Monday, August 30, 2010

Ocean Love Soup via Sunfood/Veggie Vibes

I came across this recipe for Ocean Love Soup while browsing all the wonderful things that has to offer. Today, I tried a slight variation of it based on what I had available in my kitchen. It was SO delicious. I had just gotten off a phone call with my Mom- I was telling her that I wasn't sure I could enjoy a raw lifestyle because I would miss the complex flavors that come from cooking foods. Well, the universe has certainly answered my longing with this delicious, nutty, sweet/sour/salty/spicy soup.

My recipe substitutions are as follows:
I didn't have Walnuts, so I used Cashews. I don't like spicy, so I left out the Peppers. No Celery in the fridge, so I used Cucumber. And, I added Red Pepper Flakes. For the topping, I didn't have Dulse seaweed, so I used Arame and left out the Bell Pepper as well.

One day, after I become a bit more skilled and informed, I'll be able to create my own delicious raw concoctions, but until then, I will share what I continue to discover!

This recipe is from Chef Perkunas

Charentais melons

If you are in Boulder, I am giving you an assignment. Go buy and eat one of these Charentais melons from Full Circle Farms of Longmont (aka Rocky Mountain Pumpkin Patch).  I found my first one at Vitamin Cottage, and today spied one outside at Whole Foods.
Take your time and really taste the fruit. Toasted honey in harmony with citrus and vanilla. If you find one, let me know what you think.

I'm saving the seeds, hoping to grow some of my own next season.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Rudi's vs. Udi's Gluten Free Breads

Last night, I was invited by fellow blogger, Megan from A Boulder Table to a lovely dinner at Root Down in Denver sponsored by and featuring Rudi's new Gluten Free Bakery breads. It was fabulous- see her post reviewing the dinner here. I will definitely be going back there- I see they have a Raw Food Night every Tuesday throughout the Summer. Lots of fellow bloggers attended and it was nice to connect and chat with everybody!

For a few months now, I have been eating Udi's Gluten Free Whole Grain Bread. It's the closest to a regular sandwich bread that I have found since going GF. Now, with their fun, new branding and yummy new line of Gluten Free breads, Rudi's Organic Bakery has topped it.

The menu at the Root Down dinner featured their breads deliciously. But, what about just plain toast (with Justin's Chocolate Peanut Butter of course- who eats just plain toast??!!)? How does it hold up? I put it to the test this morning and was not disappointed.

The slices are larger than Udi's (they are pretty much standard size), and the bread is softer and sweeter. Rudi's is an 18oz. loaf while Udi's is 12oz. The ingredient list is similar for the first ten or so ingredients, but Rudi's leaves out the Calcium Sulfate, Cultured Dextrose, etc...and they feature Organic Honey and Molasses. The nutrition facts are harder to compare, but overall Rudi's seems to win in that category as well. You can really taste the difference.

I wonder how Rudi's will hold up on the counter for a few days? Udi's gets a bit stale. Both Udi's and Rudi's (when the latter starts to appear- should be any day now) are sold in the freezer section of stores like Whole Foods and Vitamin Cottage as well as King Soopers chains. They should also retail for the same amount according to Rudi's press release at $5.99.

Happy sandwich making!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A raw confession

I have a confession to make. Last night I made a dish so horrible I had to throw it away. My heart wasn't in it. I was hungry and rushing and should have eaten a couple crackers before I started cooking so that my ravenous appetite would allow me to think clearly and cook with clear intention. Luckily, Ryan came to the rescue with grilled cheeses. 

This afternoon, I was really hungry again, but instead of reaching for my wok, I recalled the video of Brigitte's raw cooking lesson I watched yesterday and gave it a go. I had some kale, carrots and beets from the garden as well as cherry tomatoes and basil. 

If you check out my previous post called Seven Minutes to Raw, you'll see the recipe for the Raw Kale Salad, pictured here. I added some sesame Gomaiso to the top as well. It's the easiest thing I have ever had the pleasure of making. And, I have to say it was really good. I don't usually eat a lot of Kale, but this renewed my interest in such a nutritious leafy green. Did I mention there's no pan to clean afterward? I was always sad seeing all that lovely green water from the steamed kale go down the drain. Now it's in my tummy!

