What I ate this week in my raw quest

Well I’ll start right off admitting I did not stay 100% raw this week. I’ve found that staying raw all through the day is no problem but when dinner rolls around it is very hard for me to resist some of the foods I cook for the rest of the family. I’ve also done fine when I’ve been eating at my parents or in laws houses I can just bring along something to eat and its not a problem but when I’ve gone out to restaurants again it’s hard to stick with just a salad. I don’t want this to be like a diet where I feel guilty for “cheating” so I let myself enjoy those meals that aren’t raw knowing that the majority of my food is raw and that is so much healthier than how I’ve been eating in the past. So besides my son who likes to point out that I’ll be going to hell anytime I eat something that’s not raw I feel ok. I think that since I’ve been a non-practicing Catholic for many years and the 100% raw goal for lent was more symbolic than a declaration of my return to Catholicism my soul is safe.

On to the recipes, I’ve found that I really prefer simpler foods, like this raw slaw, which I love:

Raw coleslaw

½ head cabbage, finely sliced (with food processor)
3 carrot, peeled and finely shredded (with food processor)
½ yellow pepper, chopped
½ red pepper, chopped
1-2 cup bean sprouts (I used home-sprouted Mung beans)

Dressing (blended in food processor)

4 garlic cloves, minced
7 T extra-virgin cold pressed olive oil
3 T liquid aminos
2 T raw apple cider vinegar
1 T raw agave nectar
Grated fresh ginger

In a large bowl, toss the vegetables.

Blend the garlic, olive oil, liquid aminos, vinegar, agave nectar and ginger then pour over the veggies. Toss well and serve. (Let sit for at least an hour before serving.)

The original recipe can be found at the urban vegan

This next recipe turned out pretty good, it does taste kinda like an Alfredo sauce but I’ve decided that I’m not really crazy about sauces over squash noodles. I even bought the fancy spiralizing cutter but I’m just not that impressed with it. It seems to turn the squash into mush more than noodles. I need to try it with some other types of squash maybe. The original recipe came from Alive in 5, Raw Gourmet Meals in 5 minutes by Angela Elliott (of course I made some changes.)

Alfredo Sauce
1 cup nut pulp (I keep trying to find ways to use this up, I can’t wait to get a dehydrator)
1 tea salt
2 cloves garlic
¼ tea ground nutmeg
¼ tea ground basil or oregano
2 Tbls nutritional yeast

Blend in vita mix, adding enough water to blend smoothly (approx 1 cup) can use warm water and let blend for a minute or two to heat sauce up but not too hot.

Sprinkle with parsley and salt & pepper to taste
Serve over zucchini or squash noodles or eat with veggies.

I also tried Zucchini Linguine with Basil Pesto, it was just OK. I have a ton of pesto starter in the freezer from last year’s garden (we chopped up basil and mixed it with olive oil and garlic then froze it in ½ cup lumps.) Unfortunately, I’ve found that I’m really not crazy for pesto so this wasn’t my favorite dish.

And lastly for dessert I plan on making these Butter Ball Cookies today. I made them with some major alterations and they were just ok so I thought I would try the original recipe and see if they turned out better.

(Since I often am the only one in my house that will eat my experiments I have learned to make the recipes much smaller just in case they turn out to be duds and also so I don’t eat too much if they’re really good)

My version:
1 cup nuts (1/2 walnut, ½ almonds)
2 Tbls flax meal
1 Tbls dried coconut
2 Tbls cacao powder
5 figs (pitted)

Blend everything in food processor then add:
½ cup oats (pulsed in at the end)
2 Tbls water (to help it stick together)
Rolled into balls with coconut

My favorite snack:

an apple or banana dipped in raw organic almond butter with cacao nibs and goji berries. Yumm! I had been eating this with just apples but the other day I tried it with a banana and it was so yummy. For some reason I had never eaten bananas and nut butters together before, man I’ve been missing out! The only downside to this snack is how expensive raw organic almond butter is, $20 for 16oz, ouch! If anyone has any suggestions on a less expensive place to buy it I’d appreciate it.

