Sunday, February 27, 2011

Produce Splurge

My local grocery store had pomelos in the produce section yesterday!   I had never tried one, so I  bucked up and spent $4 for this bowling ball:

After peeling the thick rind I had to dig through white membrane for eons before getting to the goods.   Once I located it, I found the flesh pink, juicy, and sweeter than a grapefruit.  I liked it, but probably won't buy another unless they are on sale. 

Alaska has experienced crazy wind this weekend.  Ela was taking pictures of the wind's effect on sand in Homer the other day, so I took some windy snow pics during my ski this afternoon. It was not a day for fast skiing, as snowdrifts kept getting in the way.  The wind actually blew me backwards when I stopped to take these pictures. 

I was so grateful to have a toasty warm fire to come home to.  I had also placed Kelp Noodles & Veggies in Peanut Sauce (from Delightfully Raw) in the D before leaving.   It was the perfect, hearty, post ski meal.  

Even more perfect when I added a few coco chocolate bites (same ingredients as yesterday), just to make sure they tasted good before I sent some over to the neighbors. 

While we are on the topic of treats, I put part of a Thai young coconut and pineapple to good use in the form of a pina colada from Raw Food Real World. TH and I toasted the return of warmth in the sun. 

(I swear, I eat things other than treats, but my salads and veggie bowls are often a big, jumbled mess.) 

Question:  How often do you eat treats?  What's your favorite treat? 

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Everyday Should be Saturday

My favorite item in this week's Full Circle Farm box is the blood oranges.  The are actually the size and shape of mandarins- is that normal?  They were lovely in a smoothie with pears, frozen bananas, chard, coco oil, Sun Warrior protein, and spirulina.

Lately I've been trying to become more of a mushroom fan.  I refused to eat them as a child (earthy taste, slimy texture), but now I realize that hip, sophisticated people enjoy fungus.  There have also been several publications announcing the results of a study that found white button mushrooms to be immune system boosters (Science Daily, 2010).  Today I tried an appetizer recipe from I Am Grateful of Cafe Gratitude. (I must tell you that I love reading this book and looking at the pictures.  It is so positive and upbeat; such a wonderful reminder of the importance of appreciation.)

I Am Magical stuffed mushrooms

I think hip, sophisticated people would like these a lot.  They are very mushroomy.  The jury is still out for me.  I will say that pulling the stems out of the mushrooms was incredibly satisfying. Can I get a job doing that? 

After our amazing ski today, I was in the mood for chocolate. I think I've made something like this before, but these may be better.  TH said I should call them Raw Almond Joy Truffles, but I decided to change the "Raw" to "Rawish" because I used maple syrup, which is not raw. (It's boiled and higher on the glycemic index than other sweeteners, but I'm alright with that.)

Rawish Almond Joy Truffles

1 1/2 cup dried coconut
1/2 cup raw almond butter (or not raw)
1/2 cup maple syrup
dash of vanilla
pinch of salt

Mix the above ingredients in a food processor.  Place in fridge to harden, and then roll into balls and store in the freezer while you make the outside. 

3/4 cup cacao
3/4 cup melted coconut oil
3/4 cup maple syrup
dash of vanilla
pinch of salt

Blend the above ingredients. (I usually use my small travel blender, and then store the leftover chocolate in it in the fridge).  Dip the inside balls into the outside sauce, set on waxed paper, and then sprinkle coconut on top.  Store in the freezer.

If I had known these were going to taste like candy bars, I would have shaped them accordingly.  Wouldn't that have been fun?

Question:  What is your favorite Saturday activity? 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Country Bumpkin

When I was a child one of my favorite books was a gorgeously illustrated version of "The City Mouse and the Country Mouse".  I was thinking about that story during my time in our state's booming metropolis.  Although there are aspects about Anchorage that I adore (i.e. staying downtown and walking to New Sagaya), most of it makes me nervous.  The traffic is horrendous, one-way streets sneak up on me, I get lost in parking garages, and apparently you can't park overnight on the street unless you want to head for your car the next day, find it missing, and through major detective work discover it's been towed for snow plowing ($$$).  My last night I went to Barnes and Noble as I was waiting for TH's flight to come in.  Did you know that people go to the bookstore at 10:00 on a weeknight??  In fact, the place was hopping.  I was shocked.  

One thing I truly love about the downtown area is the Coastal Trail.  I was chasing the sun every evening after sessions. 

As far as I know, Natural Pantry is the only health food store within 250 miles of my cabin.  I spend way too much money there when I'm in town.  Two of my purchases this go around were vitamins.



I've been interested in purchasing vitamins in non-pill format, as I've read that the absorption rate of pills is 5-18%,  (Physicians Desk Reference, 2009).  I wasn't too excited that the B12 strips contain sorbitol and sucralose, but the other options weren't any better.  One of my friends told me that she could feel the effect of increased Vitamin D the day after upping her levels.  Didn't happen to me.  Do you supplement with Vitamin D?  How soon, if at all, can you tell a difference?

