Aug 27, 2010

My Thursday

So yesterday was my favourite day of the week - MARKET DAY! (which I post about reguarly - check out here and here). It also conincided with my last day of college for the semester which was nice. 3 weeks off now!

Bananas, papayas, so much kale, herbs, apples, oranges, mandarins, watermelon, cauliflower, broccoli, custard apples, coconuts... as usual the list goes on.
The amount of produce in boxes Brock brought home last night was INCREDIBLE! I think we're going to have to have people over every night to finish it all!! Our fridge is PACKED, all the fruit bowls are full (of course there's more than one fruit bowl in a raw vegan house), and there's extra boxes stacked under the counter!! WE'RE SURROUNDED!!

The deliveries came in early at work, I unloaded them all, spread it all out, packed up all the orders we had to do...

...then had the front of the shop BURSTING with fresh produce that looked and smelt AMAZING. I LOVE doing the display and making everything look FANTASTICALLY SCRUMPTIOUS!!

Loads of greens of course

Then I ran out and bolted to college, last few hours for the term, and later spent some time with Brock and Tsung at the MARKETS before jetting back to work again to make the deliveries for the day. Busy Busy! I LOVE IT!!

However by the time Brock and I can sit down and relax after the longest day of the week for both of us (getting up at 430am and 6am respectivley) it's almost 830pm. And so yesterday we sat down to something a little spesh... NACHOS! It was SO good!

Using the corn chips I made last Sunday (along with so many other yummies you can see here), I layered the corn chips with capsicum bits, tomatoes chunks, sweet corn, guacamole, chilli salsa, and nutritional yeast flakes (not wanting nut or seed cheese). OMG! It was incredible! And we had big green salads to go with it.

And then crashed :)

Aug 24, 2010

My FunDay SunDay

So one of my favourite things to do is to have SO MUCH TIME to spend in the kitchen. KITCHEN FUN! Uninterrupted. Sun shining in. Music on. Get in my groove. And that's exactly what I did all Sunday.
I had initially "planned" to do college work all day, and make one or two raw things, but instead made raw things all day, and did (less than) one or two college things :)

So I began...

We had loads of corn this week after the markets and I've wanted to make corn chips ever since going raw. Sunday was the day. They turned out GREAT and the touch of chilli is DELICIOUS! Super easy, I'm looking forward to making a big bowl of NACHOS sometime this week for dinner - complete with guacamole, tomatoes, more chilli, and maybe some sprouted beans blended up like refried beans!!

At the same time they were in the dehydrator I also had sesame-chia snaps doing their thing. Something else I had wanted to make for a while, it's the raw version of those crunchy sweet sesame snaps I used to love. So yummy, a little chewy, a little crunchy. Perfect sweet tooth fix. And good for you! Chia seeds and sesame seeds together = LOADS of calcium!

Then this one... WOW! This recipe is one I got off Heathy's blog SO LONG ago. Vanilla Oatmeal Bars. I've been wanting to create this one for AGES (am I sounding like a brocken record?)! It looks tricky and there are a fair few ingredients but it's a sinch! And OH MY GOD! Incredibly sweet and immensley calorific... but it's incredible.

I cut it up into tiny little pieces coz it was so sweet - and so it will last much longer :)

Think oaty-coconutty-sugary-anzac-cookie-like base... sweet and solid... as your teeth melt down through the top layer of soft coconutty-cashew-deliciousness that's sweeter than anything else... goji berries dotted throughout...

And with some of the base mix I made little biscuits as well - they taste like raw anzac cookies. MMM

I took a break to catch up with mum over a cup of tea... then was back to PLAYING!

Brock came home and said he had invited close mates of ours round for dinner... so I kept going... brain ticking... What shall I make?!?!

And so the Sunday night menu was as follows...

