"Good chefs, like artists, are visionaries. You have to have a vision of the taste, the look, the smell of your masterpiece; you hold it in your mind and make it materialize."

Onid Jatteri

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Immune boost without the poke

One of the sites that has "fed" me a lot of good info is Nathalie Lussier's Rawfoods Witch - down to earth, with humor, short and sweet, and always pertinant. Here's a recent post:

4 Foods to Boost Your Immune System

I know you've had this topic drummed into your head enough lately, but hey flu season is upon us so it bears repeating. Except my suggestion is not to knock that innocent grand mother out of the way in your haste to get vaccinated.
I would rather see you boosting your immune system naturally, with a more holistic approach. That means giving your body what it needs to do its job when it comes to fighting infections.

Here are 4 foods that help boost your immune system, and why:

1. Citrus: Fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lemons, and limes are high in vitamin C. They also contain antioxidants that support the immune system.

2. Broccoli: This green vegetable is so good for you in general, but is especially great at promoting immune system health. High in Calcium and Selenium.

3. Tomato: Lycopene in tomatoes helps the immune system. One note: you may have heard that tomatoes release more lycopene when they are cooked, but I believe it's all about absorbable lycopene. Breaking down the cell walls of a vegetable with olive oils or blending is also effective.

4. Spinach: Okay, so spinach gets a special mention but honestly increasing your intake of green leafy vegetables (no matter what kind!) is going to have a huge impact on your health and immunity. Spinach is high in Lutein.

Your Cue this week is to eat at least some of these 5 foods once per day. That should go a long way to improving your immunity. It will also take the edge off and get you to stop worrying so much the next time someone sneezes in your vicinity.
In the spirit of keeping the greenies coming, our broccoli is STILL putting out nice crisp shoots - and I have the best helper for harvesting! Max is always ready to help gramma, even on a really nippy day.
Now if I could just get him to EAT it...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Cauli Colorbox

A tasty way to use up those last beautiful cauliflower from the Farmer's Market.
Courtesty of KellyMyra on GoneRaw.

This is a really easy and versatile curry. You can have it on it’s own, with crackers or so many other ways and all the spices are really warming so it’s great if you’re feeling the cold.


2 Cups Chopped
1 Medium Carrot, Chopped
6 Soaked Sundried Tomatoes
1/2 Avocado
1/2 Onion, Chopped
1 cm Piece of Ginger
1 Tsp
2 Tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 Tsp
Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Cup Dried unsweetened
1 Tbsp Flaxseed
1 Cup Rejuvelac or Water
Serving options: Cucumber, alfalfa sprouts or rice paper (not raw)
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until it is finely chopped and well combined.
Serve in a bowl topped with alfalfa sprouts, on cucumber rounds. If you are not 100% raw try it wrapped in rice paper with alfalfa. It would also work well rolled in a large leafy green with other vegetables or on flax crackers. It’s up to you.
Would also do well as patties in the dehydrator.

I loved using the colored cauliflower - a happy, warming recipe to enjoy during our variable fall weather.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weight loss or Health gain?

My primary reason for moving towards a higher raw eating protocol has always been to improve my health and derail further medical issues. I was interested while browsing various "raw" sites to note that many people had discarded weight along the path to improved health. Most of the time I'm happy to maintain where I'm at, but my closet would appreciate having a few less pounds to deal with. So weight management via eating raw is definately in the background of my choices.

The following quote really rang my bell. The entire article is on the link, and a good read.

"I have noticed lately that there are a lot of websites popping up promising weight loss with the “new raw food diet.” Honestly, this saddens me. Raw food for me is not just about weight loss, it is about health gain. It is about learning how to make better choices about the food we eat. It is about how our choices nourish our bodies. If we make good choices, we can have better health, bad choices can lead us to chronic disease, low energy, weight gain and poor health.
I abhor the word diet. The minute you say, “I need to lose weight”, you diminish yourself. You say, I am not what I should be."

Thank you Susan, this sort of article is one of the reasons Rawmazing is on my browse list.
Incidentally, ten pounds have dropped away while I've been enjoying eating whatever I want the past few months.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Onion Bread

Staying away from yeast breads is important for my health. Mostly because I love them SOOOO much that I totally lose focus at the first bite of buttered yeasty chewy yum, and will easily go through half a loaf of fresh-out-of-the oven bread. And to make it even more difficult, I LOVE to BAKE BREAD!!

While browsing through various raw recipe sites, I kept seeing references to an Onion Bread that most contributors seemed to think was the bee's knee's, the best thing in the raw bread world. So I finally threw the ingredients in the processor, waited patiently for it do it's thing in the dehydrator, and took a bite.

Whoa nelly. This is GOOD STUFF!

Here's my version of a super lunch - tomato, avocado, and alfalfa sprouts in an onion bread sandwich spread with a bit of almondaise, some curried cauliflower, a spoonful raw kraut salad, some marinated/dehydrated mushrooms - and apple walnut cookies to snack on a bit later.
I did a few tweaks, after taking notes on various versions. Here's my
In processor, finely dice 1 large sweet onion - about 1 1/4c.
Put in a bowl with: 1 c. flax seed, ground (measure BEFORE grinding)
1 c. raw sunflower seeds, ground ( " ")
1/4 c. fermented soy sauce, ie Kikomans
1/4 c. water
1/8 c. -1/4 c. olive oil (too much oil makes it crumbly)
1/2 large sweet onion, THINLY sliced
Mix thoroughly. Spread on teflex sheets (it made two sheets for my round dehydrator) about 1/4" thin. Helps to wet your hands as you spread and pat it out. Dry about 8 hours at 115 degrees (overnight works). Flip off the teflex sheets onto dehydrator racks, dry additional 3-4 hours, or until it suits the texture you like.
These are pliable but mostly dry; they can be dried totally crisp, if desired.
I cut them into wedges with kitchen scissors while still warm.
The only problem I ran into with them - I kept eating samples while testing for dryness. REALLY good flavor, and while still warm - devine!
I like this bread way too much, so I packaged wedges wrapped in pairs, for sandwiches, and tucked them into a ziplock bag in the fridge. I understand they freeze well, too. I'll try that if I still have some left at the end of the week....

