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Easy and Quick Coleslaw

6 Dec

We’ve been traveling for a week and eating more processed foods than usual. I returned home feeling a little more bloated than usual. On our first day home, my husband and I wanted a big salad each for dinner. Surprisingly, so did our son. He asked specifically for coleslaw. So coleslaw is what he got. This recipe is easy and quick.

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Place in a bowl and mix together:

  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 2 T maple syrup
  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Then, add and whisk in:

  • 1/4 c Vegan mayonnaise

Mix well and add this dressing to 1 package of coleslaw mix. Allow flavors to blend before serving. This is especially yummy with homemade Vegan hot dogs!

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Creamy and Rich Vegan Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

10 Sep

Fresh out of college during my omnivore years, I worked in the city and one of my favorite lunches of all time was Curried Chicken Salad. This wonderful blend of salty, sweet, and spicy creaminess was a sublime contrast to my boring plastic work desk. I could eat tubs of this stuff and pretend to be in La La Land.

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Recently, we visited my in-laws and I noticed that my husband ate four chicken salad sandwiches in a matter of a few days. I guess he loves that stuff too. So, it’s been on my mind to create a Vegan version that both he and I would love.

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Success! This Curried Chickpea Salad is just delicious with its complex mix of textures and flavors. This makes a tremendously creamy and rich sandwich that I could probably eat everyday.

Cray-Cray for Curried Chickpea Salad

Mix all together in a bowl:

  • 1/2 c Vegan mayonnaise (substitute mashed avocado with lemon juice if you want to stay away from mayo)
  • 1/4 c mango chutney
  • 1 Tbsp curry, or to taste
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Add in:

  • 4 c cooked and drained chickpeas (mash some of the chickpeas so that you get a thicker salad texture)
  • 1/3 c chopped celery
  • 1/3 c chopped scallions
  • 1/3 c cranberries or raisins
  • 1/3 c roasted walnuts, optional

Mix well together and allow flavors to blend for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

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Creamy and Rich Vegan Curried Chickpea Salad Sandwiches

We have tried this salad mix with whole wheat bread, white bread, hamburger buns, and brioche buns.  Hands down, nothing compares to this winning combination: Curried Chickpea Salad with BRIOCHE BUNS! 

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  • whole wheat bread is too dense for this salad and the subtleties of each flavor are lost. If you insist on whole wheat bread, then I would suggest an open sandwich.
  • white bread is better than whole wheat bread, but not by much.
  • whole wheat hamburger bun is better than either former breads, but the full flavors of the salad does not shine.
  • on a brioche bun… it is AMAZING! The blend of flavors are highlighted throughout each bite. Did I tell you yet that I could eat this for lunch everyday? Try it on my Easy Bread Machine Vegan Whole Wheat Brioche Buns or Vegan Ensaymada.

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I thought I was cray-cray for my Curried Chickpea Salad, but eating it on a Sweet Brioche Bun is dreamy. Gotta go. My La La Land lunch is calling…

Your Fave Veggie Loaded Summer Pasta Salad

26 Jul

Need a quick but yummy vegan meal for a family picnic on a hot day?

Your Fave Veggie Loaded Summer Pasta Salad

Cook according to box directions:

  • 16 oz your fave kind of pasta

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While pasta is cooking, chop any of your fave vegetables. In the photo, I have:

  • 1/2 c kalamata olives, sliced
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 big sweet red pepper, diced
  • 2 c cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 to 6 c thinly sliced kale

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Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Place back in the pot and add:

  • 1/3 c of your fave salad dressing to coat the pasta well

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Then, carefully add all the chopped vegetables, leaving the avocado for the last so that it doesn’t get smashed in the process. Place in a nice bowl and top with avocado pieces. Serve with extra dressing and nutritional yeast on the side.

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Your fave pasta. Your fave veggies. Your fave dressing.

Your perfect veggie loaded pasta salad.

Easy Minute Salad

29 Jun

Easy Minute Salad

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!

Vegan Family Meals Blog Tour: Living Wrap

25 Jul

Since contributing to PETA, I have found that quite a lot of Cooked Vegan Readers are not that receptive to the Raw Vegan diet.  But there are also quite a few Vegans out there who are open to eating more Raw Vegan foods. I was happy to find that Ann Gentry is one of them!  She has explored Raw Veganism and includes her own raw recipe in her new book Vegan Family Meals. As part of her blog tour, I am highlighting her Living Wrap.  This is delicious and easy to make.  My husband and I enjoyed it.  I particularly loved her salad dressing.

Living Wrap

The Spread

Blend in a food processor to make a spread:

1 cup diced red bell pepper

1 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds

1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves

1 tbspn fresh lemon juice

1 tbspn nama shoyu

1 tsp sea salt

2 cloves garlic

Salad and Dressing

Place in a bottle and shake vigorously.

