Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Raw sun-dried tomato cheeze

This week we're trying Ani Phyo's pates and cheezes.. and yesterdays was GREAT. It's very Italian. I would like to try this one on a raw pizza, if I can ever figure out how to make one. :)

So, all I did was make a cheezy lettuce wrap with sliced tomato and avocado:


This recipe made extra and would feed 2-4 people, depending on how many other things you fill the wrap with.

1 clove garlic
1/2 t sea salt
1 c Brazil nuts
juice 1 lemon
1/4+ cup water (or enough to make smooth)
1/2 c sun dried tomato, chopped

I didn't follow the directions, so I made a pretty chunky cheeze - that was great in lettuce wraps. Next time I'll make it smother for a pizza or sauce for noodles.

Basically, I threw it all the ingredients into the blender and added enough water for it to blend into a chunky cheeze.

If you want a smoother version, Ani Phyo's directions say to powder the nuts before adding to the food processor. And blend everything except the tomatoes. Then, when your cheeze is smooth as you want just hand-mix in the tomatoes.

*Most of our meals are simple like this. And you'll be amazed at how different each wrap tastes, even though you're not changing much. It's so simple and YUMMY.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Raw kitchen essentials

I'll try to list where we buy these essentials in NWA. If you're really serious about going raw, your shopping list should look a lot like this. If you're still buying packaged foods along with a few fruits and veggies, and you wonder why they go bad.. it's probably because you know you have those packaged foods to fall back on.

Try going to the grocery store and only shopping in the fruit and veggie section. That's it! See what you can come up with.



Raw nuts and seeds (in bulk at Cooks, Ozark Natural Foods or the local natural market in Rogers)
Dates (local natural market in Rogers or sams)
Cold-pressed olive oil by the gallon (Whole Foods.. we use so much of this stuff!)
Raw nori sheets (not available here.. We buy from Whole Foods or online)


If you want fresh, organic foods.. go to the farmer's markets! We thought there was only one good market in this area but actually we found several. Bentonville's market is actually great. Rogers' market is kind of small but respectable. Fayetteville's market, of course, has a much bigger selection (but we don't like to drive that far often.) Either way, you know your produce is local and organic. Support your local farmers whenever you can!

Weekly or bi-weekly buy:
your favorite fruit and veggies

Some of our usuals:
Herbs: cilantro, basil, parsley and mint (from the Asian market in Rogers.. so cheap!)
Butter lettuce (hydroponic and organic)
Romaine lettuce (organic in a bag)
Red cabbage
Tomatoes (the only organic veg we can find at Sams)
Zucchini (for noodles)
Strawberries, blackberries and/or blueberries
Apples (prefer from farmer's market)
Pineapple (great fresh or dried.. Sadly, I've never found organic.. only stupid Dole.)

We vary fruit and veggie selections as they go in and out of season. Don't be afraid to try something new. Your meals don't have to be fancy to be tasty. Simple veggies with a raw pate can be very satisfying! Try a raw cheese or raw nut pate. Slice up some veggies. Voila... you'll have an easy dinner. Plus, these raw pates and cheeses can last for several days in the fridge. So, make a big batch of your favorite so you'll have it ready at all times. (Like today I'm having leftover sushi from yesterday. Yay!)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Back to raw

So, a few weeks ago we visited my family in Texas and stayed for almost a week. Do you know how hard it is to be vegan in someone else's kitchen?.. well, it turns out that it's even harder to add the raw element to that. Wow. We did bring some raw nuts with us and made our favorite raw pistachio pesto (using home grown herbs!) Surprisingly, my southern, meat-eating parents actually loved the pasta. It was great.

But since we got back I've been out of the groove. I haven't kept raw milk around. We've been eating out a lot lately, though I don't know why. There aren't even any good salad bars around here so when we eat out, it's vegan but not raw.

That's all about to change. I was caught off guard last night when my husband told me to start making raw foods more often! He begrudgingly admitted that he hasn't been feeling as well since we got back from TX.. and it must be because we're not eating as much raw food anymore. Awesome! Until now, he's never understood how I feel after a workout, with feel-good hormones rushing through me.. or how after eating raw for a few weeks that I don't sleep as much and I just feel happier all the time. It's quite remarkable, actually.

