Wednesday, 23 April 2014

BANANA BERRY BOWL


I have been so inspired by all these smoothie bowls I see on Instagram and Tumblr, I decided to make one myself. Nothing fancy here - just wholesome, nourishing, deliciously sweet and fruity ingredients to give you energy for the day! This tasted like heaven after my run this morning. And although I get excited over everything I put in my mouth, it makes the eating experience even more fun when you decorate your food like art. My food IS art, after all. Let's get nuts.

BANANA BERRY BOWL 

Smoothie:
4 mangoes
4 bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup water

Decorations:
1 tablespoon shredded coconut
1 walnut
1 date
1 banana

To make the smoothie: blend everything until smooth. Pour in a bowl then decorate with the goodies! Add whatever else you like. I wish had some goji berries for colour but alas - I'm all out. I eat those things like candy. 

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

RAW VEGAN BODYCARE: JUST GOODIES FROM JUST THE GOODS


Yo. So a little while ago the wonderful Milena, the woman behind Just The Goods, was kind enough to send me some of her products to review. I actually basically begged her to let me review them because I had been wanting to try them myself for months. What are these "goods" exactly? Natural, wholesome, gentle and beautiful bodycare products ranging from toothpaste to deodorant to hair and skin care. I giddily received whipped shea butter, massage oil, essential oil-based perfume, a salt bath mix, and a lipstick (the last is created The All Natural Face). I love all of it. I use the shea butter EVERYDAY all over my bod and face. It smells and feels *divine*. I will shed tears when the jar is empty. My partner and I have used the massage oil... it's great. Wiiink. I also use the massage oil as a skin moisturizer because why not!? The lipstick is lovely, the perfume is intoxicating, and I used up the salt bath mix immediately - it included baking soda and lavender oil and put me in the most mellow mood. I absolutely love this company and highly recommend buying from them if you are looking for natural, eco-friendly, cruelty-free, nourishing bodycare products for fair prices. 

Sunday, 20 April 2014

ULTIMATE RAW VEGAN PIZZA (LOW-FAT, OIL-FREE, SALT-FREE)


This is epic. This is pizza. This is how we broke the liquid fast on this fine day (4/20). I have been thinking about making this since like the second day into the fast, and I think it's pretty much perfect. I wanted to create a raw pizza recipe that was NOT nut-based. Nuts are great, don't get me wrong, but they have a high fat content and so you only need a handful every day. The thing is... I wanna eat a LOT of pizza, and so if I wanna eat a lot of NUT-based pizza, then I'm gonna be consuming too many nuts and too much fat for a day! Get it? The base for this recipe is actually zucchini noodles and other veggies! I got the idea from this dude. So in fact you could make the pizza crust and just eat that because you're essentially making a giant bowl of zucchini noodles in a garlicky tomato sauce... then you just have to shape it into circles and dehydrate it for awhile! I am definitely remaking this recipe but stopping at this giant spaghetti bowl stage and nomming that up. Another bonus about this pizza crust is that you can use your leftover nut pulp in it (from when you make nut mylk)! I used the walnut pulp from when I made walnut mylk a few days ago. Now you have even more reasons to make your own fresh nut mylk. It's approximately 1723 times better than store-bought, and you have an excuse to make the best pizza ever. C'mon. No down sides.

All the ingredients in this are organic and most are from the farmers market. *Beaming smile*. I think I've successfully made the switch to an almost all organic diet! Yes it is more expensive, but it is worth it to me. I want to nourish my body with the most excellent food available, and that means organic! Preferably local too (which will be easier now that summer is headin' our way). The flavour of organic food is also incomparably better. These heirloom tomatoes we got from the farmers market are IN.SANE. You don't even know. Run to your farm market and grab some right now. We got them for a dollar each because they were SO ripe that they burst open while the merchants drove them to the market. Better for me! I dehydrated them and holy LAWD they are like pizza bites. So we've now got pizza bites on pizza slices. Life cannot be improved.

