Sunday, May 29, 2011

recipes in review: raw falafel patties with tahini sauce

Now I don't know about you, but the warmer weather has found me using my dehydrator more often, and I've been experimenting with some new dehydrator friendly recipes. The other day I was inspired by two fabulous raw recipes (one dehydrated) courtesy of two of my favorite food blogs: Gena from Choosing Raw and Angela from Oh She Glows (these ladies rawk!). What better way to expand one's inspiration than to combine these two recipes together for a fantastic lunch, dinner, snack option - let's check it out, shall we?

First up was Gena's recipe for Raw Spinach Burgers, part of her week of juice pulp recipe week. These burgers use leftover vegetable juice pulp from a batch of juice-making with your juicer, as well as spices. I made a few, slight modifications, including using Dijon rather than regular mustard (perhaps, not the wisest choice, as this tended to overpower the overall flavor of the burgers) and coriander rather than oregano.  

I decreased the dehydration time as well, partly because I am impatient (lol) and also because I wanted to retain some moisture so they were similar to a vegetarian patty.

I also renamed my little creations 'falafels' rather than 'burgers,' because I found that shaping them smaller made it easier to extend the quantity of the recipe, and also that they looked like little falafels (or really like mini-patties). Nevertheless, these are perfect inside a raw romaine lettuce wrap. 


Raw Falafel Burgers
Makes 10 small falafel burgers

1 cup sunflower seeds (do NOT pre-soak)
3 tbsp tamari
2 cups green juice pulp
1/4 cup flax meal
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp coriander

Place sunflower seeds in a food processor and process with the "S" blade till well ground. Add remaining ingredients and process till well mixed. Shape into about 10 or so small shaped burger 'falalfels' and dehydrate at 104 degrees for 4 hours, flip, and dehydrate for another 2. Serve over salad or in a raw wrap with sprouts, tomato, shredded carrot, et al.

To make this creation complete, I coupled the falafel patties with a modified version of Angela's Lightened Up Tahini Lemon Dressing for her Lightened Up Protein Goddess Bowl. I had planned on making this fantastic bean salad but was on more of a high-raw kick this week, and decided to wait until I was really craving the protein from this protein goddess.

This dressing is fantastic - my only modification to the recipe was that I reduced the garlic to 2 cloves. This dressing can double as a sauce for the falafel burgers, or as a wicked salad dressing.

Even Lighter Tahini-Lemon Dressing
Yields 1 cup of dressing

1/4 cup Tahini
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
dash of sea salt + freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
3 tbsp water, or as needed

Blend ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Will keep for a few days in a glass jar in the fridge.

And there you have it folks - two raw recipes combined to make another delicious lunch and/or dinner creation. Fire up those dehydrators and blenders, and enjoy. Better yet, while you are combining these two recipes, listen to this perfectly titled song (I couldn't resist!);

"Combination of the Two" by Big Brother and the Holding Company (the 1960s San Francisco psychedelic-rock band that featured Janis Joplin on vocals); a surefire way to get those toes dancing, moving, and grooving in the kitchen:

Have fun!

Monday, May 23, 2011

raw on the road: where'd you go, elora?

Happy Victoria Day Weekend to you Canadians out there! Did you make any special plans for the long weekend? My sweetie and I decided to embark on a somewhat spontaneous road trip to Fergus and Elora, a quaint, historic little town a few hours away. It's nice that one can have a little getaway that isn't too far in travel time, or too expensive.

On our way, we decided to stop in at the Brantford Farmer's Market. I met Laura at our last Conscious Eating Niagara potluck; she had mentioned she had a booth at the market, and also sold some of Carin's raw goodies from WOW (Wild Organic Way) Cafe in Guelph. Little did I know that when I stopped by, not only would I see Laura, but Carin was also visiting too! We had planned on having lunch at Carin's restaurant, but it is closed due to some ongoing outdoor construction.

Laura's beautiful booth offers lots of organic produce, raw eats from Live and WOW, fresh sprouts, and natural skincare products. She is also a living foods educator who specializes in wheatgrass knowledge and juicing. Laura is also organizing a raw food potluck in the Brantford area, and their first meetup is scheduled for June 5th. If you are in the area and interested in attending, leave a message here and I can let her know.

