Tag Archives: choosing raw

so many goodies!!

I’m on a roll. I want to stay in my kitchen for the next week. Wonder if my boss would understand that? Probably not, given that I’m going on a nice long vacation in a couple of weeks as it is!

Today started out with Roasted Peach and Ginger Chia Pudding from Choosing Raw. It turned out deliciously- better than any chia pudding I’ve tried. Folding those lovely roasted peaches into it was more evidence of Gena’s genius. If you’ve hesitated on attempting chia pudding, try this one. You’ll need raw cashews, a few Medjool dates, some almond milk, chia seeds (of course), vanilla extract, ginger, and cinnamon. Also peaches, coconut oil, and coconut crystals (or sugar). I followed her directions and ingredients precisely, and I can’t wait to eat more!

After a challenging hot yoga class, I came home to the Peach Pie Ice Cream, also created by Gena of Choosing Raw but posted on Food 52. Frozen bananas blended with roasted peaches, a tiny bit of almond milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon- oh my goodness. Here’s the picture: 

Hahaha seriously as if I was going to wait on eating it til I found the camera.

But trust me, it was delicious! no really, here it is: 

Then I made zucchini bread, roasted spaghetti squash and white patty pan squash. The patty pan squash, all nicely cut up, will be added at the last moment to a sauté pan that has mushrooms cooking in a bit of yesterday’s tofu marinade. Or Magic Sauce. Can’t decide which yet. I’ll lightly steam some broccoli and throw that in there, too. Perhaps served alone, perhaps over quinoa. Decisions, decisions.

The spaghetti squash is tomorrow’s lunch. Simply re-heated with a bit of spaghetti sauce and a tablespoon or so of Parmesan cheese, it will be delicious! I love making it with toasted pine nuts and cheese but I’m out of pine nuts at the moment and don’t want to take out another mortgage to buy some, (what is UP with those prices?!). Just slice the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, rub the interior lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and pepper, and turn it face down on a foil-covered jelly roll pan. I keep the oven about 375 degrees for this, and this one roasted for about 45 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when you take a fork to the inside of it and start scraping, and the squash comes away in spaghetti-like strands. It’s actually really fun to do! :-) and you should have only the thin shell left at the end- all the squash should come away with the fork.

Also made some cookies, to deliver to some friends, although enough stayed behind to keep the boys in the house happy for awhile.

The house did not get clean. The yard, well, better left unsaid. It’s soggy, anyway. But we are eating well!

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sauce and chickpeas and salad, oh my

I promised Magic Sauce, didn’t I? And I made it! 101 Cookbooks author and genius created this delicious sauce to be put with nearly everything except desserts. I mixed it in to quinoa and roasted chickpeas, and it was wonderful. Tomorrow I’m going to take her suggestion and cook our breakfast eggs in it. If there’s enough, I’ll spread it on toast. It’s that good.

Magic Sauce is simply olive oil, gently heated, with garlic and spices stirred in while it is warm, and fresh lemon juice added to  deepen the flavors. She advises letting it sit overnight or for a few days if possible, to intensify and meld the flavors.

To roast the chickpeas, I rinsed a can of garbanzo beans off well, dried them, then tossed them in a small amount of olive oil. I used about half a tablespoon of oil, and probably could have used less. I have Frank’s Chili Garlic Salt, and once they were coated in olive oil, they got coated in that spice. I didn’t salt them, because the spice (obviously) has sea salt in it (along with kelp and other goodies). You could use any spice you like. About a tablespoon of spice should do it. I roasted them at 400 degrees for roughly 27 minutes, but next time I’ll roast them maybe 5 minutes  longer. I like them very crispy! Shake the pan (carefully!) once every ten minutes or so to be sure they aren’t sticking to the pan and burning. 

Cooked quinoa, garbanzo beans, and a teaspoon or so of Magic Sauce, and lunch was ready.

