Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
I was listening to a recent podcast with Karen Knowler. She reminded listeners that she has over 300 'how to' videos on YouTube. So this morning I took a look. One of the first ones I ran across was this simple salad - and with two fresh bunches of curly kale in stock - I decided to give it a try for lunch. Karen is thorough in her how to description and in 6 minutes I felt I could duplicate it with no trouble. You can, too!
The image above is what I didn't eat - the bowl was full and I managed to put away two hefty portions. No shy eater, here. But with calorie light fare such as this, one can indulge.
Amounts will vary depending on how many you plan to serve. I used about 5 stems of curly kale, one ripe tomato, a slice of red onion, diced, half an avocado and 4 quartered olives. That made two generous servings.
Watch Karen's video for step by step instruction. This is a salad I'll be making often.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
My friend, Helen, and I have been hooked on roasted beets, avocado and sprout sandwiches. I've mastered whole wheat pita bread this summer, too. A fresh pocket has been the perfect spot to nestle sliced beets, ripe creamy avocado, juicy tomatoes and zesty crisp mixed sprouts — topped off with a drizzle of the very best extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.
With this in mind, last evening I used the sandwich components along with a portion of mixed wild greens that I'd lightly spritzed with olive oil and drizzled with a bit of Balsamic vinegar.
The result was a lovely plate of colorful food. A treat for the eye as well as the palate.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Using my handy dandy Oxo julienne peeler, I made quick work of converting two medium sized zucchini and a long, slim carrot into lovely fettuccine shaped strands. This little peeler is a handy gadget for slivering up broccoli stalks or shaping any hard vegetable into manageable pieces for salads or other dishes.
It makes a lovely pasta or noodle substitute out of daikons, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, etc. Long, hard veggies are perfect for this type of preparation.
I try to plan a bit ahead to allow time for the strands to soak for 30 - 60 minutes in a bath of lightly salted filtered water with a generous squeeze of lemon juice. The lightly acidic water bath helps to soften the strands and also removes a lot of the starch.
After draining the noodles, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess water. The strands are fine to use as is, or they can be drizzled with a little extra virgin oil oil, a pinch of sea salt and sprinkled with sea vegetables or other herbs before adding to a salad or using as a pasta substitute.
I tossed the noodles with a bit of peanut sauce (see recipe below) then scattered sliced almonds and snipped cilantro over the top. It was so tasty, I had seconds!
Grate the ginger into a medium sized bowl. Then add the remainder of the ingredients. Use a whisk or fork to combine well. Store covered in the refrigerator. Great for salads or dipping veggie nori or rice paper wrapped treats.
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Intrigued by an article I recently read at Natural News, I've been having a mid-afternoon cocktail. A shot of cayenne followed by a cold refreshing glass of Hibiscus tea with lime. Believe me, after the cayenne shot, one needs something cold and refreshing!
Paul Fassa has offered some natural suggestions to support heart health inexpensively.
I had a package of dried hibiscus flowers, also known as Jamaica (pronounced ha-my-ka), waiting to be made into a refreshing iced tea after reading about that at Heidi Swanson's
website, some time ago.
The hibiscus tea alone has some interesting health results. Not only is it an ideal thirst quencher, Dr. Andrew Weil is quoted as saying, "Studies have found that people who drank two cups of Hibiscus daily for four weeks lowered their diastolic blood pressure by 12% - results similar to those for common blood pressure medication."
Better tea than drugs any day!
According to Fassa's article, Hawthorn Berry has been used as a tonic for the heart and cardiovascular system for quite some time. It's a natural source rich in flavonoids that has been used successfully for various cardiovascular disorders, including angina (constricted blood vessels), tachycardia (rapid heart beat), and arrhythmia (irregular heart beat). I've ordered the Hawthorn Berry as a tincture, intending to add it to my daily glasses of Hibiscus tea. It also comes in capsule form or a powder that can be made into a tea. Read the full article at Natural News. Or visit the author's blog at http://healthmaven.blogspot.com.
