May 30, 2010

When you think the fridge is empty.

The past two days our fridge has been almost empty of FRESH VEGGIES for lunches and dinners… yet I have some how managed to come up with some damn tasty meals much to my surprise!

Ingredient numero uno - Cabbage.
Enough said for some. Not for me. I LOVE the stuff. Red. Green. Chinese. Savoy. It's cheap, always available, and the combinations I can create with it are ENDLESS making it PERFECT for when you think there's nothing in the fridge. ADD ANYTHING TO IT!

For lunch the other day I chopped CARROTS, RED ONIONS and PARSLEY. Added a dressing of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maybe a bit of agave too I dont remember. Salt. Pepper. Voila.

Cabbage is a BEAUTY FOOD so rich in sulphur. I feel BEAUTIFUL eating it.

Then lunch today... After a morning of shopping with mum I came home with a very healthy appetite. But with minimal ingredients???
I’ve always got GREENS so usually start with that – and I had ZUCCHINI so decided to grate it instead of my usual quick slicing job. I found a BEETROOT in the drawer and thought I’d do the same. A bit of AVO, drizzle of cold pressed olive oil. Presto! Alongside a piece of my raw bread that lasts forever in my fridge so I've always got some... A very fine juicy colourful Sunday lunch!

Then dinner.
What to eat when mum was cooking a roast! I'd usually try my hand at something along the same lines only RAW-STYLE, but coming home from the gym at 6pm I wasn’t feeling all that adventurous with the little bit of time I had to prep my meal, so again I had the GREENS… got some finely sliced strips of ZUCCHINI (love the stuff of late), some tasty PUMPKIN mum had got for her roast… TUMERIC and olive oil. Easy. Tasty.

And to top it all off… there's always frozen fruit in my freezer so I threw BANANAS and BLUEBERRIES in the blender with some carob, lecithin and a drizzle of agave. Delish!

So with what I thought was a fridge full of not alot - I surprised myself!

May 29, 2010

Soup not Smoothies

Ok so I read all my favourite blogs almost daily but as most of them are written by people overseas, all I'm seeing is DELICIOUS ICE CREAMS and creamy frosty smoothies. Sunshine. Beaches. Summer!

I've always got ice cream in my freezer sure, but sometimes it's just too freaking cold to eat it! Like now. In less than a week WINTER will be here!!

The other night I was feeling like somthing simple. Tasty. Light. And I came up with this...

My Asian-inspired Green Veg Miso Soup.

I chopped up broccoli, spring onions, chinese broccoli and bok choy...
Threw it in a large bowl and poured hot water over it to soften for a bit...

In a seperate dish I had some miso in warm water dissolving...

Then to my big bowl I added sliced fresh ginger, some seaweeds, herbs and the miso...


May 24, 2010

I am Amazing.

So I'm home today with the intention to do some of my college work and (although the day is not yet over) I'm doing so well at procrastinating today let me tell you! And so, another post ;)

But it's a little different to my usual posts...

In reading Jason Mraz's blog that I LOVE, I got thinking about affirmations and all things SELF LOVE that I have been working on myself of late. And it has prompted me to start a list. A list of things I love about ME.

I love my blue eyes. I love my job. I love my mind. I love my anxiety. I love my perfectionism. I love my mum. I love my dad. I love my sisters. I love my step sisters. I love my step brothers. I love my book collection. I love my hot pink teddy bear. I love my mobile that doesn't always work. I love my man. I love my fingernails that I so rarely let grow. I love my strength.

I'm going to commit to saying at least one affirmation each morning and maybe one day I'll be just as good as little Jessica here:

Start your list.
There's liberation once past the judgement and fear.

May 22, 2010

Only one piece of the puzzle

Last week I was praised by a personal trainer I met at the Women’s Health “Are You Game?” weekend. He asked what type of resistance and cardio I do as my muscle mass in relation to my weight was FANTASTIC (happily modest about that), my body’s hydration was GREAT, and my metabolism is the quickest it could ever be – for anyone.
“Keep doing what you’re doing!” he said. And I left rather happy with myself.

But later on as I reached for the tissue box to dry my runny nose, it made me think…

What about the rest of this human body I walk around in??

Physically I am in the best shape I’ve ever been in. But I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a FITNESS JUNKIE and I’m at the gym or training outside everyday. I LOVE it, but I also know that in the past I have put my health second to my fitness.

