Friday, December 31, 2010

30 Days that Changed My Life Forever!!!!

As 2010 comes to an end I am grateful for all the changes that came with it...Thankful for my health and my family's health.  Thankful for all the challenges because without them we cannot grow to be the people that we are meant to be.  I am most thankful for my husband for so many reasons.  Sounds corny right???  Well, without him, I would not have known Karen "Guraw" Cooper.  Knowing this woman has changed my life.  Funny thing is, we have never met face to face.  I have gained more knowledge from her in the few months that I've known about her.  She helped me change my life.  I wish I could put into words how she has affected just about every aspect of my life.  The 30 day "Raw Food Challenge" was a godsend.  I embraced the challenge with an open mind.  Ended the challenge with a new way of life.  I have often admired vegetarians and vegans for their discipline.  Doing this challenge made me realize that it's more about education than discipline.  Once you are educated the choice to be healthy comes easy.

So, as I end 2010 I am resolving to take the knowledge that I have gained and continue to gain and educate all around me that want to listen.   I am no longer a victim of what I thought I had to control over and I want everyone to know that their health is their responsibility.  Time to start taking control of your health!

I couldn't end 2010 without another great Kale recipe could I?  This "Hawaiian Kale" is delicious!  My husband came up with the dressing for this deliciousness.

Dressing ingredients: Pineapple puree, agave, nama shoyu, fresh ginger, sea salt, pepper.
After massaging the kale with olive oil, pour the dressing over the kale and massage it in, top with fresh pineapples and enjoy.
Happy Healthy New Year!!!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Kale Salad

One of the foods that I have in my fridge all the time is "Kale Salad".   It has become a staple since I have begun this raw/vegan lifestyle.  I eat is just about everyday.  For the past couple months I have made the kale salad the same way each week. My standard kale salad dressing consists of olive oil, garlic, lemon, agave and sea salt.   Adding different toppings to it but basically the same flavor.  This past Friday while doing errands with my husband he mentioned that I should do something different with the Kale.  Not that the way that I am doing it is bad, but that I should mix it up a bit.  So, I said OK.  Any suggestions???  We brainstormed a bit and came up with Sesame Kale Salad.
 
Turned out pretty good.  Ingredients are olive oil, toasted sesame oil, agave, juice of a orange, nama shoyu, and chili paste.  Gave the kale an asian flavor.  Very good decision.

Also made sushi for the first time, using quinoa instead of rice.  Not too bad for my first attempt at sushi!
Next up...Tex Mex Kale!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lettuce Wraps

My goal is to find raw recipes and make them simple.  I have been told that when searching for raw recipes online they appear too difficult and have way too many ingredients.  I totally agree.  So, when I find a recipe I try to simplify it.  This recipe is a Thai style Lettuce wrap!  I made these last night and they were delicious.  My husband really enjoyed them too.  He said that I made them too hot, as I always tend to do.  This recipe should not be too hot.  I usually add more red pepper flakes than the recipe calls for.  All the equipment you need for this is a food processor!

Ingredients:

The "Meat"
1 1/2 cup Walnuts
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup scallions
1/2 cup Cilantro

The Sauce
1/4 cup Agave
1/8 cup Nama Shoyu
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Red pepper flakes

The Topping
1/4 cup Agave
1/8 cup Sesame Oil
1/8 cup Nama Shoyu
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Put sauce ingredients in food processor, pulse 3-4 times.
Put walnuts in and pulse 5-6 times.
Add veggies and pulse until mixtures looks like ground meat.

Place ingredients in lettuce leaf and top with more shredded carrots and bean sprouts(optional) and pour a little of the topping on them and...Enjoy!!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Inspired to Blog

Happy Sunday to you!  I have been asked by several people, "Why don't you blog anymore".  I thought that after the challenge no one would be interested in what I had to say.  I really wasn't sure if anyone was really reading my blogs.  I am happy to say that my Raw Food journey has inspired some of my friends and family to evaluate their eating habits.  So, it's all good!  I am still eating raw.  Still feeling great!!!  No regrets.  I have incorporated some cooked food into my diet.  I am very very picky about the cooked foods that I eat.  If nothing else the Raw Food Challenge taught me to be aware of the foods and drinks that I put into my body.  I am 100% off meat, dairy and sugar.  Still having my one cup of coffee per day.  I drink maybe one glass of wine per week, if that.  Not really having the cravings that I used to have.