The thing that clinched it for me was last night. Oh man, I've never actually started a fire in the kitchen before. But I was making a big salad with raw dressing, as usual.. but to surprise him I had sliced some corn tortillas and was baking them to make crispies for his salad. I opened the little oven and flames came out! All I could do was yell "Fire! Help! Fire!" Yep, I actually did that. I also threw about a gallon of dirty dish water into the oven. It was out in just a few seconds. But it certainly felt like longer! ha

Well, it's back to raw for us. I'm so glad! I pumped up my workout today and had raw sushi for lunch. It's a great start to our two weeks of raw. (With Thanksgiving coming up we won't be raw at his parent's house. There is always lots of vegan food and we'll make a few raw dishes, I'm sure.. but I'm definitely going to have some Tofurky. We only do it once a year, after all!)

Hopefully we'll have some new recipes and dressings to post. But we have our few favorites and most are posted here.. we make those all the time.

That's the key to eating any way you choose. Don't buy foods you don't want to eat. Buy healthy, you'll eat healthy. It's really that simple. The past few weeks we've been eating vegan pizza - because we've kept crusts, sauce and veggies around. But we're back to walking into the grocery store, buying only the foods in the raw fruit and veggie section - and leaving. That's it! Buy low on the food chain and you can't go wrong.

I promise I'll try to post some new recipes in the next two weeks. We need to try new dressing recipes, anyway.

Monday, November 2, 2009


As the new Volunteer Coordinator for Northwest Arkansas Animal Rescue, I can't resist posting this!

If you're in Arkansas.. check us out! (Links below are active.)


Rawlicious caramel apples

Who doesn't want a caramel apple??? As a vegan, I'm never really tempted when we walk past a sweet shop because in general, especially where we live now, there is never anything vegan. But as a date fanatic I really wanted to find new ways to enjoy them every day. That's how the caramel apple experiment began!

This is a great, fall treat. Plus, this batch (which I thought would be just enough for the 2 of us) actually lasted a lot longer. Will keep in the fridge for 3 days.

Serves 2, several times

1 c dates, soaked a few hours
1/4-1/3 c raw agave syrup or maple syrup
1/4 t maca (optional)
pinch salt
1/2-1 t vanilla (preference)

I put the dates into my little blender, pressed them down and filled them with water. (I was only going to soak them for an hour but I forgot about them!.. and they ended up soaking for a few hours.)

Generally, the softer your dates are the creamier your dessert will be. And if you're like me and you don't have a high-powered blender like a Vita-mix, you have to make sure your ingredients are soaked through before blending.

So, a few hours later I made the caramel by pouring out the soak water and adding my ingredients. Then I blended until smooth. This little blender is AMAZING! We use it for everything now because our blender, which we bought at a local kitchen shop, doesn't even compare.


We served with our favorite apples - some local gala and store-bought red delicious. I was ready for dessert immediately so I served it right out of the blender. That meant our caramel wasn't cold. It's still great, though! So it's your choice.. serve immediately or put in the fridge to cool first.

Optional: this batch of caramel made enough for 2 desserts for us to share and I'll be finishing it today by myself. To mix it up we made a batch of raw chocolate syrup and poured it over the caramel last night. WOW! Chocolate-caramel apples?? Yes!.. they are rich and fantastic without making you feel over-sugared or heavy.

Raw creamy cilantro-lime vinaigrette

Let me just say.. YUM! I am so happy with my new blender. It's fantastic! I have so many glass jars that fit it that I can blend a dozen different things in a day if I want!.. without ever washing a glass!

Today we were having a Mexican-inspired salad (my husband was having brown rice and black beans on his) so we wanted to make our usual cilantro-line vinaigrette. But as I was cutting the avocado I realized I should throw some into the blender with the dressing, to see if I could make a creamy version. Score!

Serves 2

juice of 2 limes
up to the same amount of olive oil as lime juice
large handful of cilantro leaves, washed
dash of salt
dash of apple cider vinegar (the more you add, the more vineger-y the dressing will be)
about 1 t raw agave nectar (to balance the vinegar)
1/2 - 3/4 ripe avocado
(NOTE: to make original version of dressing, just leave out the avocado)
(NOTE: to make dressing that isn't a vinaigrette just leave out the vinegar and agave)


Just blend!