1 tbspn raw apple cider vinegar

1 tbspn fresh orange juice

1 tsp raw agave nectar

1 tsp chopped fresh dill

1 small clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 tbspn extra virgin olive oil

sea salt and pepper, to taste (I used 1 tsp salt and a dash or two of pepper)

Toss with 6 cups of salad greens.

I didn't need to use toothpicks if I stacked them up.

Wraps

collard green leaves, stemmed

2 Persian cucumbers, peeled, seeded and cut into long strips

2 large ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced

2 ripe tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced

Lay the pieces of collard greens on the work surface.  Spread some red pepper mixture in the center of each collard green. Lay 2 cucumber strips, 2 avocado slices and 1 tomato slice over the spread on each piece.  Place a few leaves of the salad on top of the tomatoes. Roll the greens.  Stick toothpicks through the wraps, if required.  Serve the remaining salad on the side.

Note: I didn’t have time to make rolls and simply created a very delicious salad the next day by mixing everything together (I sliced the collard greens into ‘noodles’).

Raw Vegan Caesar Salad

18 Jul

Raw Vegan Caesar Salad

Caesar Salad was one of my favorite salads growing up!  I think this raw vegan version is definitely going to be one of my faves from now on!  Raw Tahini is the main ingredient in this dressing and is a wonderful source of calcium, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper and manganese.

The Greens

3 to 4 heads of romaine lettuce, chopped

The Dressing

Puree in a high speed blender:

1 1/2 tsp sea salt

1 small clove garlic

1 date, pitted

1 lemon, juiced

1/2 tbspn unpasteurized white miso

2 tbspns water (more for a runnier dressing, less for a dip)

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup raw tahini (sesame paste)

To Serve

Mix the lettuce well with the dressing.  Top with Nutritional Yeast for some B12 and flaxseed crackers for croutons!

Vegan Family Meals Blog Tour: My Niçoise

27 Jun

Last week on the Vegan Family Meals Blog Tour, I  re-created Ann Gentry’s Garlic-Sesame Kale Chips RAW with great success.  This week, I am attempting to re-create her Niçoise salad – mostly RAW.  This is DELICIOUS!!!

Ann Gentry's My Niçoise

Ann Gentry’s My Niçoise

Serves 4

8 ounces slender green beans (such as haricots verts), trimmed

4 medium red-skinned potatoes (about 1 pound total), cut into ½-inch-thick wedges

Vinaigrette:

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

 Salad:

1 large head butter lettuce, leaves separated and larger leaves torn in half

3 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges, or 10 to 12 cherry tomatoes, halved

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 log Peppercorn-Crusted Tofu Chèvre (recipe follows), sliced into rounds

¹⁄3 cup

olives or kalamata olives

2 tablespoons capers, drained

1½ tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cook the green beans in a large pot of boiling salted water until they are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain and submerge the green beans in a bowl of ice water just until they are cold. Drain the green beans again and pat dry. Set aside.

Place the potatoes in a steamer basket set in a saucepan filled with 1 inch of simmering water. Cover and steam until they are just tender and still hold their shape, about 8 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

Vinaigrette: While the vegetables are cooling, whisk the lemon juice, shallot, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil to blend well.

Salad: Arrange the lettuce on a serving platter or in a large shallow salad bowl. Place the green beans, potatoes, and tomatoes in a large bowl. Toss with enough of the vinaigrette to coat, then season to taste with salt and pepper. Spoon the beans, potatoes, and tomatoes atop the lettuce. Arrange the tofu cheese slices amid the vegetables. Sprinkle the olives, capers, and parsley over the salad. Spoon more vinaigrette over the salad and serve immediately.

Tofu Chèvre:

Makes 1 (13-ounce) log

1 (12-ounce) container waterpacked extra-firm tofu, drained and halved
1 large clove garlic
2 tablespoons yellow miso
3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

Pat the tofu dry with paper towels. Set the tofu in a colander and set the colander over a bowl to collect all the liquid that drains from the tofu. Cover the tofu with plastic wrap, then place 3 heavy cans, each at least 14 ounces, on the tofu to weigh it down. This weight will help extract all the excess liquid from the tofu. Refrigerate the tofu for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Mince the garlic in a food processor. Pat the tofu halves with paper towels to absorb any excess moisture, then add the tofu to the food processor. Add the miso, 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, and the salt, and blend until the mixture is very smooth, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Lay a sheet of plastic wrap flat on the work surface. Scrape the tofu cheese onto the center of the plastic wrap, then wrap the cheese, forming a log. Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Unwrap the cheese log and place it on a baking sheet. Brush the log lightly with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil. Bake just until the cheese is warmed through, but the center is still creamy, about 25 minutes.

Serve warm or cold.

Peppercorn-Crusted Variation: Coarsely grind whole black or multicolored peppercorns, then sprinkle them over the cheese, patting them gently to adhere.

