Wednesday, January 13, 2010

living light with juice feasting

As a response to my raw Christmas overindulgence (raw chocolate, cakes, desserts, oh my!), I decided to embark on some sort of green smoothie/juice fast. After such a wonderful (and healthy) holiday season, I was still feeling a tad lethargic and "full", and my digestion certainly needed a turnaround.

"the glow" juice blend from
Sarma Melingailis' Living Raw Food

I have never attempted a 'full on' juice fast (or 'feast' as some raw foodists lovingly refer to it), as I always felt I might lack the willpower and stamina (I love to eat!). So, what I decided to do was my own mini-2 or 3 day break from heavy foods, and attempted to "live light". For my 'feast', I've opted to stick to mostly liquids: green smoothies, watery fruit such as melons, pineapple, raw honey/hot water/lemon, regular water, and most importantly, various juice blends! I thought the combination of smoothies and juicing with some occasional fruit would help rest my digestive system from heavier foods, at least for a little while.

I am such a lover of fruit (I seriously could live on fruit and greens), and I just love how fruit is so easily (and quickly) digested. Although, I definitely do recommend proper food combining with fruits, and tend to reserve dried fruits for 'special occasions' (whatever those may be haha). Also, I really do enjoy (and crave) my green smoothie blends, and have one every morning.

Anyhow, here is how my few days of "living light" turned out. Keep in mind that I drank lots of water and some herbal tea in addition to what is mentioned here:

Day One

3 green smoothies:
(one for breakfast*, lunch, and dinner: these included a version of 2 bananas, 2 handfuls of spinach, 2 leaves of kale, 1 collard green leaf, 1 mango, handful of blueberries, and 1 tsp bee pollen).

*note: the breakfast smoothie had 1 tbsp hemp protein powder, 1 tsp spirulina powder, 1 tbsp cacao nibs in addition to the above mentioned ingredients.

1 juice blend:
(beet, carrot, celery, cucumber, apple, lemon, ginger)


hot water, lemon, raw honey
peppermint tea

Note: I found that I was buzzing all day from the fruit sugar, which inadvertently disrupted my sleep at night. I had a hard time falling asleep, and attribute this to the green smoothie for dinner around 6:30pm. On a similar note, I found that incorporating raw honey and lemon with hot water for a week or so prior to my mini-feast helped my sleep tremendously. Alkaline anyone?!


Day Two


1 green smoothie for breakfast: 2 bananas, 4 strawberries, handful of blueberries, 1/2 pomegranate (seeds), 3 handfuls of spinach, 2 leaves of kale, 1/2 cup water, 1 tbsp hemp protein powder, 1 tbsp cacao nibs, 1 tsp bee pollen, spoon of avocado

Juice Blend:
The Glow, from Sarma Melngailis'
Living Raw Food


1/2 small watermelon, cubed

hot water, lemon, 1 tbsp raw honey x 2

Juice Blend:
celery/grapefruit/apple/carrot/collard greens (picture at right)

two bowls of red miso soup (with one piece of nori)
1/2 an avocado

Post-Dinner snack:
3 skewers of pineapple

Note: After reading Bitt's blog, A Bitt of Raw, (which, by the way, provided me with some much needed juicing inspiration!), I quickly realized that I've not been consuming enough juice, hence my cravings for food. For tomorrow, I will definitely try to down the recommended 4 quarts (3.8 litres of juice). Also, while the miso soup helped to curb my cravings, the sodium made me crave food, which I suspect led me to my late night pineapple consumption :-0

Must remember:
4 cups or 2 pints or 1 quart :-)

Day Three

1 green smoothie (3 large handfuls of spinach, 2 bananas, 1 large kale leaf, 1 cup blueberries, 5 strawberries, 1/2 cup water, 2 tbsp raw cacao nibs, 1 tsp spirulina powder, 1 tbsp hemp protein, 1 tsp bee pollen)

Juice Blend #1:
This has been my favorite juice blend so far! Very yummy; a perfect balance of green juice with a touch of sweetness! This blend made one pint of juice.

2 red apples
2 stalks celery
2 carrots
2 collard green leaves
1 kale leaf
1 small orange

I made another pint of this for my 'brunch', omitting the orange (I had none left) and added 1 lime. Delish!

