Wednesday, January 27, 2010

One huge baby step!

I tuned in to Oprah this afternoon and was shocked, but so pleased, to see her doing a segment about eating with conscience, spotlighting vegan actress and animal activist, Alicia Silverstone and her new book "The Kind Diet".  Alicia shared some recipes from her book.  And she took us viewers along on an ordinary, veg-friendly grocery shopping trip with her.  Oprah even raved about how good vegan food is!  I was amazed!  You can check out all this cool stuff for yourself by clicking on the "Oprah" link above.

Unfortunately, the entire hour was not all vegan friendly, but it was definitely one huge baby step for bringing animal concerns and true health to mainstream society!  Every act of honest information and compassion matters, no matter how big or small.  Hooray for the seeds of change!  I'll have to read Alicia's book!  It looks great!

The Simple Citrus Juicer

As a health-conscious vegan, one of my favorite pieces of kitchen equipment is...

The Simple Citrus Juicer!  

It's a cinch to assemble, quick to use, and easy to clean!  The collection cup even has measurements printed on the side so you know exactly how much juice you've got, which really comes in handy with some recipes.  And as far as tools or accessories are concerned, it is probably the most inexpensive investment in your well being that you could possibly make.  I mean, mine only cost me ten dollars, new, at Target!  If that's still too pricey, I'll bet you could find one at your local thrift store for a couple of bucks.  Of course, with the model pictured above, you have to wring out the juice manually.  But there are electric models if you wish to eliminate the labor.  Shop around.  But do seriously consider purchasing a citrus juicer to have on hand at home.  After a tall morning glass of unpasteurized, raw, living, freshly-squeezed orange or grapefruit juice, you won't have to ask why!  :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

my typical breakfast

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"  

I take this old mantra to heart every morning.  Thus, a very typical breakfast for me consists of a raw apple, pure and simple.  I always choose organic, so I feel safe about eating the fiber-dense skin.  Sometimes I bite right into my selection.  But usually, I opt to cut it into thin slices, just for ease of eating.  On the rare, but joyful occasion, I might even make fresh apple juice!  But my budget doesn't always allow for this kind of fun, except when my neighbors share their seasonal harvest with me in Autumn.

The variety pictured here is Fuji.  I like Fuji.  But I enjoy Gala and Golden Delicious, as well.  And I'd pick a sweet apple over a sour apple any day.  That's just me.  But no matter which type you choose, all apples appear to be good sources of Vitamin C, fiber, low calories, and lots of pure water content.

I like starting out my day with an apple.  I feel full for hours and well nourished.  And for those of you who are also interested in proper food combining, it's nice to know that the fruit is digested cleanly, on an empty stomach.  The apple is my regular breakfast choice, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Simple Sushi

I actually made sushi!  And it was simple!  Hence, the title--not very original, but very true!  This dish was inspired by Minh Nguyen from her DVD "Going Raw! with Ronnie and Minh".  She explains how to make sushi free of any cooked ingredients.  So that's what I did!  Minh suggests a final dipping sauce of nama shoyu (raw soy sauce), but since I had none, I used Bragg's Liquid Aminos, which is raw, too.  I also got some personal help from my blogger friend, Raw Oz Gal, who told me how to make cauliflower "rice"!  Ingenious!  And don't forget to use chopsticks; it's actually easier to eat sushi traditionally than it is to use a fork.  You really should give this recipe a try!  Seriously!  It's fun to prepare and fun to eat!  Makes approximately 32 servings or enough for three to four people.

