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Gotta Get the Greens

20 Nov

Amidst the holiday season, it can be very difficult to incorporate all the greens we need. Which is a LOT. I know I’ll use the excuse of making something with cooked squash, some grains, or other “comforting” foods, as the weather gets colder. Yes I think it is important to listen to our bodies in what we should eat (to a certain extent) but it is also vital we don’t skimp on the raw veggies. Hey- kale, collards, chard and spinach are all in season anyways, so it’s perfect! I buy atleast one of those dark leafy’s from the farmers market at least once a week. Then I can always freeze what I didn’t use by the end of the week for smoothies.

Plant protein is extremely bioavailable to our bodies from dark leafy greens, as well as beta-carotene, vitamin K, as well as folate, iron, and calcium.

These are the most nutritionally dense foods (most nutrients per calorie). When it comes to serving and portion control, RAW dark leafy (and unleafy, like broccoli) greens are in the “as much as you can eat” list.

Our plates should be 2/3rds  raw dark green vegetables, with a small rich source of plant protein, fruit and very little grains to follow.

No I do not remotely agree with the “My Plate” recommendations set by the USDA. They don’t address portion size, allows WAY too much grains and protein. Americans eat way more protein then they need, which gets stored as fat in excess. Which is why it is hilarious to always here people ask me “Where do you get your protein!?” Protein deficiency in vegans is rare. Plant protein is much better absorbable and digestible by our bodies.

“Eat (real) Food, Not Too Much, Mostly Plants.” -Michael Pollan  (I added the “real” part)

Broccoli and Kale Ginger Miso Salad (RAW)

2-3 Cups of raw kale

2 Cups raw broccoli

1 Zucchini –> Spiralized into noodles

1 onion chopped

Slivered Almonds (optional)

1 Organic Red Bell Pepper, chopped

Handful of raisins or dried cranberries

Ginger Miso Dressing (Recipe from Choosing Raw)

(Makes 1.5 cups)

1 inch ginger
1 cup olive or flax oil
2 tsp sesame oil (toasted)
Juice of 1 lime
4 tbsp mellow white miso
4 large dates, pitted, or ¼ cup maple syrup
2 tbsp nama shoyu or Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
1/3 cup water

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw kale can be hard to digest, if not properly worked. So make sure you massage raw kale with some olive oil, other dressing, or simply water. This also prevents chelation of some key minerals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Asian-Ginger Tofu over Kale

(Serves 1 1/2)

5.5 oz Sprouted Tofu (You can buy a 2-5.5 oz package, with the 2 small 5.5oz attached, so when you only need enough to serve 1 the other half stays sealed and fresh)

2 Cups Raw Kale

1/4 Sliced Onion

7-8 Cherry Tomatoes, halved

1/2 Large Green Bell Pepper Sliced

Drizzle of Olive Oil and Lime Juice

Squeeze tofu as much as possible to remove the liquid. I do not have a tofu-press. But I usually just wrap it in a towel in a baking dish and place a heavy pan or bowl on top for several hours.

Use a combination of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, Brown Rice vinegar, Lime Juice, Garlic Powder, and Ground Ginger. Mix and cover over tofu (cut into cubes) for as long a you would like it to marinate.

Bake tofu at 400 for about 30 minutes, flipping once. I threw in my sliced onions in the pan for the last 10 minutes to soften them up.

Drizzle a little olive oil and lime juice over kale, and massage until tender. Top tofu and the rest of the veggies on top and enjoy!

 

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Fall!

30 Oct

Ginger Sage Butternut Squash Soup (from Happy Healthy Life)

Makes 6 cups-I halved to 3 cups which serves about 2.

  • 1 cup canned organic pumpkin
  • 4 cups butternut squash cubes (I used half butternut, half acorn squash)
  • 1-inch fresh ginger or 1 Tbsp ginger powder
  • 1/3 cup grade B maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp vegan buttery spread-I used coconut spread
  • 1/2 tsp pink sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon-or more
  • dash of nutmeg

 

  • 4 leaves fresh sage, torn
  • 1/2 cup+ plain almond milk

Bring water and butternut squash to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. Boil until squash is tender, but not falling apart.
Drain the squash and add to a Vitamix or high speed blender. Add in the pumpkin, spices, and all the remaining ingredients. For the almond milk, start with 1/2 cup and keep adding until your soup reaches your desired thickness.
Blend and Serve immediately – warm. Sprinkle cinnamon on top and garnish with sage leaves or pumpkin seeds.

