Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mexican Bowl

We do enjoy Mexican food, and have enjoyed this dish on many nights. For lack of a better name, we called it "corn bowl". That is not fitting at all since there is so much more than corn in it! But, alas, I could not come up with anything better than "Mexican Bowl". It is kind of like the burrito bowls at Chipotle, but I think it could be the base or insides of tacos, tostadas, fajitas and burritos, too, if your heart so desired.

It's very simple, and a lot of it is raw.

1/2 cup corn (we used uncooked, fresh white corn cut from the cob)
3/4 cup black beans*
1 Roma tomato, chopped
1/4 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 avocado, sliced
1/4 cup plain yogurt, optional
garlic salt, optional
onion salt, optional
hot sauce, optional
shredded cheese, optional

Put all veggies in the bowl, layering as you go. If using the optional ingredients, top with yogurt, then sprinkle the garlic and onion salt lightly over the yogurt, to taste. Add hot sauce to taste, and top with desired amount of shredded cheese.

*Note the black beans are canned although not heated. We have tried to eat black beans that we purchased dried and from the bulk section. We soaked them for a really long time, I think 24 hours, maybe 36 hours. Although they were still slightly hard, which made them slightly crunchy, we ate them and thought they were okay. Unfortunately, we both were sick to our stomachs the next day. Until I become more educated about beans, I am going to stick with canned for now. I noticed after that unpleasant experience that most of the raw food blogs I read do not use beans often. Maybe there's a reason, huh?

Using the veggie ingredients only would yield a 100% raw dish, although I'm not sure it would be very tasty. I have come to find that seasonings are quite important to eating mostly raw. They definitely help add flavor and interest to the dishes. So I strongly suggest adding your favorite seasonings. Also, the black beans provide good amounts of dietary fiber and protein. And, the yogurt has beneficial bacteria. All good stuff!


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Best Breakfast Ever!

Boxed cereals are convenient, quick and easy. Just open the box, pour some cereal in a bowl, add some milk, grab a spoon and you are ready to eat. They are also usually filled with preservatives and additives and other chemicals that I probably cannot pronounce. And, they are processed and cooked. I want none of those things for my first, most important meal of the day.

I want a morning cereal routine that is almost as quick and easy, and much more nutritious! And, with this breakfast, I have all that and more. It only takes a few minutes to prepare. It fills me up without making me feel heavy, and holds me over for hours – well into the lunchtime hour. So I have a very productive morning because I’m not stopping every two hours to have a snack or get more coffee or tea.

(Seriously, before I started eating more raw, I would have hot tea or coffee at 8am, stop to eat breakfast at 9 or 9:30, at 10:30 or 11am I was thinking about lunch and what to do, where to go. Then, at about 2:30 or 3pm, I would be hungry for a snack unless I ate a gi-normous amount at lunch, then I would be tired and wanting an afternoon nap. Either way, I would probably snack, then want dinner at 6pm. I was always hungry and always thinking about food.)

This breakfast is simple: about 10 germinated* almonds, a handful of raisins, another handful or so of whole oats, and about 4 tablespoons yogurt and/or milk. Each morning, I add a different fruit, one half each for Hubby and me. Sometimes, we go with an apple or banana (always a good standard), but lately, the nectarines and mangoes have been excellent at our grocery store. Part of the reason we have not become tired of having the same thing every morning is because of the different fruit we add to it. The other part is because we feel great after eating it!

All stirred up with nectarine

Adding Mango on another morning
Obviously with the addition of the yogurt and milk, this is not a 100% raw breakfast (or afternoon snack, or lunch – we’ve had it as both). But, my blog is not a 100% raw blog. If you were to purchase unpasteurized milk or yogurt made from unpasteurized milk, this may be 100% raw. I have to research whole oats. I have eaten oats labeled as “raw” before, and I don’t notice any difference between those and the whole oats I use. But, Carol Alt says in her books, “If it doesn’t say raw, it’s not raw.” The oats I buy do not say raw so I’m not sure if they are or not. But, whole oats do provide fiber and complex carbohydrates, which are both great for our systems.

*A note about germinating: It is very easy! Germinating nuts and seeds releases the nutrients inside those awesome nuts and seeds so they are more biologically available to us. Each specific nut and seed has a different germinating time, so I would direct you to Carol Alt’s books for more info on that. This is what I do for almonds:

(Two cups of almonds lasts me for this breakfast for about two weeks, for the two of us.) Rinse the 2 cups of almonds twice or so

Pour them into a glass bowl or other glass container

Pour purified water over them enough to cover all the almonds and have about a ½ inch of water above them

(Note I use filtered water, but others use distilled water – do what works for you)

Let the almonds soak for 8 to 12 hours on the counter, just at room temperature

(Note that I have set them to soak before work in the morning – then when I’m done with my workday, they are ready to put away – and also before going to bed at night – then when I wake up the next morning, they are ready to use)

Pour the water out and rinse them a few times again

The almonds are germinated and ready to use! I store mine in a container in the fridge and they last for the whole 2 weeks. They may last longer, but I usually run out by then.

You’ll find the almonds are sweeter and more flavorful after germinating, and of course, a little softer. Hubby says they taste reminiscent of coconut.

So, that’s how we do breakfast. We’ve given up the boxed cereals and cooked oatmeal and feel so much better for it!


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Raw Red Pepper Soup

Cold soups are nothing new, really. I mean, there's gazpacho, right? I can't think of any other cold soups but that does not mean they're not out there.

This dish was made in the spirit of "Let's try it and see". My hubby had been reminiscing about a roasted red pepper soup that we had at Haus Murphy's. It was so delicious. Rich and creamy and so flavorful. Well, roasted red peppers are not raw. So, we decided to try and find a raw soup recipe that might come close. I came across a recipe from Heather Pace of the Sweetly Raw blog (which is awesome for people with enormous sweet tooths - or teeth? - anyway, it's great), and thought, "Let's try it and see." We completely changed her recipe, mostly because we don't have all the ingredients (such as nutritional yeast and miso), and we never include onions if we can help it.

I'd say it was 3.5 out of 5. Maybe nutritional yeast and miso and onions are really key to obtaining that roasted red pepper flavor? As you can see from the picture, we topped it with some avocado slices. It was good, but it didn't meet our expectations. However, our expectations were of a cooked dish, so I don't know how close we really could have come.

One thing I am loving about eating mostly raw is the fact that we don't heat up the house by turning on the stove or oven. This is probably particular to where I live: Phoenix. It is hot here in the summer (and spring and early fall - who am I kidding!) and to not turn the stove or oven on is a blessing! And who wants a hot steaming bowl of soup when it's 110 outside?

Red Pepper Soup (based off "Southern Belles in London Soup" by Philip McCluskey through Heather Pace's blog)

4 red peppers, seeded and chopped
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil (cold-pressed if you have it)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano

Blend all ingredients until smooth. Heather states if you want warm soup, use hot water.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sorry I've been away . . .

It's been several months since I've shared anything on this blog! I just haven't had the energy or desire to write about the lovely food I've been eating. But, that's about to change! I have a plan, and have some wonderful meals to share, including an all-raw Fake Fettucine Alfredo

and an all-raw dessert with an almond-date crust, vanilla creme filling and topped with strawberries!

Oops - thought I had a picture of that one. Darn, I guess I'll have to make it again and be sure to take a picture of it before I gobble it up!

So, again, my apologies for being away. My blog is somewhat revamped to have a more raw diet/raw meal focus, which reflects my life currently. It's being revamped. How cool is that?


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