Cayenne had long been known to have a great reputation for its medicinal properties, particularly as a digestive aid. But I was surprised to read that using cayenne in large doses, Dr. John R. Christopher, nicknamed, Dr. Cayenne, said he had stopped heart attacks in progress.
He recommends one teaspoon of cayenne powder in warm water taken 3 times a day. I'm managing 1/2 tsp mixed with about 2 TBS of warm water, once a day! I believe that doing things gradually is a good way to accustom the mind and body to change. I'll gradually up the quantity. Meanwhile, I'm also a firm believer that "something's better than nothing."
That's my afternoon cocktail. Gone are the days when I celebrated the end of the work day with a Cosmopolitan! 'Twas a lovely lift at the end of a stressful day, so I thought. But alcohol doesn't really provide a lift, on the contrary, it's a depressant! And all those empty calories, not to mention the abuse to my hardworking liver.
Try the Jamaica tea, it's light fruity taste is so refreshing with a splash of lime over ice! Even if you skip the cayenne and hawthorn - it still provides health benefits - something no alcoholic cocktail can offer. You can order organic hibiscus flowers and hawthorn berry from Mountain Rose Herbs, if you can't find them locally.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Fruit and greens in the morning, blender soups at lunch, fruit ices and iced fruit drinks in the afternoon, you name it, I'm trying it!
Encouraged by the 3HP motor which whispers, "give me your strong and your fibrous - I'll purée them in seconds", I decided to make a savory smoothie for lunch today. With the popular conventional vegetable juice in mind—you know the one that touts 8 veggies—I proceeded to gather fresh produce onto the cutting board.
I actually had 9 items, but I won't count the lone beet green I tossed in on a whim!
This gorgeous green glassful contained eight savory veggies:
Precise quantities aren't important with something like this. Use what's on hand, fill up the blender jar, add a little filtered water to get things going, if necessary, and whirl away.
If you're not using a high powered blender, start with the softer veggies and water and purée a bit at a time, adding the greens last. It's a filling lunch - fast prep - and a powerhouse of nutrition.
The blender was a gift to myself. Once I tried it, I wondered why I'd waited so long.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Pushing the window on a green smoothie, I combined directions for a simple Avocado Chipotle Bisque, courtesy of Ani Phyo, published in the Summer issue of Get Fresh magazine, with a heaping helping of dark green romaine leaves.
To serve 4 (or two very hungry people):
2 medium avocados, diced (2 cups)
1 TBS olive oil, hemp oil, or avocado oil
1/4 cup lime juice
2 TBS white miso paste
1 1/2 Tsp minced fresh rosemary or 2/3tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp chipotle powder
1/2 cup diced cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup diced orange or yellow bell pepper
Blend all bisque ingredients with 3 1/2 cups of water until smooth. Divide among 4 bowls and top each serving with 2 Tbs diced tomatoes and 2 Tbs diced bell pepper.
I added 6 big dark leaves of romaine to the mix and found I loved the thick, creamy texture. Eating my green smoothie in a bowl with a spoon provided a satisfying lunch experience.
I divided the ingredient list in half to make two generous bowls of soup. A thinner soup or a drinkable green smoothie needs just a little more water to achieve the desired consistency.
Ani mentions in her headnotes that a pinch of sea salt can be used in place of the miso and that the bisque will keep for one day in the fridge.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
I follow Kevin and AnnMarie Gianni's Renegade Health Show each week. It's a great way to gain additional knowledge and insight into the raw food lifestyle by being exposed to many diverse platforms that make up the raw food community. Kevin shares his quest for the healthiest lifestyle through entertaining and insightful interviews with many prominent, health conscious leaders. It's a casual armchair learning experience.
While Kevin and AnnMarie tour the country in their green* motor home, affectionately called, the Kale Whale, we travel vicariously, catching glimpses of the countryside as well as keeping up with what's happening in the raw food world.
Hats off and thanks, Kev and AnnMarie, for delivering a great show daily— come rain or shine; ice or snow!
