Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Countdown!

Im getting soooo excited! In a matter of 4 days Darwin and I will be on the airplane on our way to Fiji! Packing is a bit of a challenge though. Only because I cant do it the way i normally would - which is triple of what I will need. Not this time! I will have a backpack, so what i bring is what i have to carry. Yup, good experience for me!

K, i dont appreciate seeing a warning for tourists travelling to Fiji!!!! It basically said that a person should only go if they absolutely NEED to! Yikers! I called up the travel cuts people in winnipeg who I am dealing with and they assured me that this is normal (huh??) - and that people still travel regardless. Bottom line: register with the canadian consulate upon arrival.

On the raw side, i made a carrot cake yesterday. It turned out OK but i think i used to many carrots - it was Alissa's recipe, but when she said 7 carrots...well that could mean anything, so I used 7 medium which think were too big. Oh well, better luck next time. The icing was excellent though!!! Yumm!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Raw Dinner Party

After slaving away in the kitchen over the hot stove....i mean dehydrator, juicer, and food processor - I held a successful dinner last nite. 13 people around the table but i made enough food for 20!!! (2 ppl couldnt make it last minute).

Everything went as planned from start to finish. My mom joined a second table onto our dining table to accomodate people...with white table clothes, candle centerpieces - and she set the mood in the living room with many candles and music from around the world. As soon as people arrived, they were handed an apple/lime cocktail (nonalcoholic). Soon after I passed around crunchy asian sticks with dipping sauce, and pesto stuffed mushrooms. "is this really raw!?" they asked. hehe - yes, raw food CAN look like the cooked version, esp when the dehydrator is involved.

Next, i got the "buffet" set up in the kitchen. The line started with 2 big salads, and 2 bowls of of chips - corn chips, and chili chips. The burrito section was next. Lots of lettuce "tortilla wraps" and various toppings to fill them with: salsa, guacamole, sour cream, nacho cheeze, refried beans, and "where's the beef?". I did a quick demo to show the guests how it was done, and then everyone followed, stacking up their plates. A carrot juice "shot" was served alongside their meal. I heard comments like "wow, i never expected carrot juice to taste like this!" and "i thought it would taste like a V8 cocktail". lol

Here are the fillings and "wraps".

After 2 plates of food for most people, it was time for dessert. My newest creation that im quite proud of...altho im not too sure yet of its name. Anyway... A cheesecake-type thing with a crust on the bottom, thick chocolate layer, layer of raspberries and then a white cheesecake layer. Topped with a raspeberry sauce. I have to admit they looked beautiful and tasted just as great!!!!

I am so happy that people enjoyed the evening! I am already planning the next dinner party for when i return in the summer. A raw pizza party on my dock! Woo hoo!

Here we are enjoying the dessert..mmmmm!

Today I will relax and do some yoga. OH and did i mention leftovers! We'll be eating this all week, and i will with delight! I like to compare it to christmas dinner (even tho i dont like the dinner itself). Growing up, this has always been a busy day for my family. Practically running from one event to the next with almost no chance to fully enjoy. Boxing day is when we get to enjoy the new gifts, family, friends, and leftovers. :D

Friday, January 19, 2007

A day of UNcooking

Today was full of UNcooking - yup, cooking in the raw :D (altho i still managed to burn my finger! - on the woodstove).
I am preparing for a raw food dinner party tomorrow nite. 15 people and its a mexican theme (cept the appys).

Here's whats on the menu:
Apple/lime cocktail

Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms
Asian crunch sticks with sesame lime dipping sauce

Corn Chips
Lettuce "tortilla wraps"
Sour Cream
Ground Beef
Refried Beans
Nacho Cheeze
Carrot juice "shots"

Chocolate raspeberry cheesecake with raspberry sauce

Whew, and now im tired...more work to be done tomorrow. I really hope everyone enjoys!

On another note, I got word today that our work visa's have been processed for NZ. So everything is set and now we just have to pick it up in winnipeg on friday. OMG...thats only a week away!!! Yippeee!!! Fiji - fruit, sun, beach, rainforest, and my sweetheart :)

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My raw food class!

Tonite was my first public raw food class. Ive done little ones in the past for friends and stuff, but this time was the real deal! lol
It was a complete success, im very happy and proud to say! Everyone enjoyed the food, asked lots of questions and seemed very interested in these new possibilities.

Me teaching...
I really thought i was going to be totally nervous and do "bad", but i felt completely comfortable up there once i got going. Afterall, im very comfortable with food, and i like to tell people about a raw food diet if they are open to hearing about it.
I mentioned that i will be teaching a series of classes in the summer and a bunch of people were interested and wrote down their email to be informed.

Here's what I made in the class:

Zucchini Pasta with Marinara Sauce

2 small zucchinis

1.5 cups tomatoes
2 cups sun dried tomatoes, soaked a few hours
2-4 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup basil leaves
1-2 dates or 2 tsp agave
1 tsp sea salt

Peel and slice zucchini into long strips (noodles) using a spiroli slicer, or mandoline.
Blend the remaining ingredients together until smooth. Serve with zucchini noodles.

Brownie Balls

1 cup walnuts, soaked
1 cup dates, pitted
¼ cup carob powder

Process all ingredients in a food processor until it comes together into a dough. Roll into balls. Optional: roll into shredded coconut or extra carob powder. Chill in the freezer.

Note: To make brownies, double the recipe and press into the bottom of an 8” or 9” pan instead of rolling into balls.

