27 Feb 2012

cheers to fruit, wine, and mexico!


































I made these with my friend the other day. Got the idea from Happy Healthy Life. They are delicious, nutritious, and liable to get you buzzed... or not. It's up to you. Either way - aren't they just perdy?

The legal drinking age in Mexico is 18 sooooo I'm rather excited. The subject of alcohol for raw vegans is an interesting and controversial one. For me - wine is totally acceptable, especially red wine. We get ours from a local U-Brew. Also, sake is raw and quite tasty! But wine is the drink of choice here normally. When the occasion strikes, a cooler or a beer might be alright too.

Maybe later on in my life I'll become more strict but for NOW, my attitude about it is that life is meant to fun. You gotta live a little! Just be responsible, keep health in mind, and have a good time!

I, personally, like to party. Methinks my diet in Mexico will be TONS of tropical fruit, a bit o' booze, and lots of sunlight.


































Fruity Paradise: makes 2 tall glasses

500 ml carbonated juice (we used San Pellagrino Limonita)
250 ml white wine
Various chopped fruit 
(we used frozen peaches, mango, blueberries, raspberries, pineapple, and fresh kiwi)

Layer fruit in two tall glasses in order of their colour, darkest to lightest. Pour in the wine, then the juice. Yum! Get your drank on!
If you wanna make these virgin, just omit the wine (duh...) and add more carbonated juice or carbonated water, or just juice. 



















CHEERS!

26 Feb 2012

chocolate banana coconut cream pie


Super easy, super healthy, super delicious. Trust me. Actually - don't trust me! Make it yourself and see. I am going to assume you won't be disappointed. My friend Amanda was here yesterday and was feeling a little down. What could possibly fix this?

Pie.


I had been wanting to make a coconut cream pie for some time, because I'd seen a recipe that showed whipped coconut cream - it looks identical to dairy whipped cream! Whatta miracle. There isn't anything I could possibly want or need that doesn't have a superior vegan and/or raw alternative.

This pie made everyone happy, and helped Amanda feel better =) It's full of whole foods like fruit, nuts and coconut. Eat it up for breakfast, dessert, or both!

I don't know why I haven't made a pie like this before. I guess I'm just lazy. Also, there's always other recipes I want to try, and things to do, so the perfect opportunity never struck. Til yesterday! We both wanted to make food (I always do so that's not saying much), I had been waiting to make a banana cream pie, I had chilled coconut milk ready in the fridge, aaand! - oh. Wait.

"We don't have any bananas."

So it was off to the grocery store. Not exactly what me or Amanda wanted to do in our PJ's on a super-windy, cold Saturday afternoon. But we took it as a challenge. We were successful. So we had all the ingredients (including love) to make this wonderful creamy treat.

Here it is now for your viewing pleasure! And mine.


The chocolate cream part is basically avocado chocolate pudding; the coconut cream is whipped coconut milk, and the crust is just nuts and dates. The bananas were themselves.


Chocolate Banana Coconut Cream Pie: makes 1 glorious pie 

Crust:
1 1/2 cups nuts
1 1/2 cups dates
Salt and/or vanilla, if you want

Chocolate Cream:
2-3 avocados 
1/3 cup agave
Pinch salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 cup cocoa/cacao
2 Tb mesquite (optional)
2 Tb melted coconut oil

Whipped Cream:
1 can chilled full fat coconut milk
3 Tb raw powdered sugar 
Seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean 

To make the crust, pulse nuts in food processor until they're the size of crumbs. Add dates and pulse until it lumps together. Feel free to add cinnamon, salt, vanilla or more sweetener here. Press into your favorite pie pan and stick in the fridge.

To make the chocolate cream, blend/process all ingredients until silky smooth. Nom. I could just eat this. Now slice 3-4 bananas and put them on the bottom of the crust. Spoon on the chocolate cream and put on another player of banana slices. Set in the fridge again. 

Right before serving, CAREFULLY take out coconut milk from the fridge. Spoon off the thick fat from the top - you want this. (There was about 1/2 a can left of milk when I got all the thick stuff.) Put the milk you spooned out into a mixing bowl (Kitchen Aid) with the sugar and beat until thick and fluffy! Spoon onto your pie and voila! Enjoy.


