Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Festival of Lights

Looking for raw food ideas to incorporate into your Chanukkah dinner? Raw chefs Deborah Blank, Kirby Cuke & Raw For the Holidays offer a full menu of delicious gluten & dairy free living food recipes for your celebration which include:

Apple Cakes
Honey Creme Sauce
Spiced Carrots
Sweet Potato Latkes
Sour Cream
Jelly Donuts
Chanukah Harry Choc Dipped Macaroons

Raw For The Holidays is a collection of over 100 holiday themed, healthy raw food recipes & 65 full color photos. This work is an expanded collaboration from over 30 contributors, including yours truly. Order your digital copy now, through Paypal for only $15.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Big Thanksgiving Episode

Thanks for checking out today's Big Thanksgiving Episode! I had such fun putting today's recipes together and filming the details for my weekly raw food segment on Raw Food Rehab. Unfortunately when I went to plug my Flip camera into the USB port of my computer, the plug in snapped off and my video camera is broken beyond repair. I hope you will at least enjoy the photographs and recipes I've put together. I'm wishing you and your family a beautiful, blissful and healthy holiday!

Cinnamon Apple & Rosemary Sweet Potato Chips w/ Maple Vanilla Cream
(inspired by Vegetarian Times - Oct 2010)

For the cinnamon apple chips:
2 medium apples, cored & sliced into 1/4 inch thick rings
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

for rosemary sweet potato chips:
1 large sweet potato
2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Cut sweet potato into paper thin slices with a mandoline or knife. Place slices in a bowl and gently rub in the olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary & salt.
Lay slices on mesh dehydrator trays without overlapping. Dry for about 6 hours, shifting until chips are fully crisp.

Maple Vanilla Cream

If you don't have a high speed blender, you can grind the cashews in a coffee grinder then place the powder into your blender to combine with the other ingredients until smooth.

1/2 cup cashews, soaked & drained
1 - 2 teaspoons maple syrup or coconut nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth & creamy, adding a bit of water if necessary to combine.

Sweet Cinnamon Pecans
(courtesy of Kerry Matson/Raw For The Holidays pg 73)

2 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon agave (or other sweetener of choice)
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of sea salt
4 cups pecans
1/2 cup dried coconut flakes

Mix together warmed/liquefied coconut oil, agave, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over pecans and stir to cover nuts well. Pour 1/2 of pecans onto a dehydrator sheet (no Teflex sheet). To the remaining pecans, add a 1/2 cup of dried coconut flakes. Stir well & pour onto another dehydrator sheet.

Dehydrate at 105* for 15-20 hours, or until dry & crispy.

Cranberry Pomegranate Chutney
(from Raw For The Holidays pg 90)

2 cups dried cranberries, roughly chopped
½ cup red apple, cored and chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
¼ cup agave nectar (or raw honey)
1 orange, zested & supremed
1 cup pomegranate seeds

Add cranberries, apple, ginger and agave nectar to a food processor and pulse together until well combined. Add the orange segments, pulsing only until blended in coarsely. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the orange zest and pomegranate seeds, mixing thoroughly. This will keep well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.

Savory Mushroom Nut Loaf
(Modified from Raw For The Holidays pg 94)

1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup mushrooms
½ cup celery
½ cup sweet yellow onion
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage or poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1-2 cloves garlic
1 cup carrot pulp
1 stalk celery, finely diced

In a food processor, grind nuts to a coarse meal. Place in a mixing bowl. To the processor bowl, qdd mushrooms, celery, onion, sage, salt, pepper, thyme, and garlic, and continue processing until everything is finely ground. Transfer this into the bowl with the nuts and stir in carrot pulp and diced celery. Use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix and combine everything together. Form into a loaf, cake or patties. Dehydrate 4-6 hours, (less time if you are making smaller cakes) until a crust has formed on top and it's nicely warmed.

