real raw kitchen

Saturday, September 20, 2014

RECIPE: banana ice cream with rawnola


The past few months have been big for me. Big. Huge. (channeling my inner Pretty Woman moment ..). In my truest Scorpio fashion I took exactly two months to mourn and then I went out and created the life I wanted, dripping with passion and utterly perfect. Isn't it funny how life works?

It's all always utterly perfect.

When I think about how much my life has changed in the past year, and in the past few months in particular, I can't help but think about how happy I am, even against all odds. During my darkest moments I kept repeating this absurd mantra to myself, "Trust the process." I clung onto the mantra as if it was the very thing that would pull me out of the pain. All I could do was trust that in the end I would step out of everything stronger, more beautiful, more empowered, and even happier than ever before. I didn't know when or how it would happen, but I just put 100% of my faith in it, trusting the process. 

And you know what? It happened. A lot faster than I had expected but oh boy did it happen. 

Now, I live on the beach and I spend my time playing in the sand with new friends, new lovers, and myself. Which is why this is actually a recipe post, because another perfect part of my day is this recipe. I'd like to think that when I look back one day on the summer that I found happiness--true, authentic, deep happiness--that this dish will come to mind. Because every time I make it I feel like I could float away (except that one time my Vitamix died while making the ice cream.. that was the opposite of happiness). 




My main goal with this post is to bring YOU this same bliss. The problem is that many of you may not have a Vitamix. Fear not! There is a neat little gadget that I've seen and I think it's the perfect solution for many of you! If my Vitamix keeps acting funky I may invest in one of these guys. It's a Yonanas machine and you can take any frozen fruit and turn it into ice cream. How cool is that?? Yes, I realize that I become absurdly excited over kitchen gadgets ..

As for this recipe, I think you will love it. I make a large batch of rawnola and store it in the fridge so I can munch on it throughout the week. I'm not particularly creative with this recipe, actually, as I got it from Loni Jane (my idol). It's simple, it's delicious, it's filling, it's low in fat, it's perfect after a beach day .. it's really just everything in one bowl. I like to add fresh fruit to my ice cream, as well, and take my time eating it.



Banana Ice Cream with Rawnola

Ingredients 
for the ice cream:
  • 3-4 frozen bananas
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk (optional)
for the rawnola:
Instructions
for the ice cream:
  • If using a blender (such as a Vitamix) then add the coconut milk and the frozen bananas and blend on low until a creamy texture forms. Use the tamper to facilitate blending.
  • If using a Yonanas machine then follow the instructions (coconut milk not needed)
for the rawnola:
  • Drain the dates. Peel the skin off (optional) and remove the pits.
  • Combine everything in a food processor and process until chunky.



**disclosure: if you purchase anything I link to you via Amazon I make a small percentage out of it at no cost to you! So cool for me, so cool for you!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

My story for 2014

Back when I told you that I was taking a little break from blogging and promised that I'd be back soon I never imagined that it would be quite the struggle to get back to you. I've been popping in here and there to check in on the blog and to respond to your comments and messages because even through everything this simple fact remains: I love you!

But seeing as my steam and passions have shifted a bit I think I find myself more and more uncomfortable coming back to this blog. Why? Because I'm not being honest with you. I love this blog and I would love to rev it back up--totally, food is my passion, always--but I can't rev it back up under false pretenses. I'm as real and straight-to-the-point as they come and to return to you under the guise of a raw food blogger would be, well, not to-the-point at all.

So what is my point?

Well, how much do you want to read? I've got lots of stories and anecdotes--many of which might make you crumble into a heap of tears but I don't really know if I want to do that to you--but I'm not sure what exactly to share or where exactly I should start. The neatest thing about it, though, is that I think I can safely say that having my fourth existential crisis in the span of one year is probably a totally normal thing for a mid 20-something young woman and so at the very least you might find this encouraging/entertaining/reassuring.

For starters, as you may know, I got married last year to a man that I loved very much. Very much. God, it hurts to admit how much you love someone, sometimes. We did the fairy tale wedding with the fairy tale honeymoon and the fairy tale life. Usually it's safe to assume that when you do those things it's because you have BIG plans with the other person and usually it's safe to assume that's both a scary and exhilarating time. For me, at least, it was all of those things. Every last dream I had for myself was coming to fruition and I couldn't have asked for a greater fairy tale.

