open space.  My darling husband loves to talk to me in the kitchen from the couch, and now he can without yelling!  Check out the amazing counter space.

Look at the counter space!

This is where the raw food magic happens.

Happy birthday to me!

July 24, 2010

My 28th birthday is tomorrow.  Family came to Atlanta to celebrate with me tonight.  I’ve been craving the Ocean Garden Salad, so I picked R. Thomas for dinner.  Seaweed, kelp noodles, and a delicious lime dressing!

I chose to make my own birthday cake this year… a raw fudge cake.  Yum!  It is amazing how cake-like this dessert is even though the ingredients are so healthy!


Raw Fudge Cake with Strawberries
adapted from Ani Phyo

Fudge cake
3 cups walnuts
1 apple, cored and sliced
2/3 raw cacao powder or carob powder
¼ tsp sea salt
1 cup pitted medjool dates

Frosting
1/3 cup pitted medjool dates
¼ cup agave syrup
1 medium avocado flesh
½ peeled banana
1/3 cup raw cacao powder

Filling
½ cup sliced strawberries

Cake:  Combine the walnuts, cacao powder, apple slices, and salt in the food processor and pulse until coarsely mixed.  Add the dates and pulse until mixed well.  Shape into 2 stackable cakes of desired shape and set aside.

Frosting:  Combine the dates and agave in the food processor and process until smooth.  Add the avocado and banana and process until smooth.  Add the cacao powder and process until smooth.

Frost the top of one of the cakes with half of the frosting and top with strawberries.  Stack the second cake on top and frost the top and sides.  Place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to firm.

Raw food challenge: Dog Food: Day 1

July 24, 2010

So my dog is going raw.  Cappuccino (Chino) celebrated his 14th birthday this past spring.  I’ve had him since his birth when I was in the 9th grade.  He’s moved around with me all through college, to Portland, OR, and back to Georgia.  He is my baby, and I hate to see him getting old.

Chino’s had some minor health issues as we’ve entered the later part of his life.  However, he has insisted that he was a puppy all this time– running, playing, and determined to tear apart ever toy I’ve ever bought for him.  About two years ago, he was suddenly in great pain, and the vet determined that he must have a pinched nerve in his spine.  He was unable to walk for a couple of days.  The vet was unsure he would ever recover the use of his back legs.  Slowly he regained strength, and although he is unable to jump up onto the couch, he has been able to continue living a happy, normal dog life.

In the past few weeks, Chino has seemed older.  He is lacking energy, stiff when rising, and does not have much of an appetite.  His back legs are looking very weak and sometimes slip out from under him.  I’m pretty sure the answer to every human ailment is raw food, so why not dogs!  While I try to practice a raw, vegan diet, I am choosing the BARF (Biologically Appropriate Raw Food) diet for my dog.  In the wild, animals eat raw foods—other animals and plant matter.

Today was day 1.  I went to City Dog Market, chatted with the super friendly employees, and made several purchases.  The food is frozen, and you just thaw out daily portions as you feed your pet.  My plan is to do 50/50, and feed him his dry food in the morning and the raw food in the evening.  However, he chose not to eat any dry food this morning, but he did devour his cold, raw food.

Initially, I was going to include my cat in the raw challenge, but he just wasn’t into the food.  Maybe because it was cold.  Or maybe because there are persimmons in the food.  And… well, he threw up the two bites he ate almost immediately.  So, no, he isn’t allowed to participate anymore.   Serving raw meat is hard enough.

Chino: Day 1

Chino cleaned his bowl and is staring down hoping for more.

Scarface tried the food, but you can tell he is weary of it.

We got Ani!

July 3, 2010

I love Ani Phyo and her recipes.  I own Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen and have checked her newest book, Ani’s Raw Food Essentials, out from the library.  I love how she packs her books with facts about food and helpful tips.  I have yet to get my hands on her dessert recipes in Ani’s Raw Food Desserts, but I’ve heard it’s amazing as well.

Raw Food Essentials includes some of the best recipes from Raw Food Kitchen plus many new ones.  After reading through the book, I made a list of recipes I want to try this summer ranging from sloppy joes to dumplings to celery flax chips.  I want to try as many recipes as I can before I go back to work in August.  Teaching does not leave much time for experimentation.  Today I made banana flax crepes (p. 68) filled with orange marmalade (p.96) and strawberries and a side of eggplant bacon (p. 78).  Delish!  New recipes make me excited about raw food all over again.

Crazy about chips!

June 10, 2010

In preparation for our annual family summer vacation, I’m dehydrating some snacks to supplement any fresh fruit and veggies that we buy once we get there.  Last night, I made two kinds of zucchini chips and spinach chips.  Whoa!  These little guys are tasty!  If you have a dehydrator you have to try these!

Dill Pickle Chips

2 medium sized zucchini
distilled white vinegar to coat
dry or fresh dill to taste
sea salt to taste

Slice zucchini into thin rounds.  (I used the 4mm slicing blade on my Cuisinart.)  Soak in vinegar for 10 minutes.  Lay in a single layer on dehydrator screens.  Sprinkle with dill and sea salt as desired.  Dehydrate at 105° for about 10 hours.

Zucchini Munchies adapted from Kristen Suzanne’s Easy Raw Vegan Dehydrating

2 medium sized zucchini
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 T fresh lemon juice
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp Himalayan sea salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried parsley

Slice zucchini into thin rounds.  Place in a bowl with the other ingredients.  Use your hands to coat all the pieces. Lay in a single layer on dehydrator screens.  Dehydrate at 105° for about 10 hours.

Raw Spinach Chips found on the Raw Mom Blog

8 oz organic spinach
3 T ground flax seeds
¾ tsp sea salt
extra virgin olive oil, just enough to coat the leaves so that they sea and flax sticks

Use your hands to coat the leaves.  Place on dehydrator screens.  It is okay if the leaves overlap.  Dehydrate at 105° for about 12 hours.