Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Are you a nutritarian?

I love leftovers. It makes fixing a meal so fast! The Quinoa, Kale and Sweet Potato Salad from yesterday made a nice addition to a quick throw together salad.

I combined spinach, cucumbers, red onions, avocado, mango, slivered almonds, and dried cranberries, tossed it with a dressing made from the other half of the avocado, apple cider vinegar, and a splash of honey, and then sprinkled it all with gomasio (I love that stuff!). Some leftover hummus and carrots, and a couple of olives, rounded out the square plate. Definitely an oral exercise with all that chewing! The point: it was fast and delicious! Oh, and healthy!

Eating Like a Nutritarian DVDSpeaking of healthy, I watched Dr. Joel Fuhrman's, Eating Like a Nutritarian, this past weekend. (Thanks to my sweet husband for buying it for me!) It is full of good information and the major part of it is filmed in a Whole Foods. I learned a few chopping tips. The onion one really worked.  I really admire this doctor. He played a big role in my health journey. His book Eat to Live was life changing for me. He coined the word nutritarian.  Do you know what that word means? Do you know if you are a nutritarian?
Another one of my favorite documentaries, FoodMatters, has a blog on their website. They post some really good discussions, publications, and articles. Today I linked to them through Facebook to read the article: The Best and Worse Foods for your Heart. It is written by a doctor. Heart disease is an epidemic these days. The statistics are staggering. I know too many people dealing with heart disease. The article is really a quick read. Take a second and check out the link. Do it for you.

Oh, and by the way, I am, and love being, a nutritarian.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

All in a day!

This was the first time to make this amazing dish. My sister-in-law, Pauline, sent me a link to the recipe. It comes from The Bojon Gourmet website (bojon is no job backwards - thus the site) and although it took quite a bit of time to make it, it was definitely worth it! It is Quinoa, Kale and Sweet Potato Salad. The nice part is it made quite a bit so we can have it several times. 

These simple ingredients, all put together, sure turned out pretty in that dish at the top of this post. 

That was just the beginning of creating today. Well, of course the first creation was a smoothie. What else is new, right! Today I made one a bit out of character for us. It had a banana, apple, lots of spinach, parsley, almond milk, coconut water, cacao, carob, flax and spirulina. Green chocolate! But it works!

In an effort to be more organized this week, I also made one of our new favorite soups: Red Lentil and Curry Squash Stew. It is from Oh She Glows. I may have even posted this soup in a previous blog??? It's a great make ahead for lunches - or even dinner. I have added a few of my own touches to this recipe and it is rapidly becoming one of my husband's favorites. It doesn't take too many ingredients . . .

to make this fantastic stew!!

After all this work in the kitchen, there was no more procrastinating, it was time to have a reunion with my sewing machine. In an effort to do some updating around the house, I have been fabric shopping. The two big projects: a new roman shade for the living room and a fabric headboard for our bedroom. I dread the roman shade. I swore I wouldn't make another one, but here we go again (thanks Paula for your suggestion - I think!!) . I know I will be really glad when it's done, but it is just a big job. The headboard, I can't wait to do that, but I have not found the perfect fabric yet. So today, to see if I could still sew, I made a table runner and two place-mats.

The sewing machine and I actually got along great!  I do enjoy sewing, but knitting seems to have overtaken that hobby. Speaking of knitting, I managed to knit a few more rows on my pink project.

To round out the day, we went to Raw Intentions Kitchen, to do some brainstorming with a bunch of the Raw Intentions groupies. It is pretty exciting being a part of this endeavor! My primary job is the photography. Denise calls me the Rawtograher! But . . . I got so wrapped up in the conversation, that I completely forgot to take pictures tonight!! At least someone thought to take one.

Thanks Kaytee for a great shot of the sushi. It was great, wasn't it?

So today was quite a fiber day . . . from food, to fabric to yarn!

Yes, all in a day!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn't . . .

I came home from work really dragging. I am not sure where my energy is going, but the last few days I have really had that afternoon slump.

The cure . . . juice!


Apple, broccoli stems, parsley, lemon, cucumber and celery, 
all run through the juicer,
and out comes green energizing juice.

This is what really works. 
Instant energy.
A wonderful green happy hour.

Now, for what doesn't work . . .

This is an avocado sauce:
garlic, lemon juice and avocado made in the food processor. 

This is spelt spaghetti. 
Put the two together, 
add some fresh ground pepper and grated lemon,
and this is what you get...

This is a recipe from Oh She Glows, and I have to admit it is the first one of her recipes that I didn't like. It wasn't awful. We did eat it. However, I won't be making it again.

