27 February 2013

RECIPE: Favorite Green Smoothie

Hi all!  Sorry it's been awhile since my last post.  This time is really busy for me, as I have a lot of exciting prospects on the burner and a raw foods workshop just TWO days away!  Eek!  I'm getting excited for it, though, and tonight my mom let me practice talking to her about what I plan on saying.  Surprisingly, she really helped put me at ease!  I'm hoping people ask questions, like she did.  I think it'll make the workshop more fun and more interactive.  Here's the poster I created for it:

Anyway, without further ado (an expression I tend to overuse), I am presenting my FAVORITE green smoothie recipe, inspired by Raechel over at Rebel Grrrl Kitchen.  Enjoy!

Favorite Green Smoothie

-  1/3 c. coconut water
-  1/2 grapefruit (skin cut off)
-  1 c. mango
-  1/2 banana
-  1 heaping T. ground flax seed
-  1 tsp. spirulina (you won't be able to taste it!)
-  A huge knob of ginger
-  2 stalks kale, stems removed

Place all ingredients, in the order listed, into a high-speed* blender, blend and enjoy immediately!  Oh.  And you will enjoy.
*Note:  High-speed blenders like the VitaMix and BlendTec create the best, creamiest smoothies but you can certainly use any blender!

25 February 2013

Post for Sarah!

As promised, I am going to make a special post dedicated to my friend, Sarah, over at "This Is What I Eat" blog.  She is embarking on a temporary raw, no fruit/sugar, diet and I wanted to share some of my favorite raw meals as well as tweak a few that contain fruit/sugar!  Hope you find some of these useful, Sarah!

Raw 'Oat'meal:

Okay, Sarah, this original recipe uses a banana as a main ingredient but I'm wondering if you might try swapping out the banana for a small avocado/half a large one!  From there, I might even suggest adding a T. of raw cacao powder (carob, if you're avoiding caffeine), 1/2 tsp. cinnamon for a kick, 1 tsp. mesquite/lucuma powder and a 1/4 tsp. of vanilla!  You could also omit the cacao/carob powder and up the cinnamon.  Top with nuts, as pictured--just leave out the banana!!

Raw Pho Bowl:
This is one of my favorite raw meals because it's so quick to whip together and can be made so versatile!  Basically, it's a bowl of raw 'noodles,' sprouts, shredded things, possibly nuts/seeds for sprinkling, etc.  My FAVORITE combo, though, is zucchini noodles, carrot noodles, kelp noodles and broccoli sprouts.  Other suggestions include sauerkraut, shredded cabbage, cucumber noodles, shredded asparagus noodles, other types of sprouts, sunflower seeds for topping, I use Callie's AMAZING Knock-Off Dragon Sauce to pour over the whole she-bang but it does contain maple syrup.  To make it Sarah-diet-friendly, omit the 1/4 c. maple syrup and add 2 T. ACV and cut the tamari and tahini back to 3 T. each.  It'll be a slightly different flavor but I bet it will still be good!

Raw Pad Thai:
I also love this recipe.  It's pretty simple and easy to make, just like the pho bowl.  However, like the pho bowl sauce, this sauce calls for a sweetener (agave) so my suggestion would be to omit it, use 2 heaping T. tamarind paste, 1.5 T. tamari and 1 tsp. Sriracha.

Raw Collard Wrap:
I'm giving you just the basic skeleton here, Sarah, to do with as you please!  I make raw collard wraps A LOT and always change the fillings, based on what I'm in the mood for!  Avocado almost ALWAYS goes in, and sometimes mung beans (which you can soak overnight and enjoy "raw" the next morning!), cucumber, various greens, carrots, sprouts, nuts, nut 'meat,' raw nut butters--sounds weird but almond works really well with carrots, peanuts and hot sauce!, raw dips, etc. etc.!

Obviously, you are going to be eating so many salads, which is a good thing, so rather than link you to all sorts of crazy, delicious recipes, I'll link you to my salad post for some hopeful inspiration!  Really, you can get so creative with salads and kind of make an art form out of it, pairing certain greens with certain veggies with certain nuts with certain dressings!  My FAVORITE salad, though, is this (I'm modifying it for you so that it's Sarah-approved):

Marinated Portobello Salad

- Spinach
- 1 portobello mushrooms, sliced and massaged in sugar-free BBQ sauce to marinate sauce overnight
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
-  1 carrot, VERY thinly sliced, sprinkled with a little cinnamon and paprika, massaged and left to marinate overnight (my original recipe calls for butternut squash, roasted, so I'm hoping this carrot technique works okay for you!)
-  Spicy Mustard Dressing** (This recipe contains maple syrup so omit that and reduce red wine vinegar to 3 T.)
-  Freshly cracked black pepper!