Here are the raw “cookbooks” I’ve been reading this week

Alive in 5, Raw Gourmet Meals in 5 minutes by Angela Elliott

Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenney (I love this book because almost every recipe has great pictures to go with. You can find it pretty cheap at half.com)

Raw Food Real World by Matthew Kenney and Sarma Melngailis (this book is awesome and on my list to buy)

The Raw Food Gourmet by Gabrielle Chavez

Living in the Raw Desserts by Rose Lee Calabro

Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich (I’m dying to make Kimchee)

Raw for Lent

I decided that for Lent I would go all raw. I’ve been pretty successful; I’d say I hit 95-100% every day. There have been a few rough days, like when I really needed to go grocery shopping and had absolutely no fresh veggies, fruit or nuts in the house (and was trying to wait until pay day to go to the store.) That day I used frozen spinach and veggies and had 3 green smoothies with a few date/ nut balls but nothing else. I kinda feel like I’m on one of those allergy elimination diets where you start out with one thing in your diet and slowly add more.

I’ve got the green smoothies down, I usually have one every morning for breakfast. And date/ nut balls, those fill my need for sweets and fill me up when I’m a little hungry. Then I added raw muesli with fruit and home made almond milk (yum!) Next was the “cheesy” nacho dip with veggies. Today I’m going to try some type of dessert with a coconut I bought. We’re going to my MIL for b-day dinners tomorrow and I need to bring a few things along so I can stay all raw surrounded by tons of cooked foods and desserts.

My family thinks I’ve gone a bit far with the healthy eating, they are definitely not on board with my changes. So now I get to make 1 traditional meal, 1 vegetarian meal and 1 raw meal. I try to merge the 3 as much as possible. It will be easier when the garden is going and were getting stuff from the CSA. Then we can have huge salads to cover the raw (me) and vegetarian (Beth) with something grilled on the side for the carnivores (also known as the boys.)

Even with all the difficulties I really like this way of eating. I can see myself sticking with this even after Easter.

Some of my favorite raw blogs and books so far:




Eating in the Raw by Carol Alt

Living in the Raw Rose by Lee Calabro

Complete Idiots Guide to Eating Raw

A lazy day at home

Besides driving Beth to school I didn’t have to go anywhere today. So Thomas and I had a lazy day at home. It’s finally getting warm out so I had he doors open airing out the house and changed the sheets on the bed. It was even warm enough to dry them outside!
Next we were off to do some cooking, or non-cooking as the case may be. I had to make some more date balls. Since I gave up sugar 3 weeks ago these have been my treat when I’m craving something sweet. My current recipe is 1C soaked raw almonds (ground up in the food processor) then I add a scoop of hemp protein powder, scoop of flax meal, couple scoops of raw sunflower seeds, some goji berries, unsweetened dried cranberries, 2 scoops raw cacao powder, a sprinkle of cayenne powder and a sprinkle of sea salt, all blended together. Then I add about 5-8 pitted dates and blend some more. I like to add about 1/4 C of raw cacao nibs at this point and just pulse them in so they stay chunky. Then I add a couple Tbls of water so it all sticks together and pulse again.

Then just squish them into balls, roll in coconut and store in the refrigerator. Yum!

Then Thomas sliced a whole lot of potatoes for tonights dinner, Potatoes Au Graten. I have this very fancy mandoline that i never use because it’s just to bulky for me. I like using a knife. But Thomas enjoys slicing with it so off he went.

Since we had such great results with last weeks art project we decided to try another one this week. I love the book The Usborne complete book of art ideas. (Thanks for the suggestion Pepper Paints.) We painted castles today following the instructions in the book. We still need to finish some of the detail work with a black sharpie. These pictures were so easy (and not messy at all) You just pick 3 colors of acrylic paint, squeeze a line along the bottom alternating the colors. Then use differnt widths of card board to smear the paint up the paper. After it dries go over it with some black paint that you smear again with cardboard.

Since the weather was so nice Thomas & I walked to the library to return some books and try to find something that he is willing to read. Pretty much the only books I can get him to read are Captain Underpants, the Weird School series and the Ugly Guides. Great literature at it’s best!

Poor Dan is home sick for the 3rd day. Both yesterday and today he got dressed and tried to go to work only to turn around and go back to bed. He did go to the Dr. today and he has pneumonia, so he’s back to bed for a few more days. Which means he has to miss Daniel’s 18th B-day party at my mom’s tomorrow. And our OSU tours on Friday. We’re scheduled for the admitted student tour and the engineering overview and tour.

Finally we made sugar-free, dairy free, chocolate ice cream, to enjoy while we watched American Idol. It was very yummy, but I’ll play with the recipe a bit for next time. Thomas thought it tasted too much like coffee (there wasn’t any coffee in it) I think he was tasting the cashew milk, but Beth and I liked it. I love days like this. I can’t wait for summer when almost all our days are home days!