Somehow, some way, things just happened. Through the thick of it all I felt like I was maybe the unluckiest bride in the world (I know, it's dramatic, but it's a pretty damn unlucky situation). It turns out that my fairy tale husband had a nightmarish mental breakdown and decided that marriage was too great a task for his mental and emotional capacity. Bad things happen to good people, I tell ya. Marriage and breakdowns included. 

There are a lot of choice words that have played on repeat in my head over the past year, a LOT, but I don't really feel like I need to express them here, or anywhere, anymore. Because it's really as simple as that: bad things happen to good people. We thought we were doing good things but somehow, some way it just was not meant to be. The amount of pain that I endured (and I'm sure him as well, though I guess I will never know) was so incredible, so intense and insurmountable that at times I thought I quite literally might have died instead of lived through another moment of it. There were nights that I thought I might never stop crying, permanently fixed in a tight ball on the floor, begging someone, anyone, to come hold me. My six foot frame went from a healthy 145 pounds to a thin 125 pounds within months and I couldn't bring myself to do anything except for survive to the next hour each day.

Why am I telling you this? Because it's real. It happened. It was dark and scary and hurt like fucking hell. But you know what happened? I survived.

I survived!

Against all of my expectations, I survived. Not only that but it was as if one day I was suddenly free. One day I woke up and my first thought was about something totally obscure and unimportant and not at all about the pain from the night before. When I woke up that morning and my first thought wasn't immediately about my (ex)husband I almost started crying simply because I was so relieved. From that day on it has been like I have been awake for the first time, ever, breathing in a refreshing and clear breath for the first time in years.

Since then my life has almost exploded and in only the happiest of ways. That damn phrase that everybody loves to repeat, "Everything happens for a reason", usually makes me cringe and roll my eyes because "everything" and "reason" are both such subjective and relative terms that the phrase has only ever felt dismissive, not inspiring. Until now. Now, I feel like I've had an "ah-ha!" moment where I get it. Ah yes! "Everything" has indeed happened for a "reason" and that reason is that I exist, here and now, unabashedly happy with the very fact that I am simply living! What an amazing "reason" for anything at all to happen, right??

 

Almost immediately after my ah-ha moment I booked a series of trips:

Puerto Rico, solo travel
Colorado, girl camping trip
California, visit home
Colombia, girl backpacking trip
California, visit home
Jamaica, girl trip
Nicaragua, girl surf trip

... and then I ran out of vacation days at work. Oops.

The next week I got my nose pierced in an ever-cliche way, one in which I'm rebelling against the very constricted, cookie-cutter life I found myself unhappily in. A beautiful full hoop ring is in the works and in some strange way I've never felt more beautiful (almost like when I look in the mirror my soul says, "ah, there you are!").


Also immediately after that ah-ha moment I launched my small business:

The Real Raw Shop

Then, do you know what happened? I had a major existential moment where I freaked out and thought: "What the fuck am I even doing?" You know those moments? Yeah. I had one of those. I started thinking, "What am I? A world traveler? A food blogger? A writer? A photographer? A faculty member (day job)? A hippie? A small business owner? A lover?" I couldn't believe that I had so many passions .. so many! I couldn't believe that every single one of them excited me, fueled me, and made me proud of who I am for the first time in years. I couldn't believe that all of this, every part of me, felt equally important to the other, far-reaching and often times whimsical parts of me. Yet here they are, all pounding on the inside of my chest, begging to be explored.


Something has shifted in me. Something big. And I bring this to you, now, because it has directly impacted this blog. It has influenced my lack of posting and even the content of my posts. It has influenced my diet, tremendously (am I even raw anymore? I'm certainly not vegan ..) And as much as I love making food and eating food, I just simply have not had an urge to post about it because I spend so much time playing with others, playing outside, and traveling (I know, I sound ridiculous). Whatta' life, right?



In a series of strange and unpredictable twists and turns where someone I trusted with my entire soul--as well as all the people in his life--did me very dirty, I'm finding that, ironically, the tide has shifted in such a magical way in which I have been released into this beautiful, abundant life ... and I have yet to look back.

So for now, I can tell you this: I will be back. I can also say this: ..once I figure out what direction I want to take.