In case you wanna hear about the last day of our liquid feast - we went eight full days and most of today in total - it was fantastic! Energy levels were great, I wrote my last final exam with an optimally-functioning brain, then went to see my friends' band perform at a record store (it was record store day). By midnight I was tired and hit the hay. My partner and I likened today to Christmas, 'cause we were so stoked to eat. Having said that, after I got up, did yoga and went for a quick run, I just wanted a smoothie. But I'm not surprised by this since most of my diet is liquid anyways, except my dinners, so this wasn't a huge change for me; but enough of a challenge to make me REALLY excited to eat solids again, and appreciative of such. Whenever I fast my passion for food is recharged 333%, so then all I wanna eat is zucchini pasta and raw chocolate and fruit bowls... mmm.... *drool*. Oh, and this pizza.
Pizza forever.


ULTIMATE RAW VEGAN PIZZA (LOW-FAT, OIL-FREE, SALT-FREE)

Crust:
3 zucchinis
2 tomatoes (I used beefsteak)
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 onion
1 garlic clove
2 dates
2 bell peppers
1/4 cup walnuts (or nut pulp leftover from nut mylk)

Sauce:
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped zucchini 
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Handful fresh basil leaves 
1 date
1 garlic clove

Toppings:
2 tomatoes (I used heirloom)
2 cups mushrooms
1 bell pepper
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

To make the crust: slice the zucchinis into noodles with a spiral slicer, mandolin or a cheese grater. Set aside in a large bowl. Blend the rest of the ingredients until smooth, adjusting according to taste. Mix this into the noodles. You should end up with a huge bowl of really saucy noodles. Like I said, it's hard not eating all of this by itself. Spread this evenly - keepin' it thick - into a big circle on a dehydrator tray and dehydrate at 115 °F for 6 hours or so, until pliable. Flip over and do the same again. Note: you can use your oven at it's lowest temperature if you don't have a dehydrator. Keep checking on your crust as it is drying though, because everyone's will turn out different.

To make the sauce: put all the ingredients a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Spread on your crust.

To prepare the toppings: slice all the veggies thinly, then coat in the apple cider vinegar and place in a warm spot, dehydrator or oven for around 40 minutes until they soften. Decorate your pizza with the toppings, slice, then ENJOY THE HECK OUT OF IT. Optional: add some raw vegan cheese! I also threw on some avocado, cilantro and hemp seeds. 

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Friday, 18 April 2014

LIQUID CLEANSE: DAY SIX & SEVEN


Hey, guuuuys. How are you doing? Are you doing this cleanse with me and my partner? If so, how's it going for you? We are both feeling really good, but also looking forward to eating solids again on Sunday. One of the best things about giving up solid food for awhile is that when I am finished, I have a renewed passion for chomping! I am SO EXCITED to eat again. We are planning on making raw pizza with a crust made from cashew pulp left over from cashew mylk, topped with zucchini slices, marinated veggies and heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market! I am starting to drool just thinking about it. Something my partner is really appreciating from this cleanse is his realization that food can and should be simple and wholesome and enjoyed humbly. We don't need decadent, heavy, unhealthy meals to feel satisfied! Fresh fruits and vegetables are more than enough to bring happiness. For the entire duration of this cleanse, I have been almost always satisfied with the liquids we've been making - juices, smoothies, soups, puddings and nut mylks - but when I did crave a solid food, it was never doughnuts or bread or anything like that. It was kale chips or steamed broccoli with brown rice! These foods are gentle on my body and the planet, and no one has to die for me to eat them. It's all about simplicity and wholesomeness. I am sooo grateful my partner is learning to grasp this idea all on his own, it means a lot to me. 

