Search results for 'half raw half cooked'

Half Raw and Half Cooked: Avocado, Corn and Tomato Salad over Beans

21 Apr

Corn Salad over Beans

We got to our local health food shop just in time the other day to buy the last 5 ears of local and organic sweet corn.  We were excited because we love our Avocado, Corn and Tomato Salad!  We enjoy the salad plain, or in lettuce as wraps… or even in a half-raw/half-cooked meal.  Today, we enjoyed them over Mashed White Kidney Beans.  Yummy!

For Mashed White Kidney Beans (the easy for Mama way): 

1. Soak 3 cups of white kidney beans in water overnight.

2. Drain and rinse the beans the next morning.

3. Place in slow cooker on high until soft (usually around 9 hours).

4. Drain.

5. Heat a pot and add 1/2 cup of water.

6. Sweat 1 chopped sweet onion in the water until softened.

7. Add 2 tsp ground cumin.

8. Add all the cooked beans and mash.

9. Season with some sea salt and your choice of herbs.

Raw Corn Salad on top of Cooked Mashed Beans, served with Flax Crackers

To Serve:

1. Place some mashed beans on a plate.

2. Top with Avocado, Corn and Tomato Salad.

3. Garnish with cilantro or a flax seed cracker.

4. Enjoy!

Homemade Half-Raw, Half-Cooked “Happy Meals”

28 Jan

Our Homemade Happy Meal

We are part of a homeschool coop that meets once a week for a few hours, lunch included. There is one other Vegan family and another highly raw one too. It’s not like my son doesn’t have Vegan company in the lunchroom, but there are a lot of other eye-catching foods in the lunchroom too.

My son’s lunchbox doesn’t have cartoon characters on it. It doesn’t come out of a white paper bag that smells like something fried. Instead, it comes in a reusable container from my kitchen with clean food prepared and packed with love. The parents love it, but I have a feeling the kids don’t. I have a feeling it’s not so cool. My son has looked unhappily at it once or twice in the lunchroom and his grimace told me exactly what he thought of his lunch. “Eeeeewwww… is that all you have?” his face asked as he looked across the table with longing at the Goldfish crackers and a packaged fruit juice bottle with a lid shaped as a cartoon character. “Yup! That’s all we have!” I say, making a mental note to fix something more enticing next time.

So, what do I pack these days? The photo above shows our typical homemade half-raw, half-cooked “Happy Meal” for our homeschool coop days. It includes: my son’s fave Green Smoothie (hidden in a thermos so we don’t invite any comments – good or bad), fruit, raw green salad (in the photo, a radish, turnip, tomato and parsley salad*), baked veggies (in the photo, cauliflower, Brussel Sprouts, sweet potatoes), turmeric spiced brown basmati rice and gluten-free muffins.

Although my son still looks at what his friends are eating, it seems to me there is less longing as he easily sips his fave smoothie, eats his baked sweet potato fries without question, asks for more oranges and carefully peels off his gluten-free muffin from the muffin cup. He looks around to see if anyone is watching. He has a treat today. I sigh. I am a relieved Mama. He is content with his homemade “Happy Meal”.

*Radish, Turnip, Tomato and Parsley Salad

A salad from what is left in the fridge can sometimes be one of the most surprisingly satisfying.  I don’t usually like turnips or radishes. I find them too spicy, but mixed with parsley and the right dressing… this makes the perfect winter salad… yum!

Mix together in a bowl:

a bunch of parsley, chopped

a bunch of turnips, peeled and chopped

a bunch of radish, chopped

a bunch of cherry tomatoes, halved

Toss with a vinaigrette (most of the time we prefer a 1:4 vinegar to oil ratio):

sea salt, to taste

oregano, to taste

lemon juice or red wine vinegar

extra virgin olive oil

Half Raw and Half Cooked: Curried Apple and Quinoa Salad

3 Jun

Curried Apple and Quinoa Salad

Sometimes it’s easier to incorporate more RAW food into my family’s diet by mixing it with COOKED food. For families still in transition, adding RAW foods to COOKED not only increases the quantity of unprocessed foods into the family’s diet, but also simplifies the process of serving up unpretentious raw foods.

Here is a Curried Apple and Quinoa Salad recipe.  Instead of using processed mayonnaise, I use nutritious coconut to create the creamy sauce and to enhance the flavor of curry.  I did serve up a pure raw version (using sprouted raw quinoa) and this half-cooked version for lunch today.  Well, I guess you can guess which one my family preferred and ate.

The Cooked Half

Heat with a medium flame:

2 tbspns coconut oil

Lightly saute for 5 minutes or until tender:

1 sweet onion, chopped

Add and saute for a minute or 2:

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp mild curry (more or less, depending on your family’s taste)

Add to the pot:

1 tsp sea salt, or to taste

2 cups quinoa

3 cups of water

Bring to a boil and lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Fluff and set aside.


The Raw Half



apples, diced

Coconut Curry Sauce


Half and Half

Per serving, mix together in a bowl:

sea salt, to taste

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 cup apple, diced

1 cup of cooked quinoa (as above)

enough Coconut Curry Sauce


30 Lessons this Raw Vegan Mama Learned from Traveling and Dining Out with Omnivore Loved Ones

4 Mar

In the last 6 months alone, it seems like my family and I have traveled non-stop to be with friends and extended family.  These days, I feel like I am a bit of a pro when traveling with and dining out with loved ones who happen to be non-Raw Omnivores. 

I wish I could tell you we did wonderfully: I ate 100% Raw Vegan Foods and my family kept up their 50% Raw Vegan diet. But we did not.

What we did a lot of instead was, what I call, nutritional compromising. Why?  Well, believe it or not, for harmony’s sake.  We love our friends and family dearly and being together with them means a lot to us.  We didn’t want to alienate anyone… or ourselves.

I cannot say I was very much OK with all the nutritional compromising in the past few months… but I met Perry the other day who made me feel a whole lot better.  He sold me a bottle of E3Live.  I asked him if he was Raw Vegan.  He said he used to be.  “Why?” I asked.  He said, his mother had cancer when he was growing up and foods were designated as BAD or GOOD, ALLOWED or NOT ALLOWED.  So Young Perry rebelled. He would go behind his mother’s back, steal her money and buy the foods that were verboten at their house.  Needless to say, he thought it was a good idea that I allow my son some slack. 

Here is what I learned while traveling with Omnivore loved ones:

Our Travel Food Bag

I always have fruit (bananas, oranges, apples) and salad for everyone. I also always have some cooked Vegan foods for the boys. Hopefully we can recycle the plastic containers.

1. I always pack my family’s meals for road trips and national/international flights. Unfortunately, the food lasts only about 8 hours and after that we have to make do with what we are given or find at the other end of our trip.

Vegan Meals up in the friendly skies: include preservatives, coloring and a bunch of other stuff we wouldn't normally eat. But - this is the best option we have when we run out of food.

2. On planes, we request either the Raw (not always available and this tends to be fruit or cut carrot and celery sticks) or Vegan (although some are cooked with many processed Vegan ingredients) options for flights.

3. Clearly, our family’s highly raw/unprocessed Vegan diet tends to go down the drain pretty much from the get-go.

I love this old photo of my son snuggling with his step-grandmother. In the first 5 minutes after they met, it was clear they had already bonded so wonderfully.

4. We want to spend time and create strong bonds with our extended family and friends while traveling/visiting with them.

5. But, this means mealtimes more often than not emphasize non-raw and non-vegan foods.

6. We tend to eat out at mainstream restaurants a whole lot while traveling with others.

7. We have lengthy and careful discussions with servers about our family’s food preferences and allergies before ordering. It seems to us that waiters, on the whole, are not trained well on matters relating to Veganism or food allergies.  Neither are they made aware of the repercussions of food allergies. Sometimes, the problem may be that they don’t properly convey diner’s requests to chefs in their kitchens.  So, we like to take our time in our communication with them.