Monday, October 19, 2009

Sunny Patties

I've been looking at "burger patty" recipes, planning on adding a little variety to the menu plus another "grab 'n go" food. This one, from "Dining in the Raw", was an inexpensive starter. Plus, I had everything on hand - that counts - a LOT!

("Sunburgers" in the recipe book - I don't like the "burger" label when it isn't real meat - call me eccentric)

In food processor with"S" blade:
1 cup sunflower seeds (soak a couple hours and shake dry)
1/2 c. carrot chunks
1/2 c. celery chunks
1/2 bunch green onions, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1/4 c. fresh basil
1/4 c. fresh parsley
fermented soy sauce to taste

Process to very fine dice. Form patties, place gently on fine mesh screen on dehydrator trays. Don't squash onto mesh, they'll stick. I dried them for about 6 hours, at 118 degrees, to get the texture I like. They can be dried completely crisp, if desired. Store airtight in fridge.

Chewy, tasty, very satisfying!

I ate the first one warm from the dryer, with a dollop of fresh marinara.

These are going on the "make again" list!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sweet 'n Zippy Lentil Soup

Warmer soups are on the calender now - it's freezing at night, and barely in the 4os during the day. Getting a nice warm soup together quickly can be a life-saver after getting chilled to the bone.

Prepping the veggies and other ingredients properly can make a big difference in time and nutrition. The food processor becomes my good friend, by quickly turning chunks of hard veggies into fine dice - and they don't have to be done singly, just pitch them all in together and blitz! They will cook through with little heat, a priority for my preferred way of eating.

By using a low-heat method, the vegetables, even though in small pieces, don't turn to mush, as can be seen in the photo below. Low-heat just means bringing the pot barely to a boil, then turning off the heat. The remaining heat finishes the cooking process, the veggies maintain their shape and color. Beautiful!

A soup doesn't have to be cooked for hours, to warm you up, as this one proves. One of my favorite pre-raw soups has always been Sweet and Sour, and this is a good stand-in until I re-work my S & S recipe...

About noon the day before you want the soup, start by soaking a cup of brown lentils for about 8 hours. Then, drain and rinse, and let them set until the next afternoon, about 4 PM. They will have started to sprout, which is what we want. Sprouted grains and seeds need less heat to become soft, thereby preserving nutrients and enzymes, plus putting the phytates out of commission.

Using your processor, blitz to small dice:
1 large carrot
1 parsnip
1 onion
Put into a 2 quart pot. Add:
1 diced, seeded jalapeno pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp chili powder
the sprouted lentils
Cover about 2" with water. Bring just barely to a boil, then immediately turn off heat and put the lid on the pot. Let set until the veggies and lentils are tender, about 5 minutes or so.

Stir in:
1/2 chopped red bell pepper
2 T. chopped cilantro
1 - 2 T. pure maple syrup (or agave or honey)
1- 2 T. tamari or fermented soy sauce (ie Kikomans)
Adjust the seasonings to your taste - more or less sweet, more or less salty, more or less heat from the jalapeno and chili powder.

Soups are very forgiving.

And delectably beautiful! See those litte pieces of green jalapeno, the red peppers, the orange carrots...this method of low-heat cooking allows the veggies to keep not only their nutrients, but their inviting colors, too.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Killer Garlic

(NOTE: call me lazy, but I think this remedy is important enough to post it on all three of my blogsites today...)

At the first sign of a sneaking-up-on-me cold (sniffles, scratchy throat, sneezing, itchy or runny eyes...), I reach for my mug and the bulb of garlic that is usually in the countertop basket of fruits and veggies I use daily.
Garlic is one of the more popular home cures for colds. Many cultures have a home remedy for the cold using garlic, whether it’s chicken soup with lots of garlic, a drink made with raw crushed garlic, or it may just involve eating cloves raw garlic.

Here's a simple Garlic Tea, that does the job: crush anywhere from one to six fat cloves of garlic, put in the bottom of a mug. Set the timer for 10 minutes, the amount of time it seems auspicious for the "good stuff" to be activated. Then fill the mug with boiling water, add some honey and fresh lemon juice to taste, and sip away. When you get to the bottom, where the garlic resides, get a spoon and scoop those jewels of health up, and EAT THEM!! Yeah, you'll have some garlic breath for a bit, but no worse than with a garlic-laden spaghetti sauce. Brush your teeth and gargle, if it really bothers you.

I'm a believer - and I don't mind garlicky breath for a few days if it means not dealing with cold symptoms. Take your choice...

FYI: here's a fast and efficient way to peel and mash a clove of garlic in one fell swoop (or is that swell foop...): with the garlic on your cutting board, lay the flat side of your chef knife on the clove...
and give it a smack with your hand. It loosens the clove right out of the papery skin, and effectively crushes it too! Doncha just love kitchen tips...
And for your further edification:

"The cold-fighting compound in garlic is thought to be allicin, which has demonstrated antibacterial and antifungal properties. Allicin is what gives garlic its distinctive hot flavor. To maximize the amount of allicin, fresh garlic should be chopped or crushed and it should be raw.

In a study involving 146 people, participants received either a garlic supplement or a placebo for 12 weeks between November and February. People who took garlic reduced the risk of catching a cold by more than half. The study also found that garlic reduced the recovery time in people who caught a cold. More research is needed to corroborate these results.n is what gives garlic its distinctive hot flavor.

