Tuesday, October 27, 2009

stuffed acorn squash

i'd been dying to make this since my friend bonnie told me about it.
i (kind of) followed this recipe.
it was a bit overcooked but still delicious.
and the smell...mmmm...while i was cooking john texted me from upstairs to tell me that it smelled like a "delightful fall day down there!" =)

i added toasted pecans and fresh local cranberries, quartered and simmered in maple syrup.

this meal required the use of all 4 burners and the oven....yikes!

but that's ok, because the stove's going to have a little rest when Carmella and Don arrive!

*spots are still available for the Raw in a Flash class this Friday, Oct. 30th.
let me know if you want in!

Monday, October 26, 2009

turnips and greens

with the little roots and all! =)

this was the first time i've cooked turnips. they were given to me by a woman named hortense who has opened an organic market in collingswood, nj. i've been working with her and experimenting with different treats i may sell at her store. the grand opening is november 14th for those in the area. stay tuned!

hortense said to cut them up and saute them with the greens- that's it! so quick, easy, and tasty! i cut them, cooked them, and we scarfed them right down all in less than 20 minutes.

i sauteed the turnips first in a little garlic and olive oil. after a few minutes i added the greens, then threw in some walnuts. mmm mmm good!

how do you like your turnips?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

snacks and pumpkins

 alfalfa sprouts, local apples and peanut butter
(sprouts with pb is delish. don't knock it til you try it!) 
i sprout my alfalfa seeds the same way i sprout mung beans
(i ran out of nylon panty hose so i used tulle this time and it worked great!)

thin rolls toasted with garlic and olive oil, carrots and guacamole

~pierre and his girlfriend~
painted by my little sister crystal and me. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

vegetable soup tutorial

 red bell pepper, black beans, rutabaga, buckwheat and cilantro

veggie soup is great in my opinion because you can throw in whatever you have, add some spices, let it simmer and voila - you've got dinner and maybe even enough leftover for lunch the next day. plus i feel soup is fairly easy to make and so comforting on chilly days.

sure, it's great to follow tried and true soup recipes, but here is a simple basic soup guide i play with when i have some veggies to work with.  (i'm no expert but this method for soup making works for me!)

(makes 6-8 servings)

1 - gather and chop ingredients.

2 - prepare 6 cups veg broth by heating 6 cups filtered water with 2 vegetable bouillon cubes. the boxes/cans of vegetable stock work but i find its cheaper to use the cubes. i usually make the broth in the same pot i will  use for the soup. when the cubes dissolve, i pour the hot broth in a glass container and set aside for the next step.

3 - heat 1-2 tablespoon butter (i like earth balance) or olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

add onions or garlic if you'd like and the tougher veggies:

let them cook for about 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.

carrot, fennel, green onions

4 - add the 6 cups of veggie broth and anywhere from a 1/4 to 1 cup of grains/seeds (you could use one of the following or any other grain you like - i used lentil below):

brown/wild rice

5 - add a few pinches of seasonings and bring the broth to a boil. sometimes i will throw in a bay leaf. this soup has smoked paprika, cumin, a very small pinch of nutmeg and turmeric.

6 - cover the pot, lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer about 25 minutes (15 minutes if you pre-soaked the grain).

7 - when there is about 5 minutes left add the soft or frozen veggies:
cooked beans (chick peas are my fave)
bell pepper

carefully taste the soup (it's HOT!) and add more seasonings if needed.

cover and simmer for 5 more minutes. 

serve to your family and enjoy the yummy sounds they make!


*of course there are a lot more veggies and grains to work with for veggie soups, i just listed the ones i could think of.  i'd gladly appreciate any more ideas! =)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

fall arts festival

today we headed 45 minutes south to a fall arts festival in salem county. little did we know it was a tour of shops, galleries, and artists' homes! in one cute little shop i bought a brown sugar and fig soy candle....mmm...so nice and fall-y. we were also given free apples and pumpkins with our purchases. gotta love free produce! =)

next stop was klayhorse studios, which was actual part of the sculptor's home that she and her husband designed right along the delaware river. i forgot to take a pic inside Deborah Waddington Smith's studio but here are some pics inside her amazing home.

spiral staircases are cool, but i'd imagine they make it a bit difficult to carry the laundry basket up and down. i should have asked! :p

this wall featured Deborah's mother (Mary Waddington's) photography.
to the left are Amanda McCutcheon's portraits of "The Boardroom".

Ms. McCutcheon explained that these portraits were done in the recent year to show her anger towards the fraudulent actions of the banksters. (i need a creative outlet for my angst!)

on a lighter note, this house had some happy cats lounging around.

"why don't you take a picture...it'll last longer..."
he then proceeded to roll his eyes but was happy when john pet him. =)

final stop was Linda Levie's studio/house...located right next to a huge soy bean farm!
her home featured the work of Brigitte O'Dowd-Carr.

we brought along sammies and snacks with the intention to have a picnic lunch somewhere, but we ended up saving them for dinner. (we had too many goodies at the stops along the way...cupcake, cookies, pumpkin soup...sinful! why can't i say nooo?!)

can you spot the little heart sprout?

it's funny how we went from one extreme of eating to another in one day! hey, i say better to eat healthy most of the time then none of the time!

i followed this recipe to make a hearty raw bread, then topped it with sliced avocado, garden tomatoes, kale massaged with olive oil, and alfalfa sprouts. served with a side of baked kale chips.