We are going for eight days (of just consuming liquids) so we can end the fast on 4/20. Hehe. Yesterday went pretty well. Started off with our current fave smoothie recipe (a mix of blueberries, bananas, dates and nut mylk), then had a super powerful green juice later with radishes... woo! I think I made avocado chocolate pudding for myself too. Also made a delicious corn and potato soup with rosemary and thyme for dinner. Today has also been going great. Our energy levels are excellent, we don't need as much sleep, and we are happy to get up in the morning, do yoga together, then make a delicious smoothie! I was literally squealing while I was doing downward dog this morning because I was thinking about that blueberry smoothie. So we made that again and sat in the sun for awhile. Then we made an AMAZING beet carrot garlic juice, put it in portable containers and went our separate ways for the day. I went hiking by the water with friends all afternoon and by the time I got home I was HUNGRY. I made a giant blueberry smoothie (I told you, it's my fave right now) and gulped it down. I am quite full now. I might make some tea later though. So that's it! One more day left and then it's back to solids. I am so happy with how this is going, and it's pretty much the best timing because I had a lot of stressors find their way into my life the past week, so I need my diet to be the purest possible, ya feel me? My last exam is tomorrow as well, then my second book manuscript is due shortly after, but THEN I get to start livin' summer up. 


POTENT GREEN JUICE

1 cup radishes
4 cups kale
4 cups carrots
4 celery sticks
3 apples
2 oranges
1 bell pepper
1 garlic clove

Wash, peel and chop as needed. Juice. Drink. 


CREAMY CORN POTATO SOUP

4 potatoes
2 cups corn
1 onion
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon thyme
Dash black pepper
Enough vegetable broth to cover everything

Simmer the potatoes and onion in the broth until tender, then put everything in a high speed blender and blend until smooth and delicious. 


BEET CARROT CRAZE

3 large beets
8 carrots
1 garlic clove
1 bell pepper
1 lemon
4 pineapple slices
6 celery stalks

Wash, peel and chop as needed. Juice. Drink. 


BEST BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE EVER

2 mangoes
5 bananas
5 dates
2 cups walnut mylk 
8 ice cubes
1 cup blueberries

Blend until smooth, adding walnut mylk or water as needed. Omg. So good. I drank this all myself. 

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Wednesday, 16 April 2014

LIQUID FEAST: DAY FOUR & FIVE


Sorry I didn't have time to post yesterday about the liquid cleanse and how it's going. I am feel physically okay, but I think I am emotionally detoxing right now. I've been in a strange mood since I got out of bed, and I slept for a long time. I was taking the bus home in the rain, but decided to get off and walk because I loved the feeling of being soaked with the water falling from the sky. At the skytrain station I bumped into my friend from Vancouver island who is supposed to be staying with me this week... I had completely forgotten. She had tried calling my phone and knocked on my door for awhile but of course I was wandering around getting drenched and trying to figure out why I was feeling so grey, so I didn't notice my phone. Fortunately she had made plans with another friend so she's out right now, but I'll see her later. Once I got home, I realized I was really hungry so I made a mango-banana-date smoothie and it tasted good. Yet even after consuming it, I felt like laying down and crying. I've been feeling that way a lot lately, but I've been too busy to let myself actually give in. I don't have time to be sad.

I think that although I devote much of my time to actively confronting all my emotional demons, I let some become repressed unconsciously, and then convince myself they aren't hidden there. I have let that happen now, with emotions coming from my past relationship. My current partner's roommate is a friend of my ex-boyfriend, and so occasionally my ex will be over at my current partner's house. Inconvenient for us all, to say the least. Well, fate finally wanted to have a laugh so last week I went over there with my friends to see my partner and hang out but ended up walking into a room full of guys laughing together... my ex being one of them. My past relationship was very intense and emotional for me; I tell myself I have healed from it but obviously this is not so, because whenever his name is brought up, I have trouble breathing and speaking; and when I saw him a few days ago by surprise I was basically paralyzed. No one in the room seemed to notice this and they call kept laughing at jokes being told. I didn't know what to do so I just left. A little later I broke down in tears by the road without being able to explain precisely why. By the next morning I felt better... but evidently this was temporary because I think the same clump of suppressed feels has surfaced again and is making me glum as scum today. I suppose I need to allow myself to soak in these emotions and then hopefully they will leave me... I don't know. Sorry for making This Rawsome Vegan Life more like This Rawsome Vegan Depression but I gotta get my thoughts out somewhere.