Dinner, now, on this rainy day, with the sure knowledge that the basement was flooding underneath me, needed to be a bit special. One of my very favorite meals, and definitely my favorite way to cook tofu, is from Vegan With A Vengeance, by the glorious Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Pressing and slicing tofu, then marinating it in tamari, mirin, rice vinegar, and sesame oil, with the addition of fresh ginger and garlic to the marinade- it’s all fun because I know the deliciousness that awaits me. My husband, who is not a tofu fan, likes this. He especially likes to use the leftover marinade on his steak. :-) 

The best accompaniment to this tofu is also from Vegan With A Vengeance- their Wasabi Mashed Potatoes are simply fabulous and I could eat the whole lot myself. Which is a big reason I didn’t make them today, since we went to a dessert party this afternoon and I knew my carbs quotient had definitively already been met (and exceeded) today. Instead, I swiped whole baby bella mushrooms through the tofu marinade and added them to the pan I roasted the tofu. The tofu roasts for about 30 minutes (depends how crispy, or not, you want it), getting flipped halfway through. I added the mushrooms about 15 minutes in. Sliced, with the tofu, they made a lovely topping for a huge mixed greens salad for my very satisfying dinner. 

I roasted peaches today, too, after tossing them in a bit of coconut oil and coconut crystals, a la Gena of Choosing Raw. If there are any left when I go back into the kitchen, I’m going to follow Gena’s suggestions  and put them into the chia pudding I made today, and into a frozen banana/cinnamon/peach “ice cream” I’m going to make tomorrow. I promise pictures and reviews and more links for those tomorrow (too full tonight!).  I’ll leave you with a not-great picture of way-great roasted peaches! 

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it was an orange kind of week

Have I mentioned this roasted potato salad from A Couple Cooks yet? No? I am remiss. It is delicious!! I have made it three times already in the past two weeks. I leave out the egg, to make it vegan (although there is honey in the dressing so there’s that whole argument I choose to avoid), but I don’t change anything else if I can help it. It’s been a big hit in our house!

Then there is this delicious curried carrot dip from Veganonmicon- this is the first recipe I tried from that book and it is yum! You must use the right amount of carrots- this time, I used too many and it watered down the taste of the dip.

And then the vegan enchiladas I promised yesterday, from Gena at Choosing Raw again (what can I say? she makes good food). She also provides great nutritional information.

Do admire my beautiful new Cuisinart 3-qt saucepan. A downside to a budding chef in the house is the occasional misuse and even the demise of a pot or pan. An upside is then I have the perfect excuse to buy a new one. This one, however, is going to bear a sign that says: “If your name is not Kelly, put this down and back away. Now.” This little beauty cooked up those sweet potatoes in no time. Awesome. They became the filler, once mixed with black beans, black strap molasses, and a few other goodies, for the enchiladas. The funny thing about using Daiya “cheese” is that it doesn’t lose it’s shape when it melts. It tastes pretty good- almost a bit sweet- but it can’t really pass, in appearance, for cheese. This is after 30 minutes in the oven. I’ve not used the mozzarella one yet- I’m going to try that soon. Perhaps it will melt differently.

We have more recipes coming, including my sister-in-law’s peanut/broccoli/tofu dish I have now promised to post twice. See, I didn’t get good pictures of it. Picture chunks of tofu draped in beige sauce and you see my problem. Also, I made the chunks too big and didn’t add peanuts, (fresh dental work- crunchy peanuts sounded painful), so I want to make it again and this time make it pretty. All week we’ve been trying out new vegan recipes- including another one from A Couple Cooks that was a huge hit- their Two-Bean Sloppy Joes. That was delicious! My son gave it two thumbs up!

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mango quinoa deliciousness and Forks Over Knives

I really have about six posts to do. I’m debating doing them all in one, but that could get confusing. This week alone, we’ve tried two different veggie burgers, chia pudding, quinoa salad (pictured here), roasted potatoes, gluten-free flat bread, banana/chocolate/peanut butter ice cream, vegan enchiladas, and a peanut/broccoli/tofu dish. This is what happens when you let your teenager watch Forks Over Knives. Suddenly you find yourself making homemade bread twice a week and packing school lunches and watching in disbelief as your son attempts to eat tofu. Bless his heart. He even said it was good. Although I noted a good amount of tofu was left on his plate “I’m full, but it’s good”. :-) Love that boy.

