I started this journal in hopes that my life could help or inspire someone else. Enjoy!
What a Month!
I've had such a busy month I'm making this August Journal entry on Sept. 2nd. I guess I'll have to make this an August/September entry. Jeez, to think I had been planning to do it for awhile now! I'm not sure where to start but I guess I'll start with all the culinary adventures I've been having:)
My month started out with the amazing discovery of sea beans! Also known as pickleweed or salcornia. I was walking along the bay and discovered wild salcornia everywhere. This is an amazing plant that is succulent and salty at the same time. It makes a wonderful substitute for salt, olives, or capers in a recipe and I'm sure is chock full of wonderful minerals and nutrients. I've seen it at whole foods for over ten dollars a pound! I got it for free:) I love a good deal and foraging for food. I went crazy and started putting it in all my recipes, soups, and salads. On the left is some of the creations that I've made. I've found that it tastes really good with lime and ginger. Mmmmmmm what a yummy combination!
Blended Soup Heaven
Speaking of yummy combinations I know that last month I was crazy about green smoothies and I still am. Just had a pear, peach, celery, and spinach smoothie this morning with green powder (one of the best green smoothies I think I've ever made) and I'm sipping on a blueberry, nectarine, fresh orange juice, green powder smoothie with vanilla bean of course! But I have to say that this month I've been even more crazy about blended soups. I've made some amazing combinations this month. The trick is that I use avocado, young coconut water, and miso as my base and then add all kinds of wonderful herbs. These soups are some of the most amazing recipes I've made so far:) And they are still simple and healthy. I promise that I'll add the recipes to my recipe section shortly.
Kaffir Lime Leaves
One of the magic ingredients I've been using in my soups are called kaffir lime leaves. Kaffir lime leaf is this amazing aromatic herb from the kaffir lime tree. I just blend it up in the blender and it gives my soups and dressings this amazing lime flavor. I'm lucky that there is a lady at the farmer's market that sells them and she also sells the dried ones that last for a long time. I also buy the fresh ones and freeze them and they taste great! I'm sure you could find them at an Asian market if you really tried or you could order them online. I'm sure the local Thai restaurant in your area would know how to get them for they are used heavily in Thai cooking. I even had a raw dinner party where I made a lime ginger avocado soup with the kaffir leaves and everyone loved it!
I discovered Udo's choice Vegan DHA Oil. Usually people get their DHA from fish but the fish get it from algae so why not just get it from the algae? Udo is so smart ha ha! Anyways I've been using the oil as a salad dressing and in my blended soups and for the first time in months I didn't have period cramps! I didn't even know I had started my period! I'm pretty sure I can attribute it to the oil. If you don't know what DHA is, it's a fatty acid important for the brain, eyes, and other bodily systems. Learn more about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docosahexaenoic_acid
I've also been taking advantage of the end of strawberry season by freezing the strawberries and then blending the strawberries in the blender with a little almond milk and stevia. I also missed strawberries and cream that I had as a kid so I made a really thick batch of almond milk with my cotton sprout bags and then poured it over the strawberries. I thought it looked really beautiful. I always get my almonds from the farmer's market where they pick them fresh and raw:) You can also make nut milks from just about any nut or seed with the sprout bags, experiment and have fun. I really do use the sprout bags and love them. My friend from the Anne Wigmore institute tried the cotton sprout bags and really liked them! I'm so excited to hear that.
Okay so raw pickles aren't the most healthiest of foods on the planet because of all the salt but as a treat once and awhile they are great. There is this company that makes them raw called Alexander Valley Gourmet www.alvalgourmet.com The cool thing was that after I ate all the pickles in the container I then put my own cucumbers in the brine and in a week had homemade organic pickles! I had this weird craving for pickles and tahini the other day, no I wasn't pregnant, just premenstrual:) This company also makes a raw sauerkraut although it's not organic.