As far the liquid fasting is concerned: it's going well. Yesterday was probably the toughest for me and partner, I wrote a final exam for archaeology then we went grocery shopping... we ended up getting way too hungry and really wanted to bite our meal instead of drink it, but we are strong willed and it wasn't a serious issue. We drank a bunch of amazing soup - seriously it was one of the best things I've ever tasted - and watched a documentary, then felt much better. And now we come full circle back to today: after having that mango-banana-date smoothie, I wrote the bulk of this post and did other blog/computer tasks. Then I made some soup, wrote in my journal, and still felt hungry. I made a blueberry smoothie with bananas, cacao and almonds. It's pretty good albeit a little grainy because I didn't let the almonds blend fully. If I feel hungry again later, I'll make some vegetable juice.


PARSLEY BEET JUICE

1 bunch parsley
2 beets
5 carrots
1 garlic clove

Juice. Drink. Mmm.


THE BEST CORN & CAULIFLOWER SOUP with TOMATOES & AVOCADO 

1 head cauliflower
2 cups corn 
6 field tomatoes
1 avocado
Juice from 1/2 lime
1 garlic clove
2 tablespoons miso paste
Cumin and coriander, to taste
Hot water, as needed

Steam the cauliflower and corn until tender (or leave it raw if that is important to you), then put everything in your blender and blend until smooth. This makes a lot of soup. It should taste amazing. If it doesn't, adjust according to taste until you like what you've got. 


MANGO-BANANA-DATE SMOOTHIE

1 frozen banana
2 mangoes
5 dates
4 ice cubes
Water, as needed

Blend it all up until smooth. 


MEXICO-INSPIRED SOUP 

5 tomatoes
2 cups corn 
1 avocado
Juice from 1/2 lime
Coriander 
Pepper, to taste
Vegetable broth, as needed

Blend everything until smooth. 


BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE with CACAO & ALMONDS

1 banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
3 dates
1/4 cup almonds
1 tablespoon cacao powder
Water, as needed

Blend until smooth. Enjoy.

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Monday, 14 April 2014

LIQUID FEAST: DAY THREE


Hey, guys. How's your day going? If you are doing this liquid cleanse with me, how are you feeling? If you haven't joined in the liquid feasting yet - jump on in! We're on day three of seven and I am doing terrific. I'm jamming to this amazing mix right now and it has got me in the best mood. I wanna go dance. Alas, I have my final exam for archaeology tomorrow so I gotta have a quiet night in. Once my exams are done and my second book manuscript is finished I'm gonna party like it's going out of style (it will never go out of style though, my life is one big crazy party). 

Energy levels are great, I had a very deep sleep and woke up at 8:30 am like I usually do. I'll most likely stay up until midnight again. I did some light stretching then made a big blueberry smoothie pretty much the same as the one I had yesterday (get the recipe here) and it was amazing once again. Later my partner came over - he's doing this with me - and we made a giant blend of kale from the garden, apples from the farmers market and organic bananas. That recipe is below. Later I was getting hungry again and decided to make what my mind was telling me to: potato soup. MMM. It ended up being phenomenal and totally hit the spot. The potatoes are local and organic, that probably helped a great deal with the flavour and creaminess. The nice thing about just keeping this cleanse to liquids is that I can make super nourishing and filling soups for dinner, instead when I'm on a juice fast... cold juice for supper can sometimes leave you missing warm meals.  

While we were sipping drinks outside in the sunshine (the weather has been so great lately) we were talking about how although the smells and textures of solid food we see around are very naturally appealing, that doesn't mean they're at all tempting. Yes, those foods would taste good, but we have this thing called will power and it's pretty easy simply choosing not to eat solids at this point. I think this is because we are making sure we stay fully carbed up. When you are low on calories and carbs, your will power and rationality go out the window and you wanna grab anything edible that is in your arms reach and devour it. I am speaking about this in terms of a liquid cleanse, but I think this can be more importantly paralleled to people's everyday diets and their cravings for processed foods. They cave in and buy a doughnut and then feel guilty about it. I think most of us have been there, or somewhere like there (we all have different degrees). Why does this terrible cycle of guilt and unhealthy eating habits continue? Because we don't feed ourselves enough of the good stuff! The good stuff = whole fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, nuts and seeds. When we are REALLY full on these foods, we won't crave the junk we don't need. Unfortunately, I think a lot of people think they should limit their calories from fruit and that is tragic. I never count calories because I eat the right foods, so the more I eat the better! Having said that, I probably consume around 3000 calories a day and that is working out juuuust fine. Obviously, our bodies know what to do when we fuel them with the right foods. It's simple. It's easy. It's delicious. It's the answer. 