For the Apple/Beet Slaw, simply...
Grate some Beet
Grate some Carrot
Add Toasted Sesame Oil (raw? not raw? not sure yet.)
Salt and lemon juice to taste

The part of my meal that wasn't raw was the Toasted Goat Cheese on Udi's Whole Grain Bread topped with Cherry Tomatoes and Basil. But, I'm not all raw and I love Goat Cheese. I wonder what equates to Goat Cheese in the raw food world? Guessing it's a nut cheese. Time to read up!

Garden pals

These two were hanging out on my summer squash plant yesterday. I think the spider was eyeing the grasshopper with hungry fondness.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Seven Minutes to Raw

Seven Minutes to Raw

A fantastic introduction to raw cuisine. Check out this video via Brigitte Mars. After eating Michigan food for a week, and then road food on the way home, I feel even more compelled to explore and try out the raw lifestyle.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bortells Fisheries in Pentwater, MI

The Best smoked chubs in the world. Only they didn't have them  as it seems something is amiss and the fish are scarce these days. Rats. I settled for smoked white fish (a gift for grandpa). Going back tomorrow for lunch after a day at the beach. Laying on the sand is hard work...I build up quite an appetite!

Melon from aunt Kathy's garden


The Cottage

This week Ryan and I are staying at a cottage built in 1867 that belonged to my Great Grandmother.

The backyard is a perfect setting for lazy summer meals. Here's a sandwich idea that I created for lunch inspired by what we had randomly gathered at the local grocery and farmers market.

The Cottage

GF bread

Make open-faces sandwiches. Serve w Chardonnay, sprouts drizzled in EVOO and lemon juice, slices of good smoked cheddar,  and dine the afternoon away.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pentwater farmers market

So beautiful...down at the harbour in the park. An Australian smoked cheddar from The Cheese Lady, local grass fed beef, and sprouts from a very cute guy named Andy.  

Milk prayer

Only in Michigan can you read a prayer from the milk container as you pour it over breakfast cereal.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Spinach Salad with Cherries & Walnuts

I feel guilty because I haven't posted much in the past week, so here is a bonus post for the day.

Spinach Salad with Cherries & Walnuts

Spinach, torn
Bing Cherries, pitted and sliced in half
Walnuts, toasted slightly
Baby onion, sliced thin
Annie's Organics Sesame Ginger dressing

Toss. Eat. LOVE!!

Date Me!

Date Tree
I am in love with dates. Always have been, always will be. I especially like the Medjool Dates from Vitamin Cottage- they keep them in the fridge and I find them fresher than the ones in the bulk section at Whole Foods.
Bisr Dates at Market

A little history from our pal, Wikipedia...
Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around the Persian Gulf, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 4000 BCE. The Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to be made into date wine, and ate them at harvest. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia in 6000 BCE. (Alvarez-Mon 2006). In later times, Arabs spread dates around South and South West Asia, northern Africa, and Spain and Italy. Dates were introduced into Mexico and California by the Spaniards by 1765, around Mission San Ignacio.

Well then, time to make something delicious with these ancient dried fruits.

Spinach Salad with Dates, Walnuts & Raw Summer Squash

By looking at the photo, you can probably figure out how to make this salad.

Spinach leaves, torn up a bit
Dates, pitted and sliced
Summer Squash, sliced/chopped
Green Onion, sliced
Annie's Organics Sesame Ginger dressing
Walnuts, slightly toasted
Combine all ingredients and toss together. Eat outside if at all possible.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Chow for my Chow Chow

Our dog Francis is the best! But, she's had a tough time with food allergies. After following endless veterinarian recommendations and bouts with antibiotics and enduring hot spot hell, my friend Mandi gave me her dog food recipe. I played with it for a while and ended up with this version. You can certainly change out the protein source and adjust it for your dog's needs. We also use some Chinese supplements and nutritional powders that I will save for another post.