8. Raw Vegans are not the best for diners with nut and maple/agave allergies.  After talking very carefully to servers about our son’s allergies, my son has had very bad vomiting spells after eating/drinking something at Cafe Gratitude in San Francisco and Quintessence in NYC.  Needless to say, we are not going back to these 2 places to eat.  I can, however, recommend The Farm in the Philippines, Good Life Café in South Carolina and Pure Food and Wine in NYC.

9. We tend to eat what our host provides.  “When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do!” Right?  As guests, we are really at the mercy of our host, especially when they want to treat us all the time and/or we are in a foreign country.

10. I have discovered that food allergies are difficult for others to understand.

11. The concept of Raw Vegan foods are even harder for many to grasp.  I have had, many a time, cheese and bread on my “all Raw Vegan” salad or been offered regular hummus with cooked chickpeas.

12. Requests for Gluten- and Vegan-free food is akin to speaking a foreign language.

My son kept asking for the white bread served at most mainstream restaurants. Having said 'no' so many times (due to allergies), I finally ordered some wonderful Rice Bruschetta at a Vegan restaurant we visited towards the end of one of our trips. My son was extremely happy. So was I for having found a half-raw, half-cooked meal for him too!

13. My son will want to eat what others are eating: i.e. the cooked or processed refined foods.

14. A loved one recently baked 6 loaves of maple syrup white wheat bread while we visited her for 2 weeks – even after I asked her to please stop at the first loaf.  The breads just kept appearing though, which my son gladly ate and I tried to stop.  She was thrilled of course to watch my son devour her bread. On the other hand, I was focused on his rashes (c/o maple sugar).

15. This Mama will compromise only to a certain extent.

Using a handheld immersion blender in a plastic tub while traveling to make a lamb's lettuce smoothie for my family

16. If a kitchen and/or appliances are available, I supplement our family’s meals with fresh fruit for breakfast and fresh juices or green smoothies before a meal (that is if we have access to appliances and/or a kitchen).

Someone shared this on Facebook and made me LOL!

17. If a kitchen is available and if possible, we eat ‘in’ as much as we can and I end up a Mama in the Kitchen with no holiday.  But, I can’t complain!  We minimize allergies this way.

18. You cannot simply trust labels.  My son has even reacted to packaged Raw Vegan foods we have purchased while traveling to which, according to ingredients on labels, he isn’t allergic.

19. On every trip these past few months, my son has had some type of allergy, despite our efforts.  He has been very mucus-y on the plane home twice.

20. Raw Vegan food options are not always available when eating with family and friends…or they are harder to come by when traveling or sanitation is an issue in certain countries. When eating at mainstream restaurants or at people’s homes sometimes simply boiled, steamed or stir fried veggies are the best and only options.  In many health food stores in big cities, Raw Vegan Foods usually means a lot of packaged dehydrated foods… exactly the foods we try to avoid.

21. Raw Vegan food does not win over many people.  Some of my loved ones returned home to eat SPAM with white rice after a beautiful lunch at The Farm, Philippines.

22.  I, on the other hand, will have some type of food sensitivity after eating at a Raw Vegan restaurant: headaches, swelling or bloating from an excess of agave syrup, soy products, or nuts.

Juice Bars are worth it! Here in SAF London

23. To minimize allergies or sensitivities, we order simply at Raw Food Restaurants: an abundance of green juices (not smoothies) or simple Salads, and avoid other foods altogether (unless the server/chef can be 100% clear on the ingredients used).

The food was so delicious, I made sure I bought their cookbook as soon as we got home!

Food For Thought in Covent Garden will win over Omnivores anytime for taste and bang for buck! Just be prepared for small spaces and a communal-type feel.

24. Cooked Vegan foods, on the other hand, have been the best way for us to introduce family and friends to the Vegan diet. My mother gave us a cooked Vegan party when we visited her.  My friends thought they would have to lug their families to McDonald’s afterwards – but they admitted to loving the food by my Vegan Chef cousin!  They all had second helpings of the healthy mains and the desserts!  And no trip to McDonald’s afterwards!

I got an "That doesn't look very good at all!" comment for my salad here.

25. Prepare yourself for negative comments from loved ones about your food. Yes, even those who say they understand and would love to be Raw Vegan. I have had an ugly grimace directed at my food with a “I would NOT like to eat that!”, “is that all?”, “how do you get your protein?”, “yuck! how do you eat that!” And all in front of my son too, who takes it all in.

26. People somehow forget about your family’s diet and lifestyle choice, no matter how close they are to you.  I have had a platter of Steak placed under our noses blatantly at dinner with a smile and a “here, you will love this”; baked pastry treats full of syrup, butter and refined flour placed in front of my son while he, as most kids will, drools; salmon offered to us which they know was my son’s favourite fish before our kitchen turned Vegan.

27. The good outweigh the bad.  What is important is that we are surrounded by people we love and who love us back.

28. By the end of the trip, I am always itching to return to my own kitchen, I can’t wait to shop at my own local health food store and I can’t wait to eat healthier food.

29. After returning home, it is always just a little harder to get my son to eat as healthily as he used to.  And I am OK with this too because after traveling for the past 6 months, I know in a day or two, he’ll be asking for his fave smoothie and his fave kale salad!

30. And at the end of the day, I love what traveling does for our family.

Family Friendly High Raw Vegan Sample Menu: Week 3

30 Oct

When we go out to eat and/or travel and/or eat at other people’s houses, my boys eat what they want.  But they are still happy to maintain a Vegan kitchen here at home.  Here is our Family Friendly High Raw Vegan Sample Menu Week 3.  Enjoy!

Some Recipes for you:

Raw Drinks: smoothies, juices

Raw Breakfast: Oatmeal, Fruit Pudding (my favourite one is the Green Sundae!), Apple Almond Yoghurt

Raw Dishes: Asian Marinated Veggies, Carrot Salad, Kale Salad, your choice of other  Salads, half raw and half cooked Curry below under Carissa’s Cooked Vegan Recipes, Spinach Dip (add a handful or two of baby spinach leaves to Guacamole), Flax Crackers

Cooked Vegan Dishes: Lentil Burgers, Tofu Eggs, Banana Bread from How it all Vegan!, Mushroom, Kale and Potatoes from Forks Over Knives, Puy Lentils with Beets without the Feta, Hash Browns from Meatless Meals for Working People, Veggie Stew with Dumplings from Vegan Diner

Carissa’s Cooked Vegan Recipes:

Buckwheat Noodles: cook 1 # buckwheat noodles and serve with sauce (mix together 1 1/2 cup veggie broth, 5 tbspn Nama Shoyu (or soy sauce), 4 tbspn Sucanat (or your choice of sweetener), 1 tbspn mirin) and top with scallion and ginger.

Mushroom Chips: slice 2 # mushrooms, toss with olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic and 2 tsp sea salt, roast at 400-450F for about 15 – 20 minutes or until crispy.

Potato Cauliflower Curry: this is mostly RAW!  Simply top raw cauliflower bites and boiled (in salted water) chopped potatoes with my Curry in a Hurry sauce.  You can add mung sprouts if you wish.


6 Apr

A place for everything. This section is dedicated to vegetables that families have difficulty eating raw, but love cooked.  Also as I add more home-cooked vegan options at every meal, my family craves less for the unhealthier Standard American Diet cooked fare.


Easy and Quick Coleslaw

Kale Chips

Easy Baked Vegan Lumpia Triangles and Sweet and Sour Sauce


Slow-Cooked Cranberry Beans – so easy!

