Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Naked Sprout Raw Restaurant

Happy New Years Eve! What fun things will you be doing tonight to celebrate? Do you have a list of  resolutions for 2012? 

Today my man and I went to a hot flow yoga class at Chrysalis Yoga. I love checking out new studios when I travel, and it's always nice to enjoy someone else's class since I'm normally the one teaching. After a sweaty workout we stepped next door to The Naked Sprout raw restaurant for some lunch. After hearing good things about the restaurant from Marlie, I knew I had to venture over to it during my Christmas trip. 

It's a super cute restaurant with lots of natural light and wooden tables. The loungy couch area is perfect for sipping on drinks, and there's a Japanese style table with floor cushions which is where we sat. The place was empty and only 2 other tables filled up while we were there - I'm not sure if it's regularly slow or if it was due to New Years eve tonight.

I scoped out the menu beforehand and decided on the taco salad. I've made it and eaten it at other raw restaurants before so was curious to try it here. It was OK but overall I was disappointed. The chips had good crunch but completely flavorless. I expected a scoop of the "sunflower taco meat" but it was just taco meat "crumbs" sprinkled through the salad. Just a little drizzle of sour cream on top and the guacamole got lost in the lettuce. The salsa had a lot of onions which I don't like and picked out. On the positive, it was light and flavorful. My favorite is still Rawvolution's taco salad.

J got the lasagna. He'd hoped it could be warm (outta the dehydrator) - but no go. It was layers of sliced zucchini rounds with a big slice of tomato, marinated mushrooms, tomato sauce, and nut cheese. Not the most impressive looking lasagna, but he enjoyed it and the bite I took was lovely! All the flavors and textures together were great. I spread a little of the green cheese on one of my chips.

We just had to sample a dessert so shared a piece of pumpkin spice cheesecake. Good sized piece for $9. I could tell the crust was made with brazil nuts and coconut which was nice. The filling had perfect flavor and the texture was soft but "thick". It wasn't as silky as the cheesecakes I've made or eaten.

We enjoyed herbal teas too which came with these cute little timers depending how long you wanted it to steep. They have a huge selection of tasty looking teas.

On another note, with all the fresh snow here J got out his snowmobile for the first ride of the season. We had a fun ride last night!

I wish you a magnificent New Years Eve wherever you may be. We're heading out to a few places for some fun!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Merry Christmas Vacation

Merry Christmas! I hope you've had spectacular celebrations and are enjoying some time off work. For the first time in my life, I'm away from my family to spend the holidays with my sweetheart (a cool story about him in another post) and his family. Also for the first time in my life, I've had a green Christmas. I'm not talking about a tropical destination, but rather the Toronto area. We were hoping, wishing, praying for snow but it just didn't happen... until the 27th. Not so bad. It was an adjustment for me since I'm used to piles of snow at Christmas.
Within the first week of arrival I wound up with an eye infection. Not fun, but short lived and my eye is good to go. Otherwise, I've been having a marvelous time. We've done all kinds of great things. Here's just a bit.

A trip to Niagara on the Lake for a tour of 4 wineries, dinner at a fabulous restaurant, an overnight, and browsing the cute shops on main street. It's one of the cutest towns I've been to.
Here we are in a wine cellar at Laileys where we got to sample unfinished wines straight from the barrels! They make incredible ice wine too - which, of course, is especially great with high quality dark chocolate.

We had dinner overlooking Niagara Falls one night. The falls are lit up in different colors at night time on both the Canadian and American sides. It's so pretty! I got a pic before the colors started up and its fuzzy so I didn't take anymore, but at least you get an idea. There's something magical and mesmerizing about it.

After dinner in Toronto one night I had attempted a shot of the CN tower - it looks more like a psychedelic Christmas tower.

We took a hike along Rattlesnake Point Lookout on the Niagara Escarpment. Here's a shot from the top of my boyfriend's parents property.

Super cool rock stacks!

A little yoga on the rocks!

It looks funny, but was too cold to take my socks off. 

We took small trip to visit my best friend from college and her husband. Always great times when the two of us get together!

How did you spend the Christmas holidays?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Chocolate Covered Christmas

Happy Holidays! I'm sure you're busy getting ready for Christmas. I've been working hard, making lots of chocolates. Lots of them have been shipped all over the place and some of them are for gifts. Do you make any edible Christmas pressies?

Here's just a sampling of what I've been making this holiday...

Chocolate Covered Brownies.
I mean, it's a special time of year right? Gotta make the regular raw brownie even better!

Peek-a-boo! Choccies in tins are always cute. 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.
This was my first time making these, as I've only made almond butter and pistachio butter cups before. Raw chocolate with roasted peanut butter filling. These are for my darling who loves peanut butter and chocolate together.

They're jumbo style and totally yummalicious!

Choccie Fruit and Nut Clusters
Almonds, dried apricots, and raisins in dark chocolate. Can't go wrong with a cluster, plus they're so easy to make.

Nutty Choco Chip Balls
Dates, almonds, shredded coconut, and mini chocolate chips. This is a really easy gift if you're short on time.

I thought it was fun to wrap them in little colored foils.

Caramel Pecan Turtles and Cashew Turtles
I've made countless amounts of these guys. They're always requested and loved.

I intended on making my raw coconut vanilla granola but just didn't have the time, so I made this super easy baked granola with oats, honey, nuts, seeds, and vanilla. Simple and delish. Some friends got it bundled in cute little christmas bags, while others are getting it in a jar. Didn't capture a picture of this :(

Chocolate Truffles
These are selling like hotcakes. I'm making lots of flavors: dark chocolate, mint, orange, cinnamon spice, banana, coconut, peppermint coconut, hazelnut, and maca lucuma.

Cookie Caramel Peanut Chocolate Bars
The piece de resistance. My latest creation. Cashew cookie bottom topped with caramel with roasted peanuts and sprouted dehydrated buckwheat folded in - the whole thing covered in dark raw chocolate. These are divine!

What yummy things are you making for the holidays?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sweet N Crunchy

Last month this idea that popped into my head and I just had to try it. Lucuma Crunch Cups - which then turned into chocolate covered cups. Yum yum! Caramel flavor with crunchy bits. I absolutely adore mulberries and how they get crunchy when really cold. If you don't have them, use another dried fruit like goji berries or raisins - or omit entirely. I always keep a jar of sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat on hand for times like this (and particularly like it mixed into chocolate).

Lucuma Crunch Cups

4 tablespoons lucuma
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
4 tablespoons sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat
3 tablespoons mulberries
Full handful chopped cashews

In a bowl, whisk together the lucuma, syrup, coconut milk, and vanilla.
Add the coconut oil and whisk again.
(Whisk quickly or make sure the oil is warm to make sure the mixture doesn't start firming).
Add the dry items.
Spoon the mixture into mini silicone cups and chill in the fridge or freezer until firm.

Chocolate Lucuma Cups - I dipped the hard/chilled cups into melted basic raw chocolate and sprinkled them with dried maple flakes.