* I believe the motor home runs on vegetable oil.
Recently, the Giannis visited with Shivie from Team Raw. Shivie graciously shared her recipe for Stuffed Marinated Mushrooms. The walnut/sunflower seed pâté really appealed to me. I was determined to give this a go at the first opportunity. You can watch Shivie make this dish on YouTube, but I'll post the recipe. It's an impressive dish to make for company or an easy dish to bring to a potluck dinner. Or you can do as I did, make a smaller portion to treat yourself. I used 10 mushroom caps to Shivie's suggested 20 and cut down on the portions for the filling accordingly.
I just had to dabble with adding a little sundried tomato and a generous pinch of cayenne to the pâté. That really made it sing! The filling is a marvelous addition to a raw food repertoire. Use it on crackers or as a dip with crudites, as a layer in a nori roll. Endless possibilities, yummy flavor and it's bursting with nutrients.
We had the stuffed mushrooms for lunch served on a bed of shredded salad—a combination of romaine, red cabbage and sweet onion—dressed with a little olive oil and a bit of sweet zinfandel vinegar. The crisp sweet and sour, colorful salad was a great foil for the rich, nutty, brown stuffed caps.
Stuffed Marinated Mushrooms
- adapted from Shivie of the Raw Team
20 Crimini mushrooms, stems removed and saved for filling.
2 tsp tamari
2 tsp lemon juice
Clean mushrooms and add them to marinade in a bowl with a cover. Marinate for 20 minutes or up to overnight. (The longer they are exposed to the acid from the marinade the more they will soften.)
1 cup mushroom stems
1 1/2 cups soaked sunflower seeds
1/2 cup soaked walnuts
1 clove garlic
2 tsp tamari
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
(I added 2 big pieces of soaked sundried tomatoes and 1/8 tsp of cayenne) jw
Place all ingredients in a food processor with an S blade. Process until filling is well combined and has a smooth consistency. (I found I had to add some liquid. I used a bit of the soaking water from the sundried tomatoes to achieve the right consistency) jw
Brazil Nut Parmesan
1 cup Brazil nuts
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
Place all ingredients in food processor and process until fluffy. (Be careful not to over-process.) jw
I didn't make the Brazil Nut Parmesan to sprinkle on top of the mushrooms. But it certainly would be an elegant finishing touch.
Friday, August 21, 2009
I'm a big proponent of quick and easy, few ingredients, simple prep type meals. But this tomato soup exceeds all those stipulations by a mile! This easily could qualify as another five minute meal! Actually, after the minute of so of dicing, then blending, I stood there thinking, "is that it?" wondering if I'd forgotten something.
With a fresh batch of spicy kale chips, fresh from the dehydrator, I couldn't resist having a few as zingy accompaniment along with a ruby red glass of mellow Malbec.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
I used small amounts of everything — this was lunch for one. Increase amounts to meet your needs. Salads don't require precise measurements or specific ingredients. Try to include dark leafy greens, aromatics, a vegetable or two, a starch, a bit of sea vegetables and either nuts or seeds. Not only is this a delicious plateful, it's filled with vitamins, minerals, protein and phytonutrients. But the bottom line is, it tastes wonderful.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Banana — Bok Choy Smoothie
Wow, is this a neat taste treat!
With a fridge full of fresh greens, I almost had to go 'eeney, meany, miney moe' to choose which crisp, big, dark leafy green would have the place of honor in my morning smoothie.
Look who won!For a rich, creamy drink, I've found using a combination of fresh and frozen bananas along with a little water, makes a great base for a green smoothie. Not too sweet, yet sweet enough to offset the sharper taste of dark leafy greens.
For a 12 oz drink, I used:
Simple and satisfying !
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
Rice paper wrappers are softened with a brief dunk in warm water and then a 30 second rest on the work surface. Once ready, I layered on a generous portion of the avocado mixture, then slices of mango, finishing with a heaping of mixed sprouts.