The power is in the plants. 


CREAMY POTATO & ONION SOUP (OIL-FREE, SALT-FREE)

6 potatoes
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
Enough vegetable broth to cover the potatoes and onions
Coriander, dill, fresh parsley 

Slice the veggies then cover with the broth and bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook until tender. Put everything into your blender and blend until smooth. It is shockingly delicious! Add whatever else you like. 


KALE ME, BABY 

2 cups kale
4 apples
3 frozen bananas
1/16 teaspoon stevia powder
2 cups cashew mylk

Blend it all up until smooth. Drink it down. 

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

LIQUID FEAST: DAY TWO


Hello, lovelies! I hope you're having a fantastic day; I definitely am. The liquid feast is going swell (but in any case life can't really be bad when you're listening to this). I've had decent energy levels all day. Actually... as I was typing that I remembered I woke up at 7 am today - an hour earlier than normal - because I couldn't lie still anymore! Hmm, so to correct myself: energy levels have been VERY decent. I'll probably stay up until about midnight tonight. My period has decided to align it's timeline exactly with this liquid feast and that is honestly for the best - I need all the instant nutrition I can get. For that reason, I will be adding cacao to some smoothies. Chocolate banana shakes, anyone? *everyone raises their hand as they sit at their computer - cyber unity*

My partner says he feels good and has more energy than normal. He did mention he was really noticing the smells of food when he was out and about and that makes sense because in my experience when you "fast", your senses are heightened. Of course, he likes a challenge and was much more anticipating getting over to my house to drink all the smoothies, juices and soups I made throughout the day. He tells me he is getting almost as excited about food as I am... this is the best news. If you and I ever get to eat a meal together, you will quickly learn I am very passionate about it. I scream, I moan, I fall over. As much as I love some good ole herbal medication, I really don't need recreational drugs when I have stuff like avocadoes, heirloom tomatoes, blueberry cashew smoothies, and super food truffles to enjoy. The experience of eating organic plants is trippy enough and my sensory systems are like "WOAH ARE WE ON SHROOMS OR WHAT?" Basically, yep.

You might be wondering if I have no life and if all I do is hug my blender and trip out on blueberries all day... well, you'd be partially right. These days I am spending most of my time whipping up juice and smoothie recipes, but I have REASON, OKAY? I am writing my second book, and these fab drinks are the main feature. So it's a perfect time to do a liquid cleanse, especially with another person, because my job is literally to make huge amounts of different juices and smoothies all day... every day. For real - my manuscript is due in a few weeks. I gotta hurry up. 

Here's what I made today that I will share with you: a blueberry cashew smoothie sweetened with dates, beet juice with garlic and carrots, and carrot and onion soup with tomatoes and bell peppers. I was awake for several hours before I made and drank a few different smoothies for my book, and the beet juice (saving half of everything for my lover), then I studied for my final exams for awhile and sunbathed in the nude. I got hungry again so I made the blueberry smoothie. Studied some more, went through my emails, etc. then at about 6 pm I made the carrot soup - it hit the spot. I might make super food hot chocolate later but I feel satisfied right now. I hope this feast is going well for you, too! Get my recipes below:

x


BLUEBERRYLICIOUS SMOOTHIE

1 cup frozen blueberries
4 bananas
6 dates
2 cups cashew mylk 

Blend until smooth and creamy. Mmm oh yes. 


RUBY RED JUICE

8 carrots
4 beets
1 garlic clove

Wash, peel and chop as needed. Put it all through your juicer and strain if you wish, then enjoy. 


