Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Review - Raw and Beyond: How Omega-3 Nutrition is Transforming the Raw Food Paradigm

This review is from: Raw and Beyond: How Omega-3 Nutrition Is Transforming the Raw Food Paradigm (Paperback)
When I received this book I am cracking its pages as I begin to live a Raw Lifestyle. I have been researching this way of eating for quite some time. Now I am physically putting what I have learned from books into play. This book provided me with information about the importance of Omega-3 nutrition. As I have no knowledge of nutrition, it did take me a few times to read it before it began to sink in so to speak.

As a newbie to Raw Food, there were a few items in some of the recipes I had to look up because I had no clue what they were. It is not written for the new Raw Foodist such as myself, but I can appreciate that fact that the three authors are well respected in the industry and have the confidence to let us know they have made a mistake with their past beliefs and can admit it. We benefit from their mistakes and can learn from their past experiences.

I am currently in what most call a transition and having both raw and cooked recipes was indeed a plus for my palate! I also like that Mrs. Boutenko shares her daughter's knowledge and recipes with us as well. Overall, I enjoyed the book. I have tested over ten recipes the past two weeks and enjoyed many of them. Among them my favorites are Merlot Pickeled Onions, Noodle Salad with the Sweet Miso Dressing, the recipe for Ranch Dressing (BIG THANK YOU ELAINA!) and the Garden Minestrone with Wild Rice & Sage Pesto.

I give this book 4 stars on because overall I did appreciate and like the content of the book.  I would recommend it to the more veteran raw foodist that want to further their personal libraries. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Weekly Update

Well this week has had its ups and downs.  Food wise as well as energy levels and being able to make it thru watching my friend Leeann in the Owosso Community Players theater group's rendition of 2 X 2 Based off of the story of Noah's Ark.  I found out that Leeann can sing!  Tonight was their last performance, I hope you were able to catch it!  If not, there are plenty of other shows coming up including a new presentation of Steel Magnolia's which I will be keeping my fingers crossed for you Helen Marie!!!  GO WHEEZER!  LOL

For food, as I vlogged earlier in the week, I have done alot of juices.  I have to "technical" difficulties with food this week so there was a mixture of both juices and smoothies.  Eric even joined in some taste testing of them and found that he really likes my Pineapple Orange Smoothie. 

Pineapple Orange Smoothie (Makes two very large pints or 4 regular glasses)

1 Whole Pineapple (you can tell its fresh if the inner most leaves on top its head pluck out easily, if you have to tug at it, its not ripe yet)
4 Oranges
2 small individual serving containers or Vanilla Yogurt
A quick squeeze of Agave Nectar
1 teaspoon of Bee Pollen

I threw them in the VitaMix and blended on high for just a minute or two.  I did have to use the tamper to push down the items as they were not falling onto the blades by themselves...maybe next time I will put the oranges in first before the pineapple....

Another concoction I tried this week was alot of red grapes that needed to be used.  I actually still have a ton....anyways.  I put about 3 cups of grapes in with two gala apples.  Having my technical difficulties I put this mixture into a nut milk bag because I just wanted the juice, no fiber.  Shaun and Eric both tried a cup of each and enjoyed it.  Eric said it as a unique taste but he thought it liked it and would drink it again....

Food wise the best thing I kept down was semi-raw.  I cooked some Basmati Rice and then threw ontop of it in a bowl: 

1/2  of a cucumber diced
1 stalk of celery
1 sprig of green onion
1 handful of cilantro leaves (then chopped it)
1 TBS of Coconut Aminos (to cut down on the amount of soy sauce I use)
1 TBS of Noma Shoyu (aka Soy Sauce)

Mixed it all together and at last minute squeezed 1/4 of a lime (1 wedge) on top of it all.  It tasted really good.  I plan on making this again in the near future (possibly tomorrow, definitely this week) so that I can take a photo for next time.  Just need to come up with a name for it.  I have no clue if there is such a recipe out there for this right now.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Food Diary 001

You can see it by visiting...
Green Juice Smoothie with Kale, Pear, Grapes, Apple, and Ginger