25 Feb 2012

pasta with cashew sauce & avocado

Raw pasta is so satisfying. You think you won't be full after eating it, but you always are! Well, maybe I shouldn't use the word "full" in it's conventional way. I mean you feel like you don't need to eat anything else. You feel satisfied! Probably because of all the fiber and water in veggies, plus the delicious sauce on the noodles.

The second easiest way to make raw pasta is on the mandoline, which I've been doing since I went vegan. It works well enough, but it wasn't made for making raw noodles. The EASIEST way to make raw pasta? With a Spirooli. Guess what.

I HAVE ONE NOW! Thanks to my lovely and too-nice vegan, non-biologial sista, Eva.

She is the most compassionate, caring and selfless person I know. So of course, she spends way too much money on other people. Me included. She justified buying this wonderful new toy as a "late Christmas present". Who am I to deny her generosity!? I'll take a free Spirooli any way I can. The first thing I made was pretty simple and also simply delicious.


I made pasta out of carrots, put on some creamy cashew sauce and sliced avocado REALLY thin to add to it. The spiral slicer worked great! I'm gonna be eating so much zucchini pasta from now on.

Sorry, salad.



Carrot Pasta with Creamy Cashew Sauce & Avocado Slices: makes one serving

Sauce:
2 Tb cashew butter
1 t miso
1 Tb tamari
4 Tb water
1 clove garlic
Pinch of salt & pepper
1 Tb nutritional yeast
1 Tb hemp seeds

Pasta & Avocado Slices:
3 carrots, peeled (you could also use zucchini or any other long and wide veggie)
Slightly pre-ripe Avocado

Blend all sauce ingredients - except hemp seeds - together until smooth and creamy. If it's too thick - add more water, tamari or agave. If it's too watery, add more cashew butter or miso. Then stir in hemp seeds.

To make the pasta, slice the carrots on a mandoline, or in your Spirooli! Mix in the sauce. 
To make the avocado slices, cut the avocado in half the non-symmetrical way. This is probably the direction you usually don't cut it in. Then peel off the skin. Now just slice the avocado on your mandoline or with a sharp knife. Plate as you like! I added some hot sauce on the bottom.


































In other news: my friend Alex wants me to mention how insanely attractive he is. Now you know.

Also: I'm leaving for Mexico SOON, people! So stoked. I'll post more about it tomorrow.
Until then, enjoy your pasta! Have the best day ever.

23 Feb 2012

the ellusive kale chip


Rarely is the kale chip able to be photographed. It lives a short but full life of passion, love and flavour; until it is quickly destroyed because of it's own irresistibility. Tragic for the kale chip - oh so delicious for its hunter. 

If kale ever becomes extinct - you can blame me.

 -
When it comes to kale chips, I am a merciless hunter. I ferociously eat every one in sight, often not pausing to breathe, until before I realize it - 3 bunches of kale have disappeared. Every time I make kale chips I say to myself "Okay Emily, THIS TIME you need to leave some for others." 

It never works.

Today I wanted to make kale chips because I had extra Pad Thai sauce and Hemp Sauce which I planned on using as the dressing. Well, my mom and I went to the market and bought 3 bunches. When I got home this evening I dressed them all and stuck them in the dehydrator to blossom into glory. 

=
I tend to eat them at all stages - when they're totally fresh with just the dressing on, when they're starting to soften and get gooey as they warm up, and when they're finally a crunchy chip. So by time they reach the last stage, most of them are gone anyway. Then before I know it, I've eaten the rest. This is why I never have pics of kale chips on my blog.

You have no idea how much will power it took to NOT eat these chips before I took pictures, AND to save a (very small) bowl for my mom for when she got home.

Anyways: moral of the story - kale chips are ADDICTIVE. Be careful.


They don't stay around for long. 


If you want a recipe for les chips, just use any sauce recipe I have on the blog, and put it on a bunch of ripped kale pieces. Then dehydrate for a couple hours or until they're crunchy.