Instant Pot Monggo Guisado or Mung Bean Stew – a simple stew that comforts body and mind

Pretend You’ve Been Cooking All Day: Easy Instant Pot Vegan Chickpea Sweet Potato Tagine  – EASY, full of flavor, and kid-friendly all at the same time

Vegan Eat-Your -Beans Bibimbap – a satisfying Korean comfort food!


Bread Machine Vegan Whole Wheat Pan de Sal – a healthy version without sacrificing the thin and crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside

Easy Bread Machine Vegan Whole Wheat Brioche Buns – this is basically the Vegan Ensaymadas made easy.

I Love This Vegan Garlic Whole Wheat Bread – for moist and crispy versions

Raw Applesauce substitute for butter or oil in Baked Quick Breads Recipes

Vegan Filipino Ensaymadas – Light, puffy, soft, and not at all heavy and doughy like you would expect whole grain breads to be. If you are looking for a healthier sweet bread to serve your family, then I would suggest you try it. They taste wonderful with jam.

Whole Wheat Burger Buns


Easy, Quick and Yummy Vegan Crunchy Chocolate Rice and Oat Granola – breakfast or dessert with your choice of vegan milk or yoghurt

Cuckoo for Vegan Kuku – a Persian Cauliflower Frittata

Got Vegan Chocolate Oat Bars, Will Travel! – breakfast bars for days when you are on the go

The Easiest and Creamiest Slow Cooker Vegan Filipino Champorado – with my secret Vegan version of “condensed milk” or “thick cream”

Vegan Filipino Ensaymadas – Light, puffy, soft, and not at all heavy and doughy like you would expect whole grain breads to be. If you are looking for a healthier sweet bread to serve your family, then I would suggest you try it. They taste wonderful with jam.


A Super Easy Vegan Meringue and Cashew Cream Deconstructed Sans Rival Cake – a luscious mix of Cooked Vegan Meringue and Raw Cashew Butter Cream

Balsamic Strawberries with Aquafaba Whipped Cream – delicious mix of tart and sweet served with a light vegan cream

Taho or DouFuFa – my family didn’t like this, but I think it’s an acquired taste. I grew up eating it and LOVE it.

Vegan Filipino Ensaymadas – Light, puffy, soft, and not at all heavy and doughy like you would expect whole grain breads to be. If you are looking for a healthier sweet bread to serve your family, then I would suggest you try it. They taste wonderful with jam.

Vegan Thanksgiving Apple and Cranberry Crumb Pie – the best apple pie!


Harry Potter’s Vegan Eggnog

Pearls in Our Vegan Strawberry Milkshakes – a mix of East and West: Bubble Milkshake

Ready-for-Fall Creamed and Spiced Pumpkin and Apple Cider – Fall memories: pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.


Cayenne Spiced Quinoa

Instant Pot

Easy and Nourishing Instant Pot Tridoshic Mung Dal Kitchari – as a one pot meal or for mono-diet fasts

Easy and Quick Instant Pot Purple Sweet Potato Soup – beautiful to look at and so yummy!

Pretend You’ve Been Cooking All Day: Easy Instant Pot Vegan Chickpea Sweet Potato Tagine – this won a Forks Over Knives competition!

Satisfyingly Simple Sweet Potato Soup in the Instant Pot – quick, easy, and pure


A Homemade Vegan Hot Dog on a Whole Wheat Bun, Cole Slaw and Baked Fries Please – want a delicious comfort food with healthy ingredients you can trust?

Around the World in Mama’s Vegan Kitchen: Ethiopian Tonight – tips on how to make Atklit Wat, Gomen, Mesir Wat, Kik Alicha, and Injera.

Creamy and Rich Vegan Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwiches – these are luscious sandwiches.

Cuckoo for Vegan Kuku – a Persian Cauliflower Frittata

Grover’s Cheesy Enchiladas – very cheesy, lots of sauce, but also loaded with sweet potatoes, black beans, and brown rice

Juicy Vegan Kidney Bean Burgers – these are popular at my house “These taste like REAL beef burgers!”

Mama’s Got Balls: Easy Vegan Meatball Subs – meatballs, subs, and ground meat tomato sauce

Mama’s Massaman Curry

Psst, Pass the Pignoli-Free Vegan Pesto Pasta Please! – can be made fully RAW by using zucchini noodles instead of pasta

The Easiest Vegan Pulled BBQ Sandwich Even Meat Lovers Will Love – if you haven’t tried this yet… click here.

Vegan Char Siu and Vegan Char Siu Bao – I can eat Dim Sum again!

Vegan Eat-Your -Beans Bibimbap – a Korean comfort food

Vegan Modan-Yaki: Yakisoba topped with Veggie Filled Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savoury Pancakes) – Japanese street food anyone?

Vegetable Sushi – half raw and half cooked

Your Fave Veggie Loaded Summer Pasta Salad – quick and easy


Asparagus and Tomato Salad – half raw and half cooked (you can substitute Broccoli for Asparagus)

Corn Salad over Mashed White Beans

Curried Apple and Quinoa Salad – half raw and half cooked

Quick and Easy Egg-less Salad – with chickpeas

Your Fave Veggie Loaded Summer Pasta Salad – half raw and half cooked, perfect for a picnic


Mama Smothered It with Some Vegan Gravy – over biscuits, yum! Easy and full of flavor.


Easy and Quick Instant Pot Vegan/Vegetarian Locro de Papa (Ecuadorian Potato and Cheese Soup) – we all love this soup!

Pottage with Whole Herbs – a slow cooked oat groats soup

Satisfyingly Simple Sweet Potato Soup in the Instant Pot – quick, easy, and pure


Nicer Krispie Squares – Deena Burton’s recipe

Orange You a Creamy Strawberry Popsicle – for a hot day

Sweet Rice Cakes – Palitaw

The Unpredictably Perfect Vegan Chocolate Pecan Praline – for days when you want to taste every addition of ingredients

Vegan Chocolate Protein Truffles – perfect Slow Carb High Protein snack with nuts and protein powder


Cooked to Death Broccoli – my son’s favourite way to eat broccoli is with orange juice, sea salt and olive oil… and you know, I can see why!

Easy Baked Vegan Potato Tonkatsu – serve over Vegan Ramen

Easy Roasted Asian Sweet Potatoes – comfort food for the whole family

Roasted Cauliflower – kid friendly

Roasted Brussels Sprouts – kid friendly

Steamed Artichoke – also wonderful with this raw Cashew Mayo/Dip

Steamed Asparagus – also wonderful with this raw Cashew May/Dip

Vegan Mashed Potatoes – with kids!


Family Friendly High Raw Vegan Sample Menu: Week 1

Family Friendly High Raw Vegan Sample Menu: Week 2

Family Friendly High Raw Vegan Sample Menu: Week 3



Raw Vegan? Me? How Can This Be?

29 May

You are a raw vegan. NO I AM NOT! You are! OH DEAR, it is true. For the past 3 weeks anyway.

I have been totally raw and totally vegan for the past 3 weeks and I haven’t craved anything else. The food is so surprisingly delicious! I thought raw and living foods meant eating carrots and celery… but today I had Sweet Potato Pie with Frosting (!) and Pad Thai. And I can’t believe how well I feel: physically, mentally and dare I say, spiritually. I’m in very good humor, never hungry, totally at peace and have so much energy. I’m still losing excess weight, my white heads and black heads are disappearing, my grumpiness has diminished, I’m up at night passionately reading and blogging about raw and living foods and awake during the day enjoying my family (even if our son wakes me up sometimes at night). 

But do I really want to give up meat, dairy and eggs and cooked foods? Yes I actually do. I don’t crave meats, dairy or eggs – even as I prepare them for my family. I haven’t craved for my usual ‘junk’ either. (I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 5 years and was always lethargic, gained 20 pounds and unhappy. This time, things are different – I feel great on raw!) And yes, I do look with a little sadness at the copper pots, the double ovens and the outdoor grill my family has presented me through the years… and I think of memories of family traditions and holiday meals, but the passion of introducing my family and friends to the wonders of raw outweighs all that. We are indeed blessed with open-minded families: my mother saw a NAET practitioner and has been reading avidly on raw foods and my mother-in-law has taken the 30 day raw and living foods challenge.

