Friday, November 23, 2007

The Day After

Yes...I have survived another Thanksgiving holiday with my marvelous family and friends. We had a beautiful day that included dinner for 20. As a raw foodist, orchestrating a festive and appetizing menu for a guest list of cooked food eating carnivores was not a task I took lightly. The menu consisted of a combination of the best of both worlds....traditional Thanksgiving fare and the introduction, to the majority of my guests, of the beauty and health of raw foods. I guess it is good to know that my appliances still work and that I haven't lost my ability to produce gourmet cooked foods for a crowd when the occasion calls for such.

I won't be sharing my recipes in this entry, although I will get around to it. I just needed to blog my assessment of where I am today, in the aftermath of such a day as Thanksgiving. Preparing all of that food seemed excessive and I felt troubled as I was vigorously adhering to the traditions that my family has always observed. No one had a clue I was at odds with the whole affair, yet in my heart, I kept asking the question, "Will this be my last Thanksgiving to cook?" My family doesn't have a real concept of who I am or what I do as it relates to the whole raw food thing, nor do any of them seem to care. I am speaking in a broad sense because my immediate family..husband and children, get it because they live it with me on a daily basis. But parents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, etc. just look at me with a baffled look as though I am dabbling in some type of cult. Perhaps that is the reason I keep my diet so much on the down an effort to simply not upset the balance of these family functions that seem to revolve around food, all cooked and always in excess.

So, through my personal discomforts of yesterday's activities, I think I've turned yet another corner. I have a great deal of acceptance and love towards my family and I am so very thankful for all they mean to me. It really doesn't matter to me if they understand or accept my diet/lifestyle. It really doesn't have to be a big deal. One or two days a year I can certainly compromise my diet and enjoy all the fun and love that flows through the crowd. (Albeit, I was popping digestive enzymes like a junkie). They need their cooked foods completes the ambiance for them. They can see that I have made and continue to make personal changes that are having positive impact upon my health and my appearance. They can tell by my words that I am doing my homework as it relates to diet and health. I don't have to cram anything down anyones throat. If anyone wants to know more, they can ask me. That is just where I am with it all.

Yesterday made me proud to be a raw foodist. It made me realize how eating raw is so much kinder and gentler on my body, my kitchen and the resources around me. Washing raw dishes hardly requires soap. Yet today, I have pans that are soaking in my sink that may never come clean due to the residues of cooked, congealed foods. As troubled as I felt in the midst of a pipping hot kitchen yesterday, a sense of gentle peace and gratefulness has settled upon me today. My husband is waiting on me now....ready to start this day with a green power smoothie. Yes, I have much to be thankful for.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Smells Like Pumpkin Spirit

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I have been working on a smoothie recipe that fits the season. I have tried to incorporate a lot of healthy, delicious and super nourishing ingredients into this raw power refresher. It is really great if you are a raw vegan and trying to keep your B vitamin intake up (especially B12 and folic acid). Check this out:


milk and meat of 1 baby coconut
1 frozen banana
1/4 cup chia seeds, soaked with one cup fresh almond milk
1/4 cup (or more) fresh carrot juice
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (add more if you prefer)
2 - 3 soaked dates
1 scoop maca powder
1 tsp. liquid vitamin B complex
1 heaping tbsp. Crystal Manna Flakes
large glass of crushed ice

Place all ingredients into your high speed blender and mix until smooth and frothy. This drink isn't only incredibly healthy and delicious, it is guaranteed to keep you rocking and fueled up for hours!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Crisp Fall Evening - Dinner for 4

Lately I have had a number of requests to share some of my recipes. I particularly like what we had last night and thought it I should share it with you. (Sorry - no pictures...I'm working on getting a camera so I can get visuals.) I gained my inspiration from our friend and hip raw food goddess, Tanja Andrews, who recently had a fantastic spot on a Bay Area home show. Check her out here:
On this clip, she made a raw pumpkin soup and a kale salad. I took the base of her soup, but jazzed it up a little to suit my family's taste buds and it turned out to be a success! I made her kale salad exactly as she did and it was really fresh and delicious. I will include the recipe here so you have a copy to look at. Then finally, I served my raw corn bread recipe. I came up with this idea because of my old love of warm soup or chili and corn bread in the cold months. The raw results of my tinkering in the kitchen did not disappoint.

Marinated Kale Salad

1 bunch of Lacinato or dinosaur kale, chopped
olive oil
sea salt

Once your kale is chopped, place into a mixing bowl and add just a touch of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Massage and mix the oil mixture into the leaves until they are shiny and covered. Allow this to rest for at least an hour, or so, until the leaves have begun to wilted just slightly.

1 apple, gala or other crunchy variety, chopped and not peeled

And toss with a dressing made of:
1 tbsp. stone ground mustard
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup basalmic vinegar
1/4 cup agave or raw honey
juice of 1/2 lemon


Pumpkin Soup

1 pie pumpkin, seeds and insides removed, skin peeled and cubed
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup fresh hemp or almond milk
1 -2 tbsp. nut butter (I used macadamia nut, which was delicious!)
4 dates, pitted
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. curry

Add all ingredients into your Vita Mix, or other high horse powered blender, and blend until smooth and creamy. You may need to add more liquid if your soup seems too thick. I blended mine until the engine of the blender warmed it very nicely to around 100 degrees. I garnished this with diced red bell peppers and a bit of cilantro. Truly delicious!

Warm Corn Bread

4 ears of fresh organic corn - cut from the cob (you can substitute 16 oz. of frozen organic corn)
1/2 sweet yellow onion
1/3 of a large red bell pepper
3/4 cup ground golden flax seeds
1/2 cup ground sunflower seeds
juice of one lime
1-2 jalepenos (you can use a milder pepper, if you prefer)
1 tbsp. raw honey (I added just a bit more to mine ;-)
2 tsp. sea salt
1 clove minced garlic
and for good measure I added a few good splashes of Tabasco sauce - another ingredient I haven't given up)

Blend all ingredients in your food processor until you have a nice grainy texture. On Teflex lined dehydrator trays, begin scooping the mixture and build muffins or biscuit like formations. Mine were about 3 inches wide and 1-ish inch thick. My husband said they looked like little hockey pucks. Place into your dehydrator and set at 105 degrees overnight or for about 8 hours. Flip your muffins over and continue to dehydrate another 12 or so hours or until you reach your desired consistency.

We enjoyed ours straight from the dehydrator, while warm and the kids slathered on a little more raw honey....YUMMY!