If you wanna make your own sauce, I recommend making a blend of tamari, lemon, garlic, miso, nutritional yeast, nut butter, and some spices. It makes a cheesy, salty dressing... mmm =)

Here's some of my recipes for dressings: Spicy Thai Sauce and Creamy Hemp Sauce. And this is my basic recipe:

Kale Chips: serves...?

3/4 cup cashews
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 T curry powder, or any other spicy powder you adore
1 T miso
Splash of Bragg's Liquid Aminos
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
Clove of garlic, chopped
Water, as needed
2-3 bunches kale

Blend all ingredients - except kale - in blender until creamy and smooth. It should turn into a thick, delicious, saucy thing... unless you or I forgot an ingredient. Add other things to your liking. Set aside.
Wash kale and break into large chip sized pieces (they will shrink a lot). Put in your biggest bowl and throw in the sauce. Mix it in with your hands - this is surprisingly enjoyable - until all the pieces are evenly coated. Try one...

Yep. I know. You're gonna eat 'em all.
 
Now put them on dehydrator trays and dehydrate for a couple hours, or until they're crispy. If you don't have a dehydrator, just use the lowest temperature on your oven.
 

22 Feb 2012

raw pad thai - oh yes


*Strictly speaking, the sauce isn't totally raw. But c'mon. What're ya gonna do. If you really want a 100% raw sauce, make a blend of tahini (or other nut butter), chili, tamari, garlic and ginger.

The pasta of course, is just zucchini, sliced on le mandoline. Good news! Soon I will be purchasing one of these puppies from Organic Lives. Yippie! However, if you can only afford a mandoline - no worries! As you can see, they work just as well.

The sauce is a lot like authentic Pad Thai sauce, just healthier and vegan. I had my mom to guide me; she and my dad lived in Thailand for years before they had kids. That's probably a reason I love Thai food so much. It may be my favourite kind of cuisine.


Real Pad Thai is made with rice noodles, a tamarind-, chili- and fish sauce-based sauce, and topped with cilantro, chili paste, peanuts, bean sprouts and perhaps other veggies. Not a lot of meat in Thai food.

That's why they live so long =)

(Plus the daily manual labour, low calorie intake and unprocessed diet of local plants. They have no choice! The healthiest people in developing countries tend to be the middle class and lower-middle class; they can't afford meat, or the ability to sit around all day like us. 

It makes sense. For our ancestors (and still in most developing nations), calories were/are scarce so the fittest got the most. We simply apply that to modern day - the wealthiest get the fanciest (most calorie-dense) food. The only difference now is, in developed countries, calories are the OPPOSITE of scarce. They're in excess. Yet we still hold the ideal that more calories are better. Unfortunately, our brains agree, since they haven't had time to adapt to environmental changes.

Isn't it funny? Once you are rich (i.e. developed regions), you can afford unhealthy processed, animal-based foods, and you can afford to be lazy. Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, celiac disease and even diabetes are seen virtually only in Western society. They are diseases of the wealthy. For more info on all this - read The China Study.

I'd rather use our fortune and wealth to my body's advantage. We now have an unprecedented opportunity to be the HEALTHIEST generation of all time. We have every nutritionally excellent food (i.e. raw plants and super foods) at our finger tips, and at very affordable prices. 


I love grocery shopping.  I go to the produce section and pick out my greens and fruit. Kale? A couple dollars a bunch; even cheaper for spinach and lettuce. Fruit? Depending on what it is, about a few dollars a pound. Vegetables? Even cheaper. 

The cheapest foods in the market are the ones that will give you a long, healthy life. 

Then you go past the meat and dairy section, and packaged food; they are all substantially more expensive. Why do we pay MORE for foods that will plague us with pain, discomfort, disease and eventually premature death?

The answer is complicated and simple at the same time. Basically: politics and tradition. I suggest you research this for yourself. It's fascinating, albeit mind-boggling.

My point in all this writing is this - we have been given the special chance to be the healthiest we can possibly be - for cheap. Being healthy costs far less than being sick, and it's way yummier. 

So let's eat to long life, not early death.


Let's eat RAW PAD THAI! (and Dilly Bars for dessert, anyone?) Nom. 