Pineapple Smoothie with Bee Pollen

Eric really wanted me to try to eat something.  I was making pancakes for the boys at Lancer's request.  I did give in and try some because Eric was saying he wasn't going to eat until he knew I was going to eat.  It was not ten minutes later I was being sick in the bathroom.  Live and learn.
So for dinner, basically I had water. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kale Pasta with Asian Flare

So last night I was making pasta for the guys.
I really wanted some pasta for myself so I came up with the above.
I took 1/2 cup of the cooked pasta and then threw it into my wooden bowl.  I then added 4 leaves of torn kale, a handful of mung bean sprouts, a handful of parsley, one green onion, one tomato, and two tablespoons of Whole Foods' Vegetarian Shredded Parmasaen Cheese.  I also added a bit of leftover ginger dressing I had in the fridge plus a dash of red pepper flake for a bit of heat.  It was really good.   I did massage the kale beforehand in the juice of 1/2 a lemon and it sat out on the counter for about an hour...that is what I was origianlly planning on eating for dinner, the Kale.  I plan on making this again in the near future.  Next time I want to see if pineapple juice would break the kale down the same way lemon juice does to see if I can give it even more of a tropical asian flare to it next time.  I know that the pasta is not necessary Asian, I just did not want to dirty another pot to cook rice noodles, I got them, but just did not want to cook more than I have too.  This combo might also work with my kelp noodles too!  (I just thought about that!)

For breakfast this morning, I had an Almond Strawberry Mylk Shake.  It was ok, don't think I used enough strawberries, will add even more next time. 

Lunch was a juice.  I used celery as the base, then added one red delicious apple, one grannysmith, 1/2 a lemon (leftover from last night), handful of parsley and about 1/2 a cup of filtered water.  I ran it thru the VitaMix and then strained it in a nut milk bag because I just was not in the mood for a smoothie, I wanted something less thick in texture.  I was surprised to find out that I really enjoyed it.  I had to add ice to it because I like my juice cold, but at the same time, I had to defend my juice concoction from Shaun as well.  He loved it too! I will try to take a photo of him next time.

I have been contenplating on whether or not to do a juice fast/feast.  I want to get a few more recipes under my belt that I know I will love to drink before going on a multiday (10 days) fest.  Plus I want to make sure with the calendar I am not going to have any outside temptations as well.    Back to the books for research.

I am currently reading Raw and Beyond by Victoria Boutenko, Elania Love, and Chad Sarno.  Be on the look out soon for my review.  I did receive this book from Mrs. Boutenko for my review and will give my honest review once I finish the book and taste test a few of the recipes.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Fun contest to win a copy of Nude Food ebook!

Shakaya aka as Earth Empress is holding a contest for a chance to win her ebook, Nude Food. From the description of her recipes, I am trying my hand at winning a copy of it. I still consider myself new in the world of Raw Food. I have been researching it since I was diagnosed with Kidney Disease last Summer/Fall and have begun applying what I have learned into my lifestyle of eating. Steadly and slow my progression from processed to raw food has greatly increased within the past six months from 0 (zero) to about 50% raw on a daily basis. My goal is to be 80% raw by my birthday in a few months.

Anyways, some of the recipes included in this book are:

Some of the recipes include:

Fresh Fries
Fragrant Butterfly
Thai Green Coconut Soup
New Moon Salad
Lotus Rice Medley

Don't they just sound wonderful! I am hungry now just writing about this contest!
Who would have thought that I could find a book that has information about Raw food and opening the energy of your inner Goddess! I will definitely be learning more about this lady for sure!

She also has a website at:

Be sure to visit her Facebook Page and try your own hand at winning her book!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I made Sushi !!!

I can't believe it!  I actually made sushi and it stayed together!!!
Still thinking I used too much rice but oh its so much better than my last try.  I am so happy with the result, I thought I would share it with you!

I had a bit left over, so I decided for lunch I would make a small meal with it and created this "deconstructed" Sushi Bowl.  I am using the Sticky Rice, Avacado, Cucumber, Cilantro, and Feather Boa Seaweed (THANKS JACKIE!!!!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

Pasta Alfredo

I was debating what to make today and was thinking about doing this dish.  One of my friends (Cat) asked me for the recipe so I thought I would just post it here for anyone that wants it can access it.

