Jun 27, 2010

Saturday I'm in Love

Saturday morning and I was up at the break of dawn to set off for my 8am COLONIC :) Happy as Larry! I LOVE getting my colonics and the past couple of times I've gone I've also had infra-red saunas that are TO DIE FOR! I walk out of my therapists place feeling like I'm GLOWING and I'm BEAMING with enthusiasm for whatever life throws at me next! I've got a spring in my step, sunshine from within, and a smile on my face :)

I met up with my cousin down the road at the Newtown Vegan Bake Sale to grab some cruelty free goodies for my mum who beautifully indulges her sweet tooth daily, and to say hi to my friend Mandee (who has a great blog of her own here) who runs the stall. Doing her usual FABULOUS baking and organising, they raised a whopping $994.45 for A Poultry Place in Canberra this time around. Good work!

I later did a couple of house inspections with Brock before we stopped in at Taste Organics for a bite to eat with Maya at the cafe as it was the last day it will be open for a while. I was hanging out for some raw ice cream of hers that is DELISH and to my excitement/surprise/indulgence/happiness/every-other-yummy-word-you-can-think-of... she had made ICE CREAM SANDWICHES!! So so so good - but silly me forgot to take a pic for you all.

The rest of my afternoon was spent making raw soup and hitting up the gym for my favourite class before I was out with good friends for a Raw Potluck in Turramurra.
I made my favourite Spiced Carrot Soup, Maya had cakes from the cafe, Brock made a big tasty coleslaw and a beaut green salad, Tam had the greatest choc-banana pudding (that was only made better with dried bananas dipped into it), and Tsung brought loads of sweet juicy organic oranges (we had as appetisers, palate cleansers inbetween meals, and as "after dinner mints").

We GORGED on coleslaws, kale salads, curried cauliflower, sweet potato slices in some sort of dressing that I feel in love with and still can't put my taste buds to working out what it was... parsnip mash, live fries with sundried tomato sauce, mini sausages wrapped in eggplant strips, soups, saurekraut, garden salads, fresh fruit...

Dessert was UNREAL and even though I wasn't initially feeling like alot, I did eat alot. Here's my DESSERT MOUNTAIN (mind you that was only the first helping).

There is a mango passionfruit sorbet to the right that was deliciously refreshing amongst all the CACAO. An apricot pie that was gooey and sticky but a bit much for me, a dark rich gooey CACAO pie, Tam's AMAZING cacao-banana-avo-mousse-pudding that we dipped our dried banana fingers into and used as spoons (MMM), and a very sweet yummy pecan pie pictured here. Ontop of all that (or as well as once inside my happy tummy) we shared beautiful sliced bananas with coconut and sultanas, a chocolate mint ice cream, an apple and date 'dip' with celery sticks (strange but really good to break up so much cacao), Maya's coconut pie, little chocolate balls, and itty bitty almond date fudge pieces. Wow.

Maya, Tam and I before our cacao-high-laughter fits

Delicious food
, beautiful company, close friends and new people to mingle with, everyone had a blast, ate too much, laughed even more and went home BLISSED andblessed by the evening shared, and the full moon eclipse we were so lucky to have seen - helping us all cast off the old and move on with the new (side note - mid next month we have another eclipse, this time a new Moon so between now and then it's up to us all to think about where we know we have to make changes...)

Brock and I braved the cold for a 45minute 'digestive' walk back home at 11pm, making the most of the beautiful moonlight, and then sleeping like babies :)

Jun 25, 2010

Flaxjacks for Brekkie

Sitting at home on a Friday night wanting to blog but cant think of what to write about! I've got a bunch of really cool things coming up that i cant wait to tell you all about in the next week, but as I want to blog right now... I've got a quick recipe that you can whip up as a fancy brekkie change, or an afternoon snack. I found this recipe online somewhere ages ago but cannot remember where...not to worry, it's DELISH! That's all that matters :)

Cardamon Flaxjacks

1/4 cup + 1 tbsp whole flax seeds
1/4 cup shredded coconut
pinch ground cardamom
3 tbsp fresh orange juice
1 tbsp agave nectar

Grind the flaxseeds then mix them with the rest of the ingredients until it's all gooey and looking amazing. Divide it into two portions, shape into balls and then flatten them or serve them in cute little moulds. Top them with fresh fruits, drizzles of agave syrup, extra coconut flakes, whatever you like!

I first made this for Brock as a surprise one weekend we were house sitting. Lazy start to the day, the Sunday paper on the table (my favourite weekend indulgence), sun on the balcony, not a better way to start the day :)

Jun 21, 2010

I'm up. Now what?