Green soup

Beetroot salad with parsley and orange

Cauli/parsnip rice salad with corn, tomatoes, coriander, lemon and lime

Cabbage salad with zucchini, basil and spring onions... but the dressing MADE it! Curry powder, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, agave, tamari, apple cider vinegar... few other bits n bobs

And then dessert. A dinner party isnt a dinner party without dessert.
Wanting to make something real spesh, my brain was going a million miles an hour trying to think of something different...

fruit? bananas? we had no berries... avocado? I didnt want so much fat... but pudding perhaps? left over chia gel from the sesame-chia snaps? could do pudding with that... left over vanilla cream from the oatmeal bars? again that's so high in calories... hmmm... cacao... blended bananas... nut-based fruit pie? layered parfait? sorbet?

All I can say is that with confusion comes clarity... and with all that came these babies...

Shall I call them my... vanilla-chia-choc-banana-walnut-crumble-layered-parfaits... topped with sliced bananas and goji berries :)

Sounds good to me. Quite a mouthful. Pardon the pun.

Aug 22, 2010

Lazy Saturday In

Wanna whip up something SCRUMPTIOUS and quick?

Last night Borck and I opted for a lazy night in having both worked long weeks, all we wanted to do was put our feet up and watch a DVD on the couch.

So before we both raced off (again) for our days full of errands, more work, gym sessions, sunbaking, voting and more, I sliced and diced a bunch of vegies and made a super fast-easy-peasy-lasagna.

I wasn't going by any recipes so I used eggplant (that admittedley had been marinating for a couple of days in the fridge), zucchinis, red capsicum, and tomatoes. Then in the blender I threw in a few tomatoes, a bunch of basil, one MASSIVE russian garlic clove, a bit less than one onion, and some chilli. That was my sauce.

I love the thought of eating RAW garlic (think anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-bacterial) and RAW onion (think beautifying-rich SULPHUR) but unless it's thrown into a yummolicious sauce (that both you and your partner will eat together hehe) it's a little tricky to get it down.

Then I layered it all in a large dish and added some nutritional yeast flakes for a tasty cheesy addition - and a pack of B vitamins. I'm not so much a fan of the heavy nut-based raw cheeses that could go with a lasagna, so usually opt for the lighter easy-peasy-vegie one instead.

It was so good coming home knowing dinner was waiting for us both after 2hrs at the gym that was SO GOOD yet tiring.
The avocado ontop soothed the buzzing chilli hit in the sauce, and with a great big side of english spinach, it really hit the spot on the couch curled up with a DVD.

But no lazy Saturday night is complete without dessert...

Frozen bananas in the blender, then a quick choccie sauce of cacao, coconut oil and agave that when poured ontop turns into ICE MAGIC... sprinkled with coconut flakes, sliced bananas, cacao nibs and AMAZING Loving Earth coconut-ginger-cinnamon-activated-walnuts. YUM!

Aug 18, 2010

The Invention Test

Towards the end of the week - and by that I mean Wednesday; as Thursday is MARKET DAY and DELIVERY DAY therefore FRESH EXCITING FRUIT AND VEG STOCK UP DAY - the fridge looks a little bare. Sure I could go to the store to grab a few more things but I also like to use what I've got so nothing goes to waste.

So I came up with this -

A fennel and green apple rice salad, dressed with a little olive oil, black pepper, and lemon juice, tossed with raw cashew pieces.

I had containers of left over parsnip/cauliflower rice sitting in the fridge waiting to be used, sliced the fennel along with the top green leafy bits, chopped up the one green apple in the fruit bowl, threw in some cashews, dressed it up and Voila! Simple. Good textures. Neutral colours. And damn tasty.

But like I said, tomorrow means BANANAS (my all-time fav as most already know), bright green luscious SCOTTISH KALE (my fav green hands down), PAPAYAS (a sore belly always likes these babies), and everything else from apples, oranges, rocket, herbs, peas, beets... even MELONS are coming back! Oooooh! I cannot wait for brekkie at work unpacking it all! :)

Oh but today! Wait for it... I got to FEAST on one of these babies... drumroll please...

Only the worlds greatest fruit (alongside bananas... and maybe mammee sapotes when in season... ok yeh that's all)

M-A-N-G-O-E-S!!! - not organic but at least Australian. And OH so deliciously good! Juicy. Sweet. Soft. Mango goodness. My taste buds are salivating in memory...

Here's Brock about to go in for the kill :)

Aug 15, 2010

Self Love and Responsibility for Me

Sunday evening and I'm feeling a little off. Not bad. But not great. In a state of reflection I suppose.