When I first tried this dish it was by the culinary hands of Deb Klungle creator of Nourished Body.

Now before you venture any further, I have to say that Deb is one of the best teachers of Raw Food I have personally experienced.  If you have a chance to take her classes be sure to sign up early as her classes are very well attended and sometimes have to stop taking registrations.  I started out with her recipe and added a few things to it.

Also Deb teaches about RAW FOOD which is where this recipe fits into the category.

Your pasta is actually Kelp Noodles!  You can purchase them from their website  They are a bit pricier than your normal pasta.

Anyways for this recipe, you will need one package of the kelp noodles.  You will need to soak them in warm water for a minimum of 30 minutes.  I say minimum because I like my pasta a bit softer so I soak them for 1-3 hours pending what I have going on during the day. They can also soak for long period of time 8-10 hours if you want to put them out before you go to work in the morning and have them ready for when you come home later that day.  I also like to add either lemon or lime juice to the water as well for a bit of brightness as well.

Now for the Alfredo Sauce.  I like to call this "Mac Alfredo" because it is made from Macadamia nuts.

You will need:

 3/4 to 1 cup of Macadamia Nuts.  The best kind to use is unsalted and unroasted if you can find them.  Now the nuts need to soak for 1-2 hours minimum.  This helps with digestion somehow (I am still researching that topic and learning)  You can also use pine nuts or cashews if you can't find the Macadamia nuts.  I just like the Macs better because they are naturally sweeter to my tastebuds.

1/4 cup of water

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil (I like to use Cold Pressed)

2 Tablespoons of Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed if possible)

1 glove of garlic

2 Tablespoons of Infused Truffle Oil (optional)

2 Tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast (optional)

1 Tablespoon of Coconut Aminos (Now this might be a hard item to get for some people.  I use this because it has less sodium than Soy Sauce.  You could also Soy in its place if you don't want to use it, or substitute Braggs Aminos in its place.)  I get mine at Whole Foods, here is the brand I uses website:

Then season with Celtic Sea Salt (what I use) or you can simply use whatever salt you like to taste as well as the addition of Black Pepper (I don't use black pepper if my friend Dawn is present because she's allergic to it).

Place all items for the sauce in a high speed blender EXCEPT for the water.  You will process them and gradually add the water until your desired consistency for the sauce is achieved.  If you want it really thick use less water, if you want it thinner add more.

You will need to drain the noodles and place in a large serving bowl.  Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss until well coated.  You can garnish this dish with a few different options. 

1.  Parsley, chopped tomatoes and a tiny bit of fine diced sweet vidalia.
2.  Basil (I like LOTS of basil with mine) and a sprinkle of Parmasean Cheese (I use the Veggie 365 from Whole Foods)
3.  If you want to make it a bit spicy you can use either a bit of Red Pepper Flakes or favorite Cajun Seasoning (I use Tony's salt free blend).
4.  Or top with a bit of your fav Italian seasoning blend. 
5.  Any mixture of the above that sounds good to you.

When I make this dish next I will update this post to show you mine...I did not make it today, but will later this week for sure, possibly tomorrow!  The photo above is about what it would look like and comes from Raw Food Recipes where I was inspired to add the other ingridents not in Deb's original recipe.  Its a middle ground of the two.  You can find Raw Food's recipe here:

So if you try it, let me know!  If you have an idea of what else I can use kelp noodles with, let me know that too, I still got a good bit of packages I need to use within the next few months. 


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tofu Fried Rice

So I was really hungry for Chinese fried rice.  I had some left over rice from the other night and it was either toss it or use it somehow.  Looking through the fridge I noticed I still had some mung bean sprouts, scallion, celery, carrot, white onion, and cilantro.  No mushrooms...I usually used portabellos as my meat substitute.  Searching the bottom of the fridge, way back in the corner was a package of tofu.  This is the first time I will be cooking tofu.  As I have read and researched, talked to my favorite Vegans at my local Whole Foods....I prepared the tofu as I was directed. 

