29 June 2012

New iPhone

As a surprise, my dad got me an iPhone the other day!  Ever since I have been O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D with it, compulsively checking it and trying to figure out the workings of it, particularly the camera and Instagram.

I'm hoping my obsessiveness will pass because I'm pretty sure my addiction is not a healthy one (are any addictions healthy, after all?)


Anywho, I've been on a raw kick lately--not 100-percent, but perhaps 80 or so!  Raw food is just so yummy!  Here are some pics I *tried out* using Instagram on my phone.  I'm still working through it, as I mentioned.

 Today's lunch (going clockwise, from left):  carrot sticks, black velvet apricots (YUM!--new discovery, per the recommendation of my Whole Foods' friend), pistachios, cucumber and raw "Herb Macadamia Nut Cheese" of Punk Rawk Labs.  This lunch was SUPERB.

Close-up--ain't it purdy?!

My leafy salad with raw "toast", topped with almond butter and white nectarines.  In the background is a bowl of cucumber noodles in mango sauce.

And yesterday I had lunch at Mudgie's, located in Detroit.  I had the Bella sandwich sans roasted peppers and tomato.  Soooooooooo delicious.  Usually I get the "Hippe Dippie $#*% Man", which consists of sunflower sprouts, sliced apples, walnuts, spinach, sunflower seeds, cucumber, avocado--basically everything but the kitchen sink.  I spiced things up this time, as I mentioned, and ordered the Bella, which has, instead, chickpeas, roasted artichokes, sunflower seeds and sprouts and mixed greens.  This sandwich, or, wrap, rather comes with balsamic vinaigrette, whereas the "Hippie" comes with raspberry (which has been very inconsistent--sometimes wonderful, sometimes awful).


I will be ordering the Bella from now on.

AND lastly, I finished off my raw brownies.  I made them, hmmmmm, three days ago?? and they are gone.  I had two earlier today and then thought, what the hell, may as well finish 'em off tonight, and had the remaining two.  I justified it by telling myself that because I'm leaving for Cincinnati tomorrow and staying until Sunday, they might be best eaten now.  In actuality, the flavor of them only gets better with time and they should remain fresh for awhile, considering they're wrapped individually in plastic wrap and stored in a plastic container in my refrigerator but what's done is done.  Or, I should say, what's gone is gone.  I can always make more.

And, by the way, I have posted my brownies to my Etsy shop!  Be sure and check them out if you are interested in treating yourself!  Who isn't?!

I also made raw sesame seed-chestnut truffles, dusted in cocoa powder and I will post pictures of those soon!

27 June 2012

Raw Brownies! (And Macro Bowl Revival)



Yesterday I made raw brownies from The Rawtarian's blog and they turned out great!

I actually tapped in to the little will power I have and waited for them to firm up before slicing and eating them and I'm so glad I did!  They were dense, fudgy and very brownie-like!  (Which is a good quality for brownies to possess).


And for lunch today I reeeeeaaaallllllyyyyyyy did not feel like a salad because it seems I'm having SO many salads lately, so I whipped out my recipe book and AHA!  Something spoke to me:  macro bowl.

Awhile ago I was eating macro bowls every day for lunch (with Callie Englund's "Knock-Off Dragon Sauce") until I got sick of them.  Enough time has passed, though, and my craving for them has returned!

While I did still make the dragon sauce for my bowl today, I did switch up the bowl's contents.  I had zucchini noodles, kelp noodles, carrot noodles and broccoli sprouts with sesame seeds sprinkled on top!  For photogenic purposes, I took these photos pre-sauce and sesame seeds.


Yum!

25 June 2012

End Of My Gluten-Free Week

Yesterday was the end of my experimental week and I gotta say, I did not feel all that different.  I eat pretty healthy to begin with and have a relatively low gluten intake to begin with but I DID enjoy eating more raw foods and THAT part of my experiment I WILL maintain because they make me feel wonderful.

Now, because I slacked yesterday, I will post my face update:


And today's (because I forgot I my week was over!):



And to conclude (this will be a short post), I ate two Avalon Vegan Oatmeal Raisin Cookies last night (to top off my gluten-free week??) and tonight I'm making The Rawtarian's brownies and tomorrow I'm making almond polpetta, inspired by Russell James' recipe.

Sadly, just two pictures in this post...and they ain't even of food :/

Tomorrow's post will be better, though! Food descriptions and pictures G-A-L-O-R-E!

Ooh!  And if you read my blog, PLEASE follow me because it makes me happy!!!

