raw

raspberry-chia cream smoothie

The “you catch more bees with honey…” sentiment really is true – I have [click to continue…]

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ginger-cashew nori rolls

The first few days of April I completed a five day juice cleanse and then another several days of juicing and mostly raw foods.

For several lunches I made my ginger-cashew nori rolls, using whatever fillings I found in my produce drawers. There are two rolls in the photos – a mango roll (um, yum) and a pepper-bean roll. So [click to continue…]

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vitality shots Wellness Wednesday

You may have noticed that recent Wednesdays have been Wellness Wednesdays at spabettie, something new I am doing as I continue to educate myself on all aspects of wellness – inside and out. I am currently enrolled in the Master Veg program offered through NCNM, Portland’s naturopathic college. I could not be more excited – I have already learned so much.

I am officially kicking off Wellness Wednesdays with a Wellness Week, as we transition from our first month of 2013 into the second. While my plant based diet will of course be a focus for Wellness Wednesdays, it will certainly not be the entire series – topics using my background in the spa / wellness industry, fitness (people continue to ask about skiing, tennis and running) are among the posts I have planned.

While many may argue this morning’s grapefruit-ginger vodka toddy fits with Wellness Week – being a popular cure for all that ails you – I do have one that might fit better – my vitality shots. This one is, you know, one that you can drink before you go to work.

Last week I shared [click to continue…]

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maca power smoothie

I begin each day with a juice, sometimes a smoothie. I choose ingredients that bring natural energy, like the superfood maca. If you have heard of maca, chances are you’ve heard the of the purported libido enhancing qualities. No doubt that is a positive benefit, but the first thing I think of is boundless energy.

Maca has an earthy, natural flavor that I have grown to love – if I measure more than a tablespoon into my smoothie, ah well! To me the flavor is mild, and I gravitate toward natural tastes anyway.

These shots get natural sweetness from another favorite – Medjool dates. Banana brings sweetness too, and the nuts give a protein boost (I used a combination of cashews and almonds – I love the creamy flavor cashews bring!

More about benefits of maca.

maca power shots

maca power shots

dairy, soy, egg, gluten free, vegan, raw

makes 4 shots, or one large delicious shake

1/3 cup total raw almonds and cashews, soaked overnight
1 1/2 cups coconut water
1-2 large Medjool dates, pitted
1 banana, peeled
1 tablespoon maca powder
fresh grated nutmeg

Soak almonds and cashews overnight. Discard soaking water. 

In high powered blender, combine almonds and cashews with water – blending at highest power into liquid. Add dates, banana, and maca, blend until smooth. Pour into glass and top with fresh grated nutmeg.

maca power shot

Do you have a favorite energizing smoothie ingredient?

 

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Today I am going to a fabulous party, you may have heard of it?

Cara’s Clean Eating Cocktail Party.

She has been hosting this delicious party all through the month of November and into December. Several of my friends and favorite bloggers have shown up to the party before me, and they have brought some amazing foods.

I wanted to make something bright and vibrant for Cara and her party, something that falls under Clean Eating and is still knock your socks off stand up and wave your hands in the air dance around the room fantastic.

I used a couple of my favorite kitchen tools – my food processor and dehydrator, a favorite ingredient – Irish moss, and some fresh winter citrus. Bright and vibrant has been achieved.

This tropical spread is citrusy and sweet and fluffy like a mousse should be, and the crackers are crispy bites of bright.

Come join the party – please go visit Cara to see my orange pineapple crackers with tropical mousse spread.

Cheers!

 

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Last summer we completed a juice fast and enjoyed a raw food diet. We have been juicing ever since – usually once a day, sometimes twice. We love eating raw foods as well, and feel fantastic when we do.

In addition to the benefit of extra energy, detoxing and improved sleep, a clean diet found us both headache free, with no allergy or congestion symptoms, and for me, less joint / muscle pain. I am more aware of how my body acts and reacts, and I feel clear, both internally and in my mind.

With the holidays here, you’re probably giving me the side eye and asking “is she really going to talk about cleansing right now?”

