Saturday, May 29, 2010

Locally Grown - Late Spring Supper

All week I've been focusing in on local foods. For many of us, this is an especially exciting time of year as tender spring vegetables are at their peak (or soon will be in your area). Recipes created around locally available ingredients are some of the most vibrant and nutritionally dense, so I have created this late Spring Supper with that in mind. I hope you will get creative with what's available in your area and share them with us here in the Raw Food Rehab Kitchen!

Local Spring Salad with Simply Delicious Dressing
Spring really is THE time to get creative in your salad making. This recipe is just one suggestion of how to bring your Spring produce & fresh herbs together for a symphony of vibrant flavor.

8 cups of Spring Greens (mesclun, mache, watercress, dandelion, rocket, micro greens, pea shoots, or any other spring lettuce mix)
1 -2 cups Fresh Herbs (basil, mint, oregano, dill, parsley, tarragon, thyme, etc.)
handful of sugar peas, strings removed
radishes, thinly sliced
Spring onions, shaved fine
grapes, variety of choice, sliced in half

Toss the greens and herbs together in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over the greens and toss until well coated. add in the peas, radishes, onions and grapes, tossing just enough to incorporate. Arrange your spring salad on chilled plates and garnish with chopped fresh herbs.

Simply Delicious Dressing
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar (not seasoned)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp agave nectar
Himalayan sea salt & Freshly cracked pepper to taste

Wisk ingredients together to combine. This dressing will store well in an air tight container for a week in the refrigerator if you want to multiply the recipe.

Sweet Stuffed Peppers with Wild Chive Cheese
We have wild garlic chives growing in both our front and back yard, I didn't even know if was safe to eat them until I began studying wild edibles. They are now one of my prize plants that come up on a volunteer basis each spring. As the season progresses they produce the most delicious garlic blossoms.......can't wait to show them to you in the weeks to come!

1 cup sunflower seeds, soaked & drained (cashews or macadamia nuts are brilliant in this as well)
1/4 cup+ water
2 tsp apple cider vinegar
1small, ripe lemon, juiced
1 clove fresh spring garlic
1/3 cup chopped wild chives
1/2 tsp sea salt
Small sweet Mexican peppers, cut in half and seeded for stuffing (widely available at most supermarkets)

Blend all of these ingredients (except the peppers) in a blender or food processor until you reach a spreadable consistency. Stuff the peppers with the cheese mixture and serve as an appetizer or main course.

Asparagus Basil Pesto with Sweet Tokyo Turnip Noodles
Asparagus and turnips are widely available at our local farmer's markets right now. I wanted to find a dish that could showcase the tender delicacy of these two outstanding ingredients and this recipe does just that.

For the Pesto:
1 bunch fresh asparagus, woody ends removed and chopped
3 handfuls fresh basil
2 cloves fresh spring garlic
3 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 lemon, juiced
1 cup hazelnuts (you can substitute pumpkin seeds or pine nuts)
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp Himalayan sea salt

Put all ingredients into a food processor or blender and combine until you reach a pesto like consistency. Put into a bowl and set aside.

For the Noodles:
1 bunch tender turnips (you may need 2 bunches if they are small)

Process through a Saladacco or Spirooli to create pasta noodles and toss with the Asparagus Pesto . Zucchini squash or golden beets also make a lovely and delicious alternative to the turnip in this recipe.

Citrus Mint Sorbet
You just have to try it...amazing. Best way to beat the unseasonably hot days of early summer!

5 oranges
4 Texas grapefruits (I got a great deal on these & they are sorta local : )
2 handfuls fresh mint leaves
1/3 cup agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener of choice)
1/2 cup crushed ice

Juice the oranges and grapefruits by hand, making sure to strain any seeds. Pour the juice into a blender, add mint, agave and ice. Blend until liquid. Pour this into an ice cream freezer for about 15 minutes and then store in an airtight freezer safe container. I think it is best when just out of the ice cream freezer while it is still slushy.....YUMMY!!

If Memorial Day is celebrated where you live...please enjoy a long, safe and fun weekend!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Know Your Farmer - Know Your Food

If you caught yesterday's blog post, I was on an outing to my local Wednesday Farmer's Market. I arrived hours after the vendors had first arrived, which would have been just before sunrise. As most of us are sleeping unaware, there is much preparation, packing, loading, traveling and set up that goes on behind the scenes to make shopping for the freshest, local, organic food in in our communities, easy and totally enjoyable.

