Friday, March 26, 2010

raw potato salad and my new vitamix =)

with their "starchy carbohydrates", potatoes often get a bad rap in the health food world. i agree the way most potatoes are prepared (fried, topped with cheese, mayo, or bacon bits) is questionable, but what about raw potatoes in a sensible salad? 

through some online research i've come to the conclusion that potatoes can be quite nutritious when lightly steamed or eaten raw. the little tubers contain 60 different phytochemicals, and of all the vegetables, potatoes contain the highest amounts of potassium (about 22% of what they say we need everyday).

(potassium is essential for cell maintenance and some studies show diets high in potassium may lower blood pressure and help prevent strokes. fortunately, potassium is abundant in most fruits and vegetables, especially bananas).

the skin of the potato is packed with nutrients like vitamin C and B6 (also good for the blood stream). potatoes contain a nice amount of dietary fiber and even some protein!

while i was planning this potato salad my new vitamix was delivered! perfect timing! we blended homemade tahini, a tahini miso sauce for the salad, and then a super creamy raw soup. oh happy day!!!=)

sliced potato, shitake mushroom, zucchini, carrot, spinach, and basil topped with broccoli sprouts and tahini miso sauce

tahini miso sauce, tomato, spinach, zucchini, garlic, and basil soup with nori pieces

and here she is, in all her sloppy splendor...

what shall we make next? 
(i'm thinking chocolate sauce!=)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

sensuous salad and a new health food store

last night and this past weekend i got to spend time with my good friends carol and lisa. they teach a fun vegan cooking class at the local high school which includes a potluck on the last day of class.

after trying to give up meat and dairy for about a year, i signed up for their class last winter. the class was the push i needed as it opened me up to a whole new world of foods.

for the first time i tried veggies that i've never heard of, like kale and fennel. carol and lisa inform me of all the delicious vegan and raw restaurants in the area, as well as invite me to all sorts of vegan meet-ups. along with yahya and carmella from the sunny raw kitchen, i consider them to be my food mentors.=)

last night, i was telling carol that i'm sick of food shopping. i used to love to go to whole foods, but now i can hardly stand it. she reminded me of a store not too far from me called Natural Health. i made a few brief trips there a few years ago to pick up some probiotics and didn't notice that half the store was filled with food (typical for when i was teaching elementary school full time, eating like crap, and walking around like a zombie. but i was starting on the path of natural health remedies!=)

well, the store is amazing!!! it carries an impressive selection of raw, vegan, and organic products. Natural Health is family owned and has been in business for over 20 years. i much prefer supporting small businesses over the big corporate chains. the staff is so nice and helpful! they offered to order me brown rice vermicelli and promised to call when it comes in. they sell raw cacao powder and organic produce at comparable prices. their organic fuji apples were $1.09 a pound! woohoo! i also picked up broccoli sprouts for $1.99.

the most exciting feature of the store is their bulk herbs and spices section. i spent quite some time opening jars and smelling all the spices, and i am officially in love with fennel seed and cardamom. if you have any recipes, please send them my way!=)

excited to try my new spices, i immediately made a fennel seed, cardamom, brown rice syrup, lemon and olive oil dressing to go over a salad with broccoli sprouts, portobello mushrooms, tomato and celery.

midway through i thought to add hemp seeds for extra protein and yumminess.

if you live in or around Southern NJ, you might want to stop by Natural Health in Lindenwold and check it out for yourself. also, the American Vegan Society is hosting their annual Garden Party this year on Sunday, May 30th in Malaga. it is their 50th anniversary and Christina Pirello of Christina Cooks will be speaking. should be a fun time!=)

zucchini pasta with gina's hemp-esan

feeling much better today, i made a yummy pasta dish for an early dinner.

zucchini pasta tossed with garlic and olive oil is always so tasty and easy to make. it seems to be my go-to meal when i don't have much fresh produce on hand.

i enjoy the simplicity of the ingredients, but the addition of gina's hemp-esan and a drizzle of lemon juice brings the flavors to a whole new level!

to make this delicious and nutritious dish, you will need a spiral slicer, which can be purchased online for around 25 dollars.

simply spiralize one zucchini, then add veggies of choice, chopped garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and you've got an amazing meal in minutes!

for gina's hemp-esan, just process 3 tablespoons hemp seeds with 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast and a pinch of salt if you'd like. how easy is that?!

to those who don't care for zucchini pasta, i highly recommend trying it with gina's hemp-asan. i have to admit, i was getting a bit sick of zucchini pasta, but now i can't wait to make it again!=)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

i don't feel like it

i'm trying to get a shopping list together for my trip to whole foods.