I know, this picture looks messy.. but it was unbelievably yummy! I honestly didn't think we could beat our original cilantro-lime vinaigrette.. but we totally did. This is our new favorite.

And because it's raw, we can use as much as we want without any guilt. The dressing is mostly avocado.. no dairy or processed fillers! So, enjoy!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Raw goddess dressing

o, my husband bought a bottle of goddess dressing .. because he's not as big on my raw dressing experiments as I am. But I love goddess dressing, too! That's why I decided to try to make some at lunch today. I can't believe it actually worked!

I had no idea goddess dressing was so easy to make!

1/4 c cold-pressed olive oil
juice of one juicy lime (or lemon, if you prefer)
about 1/4 c parsley (just break off a handful, rinse and throw into the blender)
1-2 t garlic
1-2 t onion powder (it calls for chives but I don't have any.. I bet they'd be good, though)
1-2 t nama shoyu

Blend. That's it!


This dressing smells great, looks just like the store-bought version and it's soooooo good! You know, I've never been a fan of chives but I'm actually going to buy some now. I think that's the only thing missing from this dressing to make it just like the original. But even with onion powder, it's fantastic!


All I had to do was put a lid on the plastic jar that I used to blend the dressing. Now I've got plenty for the next couple of days. Yay!

Chocolate-almond-butter apples

I don't know why but the last 2 days I have been craving chocolate like crazy. Yesterday we had the rest of our strawberries dipped in a chocolate sauce.. so today, looking for something for filling, I decided to mix the chocolate with almond butter and enjoy it with an apple. YUM!

For the sauce just mix equal amounts of raw agave and cacao powder. It probably won't mix very well, so add some olive oil to help it mix.

Now, place the chocolate sauce on your plate with some almond butter.


Slice your apples however you like.. and enjoy!

Raw avo-berry dressing

Now that my wonderful hubby got me a personal blender for my birthday I can whip up raw dressings in a flash! Here's my experiment from last night. (One of the great things about this blender is that I can make extra dressing and just put a lid on this plastic jar to have tomorrow!)

1/2 avocado
About 5 blackberries
Dash of agave (because my berries were super tart, not sweet at all!)
Squeeze of lemon, lime or water




Pour onto your salad! Be sure to add some fruit to your salad, too.


Yum! Oh, so creamy!

The only thing I didn't like about this dressing is that I was afraid I was going to spill it everywhere! Maybe blackberries weren't the right choice.. or maybe I'll just make sure my veggies are cut smaller next time.

Options to try: adding mint, parsley or cilantro, using raspberries instead of blackberries.

I was inspired to make this because we love raspberry vinaigrettes! Of course, I didn't add any vinegar to this recipe - so it was actually more like a creamy, fruity dressing. That's why I think adding an herb would actually be good! I wonder what it would taste like with a little apple cider vinegar next time...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Raw dessert of champions

Want something sweet and fancy, without any work? Try this! Impress your guests (or your family) with your dessert-making skills.

your favorite fresh fruit (be sure to slice apples, oranges or other large fruit)
dates (optional but they really are delicious with this syrup!)
raw cacao powder
raw agave nectar
small bit of cold-pressed olive oil

Rinse fruit, slice as necessary. Spread on a serving plate.

In a small bowl make enough chocolate syrup for everyone. For 2 people, start with about 3 T agave nectar. Now add about 2 T cacao. You'll also need to add about 1 t olive oil to help it mix. Voila! Use more liquid to make it thinner or more cacao for a thicker dip.


If you're looking for a hearty dessert, be sure to add 1 raw almond to the inside of each date you're putting on the platter. It's yummy, healthy AND filling.


Raw breakfast of champions

Raw foods don't have to be fancy! This is one of my all-time favorite breakfasts, lunches or even snacks!

Use your favorite raw nut butter - pictured is my fav, almond butter.

Now, slice your favorite organic apple.


Optional: sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg or raw sugar.

As a breakfast, it'll keep you full all day. Having it as a snack?.. it's big enough to share!