Breakfast for me has always been my FAVOURITE meal of the day. As a kid I'd tuck into cereal or toast with vegemite. In high school I went through a banana smoothie phase where I couldn't seem to get enough. Travelling overseas I looked forward to food regardless of what it was! And now my tastes are changing again.

When I first went RAW I was eating fruit of course. I'd have a few pieces cut up like a fruit salad. Then as my stomach got used to it I found I could eat alot more. And further on I grew accustomed to a MONO meal of fruit for breakfast, finding this easier on my digestion first thing. And with that, brekkie was more often that not 8 or 9 bananas straight up, half a red papaya, or 3-4 mangoes in Summer (Oh my God the memories...DROOL). Then I got hooked on throwing bananas in the blender and adding a bunch of yummy things to BOOST me up ready for the day!

Most recently I've been having juice - GREEN JUICE. I've spoken about the benefits of JUICING here before so I wont go into it again, but I will say that over time our tastes change as do our emotions, circumstances, schedules, and the weather.

And so here we are now in Winter down under in the Southern Hemishpere, and each morning I find myself struggling to decide what I feel like. For whatever reasons they might be, I'm finding that of late I'm not hungry for my usual favourite meal of the day!

However, I wanted to suggest a bunch of ideas that I like to have for brekkie as a RAW-ie to add some inspiration to your day, and some excitement to your next breakfast! Some of my fav's are:

Raw buckwheat or oat groat porridge with all my favourites mixed in and added ontop for an easy filling comfort-food-winter nomnom.

or a quick "run-out-the-door" version, and one for later on

A quick and easy miso soup with some seaweed. Great on the mornings I've gotta be up real early, out the door pretty quick, and it's FREEZING.

Banana bowls... ...or a variation of them

Superfood smoothies

Nut milk Smoothies - this one is with cacao and bananas

Or just plain simple tasty nut milk...

...which would be great alongside some raw bread with nut butters or tahini

Another tasty treat (if advance preparation has been thought of and done of course) is gRAWnola

so so good :) crunchy. chewy. like toasted muesli. a good jaw workout this one

And for those special occasions...

Blueberry Flax pancakes drizzled with agave

Cardamon Flaxjacks with fresh fruit

What's your favourite breakfast yumminess?

Jun 18, 2010

Spoilt Mid Week

Mid-week dinner creations!!
My step mother tried her hand at her first RAW dinner for Brock, my Dad and I on Wednesday and it was DELICIOUS!!

Gail first prepared walnuts and almonds to snack on (mmm raw hors dourves)... then we shared a fresh spicey rocket, herb and tomato salad alongside a BIG MIXED GARDEN SALAD full of baby carrots, snow peas, cherry tomatoes, red onions, capsicum, cucumbers... We had melt-in-your-mouth-avocado halves topped with diced tomatoes and fresh herbs on a bed of cos lettuce served with lemon wedges... and some raw bread slices I took over for Dad and Gail to try...

And a beautiful assortment of fresh fruits to end a beautiful meal.

The following morning as I left Brock's deciding to walk to work for my early morning meeting, I was BLESSED with the colours in the sky, the cool crisp air on my skin, the fresh energy around me, and the mystical magic that is tall city buildings pre-dawn...

Jun 14, 2010

Double Chocolate Brazil Nut Fudge Cookies

What a mouthful! Literally! Need I say more? Really. I don't think so.

Easy to make. Easier to eat. A great way to use left-over nut milk pulp after making nut milk (this recipe is based on Ani Phyo's Brownie Cookies)

1 1/4 cup brazil nut pulp
3/4 cup cacao powder
1/3 cup agave syrup
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup cacao nibs
1/4 cup brazil nuts (roughly chopped)
pinch of himalayan pink salt

Mix brazil nut pulp, cacao, and salt in mixing bowl (I like to use a whisk to make sure it all beautifully even and smooth). Pour in agave and water, and continue using your whisk to combine it all really well... (taste test time mmm add more sweetener if you want)

Gently stir in the cacao nibs and brazil nut pieces. Use a dessert spoon to plonk big blobs of the yummy mix onto dehydrator trays (or your baking trays). Then dehydrate! I left mine for about 8 hours and they came out AMAZING!

Think FUDGEY, THICK, CHOCOLATEY, RICH cookies with itty bitty bits of CACAO and BRAZIL NUTS swimming throughout, and one mighty crunchy nut ontop!

Like I said... need I say more?

My mouth is full of cookie goodness ;)

Jun 11, 2010

A Drink for Daniella

I don't think there's any shortage of recipes for nut milks on the blogosphere, but a good friend of mine wanted one, so Daniella here it is.