Vendors and/or farmers at all of our local markets generally must erect a tent, table, signs, goods, displays, etc. long before shopper arrive. The day before, these same folks were out enthusiastically harvesting lettuce, pulling onions, and bunching produce by hand for selling. By late morning, most vendors are cleaned out of the majority of inventory, having supplied delicious goodies to hungry folks, eager to bring locally sourced ingredients home to help prepare meals for their families and loved ones.

Now let's step outside of that picturesque and pastoral image of the family farmer, and take a look at what happens at the grocery store. It's 5am and the 18 wheeler is backing up to the loading dock. The driver, who may have driven 30 plus hours from the Port of Los Angeles (where much of our South American goods enter the country) hops out and starts unloading canned goods (full of sodium), potato chips (made with hydrogenated oils and trans fats), and liter upon liter of sugary high fructose corn syrup laden sodas. There's the produce, mostly conventional - covered with herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and it's possibly genetically modified. The whole time this is occurring, the diesel truck is left running, dumping noxious fumes and pollution into the atmosphere. The food that is being placed on the shelves did not come from a nearby farm. Rather, it likely came from a processing plant where it was broken down and mixed with emulsifiers, additives, and coloring agents. In the end, this food-like substance was sealed neatly in packages made from virgin, bleached paper and petroleum based plastics.

The average American eats 8-10 food items a day. Each item averages 1,500 miles before it gets to your plate. Do the math - 15,000 miles per day, 105,000 per week, or 5,460,000 miles per year. The moon is about 238,900 miles away. That is roughly 11 trips there and back, in one year! For every American!!!! That's a lot of fossil fuel. Or you can choose food items that are raised locally and organically, and travel an average of less than 100 miles. Kind of a no brainer, huh?

What one purchases at a grocer might seem cheaper than the farmers market goods, but when we buy processed foods we are not paying for nutrition or sustenance (there is virtually none of that in there). Rather, we are paying for packaging, corporate marketing, genetic research, pesticides, environmental damage, and fertilizer. These hidden costs are purposefully not self evident. And, our society is paying for an epidemic of type II diabetes, childhood obesity, and a loss of food safety & diversity. Perhaps you pay less at the store, but your tax dollars directly support that worthless model of a food system through government subsidies. I don't know about you, but that just doesn't sit well with me.

I know....kinda depressing, isn't it? Well, really, we should be energized because right now the local food movement is reshaping the way we eat. Plus, there are many things you can do, today, to change the current system. First of all, know that it did not happen overnight. The policy changes that created this system occurred during the Nixon administration. More specifically, as a result of Earl (Rusty) Butz's (Nixon's Secretary fo Agriculture) agenda, which tore down 40 years of sucessfull farm policy. I don't want to get all polictical - my point is simply that the system was revolutionized in a lifetime, and it could be reversed in the same or less. How? Consumer is king. You vote with your dollars every time you take a bite. It is up to you to decide if you want to vote for local food or not.

Raw Food Rehab has a passion for help educate you on these issues. There are also countless books & cookbooks which have been written on the subject, endless documentary films, well funded institutions, grassroots organizations, and hundreds of thousands of people who have decided that it is time for a paradigm shift. Last night's event here in Tulsa at The Silo was just such an enlightening evening.

The facility itself was really impressive. It is built from reclaimed barn wood, utilizes a geo-thermal heating and cooling system, and has a permeable pavement parking lot. The owner, Sandy Dittman, graciously opened her doors for this event and her Executive Chef, Jeff Stark, prepared locally sourced appetizers that were mouth wateringly delicious!

Wes Downing w/ his wife & daughter of Downing Family Farm, Doug Walton from the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Mike Appel & Emily Oakley of Three Springs Farm, Lisa Becklund of Living Kitchen Farm w/ her guest.

I was sad that I wasn't able to capture clear footage of the four Green Country farmers who were the special guests on the panel discussion, "Know Your Farmer - Know Your Food." The title was taken from an initiative from the USDA (you know how I said the local food movement is chaning the way we eat? Check this out). I hope that you will find ways to become involved in your local food scene in your area. I have been amazed at how the efforts of just a few individuals in my community are totally reshaping how Tulsans think about what they are eating and feeding their families.

A big thanks to my friends Rita Scott, the director of Sustainable Green Country & Buy Fresh Buy Local Green Country and Amanda Forman, who heads up these cool Tulsa Green Drinks events. Today's post was written with Amanda's help.