The wrap is a simple burrito wrap. Lifting the bottom portion of the wrap over the filling, then folding in each side and rolling up to complete. A little practice and it's a snap.
The portions given above were just enough for the three rolls as shown. Another good example of using leftovers or what's at hand. Inexpensive, simple, but absolutely delicious.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
I've been making various versions of flax crackers since my Excalibur dehydrator arrived on the scene. After the first few times when I followed written recipe directions, I've been experimenting with different herbs and spices, ground flax and whole flax and combinations. This latest version is a mix of almond pulp, from a batch of almond milk, and whole soaked flax seeds. The combination proved a winner with the other flavor additions. They turned out spicy, thin and crispy, a fine stand in for chips, after about 16 hours in the dehydrator.
1 cup flax seeds, after soaking close to 2 cups
1cup almond pulp
4-5 pieces sun-dried tomato, soaked until soft (reserve soaking water)
1 large clove garlic
1/2 cup parsley, minced
2 TBS tamari
juice from one lemon
1 heaping tsp Herbs de Provence
dash of cayenne
pinch of sea salt (taste first - add if needed or desired)
Process all to an even wet paste (thin with tomato soaking water if needed). Spread evenly over 3 - 4 sheets (Teflex or parchment paper) onto dehydrator trays. I spread the mix very thinly, approximately 1/8" thick. Score the batter in desired shapes and sizes with the edge of the offset spatula used for spreading.
Dehydrate at 115° until top side is dry enough to turn over (approx 7 -8 hrs). Turn, remove Teflex or peel off parchment paper, and continue drying on mesh trays at 110° until the desired crispness is achieved (6 - 8 hrs.)
When done, break along perforations, allow to rest a bit at room temperature, to be sure chips are completely dry, before storing in an airtight container. In my experience, these keep very well for a couple of weeks at room temperature.
Great for snacks, perfect for dips, or crumble over a big green salad.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
1/2 cup almond pulp (left over from a batch of almond milk) optional
3 soaked sundried tomatoes
1 soaked sundried chipotle
3 thick slices of sweet onion
1 clove of garlic
juice from one lemon
1 TBS tamari
enough soaking water from the tomatoes and chipotle to achieve the desired consistency.
Monday, July 20, 2009
On the last day of Jess's visit, I joined her and her mother, Helen, for a marvelous impromptu lunch combining it all: tomatoes, avocado, sliced beets, and mixed sprouts served on fat slices of Helen's freshly baked whole wheat, crunchy crusted baguette, drizzled with drops of extra virgin olive oil. This was a big hit and a fun project to eat. Best done family style with the individual components plated separately allowing each diner to stack her own baguette slice. Messy? Oh, yes. But worth every drip and each swipe of the napkin. If you try this, I'd advise using paper napkins. The beet juice is a real stainer.
The memory of that taste treat begged for an encore. With freshly baked whole wheat pita on hand, it was a snap to split one open and layer in juicy slices of red, ripe tomato, a couple of slices of cold, roasted beets, slivers of sliced Haas avocado, all topped with a big handful of freshly grown mixed sprouts. This messy sandwich made a fabulous supper treat.
Either bread choice makes a good sandwich, whether you choose open faced or closed. And the rich flavor combination of beets, avocado and tomato, tossed with a big bowl of dark leafy greens, dressed in a light vinaigrette, would make a super salad for a gluten free feast.
Live it up! Add beets for a new taste treat.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Ingredients: One head of broccoli, florets only, 8 oz sliced button mushrooms (or mushrooms of choice); half a large Vidalia onion, sliced into half moons. Marinade: 2 TBS lemon juice;3 TBS olive oil; 1 TBS tamari.
Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Let sit covered at room temperature for an hour or two. Or refrigerate until ready to serve.
Sauce: 1/4 cup tahini; 1 tsp lemon juice; 1 tsp agave; 1 tsp apple cider vinegar; 3 tsp tamari; 1 minced clove garlic; 1 small chili without seeds; 1TBS chopped fresh ginger. Blend in high speed blender or whisk thoroughly by hand. Thin with a bit of filtered water until the right consistency.
