Posts filed under ‘smoothies’

Raw Week, Day 4: Amazing grazings…

This morning I woke up at the crack of dawn for a dental appointment, only to show up and find out that I had the date wrong.  I was pretty relieved.  (In my books, any day you don’t have to go to the dentist is a good day.)  As luck would have it, the clinic was within a couple blocks of Whole Foods, so I picked up some extra lemons and avocados, two things which are somehow implicated in almost every raw recipe I’ve seen.  (Now if only I could find a cheaper source of organic avocados…)

I hadn’t had breakfast yet, so I did a little dance on the inside when I saw this:

Perfect!

I don’t think I’ve ever had asparagus, jicama, or brussels sprouts for breakfast before, but it worked for me!  (They had a fresh fruit buffet, too)

When I returned home, I made a whole bunch of collard green wraps, packed with red pepper, nut cheese, avocado.  I never would have expected that these would be so good…and addictive!  (I think it’s kind of ironic that the meal I am enjoying the most is the least photogenic, but I am determined to get some good photos once I buy a new batch of collards!)

Here was a quick little zucchini snack I made using up the pesto from Day 2

In the afternoon, I discovered some perfectly ripe pears on the windowsill that I had nearly forgotten about…It took the opportunity to treat myself and my traveling massage therapist friend to a Ginger & Pear Spinach Smoothie:

Some fruit/herb combinations are just classic.  Like Strawberry & Mint, and Blueberry & Lemon Zest,  Pear and Ginger definitely belong together, too!

Pear & Ginger Spinach Smoothie:

  • 2 ripe pears
  • small chunk grated ginger
  • handful of spinach
  • cover with almond milk
  • dash nutmeg

For dinner, my friend and I finally checked out Organic Lives, a 100% organic, raw vegan eatery and supply store just 5 blocks from me!  We ordered a ton of food, but ate most of it before remembering to take photographs.  Luckily, I managed to snap some quick shots, in between bites, of our two favorites:

This raw sushi had fresh sprouts in place of rice, and had a dipping sauce made out of unpasturized tamari mixed with ginger and something else….wasabi?  horseradish?  It was sooo good!  Like a flavor bomb.  It was so good, I bought some raw organic nori sheets, so I can start making raw sushi at home!

And then there was dessert…

TiRAWmisu! Possibly the best dessert I have ever had in my life.  Period.  I need to find out how to make this, or something like this, stat!

One of the nicest things about Organic Lives is that everyone who works there is friendly, knowledgeable, and very happy to talk about anyone about the restaurant, the ingredients, and raw food in general.  We spent a few minutes chatting with Preet, the owner, who told me that the philosophy behind what they serve is simple: “If I don’t eat it, I won’t serve it.”  For that reason, Preet doesn’t use agave nectar, nama shoyu, cashews, or Braggs Essential Amino Acids.   All things that are pretty standard among most raw foodists.  I asked him why, and he shared with me a wealth of information that I will probably spend hours googling to re-confirm.  I wish I had been taking notes!  If you are ever in the neighborhood, you’ve got to check this place out! The atmosphere is pretty casual, but the food is fabulous, the service is warm, and the philosophy behind the restaurant is noble.  Even the water they serve is delicious!

Here is their menu

Man, all this food blogging is making me hungry! Time for lunch…

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February 28, 2010 at 7:42 pm 4 comments

Raw Week, Day 3: Stuffed Anaheim Peppers, an Entire Raw Onion, and a little heartburn, quite frankly.

Day 3 started off with some fruit for breakfast, followed by a bunch of recipes from “Ani Phyo’s Raw Food Kitchen”.  The picture above is her Stuffed Anaheim Chilies with Mole Sauce (plus a southwest slaw I threw together).  I made the mole sauce, but it just didn’t look very appetizing drizzled over the peppers.  Luckily, I snapped this pic just before destroying the aesthetic.  I’m not really a chocolaty mole sauce person at the best of times, but I wanted to give it another chance.   On the other hand, the cashew cheese-stuffed Anaheim chilies were really yummy.  If make this again, I think I’ll make a fresh salsa or salsa verde to pour over the peppers instead of the mole sauce, and maybe leave a few seeds in the chili peppers to give them a bit more zip- I was expecting the chilies to be really spicy, but actually, they are very mild.

I’m finding that the more salads I eat, the more I crave them.  I’m trying to pick a new salad to try every day this week, to get help me get into the habit of making them more often.   I thought that it would be a good time to tackle one of mankind’s most pungent salad items: raw onion.  Since I didn’t have any boys to kiss today, I figured what the hell.  Yes, I ate an entire onion in one sitting.  (Diluted with salad, of course)  And yes, it was actually enjoyable! The salad above is Ani’s Wilted Spinach Salad with Marinated Onions and Mustard Dressing.  Marinating the onions in a bit of soy and apple cider vinegar really sweetened them up and gave them a beautiful caramelized colour.  Did you know that besides giving you onion breath, onions are great for oral hygene?  Fact: chewing raw onions for 2 to 3 minutes could possibly kill all the germs present in the mouth area.  In a stinky way, my mouth felt very fresh afterward!

Ever since I got my hands on Ani’s book, I have been so excited to try her Portobello Steaks and Brazil-Broccoli Mash with Mushroom Gravy. Full marks for presentation, but it was actually pretty painful to get down.  And I just realized it my fault because I accidentally made her miso gravy instead of the mushroom one.  Both the miso gravy and the marinated mushrooms really salty, and the brocolli-brazil mash was interesting, but a bit too hefty for me.  Each mouthful was like swallowing a scream of flavor.  (Even if I made it with the right gravy, I don’t think I really would have loved it.) I forced myself to eat it all, but had a pretty bad stomach ache after.  I think it was the amount of nuts.  I once heard that a great way to get a good balance in your diet is to consider how much of a certain item you would actually be able to obtain with your bare hands- ie, how many berries, grains of rice, etc.  I would have had to spend a long time cracking a cups worth of those Brazil nuts, so eating them all in one sitting is pretty out of touch with the natural portion (probably a small handful).

Before bed I settled my stomach with a ginger and nutmeg blueberry banana smoothie, and felt a whole lot better.

Heartburn Zapper:

  • banana
  • blueberry
  • almond milk
  • ginger
  • lemon zest
  • fresh nutmeg

Peace and Parsnips,

Laurakins

February 27, 2010 at 7:48 am 2 comments

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.

*burp*

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.)

February 24, 2010 at 5:36 am 9 comments


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laurakins