Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunflower Lecithin

Many raw food recipes call for soy lecithin, an emulsifier that makes goodies like chocolate and ice cream smooth and creamy.  I generally avoid soy, which is why I was curious about this guy:

(You can read more about sunflower lecithin here.)

Alone, it has a mild taste and interesting texture, kind of like molasses, but stickier, and it seemed to coat my teeth and tongue before melting in my mouth.  

I decided to try this first in hemp milk.  Viv blended up 3 cups water, 1 cup hemp seeds, a little agave, a dash of vanilla, a pinch of salt and a spoonful of lecithin. 

I was a little worried about the brown color of the lecithin dirtying up the milk, but it actually remained fairly white.  

It was creamily delish with raw buckwheat cereal. 

I then tried it in place of the soy lecithin for the coconut cream from Sunny Raw Kitchen.  The result was a little tan in color, but it made a fantastic topping for a raw brownie from The Raw Dessert.  Wow, this was amazing!  I can't imagine choosing a cooked dessert over a delectable treat like this!  

I can't wait to try the sunflower lecithin in other dessert recipes.  

Question:  Anyone done any experimenting with soy lecithin substitutes?  

Monday, November 29, 2010

Package Delights

I love getting packages at the PO, and this weekend's delivery from The Raw Food World was extra exciting because along with my standard order I purchased some new goodies to play with. 

Standard order:  

New to me: 

Soy lecithin and irish moss are ingredients in many raw recipes, but I try to avoid soy and I've been totally intimidated by irish moss shenanigans.  I'm going to try the sunflower lecithin as a replacement emulsifier for soy, and face my fears with the moss.  I hope to have experimentation pictures to post before long.


Curry Corn Chowder from Delightfully Raw
TH is having crockpot barbeque moose (not the ones from our yard!) with veggies.  I also made his favorite ranch dressing from Sunny Raw Kitchen.  This dressing is insane.  I started substituting all the spices (except for the salt and fresh garlic) for two tablespoons of Costco's organic no-salt seasoning, because I'm lazy.  Sooooo good.  

Think I'll have leftover raw pecan pie for dessert. The chocolate sauce is raw cacao, coconut oil, agave, sea salt and cinnamon.  

Question:  Has anyone used sunflower lecithin with success?  What kinds of recipes did you try? 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blender Love

Have I mentioned how much I love Vivian?  My husbands's tired of hearing about it, in fact, that's one of the reasons I started this blog.  I really enjoy talking about her phenomenal blending abilities.  The one tiny negative aspect is that she's a little loud.  TH built himself a mancave this fall, partly because he wanted room to play with his fishing toys and partly because he and Viv "need a little space".
where TH hides from Vivian
Well he sure doesn't complain when he's gorging on all the delectables she creates!  For example, we're having raw pizza again tonight.  Vivian made the pizza sauce and the Cheezy Hemp Nacho Sauce.

recipe for everything but cheeze in Delightfully Raw

She also blended to perfection the filling for Kimberly Snyder's mouthwatering raw pecan pie.  

(I made this for a Thanksgiving party, but couldn't take it as pies don't travel well on snowmachines. Darn, now we have a whole pie to eat by ourselves.) 

TH has also been gorging himself on the mock tuna (Rawvolution), which has a lovely, nutty dressing that might cause a seizure in your average blender.  Vivian dominates.  

Question:  Any one else own a Vita-Mix, and if so, do you wear ear protection?  

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Moose Moment

I feel so lucky to have had so much time at home in the daylight this week!  I start to miss our mountains when I'm only home in the dark.

Just when I thought the day couldn't get any more beautiful, I spied some visitors out the window.

This little lady and I were sharing a special moment of unbreakable eye contact when Big Daddy interrupted, encouraging everyone to scamper down the hill.   

You are so cute, in a weird way.  

the bossy bull 

I'm actually glad the bull showed up because I might still be involved in a stare off and I wouldn't have whipped up the persimmon mousse portion of Persimmon and Coconut Cream Parfait.  This is so easy and delicious- try it!!

Vivian before 

Vivian after

I plan to make more of these later.  

Now I need to eat my post P90X snack and gear up for a brisk walk with my wonderful neighbor.  

more cabbage and mock tuna 
Question:  Any other P90Xers out there?  I just finished week four (the lovely low key week with all my fave workouts) and took pictures today (as directed by my BFF Tony Horton).  I'm pretty pleased.  Any one else have an opinion on the program?  

Friday, November 26, 2010

New Snow Happiness

Hope you had a Thanksgiving to be thankful for!  Ours was a little different.  Due to extreme road conditions our family and friends could not make it our traditional dinner at The Roadhouse.  TH and I went on our own, snowmachining down our giant hill and through the woods to a feast for TH and veggies for me.  We stopped at a friends' house on the way home for a fix of chubby-baby-cheek-squeezing.  The late night ride home was gorgeous.  We didn't even mind getting a little lost in the woods because the falling snow was so fluffy and sparkly in the snowmachine headlights.   This morning our trees were pretty again!

Today's eats involved a curry corn chowder from Delightfully Raw.  Vivian pulverized that frozen corn into frothy goodness.  I will make this again and again as it's so easy and tasty!  