Easiest Raw Pizza Recipe
I put this little pizza together in about fifteen minutes because I cheated and used Lydia's Lovin Foods sunflowerseed bread as the crust www.lydiasorganics.com/ Then I made a "cheese" with tahini, miso, and lemon juice. I also made a simple marinara sauce with fresh tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes, and italian herbs in the blender.I topped it with whatever I had available, heirloom, tomatoes, parsley, bell pepper, avocado, and olives. Yum!
I Met Ani Phyo
Ani Phyo was at my local San Rafael Cafe Gratitude. She is the master mind behind Smart Monkey Foods and has come out with a wonderful new raw cookbook called: Ani's Raw Food Kitchen: Easy, Delectable Living Foods Recipes. I don't often buy raw food cookbooks but I knew that her recipes were going to be like mine: simple, easy, and delicious. She was so kind and a beautiful person inside and out. It was awesome, we chatted for awhile and she signed my book then I got a green juice and some positive energy (thank you waitperson) from cafe gratitude and rode home:) I'll let you know when I try her recipes . It was so nice to meet a fellow raw foodie, we are such a rare breed.
Ha Ha, I finally have proof that more than my boyfriend reads my journal! I was at a friends' wedding in San Francisco and a girl came up to me that reads my journal and is into raw food! She was so happy to meet me. I think this wonderful woman is probably my biggest fan, if I have any that is. Anyways she is actually the owner of a cool spa in San Francisco called Soothe www.soothesf.com and it was voted the best Spa in S.F. by SF WEEKLY in 2007, very cool:) So happy to know someone reads my journal besides my boyfriend lol. I have also been really grateful for the wonderful e-mails that are super kind and encouraging. I have a wall of gratitude in front of my computer where I have printed out every nice e-mail and pinned them to a bulletin board. If I'm feeling down, I just look up and there are these wonderful encouraging words to bring a smile to my face. Thank You! I wanted my business to be an extension of what I learned in the Secret and I am truly grateful for every order that I get and try to send positive energy with them before they go through the mail:)
Speaking of the wedding, I wasn't as prepared as I usually am for these types of events. I had my Kombucha (to the right) so that I could toast with other people and then I had a some cucumbers and a tahini pate in my purse that I ate. It was a little heavy to carry around though, will have to think of a lighter plan:) I've kinda made the decision in social situations that if there is a healthy cooked vegan choice that I will eat cooked, once an awhile. At this wedding there was nothing vegan so I'm glad I had a few cukes in my purse lol.
Indoor Gardening and Raw Foods
Something I'm really passionate about that I haven't talked about yet is hydroponics. Of course it's beautiful and wonderful to have your own garden during the growing season, but what if you don't have a long growing season because of where you live or you don't have the space for a garden? Hydroponics is the answer! Imagine having fresh tomatoes, basil, lettuce, peppers, greens, and other herbs year round with little space! I went to an indoor gardening expo and got so excited about the possibilities. Hydroponics simply means growing without soil and there are so many wonderful organic high quality nutrients and fertilizers that you can feed your plants so that they are comparable to ones grown in your own garden without the worry of pests, mold, or weather:) If you are interested in indoor gardening I highly recommend something called Hydrofarm's Emily's Garden System. There is a picture of it to your right. If you are serious about growing and want something a little bigger check out the Hydrofarm Hydroponic Megagarden System. To the right you can see that someone is growing basil and Swiss chard in it. The amazing thing is that it grows so fast that you can literally have fresh food any time you want. My dream is to get every raw food enthusiast growing their own food and I think hydroponics is the way:) I'm sure I'll write more about this in the future and my experiences with hydroponics as well. In the mean time check it out:)
Alive Foods at the Farmer's Market
I had an amazing weekend in the city and was so truly privileged to try some of Alive restaurant's food at the Embarcadero Farmer's market. I tried this amazing lime kiwi juice in sparkling mineral water. It was delicious! My boyfriend also had a piece of the apple pie and he said it was delicious. (Not as good as mine though ha ha!) What a great idea to mix fruit juice with mineral water, how refreshing. It was still a little chunky so I wonder if they just blended the kiwi with the water instead of juicing it. I haven't been to Alive in awhile but is was voted best raw restaurant in S.F. Awesome!
