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Finding Balance

29 Dec

I haven’t been posting on this blog for a few months because I end this year a little more tentative than I began. In the beginning of Autumn this year, my dear son and hubby decided on “no more nuts”. This was followed by “no more raw smoothies”. Then “no more raw salads”. In other words, NO MORE RAW ANYTHING.

Gah, had I pushed them too far?

So, I started cooking more and more veggies: in soups, with dressing, steamed, boiled, baked, etc. And, I discovered that my family actually have increased their intake of veggies this way. Dead broccoli is the new fave around here and mushroom miso soup. Surprise, surprise – I even lost a few pounds without all the added fats from nuts.

Cooked to death Broccoli.  Boil till the broccoli breaks apart.  Dress with orange juice or balsamic vinegar, sea salt and olive oil.

Cooked to death Broccoli: boil till the broccoli breaks apart, dress with a mixture of orange juice or balsamic vinegar, sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. My son loves it!

But I’m still a firm believer in RAW, so I slowly but surely added back some old faves after a month or two. Without complaints, we are all enjoying raw fruit puddings for breakfast again, Japanese and Kale salads for pre-meals and lots of coconut smoothies. We are not quite as raw as I would like, but dare I say I have found a new kind of “balance”?

I don’t know how RAW families do it. How do they function in society? How do they enjoy being with family and friends who don’t eat the way they do? How do their kids relate to other kids in the community? My big guess is that they don’t… not really in the same capacity we do. My second guess is that husband and wife have to agree on diet and nutrition principles to make it work for the family. My third guess is that the parents have to impose and work hard to ingrain these beliefs at home (unless the children have allergies and sickness that inhibit their diets). I cannot imagine regular kids not wanting what other mainstream kids can have – unless they don’t have much of a relationship with other kids, and therefore have no knowledge base of what goes on “on the other side”.

My husband recently bought some Maine root beer, a package of cereal and a carton of soy milk. My son’s hoarding some Vegan candy canes and has a new obsession with gum (it was hard finding one he isn’t allergic to).

Our Xmas Experiment: will Santa prefer the processed candy the restaurant gave you or will he prefer the homemade Vegan cookies we baked?

Our Xmas Experiment: will Santa prefer the processed candy the restaurant gave you or will he prefer the homemade Vegan cookies we baked from scratch? We discovered that Santa prefers homemade cookies to processed candy… and even left a small bit behind.

As a Mama, it is hard to let go of control – especially in the kitchen. But this year, I found more peace and happiness at the dining table by relinquishing more control over my family’s diet. I still buy the groceries, prepare and cook our food. I still educate my family on food matters. But at the end of the day, I let go and allow them the freedom to choose what they want to eat.

A little discouraged one day, I asked my husband and son separately if they wanted to branch out from our Vegan diet, they both said “NO”. Are you sure? “YES!” Both look forward to their fave homemade organic and Vegan cooked foods: Mulligatawny Soup, Shepherd’s Pie, Japanese Buckwheat Noodles, Popcorn and Chocolate Chip Cookies. But I notice they too have their fave raw foods. My son was sick recently and only wanted to eat fruit. He prefers to start each day with bananas and he asks for fresh raw coconut milk almost everyday. He will eat a huge bowl of romaine lettuce. My hubby can drink a quart of green smoothie during a meal and he will keep going back for more salad.

I offer my family healthy food, I empower them with current food knowledge, and I model good eating habits. Then, I let go in peace.

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Easy Raw Pizza

29 Aug

Easy Raw Pizza

 

The last time we visited my mother-in-law, she ordered delicious Raw Pizza for me which I just devoured.  As soon as I got home, I needed to make my own – one that required the least amount of time, the least amount of ingredients and still be yummy.  This week, I have been indulging in a very simple Cheeze Pizza and my husband, a California Pizza Kitchen Thai Pizza Lover, inspired me to create this Raw Thai Pizza.  After eating one large pizza pie to himself, he exclaimed: “That is a yummy raw pizza!”

Ummm, need I say more?

Enjoy!

Sprouted Buckwheat Pizza Crust

Soak in water overnight:

2 cups buckwheat groats

Rinse and drain buckwheat well.  Add to food processor with:

1 garlic clove, chopped

2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup flax seed meal

2 medium zucchinis, chopped

Dehydrating Pizza Crust

Spread on Texflex sheets, makes 3 large ones or 6 small pizzas.  Dehydrate 8 – 12 hours, then turn out onto mesh screens and dehydrate another 1 – 2 hours at 105F.  Alternatively, dehydrate on full at 150F for 1 – 2 hours, decrease to 105F and dehydrate until dry but still soft, 2 – 4 hours.

Raw Cheeze Pizza

For A Cheeze Pizza

Makes enough for 2 large raw pizzas.

Blend ‘Cashew Cheeze’ well in a high speed blender:

1 tsp sea salt

1 tbspn nutritional yeast

1 cup water

1 1/2 cups cashews, soaked for a few hours

Spread this cheeze on the pizza crust.  Top with vegetables:

marinated cherry tomatoes (2 cups quartered and mixed with 1 minced garlic clove, 1 tbspn extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp maple syrup, 1 tsp sea salt)

mushrooms, sliced

olives, pitted and sliced

basil, sliced thinly

Sprinkle top with:

nutritional yeast

sea salt

Dehydrate at 105F for an hour, if desired, and serve.

 

Raw Thai Pizza

For A Thai Pizza

Makes enough for 2 large raw pizzas.

Blend together well in a high speed blender:

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 inch ginger root, skinned and chopped

1 scallion, chopped

1 tbspn unrefined sesame oil

1 tbspn brown rice vinegar

2 tbspns maple syrup

2 tbspns water

3 tbspns Nama Shoyu

4 tbspns raw almond butter (or peanut butter for those transitioning)

Spread sauce on dehydrated pizza crust.  Top with your choice to toppings:

Shredded carrots

Sliced mushrooms

Tomatoes, sliced or cherry tomatoes, quartered

Scallions, sliced

Bean sprouts

Cilantro

Dehydrate at 105 F for an hour, if desired, and serve.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

20 May

Cream of Mushroom Soup

This savory Cream of Mushroom Soup is so easy, simple and delicious.  What’s better is you can make last night’s leftover veggies into cream soup today.  A keeper for any busy Mama’s recipe file!

The Mushrooms

Crimini mushrooms are available all year round.  Although mushrooms in general are considered unclean in Ayurveda, they have some anti-carcinogenic properties and are beneficial for the immune and cardiovascular systems.

Marinate for at least 15 minutes or overnight:

2 tsps sea salt

2 tbspns balsamic vinegar

2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil

2 pounds crimini mushrooms (or portabello), sliced thinly or chopped into bite size pieces

The Cream Soup

Puree in a blender:

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp onion powder

2 tbspns nutritional yeast

2 tbspns Nama Shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce)

1/4 cup raw almond butter (you can also use raw tahini or raw cashew butter)

2 cups water

To Serve

Place marinated mushrooms in a bowl and top with soup.  Garnish with sliced scallions or cilantro or other herbs.