Falafels, Quinoa, Quinoa Pasta and Ezekiel Sprouted Bread are now staples in my house.  Those are the main things that I have incorporated into my mostly raw diet.


What have I been up to since I last blogged??  Well, I went to NYC for Thanksgiving.
First stop when we arrived in this gorgeous city was "Virgil's Barbecue".  My husbands absolute favorite place to eat in NYC.  I ate there last year when we were there.  He ordered his favorite...wings and hush puppies.  Now, here is where the actual "challenge" begins.  What will I eat??? I was hungry too, we had been on the road for about 6 hours, granted I packed some fruit and nuts but I needed a meal.  Lucky for me they actual had a "big"salad on the menu and that is what I order.  Mustard vinaigrette dressing on the side of course.  At that moment in my life that was the best salad I had ever had...I was hungry and it satisfied...


I packed a cooler full of raw foods for me to eat during my stay in NYC.  Made a large Kale salad for Thanksgiving dinner and it was the most colorful dish on the table...
And was enjoyed by all.  One thing that I must say is that you must be prepared with the foods that you can eat so as not to be frustrated or tempted to eat what you normally would not eat.   My Thanksgiving dinner was kale salad, vegan mashed potatoes and butternut squash gravy...


Not sure if I mentioned this before but I wanted to go to a raw food restaurant while in NYC.  Researched online and found one that I wanted to visit called "Raw Soul".  And it did not disappoint.
My husband and cousin went with me and we ordered 3 entree's and 3 desserts.  I also ordered something to go.  I thoroughly enjoyed my meal and so did my family.  We had raw pizza, raw lasagna and raw quiche.  I think the quiche was the least favorite of all three...
                                                                              pizza
                                                                         quiche
                                                                             lasagna
I had never had raw "dessert" before so I was interested in trying that too.  We had cheesecake, pecan pie and cinnamon rolls...
                                                                     cheesecake
                                                                        pecan pie
                                                                  cinnamon rolls

All were delicious.  We were very satisfied after leaving that restaurant.  I met one of the owners and purchased a book...
This book is full of recipes and information.  I was sad to learn that they are closing this restaurant in December.  They are moving to New Mexico...the mecca of spirituality.  Maybe one day I can have some Raw Soul in New Mexico.  It was a satisfying raw experience for me.

Since that trip I had not eaten out at a restaurant until this weekend.  Friday I attended a dental seminar.  Before lunch I spoke with someone and explained that I did not eat meat.  I asked for a "big" salad for myself and another co-worker who was doing the 7-day Raw Food Challenge.  They brought us a couple of vegetarian dishes...cooked mushroom stacks with lentils and green beams.  I tasted the veggies on the plate and decided to just eat 2 side salads.  My taste buds have definitely changed.  The veggies on the plate tasted very bland and too soft.  That dish they they served us inspired me to make something for myself.  A raw mushroom stack with marinated veggies...
And it was delicious...Had another restaurant outing to attend today.  PfChangs was the restaurant for this gathering of Birthday Club ladies.  I went online and looked at their menu.  Decided that I would order Shanghai cucumber(raw) and  Sichuan style asparagus.  Also looked at the sodium content of these items...743mg and 730mg respectively...WOW!  Drinking lots of water as I type this...

I think that if dining with friends at a restaurant that cannot accommodate your eating lifestyle it's best to eat before you go and order a salad at the restaurant.  Usually the reason for dining with friends is to socialize anyway...This is just how I will deal when these times arise.

Still no regrets.  I'm just trying to come up with recipes that are simple and don't require too many ingredients.  I think that another reason people decide to go back to their old eating habits is because many of the recipes require way too many ingredients.   I'm trying to keep it simple and I will share what I come up with...Stay Tuned!!!