Friday, March 28, 2008

Dessert Has Arrived

Alright, so to make up for the lack of recipes in my last post, here are two desserts that I've made in the past week...what I call "throw togethers", lol. Because of this, I don't have exact measurements of anything.
Triple Berry Pie
(Can you tell, this was an Easter treat?)

Crust: sunflower seeds, almonds, dates, coconut, and a pinch of sea salt

Process all ingredients into a crumbly mixture and then press into the bottom of a pie plate or springform pan. Next, add a layer of sliced bananas (if desired - I love this).

Filling: blueberries, raspeberries, blackberries, coconut oil, raw honey, cashews

Blend all ingredients until completley smooth and creamy. Pour over the bananas and crust. Chill until the filling can hold it's shape.
Top with berries, more sliced banana, nuts, or whatever you enjoy.

(I've topped mine with little bits of raspberries)

(Here are you can see the banana in between the crust and filling)


Parfaits
The other evening we had a few friends over for a visit. Of course this is just an excuse to have dessert, LOL. With only a small amount of time, I whipped up two puddings and served them in martini glasses, layered with a nut crumble.


Apricot Vanilla Cream- A blend of soaked apricots and their soak water, macadamia nuts, raw honey, and pure vanilla extract (that a friend recently brought me from Mexico, yay!)

Berry Cream- A blend of blueberries, raspberries, cashews, agave, lemon juice, water, and sea salt

Nut Crumble- A mixture of almonds, pecans, dates, and dried apricots


So let me be Rachael Ray for a minute and say "A great dessert is never more than 30 minutes away!" Remember that.

Bahama Mamas!

So as I mentioned in my previous post, my friend Kristen and I recently headed down to Nassau, Bahamas for a week of fun in the sun. Kristen was the first friend I made when I lived down in the Washington, DC area a few years ago and we have been close ever since. The last time we saw each other was when she came to visit me here in Canada two summers ago. This time we decided to leave our men at home and have a ladies getaway during her spring break (she's a high school teacher). I always find a way to escape the cold winter - I was so grateful for this vacation!

We spent most of our time outside on the white sand beach, chatting up a storm, reading, and working on our golden tans. We also got familiar with the bus, as we rode it into the city on multiple occations to shop at the big straw market and look around. I was hoping for a market full of tropical fruits, but this one contained hand made items like wood carvings, palm baskets, jewlery, etc. Still fun to check it all out and pick out some souveniers for friends/family at home.


Young coconuts were in abundance on the trees, however, I had to buy them - for $5 each! Wild eh? All the way up here they only cost $2-3. They really know how to pull in the tourists, I tell ya. In Fiji and Vanuatu, I picked as many coconuts as my heart desired, for free. Guess I was hoping it would be like this in the Bahamas too. Anyway, I sure did enjoy this coconut to the max!
I also tried another fruit, but I can't for the life of me remember the name of it, nor do I have a pic. It was a brown ball that could fill the palm of my hand. The inside had a super sweet flesh with a hint of cinnamon flavour. If this sounds familiar to anyone reading this, please let me know what it is.


One day we ventured over to Paradise Island, in a little boat. This is where the infamous Atlantis Resort is - a huge attraction that has something for everyone - a grand casino, water park, private beachs, pools, spa, fitness center, great shopping, restaurants, aquariums, etc. We had fun exploring the place, and then walked back over a massive bridge (which is where this picture is taken from).

Aren't the flowers beautiful?!
My only advice to someone who is thinking about travelling here is: go in January or February - NOT during spring break (March). There were a ton of high school and college students at our "all you can drink" resort. I'm sure you know what that means. Yes, it was super crazy. One guy threw his queen size matress over his balcony and into the pool one night!!!


Here are some fish in one of the aquarium's at Atlantis. I think they're fabulous!


Alrighty, so that was a little blurb about what I've been up to lately. Sorry I don't have any exciting recipes or food ideas to share with you, but I promise that my next post will!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Blast From the Past

Well, I've been hit - rather, tagged, by Shannonmarie of Rawdorable, which means I get to share 5 things about myself that you don't already know. This sort of came to me in a timely fashion, as just the other day the main computer of the house got a virus and had to be taken to the doctor. So, out came my laptop, which I got a few years back, near the end of college. Consequently, the computer contains heaps of old (or at least seems old) pics. Ah, I love a stroll down memory lane. Anyway, before this computer incident, I couldn't think of what my 5 things would be - the ol' pics have given me some ideas.

Without further adieu...