Morimono Activity:
Creating Edible Raw Food Art with Kids
My son ate up his food before he could begin his art
Another child ate hers all up afterwards

Diet For A New America: How Your Food Choices Affect Your Health, Happiness, and the Future of Life on Earth by John Robbins is eye-opening. He turned down the family business of Baskin-Robbins for his dream: “A dream of a society that is truly healthy, practicing a wise and compassionate stewardship of a balanced ecosystem… It is really the dream of all human beings who feel the plight of the earth as their own, and sense our obligation to respect and protect the world in which we live.” In this book, he explains “how powerfully our eating habits affect the possibility of this dream becoming a reality” and how “the traditional assumptions regarding our need for meats, dairy products and eggs have been in error… You’ll see that the very eating habits that can do so much to give you strength and health are exactly the same ones that can significantly reduce the needless suffering in the world, and do much to preserve our ecosystem.”

Some excerpts:

Nothing is more powerful than an individual acting out of his conscience,
thus helping to bring the collective consience to life.
– Norman Cousins –

The cultures with the very longest life spans in the world are the Vilcambas, who reside in the Andes of Ecuador, the Abkhasians, who live on the Black Sea…, and the Hunzas, who live in the Himalayas of Northern Pakistan… All three are either totally vegetarian or close to it. The Hunzas, who are the largest of the three groups, eat almost no animal products. Meat and dairy products combined account for only 1 1/2% of their total calories… Particularly striking to researchers who have visited these cultures is that the people not only live so long, but that they enjoy full, active lives throughout their many years, and show no signs of the many degenerative diseases that afflict the elderly in our culture.

They work and play at 80 and beyond; most of those who reach their 100th birthday continue to be active, and retirement is unheard of… With age, wisdom accumulates, but physical degeneration is limited so the senior citizens of these remote societies have something unique to contribute to the lives of others. They are revered.

At Yale, Professor Irving Fisher designed a series of tests to compare the stamina and strength of meat-eaters against that of vegetarians… His findings do not seem to lend a great deal of credibility to the popular prejudices that hold meat to be a builder of strength… flesh-eaters showed far less endurance than the abstainers (vegetarians), even when the latter were leading a sedentary life.

Myron Winich, director of Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition, says the data indicates: a relationship between high-protein diets and cancer of the colon…

People often say that humans have always eaten animals, as if this is a justification for continuing the practice. According to this logic, we should not try to prevent people from murdering other people, since this has also been done since the earliest of times.
– Isaac Singer – 

When Health is absent
Wisdom cannot reveal itself,
Art cannot become manifest,
Strength cannot be exerted,
Wealth is useless and
Reason is powerless.
– Herophilies, 300 B.C. –


In the prestigious Advances in Cancer Research, they conclude: At present, we have overwhelming evidence… (that) none of the rish factors for cancer is… more significant than diet and nutrition. 

Dr. Gio B. Gori, the Deputy Director of the National Cancer Institute’s Division of Cancer Cause and Prevention… also director of the National Cancer Institute’s Diet, Nutrition and Cancer Program… told Congress: Until recently, many eyebrows would have been raised by suggesting that an imbalance of normal dietary components could lead to cancer and cardiovascular disease… Today, the accumulation of… evidence… makes this notion not only possible but certain… (The) dietary factors responsibile (are) principally meat and fat intake.

We aren’t what we eat. We are what we don’t sh*t.
– Hugh Romney –

The renowned Harvard nutritionist, Dr. Jean Mayer, explained the matter this way: In becoming vegetarian, you will eat a greater percentage of your calories from cereal grains, dried beans and peas, potatoes and pasta – the very foods most dieters avoid with zeal. And you will lose weight.

A teenager who remains 20% under the normal weight enjoys a 15 year increase over and above normal life expectancy. Lower than normal weight is also associated with marked reductions in the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other degenerative diseases. In a very real sense, then, US and European weight standards are excessive, and the overwhelming majority of Americans and Europeans are detrimentally overweight.

Researchers at the University Hospital in Linkoping, Sweden, put bronchial asthma patients, whose condition was so severe that they required cortisone or other medication, onto a pure vegetarian diet, without any eggs or dairy products… After one year… more than 90% of the patients who completed the project reported a major i
mprovement in the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. Also, levels of medication dosages dropped an average of 50 to 90%. A number of the patients were so improved that they were able to discontinue medication altogether with the pure vegetarian diet.

We live in a crazy time, when people who make food choices that are healthy and compassionate are often considered weird, while people are considered normal whose eating habits promot disease and are dependent on enormouse suffering.

I believe that each of us, at heart, wants to use our brief time in these bodies and on this planet to contribute something of value. I believe that each of us, at heart, wants to help make the world a better, safer place, a more loving and beautiful place. The healthier we are, the more able we will be to make whatever contribution we can.

… how our food choices affect, not only our health, but our children, the gene pool…

… important to realise that the vast majority of American agriculture does not grow food for people. It grows food for animals, whose flesh, milk and eggs we then consume. Most of it, actually, gets turned into manure, which cannot be recycled because it does not fall onto the land itself, but instead is concentrated in unbelievable quantities at feedlots and confinement sheds, and ends up in our alreadly amply-polluted water.

If we were simply to grow food for people, we would need less than 30% of the yield we now require from our agricultural acreage. We could cut our yield in half, and still have far more than enough food to feed ourselves… we could in fact feed the entire world if we grew food directly for people, instead of supplying what are really manure and saturated fat factories.

In doing so, we would also stop flooding the environment with lethal poisons. Our children might yet live in an increasingly safe and clean world.

Pesticide authority Lewis Regenstein writes: Meat contains approximately 14 times more pesticides than do plant foods; dairy products 5 1/2 times. Thus, by eating foods of animal origin, one ingests greatly concentrated amounts of hazardous chemicals.

You might think that any way toxic chemicals could possibly be eliminated from the human body would be a good thing. But, disturbingly, the most common way these stored-up poisons are released is in the breast milk of nursing mothers… A nursing woman’s body draws on its body fat reservoirs to make milk. Stored in her body fat reservoirs are virtually all the toxic chemicals she has ever ingested, inhaled or absorbed through her skin. These poisons are thus incorporated into her milk. Breast-fed babies thereby may consume extraordinary large amounts of the most toxic substances ever known to man… Some women are so alarmed by these terrifying facts that they decide not to breast feed their young. But this is not usually the best decisions for a number of important reasons: 1) Human breast milk… superior… to any cow’s milk… 2) … formulas… contaminated with toxic chemicals 3) Human breast milk contains antibodies… 4) Breast-feeding procides bonding and emotional nurturance…

The livestock population of the United States today consumes enough grain and soybean to feed over five times the entire human population of the country. We feed these animals over 80% of the corn we grow, and over 95% of the oats… how immensely wasteful…

The livestock of the United States produce twenty times as much excrement as the entire human population of the country!

… the production of meats, dairy products and eggs account for one-third of the total amount of all raw materials used for all purposes in the United States.

I Am Worth It Too.

16 Mar

The question of the year: Am I Worth It?

Raw vegan 7 years, cooked vegan 1 year, vegetarian 6 years. I am Buddhist. I didn’t want to kill any animals in order to live but my body was struggling. I aged quickly towards the end of my vegan years.