Pumpkin Spice Bread or Muffins

2 cups fresh or moist carrot pulp
2/3 cup dried sweet almond pulp (left over pulp from making nut milk)
3/4 cup ground golden flax seeds
1/3 cup chopped raisins or cranberries
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 tablespoons coconut nectar or maple syrup
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons good quality olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl until fully incorporated. Either form the mixture into a loaf shape or press into a plastic wrap lined mini-muffin pan to form shapes. Dehydrate at 105 degrees until dried to your personal liking. The outer crust should be nice and formed, but the interior should still be soft and moist. Note: If you are making a pumpkin loaf, drying time will be much longer.

There are over 100 celebratory recipes and 65 color photos in Raw Food Rehab's Raw For The Holidays ebook. Click here to learn the details.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Big Raw Chili Night

Corn Fritters (from Raw For The Holidays)
3 cups fresh (or frozen & thawed) corn kernels
2/3 cup leek (other variety of yellow or white onion is fine)
1/2 cup dried almond pulp or almond flour
1/3 cup golden flax seeds, ground
drizzle of cold pressed olive oil
drizzle of coconut nectar or maple syrup
pinch of sea salt & fresh cracked pepper

Note - I added a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder & a seeded jalapeño

Blend all ingredients except 1/3cup of corn in a food processor until well combined and smooth. Using a small ice cream scoop or tablespoon, drop the batter on to lined dehydrator trays and press into the shape of corn fritters. Dry at 115 degrees for 2 hours and flip over, removing the non-stick backing, and place the fritters onto the mesh trays to continue drying until the desired consistency is reached (anywhere from 2 - 4 more hours).

Penni's Rawkin' Raw Chili

for the chili:
4 cups fresh tomatoes,diced
16 oz. white or baby bello mushrooms, chopped
2+cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
2 red bell peppers, seeded & diced
2/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
1 carrot, grated
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
1 shallot or small sweet onion, chopped (I substituted 1 teaspoon onion powder)
2 cloves fresh garlic (I used 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder)
2 tablespoon coconut nectar (honey or agave would be fine)
1 - 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon smoked sea salt (regular is fine)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
generous pinch freshly cracked pepper

for the toppings:
chopped cilantro
red onion, diced,
kalamata olives, chopped
avocado, chopped or sliced

Blend together all of the ingredients, except 2 cups chopped tomato, 2 cups chopped mushroom, cup corn, 1/2 of the red bell pepper, 1/2 the jalapeño and 1/2 the cilantro. Once you have lended the base, add the smooth mixture to a large bowl and add in the remaining chopped ingredients, stirring until well combined. Top the chili with any of the listed ingredients. Serve & Enjoy!

To check out my last post on chili - Raw vs. Cooked Chili Night

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What Would Angela Stokes Do (WWASD)?

Yesterday I shared 2 things that have been a big help to me that I learned from David Wolfe. Today I share another little trick I use that has helped me along my raw food journey. This was prompted by a discussion thread that went up right after Halloween in the Vault. In this thread a member, who normally doesn't struggle with sugar cravings, was suddenly perplexed over a couple of sugar related binges she had allowed herself to go on.

Here are tidbits of this member's dilemma:

"I am not really one for sweets usually, but I can tell I have a sugar addiction that needs to be kicked! I took a trip to Montana recently for a reunion and had some beer and wine... then a bit more at home. This past weekend I totally overate at my mom's house for dinner- mostly veggies but also some wine and desserts. Now I have raided some Halloween candy and need help! Ugh!......I feel like I am sabotaging my weight loss goals for some reason. I have about 15 pounds to lose, but I have been in this for weeks now and have not lost anything due to my constant "treating myself" to drinks or dessert or cooked meals. What should I do to kick it once and for all? Tips? Suggestions? Moral support? It feels like when I tell myself I can't have something, that is ALL I WANT! :-P "

Among many of the great responses, here is mine:

"Here is a little game I have played with myself when I find myself slipping into some of the behaviors you speak of.....I pretend that I am Angela Stokes (hopefully you know who she is). Perhaps this is the actress in me, but I literally wake up in the morning and mentally role play. What would Angela Stokes do? I choose to "become Angela" when Penni's brat acts out.

