Raw Vegan Thai Zucchini Salad

by Bella

When I eat delicious,  fresh,  raw,  nutrient rich vegan food I feel good in mind and body.  It’s light,  energizing, cruelty-free and too good to keep to myself.

Easy to make and delicious with only 324 calories and packed full of nutrition, this is a must have recipe.

raw thai salad

Salad ingredients

Salad dressing

Dressing ingredients

SALAD:   

2 cups raw organic zucchini cut into thin strips
1 small raw carrot peeled and cut into thin strips
2 tbsps diced red bell pepper
1 small tomato diced                                                                                               

DRESSING:

1tsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp​ fresh crushed garlic
1/2 tsp​ ​crushed​red pepper2 tbsps liquid aminos
1 1/2 tsp​ ​apple cedar vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1tsp lemon juice
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/2 tsp​ fresh crushed garlic
1/2 tsp​ ​crushed​red pepper

GARNISH:

1 tbsp raw cashews (I used peanuts which aren’t raw)
1 tsp cilantro


Place all the salad ingredients  in big bowl.  Mix all the dressing ingredients and pour over salad.  Toss.  Garnish with raw cashews and cilantro. 

Yum!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The dirt on mushrooms.

by Bella (inspired by Jack)

We’re related to mushrooms. Jack broke the news to me just this morning. Will this show up in his genetic test? Well, considering that we share a common ancestor around 600 million years ago, probably not.

It’s true, according to a post on Mark’s Daily Apple.  Mushrooms are neither plant for animal Though more closely related to us than to a potato, they may not bare a resemblance with the exception of the Mario Bros. character, Toady, but apparently they have neurotransmitters just like us thinking mammals.

So the question is, “Are mushrooms still a vegan food?” Something to ponder.

If you’re curious and/or intrigued, like I was, check out the short, informative and to-the-point post here.

Even Toady was surprised to find out we’re related.

Raw Strawberry Buckwheat Porridge

by Bella

For me, it’s hard to beat almost any smoothie as my breakfast of choice, but Raw Buckwheat Porridge always comes out on top. Like a smoothie, it gives me a boost of energy. I always know the night before that I’m going to have buckwheat porridge for breakfast, because I have to soak the raw groats (Actually, Jack does it for me). When I wake up, and I know that I have that to look forward too, I jump out of bed and anxiously wait for Jack and Bo to get up too. The sound of the food processor will wake them, so I have to wait for what seems to be an excruciatingly long time for them to get up (it’s usually only about 1/2 hour to an hour – I’m hardly going to starve) before I can fire that puppy up and then tuck in to the creamy, fruity, refreshing deliciousness that is Raw Buckwheat Porridge. I’m salivating as I type this.

Do you see the spoon in the picture. I found it very difficult to wait. I had to get Bo to take these shots for me, and to stop me sneaking a bite and making a mess of the bowl.

I use the freshest, most vibrant, and sweet berries that I can find.

True raw foodests will have spotted the toasted coconut (not raw). The great thing about this recipe is that it can be done COMPLETELY raw, gluten-free and in a multitude of varieties, everyone of them yummiful. Yes! I just made that word up. When something tastes this good, there are no existing words to describe.  The recipe is for strawberry porridge, but you can substitute any berry you want. For that matter, you can change up or omit the pecans for your nuts of choice, and put in any variety of seeds, replace the banana and/or apple with juicy pears. It can also be topped off with granola or made creamier with a non-dairy yogurt in place of non-dairy milk. Experiment until you find your favorite.

Raw Strawberry Buckwheat Porridge

1/4 cup raw (gluten-free) buckwheat groats (soaked overnight)

3/4 cup fresh berries of your choice

1 medium size ripe banana

1/2 small apple

small handful of pecans

splash of vanilla

dash of pink Himalayan sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

small handful of shredded coconut

enough coconut milk to get a creamy consistency

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp ground flax

toasted coconut flakes, pecans and strawberries for garnish

Soak the buckwheat overnight. In the morning rinse thoroughly until no more frothy bubbles appear. Place groats in food processor and process until a paste starts to form (add a little coconut milk if needed so you don’t burn out the motor). Toss in the banana, apple and then strawberries and then add the vanilla, salt, cinnamon, pecans and shredded coconut with the rest of the coconut milk. Process until well combined, creamy and a little bit runny. Scoop out into your serving bowl, then ass the chia and flax, This is why you made it a bit runny, so that there’s enough liquid for the chia seeds and ground flax to soak up. Let it sit for as long as you can wait to thicken (for me that’s only about 10 minutes that feel like forever), then garnish with strawberries, pecans and coconut flakes.

Weird dream and beet greens smoothie

by Bella

Other than music and dance, what do Footloose and The Producers have in common? Absolutely nothing, until my whacked-out imagination randomly decided to combine the two in a dream.

About a month ago, I mentioned that I was going to blog about this, but then I suddenly, out of nowhere got the motivation to finally add a links page to my blog, so I posted about that ‘exciting’ topic instead. I keep getting visuals from the dream popping up at random times, like during staff meetings, that make me giggle. I figure this keeps happening because I have to get this out there.

Are you ready?

Picture this….

blended with this..

and you’ll have some idea of how unrelated these 2 things are.

I only remember snippets. The thing that stands out the most is the image of Kevin Bacon in his undershirt, grooving a Hitler ‘stache.

Don’t judge me!

My subconscious was out of control. Other than a whole lot of singing and dancing, there wasn’t any story line.

What do you think it means? I’d be interested to know.

To bring things back to earth, I have to share this over the moon delicious recipe that I threw together as randomly as my brain threw together that dream.