Mix with broccoli when ready to serve.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
It may be stretching it to call these roll-ups samosas. Where are the potatoes? Where is the crunchy deep fried crust? Where is the zingy green sauce?
A raw foodie will go that extra imaginative mile to call a dish by its favorite cooked food name, I guess. This was a first attempt at capturing the spicy memory of a favorite street food — the simple samosa. Encouraged by similar combinations I've been reading about, particularly in Matthew Kenney's book, Raw Food, Real World, and with a head of cauliflower beckoning to be used, I tossed together this spicy melange of cauliflower, peas, cashews and spices.
Instead of potatoes, peas and a spice mix cradled in a tender whole wheat flour crust, then baked or deep fried, here's a fresh mix of cauliflower and peas processed with a clove of garlic into small bits, then dressed in a sauce evoking the flavor memory of samosas using a tablespoon of garam masala, another of freshly minced ginger, and a generous helping (about 2 tsp) of Penzey's blend of hot curry powder, all puréed together in the blender with 1/2 cup cashews and one cup of filtered water.
I spread the wet mix onto a large dinner plate and placed it in the dehydrator at 115° for about 4 hours. This softened up the cauliflower a bit and also dried out the mixture. The finished dish was moist but not runny.
When dinner time rolled around, I washed three large dark green outer leaves from a head of romaine, sliced out the crunchy stem (don't waste it, nibble on it while proceeding) then sliced each leaf in two along the stem line.
Place a heaping tablespoon of filling on a leaf piece, wrap the skinny tail up over the filling then continue wrapping, much like a burrito fold. I used the peanut dressing I've posted before to accompany the rolls. It was a bit difficult to actually dip the rolls. Using a teaspoon to drizzle the sauce onto the rolls as I ate was much less messy. However you do it, it's fun and pretty tasty!
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Making a quick roll up is fast and easy after you've done it a few times. The bamboo rolling mat makes a pro out of any novice willing to give it a go. Practice makes perfect. Watching a couple of YouTube video demonstrations certainly helped as well.
I mixed a generous teaspoon of wasabi powder with a little water to a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread that over the bottom half of the sheet of nori and then topped it with a layer of nut/seed pâté, slivered cucumber, red pepper, avocado and mixed sprouts. A quick roll up, then slice into segments and sprinkle with sesame seeds. No dipping sauce needed.
A few odds and ends become a tasty snack in minutes.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Faster than spreading peanut butter and jelly on Wonder bread. Yikes, do people still do that?
Rolling is easy with the aid of a bamboo mat — do it a few times and you'll be a pro. Dampen the edge of the nori with a little water on your finger to seal the roll and voila!
I didn't use a dipping sauce or sesame seeds with this version. But you certainly could.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
I had a bit of nut/seed pâté left in the fridge. It made a nice filling for a big, crisp lettuce leaf along with some mixed sprouts. I included a little sliced avocado with the tomato—one of my favorite combinations.
I chose to lightly drizzle a few drops of extra virgin olive oil and a few drops of balsamic vinegar onto the plate as I wanted the fresh flavors of the produce to shine through. I thought a heavier dressing might overpower the delicate, sweet taste of the tomato. I used a generous sprinkle of sea vegetables for the mineral content as well as the aesthetics.
Taking the extra minute or two to plate food attractively adds to the enjoyment and puts a little extra emphasis on each delicious component. Composed salads are a nice change from the ubiquitous tossed salads.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Save the pulp when you make nut milk and turn it into an interesting pâté— perfect for a dip or use it to stuff lettuce wraps or as the first layer in nori rolls.
After making a quart of almond milk, I had a scant cup of almond pulp. I decided to improvise a little pâte with it and it turned out to be the highlight of a raw veggie meal. I tucked some on fresh cabbage leaves and rolled up, dipped sugar peas in it and slathered sweet red bell pepper strips with a generous helping. Fun to eat with lots of crunch, great zingy flavor and a wide spectrum of nutrition.
Combine all in food processor, scraping down sides to incorporate all into a fine pâté. Thin with more lemon juice or a bit of water if needed to achieve the right consistency.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Eating a diet consisting primarily of live foods can be quite an adventure. Unfortunately, most folks think celery and carrot sticks, with lots of lettuce tossed in, when they hear raw food. On the contrary, with so many professionally trained chefs entering the raw food scene, there are countless fine recipe guides for preparing gourmet raw foods, many mimicking the cooked foods we've grown both accustomed to and addicted to.
Many of the gourmet recipes require quite a bit of prep work, many hours of soaking, dehydrating, etc. and are perhaps best kept for weekends or special occasions. But there are still opportunities to feast on fresh, uncooked ingredients that can be prepared in minutes without resorting to carrot and celery sticks.
I enjoy a big bowl of interesting salad at lunch time most days. Combining an unusual mix based on what's in the fridge. I'll admit, when I shop, and I do shop 2 or 3 times during the week, greens are at the top of my list. Not only do I use dark, leafy greens in a smoothie each morning, but I make green juices 4 to 6 times a week and then I include a variety of different greens in my salad bowl.
Here are a couple of interesting combinations that are quick and easy, inexpensive and nourishing. Not to mention, delicious and thoroughly satisfying.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Monday, May 11, 2009
I will say that the longer I'm careful about what I eat, the easier it is to overcome these sudden food urges. Not only do I like to lead by example, but I've had the daily experience of high energy, clear mind, soft skin, and best of all, vibrant health. Why would I want to undermine all I've achieved?
I made a decision to go with the spicy sauce—ah, yes—a cooked meal. But a vegetarian, whole foods meal. I made an easy sauce,see below. Then lightly steamed the rapini long enough to soften the stems a bit, then removed the lid from the dutch oven and let the water evaporate. I added a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil to the bottom of the pot and let the greens sauté a bit, adding salt and pepper.
I plated the dish with a spoonful of sauce, then a generous heaping of the greens, topped with more sauce and then, my big indulgence, a light grating of Parmesan Regianno.
And I never missed the pasta!
Quick Al'arrabiata: simple sauce that can be used for a variety of dishes. A good one to have in your fast food repertoire.
1 28 oz can Muir Glen Organic diced tomatoes
1 large shallot - minced
1 cloves garlic - minced
1 TBS Italian herbs (or a mix of basil & oregano)
1/2 tsp salt
Sauté the shallot and garlic in a little water to soften. Add tomatoes using just enough water to rinse out the can. Add herbs and salt and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
The lovely fresh flower arrangement, courtesy of our Annual Friends of the Library meeting and luncheon. The gift box of flavored vinegars at the far end, a gift from my son and daughter-in-law and not showing, another welcome Mother's Day gift: heirloom beans from Rancho Gordo from my other son and daughter-in-law. You see, they've all got my number. No better gift than fine food stuffs.
With the rising sun brightening my east facing kitchen, I prepared an interesting green smoothie.
All green smoothies appear to look alike, however, they don't necessarily taste alike. This blend is made up of:
Delicious, but what should I call it?
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Juicing adds dimension, variety and a multitude of nutrients to our daily diet.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I followed the easy recipe in Nomi Shannon's Raw Gourmet, which is a simple combination of soaked lentils and sunflower seeds, grated carrots and aromatics. The lentil burgers can be dehydrated by machine or placed in the sun or even 'cooked' in a slightly warm oven.
Fresh and slightly warm from the dehydrator, I had the patty 'taco style'. Red leaf lettuce served as the wrap, enfolding some crumbled lentil patty and fresh salsa.
One large ripe juicy diced tomato, half a diced sweet onion, a minced jalapeño pepper, with a pinch of sea salt and juice from half a lime and minced cilantro to taste, turns out an easy bowl of salsa fresca. The recipe is easily doubled or tripled to serve more.