So as the weather is getting cooler down in the southern hemishere and my first RAW WINTER is approaching I’m starting to see how important it is to look after myself properly. Nutritionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically.

I’m watching what I eat – making sure I get enough nutrients, vitamins and minerals by varying my diet and spicing it up a bit. Loads of TASTY FRUITS, plenty of brightly coloured VEGGIES and leafy GREENS. Lemons, limes, ginger, garlic and chilli, tumeric root. And trying my best to JUICE DAILY; it's like my multi vitamin pill :)

I’m drinking plenty of water (minimum 2L a day), and have at least one warm herbal tea each day. I like to mix it up a bit too; dandelion when my liver is feeling sluggish, peppermint when my tummy is sore, green for a pep up, nettle for flushing toxins, rooibos for digestion…

I make sure I get enough sleep, take my Naturopathic herbs, and on top of that I’m taking Pure Radiance Vitamin C powder. Vitamin C is one of the immune systems most POWERFUL weapons. 1-2 grams per day for cold prevention is good, but as I am already suffering I'm 'SATURATING' my body's tissues ensuring any virus wont survive and taking much more. Fortunatley Vitamin C is one of the least toxic substances known to humans and the only possible side effect is loose bowels!

But I do need to remember to continue with all my good work so I don't get caught up with my fitness-gym-junkie who can innocently sabotage my good health.

So, as the weather down under gets colder, have a look at what you're eating and drinking, how much physical activity you're doing and how much sleep you're getting. Be honest with yourself and see if any changes need to be made in the name of self love and looking after YOU.

May 20, 2010

Market Day Yay!

This morning I was down at Crows Nest Markets again after a 7.15am staff meeting (I know!!) but I've always been a morning person so the half hour walk from Brocks place at 630am was BLISSFUL. I love seeing the world slowly wake up - birds singing, car head lights shining bright, the sky above a little frosty, and everything is pretty quiet... but bit by bit things start to emerge, awaken and SPRING to LIFE! And I LOVE IT!

Market Day has always been a highlight of my week. The energy there, everyone interacting, people getting into dancing, mingling, chatting to strangers... I met a woman this morning who has learnt and studied the ancient art of Ayruveda which is something I've been dying to learn more about, and after chatting for a while she offered me her time so I can learn more about it next week :) WOW

I get a BUZZ out of helping the boys out with the feminine touches (note the beautiful black board sign - done by yours truely), then 'loiterring' around I like to say, munching away on THE GREATEST TASTING BANANAS EVER (although I know I'm biased as they are the staple fruit in my diet), having friends stop by, and chatting to all the locals I know from years working in the area at different places!! Still it makes me laugh how alot of locals have no idea what I do. I'm a little here-there-and-everywhere and it's just the way I like it!

Market Massage anyone??

But of course I go down to stock up on my ORGANICS for the week - I LUGGED home BANANAS (cant live without them - and hopefully getting more later due to my little arms unable to carry the amount I can eat), navel oranges, apples, 2 big bunches of fennel, a huge bunch of Scottish kale which is FANTASTIC, the biggest custard apple I've ever seen, some sweet red crimson grapes, a couple of baby carrots and 2 ripe avocados. Mmm.

Check out the salad I made when I got home - Scottich kale, avocado, tumeric root, zucchini, celery leaves, pepita seeds, olive oil, lime juice and a touch of sea salt

Next Thursday I'm working though! Guess I'll see you there on my lunch break :D Happy munching

May 17, 2010

Simple Emotions...

... if there is such a thing.

It's a week today since my last entry and to be honest blogging hadnt crossed my mind once last week! GASP! My week was a little up and down with a bit playing on my mind and I suppose it brought me back to the knowing that when life throws me a curved ball, sticking to simple wholefoods I know that NOURISH me and dont fog my mind too much are key to getting through the thick of it.

In the past I would have no doubt turned to the mass produced chocolate bars and anything from the bakery to NUMB my emotions, but now on RAW there's nothing processed I will eat to take me away like I used too. So there's more room to sit with my feelings and to really FEEL them. Scary? Shit yeh! Rewarding? You bet! So I keep reminding myself of it. It's the path I have chosen and no matter how tough it is, I know I'll be fine.