Garlic does have some possible side effects and safety concerns. Bad breath and body odor are perhaps the most common side effects, however, dizziness, sweating, headache, fever, chills and runny nose have also been reported. Large amounts may irritate the mouth or result in indigestion. Garlic supplements should avoided by people with bleeding disorders, two weeks before or after surgery, or by those taking "blood-thinning" medications such as warfarin (Coumadin) or supplements believed to affect blood clotting such as vitamin E, garlic or ginkgo. "
Personally, I've never had a reaction to garlic, other than some heat on the tongue from a big clove. But I don't eat the cloves all at once, I spread them out over a period of time, just grabbing one up in passing and munching it as I go about whatever I'm doing.

Go forth and find garlic. Better yet, get some planted in your garden - it's almost past time. You'll have garlic for next season!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hippocrates Sauerkraut Nouveau

Remember the red cabbage that went into the pickling jar? Well, here it is, in a tasty salad! You could make this with green kraut, too, but the red is extra nutritious - and pretty! This will not taste as good, or be as good for you, if made with canned kraut; the whole point of doing the fermenting jar process is to keep the enzymes alive, to do their good work.

2 cups of raw sauerkraut
1 stalk celery, minced
1/2 red onion, minced
1/8 tsp. cayenne

Raw sauerkraut aids in the digestion of any meal. It is a good source of vitamin C and B-comples. It introduces friendly bacteria into the intestinal tract and helps satisfy cravings. Raw kraut is also an aid in the control of yeast overgrowth in your system (i.e. candida). A simple, historic vegetable dish that should be introduced to any household.

Raw kraut can be purchased in a few health food stores, but is very expensive.

So, learn to make your own - RAW SAUERKRAUT! There are lots of flavor variations, depending on what vegetables and herbs you might choose to include in the fermenting process.


Monday, October 12, 2009

FALL-ing into flavor

A quick spin through the garden gate on a quest for greens that the last few nights of hard frost hadn't damaged yielded some jewels. I grabbed some parsley, and almost stepped on the last of the carrots (Danvers Half-longs) in one of the Square-foot Garden squares. I keep a hand trowel stuck in the dirt in one corner of the raised bed, ready for just such a chore. A few deft plunges into the dirt around the carrots, and they were loosened enough to pull easily.
This time of year, the carrots are crisp and juicy, sweeter than ever. Often an attempt to pull them results in the tops popping right off the carrot, and then it's a dirty-fingernail job to retrieve the carrot. Thus the trowel technique.
Right next to the carrot square were the last of the Chiogga beets, sporting nice bushy tops that the frost hadn't damaged. So out they came, joining the carrots and parsley headed for the kitchen.
Some of the carrots were smallish - I dread any peeling attempts on these little characters - too many "peeled" knuckles over the years. Then I remembered this recipe, from Carol Alt's "The Raw 50" - problem solved.

I just scrubbed the little ones, gave them a rough chop, and they were ready to be transmogrified into:

Blend smooth in the Vita-Mix:
2 large carrots, rough chopped (or equivalent small ones)
1 or 2 celery stalks, rough chopped
2 T. raw apple cider vinegar
1 T. minced fresh gingerroot, or more to taste
2 tsp. freshly grated horseradish, or more to taste
water enough to make a dressing consistency
After a taste test, I also added:
1 T. agave
1/2 tsp. salt
1 T. sunflower seed oil (avocado, or walnut, or olive oil would be good)

I ran this for several minutes to get the dressing really smooth, adding water a tablespoon at a time to get the consistency I wanted. Probably about 2/3 c. altogether - depends on the amount and juiciness of carrots.

Arrange baby spinach leaves on salad plate, top with slices of apple (I used Welties). Just for fun and because it was right there on the cutting board, I also added some very thin slices of Chiogga beet - so sweet! They added an extra earthy note and tender crunch to this colorful fall-garden salad. A sprinkle of protein laden hemp seeds, and lunch was fork ready!

Taste notes: crisp - sweet - colorful - crunchy- earthy - zippy; velvety dressing wrapping the toothsome raw veggies.

The garden may be on it's last hoorah, but it still feeds my body and soul.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Between A and Z...

...are many veggies that are perfect just as they are. Maybe just a little more nekked.

Raw food doesn't get any better than a punk and his prize!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Five-minute soup...

There is no "soup season" in my kitchen - I adore soups, crave them more than chocolate (yes, it's true!), and consume them year round with much appreciation for whomever first dropped a hot rock into a bark-cauldron of water and weeds.
A friend recently queried, with eating mostly raw now how was I going to enjoy hot soup this fall and winter? I had been asking myself the same question, and doing some recipe browsing. No worries, I figure between me and my trusty Vita-Mix we will manage just fine.
Today, when a hunger twinge niggled at the appropriate time, my first thought was, what do I have to make some soup?
There was a lonesome yam in the basket, I had some cashews already soaked and waiting in the frig for inspiration, and a few last fresh sage leaves were needing used. AHA! A fall soup I had made in my not-so-raw life popped into memory, and I proceeded to wing it from taste-bud memory.

Into a Vita-Mix:
1/4 c. soaked raw cashews
1/2 c. warm water
Blitz almost smooth. Add:
about 1/2 - 3/4 c. grated raw yam or sweet potato or winter squash
sage - one 3"-fresh leaf, or 1/2 tsp. dried
1 T. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. sea salt
cayenne - depending on your heat tolerance, anything from a dash up to a whole Thai red pepper!
1/2 tsp. onion powder or 2 T. fresh chopped onion
1 - 2 c. very warm water
Blend 2-3 minutes until very smooth and warmed. Serve with sprinkle of chopped hemp seed.

