Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Taste of Italy

For this week's Foodie Friday I wanted to create a menu around ingredients that I already had on hand either in my raw food pantry, refrigerator or garden. Also since I am still trying to stay with this juice feast, I wanted to create a few recipes that would keep well for my husband to enjoy over this weekend. So I put together a trio of pastas and sauces to choose from and a fairly over the top dessert - raw spumoni ice cream!

Fra Diavolo

This is an Italian-American fusion sauce that is typically served with a pasta that includes seafood. I decided that it would be the perfect compliment to the Sea Spaghetti that Raw Food Rehab member VeganForLife sent me just before my juice feast. I've been curiously staring at that package and couldn't wait any longer.

For the Sauce:
ripe garden tomatoes, chopped
1 small yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
3 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
3 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
pinch of freshly cracked pepper

1 package of Sea Spaghetti, soaked overnight & rinsed several times

For the Noodles:

Begin by covering the sea spaghetti with water in a medium bowl, cover and put into you refrigerator for at least an hour. The instructions on the website say the longer you soak them, the less "sea flavor" remains. I would recommend changing the water a couple of times before the final rinse before serving.

Putting it together:

Whisk together the olive oil and white wine and add all of the chopped ingredients, mixing together until well coated. Pour the ingredients over the spaghetti and serve.

Note from husband found the consistency of the noodles to be kind of slimy, but he said all the flavors seemed to go really well together. I did taste on of the noodles out of curiosity and it does have a distinct sea weed-ish flavor. I think these noodles are a really interesting raw pasta substitution.

White Truffle Cream Sauce with Marinated Mushrooms & Fresh Peas

Taylor, our youngest, LOVES the richness of Fettuccine Alfredo so this sauce was created with her in mind. I had a pinky taste of this sauce and it was absolutely delicious!!

For the Sauce:
1 cup soaked cashews
2 - 3 tablespoon nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoon white miso
2 tablespoons truffle oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
water, as needed to blend

Put all ingredients into a high speed blender and combine until creamy. Add water if needed to reach the desired consistency. I keep the sauce fairly thick, as it will thin once combined with the noodles.

Marinated Mushrooms:

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I used shiitake from my local market)
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons coconut aminos (you could use nama shoyu or tamari)
2 garlic cloves

Whisk together the marinade and pour over the mushrooms, tossing well to make sure everything is fully coated. Cover the mushroom and allow them to sit for at least an hour to full absorb the flavor.

To Serve:

Open a package of Kelp Noodles and rinse them thoroughly. I have found that these noodles stay well in the refrigerator for days if you allow them to soak in pure water until you're ready to use them. Put some of the noodles into a bowl and scoop some of the White Truffle Sauce over the noodles, stirring well to coat the noodles. Put the sauce covered noodles onto a serving plate and arrange some of the marinated mushroom on top along with a sprinkling of fresh peas.

Creamy Red Sauce with Zucchini Noodles

There used to be an Italian restaurant in Tulsa that my husband and I would go specifically for a pasta dish that had a decadent, rich, cream based red sauce. I put these ingredients together to try to recreate that sauce and my husband said I got pretty close!

For the Red Sauce:
2 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped (I coated these with olive oil and dehydrated them for about 3 or 4 hours to bring out a more intense roasting)
1/2 cup cashews, soaked and drained
2 medjool dates
splash of red wine vinegar
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
8 basil leaves
generous pinch of fresh oregano

Start by blending the cashews, dates, vinegar and some juice from one of the tomatoes in a food processor. Process until you reach a smooth consistency and then add in all the other ingredients, pulsing until well combined. This sauce will keep well in a covered container in your refrigerator for several days. Do not combine with the noodles until you ready to serve.

For the Zucchini Noodles:

2 zucchini squash

Using a spiral slicer, a julienne peeler or standard vegetable peeler, create your noodles.

To Serve:

Put the noodles onto a serving plate and cover with the Creamy Red Sauce. Garnish with additional basil leaves.

Raw Spumoni Ice Cream

Spumoni is a molded Italian ice cream made with layers of different colors and flavors, usually containing candied fruits and nuts. Typically it is a blend of three flavors. Chocolate and pistachio are the typical flavors of the ice cream layers, and the fruit/nut layer often contains cherry bits—causing the traditional red/pink, brown, and green color combination. I suggest making three separate ice creams, skipping the molded part...they are all delicious on their own, but especially wonderful serve together as you see here.

Pistachio Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups raw pistachios, chopped
1/4 cup almonds
1/2 cup agave nectar
a couple of drops of almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon coconut butter
2 cups chilled almond milk

In a food processor, combine 1 cup of pistachios, all the almonds, agave, almond extract, salt and coconut butter to form a thick paste. Put this paste into a blender and add the almond milk, blending until well combined. Pour this mixture into an ice cream freezer and add 1/2 cup of chopped pistachios once the ice cream begins to set up.