I made sure I had enough FRESH FRUIT and VEGIES around to keep me going. Stripping back to simplicity sometimes works best when I'm feeling a little emotional, other times making gourmet raw feels better. This week it's been all about SIMPLICITY.

And I'm feeling much better :)

May 10, 2010

Food Fit For a Queen

Mothers Day was yesterday and as always, my sister and I (the third sister being out of town) had a few things up our sleeves for the day, starting with a late lazy breakfast for our special mum :)

It was beautifully sunny and warm for mid-Autumn so Mum, Lisa and I relaxed and blissed out on the back deck over a scrumptious pancakes, hot tea, fresh orange juice, and sliced fruit.

Ok so these little babies aren't RAW but mum isn't either. And as much as she is always willing to try my raw creations, Mother's Day is her day. And she likes her food cooked.

Check them out tho! I've never made such PERFECT pancakes in my LIFE!!

I call these my Perfectly Cooked Coconut Pancakes!! And served them with sliced bananas and AMAZING punchy passionfruit.

Mum was absolutley LOVING them! A relaxing home made brekkie (made by someone else) is always good anyway is it not? So when it TASTES INCREDIBLE all the better ;D
But let's not forget the RAW PANCAKES. They're from Rawmazing and indeed they were RAWMAZING!

Think subtle crunch of tasty flaxseeds mixed with a coconutty goodness and soft juicy bursts of blueberries... mmm (so happy I've got left-overs).

The rest of the day kinda flew by like a breeeeeeeze as we had brekkie so late... Mum and I went to the gym late afternoon and then before we knew it, dinner time was near.

And I went all out and tried my hand at my first RAW LASAGNA!!

A nice big green side salad and then washed it down with this...

All raw Chocolate-Brazil nut ice cream... Butter Pecan ice cream... Choc-Chip-Chai ice cream... all topped with goji berries, cinnamon and a chocolate coconut gooey fudge sauce :)

What a day!

May 9, 2010

Got Pumpkin?

Winter coming along and pumpkins are everywhere! I've always LOVED them but now being RAW I wanted to think of a few differnt things to do with them. Mum has made pumpkin soup, roast pumpkin for her Friday night pizza's, and pumpkin risotto. I've grated it on my salads (SO good with flax oil and tumeric), but with more than we knew what to do with... AHA MOMENT! PUMPKIN PIE!!

I had always been intigued by the humble Pumpkin Pie; a very American-Halloween-thing in my opinion. But something still seemed strange about pumpkin in a pie! And for it to be SWEET? I just didn't get it. Until I tried it.

Whilst living in Italy I spent time with an American guy who religiously made his mothers pumpkin pie recipe every year at Halloween. And so Italy was where I had my first taste (of all places; but it was made by a true blue American). My first taste was immediatley followed by a second, a third, I finished the piece, went back for anoter, and no doubt had more slices the day after. OMG. This recipe is taken from an American one I had in my recipe book The Art of Raw Living Food (Doreen Virtue and Jenny Ross), with a few tweaks of my own.

For the base:
2 cups soaked almonds (or any nut - pecans would be delish)
1/4 cup agave syrup
1/4 cup chopped medjool dates
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla

Throw the
almonds in a food processor and blend until a dogh ball forms.
Scoop it all out and dump it into your pie dish (MINIMUM 20cm diameter). I pre-oiled mine with coconut oil to ensure easy removal when slicing :)
Spread your 'dough' with the palm of your hand to fill the dish and work the mixture up the sides as well. Use your fingertips to help with this until you have an even looking pie base.

Now you can either dehydrate the base at 40C degrees for about 12 hours, or use your oven to do this (be sure the temperature is still at 40C to be raw), OR for a texture variation pop it into the freezer for an hour until it's a little more solid and ready to fill. This will give you a much softer, stickier, goo-ier base.

I chose the freezer option to see how it would work, and personally wasn't too big a fan. It was still delicious but make cutting and serving alot trickier.

Now for the filling...
4 cups of pumpkin (i pre-shredded mine so my food processor wouldn't hate me throwing big chunks in)
1 tbsp mixed spice
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp vanilla
4 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp ground chia seeds (the recipe uses psyllium husks which I didn't want to use and so I tried grinding chia seeds instead. They have no taste and these thickened the mixture as the psyllium would have done also)

Blend all ingredients (except the chia seeds) until smooth and creamy. Then add the chia and blend again til thick. (My blender isn't so great so I first used my food processor and then transferred the mix to my blender to get the last little lumps out making it EXTRA smooth.

