Saturday, April 30, 2011

Tough Stuff

This weekend TH and I are in Anchorage with our school's Native Youth Olympics team for the annual NYO state competition.  This is a pretty darn cool event; kids from all over the state arrive to compete in traditional Native sporting events that are insane demonstrations of strength, flexibility, and stamina.  Here is an article from the Anchorage Daily News about the events completed yesterday.

As usual, I packed a load of food to stock the hotel fridge.

Of course, Viv came along as well, for morning smoothies.  In a glass container I mixed together four servings of maca, spirulina, and Sun Warrior raw protein powder for smoothie add-ins.  

All I have to do is scoop out half of the container each morning (for TH and I).  So easy! 

Question:  What's your favorite smoothie add-in? 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Is There Anything Coconut Can't Do?

As I mentioned yesterday, I was pumped to try the trio of coconut delights that I ordered from The Raw Food World.

I tasted each individually and thought they all had a lovely flavor.  Both the aminos and the vinegar taste much like the average supermarket counterparts, but funkier (in a good way).  I used all three to make a basic, but tasty, salad dressing (that tastes nothing like coconut).

Coco Loco Dressing
1/4 cup coconut vinegar
1/4 cup coconut aminos
1 avocado
1 cup water
juice of one small lemon
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp coconut nectar

I eat a giant salad every night for dinner, so I mix things up with different dressings.  TH and I both liked this one, as it is light and tangy.  It paired nicely with Bubbies sauerkraut.  

On the ride home from work today I was commenting to TH on the contagious, bubbling excitement of the soon to be graduating seniors.  I was thinking back fondly to that time in my life, and the immense sense of freedom as the entire world seemed open for exploration.  TH said that he actually felt sorry for the seniors, as he thinks that this is a terrible time to be entering the workforce.  I hadn't even thought of that, but it reminded me of how I am so much more of an emotionalist, and TH is such a realist.  I think this is why we are a good team:  I'm usually up in the clouds, his feet are firmly planted on earth, and we help each other to meet somewhere in the middle. 

Question:  Are you an emotionalist or a realist?  What about your significant other?  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mistake...Or Not?

Sunday afternoon I was excited because I finally had time to try out one of the coconut products that had arrived from The Raw Food World.

I wanted sweet, so I decided to use the coconut nectar in a strawberry freezer treat.  I made the strawberry recipe below and froze it.

After a few hours the texture was not what I wanted, so I thawed it and decided it would make a lovely frosting.  Then I had to come up with a cupcake recipe.  Most of you probably know that raw cupcakes are nothing like baked cupcakes, but they can still be fun!  The recipes below are heavy in nuts and coco oil, so they are rather high in calories and fat, but I only eat one or two little minis and feel satisfied.  This batch of cupcakes will last a while.

Maca Cupcakes
2 cups walnuts
3 dates, soaked and then blended with 1 tbsp water to form a paste
2 heaping tbsp maca
dash of vanilla
dash of salt

Process the above ingredients in a FP until the batter is smooth and rolling into a big ball. Roll into small balls and put in mini cupcake liners.

Strawberry Frosting
1 pint strawberries
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
2 tbsp coconut nectar (or other sweetener)
dash of vanilla
dash of salt

Blend the above ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Harden in the fridge for a bit before spreading on cupcakes.  Decorate with whatever ingredients you have on hand. 

Question:  Are you a counting calories fan, or do you just eat when you are hungry?  

Monday, April 25, 2011

Kale and Zucchini

Hope you all had a lovely Easter!

My super busy weekend called for lots of easily scarfable snacks, as I'd rather wear a diaper than go hungy.  I knew I'd be working long hours without much time for eating, so earlier in the week I'd made a bunch of easily portable munchies.

I had a plethora of Sexy Crazy Diet's mustard dressing, which now translates into kale chips.  (FYI: the dressing was a little salty the first time I made it, so I've decreased the salt quite a bit.)

scarfable indeed

Viv also whipped up RAWvolution's zucchini hummus, for veggie dipping and collard wraps. 

nut-free raw hummus! 

By Sunday evening I was ready to sit on my heinie and savor dessert while catching up on all of your awesome blogs.   (Maca "cupcakes" with strawberry frosting.  I will share the recipe tomorrow.) 

