Thursday, January 26, 2012

Raw energy drink

Lately I have been making this delicious energy drink to have around 4pm at work. You know that time. It's made of entirely raw, whole ingredients so no crash later on! Now put down the red bull and make yourself a batch of this good juice :)

You will need:
1 clean empty jar or bottle (I use old kombucha bottles)
1 T chia seeds
1t or more to taste, spiralina
1T raw cacao (I've been using my favorite maca/cacao blend)
stevia or sweetener of choice
filtered tap water or coconut water

Place all the ingredients into the bottle Fill with water and shake until well combined. *Sometimes I have to go in there with a chopstick to break up the spiralina as it has a tendency to clump together in liquid. The chia seeds expand and get get coated in the cacao. It's such a yummy treat. It's great to make these the night before or make a few batched and have sustained energy all week long!

Monday, January 16, 2012

raw cacao snowballs

Even though it hasn't snowed yet here in New York (hellooo global warming?) I've been enjoying these entirely raw, chocolatey snowball-looking treats (I mean how could something chocolate that looks like a snowball be bad?) as dessert and also giving them as holiday gifts. They are super simple to whip up and a great alternative to processed treats to feed your sweet tooth! This recipe was inspired by a few different raw treats I have tried over the years, but mostly came from this recipe for raw brownies over at Lookbook Cookbook. If you haven't already checked out this site, I highly recommend!

(makes 12 snowballs)
1/2c raw walnuts
1/2c almond meal
1c pitted dates
4Tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4tsp vanilla extraxt
dash of salt

about 1/2c coconut flakes for rolling

Just testing to make sure they're not poisonous ;)

Combine the first 6 ingredients in a food processor. I added the walnuts in last and just gave them a few pulses so there would be whole chunks in the mix. The mixture should stick together between your fingers a little. Don't overmix, as it will release the oils from the nuts. You can add a few drops of water if it isn't sticking together at all.Roll the batter into the size of golf balls, then roll in the coconut flakes. Place on a plate in the freezer for at least 30 minutes to harden. Enjoy!
Did I mention these make a great gift?
*yes it is vital to overly wrap them in girly pink bows & things

Thursday, January 12, 2012

my little poney juice and the cutest flax seed crackers ever!

I should start off by mentioning that the following recipes in this post do require some appliances that you might not have at home. The first is a juicer (which I actually bought for my mom for her birthday during her short-lived juice phase. She never used so when I moved into my new apartment she sort of re-gifted it back to me as a house warming gift. I was down) The juicer I have is by no means a fancy-shmancy industrial one, like those you find at a juice press. This is the exact juicer that I bought (yup, I have a pink juicer!) and it does the job just fine. Part two of this post calls for a dehydrator. I got my dehydrator as a holiday present a few years ago (isn't that what all 17 year-old girls wish for??) and it is probably the cheapest models out there, but it does exactly what I need it to. However, if you're not into obscure kitchen appliances like I am, you can definitely substitute with things you might already have in your kitchen, like a blender and an oven on a low-heat setting.

So, onto part I: My Little Poney Juice

Sometimes, on a [rare] day-off, when I have time to move really slowly in the morning and want something light, I will make some juice. I like juicing from time to time because it allows my body to take a break from working so hard at digesting all the (delicious and healthy) food that I put into it everyday. When my body takes a break from digesting, it has time to clean itself out. Raw juice is also full of enzymes and phytonutrients and really just makes you feel amazing. Hungover? Juice. About to get sick? Juice.
This isn't so much a recipe (as I didn't measure anything and chose my ingredients based on what needed to use up in my fridge) but I wanted to share because it tasted great but most importantly made the silliest color.

Into the juicer went: red cabbage, kale and spinach stems (best use for these guys ever! since I stopped eating them raw in my salads after realizing they were a but hard to digest), 2 celery stalks, and a small pear. Afterwords, I added 1/2 tsp spiralina & a squeeze of lemon juice. Mmm.

mmm purple stuff

So after my little juice party, I went to clean up the mess I made and discovered inside the base of the juicer remained all the fibery veg pulp from my juice! I couldn't let this stuff go to waste!

Moving along to Part deux: The Cutest Flax Seed Crackers I Ever Done Seen!

