Friday, February 26, 2010

Recipe Request for Classic Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

You asked for it!

Hi all *waving*

I have decided to share one of the recipes for my future ebook, as some of you have requested it...and I don't want to leave you hanging. Sharing is fun and something I love to do as much as I love making raw goodies ;) In return I hope you would be so kind as to leave me some feedback (through a comment or send me an email )that way I can revamp the cookie if needed.

Classic Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes 15-16 hearty cookies

Chocolate Chunks
3/4 cup cacao powder
*1/4 cup cashew flour
**1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons of coconut oil, melted (in hot water bath)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt

*Grind cashews, coconut, and oats in a coffee grinder until flour consistency is achieved. **Hot water bath: Place coconut oil in a bowl, then place that bowl into a larger bowl filled with a little hot water. (Careful not to put too much hot water in the bowl or it will overflow into the coconut oil and you don't want that)

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Do not over blend or the oil will begin to separate from the mixture. Take a plate and cover with a sheet of parchment paper. Pour chocolate on top of parchment paper, about 1/4" thick. Work quickly before the mixture begins to harden.
Place in freezer until hard. Approximately half hour or so.

Cookie Dough
*2 cups cashew flour
*1/4 cup coconut flour
*1/4 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 cup of cashew nuts
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla or 1/2 of a vanilla bean, scraped

*Grind cashews, coconut, and oats in a coffee grinder until flour consistency is achieved.

In a large bowl mix cashew flour, coconut flour, oat flour, salt, cinnamon, mix and set aside.

Next in a food processor add cashew nuts and coconut oil. Process until a creamy 'butter' consistency is achieved. Next add in vanilla and maple syrup until smooth. Pour this mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix (I used my hands - put some extra love into it) until well combined.

Take out chocolate from the freezer and and remove from parchment paper. Cut or break chocolate into chunks. Work quickly so that the chocolate doesn't melt. Reserve 1/3 cup of chocolate chunks and fold remaining chunks into batter. Save the extra chunks as an ice cream topping or melt and add to a smoothie or use as a quick chocolate sauce OR just snack on them.

Spoon out about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough and drop onto a plate, gently shaping them.
Try not to handle these cookies to much and work quickly or else the chocolate chunks will start to bleed into the dough mixture. They will still taste yummy, but they won't be as pretty.

Refrigerate of freeze until firm. They should be ready to eat after 15 minutes in the freezer.

I hope you love these as much as we do. From my heart to you!

Celebrate a Mexican Stay-cation...with Ice Cream!

I'll start with the best part.....dessert, because there are no rules ;)

So, the weather outside is frightful and I'm dreaming of a warm vacation,'s just not going to happen. How about celebrating a stay-cation with a typical summer dessert that has a warming spice? Sign me up! I just have to share this recipe with you is sooo yummy *licking lips*. It is the best chocolate ice cream that I have ever had. I was making some almond milk today and then I had this brilliant idea to make ice the winter, so perhaps what I really wanted was a summertime dessert to celebrate a stay-cation, yay! Chocolate seemed like a good choice because, well, it's chocolate! Plus a little extra richness is perfect for the colder season. Would it be possible to have an ice cream that was not only delicious and cool BUT could warm me up...ABSOLUTELY! I just have to share this recipe with you all. I hope you like it as much as B and I do...did ;)

WARNING! Not for the chocolate faint of heart!!!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Crunch Ice Cream

Almond Milk Base
2 cups of soaked almonds
2 cups of water

Put almonds and water in the blender and blend until smooth. Pour Almond Milk Base into a nut milk bag or the panty hoe stocking (it's what I use).
Reserve pulp for raw unbaking, add it to your porridge or compost, but it's not welcome in the ice cream ;)
Pour the Almond Milk Base back into the blender.

To the blender containing the Almond Milk Base add;
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 soft medjool dates
1/2 cup cacao powder
1 tablespoon of vanilla or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon of salt (this really is essential)
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne powder (leave out for regular chocolate ice cream)

Blend until smooth.

Next add;
1 tablespoon of coconut oil
1 tablespoon of lecithin

Blend until completely smooth.

Stir in
3/4 cup of cacao nibs

Poor into an ice cream maker (and follow manual instructions) or if your like me and do not have an ice cream maker, do it old school (you will need to be home for a few hours). Pour ice cream into a shallow container and freeze. Every one to two hours stir the ice cream. When the ice cream is frozen you are ready to eat!