In the meantime, I would love it if you would drop a comment for me and for any other readers that may be experiencing something even remotely similar. Share your story of trial and triumph. Have you ever been through anything so horrific? Have you ever survived? It is the community of women (admittedly, there is a gender bias here) that had experienced similar horror stories that helped me hang on to the single promise that life is infinitely better on the other side. So for now, I'd like to at the very least offer that to you!

Thanks for reading. I love you all. Talk soon ..

xo m







Sunday, August 24, 2014

Real Raw Kitchen meal planner

Hello lovelies ..

Can I write you a letter? I feel as if my heart is in a place to write love letters to you, to myself, to the world, and all my favorite people and places. My heart is booming with so much happiness and I didn't think it was possible, especially in the very same year that my heart faced a dark, painful reality. It's amazing how capable our bodies, our souls are, right? Completely fascinating that I can feel so much love and so much pain all in the same heart within the same year. Amazing.

Can I please tell you about something that is beautifully unfolding in my life?

The Real Raw Shop






I have mentioned before that I have done a soft launch for the shop, revealing what my latest project was and exactly where my devotion lies at this point in my life. It is a complete extension of this blog, something I've been dreaming up for awhile. It's a beautiful project, I feel, that represents so much: rebirth, nature, endless possibilities .. Oh I've gone all romantic, haven't I??

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to advertise a little meal planner I've created just for YOU. I have been asking for support during this time--mostly financial support because the emotional support has always been there--but then I realized that I was being just so, so selfish. So I decided to create a little meal planner, equipped with recipes and pictures for a weeks worth of raw foods, for you when you make a $10 donation here.


purchase here

The recipes aren't new--I must warn  you in advance--as they all are from this blog. The idea is that it's designed for someone that doesn't want to think about a week's worth of raw food and instead has an easy guide. It's also great for my Instagram followers that may not visit this blog so will be excited to see a little bundle awaiting them.

Also, the most exciting part for YOU, is that there are discount codes included in the ebook for The Real Raw Shop that are only available to you as a buyer/supporter. That way, when you purchase an item from the shop you can also include these codes for various discounts.

What's even more fabulous is that each of the different donation packages increases with price AND goodies, so the planner is included in all of the $10 and up packages, along with some of the goods from the shop. Neat, huh?

Go take a look around and report back. And if you're not into dropping some cash but you want to support the shop somehow, then spread the word. I would LOVE that as well :)

Love you all, talk soon,

xo m

Sunday, August 17, 2014

RECIPE: sunshine and tropics smoothie


Life is funny, isn't it? I remember one time when I was in high school I was complaining to my mom about some petty argument I had with another girl and then declared that she had effectively ruined my day. My mom just shrugged and said, "She's only ruining your day because you let her. If you just move on with your day I believe you could have a perfectly good one."

In the moment I was so angry with my mom for not taking my "side", as ludicrous as it was. Because I was a stubborn teenager I pretended that my "side" mattered but couldn't help but really think about her words for the rest of the day. It only took about 20 minutes for me to realize she was right--I wasn't even spending the day with the girl, so why should she bother me--but I think about her words even to this day.

So why am I bringing up this story, a decade later in a post about a smoothie? Well, that's because just like you can let something ruin your day if you so choose, I'm starting to believe that you can also let something make your day, as well. And that's exactly what this smoothie has done for me. It has made my day.

Life is rough and life sucks and there are so many ample opportunities to sulk and let these things ruin your days. It's true. I'm sad most of the time right now but sometimes I have to stop that sad-train and realize that being sad over devastating events is okay and that I can also be happy ... which is infinitely better than being sad.

So I started my day with a hot, long run on the beach and then stripped down and hopped into the ocean. I laid on the sand and searched for shells as the waves washed up over my feet. As I felt my skin begin to sizzle I decided it was time to leave, though I really didn't want to. So I stopped by the lifeguard station and chatted with the lifeguard for a bit, compromising between getting-out-of-the-sun and staying-at-the-beach. Then I walked barefoot back to my home and made myself this glorious smoothie. My thoughts trickled in and out of my head, a constant reminder of some of the uglier things that have happened this year, but each time one of the thoughts, the memories, bubbled up to the surface I would shrug it off like a heavy raincoat and tell myself that I'm okay. Because I live on the beach. I am healthy. I can run. I can make delicious smoothies and chat with hot lifeguards. And I just launched a small business that I am deeply passionate about.