And now I'm just going to link some of my favorite raw recipes from others' blogs.  Hope you find them helpful!

http://ohsheglows.com/2011/01/31/15-minute-creamy-avocado-pasta/ (use raw 'noodles')

http://www.edibleperspective.com/home/2011/4/7/moo-milk.html (obviously, I'm not referring to the chocolate-cherry overnight oats but the kale salad!)



22 February 2013

*Updated* RECIPE: Raw/Vegan Orange Cream Pie

As I may or may not have mentioned, I am doing a raw foods workshop next Friday!  I am excited and nervous.  I've been preparing what I'm going to teach and what I'm going to say, and as part of my prep, I've been practicing making certain recipes.

Well, I knew I definitely wanted to teach my raw orange cream pie so I pulled up the recipe from my blog and it was not good.  Like, at all.  I think I posted the recipe around the time when I was first dabbling with raw desserts and didn't know a whole lot (obviously).  I mean, the pie, made from the first recipe had a too-salty, oily crust (blegh!) and an orange "cream" that tasted like faintly orange-flavored cashew puree.

This new and revised recipe is AMAZING.  I fully endorse it and encourage you to make it.  It gets me total seal of approval.  I used a 9" glass pie dish but feel free to halve the recipe and use two smaller 5" quiche dishes.

Raw Orange Cream Pie

-  2 c. raw walnuts
-  1 T. agave nectar
-  2 tsp. liquid coconut oil*
-  1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

-  1/4 tsp. sea salt
*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
-  2 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!)
-  2 medium-large orange, juiced and zested
-  1/4 c. agave nectar

-  1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  Combine crust ingredients in a food processor.  Mixture is done when you can pinch it between your fingers and it sticks, about 20 pulses or so.  When you press mixture into pan and freeze/refrigerate it, the crust will firm up.
2.  Press crust mixture into a greased 9" glass pie dish (I grease mine with coconut oil, using a paper towel to wipe the sides and bottom).
3.  Place pan in freezer to firm up while you create cream filling. 
4.  Blend filling ingredients together in a high speed blender* until well combined.  
5.  Remove crust from freezer and pour mixture into crust shells.  Return pie to freezer to allow it to firm up, about 45 minutes-1 hour (but longer won't hurt!). 
6.  When ready to eat, remove pie from freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 45 minutes or so.  Leftover pie can be stored, covered, in the fridge for two weeks or frozen, for up to two months.

15 February 2013

More Surprises!

I am having the best week EVER!  My surprises continued today when I received yet another package!  I heard the doorbell ring a little before noon and when I went to the front door I was greeted by a package made out to moi from Sarah!!!!!!!!  So excited!!!!!!

I quickly grabbed my camera, photographed the unwrapping process, blah, blah, blah, and was overjoyed to find the loveliest, most thoughtful contents EVER.  For my birthday Sarah sent me a lovely card with a beautiful sentiment, a GORGEOUS mug, which I cannot wait to use, and the most scrumptious vegan/gluten-free almond coconut oatmeal cookies I've ever had.

She wrapped everything so nicely too.  I actually though the almond cookies were mega cookies and bit into it, only to find out that Sarah had just wrapped two together.  Wow.  I guess I was too caught up in the excitement to notice the little details.  Anyway, I just ate both cookies.  Yum.  Yum.

They are calling my name now as I type this...

Sarah's surprise package for me!!!

Beautiful, whimsical birthday card with a very kind greeting inside :)

LOVE this mug.

Perfectly packaged vegan/G-F almond coconut oatmeal cookies.

 Haha--not actually one cookie.  Once I found out they were two separate cookies, I still ate them both. 

Such a lovely, lovely surprise.

Oh.  And I'm making rosemary almond pulp crackers and veggie pulp crackers since I had leftovers of both in my fridge.

14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

My mom sure spoils me something rotten.  I woke up this morning to find a lovely box of vegan chocolates and an A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E Papyrus card (she won't buy any other kind) waiting for me on the kitchen counter.  The chocolates were dark chocolate raspberry from Allison's Gourmet and boy, oh boy, are they yummy--not too sweet and very raspberry-y.  I've eaten two already.  I want to make them last.

I also received another birthday gift from my mom today!  Last night, with the mail, there was one of those annoying "We tried but couldn't reach you so now you have to go to the post office to pick up your item" slips and so to the post office I went to pick up said item.

However, I had first asked my mom if it was something I would be allowed to retrieve since the slip was addressed to her and sometimes post office people can be so serious (that's a job reserved only for The Joker).