With Amanda Forman, the director of Tulsa Green Drinks (which is just one of the MANY hats this savvy young lady wears in our local food scene). Big Props to Amanda for allowing me to use some of her text in this post.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Come with Me to the Farmer's Market!

Today I took you with me on my weekly trip to Tulsa's Brookside Farmer's Market. Shopping at farmers markets is a wonderful way to up your eco-green factor by eating locally. It's a real benefit to know where your food comes from and when you shop your local farmer's markets your grower is generally tending their booth, enabling you to ask any question you might have. Before making a trip to your local market, research what kinds of produce might be available seasonally in your area and do a bit of menu planning in advance. Having a bit of game plan can make your shopping experience more fun and make your food prep come alive!

Here are some helpful tips to make your Farmers Market experience the best it can be:

Do Some Meal Planning Ahead of Time
Once you've researched what seasonal produce you're likely to find at the farmers market, you can really map out a bit of meal planning and shop accordingly. For example, if local strawberries have just come into season and you can't get enough, you know you'll want to make Strawberry Lemonade or put together a Strawberry Fields Salad. If you have planned ahead, you'll know just how many pints of berries to buy and that you'll also need some fresh mint, basil and mixed spring greens to make those recipes happen.

Bring Your Market Shopping Bags & Plenty of Small Change
Some farmers market vendors offer bags, but they are usually the thin plastic ones that are not eco-friendly nor do they hold up under the pressure of any substantial produce purchase. Try to stay prepared by keeping sturdy canvas or nylon bags in the trunk of your car. If you live close enough to bike or walk to your local market, a basket, bike rack or backpack can make the hauling easier, especially if you plan to pick up more weighty items.

Although most vendors or market managers come ready to make change, your purchases will go more smoothly if you have small bills and change. Your farmers will really appreciate you.

Go Early or Shop Late
When looking for the very best selection, you will need to plan to be at the market when the opening bell rings. The very best items always go first. Depending on the growing season, there may be limited or unique items, like berries or fava beans that are guaranteed to sell quickly. Now if you are a "deal shopper," go to the farmers market towards the end. Farmers and other vendors would usually prefer to discount what they have left than to load perishables back into their truck, schlepping them back to their homes, restaurant or farms.

Be Spontaneous
As we've already said, your best trip to the market may be the one that is more well mapped out and planned. However, some of my best experiences have been when I went with a "hang loose" frame of mind, just looking for the best and most vibrant deals of the day. If you leave a bit of wiggle room, you could be delighted to find unexpected treasures like wild blueberries or an abundance of squash blossoms. Even if you're not quite sure what to do with these items, it is so easy to come home and find amazing recipes on the internet or in books on how to incorporate these foods into your meal plan.

Buy in Bulk
If you are open to the idea, some of the best deals at farmers market happen when you buy in bulk. You can experience the best flavors and the best prices when you buy in quantity of whatever is at peak harvest. This is the perfect opportunity to try new recipes with favorite fruits or vegetables. It also a time to get back in touch with the homesteader inside of you, trying your hand at the lost art of preserving food. Freezing, dehydrating and even canning are just some of the ways you can learn to savor the seasonal tastes you've found at the farmers market for months to come.

Get Expert Advise
When you find an unfamiliar fruit tor vegetable at the farmers market and want to give it a try, simply ask the farmer how to prepare it. These salt of the earth folks are usually quite adept at offering the best food prep tips. Besides specifically asking how they like to eat the item in question, many farmers provide weekly newsletters which contain a few recipes for what is currently in season.

Keep It Simple
Produce from farmers markets is about the freshest you'll ever find, unless you grow it yourself. So I encourage you to let the produce stand on its own, being careful not to over processor cook what you find. Keeping your preparations simple will provide the optimum nutrition and it will make things easier for you. There is nothing like enjoying the taste of fresh food in its most natural state market next week.

To visit any of the vendors you saw featured in today's video:

Tomorrow I'll be back with part 2 - Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Finding Balance

Earlier this week a blog went up on my website, Raw Food Rehab that caught my eye. It was from a member who was struggling with the concept of eating a 100% raw food diet. She shared that she felt that she was becoming food obsessed and didn't have time for such laborious food preparations as she worked a full time job that required overtime and she is part time yoga instructor as well. She went on to say that she also can't eat salad all the time because that is just way too boring.

I think this is a perfect subject to address on my blog here at Real Food Tulsa. I firmly believe that this journey towards optimal health needs to be fun and that we should learn to cultivate ways of joyfully and creatively making more healthy choices along the way. If my daily diet was one of only eating salads and/or that of living under some rigid dogma, fearfully approaching my food or worrying that the raw food police may have a surveillance cam set up around me 24/7, I'd have been out of here long ago.