Speaking of hanging out in the city and having fun, I had an awesome weekend with my guy. We walked around China town, Haight Ashbury, and ended up at the Fairmont Hotel's Tonga Room. It was so awesome just having a relaxing weekend that I don't want it to end so I'm actually going to hang out some more with him by watching a movie and eating some organic freeze dried corn (closest thing to popcorn:) But I have so much more to write about my month! I actually went to Living Light's Vibrant Living Expo and entered their pie contest. That is going to have to be a separate entry all in itself! To be continued shortly, but at least I gave you a little something so that you think I haven't abandoned this whole journal thing! Ha Ha.
Cecilia's Raw Pie Contest Adventure
Hey loves after a few hours writing here is my raw pie contest story and the recipe!!!!!
Hey loves I had the pleasure of being a part of my friend's wedding. I think I alluded to being a bride's maid in a previous journal entry. Well, the day came and went and it was so much fun. Being part of the wedding party was definitely a girly girls heaven. It was so much fun to get all dressed up and made up. I'm proud to say that all my make-up was natural and vegan. The wedding was beautiful, it was on the beach and super romantic. My friend made sure they served me a salad and some steamed veggies at the wedding and the rehearsal dinner. They were fab! I wasn't completely raw, but vegan and very happy.
Here is a picture of me before the wedding. During the wedding I was much too busy to take many pictures! Anyways, I caught the bouquet! I always wanted to catch a bouquet and, well, I went for it. It was also probably due to the fact that I had on the most comfortable shoes of anyone there. As a rule I don't wear uncomfortable shoes, I love my feet and myself too much! They were so cute, silver flip flops with a rhinestone flower! The whole thing was so awesome and I felt really honored that my friend wanted me to be part of it. I got a few "you eat like a rabbit" comments, but too be honest I don't care at all. For me the focus is to enjoy my friends and family and food just kinda being in the background during these types of events. I'm not out to prove anything, I just do what makes me happy:)
Best Massage of My Life
A few weekends ago my guy and I went and got massages together at this awesome spa in freestone called osmosis. It was so awesome they have this beautiful Japanese inspired garden and they even have this thing called an enzyme bath. It looks like we are going to try it in the near future, but as far as the massage, it was excellent, my "massager" was a woman named Terri, I highly recommend her. Such a wonderful thing to be able to treat yourself to a massage.
I wanted to share with you a few of my favorite raw treats. My ultimate favorite raw treat is dehydrated young coconut meat . Just the plain meat scooped out and dehydrated. The flavor gets really sweet and intense. Some people say it tastes like white chocolate. I think it tastes like heaven. It's best when you dehydrate it until it's crispy about 24+ hours, but I rarely get to that point! I usually eat them after 12 hours or so!!! But they are better crispy.
Another treat is dried figs with almond butter and raw cacao nibs or you could also use dates in place of the figs. There is a picture of them to the right. If you're not into cacao you can just use almond butter and spread it on the dates or dried figs. Not the best food combo but good once in awhile. I also like to spread raw almond butter on apple slices, yummy! I brought the almond butter figs to the last raw potluck.
The last potluck was amazing. There was so much good food I took a picture of someone's plate. Someone made these incredible tacos made with brazil nuts and lettuce. Mmmmmm! And today I did a free raw food demo. About 15 people showed up it was awesome. I made some raw pasta with a raw marinara sauce. On top of the pasta I added some raw mazanilla olives from Nature's First Law and they were awesome! I also made vanilla almond milk.
See you next month!
Dehydrated Young Coconut
Figs with Almond Butter and Cacao Nibs
Dish from the Raw Potluck