Tuesday, 30 June 2009

RAWesome Good Eats

Breakfast: Banana Blueberry Mint Raw Smoothie


  • 1 banana
  • 2-3 handfuls of fresh blueberries
  • a few sprigs of fresh mint
  • water
Mix in the blender until smooth. Add some ice cubes if its a hot morning.

Lunch: Raw Cuke Soup (Again!! Can you tell how much I love this recipe?)
This week I only used 1 cucumber (instead of 2 as recommended in the recipe). It made the soup a bit thicker and creamier. Garnished with parsley and freshly ground black pepper.

Dinner: Raw Cheese Wraps ("cheese" recipe from gone raw)

"CHEESE" -
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 large orange or red bell pepper
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon onion
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • water
Put all the ingredients in a blender. Add enough water to just cover the cashews, and blend. You can vary the thickness by using more or less water.
To assemble the wraps, place a large dollop of the "cheese" in a lettuce leaf. Top with whatever strikes your fancy. I mixed the "cheese" with chopped celery and topped it with sliced tomatoes and freshly ground black pepper. YUM!

Dessert: Raw Chocolate Mousse (recipe from We Like It Raw)

Yes, it's another pie recipe with the pie crust left out. I substituted raw cacao for the carob, and since I didn't make an entire pie, I halved the original recipe.
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup carob (or cacao)
  • 1/4 cup raw sweetener (I used honey)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup fresh young coconut
  • pinch of salt
Combine everything in a blender until smooth. Pour into dessert cups and garnish with dried coconut. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Grape-sicles

These yummy grape popsicles are so easy to make, and hit the spot on a hot summer day. I guess this technique could be used with other fruits, but the high water content of grapes makes them perfect for popsicle making, plus there's no cutting required. I can't take the credit, I first saw this idea on Raw Food Crafting (a great website for raw vegan recipes). Eating these really makes you wonder what's in a commercially available "grape" popsicle ... I'd rather eat one of these any day!!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Today's Raw Recipes



Breakfast: Raw Berry Blend Juice (recipe from Donna Karen via Martha Stewart)

Yes it's true, there are a few raw recipes on Martha Stewart's site. I didn't have any bee pollen lying around, so I didn't include it. The result was berry-licious!
  • 1/2 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Dash of raw agave
  • 4 to 5 Brazil nuts
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon bee pollen (optional)
  • Unsweetened coconut flakes (for garnish)
Lunch: Raw Creamy Tomato Basil Leftovers Soup
Remember last week's minestrone soup and the basil pesto sauce that I made for my "pasta"? Well I made a lot ... of both. So I wondered: what would these two taste like together? The answer is pure raw food heaven. Last Tuesday night I combined both in a container and stuck it in the freezer. Last night I took it out and put it on the counter to thaw. Garnished with a few pieces of fresh avocado and parsley, and voila!

Dinner: Raw "Tuna" Salad (recipe from gone raw)
I thought I better put tuna in quotation marks as there are some raw foodists that eat actual fish. Thankfully this delicious dish is fish (& cruelty) free. It's a little bit more time consuming than the dishes that I usually feature on this site, but definitely worth it.
  • 2 cup almonds
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 dashes cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons unpasteurized apple cider vinegar
  • 4 dates, pitted
  • 1 clove additional garlic
  • 1 teaspoon additional sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon additional lemon juice
  • 1 large avocado
  • ½ teaspoon each dill, thyme, basil (optional)
Place almonds, parsley, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 clove garlic, 1 teaspoon salt and cayenne pepper in a food processor. Pour the mixture into a bowl and mix with the chopped celery and green onions. Set aside.

Now make the "mayonnaise". Place pine nuts, avocado, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, dates, 1 clove garlic, and spices in the food processor. blend until the mixture becomes really smooth and creamy.
Next mix the "mayo" with the celery mixture. Garnish with sliced avocado, sliced tomato, sprouts or olives. If you'd like a "tuna" salad sandwich, place the mixture on a collard leaf and roll. Cut the roll in half.

Dessert: Raspberry Ganache Fudge Cake (recipe from Ani Phyo via Go Dairy Free)
FUDGE CAKE -

  • 3 cups dry walnuts
  • 2⁄3 cup unsweetened cacao powder or carob powder
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup pitted Medjool dates

FROSTING -
  • 1⁄3 cup semi-soft pitted Medjool dates
  • 1⁄4 cup agave syrup
  • 1⁄2 cup ripe avocado flesh (from about 1 medium avocado)
  • 1⁄3 cup cacao powder
FILLING -
  • 1⁄2 cup raspberries

To make the cake, combine the walnuts, cacao powder, and salt in the food processor and pulse until coarsely mixed. Avoid over processing. Add the dates and pulse until mixed well. Shape into 2 stackable cakes of desired shape and set aside.

To make the frosting, combine the dates and agave syrup in the food processor and process until smooth. Add the avocado and process until smooth. Add the cacao powder and process until smooth.

To serve, frost the top of one of the cakes with half the frosting and top with the raspberries. Stack the second cake on top and frost the top and side. Serve immediately, or place in the refrigerator for a couple hours to firm up. The cake on its own will keep in the fridge for many weeks. The frosting will keep separately in the fridge for 1 week.