I introduced meats back into my diet in May 2017 and have felt better. My skin is not dry anymore, my eczema is almost none existent, my wrinkles have subsided, I sleep better, my gut is healthier, the atmosphere at home is lighter (i.e. I’m less uptight and more easy going and relaxed), I have gained a lot of muscles, my son doesn’t need his asthma medication anymore… I could go on. I wonder how I can eat animals and still be Buddhist. All I can come up with is this: I say thank you to the animal for dying in order to feed me and keep me healthy. I keep in mind that the Dalai Lama also eats meat. It is ok. I remind myself that I am worth it too.

Edited on 14th June 2018. I wrote the paragraph above as I embarked on my Carnivore journey. I have largely eaten only from the animal kingdom since the 1st of March 2018. What started as a one month experiment has now continued into a new way of eating for me. I love how it makes me feel. I have also found my niche in creating Animal-Based Skin Care and Soaps. Another amazing discovery: we slashed our Vegan food budget by HALF. 

A Super Easy Vegan Meringue and Cashew Cream Deconstructed Sans Rival Cake

15 Aug

My parents friends would gift us Silvanas and Sans Rival on special occasions. I would look forward to eating either one of them as soon as I could. These extravagant Filipino treats just melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more. Both made from meringue, buttercream and cashews, Silvanas is a frozen cookie while Sans Rival a frozen cake.

After a day of baking and tasting Aquafaba Meringues, I knew I had to try making a Vegan Version of Silvanas or Sans Rival. I decided on something in between: a dessert bigger than a cookie and smaller than a full-sized cake. I also wanted a dessert that would be more meringue and less of the loaded fats.

How about a deconstructed cake? Layers of Vegan Meringue, Cashew Buttercream and Cashews! Perfect.


Vegan Aquafaba Meringue

This is the exact recipe from my Aquafaba Whipped Cream.

Place the following in a mixing bowl:

  • 1 c cooking liquid of chickpeas
  • 2/3 c granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Whisk in a mixer for 10 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks form. Like the photo below.


To make cakes: Draw 4 circles around 6 inches or 16 cm in diameter using a bowl or plate on parchment paper. Turn the paper around so that the pencil/ink drawings face the baking sheet. Spoon or pipe the Aquafaba Cream into round cakes on the parchment paper using the outline of circles as your guide. You want them to be around half an inch thick.

Leftover Whipped Cream? No Problem.

You will have some cream left over. You can either save the cream to serve with the cake later on or make small meringue cookies.


To make cookies: spoon or pipe the cream into small macaroon shaped cookies on a Silpat mat or parchment paper on a baking sheet.

Baking the Meringues

Place the the baking sheets in a preheated oven at 200F. The small cookies bake for 2 hours. Take the cookies out at this time. The bigger cakes bake for 2 1/2 hours, turning the baking sheet around halftime. Turn the oven off and leave the meringue cakes in the oven until it thoroughly dries out (if needed). Carefully peel off the meringues from the parchment paper gently.


Cashew Buttercream

Soak for a couple of hours:

  • 1 c raw cashews

Drain and rinse cashews. Place in high speed blender with:

  • 1/4 t sea salt, optional
  • 2 T your choice of liquid sweetener, like coconut nectar, maple or agave syrups
  • 1/4 c your choice of liquid, like water, orange juice or even coffee

Blend well to create a vegan buttercream.


Place in a food processor and process so that there are both bigger and smaller (almost ground) chunks of nuts:

  • 1/2 c cashews, toasted or raw


A Super Easy Vegan Meringue and Cashew Cream Deconstructed Sans Rival Cake (Serves 8)

Place the first meringue layer on a plate, top with a thin layer of cashew buttercream and sprinkle generously with chopped cashews. Place another meringue layer on top and repeat layers of thin cashew buttercream and sprinkles of cashews. Repeat with the other two layers of meringues. Freeze immediately. Serve this cold and straight out of the freezer, otherwise the meringue will become soggy. If you have leftover whipped cream, you can serve the cakes with some too.


My son took one look at the cake and exclaimed: “Couldn’t you have made it with something else other than cashews? I would have loved to eat it.”

Oops, sorry. (He’s allergic to cashews.) I could have made it with hazelnuts or almonds I guess, but it is traditionally made with cashews.


My husband and I already ate half the cake. It is a luscious mix of cooked and raw deliciousness.

I love my kitchen and I have missed cooking in it. My blog had been quiet for almost 3 years, but changing from RAW to COOKED Vegan has reignited my passion for food. Thank YOU for keeping in touch with me through the silence and stopping by again to enjoy the food on my table.

School Lunches versus Packing a Lunch: How to Keep Both Healthy

23 May

We homeschool, but we are out and about a lot.  Here’s an example of our packed lunch.

How do we keep our children’s lunches healthy?  According to the World Health Organization“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”   So, we can rephrase our question as: how can we ensure our children’s lunches contribute to their physical, mental and social well-being and, by consuming them, they will not be afflicted by disease or sickness?

I recently watched a short documentary called Lunch, a film based on interviews about ‘Green School’ lunch programs, instilling healthy habits in kids and organic gardening in a school setting.  It seems to me that most people talk about kid’s lunches from a single viewpoint: the food. They say: let’s improve food quality, organic is better, no more GMOs, add more fruits and vegetables, no more fried foods, add healthier options, grow a school garden, add nutrition to the curriculum…  While I think these are all wonderful and much needed, the most important thing we can do is to empower children themselves to make the right food choices.  

At the end of the day, the children are the only ones who can control what they eat, therefore it is not enough to simply create a healthy nutrition environment for them. Children need to be taught that any kind of food can keep us alive, but it is the nutritious food that helps maintain our body, mind and social capacities well. We need to teach children about a whole lifestyle that emphasizes not only nutritional choices, but also how the choices they make affect their own physical, mental and social well-being.   When children are educated, when they understand, when they are given proper role models and when they are given tools to help them choose health, then the responsibility for parents and guardians to create a healthy nutrition environment for them becomes easier – simply because children will WANT it for themselves.  

Proper Nutrition is integral to maintaining our physical, mental and social health and well-being.

We can teach children the value of eating to live, not living to eat. We can teach them the value of maintaining physical, mental and social well-being (these are a few examples):

    • show them what happens to their bodies when they consume junk versus nutritious foods, for example:
      • what happens to teeth when they eat processed sugar (place a tooth in Coca Cola and see what happens)
      • what happens to bones when people eat too much animal protein and cow’s milk (show rates of osteoporosis in different communities)
      • teach them to look at their own poop and explain what healthy poop should look like
      • teach them how different foods create different energy levels (discuss athletes and their diet)
      • watch Wall-E and discuss why the humans are obese (foods they eat, exercise)
      • show videos like Supersize Me and Forks over Knives to older children
    • show them what happens to their minds depending on the food consumed, for example:
      • discuss how mental performance suffers/improves due to diet (i.e. Food For the Brain study)
      • show them that learning challenges and problem behaviors may decrease/increase according to diet
      • discuss how exercising the brain is just as important as sports is for the body
      • discuss how quality foods help the nerves in the brain function properly (memory, problem solving, etc)
    • show them that their nutritional choices have social implications, for example
      • discuss what “social well-being” means vis-à-vis proper nutrition within the community, the nation and the world (according to the United States Institute of Peace: “Social well-being is an end state in which basic human needs are met and people are able to coexist peacefully in communities with opportunities for advancement. This end state is characterized by equal access to and delivery of basic needs services (water, food, shelter, and health services), the provision of primary and secondary education, the return or resettlement of those displaced by violent conflict, and the restoration of social fabric and community life.)
      • discuss composting, recycling, reusing and reducing in the community and at home
      • discuss pollution and toxicity
      • discuss what stress does to us
      • discuss how the quality of food we eat affects our emotions and therefore our social well-being.
As we teach them to grow their own food and to prepare their own meals from scratch… we can sit back and see what happens.