Life is good. And it's even better when I'm sipping on this ...

Sunshine and Tropics Smoothie

Ingredients
  • 4-5 oranges, juiced
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups fresh pineapple
  • 1 T ginseng

Instructions
  • Combine everything in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth.
  • Pour into a fancy jar and pretend you're on the beach with me. Delicious.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Real Raw Shop is launching

First off .. I miss you guys. Seriously. It has been months since I've popped on here (even for comments, I'm afraid) and I have been aching to reconnect with all of you. It seems like it's been a lifetime, and in a way it has, and now that I'm back I feel like there's A LOT to do here.

When I took my break I was in the process of growing my blog, building a raw food empire. I still have dreams and they do involve this blog but they look vastly different. I took a break because things in my life had fallen apart before my eyes. I didn't see any of the chaos coming, nor the pain that came with it, but instead was blindsided by an ugly and overwhelming wave of betrayal, loss, mental illness, and abuse. So at that time I had nothing left within me to develop recipes and display them here for the world. I barely had enough within me to make it through each day.


But then a little spark inside me began to grow. I remembered that life is good, that I am good, and that I am not riddled with mental illness or ugly demons so therefore I am free to live and thrive however I choose. All I had to do was pick myself up, dust myself off, and rediscover the beautiful parts of me that I have to offer the world. 

And now I'm here to share this tiny little piece with you because I feel like I owe it to you (I'm not trying to ruin your day, I promise). It's not enough to disappear for a few months--after you have been so diligent in supporting me as I grew this blog--and then return with a flippant "I'm back" attitude. Instead, I feel that I owe you something, some sort of explanation and also promise that I have plans for the future.

So what am I doing??



I've turned my hobby and my passion into a small business. I've created The Real Raw Shop and I've launched my lifestyle and my beliefs into the world where I firmly believe they will be readily received. What I've learned through all of this is that I indeed have people--we all have people--but there is nothing more important to happiness than finding those people and being with them.

So you're my people, my people are my people, and because of their support (and your support) I've found strength and courage to launch this thing, fully, unabashedly, with no apologies for being the woman that I am.

I'm beyond thrilled, mostly scared shitless, and ready for 2014 to be both the worst AND best year of my life.

Pop on over to the shop and let me know what you think!

I've also launched an Indiegogo campaign to help with the start-up costs, since, you know, realizing your dream after having your life ripped out from beneath you can be an uphill financial battle. So if any of you have it in your enormous hearts to contribute then whoa man. I am blessed beyond belief. Seriously. And if not, then no worries because I love you for just being you and being here. And if you DO want to support this business venture, then all you have to do if you don't have spare cash is spread the word. Spread it loud and spread it far and get the excitement building.



Expect some more news, some more posts, and even some giveaways. I can't promise anything right now because I feel like a little baby calf learning to walk for the first time but what I can promise is that I'm a f*cking fighter and anything I put my heart into usually brings massive return, tenfold.

I love you all. I miss you all. Thank you for being patient, caring, loving, wonderful, beautiful ...

be back soon

xo marquis

Links:






Wednesday, April 30, 2014

EPIC raw food: Ellen Fisher and 801010 eBook


You guys, it's here. Today is the day. You all know that I've been major crushing on Ellen Fisher (and so have 30k other people, apparently) and so when she announced last year that she was working on releasing an eBook of 801010 recipes I about died with excitement. And now, it's here.


I'm so lucky, too, because this beautiful woman has shared with me some pics and a recipe from the book to share with YOU. The pictures look divine and the recipe sounds so fresh. It's not wonder she is just radiating beauty and light in all her pictures.

"I put my heart and soul into this E-book! It is filled with 50 amazing low fat raw vegan recipes and also includes 10 pages of tips to take charge of your health, feel your best, and incorporate more raw foods into your diet. Every recipe is fresh, nutritious, and satisfying. Contains no oil and no salt! Whether you are following the 80/10/10 diet, or simply looking to include more fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet, this book will aid you in a delicious meal experience every time. "
You can get her eBook here for $16.95 and then fantasize about her food here.