After a cacaoless week, I was rifling around behind my mountains of bananas and found a lone Super Cacao Caramel Tart (Delightfully Raw recipe)!  I was kind and offered to share with TH.  He hasn't eaten his half yet and it won't stop staring at me.

Question:  Are you a country mouse or a city mouse?  Do you think your preference has something to do with the locale in which you grew up? 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Feeling Grateful

I hope you all are having a great week!  I am so happy to be home again; TH and I had a late night drive from Anchorage last night.  The situation with TH's mom was nuts.  Somehow she contracted a vicious flesh eating bacteria while on vacation in CA.  The doctors had to complete a number of emergency surgeries (removing huge chunks of her forehead, cheek and eyelid), in an attempt to stop the spread of the bacteria.  The major concern was that the bacteria would reach her brain, heart or spinal cord.  The doctors now believe she is in the clear, but she has quite a recovery in front of her.  I am so amazed by her strength and positive attitude!

While TH was by his mom's side, I was filling my brain at a conference in A-town.  I've talked to a lot of people who feel intimidated by raw food, especially when eating away from home.  Girl on Raw has an awesome post on this topic:  Raw on the Road.  I also used to think it would be crazy hard to eat raw while on the go.  But really, what could be easier than eating fruit, veggies, nuts, and seeds?  I actually find it a lot simpler and more pleasurable than any of the other diet plans I've tried.  I eat what I want, when I'm hungry, and don't feel constricted by rules like eating every three hours, or always combining protein with carbs.  This is huge for me!

Here are some of the things I snacked on in the hotel.

I had the ice bucket rocking for a day or two, until I noticed the mini fridge hidden away in a cabinet.  You would think the maid could have helped me out with that- a little note maybe? :)

Of course, Viv came along to keep me company (and provide my neighbors with a courtesy wake-up call every a.m.).  Sometimes I feel sheepish about my peculiarness, but I'm learning to get over that. 

On my Natural Pantry run I picked up a raw snack by  Go Raw . 


These were excellently seasoned and rather addictive.  I finished them off for lunch today with an avocado and refused to share with TH.  He jealously made fun of all the seeds lodged in my teeth. 

Question:  Are you a frequent snacker, or do you prefer fewer, larger meals?  

Monday, February 21, 2011

Checking In

I wanted to post briefly to explain my absence.  TH's mom had a medical emergency and I had drive him to the Anchorage airport.  Since his departure I have been in Anchorage attending a conference.  The combination of a mother in law in ICU and being away from home did not promote blogging.  But I am so thrilled to say that TH's mom is now stable and on the mend.  She is incredibly strong!  I'll be back to blog about all the weird things I do to eat raw while in a hotel when I get home to my cabin.

Random but fun:  check out this video that was shared in one of my conference sessions today.  This kid recorded each drum beat and piano chord separately and then edited them together.  He has no experience playing either instrument.  So creative!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Kamoebas and Kale Chips

I was starving after work today, and was so excited because I knew I had crispy BBQ kale chips waiting for me in the D.

For some reason I didn't think they were as good as the last time I made them, but that didn't stop me from scarfing down three bowls. Whenever I eat kale chips I have an inner conversation with myself that goes something like this:

"Okay, this is the last one."
"I mean it, no more after this guy."
"Hey- how did that get in my mouth?!" 
"Oooh, look at all the seasoning on this chip!  I wonder how it tastes."
"Mmmm. Crispy."
"Better see if this one's as good."
"Nope- kind of gross.  I need one more to leave a good taste in my mouth."
"Seriously!  This is the last one."

I washed down my head of crisped kale with a Kombucha.  The kamoeba (I think the real name is scoby?) was impressively large in this bottle.  I hate it when you bravely attempt to drink a kamoeaba in one gulp and it tries to escape your mouth, suctioning itself all over your chin in the process.  

My other eats today looked something like this:


 (smoothie, curry pate on cukes, Raw Food Real World's buckwheat cereal w/ raisins and hemp milk)

Next up:  a huge dinner salad and, or course, a piece of banana cream pie. 

Question:  Do you eat or drink anything that others find revolting?  

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Bananas Done Right

Hope you had a nice Valentine's Day!  We are so romantic around these parts.  My gift to TH was splitting and stacking a load of wood.  He did the dishes without whining about how hard it was.  What a lovely evening.  :)

I had a hankering for some curry the other day, and threw together a little curry pate.  It was really easy to make, and was quite nice in lettuce wraps with sliced veggies.

Curry Pate
2 cups sunflower seeds, soaked overnight
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons raw honey or agave
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
cayenne to taste 

Place all ingredients in food processor and process until smooth.

The Banana Cream Pie from Sweet Gratitude I mentioned the other night is incredible.  It was pretty easy to put together, and is nut and cacao free (aside from the extra chocolate sauce I swirled on top of the coconut cream).  

crust + layer of sliced bananas
bubbly banana filling

chocolate and caramel swirls

Two pieces of advice: 

1.  Read the entire pie recipe before getting started.  I didn't notice the second page warned against using brownish bananas.  Ripe bananas taste fine (probably better), but the color is not very appetizing.