#1: I am very spiritual and always have been. I guess you could say I come by it honestly, as my aunt (mom's sister) is a Swami (Radhakrishnananda) at the Yasodhara Ashram, out in the mountains of British Columbia, Canada. Ever since I was a little girl, my mom took me out there in the summer, and while she participated in adult programs, I got to enjoy children's activities. I still have the clearest memories of being there even at the young age of 5. I went for the first time myself when I was 18, and did a karma yoga program (where I quickly found my way into the kitchen) along with a "Matters of the Heart" course, which was absolutely wonderful. They hold all kinds of programs, retreats, meditation, yoga, and have a spiritual/yoga based magazine called Ascent. Pictured here is the meditation temple where satsang is held every night along with other things. I just love it!

#2. When I was 21, I lived just outside of Washington, DC for over a year. I had never been to the capital city before, and never really had a desire to go there (or so I thought), but was really blown away by the energy I felt there. Such power. It was fun seeing all the famous landmarks, especially the White House! You see, our capital city here in Canada - Ottawa, has nowhere near the intensity level of DC. As far as I know, our Prime Minister (no, we don't have a president) doesn't like in a house like this!

I had the time of my life that year. Kristen was the first friend I made (at Bally's Gym), and we have been close ever since. She came to visit me 2 summers ago, and in a few days we are going to the Bahamas together for a week of hot weather.
(Another little fact: I've had blonde hair until about 2 years ago).


#3. I am an only child, however, at the age of 5, a girl in a wheelchair came to live with us, during the school year, as her community didn't have a school that was wheelchair accessible. She lived with us until I was 14, so it was practically like having a sister. Unfortunately, while on vacation, I always had to play with myself, since Jenny was with her own family during those times. I also think that as a result of being an only child, I became really close with my mom - she is one of my very best friends, and I am so grateful for her.

#4. When I was 17 I did a Rotary exchange program to the French side of Belgium to live with a family. Their daughter who is my age, first came to Canada to live with my family and I before we went back to her country. We got in on a canoe trip for international exchange students that happens here every year. It was so much fun - I was the only Canadian student. I loved being amongst youth from all over the world. Most of them had never set foot in a canoe before, let alone take a 10 day trip in one, portaging through the forest with a boat overhead and a heavy pack on their back. It was hilarious! In Belgium I was happy to practice my French, as my host family didn't speak any English. We went to their summer house on the North Coast of France for a few weeks and then travelled to see various chateaus (castles), and finally, down to Paris to check out all the sights. It had been a long time dream of mine to see the Ifle Tower!

#5. Ok, this one is pretty lame, but I honestly couldn't think of anything else interesting...I have this terrible pet peeve with my bathing towels falling on the floor. Haha, I know, it sounds ridiculous. My boyfriend says I'm germ crazy - I just can't stand using a towel on my body and face that has touched hairs, dust, or "who knows what else" on the floor.

Well, that wraps things up for now. So I get the pleasure of passing on the "torch" to 5 other people, who are: HiHoRosie, Yardsnacker, Courtney, Sunshine, and April. Here are the rules: Link to your tagger and post these rules. Share 5 facts about yourself. Tag 5 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them). Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"D" Day Goes Savory

As I mentioned in my last post, I had a big savory "D" (dehydrator) day recently. I adore days like this where I spend the greater part of my day in the kitchen, working away while listening to tunes. It makes my heart sing!

Anyway, here are a few of those goodies. I decided to use Alissa's calzone crust as a pizza crust, but ended up having enough dough to do the calzone as well. This is made up of flax seeds, carrots, and sprouted buckwheat, along with an interesting mix of herbs/spices. I made her creamy spinach recipe for one of the fillings and then changed up the cheese, making an almond/pumpkin seed cheese. For the marinated veggies, I used red pepper, portobello, and button mushrooms. For anyone who has her book, I recommend this recipe! It's a real winner and you can easily experiment with different fillings. Alissa's definately looks better, but mine, did taste fabulous!

Next up was a burger recipe from The Raw 50 - and of course I had to add "this and that" to create my own version:

1 cup soaked almonds
1 cup soaked sunflower seeds
1/2 cup minced celery
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/3 cup grated carrot
2 tbs raw tahini
2 tbs sesame seeds
1 tbs minced raw olives
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tsp dehydrated onion flakes
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
Garlic powder, to taste
Sea salt, to taste

Mix all ingredients together in a food processor, shape into patties and dehydrate until your desired texture is achieved.

My mom loved the burger, complete with a portobello bun, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, almond cheese, and raw (Bubbies) pickles! She couldn't get over the size of it...and half to eat half the next day!