Be sure to taste your mixture. MOST IMPORTANT! This is where I always make adjustments. You might want it sweeter or spicier, saltier. You might hate it and really need to change a few things! Taste every recipe you make!

Putting it all together...
Spoon your filling into your pie base and spread it all over evenly - or real messy and lumpy if you prefer ;) making sure you fill every little bit!
Pop your finished pie into the freezer and don't be tempted for at least 4 hours to let it set (I know, shocking, my apologies)

But then... when it's ready to be devoured, serve with fresh berries, or sprinkle with pepita seeds. I chose to serve mine with a caramel sauce and a vanilla sauce.

Caramel sauce - agave syrup mixed with small amounts of lucuma, maca, mesquite, different spices (sorry I didnt really measure)
Vanilla sauce - ground macadamia nuts blended with vanilla, a little agave, dash of salt and coconut water (again, nothing measured)

Now I'm off to ENJOY THE SUNSHINE and prepare my raw lasagna for Mothers Day dinner :) More on that next time...

May 5, 2010

Something different

So during the month of October each year, VEGANS all over the globe celebrate Vegan MoFo - Month of Food. Why? Just coz! Is it October? No! Does that matter? No. I decided to use a little "survey" from the girls behind Vegan MoFo anyways just to let you all know a little more about the whacky world of Christie :)

So here goes...

1. Favorite non-dairy milk? raw brazil nut milk mmm

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook? (or NOT cook in my case) I'm doing a raw lasagna for Mothers Day (shhh), a chai-coconut ice cream, and some sort of raw pancakes. oooh today I made my first ever pumpkin pie - raw! (wow. wow. want to know more? ul have to wait til my next post)

3. Topping of choice for popcorn? ergh! never liked popcorn

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure? um... I can't think of any... dare I say I've always been good in the kitchen ;)

5. Favorite pickled item?
these days I couldn't tell you, but in the past I would've said onions mmm

6. How do you organize your recipes? annally haha... i have multiple books I write in categorising recipes according to the meal, have saved recipes alphabetically on my laptop, and print outs in preparation to be written down floating all round the place

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal? if its food scraps, compost all the way baby

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)?
bananas hands down! carrots and corn (is that really boring?) ooo or avocado. oh brazil nuts! damn, 3 is not alot!

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood? spending school holidays at my Grandmas with my cousin - playing Barbie's and shopping in Chatswood for fairy jewels

10. Favorite vegan ice cream? Spoil Me Raw's vanilla choc-chip O-M-G, O-M-G, O-M-G

11. Most loved kitchen appliance? ooo that's a tough one... can I say 3? my blender, food processor and mini whizz ;)

12. Spice/herb you would die without?
chilli! then cinnamon

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time?
Just For Kids Cookbook

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? mirabelle plum (only grown in France)

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend? hmmm... let's make that my favourite RAW vegan recipe to serve an omni friend... and even then I don't know! Cake. Chocolates. Apple crumble.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh? none - but years ago I would've eaten any

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)?
i don't cook these days, but brekkie is by far the best meal of the day, best time of the day

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator?

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking.
frozen bananas, home made raw ice cream, hemp-filled chocolates... anyone would think I had a severe sweet tooth ;) I don't really

20. What’s on your grocery list?
agave syrup, cacao, bananas, papaya, macadamia nut butter, pecans

21. Favorite grocery store?
woolies! but only in Gordon ;)

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet.
RAW hot cross buns

23. Food blog you read the most. Or maybe the top 3? Choosing Raw, Heathy's Sweetly Raw, Rawmaking

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate? Living Earth Lucuma and Maca hands down!

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately? hmmm... probably hemp seed butter!

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with? i'd have to say irish moss

May 1, 2010

Does it get any better than this??

SUNDAY ends the week for some, it begins the week for others. For me, I think it's more an ending thing, but with EXCITEMENT for the next week to come! I cannot wait for what's up next as this past week has been INCREDIBLE!!! (NOTE: I began writing this up on Saturday, so this post is not dated SUNDAY like it should be)

MONDAY I did some groceries, had the house to myself, made some belated Anzac Cookies, saw a friend for a tea, and had dinner with mum after her weekend away.