2.  Use a lot of coconut oil to grease the pie pan.  I used a little and the lovely crust refused to unstick itself from the pan.  

Question:  Did you celebrate Valentine's Day?  

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Coming Soon...New Desserts!

After a fabulous weekend in Anchorage with family, I came home to fun surprises:  a gorgeous box of Full Circle Farm goodies, and two new books at the P.O.


I briefly skimmed Crazy Sexy Diet, which has been all over the blogoshpere, and was pleased to see Carr praising both green juice and green smoothies.  I actually had a smoothie for both breakfast and lunch today.  They are so easy and filling, especially if you have a kick-ass blender like Viv.   For today's lunch smoothies (two huge servings) I used 2 1/2 cups water, 1 tablespoon spirulina, 1 tablespoon maca, 1 tablespoon coconut oil  and:

lots of spinach +
mango and orange +

green glory

a handful of frozen nanners =

I also made Banana Cream Pie from Sweet Gratitude, which I will review tomorrow after having a piece.  I added a few extras and I'm pretty much predicting awesomeness. 

Question:  What are you reading right now?  Is it good?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Hummdigity Hummus

The dip I made over the weekend was Ani Phyo's red pepper hummus, which she shared with  The main ingredient is red pepper (instead of zucchini, nuts, or sprouted chickpeas).

I like to pack containers for the work week- all I have to do is chop extra veggies when I'm making evening salads and the next day's lunch is ready. 

Of course, hummus is also lovely on crackers, with a little olive tapenade and veggies.  I love the colors of raw veggies!  

Question:  Do you tend to eat the same thing everyday, or do you need to mix it up?  

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tomato Sauce Three Ways

I've been trying out some more complicated recipes lately, but eating raw can be so easy.  I usually make  a sauce, a dressing, and a dip over the weekend.  Throughout the week I just add veggies or raw crackers and I'm good to go.  One sauce that I adore is Carmella's tomato sauce from Delightfully Raw.  I make a double batch at a time and then use it to make veggie pasta, raw pizza, and cracker bites.  It's also really good as a dip for veggies.

Cacao was also kicking it in the D this weekend.  I made Matthew Kenney's chocolate chip cookies, which were quite easy (once the chips are done).  

Warning #1:  These taste nothing like your mom's Tollhouse cookies.  
Warning #2:  It is hard to stop eating these fudgey brown goo piles straight out of the D. 
Warning #3:  Unless you have extra normal sticky-batter spreading skills, they won't look as pretty as Matthew Kenney's.  In fact, they bear a striking resemblance to a prank you can order from the back of a comic book.  

Question:  Do you plan and prepare workweek eats over the weekend, or wing it?  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I Can't Hear You....

Look what showed up at the PO today!  

TH has been urging me to use ear protection with Vivian and the FP.  I told him I wanted pink earmuffs- who knew they actually existed!  These beauties don't just look rad, they actually work.  I think they will help with ESPN as well. 

I greedily snatched up two jars of Coconut Manna while in Anchorage a while back.  I haven't really figured out what to do with it, but I was determined to make a nut free icing the other night.  The result was pretty tasty, but I honestly don't know the ingredient measurements as I just added things until it tasted good.  I started with a softened lump of manna.  Into Viv I also dumped vanilla, irish moss gel,  coconut water, and a little liquid stevia and agave.

The "icing" served as a topping for a raw mud pie I made to take to a friend's house.  I started with the Pure 2 Raw grasshopper pie crust that I am obsessed with.  

I made an improvised version of Sweetly Raw's avocado mousse from Just Desserts.  After that layer froze I added the coconut icing and a few of Matthew Kenney's chocolate chips.  I was worried that it tasted a little too hippified, but even my friend's son enjoyed it.  

Question:  Have you used coconut manna at all?  

Cabbage: It's Not Just for Smelling Stinky

(To the person I was driving behind late this evening:  I was not tipsy!  FYI:  I didn't have a drop of wine- as punishment for breaking my no-workweek-wine rule on girls' night Wednesday.  I admit I may have been swerving, but that was only because I was trying to dip zucchini slices into hummus, which was straddled precariously between my legs.  It turns out it's a long way from my lap to my mouth, and many aggressive dips did not make it that far.  I wanted to clear up this misunderstanding when we both pulled into the gas station, but I had red pepper hummus spread between my legs and smeared all down my front.  Sigh.)

My breakfast smoothie was (accidentally) so damn good this morning.  It was incredibly creamy and filling; I sipped it happily all morning.

1 1/2 cups coconut water 
1 T maca
2 t spirulina
1 T coconut butter
3 cups spinach
1 frozen banana
2 pears
2 tangelos

Lunch was a cabbage wrapped burrito with the Raw Food Real World fixings I made last weekend.  Absolutely delish.  Cabbage leaves make excellent, crunchy wrappers.  

Last night I made a springform creation for my dinner date this evening, but pictures will have to wait until tomorrow.  I did manage to use up some coconut manna in the form of a coconut icing.   I topped the last of Sweetly Raw's chocolate mousse with a tiny icing tad.

Question:  What's your favorite burrito wrapping?