A little bit of love in every bite.

Note: If you have children that will be eating this ice cream or if you are sensitive to caffeine you can definitely replace half of the cacao with carob. I am certain it would be just as yummy.

If you guys decide to make this, I would love to know what you think.

For lunch I whipped up a quicky soup. It looks so pretty and it's fav food hue!

It was a combo of coconut milk, cilantro, lime juice, cucumber, carrot, curry, garlic, ginger, chili, and salt. Since it was a quicky I don't have exact measurements. It was quite tasty. I just love raw soup, so nourishing and simple to digest.

Have a great weekend and thanks for popping by!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cookie Monsters Love...Cookies!

Cookie Recipe Kitchie Experiment

I hope everyone is having a great week. When arriving at my blog today I was so happy to find new followers AND comments, woot woot!

Since I have been stuck in the house, and not so active in the kitchie, I was feeling a little empty from lack of creative expression. Brenty-Boo went to the store to pick up a few ingredients for me to play with.

He has been requesting cookies, but not just any cookie, specifically the famous chocolate chip cookie. I think it's pretty safe to say that everyone likes chocolate chip cookies, right? I have made some really good cookies both raw and previously in my days of cooking. Cookies have always been one of my favourite snacky foods (you can call me the Cookie Monster) so I would like to think that I know a good cookie when I taste one ;) With Brent's desired request I took on the challenge for my darling....he deserves a cookie or two ;) I thought that this would be a good opportunity to try another recipe for my future ebook. I prefer soft and gooey cookies that I can eat shortly after preparing ;) They are one of those foods that I make when I want a sweet snack now! I love the dehydrator, but I don't have the patience to use it for everything. While a dehydrator is necessary for some recipes like crackers, I think many cookies can be made without dehydration, unless you want a crunchier texture. Although I have enjoyed many raw chocolate chip cookies, I have found some to be too sweet, too rich, or too oily. I put a lot of thought into these cookies because I knew exactly what I wanted the outcome to be; chewy, chunky...and just like raw cookie dough without the being overly rich. I think I accomplished my goal. My take on an old cookie recipe, revamped.

Classic Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Brent was very happy with the cookies.

I want to know, what's your favourite cookie?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Well it's all about blending the last few days since my body is trying to repair itself from the reaction I had to, what I speculate is bananas, which I wrote about here. I have been craving the calories and carbs from fresh fruit, so that's exactly what was on the menu today for lunch. Brent went to pick up some goodies at the health food store and I whipped up a yummy and simple to digest smoothie.


Mango Raspberry Smoothie

2 Ataulfo mangos (the small yellow ones)
any mango will do
2 cups of frozen raspberries
3 medjool dates
1/2 cup water

Blend until smooth.
So simple, super delicious and a shade of pretty pink, which reminds me of spring.
Just what I needed for energy.

Someone else finds the smoothie appetizing...

...our curious George!

Since last few days have been rough on my body, I have been concentrating on greens and algae for healing and lots of fresh fruit for hydration and calories. I always try to heal my body from the inside out and have found that to be a productive system. With that said, I was really desperate to get something topical to help relieve the redness, swelling, scaling and bumps from the rash on my face. In the past I have not had much success with creams, beauty products, etc. They just don't work for my sensitive skin and I usually tend to have a reaction to them. Water and a facecloth works good for me with a little coconut oil. Out of desperation I decided to research a product line sold at our local health food store called Dermae. I settled on the Tea Tree and E Antiseptic Crème which seemed best suited for my problem. I must say, it works awesome! It really did take some of the redness away. There was more improvement after two applications of this cream then there has been all week. I still have a long way to go before I look like my ol' self, but I am trying to be patient in hopes of a speedy recovery.

On a lighter note, I showed Brent my blog page last night and he said; "top drawer", lol. Then he said; "hey, I eat that...and that...", as he pointed to the photos. I happy to have this place to share with others, and thrilled to see some new followers, it's exciting! My hope is that this blog will become a unifying comfy place to bring all the like-minded people and those interested in health together.

Happy hump day! Hope you had a wicked Wednesday :)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bye Bye Bananas. You used To Be My Friend.

Well, the title says it all.

