Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Eating Out At Prasad & Preparing For October

Is it Wednesday already? I've been busy getting ready for MoFo and Raw Balance, which both start on Saturday, and I'm uber-excited about both events!  Every day in October I'll be posting about Fall Themed High Raw Vegan Food.  There will be something new and yummy every day starting Saturday.   Think pumpkins & apples & Halloween.  Fun!

In the meantime I thought I'd share some delicious high raw vegan meals we enjoyed recently at Prasad.  Prasad is a cafe in a yoga studio in Portland's Pearl District.  It's a happy, healthy, friendly place that serves fresh vegan food, juices, and smoothies. 

yam rice, shredded kale, avocado half, walnut taco crumbles & fresh
tomatoes with a side of jalapeno cashew cheese

bhutanese red rice, kale, curry sauce

carrot, beet, celery, ginger, apple, cilantro

Check out the avocado with the Bravo Bowl!  Drooling yet?  Eating at Prasad has inspired me to make Bowls at home.  Veggies + grains + sauce = a great way to use up left-overs and make tasty meals.  And I can't pass up a juice that includes beets.  I have a weakness for pretty food.  

I hope you're having a lovely week.  The next few days are the calm before the storm around here.  See you for MoFo awesomeness on Saturday morning!!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Simple Eats For Busy Work Days

Wow, it's been a busy week!  So, I thought I'd let you in on a little behind the scenes Fresh Young Coconut insider information blahblah.... If it's quiet around here on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays every week it's because my alter-ego is off working with people on the other end of the health spectrum.  Some of you probably already know that I'm a Registered Nurse.  One of the reasons I'm such a cheerleader for the vegan and raw lifestyle is because I see first-hand the consequences of sickness and disease when they've reached the point of needing surgical intervention.  I have literally held hearts in my hands that can no longer function properly because the vessels are so occluded by plaque and fatty deposits.  My job inspires me to lead a healthy lifestyle and to hopefully inspire those around me to make healthy choices so that our long term quality of life can be awesome!  And that's why my posts are sparse and I don't visit the blogs I love and I sometimes can't respond to comments until Thursdays.  But Thursdays are great because I get to catch up.  Fun!

With such a busy start to my weeks I eat quick & simple foods. Like these:

 Roasted Roots Wrap from Kitchen Dances

 Hearty Salad for Lunch featuring hemp seeds, currents, nutritional yeast, sunflower seeds, pecans, tomatoes, cabbage and arugula

Chia Pudding, Hearty Lunch Salad, Gala Apple, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Quinoa
Keeping it simple and using up left-overs from the weekend is my key for making it to Thursday.  I also rely on a lot of fresh fruits & veggies.   Do you have a strategy for keeping yourself full of delicious, healthy foods on your busy days?

And I know we're all kind of experiencing different opinions about things like spirulina and chia drinks.  But I thought I'd share, even though I'm pretty sure my taste buds are in the minority on this subject.  I tried the chia kombucha in several flavors and LOVED all of them.  Haha, what can I say?  My tastebuds are wacky.  Anyways, I made this drink at home and enjoyed it very much:

 water, spirulina, lemon juice, and ch-ch-ch-chia!

Feel free to be grossed out in my comments!  But, apparently my taste buds have a mind of their own.  Rebels :)

With Vegan MoFo coming up in just over a week (YAY) I've been doing lotsa planning so I can post every single day for the month of October.  I now have a link on my sidebar in case anyone wants to sign up *wink-wink*. 

Hope everyone enjoys the final day of Summer.  Tomorrow is the start of my most favorite season.  xoxo!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Super Morning Coconut Drink

Sometimes I make something so simple and obvious that I hesitate to post it here, for fear that people are going to look at it and go, "um, duh".  But sometimes it's so good, like today, that I think sharing is nice.  Also, posting yet another blended green drink might not be as exciting to you all as it is to me.  But, this is my blog and I love my blended greens and this one involves a young Thai coconut. 

Three ingredients:
1 young Thai coconut, flesh + water
1 handful spinach
1 tablespoon spirulina

Now, you probably should like the taste of spirulina if you're going to love this.  I happen to enjoy spirulina by the spoonful and could eat it on its own or sprinkled on just about anything. This drink also lets the fresh sweet taste of the coconut shine through.  That makes me double happy.

Do you like the taste of spirulina?  If you make this drink let me know what you think.  And have a super Sunday!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Sweet Saturday: Chocolate Almond Butter Cup Cookies

Drizzly overcast days are great for spending in the kitchen with a buzzing dehydrator.  I was in the mood for something chocolate and gooey and full of good nutrition.  These cookies were just the thing I needed to make my sweet tooth happy.  Especially when eaten warm from the dehydrator.