Citrus Smoothie Bowl with Veggie Dippers
Call me crazy, but I love to dip lettuce into my smoothies. Mmm mm Good!
Equipment: blender
Ingredients
For the smoothie:
2 cups of freshly juiced orange, tangelo, or tangerine juice
1/2 a ripe pineapple
4 cups of frozen organic mango
For dipping:
2 heads of crisp lettuce
Orange, red, or yellow bell pepper (as much as desired)
Assembly
Blend all smoothie ingredients until smooth and pour into a large bowl. Slice bell pepper and take apart lettuce leaves to use as dippers. Dip each lettuce leaf and pepper slice into the smoothie bowl for each bite. Sweet and savory in every mouthful!

Monday, April 28, 2014

How To: make a great cup of coffee

I'm baaaccckk!! Sort of .. today .. for now. 

First things first, I'm so happy to have you here! I'm so happy to pop in and say hello and have you here to wave back from your beautiful selves. Beyond happy to have you.

Secondly, the best way for me to start any day is with a damn good cup of coffee, and I suspect I'm not the only one .. In fact, it seems to be America's favorite addiction. So this post is all about coffee (and love and compassion). 

Lastly: No. Coffee is not raw. And neither is coconut milk (used as creamer). But if there were ever a "raw" way to enjoy coffee, this is it. And I love it and what it does for me so I stand behind my coffee habits.      

So the kind people over at Nee Coffee reached out to me and asked if I'd like to try on their porcelain coffee dripper and see if I liked it. I was very excited because just the weekend before I was at my girlfriend's house and she made me a fine cup o' joe using this same method. I had exclaimed to her, "ohmygosh I LOVE this! I want to try it, too!" Before I had a chance to scout out a product to purchase for myself, the ultimate form of manifestation took place and I had a product sent to me, for sampling, free of charge. Talk about attracting good things into your life!


Now, besides the fact that I'm reviewing this product and the obvious fact that it was sent to me, free of charge, I'd like to also point out what a pleasure it was to work with this particular company. As you may have read, Life has been a bit challenging for me, to say the least. I received this fabulous gadget just before I took my hiatus from blogging--and pretty much Life in general--and the people over at Nee were so gracious and understanding as I figured things out. They gave me the space and time to work through my stuff and had complete faith in me to come back and post this review. 

I'd recommend this product for the reasons I'll mention below, but also because there are some good people behind it. Whenever I'm treated with kindness, respect, love and compassion I can't help but feel that the very same is in need of return, but tenfold.



What I found by using this coffee-dripping method is that the flavor of coffee is much richer and the coffee is much smoother than a cup that is brewed in a large batch, like a pot of coffee. The flavor that results from this method really is enhanced and turned my generic coffee into a really luxurious and indulgent experience.

My only complaint for this product is that there is a slight learning curve. This really is a simple concept but for me it took about 3 attempts before I felt like I could confidently make a cup for photographing. The important part of this learning curve is that you have an appropriate sized coffee filter (size 2) .. my bad.


The Pros:
  • Enhanced flavor
  • Sustainable
  • Affordable in the long run
  • Saves kitchen space
  • Easy to clean

The Cons:
  • A one time initial cost of $17 (which in comparison to an actual coffee machine is pretty affordable)
  • A slight learning curve, easily overcome
  • A little bit more time required 

The Pros of this product far outweigh the Cons and so I recommend the Nee Coffee Dripper to all those that I love (that means you!). I think it could make a fabulous gift for birthdays and holidays and maybe even a wonderful housewarming gift. It's especially useful if you're living in a dorm or studio apartment with limited space and kitchen facilities.

There are four things that I think are incredibly important to overall well-being: good nutrition, movement, love, and sleep. Under the "Love" thang is where I place a good cup of coffee. Take care of yourself, indulge. Find your Love and indulge, constantly. For me, a cup of coffee is like an unbreakable ritual that helps me find my zen every morning. And this is why I've chosen to return to blogging with this particular post, because I'm all about self-care!

In the meantime, check out the dripper below ..


Nee also has a beautiful infographic on how to use the dripper method, so I've included it here for you:





**disclosure: if you purchase anything I link to you via Amazon I make a small percentage out of it at no cost to you! So cool for me, so cool for you!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Catching up ...