The package I picked up actually came from Brazil!!  Huh?!  I had no idea what it was!

I waited until I got home to open it so that I could photograph it (duh) and enjoy the process of unwrapping it.  I did both.

EEK!  So that's what it is!  A plate!  My mom knows me so well.  I love it.  I am such a freak when it comes to plates, silverware, cups...I only like to use certain dishes with certain foods, certain sized plates, et cetera, et cetera.

Alice is perfect.  I love Julia's entire Etsy shop, actually.  She has so many plates that are frigging adorable.  Definitely check her shop out!

I capped off the day by spending a whopping 4.5 hours getting tattooed.  Ouch.  The piece looks beautiful but I am in SO much pain.  Like, so much.  Last time I sprayed Bactine on me like crazy and did the same thing this time but it didn't really work as well.  I don't know why; it just didn't.  My poor tattoo artist had to deal with me saying, "Can we take another break?", like 1849845609438120598 times towards the end.  I was afraid I wasn't going to be able to hold out.  I did though and it looks incredible!

13 February 2013

Raw Cacao Nib Cookies!

I am in love with these cookies!  They are about the size of a York Peppermint Patty so you know what that means...I can eat a TON of them.  Not to mention, they're pretty darn healthy and VERY darn delicious.

The reason I have not titled this post RECIPE: Raw Cacao Nib Cookies is because the recipe is not mine!  I owe 100% of the credit to Heather Pace.  She has a-mazing recipes, and this recipe was one I decided to make simply because it was super easy and because I already had all the ingredients on hand!

Making almond milk once a week has become such an awesome thing because it leaves me with beautiful pulp to reuse!  So far I have transformed the pulp into two types of crackers, dehydrated it to make flour and now, used it as the base of cookies.  The possibilites are endless!

So feast your eyes, and make sure to check out Heather's site, Sweetly Raw.

10 February 2013

Cheeze Update

My nut cheeze is finally done and it smells, well, kinda stinky!  As a 'cheese' should.  It also smells savory and spice-y so I am excited to slice into it.  I plan on having it (in some capacity) with my lunch tomorrow.

Also, my birthday was this past Thursday, which is why I fell behind on my posts.  My mom made me my favorite, ├╝ber moist, chocolate cake with buttercream frosting and she bestowed on me wonderful, thoughtful, very Laura-y gifts.  In my gift opening excitement and somewhat cake-coma, I did not take pictures :(  Following is a list of what I received, though, so use your imaginations!!!

-  11-Cup (yes, 11 cups!!!!) Food Processor
-  Avocado tool (can fulfill all avocado functions in one fell swoop--opening, de-pitting, slicing!!)
-  Lettuce cutter (useful)
-  New cutting board (again, useful)
-  Spatula (see above)
-  Debbie Meyer Green Bags (already LOVE)
-  Adorable owl bookmark
-  Owl bedecked water bottle (my mom loves owls and I guess I kind of do too...now, anyway!)
-  Two cute little plates with a row of birds on them
-  Season 2 of Parks and Recreation
-  A subscription to Vegetarian Times

This lady spoiled me rotten!  I got such beautiful things and am already getting so much enjoyment from them!  If I feel so inclined I will get around to snapping photos of them sometime this week.  If I'm inclined.

Last thing:  I only TODAY (Sunday aka three days after my birthday) went to check the mail and I had waiting for me four things!  Two cards from aunts, a card from my grandma and a package from my sissy!  My birthday continued!

 My sister's adorable packaging.  Nordstrom's bag used to wrap the outside package and...

MAC Bag used to wrap the inside package!  She got me an adorable, thoughtfully selected book called 100 Vegetables and Where They Came From.  I cannot wait to start reading it!

The card she got me was PERFECT too!  She nailed it.  Perfect sentiment, color, design.  I'm going to look for a frame for it.

I love how she made out the card too.  She knows I love her drawings (I really do) and that I love her **whimsical** handwriting.  By "whimsical" I mean, childlike, and I mean this in a good way.

From my Aunt Andrea PLUS a debit card.  THAT will come in handy.  I need to think of something fun to spend it on...but I'll probably just splurge on some luxury foods or probiotics.  Yeesh, I'm lame : /

 This card was from my Aunt Carol.  It's so me.  Anything collage-y/artsy I love.

 Even the envelope of the elephant card was cool!  It's a Papyrus.  Of course it is.

And I guess my grandma has become religious?  Her card was sweet and I appreciate her sending one but I did not know she was going so Christian on me!  As I said, though, the card was a kind and thoughtful gesture.  I do miss the days of her Peanuts cards though...