My well stocked kitchen box

Home made, delicious smelling, Anzac Cookies (not raw - but tradition)

TUESDAY I was out the door before 830am for a Naturopathy appointment which was FANTASTIC - this guy is AMAZING and without asking anything about why I was there, confirmed all my reasons; my bowels, my hormones, my acne, my lymph nodes... and I literally bounced out with new herbs to take so EXCITED to finally feel like I was getting somewhere with all my upsets. I then saw an old girlfriend who I hadn't seen in YEARS and we chatted over tea and coffee having a BLAST! Bought some new nutrition books on sale (slight obsession they're but admittedly they're my only vice people), and later I got a bunch of phone calls from people asking ME if I was interested in working with THEM! I've been wanting to work more of late but was specific about what I wanted, and this week, IT ALL CAME AT ONCE!! Universe working its magic :) 2hrs of yoga and cardio at the gym, I was BUZZING! And then off for one amazing job interview :)

Raw porridge - oat groats, almonds, goji berries, sunflower seeds, buchwheat, cacao nibs, coconut, cinnamon, and a drizzle of agave syrup

WEDNESDAY I was up early again, this time for my first infra red sauna (OMG AMAZING) followed by my regular gravity-method colonic that I LOVE (if you've never tried it I can see you cringe, if you have, you understand my bliss). Then, another job interview, I saw one of my clients, and I later rearranged my pantry from the shopping I had done on Monday (a strange obsession I have) :)

THURSDAY, 6am, my favourite gym class :) Mid morning ANOTHER job interview (the one I was most excited about; my all-time-favourite health food store) and then chilling with Brock and Tsung at the Organic Markets in Crows Nest. I've become a bit of a loiter really, haha, but I figure having worked in the area for over 18 months, I know all the locals so it's more of a weekly catch up :)
I had lunch on the grass in the sun with my friend Beate and we chatted for HOURS about so much it was so ENERGISING to see her. Afternoon bliss.

Raw coleslaw - cabbage, carrot, parsley, red onion, and a tangy cashew nut dressing

Protein smoothie - pears, apple, spinach, spirulina, chia seeds, protein powder, lucuma, coconut oil, goji berries, carob powder, mesquite powder

FRIDAY I ran some errands, saw a friend about some work involving my LOVE of good food, got a new yoga DVD and veged out on the couch with mum and Lisa over PIZZA and a movie :)

Raw pizza - BEST EVER BASES topped with a sundried tomato sauce, greens, marinated zucchini and capsicum, a big blob of avocado, poppy seeds and chili oil

SATURDAY was mum's birthday. Lisa and I made her brekkie and did the pressie thing. Then mum and I went out to look at a garden not far as it was National Permeculture Day. FASCINATING STUFF! Although this womans garden looked a little higgelty-piggelty for my liking :) GREAT gym session late arvo and then... I called the health food store. THE JOB IS MINE!!! And I start Tuesday :) :) :)

Saturday night dinner - Left over marinated vegies with extra yellow squash with my cos/kale salad

My home made raw apple crumble for mums birthday - complete with raw butter pecan ice cream

And then TODAY was the 5th annual VEGAN EXPO! I LOVE this and volunteer to help out every year I can. I was up early and out at Petersham for 7am bump-in. Doors opened at 10am and everything was go go go! Mandee and I then helped out at the Tea and Empathy stall- so happy to have our green tea after 3hrs setting up :) It was SO BUSY this year, everyone was having a ball; the food stands had people lining up all day, the speakers had every seat in the house filled, people were wandering around at their own pace taking in what they were ready too and interested to learn more about EVERYTHING VEGAN! Surrounded by like minded folk, BOOKS, FOOD, fun, laughter, and catching up with friends new and old, it's a MUST on my calendar every year :)

Mandee and I - I look like I have antlers haha

Jessica from the Cruelty Free Shop - I got some new mineral makeup :)

Munching away on choc-coated-pepita-covered-frozen-bananas mmm

And of course, dotted in and out of my week, as always, I had alot of KITCHEN FUN!! I LOVE IT!

Raw bread with nut macadamia nut butter, hemp seed butter and little drops of agave for brekkie with The Sydney Magazine