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.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Very Thought...

And I thought life couldn't get any better...

Then I discovered these at World Market, my most favourite store:

To the untrained eye these look like a 1950s vintage throw-back of the plastic Tupperware containers that my Nana might have used back in the day. But, oh, they are so much more.

These my friends, are not made of plastic. Nope, no plastic to be found on these cute little Tupperware containers that are covered in carrots, corn, and beets (I really couldn't resist. Can you tell? ...because I bought two sets..)

They are made completely of bamboo fibers!!!

Which is a superbly splendid discovery because I really wanted them and I absolutely hate plastic, but, bamboo? Yes, please!

It's environmentally sustainable and an excellent replacement for all things BPA-laden and yuckishly plastic.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fruit-a-loos, My Papaya, & A Coconut Secret..

My organic fruit consumption has reached unparalleled and staggering levels this summer. First, with watermelon. And now, with my two most favourite fruits of all time : cherries and figs!!! The pounds of fruit I eat could honestly feed a small country...whether this is a good thing or not remains to be seen.

Seems as though my body knows when I am good and done with a particular fruit though, so I'm not too worried about my fruity grubbing lifestyle. (See crisis of the watermelon below.)

 It's official - I am watermeloned out and I am pretty sure my tum is too. Unfortunately, my affair with the juicy deliciousness that is all things watermelon and watermelon juice has come to quite the early end. I was literally devouring an entire 12 lb. beast of a melon everyday after bikram; blending half into juice and eating the rest. After a while, I started to get this surging pain up my entire torso midst consumption everytime I ate it and it was constantly leaving me bloated...and not just watermelon baby belly bloated - like bloatedness that wouldn't go away...ever.  (Me + stomach flare-ups = bitchy, irritated, and extremely unpleasant to be around.) I was in a full scale watermelon-coma and it's honestly taken me up until today to feel normal again! 

In my quest to make my tum feel better and quell my watermelon hangover I discovered papaya. I've never been a big fan of papaya because well, let's be honest, most of the time it tastes like the smell of throw up! (Not to be graphic, but it really does!) I've only ever liked dried papaya spears for that very reason. However, on a trip to Mother's Market I sampled the most crazy, maple-syrup tasting papaya. Wha-wha-what?! I couldn't resist. I stocked up on that papaya and I've been eating it in both savory and sweet forms daily.

You'd be surprised all the things you can do with papaya - when it's ripe. Pretty sure that's been papayas problem all along. When it isn't that ripe it tastes gross. However, ripe papaya is sweet, juicy, and kid-you-not-tastes like maple syrup.  

In an effort to ease my belly flare-up I put papayas digestive-easing and belly-soothing properties to work and created this creamy, sweet, delicious pudding shake: 


This was:
  • Half a papaya peeled and de-seeded
  • Organic, ripe figs
  • 2 Organic ripe (spotted) bananas
  • Filtered water for blending
  • 1 T Organic, Coconut Secret Coconut Nectar (holy moly, I need to buy like 25 gallons of this stuff!)
Last week, I was invited to a rather new Raw Food store in Newport Beach. Chele and her crew have definitely tapped into something extraordinary within the raw food community -- they get that people don't want to spend their life savings on going raw! (As crazy as this sounds, it's true, I love the raw food community, but I often feel like they all live in some alternate universe where the economy isn't in the toilet and it's like they think people have got all this spare cash to spend $10 on four slivers of flax crackers.) Their mission: to bring raw to the masses in the most affordable way from those who are just 'raw-curious' to the long-time raw foodist. Everyone I met was incredibly friendly and so knowledgeable. I can't stress it enough: they get it! 

The highlights of this gem of a place: (there were so many more than this, but these were the ones that stood out in my mind because in all my years as a raw foodist I don't think I've paid less than $20 for a lb of cacao that apparently wasn't even raw...)
  • REAL raw Balinese cacao powder for $12 lb
  • Raw, Organic, Unpasterized almonds $7.50 lb
  • Sale items: Nut butters from Wilderness Poet $7-$9
And perhaps, my favourite: Coconut Secret. Yeah, pretty much the WHOLE line from the Coconut Aminos to the Coconut Nectar and Sugar Crystals. I've been eyeing this stuff up in the store for months now...seriously, Coconut Secret, where have you been all my life?!

Adios, Agave! Hellooooo, Coconut Nectars. This sap is outrageous. It makes my shakes taste like a cross between caramel and vanilla. Like most things coconut, it's just exploding with minerals and nutrients and it doesn't spike your blood sugar at all. I know, because usually after my nightly shakes which typically contain raw honey and in the old days, agave, I was always starving again within an hour. After using the coconut nectars, I am prefectly content. Not a stitch of returning hunger here!