Over all, the dish was ok.  I think next time I might sear the tofu in a hot skillet first and then add to the stir fry during the last minutes of cooking to reheat it.  Due to protein consumption I omitted the egg this time since I was using tofu (if it were mushrooms as the meat, the egg would definitely be there).  The tofu was a bit soft since I just cubed it and added it during the final minutes of cooking.  So texture wise I did not care for it.  After all I wanted would have been better if I made miso soup with the tofu.  Next time.....


Monday, January 30, 2012

Mushroom Barley Soup

Recipe: Barley Mushroom Soup

1/2 cup Barley (pearled is ok, I have also seen variations of this recipe that goes up to a full cup of barley as well.  Just depends on how much barley you want in it and how thick you want your soup.)
1 Onion, chopped
1 rib celery chopped
1/2 cup of shredded carrots or chopped carrot
1 8oz package of button mushrooms (whole or sliced, choice is yours. I prefer whole chopped)
1 oz of dried mushrooms (I like to use Oyster, Wood's Ear, and Chantrelles. If you don't want to use dried then you can omit them by adding more white buttons or a large portobella cap in its place).
6-8 ounces of Vegetable broth (adjust liquid to your liking for thickness of the soup, less liquid if you want more of a stew)
1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon of Thyme

First, if you are using dried mushrooms, you will need to soak them in hot water for about 30 minutes. Reserve 1/2 to 1 cup of the water from draining.

In a saute pan, warm oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot until soft (about 5 minutes). Put mix into the bottom of a slow cooker. Next layer the barley and mushrooms. Place the tbs of tomato paste and thyme then add the vegetable broth and mushroom liquid you reserved to cover the contents. Add a bit of salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low heat for 5 to 6 hours. If the soup is too thick, you can either add more vegetable broth or water to thin it out. At the final cooking stage, you can also add more salt and pepper to your individual liking. If you like a bit of heat, then you can also add hot sauce to it as well. Barley has a very sublte taste to it, so this dish will be more flavored from the mushrooms than the barley.

If you eat meat, you can also add beef or venison to this dish. I would suggest adding 1lb of meat and layering it above the onion, celery, and carrot and then putting the barley on top of the meat. You will need to increase your liquid by 1/2 to 1cup. If you want more of a stew consistancy, you can also increase your barley from 1/2 cup to a full cup. You want to make sure everything is covered with liquid in the slow cooker prior to cooking. This meal is also great served with some hot crusty bread to soak up the broth. Or possibly served in a bread bowl as well.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Will You Love Me Still? by Valya Boutenko

Will You Love Me Still? by Valya Boutenko
Published by Raw Family
ISBN: 978-09704819-8-6

Without going into great detail, this book is about a little girl and her cat and shows the relationship of unconditional love between the two.

Not only did I like the book, but my two sons loved it as well! I originally wanted this book for my 2 1/2 year old. One of the plus's about this book is its sturdy construction. This book will survive for quite some time and is very durable. As I read this book to my "baby", my older son was at our dining room table doing his homework. As I read allowed to my youngest Shaunnessy, in the corner of my eye, I would see Lancer (my oldest) fidgeting at the table. Lancer was actually trying to position himself closer to us to hear the story himself. After I completed the story, Lancer asked if he could read it himself. Of course I said sure. For a book to grab his attention and want to read it himself, is fantastic since he does not like to read at all.

Even thought the story is about a girl and her cat, the story itself has great meaning to both myself as a parent as well as to my children. Lancer and I have recently discussed things that children may do and get in trouble but no matter what their parents still love them very much. This book reinforced that concept for my family. The illustrations captured both my attention as well as that of my two sons. My boys liked the book so much that later in the evening, I could hear Lancer talking to Shaunessy in his bedroom. I opened the door a crack and seen the two of them on his bed and Lancer was actually reading to his baby brother! That has never happened before!

I would recommend this book to anyone.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Today's Lunch and Dinner

I could not decide what to do for lunch, kale, taboulli, cabbage slaw or soup.  So I decided upon the Taboulli and Slaw.  I turned them into pita sandwiches.  With a big glass of homemade fresh squeezed lemonade.