Sunflower Niçoise

Sunflower Niçoise – a Mostly Raw Niçoise

I follow everything on the recipe, except for:

1. I steam the potatoes and the green beans in the same pot.  The potatoes are first steamed for 4 minutes, then I simply add the green beans to the steamer for an additional 4 minutes.  If you want your salad completely raw, simply omit the potatoes and add raw jicama and raw green beans.  (Note, I never did well with raw green beans…)

2. I make a Raw Sunflower Chèvre instead.  I simply substitute the tofu with soaked sunflower seeds.  Soak 1 cup of sunflower seeds overnight.  Rinse and drain.  Mix in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients: garlic, miso (I used unpasteurized white miso), oil and sea salt.  Use a small ice cream scoop to place tablespoons of the soft cheese onto a texflex sheet, flatten if you wish.  Place in a dehydrator for 1 hour on 150F, then decrease to 105F for the next hour.  The cheese will be a little crusty on the top, but still soft inside and at the base – perfect for this salad.

Figs and Arugula Salad

19 Jun

Figs and Arugula Salad

I would think Figs, Cherry Tomatos and Avocados would entice my son to the salad tonight, but he exclaimed “No more salads!  Only Green Smoothies for me!”  So, while our son finished his organic Peach and Spinach Smoothie, my hubby and I got to enjoy this all to ourselves.  Sometimes, I am kind of glad when there are extras for me!  This was delicious!

Sweet Balsamic Dressing

Mix all together:

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp maple syrup

1 tbspn balsamic vinegar

3 tbspns extra virgin olive oil

Salad

Place in a platter:

5 oz arugula

handful of quartered figs (you can also substitute with peaches)

handful of halved cherry tomatoes

an avocado, sliced

Drizzle dressing on salad.  Enjoy!

Spring Salad with Sesame Dressing

14 May

Spring Salad with Sesame Dressing

It’s easier to add more ‘raw’ foods into our daily diets than a lot of people think.

How?  Substitute unprocessed ingredients for the processed ones and voilá! you’ve got something RAW.

Here’s a quick and simple example of how I re-created a favorite Japanese Sesame Dressing.

Puree together:

2 tbspns Nama Shoyu (unpasteurized soy sauce instead of regular)

2 tbspns raw apple cider vinegar (instead of rice vinegar)

2 tbspons raw local honey (instead of white granulated sugar)

1/4 cup raw sesame seeds (instead of toasted)

1/4 cup raw tahini (instead of peanut butter or roasted tahini)

1/4 cup water (instead of stock)

Enjoy your truly raw and unprocessed Spring salad greens and/or microgreens (the latter from City Roots)!

That’s easy, isn’t it?

Raw Wild Edibles

24 Apr

Two weeks ago, I went on a Holistic Moms Network nature walk with Matthew Kip, of the Community Gardens at University of South Carolina, to learn about Wild Edibles.  It was fascinating watching Matt point out all the edible weeds around us.  I couldn’t believe there was so much food along our local river walk.  An abundance of food FREE for anyone to eat! Yet, we were the only ones enjoying them.

I have to admit that as I took my turn in trying a little bit of this and a little bit of that, I felt sort of like a wild animal, all at once one with nature. It was an amazing experience to watch the children especially foraging for their own wild edibles, pointing to various green weeds and asking “Mama, can I have some?  Can I eat that?” and picking some more for later.

I was very happy to be able to share this wild (yet most natural) experience with my son.

Here are our favorite tastes from the walk:

Chickweed: great as a salad green, tastes very mild. We made a green smoothie with a whole bunch when we got home. Yum.

Wood Sorrel (looks like a 3 leaf clover): sour, tastes a little like lemon peel. I found some in my garden and ate it off the ground!

Bullbrier: the best taste of the day! I never tasted anything like this. Absolutely delicious! Wish I grabbed a bunch before heading home. It would have made a great raw salad.

Note: I also learned that wild plants have dynamic accumulators, which means they have tap roots that seep up a whole array of micro-nutrients from the soil, making them very nutritious indeed!

Resources:

Eat The Weeds – a great web resource, he also posts youtube videos on various wild edibles: chickweed, wood sorrel and bullbrier 1 and 2.

A Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs: Of Eastern and Central North America (Peterson Field Guide) – a field guide

NPR’s Foraging the Weeds for Wild, Healthy Greens – I love that the Holistic Moms Network is so up to date with what is going on in other places!  Thanks Toni for the link!

The Forager’s Harvest – a guidebook

Arame Seaweed Salad

14 Apr

Raw Arame Seaweed Salad

Here is an easy and refreshing way to eat raw seaweed, another food that protects the body from radioactive material.

Soak for 15 minutes in cold water:

1.76 oz package of organic Arame, a species of kelp

Drain and rinse. Place in a bowl with:

3-4 carrots, grated

Toss with dressing:

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp water

1 tbspn extra virgin olive oil

2 tbspn raw local honey

3 tbspn Nama Shoyu

Garnish with:

Scallions, sliced

ENJOY!