NOTE: this can probably be done in a regular blender, by soaking the grated squash/yam in the hot water for at least 10 minutes, to soften and make it easier to blend. Definately worth a try, if you don't yet have your Vita-Mix!

A velvety, creamy, luscious blend of lively taste and warmth.
A soup doesn't have to be steaming, to warm the cockles of your heart - or your taste buds!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Vitamin Smoothie

This photo is courtesy of Bulk Herb Store. The product is called "Stress Less Herba Smoothie". Click the link, read the information - you'll be glad you did.

I've been very impressed with this company. Take some time to explore all the information available in the sidebar links, a good education with quality and caring.
Using the herbs in a smoothie format, essentially concocting a custom vitamin supplement that will be easily absorbed and used by your body - what could be better!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rhythm of Raw Food Prep

The following anecdote points out the need to educate one's self in order to enjoy and benefit from eating a raw lifestyle.

"Three years earlier, I had been aimlessly wandering around the kitchen, wondering, What is there to eat? The fridge was packed with perfectly good food, the counters displayed bowls of beautiful, ripening fruits. Nuts and seeds filled many a cupboard.

But we didn't yet understand the rhythms of raw food preparation—soaking, sprouting, dehydrating (on occasion), or warming the food. We were still accustomed to, and comforted by, sauteing, baking, steaming, stir-frying, and the smells and sounds of cooking.

It took time to understand the nuances of preparing raw food cuisine.

Soon the chopping, blending, juicing, grating, and dehydrating began to replace the way we'd worked in the kitchen, and after several months these practices became joyful and natural.

Perhaps you are wondering, like we did, What is there to eat on this strange new diet? As we moved more into conscious eating, there were questions we asked ourselves: Did a meal leave us tired, or energized? Did it bring a sense of well being, and digest well? Was there rationalization during the preparation—or a clear knowing that whatever we were choosing to eat, in our heart of hearts, was the very best? Our intuition acted like light beams that cut through the fog of uncertainty.

So listen, act, and evolve with ease into greater levels of health and harmony. The beauty of the intuitive approach is that the unfoldment process never stops, nor will it ever need to, because the law of life compels us toward steady growth that is in perfect accord with our true potential!"

An excellent "getting started without confusion" is Alissa Cohen's 3 hour, instructional DVD, Living on Live Food, in which she makes twenty recipes—it may save months of uncertainty in the kitchen.

"It was through Alissa's DVD that we first learned about making anglehair pasta from zucchini with the handiest little gadget—a Saladacco—and how to make raw marinara sauce. Suddenly, we felt liberated to be able to have pasta again, without any of the problems of wheat!"

The photo illustrates part of the rhythm I have come to enjoy. The recipe, from Carol Alt's "The Raw 50", titled Thyme Bread, makes a great flexible cracker type of bread. Loaded with nut pate or hummus and topped with avocado and veggies, they make for quick meals.

1 c. dark flax seeds, ground finely (coffee or spice grinder). Soak in:
1 c. purified water for 1 hour; water should be absorbed. Combine in food processor with:
1 c. soaked walnuts (at least one hour)
1/4 c. fresh chopped thyme
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
Spread mixture thinly on teflex sheets on dryer trays, dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 6 hours, until the tops are dry to touch. Peel off teflex sheets and continue drying on trays for another 3 hours or so. Cut into desired shapes (mine are triangular, due to circular dryer!). Dry longer if you want crisper "bread". Keeps well in ziplock bags in frig.

The point being, planning ahead for the soaking/sprouting/drying routine.
It is indeed a comforting rhythm, working with living foods that bring such joy and life to my body and soul.

(numbers report: at clinic today, BP was 116/68, blood oxygen 99%. I think it's time to talk with the doc about reducing/eliminating the BP meds I've been on...)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

A Dandelion day...

If you've ever been owned by a feline, you may have noticed - they sleep about 16 hours a day, awaken and stretch, eat daintily, and then go about having cat-fun, enjoying their life very much "in the moment".

This is "Dandelion", the lighter-than-dandelion-fluff starving little stray kitty who appeared in my garden a few months ago. Now she is healthy, definately not a light-weight, and helps keep me balanced by demanding play time, and rest time in my lap.

Good health is all about appropriate rest and staying in the moment.

Today I'm taking a cat-day.

Monday, September 28, 2009


This is the soup I've been longing for - a creamy, subtly zesty, almost smooth, TOMATO-EY SOUP!

Here's how it goes (just remember I'm an "about" cook - the measurements are "about" that much...):

In the blender (Vita-Mix, of course):

*about 6 cups of really ripe tomatoes (squeeze the seeds out)

*about 2 c. very warm water

*2 stalks celery, chunked

*about 1/4 c. parsley loosely measured

*1 carrot, chunked or grated (I had some grated left overs, time saver!)

*about 1/4 c. onion, chunked

*a heaping Tablespoon tahini

*1 tsp. lemon juice

*about 1 T. Braggs Liquid Aminos

*about 1 T. agave nectar

Blend smooth as you like. The Vita-Mix actually heats the soup, with it's tremendous revolution rate. Adjust the taste to suit, with lemon, Braggs, agave. More creamy? Add a bit more tahini.

Now for the crackers. Actually, these begin two days previous, soaking the sunflower seeds overnight. Then soak 5 sundried tomotoes (3 oz. pkg works) for several hours previous to mixing.


In food processor:

*1 c. soaked sunflower seeds, drained and rinsed, shake dry in strainer

*5 sundried tomatoes, soaked and drained

*1 med. zuchinni, chopped

*handful fresh basil

Process until smooth with a little bit of texture. Spread on teflex dehydrator sheets, about 1/4" thick. If you leave it thicker, it's more like a flat bread. For crackers, thinner works.