Other ideas here too: Top 10 Tips to Get Your Kids to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

Part of Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Blog Hop! Click on the image for more links to Gifted/2E Health and Wellness Issues!

Blissful Bites: Vegan Meals That Nourish Mind, Body, and Planet

8 Mar

One thing that I love about being a Mama in the Kitchen is being able to read cookbooks and recreate the recipes that have inspired me to take my nose out of the book and move about in the kitchen.  I have enjoyed looking through Christy Morgan’s new book Blissful Bites.  I love how mainstream Vegan Chefs are now embracing more and more RAW foods into their own diets and recipe books – even a Macrobiotic Vegan Chef like Christy (check out her website and her video… she’s adorable)!  At least 10% of all recipes in Blissful Bites are RAW! 


Unfortunately, the book was published before all the brown rice syrup hullabaloo, so it is an ingredient in many of her recipes (an option with maple syrup, which you can easily substitute).


–           the recipes are divided according to season, with a special place for ‘anytime’ recipes.  This is a time saver for busy Mamas who want to feed their families seasonally!

–          the sample menus at the end of the book is helpful. It even includes ‘perfect no-oil potluck dishes’ and ‘food for kiddos’.

–          labels for recipes include: RAW, GLUTEN-FREE, SOY-FREE, NO/LOW-OIL, and UNDER 45 MINUTES.

–          all the recipes I have tested, both raw and cooked, taste wonderful!


Ginger-Miso Dressing: I used unrefined sesame oil for the toasted sesame oil and raw honey (we have sensitivities and allergies to other choices) instead of the brown rice or maple syrup. Very tasty!

Mock Tuna: you can serve as a RAW side dish or as a filling for Sushi. I chose to follow her Veggie Sushi Rolls recipe with brown rice for a half-raw, half-cooked dish. It was delicious!! You could also use raw cauliflower for the 'rice' in this recipe.

Heavenly Raw Chocolate Mousse: we substituted the raw cacao powder with raw carob powder. My son went wild for this pudding!

If you are thinking of getting hold of the book, thought you’d like to have the full list of the RAW RECIPES first:

Easy Guacamole
Chilled Corn Bisque
Heirloom Gazpacho
Mango Pineapple Tropical Soup
Pineapple Cucumber Gazpacho
Raw Pear-Walnut Bisque
Citrus Herb Cashew Crudites
Spring Kale Salad with Sweet Miso Dressing
Creamy Basil Dressing
Avocado, Strawberry and Grape Tomato Slad
Zucchini Pasta with Mint-Cashew Pesto Sauce
Raw Pasta with Almond Sauce
Cilantro-Lime Dressing
Fall Harvest Fruit Salad
Mac N Kale Salad
Tropical Relish
Mango Peach Salsa
Heavenly Raw Chocolate Mousse (photo above)
Strawberry Mint Limemade

There are other recipes that have not been labeled Raw, but are or can be tweaked easily for Raw Foodies, like Mock Tuna (photo above), Ginger-Miso Dressing (photo above), and Blueberry Hemp Drops.

Cooked Recipes in Blissful Bites

I am always looking for gluten-free recipes that really work, these Gluten-Free Savory Biscuits have a fantastic consistency and are delicious. My boys enjoyed these very very much! Note, the recipe states it makes about 5 biscuits only... but I made about a dozen.

Lemon-Roasted Asparagus: these were very tasty. I did roast them much longer than the recipe states in order to get them 'crispy' and I would suggest tossing the asparagus spears in the remaining liquid after they have cooked just to make sure the flavors are mixed well before serving.

We also tried the Azuki Beans with Squash and Chestnuts, which my son devoured.

Now, if you want to meet Christy Morgan…

…and live on the East Coast, then you are in luck!  Her East Coast Book Tour just begun this March.  You just missed her in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, FL, but you still have lots of time to see her in Washington DC, New York, Boston, Portland, Maine, New Jersey, Philadelphia. In April, she will be in Austin and Fort Worth, Texas.

Empowering Vegan Children

28 Jan

Vegan Kids don’t like Veggies?

Last week, I spoke to a Vegan friend. She said something that really surprised me. Her kids were brought up proudly Vegan, but they don’t even like vegetables. They don’t even like sweet potatoes! “Well, what do they love to eat?” I asked immediately. “They love beans and rice. We eat a lot of rice and beans! They will eat a few vegetables only, like artichokes.” Imagine that! Vegan kids who are proud to be Vegan, but don’t like vegetables!

What’s a Mama to do?

“My raw food skills suck… My husband and kids won’t eat any of the raw things I prepare…!”

“I’m so tired of preparing two dinners: one for them and one for me!”

“Why won’t they eat their veggies?”

Sound familiar? I’ve been there too. In fact, I am reminded of Peace at the Healthy Table, a post I wrote at around the time I figured out how to create balance within my own family.

Like my friend, I too certainly don’t want to be the Mama who force feeds her son veggies in the name of health. Why? Because:

  1. I want him to love nourishing his body with food
  2. I don’t want him to hate veggies
  3. I know I won’t be around forever preparing food for my son
  4. he, and only he, has control of what he eats and
  5. he, and only he, can therefore determine his own health.

So, what’s the best solution I came up with? While he is still young, I want to empower my son to make the right food choices.

In my house, this is where my top 10 tips to get them to eat more fruits and veggies come in. I’ve also recently added 2 more tips to this list:

  1. make my son his own Half Raw, Half Cooked Vegan “Happy Meals” for school and
  2. use cartoons to explain how our nutrition choices impact the world.

Research/Tips 2012

11 Jan

30 Lessons this Raw Vegan Mama Learned from Traveling and Dining Out with Omnivore Loved Ones

A Raw Vegan Mama’s Weekly Grocery Cart

A Young Child’s Thoughts about Transitioning from Omni to Vegan

Animal Protein versus Plant Protein

Dispelling the Cow’s Milk Myth: Rethinking our Kids’ Fave ‘Health’ Drink

Doing It Right – why and how to exercise

Empowering Vegan Children

Finding Balance – Mamas need to let go…

Homemade Half-Raw, Half-Cooked “Happy Meals”

How to Open a Green Coconut

Moisturize with Raw Chocolate Cream!

New Year’s Resolutions

Review: 100%Pure Nourishing Body Creams

Review: 100%Pure Organic Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

Review: 100%Pure Red Wine Resveratrol Antioxidant Serum and Nourishing Cream

Review: Acure Face Products

Review: Acure Lemongrass and Argan Oil Shampoo

Review: Acure Organics Argan Oil – first impressions

Review and Give Away: Bee Yummy: – raw foods facial products

Review: Girvins Vegan Soaps – a farm in Maryland

Review: Good Life Cafe – in West Columbia, SC

Review: MyChelle Dermaceuticals

Review: Raw Shakti Chocolate – based in Asheville, NC

Review: Sprout Skincare – based in NYC

Review: Suki – based in MA

Review: Ursa Major – natural skin care for men

Review: Your Right To Be Beautiful – Raw Advocate Tonya Zavasta’s products

School Lunches versus Packing a Lunch: How to Keep Both Healthy

The Giving Tree: A Lesson on Earth Day

The Scoop on Poop for Kids – a video

Top 10 wonderful things about traveling as a family

Vain Vegan with Cosmetic Issues

Vegan Cartoons

When A Green Salad Just Won’t Do! Top 6 Ways To Get Kids To Love Plant-Based Food Again!

21 Jun

Look familiar? This is the "I don't think I can eat this!" look.

My fabulous niece Lia loves raw Kale Salad and Green Smoothies, but a piece of plain lettuce may be asking her for too much!  How many kids have you seen do this exact same thing? Many! And there are even more who won’t even touch any kind of vegetable.