Oops pesto

I love pistachio pesto. In fact, we have it several times a week now. I try to keep all the ingredients, including fresh zucchini and definitely fresh basil, on hand at ALL times. But don't you hate it when you reach into the fridge and find your basil is all wilted or slimy? This happened to me the other day - but I was already in the process of making the pesto - so I had to think of something...

Here's what I did!

Rather than using the 1.2-2 c fresh basil that the pesto recipe calls for, I had to think of something dried to use, because I didn't have any fresh herbs at all. Ugh. I wasn't sure what to use!.. So, instead of using an herb I actually used about 1.2-1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. I know balsamic vinegar isn't raw and supposedly not-healthy either, but I absolutely love it!

I did have to add a little water to the pesto to have to blend well enough without the basil added... success!

Of course, nothing compares to basil pistachio pesto.. but in a pinch, it worked! I ate it with purple cabbage noodles (because they're spicier than green) and ended up eating the rest of the pesto with celery. I even added chopped tomato on top of the pesto. mm mmm good!

1/2 c pistachios
2-3 garlic cloves
1/4-1/2 c cold-pressed olive oil
balsamic vinegar to taste


Don't forget to finish it off with your favorite salad toppings!

Berry-licious cobbler

I love berries... I love blueberries, raspberries, strawberries - and now I love kiwi-berries! We've never had them before but now that our local store is carrying them, we'll definitely keep them around. They're great!

They seem to be sweeter than kiwis and you don't have to peel them! They're like a large grape.

I wanted a cobbler the other day so I decided to use all the berries that I had: blackberries, strawberries and kiwi-berries. What a yummy dessert!

Serves 2-4

1/2-1 c berries per person
1/2 c raw pistachios
1/2 c dates

As always, put your nuts and dates in the food processor and blend until fine. In the meantime, rinse and place your berries on a serving plate or in separate bowls.

Add as much of the topping as you want!


Mint lemonade

I love squeezing fresh lemon or lime into my water. Sometimes, I'll drink a gallon a day! You know these citrus fruit have more vit-c than oranges, so drink up!

During the summer we get fresh mint at the farmer's markets. That's when I love fresh mint lemonade (or limeade!)

Citrus (lemon or lime)
Agave nectar or raw sugar
Handful of fresh mint leaves (discard stems)

You can make it one of two ways:

1) Hand-crush your mint leaves and throw them into your lemonade, or


2) use a blender to crush your lemon/lime pulp and mint leaves. They're easier to drink and will probably make a stronger mint-ade!


Fresh and filling, fast raw wraps

I was hungry last night but didn't want to make anything fancy.. so here's what we had! (We also had some edamame first, which wasn't raw.. but it sure was good.)

For the wrap, you must have at least 1/2 avocado per person.. the hungrier you are, the more avocado you should have.

Serves 2
1-2 avocados
bell peppers, red, yellow or green (we had several small ones)
mung bean sprouts, or your favorite sprouts
2 roma or 1 large tomato
one head of butter lettuce or romaine


It's so fast and so so so yummy! And because you're using avocado, you don't really need a dressing. We didn't use any.

OR, if you want an even more filing wrap or you don't have as many veggies on hand.. make a raw pate (like the pistachio pesto I love on pasta) and have that with your veggies in the wrap. You can't go wrong!

If you need more liquid, keep a juicy lime on hand to squeeze on your slices. YUM!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Love dogs? Love kids? Volunteer to lose weight!

Can you believe??.. at least 157 children have been killed or severely injured by chained dogs in the last 4 years?

a) want to create a safe environment for your children,
b) want to improve the lives of these isolated, neglected dogs,
c) want to help but don't have a lot of time or money or
d) love to walk or want to exercise more...

then we NEED YOU!



I'll supply the flyer information and instructions on how I go about this. All you have to do is print and pass them out in areas where you see chained or penned dogs. Yes, that's it! So, grab your walkman or a friend, and start walking.

See how easy it can be to help animals?


Dogs Deserve Better, a purely volunteer organization, has been working to end the cruel treatment of chained and penned dogs nationwide. With your help, we can do it!