23 June 2012

RECIPE: Raw Orange Cream Pie


 This recipe was inspired by Mama In the Kitchen's recipe for "Strawberry Cream Pie." I was craving something creamy and citrus-y for dessert tonight and this mini pie totally did the trick!

Enjoy!

Raw Orange Cream Pie


Serves 2


Ingredients:


Crust
-  1 c. raw walnuts
-  1 scant T. agave nectar
-  1 tsp. liquid coconut oil*
-  1 scant tsp. sea salt
-  1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
*Note: To convert solid coconut oil to liquid form, simply place jar of coconut oil in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes.

Orange Cream Filling
-  1 c. raw cashews, soaked 2-3 hours or overnight (I was impatient and only let mine soak for two hours or so and the cream still turned out great!)
-  1 medium-large orange, juiced and zested
-  1 scant T. agave
-  Pinch sea salt



Directions:

1.  Combine crust ingredients in a food processor until a ball forms.
2.  Divide mixture in half and press each half into greased 4" or 5" tart pans (I greased mine with coconut oil and used a paper towel to wipe the sides and bottom).
3.  Place pans in freezer to firm up while you create cream filling.
4.  Clean food processor and filling ingredients until well combined, about two minutes.
5.  Divide mixture between crust shells and put back in freezer.  Let set at least 3-4 hours.
6.  When ready to eat, allow pies to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes or so.


Update From Yesterday--OOPS!

Eew.  Yuck.  But I gotta do it:



And dinner was kelp noodles with marinated mushrooms, arugala, edamame and julienned cucumbers. So almost all raw.



22 June 2012

Vegan AND Gluten-Free Chimichangas

For dinner I made Dreena Burton's Gimme Chimis!  I am so proud of myself--they turned out great!  I even made my own tortillas...which are gluten-free, I might add!




21 June 2012

Gluten-Free and High Raw, Day 3!

I'm just going to keep this post short and sweet.  Today's day three of my experiment and I'm still feelin' great!  So much energy!  Today I had the same breakfast as yesterday except I learned my lesson and started with two slices from the get-go, slathered and I mean slathered them with almond butter and then topped each with its very own white nectarine.

Aww, how cute.

I did not want the slices fighting over just one.

Okay, I'm done anthropomorphizing my toast.

Pictures, I did not take (okaaaaayyyyy, now I am talking like Yoda???) but they would have been pretty much the same as yesterday's so you can check out what it looks like there if you are so interested!

Shifting gears:  face update for T-O-D-A-Y!


And yup.  That is the same fleece I was wearing in yesterday's photo.  I SWEAR I have more clothes but my mom insists on keeping the AC going full blast and I get cold and this neon green fleece keeps me warm!  

So there.

;)

20 June 2012

Progress Update! (And Yummy Breakfast)

I feel W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L eating no gluten and waaaaaayyyyyy more raw.  The way I feel is great motivation for me sticking with this diet, too!

Today for breakfast I had Ani Phyo's "Breakfast Toast," slathered with almond butter and sliced white nectarines.  It was phenomenal...so good, in fact, that after my first slice of "toast" I proceeded to have another, slathered with just as much almond butter and halved grapes!






As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I purchased Ani Phyo's Ani's Raw Food Desserts and have, kind of, been slowly making my way through it.  Thus far I've made almond cream, this mango parfait thing, breakfast toast and I plan on making key lime bars or mint chocolate cupcakes next.  Tomorrow night for dessert I plan to have prunes soaked in wine with lemon and rosemary...yuuuuummmmmm.  I already have all the ingredients on hand too!  My kinda dessert!

Aaaaaaannnnnnnnddddddd lastly: my face update for today:


It looks O-K here but as I sit here typing, a huge zit throbs next to my lip that was NOT there this morning.  Hmm.  Curious.  I feel GREAT but my skin still has a way to go.

P.S.  I have raw peanut/almond butter-cacao nib cookies dehydrating right now and if they turn out good, I will provide a recipe!

19 June 2012

RECIPE: Curry Quinoa Bowl

A simple, easy-to-put-together dish that will satisfy your every taste bud!  Chewy broccoli complements the crunchy slivered almonds while the butteriness of the mangoes and edamame provide perfect contrast to the astringency of the arugala.  The quinoa oomphs the whole meal up with its fluffy texture, enhanced by its curry flavor.  The mangoes, too, provide the sweetness necessary to counterbalance the heat of the curry.