I am! Well, I am going on recent interests, actually – I have had many questions about juicing and raw diets in the last couple months, and several just this week. I am sharing the answers to the questions I received after our juice fast and raw diet last summer, because many of them have come up again recently. I have added information about the second juicer we have now – a twin gear.

While I plan to enjoy my holiday season and yes, there will be indulgence, I am also balancing that with clean eating during the days, and you know, normal life. I also plan to complete another juice and raw foods diet after the holidays, and I know others are planning that as well.

Today’s recipe is an old favorite – very easy, bright and vibrant.

pineapple pepper green juice

1/2 fresh pineapple, skin and core included, top removed
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded
2 large bunches kale 

Juice and enjoy!

I want to emphasize that I am not a medical professional dispensing advice, and anyone contemplating a dietary change should first consult their doctor. I am simply sharing my own experiences and what worked for me. Everyone is different, with a variety of dietary needs, and what works for one may not be best for another.

are you getting enough protein?

I have heard doctors, nutritionists, other qualified professionals say there is too much focus on protein. I have been one of these people, always making sure there is a good amount of protein included in each meal and snack. What I have realized is that for short periods of time, I get an adequate amount of protein and other nutrients with a juice fast – broccoli and spinach are both great sources.

Additionally, fresh juice is a highly digestible food that is packed with nutrients, raw enzymes, vitamins and antioxidants. I get healthy fats from avocado or nuts, omegas (flax, chia) – during fast if you do not get adequate fat, your body will be in starvation mode and store fat.

what is grocery shopping like?

I learned very quickly which markets have the most reasonably priced organics. Even more importantly, I learned which markets have the highest quality produce. I stopped the other day at a place on my way home, which thankfully is not my regular market because the produce was sad. Very sad.

Normally the bulk of my shopping is in the produce section anyway, with bulk items and a few things here and there, where I venture into the middle of the store. My shopping now is even more efficient – I have a master list of all the vegetables and fruit we like, and I check what is needed before I leave the house. Portland’s Farmers Markets have been a great source of many of our veggies.

do you use organic, and why?

I buy as much organic as possible, if it looks good. if the non organic looks fresher or what I want isn’t available, I’ll buy non organic. I then make sure to scrub clean (I do this with everything) and in some cases I will take the time to peel the skin. why? little to no chemicals, wax residue or preservatives is a good thing, and the absence of those things also means fresher produce with more nutrients. also, organic pulp can be used things like dog treats and bread – no waste!

even if you are not using organics, juicing is still highly beneficial.

how can I start?

prepare ahead of time. a week or so prior, cut back and stop coffee, alcohol, processed foods, eating as clean as possible.

if you can fast for at least 10 days you will see benefits. the first couple days of a juice fast, your body is processing the food remaining in your digestive system. the next couple of days, your body focuses on the reserves stored in your liver. after 3-5 days, your juice fast really begins!

Start with your favorite fruit and vegetables, so it will be something you want to consume. Gradually move to most if not all vegetables, with one fruit here and there. Plan to shop every few days if possible, or invest in some of those bags that prolong the life of produce. Know where you can find fresh juice away from home – juice bars, restaurants, gyms, even Jamba Juice has fresh juice!

did you have unpleasant reactions?

since I juice regularly anyway, and eat fairly clean much of the time, I did not experience many of the common side effects of a juice fast. some of the possible temporary effects resulting from detoxing include headaches, dizziness, breakouts, feeling tired or lethargic, weight loss. the first couple of days I was a little tired, and in five weeks I have had ONE headache (a happy and positive side effect!). I lost 10 pounds in the first couple weeks, and another 5 since. I am not in the habit of a scale, and I think the weight loss has plateaued.

the positives include increased energy and we feel incredibly healthy and clean!

how do you know what tastes good, do you have a favorite recipe?

I don’t always know what will taste good – trust me, not all of my juices turn out well! I have had to go back and add some pineapple or apple to mask some pretty bad flavors. I happen to be one of those nuts who likes the taste of green, so most things still taste good to me. I am juicing for Jason, too, and while he likes a lot of flavor combinations too, I do try to make things taste good and have a big collection of recipes for all of your juicing needs!

how long will you do this?

