Tag Archives: Raw Food Diet

An August Fig Salad

I admit it: This is tImagehe first summer, and first time I have had fresh figs!  Dried figs and I are very well acquainted, but fresh figs I had never had the pleasure until now!  I’m going to make an assumption that I am not alone on this one!  I have the fortune of not only having fresh, sun ripened, organic figs, but courtesy of a dear friend, I get to pick them off the tree myself! Right here in Baltimore!

Figs are one of those fruits that surprise you every time you bite into one.  The textures–smooth, yet crunchy; the tastes–sweet, yet bright.  And the colors–purples, reds, yellows.  Each one is a gift!

It’s like I’m instantly being transported to the garden of cleopatra or something–fresh figs, raw, unpasteurized goat cheese, crunchy walnuts.  Absolutely delicious, and takes my raw experience to a whole new level of simple enjoyment!

Cleopatrs’s Salad

  • A bed of arugula, dressed in lemon and good balsamic vinegar
  • 6 fresh figs
  • A handful of salted walnuts
  • Raw, Unpasteurized goats milk cheese
  • A drizzle of honey
  • A spring or two of mint

YUM! ENJOY!!

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Cooked and Delicious–The Raw Escape

And am I still full 5 hours later? Absolutely.  I don’t know, maybe I was inspired by yesterday’s vegetarian feast I prepared and resisted eating even a bite.  Maybe it was the hot/cold weird weather today.  I choose to think I was just in the mood for something…else.  ImageAnd by something else, I mean the best salad an omnivore/pesquetarian could eat!

I guess it was maybe 60% raw; it still had my standby’s: sauerkraut, pickles, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, massaged kale.  But THEN!  I added about a 1/4 c. of cooked quinoa from yesterday, along with (wait for it….!) a can of good smoked trout.  Now, truth be told I did give pause before adding the trout.  I thought to myself, probably the quinoa is good enough, and I should take it easy.  In light of that, I even went to add in some mushrooms.  Even opened the package.  But then I thought, I do HAVE the can of trout, really good trout, here already.  I don’t really want it to go bad, and I will want to go back to raw after this meal…so while i’m at it with the quinoa…and that was all the justification I needed!  In it went.  Along with some plump golden raisins and figs.

It was strange! The whole thing was very strange.  Strangely delicious, that is.  I mean, biting into quinoa without the just sprouted crunch.  And fish?! Forget about it! I haven’t had a piece of fish in months!  And this, from the fish-a-day queen of past.  I enjoyed every single bite of that salad and I’m glad I did it.  BUT.  I.  Am.  Still.  Full!  I don’t feel light on my feet at all, and come to think of it, right after I finished the salad, I could EASILY have taken a nap.  Or really just gone to bed.  Cooked food coma.  I fought that off, but wow!  What a difference cooked food makes.

So in the end, was it worth it?  I’m just not sure.  The jury is out.  I mean it was delicious.  But I feel awful now!  I know (I hope) I will feel better in the morning, but sheesh!  Really?!  I contemplated keeping my cooked excursion a secret.  Afterall, with all my raw fuss and muss as of late, it is a bit odd that I would randomly eat fish and grains!  But I did it tonight, and though no time soon, I’ll do it again, and again.  It’s the beauty of balance.  And I feel good about listening to what my body was craving, and then healthily and quickly responding to it!  Who knows, if I would have let the feeling go on this post could have been about mashed potatoes and fried chicken! HA! Ew 🙂  Anyway, that’s my story of a deliciously fishy salad (that I wish I would have had olives and capers to add to!)..

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My Old Friend Curly Kale

So the long and short of it is this. One day I spontaneously decided that curly kale had no place in my kitchen. Makes no sense? Really it was the precariousness of the curl. I felt it was dictating the texture of anything I prepared it with. Still makes no sense? Well, I felt like everywhere I turned, on every grand and feeble attempt alike of a raw kale salad creation, there was the curly kale. No? How about that there’s no easy way to chiffonade curly kale, so you always wind up with pieces too big to wilt properly. Still not? Yeah, well to me either! And if it was not for the beautiful purple curly kale at my health food store today, I might still be going on with the ludicrousy above.
Honestly, how dare I, a raw foodie foodist ban any veggie from my own kitchen–least of all the staple of all raw food cuisine. But, just as honestly, I have been a mono-dinosaur kale-gamist for the last…six months? Ridiculous. Especially seeing this magnificence that I created tonight!