Curry Quinoa Bowl


Serves 1


Ingredients:


-  1/4 c. dry quinoa
-  2/3 c. water
-  1 c. baby arugala
-  1 ataulfo mango
-  1 small head broccoli, blanched
-  1/2 c. edamame, cooked according to package instructions
-  2 T. slivered almonds (toasted, optional, but recommended!)
-  2 tsp. curry powder, divided
-  1 tsp. olive oil
-  1 tsp. rice vinegar
-  1 T. pureed mango (reserve from whole, fresh mango)
-  Salt, to taste

Directions:

1.  Place quinoa, water and 1 tsp. curry powder in a small pot.  Bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let cook 8 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, whisk together a dressing of remaining 1 tsp. curry powder, olive oil, rice vinegar and pureed mango.
3.  Peel and dice mango.  Set aside.  Place arugala on a plate and top with quinoa, edamame, broccoli and mango.  Pour dressing over dish and sprinkle with almonds.  Toss lightly and eat immediately!


*Note:  This quinoa bowl tastes great cold too!  I took my sweet time eating it and as such, it got cold by the time I was done.  It still tasted dayum good though.

Father's Day Lunch and Day 2: High Raw / Gluten-Free

For Father's Day this past Sunday I went to Anita's Kitchen, located in Ferndale, with my dad!  Anita's has to be my favorite Lebanese restaurant.  The food is so flavorful and fresh and I love their use of spices!  I know this last part sounds weird but it's true!  Their cracked lentil soup, for example, is delicious, but it doesn't taste like any other cracked lentil soup I've had.  There's one particular spice in it that even my highly sensitive taste buds cannot discern!  That's what makes Anita's so special!

It was, to say the least, a miserable, dreary day.

Anywhoooooo, I started my meal with a "Berries Over Beirut" juice.  The "juice," which was somewhat smoothie-like in nature, had strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and boy oh boy, was it delicious!  Usually when raspberries are in a beverage they tend to overpower the other flavors but this juice did no such thing!  Instead, STRAWBERRY was the dominant flavor...YUM!


For my entree, I ordered the Falafil Platter (note the awesomely Anita spelling of "falafel").  The platter came with four falafil patties, which I requested baked, a mound of not-too-oily, garlic-y Basmati rice, ├╝ber fresh tabbouleh, homemade (naturally) hummus and the best--literally THE BEST--tahini sauce, and I don't even like tahini.


Oh!  And our entrees came with delightfully thin, soft pita bread...of which I proceeded to eat two.  Whole ones.

In conclusion, this meal was phenomenal.  As I was eating, I was thinking, I am not hungry. At. All. But this food is too damn good.  So I continued to gobble, gobble, gobble up my food until all that remained was maybe three tablespoons' worth of tabbouleh, a couple grains of rice, a little puddle of lentil soup in my cup and some remaining shreds of pita bread.

I felt so uncomfortable afterwards but it was worth it.  I think.  I don't know that I would eat everything next time--basically my whole cup of soup, my giant juice/smoothie and my plate of food, save a few parsley leaves--but I would definitely order the same thing.  I might just tune in to the common sense part of my brain and take, perhaps, half, home for leftovers.

Pre-food coma.  I don't think I'd want to look at a picture of my post-food coma.

The food coma I experienced afterwards was the trigger for my weeklong experiment going gluten-free (low) and high raw.  I consumed SO much bread and prepared food, in general, that it felt like a pod of whales had taken up residence in my stomach.

This leads me to my progress update going high raw (or, rather, upping my veggies and superfoods intake) and gluten-free/low diet.  My skin looks just as horrible today but my energy is great and I feel wonderful, physically and mentally.  Hesitatingly, I upload my "raw" face, day two.


For lunch I wrapped up marinated portobello mushrooms, avocado, white nectarines, arugala, Dijon mustard and thyme in two rainbow chard leaves.

 That's a simple cucumber salad on the side--just a little rice vinegar, salt and pepper, soaked for an hour or so.


The fixings of this wrap are, hands down, my new favorite combination.  You have your sweet, salty, oily, tangy, bitter and smooth to satisfy all taste sensations!  I'm not sure if all of these are opposites, or if they are terms that can even be used to describe food, but there are a lot of them and that's gotta count for something!

18 June 2012

Day One: High Raw and No Gluten

Okay, I have to document my progress with my experiment going gluten-free (or gluten-low) and high raw for a week, and that, unfortunately, is going to mean photographs...of me...without makeup.

Eeek.  Scary.

This photo is untouched.  I think it's important that I photograph myself this way so that I can observe my true progress, visually.


Day one ain't looking too good either.  My face looks a little puffy, my skin is acne-y, pasty and a little dark in areas.  I know it can only get better, though, and I'm excited to see a transformation!