I have loved bananas for as long as I can remember. They have been one of my favourite foods to enjoy daily. About 2 years ago I started to experience abdominal pain, and Brent said that it could be the peanut butter or the banana that I was eating daily on toast or rice cakes every morning. When I did my friend Natasha's Detox Program (which is amazing) back in August 2009, I experienced that same abdominal pain again. A horrible feeling of cramping, bloating and discomfort. I usually keep personal information to myself, but I need somewhere to write my thoughts about what I am going through. It started Wednesday night when I broke out in hives and Thursday developed into an extremely bad rash ALL over my face, but concentrated around my mouth and chin area. It's not only a horrible site, but very painful :( Accompanying this skin eruption, I have been having that exact same abdominal pain which I have experienced in the past, but worse! In addition I have been I have had this shooting, burning discomfort up the center of my back. To top it off, I am constipated (TMO?) :( Thank goodness for enemas! I was feeling fine this morning and then I had a green smoothie with mango, banana and spinach. Afterwards I started to feel ill again and by noon I was toppled over. I was in tears with frustration and poor sweet Brent was feeling helpless. Brent has mentioned the bananas as the possible cause on numerous occasions, but now I have to agree. The only thing that I changed in my diet last week was the increased consumption of bananas! I decided to hop on the web in hopes of finding some confirmation of this theory.

I discovered that there is a protein found in bananas called chitinase that can cause an allergic reaction in certain people. Chitinase can cause the immune system to overreact and treats this protein as harmful for the body. I also came across the following here;

"Latex allergy and food
Around half of all people with latex allergy have allergic reactions when eating particular foods including avocado, banana, chestnut, kiwifruit, passion fruit, plum, strawberry and tomato. This is because some of the proteins in latex that cause latex allergy are also present in these fruits. Common symptoms include tingling in the mouth, stuffy nose, itchy eyes and wheezing."
This made sense to me because I am allergic or sensitive to latex. Latex makes me itchy and can give me a rash.

So whether it is a true allergy or just an intolerance, I will be steering clear of my dear old friend, the banana *sniff* :(

Lunch Time

Brent has been so sweet, and I wanted to make him a yummy lunch. The fridge was full of greens, but low on other colourful fruits and veggies. I decided on a romaine wrap, filled with broccoli, carrots and celery. I then would need a tasty spread or pate for the filling. I had some macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds in the fridge and whipped up this super yummy cheese sauce. Brent just loved it!

Yummy Cheese Sauce
1/2 cup macadamia nuts (soaked)
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (soaked)
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 clove of garlic
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/8 teaspoon of tumeric (or more for colour)
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of water
2 tablespoons of olive oil

Note: I did not soak the nuts or seeds because I had not prepared to use them, but it would make the consistency even smoother.

Blend all of the ingredients, except for oil. Once the cheese is smooth add oil and blend until creamy.

If you have a Vitamix (I do not), you may want to start with less water for a thicker cheese.

I think this would be lovely as a cheese sauce for broccoli and "rice". Mmmmm...oh the possibilities.

Do with it what you want ;)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Greens, Ebook Dessert Dreams and Everything in Between

Natural Beauty
I ventured into the city yesterday and found these beautiful blood oranges in a health food store. These little gems tasted like I was eating a fresh orange and juicy blackberries all at the same time. So refreshing and beautiful. Isn't nature amazing!

Look at the colours of this natural beauty.

EBook Dessert Dreams

I could not sleep Tuesday night, I had so many creative recipe ideas floating around in my head. I decided to type up a list of my ideas to release them from my mind and transfer them into a visual, hoping to get some rest. I noticed that there was something in common between these recipe ideas, they are ALL desserts! Well, that doesn't really shock me since dessert has always been my favourite food category - to make and eat , but now it's all about the raw desserts which completely kick SAD desserts butt ;) I love making sweet decadent desserts that are healthy for myself and for others to eat, it makes me feel so good inside and I have no feelings of guilt attached because I know they are nutritious, which is equally important to me.

I don't know many people in this small town that I am temporarily living, so Brent and I eat all of the desserts I make, not that we are complaining, though it is nice to share beautiful food with others and to have their feedback. Brent is very appreciative of the food I make, so I think that just adds fuel to the raw dessert producing machine that I am :D I could seriously make raw dessert all day, it's just so much fun! As I mentioned previously, I have so many ideas swimming in my mind that I can barely get to sleep ;)

Of course I plan to share recipes here on my blog with all of you wonderful readers out there, but I have decided that I want to save some of them, the super special ones, for a future ebook.

