Andrea: Gimme the dirt!

So, I was talking with Rose the other day about washing fruits and veggies. Apparently, I am very lackadaisical when it comes to food prep. If it’s non-organic, I wash it, but if it’s organic, I only wash if there are visible dirt chunks.

Rose washes every single piece of kale or lettuce. She washes every single piece of fruit, organic or not. She even peels her beets before putting them through the juicer.

Dirt isn’t bad for you (hello B12 Vitamin) so I figure if I can’t taste it, why go through the extra hassle? So, there might be a bug in my piece of kale – it’s not going to kill me. Hopefully.

What about you guys – are you anal or sloppy when it comes to your produce?

Last night’s activities were as follows: cook, yoga, unbake, LOST. Apparently those four things equal a pretty good evening!

I got home from work later than I wanted to, so I had about 10 minutes to make dinner before an 8 p.m. yoga class. Scramble it is!

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I scarfed this down and zipped on over to the gym for yoga. The class was led by an instructor I’d never had before and he kicked my ass! When I got home, my legs felt like I had been lifting weights for an hour – I liked it! We also “ohm-ed” at the end of class, which I had never done before. I kind of liked that too!

When I got home, I immediately got to work on what I’m calling “Energy Balls” using my newest endeavor…

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Sperm! I mean sprouts! If somebody would have told me a year ago that I would be sprouting grains, I would have been like, “Bitch – you be crazy!” But, here I am. It was super easy too!

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In these energy balls are:

  • sprouted buckwheat
  • coconut shreds
  • coconut butter
  • coconut oil
  • pumpkin seeds
  • goji berries
  • spirulina
  • raw cacao powder
  • maca
  • bee pollen

I got the basis of this recipe from the raw foods class I took in January. You can add whatever fixin’s float your boat – I just used what I had on hand. You can also just refrigerate the mixture and eat as-is I chose to make balls and dehydrate overnight for portability reasons.

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I had one this morning…

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…and you can definitely taste that spirulina! I don’t hate spirulina, but I’m definitely still getting my taste for it.

In other news, I’ve had a couple recent fails in the raw foods department.

Fail #1: Eggplant Bacon

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Yeah, I did not care for these – the recipe was just so-so, and I’m pretty sure I cut my slices too thick. I’m going to try them again with much smaller pieces and tweak the recipe a bit.

Fail #2: Sweet Potato Fries

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They looked good, and tasted okay, but the texture was totally unappealing. I’ll be going the more traditional route with my fries from now on.

Every “failure” in the kitchen is a learning experience – you never know what’s going to work and what you like until you try it!

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Andrea: Blurgh.

I couldn’t think of title, so that’s what I came up with.

I haven’t had juice in a week, so this morning I fixed that.

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That little round thing is a golden beet.

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Seriously, I feel so much better. If you have only one expensive appliance in your kitchen, I hope it’s a juicer.

This morning’s breakfast was my new addiction:

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Buckwheat Crispies! Recipe comes (I think) from Raw Food/Real World. I could eat this whole half gallon jar in one sitting. I’ve been snacking on them after dinner the past few nights, but this morning I had the as their intended purpose – a traditional cereal replacement.

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I made my crispies chocolaty by adding raw cacao powder. The recipe calls for maple syrup AND stevia. I don’t know why because I omitted the Stevia and it was perfectly sweet enough without the nasty aftertaste.

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It even left me some chocolate milk at the bottom – somebody get me a bowl with a built-in straw!

For the record, I’m eating plenty of cooked food as well. Last night I had half a head of cauliflower to use up, so I mashed that and ate it with a packet of TJs Madras Lentils.

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Since those packets only feed an army of one, I added a bunch more lentils to bulk it up.

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I also used garam marsala, coriander, and tumeric to give me some yellow cauli-taters. Yum!

I hope everyone is having a lovely week – I’m kind of getting burned out with work & life in general. I am in desperate need of a vacation! Where should I go? Hmmmm….

Andrea: Hodge Podge

This post is basically me cleaning out my camera files 🙂

Apparently, I ate a lot of “taco” salads:

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There were like three of these salads on my camera.

I also ate a shit-load of chocolate:

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Rose’s raw fudge – expect a guest post soon as she’s almost perfected her recipe!

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Very un-raw brownies 🙂

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Raw avocado pudding – this was delish! Everybody should try this! Just google a recipe, they’re pretty much all the same.

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Raw chocolate cherry bomb shake. Apparently Basil was more interested in the squirrel outside than my drink.

I also got to hang out with baby Thor. I brought his parents dinner – Ethiopian…..

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….and Mom brings out the wine!