Today, too, after yoga I popped in to Barnes and Noble and bought Dreena Burton's Let Them Eat Vegan! and Ani Phyo's Raw Food Desserts--wonderful inspiration and motivation for me!

P.S. Breakfast was a chai-flavored oat and banana smoothie, made with unsweetened almond milk.

17 June 2012

Ann Arbor Restaurant Week and Gluten-Free Experiment

I went with my mom to Passport Restaurant and Lounge as part of Ann Arbor's Restaurant Week this past Friday.  Tons of restaurants were participating, so I narrowed down my choices and then let my mom pick.  Passport is what she settled on.



 My beautiful mom--best friend and dinner date ;)

I'd never been there before but their "Restaurant Week Menu" looked pretty good so I agreed to give it a try!  As the name of the restaurant suggests, the restaurant features fare from around the world--sushi, pasta bolognese, steak.  So it's a cute idea albeit a bit random.


My mom and I split the Thai spring rolls for our appetizer, my mom ordered a caesar salad for her first course, I ordered the "Asian minestrone" and for our main entrees my mom ordered a Ribeye and I ordered "Portobello Primavera"--veganized with pomodoro sauce instead of creamy parmesan.





Our order also came with a bottle of wine.  We opted for the Pinot Grigio.  Passport's "House Blend" was Little Penguin.


Neither dessert option was vegan so I ordered a custom vegan sorbet.  It was, by far, my favorite course.  It was served in a beautiful almond lace cookie bowl, which I did not eat because I was unsure as to whether it contained butter or not and I felt I had annoyed our waitress enough for the night with my vegan ingredient inquiries.


The food was okay but nothing great and I probably would not go back.  All that said, I ate waaaaayyyy too much, given the food's mediocracy, and felt not only uncomfortable afterwards but also a little self-loathing, which leads me to my second point: going gluten-free (at least partially).

Lately I've been experiencing some decreased energy and sluggishness.  I've been looking over my food consumption and any changes in my diet.  I've noticed two main things:  A lot more food (Passport Restaurant and Lounge really did a number on me) and a LOT more gluten.

I'm going to do a little experiment and, for one week, eliminate (or at least greatly) reduce my gluten intake...and stop indulging so much.  I think the way I feel right now, which is horrible, will be enough motivation for me to stick with this experiment for the week.

Stay tuned!  I will be posting my progress along the way!

15 June 2012

Frozen Fruit Concoctions (With Recipe Included)


Lately, I am realizing, I've really been digging eating frozen fruit.  I guess this is because a.) I get too excited when I go to the grocery store and buy too much fruit at once and as a result have to freeze it in order to prolong its life or b.) I eat too much fresh fruit, which then disappears, prompting me to open up my freezer where there is a stock pile of frozen fruit.

For breakfast I've been obsessed with my smoothie and granola parfaits (well, they're kind of parfaits, more like a smoothie-granola soup, which is still awesome).  Instead of pouring non-dairy milk over my Simply Suzanne Granola, I've been instead pouring my smoothie over it.  Or, rather, dumping it on top of my smoothie in a bowl.



My way of thinking is, it's still like having milk and granola because they're's milk in the smoothie, but this way I get the extra oomph of fruit and a whopping tablespoon of ground flax seed, which I would not otherwise put in my plain milk and granola.

Thus far, I've done your standard, not-too-exciting smoothies: strawberry-banana, strawberry-blueberry, strawberry-raspberry, blueberry-raspberry-banana.  I work with what I have.  My favorite has to be any smoothie with the blueberries though.  Too good.



Alright, and for fruit concoction number two (the title of my post is plural, after all): strawberry sorbet.  Umm, this stuff is pretty much heaven and but for its sweet factor from the added simple syrup, it's pretty darn healthy because, essentially, it's strawberries.

Strawberry Sorbet


Ingredients:


- 1 quart fresh strawberries, washed and hulled (the strawberries must be fresh--it makes a world of a difference!)
- Juice of half a large lemon (or a whole lemon if they're bitty)
- Simple syrup*, to taste
*To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan on the stove over medium heat.  Once sugar has fully dissolved, increase heat to medium-high and when mixture begins to boil, let boil for one minute.  Remove from heat and pour into a heat-resistant container.  Put in fridge to chill.  Syrup will keep in fridge for a week or so.


Directions:

Puree strawberries and add lemon juice.  Cover and let chill in the fridge for an hour or so.  Add simple syrup to strawberry puree/lemon mixture and freeze, about 3-4 hours.  Blend frozen mixture in a blender until it reaches a creamy, sorbet-like consistency.  Re-freeze blended mixture.  That's it!  When ready to eat, allow sorbet to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes so that it can soften.