 

Enjoy one of the most beautiful times of the year (:

Quinoa & Butternut Squash

19 Oct

So right now in my sociology class we are watching a movie on drugs (for the third class in a row) so it is the perfect time to update the blog! I got this recipe from: http://www.gastronomersguide.com/2011/01/red-quinoa-with-roasted-butternut.html

I changed it up a bit…

 

 

Quinoa with Roasted Butternut Squash

1 Cup of dry quinoa

1 Large Butternut Squash-peeled and cut into cubes, roasted at 375 in a little coconut oil until tender, but not mushy

1-2 sweet or white onions (however much you prefer-but I love onions) cut in segments

1/2-1 Cup of cubed granny smith apples

2-4 garlic cloves minced

2 inch piece of fresh ginger minced

Handful of dried cranberries

Handful (or 2) of raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

Cracked salt and pepper

Greens of choice

Rinse quinoa thoroughly to rinse off residues and remove any black hard grains. Combine 1 cup of quinoa (white or red) with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until tender.

Saute onion, garlic, apples and ginger on stove in a little coconut oil until tender and golden. Combine cooked  butternut squash cubes, roasted apples, garlic, ginger, onions, cooked quinoa, and add the cranberries and pumpkin seeds. Toss with 1-2 Tbs of apple cider vinegar, 1-2 Tbs of olive oil, and some agave. Start off with a little vinegar, and you can always add more. I had mine over a mix of arugula & spinach. Although it would be great over kale. Serve warm over greens & enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I LOVED this dish, mainly because of the ginger, apple, squash combo.

Quick & Easy

17 Jul

Since I have been so much more busy lately I haven’t had time to experiment with a lot of new raw dishes. My typical routine is to make something really fast for dinner when I get back from work at 7:45, and work on anatomy while I eat. That said, I have not been eating as raw as I would like, but still vegan.

Something I loved pre-vegan was fresh tomato, basil & mozzarella. Well, a couple of weeks ago I discovered this soy mozzarella cheese-thanks to Colleen for telling me it exists! (You can find shredded most places–like Daiya, but its hard to find a big cube of it). A friend from work was nice enough to bring me 2 huge organic dark green heirloom tomatoes (I think they are called black krim tomatoes) fresh from her garden at home. They were ripe and perfect for topping with “mozzarella” and fresh basil from my yard. I sprinkled a little olive oil and cracked black pepper and broiled on high!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It tasted JUST like real mozzarella, and melted beautifully! I bet if you served this to someone they would never guess it was soy cheese.

 

A quick snack I whipped up to take to work to munch on were roasted chickpeas! So many people need a snack that is hard and crunchy (like chips or crackers) so these are prefect. You can put whichever kind of spices you like. I used a combo of curry, turmeric, red pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, pepper, and a little salt. It was supposed to be a garam masala blend-but I just used whatever I had here. I was very pleased how these turned out. Next time I would’ve used more spices though-especially more cinnamon because it’s my favorite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used organic canned chickpeas, because I didn’t plan ahead of time. But I would use dry and soak them. Dry them off and toss with olive oil then spices & spread onto baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes or until they are hard all the way through. Stir every 10 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chickpeas/garbanzo beans are inexpensive, full of protein, fiber, folate & manganese and have a pretty neutral flavor so you can do so much with them. I have a couple of different chickpea brownie/blondie recipes I want to try actually!

thai anyone?

14 Jun

While my parents were here I had to make some delicious peanut pad thai. This dish has seaweed noodles (kelp noodles) Kelp noodles one of the best food inventions. They actually have very little taste, but they are almost clear and shaped like noodles- the perfect pasta! There are endless possibilities of raw dishes with these great noodles. Kelp noodles are the gel that comes from the kelp, is completely raw, and looks and tastes like noodles. Sea vegetables are so important in the raw food diet to get all the trace minerals. Kelp helps with thyroid function. Now you can only get kelp noodles at asian markets, and there aren’t exactly any that I am aware of, here on the eastern shore. So I had my mom pick them up before coming down here. Sadly, one of the asian markets that I previously got kelp noodles at recently closed. The other asian market in Centreville (since there are SO many) did not have the right ones 😦 So she made the effort to get a form of  kelp noodles, but it ended up being the green, soggy kind. So I had to improvise and use soy noodles this time. They were very close to the composition of kelp noodles, but soy noodles technically are not raw. The dish still turned out great though!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The fresh baby bok choi gives the pad thai the perfect crunch. I love how this dish is loaded with vegetables, and I don’t often eat bok choi or radishes, so it’s a great way to get in that variety.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the soy noodles (should be kelp noodles, but look identical) Soak in water and lime juice for a bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw Pad Thai  (this recipe was originally from Sunny’s Raw Kitchen)

Veggies

2-3 cups sliced baby bok choi

1 cup julienned carrot

1 cup grated or julienned daikon radish

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 green onions, sliced

Sauce

1 cup raw almond butter

2 Tbs fresh ginger

1/4 cup coconut water to thin

4 Tbs lime juice

1/4 cup agave nectar

3 Tbs nama shoyu (or soy sauce)

4 tsp sesame oil

2-3 garlic cloves

1/2 jalpeno chile (I used a tiny bit of chile powder)

Soak kelp noodles in water and lime juice for 20 minutes. Then drain and combine with veggies (may need to cut some of the long kelp noodles) Combine sauce in vitamix and pour noodles & veggies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This raw “peanut sauce” is similar to the sauce I made for the lettuce wraps. It is soooo good-I could just drink it plain (well maybe not too much). I did not hold back with the sauce!