The obvious decision was to make this carnival-colored puree of goodness into some flax seed crackers to be enjoyed at a later date.
I walked you through how to make flax seeds crackers in detail in an earlier post. Again, not a real recipe, but if you ever find yourself with about 1.5 cups of vegetable mush (you'd be surprised how often that is in my household) simply stir it into a big bowl that has 1/2 cup of flax seeds that have been soaking in 1 cup of water until it turns into a jell (about 15 mins). I also added some garlic powder, black pepper and Himalayan sea salt to the mix. That's it. Spread the "dough" onto a dehydrator tray lined with parchment paper, plugged it in and went about my day only to come home to some funfetti-esqu flax crackers :) I've also made these over-night which is nice because I find they need a solid 10-12 hours to fully dehydrate and become crunchy. Otherwise you are left with more of a flax tortilla. Alternatively, you can make flax seed crackers in the oven, they just won't be entirely raw and you can't leave the house while they "cook".

I mentioned this in my earlier post, but adding spices is a great idea as the flax seed crackers are pretty neutral on their own. Garlic powder, nutritional yeast, a dash of cayenne and pumpkin seeds have all been winners in my experience.

What is your favorite way to use up veg pulp? Ever tried making flax seed crackers?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

kabushi sushi

Tonight I steamed up some kabocha squash and couldn't figure out to prepare it. I wanted to incorporate some whole grains and other fresh vegetables I had lying around, but needed some variation from the basic grain with steamed vegetables routine I've been sticking to lately. I decided to try it rolled up in a maki sushi roll. Even as a vegan, sushi is one of my favorite foods- I think the seaweed really lends a flavor similar to that of the giant chunks of raw fish I used to enjoy atop my rice every so often. The saltiness of the ume plum and sweet kabocha pair really nicely with the crunchy raw vegetables.

Ingredients (makes one 6pc roll):
1 sheet of nori seaweed
1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 scallion
1 small piece of daikon radish, sliced thin using a veg peeler
1/2 umeboshi plum
1 big piece of kabocha squash, steamed or baked until very soft

Place the nori sheet ruff side up on a sushi rolling mat. Spread the brown rice on top, leaving about one inch from the edge of the nori on the top and bottom. It is easier to spread if the rice is still warm but not too hot that the nori gets sticky and tares.

Place the scallion across the middle of the nori sheet. Rip the ume plum into little pieces and press it along the rice parallel to the scallion. Scatter the daikon slices next to the scallion. Break up the squash with a fork and place on top of the other vegetables.

Lift the piece of nori up from the bottom and bring it over the vegetables. Use the sushi mat to squeeze it into a tight log shape. Then carefully roll the sushi until you reach the end of the nori. With a clean knife (*this is key to getting a good cut, so make sure to wipe down your knife with a dish towel between slices) cut the roll in half. Wipe the knife again and then slice each roll into three even pieces.

Enjoy! This is nice with a dipping sauce of braggs with ginger juice and bit of water.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

chocolaaate?!?! for breakfast!?!?!!!

Once upon a time, there was a girl who was in the middle of finals week, and although she was too tired sleep-deprived to prepare healthy meals and all she really wanted to was shovel chocolate bars down throat, she did all she could to resist. This girl was me just a few weeks ago. Some people crave sweets under stress other crave carbs. I crave raw chocolate granola. I discovered this brand (pictured) at a local health food store and it's pretty much what I subsisted off of for a few days. However, at $10 a bag, I knew this could not become a habit (not just for monetary, but nutritional reasons too!!) I knew the ingredients were all things I had at home, and with a little tweaking, I was able to recreate this amazing treat in a study break's worth of time. Totally worth the effort as it saved me money and gave me tons of energy to power through those all-nighters.

WARNING: This stuff is highly addictive and nutritious!

Dry Ingredients:
1c raw buckwheat groats, soaked over night
1/2 raw sunflower seeds, soaked 3-4 hours
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
1 Tbsp chia seed
3 heaping Tbsp coconut flakes, plus more for topping
1/2 raisins or any other dried fruits

Superfood "Batter" Ingredients:
1 packet of frozen acai berry
1/2 Tabsp spiralina (or less to taste, I'm a spiraling groupy so I like lots!)
1/4c raw cacao powder (I used one that contains macs too, it's my favorite brand)
dash of cinnamon
stevia to taste
Begin by mixing all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Blend the "batter ingredients" together in a blender and then pour over the dry. Stir until evenly coated.
Spread the mixture onto a dehydrator tray lined with parchment paper. I spread it in an even layer, not too thin, this way the mix chunks together. Mmmm chunks!

At this point you can add additional toppings. I choice more coconut flakes for sweetness, bee pollen for added energy and cacao nibs for more chocolaty crunch!

Optional additions:
Cacao nibs
Bee pollen
Additional nuts or seeds
Goji berries

Let everything dehydrate overnight, until hardened. Break the large pieces into smaller chunks and store in an airtight jar (if it even lasts that long!) Or, be like me and transfer it straight into a bowl and top will almond milk.