I feel that I am being called upon to help spread the word of healthy raw foods using my strength which is creating them, but more specifically...for now, desserts. I'd like to start by creating a raw gourmet dessert ebook, and then move forward from there. It's going to take some time, and I will enjoy every moment.

In the future I am hoping to provide raw catering services and then maybe even a little cafe would be in my future. For now I will take things day-by-day and continue to dream big.

Brent and I are planning to relocate out west in the next few months, before fall, and once settled I will be able to focus more on a future business idea. If I could survive doing something I love and have passion for which is making raw food yummies, that would be spectacular.

For now I am grateful that I am able to experiment in my kitchen with new recipe ideas and looking forward to the sunshine that spring is sure to bring.
This spring I will be looking into setting up a table at the local farmers market, to show others how amazing raw food is. It's healing, delicious and definitely nutritious.

Here are some of the experiments that have been going on in my kitchen this weekend in hopes of making it to my future ebook;

Power Packed Granola Bars
These are in the dehydrator as I type. I do hope they turn out because I have been craving a really good granola bar for a long, looong time now. Granola has always been a favourite food of mine. Sweet, chewy, textured, crunchy, slightly's so good. One things for sure, they are omitting the yummiest smell from the dehydrator!

Coconut and Macadamia Cookies
These too are in my dehydrator. If they turn out good that would be great, because they are a creation using ingredients I had laying around in the kitchen.

Decadent Chocolate & Caramel Swirl Cheesecake
This is one of the best desserts that I have ever eaten in my life. The chocolate cheesecake was creamy, but not too rich and the caramel added the perfect rich sweetness. I'm taking a moment to reminisce in the taste branded to my memory....mmmmm. I was actually worried about the outcome and uncertain if the chocolate was rich and sweet enough. Am I ever glad that I trusted my intuition to wait for the outcome as opposed tinkering around with the recipe. Once the caramel swirl part was added, the dessert was truly amazing! This one is absolutely to live for!

Some chocolate based recipes that have made the ebook cut are;
•Raw Chocolate Turtle Bars
•Chewy Cacao Crunch Chocolate Truffles
•Decadent Chocolate and Caramel Swirl Cheesecake

Here's a photo shoot of the Decadent Chocolate and Caramel Swirl Cheesecake

The whole cheesecake

Isn't it pretty with the swirlies?

Served by the piece

At room temperature...the caramel oozing out *licking lips*

I would like to include a variety of flavours and ingredients in the ebook. I have a lot of ideas such as; Lemon and Blueberry Mousse Layer Cake, Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies, Mini Caramel Apple Tarts, and Gingerbread Cupcakes with Maple Citrus Buttercream Icing. I have quite a long list of what I am hoping to create, but until the final dessert is approved it remains just that, an idea. Lots of experimenting to do over the next few months.

I'm interested to know what type of desserts others are looking for in a recipe book. Please feel free to let me know in the comment section below :)

Even though I love raw desserts, I actually eat very simple meals the majority of time. My daily food intake frequently consists of simple and clean meals such as; blended greens in the form of a green soup or green smoothie, fresh fruits, veggies, sprouts, the real superfoods provided by mother nature.

A typical lunch

In the summer I love green juice, actually... I always love green juice, but produce is more expensive here in the winter and my juicer is not the greatest for extracting all the green liquid goodness...but I am fortunate just to have a juicer. A few months ago I was drinking a litre of green juice every morning and I felt fantastic. I do need to get back on the daily juice wagon.

Wednesday I enjoyed a large serving of green juice...

...with; 3 celery stalks, 1 cucumber, 1/2 large zucchini, 1 inch of ginger, 5 kale stems (leaf was used in a salad), 1/2 head of red leaf lettuce.

Mmmmmmmmmmm.....nothing like beautiful green juice. I swear this stuff gives you super powers!

Actually, now that we are are the topic of juice, I have a personal juice goal to share. I would like to incorporate juice fasts one day a week starting in the spring and build up to about 3 days, eventually. In August I have some travel plans which will occupy my life (this is when we are hoping to venture out west), so I'm thinking that it would be a great opportunity to try a week of juice fasting. I don't like to eat many heavy foods through the summer, so I think this would be a realistic time for me to attempt my juice fast goal.

Thursday night for dinner I wanted something clean, simple, and easy to digest.