Oh hello lovely people.. How have you been? Fabulous, I hope. And what about me? Well if you've been following this blog at all then you might have noticed I've been awfully quiet for quite some time. I had big plans for this blog (and several product reviews waiting to make an appearance) but life happens.

And what about life, anyway? Well, lots of things have been moving and changing for me. It's been a rough couple of months, trying to say the least, and so my priorities shifted from fun and food to let's-survive-to-the-next-day. I'm happy to announce that I've survived, I'm alive and well, though my ego is a bit bruised. It happens and I'm not very fond of these past few months but I firmly believe that awful experiences are one of the most unifying things in the human race, in a sad yet beautiful sort of way. We all experience tragedy, sadness, heartache, disappointment, and pain and so even though we are all very different we all at least know these experiences. It's not something I'd like to connect with others over, but it's humbling and has expanded my capacity for love and compassion immensely, and for that, I'm grateful.

So what have I been up to? 

Well, lots of juice and lots of self-care. 

Green juice and orange juice seem to be the only things that really appeal to me lately. Every once in awhile I get an appetite for potatoes and so I gorge on them while my appetite lasts. Otherwise, I've been sticking to my juice.




I've also upgraded my bedding into something light and airy and while that seems awfully trivial it is actually something I'm very proud of. I look forward to my bed every night and I enjoy awaking each morning because my sheets are just so me


I've been taking some time off from Life, lately, and retreating to places where I'm loved. There is nothing in the world so isolating and diminishing to the human spirit than to feel that you are unloved, and likewise, there is nothing so rebuilding to the human spirit than finding a community or family that loves you deeply and unconditionally. The latest trip I made was to Arizona where I met up with my mother and grandmother and I spent time healing and laughing with the two women that love me most in this world. I also took quite a bit of time for myself, as well, by hiking the red rocks of Arizona. It was a grueling experience since there are no mountains I could have trained on here in Miami, but it was so worth it. Like everything in life, the pain endured only shows you the amazing views and capabilities you have on the other side. And boy, the views were amazing.


It's also almost mango season here in Miami so I'm just beyond thrilled. Mangoes are my favorite food in the entire world and even with my lack of appetite I've had for the past few months I can still find myself enjoying the sweet nectar of a perfectly ripe mango. So lately I've been incorporating them into my days. Either a bowl of mango or blended with some OJ. Whatever, I don't care how it happens, mangoes are amazing.



Along the theme of Self-Care I've been spending as much time as possible outside. The only thing to do outside, that's enjoyable, here in Miami is go to the beach so whenever I get a chance I make the trek to the beach (which, to clarify, unlike what the media will have you believe, Miami is not, in fact, on the beach. Most of Miami is 30 minutes away from the beach, on a good day, and only a small strip of Miami is on the beach and that is actually an entirely different city called Miami Beach ... get it?) I now have a nice racer-back tan from wearing my tanks and sports bras outside. I've found myself walking for hours and miles and miles, just sorting through this thing called Life and contemplating all of my greatest moments. The sun does magically wonderful things for me and so it's been a welcomed experience.



I haven't made much food and so I have really had nothing to post about, here. I've also stayed away from this blog because I tend to prefer a happier tone in my posts and I just have been unable to find that voice lately. I figured it's best to heal my voice and my insides before I try to stress over something that should really be stress-relieving

What I have found is that I've adopted the 801010 lifestyle, once again, and it's been great for my energy and my body. It's extremely easy for me to digest 801010 foods so I stick to those ratios while I try to build my appetite back up. Until then, dry-roasted potatoes and orange juice seems to be on the menu for quite some time to come!




All caught up? Good. I have a few more trips on the books where I will travel back home to the warm embrace of California and loving friends. Thank God. It feels damn good to be loved and though I tend to view myself as a trail blazer and an independently adventurous woman for moving across the country for the sake of "something new" I am finding that it is just so important to also make sure you still have a home or support system to fall back on in these new places (or to pick a place that is capable of providing that). And when you don't, then damn .. it's rough, I tell ya. So heading back home is exactly what my soul needs and I have a feeling my head will be on a little bit straighter when I return.