This diet has drastically changed they way her coat looks- it is so much healthier- and all of her itchy hot spots have disappeared. I found that Francis is most likely allergic or sensitive to Rice which is the ingredient you will find in lots of dog foods and recipes. If your dog is having problems, try removing all grain from her diet. Replacements can come in the form of starches like Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes. I have served her Quinoa too and that seems like a wonderful alternative.

I find it so interesting that at this time we are experiencing food allergies at such a high level in the human as well as the pet population. What does that say about the way that we are eating? I just started Brigitte Mars' Rawsome today. Thinking that it will change even further the way I cook (or not cook) and eat (and what I serve to my pets and family)!

Easy Homemade Dog Food

I make this recipe once a week. Or Ryan does, which is nice because although the recipe is easy, the pots you are left with to wash are lots of work.

3 lbs. Ground Buffalo
2 lbs. Carrots
5lbs. Potatoes
1 lb Frozen Spinach
1lb Frozen Broccoli
Olive Oil

Wash Carrots and Potatoes. I usually fill up the sink and let them soak a bit, followed by a scrub. Using a food processor fitted with the grater attachment, shred the Carrots. Add to large pot. Using a slicer attachment, slice the Potatoes. Add to pot. Fill pot with water and bring to boil on stove. Reduce to simmer and cook for about 15 minutes or until Potatoes are just tender. Strain. Cook Buffalo in large skillet. Return Potatoes and Carrots to large pot, add Frozen Spinach and Broccoli, and cooked Buffalo. Stir gently but thoroughly. Place half mixture into a large container in the fridge and the other half in the freezer. This should last a 50-60lb dog about 7 days. Yum yum! You can eat it too! I like to drizzle the food with Olive Oil before serving to add a little fat because Buffalo is so lean. Happy dog!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lillabee Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes

I absolutely had to make something with those poppyseeds I harvested and roasted last week. And, I wanted to try out the Lillabee baking mix. The most reasonable conclusion was to whip up some cupcakes- and even covered in cake and frosting, those poppyseeds were the most delicious part of this dessert.

As I've mentioned before, I don't bake. I come from a family of fruit farmers, and my Grandmother is the queen of fruit pies and cookies. You would think it would be in my blood, but for some reason I don't seem to have the patience most of the time. That said, I really enjoyed making these, and frosting them was the best part.

Lillabee Lemon Poppyseed Cupcakes
1. Follow directions on baking mix. How's that for direction?! :) I used Rice Milk and good old fashioned Organic Unsalted Butter. You can use any Milk you like and even substitute butter with a non-dairy kind.

2. Pour batter into cupcake thingys. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes.

3. Make frosting while baking- I didn't really follow a recipe- it's more fun that way! Using my Kitchen Aid mixer, I added a bunch of room temperature butter and blended it until nice and fluffy, then I added powdered sugar, Rice Milk and vanilla until it reached the consistency and taste that I wanted.

4. When cupcakes are done baking, let them cool.

5. Frost. Add decorations! Cherries like these are so pretty and in season this time of year!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Gelatti from Paulie's

This photo does the real thing no justice whatsoever. Paulie's Italian Ice & Gelato in Louisville is the place to go to try it. You can choose two flavors; I love Strawberry and Chocolate- whatever you choose, it comes with Vanilla Custard in the middle. Make sure you bring someone armed with another spoon. Gotta LOVE summer.

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Cactus, Mamillaria, is an unmistakable plant that grows throughout the Rocky Mountain region. We saw some flowering on our hike the other day. Pin Cushion cactus are supposed to be the better tasting of these two common cacti. I wonder how difficult they are to cultivate?

In Terry Willard's Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rocky Mountain Region and Neighbouring Territories, he explains, "The pulp of the cacti can be eaten if you overcome the problem of the spines. One solution is to remove the spines by burning them off. The other is to split them in two, eating the insides." Of course, he also reminds us to make sure the cacti you we about to consume are not protected or rare. They're almost too pretty to eat if you ask me!