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So in light of my unfounded prejudice, I decided to give curly kale a triumphant return with some of its old friends:

Ultimate Kale Salad
2 stalks of curly kale, purple if you can find it!
1/4 c sauerkraut (I like “bubbies”)
1 large pickle, diced
1/2 avocado, chopped
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1 small beet, diced
1 portobello mushroom, sliced
Handful golden raisins
Sprinkle of pumpkin seeds
Sprinkle of almonds, slivered
S/P + hot sauce
Braggs liquid aminos
Braggs apple cider vinegar
Lemon

1. Tear the kale into small pieces, and aggressively massage with sea salt and lemon juice.
2. Combine mushroom slices with a teaspoon each braggs aminos and vinegar, lemon juice.
3. Combine everything together, add hot sauce to taste, ENJOY.

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Who said Raw food is Boring?

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Because I want them to look at this, and tell me this one thing: If I didn’t tell you this was a 100% raw dish, would you have known?

So in my second quest for Rawdom, I’m having much more luck so far.  After Rawifying (should I start a Raw____ dictionary??) my kitchen, bidding adieu to the microwave, initiating the Dehydrator…I have to say I’m feeling pretty confident!  I like to couple my quests with at least one defined goal.  The first time I went Raw, my goal was pretty much just survival.  Try not to starve.  Try to enjoy the process, and make it through the two weeks!  This time, I know I can handle those things.  In fact, today I knew it would be a long day outside, so I brought the big purse, and stuffed it full of raw trail mix, a couple apples, a date (the best thing for quick energy and focus!), and a piece of cacao (I take that back–THIS is the best thing for quick, sustained energy!) and a some raw almond butter, spiked with cinnamon.

Anyway, this time, the goal is color!  It’s summer time afterall, and Raw reigns supreme, especially at this time of year.  We have a huge homefield advantage because everything is inherently colorful and bountiful!  No effort required.  So for breakfast, in my overnight soaked oats, I made sure there were blueberries, strawberries, coconut shreds, gogiberries and hemp seeds.  Pretty colorful!  Okay, for lunch it was a shake, but before it was the beautiful lime green color, it had LOTS of color!  Yellow from the mango, red/orange from the peach, yellow from the pineaple, green from the kiwi and greens…yum!  And then you can see the lovely concoction that was dinner.

Colorful Bloomed Wild Rice Salad

Sauce

  • 1/4 c. soaked sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 roma tomato
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sea salt
  • cumin
  • chili spice

Wild Rice: Soak for 2 days, rinsing 4 times…perfecto!

Veggies

  • 1/4 avocado
  • fresh corn
  • zucchini
  • 1/2 roma tomato
  • 5 sliced peppadews
  • handful of spinach,chopped
  • some sunflower sprouts!

Top with a bunch of cilantro, a handful of raisins, and some pumpkin seeds.  ENJOY!

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really good salmon burgers

 

I’m on my cooked foods goodbye-for-now tour!  I am officially starting my Summer Solstice raw food lifestyle.  Important word here…”lifestyle”.  As you all may recall, I began this blog with my Raw Diet experiemnt over the Spring Solstice.  Two weeks of delicious mayhem.  I loved to hate it.  So much so infact, I’ve stuck with it 80% of the way ever since!  So this time, I’ve made myself a few promises:

  • I will use the dehydrator!
  • I will sprout more grains!
  • I will “bake” breads and pastries!
  • I will enjoy raw fish ceviche

Now if I can successfully do all those things, I have a suspicious that Raw could become my diet of choice!  No promises, to myself or to you, but we’ll see!  I’m excited to go into this as an intermediate this time, as opposed to a beginner like last time.  But for now, with a couple days left before getting started, you have to try these:

really good salmon burgers

Jinji’s Really Good Salmon Burgers

  • 1 BPA-free can of wild pink salmon
  • 1 tbsp light lemonaise (veganaise would be fine)
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • squeezes of lemon
  • shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup of oats
  • 1 egg white ( I think nut milk + chia could work here if you are vegan)
  • Salt, Pepper
  • Cilantro

Cook lightly in coconut oil.  YUM!

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Post Raw Diet Re-Cap…What’s Changed…Day 1

So on Day 1 post Raw Diet, I ate a 100% raw breakfast, a 80% raw lunch, and 0% raw dinner.  For lunch, along with the leftovers of my awesome bloomed wild rice, I had some Mary’s Gone crackers.  I was excited, pumped even, to have my first non-raw food in 15 days.  Ate one cracker.  Ate two.  They tasted burnt, I thought.  Kept eating them.  They tasted…plain.  Then, by the time I finished them, they were okay.  But I LOVE Mary’s Gone, I thought.  Still, about mid way through, I stopped eating them along with the bloomed wild rice because I felt like they were ruining it.  For dinner I went out to a local restaurant, One World Cafe, and I had the same chili I’d craved time and time again over the years, “chock full of organic brown rice, vegetables and beans” the description reads.  Took one bite.  The vegetables were limp.  Took another.  The rice had disappeared into the stew.  And where was the spice?  All I could think about was the delicious raw chili I made a week ago, and the sprouted quinoa I had along with it.