When I return, I'm hoping to get some recipes going in my kitchen again, and then, up here as well. Wish me luck .. I love you all. Thanks for understanding :)

xo


Thursday, March 6, 2014

RECIPE: coconut vanilla chia pudding

You guys.. Wow. My last post from yesterday was a little bit heavy and not at all what I would hope to share. I have received so much support in comments, emails, and Instagram that I'm just completely touched. I feel a new boost of energy to keep on keepin' on. I know there is a community of love and support out there for me and it may not be in Miami but that doesn't mean I have to just feel invaluable and suffer alone. Right?!

On a more food-related note, I do recommend this gorgeous dish. It's packed with so many goodies, healthy fats and protein, that it is the perfect treat for a high activity lifestyle. I used to eat it all the time when I was training for races (I'm on a running hiatus right now...). Give it a try and let me know what you think!

If you wanted to, you could use maple syrup instead of dates to make it sweeter. That's an excellent option that I opted out of simply because my husband doesn't like sweet things ..

Coconut Vanilla Chia Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 2-4 medjool dates, soaked and pitted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

  • Combine everything in a high speed blender and blend until completely smooth.
  • Pour into a cup/bowl and let sit for a few minutes (the chia seeds swell and absorb the liquid)
  • Add fresh fruit, fancy toppings, or even coconut cream. Delicious.



Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What I Ate Wednesday: march 5, 2014

Eating is a serious thing in my household. I've been slacking (majorly) in the eating department for the past few months and so I've been slacking--also majorly--in this WIAW series. My appetite has been non-existent, mostly due to this thing called Life and so the fun and joy has been sucked out of my kitchen experiments. Instead, I've been eating for sustenance, mostly, hoping to glean enough calories to not pass out while driving on the freeway. As a result, I've also sucked the fun out of this post.

Sorry. Life happens. 

Really, though. I am sorry about that. I know that my posts have been sporadic and my "voice" has been somewhat lost, lately, and I don't want it to come off as flippant, as if this blogging thing is really no thing at all. In reality, it's a fantastic outlet for me to just get lost in something I love and revel in a community that actually supports me and so I do not take this thing lightly.

So, wanna know what I have been eating? This is a list of my usual suspects, lately. The neat thing about going through a hard time is that it makes me much more relate-able, because we all go through hard times, right? It also makes meal prep extremely efficient because I don't quite have the stamina to do anything that takes more than 30 minutes.. which is fantastic for YOU because I doubt many others really want to spend more than 30 minutes during their meal prep, either!


The Best Watermelon Juice. The best. No exaggeration. Go make it now.

Nutella Banana Boats. I ran some hazelnuts in a food processor until a butter was formed, then added maple syrup and cacao. Then I spread the goodness on some bananas and sprinkled crushed hazelnuts over the top. Best decision ever.

Kale Salad. I've been digging the kale lately. I've been extremely open with my relationship with kale, calling myself a failed vegan since I really despised the stuff. But you know what? Lately it's the only green I can bring myself to eat. I don't even understand it. It's the only thing I ever truly crave anymore. It's probably because my body knows it's so packed with nutrients and if I'm going to eat anything at all it might as well be this powerhouse called Kale.

Peanut Butter Banana Bars. Sadly, I actually don't have a recipe for this because it's a variation from Emily's new book (amazing .. go buy it now!). I took her peanut butter base and slathered my own chocolate frosting on it and layered some sliced bananas on top. Oh. My. Effing. Gawwdd.

Traditional Spaghetti. Noodles can be so comforting for some strange reason and so I found myself staring deep into a bowl of this delicious dish.

Vanilla Chia Pudding. I actually made this for my husband (I'm such a sweetheart, I know) and stole a few bites because I'm selfish like that. The recipe will be up soon (here) but it's basically coconut milk blended with chia seeds, dates, and vanilla. I mixed in some bananas and coconut cream for added goodness.


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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

RECIPE: the best watermelon juice

This juice rocks. Seriously. I always think it's a little presumptuous to label something as "the best" but I mean... come on. This is so good, so nourishing, so refreshing, so everything.

I think when I say "one whole watermelon" I scare people about the sugar content, though I'm not sure why that's the first thought that comes to mind. It's true, watermelon does have a high sugar content but I like to look at this holistically. I eat a fully plant-based diet, I make everything from scratch, and I use my body how it was intended to be used. I did not experience a crash in energy or blood sugar levels and I am by no means overweight. Food is fuel and I'm not sure there is ever really a reason to limit yourself from whole, nourishing foods if you're still hungry and you're relying on the Earth to supply your nutrition, in the first place.