Juice Blend #3:
pineapple/celery/carrot/cilantro/collard green/kale/parsley/ginger/strawberries (eek!) 1 pint

Juice Blend #4:
1 cup pineapple/cilantro/celery/ginger - mixed with some sparkling water

hot water/lemon/raw honey x 2

1/2 pomegranate

Breaking the 'living light' fast: some raw applesauce, 1 banana

Note: My sleep was very light, and not that restful on the eve of day two. This could be due to the sugars or lack of food. Not sure;-) Also, the green smoothie for breakfast felt SO filling on the third day, and it felt very heavy in my stomach. I wish I just had juice for brekkie! My sleep on the third night was not so good as well, I woke up quite early!

the place where the juice feast magic happens!

Overall, I had a great experience and really enjoyed living light. I'm very glad I took a break from my regular routine, at least for a few days! However, I knew it was time to get back to my regular food routine by the end of the third day (I started to feel slightly light headed - I wasn't drinking enough juice and become super tired). I would definitely like to try a more proper juice feast/fastat some point in the future, when I don't have everyday distractions that sometimes disrupt the flow of juice preparation and consumption :-)

Monday, January 11, 2010

spiralize your life

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I received a Spiralizer for Christmas. For those who are unfamiliar with spiralizers, they are an interesting kitchen gadget that can transform certain vegetables and fruits into noodle-like shapes. My version is formerly the Spirooli, and comes with three blades: one for finer noodles, one for medium spiral noodles, and one for larger spiral noodles.

So far, I have tried spiralizing carrots, zucchinis, parsnips, and beets with fantastic results! Carrots are super easy, and quick to spiralize. I was also amazed with how quickly a beet can be turned into spirals!

Here is an interesting recipe I whipped up yesterday evening for Zucchini Pasta and Pseudo 'Pesto' Sauce. This is a great pseudo-pesto made without nuts, but with lots of flavor! If making again, I would reduce the amount of salt to 1 tsp (it was quite salty, but not so much once served over the zucchini noodles):

Zucchini Pasta with Pseudo-'Pesto' Sauce

3 handfuls spinach
1 zucchini
3 small tomatoes
2 stalk celery
1 avocado
2 tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 clove garlic
2 tsp salt (would reduce this to 1 tsp)
1 tsp olive oil
2 kalamara olives
sprig of fresh rosemary (about 10 'leaves' or 1 tsp)

Blend ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Add sprig of rosemary and blend. Transfer to a squeeze bottle and serve over zucchini noodles.

Other than spiralizing, I am embarking on a green smoothie/juice 'feast' for the next day or so, as a sort of post-Christmas cleanse (too many raw desserts!). I will keep you posted :-)

recipe index

Here is a list of the original and modified recipes that have been featured on barefoot and frolicking. All recipes are either raw-vegan-gluten free-beegan unless otherwise noted.

The recipes are organized by individual categories: Appetizers, Breakfast, Breads, Cacao/Chocolate, Desserts, Drinks, Main Course, Salads, Salad Dressings, and Soups. 

Also included here are links to my restaurant reviews, cooking classes, and guest lectures/teaching demonstrations. Enjoy!

Avocado Truffles
Cucumber and Almondaise Appetizers
Cheesy Spicy Kale Chips 
Sweet Potato Hummus (not raw)

Blueberry Grawnola
"Wake up, Jim" fruit salad for two
Strawberry-Vanilla Yum-Yum pudding 
Vanilla Yum-Yum buckwheat porridge 

Buckwheat and Sundried Tomato Pizza Bread/Crust

Chocolate Carob Sauce
Chocolate TrufflesDark Cacao Chocolate
Custom Order Artisan Raw Chocolates
Warming Cacao Truffles 

Apple Pie

Apple Crumble Pie
Banana Soft-Serve
Banana-Blueberry-Choccie Soft-Serve
Banana-Strawberry Soft-Serve
Banana Creme Pie with Fig and Almond Crust
Blackberry Tarties 
Candy Acorn Apples
Cashew Cream
Cashew Cream Parfait with Mixed Berries
Cashew Ice Cream
CherryBomb/Delectable Cherry Vanilla Tarts
Deliciously Divine Date Squares 
Fig and Almond Apple Tarts 
"From the Twenty Valley to Tobermory" parfait
Half-Moon Apple Coconut Holiday Cake
Lemon-Coconut Bars
Mango-Banana Cream Cake
Maple Coffee Ice Cream Cake with Caramelized Pecans
Mini-Peach Cheesecake
Niagara Peach Cobbler
Pear and Persimmon Birthday Cake
Peppermint Candy Cane and Cacao Truffles
Pomegranate Birthday Cheezecake
Rawpplesauce with hemp seeds
Rhubarb Heart Cookies
Vanilla Chai Macarookies 
Vanilla Chai Sugar
White Tannenbaum Coconut Macaroons