So, what’s changed?  Everything!!  My soul and my taste buds has gotten so used to the textures, colors, bursting flavors, crispness, and freshness of raw food, that it’s incredibly underwhelming to eat cooked foods so far.  I’m sure it’s a “getting used to” process.  I’m certain in no time at all I will discover the yum factor again.  But I hesitate in saying that too quickly, as I think…should I find the yum factor in cooked foods again?  Should I listen to what my body is telling me, and continue my Raw foods journey.  Maybe we’ll compromise.  We, as in me and my body.  I will continue reintroducing my cooked food favorites and go-to’s.  But maybe Raw should be the foundation of any meal I have.  For instance, with the chili tonight–if I were making it, maybe I add cooked beans and brown rice, but use raw veggies and a raw stew.

How could 28 years of cooked foods all of a sudden feel so foreign?  I wasn’t expecting this to be one of the outcomes of my innocent little experiment.  I was really expecting to be swimming through mounds of sweet potatoes and blowing bubbles in bisque by now.  But all I really want is the raw oatmeal I have soaking in the fridge for breakfast tomorrow.  Curious, eh?  But here I am…imagine my surprise!

 

 

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PS…Is Hot Water Raw? Raw Diet Day 11

I guess I should have inquired about this earlier.  Earlier, as opposed to in the final hours of this Raw Diet experience!  But, so many questions up on an hourly basis each day, it’s hard to follow up on each of them!  There’s only so much googling a girl can do.  But today, as I was fondly reminiscing over my coffee cheat from yesterday (and pissed about my sleepless night last night) getting bottle after bottle of hot water, I thought to myself–Am I unwittingly cheating…again??  So, imagine me standing at the office watering hole with my bottle, all of a sudden in deep thought over what I was filling my bottle with.  Indeed, such deep thought, that it nearly runneth over…

So I quickly started googling…Can raw foodists drink hot water.  Low and behold, little surprise–Controversy!  Some say go for it, others say go for it…if you want to poison yourself.  Really?  Even if it technically isn’t allowed…poison?  Splenda=poison (sigh).  Hot water=…hot water.  Some say it interferes with digestion, others say it aids in breaking down all the fiber from the abundant fruits and veggies.  The latter sounds much more colorful, no?  I have decided to go with that.  I am allowed hot water because it helps digest all the glorious fruits & veggies I’ve been eating.  I especially excepted this notion as I ate my cold soup for lunch on this rainy, seasonably (yet for this year, unseasonably) chilly Baltimore day.  I figure this Raw Diet thing should really be a give and take relationship.  So today, I gave up hot soup for hot water.  Delicious as it was, I’ll take it.

Jinji’s Gracious Green Soup, adopted from Judita Wignall’s Going Raw

Base (blend all this together):

  • 3/4 avocado
  • A bunch of kale
  • 2 chopped roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 of a cucumber
  • juice of 1/2 of a lemon
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Salt, salt, salt
  • Cayenne
  • A cup of water (to start with)

Add-In (don’t blend):

  • 1/4 avocado
  • some pomegranite seeds
  • sprouted sunflower seeds
  • corn from the cob (yummm)
  • cilantro
  • diced red bell pepper
  • pepper

ENJOY!!

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Sweet Surrender…Raw Diet Day 10

I was sleepy again today.  I remembered all my restraint yesterday in not drinking the java.  Of keeping it clean.  Not setting myself up to want gum.  I even remembered how proud I was of myself when I made it all the way through the day, and how well I slept last night.  And my delicious sleepy balls!  I remembered they were waiting for me at home.  Even with all these thoughts, I was so sleepy, and it was only 10:30a.

So I did it.  And I did it big.  A girlfriend and I got into the car, and very intentionally drove to Starbucks.  I walked straight passed the apples and basket of banana’s, directly to the girl at the register, and said it: “A tall blonde roast, please”…”room for cream and sugar?”…”no, thanks.”  I wondered if she knew what I was sacrificing in that moment?  That I wasn’t just another customer, but that I was on a mission–now, a mission diverted.  I wish I could lie and say I drank it without any sweetener or cream.  But truth-be-told, I had a delicious cup of blonde roast coffee with a whole pack of…SPLENDA.  It happened.  Went against all my lessons in pretentious foodie behavior, let alone the rules of the Raw.  Do I even like Splenda, you may ask?  Nope.  I think it is, and tastes like poison.  So why did I do it?  I blame exhaustion.  I was so sleepy!!

But I thought about it, in my hours of jitteriness, nausea, hyper-activity and sweaty palms…I thought about it, and decided I wouldn’t feel bad about it.  Even as I chewed the stick of gum I stole from someone’s desk, I decided not to have any shame.  It’s Day 10, and I have done really well!  It hasn’t been easy, and really it’s been pretty tough.  I’ve fought some unbelievable battles, and even won a couple wars in the past week and half.  And I intend to enjoy these last few days without being burdened by the guilt of a cup of joe (although the Splenda is a little harder to get over!) or a stick of gum.  Surely, there’s worse things.  And I’m sure I’ll think of every single one of them as I lay awake in bed for the next 3 nights.