I want to be clear about where I am coming from as a natural health advocate & raw foods enthusiast. I personally advocate a diet that is centered around eating real food, using a common sense approach, and loving what you do eat. I don't advocate eating a 100% raw diet, 100% of the time.

The bio at Raw Food Rehab shares that we are passionate about supporting our members on their own personal health journey by encouraging a diet that is all about adding more raw & living foods. The percentage of how much raw foods you eat is totally up to you. Each person has to find the balance that will successfully meet their personal health and lifestyle needs.

That being said, I do think that if your health is compromised or if you have a serious weight problem, eating a pristine, alkalizing, all raw diet of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, sprouts, seaweeds, etc. is a really wise approach for a season of healing and cleansing. I also have found that it can be really helpful to use other healing methods like juice feasting or colon hydrotherapy when chronic illness or imbalances persist. Here are some of the dietary points I believe in and support:

~ Michael Pollen said it best - Eat Food. Not too Much. Mostly Plants.

~ Eat Real Food. Food that is grown from the ground, vine or from the trees is always the best choice. Foods that are in packages, have labels w/ long lists of ingredients, and are highly processed are not encouraged when working on your optimal health.

~ Eat Local. Get to know farmers in your neck of the woods and find out how they care for their soil. Also consider starting to grow some of your own food in your yard, on your patio or in your kitchen. Baby steps are encouraged!

~ Eat Foods that are in Season. When you eat locally, this is a no brainer. Eating with this approach ensures the most nutrient density in your foods and these foods have generally traveled fewer miles and are fresher.

~ Learn about the benefits of alkaline foods that have super nutritional profiles and add more of these to your diet.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I realize that I have readers scattered all over this globe, so forgive me as I indulge a bit in the fact that it's strawberry season here in Oklahoma! The good news is that strawberries can be found in supermarkets almost any time of year, but for many of us, the late spring and early summer is the prime time to find locally grown, often organic berries that are ripe and ready to enjoy!

Strawberries provide an amazing source of vitamin C with one cup supplying more than 150% of your daily requirement. Another great factoid is that these delectable delights are a slimming fruit.....that same cup only has about 45 calories. As with most berries, they are a lower glycemic index fruit and they pack an anti-oxidant punch. They also contain ellagic acid, which is a potent, anti-cancer compound.

Dig this: the succulent s-berry has blood-purifying, astringent, diuretic, liver-tonic and wound healing properties. In other cultures this fab fruit is used medicinally in cases of anemia, constipation, fevers, hangovers, high blood pressure and jaundice. Because it also helps the body eliminate uric acid, it is used for gout, arthritis, bile & kidney stone reduction and rheumatism.

Now here is the caution, this berry is among the most hybridized and pesticide/herbacide-contaminated produce item on the market. So, I feel it's worth your time and money to search out organic sourcing whenever possible. Our local farmers markets offer organic or sustainable offerings, and believe me, you'll be able to see and taste the difference.

Strawberry selecting tips:
High quality strawberries are plump and well rounded with a natural shine and rich red color. When purchasing strawberries, check the pint or carton to be sure unripe berries are not buried beneath a ripe layer on top because strawberries don't really ripen after being picked. Their tops should be bright green and fresh, not wilted. Strawberries without caps should not be purchased as they may be overripe and not good quality. Obviously you'll want to avoid cartons of strawberries that are stained, leaking, or showing signs of mold. Use strawberries as soon as possible after picking or purchasing to ensure the best flavor and appearance as well as the highest nutritional value.

Using and Preserving Strawberries:
Fresh strawberries are delicate and perishable. If not used immediately, remove berries from their containers right after picking or purchasing. Arrange in a single layer in a shallow container, loosely cover, and refrigerate. Fresh strawberries are best when used within one to two days for best quality. Wash fresh strawberries just before you are ready to use. Washing strawberries removes their natural protective outer layer, and if done before refrigerating, quality will deteriorate rapidly. Wash berries gently in a cold water vinegar bath, leaving caps on during washing to prevent water from soaking into the strawberry, diluting the flavor and changing the texture. Let the sand and soil sink to the bottom, and then lift the strawberries out with your fingers. Several washes in clean water may be necessary. Let the berries air dry, or gently pat them dry with a soft towel. To add a bit of additional life to your berries, spritz them with a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice before refrigerating or freezing. This will help them retain their beautiful deep red color, and will also preserve them for longer spans due to the antioxidant effect of the vitamin C.