Cherry Vanilla Ice Milk

Coconut Milk (the meat and water of one young coconut blended together to make a milk)

1/3 cup agave nectar or 1/2 cup raw honey
1 10 oz bag frozen cherries (chop and save 1/4 cup to add in later)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup almonds, chopped

In a blender, combine the coconut milk, cherries and sweetener of your choice. Pour this into an ice cream freezer to process. You can also pour the mixture into a chilled glass bowl or casserole dish and put into the freezer. Stir the ice milk well every hour or so and add in the chopped cherries and nuts once the mixture has started to firm up. This complete process may take about 6 hours until it is fully ready to serve.

Chocolate Cacao Crunch

1 1/2 cup soaked cashews
1/3 cup medjool dates
1/3 cup agave or honey
3 - 4 tablespoons cacao powder
1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon cacao or coconut butter
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup+ cacao nibs

Combine all ingredients, except the cacao nibs, in a blender. Use the same preparations as the other two ice creams....either a ice cream freezer or the glass bowl method. Add in the cacao nibs as the ice cream begins setting up.

Serve this trio of ice creams together in a pretty serving dish for a splendid raw rendition of Spumoni. Add a fresh cherry and or sprig of mint to serve.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Do You REALLY Make a Difference?

Courtesy of MakeADifferenceMovie.Com

Today's post isn't necessarily related to food, although you could translate it to have meaning in that way. It's geared more toward a spiritual nature and seems appropriate to share this Sunday morning.

I think we all have our days, right? Days where we question ourselves...days where we have been beaten down by the challenges and trials of life and we wonder if we have any real effective value at all. I have days like this, I bet you do too.

Awhile back, I was going through some personal adversity and I happened across a beautiful thought which I’d like to share with anyone who is open to it today:

The next time you're feeling like you've failed, that you're of no use to God or others, or that your life doesn't make a difference, just remember….

Noah was a drunk

Abraham was too old

Isaac was a daydreamer

Jacob was a liar

Leah was ugly

Joseph was abused

Moses had a stuttering problem

Gideon was afraid

Samson had long hair and was a womanizer

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

David had an affair and was a murderer

Elijah was suicidal

Isaiah preached naked

Jonah ran from God

Naomi was a widow

Job went bankrupt

Peter denied Christ

The Disciples fell asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything

The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once

Zaccheus was too small

Paul was too religious

Timothy had an ulcer..AND

Lazarus was dead!

The bible was full of REAL PEOPLE, full of faults and failures, but the good news is......

God used them all and STILL uses their stories as inspiration for us today!!

How is God wanting to use YOUR story to inspire others around you today?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Foodie Friday - The Brilliance of Basil

Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme - they are all awesome herbs, but in the summertime, Basil is my pick for favorite summer taste sensation. Basil's heady aromatic scent often permeates your herb garden and your grocery bag. Basil is an easy plant to grow, its only major requirements being full sun and consistent water. Its delicious flavor, and overgrown abundance in my garden has made it a superstar ingredient in my summer kitchen this year. Today's I want to share with you a few ideas on how you can enjoy this delicious herb and still keep it raw!

Basil Pesto

Super simple.....basil, garlic, cheesy nutritional yeast and olive oil. I like to use omega-3 rich walnuts instead of pine nuts, but any nut will work and I suggest almonds, pecans, pistachios or pine nuts.

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves, (2-3 bunches)
1/4 cup walnut pieces
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons cold pressed extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1- 2 large cloves garlic
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place basil, walnuts, nutritional yeast, oil, water, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor; pulse a few times, then process until fairly smooth, or to the desired consistency, scraping down the sides occasionally.

Avocado & Herb Salad with Fresh Basil Vinaigrette

Nothing is more simplistic and delicious than a salad that is full of fresh garden herbs. This salad is super easy but aromatic, nutritious and delicious.

For the Salad:
2 - 4 cups Mixed Field Greens
handful of torn basil leaves & other assorted herbs of your choice
1 small avocado, sliced
1 ripe tomato, sliced
1/4 cup sunflower or hemp seeds

Arrange the field greens, herbs, tomato, avocado then seeds on chilled salad plates. Top with fresh basil vinaigrette.

For the Dressing:
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/4 cup champagne (or flavor of your choice)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 clove garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
3/4 cup cold pressed olive oil

Process the first six ingredients in the blender until smooth. With the blender running, gradually add in the oil in a slow steady stream to emulsify. Drizzle this over the salad to serve.

Fresh Basil Marinara

There are two summer ingredients that were made for one another and that's fresh, ripe homegrown tomatoes and basil. The following red sauce is perfect on zucchini pasta, in a raw lasagna, on a dehydrated pizza crust or as a dip for fresh cut veggies.

3 cups fresh tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked to soften
1/4 sweet onion, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil
2 - 3 soft dates, pitted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1 + tablespoon cold pressed olive oil

Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. This will keep well in an airtight container for 5 days in the refrigerator.