Would you for one second choose to live the life of a chained or penned dog? Of course not. No matter what reason is given, the bottom line is that it is NOT ok to chain a dog for life. Dogs should not have to live chained or penned as prisoners, yearning for a place in a family, craving acknowledgement, respect and love. They DESERVE BETTER and we as caretakers have the obligation to provide it for them.

For more information ON HOW YOU CAN HELP ANIMALS IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, CITY AND STATE contact me at or go to the website to read more about this wonderful group!

Sorry that I haven't posted many new recipes lately.. I've found several that are in my regular routine (with lots and lots of sushi lately!) so I haven't really experimented much in a few weeks. And I haven't even had many salads, either! You know, I actually miss them. :)

More recipes coming soon... thanks for reading about DDB!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Soft corn tortillas

This is another great one that I adapted from The recipe says this serves 6 but I don't know that it does.

These corn tortillas are super easy to make! Just throw all of the ingredients in the food processor and blend until mostly smooth. Separate onto two teflex sheets. Dehydrate 4 hours at 115 degrees. Then, turn over the sheet and gently peel away from the sheet onto the mesh. Dehydrate for another 1-2 hours until completely dry on both sides but still pliable.


3 c fresh corn kernels, freshly shaved from the cob
1 med-large red bell pepper
3/4 c golden flaxseed, finely ground
1 t lime juice
1 t ground chili powder
1 1/2 t sea salt
2 t ground cumin

The instructions tell you to cut out circles and add the edges to salads or eat as a snack.. but I just cut them into squares. Each teflex sheet made 4 square tortillas.


Thanks for the photo, Jimmy! (Whoops, I used some extra taco bell sauce on top. Everything else is raw, though!)

Serve with raw taco meat, sprouts, tomatoes, lettuce and avocado! You could even make some raw sour cream!


1 c pecans
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1.5 t cumin
1 t chili powder
3/4 t coriander
2 t Nama Shoyu (or soy sauce or Bragg's)
1/2 t jalapeno (or your fav hot spice)
3 T water
optional: 1/2 t celtic sea salt

Pulse, pulse, pulse until chopped up - but not blended. (NOTE: Tyler said he'd prefer it with a few more T of water. But I think the choppy-ness of these was perfect. So try it this way, then if you don't like it add a few T of water.)


1/3 c cashew butter (I used less than if I were using my own soaked cashews)
1/8 t salt
1/2 t apple cider vinegar
juice of 1/2 small lemon
1/2 t agave
1/8 -1/4 t acidophilus powder
*water, as needed to consistency

All I had to do was add a little water to thin it out. Wow, it's fluffy and creamy! I let it sit out for an hour (or a little more while we made dinner).. voila!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

"Black Cat Syndrome"

DID YOU KNOW?.. black animals are euthanized more often than any other color animal - simply because they're black? There are so many black animals and so few people who want to adopt them. Why not do a great thing and adopt a black animal today??

If you know anyone in Arkansas or even Dallas that wants to adopt, contact me!! We have five black cats, as I'm sure many groups do. Two of our cats have been in the program a while now. Check them out!

Have cats, will travel! (Application and approval required.)

Meet Ted, Marshall and Barney!





Our $40 adoption fee covers the spay or neuter and vaccinations. Interested in adopting kittens that love each other?.. just ask about our 2-for-1 specials!!! Limited time only!

Not interested in adopting? (We're not adopting, you certainly don't have to..) Then just foster!! It'll keep you busy, burn lots of calories.. and you'll save a life. Truly save a life.

Don't wait.. Contact any local rescue group. They all need foster homes. It's a short-term commitment for you but will actually mean the difference between life and death for that animals.

Don't wait. Do it!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Yummy pistachio pesto

I just love raw pesto pastas! They're easy, fast and fresh. This time I wanted to try using cabbage for noodles instead of zucchini. Success!

This is adapted from Ani Phyo's Pistachio Pesto

Serves 2
1 cup pistchios
2 cloves garlic
1.5-2 c fresh basil
juice of 1/2 - 1 lime (add only half at first, taste, then add more as needed)
1/3 - 1/2 c olive oil

Throw all your ingredients into the food processor and blend. Add liquid to make it smoother or chunkier as you prefer. YUM!