The next recipes gives my boyfriend a good chuckle. "I'm having steak for dinner tonight!" I've exclaimed a few days lately. "What are you reeeally having?" he asks, What type of vegetable is it this time?" Any vegetarian or vegan knows that a portobello mushroom is the "meat" of the veggie world. I recently tried out this recipe with a client, had a taste, and knew I had to make it sooner rather than later. The best part is that it's so suuuper duper easy, your head would spin. Plus, you don't have to do exactly what the recipe says. For the veggies on top, just use what you've got on hand. I chose grape tomatoes and cucumber, on a bed of sprouts. As for the cheese, that's optional as well - I only used it because I had it on hand. I topped off this dish with a twisty buckwheat bread stick.
By Rhio, found on goneraw.com

2 portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tbs nama shoyu
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp cardamom
2 tsp garlic powder
1 Ume plum, seeded and mashed (I used apple cider vinegar)
Mix liquids and spices. Marinate mushroom slices.
1 red or yellow pepper, sliced thin
1 cup chopped veggies of your choice
1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
Mix veggies and toss with the mushroom marinade (after draining it).
After marinating my "steaks", I dehydrated them for a few hours to warm and "cook" them.

Tangy Dilly Cabbage Salad

Here's the salad I've practically been living off this week - it's my new favourite. When I run out, I make another batch immediately, lol. I chop all the veggies (takes 10 mins for a huge mixing bowl), add the remaining ingredients, mix, taste, re-season. Done! Use any veggies you like. Here's what I put in mine:

red cabbage
purple cabbage
grated carrot
cherry tomatoes
fresh dill
red pepper
celery
cucumber
red chard
soaked sunflower seeds
apple cider vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
caraway seeds
sea salt

With leftover dough from the bread sticks, above, I made turnover/pockets, since I had kale, I mean, spinach patty filling all ready to go. I had part of an apple (don't even remember now what that was from), so decided to chop and add it for a touch of sweetness and crunch (the white chunks in the green part). We had these pockets with dill dip (macadamias, pine nuts, lemon, water, lots of fresh dill, sea salt), and the dilly cabbage salad. Yuummmmy. I must make these again and then come back with a real recipe to share.


Another item on the menu this week was veggie ratatouille pasta. Based on the zucchini ratatouille from Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine, I made a veggie version with red pepper, zucchini, and mushrooms. I chopped the veg into big bite sized pieces, tossed with some olive oil and sea salt, then dehydrated for a few hours to soften. Next, I used the same basic sundried tomato sauce I always use, and tossed with zucchini angel hair pasta, the veg, fresh basil, and topped it off with pine nut parmesan cheese.
This was something I whipped up when I didn't have much time, and served it to someone who had never eaten a raw meal before. She loved it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Some Meals of the Week

I recently made Snowdrop's sesame nuggets for the third time, these are always a taste of heaven - she is ingenious, I tell ya! I remember clearly, the first time I made these, with Carmella during our diva uncooking extravaganza. These gems were near the top of our "to do" list that week, and we were two happy girls when they came out so well.

Ok, so I ended up getting a 2 for 1 deal this week when I had leftover sauce from this recipe. For a quick and easy dish I mixed together spiralized zucchini, chopped veggies, the sweet n sour sauce, a sprinkling of sesame seeds and some spicy seasoned nuts - Dinner in less than 10 minutes. Donchya just love those?


My mom had a hankering for pizza ever since we enjoyed it at Tree of Life. I'm now in the midst of teaching her how to make these things - yay! So we enjoyed pizza for dinner together one evening this week . I keep a stack of dehydrated crusts on hand for convenience, so all I need to do is throw together a sauce and top with whatever else I fancy (or have on hand, really). It's such a great way to use up leftovers as well, because (in my opinion), anything savory goes great on pizza!

A sprouted almond/veggie pulp/yellow flax seed crust made up the base, topped with a basic sundried tomato marinara: hydrated sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, red bell pepper, fresh basil, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, dried oregano, and garlic. Over that I layered thin rounds of zucchini, and strips of red bell pepper, followed by chopped red chard mixed with some basil pesto (something else I like to make a big batch of and always have on hand). Next I added crumbled up nutloaf (another leftover item in the fridge), and last but definately not least - a drizzling of cheesey goodness - Made with macadamia nuts, pine nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, water, and sea salt.

I like to pop my pizza back into the dehydrator for a quick warm up and to "set" the cheese. Crazy how much it really does look like cheese by the end.

I also had a savory "D" day this week. I made two types of buckwheat based pizza crusts (one of Alissa's and the other from Rainbow Green Live Food Cuisine), Alissa's calzone (I can't believe this was my first time making it!), curried nuts/seeds, almond pulp (for that smooth silky flour that I love), bread sticks, dried sprouted buckwheat, burgers from The Raw 50, and kale patties (which I converted into spinach/chard patties). I highly recommend eating the kale patty mixture as a spread as well, without the dehydration. It's delish! A few of these items will be in upcoming posts, if I can manage it.