Angela Stokes would NOT eat a candy bar or drink half a bottle of wine. Angela would not be caught in the kitchen noshing on wavy Lays. Angela Stokes goes into the kitchen and blends up a green juice or green smoothie. She lovingly takes the time to move her body and be playful during her day, even if that means some other things don't get done. Angela makes a big, beautiful salad or prepares a quick easy energy soup for lunch/dinner. Angela snacks on kale chips and a piece of fresh fruit. She stays calm and detached when lots of stress and action are happening all around her. Angela knows how to check out and check in to her "happy place."

So WWASD? What would Angela Stokes do? This works to get me back in the game!"

In the video I mention the article that Gwyneth Paltrow shared on her website, Goop, today. Here is the link to the Overcoming Sugar Addiction by Frank Lipman MD. The link to the We Like It Raw podcast I mention in which Dhrumil interviews Dr. Alejandro Junger, partner of Frank Lipman MD, is here.

We would love to hear comments from you today. Anything from role playing to how you've overcome your cravings/addiction to sugar is welcome!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Loving Ourselves & Establishing Real Boundaries

Learning to set specific boundaries has been a very big part of my own evolution and growth along my personal journey towards optimum health and wholeness. Because I have always desired to be a kind, loving and accepting person, I have often found that life and others have often tried to trample, take advantage or abuse my loving intentions and acts of generosity.

It's been a painful and hard road for me (and for those who I have loved) because for the majority of my life I did not understand the importance of setting healthy boundaries for myself and for others. I know that many of us have struggled with this very issue, so even though this post deviates from my usual musings of food, I believe this topic has relevance in many areas of our lives. When we are clear about our needs and set those needs as a priority, we are not being mean, selfish or inconsiderate. It is only when we learn to love ourselves enough to nourish our own spirit and bodies that we are able to be truly generous with our love and compassion for others.

To respect and honor your authentic self, you must set personal boundaries. Your boundaries help define who you are and what you will and will not tolerate in your life. Learning to set boundaries often feels uncomfortable at first, but the process becomes more natural to you as you move into living and honoring your genuine self. You set boundaries with your professional peers, friends and family, emotional boundaries in virtually all aspects of your life, and spiritual boundaries as you embark on your life journey.

Know your personal choice, and when to say yes or no. This is the essence of setting emotional boundaries. For example, if someone demands your time or energy and you do not wish to participate, say "no" and if you choose, explain why. Causing a major confrontation isn't always necessary.

Watch for warning signals that trigger the need for boundaries. Various situations require you to set emotional boundaries. You usually receive warning signals. You may distance yourself from someone who is abrasive. You may prefer not to spend your energy on someone who does not live up to his word. If you notice someone is undermining you or putting you down, you may emotionally need to move completely away from the individual. Don't allow others to take advantage of you, treat you with disregard, or demean you. If you maintain healthy emotional balance, you are taking a giant step on the path to your power. You gain great strength in your emotions and mental health each time you stand up for yourself and protect your emotional well-being.

Decide how to set the boundary. If someone crosses your emotional boundaries, you may choose to address the issue outright and work toward a mutual understanding and solution. Or you may decide to quietly set your boundary through limiting your time with that person or being involved in a particular situation. You might also find removing yourself from a toxic environment is necessary. Take time to define your boundaries and seek a solution that allows you to maintain self-respect and live authentically.

Make healthy boundaries a part of your life. Your spiritual boundaries help define your soul's growth. As you pursue your spiritual journey, you will know your truth in your heart. Love, kindness, generosity, and healthy support for your fellow travelers become part of your life as you experience your inner power, joy and peace. Setting boundaries in your spiritual life includes making time to pray and meditate, getting involved with causes that are dear to your heart, cultivating your divine relationship with God or your Divine Source, and living fully in your truth.

Written with the help of: How to Set Personal Boundaries