Question:  Do you have a favorite cookbook? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Banana Burrito

Okay, this is one of the yummiest raw snacks, and I'm sure it's been blogged to death, but in case you have not used collards in this way, you simply must!  This is my all time favorite pre-run snack.

Step #1:  Take a large collard leaf.

Step #2:  Cut out the thick part of the stem as it can be a bit sour.  Save it for a green smoothie addition.

Step #3:  Add a banana, ripe if you want a sweeter burrito.

Step #4:  Slather the banana with raw almond butter, or nut butter of your choice.

Step #5:  Sprinkle on some raisins.  

Step #6:  Fold up the sides.

Step #7:  Don't freak out because it looks weird!  Enjoy your banana burrito and prepare to run like the wind 1 1/2 to 2 hours later.  

Question:  What fills your favorite burrito?  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Improvised Cheesecake

TH has been begging for a "decadent" dessert of late.  I decided to indulge him (life is so hard) with a recipe from Sweet Gratitude.  The Pear-Ginger cheesecake sounded intriguing, and I had almost all the ingredients.

The crust I copied straight from the cookbook, so I can't share that recipe with you.  However, the filling I changed up quite a bit, so I'm going to tell you what I did.

Pear-Ginger Cheesecake Filling
adapted from Sweet Gratitude

3 cups macadamia nuts
1 pear
1 ripe banana
1/4 cup raw honey
1 cup Gingerade Kombucha
juice of one squeezed lemon
1 tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
small knob of ginger (if you so desire)

Blend the above ingredients.  Then blend in:

3 tbsp sunflower lecithin
1 cup melted coconut oil

Pour all but 1 cup of the mixture on top of crust into springform pan.* To the remaining 1 cup of mixture add 2 teaspoons cinnamon and the scraped seeds of 5 vanilla beans.  Blend and then pour on top of the previous layer.  Decorate with sliced pears tossed in cinnamon.

*This mixture was too much for my 7" springform, so I used the remaining crust and filling in three small tart pans.  

TH was quite pleased with the result; a rich, creamy, decadent cheesecake. I can't get over the phenomenal texture. Melt in your mouth loveliness.    

Question:  What movie is at the top of your Netflix queue?  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring is Here!

Snow is melting, trumpeter swans are arriving, flies are buzzing, the sun is warming.  Aaaaaah.

Yesterday totally felt like spring- thank goodness!  After a thorough spring cleaning (which takes about an hour in our tiny place), I went for a long run on the snow-free pavement.  Trail running is still a while out, although that brings up the issue of bumping into bears.   (Many people here run with a gun, but that makes me more nervous than bears.)

We ate our dinner while basking in the sun on the porch.  It felt lovely.

Pile of greens with homemade guac and salsa.  The salsa was made by a friend and it is incredible.  She refuses to give out her secret ingredients.

Celebratory spring cocktail:
1 mango
1 small pkg frozen strawberries
2 tbsp raw honey
1 cup sake
Makes two huge servings or four normal servings.  

seriously tasty

A pear ginger cheesecake tartlet, inspired by Sweet Gratitude and Ela's cheesecake chatter.  :) 

 I'll show you the whole cheesecake tomorrow.

Question: Do you have any summer goals?  Mine is to run all the way up our 1/2 mile straight-up-and-down death hill (on the completion of a longer run) without stopping.  I've been told it can be done, but I've yet to see it.  

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Viv's Birthday!

Umm, did I really just dress up my blender? And document it?  

About a year and a half ago, I was debating the purchase of a Vitamix.  Because of the hefty price tag, I thought about it for around five months before taking the plunge.  Initially, I felt like a freak buying a $549 blender.  (TH still doesn't know how much she cost.)  Now I don't know how I lived without her!  She makes my morning smoothie every day,

and from there things just get crazy.  

Dressings, sauces, soups, nut milks, ice creams, cheezes, puddings, frostings, cheezecakes, whipped creams, sorbets, dips, curries; everything comes out creamy-dreamy.  I expect to grow old with Viv and TH, and I think even he would agree that she was worth every last penny.  

Happy Birthday, Vivian! 

Vitamix inventors:  you rock.  

Question:  Do you have a Vitamix?  If so, do you think it was worth the price?  