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We handed the baby off to Chris so we could drink 🙂 Apparently he was more interested in watching the Blazers game than the kid.

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On Easter Sunday, I was a bad Christian and studied my sewing machine instead of my Bible.

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This beast is older than me and was given to me a couple of years ago by Chris’ grandmother. I finally got the courage to take it out of the box. I know absolutely nothing about sewing and sewing machines, but I just read the manual and figured it out!

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It works!

Stephanie was on hand to help me out a bit (we’re learning together but she has more experience than I do) and I’m ready to tackle a couple of projects – one of them being a gardening apron. I already have my pattern and fabric picked out. Stephanie started on her (kitchen) apron and it’s starting to come together!

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Last night and this morning, I started on a few more raw endeavors…

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…but I’ll talk more about those later. Back to the grind!

Andrea: Happy Poisson d’Avril!

Did you know that April Fool’s day originated in France? And that the French celebrate it by putting paper shaped like fish on each other’s backs? Seven years of French education and even a Minor in it and that’s about all I remember.

I was farting around with the blog all night (changes are a comin’!) so I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday’s eats last night. And since I’ve pretty much eaten the same things today, I’m pulling double duty!

The day started off with a smoothie – a variation of the cherry chocolate bomb shake, although I’ve always loved blending cherries over berries – no seeds to deal with!

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  • spinach
  • ‘nana
  • cherries
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • rice milk

I forgot to add the raw cacao powder, but I think I preferred this without – it was so creamy and delish, and the flavor of the cherries really stood out. Cacao has a strong flavor and it can make a smoothie grainy sometimes.

Once I got into work, I dug into the last of my rawnola – I can’t wait to make a new batch this weekend. I already have some ideas what I’m going to use this time.

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And of course there was coffee. I’ve been sleeping like ass this week, so a little bit of caffeine has gone a long way in the morning.

I got snacky before lunch, so I tried out the cashew black pepper cheese I made the night before with some juice pulp crackers.

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The crackers were really good – love putting onion in them. I’m going to have to track down some dehydrated onion cracker/bread recipes I’ve seen floating around in blog-world. And the cheese? I followed the recipe exactly, but it was way too salty. I’m thinking about throwing it out unless somebody has an idea on how to salvage it?

While I was prepping my salad, a thought popped in my mind. How do you cut a bell pepper? A lot of times I see people slice off the top part and cut around the seeds like this:

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That just seems wasteful and time consuming. Am I missing something?

I always cut mine like this – slice in half:

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Tear out the seeds:

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Pull out the white parts. This way seems easier to me. Obviously, if you were going to stuff a pepper, you’d do it the other way….

Anyways, just curious! The pepper ended up on my salad:

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Shell in the salad instead of salad in the shell this time 🙂

When I got home, I was glad to see that Chris honored the note I left him:

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The husband has a knack for eating the leftovers I was planning on using. Since he gets home from work way before me, I finally wised up and left a note!

All I wanted was a carb-filled bowl of fried rice. In my younger days, (i.e. my early 20s!) I used to eat fried rice all the time. I seem to eat it only a few times a year now.

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While the rice was frying up, I munched on some leftover stir-fry tofu.

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I don’t like a lot of crap in my fried rice – just some egg and I’m a happy girl!

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1 fried + 1 scrambled = perfection! Unless you’re a vegan or horrified by eggs. Then it might equal something else!

Okay, I’m about to jump this ship and head on over to see little Thor. And his parents. But really Thor 🙂 Chris and I are bringing over take-out and I’m thinking Ethiopian might be in order. I’ll report back tomorrow. Friday’s almost here – can you smell it?!

   

Andrea: Nature’s Path Granola Bars

So, a few weeks ago, the peeps at Nature’s Path sent me samples of their new granola bar line to try out. Seeing as how I’m trying to get away from pre-packaged food, I debated on whether or not to accept the samples. But, I figured, what the hell, maybe they will come in hand on days I’m running behind.

Boy, am I glad I had them on hand last week! Sissy was a busy girl and these bars saved me from gnawing my arm off on more than one occasion!

Across the board, I’m pretty impressed with all Nature’s Path products – their ingredient lists aren’t scary and the nutritionals aren’t bad either.

While I have no complaints on how any of these tasted, I would definitely classify these as light snacks – something to stave off your hunger for an hour or so before you can eat some real food.

The Sunny Hemp was by far my favorite – not sugary like the other “flavored” varieties.

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The next three would make good emergency snacks for kids. (?)

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The pumpkin was probably my 2nd favorite.

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Why couldn’t they have made these two with almonds instead?

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There’s also a chocolate/coconut variety which I forgot to take a picture of. It was just so-so.