Radical Raw Pad Thai: serves 2, more or less

Sauce: 
1 Tb tamarind paste
1 Tb chopped ginger
1-2 cloves chopped garlic
1-2 Tb agave (or 1-2 dates)
6 Tb tamari
2 Tb chili sauce
3 Tb tomato puree
1 t chili flakes
Juice of 1 lime
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t paprika
Pinch of cayenne and chili, if you want it hotter =) 
Raw oil, if desired
Water, as needed 

Pasta:
1 large zucchini 

Garnish:
Cilantro
Raw jungle peanuts!
Bean sprouts
Hot sauce
Scallions
Marinated mushrooms and broccoli (put some tamari on and warm for an hour in the dehydrator) 

To makes the sauce, put all ingredients in blender and add enough water to just cover them. Blend until smooth, see if you want more heat, or anything else.
To make the pasta, slice the zuc on a mandoline or spiral slicer. Add enough sauce to evenly coat the noodles. Garnish. Eat! The heat of the chili makes this dish perfectly warming on its own - no heating necessary.

In other news: while I enjoyed my Pad Thai, the fam had a sandwich night. We used the best bread in the world, baked yesterday with love at The Common Loaf Bakery in Tofino. My mom also baked some eggplant (which I could not resist, and added to my pasta), tofu, and laid out a bunch of different toppings.

You know it was a successful dinner when my little brother, Daniel, was fighting for the last tomato, sprouts and lettuce!


21 Feb 2012

raw dilly bars


Do you know what a Dilly Bar is? It's a classic DQ ice cream treat; a circle of vanilla ice cream covered in chocolate. Looks like this.

Well. The other day we were driving home and we passed a DQ when my mom remembered that me and my brothers used to love Dilly Bars, so she told us. I guess I remembered them in my subconscious because I hadn't heard, seen or thought of them in years - yet I instantly knew what they were!
-

"Aren't those those circlular ice cream bars in chocolate?" 
"Yep! You guys LOVED 'em when you were little."
"Hmm... I think I'll make a raw vegan version."

And so the idea was born. Honestly, these are pretty darn easy. You just need to get your fave ice cream (I recommend my raw recipe) and cover it in melted dark chocolate, or raw chocolate. These are full of nutrients and whole foods, not whatever the heck is in a DQ Dilly Bar... because frankly I don't even WANT to know.




They're really yummy. I mean, you have ice cream covered in chocolate. Need I say more?
No. But I will anyway.

I suggest making several of these so you can share them with your family for a fun and special dessert or snack. Or perhaps make just one and share it with your significant other, for a romantic time... ?
They're a bit messy, so it'll be an entertaining meal. These are literally finger lickin' good! I got chocolate all over my face =)

You know it's good when you get dirty.

I hope this is a refreshing and delightful treat for you! May it get you through this dreary day; it's been pouring all day here. I suppose I don't mind it, because I don't have class today. But still, the weather definitely regulates my daily mood.


Raw Dilly Bars: makes 2

1 cup of your fave ice cream
1 bar dark chocolate or raw chocolate

Let the ice cream thaw so you can press it into two cookie cutter molds... you can actually use any shape you want, but my inspiration today was Dilly Bars so I did a circle. 
Put them back in the freezer until hard enough to take out of the mold without losing the shape, but soft enough to stick a popsicle stick into (this took about an hour for me). Then freeze until totally solid.

Now melt the chocolate, or make the raw chocolate. Dip the ice cream bars into it, holding them by the stick, until they're completely coated. Feel free to add nuts, dried berries or coconut onto the liquid chocolate coating now! I kept it simple. 

Stick 'em in the fridge if you're gonna eat them right away. If you're not, put them in the freezer and when you DO wanna eat them, take them out and let them thaw for 20 minutes or so. Enjoy!


Oh goodness gracious. I try to think of perfect things the planet has NOT provided for us... and I can never come up with anything. We truly live in a miracle world, and I thank the universe every day for the grace and fortune I'm blessed with.

Like, hello!? Look at these gorgeous ice cream treats. These are good for you; that says it all. Mother Nature loves us. Yes, there's still suffering in the world, but I happen to believe humans are gonna be just fine. We're still so young, we've got a lot to figure out. Just give us time and we'll find our rhythm in the global ecosystem.

For now - let's enjoy what is already perfect. 