Sweet Kimchi

9 Apr

Sesame Noodles with Kimchi

I have been wanting to make Kimchi for a while because of its nutritional benefits: rich in vitamin A, B1, B2, calcium, iron and lactic acid bacteria.  Kimchi is a Korean condiment that is basically fermented cabbage.  So, a few weeks ago, I finally remember to ask Song, a Korean lady at my favourite local health food store, how to make it.  But she introduced me to another shopper instead.

“He knows how to make Kimchi.  Chris, tell her how to make Kimchi,” Song says.

I smiled inside as this White Cooked Foodie (judging from his food at the cashier) explains in detail to me, an Asian Raw Foodie, how to make Kimchi.  Chris is very detailed in his instructions and I am inspired to finally make it.

I experiment a few times, until I get the hang of it.  With Chris’ help and one of my mother’s Korean cookbooks (one recipe contained Asian fruits that I substitute here with green apple and raisins), I finally create a mild sweet Kimchi that my son and husband will eat (i.e. not spicy here).

Kid/Family-Friendly Kimchi Recipe

Chop into bite size pieces or slice:

1 big or 2 small Napa Cabbages, cored

Use Weights: 2 mason jars filled with water

Place in a non-metallic container.  Chris and Song use big glass mason jars.  I used the lining of my slow cooker.  Massage cabbage pieces all over with:

1/4 cup sea salt

Cover with water, place a plate with a weight on top (I used 2 mason jars full of water) or bamboo sticks fixed to the top of a jar to make sure all the cabbage is submerged in water. Leave overnight.  The next day, drain the water and rinse the cabbage.

Place the cabbage back in the container with:

1 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp lemon juice

Kimchi

1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbspns sea salt
1 green apple, grated

2 green onions, sliced
3 large carrots, grated

1/2 cup raw local honey
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup water

add chilli peppers if you prefer spice

Mix together well.  Make sure there are no air pockets by pushing the vegetables down. Again, place a plate with a weight on top or bamboo sticks fixed to the top of a jar to make sure all the cabbage is submerged in liquid.  Cover with a towel and leave for 3 – 4 days.  When done, place in mason jars and refrigerate.

Homemade Kimchi

How To Eat Kimchi with Raw Food

Eat it with other foods being served: salad, vegetable noodles (carrots, zucchini, squash), vegetable ‘rice’ (process in food processor cauliflower, sweet potatoes, parsley), and more!

We really enjoy a Great Big Kimchi Salad: spinach, lettuce, avocado and kimchi with juices.  Mix all together with your hands.  Yum!

With Sesame Veggie Noodles (photo above), recipe from We Like It Raw.

My Fast-Food Energizer Salad

25 Mar

It’s been a long week.

I don’t know how many times this week or today we had to tell our 4 year old that: 1. kicking and scratching someone is rude, 2. doing something out of spite is also rude, 3. please listen, and 4. YES, I think you knew all that.  Tonight after another purposeful rude behavior, he said sorry in tears: “I’m really sorry Mama!!!” But then, he looks at me before sleeping and says: “Mama, if you sleep with me all night, I promise to be good.  But if you don’t, then I won’t be good.” What? It doesn’t help that he doesn’t feel all that well either.

Needless to say, I haven’t had much energy to spare these days.

Mamas with young children don’t really have a lot of time in the kitchen.  And when things come up last minute, the importance of good nutrition usually takes a step back. I’ve heard people complain that “Raw is too difficult.  It takes too much time and preparation.”

Well, you know what?  Raw is super easy and quick. It’s the perfect food for anyone who is lazy.  No waiting for something to be cooked, no washing extra pots and pans, and sometimes, hardly any prepping.  AND you get loads of health benefits.

 

Spirulina in Salad

 

With this ‘fast-food’ energizer salad, you’ll be eating and energized in less than 5 minutes. This is great when you are out and about too.  I just mix everything in the container the salad mix came in, shut it and shake it.  Voila!  No lunch box either.  Place in a big bowl:

5 oz packet of organic baby lettuce

5 oz packet of organic herb salad mix

1 pint packet of organic cherry tomatoes, just spritz with vinegar and hydrogen peroxide and rinse

2 avocados, chopped (I just spoon the flesh out into my bowl or container – no need for chopping board)

2 tsp sea salt

2 tbspns raw apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp or more spirulina (did you know per volume, spirulina beats any animal product in B vitamins and protein?)

Mix all together and get ready to feel energized!

I feel better already!

Top 12 Kid-Friendly Year-Round Raw Superfoods

7 Mar

After discussing the top 5 reasons to feed our children more raw vegan foods, I thought it would be good to list the most kid-friendly raw foods that are in-season all year round and/or available all year round.  It is best to find organic, local and in-season foods, but sometimes it is just not possible for many reasons (one being I have a monkey who loves bananas and we don’t grow bananas where we live).

So, here is a list of 12 superfoods that are full of, as my son says, “En-zines! En-zines!”

Hope your kids enjoy these living and enzyme rich foods!