Tyler still loves his zucchini noodles.. But aren't my cabbage noodles pretty?? They're tasty, too! I like to spread my pesto all over the noodles, then chow down.




Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Variations on salad and sushi


This time I added snap peas and celery to the salad. YUM! The crunch is amazing.. and the spices.. you won't forget this salad.



My husband thinks the almonds are irritating his mouth.. maybe they're too rough. So, I made the raw rice mixture with cashews, instead of almonds. Success! Just change the nut you use to get a slightly different texture. I doubt you could go wrong with this recipe. Really.

(Left, original raw rice recipe. Right, made with cashews.)


Enjoy the original recipe:


Or try with cashews~


Don't forget to make some of your sushi with just avocado - it's great! Then, make others with sliced celery, red bell pepper and cucumber. Mix it up!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cookies, cookies, cookies

One of the best things about raw foods are the desserts.. and the fact that they are so easy to make and stay fresh in the fridge or freezer for weeks! That means you can make cookies whenever you get a little extra time and just keep them on hand. No more excuses for not being able to curb your raw sweet tooth!

Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies (not completely raw)
1 c raw oats
1 c dates
1+ t cinnamon
handful chocolate chips (you can use raw or regular/cooked)

I blended the oats, dates and cinnamon in the food processor until it was all tiny chunks. It was a little dry so I added a bit of agave. Do this if your dough isn't sticky enough. Then I added the chocolate chips (cooked) and pulsed to chop them up a bit.

Now, form into cookies! Voila! Eat immediately or put in the fridge for a while. They'll last for weeks in the fridge, so you can double or even triple the recipe if you want!


Almond goji-berry cacao cookie (raw, from Ani Phyo's dessert book!)

1/2 c raw almond butter
3 T agave nectar
2 T vanilla extract
1/2 t sea salt
1 1/2 c almond meal
1/4 c goji berries
3 T cacao nibs

Just like the bag of goji berries I bought a few weeks ago, raw cacao nibs are another one of those things that you *think* is expensive when you buy it.. but ends up lasting, and lasting, and lasting..


And I don't buy nut meals, I grind my own as I need them. So, I put the 1 c measure cup next to the coffee grinder. Then, throw a handful of almonds into the coffee grinder. Grind until fine (or chunky, if you prefer.) Make as much as you need!.. it only takes a minute. Really. :)

Hand-mix together the almond butter, agave, vanilla and salt. Then, add the almond meal, goji berries and cacao nibs. Mix well.


Use 1.5 - 2 T of dough to make each cookie. Serve right away or store in the fridge.


Store extra cookies in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy whenever you want!

Do you or your kids ever want to have cookies for dinner? Now is your chance!

Asian salad and sushi

This salad is GREAT! I should've tried this one sooner. I'm loving it.

Salad ingredients:

At least 1 c each shredded red and green cabbages
At least 1/2+ c bok choy, cut how you like
1/2 c cilantro
1/2-1 c mung bean sprouts (if you have them... we didn't, unfortunately)
1/4 c hemp seeds


no more than 1/4 c cold-pressed olive oil
1-2 t cold-pressed sesame oil
2 T agave nectar
1 large clove garlic, minced
1+ red thai pepper minced (I used a few.. probably more than my husband prefers! ha)
1 t minced ginger
1 t sea salt

NOTE: I bought a bag of dried peppers and ground them in the coffee maker. I loooove spicy food, so this is something I keep on hand.

First, mix the dressing by hand and set aside.


Now cut your veggies for the salad.

Put your dressing on the salad and let it marinate. See how easy this is???? If the dressing is too strong, just add more veggies to the salad.


Sushi ingredients:

1 c pecans
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/2 c almonds
2 T onion powder or minced onion
1/2 c parsley
Juice of 1-2 lemons
1 T garlic powder
2 T Nama Shoyu
2 T cold-pressed sesame oil

Plus, sliced veggies of choice

While your salad is marinating, cut your sushi veggies. I used avocado in the sushi and also added it to the salad. (If you haven't noticed.. I add avocado to everything!)

Throw your sushi-rice ingredients into the food processor. Blend until chunky. This really takes less than 5 minutes!