Dry at 115 degrees, about 8-12 hours. Check for crispness. Flip off teflex onto dehydrator tray, dry several more hours, checking for how crisp you want. Then break into cracker-size pieces, store airtight.

I left the basil out of the soup, knowing the crackers would pick it up. The combination of creamy rich tomato soup and crisp basil-laden, intensely tomato crackers rolled over the tastebuds like nirvana. {BIG SIGH}

This was a perfect lunch for an-almost fall day. The wind is picking up, anticipating thunder and hail by evening. That's OK. I have two quarts of luscious tomato soup to get me through the night!

Next up: that squash is headed for the soup "pot"...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Tasty Tomato Soup

It's the end of the season for the garden. Vines are withering, and the last of the harvest is in hand.
These Manyel tomatoes shine like spotlights amidst the shambles of the rest of the garden. I had planted them specifically to make a Golden Roasted Tomato soup, but now eating mostly raw, I wanted to use them without the oven roasting process. Roasting produces a deeply rich tomato-y flavor, which I have been tinkering to reproduce. So far, I'm still not there.
But this recipe is close, and very yummy all on it's own.
You can use red or yellow or orange or striped or purple...whatever color tomato caught your eye in the seed catalog for this season! Or, visit your local Farmer's Market, which should be overflowing with tomatoes right now.
In a high-speed blender (the Vita-Mix is my workhorse), blend smooth:
*8 fully ripe medium tomatoes - or equivalent (cored and halved; don't have to peel unless you want; squeeze out as many seeds as you can)
*4-8 pitted dates (depends on how sweet you like your tomato soup)
*1 tsp. lemon juice
*about 2 c. very warm water (whatever produces a thick, creamy soup)
*2 stalks celery, chopped
*1 carrot, chopped
*small handful fresh basil, rough chopped
Blend until incorporated or as fine as you want - completely smooth is OK, too!
*Season with a pinch of cayenne, and Bragg's Liquid Aminos to taste.
Serve with a sprinkle of chopped scallions and raw sunflower seeds.
I'm going to try adding some tahini next batch, see if I can get closer to that intense roasted's fun to experiment, and it tastes good no matter what!
If you want to thicken a thin soup, try adding some ground golden flax seeds (slightly milder flavor and less intrusive color than the brown flax). Also adds the outstanding benefits of flax, so don't be shy about your thin soup!
If you play with your soup (in a nice way, of course), I would be happy to hear the results...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chocolate oo-la-la!

The cabin and farm are hosting the second round of Camp Purple (check it out at Wisconsin Snapshots - four homeschooling families totaling 11 punks) for the next two days. The youngest munchkin celebrated her 2nd birthday among friends and family, complete with cupcakes and candles.

Not to be left out of the celebration, my thoughts went immediately to Raw LouLou's recipe for Chocolate Pie. I've just been waiting for a good excuse to make this rich treat - not something I'll be indulging in very frequently. Definately a celebration food.

One of the middle-size punks is a chocolate enthusiast, and helped with the taste-testing of both chocolate fillings. I halved the recipe and made four small pies. I cut one little pie into samples, which were quickly devoured by the gang, pronounced wonderful, complete with requests for recipes.

Without further ado, here is

*2 cups of almonds
*2 cups of pitted dates
Blend these up together and press in a greased pie dish, or in individual rings/pans to create small portion pies. (note: I didn't grease the pans, turned out fine...the frozen pie came right out of the pan, to be placed on a saucer for slicing.)
*2 cups of soaked cashews
*12 pitted dates
*1/2 cup filtered water
*2 T cacao powder
*2 T coconut oil
*1/8 tsp Chinese 5-spice (or cinnamon - but do try the 5-spice, it's unique)
Blend all of the above together in a high speed blender (VitaMix) until smooth and creamy in texture then pour on top of the crust.
Freeze to set, and take out of freezer 1 hour before serving. (I just froze them about 30 minutes then took them out to serve immediately.)

I garnished the pie (photo) with a sliced strawberry, tiny mint leaves, and a drizzle of cashew cream (Soak 1 c. raw cashews several hours. Drain, blend in VitaMix with 1/2 c. water. When smooth, blend in another 1 c. water, 1 tsp. agave - optional but really brings out the flavor. This is supposed to be "milk" but is nicely thick like cream - very delicious!)

Just for fun, I made one little pie with a chocolate mousse filling. You'll never guess the magic ingredient. The chocolate taste-tester watched me put the ingredients in the VitaMix and gave a little shrug. He never batted an eye, bless his heart. This mousse got raves from several of the moms...
(again, I halved the recipe)

Raw Vegan Chocolate Mousse
It makes a wonderful chocolate pie as well - just double the recipe. Makes about 2 cups.
* 2 small ripe avocados
*1/2 -3/4 c. agave nectar
*1/4 C raw cocao powder (or carob if you prefer)
*2 T coconut butter or oil
*1 T vanilla
*dash of sea salt
*dash of cinnamon (optional)
Preparation:Place everything in a VitaMix or high-powered blender or food processor and blend (on high) until very smooth. You may need your tamper to move the contents a little so the motor doesn't bog down on you. VitaMix blenders come with one.
Keep stored in an air-tight container in the fridge - that is, if it lasts long enough to make it to the fridge.
(note: I used one avocado, it amply filled one small pie crust. With just enough left in the blender for a couple of spoons of yum! to enjoy. I used the same Almond Date crust as the LouLou could use any similar raw crust)

(Mousse recipe courtesy of Purely Delicious Magazine - Check out their Raw Recipes on my sidebar.)

Since the other pies were in the freezer setting up, I put this one in also. I figured since you can get frozen quacamole, this avocado mousse should freezer OK.

And it did. Yummo!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Good mornin', sunshine!