It's been over a year since I first got into raw foods. But January 1st was when I took the BIG LEAP and threw myself in 100%. It's now August and I'm still over 95% raw - if I've wanted to eat a piece of mum's baked kumera or a mouthful of vegie curry I've done so.

I know that raw foods and a raw vegan diet is BEST for my body. I function BEST, I feel my best, I LOOK my best. I have more energy, I'm more at peace, I feel cleaner and clearer. But I don't always have the WILLPOWER to stick to raw every minute of everyday. Maintaining a 100% raw vegan diet is CHALLENGING; I know. I've been doing it. 95% of the time. But now I've decided I'm going the whole hog again.

Now I've had ACNE since I was in primary school - over 12years now. I've done the chemical creams, the organic creams, the light treatments, the elimination diets, the scrubs, colonics, saunas, the salt water, sunshine, supplements, pills, potions, lotions, you name it. My ACNE is still here. When I met Brock, who has been raw for over 4years, he thought that when I transitioned to a 100% raw diet my acne would clear up. I had hoped; it would have been the easy road out. No such luck.

Deep down I know my acne stems from self esteem issues. Emotions go up and down. My acne has been up and down. Better and worse. But always present. So coming from self esteem issues it doesn't surprise me why I've been so resistant to affirmations my whole life - there's a little gremlin still inside of me seld-sabotaging any of my good efforts to clear my skin.

But now I feel ready - if only a little bit more - to SPEED UP this process of mine.

So from today...

I'm going 100% raw again. And I mean 100%. Only fresh organic fruits and vegetables. Greens. Healthy avocado, seeds, nuts and oils. Seaweeds. Sprouts. Superfoods. Juices. Filtered water. My naturpoathic herbs that are already doing wonders. MSM which is INCREDIBLE for my nails, as well as my hair and skin. Zinc. And any other little things that pop up here and there... (working in a health food shop I'm always on the lookout for new things).

I've got my affirmations that I'm going to committ to saying out loud in the mirror every morning and every night. What's the worst thing that can happen? MY ACNE WILL CLEAR AND I WILL BE A HAPPIER, HEALTHIER AMAZING WOMAN THAT GLOWS FROM THE INSIDE OUT! Why is that so scary? Why am I afraid to be the very best I can be?

I'm ready to be responsible for my own life. Im ready to examine the consequences of every choice I make.

Smile. Laugh. Peace. Love. And mung beans.

Aug 12, 2010

Food Porn

Need I say more?

I made seven of these little babies for a decadent rich dessert last weekend to celebrate a belated Christmas In July at our place, and my god was it good!

If your keen to replicate it yourself, head over here for the recipe.

I altered a few things in mine as you can do with yours, but the basics are there. A little time needed but well worth it :)

Aug 8, 2010

My Birthday Week of LOVE

a-ga-pé: [ ah-gah-pey, ah-guy-pey, ag-uh ] from Ancient Greek agapé means

a. God's unconditional love for us
b. a pure selfless love of one person for another
c. a love feast shared as a sign of love and fellowship

And that's what my last week has been all about.

It was my 25th Birthday on Wednesday and I've been SPOILT ROTTEN everyday since!

I was surprised with a BEAUTIFUL bunch of flowers from my boss (who is currently on her honeymoon mind you) at work on Wednesday, and they were GORGEOUS! Orange gerberas and purple cabbages...

After an early start and a long busy day at work, then seeing a client, I was happy to get home on Wednesday night for an Indian-inspired-Feast.

Beautifully created by my mother, and my two sisters (one of which came down from Cairns especially). Lisa set the table with special plates, gold cutlery and crystal glasses. There were candles lit, music playing, lights dimmed and incense wafting...

Mum, Lisa, Nikki, Annabel, Chris and my grandmother were all delighting in different curries, rices and breads, samosas, chutneys and side dishes, while Brock and I were indulging on the following mouth watering dishes that were made especially for us both...

Sweet curry with sultanas, apple, spices, banana...