Bon Appetit!

20 Feb 2012

hippie haven highlights & hemp sauce

Well folks, I have returned from Tofino on Vancouver Island. 

It was an awesome vacation that was much needed, and I wish more than anything I was back there right now... listening to the ocean, walking in the rain, hiking through old-growth forests, laughing til my abs hurt with the fam, and drinking smoothies on the beach. Instead, I'm back here studying for midterms and worrying about trivial matters. 

Ah well. C'est la vie. 

I won't give you too many details about the trip because you probably don't care, but here's some highlights: saw a pet pig, watched a fire dancer, played hours of Settlers of Catan, laughed until we all cried, my brother bought me a vegan cinnamon from The Common Loaf, gave my mom a foot massage when she got poisoned by a sketchy calzone, hugged a lot of wise old trees, made delicious veggie meals every night, survived a wind storm, watched my brothers do dishes, visited the all-new vegan health food store/gallery and bought RAW JUNGLE PEANUTS! 


(Only in Tofino will some guy come to your door and say:
"Hey dudes, my buddy's a fire dancer if you wanna watch.")

A couple crazy things that happened - I saw a guy from one of my university classes at The Common Loaf! C'mon, what're the chances. 
Also, avocados are 5 for $5 at the Tofino Co-op!!! ARE YOU KIDDING? That's cheaper than here. How does that happen!?

My mom let me bring the Vita-Mix this year so I was able to make green smoothies every morning =)
The family had some too! You can see their fruit smoothies in the background. Mmm.


This smoothie was a bunch of dino kale, a banana, 1 cup of frozen blueberries, raspberries, peaches and water.


I also ate a lot of seaweed, since it's delicious and stuff... ya know. Plus, we're surrounded by it on the beach so how could I NOT? My brother said it looked like stained glass in the sun - I agree. It amazing how often I have the thought "Wow, I am eating art."


Tofino is such a great place. Everything is local, hand-made, organic and friendly - landscape included.

All the people are so chill, and predominantly hippies. So it's makes sense that the health food store is all vegan, and substantially raw. It's called Green Soul Organics, and they're expanding! This year they added a top floor, which is a total chill zone. It's got funky tunes, tons of old couches, vegan potlucks, 420 Sundays, and a gallery of what residents think "humanity" means to them. 

Yeah. I belong here. 

We bought prayer flags, raw jungle peanuts, and were GOING to buy glass straws; but they were too small for my thick smoothies. So we're gonna buy them online at Upaya

Besides our trip to town, we basically just relaxed in our cabin, visited beaches, and went on some hikes. 


Now, on to the stuff you're really interested in: food! While we were in Tofino, I brought along some killer hemp sauce, and used it to make some awesome raw veg wraps for dinner one night. The whole family liked them so I KNOW you will. 

And I have some special news! I am going to be featured in an E-Book! I will give you more details soon =) For now, just enjoy these wraps. 

NOTE: You can use this hemp sauce on ANYTHING. Dip, sauce, marinade, add more water and an avocado to make soup, use it on kale chips, and anything else you could possibly think of. Seriously. This is a go-to sauce. 


Hippie Hemp Sauce: makes about 1 1/2 cups or so

1/4 cup plus 2 Tb hemp seeds
3 Tb nutritional yeast
2 Tb miso
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 date (or 1 t honey, agave, or maple syrup)
1 Tb mustard 
2 Tb nut butter (or 3 Tb nuts)
2 Tb tamari
1/2 cup water
1/8 - 1/4 t chili powder/cayenne
2 t sun dried tomatoes (optional)  
1 t hot sauce (optional) 
Pinch salt & pepper
3 Tb black sesame seeds 

Blend all ingredients EXCEPT black sesame seeds together until smooth. Also, be sparing with the water; add it only as needed to get a creamy, saucy consistency... you can always add more. Then mix in sesame seeds with a spoon. They add nice contrast and texture. Taste it! Sooooo good, right?

Veggie Seaweed Wraps: serves... ?

Avocado
Corn
Bell Pepper
Mushrooms
Hippie Hemp Sauce
Nori Sheets

Chop all the produce and mix in enough hemp sauce to coat them all. Add salt & pep to taste. Wrap in seaweed. Enjoy! Best served by the ocean.