Simple Sushi

Organic Ingredients: 

a small bowl of water
four sheets of raw nori
half head of cauliflower, minced
half a cucumber, thinly sliced
half a red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 or 2 avocados, thinly sliced
spinach (optional)
red leaf lettuce (optional)
alfalfa sprouts (optional)
Use any favorite veggies!  Be creative!
Nama Shoyu or Bragg's Liquid Aminos
raw wasabi (optional)


Rinse all your vegetables; set aside.  Cut the cauliflower into florets that will fit comfortably into your food processor and let the machine do all the work!  When the cauliflower is well pulverized and grainy, like rice, set aside.  Remove the curved ends of the pepper, and cut into thin strips.  Peel and core the avocado(s) and cut thinly.  Peel and thinly cut the cucumber, as well.  Now you're ready to build!  Make sure your work area is dry.  Place a sheet of nori down flat and spread the cauliflower "rice" on first, staying mostly in the center but extending all the way to the opposite ends of the paper.  (Leave the nori's other two ends free for rolling.)  Layer in some bell pepper now; use those short strips to make a long strip down the center that follows the "rice".  You can add more ingredients if you want to, like the lettuce, etc., layering in the same way.  Now, let's roll this serving!  Put that small bowl of water nearby.  Dab your fingers into the liquid and then run them along one of the free ends of the nori.  Begin rolling up all the ingredients, tucking the dry nori end under.  Seal the sushi roll with the wet end.  Use a large sharp knife to cut the roll into bite sized pieces. (Chances are your nori already came with pre-drawn cutting lines that you can use as a guide!)  Slice gently, sawing with very little pressure, so the sushi doesn't get squashed down or pushed out of the open ends.  Serve these round little bites on their sides so they don't roll away!  (It's also easier to appreciate their beauty turned that way!)  Now repeat the instructions until all the ingredients are used up!  Don't worry if your sushi doesn't look like mine, or looks different every time--it's okay!  Sushi is a work of art-- always fresh and exciting!  Using individual bowls, pour an appropriate amount of Bragg's for dipping; add wasabi carefully because it's hot; a little goes a long way!  If any ingredients are left over, store them in the fridge for more sushi tomorrow, or simply toss them into a salad for later.  Enjoy!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Veggie Burritos

There are no beans in this burrito--vegetables only!  This fine meal was inspired by Minh Nguyen, from her 30 minute recipe DVD "Going Raw! with Ronnie and Minh".  I'd never considered placing my typical veggie sandwich ingredients on anything other than bread, and maybe into the occasional pita pocket.  But wrapping it up in a leaf of collard greens?  I didn't know raw food could taste this good or look so beautiful!  It wasn't even difficult to do!  Minh makes a special pate to spread on the leaf, but I simply used Follow Your Heart's Vegenaise and mustard.  It's not 100% raw with these condiments, but it's pretty close.  I specifically listed the ingredients pictured in my photos, (Thank you, Jordan, for holding my creation!) but you can use any assortment of veggies you want--whatever makes you happy!  Fresh food is healthy and fun!  I hope you give this raw recipe a try!  Makes enough for two large wraps.

Veggie Burritos 

Organic Ingredients:
4 collard green leaves, whole
1/2 head of red leaf lettuce, chopped
1/2 large cucumber, thinly sliced
1/2 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
1/4 head of red cabbage, chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 tomato, diced
2 cups baby spinach
2 cups alfalfa sprouts
Vegenaise (optional)
mustard (optional)
dash of cayenne pepper (optional) 

Rinse and prepare all the vegetables.  Set aside.  Evenly cut off the stems and very bottoms of the collard greens.  Be sure to shave off any tough parts of the leaves' remaining center stems.  Note: the cut ends will be the top of the wrap and the rounded edges will be folded in, like a burrito, to keep the ingredients from falling out.  So when you begin building your wrap, be sure not to cover the leaves' curved edges so you can tuck them in at the end.  Now, place two collard greens onto the counter, one leaf overlapping the other a little bit.  If you want condiments, spread them on the leaves first.  It's finally time to layer in the veggies!  Pile them however you see fit, just remember not to cover the collard green's edges, excepting the cut edge.  When you are done building, tuck the bottom up first, then pull one side in, then the other.  You should have a cute little collard green wrap in your hands--a veggie burrito!  Set aside on a plate, folded edges facing down, and make the second serving.  Enjoy!  (If you have any left-over ingredients, throw them into a bowl together for a side salad at your next meal, or simply rinse off some more collard greens and keep wrapping!)