CREAMY CURRY CARROT SOUP with BELL PEPPERS, TOMATOES & ONIONS 

4 cups carrots
1 onion
2 bell peppers
3 small tomatoes
Cumin and coriander 
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 dates
Vegetable broth or water

Roughly chop all the veggies. Cover the carrots and onions with vegetable broth or water in a pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let them cook for about 30 minutes or until tender. Throw all the ingredients (including the veggie broth mix) into a high speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy, adding the spices as you like. Serve with tomato slices and cilantro if you like.

Note: if ya wanna keep this one totally raw, skip the cooking part! Simple. 

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Saturday, 12 April 2014

LIQUID FEAST: DAY ONE


So my partner and I are beginning our liquid feast today, and ending on 4/20 (heh heh heeeeh). What the HECK is a liquid feast, one might inquire? We're only gonna consume liquids for the next seven days; in the form of juices, smoothies, puddings, nut mylks, teas and water. Okay, but WHY the heck would you do this, another person might ask? Because it's fun and makes us feel great! Well... he's never done this before so I shouldn't assume... but I can confidently say it makes ME feel great. My diet is mostly smoothies and juice anyways, supplemented with steamed veggies, grains, beans and raw desserts; so this isn't a crazy change for me. Instead of having steamed potatoes and brown rice for dinner, we will be enjoying savoury smoothies or banana mylkshakes! Or both! Yep. Both. 

Now, I am choosing to call this a liquid FEAST, because I am not going to be restricting calories. I'm not into that. 

I do not believe in restricting calories temporarily as a way to lose weight. Long-term health is only achieved through permanent lifestyle changes, not a week of juice fasting or starving yourself. In fact, when you restrict your caloric intake for a short time then go back to your regular diet (that apparently made you "overweight" in the first place) - you will probably gain back more than you lost. This is because the body goes into starvation mode and quickly packs on the weight it can, as soon as it gets some extra calories. When you transition to a whole foods, plant-based diet, your body will naturally find it's ideal weight - maybe you're already there! Maybe you were actually underweight before! Don't worry about social norms dictating what an attractive weight is. To me, a healthy body is a beautiful body. Let's take a second to remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and changes with the ever-pulsing culture of the time, so no matter how we look we are all deserving of love. Back in the day, cellulite was the epitome of sexy

My point is: if you want to find your ideal weight, make lifestyle changes and switch to a whole foods, plant-based diet. Your body will do the rest... it's smart like that. Do not think that just because you are above the average number for what is considered "normal", that you are overweight. I say: screw the system! Calculating the mean of a populations weight gives you a number that reflects none of the diversity you had in the original data. The fact is we are all unique and beautiful and pushing our identities through an equation then telling us that that resulting number is what we should all strive for just makes everybody get bummed and feel inadequate. Don't try to be the norm! Be YOU. But of course, like I was saying a second ago, I personally think you can be the BEST you, when you feed yourself right. That means lots of fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, beans and grains. Mmm... healthy is sexy. 

Okay! Enough of that. I'm gonna talk a little bit about our day. We woke up and went to the farmers market. Great start. We bought a HUGE bag of carrots, a couple bags of beets, bell peppers, garlic, apples, spinach, parsley, tomatoes, and I think that's it. To be frank, I was feeling super sore and tired because I got my period today, but we got back to my house and made a smoothie and almost immediately I did a 180 in my mood. Honestly, the previous night and during our grocery shopping I had been moaning and groaning about my feminine-induced discomfort for hours, but the second we sat down in the sun and sipped this drink I said "I feel so good right now!" and meant it 100%. Amazing what a little cucumber and pineapple can do, huh? I also made some cashew milk with dates and cinnamon, and some tomato garlic soup with cilantro for dinner. I can't share the smoothie recipe with you because it's going to be exclusive for my next book, but I will share our soup recipe and the cashew mylk! I'm not totally evil, right? (Please someone say "right"...)


SPICED CASHEW & DATE MYLK

1 1/2 cups cashews
5 dates
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla powder
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
8 cups water

Blend everything until smooth, letting the blender buzz for about a minute so it gets uber smooth. Strain through a mylk bag, cheesecloth or sieve, and enjoy! This will last sealed in the fridge for around a week (but I bet it'll disappear much sooner than that.) 