I just had to purchase a bag of WOW's "Wholey WOW! Crackers," which are made with "nuts and seeds, sundried tomatoes, raw tahini, onions, garlic, lemon, bell pepper, celtic sea salt and spices." These were some of the most delicious raw crackers I have ever tasted, and the flavor reminded me of cheese nibs (remember those?).

I'm a bit picky when purchasing dehydrated goodies such as breads and crackers, as I usually find they are over-dehydrated in order to preserve and lengthen their shelf-life. The WOW Crackers were the perfect texture and level of freshness, as well as an affordable raw food find ($8 per bag for 15 crackers).

We enjoyed them in between bites of some kale chips I prepared for the drive. The kale chip coating was a blend of soaked almonds, garlic, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, cayenne, nutritional yeast, and water (oh, and some probiotics for good measure).

Once in Fergus, we checked into our bed and breakfast, Van Galis; a wonderful place to stay if you are visiting the area (Fergus is a 5 minute drive from Elora). They offer two rooms at their inn, and also have a cafe. I was thoroughly impressed with the cafe; they offer gluten-free/vegan baking options, as well as vegan soups and veggie burgers. The room was equally inviting, with a clean white interior, beautiful ceiling beams, and hardwood floors, which were so perfect for doing some post-road trip yoga, that I didn't even need a yoga mat:

We visited the Elora Gorge, which offered some nice hiking trails. We were fortunate to have one of the first truly summer-weather days of the season, with warm sunny skies overhead and the perfect opportunity to take in some suntan rays. Here are some pictures from our hike:

I also stuck my head in a discount bookstore in Fergus, and picked up two great books: Stefanie Syman's The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America and a massive catalogue (very reminiscent of Stewart Brand's Whole Earth Catalog) entitled Country Wisdom and Know How: Everything You need to Know to Live off the Land.

I've already started to devour Syman's book, and really enjoy her cultural studies approach to determining how yoga has become such a normalized practice in our contemporary culture, when really, it's beginnings in America were much different. I was also happy to have purchased this book for $6.99!

The weather was a bit iffy over the weekend, and definitely changed direction for Sunday. Check out these menacing storm clouds over the abandoned Fergus Swimming Pool building in the centre of town:

We thought the weather had let up for our Sunday poke-around town visit to Elora, but the rain started to come down moments after we arrived. I had a chance to snap these picks before the downpour:

 how much is that Buddha in the window?

 reclaimed doors act as a great partition for a garden space

As we were leaving, I couldn't help but think of the song "Aurora" by Veruca Salt - anyone remember this beautiful little gem? I've always loved Nina Gordon's sweetly saccharine vocals, and low-fi guitar, and the lyrics reminded me of our short, almost non-stop and quick visit in Elora, but I replaced the word 'Aurora' with 'Elora'; "had you in my hand now, where'd you go, 'Elora'?":

Friday, May 20, 2011

living oatmeal walnut maple raisin cookies

I have been making so many chocolate treats lately (more on that in an upcoming post), that I've been craving more earthy, or 'crunchy granola' raw desserts and unbaked goods to balance myself out. And nothing says granola like oats. Am I right?

Not forsaking elements of the delicious and nutritious, these cookies do it all and are chocked full of oatie groatie goodness (using the whole oat grain, which is far superior to the rolled or steamed oat flake version we are most accustomed to). Oat groats look like brown basmati rice, and are available at most health stores that have a bulk food section.

Using oat groats as the base, the cookies have hints of the traditional oatmeal raisin variety, but here they are combined with subtle flavors of walnut, maple syrup, and cinnamon which makes for a comforting living/raw/vegan cookie moment. Play around with the ingredients and whatever dried fruit, nuts, superfoods you have on hand for a customized cookie experience.

Delicious right out of the dehydrator or cool: chewy, and perfect with a nice tall glass of almond or hemp mylk. In fact, the batter for these cookies was so delicious, it could also double as a breakfast porridge/oatmeal option.