Coconut and Cacao Smoothie
Dreamy Greeny Smoothie 
My First Green Smoothie
Secret Workout Smoothie 

Savory Purple Sweet Potato Fries (not raw)

Main Course

Amazing Raw Pad Thai
Zucchini Pasta with Pseudo-Pesto Sauce

Moroccan Quinoa and Cherry Carrot Salad 
Papaya and Avocado Salad
Quinoa-Avocado Salad with Basil Chiffonade and Lemon Vinaigrette
Simple Black Bean Salad (not raw) 
Strawberry-Almond Salad
Tahini Curried Carrot Salad 
Thai Fruit Salad 
Watercress and Radicchio Side Salad with Sweet Vinaigrette (beegan)

Salad Dressings
Almond, Avocado, Thyme Dressing
Creamy Macadamia Dressing

Creamy Almondaise 
Raw Pad Thai Almond Dressing 
Sweet Vinaigrette (beegan)

Soups (not raw)
'Bring on the Borscht' Soup
Sweet Potato and Lime with a Dash of Cilantro
Comforting Carrot Soup

Restaurant Reviews
Fresh - November 2009 
Fresh - December 2009
Live Organic Food Bar - December 2010
Raw Aura - October 2009
Raw Aura Workshop - November 2009
Raw Aura - Tim Van Orden Guest Lecture
Raw Aura - April 2010
Rawlicious - July 2010

Cooking Classes
RCSS - Grimsby - November 2009
RCSS - Grimsby - December 2009 
RCSS - Grimsby - May 2010 
RCSS - St. Catharines - June-July 2010
RCSS - St. Catharines - August 2010 
RCSS - Mississauga - October 2010  
RCSS - Mississauga - December 2010

Brock TV - Broke and Hungry Cooking Show Segment  
NAFA - Guest Lecture - November 2010  
Sweet Valentine - Hot Raw Chef Video Recipe Contest
Toronto Sprouts - A Raw Christmas with David Wolfe, December 2009. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

happy 101 blog award

I am pleased to announce that I have been nominated for the Happy 101 Blog Award by three amazing raw bloggers: Evergreen of the Happy Raw Kitchen, Joanna of Promoting the Raw Food Diet While Debunking The Myths, and Michal of Earth Muffin. Thanks ladies!

Here are the guidelines: List 10 things that make you happy, try to do at least one of them today, and tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day. So, here we go, Ten things that make me happy…(in no particular order, but numbered for the award;-)

1. Taking time to appreciate the little things in life: I think this is a super important component to everyday experience, whether it be watching the snowfall or looking to a sunset. As part of my New Years resolutions, I am also trying to remain in the present moment these days, rather than worrying about the past or future. Also part of this resolution is to emphasize positive rather than negative or doubtful thoughts.

2. Being in my sunny raw kitchen: I love, love, love being in the kitchen and making healthy, delicious food to share with others! Experimenting and learning about new recipes is also a favorite pasttime.

3. Being kind towards others:
whether it be through small gestures of kindness or raw food desserts (!), I like to be as kind, positive, and caring as I can be towards others. I tend to get frustrated when I'm not the best person I can be :-(

4. Spending time with my manfriend, friends, and family:
I am so fortunate to have such supportive and wonderful people in my life. I only wish I was able to see everyone more often!

5. Listening to music: I am a huge popular music fan. In short, my favorite music includes such selections from the late 50's and 60's: psychedelia, acid-rock, Motown, girl groups, garage rock to early to mid 90's alternative rock. I am more often than not listening to some form of music during the day!

6. Being physically active: I heart yoga, walking, running, bikingand so forth! I audited an Ayurveda class/lecture, which confirmed that I am a vatta, which in short, has energy to burn! Also, I love being outside, and prefer to exercise outdoors rather than in a gym (I enjoy running and hiking outdoors in the winter as well). The runners high is a definite addiction!

7. Being creative: Similar to the above comment, I find that I must be creative in some form each day, or else I become restless. I guess you could say I was an artist in my 'past life', and I find that much of that creativity has crossed over into my raw food endeavors in the kitchen. Although, I do hope to get back into painting this year!

8. Learning about health and nutrition: I am a health nut (pardon the pun), and have been interested in health and nutrition since a young age. Iove to read many books on the subject (especially my new raw food (un) cookbooks)!

9. Reading raw food blogs:
This is where I find much of my inspiration for new recipes, and the medium in which I first learned about raw foods.