TOMATO GARLIC SOUP with BELL PEPPERS, ONION, AVOCADO & SPICES 

2 cups tomatoes
1 garlic clove
1/6 cup onion 
1 red bell pepper
1 avocado
Pinch Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1-2 cups water or vegetable broth

Blend everything until smooth. Serve with cilantro if ya want. 

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Monday, 7 April 2014

RAW VEGAN CURRY with MARINATED MUSHROOMS & ONIONS


I KNOW you guys are gonna be stoked about dis one. I sure am. I've been meaning to make this recipe and share it for some time but for whatever reason I haven't. Until now, obviously. I was walking home and suddenly thought "Hey, why not make raw curry today!?" I made some delicious organic curry last night for me and my parents and it was SO GOOD, leaving me wanting more today... I figured I don't really wanna eat cooked food like that two days in a row - I'm NOT saying cooked curry is evil or anything, my body just prefers mostly raw - so I should make a raw curry recipe that so many of you have been asking for! Honestly, this was just as amazing if not BETTER than the curry last night (which was freaking fantastic in itself).

This recipe is actually super simple and yet has mind blowing flavours. I don't know if I'll ever make conventional cooked curry again (not because it's not healthy, but because this seriously equals it in awesome taste!) I highly recommend finding some organic curry powder, I got mine from a wonderful little raw vegan cafe and store called Tao Organics in North Van, I used it in the cooked curry I made last night and that is probably why it tasted so good. The flavours are fresher and cleaner.

Basically all this recipe is is cashew milk blended with some onion and curry powder. Done. I added some marinated mushrooms and onion and that's it! You can add whatever veggies you like, I bet this would also be incredible with some zucchini noodles... Mmm... Let's get curried! P.S. I have a low-fat and nut-free option - that's right, I'm always watchin' out for ya.


RAW VEGAN CURRY with MARINATED MUSHROOMS & ONIONS

Curry:
1/4 cup cashews (or use zucchini if you wanna keep this low fat)
1 cup water
1 teaspoon your fave curry powder
1/4 cup diced onion
Salt and pepper, as desired 

Marinated mushrooms & onions:
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup diced onion 
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon coconut aminos (it's like soy sauce) 
1/2 teaspoon coriander

To make the curry: blend all the ingredients until smooth. Adjust according to taste and texture. 

To marinate the mushrooms & onions: toss them with the lemon juice, coconut aminos and coriander and let sit on the counter for an hour so they soften, or put 'em in your dehydrator or oven at a low temperature until they soften. Alternatively, just leave them as-is. Pour your curry in a bowl and add the shrooms and onions - enjoy! This serves one. 

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Friday, 4 April 2014

RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES IN 5 MINUTES


That's right, folks. Five minutes from now you could be holding a plate of ultra good-for-you vegan chocolate truffles... and you don't even need any equipment besides a knife and two hands. I apologize if you don't have two hands, but I have faith you can make it work. I mean, you've come this far... you're probably way more able-bodied than me with two hands. 

The only ingredients in these bad boys (I just gave truffles a gender, didn't I) are dates, hemp seeds and cacao powder. Actually, I used carob powder today but it's really up to you. Whatever floats your boat, as they say. Or in this case, whatever flavours your truffle. All you have to do is chop everything up and mash it together; it doesn't get much simpler or delicious. Although having said that, I ate mine with spoonfuls of Artisana coconut butter and WOW heaven was reached. I am talking divine kingdom entry happening in my mouth. Another pairing suggestion? Banana. Mmm... banana... If ya don't got no coco butter or nanners, don't sweat it bro. These are amazing all by themselves. 

In case you hadn't noticed (quite likely), I've been making some changes around here! I added some new photos of my face to my "About Me" page, changed the blog's header image, page text font and updated all my pages a little bit (tweaked a few sentences, added newer photos, ya know). I hope you like the adaptions. I'm here to serve and please you, so think of me as your raw food genie. As in: my wish is your command. Hmm... is this getting kinky? Or is that just my wishful thinking... maybe the latter, hopefully the former. 