I am currently on a 2 week fast, the end of which is timed with an upcoming event. (We have had weddings, house guests, birthdays and other events where we happily broke fast). We are loving this, and are talking about keeping it up long term in some form. I have some great new raw food recipe ideas that I cannot WAIT to incorporate, and will juice regularly, at least once a day.

are you still exercising?

I am! For the first week, it was very little – walking only. Now I am running (or at least faced paced walking!), lifting, most of my regular activities, at about 1/2 to 3/4 intensity depending on the day.

do you juice once a day to drink all day, or several times a day?

the enzymes and nutrients begin to break down immediately, so I drink it immediately and make fresh juice each time to get the most out of my juicing! yes, I know for many, the biggest complaint is having to clean the juicer:

do you clean your juicer each time?

yes, I do clean my juicer each time – I make myself clean it before I can drink my juice, and it really only takes a few more minutes, at most. I have it down to a pretty quick routine now, turning on the hot water as soon as I am done juicing, grab my scrub brush and just clean each piece as I take it apart, and I have a drying mat I stack it all on. after much use and sitting on the drying rack by my kitchen window sometimes in the sun, the pieces have become slightly cloudy over time. this does not affect the juice or juicer at all.

additionally, once or twice a week I’ll run it all through the dishwasher (EXCEPT the plunger – that will melt / lose shape and not fit right after). yes, it can be a pain with what, six pieces plus wiping down the base, but when I think of cleaning dishes and cooking equipment, I think it more than balances out. if you think of how much time you are probably saving, the extra clean up each time might be more manageable? :)

what kind of juicer do you have?

we have the Breville Juice Fountain Plus, which is the same juicer Joe Cross has in the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead. Jason and I saw this movie about a week after we began our fast, and it completely validated what we were doing, and gave us even more motivation. This is a great movie about a couple different people who changed their health and their lives with a juice fast. Though Jason and I did not have any of the health complications the movie focuses on, nor are we medication-dependent, the film is very inspiring and motivating. It’s on instant Netflix and it’s both entertaining and heart warming.

we have added a second juicer to our kitchen – while I still use the Breville, I also love my new juicer, the Super Angel Stainless Twin Gear. This juicer is extremely efficient, producing a large amount of juice and minimal pulp, which is very dry.

It juices leafy greens very well also – I never juiced greens in my centrifugal, instead I would juice and then blend the greens in after. I still do this for more protein (spinach), but if I want only juice, we now have the benefit of greens.

Another benefit of the Super Angel – the twin gear mechanism grinds the produce in such a way that the enzymes do not immediately begin to break down – I still drink most of the juice right away, but if we want to take juice with us to work during the day, it will still be nutrient rich hours later.

I welcome your questions, either in the comments or via email.

sss

 

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Last Saturday, I assisted in my very first cooking class! My friend was teaching her first class, and wanted me there for moral support and to help field questions, do prep, talk to the rather large crowd and plate our food in a pretty presentation.

The class subject was tofu and seitan, and we demoed four recipes. It was very fun, it was very exciting, it was very delicious and I was asked to teach some of my own (eek!). Also? I think I said yes.

The thought both scares and thrills me.

I have taught many a skincare class and technique, never a food or cooking class. Now that I’ve been behind the counter (they have the overhead tilty mirror and everything!), I do believe I am hooked.

I have spent much time this week thinking of recipes I could demo. The focus of the series is vegan and raw, so I suppose I could come up with a few ideas.

My salted caramel cheesecake would be a good recipe to teach – at first mention of the name, it sounds fantastically amazing, yes? and I promise you it is. It is also sugar free, dairy, egg and gluten free, and raw. One of those stealth desserts that impress.

I would make one ahead of time to have on hand, you know, like television. Then I could prep each of the steps and assemble the layers. We must make enough food for all class students to sample (30-40 people on average!), so there’s the reason for the make ahead cake – and I could just take the class cake home.