10. Reading and writing: either in blog form, or in an academic context, I really do enjoy writing! A very enjoyable mode of communication :-)

In the spirit of the award, I will tag 10 other wonderful ladies who make me happy (in no particular order of course):

Heather of Adventures of Raw Goddess Heathy
Carmella of The Sunny Raw Kitchen
Gena of Choosing Raw
Courtney of Radical Radiance
Michal of Earth Muffin
Evergreen of The Happy Raw Kitchen
Joanna of Promoting the Raw Food Diet...
Joyce of Beautiful Living Food in Vermont
Hippie Mom of The Raw Journal
Susan of Rawmazing

I am so happy and pleased to be nominated for this super groovy blog award. I am always inspired by the many blogs I encounter, and have stumbled upon many new sites through this award! Thank you everyone! :-)

raw christmas continued

Hello everyone and Happy New Year! I have quite busy over the holidays, and as such, haven't been blogging as much. So, for this post, I would like to backtrack to Christmas, and give a little recap of some of the homemade gifts I prepared for friends and family. Earlier, I posted about my raw chocolate making endeavors, but here are some additional photos of fun raw goodness:

raw chocolates with a little descriptive card

I was also busy making my ultimate 'fave-rave' raw dessert, lemon-coconut bars. I've tweaked Any Phyo's recipe, just a tinch, increasing the amount of lemon juice which results in a slightly more tart and lemony bar. Delicious! These are always a huge hit with anyone who tries them:

lemon-coconut bars in sealed glass jars

For my first raw Christmas, I was the winning recipient of some wonderful gifts from some equally wonderful people! These included the most gorgeous glass jar of dried mulberries from a certain 'special someone', some much needed 'kitchie' appliances (apple corer, apple slicer, lemon zester, and a Spiralizer for making vegetable noodles - yay!), a super adorable apron, and some amazing raw food (un) cookbooks:

the most beautiful jar of dried mulberries I ever did see

Spice Girl apron: I do like my spices!

Victoria Boutenko's "Green for Life", Sarma Melingailis, "Living Raw Food", Sweet Gratitude's "A New World of Raw Desserts", "Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook"

Apart from Christmas, I also welcomed in the New Year with my manfriend's birthday! For one evening of the birthday festivities, there was a dinner party, of which I provided some delectable raw desserts. As per a special request, I made Joyce's Maple Coffee Ice Cream Cake with Caramelized Pecans as a raw birthday cake.

I thought this might be an arduous task, as the recipe called for caramelized pecans in the dehydrator (which would take a few hours at least, and I only had a few to spare before the party - eek!). I have never used so much maple syrup in a recipe before (for the filling and also to caramelize the pecans), but it is definitely necessary for that maple flavor. I made a few adjustments to the recipe, leaving out the maple syrup extract and maple sugar as I didn't have any on hand. Also, I dehydrated my pecans for just a few hours, rather than overnight. I also used some of the dehydrated maple syrup from the caramel used to glaze the pecans as a topping for the cake.

If I made this cake again, I might experiment with adding some coffee extract/real coffee to give it an added flavorful kick (we also made a SAD version of tiramisu which got me thinking about coffee/espresso flavorings):

As noticeable in the above picture, the cake started to melt as the festivities ensued! One quick trip back to the freezer, and the cake was ready to be eaten. This cake was sooo delicious, and won over the party-goers, many of whom couldn't believe that a raw vegan cake might "actually taste pretty good"!:

Can you tell that we enjoyed the maple syrup sweetness?

I also made a batch of Super Caramel Tarts, looking to Carmella's recipe as a framework. For the most part, I followed her recipe, but reduced the agave for the caramel, and opted to use dates instead for a more natural sweetness. I found the recipe made four small tarts and one large tart. These tasted like the fudge brownies I remember from my childhood (remember the ones in the individual wrappers?). However, these taste SO much better, as they are raw and are also a much healthier version than their SAD counterparts!

I prefer to eat the tarts slightly frozen rather than at room temperature, as I find they hold their shape better when cold. I decorated the tarts using some of the left-over pecans from the cake, as well as bee pollen and some slivered almonds:

different floral decorations and toppings for the tarts

a large chocolate tart for good measure

I really like Carmella's chocolate recipes, as I find they are generally the right level of sweetness for me. Years ago, I never would have touched chocolate, as it was much too sickly sweet for me. Now, I revel in all things cacao! :-) So healthy and delicious!

Overall, I have had such a wonderful (raw) holiday season, and hope you have as well! Although, in retrospect, I think I may have made too many raw desserts, as I ended up eating some of the Chocolate tarts with my breakfast ;-)

So many desserts, so little time - I'll need to hold another raw dinner party :-)