Here's how I start my day: about 10 oz. warm water, juice from 1/2 a lovely ripe lemon, a pinch of cayenne, a small drizzle of natural maple syrup.

When I don't have lemons in the fruit basket, I substitute with 2 tablespoons of raw apple cider (Braggs).

Why, you ask, would I want to pucker up so early in the day?

Here are some reasons (beyond that I like it and it "cleans house" very effectively to start my day):

*Helps to alkaline the body and disease is less able to develop in an alkaline environment
*On an empty stomach it helps flush the liver and gallbladder (releasing bile- the body’s natural laxative)
*Stimulates the body to produce digestive juices that gets the system ready for food digestion
*Can assist with weight reduction by cleansing the liver as a toxic liver can not efficiently metabolize fat.
*Excellent source of Vitamin C to keep the immune system strong, the adrenal glands functioning, and increases the absorption of iron into the body
*High in potassium and vitamin B1 too.
*The calcium in lemon supplies bones, teeth and the nervous system
with basic nourishment.
*Lemon also phosphorus and helps to digest proteins.

*Cayenne can rebuild the tissue in the stomach and increase the peristaltic action in the intestines- this means it helps you go.
*Aids in assimilation, meaning it helps us to absorb the nutrients from our food (or in this case the goodness from lemons)
*Helps the body to create hydrochloric acid, which is so necessary for good digestion and assimilation, especially of proteins.
*Said to be unequal for its ability to boost circulation and increase heart action
*Can increase peripheral circulation and stimulates organ secretion, helping to increase the rate of delivery and action of nutrients in the body.
*Can enhance cardiovascular performance while actually lowering blood pressure
*Cayenne is a counter-irritant; it brings blood to the surface and allows the toxins to be taken away.

Convinced yet? See… totally worth the wincing.

Lemon/Cayenne Wake-Up Call

1 quart/litre of warm water (I use regular water with just enough boiling water to make it warm)1/2 lemon juiced1/8 up to as much cayenne as you can handlepinch of stevia (optional- will help cut the spicyness without affecting blood sugar level)

Mix and chug that goodness back!"

Information compiled by Meghan Telpner (

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Where's the Protein??

In our "protein is power" society, a vegetarian - and even more so a raw vegetarian - diet seems to push all sorts of panic buttons. "You'll die without protein, you can't get protein from vegetables, you HAVE to eat meat!" I appreciate the concern...

Well, while I do sympathize with the folks who have built their living from raising meat for public consumption, I think the pendulum is starting to swing back. Without going into a meat industry bash, I'll just say the evidence is out there for anyone who is seeking the facts.

I'm very comfortable, mentally and physically, with how my body is handling this raw food adventure. Some information to ponder:

Below is an overview of the (average) percentage of calories from protein:
Sprouts: 55%
Green leafy vegetables: 35-50%
Nuts & Seeds: 12-20%
Other vegetables: 10- 45%
Grains: 8-20%
Fruits: 1-10%

Some of my favorites to top salads or include in recipes are:


Hemp Seeds
Flax Seeds
Pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds
Sesame seeds

It's hard NOT to get enough protein during the day!
Here's a simple recipe that packs a good amount of protein:

SUNNIE PATE' (there are a lot of versions of sunflower seed pate'!)
Put all ingredients into a food processor, process until well blended:

1 cup sunflower seeds (soak a few hours for optimum nutrient release)
3 large carrots
1/3 c. fresh lemon juice
1/8 c. Bragg Liquid Aminos (proteins!)
1/4 c. raw sesame tahini
1/4 c. chopped green onions
2 slices red onion
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
1-2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (opt., but yummy!)

Spread on large dark green lettuce or chard leaf, top with sprouts, tomato and avocado slices, roll up or fold up, and enjoy!

"Where do raw and living foodists get their protein?
If you want to do some research, you will find many sites on the internet that will compute nutritional contents of your food. You will see that a lot of protein is available from seeds, nuts, grains, and greens. In fact, greens are an ideal form of protein."

(Green smoothies are one of the most elegant and efficient ways to get an abundance of greens into a diet! Some of our wild "weeds" are exceptionally protein dense - which I explore at EarthHeart

"One of the purposes of this diet is to help the body become clean from life long impurities. When this takes place, we see that we can assimilate much more nutrients from our foods. As you educate yourselves on the raw diet, you will find that as a society, we consume WAY too much protein and it is the main cause of the breakdown of the human physical body.

Through experiment and education, most raw foodist find they feel better and their bodies function much more efficiently when they are consuming less protein. "

(My body has been telling me for years, that it is not happy with meat and dairy products. Much rejoicing in those cells lately!)

"Again, as we believe in the body's ability to heal itself, we find we no longer break our food down into each individual nutrient. We recognize that when we eat foods as a whole, we will be receiving all the needed nutrients for the body, in exactly the right proportions."

As I continue to explore and refine my way of eating, I'm finding peace in body and spirit. I've been impressed by how forgiving this body is, how quickly it responds to the vibrant energy of living foods.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Raw Trilogy

The following excerpt speaks to me on another level beyond the actual food. I have experience with vibrational alternative healing (I'm a Healing Touch Practitioner, as well as massage therapist). Knowing that all that exists was created in spirit before manifesting as what we see, also adds a level of relationship with the raw foods.
And as a reward for reading and pondering, enjoy the recipe for the pate' the Camp Purple punks enjoyed with a plate of veggies!

"A 100% raw food diet is the best as long as daily meditation and education is taking place and the body is freely and simply moving into this space. I have seen people who, as time passes, have a harder time staying 100% because they are lacking in those 2 desperately needed things.
(Note: it is NOT necessary to attain 100% raw to gain the benefits and blessings...something to allow your body and conscious to gently come to as a journey, if you aren't ready to jump in with both feet!)