So, would I recommend these? Sure, if granola bars are your thing – they’re a hell of a lot better than Kudos! Would I buy them? Sure, but they aren’t going to be a staple in my pantry, and I would only buy the Sunny Hemp variety. These would be great for camping or hiking and I will definitely keep them in mind for that purpose.

I really do appreciate Nature’s Path giving me the opportunity to try these out. I may not be the biggest fan of your granola bars, but I certainly am of your cereal!

Andrea: It’s alive!

My food baby that is 🙂

Actually, as full as I am, it’s not as big as it could be with non-raw food…

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Does this ring any bells?

I was the model of a health all day – as long as you don’t count my lunch. Yeah, I can lie and say I ate the leftover stir-fry I brought. Or I can just not talk about it. My lips are sealed. 🙂

Breakfast – strawberries & rawnola with rice milk. I’m almost out of rawnola, so another big batch is in order. Debating on whether or not to try a new recipe or do the same one as last time – I mean why mess with perfection?

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And of course there was juice….

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…which I used the pulp of to make more crackers (sans the pear pulp though).

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I still have plenty of the last ones I made, but I’m just experimenting with flavors and combos.

When I was in doing some running around for work, I happened to find myself near my favorite place….

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…so of course I had to pick up a little afternoon delight:

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DKB Sprookie! Nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom, nom. Nom, nom. Nom. The sign said they’re now made with sprouted spelt, but I couldn’t tell the difference. Thank God these aren’t cheaper (they’re a buck a piece) or I would clean them out of their stock every time!

Once I got home, since my dinner had already “uncooked” all day, I prepped a few things to have on hand this week.

First up, eggplant bacon. I had first heard about eggplant bacon on Gina’s blog, so when I saw the recipe in Everyday Raw, I knew I had to try it!

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These are probably thicker than they should be, but I had to slice them by hand. Oh well! They are currently in the dehydrator and I can not wait to try them!

I also made some cashew cheese for tomorrow (Ani Phyo recipe) and some live sour cream to go with my dinner.

Dinner was my first foray into making a raw entree – Live Tacos were on the menu tonight. But to be fair, I had already eaten and learned how to make this dish at the raw food class I took in January and the recipes I used for dinner tonight came from that class.

I hadn’t had or seen eaten the live tortillas though (we used collard leaves as wraps), so that was new.

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I didn’t get the texture quite right on the tortillas to use them – they were half dry/half pliable. The chips were easier because you just let them dry all the way. Since, the tortillas wouldn’t really work for handheld tacos, I made a taco salad!

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  • spring mix
  • live spicy “beans”
  • 1/2 avocado
  • sunflower seeds
  • sour kream (which I added cilantro to)

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To answer your question, yes, this did taste as good as it looked!

The spicy “beans” are mostly made up of sunflower seeds and sun dried tomatoes. The sour cream is cashew based with some lemon juice and apple cider vinegar to give it some tartness.

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It was so good, I had to go for seconds. Duh.

My full belly and I are going to watch some LOST now. Good night!

Andrea: I love to uncook!

So, in a year, who knows where I’ll be with raw foods. Right now I’m the experimenting stage, and I gotta tell you – I’m kinda diggin’ it.

I have a very laissez-faire attitude towards cooking which is why I can’t bake – it’s too precise for me. With raw foods, I can just mix everything together and either dehydrate/chill/eat!

I know the appeal of raw foods is supposed to be it’s health benefits, but I’m getting hooked on how easy it is – it’s almost Andrea-proof 🙂

The hardest part is the planning – once I get a rhythm going and my timing down (from all the soaking & dehydrating), it will get easier. I did good tonight and I have tomorrow’s dinner currently uncooking:

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It’s my first raw dinner and I’m super excited to see/eat the final result!

I had a mostly raw day of eats – not intentional, just how it turned out.

Juice:

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Finally – a use for broccoli stalks!

Lunch:

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I used my dehydrated juice pulp crackers as croutons. They were really good!

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But my Cheezy Kale Chips were even better.

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I was really hesitant to try a cheezy variety because I am not a fan of nooch. But, these were fantastic. I used the twins’ recipe over at Pure 2 Raw. Yes, I realize that I use a lot of their recipes, but they know their shit! I haven’t been disappointed yet, and I doubt I ever will. Girls, if you ever need a recipe tester, you know where to find me!

I was freezing all day today, so when I got home, all I wanted was some warm, carby goodness.

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Chris was making some rice for his dinner, so I just used some of that and topped it with some broccoli, red pepper, mushrooms, and tofu sauteed in sesame oil & tamari and topped with a healthy dose of Sriracha. It totally did the trick. Stir-fry, I love you 🙂

Okay, off to bed!