A few months ago, when Karen Ranzi came to speak at our local university, she was so excited to see my 4 year old son eat a Banana Lettuce Wrap (below) and exclaimed “Wow! We need to take a picture of that!”  Unfortunately, as he grows up and gets more exposed to the Standard American Diet, his preference for unhealthy ‘normal American’ foods has escalated.  Recently, he has exclaimed: “No more Green Salads for me!  Only Green Smoothies!”

Banana Date Lettuce Wrap: a very simple meal

What’s a Mama to do? 

I knew this wouldn’t be easy.  So I have armed myself with new ways to get my little one to love eating unprocessed plant-based whole foods again. Here’s what I make sure we have:

1. A variety of fresh fruit in the house, for breakfast, snacks and/or pre-dinner munchies.

2. Lots of GREEN Smoothies in the house.

3. My niece Lia just discovered GREEN Smoothie Popsicles and loves them.  We have loved them in the summer time too!  Simply place leftover Green Smoothie into your popsicle molds and voila! another treat with nutritional benefits! By the way, we love our BPA free popsicle molds!

My son loves his popsicle from a Blueberry Green Smoothie!

3. Get the JUICER out for GREEN Juices.  If they won’t eat the salad, they can definitely drink them (as long as they are yummy!).  For most kids, this means a mixture of fruit and vegetable juices.  Although it is hard work, it is worth any Mama’s time: fresh green juices go directly into our cells and work their wonders.

4. Mix raw and cooked together for Half & Half! Yes, definitely the easier way to get the family to eat more fresh raw veggies.

Asparagus and Tomato Salad: cooked asparagus and raw tomatoes with Balsamic Vinaigrette (this is great with Broccoli and Tomatoes too!)

Zucchini Pasta topped with Cooked Lentils... you can always try!

Vegetable Sushi: my family loves Avocado, we use raw untoasted Nori... and yes that's white rice, they prefer it that way... maybe because they feel it's more authentic?

5. Prepare more COOKED PLANT-BASED options at each meal so that the family doesn’t crave other SAD (Standard American Diet) Foods.  This is important and something I often forget because I am so involved in making something Raw Vegan at each meal.  As I add more home-cooked vegan options at every meal, my family craves less for the unhealthier cooked fare.  Some of their Vegan faves: Japanese Vegetable Pancakes, Buckwheat Soba Noodles, Vegetable Sushi, Steamed Sweet Potato, Steamed Artichokes, Baked Potato Chips, Peanut (or Raw Almond) Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, Pasta Alfredo, Pasta with a very simple Tomato Sauce, Chinese Dumplings, Sloppy Joes, Fajitas, Zucchini Bread… They don’t seem to like beans all that much.

6. Remind them that there are Raw Vegan Cookies and other Sweets too.  While I prefer fresh foods, I do make some treats for my family occasionally as well.

Other Resources:

How To Transition The Family Into More Raw Vegan Foods

Top 10 Tips To Get Your Kids To Eat Fruits and Veggies

Top 12 Kid-Friendly Year-Round Raw Superfoods

How To Market Fruits and Veggies to Your Kids: Tip #9

25 Jan

Big bucks are being spent on marketing unhealthy foods directly to children.  What are parents to do?  Learn how and what is being done, find ways to counter the commercials that make kids want to eat unhealthy foods and in the process market fruits and veggies to kids.  We may not have more money than big food corporations, but we have the advantage of time with, love for and commitment to the health of our children.


Tip #9:

Allow Choices





Son knows that each meal must be accompanied by some type of vegetable. Most of the time, we eat raw veggies, but sometimes son chooses his favorite cooked vegetable: artichokes. He can happily eat 3 all by himself for dinner. Certainly not raw, but a real veggie nonetheless!


The premise behind this tip is that children will make better choices if they know what the available choices are.


Tonight, after seeing that I made a lettuce salad for dinner, our son cries, “I don’t want that salad! I want my favorite kale salad!  Not that salad!  Waaaahhhh….”

Sigh.  “At least he wanted to eat a salad,” I tell myself.

I don’t know how raw families do it, but this is what I have learned living with a 4 year old negotiator:

1. there needs to be very clear family agreements on food:

– breakfast is all raw

– we eat fruits with breakfast

– we eat greens at each meal

– no more snacking if greens are not being eaten at mealtimes

– Mama’s kitchen is open only at meal times

– Mama is not making Son special individual meals


2. son has freedom to choose what he wants within the parameters of family agreements:

– he can choose his fruit for breakfast

– he can choose whether he wants his greens as a salad or as a smoothie

– snacks are mostly fruit


3. food is not to be used as a reward

– son learns that nutrition is important to health


4. if son chooses to eat junk food again on special days, he has to only remember what happened to him

– last Valentine’s, after eating a bag full of candies from well-meaning friends, he was sick for a month

– last Summer, after eating ice cream from a shop (they didn’t display their ingredients), he was sick for a whole week

– last week and a half ago, after eating 5 cookies and 3 pieces of chocolate truffles from well-meaning friends, he’s still sick


It seems learning the consequences of eating ‘bad’ food first-hand  is very important for a little boy to understand proper nutrition.


Tip # 10: Discuss Marketing Tricks


4 Jan

Almond Butter and Banana Sandwiches


Asian Noodle Salad

Banana Lettuce Wrap – you have a choice of sweet (fill a lettuce with banana, dates and raw almond butter) OR savory (fill a lettuce with banana, raw almond butter and Nama Shoyu)

Broccoli Melt

Corn Picnic Wraps

Curried Apple and Quinoa Salad – half raw and half cooked


Living Wrap – by Ann Gentry

Mock Tuna Sushi – by Christy Morgan

Nori Wraps

Kimchi and Sesame Noodles – homemade kimchi with veggie noodles

Pizza – Cheezy and Thai Sauces

Raw Buckwheat and Oat Burger


4 Jan

Arame Seaweed Salad – protect the family from radioactive material and enjoy eating it too!

Caesar Salad – an easier and quicker recipe for a Caesar type Salad Dressing here: Load Up on B12!


Curried Apple and Quinoa Salad – half raw and half cooked

DIY Spinach Salad for Kids – lots of fun and easy for them to do

Easy Carrot Salad

Easy Minute Salad

Fast-Food Energizer Salad – simple salad with spirulina

Figs and Arugula Salad

For Kids Only Salad Dressing – how simple can this be?

I Can’t Stop Eating This Kale Salad

Kimchi Salad – homemade kimchi mixed in with veggies… yum

Peach and Arugula Salad

Radish, Turnip, Parsley and Tomato Salad – or whatever is left in the fridge salad

Sesame Greens

Simple Nasturtium and Spinach Salad – edible flowers make a simple salad beautiful and even more appetizing

South East Asian Salad

Sunflower Niçoise – you can either make this all raw or slightly cook the potatoes and green beans


Not Our Beef!

12 Jun

We had our friends Peter and Stacey over for the weekend. And although I am very much a raw vegan these days, my family is only partially. My husband and son love Marzella Hazan’s Spaghetti Bolognese and I was going to actually make it (why??? I ask myself now. Oh yeah, to make them happy… then I woke up). We buy either the grass fed beef at the health shop or we buy Greenwise products at Publix – but after reading the first page of Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth From The Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat (buy book here) by Howard F. Lyman, I suddenly did not have the energy to cook it… so everyone ate raw Marinara and raw Alfredo sauces instead. I don’t know if they liked it – but at least I felt guiltless about poisoning their bodies.

All I have the energy for these days is reading up on vegetarian options for my boys who love beef. I had my husband read the same first page of Mad Cowboy and when I asked him what he wanted me to buy at the grocery for next week’s meals, he said: ‘tofu, not chicekn just eggs…’ I turned around to write my grocery list with a very big smile on my face – it’s a start.

