Raw Week, Day 1: Wow.
I love routines. Last year when I was finishing my degree and had early mornings at school, I got into the habit of making myself a green smoothie to sip on the bus. It was actually my replacement for caffeine, as like most over-worked, sleep-deprived university students, I developed a pretty strong dependency on coffee. So I packed up my coffee maker, and moved my blender over to a position of prime counter top real estate. After a few nasty days of withdrawal, green smoothies were my new (healthy) vice. Plus, like coffee, they were fast, portable, and gave me a morning buzz! (And also like coffee, you could always tell on the days you missed it.) Since graduating, I haven’t really been making smoothies on a regular basis…so I thought that Raw Week would be a great time to get back into them. Here is one of my most favorite combinations:
Seize the Day Green Smoothie:
- small handful of kale (4-5 leaves?), tough stalks removed
- small chunk of peeled ginger (about half the length of your thumb)
- water, or nut milk
- juice of 1 lime (or 2!)
- 1-2 bananas
- peeled apple
- 1/8 tsp spirulina (optional)
- 1 Tbsp ground flax
- 1 Tbsp ground hemp
If you have a Vitamix, go ahead and blend it all at once. If you don’t have a Vitamix, follow these steps:
1: Blend Kale and Ginger with 1 Cup of liquid (or as little liquid as possible). This will make sure that the tough greens are well broken-down.
2. Add remaining ingredients and add liquid until you reach desired smoothie-ness.
For lunch, I decided to go classic and pick a soup and salad combo from Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen:
Shaved Fennel with Blood Oranges, Poppy Seeds, and Microgreens & Japanese Miso-Shiitake Soup
First, the salad: I’ve only had fennel a few times in my life, and I’ve never been a huge fan of it (it tastes kinda like licorice, which seems weird for a crunchy vegetable…), but I wanted to live dangerously and give it another try. Paired with the blasts of flavor from the blood oranges, I loved it.
One of the best things about this salad is that it only has 5 ingredients- 4 of them are obvious (fennel, blood oranges, poppy seeds (I used black sesame), microgreens) and the 5th is simply olive oil! The citrus brings enough acidity of its own, so no vinegar is necessary. Brilliant. And speaking of brilliant, the colours are dazzling. I had a really hard time picking my favorite shot, so here are the runners-up:
Ok, now for the soup. Wow.
I’m not kidding when I say this is better than even regular Miso Soup, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it has something to do with the *nudge, nudge, wink, wink* olive oil! I actually significantly reduced the amount that the recipe called for, yet it still was tasted deliciously rich! And I know what you are probably thinking: raw mushrooms? Yes. I was skeptical too, but they are marinated for about 10 minutes in a little nama shoyu (soy sauce) and oil, and with absolutely no exaggeration, they taste just like they were cooked. There is also a bit of ginger and garlic in here, that just brings the whole thing to life. The broth is made in the blender, creating an rich, creamy emulsion. I could have drank gallons of it. Serious comfort food!
And on to dinner…
Ani’s Raw Pad Thai Noodles.
(Love, love, love this girl. I was shocked to find out that she is in her 40s. To my eyes, she doesn’t look a day over 30. Might have something to with the raw foods. And those eternally-youthful Asian genes.)
OMG! Kelp noodles! I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for about a year, but never could find these kelp noodles. They were expensive to buy, so I found a place online that sells them at a 3rd of the price I paid. And boy, oh, boy, I will be stocking up. They were as good as I had hoped- absolutely neutral in flavor, and with a smooth noodle-like consistency. I was worried that they would be tough, but they were (oh so) tender.
I made a few adjustments to the recipe, I only used 2 Tbsp of coconut oil (not 1/3 C), and since I had a green jalapeno, I used 1/4 of a red bell pepper for colour, and 1/4 of the green jalapeno for spice (seeds removed). I also used a splash more soy.
This was soooooo, sooooo, soooooo good! Here were my results:
In the evening, my sweet tooth led me to the kitchen were I made one of the simplest, most healthy desserts I know: Lime Pudding/Ice Kream
- 2 (preferably frozen) bananas
- 1 avocado
- juice of 1-2 limes
- 1 mango (if you can)
Just blend it all up in your food processor and thank me later. De-lish! If you use frozen bananas, you get ice kream, if you use regular bananas, you get pudding. (This is the pudding version)
Well, I gotta say, this has been one of the most delicious and exciting days, ever. I was expecting to really be feeling deprived. Not so. In other news, NOTHING took more than 10 minutes to make. It was just like looking at a cookbook, saying “I want that” and magically having it appear. (With a little pre-planned grocery shopping, of course.)