11 Feb 2012

raw fudge brownies: YEAH BABY!


Thank you, Mother Nature.

These sexy things are delicious and packed with nutrients to keep you living long; enjoying life and all it has to offer... like brownies.Raw desserts are pretty much the easiest food in the world to make, because usually they consist of just dates, nuts, coconut oil, and whatever else you want to add. These are no different.

Normal brownie ingredients? White flour, white sugar, butter, and cocoa. What're those gonna do for you?! Make you sleepy and gain weight. In these brownies: there's prunes, dates, hemp, chia, flax, cocoa, mesquite, cinnamon, vanilla and oats. Yummy in my tummy, good FOR my body. 

Yours too.


You can make these in like 5 minutes, and they'll disappear even faster. The best part (aside from eating them) is telling people they're healthy and made from whole foods! It's a magical world, my friends. These are also great for pre- or post-workout snacks!

 -
Raw Fudge Brownies: makes about 8 large brownies

1 1/2 cup oats
1 cup dates & prunes
1 t vanilla extract 
3 Tb coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup honey/agave/maple syrup
2 Tb mesquite powder (optional)
1/4 cup cup hemp seed
2 Tb flax seed
2 Tb chia seed
1/3 cup cashews (preferably soaked)
1/3 cup cocoa/cacao
1/2 t cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Put dates and prunes in bowl of water. Set aside.
Blend 1 cup of the oats in blender until it becomes oat flour. Then in a food processor, process dates and prunes (with about 1/4 cup of the water) with all the other wet ingredients until smooth. Now add all the dry ingredients, including the remaining 1/2 cup of whole oats and oat flour. Good consistency? It should be thick, but very moist. Press it into a pan lined with tin foil or plastic wrap and set in the fridge for a little bit so the coconut oil can stiffen them up.
Then cut 'em up and serve! Make a chocolate sauce for them, or have with fruit and nut butter!

*You can make these even simpler by just blending dates, cashews coconut oil and cacao. But I always like to add a bunch of stuff for more flavours. I cannot help it. It's up to you!



9 Feb 2012

super food sundae

Wouldn't it be wonderful if you could indulge in your favourite guilty pleasures (like a giant ice cream sundae) but feel GOOD about yourself for doing so?

Guess what, folks. You can!


This ice cream is made of mainly coconut and cashews; the chocolate sauce is agave, cocoa, and coconut oil; and I topped it off with figs and cashews. If you Google any of those ingredients, you'll find that everyone says you should eat more of them.


(Sorry the pictures aren't that great)

I ate this up and enjoyed every bite, knowing it was bringing me better health. You should too! And mix it up anyway your healthy heart desires. You could use nut butters, berries, bananas, different kinds of ice cream, whipped coconut cream, whatever!

Below I give recipes for my raw ice cream and chocolate sauce, but it's a sundae so there's no rules. 

Raw Vegan Ice Cream: makes about 3-6 servings

2 cups soaked raw cashews 
Coconut meat from 2 young Thai coconuts (about 2 cups)
1 cup of water/coconut water from the coconuts - don't use more
1 cup agave/maple syrup
Seeds from 1/2 - 1 vanilla bean (I love vanilla so I use a whole one)
2 T vanilla extract 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 T or so of coconut oil, melted

Blend all ingredients except coconut oil in your blender (Vita-Mix works best!) until lusciously smooth and creamy. Melt coconut oil in a bowl that's sitting in a larger bowl filled with hot water. Add in and blend until mixed. Try it now... Yeah. I know. 

Now try to resist eating it all before it's frozen: if you have an ice cream maker use that. 

But if you're like me and don't have one, put the batter in several small jars or freezable containers (single servings!) and stick them in the freezer. Check back every 30-60 minutes and stir until they are eventually frozen, creamy delights.

Chocolate Sauce: Makes a small bowl

3 T cocoa/cacao
3 T melted coconut oil
2 T agave/maple syrup
1 t vanilla extract 
Pinch of cinnamon and salt, if you want
Coconut flakes, if you want 

Mix it all together and enjoy! Feel free to add anything you want to it, the possibilities are endless.