Wednesday, June 16, 2010

a week in June

Hi all, I don't know about you, but summer is rolling by like the tide these days. I can't believe we are already in June! When I look back on the last few days, it seems as though I've been quite busy. Just thought I would share some photos from a week in June:

I've been whipping up multiple batches of Lemon-Coconut Bars lately, for my job as co-Chef at a local restaurant/ tea-room. These bars are always such a treat (I've made a few variations to Ms. Phyo's original recipe over the last few times I've made them), and they make a wonderful (raw AND gluten-free) addition to Afternoon Tea or the Dessert tray options we offer on the menu. I absolutely adore the flavor combination of lemon and vanilla bean! I've got two more batches to make for tomorrow:

lemon-coconut bars inspired by the one and only, Ms. Ani Phyo

The other evening, I had the pleasure of entertaining with my man for a dear friend of mine. As the meeting was impromptu, I fastidiously whipped up a serving of Avocado Truffles, using some chopped papaya in lieu of mango. They were delicious, and looked so bright and colorful alongside some crackers and white wine:

the view from my lovely deck: bella
 
another little moment of entertaining the following evening...

... with some raw food options: a nice red leaf lettuce salad,
roasted sweet potato wedges, and a simple black bean salad.

I realize some of the above options are not raw, but they did taste quite yummy. Once in a while, some non-raw food is ok in my books :) It's all about balance. All this talk of raw food entertaining has got me thinking,  

what do you serve when you entertain "in the raw"? 

I'd love to hear about your favorite dishes!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

regina in the raw

Greetings everyone, I hope you are well. As I mentioned in my previous post, I've just arrived back from a whirlwind few days in Regina, Saskatchewan! My travels were for a popular music conference with the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM-CA), an incredibly fun organization dedicated to the academic study of popular music! I've been involved with the organization for the past few years, and even stand as the Graduate Student Representative. This was my third time attending the conference; last year's was held in Halifax, and this year it took many of us all the way out West.

Over the course of four day conference, participants presented papers on many topics related to popular music and the topic "Spaces of Violence, Sites of Resistance: Music, Media, Performance." Paper topics ranged from discussion of Lady Gaga to the MC5 and The Smashing Pumpkins. You can check out the program for more panel and paper information.

One of the highlights of this particular conference was the food options! Usually, conferences are not known as having the best food options, so I was pleasantly surprised that we had healthy food options over the four days. On our first night in Regina, we dined at The Fainting Goat, a really fun vegan-ish pub located downtown. I really enjoyed the painting on the wall, especially the one with the girl and the owl:



Throughout the conference, there were great fruit-snack options to be had. These platters featured grapes, melon, strawberries, cherries,and gooseberries (which I'd never had before). What an interesting flavor, a kind of caramel taste. I really enjoyed them:


On one of our nights downtown, our conference group watched a fire dance troupe in a park. They performed a fairly intense dance number set to music. The photos capture some really interesting movements of the performers:

 On the last evening of the conference, we had a wonderful get-together at one of the organizer's homes. It almost, ALMOST rained, but the clouds managed to subside and the sunshine shone through:

"I've looked at clouds that way..."

the backyard festivities

live music provided by Eekwol and Little Miss Higgins (left)

As for the conference, the food at this event was absolutely spectacular! There was a definite emphasis on locally produced and grown food for the evening meal, which included veggie and meat burgers, sprout salad, sliced veggies et al. The 'cooks in the kitchen' looking after the food did an absolutely amazing job, churning out many delectable looking desserts, salads, and veggies. I particularly enjoyed the sprout salad, made with sunflower sprouts, some chopped red bell pepper and a vegan dressing. I wish I had asked for the recipe:

In fact, there were so many trays of sprouts floating around the house, that I was offered to take some home with me. Unfortunately, I wouldn't have been able to bring them home with me to Ontario. These delicious sprouts were provided by SunEarthYou, locally grown sprouts from Yorkton, SK:

 sprouts, garlic, and salad dressing

the most wonderful assortment of fun vegan desserts

I had such a wonderful time at the conference, and really enjoyed seeing parts of Regina. It was the farthest West I have ever been (besides the stopovers to Edmonton and Calgary on my way to and from Regina). The organizers of the conference did an amazing job, and I really commend them on their efforts. The conference goer's are such an enthusiastic bunch, and really made the conference a fun time for all. Many thanks all around for a wonderful experience.  I can't wait for next year's conference!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

announcements and entry for raw giveaway

While away in Regina these past few days (watch for an upcoming post), I received a few nice messages from readers of this site, which I'd like to share with you. 

I received a fun message about an event called All You Can Yoga in Toronto. Here are the details: Voted Best Fitness Club in Toronto by BlogTO, Kingwest Fitness is making the city lean and limber this summer with their All You Can Yoga program. Everyone is welcome, there is no need to register, and the best part is, it’s completely FREE! You can attend multiple classes and even go back-to-back days. Dates: July 10-11 and August 14-15th. Classes are daily at 10am, 11:15am, 12:30pm, 1:45pm, 3:00pm. 

Kingwest’s certified yoga instructors will take you through an engaging mind and body experience, challenging your flexibility and strength while providing you with an escape from the stresses of the city. Located in Liberty Village, Kingwest offers an expansive cardio room, a full range of group classes and professional services including physiotherapy and personal training, private showers and sauna, as well as a delicious juice and supplement bar. For more information on Kingwest Fitness group classes and services, visit http://kingwestfitness.com/.

Secondly, a received a kind message from Boom Boom over at  http://www.barefootboomboom.com/ (love the name), whose site is "a 30 Day High Raw Veganin' Barefootin' Challenge for a Simple Girl in a Big Ol' City." Do check it out if you are interested in the combination of fitness with raw foods!

Finally, I was reading Bitt's latest post on A Bitt of Raw, and noticed she is doing a giveaway. I've never entered a giveaway before; this giveaway includes a copy of Raw for Dessert by Jennifer Cornbleet AND a very pretty apron from FlirtyApron. The deadline for the giveaway is Saturday, June 12th, noon, pacific time, and the winner will be posted sometime between then and Monday. 

The guidelines are: what is my favorite raw dessert or new recipe that I'd like to try. Hmmm, there are SO many, but how to choose? I love raw choccies, 'cheezecakes', bars and the like, but one of my favorite, easy to make raw desserts is Ani Phyo's Mango Tarts (see photo above). I would absolutely LOVE to try the raspberry squares that Bitt features on her latest blogpost (recipe from Jennifer's book). The pineapple upside down cake also looks divine! At any rate, I am so excited to be entering this giveaway. 

There you have it, some announcements and giveaway entries. Stay tuned for my upcoming post about a trip to Regina, SK. Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

go west young man


I'd like to share a super delicious recipe for a batch of Grawnola I whipped up this past Saturday. A combination of orange, vanilla, almond, cinnamon with a batch of sprouted buckwheat makes this grawnola a yummy breakfast treat. I am a big fan of grawnola, although I don't make it as much as I'd like to. Buckwheat is such a nice and light grain, especially when sprouted, and the orange-vanilla combintion really highlights the overall flavours of the recipe. Enjoy!

1/4 cup sprouted buckwheat (soaked overnight)
juice of 1 orange
leftover orange pulp can also be used, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup almond pulp (leftover from almond mylk)
1 tbsp agave syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
handful of sliced almonds

Combine ingredients in a bowl and dehydrate for 4-5 hours. Serve with nut mylk of choice or as a topping for banana soft serve (I served mine with some sumptuous blueberries).   

What are some of your favorite 'grawnola' flavours or ingredients?

On another note, I'm off for a mini-trip over the next few days, so stay tuned for more raw food traveling tales. Hope you are all doing well - Happy June!