Chocolate Almond Butter Cup Cookies

1 cup raw pecans
1 cup raw walnuts
1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
1 Tablespoon melted coconut oil
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 Tablespoon maca powder
2 Tablespoons raw cacao powder
4 medjool dates, pitted

Mix all ingredients in your food processor until well combined and starting to form into a ball.  Drop by tablespoons onto teflex dehydrator sheet.  Make a well in the center of each cookie with your finger.  Fill each cookie with 1/2 teaspoon Almond Butter Filling:

Almond Butter Filling

1/3 cup almond butter
2 Tablespoons agave or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon maca

After all of the cookies are filled with the Almond Butter Filling place the tray in the dehydrator for 2-3 hours or until cookies are warm.  Share with friends.  Make them ooh and ahhhh, then tell them that what they're eating is living nutritious vegan food that will make them feel amazing. 

Hope your Saturday is sweet!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Announcements: MoFo, Raw Food Rehab, and Naked Food

Good Morning, Friday!  I'm feeling awesome this morning for many reasons and I'm super excited to make some announcements before the weekend.  First of all, in the blink of an eye Fall weather has arrived in Portland.  One day it was 90 degrees and sunny and then suddenly we have a chill in the air, gray skies, and sprinkles of rain.   I'm an Oregon girl all the way and love everything about this weather!  Boots and cardigans and pumpkins, yay!  My first announcement has a Fall theme.  This year's Vegan MoFo starts October 1st. 
This is my first year participating and my theme is going to be Fall inspired raw vegan gluten free yumms.  Pumpkin, apple, persimmon, squash, sweet potato.... I'm going to celebrate Fall's bounty every day in October.  You should sign up too!  Raw vegans represent!
Another place that's going to be happening starting October 1st is Raw Food Rehab.  They're kicking off their final 11 week initiative RAW BALANCE and Penni Shelton along with her new team are putting together a program that's sure to inspire us to new levels of wellness .  If you're not a member already you might want to check it out.

Talk about inspiring... I saw the gorgeous Diana Stobo last night.   She is bursting with energy, encouragement and information about healing and nutrition.  Not to mention absolutely stunning, engaging and super fun to watch.  She's down to earth, approachable and makes getting healthy seem totally do-able (because turns out, it is!).  I picked up her books and can hardly wait to refer some of my raw-curious friends and family to her website and videos.  I love how she's left out the fuss and fancy of getting raw.  She's all about Getting Naked, or "stripping away the foods that weigh you down" to facilitate detoxification and healing.  Ok, I'll stop my star-struck gushing now.  You get the point. 

I'm going to spend some time today planning out my MoFo.  Let me know if you decide to join in on the fun!  Who doesn't want to spend the month of October going nuts about vegan food? 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Light Lunch: GF Pistachio Pesto Wrap

I'm trying my best to get caught up on some things around the house today, but wait... I'm here watching twitter and blogging about my lunch. 

I was in the mood for something quick and high raw so I wrapped up spinach, tomatoes and some pistachio pesto that my bf made earlier in the week.  Yummmm.  The wrap is gluten free, made with teff flour.  It was ok, a little chewy, but not bad in flavor.  The pesto was super flavorful so the teff wrap was really just a vessel for the filling's goodness. 

Ok, back to my chores.  I have a few announcements to make tomorrow about projects I'm starting in October.   Can hardly wait to share! 

Hope you're all having a nice lunch today. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lunchbox 9/14/11

Hi-ho, hi-ho....

Clockwise from top left:  grapefruit, kale salad (purple kale, avo, tahini, lemon juice, sea salt, hemp nuts, sunflower seeds), chia pudding (chia seeds, coconut milk, coconut shreds, currants), banana.

Have a great Wednesday!  What are you having for lunch today?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dinner Two Ways: Veggie Bowls, Raw & Cooked

Sometimes we don't want the exact same thing for dinner.  Our taste buds are in different moods or one of us wants to eat more raw.  Whatever the reason,  it's easy to please everyone with a veggie bowl.  And they're both packed full of vegan, gluten free, nutrient dense goodness.  Here are two that I had on the (coffee) table in about 20 minutes: 

Left = Cooked, Right = Raw

More Cooked Veggie Bowl
Quinoa cooked in Miso Broth
Steamed Kale
Sauteed Mushrooms
Tahini Sauce
Green Onion

More Raw Veggie Bowl
Raw Kale Salad with Tahini Sauce
Green Onion

Both bowls have kale, avocado, green onion, arugula, and tahini sauce, but were just different enough to satisfy both appetites.  I'd like to note that this particular Raw Veggie Bowl is much lighter than my usual dinner would be because I wasn't feeling very hungry.  Normally I would make it more hearty by adding hemp or sunflower seeds, raisins or dates, nut pate, raw hummus, and more veggies.  That's the beauty of the Bowl, it's so easy to customize.  My tahini sauce is super easy to whip up and is good warm or cold.