What really peeves me (do people still use that word?!) is that many times people will question THIS but continue on eating fast food, eating packaged food loaded with weird chemicals and sodium, drinking exorbitant amounts of coffee loaded with more chemicals, and slathering on even more chemicals all in the name of "the norm". 

When did being natural become extreme??

This isn't to say that I'm an elitist and I hate anyone and everyone that doesn't abide by the laws of nature. Not at all. I'm of the belief that we should have the freedom to do our own thang and do what's best for ourselves ... watermelon juice included. 

Whoa. When did watermelon juice ever become an impromptu soap box?? Let's get down to the juice, shall we?

The Best Watermelon Juice

Ingredients

  • 1 small watermelon
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 T raw wildflower honey

Instructions

  • Scoop out the flesh of the watermelon and add to a blender. 
  • Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Over a large bowl, pour the blended ingredients through a strainer to catch the remaining juice.
  • ENJOY.


Monday, March 3, 2014

RECIPE: traditional spaghetti

There is nothing quite so satisfying or fresh as a bowl of zucchini noodles. Don't believe me? That's okay. Just give this sauce a try (or this one, or this one, or this one, or this one) and you will see what I mean. A bowl of noodles can be raw AND filling AND packed with flavor. It's amazing, hits the spot, and really is just what I need: a no-fuss meal that is deeply satisfying.
Traditional Spaghetti

Ingredients 
for the noodles:
for the sauce:
  • 1 cup sun dried tomatoes (NOT in oil), soaked for a couple hours
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes, de-seeded
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 T olive oil (optional)
  • 1 t chili flakes (optional)
  • fresh basil, thyme, oregano, etc
  • sea salt to taste
Instructions
for the noodles:
  • Follow the instructions on your manual
  • Sprinkle with sea salt and gently mix. Set on some paper towels and allow the liquid to drain for about an hour.
  • Pat dry to remove excess liquid and salt, then they are ready to use!
for the sauce:
  • Drain the sun dried tomatoes.
  • Combine everything in a food processor and process until it is fully incorporated. 
  • Toss with the noodles and some fresh basil.
  • EAT.

**disclosure: if you purchase anything I link to you via Amazon I make a small percentage out of it at no cost to you! So cool for me, so cool for you!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

REVIEW and RECIPE: Rawsome Vegan Baking and peanut butter bars with chocolate and bananas

This is a peanut butter bar topped with chocolate mousse and bananas. These are amazing and I can't even begin to tell you how delicious they are. They are half my own creation and half of a genius little creation from the mind of Emily von Euw. The recipe is from her amazing new book, Rawsome Vegan Baking, which you should plan on buying right away. Why?

Because she's a genius and the pictures and recipes are awesome. And also, this recipe is in there.

I didn't have the toppings for the peanut butter bars, so instead I topped it with my own chocolate mousse and bananas. It was amazing. It felt like an Elvis-meets-Emily-hybrid-dessert, which is fine because those are the two best things about dessert, anyway.





And the book? Well, let me tell you something .. of all the raw foodies to make a book I think this is the exact person and exact book that should have come together. The pictures are gorgeous, as usual, and the recipes are just so drool-worthy that I felt like kicking myself as I thumbed through the pages (because why couldn't I think of something so fantastic?!). 





They are indulgent, fairly simple, and just beautiful to look at. Divine. The recipes are no exception, either. As is true to her genius brain, the recipes hit on all the marks: delicious, decadent, simple ingredients, beautiful, and creative. They add an edge that seems to be missing in much of the raw food world, right now, mostly because of the creativity in both the recipes and the imagery. 

Her personality shines throughout each recipe, as well. She didn't sell her soul in order to produce a book and she didn't allow a shoddy book for the sake of her own personality, either (a common problem among eager bloggers). Instead, the book so definitely represents her in every capacity all while being a fantastic collection of recipes and photographs. 

Emily was so kind to send me a copy to get a glimpse and I think it's perfect timing since the release date is in March. This is my very first creation based on her original recipe, and I'm excited to bring you more in the near future ..

In the meantime, you can go pre-order her book now!! Support this lovely lady, and support me too ... when you make a purchase through my links I get a miniscule   tiny  small kickback at NO cost to you!