I also made sunflower seed based Mock Tuna Salad from Rawvolution.  I was a little worried about the amount of dried dill called for (1/4 cup!),  but I should have known that Matt wouldn't do me wrong.  It's a good thing it turned out lovely, because the recipe makes a gigantic vat!  TH enjoyed it as a dip for tortilla chips, while I went the veggie route.  

You are so darn cute, cabbage!
I have been so into cabbage lately.  We can still buy Alaskan grown heads of red, and not only is it absolutely stunning, but it is so sweet and crunchy.  I think I have a little cabbage picture taking fetish.

Question:  What is your go to veggie?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Snow Day

What a lovely day!  We had a little cabin fever so we fired up the snowmachine and rode to where we had to abandon our truck in the snow/ice storm.  After a little shoveling the truck was ready to pick up a few essentials and our Full Circle Farm box.

There was no way the truck was making it back up the hill to our cabin so we loaded up the snowmachine sled and ditched the truck. 

Full Circle hooked it up again.  

Lunch was yummers- guacamole and Spicy Flax and Herb Crackers from Raw Food Real World.

I didn't have a lot of the called for cracker ingredients, so I did a little substituting.  
  • carrots and zucchini instead of red pepper 
  • skipped the jalapeno peppers
  • ACV (apple cider vinegar) instead of lime juice 
  • dried herbs instead of fresh  
The food processor and I had to work it out, and lots of additional water was added to obtain spreadable batter.  The hard work paid off; the crackers are so good!

Dinner was even better.  The buckwheat pizza crust came out of the D a little crispy, but after it was topped with tomato sauce, Spicy Nacho Cheeze, spinach, marinated veggies and olives, it was absolutely divine.  TH is a huge "real" pizza fan, and he greedily devoured this and begged for more.  

Portabella, pre marinade. I wish my hair was this pretty. 

All of the recipes for this pizza (except for the nacho cheeze) can be found in Delightfully Raw.  This recipe book is incredible.  Whether you are a raw food newbie and just want to incorporate a few new healthy dishes into your life, or a rawnja (raw food ninja?  Is that lame?), you should check this book out.  

Frostingesque Dessert

Question:  Has anyone done anything interesting with pomegranates? I think Vivian could make a gorgeous pink smoothie or frosting.  Ideas?

Let's Talk about Buckwheat

I had the pleasure of sleeping in today, as school was cancelled again due to freezing rain and treacherous roads.  We slept so late that we enjoyed our smoothie at sunup:  around 10:00!

smoothies make me happy 

So, grains and dairy are two things I rarely eat.  My digestive tract doesn't enjoy them and I've been freaked out about dairy since reading The China Study.  However, I do miss the grainy heartiness of granola and crackers, which is why I adore buckwheat!  Buckwheat is gluten free (it's actually a dried fruit seed, related to rhubarb) and when soaked and whirled about in the food processor it can make some pretty tasty treats.

I soak buckwheat overnight, then drain and strain the groats.  They get really slimy!  Preparing buckwheat requires a fair amount of water, which is something to consider if you are living in a dry cabin, but for me it's worth it.

buckwheat cereal

I experimented with making a raw buckwheat pizza crust this morning.  It's in the D now, hopefully I'll have pizza pictures to share later this afternoon.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Seaweed Hairball

I found some seaweed hiding in my cupboard and decided to make a salad recipe from this gem of a book:

I had to get over the fact that the soaking seaweed looked/felt like a giant shower drain hairball.  

No worries- a few egg shaped tomatoes transformed potential nastiness into a cute little birdie's nest.

We drove home in the middle of a huge snow/ice storm and just received the call that school will be cancelled tomorrow.  Don't get me wrong- I love my job- but who doesn't enjoy a surprise stay-up-late-sleep-in?  I'm thinking my evening will involve a little bit of this: 

a little bit of that:

and a whole lot of this: 
leftover avocado zucchini mousse

Question:  Do certain textures render foods inedible for you?  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Today was a crisp, lovely day.  

Isn't this immature cabbage head pretty?  I was too lazy to clean it out of my planter when the snow came and it's now frozen solid.  

Speaking of frozen, we took a stroll on a series of lakes near our house to judge the ice for skiing potential.  Not quite ready yet, but soon.  Yippee!  I have new skate skis to break in.  

Our friends from Wasilla are on their way over.  They own a fantabulous wine bar in Wasilla (The Grape Tap) and I'm excited because they always bring yummy wine for us to sample.  

I made a crockpot Thai red curry and also some appies to go with wine:
served with raw onion crackers and veggies 

Nacho Cheeze from Kristen's Raw (highly addictive)
Avocado and Zucchini Dip (gorgeously chartreuse) from Gone Raw
Sun-dried Tomato Dip:
  • large handful sun-dried tomatoes
  • large handful cashews (soaked are better) 
  • hearty dash olive oil 
  • 1 tsp + oregano
  • 1 tsp + basil
  • onion and garlic powder to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • blend on low 
veggie kabobs

kale chips, of course

Chocolate caramel tarts (see yesterday's post) for dessert.  My review:  the bottom brownie layer and the 
ganache on top are phenomenal.  I'm not sold on middle caramel layer yet, as I'm not a huge fan of mesquite in desserts. However, it may grow on me, as Kombucha and P90X have. 
Stretch day for P90X- heck yeah!!  I think I'm addicted.  I'm already worried about how I'm going to get my fix when our families are in town next week.  

Question:  does anyone else need armpit diapers during Yoga X?