Have you seen Forks Over Knives? I read The China Study late last year and  Forks Over Knives is basically a documentary about that book. Don’t watch it unless you want to make some changes in how you eat! Unless, of course, you already eat entirely vegan, in which case, you will feel fully justified in your eating choices.

Colin is motivated to lessen his intake of meat and dairy. It is challenging for an on-the-go teenager to fully incorporate a vegan lifestyle and still get all the necessary nutrients. We’ve gotten up earlier this week to prepare good lunches, and I’ve been pulling out all the cookbooks trying to find tempting vegan recipes for us all. My poor husband, who was hiking happily through a canyon while all this was going on, has come home to veggie burgers and vegan enchiladas. I will admit he slips into the kitchen and slices some Dubliner cheese to top his dinners. :-)

Mango/Quinoa Salad from the blog Our Best Bites was really easy to make and everyone liked it. And, bonus, it is pretty.


Then we tried  Gena’s chia pudding again- this time blending the chia seed up  and adding raw cacao powder and some stevia. Quite delicious. Chia pudding has a very light taste- it’s the texture that can be off-putting (something about taking one bite and having to be careful that the whole bowl of it doesn’t come up with that bite). With banana and walnuts on top- it is an incredibly filling and nutritious breakfast. We used our homemade almond milk but you can certainly buy almond milk at the store.
This post is going to be continued tomorrow, as I just hopped up to make Colin banana/strawberry “ice cream” because he was hunting dessert and that’s how I roll. Well, and I wanted some too. Tip #1, when blending frozen bananas to make ice cream, don’t use your Cuisinart fresh out of the warm dishwasher. You won’t get frozen banana “gravel” you will get mush. It will still taste good, blended with fresh strawberries, but it will look more like a smoothie than ice cream. Tip #2, best to use all frozen fruit, rather than fresh and frozen mixed, because fresh fruit contributes to the smoothie appearance. We tried it earlier this week, blending frozen banana, cocoa powder, and natural peanut butter- oh. my. deliciousness.
The next post will include my sister-in-law’s aforementioned broccoli/peanut/tofu recipe (really tasty) and a link to vegan enchiladas, gluten-free flat-bread, and the amazing roasted potatoes. Also links to the two different veggie burger recipes. Goodness. That will be a long post. Something to look forward to! :-).

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I’m a dork

I am. I really am. In my line of work I’ve hung out with presidential candidates, with high-ranking officials of other countries, with the wealthy, and with the local celebrities. I have no problem with staying calm, cool, and collected with all of them- just people, you know, like me, with a hundred times more power and money, sure, but just people. I feel confident that if a movie star walked past me, I’d either simply not recognize them, or, I like to think, I’d quietly say hello. I would certainly not be so gauche as to ask for an autograph or a picture. I would emphatically not be one of those fans being dragged away, holding their pinky finger to their mouth and their thumb to their ear, simulating a phone, saying “I love you! Call me!!” as the celebrity is very careful to not make eye contact. You know what I mean- you’ve all seen it on TV.