Tonight’s recipe: Forgiveness.

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I’m Becoming an Addict…Raw Diet Day 3.5

Before I started this Raw Diet experiment, I read in several different places that weight loss is one of the effects of following this raw food only regimen.  I thought, “fine”, but knew it wasn’t really my goal–I am doing this for food’s sake, and for personal growth.  I’m a Certified Holistic Health Counselor, and so I pride myself on living a whole, healthy lifestyle, fully educated on the various ways to go about doing that.  Anyway, weight loss is not the goal, but neither is weight GAIN!  Dates this, raisins that, raw honey and raw agave nectar to the gills…dried papaya, and dried mango to my heart’s content!  Prunes, apricots, forget about it!  All delicious don’t get me wrong, but my!  The sugar!!  Not only am I pretty sure I’ve put on a pound or two in just a couple days, but I’m also becoming a sugar addict!  Now granted, before I started this diet, I ate very little sugar, if any at all.  I was the queen of whole grains, veggies, Ezekial breads, green apples and fish galore.  Now, I’m lucky if I can make a smoothie or a sauce without tablespoons of Agave or raw honey!  And forget about nighttime cravings–I think I just shoveled six strips of dried papaya in my mouth between leaving the kitchen and getting to my computer.  I don’t know.  Maybe I’m doing something wrong!  Oh, but all the sugar feels so right!  In any event, I was relieved to make a sugar-free dinner tonight (even if I did binge eat delicious papaya afterwards).  If green smoothies are the raw foodist pinnacle of full nutrition, zucchini fettucini is the pinnacle of the raw foodist “we’re normal” nutrition:

Jinji’s Fettucini, adopted from Going Raw by Judita Wignall

Sauce

  • a cup of cashews (soaked for a couple hours at least)
  • a cup of water
  • some soaked sun-dried tomatoes
  • a bunch of oregano
  • a bunch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • juice of half of a juicy lemon, or the juice of a whole regular lemon
  • a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • a bunch of salt, about a tsp

Noodles: 2 zucchini, thinly sliced on the mandoline or with a really good knife, then cut into fettucini pieces

Throw the sauce (there will be a lot left over, but it’s so delicious I feel like I could drink it out of the tupperware!) over the zucchini, add some diced tomatoes and more oregano and pepper flakes.  ENJOY!

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Two Confessions of a Raw Dieter…Day 3

This is a story about gum and green smoothies.  And how I’m seeing yet another side of all this Raw Diet entails.  So, confession number one:  I am a habitual and compulsive gum chewer.  One piece loses its flavor, chew it for a little longer just to be sure, then immediately replace.  Maybe we should call it “chain-chewing”.  A couple pieces every hour.  I know my dealers (or, people at work who always have gum in case I run out), I know which gas stations, 7-Eleven’s, and grocery stores have my brand in the flavors I like.  That said, imagine my horror yesterday, in the 6th hour of the day when I had a sudden revelation–gum is NOT raw!  I should call this diet the “Imagine my surprise” diet.  Because it feels like everything I experience catches me totally off guard, as if I have no rhyme or reason or direction at all!  In fact, the opposite is true.  I did do alot of planning, and alot of research to bring this diet to fruition.  In doing so, I came across the pinnacle of the Raw Diet: The Green Smoothie.  There are many variations, but the one I have chosen ends up being VERY green, very DARK green, and pretty thick.  Also delicious! 

Nonetheless, this brings me to Confession number two: Raw Diets for the two-week experimenter, like myself are lonely.  You’ll have to read about my collards incident yesterday to get the full picture, but here I am, at my desk, in my cubicle where it’s hard to see if someone is approaching.  I’m drinking my very (delicious) dark green smoothie from my (previously known as) tea cup, on my desk, and here someone comes.  The first expression is usually, “what IS that???!!”, followed by, “Are you actually drinking that??!” then comes the inevitable, “GROSS!”  Really?? I wonder to myself if defending myself and preventing the ostracization that could follow is worth it, or if I should just rock to the beat of my Raw Food drum, and drink my drink.  I decide to drink my drink, not because I don’t care what my colleagues think, but because I think the only thing that can make the situation worse is that I have kale breath that apparently, I can do nothing about:

Jinji’s Green Smoothie, adopted from 24 hour marathon world champion (raw foodist!), Tim Van Orden

  • 3 leaves of Kale
  • A bunch of spinach
  • A cup of water
  • 1/2 a banana
  • Blueberries
  • 2 dates, pitted
  • 1/2 an apple

Blend and enjoy!

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