By educating and meditating, we are able to understand our bodies better and utilize our inner spiritual power to bring about success in the changes we feel we need to achieve. Understanding the way the body works and striving to listen to ourselves and inner knowing, we will then feel successful as a 100% raw or living foodist.

In order to reach these goals, we must first understand that reaching this place goes much further than just food. Emotional and spiritual changes must also take place to stay on this path. Raising the vibration of one aspect of the body creates vibrational change within all aspects of the body.

When the body takes on the healing process as a WHOLE, becoming a 100% raw foodist is then the most natural and smooth transition possible. Learning to take the needed time and by being gentle with ourselves, these changes will seem easy and fulfilling. We will then feel at peace with all our choices regarding our inner health."

The bold notes are mine, to remind me where I personally need to focus.

SUNFLOWER PATE' (thanks, Raw Lou Lou!)
Process 'til chunky or smooth as desired:
1 c. sunflower seeds (soaked overnight or at least several hours)
1 T. Braggs Liquid Aminos (or worchestershire sauce)
5 sundried tomatoes (I like the sliced ones, bagged and ready to eat - look in the produce area)
garlic clove
1 tsp dulse (opt - I didn't have any, and it was still delish!)

Serve with crackers or sliced veggies, or spread on romaine leaves topped with sliced/chopped veggies as a roll-up - use your imagination.
Keeps 3-4 days in fridge, if it lasts that long...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Maw's legacy

In my raw wanderings, I sometimes come across little jewels that have a big impact. The blog "Maw in the Raw" is one of those shiny jewels. Maw only posted for a short time, but left a treasure of good recipes for us.

She has grandpunks, so there are some cookies and treats - including a pumpkin pie that looks like it will be on our table this Thanksgiving! Then there are salads. Salads of different nationalities, and an unexpected veggie-pineapple combination. Which is on my lunch menu today.

Her photos are charming, lending a peek at a raw lifestyle we can aspire to and learn from. I searched but have found no other crumbs on her trail. I hope, wherever she is, that her life is still as lovely and loving as the glimpse she allowed us.

Visit her and try some of the stellar raw recipes:

Thanks, Maw!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kraut and other funky veggies...

" Cultured food was a healthy mainstay in the diets of our ancestors. Only a minimal portion of their foods were even cooked -- raw foods, full of live enzymes made up the majority of their diet. Our "modern" methods of pasteurization and adding chemicals to speed fermentation of products like yogurt and cheese have killed these once enzyme rich foods and converted them to substances (poisons, if you will) that disable our digestion and ultimately endanger our health.
Cultured foods help reestablish the natural balance of our digestive system.
Through the ancient art of fermentation, these foods are partially digested by friendly enzymes, fungi, and good bacteria -- making their nutrients readily available with little work for your body. In addition to enhanced flavor and nutrition, cultured foods also offer a multitude of medicinal rewards by:
*alleviating digestive disorders - the flora in living cultured foods form a "living shield" that covers the small intestine's inner lining and resists pathogenic organisms like E.coli, salmonella and an unhealthy overgrowth of yeast
*strengthening immunity with increased antibodies that fight off infectious disease
*effectively impacting the behavior of children with autism and ADD
*regulating weight and appetite by reducing cravings for sugar, soft drinks, bread and pasta.

(NOTE: this is the "short" list of benefits; testimonials abound regarding the health benefits of fermented, probiotic foods...and there are other foods bsides the fermented veggies, ie yogurt, that are loaded with probiotics - or you can take capsules)

When you eat raw cultured vegetables loaded with enzymes -- you give your body an opportunity to make enzymes to rejuvenate itself instead of wasting a large portion of your enzymes digesting food." (borrowed from - saves a lot of rewording!)

You can make cultured vegetables by shredding cabbage or a combination of cabbage and other vegetables and then packing them tightly into an airtight container -- leaving them to ferment at room temperature for several days or longer. During fermentation, the friendly bacteria are rapidly reproducing and converting sugars and starches to lactic acid.

Once the initial process is over, slow down the bacterial activity by putting the cultured veggies in the refrigerator. The cold greatly reduces the fermentation, but will not stop it completely. Even if the veggies sit in your refrigerator for months, they will not spoil; instead they become more appetizing over time -- much like a fine wine.

The beneficial bacteria naturally present in the vegetables promptly lower the pH, making a more acidic environment so the bacteria can reproduce. The vegetables become soft, tasty, and slightly "pickled". The enzymes in cultured vegetables will also help digest other foods eaten with them, aiding in the breakdown of both carbohydrates and proteins.

OK, having all that info under my hat, on to the fun part: making this wonder food!

Having three lusciously purple cabbage lounging in the garden, my first kraut project with the fermentation jar from Mike Snyder ( was a given. The instructions are simple and with the help of my processor, the prep was fast. I used just one head, about 3 pounds.

Filling the jar with the salted, finely shredded cabbage was reminescent of my mom and dad pounding cabbage in the big crock to make the wonderful sauerkraut of my childhood memory. My project will produce a fraction of the big crock, but the main difference is, that my kraut will be eaten "fresh" (refridgerated), while the crocked kraut (careful, there, that's a dangerous turn of phrase...) was` canned to perserve it for any length of time. No longer a "raw food" and no live enzymes...
This rather peculiar looking jar is a fermentation design that keeps the good guys in and the bad guys out. I purchased it for a modest price ($15 for the half-gallon jar) from a former almost-neighbor in Portland, Oregon

Here it is all loaded, sealed, primed and sitting in a bowl to catch the juice that will be forced out from the fermentation process.
In about 5 days or so, I'll return to this project and report the results.
In the meantime, I'm going to try some mixed veggies in a quart jar, following this instruction:
Gardens are loaded by this time of the season, a great opportunity for experimentation!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Moroccan Perserved Lemons

Moroccan Preserved Lemons to fight the flu...