But apparently, I’ve not tapped my star-struck geek potential. I have to find the right person, I’ve learned, to make me go all idiot on them. Yesterday’s post of mine featured a few recipes from Gena, of Choosing Raw fame, and I linked my blog to hers. And she read my post- and commented on it!! Do you comprehend this? It’s Gena, for crying out loud. The blogger I have followed for months, the one that taught me salad dressings and chia pudding and almond milk and vegan-beyond-delicious enchiladas. Gena!! So she commented on the one thing that hadn’t worked out for me- I’d sort of dissed an almond meal cookie recipe that didn’t work for me (my fault, I know! I love you Gena! Call me!) and I got all dorked out that Gena was reading my posts. It was hysterical. I called my husband in the room and excitedly said, “Gena’s reading my blog!” and he looked at me as though he wasn’t sure whether to sedate me or just back away slowly (both wise choices). I read him my gaga response to her comment and he just laughed at me. Appropriately so. But clearly, he didn’t understand. Now, if it had been a Maple Leafs hockey player, or an Indianapolis Colt (sniff sniff- Peyton? really? a Bronco? too sad. but I digress), that would have geeked him out for sure.
It has made me think about how we select our celebrities- the people we’ve never met but that we feel we connect with. People that impact our lives and have no idea they are doing so. The blogging world has opened us up to “meeting” some pretty incredible people who live their lives in such a way that they are an inspiration to us. Gena has become, without ever having met her, a “go-to” person for me- someone I trust for nutrition information and good food and creative ideas.  I enjoy her sense of humor and her writing and her take on life. I have “met” Ann, Coco, Sarah B., Katie, Elise, Matt (love my No Meat Athlete shirt!), Nada, Kristen, Yvonne, and Steph. Sonja and Alex.  Heidi. I have actually met another Katy, (she’s a neighbor!) and Ashley (talk about an inspiration). There are SO many others.So, I started out a bit embarrassed at my somewhat silly reaction to Gena’s comment last night, but I’m not any more. I like that I get geeked out at the thought of connecting with these people. They are my teachers. My guides.  I may never meet them, never so much as shake their hand, but I hope they know how much they bring to me and to the world. They are important to my growth as a human being. I laugh and learn, and sometimes cry, along with them. I root for them. I admire their work and their pictures and their writings.
What a gift it has been, and continues to be, to learn from these amazing people. They don’t just share my interests, they expand my interests. The world gets bigger for me and for you as they share their stories and talents with us.
My final words on the subject: Go read Gena’s blog. And Coco’s. And Sarah’s. And Katy’s. Read. Learn. Attempt. Leave comments for them. They are people, just like you and me. They are living life to the full, which challenges me and inspires me and, apparently, geeks me out. :-) Expanding my horizons makes me happy, and sometimes, even, a little silly. That is okay by me. 

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mmmmm and meh

I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I have met myself coming and going, however, (and that is disconcerting, to say the least). I’ve been traveling. I’ve been BUSY. But I miss writing!! so though it is ten at night already, I have to attempt to complete this post that has been a draft for a week now. Excuse the lack of wit and perhaps coherent thought.

 

Coffee Crunch Bites, mmmm!!! I added a bit of coconut (yes I’m addicted) and the cookies tasted better even two days later, when the flavors truly had time to meld. I’ve already made them twice, to take with me traveling. They are drier and less sweet than Raw Brownies, but I still really like them, with that yummy coffee flavor.

Curry, meh to mmmm.From Vegan With a Vengeance- I love her stuff- I made the curry. It asked for asafoetida, which I found at our local Good Earth store (awesome spice room!). It smells…well, as Chloe put it, it smells ” like a humid day”. Sort of tropical. Not bad, per se, but intense. One half-ounce had the interior of my car smelling…well…unusual. Overall the curry was fine- filling and nutritious.  It was actually better a day or two later.

Almond milk, surprisingly mmmmm, from a favorite blog- Choosing Raw. I tried making the suggested cookies out of the almond meal left from the milk-making. They didn’t even rate meh on my scale. They went into the garbage. I think the almond meal was not dry enough. I will try them again with some tweaks.

Chia pudding, also from Choosing Raw, toward mmmm on the scale. No pictures of the chia pudding- it is ridiculously unattractive, to the point where I don’t make eye contact with it when I’m eating. But the taste isn’t bad, and the nutrition is outstanding. I added sliced banana and a few walnuts and I’ll make it again soon. I used my homemade almond milk, white chia seeds, about a tablespoon of raw cacao powder, a dash of garam masala spice, and a packet of stevia. It lasts a few days in the frig, and traveled well with me (in a small cooler).

I’ve made a really good marinated Asian tofu this week, with wasabi and rice. Forgot the whole “I’m a blogger” thing for that meal, so I’ll make it again soon and take pictures. The recipe is also from Veganomicon, and it is delicious. Served with sautéed broccoli and mushrooms, and rice, it was four full meals for me.

Okay, now that I am slightly caught up with recipes, I’m going to sleep. My momma!! is coming to visit this weekend so we’ll make something yummy together. Oh- Chloe owes you a post on her Lemon Poppyseed Cake- and yes, there is a piece in the freezer awaiting me at the end of Lent. :-) I know it is a MMMMMMM.

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