Fresh Lemon and Dill Spinach Soup
Serves 2

•1 zucchini
•1 cup water (more if thinner consistency is desired)
•1/4 cup lemon juice
•1 small clove garlic
•5 cups of spinach, packed
•2 teaspoons of dried dill
•1 avocado
•1/8-1/4 teaspoon salt (optional)

Blend until smooth and creamy. This makes a thick creamy soup, but feel free to use more water for a thinner consistency.

I have not been adding as much Himalayan salt to my daily green soups. For me it's important to use fresh or dried herbs to provided flavour to limit the amount of salt added, even if it is good quality (Himalayan salt) and contains trace minerals. I feel that salt is l hard for the body to process, that's why I am really trying to limit the use in my daily meals, like green soup. I will continue to use my Himalayan salt, but save it more for the gourmet recipes. I have found that lemon and dill create a delicious together and personally I don't feel the need for salt with the bursting flavours these provide.

Tonight I had a smoothie for din din and whipped up a simple pasta dish which Brent enjoyed. We seem to both be eating many pasta dishes these days, perhaps because they are simple and flexible meals. I can't wait till tomato season, then we can make heaps of marinara based recipes, yum :P

Zucchini Pasta with Red Pepper Cheese Sauce and Marinated Broccoli
Serves 2

Marinated Broccoli
•2 1/2 cups broccoli, chopped
•1 tablespoon of lemon juice
•2 teaspoons of braggs

Mix together and put aside while you prepare the sauce and noodles.

Red Pepper Cheese Sauce
•1 medium red pepper
•1/4 macadamia nuts
•1/4 cup almonds
•1 tablespoon diced yellow onion
•1 clove garlic
•2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
•1 tablespoons olive oil
•2 tablespoons water
•1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
•1/2-3/4 teaspoons of salt
•1/4 teaspoon chili powder
•1/8 teaspoon tumeric (optional)

Pasta Noodles
•2 medium zucchini, peeled

Use a spiral slicer or make noodles by hand. I used a peeler to make large shavings of zucchini and then cut each one into two or three noodles.

Toss zucchini noddles, broccoli and sauce together. A fast and tasty meal!

Sorry for the ridiculously long post...I need to blog more frequently because I apparently have lots to say!

I hope everyone has a great weekend. I look forward to reading your comments!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day = Sexy Pasta & Chocolate

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!!

Brent and I celebrated Valentine’s by spending a quiet day together and enjoying some delicious food. We did not do the whole big-bam-boom celebration with all the frills. The definition of Valentine’s according to Wikipedia "Saint Valentine's Day (commonly shortened to Valentine's Day) is an annual holiday held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions." We show one another love daily, so I guess that means everyday is V-Day ;)

I wanted to give a homemade prezzy to Brent, which he would of course share with me, in the form of chocolate, done up raw. I really wanted to make raw chocolate turtle truffles, but I couldn’t find a good recipe, so it was a perfect reason for experimenting. The result....

Turtles, Turtles, RAW, RAW, RAW!

They turned out awesome! I was so proud of myself.

I am slightly ashamed to report that they did not last, and Brent still wanted more. I think he was really craving the richness of chocolate because it’s been a while since we have had a chocolate based dessert.

I decided for my next experiment that I wanted to keep the base of the turtle truffle recipe, but with MORE caramel and pecans because that combination was my favourite part. With this goal in mind raw Turtle Chocolate Bars were created.

Raw Turtle Chocolate Squares

When Brent and I bit into these little squares oozing with velvety chocolate, sticky caramel, crunchy pecans and more chocolate we just starred at one another with amazement. There were no words.

It’s a very fulfilling feeling when you have made something so delish that there are no words. I was really proud of the love and work that I put into these two gifts, and I know they were well received.

For dinner we shared a sexy meal, pasta!

Lightly Peppered Fettuccine Alfredo
Serves 2-3 people

Pasta Noodles
•4 small or 2 medium zucchini, peeled

Use a spiral slicer or make noodles by hand(I do not have a spiral slicer). I used a peeler to make large shavings of zucchini and then cut each one into two or three noodles.

Lightly Peppered Alfredo Sauce
•3/4 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours
•1/4 cup brazil nuts, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight
•1 small clove of garlic
•1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon of water
•1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
•1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon juice
•3/4 teaspoons of salt
•1/2 teaspoons of ground black peppercorns
•1/8 teaspoon nutmeg ( I used freshly ground – it smells so good)

Blend until smooth.