Sounds exotic, yes? Go to and read the article on 3 Unconventional Ways to Fight Flu.

and enter to win a fermentation jar, and an e-book on fermented foods!

I love Nourished Kitchen, and encourage you to explore the site!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pineapple Express

The pineapples are prime and cheaper right now. They add wonderful tropical flavor and sweetness to green smoothies, mixing well with the other fruits in residence in my fridge and on the counter.

This probably isn't an AHA! tip for you, you may have been doing this all along. But I was so proud of coming up with it for my own kitchen I have to share. Usually I cut up a pineapple and keep the chunks in a container in the fridge. At times some of the fruit hasn't been used as quickly as it should and I've lost a portion. That's aggravating, given the prices we have to pay for good produce.

So last week, while in a hurry to get things cleaned up around the sink, I simply sliced off the top and bottom of the current pineapple, cut off a 1"-thick slice for my smoothie, then put the remaining chunk, unpeeled, on a saucer and covered it with a plastic veg bag and popped into the fridge. As the week progressed, I noticed the pineapple was staying fresher, no discoloration. Each time I whacked off a slice, it appeared as nice and tasted as nice as that first slice!

My tip of the day: don't peel that pineapple!

Until you are ready to use a slice; then the peel cuts off the slice easily and quickly. Wah-lah! No more pineapple wrestling!

Here's a YouTube clip to enjoy, of Anand Wells making a green smoothie using dragon fruit - which I'm going to have to look for now. Anand is an Aussie, and this was an Australian show, so have fun with the accent!

FYI, Anand started the Green Smoothie challenge, which is really a fun way to start your adventure with GS. Check it out:

Monday, September 7, 2009

Apple Walnut cookies

There is a plethora of raw info and recipes out there in the ether. I've explored around, and came to the conclusion that I could easily spend the better part of each day going from link to link.

So in the interest of having a life beyond the computer, I decided to pick one site that I liked, work my way through what interests me in the way of info and recipes, then move to another. Right now I'm into Raw LouLou. She has a down-to-earth approach, her recipes aren't over the top (some raw gourmet recipes are only for the rich and famous and folks with a chef or nothing else to do with their life...) and everything I've made so far has been easy, yummy and worth the time.
Give her a visit, you'll enjoy this gal in France! Well-organized site, easy to find recipes.

Here's LouLou's four-ingredient Apple Walnut cookies: (which came to her via Earthmother at In the Raw...see side bar)

Soak one cup of walnuts for several hours. In a blender (perferably a Vita-Mix) or processor, process 3-5 apples depending on size (cored and cut in chunks - she says apple pulp, which may mean she juiced apples and used the left-over pulp; I had to punt, and my method worked fine).
Add the rinsed and drained walnuts, and 1/8 c. raw honey. A good sprinkle of your favorite apple-buddy spices - cinnamon, nutmeg, apple pie blend, etc.
Process until small dice shows. Don't make total mush if you like some texture in your cookies.

Spoon (or if really dry make balls then squash them) onto dehyrator mesh screen. I used the screen for one batch, the teflex sheet for another. The teflex takes longer, and you need to take them off when almost done and finish on a rack anyway....
Dry at 115 degrees for about 8-10 hours - overnight was a good amount of time.

They should be crisp on the outside, chewy inside. Or however you like your cookies! With cold goat milk standing by...

These have got to be the easiest cookies I've ever made. Not only do they taste sensational, they are "healthy". Chewy yet some crunch from walnut pieces. A lovely blend of flavors to roll over the tastebuds.

The bonus: the cabin smelled like apple pie baking!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Viva le Dehydrator!

One of my challenges in moving into the raw food realm has been bread. I'm addicted to bread, especially yeast breads.

Discovering how to make crackers and flatbreads by drying the "batter" in a food dehydrator has opened a whole new chapter in my raw foods notebook. Using sprouted grains, fresh vegies, herbs, healthy oils and seeds and nuts make these wonderful bread stand-ins infinately variable.
I'll still have my yeast bread days (sour dough is my next project), but these types of crackers and flatbreads are definately here to stay.

Here's a before and after look at a basic very simple cracker. A cup of sprouted wheat (an overnight soak and 8 hours of sprouting is all it takes) is blended throughly with 1/2 cup of water, 1/8 cup of olive oil and 1/2 tsp. sea salt. The Vita-Mix makes short work of this chore. The batter is poured onto one "fruit leather" sheet of the dehydrator, spread thinly (1/4") then dried (on the top tray of the stack of 5) at 115 degrees for about 8 or so hours - checking frequently towards the end. I like to flip the big cracker over while there are still some areas of moisture showing, then cut it into wedges with my kitchen scissors. I put the crackers directly on the rack for the last bit of drying needed.

You don't need a big fancy dehydrator to do this (although I would never turn one down if the dehydrator fairy dropped one by). The most important feature to have is the thermostat to adjust heat range. To maintain a "raw" status, 118 degrees is considered maximum.

This "professional" model of a commonly found dehydrator is totally cool. It came with two smaller-mesh screens for those itsy bitsy things you might dry (small berries that would fall through the regular rack holes?), and most importantly, two solid teflex sheets for the leathers and cracker thingys. Well under $70, it has been a great tool for my drying projects. And I can pick up more packages of trays if I need them; it will handle up to 12.

So here's the after. These are crispy, tasty, substantial enough to build layers of goodies on and eat out of hand, and totally raw. How wonderful is that?!

A smear of nut/veggie pate', a slice of tomato from the garden, and a couple friendly slices of avocado. One is a great snack. Two makes lunch!