So, sometimes it works, but sometimes it doesn't. 

15 minute Creamy Avocado Pasta, sorry Angela, it doesn't.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I wish you 42 Valentine's Days . . .

. . . or even more.

Life is really nice when you have spent 42 Valentine's Days with the same person. It is truly a blessing and a gift. And love definitely has something to do with it!

I spent Sunday in the kitchen preparing for Valentine's Day making chocolates for my sweetie while he was not home. It was really a labor of love, and I so enjoyed doing it. The trick was to hide it all! Thank you kale for your great camouflage! I made chocolate covered strawberries, little cranberry-orange and chocolate candy flowers, almond butter filled chocolate hearts, and chocolate mint squares.

Today, Valentine's Day, I put a cute little valentine bag in his lunch box with a couple of his favorite carob almond honey macaroons, a chocolate covered strawberry and a flower candy, and a cute card.

The day seemed longer than usual today and I was really glad to get home.

First there was (welcome home kisses) hummus and veggies and a really nice bottle of wine.

Then we opened our cards. We always each get a funny card and a really nice one for each other. They were especially nice this year.

Next we open the presents. It really is interesting how love evolves over the years. In the beginning years of Valentine Days the gifts were very different: the flowers, the candy, the lingerie, the dinners at special restaurants. Now, our favorite restaurant is our own kitchen. And the gifts, well, they are the result of years of being together. 

For him: chocolate. It is a gift of time and love from me, and it says, "thank you for choosing to eat healthy (because this is raw chocolate), and for taking care of yourself so we can share many years together not being sick, but instead enjoying life.

And for me: OK, you might laugh at this, but OMG, I love this gift. Cuddle Duds, thermals, and the perfect pajamas! I just hate to be cold. And how perfect is it that he knows how to keep me warm! Well, that is not the only way he keeps me warm, but we won't go into that! I love this present!!

And I admit it, I got myself a Valentine present too! Last year he got me Kris Carr's book, Crazy Sexy Diet, so when her new book was released today, I had to have it! So I got it!

And now time for dinner. Now this is where we have really evolved. Two years ago we had beef tenderloin, baked potato and who knows what else. And for a side we probably had a tum or two, and were miserable when we got up from the table, but thought we were blissfully satisfied with such a meal. But last year, just one year ago, things were very different. My meal was vegan, and his vegetarian. We each were pounds lighter and feeling much better than the previous year. No more medications for me. Oh such improvements in the quality of our life!

And this year: vegan. Our first vegan Valentine's Day together. Dinner was fabulous. A huge salad filled with so many veggies and a great home made dressing and bean burgers with salsa. 

I had planned mint chocolate ice cream for dessert but we were so full we decided to save that for tomorrow night. So our dessert was simply chocolate covered strawberries.

We talked, listened, laughed, shared a meal and a few kisses, and it was a celebration of the time we spend with each other. It is nice to have a day that we share how much we love and appreciate each other. But the reality is, minus the presents, the special bottle of wine and the cards, we do this almost every night. Oh, I so love this man and the life I share with him!

Maybe this is why we have had 42 Valentine Day celebrations together.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

I was watching them . . .

. . . and I think they were watching me!

I spent my day in the kitchen. As you may know, it is one of my favorite things to do. Today, however, I was mesmerized and distracted by all the activity in my back yard. Between the birds and ducks on the lake, there was always something to watch. And I swear, they were watching me too!

You can't tell me he isn't looking at me!

Then he sent his woman over to check me out too!

And I just know all the mourning doves were trying to figure out what I was doing in the kitchen today. They looked in from the tree branches, and then gathered around the watering hole to compare notes.

I think they were all talking about me because the kitchen gets so messy. 

I can't help it. It just happens!

In spite of all their distractions, I did get the macaroons made and put in the dehydrator, and the mint chocolate squares came out quite well too!

I am still not sure why there was so much action outside today. Maybe it has something to do with the storm that is supposedly approaching. We had an unusual amount of mallards on the lake today, the regular ducks and geese hung around the whole day and seemed to be swimming in circles.

It seems a bit ironic for this robin, (isn't a robin a sign of spring?) to be getting a drink at a watering hole that is coated in ice. 

A mourning dove sat by the fountain for a really long time. Maybe that one is the guard?

Eventually it got dark. I closed the shades so we couldn't see each other any more. I ended the day in the kitchen making a really great soup. I must have had something once that had curry in it that I didn't like, so I have avoided curry dishes since. But for some reason this Red Lentil and Squash Curry Stew appealed to me and I decided to make it. What a hit. My husband and I both loved it. We even had seconds (and I was considering thirds but controlled myself!)! I did cut the amount of curry in half, and I doubled the amount of greens (spinach and kale), but otherwise, made the recipe as directed. This will be a do-over in our house. I visit Oh She Glows often to check out her recipes.