Making, photographing and posting this recipe was a much-desired break from my weirdly hectic day. When I say weirdly hectic, I mean I feel like I'm kinda stressed out but I really have no need to be. Yes, I have final exams and a group presentation coming up that I need to prepare for, but I'll be fine; I know what I need to know. Yes, I need to finish my taxes which is hella tedious, but again; it's not that big a deal and they WILL get done. Tonight. Yes, the manuscript for my second book is due in a few weeks, but yet once more; I am on schedule and shouldn't have an issue wrapping it up. I'm pretty proud of it at this point, and it's still in the rough draft phase! So ya see - I've got all these little things that are unfinished thus they give me this unsettled feeling... but I don't have to and shouldn't feel this way! I need to take a breather and remind myself that ALL IS WELL. Writing this out helps a bunch. Thanks for reading my rambling road of cognitions. On to truffles, shall we venture? 


 RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES IN 5 MINUTES 

1 cup medjool dates
1/4 cup hemp seeds
1 heaping tablespoon cacao powder or carob powder

Pit the dates and cut them up into tiny gooey pieces, mash them together with the cacao or carob powder and hemp seeds until it all sticks together. Roll the mixture into truffles then coat with whatever you like - I kept it simple and used more carob powder. For extra 'umph' - what is that word... really - throw in some Himalayan salt, vanilla, ginger, chili or cinnamon! 

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Monday, 24 March 2014

ZUCCHINI SPAGHETTI with SUN-DRIED TOMATOES & BASIL


I cannot get over how amazing tomatoes are when you drizzle them with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and allow them to dry in the sun, dehydrator or oven. They become flavour EXPLOSIONS that are the very essence of the best pizza you've ever eaten. Trust me. But wait - don't trust me. Find out for yourself by doing it. You will not be sorry. They taste so damn delicious that all you need to do to make a meal is throw them on some noodles. Bam. You just made a mind-blowingly tasty dinner that everyone will be jealous of. If they aren't envious, then they are definitely missing their sense of sight or smell. 

Although my family's own tomatoes from our garden in the summer are - needless to say - my favourite, I eat them all long before summer is over so in the cooler months we need to rely on other sources for my tomato obsession. My mom brought home a jar of organic sun-dried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil and spices yesterday and I opened it up this afternoon only to have my taste buds do a happy dance and my memories of our oven-dried tomatoes from summer sweep back into my mind. Ahh. Flavour explosions. I am confident I could have eaten the entire jar but I held back and did the next best thing: threw some of the tomatoes onto zuke noodles along with some basil leaves. Everyone's jealous. 

I'm gonna tear through that jar in no time, so next week I think I'll hit up the farmer's market and buy some more there. *Cannot wait* but *must wait*. Something else I can't wait for? A tentatively planned trip I want to go on this summer. Get this: I might be going to Minneapolis, Montreal and Mexico. All three places start with M. My name is Em. If ya look on a map, the layout of the trip is an M shape. I basically HAVE to go, right!? (Say yes.) My soul mate sister moved to Montreal a few years ago and that's why I wanna go there. Also, the culture in that city is off the chain from what I have heard. I'll be in Minneapolis for a family reunion. And Mexico... well. Avocados. Mangoes. Papayas. SUNSHINE. Need I say more? But actually I have made a friend there who has a vegan restaurant and hotel and has invited me to stay for free. Can life get any better? Only if I had some frozen bananas to make a chocolate mylkshake with. 


ZUCCHINI SPAGHETTI with SUN-DRIED TOMATOES & BASIL 

Noodles:
2 large zucchinis 

Sauce:
1 cup dried tomatoes in extra virgin olive oil 
Salt, pepper, lemon juice, other spices you like
1/2 cup basil leaves (whole or chopped) 

Note: the tomatoes are gonna need to taste *amazing* before you even add them to the noodles and stuff because they are the star of this recipe, so try to get organic or even better - use your own! 

To make the noodles: slice the zucchinis into noodles on a spiral slicer, mandolin or even cheese grater. Set aside in a large bowl. 

To make the sauce: blend up half the tomatoes into paste then mash up the rest of the tomatoes with the olive oil and the rest of the ingredients and mix everything into your noodles. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and mix again. Eat. Omg. 

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