FRESH FRUITS

1. bananas – all kids love bananas.  They are rich in enzymes, best eaten just ripe when there are brown spots on the skin.  Many kids are monkey bananas for them in

  • breakfast – cereals, granola, porridge, pudding
  • green smoothies – a must in any
  • ice cream – with the texture of real ice cream, you can add different ingredients to change its flavor
  • lollipops – name me a kid who doesn’t like them!

2. apples – sweet and crunchy!  Full of phyto-nutrients and anti-oxidants, what’s there not to love in

  • breakfast – in our favorite Raw Muesli and a yummy accompaniment to Almond Yogurt.
  • easy snacks – simply slice one up and serve with or without a dip, or create Apple Sandwiches
  • raw Applesauce
  • immune booster ‘tea’: mix together equal parts of apple cider vinegar and honey, add water to taste
  • veggie juices – to make it more palatable for kids. I know my son prefers apple green juices over carrot ones.

3. lemons – rich in raw vitamin C and bioflavanoids.  Enjoy in

  • salad dressings: 1 tbspn lemon juice, 2-4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp sea salt, spices and herbs
  • raw lemonade

4. avocado – rich in protein, enzymes, fiber, potassium, vitamin E and healthy fats.  Avocados add a richness and creaminess in

  • dips – Guacamole
  • soups
  • a simple side – sliced with a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil
  • desserts – creamy chocolate Sundae

5. papaya – loaded with living enzymes, papaya contains papain, a digestive enzyme which helps break down protein and soothes the stomach.  Enjoy in

FRESH VEGGIES

6. romaine lettuce – rich in vitamin A, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, manganese, and chromium, it is also a very good source of dietary fiber.  It is the mildest of all leafy greens and the easiest for kids to learn to love.  Enjoy in

  • easy salads – Kid’s Only Salad and South Asian Salad
  • smoothies – in any smoothie, this is the easiest way to get kids to eat them
  • as wraps – simply place a banana in a leaf, topped with almond butter and honey or dates or nama shoyu, or other filling

SPROUTED GRAINS

7. sprouted oat groats: a good source of dietary fiber, significant amount of vitamin B1, potassium, iron, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, manganese and magnesium.  Enjoy in

RAW NUTS and SEEDS

8. almonds – higher in fiber than other nuts, contains healthy omega-9 oleic fatty acids, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. Enjoy in

  • Almond Butter – use it instead of peanut butter on bananas with honey, or in lettuce wraps
  • Almond Orange Salad Dressing
  • Raw Almond Milk – soak 1 cup of almonds overnight, rinse and drain the next day, process in a high speed blender with 4 cups of water and your choices of sweetener (honey, dates, to taste) and flavor (cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom)
  • Raw Almond Yogurt

9. coconut – besides being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal (Coconut Research Center), coconuts are highly nutritious, rich in fiber (4x as much as oat bran and 2x as much as wheat bran or flaxseed meal), vitamins and minerals.  We have a tub of coconut oil in my son’s bathroom and he enjoys eating the butter as I lather moisturize his skin with it. Enjoy in

  • breakfast – granola
  • coconut oil – in desserts, pit a date and place a little coconut oil inside, close and enjoy
  • creamy milk – simply blend together fresh raw coconut water and meat from one coconut.
  • Pina Colada smoothie – blend together water and meat from 1 coconut, 1 banana, 1 cup pineapple, 1 tbspn honey.
  • soups – we love my Coconut Gazpacho, but you can make a simple Avocado Coconut Soup by blending 1 avocado and water and meat from 1 coconut and your choice of flavours (curry, vanilla, sea salt or honey)

10. sunflower seeds – excellent source of vitamin E, as well as vitamin B1, manganese, magnesium, copper, selenium, phosphorus, vitamin B5 and folate.  We enjoy this is our son’s fave salad

11. flax seeds – great source of omega-3 essential fatty acids, good source of dietary fiber, manganese, folate, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and lignan phytonutrients.  Enjoy as

SWEETENER

12. raw local honey – not only will this help with seasonal allergies, but this is an unprocessed sweetener that kids just love.  Since finding out more about the negatives of agave syrup, honey is now our favorite liquid sweetener.  Enjoy in

  • breakfast
  • chocolate syrup with raw cacao or carob powder
  • desserts
  • toppings or dips for cut fruit

Simple Nasturtium and Spinach Salad

19 Feb

 

Simple Nasturtium and Spinach Salad

 

I like to keep things simple and easy.  Not only does less ingredients mean an easier digestion process for the body, but it makes meal preparation quick and simple.  Yesterday, I cut fresh scallions that are growing abundantly in my garden thanks to my friend Sherri.  And I found beautiful nasturtium flowers at our city farm.  So for dinner, I quickly put this salad together and my son chowed this down.

Mix together in a bowl:

handful of freshly chopped green onions or chives

1/2 pound baby spinach

For the Dressing, mix together:

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tbspn raw local honey

1 tbspn balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Toss enough dressing on the salad leaves and top with nasturtium petals.  Enjoy the beauty of a simple salad!

Raw Almond Orange Salad Dressing

8 Feb

South East Asian Style Salad

 

This is easy, simple and tasty.  What more can a Mama want?