“Steamed” Spinach
•2 cups of spinach, packed
•Juice from half a small lemon
•2 teaspoons of braggs (or nama shoyu or tamari)

Toss all ingredients together in a bowl and massage spinach until it wilts. It may seem like a lot of spinach, but when you massage and marinate it the volume reduces significantly.

Marinated Mushrooms
•5 sliced white mushrooms
•1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
•1 1/2 teaspoons of braggs (or nama shoyu or tamari)

In a bowl mix all ingredients together, set aside.

Toss the zucchini noodles, alfredo, “steamed” spinach and marinated mushrooms. We had about 2-3 tablespoons of sauce left over. We don’t like it too saucy ;)

I served this with a simple green soup.

For dessert I made an oreo-like soft serve, topped with nibs and caramel sauce.

This Valentine's was definitely a sweet one, hehe.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Eat Fruit Feel Good

My friend Bryne Carruthers, Health/Raw Food Educator and Nutritional Counsellor, gave a wonderful talk on Thursday at the Lotus Wings In Perth, Ontario. The course was called; “Eat Fruit Feel Good”.

I met Bryne through my dear friends Denise Carpenter and Catherine Jane, owners of Lotus Wings. Both felt that Bryne and I should connect, and am I ever glad we did! We hit it off and I gained a new friend.

I arrived early to help Bryne setup. I was assigned the task of blender girl, yay! As I approached the counter where the fruit was waiting to be blended I could see the big bad beauty there, glowing. I was like a kid in a candy store...but managed to contain myself. I had never used this powerful machine that surely most of you have heard of; the almighty Vitamix.

Bryne showed me how to use it because it is quite powerful and we wouldn’t want to kill all the enzymes with a beginner’s need-for-speed ;)

We made a delicious daterade, which was Bryne’s recipe. Basically it consisted of soaked dates blended with water. It would serve as a lovely coffee or latte substitute, especially with a little nut milk, mmmm. By adding banana to the daterade instead of fats and vanilla you could make a super thick and sweet vanilla latte, while still respecting the principles of Bryne’s teaching of food combination for improved digestion.

Bryne’s course consists of four classes. The first class outline on Thursday covered; Bryne’s story, the diet, fruit, fat, protein, and calories. I learned a lot and really enjoyed Bryne’s approach, relaxed and genial.

I plan to be Bryne’s assistant for the following 3 weeks. The bonus is that I get to soak in all the valuable education goodness that Bryne has to offer.

One part of the assigned homework, eat fruit! That’s yummy homework ;)

Life is good, keep it alive!

Monday, February 8, 2010

My First Raw Food Preparation Workshop

I am excited to announce that my first raw food preparation workshop will be on Saturday, March 6th from 11:00am - 12:30pm at the Lotus Wings in Perth, Ontario. The class will include a simple to prepare menu of basic raw recipes. Eventually I would like to provide workshops offering more exquisite recipes, but for now it's back-to-basics.

Hopefully lots of people from this beautiful small town will want to come :)

Recipe Experiments
I may have come up with a Tunaless Salad Recipe for my workshop :)

Excellent rolled in nori.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Raw Gourmet Kitchen Marathon

I have been busy making some raw gourmet goodies the last few days. Here are some yummies that I prepared through the week and weekend, but first let me introduce to you my little kitchen helpers...

Donald & George!

I love my green smoothies and juices for breakfast, but sometimes it’s nice to have a heartier treat on the weekend. Porridge is always an appropriate breakfast choice, especially in the cold winter.

Almond and Chia Porridge
Makes 2 servings

Almond and Chia Porridge
•1/2 cup almond pulp
•1/4 cup of chia soaked in half cup of water (for a 15 minutes or up to a few hours)
•1 apple diced (or pear)
•1 1/4 cup of almond milk (use more if needed)
•3 tablespoons of agave
•1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
•1 teaspoon of cinnamon
•Pinch of salt

Put all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir. Transfer mixture to two bowls. Top each bowl with chopped almonds, a drizzle of agave and a few pinches of cinnamon.
Chia is not so photogenic, but very tasty.