*i'd use the bread recipe again but will leave out the pumpkin seeds and use more sunflower seeds.

have a wonderful week, my lovely readers!
(all 3 of you ;)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

vegan mofo survey - and my 100th post!

although i do not eat 100% vegan (yet?) i still wanted to participate in the fun!
(vegan MoFo = vegan month of food)

1. Favorite non-dairy milk? i think almond milk is the tastiest. chocolate almond milk is yummy - reminds me of yoo-hoo.

2. What are the top 3 dishes/recipes you are planning to cook? lentil soup, stuffed acorn squash, and zucchini brownies.

3. Topping of choice for popcorn? salt and butter. kettle cooked is delicious, too.

4. Most disastrous recipe/meal failure? i haven't had anything too disastrous - i'll eat anything! yesterday i made cheez-its and forgot the flax...they turned out fine though, thank goodness!

5. Favorite pickled item? pickled pickles.

6. How do you organize your recipes? i don't. most recipes i love and use often are on my blog. gotta love that! new ones i'd like to try are in a bookmarks folder. handwritten recipes are in notebooks and a blue folder i tend to misplace.

7. Compost, trash, or garbage disposal? compost.

8. If you were stranded on an island and could only bring 3 foods…what would they be (don’t worry about how you’ll cook them)? i'd rather not live if there were only 3 foods for me to eat. next question! :p

j/k - i'd say veggie sushi, quinoa salad, and frozen fruit bars.

9. Fondest food memory from your childhood? my mommy's delicious meals. she's the best cook. and my salads with 'herbs and spices' dressing. i was a lil' rabbit!

10. Favorite vegan ice cream? coconut based ice creams.

11. Most loved kitchen appliance? my magic bullet (craiglist - $25 - booyah!)

12. Spice/herb you would die without? ha, a very magical herb. ;) i also love cilantro (my sista krista got me hooked years ago).

13. Cookbook you have owned for the longest time? i just recently started purchasing cookbooks. i don't really use them much. i like the internet for recipes.

14. Favorite flavor of jam/jelly? love them all.

15. Favorite vegan recipe to serve to an omni friend? zucchini crab cakes.

16. Seitan, tofu, or tempeh? seitan, sometimes.

17. Favorite meal to cook (or time of day to cook)? dinner and late-night snack.

18. What is sitting on top of your refrigerator? plants and a grey goose bottle filled with notes john and i wrote to each other in the beginning. =)

19. Name 3 items in your freezer without looking. frozen fruit bars, tater tots, dehydrated bread i made yesterday.

20. What’s on your grocery list? just went shopping.

21. Favorite grocery store? don't have a favorite but i am grateful whole foods sells a lot of things i need.

22. Name a recipe you’d love to veganize, but haven’t yet. my mom's stuffed cabbage.

23. Food blog you read the most. Or maybe the top 3? i love so many. kubicle kitchen, sunny raw kitchen, feeding little vegans, and the adventures of raw goddess heathy are my top 4 food blogs (in no particular order).

24. Favorite vegan candy/chocolate? peanut chews.

25. Most extravagant food item purchased lately? irish moss.

26. Ingredients you are scared to work with? irish moss!

so now you know a little bit more about lil' ol' me and my food! =)

hope you're all enjoying your weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quinoa Queen

that's what i like to call myself.  (queenoa for short. and quinoa-tifa. =)

not really, but i do love it. once upon a time i ate it almost everyday! i felt like i had discovered gold the first time i tried it. for reals.

quinoa is extremely versatile, full of protein and nutrients and easy to digest. i get it for $2.99/lb from the bulk bin. it's one of the more expensive seeds/grains but well worth the price imo. (always be sure to rinse quinoa very well to wash away the bitter saponin coating.)
behold, my favorite marinade for quinoa (from Donna).

2 T coconut oil - if thick then heat to melt
1/4 t toasted sesame oil
1 t raw organic agave
1/2" piece of ginger (or more), grated
3 T (or less) wheat-free shoyu or tamari, to taste


the marinade goes very nicely with mango, banana, and coconut quinoa salad.  it's also great on steamed broccoli with almonds. yum!

asparagus quinoa is just as delish.

one of the many things i love about quinoa is it tastes great warm or cold. it actually gets tastier as it sits in the fridge.

and it's always a yummy addition to soups and salads.

i tried sprouting quinoa but it got really smelly and i had to compost it. maybe because it was midsummer and too warm in the kitch?

anywho, if you have any delicious raw or cooked quinoa recipes to share, please do! i'd love to try something new for fall.