Quick & Tasty Tahini Sauce
1/2 cup raw tahini
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon miso
1 teaspoon liquid sweetener of choice
salt & pepper to taste

Whisk up in a bowl, adding more water if needed to make a creamy, pourable consistency.  Use as a dip, dressing, or sauce.

Voila!  Two happy eaters in 20 minutes or less.  I love whipping up food that makes everyone healthy and happy.  How do you deal with differences of diet or appetite? 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Jungle Bars & Day 8 of Cleansing Food

Yesterday marked one full week of eating raw and of course I feel great.  My daily diet has been mostly smoothies, juice, and salads with some raw crackers, dips, and whole fruit for snacks.  It was already a delicious experience, then I made Jungle Bars.  They're full of cacao and coconut and raw vegan energy.  Yum! 

Jungle Bars

1 cup medjool dates
1 cup raisins
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup cacao powder
pinch of salt

Blend in a food processor until fully combined and mixture starts sticking together.

Add 1/2 cup walnuts

Pulse until nuts break into small chunks.  Press the mixture into a 7 inch springform pan.

In a mixing bowl combine:

1 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup agave or maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon melted cacao butter
1/4 cup almond butter
1/4 teaspoon salt

Spread this mixture on top of cacao mixture.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cacao nibs on top and lightly press into coconut.

Chill in refrigerator for an hour.  Remove the top of the springform pan and cut into 1 inch squares.

Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.  Share with friends.  Take 'em to go, they like to travel:

These have really come in handy when I was craving chocolate or sweets.  They're rich so one square does the trick, even with my mega sweet tooth.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Lunchbox: Raw Cleanse Day 6

After 5 full days of raw food I woke up feeling energized this morning.  Today I go back to work after the long weekend, which means being away from home for 14 hours.  This is my lunchbox:

Clockwise from top left:  Salad (romaine, avo, tomato, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, currents, lemon ginger vinaigrette), Fruit (grapefruit, orange, peaches), Jungle Bars, Frawnch Onion Dip, Raw Crackers.  All Raw Vegan.

I'll also take along some extra pieces of fresh fruit, just in case.  Recipes for the easy Tahini Sauce and Jungle Bars will be posted this later this week.

What are you having for lunch today?  Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day Picnic Eats: Frawnch Onion Dip and Rosemary Hemp Flax Crackers

Happy holiday Monday U.S. readers!  Today's recipe is perfect for picnics, potlucks, and snack time.  Actually, it's inspired by a dip that showed up at just about every gathering that involved food during my childhood.  French Onion Dip.  You know the one where you take a packet of dried soup mix and stir it up in a tub of sour cream then serve it with some potato chips?  Well, this one is even more tasty than the original and full of healthy raw vegan ingredients. And it blends up in less than five minutes.

Frawnch Onion Dip

2 cups raw cashews
Juice of 2 limes
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic
the white portion of two green onions
1 1/2 cups water

Blend in a high speed blender until smooth & creamy.
Chop up the remaining portion of the green onions used above plus 2 more chopped green onions and stir into the dip.  Sample.  Season with salt  & pepper according to your taste buds.
Chill in the refrigerator for at least two hours before serving.  The longer this chills the more flavorful it becomes. 

Serve with Rosemary Hemp Flax Crackers (pictured above) or your favorite bread, cracker, chip, or veggie.

Rosemary Hemp Flax Crackers
1 1/2  cups flax
1/2 cup hemp seeds
1 1/2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

Blend all ingredients in a high-speed blender.  Spread about 1/2 inch thick on a teflex sheet and dehydrate for 12 hours.  Flip onto a mesh sheet, score if desired, and dehydrate another 12 - 24 hours, or until completely dry and crispy. 

We've been enjoying a tub of Frawnch Onion Dip kept in the fridge for snack attacks at our house and the Rosemary Hemp Flax Crackers are great on their own too.  If you try these recipes let me know what you think! 

Are you going to any food related gatherings today?  What dish are you going to bring?   Do you have a favorite summer picnic dish? 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cleanse Day 4: Everything's Peachy.

It's true.  The cleanse is going well on Day 4.  But there's another side to the title of this post.  Everything's Peachy is also the name I gave my juice for Elena's Juice Contest.  I see that Antony has his entry posted.  Where is yours?  HiHoRosie is going to help with the judging and the winner gets all three of Elena's ebooks.  Fun! 

Everything's Peachy:

2 yellow peaches
2 golden beets
1 lime
2 fuji apples
1 orange (late for the photo shoot)
1 inch nub of ginger root

*Made in a Power Juicer

Sweet & yummy with a little spice.  BF and I enjoyed these in my fancy crystal wine glasses that were a gift from my sister.  My juice has class.  It's also cleansing and packed with vitamin C. 