Now make your sushi. Put (about) 2 T rice mixture on the raw nori sheet. Cover with veggies and roll. That's it!




This salad and sushi are a great meal!


Monday, September 28, 2009

Keeping Busy

I think I've been thinking about un-cooking and exercising way too much lately. Granted, I had to learn a lot in the beginning.. I've picked out a few recipes that I just love and I'm still experimenting with new ones..

But I have to say that this is a total buzz kill.

If you think about food, think about exercise, think about your body all the time .. don't be surprised if you get tired of it all. Instead, try doing something worthwhile, something good - not just for others but for you as well!


I'm talking about becoming a foster home. We've been one for years and have loved every second. Actually, we're new to Arkansas so our fosters for the past year have been random abused, neglected and lost animals that we've found - or have found us. But now we're helping out a local group and of course, on the first day decided to take home 3 sickly black kittens: Ted, Marshall and Barney. (Anyone watch 'How I Met Your Mother'?)


They're on antibiotics for a fever. They were absolutely flea-infested when we brought them home so they immediately went into the bath tub where my husband and I spent over an hour and a half picking off hundreds of fleas. Poor little guys!


Marshall had it the worst .. he's got scabs all over his neck. I think Marshall and Ted were anemic from all the blood loss. Sad, isn't it?

Barney's hair is shorter.. maybe that's why he didn't have as many fleas. But for some reason he's probably a half pound smaller than the other two. (That may not sound like much.. but when you're only a pound and a half, it's a lot!) :)


Whether you're fostering children or animals, or helping the elderly.. it's important to spend your time helping others. Don't waste days, weeks, years dwelling on your weight. Get active. Be helpful. . . and everyone benefits.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Raw day 21 - strawberry ganache fudge cake, spaghetti

Were trying new noodle dishes.. and since we loved the pesto pasta so much we decided to try a sun-dried tomato marinara pasta tonight:


It's very good! (Though next time I'll make the spaghetti that Tyler prefers, which is italian-spiced oily noodles with diced tomatoes. I don't know what else to call it but it's not a smooth sauce, it's more a light noodle dish with italian spices and diced tomatoes on top. You know?)

Anyway, this was very easy to prepare and very good!


1 c tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic
1/2 c fresh basil leaves, loosely packed
1/4 c evoo
juice 1/2 lemon or lime
1 t pitted dates
1 t oregano
1/2 t rosemary
1 t sea salt
3 T sun-dried tomatoes

Mix all ingredients, except sun-dried tomatoes, in food processor or blender until smooth. Then add sun-dried tomatoes and blend until mostly smooth, or to desired texture.

That's it! Just make your zucchini noodles while it's blending or even ahead of time. But don't put the sauce on the noodles until you're ready to serve.



I also decided to try one of Ani Phyo's fancy desserts: Raspberry Ganache Fudge Cake (with a few substitutions of my own.)

I have strawberries on hand, not raspberries, so I used those. We also don't use walnuts so I subbed almonds. At first I thought they would be too sturdy, too heavy.. but they're pleasantly rich and smooth!

As usual, I halved the recipe:


Cake -
1.5 c almonds
1/3 c unsweetened cacao or carob
1/4 t sea salt
1/2 c dates

Frosting (I had to make the full recipe b/c the half recipe wasn't big enough to blend) -
1/3 c dates
1/4 c agave
1/2 c ripe avocado
1/3 c cacao powder

Filling -
1/2 c fruit, in this case strawberries

To make the cake, combine nuts, cacao powder and salt in food processor. Blend until still slightly coarse. Add dates and blend until well mixed. Shape into 2 stackable cakes of desired shape and set aside.


Now, make frosting by blending all frosting ingredients until smooth.

To serve, frost top of one of the cakes and layer with fruit (strawberries or raspberries.) I also added another T of frosting on top of the fruit to help the upper layer stick.


Stack the second cake on top.


Now cover top and sides with frosting.


You can serve immediately or put in the fridge for a few hours to firm up. The assembled cake will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

I know you can eat this cake immediately as I had a slice right away. WOW! This is half the recipe, so it should make only 3 servings... (the whole recipe, if you doubled the cake ingredients, is said to have 6 servings.. but honestly, I think it has a lot more!)