but i don't feel like it.

i know i have to go if we want to continue eating foods that will fuel our bodies rather than deplete them...

but i don't feel like it!

did i mention tomorrow i'm babysitting and tutoring all day and then attending another potluck in the evening?

i feel like whining. like how i used to whine to my mom when she'd tell me to do things i didn't want to like put my shoes away... "but i don'ttt feeeeel liiike ittt..." 

aunt flo's in town.

she's been causing me to be crampy and lazy and lack an appetite as of late. if i don't feel like eating, i have no interest in making a meal plan.

with no meal plan, i can't make a nice shopping list.

if i don't have a nice shopping list, i have no motivation to drive all the way to the store.

did i mention it's raining? and really chilly outside?

i could just shut up about it and get really creative with what's left in the fridge and pantry.

"but i don'ttt feeeeel liiike ittt...!"


almost forgot to mention the exciting news... we ordered a vita-mix yesterday! YIPPEEEE! it should be here in 7 to 10 days.

ok, i'm getting off my butt now and doing something. it's time i quit my "wind-jamming", as my grandmom would say!=)

now get out of here, and don't come back for 5 to 7 days! (vada sultenfuss, anyone?=)

Monday, March 22, 2010

spring baby shower

these gifts were created for my bestest friend missy's baby shower held yesterday. the baby bunch bouquet idea was originally sparked by bitt when she posted a picture of one on her blog. (what would i do without my blogging buddies?!) i was so happy to later find a video which shows how to make them.

they are adorable and fairly easy to make. i couldn't find a plain pink or white matching layette set so i used white onesies. 

when deciding what to put in the pot above i emailed kristen from kristen's raw and asked for her help. she immediately responded with great ideas and recommended i check out earth mama angel baby. i'm so glad i did! they sell their toxin-free products at my local vitamin shoppe, and i chose milkmaid tea, angel baby bottom balm, and new mama bottom spray. (i really wanted to get her the booby tubes but they were all out). missy likes tea so i also picked up some yogi mother to be, and in the back of the pot i added my favorite earth- and animal-friendly soap, mrs. meyer's geranium scented.

missy requested that her guests bring their favorite childhood book to start baby marlie's library. i brought one of my favorites, shel silverstein's where the sidewalk ends. using scrapbook paper and decorative hole punches, i made bookmarks for everyone to share a message or inspirational quote for marlie to read as she grows. 

baby marlie is expected may 13th. i'm so excited to be aunt kelli to another precious baby girl!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

happy spring!

image from

we're enjoying perfect weather here for the first day of spring. today we're working on the garden and getting our bikes tuned up. tonight i'm going to a vegan potluck with my friends and former vegan cooking class instructors carol and lisa. today's also carol's b-day - HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAROL!!!

i hope you're all enjoying the first day of spring! it's finally here - WOOHOO!=)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

blackberry pistachio ice cream

blackberry pistachio ice cream

3 frozen bananas, broken or chopped in chunks
1/4 C shelled pistachios
8-10 blackberries

in a food processor, blend bananas until smooth, creamy and light. (i've tried this in a blender and the result was not as fluffy.) you may have to stop a few times to scrape down the sides, and if your fp is like mine, you may have to hold the lid on. add pistachios and blackberries and pulse until chunky but incorporated.

the pistachios added a nice crunch, but the flavor was not really there. since i love pistachio flavored ice cream, i'm thinking of getting pistachio oil for next time.

though my next adventure is to try and create my old favorite, vanilla ice cream, with some vanilla bean i recently picked up from whole foods.

what is your favorite ice cream flavor?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

pear-berry parfait


this treat was made for a long overdue visit from our dear friend, Yahya. in a sense, Yahya's words served as the spark which has fueled my journey of conscious eating. he introduced me to Keith Exum's Alkaline Foods Cookbook, and with that, the journey began=).

yahya's friendship is truly a blessing in our lives, and what better way to show him our love and gratitude than raw dessert?!=)
pear-berry parfait
(serves 3)

simply layer the following:

*pear puree (one pear blended with a tsp of lemon juice)


top with whipped cream or coconut cream for added yumminess.

during his visit, Yahya shared more knowledge with us, introducing us to The Yoga of Eating. so far i like what i've read, and will share more when i'm through reading. (if you've read the book i'd love to hear your thoughts!)

(which reminds me, Earth Mother from In the Raw is hosting a raw food recipe book giveaway!)


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