Banana ice cream

Peel 3 or more bananas. Freeze and then puree in a food processor or high speed blender until creamy and smooth.

Ice Cream Sundae

Carob sauce:
¼ cup carob powder
5 dates, soaked OR 4 Tbsp raw honey
water as needed for blending

Blend together until smooth. Add water slowly so that it because sauce-like.
Top bananas with berries, chopped nuts, and carob sauce.

Tonite my corn chips FINALLY finished dehydrating! Yippeeee...after 24 hours! And it was the first time, with no recipe so i was hoping they would turn out. Drum roll please....OMG they are sooo damn good!!!! I can only imagine what they are gonna be like with the salsa and guacamole!

The only problem is that i didnt want to make a HUGE batch since it was the first time. But now I think I need more since there will be 15 ppl for the dinner. But its also hard to guage how much each person will eat.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Raw Food...

These days everything in my life is raw food! I even find myself dreaming about it - how cool is that? Tomorrow Im teaching a raw food class for a bunch of "first timers" so i really hope they like what i have to show them. Ive been preparing a power point presentation to briefly explain the basics of raw food - why, what, how, etc. Then Ill be getting into the fun part - preparing 4 dishes for them to try.

Starting off with my creamy veggie dip, then onto zucchini pasta w marinara sauce, brownie balls, and banana ice cream. ive also typed up the recipes for everyone to take home, and of course they will get the sample everything. One of the ladies signed up for the class told my mom that she wont eat raw fish! LOL My mom reassured her that there will be no raw meat, fish, or dairy.

I must admit, im nervous about teaching this class. For starters, they all work for the hospital - nurses, dieticians...you know - the highly educated folk who may challenge some of what i have to say. Then i fear that i might not have the right reply.

Plus I have a fear of public speaking. Yes, something I must get over! So I suppose it will go the way its going to go, and I can only hope I teach them all something new that they will find interesting.
Here's the veggie dip recipe that I will be preparing during the class.

RAW Veggie Dip

-3/4 cup cashews
-1 avocado
-juice of 1 lemon
-1 large clove garlic
- few Tbsp water
- approx. 2 inch cube of peeled cucumber
- 1/2 tsp finely grated white onion
- 4 sun dried tomatoes, rehydrated and minced

Puree everything EXCEPT the sun dried tomato. Add that in at the end.

I'm also busy cooking for clients, and planning my big raw food dinner this saturday. I have already made the pesto for the stuffed mushroom caps, which is in the freezer. then i just thaw, stuff and dehydrate. Tonite Im making the corn chips :D yummm!!!! I seriously cant wait for this Raw Mexican Feast!

On another note, Darwin is coming home tonite! Yippeee....cant wait to see him. he's been gone almost 5 days but it feels like forever!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Some photos to kick start my blog :D

I realized that should have put a pic of myself in my first post...so here it is. This is me! :)

And also in regard to my last post, i wanted to add a pic of the winter wonderland, altho this pic was taken a few days ago when it wasnt almost -30C (which it now is)!!!

And on a final note for the night, i wanted to remember what summer looks like here when my lake and the lawn isnt covered in ice and snow *sigh*

My first post of my first blog!

Well, i figured that it was high time i start a blog. I mean, afterall, everyone else in the world has one and i should too!

Im quite excited about it, esp as i can document my raw journey and upcoming trip abroad. In fact, its high time i leave the cold: -16C at this very moment. Uh yeah, you know - the kind of cold that makes me feel like ive run a marathon after walking outside for 5 minutes because the freezing air cuts into my lungs. However, i know that in 2 weeks I will be lying on the beaches of Fiji and cold winter will seem like a thing of the past...Booyah!!!

Speaking of Fiji, i have to say that its the part of my trip that Im most excited about so far. Being in the tropics, swimming in the ocean and eating tropical fruit....treking through the rainforest and camping in safari style tents with ensuite bathrooms in the middle of the bush. Thats my dream come true :) And going back to the fruit part for a minute - I love fruit. Any fruit really, but in particular the tropical stuff like mangoes, pineapple, papaya, bananas, young coconuts - all of which grow there and im hoping and praying that I will get the chance to pick these gems right off the trees! It will be easy being a raw foodist there!

On another note...
The joys of being raw...

Tonight we went out to celebrate a friend's birthday. Dinner and dessert - the birthday cake made by me. A 3 layer rich chocolate cake with ganache frosting. Decadent is a good word to describe it.
Now, living in a small town where the restaurant selection is sparce, its quite difficult to find a "raw food meal". Meaning, very low salad selection let alone anything else in the raw department. So I ordered a "leafy green salad" with olive oil and lemon on the side. Silly me, i thought it was going to be a somewhat decent portion since there was also an appetizer size.
This salad could fit into my 2 palms put together. I was hungry when we arrived and I think i was even hungrier when i finished the salad. So what did I do? I ordered another, and thought about the raw brownies i had started making before leaving the house. Darn, i had so meant to bring the 1/2 avocado sitting in my fridge because i KNEW this would happen.
Moral of the story - bring nuts or avocado for my salad next time.
Then it was time for cake. It was fun because i got to carry it out with all the candles lit and everyone sang Happy Birthday as I placed it in front of the guest of honour. They all ooooh'd and ahhh'd at the cake as i sliced it into wedges. But alas, no piece for me....and you know, when all was said and done, i really didnt mind. I didnt feel sorry for myself or anything like that. Instead I felt like i was enjoying as everyone else sat there enjoying their piece. Plus I knew i had raw brownies waiting for me at home, and honestly I think they are even better!