Black Raspberries
Since berry season is far from near, I was examining all of the different berries in the freezer section of our local health food store. I came across heirloom black raspberries and decided to make some desserts based on these little gems. They are sweeter then raspberries and really rich in flavour, I just love them. They have the strongest staining power, wow. My hands were stained a pretty purplish-navy hue...not so attractive on the skin ;)

Black Raspberry Cream

This is so good. It’s simple, and has the most delish flavour!

Black Raspberry Cream
•2 cups of black raspberries ( I used frozen ones thawed at room temperature)
•1 medium avocado
•4 medjool dates
•2 tablespoons of agave (or more)

Blend in a high speed blender or food processor.

Eat with fresh fruit or layer in a parfait. I made my parfaits with a layer of buckwheat crisps (dehydrated sprouted buckwheat) and chopped nuts, a layer of chopped mango and a layer of Black Raspberry Cream. Repeat till glass is full. Mmmmmm! Eating this dessert give you natural deep purplish lips :)

Black Raspberry Cream Pie

This pie flavour turned out amazing! Definitely one of my favourite desserts. The consistency could have been a little firmer in my opinion, so some tweaking is still needed. But taste wise, yum! The crust reminds me of rich, buttery shortbread cookies, a definite keeper.

I wanted to make a special dinner tonight for Brenty-Boo and I. In the mood for a creamy quiche with a flaky crust, I searched for some recipes, but I did not have many of the specified ingredients on hand, so I opted to come up with a hopefully tasty recipe based on what was in my fabulous fridge. Brenty-Boo has never been a fan of quiche and I have only made it once before, but it was cooked, still vegan though. He said that it turned out delicious and that no tweaking was needed, sweet!

Cheesy Broccoli and Kale Quiche

I think the recipe needs tweaking...but once it seems close to perfect I will gladly share it with you ;)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Light Dinner And Rich Dessert!

On Thursday night I arrived home after our usual dinner time. I was full of creative juices and antsy to craft a raw dessert. For dinner I settled on a simple dish, Avocado Caesar Salad accompanied by a simple green juice. I was inspired by Cafe Gratitude’s Peppery Avocado Caesar Dressing. I made some modifications; adding less water, less salt, more lemon and a good helping of flavourful pungent garlic, yum! I topped it off with my Garlicky Parmesan Cheese. Apparently I was really in the mood for the strong and unique taste that garlic can offer. That being said you can definitely over do it with raw garlic, so starting with less is always a better option because you can add more if you want. But once you have added to much raw garlic to a recipe....there’s no turning back and your recipe may be doomed! This dish would have been extra superb with some crunchy croutons to add texture and dimension, but I did not have any on hand.

Avocado Caesar Salad

Salad Base
•2 small romaine hearts
•1/2 of a red onion thinly sliced (soaked in water for a few minutes to cut bitterness)

Avocado Caesar Dressing
Inspired by Cafe Gratitude's I am Grateful
•1 avocado
•Juice of 1 lemon (approx. 2 tablespoons)
•1 clove of garlic
•1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
•1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of salt (depending on preference)
•1-2 tablespoons of cold-pressed olive oil
•1/2 cup of water

Wash and thourally dry the lettuce so that the dressing sticks to the lettuce. Place romaine, red onion and dressing in a large bowls. Top with garlicky parmesan and a sprinkle of pepper.

Garlicky Parmesan
•*1/8 cup brazil nut flour
•*1/8 cup cashew flour
•1/8 teaspoon salt
•**1 small clove of garlic, made into paste

Mix ingredients together. Store extra garlicky parmesan in a sealed container and put in the fridge.

*Grind nuts in a coffee grinder until a fine powder is achieved.

**Finely chop garlic. Sprinkle with salt and press garlic into the cutting board with the back of your knife, pulling the knife towards you, gently! Perfect paste! No chance of biting into a chunk of raw garlic.

Voila, garlic paste!

Now, for the best part, dessert!
I wanted something with berries and chocolate, so I settled on a blueberry chocolate cheesecake. It turned out quite nice.

Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake

•1 cup shredded coconut
•1/2 cup Brazil nuts
•1/2 cup medjool dates (about 4 dates)
•1/8 cup +1/4 cup cacao nibs
•1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
•2 pinches of good quality salt (I use Himalayan)
•1 tablespoon agave

Place coconut, Brazil nuts, dates, cacao nibs, cinnamon and salt into the food processor. Process until the mixture becomes crumbly and sticky. Add agave, and pulsing until combined.