This recipe has been submitted to Healthy Vegan Friday on Carrie on Vegan

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Hello 2012.

Check out my really detailed post on resolutions last year. I'm feeling a bit more in control of things this year and want to celebrate the things that are, rather than what I want to change.

11 Things We Survived Together in 2011

New York Mag's Annual Reasons to Love New York

I recently discovered the work of Jennifer Rubell who is so inspiring as I work towards my own body of work

One of my goals this year is to become even more informed about the politics of food. I just became aware of the notion of corporate organics. Scary stuff!
I got to see the work of Do-Ho Suh at a gallery in Chelsea. So freakin amazing up close. The End.

New kid on the block

Oh my god Amaranth! Where have you been all of my life?!
After reading so much about all of the amazing health benefits of this incognito whole grain, I thought I would give it a try. It cooks up just like quinoa, in about 15-20 minutes. However, amaranth requires a ratio of 1 part grain to 2.5 parts water. The grain itself is much smaller and kind of sticks together. I'm thinking these would be great in veggie burgers?

1c Amaranth + 2.5c water
1 Delacata squash, steamed until fork tender
1 small red onion
3 cloves of garlic, pressed and chopped
1/4 raisins
1 handful each of chopped parsley and dill

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mung bean sprout salad

Here is a great asian-inspired salad I threw together yesterday.

2 cups mung bean sprouts
1 carrot, grated
1/2 cucumber, grater
2" long piece of daikon radish, grated
2 scallions, chopped
1" piece of ginger, finely grated, squeeze in juice and mix in pulp
1/2 Tablespoon braggs
spash of umeboshi vinegar (optional)

Then today, I ate the leftovers for lunch! It tasted even better once the flavors marinated the vegetables overnight. I toasted a sprouted corn tortilla, smashed up some warm adzuki beans and then added the salad with lots of red pepper flakes and some Siracha, obvi. When in doubt...tacos!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Buckwheat Berry Pancakes

I'm finally on break and finally have time for nice, relaxing, elongated breakfast! It's so nice to be able to wake up and think about what I'm actually in the mood to eat rather than the usual "shovel some oatmeal down my throat while it's still piping hot because I have 3 minutes to be out the door" routine. Today I actually turned off my alarm and went back to sleep! I think I dreamed up this pancake recipe while I snoozed. I wanted some hearty whole grains and something on the sweet side, without being too sweet. I adapted this recipe from here since I had never actually made pancakes from scratch before (I grew up with Bisquik mix with Tollhouse chocolate chips, and would usually just pick out all the chocolate:)) Oh, how times change. I feel like I'll be making these a lot this break since once you have all the flours prepared they are super easy to whip together and grill up on the stove. They came out better than I could have dreamed of!

1/2 cup nondairy milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup buckwheat flour
2 tablespoons all purpose flour (I subbed oat flour)
1/2 tablespoons sugar (I subbed 1/2 T flax seeds mixed with stevia)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 cup mixed berries or filling of choice (I used frozen mixed berries, see suggestions)
2 tablespoons coconut flakes (optional)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (for grilling, I actually used just enough to coat the pan)

In a small bowl, mix milk with vinegar and let sit while you mix dry ingredients. To make whole grains such as buckwheat into flour, simply place in blender on high speed for about 30 seconds. This is so much more economical than buying pricey pre-made flours from the health food store, especially if you buy your grains from the bulk bins like I always do.

In medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients. Slowly pour the wet ingredients over the dry mixture, lightly folding as to keep a nice fluffy consistency. Batter may be slightly lumpy. Do not over stir as this is what makes pancakes hard and dense, not what we're looking for. Fold in the berries and coconut or whatever add-in you choose. Let batter sit 10 minutes.

Heat oiled griddle to medium-high. Pour batter to desired size and cook 2-3 minutes per side. Be careful not to burn them! I usually turn the heat down to a little over medium for best results.
This makes three small pancakes, a good serving for one, but you can double or triple the recipe to make lots for friends! Have a pancake party!

light and fluffy with bursts of berries

Here are some other ideas I came across while searching for recipes online:
-banana with vegan chocolate chip
-sliced apple with cinnamon, raisins and walnuts
-grated pumpkin, sweet potato or squash
-bok choi and mushroom (savory)
-gingerbread pancakes

...the list goes on. I feel like I'm going to be experimenting with this one a bunch!

Update:: I made these with my roommate who blogged about our indulgent experience here. I recommend making a nice syrup to accompany the versatile cakes and also to stack them as high as you possibly can. I think they taste better when they are in skyscraper formation ;)