Freezer Facts:
Strawberries can be frozen whole, sliced, or pureed, depending on their intended use. Strawberries can be stored in airtight freezer bags at 0°F for 8 to 12 months. Frozen strawberries can be substituted for fresh berries in recipes; however, the freezing process will make the texture change when thawed. Strawberries are best served with a few ice crystals still remaining. If thawed completely they will become mushy.

Dehydrating Facts:
Sweeter varieties with a full red color and firm texture dry best. Slice strawberries for uniform drying. Dehydrated strawberries can be ground into powdered in a blender or food processor and then used to flavor juices, smoothies and other fruity recipes. I store this powder in an airtight Mason jar in my refrigerator for months. The best way to dry strawberries is to make into puree, put through a sieve to remove the seeds.


Strawberry Lemonade

2 cups water
1/2 cup + agave nectar or honey
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
1 cup fresh lemon juice
1 pint fresh strawberries
2 cups cold sparkling water
fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
whole strawberries, for garnish

Combine the sweetener, lemon zest & lemon juice into a pitcher. In a blender, puree the strawberries and add them to the pitcher. Stir well to combine and refrigerate until well chilled. Add the chilled sparkling water before serving and pour into pretty glasses filled with ice, garnishing with fresh mint & a strawberry.

Strawberry Cloud
A delicious chilled fruity soup that can also be thinned and enjoyed as a smoothie.

1 Young Coconut, just the meat
Coconut water, reserved for blending
1 pint fresh strawberries, reserve one or two for garnish
4 - 5 oranges, juiced
1 tbsp raw honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Crack open the coconut and pour out the water, reserving the water and extracting the meat. In a blender, place this meat with the strawberries, orange juice, honey and vanilla, blending well until smooth and creamy. Add a bit of the coconut water as needed to reach your desired consistency. Garnish with a few sliced strawberries and mint leaves.

Strawberry Fields Salad

For the salad:
6 cups mixed spring greens (I am using arugula & butter lettuce)
6 large strawberries, washed, tops removed and sliced
1 small bunch of fresh basil or mint leaves, chopped
1/3 cup candied nuts*
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, optional
1/4 cup rawmesan cheese sprinkles

For the dressing:
1/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp dry mustard
sea salt & pepper to taste

In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, dry mustard and salt & pepper. In a large bowl combine the greens, strawberries, fresh herbs, pecans, red onion and rawmesan cheese. Toss with the dressing and serve.

Pretty as a Strawberry Pie

For the Crust:
½ Cup Almonds
½ Cup Shredded Coconut
1 heaping TB of Cacao Powder
1 tbsp coconut butter (or oil)
Pinch of Sea Salt
2 - 3 soft dates, chopped
1-2 TB Cacao Nibs
Seeds from ¼ of a Vanilla Bean

~ Process the brazil nuts, shredded coconut, salt, cocoa powder and vanilla bean seeds in a food processor until fine crumbs.
~ Add the dates and cacao nibs and process until the mixture just starts to stick together.
~ Press into the bottom of 1 9-inch springform pan.

For the Filling:
2 young coconuts, meat only
coconut water, used only for blending
2 cups fresh strawberries
1 tbsp agave nectar (substitute dates or honey)
1 tbsp coconut butter (optional)

For the topping:
sliced strawberries, spritzed with fresh lemon juice

Keeps well in the refrigerator for several days. Freezes well too, but you may want to add fresh strawberries to the top before serving.

*Candied Nuts
Courtesy Melinda Gill

2 cup mixed nuts (walnuts, pecans, pistachios, almonds, etc.)
1 cup maple syrup or agave syrup
1 ½ tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt

Wisk together the syrup, cinnamon and salt until you get a smooth consistency. Stir in the nuts until they are well coated. Allow to sit for an hour so nuts can soak in the syrup. Dehydrate overnight (8 to 12 hours) at 105 degrees. Flip them and dehydrate another 4 to 6 hours.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mexican Food Fiesta

Last week many of us celebrated Cinco de Mayo which I have recently learned is actually the holiday held on May 5 that commemorates the Mexican army's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, NOT Mexico's Independence Day, as I had originally thought. While Cinco de Mayo sees limited significance and celebration nationwide in Mexico, the date is observed nationwide in the United States and other locations around the world as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride. For me and my family, it's another great opportunity to celebrate enjoying the brilliance of Mexican cuisine!