Next Tuesday I'll be away from home visiting family for Canada Day celebrations. It'll be my first attempt at eating raw on the road. Stay tuned ...

Sunday, 21 June 2009

Strawberry Mandarin Spinach Salad


The perfect summer salad to honour the first day of summer! Simple, quick and delicious too.
  • 1 bunch of spinach
  • 1 pint of strawberries, hauled & halved
  • 2-3 mandarin oranges, peeled & quartered

You can also mix up a quick dressing. Although this salad is delicious undressed as well.

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (cold pressed if you're eating raw)
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar (unpasteurized if you're eating raw)
  • 2 tablespoons sweetener (raw honey/agave/stevia, etc ...)

Happy summertime everyone <3

Thursday, 18 June 2009

DIY #5: Therapeutic Flax Pillow



I'm sure you know all about the health benefits of eating flax seed:
  • It contains soluble fibre, which binds to cholesterol preventing it from being absorbed in the body.
  • It helps inflammatory conditions, which may explain why eating flax can prevent heart attack and stroke.
  • Flax is a plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids (leave the fish oil for the fish please).
  • Flax is also very low on the glycemic index, which means it helps control blood sugar. When eaten with a meal, flax seed can prevent a high blood sugar peak after the meal.
But do you know about the therapeutic uses of flax? I'd heard a little bit about it, but it wasn't until I over heard a woman in a store talking about her flax seed boot that I realized all the wonderful benefits of those little seeds. This woman had accidentally fallen asleep with a flax boot on her foot. When she awoke the next morning, not only was her pain gone, but her foot felt moisturized and soft. That's because flax seed is an oily seed (remember its packed full of those Omega-3's). Turns out that flax seed pillows are good for relieving:
  • tension headaches
  • shoulder tension
  • back pain
  • wrist pain
  • poor circulation
  • menstral cramps
  • stiffness in hips or hamstrings
  • sunburn
The store I was in sold flax seed eye pillows, back pads, mittens, boots and shoulder wraps all for $30 and up. I wanted the benefits of flax, but I didn't want to pay those prices, so I decided to make my own.

Flax seed is surprisingly inexpensive. I bought 4 lbs at my local bulk food store for under $4. If you can find it in bulk, buy organic. Again to keep the cost low, I used some scrap fabric in green that was left over from another project for outer shell of my pillow. Simply cut the fabric in your desired shape, and sew right sides together. Keep a small opening to fill the pillow with the flax. Only fill the pillow 3/4 full so there's some room for the seeds to move. Stitch the opening closed. Larger pieces will need extra stitching; horizontal rows of stitches every inch on larger back pads, boot and mitt shapes will keep all the flax seeds from slipping down to one side of the pillow. Now you're ready to use your pillow.
Depending on your own preferences, the pillow can be used hot or cold. Simply throw the pillow into the freezer (you'll want to cover it in a bag first), or heat in the microwave. Be careful not to burn the flax! Once burnt it will lose all it's therapeutic benefits. Start off by heating it in small increments - 45 seconds. Remove the pillow from the microwave and shake to move the flax seeds around. Heat again for another 45 seconds, and continue until the desired temperature. If you need the heat therapy, but you don't use a microwave in your household, try filling a hot water bottle and resting it on the flax pillow until it heats. Or in the summer you can put the pillow in your car and let it heat up in there - I've tried it and this works! If you take care of it, these pillows should last you for years.

So what are you waiting for, get sewing!!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Rawday (aka Tuesday)



Breakfast: Iron Woman Smoothie
  • 1-3 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 orange, juiced
Toss everything in the blender and mix until bright green and lovely.

Lunch: Home-style Raw Minestrone Soup (recipe from Ani Phyo's Ani's Raw Food Kitchen)

Snack: Watermelon Sorbet (recipe from In the Raw)

I saw this recipe on In the Raw this morning - how perfect! I had some watermelon left over in the fridge, so I went straight to making this quick sorbet.

Dinner: Raw Zucchini "Fettuccine" with Raw Basil "Cream" Sauce (recipe from gone raw)

I finally got a julienne peeler! This is going to make my raw pastas a lot easier to prepare. You'll probably be seeing a lot of raw pasta recipes in the next few weeks ;)
  • 1 zucchini per person
  • 1/2 cup cashews
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of one medium lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion, chopped
  • A dash of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 big handful of fresh basil
Combine everything (except the zucchini and basil) in the blender. Blend until smooth. Add the basil and pulse to speckle the sauce with green flakes. Slice the zucchini into a fettuccine shape with a julienne peeler or spiralizer. Pour the "cream" sauce generously over the pasta.

Dessert: Raw Key Lime PuddingA blast from the past (new picture though).
  • 1 banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 4-5 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup raw sweetener (agave, stevia, honey, etc ...)
Combine everything in a blender and mix until smooth. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Now it's back to the drawing board for next week's raw day ...

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Raw, Raw & Mo' Raw Food

Breakfast: Strawberry Watermelon Smoothie


  • half a small watermelon, cut up into chunks
  • two handfuls of strawberries, hulled
  • raw sweetener (to taste)
Toss everything in the blender and enjoy!