The Aminos? Just as excellent. It almost has a bit of a smoky essence to it. And it doesn't over power your food with saltiness. This is the perfect replacement for Braggs which is made from soy and contains naturally occurring MSG. Yuck! Thought we were trying to avoid all that crap! I haven't used Braggs in ages for that very reason, opting to use wheat-free tamari or miso instead because it used to make me swell up like a ballon, give me a headache, and I could smell it come out my pores while exercising the next day. I'd be on the treadmill gagging because I smelled like soy sauce at 7 in the morning; not very pleasant way to start the day.

Chele has been working hard to really put Coconut Secret on the map to make it even more available, especially in bulk form. (Hurrah!) Trust me, one lick of this stuff and you're going to need more than just the 8oz bottle. Coconut Secret it where it's at.

Oh, btw. Eclipse was everything I hoped it would be and more. I still like the books better, but it seems las though they got rid of the guy who directed New Moon (thank god, that movie doesn't even pale in comparison to Twilight and Eclipse) and this new guy seems to understand what us Twi-fans want: more jacob/edward/bella/cullen relationship development and less action. Eclipse, does have a fair amount of action, but it fits in with the story. Oh, what I wouldn't give to be K.Stewart for just like TWO minutes.

Time to get moving on dinner!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Total ECLIPSE of The Heart

It's  been a very Robert Pattinson kind of weekend for me thus far. Last night I watched Remember Me and tonight I am going to see Twilight: Eclipse!!!! We had planned on going Wednesday night, but I wanted to prolong the experience as long as possible as I realise that Twilight movies all together are slowly coming to an end. (gasps!)  Remember Me is tragically fantastic. Regardless of how you feel about Twilight or R.Patt. for that matter ::swoon:: it's an utterly shocking and wonderful movie; you'll be sobbing at the end. 

 My kitchen has seen non-stop action this week and I've been prepping food for lots of hungry people. With Summer officially here in California the organic produce is just out of this world which has allowed for a wide variety of water-rich, nutrient-dense veggie packed meals! Raw in the summer is nearly effortless!

This week I threw together a quick Mediterranean-inspired marinated veggie dish with zucchini, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes. I let it sit in the fridge for a few days before I packed it up and set this lovely veg melange on it's way to be enjoyed.

Here it is marinating! Yummm, garlicy-goodness!

Other than Italian, I am an Indian food apologist for sure. I swore up and down that when I went raw I would never abandon my love for Indian food and always indulge regardless of how entirely cooked it was. Well, here I am two plus years later and I've yet to eat any cooked Indian food. Now, raw Indian food, well that is a different story!

 I make a mean Vegetable Korma that's jam packed with vegetables and drenched in a super flavourful almond curry sauce. It's the perfect balance of sweet, savory, and slightly spicy.

 Can you see the plump little raisins peeking out? You'd be surprised how well raisins and curry taste together!

 I was on the curry train last week and still craving sauerkraut, I made a Curried-Dill Kraut that is probably the best I have made yet! Thank goodness I made a HUGE jar because I've been devouring this nearly everyday!

A generous scoop of nutritional yeast on top and I'm in curry kraut heaven!

I used to buy these wee-bittle jars of sauerkraut all the time. When you figure that they were about $7 for a 16oz. jar and the fact that I used to eat at least one a week - that is a pretty large portion of our food budget spent on sauerkraut alone! If only I would have known how easy to was to make my own I could have saved so much money! As long as you've got a good quality sea salt and fresh cabbage, making your own kraut is so simple it's crazy. I would suggest heading over to pure2raw.com and looking up their videos on how to make fermented veggies and kraut because that's how I learned! Thanks girls!

Speaking of ferments, I also made a cultured Sunflower Seed-Tahini Cheeze this week too! Ahh, cheezy love in a mason jar. It smells like onion dip and the small taste I did have (for quality control of course!) was out of this world. It reminds of the nut pates I used to eat when I first went raw.

 I'm convinced that tahini makes everything delicious...

Raw Food Nerd Kitchen has not been without sweets this week. In fact, my kitchen has been producing oodles of little treats!

I made a huge batch of Cinnamon & Coconut Sugar Doughnut Holes for Kev to take to a BBQ at school. Apparently they were a big hit, but he could just be humoring me...

                               This was all that was left...                     

I also made yet another Strawberry Cobbler since my clients seem to really love them. And I agree, cobbler is the bomb.
This is leftovers. It was much prettier in the baking dish...
And lastly, Almond Amaretto Cookies. I slathered these in homemade Almond, Walnut, and Jungle Peanut Butter. Breakfast cookie anyone?

Raw food = O.K. to have cookies for breakfast in my book!

Hope everyone has a safe, fun, holiday weekend!

P.S. Glad you all enjoyed my Vegas post. I really hope it didn't come off as stuck up or anything, I liked Vegas, it just definitely wasn't what I expected and we all know what happens when you have expectations that aren't entirely accurate! If it's any incentive, gas prices were insanely cheap for some reason...$2.69 a gallon which I really don't understand. Kev and I now have a running joke that we're going to go back to Vegas just to get gas because it is so expensive in California...even though there are oil refineries everywhere.