Tightly pack crust mixture into a 7 inch spring form pan and place in the fridge.

•2 cups of frozen blueberries (thawed)
(Reserve excess juice to use instead of water or for a smoothie)
•2 cups of cashews (soaked in water till soft – 1 to 2 hours)
•1/2 cup cacao powder
•1/8 cup + 1/4 cup of agave
•1/4 cup of lemon juice (approx. 2 small lemons)
•1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut oil (softened)
•2 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
•2 pinches of salt
•*1/8 cup water (or juice from thawed blueberries) ONLY if needed

Blend above ingredients except oil and water until silky smooth. Add oil and blend again until creamy.
*ONLY use the water or blueberry juice if needed. I do not have a good quality blender; therefore I needed this small amount of water to blend the filling to a smooth consistency.

Remove the spring form pan containing the crust from the fridge. Pour the chocolate blueberry filling on top of the crust.

Place in the freezer until firm, approximately 2 hours)

Sweet Blueberry Sauce:
•1/2 cup blueberries (I used frozen, thawed blueberries)
•3-4 tablespoons of agave
•1 soft medjool date
•1 heaping teaspoon of coconut oil (softened)
Blend ingredients until smooth.

Cut a piece of Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake and pour Sweet Blueberry Sauce all over!


Friday, February 5, 2010

The Birth of My Blog

My name is Amanda. I share my life with an amazing partner Brenty-Boo and 3 fur kids, Donald, Libby and George. I have been living the raw lifestyle since April 2009.

I am travelling in the car with my sweet, supportive partner (also known as Brenty-Boo)...listening to Pink Floyd while typing up my first blog post and it feels so good. I know it’s time to create a place where I can share all of my kitchen creations, tried and tinkered recipes, and meet some amazing new friends.

There is so much to learn about this very special lifestyle, and I love every bit of this experience. What started out as an experiment has become so much more. My eating has changed, my lifestyle has changed, my outlook has changed, and I have evolved.

My Journey
It all began the summer of 2008. Little did I know that my weekend marathon of making raw gourmet cuisine would escalate into a whole new way of life, one in which I am eternally grateful for.

Where do I begin? Looking back it feels like the way I was living my life could not possibly be my past...I have made so many huge changes. Chronically always sick with colds, flues, ear infections, battling depression, the future path for my health did not look promising. In 2007 I made the decision to stop taking birth control for health reasons and because my body had been functioning on this drug for over 10 years. The results were terrible and left me with many issues, acne being the most troublesome problem. I decided from that point on to take control of my health and the only logical starting point seemed to be food. I began by cutting out dairy, and then meat. As a vegetarian in my teenage years, removing meat from my diet was not very difficult. I eventually progressed to a vegan diet, and then naturally evolved to a raw food lifestyle. I refer to raw foods as a lifestyle rather then a diet because fundamentally it is a way of life, not just diet related. This process was one of the most rewarding learning experiences and the beginning of a whole new way of living life.

I was immediately hooked on raw from the first few recipes I tried. I did not adapt to a completely raw diet overnight, but rather at a more gradual pace. I eat raw foods because my system loves them. Trusting in your intuition and listening to your body will help you to incorporate raw living foods at a more comfortable pace.

I am passionate about food and have been for a long time. I want to help spread the word about the raw foods lifestyle through my passion because it has given to me so many gifts, beyond nutrition. Emotions of happiness and stress both seems to bring me to my safe spot, the kitchen, where I am constantly preparing raw foods for Brenty-Boo and myself because they make our taste buds sing and nourish our body too. It’s so gratifying to see someone taste raw food for the first time and watch as their eyes dance because their tongues are too busy licking their lips.

100% Raw
For me transitioning to a raw lifestyle means creating a healthier and better quality life, so if we focus too much on what percentage of raw we are it can actually cause us stress. Your goal should be to live 100% healthy and to become in tune with your body. I truly believe that once you reconnect with your body it will begin to communicate what it needs to be strong and healthy. I have discovered that if you give your body the adequate time it requests to balance out, it will converse to you it’s nutritional requirements.

Today I am at a much better place with my physical and emotional health. I feel better then ever, and I look forward to each day.

I love raw foods; eating them, sharing them and of course making them!

I look forward to meeting some awesome people and sharing recipes, information about the raw lifestyle and so much more.

Cheers to this life, new friends, love and raw food!

Luv Amanda