 

 

 

 

 

For dessert? Raw chocolate coconut ice cream!

 

thai lettuce wraps & chocolate brownies

10 Jun

My mom has been here at the beach now, so I had to make a delicious all-raw meal and dessert to continue to prove to her how you don’t lack in flavor or variety eating raw. I chose thai lettuce wraps with a peanut sauce and then I had to make her something with chocolate so I made a delicious fudgy-nutty-coconutty treat.

I got this organic red pepper from Ocean City Organics (first time I went there) and it was literally the perfect looking pepper I have ever seen. Have you seriously ever seen a more gorgeous organic red bell pepper?

These wraps can have any other veggie added-it would be great with mung bean sprouts, or other crunchy veggies. The sauce can be made spicy by adding some red pepper flakes! The sauce has raw almond butter, because raw peanuts/peanut butters are near impossible to find (because of mold problems with raw peanuts). I mixed the sauce with a sprouted bean trio to top on the veggies. These were beans I bought sprouted and dehydrated and soaked them myself to soften them up, but you could also sprout them yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Raw “Peanut” Thai Wraps (serves 2)

Large romaine lettuce leaves (or kale)

2-3 cups of chopped or shredded veggies (carrots, celery, red pepper, green pepper, green onions, sprouts)

sprouted beans (I used green lentils, mung, and adzuki beans)

Sauce

2 1/2 heaping Tbs raw almond butter

2-3 tsp agave nectar

2 Tbs soy sauce

2 Tbs fresh ginger

2 large fresh basil leaves

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 cloves garlic

added coconut water for consistency

Arrange veggies over the lettuce leaves. Combine all sauce ingredients in vitamix and mix with sprouted beans. Top bean/sauce mixture over veggies and serve!

 

Most raw desserts (especially chocolate ones) are made up of basically dates, nuts, and cocoa powder. Simple and delicious with no added sugar. Of course there are a ton of different types of desserts and other fun ingredients to add too. Raw desserts don’t compare to other processed ones, because you use the best quality ingredients from whole foods.

Soak the almonds to soften them up and release the natural enzyme inhibitors that they contain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fudgy Brownies

1/2 cup soaked almonds

1/2 cup soaked or unsoaked combo of walnuts & pecans

1/2 cup of dates & dried plums, soaked

3 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp coconut oil

unsweetened shredded coconut

cinnamon

Soak almonds 5-8 hours (preferably overnight). Soak dates and dried plums for five minutes, then chop. Combine nuts and dates/prunes in vitamix and combine. Add cocoa powder, vanilla, and coconut oil. Add some shredded coconut  & ground cinnamon(optional). This will be a very sticky consistency. Press onto waxed paper, lightly press down some shredded coconut and chopped walnuts. Chill 2-4 hours in the refrigerator.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My mom who LOVES chocolate even loved of these. These were still a little sticky after being chilled, but it made them even more like fudge!

 

 

OH bananas!

8 Jun

I fell victim to Harris Teeter’s little clearance produce cart, again. Everytime I look I mainly just look for ripe bananas to freeze to make ice cream, but this time I was beyond excited to see that they set up a whole separate cart designated just for the ripe bananas! There were probably 25 bags full of discounted bunches of ripe bananas. I had to take advantage of it because i didn’t know how often they would be so plentiful… so I got three bags. It ended up being 21 bananas for $1.95. Yes less than two dollars for 21 bananas. I will being updating the raw ice cream page a lot these next couple of weeks-to say the least.

It was a LOT of bananas…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This banana ice-cream was one of my all time favorites I’ve ever made!

frozen bananas….UNSWEETENED dark cocoa powder (preferably organic)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And it didn’t stop here at this chocolate goodness…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ginger Cashew cream sauce!

 

This ice-cream is raw&vegan, sugar free, and naturally delicious. Unsweetened dark cocoa is full of antioxidants and the fresh ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory.

Raw Chocolate Ice-Cream with Ginger Cashew cream sauce

1-2 frozen bananas

1-2 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder (more if you want it chocolatier)

1 Tbs fresh minced ginger, or more

2 Tbs raw cashew butter

1/4 banana

cinnamon

First for the sauce, combine cashew butter, the 4th of the banana (unfrozen), ginger some cinnamon, and some added coconut water or almond milk if it needs to be thinner. The longer you blend the thinner and warmer it will be, so you can even have warm cashew sauce on the ice-cream (because the vitamix is so powerful, the speed of the blades lightly heats the food!) For the ice-cream, simply pop frozen bananas in the vitamix with cocoa powder (and added ginger and cinnamon if you want). Top chocolate ice-cream with sauce and sprinkle cinnamon and some grated ginger on top!  am a huge fan of cashews so this was one of those desserts that you have to make yourself eat slow and enjoy every bite (: