31 July 2012

Foodie Pen Pals

This July was my first month participating as a Foodie Pen Pal!  I got matched up with another participant (who lives in San Francisco) and someone else got matched up with me!

The pen pals ask one another about their dietary restrictions, flavor preferences, et cetera, so I told my pen pal, Audrie, that I am a vegan who loves mangoes, dark chocolate and weird raw snacks!  Audrie sent me a box of dried mangos, PB2, chocolate-covered pretzels and a dark chocolate bar.  I was a happy camper.

I ate the dried mangoes with a fresh banana, some shredded coconut, buckwheat groats and hemp milk for breakfast one day and it was delicious--kind of tropical-y in nature.

The PB2 was an awesome item to give to a foodie like myself!  I'd never heard of the stuff before, let alone tried it!  For those of you who do not know what PB2 is, it is a powdered peanut butter made of only roasted peanuts, sugar and salt!  I love that the ingredient list is so short and that I know what everything is!  As for how to use PB2, you mix two tablespoons of the powder with one tablespoon of water to create a peanut butter-like paste, which you can then eat with whatever you'd like--carrots, oreos, spread on toast--but I decided to put two tablespoons of PB2 into my banana smoothie and it tasted great!  I will definitely make that again.  Oh!  And did I mention Audrie sent me the chocolate-flavored PB2?  Yes, that's right.  There's an original PB2 and a PB2 with chocolate.  I'm definitely glad I got to try the chocolate but I'm sure the original is tasty as well.

The chocolate-covered pretzels were gone in like a day.  After all, how is something like that supposed to last?  Salty?  Chocolate-y?  Crunchy?  All in one?  Yup.  That's not going to last.

The last item in my box was an Endangered Species 72% Dark Chocolate Bar.  Additionally, Endangered Species contributes ten percent of all sales to helping endangered species, which is a wonderful incentive for buying chocolate from this company--not to mention, it tastes great.

So to sum everything up, I was VERY satisfied with my first Foodie Pen Pal experience.  For those of you interested in becoming a Foodie Pen Pal for August, you can find out more about the program here.

28 July 2012

Homemade Mac Cheeze, Courtesy of Addicted to Veggies

I think Addicted to Veggies is my very favorite food blog.


Literally every recipe on there looks divine.  

I am not a raw food purist (although I would like to be...I just don't think it's right for my body) but I want to make and eat pretty much everything on Sarahfae's  blog.  

I've already made multiple variations on her phenomenal tarts as well as her sour cream, and today I decided to make her macadamia nut "cheeze."  The "cheeze" (as the "z" might suggest) is not really cheese at all, but rather, a nut blob!  Yes, that's right, a nut blob!  And no ordinary nut blob, either.  The "cheeze" is made from oily, fluffy-when-grated, expensive, MACADAMIA nuts!!!

Macadamia "cheeze" is easy to make, albeit a bit time consuming, and it tastes great!  However, I think my cheeze might have turned out a tad softer than it should have been.  Perhaps my macadamia-loving mom or sister found my hidden bag of the nuts in the pantry and made my original half cup's worth slightly less than a half, throwing off the dry-wet ingredient ratio : /

Oh well.

Overall I'm happy with how it turned out, and as I said, it tastes great!

Ann Arbor Visit

After attending my friend's yoga feedback session yesterday, I drove to Ann Arbor to have dinner with my sister, watch some of the Olympics and attend an Ann Arbor yoga class this morning with one of my favorite teachers!

My sister had been wanting to treat me to dinner to celebrate my February birthday for quite awhile (needless to say), and yesterday she finally did!  She let me pick the restaurant and I gave her my choices of either Madras Masala, Jerusalem Garden or Seva.  She chose Seva because she's never been and she knows I like it.

 Although I recently went to the Seva in Detroit with my friend, Tyler, another visit--five days later--was not too soon for me!  My sister ordered a Greek salad (boring!) and I ordered an entree of pad thai with no eggs.  It was delicious and as the photos can attest, I finished it all.

Before I went to my yoga class this morning, I hopped on over to the Saturday morning Ann Arbor Farmer's Market to buy some fresh produce.  I was blown away by how MUCH there was!  I could have bought a lot more than I did, but the somewhat steep prices deterred me from so doing.  I settled on a pint of organic blueberries, a bag of arugala and a bag of sunflower greens, and I was very happy with my purchases.

Lunch will definitely be a salad of arugala, sprouts and other delicious fillings, with blueberries on the side!

25 July 2012

Homemade Hemp Milk

Not much to report today in the world of food, sadly.  About the only relatively exciting culinary task I undertook today was making my own hemp milk.  Scott Jurek provides a recipe for hemp milk in his book but because I lent the book to my mom to read, I had to resort to Google to find a recipe.  It's pretty straight forward--blend one cup of hemp hearts with three cups of water, some vanilla extract and a dash of sea salt.  

Welllll, I ran out of vanilla extract the other day so that ingredient did not make its way into my milk and I only had a very small amount of hemp hearts (about 1/4 cup because I chose to buy the smaller packets because the normal-sized "bags" are quite pricey).  Luckily, though, I was able to make about a cup of milk by adding three parts (or 3/4 cup) water.  I sprinkled in a little salt and added a touch of maple syrup to compensate for the vanilla.

Verdict: I liked it.  What I really liked about the milk was knowing that it was TOTALLY unprocessed.  Yahoo!


One more thing.  

This milk would be MUCH better if I owned a Vitamix.  

I got my milk pretty smooth but there was still some grittiness to it because, alas and alack, I do not own a Vitamix, but rather, a $50 Cuisineart.  It gets the job done but truly does not compare to a Vitamix.  

One of these days, though, I WILL own a Vitamix and be able to drink all the smooth and creamy hemp milk my heart desires.  For now, I will drink my hemp milk in a slightly gritty state.

24 July 2012

RECIPE: Raw/Vegan Pad Thai

I had my friend over for dinner tonight and she requested I make a raw meal for her.  I happily obliged!  My raw meal of choice was Pad Thai.  I figured, "noodles" would be a safe bet and then drench them in a tasty sauce, toss some peanuts on and garnish the dish with lime wedges.  How can that be bad?  It can't!  And it wasn't!  My friend enjoyed the dish immensely, so I'm happy I could provide her a positive first experience with a raw food meal.

Raw/Vegan Pad Thai

Serves 2


-  1 large zucchini
-  2 large carrots

-  1 1/2 T. tamarind paste*
-  1/4 c. filtered water
-  2 T. tamari
-  3 T. agave nectar
-  2 tsp. Sriracha
-  1/8 tsp. black pepper

Suggested garnishes (optional but highly recommended!)
-  Bean sprouts
-  Crushed peanuts 
-  Lime wedges

*Note: I could not find tamarind paste--or juice, for that matter!--at my Whole Foods so I made my own!  It's quite easy, actually, and there's a real sense of pride in knowing that I made it myself!  It probably tastes better than any paste I could have bought anyway (although I have never sampled a store-bought tamarind paste to know the difference but I can imagine homemade is better).  Just buy a large handful of tamarind, maybe 7 or 8 of them, remove the shell and sinewy fibers of the fruit, and let soak in a bit of warm water to allow fruit to soften.  After the fruit has had time to soak, use a butter knife to scrape away the flesh and discard the seeds.  Unfortunately, each fruit does not generate a lot of flesh, which is why you'll need about 7 or 8 of them to get the amount of paste needed for this recipe.  After the flesh is separated away from the seeds, use a fork to mash it into a paste.


1.  Use a vegetable peeler to create ribbon-like carrot and zucchini noodles.  Divide among two bowls.
2.  Combine sauce ingredients by whisking together in a small bowl or by combining in a food processor.
3.  Pour sauce over both bowls of noodles and allow noodles to marinate for anywhere from 15-30 minutes, allowing the noodles to soak up the sauce.
4.  Garnish bowls with bean sprouts, peanuts and lime wedges.