I had never tried beet greens before, after hearing about smoothies with iron rich beet greens from Raw Food YouTubers and bloggers like Emily von Euw of this Rawsome Vegan Life, Ka Sundance, ShaktiGoddess, Fully Raw Kristina and Dara, I decided to give it a go.

When I started, I had no idea what beet greens would taste like, so I just grabbed some things that I had on hand, tossed them together and hoped for the best. What I got was so amazingly dreamy and invigorating, that I forgot to take a picture until it was nearly all gone.

This was all that remained of a whole pitcher full. I struggled to stop sucking it back to take this picture. Sorry it’s blurry. It’s amazing that I got a picture at all.

Beet Green Smoothie

Greens from approximately 4 beets (about 2-3 cups)

3 medium size bananas (frozen or not. I used fresh and ripe)

1/2 cup cherries (frozen or not. I used frozen)

3/4 cup flavored yogurt of your choice (I used drinkable banana strawberry. Note: use dairy alternative yogurt for vegans)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

about 1 1/2 cups of water (coconut water if you prefer)

Load the bananas in the bottom of the blender with yogurt, vanilla and water, then top with cinnamon cherries and beet greens. Blend until smooth then try to be civilized enough to pour it into a jar or glass, because it’s going to be tempting to drink it straight from the pitcher.

The gift of experience – Conveyor belt sushi

by Bella

We don’t give physical gifts for birthdays and holidays. We give experiences. Let’s face it, today most people already have more than they need, making it difficult to give them something they’ll appreciate and more importantly, remember. We just don’t even want to go down that road. On our minimalist journey, we’re nearly to the point where we have only what we need and little more, so instead of buying gifts for each other than we don’t need, we give the gift of experience.

Bo had her 16th birthday a few days back and we let her choose what she wanted to do to mark the occasion. She chose to go to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant. Because we don’t live anywhere near one of those, it meant a short trip and hotel stay. So really the birthday experience was more than just the restaurant, but the restaurant was definitely the hi-light.

We were blown away by the variety and abundance of sushi floating past us. The conveyor belt itself creates and interesting atmosphere and the decor and lighting gave it a very clean, modern Japanese feel.

The conveyor belt of deliciousness.

I’m going to let the pictures tell the rest of the story about the food and decor. We had a great time. Most importantly, Bo had a memorable birthday.

Veggie roll with sprouts

Edamame in a box. We had to make a “boxfree” exception in this case.

My personal favorite….          Avocado roll

Raw vegan grated parmesan cheese – the MUST HAVE recipe

I make “shaky cheese” (this is what we endearingly refer to this flavorful delight as) nearly every week. It’s our family’s must have, go to condiment.  The best thing about it is that it’s good for you. It’s loaded with nutrients that are especially hard to get on a raw vegan diet.

It contains

Brazil nuts which are a much needed source of selenium

Nutritional yeast is often fortified with  almost impossible to get B12 vitamin

Himalayan sea salt is loaded with minerals

And

Fresh garlic. Well the Huffington Post refers to it as the “smelly superfood” (BTW- I actually love the smell) with 11 health benefits.

Only 4 ingredients and so much nutrition: nutritional yeast flakes, garlic, Brazil nuts, and Himalayan seas salt.

I used the Cuisinart mini-prep again. I’m so pleased with my Costco bargain (see my recipe for Raw Chocolate Avocado Pudding for more info).

Just put all the ingredients in the processor and grind it up.

Process until it’s the consistency of grated Parmesan cheese.

Store it in a jar in the fridge.

It keeps for quite a while in the fridge (about 2 weeks), but believe me, it won’t last that long.

We put it on pasta, pizza, chili, salads, wraps, and just about everything that’s savory.

Now regarding the ratios of the ingredients. Like so many raw vegan dishes, it’s ultimately up to you and how you like it.  Remember that you can’t ruin raw vegan food, because you can just add more of something else to balance out the flavor, than mix it up again.

Here’s how we like it:

1 cup Bazil nuts

1/3 cup fortified nutritional yeast flakes

2 average size garlic cloves

1 tsp salt

Raw Creamy Chocolate Avocado Pudding- It’s so simple

by Bella

I love desserts that are Oh! so satisfying and good for you too. Avocado pudding fits the bill on both counts.

I made this this week for the first time. I can’t believe I never tried it before. It’s one of those easy to make, raw food essential recipes, like banana ice cream.

Basically, you put all of the ingredients in the food processor and turn it on.  I recently got a steal of a deal on a Cuisinart Mini Prep at Costco – ONLY $19.99. About 6 weeks ago, I sold my far too large food processor with it’s zillions of attachments. I had used it for 5 years, it still looked like new and I got my money back out of it ($85). So now I have only what I need and was able to pocket the difference.

Check out my awesome bargain full of pudding.

Look at how creamy this is.

Avocado Pudding

3 medium size ripe avocados

4-6 tablespoons maple syrup (sweeten to your liking)

1/2 cup carob powder (if you prefer cocao or cocoa, go for it!)

add coconut water until you get the right consistency (everyone knows what pudding consistency is, don’t they?)

Slice the avocados and put them in the food processor with everything else. Go easy on the coconut milk adding it as you need it. You don’t want to end up with runny pudding. Although one of the many great things about raw foods is that you can’t really mess it up. If it does get to runny or it’s too sweet, if you have more avocado on hand, you can just add it. The worst that could happen is that you make more than you originally planned. For me, more chocolate pudding is not a problem. So you’ve got your ingredients in the processor, so turn it on. I had to take the top off several times and scrape the sides with a rubber spatula and I gradually added the coconut milk, so that took more than a few additions and more scraping. Other than that, the food processor does all the work. Once it’s fully combined, scoop into serving bowls and devour. Don’t forget to lick the spatula after serving it up.