Tonight's dinner was inspired by:
A book from my personal library.  It was actually the very FIRST Vegetarian cookbook I purchased last year.  It stays within reach because I use it that freaking much since its winter and I love soup.

Page 48's "Corn Chowder in Winter"

I love this book so much you should go out and buy it.  Especially if you love using a slow cooker!

Here are a few photos of what's in it....

There are some more items underneath all that corn!!!!!  You'll have to go get the book to find out what they are.....

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Just before I put the lid on.....

It's cooking right now and making me freaking hungry, I can't wait for dinner!

More photos later of final product.....

Friday, January 6, 2012

Breadstick Wrapped Asparagus

Breadstick Wrapped Asparagus
(Created at Crystal's house Samhain Slumber Party 2011, I will post a photo next time I make it.)

24 Asparagus Spears
1 can of your favorite Crescent Dough in a can (according to various sources Pilsbury is Vegan friendly and what we used)
Earth Balance "Butter" spread (or if you eat butter/margarine you can use that too)
Parmasan Cheese (I like the Whole Foods' 365 Vegetarian brand)

Open the can of dough. Cut each piece of crescent roll into two pieces. (Can is for 12 rolls). Take each piece of asparagus and wrap it with a strip of dough. Place on cooking sheet and follow directions to bake the rolls. (Think it was like 350* for 12 minutes, but could be wrong, get the temperature off the can's instructions).

When done, take out and brush with butter. Sprinkle on the Cheese. Then devour.

NOTE: There was also talk of the possibility of blanching the asparagus ahead of time and also putting the cheese on inside of the dough. Can experiment with these options as well. Let us know how it turns out if you do!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Lollihop Box Received

On Christmas Eve, this is how the conversation went between me and my husband.....well it went along these lines of conversation anyways, its not exactly word for word.

E: "Are you expecting a package?"

Me: "No, everything's come in I think."

E: "The Fed-Ex guy is here."

Me: "He's probably delivering across the street, they have been getting alot of deliveries this week."

E: "Nope, he's coming this way."

ding dong....

I go to the door and open it.  On the floor upon our welcome mat is my LOLLIHOP BOX! 

Now all I wanted for Christmas was Lollihop (see my previous post and photo and sure thing Lollihop delivered!

This is what I got:

Inside were a t-shirt, two bags of chips and inside that little red stickered box were more stickers, an organic cherry lollipop, bing cherries, and a dark coconut chocolate bar.  SWEET!

I have been trying to pace myself especially since I wanted to eat the whole box at once...but I haven't....I still got my lollipop, cherries, and chocolate bar still....which one should be my dessert tonight after dinner???? hmmmm.....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Experiment: Veggie Lime Tacos

Experiment:  Veggie Tacos

So tonight I was making tacos for the guys....I wanted tacos too.  My choices were to do breakfast tacos (with Egg cause I am still eating them) or with miscellanous veggies I had in my fridge.  I chose the later.

1 large Dinosaur Kale leaf
1 cup of mushrooms
1/3 of a vidalia onion
1/2 cup of leftover basmati rice
1 teaspoon of minced garlic
pepper and salt to taste (I use very little salt now a days)
Juice of one lime
1 pat of Earth balance "butter"
Salsa Verde packets from Taco Bell
1 Hot sauce packed from Taco Bell

This recipe is still in the experimental stage.  I did not like the addition of the rice.  Basmati has its own unique flavor.  It was not horrible, very edible and did curb the craving for tacos that I had.

The kale was still very tough so next time I think I will marinate it in lemon juice prior.  I might switch to portobello mushrooms next time as well.   I still am not brave enough to try out black beans (I have to watch my protein intake after all).  I might try them next time even if its just a few tablespoons.  I might also add corn and cilantro as well.

Another way to go with this is to turn it into a fajita of sort...adding the roasted grilled vegetables such as bell pepper and possibly roasted tomatoes as well.  Back to experimenting.

I will find a substitute I will fall in love with to replace my tacos one day.....