Lunch: Simple Salad with Raw Sun-Dried Tomato DressingMy salad contained: broccoli, orange bell pepper, daikon, carrots, sugar snap peas, celery and lettuce (pretty much all the veggies in the fridge that I needed to use up).

DRESSING (recipe from gone raw) -
  • 1/2 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Nama Shoyu (or Bragg's)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
Combine everything in a blender until smooth. Pour the dressing over the salad. Garnish with sliced sun-dried tomatoes.

Dinner: Raw Cuke Soup (again)

Dessert: Raw Pecan Pie Cookies (recipe from Ani Phyo's new book Ani's Raw Food Desserts)
Makes eight 2 1/2 -inch cookies
  • 1 cup pecan halves or pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 8 ounces plump, whole dates, pitted, then chopped into chunks
Combine the pecans, cinnamon and juice in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely chopped. Add the dates and pulse to form a mixture that can stay pressed together.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the mixture into 8 equal portions. Roll each one into a smooth, golf ball-size ball, then flatten to form a 2 1/2-inch-round cookie. Place on the lined baking sheet. Repeat to use all of the mixture. Cover and refrigerate or freeze until ready to serve.

The cookies don't really photograph well (looks like falafel), but they taste heavenly! I love how simple the ingredients and the preparation are. If you don't have a food processor (like me), buy the pecans already ground. Add the cinnamon. Pit and chop the dates as finely as you can, then mash with a fork. Add the mash to the ground pecans and mix with your hands (so much more fun than a food processor). Add enough OJ to make the whole thing stick together to form a ball. Make 8 balls and then flatten into cookies. Chill in the fridge.

Snacks: Raw hummus (will post recipe soon ...) with carrots

Snacks really are key for me to get through my day. It keeps my blood sugar even throughout the day and gives me energy. If I don't have a snack between lunch and dinner, I start to feel sluggish at 3:30 - 4:00 PM.  Before going raw I always carried a stash of granola bars with me.  Luckily I have found some raw versions too!  My fav these days is the Cocoa Môlé LÄRABAR.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

5 Quick Eco Tips



  1. ENERGY - Don't leave your cell phone/mP3 player/PDA, etc ... charging overnight. Most of these devices can fully charge in 2-3 hours. So why leave it plugged in for 6-8 while you sleep?

  2. WATER - If you use a dehumidifier, don't dump the water down the drain. Use it to water house plants or your garden.

  3. SOIL - If you can't afford to buy all organic produce, commit to buying at least 1 organic fruit or vegetable a week. See my previous post on the best produce to buy organic.

  4. GAS - Inflate your tires. You'll use less gas.

  5. WASTE - Save the thin clear bags that you put your produce in at the grocery store. Stash them in your cloth grocery bags and re-use them week after week. Or knit a few of your own.

Happy eco'ing ...





Tuesday, 2 June 2009

RAW Day

Breakfast: Cashew Banana Mylk (recipe from Ani Phyo's Ani's Raw Food Kitchen)

Lunch: Raw Stir Unfry with Raw Dressing
Stir Unfry -
  • 4-5 bok choy leaves, torn into pieces
  • ½ head small cabbage, sliced
  • 1 small daikon radish, shredded
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 stalks broccoli
  • handful of snow peas, destemmed
  • few sprigs parsley
  • Sesame seeds (to garnish)

Combine everything in a large bowl.

DRESSING -

  • splash of Nama Shoyu (or Bragg's)
  • splash of raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger
  • 3/4 cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

Combine everything in a blender until smooth. Pour over stir unfry.

Dinner: Raw Cucumber Soup (recipe from gone raw)

  • 2 large cucumbers, peeled
  • 1 cup celery juice
  • 1 avocado
  • ½ cup olive oil (cold pressed)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon Nama Shoyu (or Bragg's)
  • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon raw sweetener
  • Celtic sea salt, to taste

Combine everything in a blender until smooth and yummy.

Dessert: Raw Key Lime Coconut Bars (recipe from gone raw)

  • 1½ cup raw cashews
  • 1½ cup dates
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest (zest before juicing)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 cup dehydrated raw coconut
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon raw coconut oil

Combine everything in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor (like me), mix everything in a blender on the lowest speed. The mixture shouldn't be a liquid, but should be moist enough to hold together when you squeeze it in your hands. Press the mixture in a pan. Refrigerate for at least one hour. Cut into squares and enjoy.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Yoga Asana of the Month (June)





It's that time again. Another yoga asana to soothe your yogic soul. This month is eagle pose (garudasana). The name of the video states this is an advanced yoga pose, but it's really not. I've been instructed in this pose in beginner classes. If you're having trouble balancing try focusing on one point and nothing else. As you become more comfortable in eagle, you can wrap your arms and legs at the same time (not legs first and then arms as in the video). Eagle pose will stretch out your ankles, calves and thighs. With continual practice eagle pose should also improve balance. Don't forget to do the other side too!




Note: The above video is provided by YouTube. I have no control over the ads within this video. I am not affiliated with these advertisers, and do not endorse their products.

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