Date Night

The only thing I find slightly annoying about not having water is the laundry issue.  I used to dread the time consuming ordeal until we learned to combine the outing with wine and food.  Every other Thursday night, TH and I hit the town for a hot night of laundry.  We make it rain quarters at the Roadhouse, which is a popular accommodation for summer mountain climbers.

While the laundry is running we alternate between one of three yummy restaurants in town that stay open for the winter.  Last night we dined at the Wildflower, an expensive, but favorite, place.  (Can you believe how much snow we still have?)

 I had a massive salad and a malbec while TH ordered the sea scallops in tomato cream sauce (sorry, no photo; he started gobbling before I thought to snap a pic.)  I'm a pretty boring diner, I always order a salad.  TH doesn't understand why I even enjoy going out to eat, but I love not having to chop veggies or clean up after myself.  

We made it home in time for a lovely 9:30 p.m sunset:

Question:  Do you have any special tricks for making chores fun? (In my younger days, in my old house, I used to have an adult bevvie while cleaning.  Until the day the Dyson tumbled down the stairs without me, smashing a giant hole in the wall.) 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Food for My Man

Often I like to make TH raw versions of his former favorite foods.  He loves raw pizza just as much as I do, and rarely eats cooked desserts, preferring raw whole food delectables instead.

He was feeling like a burger this evening, so I followed Kelli's lead with the onion bread (by Lisa) hemp burger (Delightfully Raw) combo. 

escaped capture by the hemp burglar

I made a raw barbeque sauce that I think turned out tangy and tasty.  I actually copied the ingredients on a bottle of Annie's BBQ and threw in a few additional ingredients.  This made a lot of sauce, so it should probably be halved.  I used most of this batch in a crockpot moose roast for TH, which he said was awesome. 

Tangy Raw BBQ Sauce
Blend the following ingredients in a high speed blender. 

7 mediumish tomatoes
3.5 oz soaked sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup ACV
2 dates
2 tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp mustard
2 tbsp nama shoyu (or Bragg's liquid amino)
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp chipolte
1/8 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp liquid smoke (not really raw)
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp irish moss gel (probably optional...?)

Question:  Do you and your significant other eat the same types of things? 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Should've Worn Kneepads

I just returned from a little road trippy up to Fairbanks for the 3rd Annual Barctic Ma'am (long story...).

pre knee damage

I didn't have time to get totally prepared, so my eats were few and far between.  It was nice to get back to  Vivian, my stocked fridge, and my D.  

Along with the usual green smoothie and giant salad, I rolled up some of Lisa's onion bread with Delightfully Raw's tomato sauce, spinach, and a few kalamata olives.  Mmmmm.

I was inspired in Fairbanks by my mom snacking on some mustard filled pretzel bites.  They smelled delish.  I had some leftover mustard dressing from Crazy Sexy Diet, so I chopped up two heads of kale and doused it in dressing.  After about 8 hours in the D at 110, the chips were tasting way better than I expected.  A new favorite maybe?  

A dessert parfait with leftover coconut whipped cream, kiwis and blueberries (for their skin healing properties) made me forget all about the weekend's skateboarding injuries.  

Question:  What in-season fruit/veggie are you loving right now?  

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Fun with Flax

Flax, like chia seeds and irish moss, is fun to play with because of the way it morphs when mixed with liquid.  It's also very healthy and filling, so I always have flax seeds in the fridge.

When I need ground flax for a recipe I pull out Viv's little cousin, the Tribest Travel Blender.  

I love this blender for grinding seeds and nuts and for making small amounts of sauces or dressings.  I've even taken it on a week long boat trip for morning smoothies (when Viv wasn't invited).  It's pretty rowdy. 

Once you have ground flax, you can add water to make an awesome binding agent.  It looks and behaves just like dough.

This is a great base for making raw crackers and breads.  I used the above blob to make Lisa's raw onion bread, which has been highly reviewed by Kelli and Elizabeth.  

This recipe was exceptionally simple to make, and true to the hype, it's very moist and bread-like.  I can't wait to pile toppings on this bread.  (Could it even be used as a pizza crust...?)

Just because I like pink so much, here's a pic of last night's sunset.  

Question:  What do you think broke into my dehydrator (which was running on the porch) and stole three hemp burgers? 

Clue #1
half eaten hemp burger

Clue #2
tracks off porch

Clue #3
tracks up close