Cauliflower and parsnip rice - this one is a sweet sulatana and almond one, we also had a beautiful ginger cauli rice

Warmed marinated broccoli which was so good

Carrot salad with cumin, zucchini, red onions...

And my dinner plate (first of two serves)

Finished with a parfait glass with scoops of raw vanilla choc-chip ice cream Mum had bought - but Brock had my homemade coconut ice cream and said he liked it better!!

I was showered with gifts - including a basket of fruit and veg that I jumped up and down with excitement over! Best pressie ever. Way to a raw girls heart :)

Friday afternoon I spoilt myself to a colonic and infra red sauna! :) BLISSED OUT! I feel so unbelievably good after both I walk out BEAMING!
And then Brock came to pick me up and take me out for a SURPRISE DINNER!
We first wandered the streets of Newtown and into my favourite Health Food Shop for a browse. I get a BUZZ out of all things nutrition - working in a health food store myself, I was like a kid in a lolly shop, and Brock and I walked out with a few coconut date rolls as a pre-dinner snack :) Yum!

Then onto dinner...
AGAPE - a Greek word translated into LOVE, and the name of a stunning restaurant out in Botany using only ORGANIC produce where Brock had been waiting to take this special girl :)
We were so warmly welcomed and greeted with "Happy Birthday" at the door. Surrounded by candles, wooden furniture, pink roses and antique velvet couches, this place really does say LOVE. Absolutley beautiful.

Brock is friends with the very talented chef named Simon So sneakily set up something special. But never expected what we got. A 5 course raw menu for 2. The attention to detail was impeccable and the presentation divine. From start to finish...

Tomato and basil salad, crisp kale and apple balsamic

Beetroot carpaccio, olive, basil, almond, apple, blood orange vinaigrette

Marinated broccoli, carrot, sesame, silverbeet, lemon, garlic and chilli

Mushroom, salsa verde, rocket, honey and mustard

Golden delicious apple, raw honey, almond, sultana

As each plate came out the flavours got better and better - dessert being the winner for both of us.

An early morning sunshine run together on Saturday before I had a hair appointment in the city to pamper myself, and later met up with Lara for a very belated catch up, before doing my nails and getting ready for our night out.
And Saturday night dinner with the girls!
My sister had made raw bruschetta bread for Maya, Tamsyn and I but the restaurant COOKED IT! We ate the fresh tomato on top tho, had BIG salads and DELICIOUS cinnamon scrolls Maya so kindly made. Good food, great company and lots of laughs finished by dancing at the local til after midninght... an AMAZING end to an AMAZING week!

THANK YOU to EVERYONE that made my week MORE than special. I felt like a royal queen all week and LOVE each and everyone of you.


Aug 2, 2010

College, Cake, and Coconut Ice Cream

I'm on my break at work munching away on a big bowl of salad and thought "Hey! I could get a head start on my blog for tonight!" and so...

After 2weeks of feeling shit - emotionally, physically, spiritually - I can now say that I feel like I'm back on track and its feels FANTASTIC! I've got ENERGY, I've set GOALS, the SUN IN SHINING, and I feel on top of the world!

This weekend just gone I was at college again for the final Air and Fire components of our Medicine Wheel Life Quality and Design module.

As I've no doubt said before, I LOVE going to college to spend time with the girls in such a supportive, nurturing environment. And as a TREAT for all - with the good old "its my birthday next Wednesday" excuse, I made a big double-decker-raw chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and strawberry jam sandwiched in between... more frosting ontop and berries for decoration. Everyone LOVED it which made me very happy - proof in the pudding with Kara and Megan digging in :)

But as promised, here's the coconut ice cream recipe I made last week.

1 cup cashews
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup agave syrup (but next time I wanna try yacon syrup and use less)
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups young coconut flesh (from 2-4 coconuts)

Blend it all, then add 1/4 cup melted coconut oil and blend it all again.
Keep it in the fridge til super cold, then churn it through an ice cream maker.

I've just made another batch, and think I'm gonna add cacao nibs THROUGH it so its COCONUT-CHOC-CHIP! MMM!!!
I had some the other night with a chocolate brownie Maya kindly gave me, and sprinkled some cacao nibs and coconut flakes over the top. YUM!