Guess what I am having for lunch tomorrow!

Friday, February 10, 2012

A Soup and Salad Day

How many times have you gone to a restaurant and had soup and salad?  It is a pretty common lunch, especially for us gals. Mom and I order soup and salad often. So it just seemed fitting to have soup and salad today right here in my own kitchen when Mom decided to come over.

Today is a dark gray and bone chilling day.

Looking out the window just makes me want to stay in.

So . . .  to offset the dreariness of outdoors, lunch need to be bright and cheery . . . like spring.


Perfect day to make Denise's Broccoli Salad and my new favorite soup. I created this soup, Apple Spinach Avocado Soup, a few days ago by rummaging in the refrigerator. I even impressed myself with the results!

This salad tastes just like the original Broccoli Salad of days gone by, but without all the "bad" stuff. No dairy in this one, no sugar and no bacon. Yet it tastes the same! My chef friend is so talented when it comes to creating nutrient packed healthy raw recipes. This one gets a gold star! My Mom liked it so much I had to send half of it home with her!

If you have not visited my friend's website, Raw Intentions, you should really check it out. If you follow my blog you will know I refer to her (Denise Madeja) often. This is a person who has had a huge impact on my life, as well as many others. She does an excellent newsletter where I have been educated in a number of ways on a number of topics, plus she always has a recipe to share! Here is the newsletter where she shared her Broccoli Salad recipe. Check it out and get on her mailing list.

Really, do it! Now!

My soup - now how is that for green - is so quick and easy. And thanks to my high powered blender, it even heats it up! It only takes a few ingredients: spinach, apple, avocado, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper, a squeeze of a lemon, and hot water. If anyone wants the actual recipe I am happy to share.

Now, put it all together, and this is what you get:

A lovely mother and daughter lunch!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Raw Chocolate Class


So do I have your attention!

On Saturday, February 4th, I took a class at the Raw Intentions Kitchen given by Denise Madeja, owner and talented chef. We made a number of chocolate creations that were amazing. And raw. No dairy, no refined sugars and all delicious! It was a hands on class and was limited to six students.

What you see in the above picture is a Chocolate Crepe. It is filled with a Coconut Cream, fresh raspberries, blackberries, and then drizzled with chocolate sauce. I think it tastes even better than it looks, and it looks pretty good!

We also made a Marbled Chocolate Orange Travoletta, Chocolate Nut Butter Cups, and a Chocolate Cherry Filled Heart.

Raw Cacao Butter - a staple of the day.

I really did work. Getting covered in chocolate was not difficult!

Marbled Chocolate and Orange Travoletta.


A ring of hearts. These were my favorite.
Chocolate Cherry Creme Hearts. They even had a cherry inside the chocolate heart.

I wish I had cut one in half and photographed it, but it was so good I just ate the whole thing!

Chocolate Nut Butter Cups.
These were filled with Almond Butter or Cashew Butter.

We also learned how to open a Thai Coconut by hitting it on the "sweet spot"

and opening up the "lid." We used the coconut water and meat in our recipes.

Are you familiar with raw cacao? To quote our materials we received in class,

"Raw cacoa is very high in nutrients and is considered a superfood. It has aphrodisiac properties and is high in antioxidants, which lowers free radicals, which are chemicals that can alter or damage the body. The beans provide some iron and calcium, but are particularly rich in magnesium. Scientific studies of the effects of dark chocolate indicate that it stimulates the release of endorphins in the human body. As a result, dark chocolate may have an anti-depressant effect. Other studies suggest that antioxidants in dark chocolate may help to reduce high blood pressure and improve circulation. Advocates of raw cacao beans claim the beans provide these health benefits to a greater degree because the raw beans have a higher level of antioxidants than a processed chocolate."

I buy my raw cacao powder at Whole Foods and I have also ordered it on-line. The web is loaded with information about raw cacao, as well as places to buy it. And of course, you can find lots of recipes too.

If you live in the Tulsa area, keep an eye on Raw Intentions' calendar for her next chocolate class, or other classes offered.

Here are the first "graduates" of the Raw Chocolate Class:

Now to end this blog, let's go back to the beginning. The Chocolate Crepe. That was really one of my favorites. There are a number of ways to put that dessert together from stacking, to folding and to rolling the crepe. You are only limited by your imagination!

Below is a cannelloni version using all the same ingredients. 


What is not to love about chocolate?

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