Puree in a blender:

3 tbspns Nama Shoyu
1/3 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup orange juice (about 1 – 2 oranges, juiced)
5 tbspns unrefined sesame oil
chili powder, optional

Dress any salad with this dressing.  I like my greens cut into ‘noodles’, so I roll the greens up and slice thinly.  This dressing tastes great with most veggies.  In the photo, one bowl has  romaine lettuce, pea sprouts, mushrooms and carrots.  In the other bowl, collard greens, mushrooms and carrots.  But whatever you have in your fridge will do just fine.

Simple Umeboshi Salad Dressing

7 Feb

 

Kale, Tomato and Avocado Salad: I love it when the greens glisten like this!

 

Simply mix together in a bowl:

1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbspns umeboshi vinegar
4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil

Dress any salad greens with this dressing.  Top with nutritional yeast, for a fuller flavor, if desired.

For Kids Only Salad Dressing

5 Feb

 

How quickly can I eat this salad?

Use both hands!

One of my son’s favorite ‘medicines’ when he has a cough is his Raw Apple Cider Tea: equal parts of raw apple cider vinegar and raw honey mixed together with warm water.

So, I thought how about a salad dressing?  This obviously worked as he used both his hands to finish a bowl full.

Mix together:

2 tbspns raw apple cider vinegar (you can also use lemon or lime juice)

5 tbspns raw honey

(optional) add your choice of ground mustard, poppy seeds, ginger, herbs, etc.

Lightly dress your kid’s fave greens and watch the salad disappear.  Alternatively, you could use it as a dip too.

DIY Spinach Salad for Kids

4 Feb

Easy Spinach Salad for Kids

 

After watching helpful shows on veggies and fruits, particularly the YouTube video of kids preparing and eating their own Kale Salad, my son was inspired and wanted to make his own salad.  Using the same dressing ingredients with spinach, my son proceeded to create it and enjoy a big bowl.  It was delicious.  Here’s what my son and I did.

Place in a bowl:

a few handfuls of spinach

Add and toss with:

1-2 tsps sea salt

1-2 tsps ground cumin or coriander

Add and toss with vinaigrette of:

1 tbspn raw apple cider vinegar

4 tbspns extra virgin olive oil

Sprinkle salad with:

nutritional yeast

Enjoy!

Easy Carrot Salad

2 Feb

 

Easy Carrot Salad

My son loves this salad.  Very easy to do, quick and tasty.

Mix all together in a bowl:
1 1/2 – 2 tsp sea salt
2 tbspns raw apple cider vinegar or raw red wine vinegar
2 tbspns unrefined sesame oil
1/2 cup raw pine nuts (or cashews)
4 medium carrots, peeled and grated (use food processor’s big grater)

Marinate longer, or serve immediately.

I Can’t Stop Eating This Kale Salad

29 Jan

My son says: "I Can't Stop Eating This Kale Salad"

I love this salad too.  Actually, it was this same salad that made me a raw food convert.  This  recipe is adapted from Ani Phio’s Evergreen Salad in Sunflower Thyme Marinade in Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen Cookbook and reprinted here with her kind permission.  Here is how we enjoy this salad:

2 big bunches of Lacinato Kale, washed well, stemmed, rolled into a bunch and sliced thinly

Puree the following altogether to make the dressing:
1 clove garlic
1 tbspn apple cider vinegar
1 tbspn dried thyme
1/2 cup sunflower seeds, soaked for a few hours, drained and rinsed
1 cup extra virgin olive oil (I’ve also tried 3/4 oil and 1/4 water with success if you don’t want all the oil)
sea salt (I usually put 1-3 tsp, 1 tsp per pound of stemmed and sliced kale for the salad)

Toss kale in marinade and refrigerate overnight.  You can eat it fresh but it  is really best eaten the next day to allow the flavors to blend well together.  Our son loves this salad!

Asian Noodle Salad

4 Jan

This is full of taste and the sweetness of the carrots make them an excellent noodle for younger kids.  You can use 1 pound of various vegetables for noodles.  Use a vegetable peeler for long thin noodles or use your food processor to grate:

Carrot

Bell pepper

Sprouts

Sliced lettuce

Sliced mushrooms

 

Puree sauce together:

zest of 1/2 lemon

4 cloves garlic

1 tbspoon almond butter

2 inches ginger

2 tbsp blue agave raw syrup

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp nama shoyu

3 tbsp flax oil

 

Mix with veggie noodles.

My Boys will eat up their RAW Avocado, Tomato and Corn

19 Oct

One of the easiest ways to get my husband and son to eat raw is by serving up raw corn and guacamole!

My local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program has sent me fresh corn for the pass few weeks.  My son will eat the fresh raw corn on the cobb.  My husband likes his raw off the cobb with garlic. 

Mix together:
corn off the cobb
garlic powder
sea salt
extra virgin olive oil
cilantro, optional

Fresh corn eaten in moderate quantities balances all constitutional types according to Ayurveda. It is a warming food that strengthens the body and aids in kidney and bladder functions.