Some excerpts:

I am a fourth-generation dairy farmer and cattle rancer. I grew up on a dairy farm in Montana, and I ran a feedlot operation there for twenty years. I know firsthand how cattle are raised and how meat is produced in this country.
Today I am president of the International Vegetarian Union…
If you’re a meat-eater in America, you have a right to know that you have something in common with most of the cows you’ve eaten. They’ve eaten meat, too.
When a cow is slaughtered, about half of it by weight is not eaten by humans: the intestines and their contents, the head, hooves, and horns, as well as bones and blood. These are dumped into giant grinders at rendering plants, as are the entire bodies of cows and other farm animals known to be diseased. Rendering is a $2.4-billion-a-year industry, processing forty billion pounds of dead animals a year. There is simply no such thing in America as an animal too ravaged by disease, too cancerous, or too putrid to be welcomed by the all-embracing arms of the renderer. Another staple of the renderer’s diet, in addition to farm animals, is euthanized pets – the six or seven million dogs and cats that are killed in animal shelters every year… Added to the blend are the euthanized catch of animal control agencies, and roadkill… When this gruesome mix is ground and steam-cooked, the lighter, fatty material floating to the top gets refined for use in such products as cosmetics, lubricants, soaps, candles and waxes. The heavier protein material is dried and pulverized into a brown powder – about a quarter of which consists of fecal material. The powder is used as an additive to almost all pet food as well as to livestock feed. Farmers call it “protein concentrates”…
In August 1997, in response to growing concern about… Mad Cow disease, the FDA issued a new regulation that bans the feeding of ruminant protein (protein from cud-chewing animals) to ruminants; therefore, to the extent that the regulation is actually enforced, cattle are no longer quite the cannibals that we had made them into. They are no longer eating solid parts of other cattle, or sheep, or goats. They still much, however, on ground-up dead horses, dogs, cats, pigs, chickens and turkeys, as well as blood and fecal material of their own species and that of chickens. About 75% of the ninety million beef cattle in America are routinely given feed that has been ‘enriched’ with rendered animal parts.

Nearly all meat in America is contaminated with such man-made carcinogens as dioxins, a family of chemicals related to Agent Orange, and DDT, the notorious chemical that was banned domestically over 25 yeras ago but that remains in the ground (and will remain there, unfortunately, for thousands of years to come) and therefore in the crops fed to animals. Crops grown for cattle feed are permitted, and almost always do, contain far higher levels of pesticides than crops grown for human consumption. About 80% of pesticides used in America are targeted on 4 specific crops – corn, soybeans, cotton and wheat – that are the major constituents of livestock feed. Since animals store pesticides and other toxic substances in their fat, they get their most concentrated doses of these carcinogens when they eat other animals. And we in turn get even more concentrated doses of carcinogens when we eat them.

Many people concerned about the health risks of a meat-based diet have adopted the half-measure of cutting down on red meat and eating more chicken and fish… Unfortunately for them, chicken and fish are not plants, and they are not health foods. It is not even clear that they are lesser evils than read meat… Substituting chicken and fish for red meat will not help you avoid any of the health risks associated with the meat of mammals. It will not save you from heart disease, strokes, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, or osteoporosis. Chicken and fish will in fact contribute to the danger of developing those conditions… A 3.5 oz serving of beef contains 85 mg of cholesterol. The same size serving of chicken (white meat, skinned) also has 85 mg of cholesterol. With equivalent servings of pork, trout, and turkey, you can clog your arteries with 90, 73 and 82 mg of cholesterol, respectively.

What fish does have that those other foods don’t are high cholesterol content and a wide assortment of such chemical toxins as mercury, lead, pesticides and PCBs. The municipal wastes and agricultural chemicals that we flush into our waters become absorbed in the tissues of fish and shellfish and thus into most of the items on the menu at your favourite seafood restaurant. The Consumer Reports study found PCBs in 43% of salmon and 25% of swordfish. Catfish had significant levels of DDT, clams had high levels of lead, and 90% of swordfish contained mercury. The study concluded that for “pregnant women or women who expect to become pregnant, there’s little choice by to avoid many popular types of fish. Salmon, swordfish, and lake whitefish may well contain polycholorinated biphenyls… which can accumulated in the body to the point where they pose a risk to the developing fetus.”

Just as the tobacco industry survives by keeping millions of people addicted to its murderous product, which it until recently claimed was harmless, so the meat and dairy industries thrive by keeping the general population too confused or misinformed to change their destructive eating habits.

In Silent Spring by Rachel Carson: “This pollution is for the most part irrecoverable; the chain of evil it initiates not only in the world that must support life but in living tissues is for the most part irreversible.”

When the dairy farmers were confronted with the fact that rBGH was overstraining and destroying their cow herds, an ingenious solution was found: create super cows. Feed them a diet rich in protein from animal sources – such as ground-up dead cows.

A study at Ohio State University comparing various types of meat with various types of plant
foods found that even the least efficient plant food is nearly ten times as efficient as the most efficient animal food. There is almost always an unseen pollution cost to the production of energy. Lowering the energy requirements of our nutrition would thus help us reduce our dependence on foreign oil and nuclear power plants.

We often hear about water shortages in areas such as Southern California, where citizens are recurrently requested not to wash their cars, not to overwater their lawns and to use low-flow showers and toilets. Good ideas, all. But you never hear city, county or state governments combating drought by urging their citizens to cut down on meat consumption, even though the water required to produce just 10 pounds of steak equals the water consumption of the average househould for a year…. Well, you may say, so much for grain-fed beef. Clearly the environmental and energy costs of growing sixteen pounds of grain to get one pound of beef are luxuries humanity can no longer afford. But what about steers that are fed more naturally on grass, not grain…?

Ranch-raised beef is probably even more environmentally destructive than feedlot beef, though from the Earth’s point of view, that’s little like comparing Hitler to Stalin… Public lands ranching… results in extraordinary destruction of native vegetation and wildlife, causes widespread flooding, soil erosion and water pollution, costs the American treasury $1 billion or more annually – and produces only 3 % of American beef!

The bovine is truly a formidable and resourceful killer in the disguise of an innocent, melancholy, big-eyed grass-eater. All kinds of animals have suffered under its domination of the West. Rabbits are endangered by the lack of vegetative cover for shelter and food; frogs, toads and insects miss the rich, moist soil that livestock have dried and hardened; wild pigs are deprived of grasses, nuts and berries; fish go belly-up in the cow-polluted streams and rivers; elk and antelope perish from diseases borne by livestock-spread bacteria; people get heart attacks, diabetes and cancer.

Make no mistake: there are other factors that aggravate flooding. Logging, mining, road-building, and overdevelopment certainly play their part. But nothing compares in impact with the widespread crew-cutting of the earth by cattle.

…humans were meant to be meat-eaters, some plead. We evolved as hunters. We have canine teeth. You can’t fight Nature – we have blood lust.
The reality, thankfully, is otherwise. We are not inexplicably doomed by Nature to a diet that destroys our bodies. Evolution created many carnivores, such as the lion, dog, wolf, and cat. They all have a short digestive system, roughly 3 times the length of their bodies, to facilitate the speedy removal of decaying flesh, which can poison the bloodstream if it lingers too long in the body. Carnivores also differ from herbivores in having acidic saliva and stomachs with large amounts of hydrochloric acid-useful in digesting flesh and bones. Animals that hunt at night and sleep by day don’t need sweat glands and so don’t perspire through their skin; instead, they sweat through their tongues. And carnivores of course have claws, powerful jaws, and long, sharp ‘canine’ teeth to tear living flesh. They do not possess molars needed for grinding their food, or the enzyme ptyalin for predigesting grain…
Plutarch… pointed out that man “has no curved beak, no sharp talons or claws, no pointed teeth… on the contrary, by the smoothness of his teeth, the small capacity of his mouth, the softness of his tongue and the sluggishness of his digestive system, Nature sternly forbids him to feed on flesh.”