I’m kinda totally excited about the possibility of teaching my own classes…

salted caramel cheesecake

dairy, egg, oil, soy, gluten and sugar free, vegan, raw

makes one 9 inch cheesecake

raw pecan crust

1 cup pecans
1 1/2 cups Medjool dates

Line a 9 inch spring-form pan with parchment. In food processor, pulse hazelnuts to a fine crumb. Add dates, process until combined completely. Press into spring-form pan.

salted caramel cream sauce

1/2 cup raw cashews
3/4 cup water*
1 1/2 cups Medjool dates, soaked
raw sea salt, to taste (Moroccan Atlantic raw coarse sea salt)
*add more water for a more liquid sauce; for this recipe I wanted a thick salted caramel layer
In food processor, combine cashews and water to make a cashew cream. Add dates and raw salt, process to a creamy smooth sauce. Set aside (this will be used as the cheesecake sweetener and the top layer).

cheesecake layer 

2 cups cashews, soaked several hours
juice of two lemons
1/2 cup salted caramel cream sauce (see recipe above)
1/2 cup Irish moss paste (see instructions here)

Process cashews in food processor, add lemon juice and blend until creamy. Add caramel sauce and Irish moss, blending until incorporated and mixture is smooth. Spread in an even layer over crust. Pour / spoon salted caramel cream over cheesecake layer, smooth in an even layer. Place in refrigerator to set.

My salted caramel cheesecake recipe was featured on Tasty Yummies Thanksgiving Series.

 

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Remember my Vegan Fusion Immersion class I attended this summer? Over the weekend, I got together with three alumni friends for a potluck. We spent the afternoon eating amazing vegan food – just like we did every day in class…

It was so fun to see these friends again! We all enjoyed the fact that we all grabbed our cameras with each course, we all are so very excited about vegan and raw foods, we all like to talk about food – while we are eating food.

We did talk about other things too. Really, we did.

and we ate some amazing food.

Appetizer course – romesco dip with crackers.

First course – spicy potato leek soup.

Second Course – pineapple cilantro coleslaw salad.

Third Course – tofu stuffed shells, tofu stuffed peppers.

Fourth Course – seitan Marsala with angel hair pasta.

Dessert Course – raspberry jalapeno chocolates

Dessert Course – raw brownie bottomed cheesecake

Remember the brownie bottomed cheesecake I made for my birthday? I made another one - a raw one. This cake is so fluffy from the Irish moss paste, delicious and very easy to prepare! Everyone loved it and took home extra pieces…

[raw] brownie bottomed cheesecake

inspired by brownie bottomed cheesecake, adapted from triple berry red white blue cheesecake

dairy, egg, oil, soy and gluten free, vegan, raw

makes one 9-inch cheesecake

*Prepare ahead: Irish moss paste (see instructions below); soak cashews

raw hazelnut brownie crust

1 cup hazelnuts
1/3 cup cacao powder
7 ounces dried figs
1/4 cup agave
1/4 cup water 

Line a 9 inch spring-form pan with parchment. In food processor, pulse hazelnuts to a fine crumb. Add cacao powder, combine completely. Add figs and agave, process until combined. Add water slowly until a dough ball forms. Press into 9 inch spring-form pan.

cheesecake layer 

2 1/2 cups cashews, soaked several hours / overnight
juice of two lemons
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup agave
1/2 cup Irish moss paste (see instructions below)

Process cashews in food processor, adding lemon juice and acv, blend until creamy. Add agave and Irish moss, blending until incorporated and mixture is smooth. Spread in an even layer over crust, place in refrigerator to set.

Irish moss paste

(makes one 1/2 cup)

1/4 cup Irish moss
water

Thoroughly clean/rinse Irish moss, removing sand, other debris. Place in bowl (large enough to accommodate moss doubling in size), add water to soak (enough water to cover moss). Set aside for several hours/overnight, moss will double in size, absorb some of the water. Transfer moss to high speed blender, blend until smooth paste forms (adding water by the tablespoon as needed to thin).

Do you have friends who take photos of their food, who get excited about food?

 

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