At the same meal, I will serve a simple guacamole with homemade raw chips.  It is a great way to get younger kids active in the kitchen – especially when they get to mash avocado with a mortar and pestle!
Have your child mash with mortar and pestle:
1 garlic clove, first then
2 avocados
Chop and add:
1 tomato, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 lime, juiced
1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped 
salt, to taste
scallions, to garnish

Serve with homemade flax seed chips.

Avocados strengthen the body and restore the liver, lungs, plasma and skin.  They are considered a heavy food, however, and therefore must be eaten in small amounts.

The Importance of Sprouts

1 Jun
Sprouted Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Scallions, Broccoli Stems 
and Lemon Vinaigrette (1 tsp sea salt, 1 tbspn lemon juice, 4 tbspn extra virgin olive oil)
 Our son ASKED if he could eat some… something about the colour and size perhaps attracted him? 
In any case, he ate a whole cup and more.
Someone asked me the other day which vegan food had the most protein.  I answered quickly: sprouts.  Sprouts that are 1/4 inches in length are especially chock full of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and bioelectrical energy, and I try to incorporate more sprouts in our diet.  It seems breakfast is when it is easiest for us to eat sprouted grains, but salads for lunch and dinner are working too (as above).  I have been re-reading Living Foods for Optimum Health by Dr. Brian Clement, in particular the chapter on Sprouts.  Here are some excerpts:
  • “Researchers at Purdue University found that bean sprouts contain extraordinarily high levels of good-quality protein. Mung bean sprouts, for example, contain more than 25% of their calories as protein, which is a higher proportion than in T-bone steak.  And soybean sprouts have an even greater percentage.  Because of their high levels of amino acids (the building blocks of protein), vitamins, and minerals, sprouts are considered to be one of the most perfect foods known to man.
  • Dr. Burkholder of Yale University showed that when oats are sprouted, the vitamin B2 (riboflavin) content increases by 1,300%, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) by 500%, and folic acid by 600%.
  • Research in the late 1970s at the University of Puget Sound found that six cups of sprouted lentils contain the full recommended daily allowance of protein (about 60g) in a fully digestible form.  Scientists concluded that lentil sprouts could provide a significant portion of daily protein needs in a safe and inexpensive form.
Pound for pound, lentils and other bean sprouts contain as much protein as red meat, yet are totally digestible and have none of the fat, cholesterol, hormones, or antibiotics found in most present-day meats.”

Needless to say, I think I will try to incorporate sprouts more in our daily diets.  

Resources:
Basics of Sprouting
Raw Vietnamese Spring Rolls – I would use all mung bean sprouts instead of using kelp noodles

Apple Salad Dressing

10 May
I think my boys are getting tired of anything green that is pureed: smoothies, breakfast puddings… So my new way to entice them to eat raw vegetables is through salads.  This is a particularly kid-friendly dressing for  those who prefer their salads sweet.
Blend together:
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup raw apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup honey
1/2 an apple, peeled – and water, so together they make 3/4 cup
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp celery seed
Mix with any salad ingredients your children enjoy.  We have used the dressing with lots of lettuce, carrot, apple, beets, raisins, sunflower seeds…

Fennel and Orange Salad

22 Apr

I just bought the book Clean Food: A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source with more than 200 recipes for a healthy and sustainable you.  With a title like that, of course it jumped out at me.  Alice Waters’ recommendation was: “Clean Food is a must-have for any advocate of good, clean, and fair.”  Mario Batali says: “Clean Food is the most exciting book based on fresh produce and simple recipes I have used in years. 
Well, I just had to have it. 
The book is divided into seasons and the recipes are easy and created with nutrition in mind.  The author uses more tofu and canola oil than I would like, but these are easy to substitute.  Recipes do not use dairy, eggs and wheat.  Cream is also created from cashews, which is very much a raw foods method.  The 2 Spring recipes I have so far tried are the Carrot Raisin Salad and the Fennel and Orange Salad.  I tweaked both recipes and the latter was a success with our son.  This salad is full of vitamin C.
Mix together in a bowl:
4 navel oranges, segment, reserving any juices from segmenting and from the cut skins
1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced, cover with boiling water for 30 seconds, drain well
1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced thinly
a bunch fresh mint leaves, chopped
Mix together in another bowl:
1 tsp ground coriander
all the reserved orange juice
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt or more for taste
3 tbspn extra virgin olive oil
Mix the dressing into the vegetables.

Raw 'Taboule'

2 Apr

I love taking this salad with us on picnics! It smells delicious and is perfect on a sunny spring day outside.

Mix together:
a bunch of parsley, chopped
a bunch of mint, chopped
a bunch of dill, chopped
a bunch of scallions, sliced
a cup or so of dried tomatoes, soaked till softened, chopped – or use fresh
a handful of raw buckwheat groats, soaked overnight, rinsed, drained and dehydrated till dry around 3-5 hours
a handful of raw pine nuts, optional
Note: the last 2 ingredients are to add some crunch because we are not using bulgur wheat in this raw recipe.

