Our idea of what constitutes "food" in American culture has become so skewed that it is almost unrecognizable. Our supermarkets are packed with products whose ingredients include unpronounceable chemicals, dyes, bacteria, and growth hormones. They are irradiated without our consent and contain GMOs.It's time to bring back FOOD. Pure unadulterated organic RAW food.This blog is a documentation of my continuing journey on a plant-based lifestyle.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

"Where do you work?" Oh..just my kitchen...


That's right, when you are self-employed raw food chef your kitchen is THE OFFICE. And last week, I spent an awful lot of time in "my office"; I've got Michael Scott aspirations for sure. Except, I actually get work done since I don't have any employees to drag to the boardroom for an impromtu distraction 'meeting' and I'd like to consider myself slightly more self-aware...

I also, finally, fingured out how to work my camera this past week...mm hmm, after 7 months...hey, I never claimed to be any sort of technical genius. Seriously though, I was pretty jazzed!  My food pictures will no longer suck!

Anyway, this weeks food got thumbs up all around. I know this is wildly cheesey, but no matter how long I've been doing this, when people like or love my food it sends zings to my heart. It's like a re-confirmation for following my heart.

Kevy McKeverson was partically enthused over my Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting. I went off Ani Phyo's Chocolate Raspberry Ganache Cake recipe sans the raspberries, but added my own twist. I mixed it up with brazil nuts and almonds instead of just walnuts. And I also added shredded coconut and probably wayyy more raw chocolate powder than her recipe called for. The carob powder that I added gave the cupcakes an awesome peanut buttery flavor, so says Kevin, mouth full of cupcake. The frosting in and of itself was a combination of avocado, coconut oil, agave, chocoate, and carob. I've been making chocolate covered strawberries for Kev to take for lunch with the leftovers. Store these in the fridge, the frosting and cupcake firm up quite nicely when kept cold; entirely, mouthwateringly, delectable.




Keeping with the theme of dessert first, I also made a Raspberry Cobbler. Cobblers are my favourite raw dessert to make because they are basically idiot-proof. Not that Kev is an idiot, but he's pretty challenged in the kitchen and I am 99% sure even he could make a perfect cobbler. It's really just whatever nuts or seeds you have on hand and fruit - you can even use thawed out frozen fruit! I like to pop my into the dehydrator overnight on a low temp. to let the flavors marry and oh, do they marry. The juices from the fruit slowly seep out and create a thick natural syrup, esp. with raspberries. So very scrumdillyuptious, you would not believe!

Pre-'Bake'


Post-'Bake'




I also made No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. As I mentioned in my last post, I gave them an extra protein punch by adding SunWarrior Vanilla Protein Powder to them. I've always felt more connected to the savory aspect of raw foods, something about the science of dessert making that has always intimidated me. Not to mention, making raw desserts can get pretty pricey! You know, with all that coconut oil and nuts and what not; there's just a lot more that can go awry! However, I think I've finally found my raw dessert groove! Hallelujah!




Now, on to the savories!

Before going raw I was known to sneak several vegan falefels from the hot foods bar at Whole Foods. Sorry, but if you've been to Whole Foods Union Square during lunch...or well at any time really...or even worse, Columbus Circle you know just how long those lines get! I couldn't help snacking! They were so good!

My raw version of this zesty Middle Eastern delight is wayy better for you than those still-fried vegan knock-offs. These are so light and fluffy and just busting with herby goodness!  And if you have leftover batter you can use it as a pate in a sandwich or turn it into a burger pattie! Mmm, mine are hella-packed with cilantro and cumin, two of my favourite herbs/spices. I stick these on a tray and dehydrate over night which creates a nice crust for the outside, while the inside is still slightly soft.


I made a homemade Cucumber Dill Tahini Sauce, Quoina Tabouleh, Lemon Parsley Flax Crackers (pictured below with my Sweet Sesame Crackers, and Garlic Zucchini Hummus to go with these for a Middle Eastern Platter.


I also made Sour Cream and Chives Dip for extra flax crackers...


And plain Sour Cream for my Mexi-Platter which included Red Cabbage Tacos stuffed with Taco Meat and Homemade Pico de Gallo.
While I love making raw gourmet, I've kind of moved beyond this transitionary period. I perfer a much more simple diet and I stick primarly to whole foods with much less of a focus on nuts/seeds for the bulk of my diet. I find I feel much better eating this way; there is much less transit time of food for digestion purposes, the nut-heavy stuff and I really don't jive anymore. I treat myself now and then, but most of my dinners look something like this. Essentially it is my version of Mexican Mac N'Cheese. I think it is one of the best things I have created and the best part is, it's SO simple. Takes me less than five minutes to make.





This is zucchini, shredded and mashed with avocado, lime juice, a dash of ACV and loaded with cilantro and cumin. I've been eating this every night for over a week now. I simplely cannot get enough of it, especially the cumin and cilantro. The mashed up avocado is what makes this really creamy like mac and cheese and the acid from the lime and ACV starts to break down the zucchini making it nice and soft.  This is really good with a dash of curry too...

I'm ending my night with this awesome Chai Spice Tea Blend concotion I found at my Co-op in Santa Monica:


I found this while persuing the asiles at the Co-op while waiting for Kevy to come back from the vegan restaurant where he was getting his lunch in SM last Saturday. I love Chai in all forms - cookies, tea, slathered on a boot fashioned to be a cookie??. I, shamefully, used to drink that boxed chai stuff like it was liquid gold. This blend is infinately times better. For one, it is green tea and not black so there is so residual caffeine after shock that leaves you up all night. Secondly, this is totally medicinal! If you can read the label, they've added reishi mushrooms, cordyceps, and maitake mushrooms!! All super healing for you body, great for energy, immune system, etc. And, it is sweetened with agave and honey! No refined sugar in this baby! And of course, it's full of Indian chai spice..what could be better?

I've been making homemade nut milk and adding 1 tablespoon of the Chai Tea Blend, 3 tablespoons of carob, and 3 tablespoons of Vivagave (1 of Original/ 2 Vanilla). I blend it up until it gets nice and toasty. It's so deliciously good and great to have when you are slightly hungry at night, but it is too late to eat anything...

They have two other blends, one is for energy and the other is for aphrodisicial purposes - all chai flavor, but with different medicinal blends.

The price? $6.50! 

I know, I was equally shocked. I was sure it would be at least $12-$15. I even double checked when we rang up the rest of our stuff.

It's insanely good.

Well, TGIF...or mmm, TGIS since it's offically Saturday as I wrap this baby up!

We're off to Santa Monica this weekend (again) with a trip to the Co-op for Chunks of Energy and Rainbow Acres-- who seriously only get better and better with each trip! We've discovered that they actually OPEN young thai's for you! No, like really open them, like hack the top off, no dinky little hole that barely fits your straw...does it get any better? Honestly???