For those of you unfamiliar with nut milks (sometime written up as nut MYLK) they are just that - "milk" made from nuts. It's an alternative to rice, soy, oat and dairy for anyone who can't consume those mentioned, or simply choose not too. Me included.
Now you can buy nut milk (usually almond) from select health food stores, and they can be a good first stepping stone... however they usually contain added artificial sweeteners, thickeners, preservatives etc and are no doubt heat treated.

So why not try your hand at making your own instead?
It's quick, fool-proof, tastes great, and usually cheaper.

Now with most nuts you'll need to soak them first to remove enzyme inhibitors, and make their nutritional potential fully available to you. This also helps with your digestion as un-soaked nuts can be difficult for your body to digest.
One nut that doesn't need pre-soaking however are brazil nuts (likewise with hazelnuts) as they contain no enzyme inhibitors. With that, and being one of my FAVOURITE nuts, it's the quickest and easiest milk to make at the drop of a hat!

Here's my recipe...

Brazil Nut Milk

1 cup organic brazil nuts
4 cups filtered water
3 medjool dates

Blend all in a high speed blender until well combined. And then pour it into a tall container THROUGH a nut milk bag securely tied to your jar (but if you don't have a nut milk bag you can use a piece of cheese cloth or try a strainer... alternativley you don't have to do this step, you'll just have thicker richer nut milk).

Once the majority of your liquid has passed through your milk bag or cheese cloth...

(you can speed up the process by pressing the pulp through your bag after a good stirring, but I like to let it do it's own thing for 10-20 minutes whilst I take some time out to blog, or shower, call a friend... or munch down on some tasty medjool dates stuffed with raw nut butter mmm a little bliss time)

...squeeze out the excess, and save your nut pulp in a container, keeping it in the fridge, or in the freezer if you're not going to use it within a few days.

Serve your tasty milk straight up, ice cold, slightly warmed... Blend it with fruits, mix it with cacao, pour it over grawnola, or add a drop to a spicy chai tea when it's cold. Yummo!
As for what to do with all the nut pulp you'll accumulate after many a blend of nut milk...
WATCH THIS SPACE!! Chocolate fudge cookies coming soon ;)

Jun 4, 2010

Afternoon munchies?

It's only just occured to me that my last few blog posts have all included BEETROOT!
Beautiful colour, amazing flavour, and so many ways in which to use them. So here's another.

VEGIE CHIPS!! And these are so easy to make and taste UNREAL!

I used my mandolin to finely slice beetroot as well as zucchini and sweet potato I had and then lay them out onto trays choosing my herbs and spices...

Rosemary and sea salt on my beetroot.
Nutmeg, cumin and sea salt on the sweet potato.

Mixed herbs on my zucchini.

Then in the oven on 40 degrees (as I'm yet to get myself a dehydrator). I was out all day at work and running around so my chippies were doing their thing for over 8hrs until I got home and CRUNCH! Afternoon snack time :)

I thought I'd like the sweet potato chips best as I love store bought ones years ago, but I was very surprised that I was munching away on the ZUCCHINI CHIPS the most. Clearly they were the winner for me!

Jun 2, 2010

Sweet. Salty. Soft. Crunchy.

Sometimes, I find that emotional upsets can have a big effect on my eating - good, bad or indifferent. Sometimes I want to eat more, sometimes I want to eat nothing at all. Sometimes completely different foods. None of it is BAD, it's just reason to stop and think. Stop and feel. Take a minute out to breathe. Find out what's going on inside.

After a GREAT day at work, I let myself get beaten up by an email of unpleasant news and a quick work-related conversation that didn't end well either.

So this afternoons events impacted on my dinner. I was STARVING prior to dinner having not eaten alot during the day, however I couldn't be bothered eating. I didn't have the strength to think of what to make, what I felt like, and then MAKE IT!

However, I decided to S-L-O-W-L-Y conjur up enough strength to put something together, whether I then ate or not (it could've been tomorrow's lunch) and I was so glad I did.

Scottisk Kale greens thrown in my bowl with thin slices of beetroot and pumpkin, a little avocado I had, some parsley, and a handful of walnuts.
To dress it up... drizzles of olive oil and caramalised balsamic vinegar with a sprinkle of sea salt. Perfect complements and contrasts. Sweet. Salty. Soft. Crunchy. AMAZING! And with a small piece of my raw pizza bread on the side, I was feeling much better afterwards!

Feet up. Home alone. Master Chef on the box. This quick blog and now I'll hit the sack. Nothing like good healthy food (and a small bowl of ice cream), some no-brainer TV and an early night to soothe the soul :)