Mix dressing:
juice 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of salt
1/4 cup or more of extra virgin olive oil
some oregano

ENJOY!

Kale Salad

30 Mar

I love this salad and so do all my meat-eating family and friends who come over for a meal with us.  It’s really delicious – not to mention easy! Maybe that’s why I highly recommend Ani Phyo‘s books to friends interested in raw food – most of her recipes are easy and yummy. In fact, one reason I became hooked on raw food was because of this salad dressing. 

Puree in blender:
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
1 clove garlic
2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 sunflower seeds, soaked overnight, rinsed and drained (if you don’t have time, it will work dry too)
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 teaspoon salt

Toss with a bunch of kale or collards.

Food = Power

29 Jan
While I am a vegan, my husband and son are not – but I try to cook 2 vegan or vegetarian meals  for them out of 3 each day.  I make sure we enjoy green smoothies each morning and a delicious vegetable dish at each meal.  Most of our meals are cooked fresh from scratch and while I work in the kitchen – sometimes happily, sometimes hurriedly – my only wish for all my trouble is for my family’s health.  But as I read more about changing diets in our world today, I realise that there are other bonuses: a more vegetarian diet does a lot of good for the health of the earth and for the health of others.

Our Son’s Favourite Salad (click here for recipe)
We love that our son has a favourite salad!  
We use grapeseed oil, maple syrup and no added salt or pepper in this simple and quick Japanese dressing.
Others Use Food To Control Us
We were on a long haul plane trip and a stewardess stops by our row, smiles at my 3 year old son, looks at the banana and grapes on his table and whispers secretively to him but loud enough for me to hear:  “Don’t tell your mum, but I’m bringing you 2 bags of crisps and a big fat cheese roll.  It will be our little secret, ok?”
In my mind I was shouting: “Excuse me!”  (It almost reminded me of the time my grandmother served us cake for breakfast because CAKE IS HEALTHY!)  There were 4 big problems with this stewardess and this scenario: 1. her underhanded manner, 2. this is exactly why so many children are unhealthy these days, 3. she was assuming it was OK by my son, and 4. she was assuming it was OK by his parents.  But instead of reacting to her, in a rare Zen moment I just let it go.  
The stewardess returned and playfully displayed the 2 bags of crisps and 2 cheese rolls in front of my son’s face: “Which one would you like, sweetie?  Mmmmm… yummy!”.  I grit my teeth.  My young son looked at the junk food and then looked at her in the eye and shook his head. He firmly said, “No.  Do you have some grapes?”  The stewardess was taken aback and really looked quite hurt.  She left with the crisps but placed the cheese rolls on the table.  My son continued to eat all the bananas and grapes on his table and left the cheese rolls untouched.  Needless to say, I was ecstatic! This ‘food challenge’ experience made me realise that our son can hold his own.  It also affirmed the importance of education at home.
We All Can Control Our Own Food Intake To Help Others and The Earth in A Big Way
I usually sift through Forbes magazine quickly, but last November an article called Drop That Burger caught my eye.  The article gave reasons why Patrick O. Brown, a Stanford University Biochemist, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a vegan, wants to eliminate animal farming on planet earth.  He “notes that while livestock accounts for only 9% of human-caused carbon dioxide emissions, it accounts for 37% of human-caused methane (most of it emanating from the animals’ digestive systems) and 65% of human-caused nitrous oxide, according to the Food  and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Both are far better at trapping heat than carbon dioxide, meaning that cows, chickens and their ilk have a larger greenhouse effect than all the cars, trucks and planes in the world.”   In addition, a well-known economist and professor at London School Economics, Lord Stern, suggests we could fight global warming by changing our diet into a more vegetarian one.
A few months later, I picked up The Futurist magazine (click here for subscription) and was engrossed by the article called How To Feed 8 Billion People. It discusses record global grain shortages and how we can all manage these now limited resources: “Shifting to less grain-intensive forms of animal protein such as poultry or certain types of fish can also reduce pressure on the earth’s land and water resources… When considering how much animal protein to consume, it is useful to distinguish between grass-fed and grain-fed products… If we cannot quickly cut carbon emissions, the world will face crop-shrinking heat waves that can massively and unpredictably reduce harvests. A hotter world will mean melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, and the inundation of the highly productive rice-growing river deltas of Asia. The loss of glaciers in the Himalayas and on the Tibetan Plateau will shrink wheat and rice harvests in both India and China, the world’s most populous countries. Both are already facing water shortages driven by aquifer depletion and melting glaciers…Since hunger is almost always the result of poverty, eradicating hunger depends on eradicating poverty… If we are living high on the food-consumption chain, we can move down, improving our health while helping to stabilize climate.  Food security is something in which we all have a stake — and a responsibility.”

I hope in my small way I am really improving my family’s health and thereby helping others too.