The Strawberry Basil Martini

This is not Dad's pre-dinner cocktail. Basil, muddled strawberries, a touch of agave, and chilled sparkling water or kombucha (if you're lucky enough to have some) combine to provide a fresh twist on everyday cocktails.

3-4 large basil leaves
3 large medium-sized strawberries, sliced
1 slice fresh lemon
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar (or to taste)
2 ounces sparkling mineral or spring water

Combine basil, fruit, and agave in tall glass. Muddle lightly to bruise fruit and release essential herbal oils. Add ice cubes and shake to mix. Pour sparkling water over the mixture and stir, straining and serving in a chilled martini glass with a slice of lemon or lime and a sprig of fresh basil.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Real Juice Daily

I have been passionate about juicing for 25 years. Over the course of the last couple of decades, I've read and studied volumes of material on the topic and each work has made an impact on my understanding and enthusiasm about the topic. The one common denominator between authors and health experts from many differing backgrounds is that they typically agree that juicing is a superior way to get optimum nutrition into one’s body. Fresh juices, blended drinks and the highly charged, mineralized and alkaline water they contain can repair, protect, energize, improve and heal the body. Because there is already so much quality information available regarding the health benefits of juicing, I haven’t spent much time trying to convince you of such in Real Juice Daily.

Real Juice Daily
is the complete story of my 3 month juice feast. The nearly 150 pages of information has been taken directly from my journal and is complete with photographs, recipes and daily reflections. I share with you why I decided to undertake such a commitment, how I did it and all of the intimate and juicy details that surrounded my life at that time. I believe this book can be a helpful guide and inspiration to you if you are considering a juice feast or if you just want to add more juice into your daily routine.

Real Juice Daily
is now available for purchase through Paypal for $12 and will be sent directly to your inbox once I've received notice of your payment. (Please allow up to 12 hours for delivery, although it should arrive much sooner).

I hope that you will enjoy reading my journey and that you'll join me for more juicy adventures in the days and weeks to come!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Foodie Friday - Hard Rock Juice Cafe

Okay....I'm composed now. I almost renamed today's Foodie Friday Episode - Hard Luck Juice Cafe because after loosing 3 hours + worth of filming in less than one second by pushing the wrong button on my film cam this afternoon, I felt disheartened to say the least. But on the bright side, in the 14 months of making videos for Raw Food Rehab, that's the first time that has ever happened, so those are pretty good stats, right? I decided there was no sense shedding a tear over it since I still have some great recipes to share today and some pretty good still photos to boot. Everything tasted great and I hope something below will appeal to your palate so you can get inspired to go get your JUICE ON!!

Green Day

1 cucumber
1 green apple
¼ cup parsley
¼ cup mint
2 stalks celery
1 tiny piece of ginger
1 lime, peeled

Push all ingredients through your juicer. This particular combination is wonderful for promoting beautiful, smooth, hydrated skin.

Sunshine of Your Love

2 oranges, peeled and seeded
3 - 4 carrots
1 apple
small knob of ginger
1 lemon, peeled

Push all ingredients through a juicer. The main benefits of this juice include revitalization of the body, good for cold and glowing skin. Beauticians usually prescribe this juice because of its extremely good effects on the skin. But the benefits are not limited to the skin. It has a cleansing and boosting effect to the whole body.

(I realized that I only had one little carrot left from my week of juicing, so this recipes will look more vibrant and taste even richer when the additional carrots are added.)

Wild Thing

1 apple
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple
1 cup watermelon, cubed
1 - 2 handfuls spinach

(add a bit of water to blend if necessary)

Blend together the desired amounts of each ingredient to create a wonderful mouth watering juice which is excellent for purifying your kidney and bladder. It also helps dispelling excess salts from your body. Some people use a tint of salt with this juice but I like to drink it as it is without the salt flavor.

Deep Purple

1 cup blueberries
1 cup frozen cherries
½ cup organic red grapes
½ cup raspberries, fresh or frozen

If you are using frozen fruit, you'll need to add water to blend. Puree all ingredients in a blender until well combined. This high anti-oxidant superjuice is likely to protect you from cancer, Alzheimer ’s disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, allergies, gout etc etc.

(Side Note....I had already drank about all I could by the time I made this brilliant combo, so I poured it into my ice cream freezer and made a sorbet for later tonight!)

The Pink Floyd

8 - 10 strawberries (fresh or frozen)
2 - 3 bananas (fresh or frozen)
nut or seed milk to blend

Put all ingredients into a blender and whirl until creamy. Kids love this served as is (a milkshake consistency), while some of you hard core Rawkers may want to add a tablespoon of green powder or Spirulina.

(Side note - I didn't have any nut milk prepared so I used a 1/4 cup hemp seeds and added about a cup of cold filtered water. I think this would also be even more delicious with a date or two and a splash of vanilla extract).