Now, back to the cleanse.  I've gone back and forth between feeling great and then getting tired with a headache.  I'm not even sure if this is detox related because a few friends are sick with an icky summer cold.  Regardless of what's causing it, I'm just going with my body's signals and resting when I feel tired, drinking a lot of water and detox tea to support the flushing out of toxins, and enjoying the spurts of energy as they come.  I've definitely been exposed to whatever bug is going around, so hopefully all of these nutrient packed smoothies and juices will help me fight it off. 

Oooooh... here's a little teaser.  BF and I worked together to make a raw vegan French onion dip that looks and tastes like the old school soup-powder-packet-mixed-with-a-tub-of-sour-cream version.  I'll post that recipe tomorrow.

Happy Sunday!  I'm so glad I still have one more day of weekend tomorrow.   How are you spending your weekend?  Have you made juice? 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Raw Vegan Cleansing Foods Day 3

Today is my third day of eating raw and I'm feeling pretty good.  I felt a little tired this afternoon with a headache and I'm pretty sure it was a symptom of detox.   I'll just keep drinking a lot of water and encourage those nasty little toxins to flush out.

We've been blending up lots of smoothies with various combinations of greens, fruit, veggies and herbs.  My bf has really been into the smoothie makin' and has introduced me to new flavor additions like basil and lime.  One of the great things about sharing a kitchen is being exposed to new ideas. 

And juice.  This one was inspired by HiHoRosie.  We were chatting on twitter about making a gold juice from gold beets and she made her beautiful Sunflower juice.  I gathered up some golden ingredients and made the Gold Standard.  It's more of an orange color because of all the carrots, but the gold beet flavor really stands out.

Made with these:

I was craving some crunchy greens, so I made a simple salad with butter lettuce, arugula, avocado, hemp seeds, and a sweet ginger vinaigrette.  So fresh and delicious!

This afternoon Chef T and I have spent some time in the kitchen making some raw vegan snacks.  Post about today's creations coming soon. 

Hope you're holiday weekend is off to a great start!

Friday, September 2, 2011

More Thoughts On Cleansing

 blueberry, banana, orange, spinach, spirulina, chia, coconut milk

Why cleanse?  I was enjoying a meet-up with my favorite work ladies this morning and this question came up as I sipped my yerba mate and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice while they chowed down on sweet smelling pancakes and lattes.  This was my response:

  • Overall, I feel much better when I eat unprocessed foods, especially mostly raw - 100% raw.  The more raw I consume, the better I feel.  My body just happens to thrive on it.  
  • My energy levels have taken a dip recently and I know my body well enough to know that processed food has this effect on me.  Actually, my body is letting me know in a few other ways that my nutrition is off:  horrible monthly cramps, bruising, and dry skin patches.
Shanonmarie left a thought-provoking comment on my last post about eating as an on-going cleanse.   I like to think that I am ultimately moving in that direction, but it does ebb and flow.  I am grateful to have enough physical awareness that I can change directions as needed.  That said, I do believe that making permanent healthy changes to diet with a focus on fresh, whole food is the key to healthful longevity. 

I've been enjoying mega-smoothies, fresh juices & fruit, and had a delicious Live Taco Salad at Blossoming Lotus yesterday.   I'm going to spend some quality time with my Vita-Mix and dehydrator making raw vegan treats this long weekend.  Anyone else have kitchen marathons in their holiday plans? 

Oh, yeah... I've switched my comments to disqus and as of now all of my past comments have disappeared, but I've been assured that they will reappear sometime in the next few days, after blogger & disqus have finished the importing process.  Fingers crossed!  I wanted disqus because it allows for a direct reply to specific comments.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hello, September. Hello, Cleanse.

Hello, September, I welcome you with open arms.  One of my favorite months of the year!  September usually brings beautiful, warm, sunny weather to the Pacific Northwest and is also the bearer of Autumn (9/23 this year), my most favorite season.  Last year in September I moved to Portland.  Best decision EVER!  This September my sister is moving here. Yes!

I've decided to celebrate by making myself feel healthy and awesome with a super-cleanse.  It's been a happy year full of new and exciting events.  I've enjoyed a lot of tasty vegan food.  Most of it on the heavier side of things, like this avo mac-n-cheeze:

I've loved all of the rich comfort foods, but I'm feeling the need to lighten things up and get this month off to a fresh start.  Today is going to be all about juices & smoothies. This morning's smoothie was spinach, avo, banana, chia and spirulina courtesy of Mr. CatMan, smoothie maker extraordinaire. 

Any good suggestions for detox/cleansing information?  I have some great resources and good old standbys but am always looking for new material.  

Ok, Have a great first day of September and bring on the greens!