So we decided to have a fun little fiesta dinner at the Casa de Shelton last Wednesday evening and I wanted to share all of the recipes we made with you here on this episode of Foodie Friday. I hope this video and these recipes will inspire you to get your Mexican Fiesta on!!

Simple Celebration Salsa

2 cups fresh, ripe tomatoes
1 chile, seeded & diced (use Serrano or jalapeƱo)
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, diced
a generous pinch of sea salt
freshly cracked pepper to taste

You can either chop all ingredients by hand, or use a food processor if you prefer your salsa less chunky. If you like a sweeter salsa, add 1/4 cup chopped mango for a wonderful addition.

The Best Guacamole
from my book, Raw Food Cleanse

While vacationing in San Fransisco back in 1998, I had the pleasure of dining at the hottest new Mexican restaurant in town. It was the freshest, most delicious guacamole I ever had and I was able to talk the waitress into having the chef write down the ingredients for this little Oklahoma girl. I still have the napkin this recipe is scribbled on.

2 large ripe avocados
fresh cilantro
Serrano chiles
diced tomatoes
fresh lime juice, be generous
red onions, diced
fresh garlic, minced
sea salt'll just have to guess like I do! Mash the avocados i a bowl first and then add the other ingredients to taste.

For 4 additional delicious, healthy and festive recipes & photos, Click here.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Atomic Tiki

Trends come and go, but tiki will always be with us. Somehow it always seems to return into each decade....sort of like our fascination with animal print or the new placement of men's facial hair. Tiki culture occupies a space somewhere in the American psyche where escapism, modernism and kitsch overlap. I wonder if this fascination with Tiki culture is prevalent in other countries too?

Hipsters with Shag tattoos love tiki. Shoppers at Urban Outfitters love tiki. Guys in Tommy Bahama shirts who listen to Jimmy Buffet love tiki. Marlene Dietrich loved tiki and you guessed it, I love Tiki, too.

Pineapple In Paradise

1 young thai coconut, milk & meat (a thick almond milk could be substituted)
1 cup fresh pineapple
1 frozen banana
1/2 cup fresh orange juice (or more, if desired)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients well and serve in Tiki appropriate glassware topped with a sprinkling of dried coconut sprinkles & an umbrella, if you've got one ;->

Fantasy Fruit Kabobs w/ Hawaiian Dream Creme

For the Kabobs:
fresh strawberries
pineapple, cubed
melon, cubed
mango, cubed
any other variety of fruit you prefer

Prepare fruit and place on 8" wooden skewers, placing the finished kabobs on a serving tray.

For the Dream Creme:
1 young thai coconut, all the meat, chopped & reserve the water
2 - 3 soft dates, chopped (or other sweetener of your choice)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp fresh grated orange zest
1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger

Place ingredients into a blender and combine with just enough coconut water to make blending possible. The goal is to keep this thick-ish and super creamy. Add more coconut water as needed.

Atomic Tiki Pizza

For the Crust:
1 cup of golden flax seeds, ground
3/4 cup sunflower seeds, ground
3/4 cup thinly sliced fresh pineapple, and any juice you may have
1/'2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 tsp sea salt
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
water to blend

Combine the flax & sunflower seeds, set aside in a medium bowl. Combine the red onion, pineapple, salt, & red pepper flakes. Allow this mixture to sit on your counter a bit. After at least 30 minutes add the pineapple mixture to the dry ingredients, folding everything together gently. Add water as needed to create a thick batter.

Spread this batter onto lined dehydrator sheets and warm at 115 degrees until ready to flip (maybe 4 hrs.) flip over onto a cutting board and slice into pizza shapes or squares. Finish dehydrating until you have a nice crisp crust.

For the Pizza Sauce:
1 cup fresh tomatoes, seeded & chopped
1 cup red bell pepper, seeded & chopped
1 small yellow onion or large shallot, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, soaked
3 dates, pitted

To create a richness in flavor, combine the fresh tomatoes, red bell pepper, onion, olive oil and salt and spread this mixture onto a lined dehydrator sheet. Allow this to reduce at 115 degrees for at least 4 - 6 hours. Then add this flavorful combination to your blender of food processor and add the soaked sun dried tomatoes and dates. Blend well, adding in the tomato soak water to blend in to a thick, rich pizza sauce.

For pizza toppings:
fresh spinach
black olives
fresh sliced tomatoes
fresh pineapple
raw cheese crumbles