(im thinking of stuffing it in baked acorn squash, kind of like what my friend Bonnie made...you know i'll be blogging about it if i do!)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

garden b-l-t

...with eggplant bacon!

last time baked, this time dehydrated (i recommend using less oil).
john and i both liked it better baked, which really surprised me - i thought it would have gotten crispier in the d. i probably could have left it in longer but i was a bit impatient. when i have an idea for something to eat, i want it ASAP! =)

whole wheat wrap with mesclun mix, sliced avocado, vegenaise, and garden tomatoes. the eggplant was from the garden as well.

..speaking of, our garden's still kicking! i can't believe we are still picking ripe tomatoes. i'm also pinching off a bit of basil here and there and small eggplant and bell peppers are still waiting to be plucked.

i replanted my woodland strawberry from a pot to the garden a few weeks ago and it's been giving us sweet little berries.

my niece alaina really likes them (and green tomatoes - she apparently finds a small cactus in my house tasty, too, as well as styrofoam (bubblegum she called it). i bet it's a real treat for this little cutie pie to be able to pick something off the ground and eat it without hearing "no!"  =)

Monday, October 5, 2009

raw cheez-its

a delicious variation of the cooked commercial cheez-it, these are a real crowd-pleaser!

the original recipe is from goneraw.com
i followed this recipe with rawerin and fairygirl's adjustments.
then i made a few tweaks of my own.

Raw Cheez-Its
(batter covers 3 teflex sheets)

1 C. sunflower seeds (soaked overnight)
1 C. almonds (soaked overnight)
1 C. brazil nuts
1 big tomato
1 red pepper, chopped
1/4 C. sun-dried tomatoes, soaked overnight
1/4 C. ground flax
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. taco seasoning
2 tsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. onion powder

process all ingredients, then spread batter fairly thin onto teflex sheets. score into squares. dehydrate at 110° until dry, flipping cheez-its onto mesh screens after a few hours.

...then enjoy!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Raw Food Class in Runnemede, NJ

i have a special raw-nnouncement to make...

Carmella and Don
are touring the states from Canada and stopping to host a raw cooking class in  
Runnemede, NJ
Friday, October 30th at 7pm

RAW IN A FLASH: Don't have much time to play in the kitchen? In this class you will learn how to make some simple yet tasty recipes that can be prepared in no time with a minimum of equipment.

all recipes are: vegan*gluten-free*wheat-free*without added sugar

Spaces are limited!
Email me for more info and to reserve your spot!

Hope to see you there!!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

pizza friday

when i was a child my favorite day of the week was friday

1) because TGIF was on (esp the first and best year with full house, perfect strangers, mr. belvedere, and just the ten of us)
2) it was pizza day at school!

oooooh and then some fridays were even pretzel dayyy....

when i first decided to stop consuming animal products i had no problem avoiding cheese. (i actually starting weaning myself years ago when, oddly enough, i heard Madonna explain why she avoids it.) but lately it's been a different story - i've been cheating like a non-vegan mofo. People's Pizza's marinara pie usually does the trick, but they're not open late like Domino's when the craving is at its worst!

i do not like consuming dairy for a bunch of reasons. i also sense that the processed wheat crusts are no good for my system as well. 

so i set out to  make raw pizzas like Carmi's at the Sunny Raw Kitchen. i borrowed a dehydrater from the ever-so-kind Wendi and created guilt-free super tasty healthy raw pizzas to enjoy this pizza friday.

 and created some food art while i was at it!

i began following carmi's recipe for her herb pizza crust but realized a second too late that the recipe called for 4 cups of zucchini, chopped, not four whole zucchini, chopped, like i had already processed with the sunflower seeds. der! i decided to just keep going and made adjustments where i saw fit.

the batter looked good to me so i spread it out on 3 teflex sheets and dehydrated for about a day and a half to get them nice and crispy. the outcome was 27 pretty tasty pizza crusts! half went into the freezer and i'm sure we'll eat the rest this weekend. =)

some were topped with an avocado spread, marinated fennel, and tomatoes.

marinated fennel
equal parts shoyu, agave, and olive oil


they were all delicious and i had a blast making them!

now i'm off to go watch some of my old friday favorites on hulu with my bedtime snack of raw cheez-its. =)

♫ it's friday night...and the moood is right
gonna have some fun, show ya how it's done, T-G-I-F ♫

...if you were an 80's baby, i know you're pickin' up what i'm puttin' down!

raw chocolate

1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1/2 cup cacao powder
2-4 Tbs maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whisk ingredients together until smooth. Add in fruits and or nuts of choice. Pour into mini silicone molds or paper lined muffin tins. Chill in the fridge until firm.
*i halved the recipe to get the amount shown above - enough for dipping and one chocolate in a muffin cup with goji berries, cashews and walnuts. next time i shall double the recipe!

 did you know that cacao and cannabis are the only plants known to contain cannabinoids? these natural chemicals that are also found in our system lock into receptor sites in the brain to make us feel elated, or "high".

cacao and cannibus make me happy, and i'm not ashamed to admit it. =)

 these blogs also make me happy. you should check them out.


have a happy weekend!

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