Living Oatmeal-Walnut-Maple-Raisin Cookies
lightly inspired by Living in the Raw Cranberry Walnut Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups oat groats, soaked for at least 2 hours
1/2 cup pitted dates, soaked in warm water for approximately 1 hour
2 apples, peeled, cored, and grated
1 cup walnuts, soaked for 1 hour
3/4 cup water
1 cup raisins (I used sultana)
2 tbsp maple syrup (could increase to 1/4 cup for a sweeter cookie)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 - 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg

Drain the oats, dates, walnuts from their soaking water. Combine the soaked oat groats, dates, walnuts, and water in a food processor, and using the 's' blade, process until well-mixed and ingredients are a dough-like texture.

Transfer to a bowl, and add in the grated apples, raisins, maple syrup, cinnamon, and nutmeg, mixing the ingredients together well.

Spoon the mixture and form into small cookie sizes of your preference. Dehydrate your darling cookies at 104 degrees for approximately 5 hours, turning the cookies and then dehydrating for another 6 hours.

Let the cookies cool for at least 20 minutes before storing them in a jar/container. Keep cookies at room temperature and refrain from refrigerating (not the best move for dehydrated fare as it will instill moisture back into the dehydrated food).

A small word of oat groat caution, folks: there is a tendency for oat groats to turn rancid, and unfortunately, it is somewhat difficult to determine their rancid state before preparing them in recipes. If oat groats are rancid/past their prime, there will usually be a slightly bitter aftertaste. Apparently, this is not 'de rigeur' with oat groats, and they should have a bitter-less, pleasant taste similar to regular oats. Just thought you would want to keep this in mind when preparing groaties/this recipe. Has anyone else had a similar oat groat experience?

That's how these cookies crumble - 
enjoy them to the last crumb!

a multitude of thanks

As the winner of the Raw Cake Pop Challenge a few weeks ago, I was elated that my recipe for Mulberry Maven Cake Pops was selected by Lisa and Nicole, and that they found the recipe enjoyable to make and delicious to eat. Little did I know that these ladies prepared the most generous, thoughtful, and kind prize package to send my way.

I could hardly believe my eyes when I say what was inside the box: an unbelievable array of raw and vegan goodies with hints of vanilla (see why below). I just had to share this wonderful offering with you all:

- vanilla beans
- organic dried Yacon slices
- Artisana Pecan Butter
- chocolate truffle molds
- pepermint-coconut truffles
- grawnola (buckwheat-pecan-cherry? blend)
- goji berries
- Vega packs
- buttons
- chocolate chip cookies

...and a lovely card/note, encouraging me to "continue to inspire the world to enjoy delicious cruelty-free delights." This comment really resonates with my regard for raw cuisine as a very kind and thoughtful approach to food. I think that is why I enjoy making and sharing raw food; you can really feel and taste the love and attention to detail in the food. I definitely can in these fantastic treats!

So far, I've sampled the grawnola (absolutely amazing, and perfect as a snack or with some almond mylk), the peppermint-coconut truffles (yum!), the berry Vega packs (delicious), and the dried yacon slices. I've never had yacon before, and these are really interesting in flavor and texture. It makes me want to try yacon syrup all the more.

I hope this post fully expresses my gratitude, and how great it is to encounter such beautiful acts of kindness as this in the world. I am truly inspired to pass it on and do the same. Thank you Lisa and Nicole for your inspiration and 'rawesomeness'!

Happy Friday everyone!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

i love living libations

I love Living Libations. I especially love Living Libations when an order I placed arrived when I was feeling under the weather last week. This little package was a ray of sunshine and brought such a smile to my face. Taking only took a week to arrive from ordering online to my doorstep, I was so impressed with the prompt service and thoughtful packaging:

Living Libations is a truly inspiring and amazing company. Based out of northern Ontario, Living Libations is "a Veritable Wonderland of Real to the Feel Botanical Beauty Care, Successful Self-Dentistry & Raw Chocolate." Ron Obadia and Nadine Artemis are dedicated to preparing and sharing the most  purest, natural, and holistic personal care products with no synthetic ingredients, and their products make it all the more easier to "barefoot and frolick" through life!

Nadine's incredible knowledge of botanical blends and essential oils combined with Ron's yoga expertise (and sumptuous chocolate) makes for quite the creative and holistic company. Their 'philosophy,' or artist's statement encompasses the couple's positive energy and approach to holistic living and personal care: 

"Living Libations is where joyful petals, endless lands, green leaf abandon, Nadine and Ron greet the boundless cosmos of your being. This is the ground to spin around and around and grow branches of bliss to all living things." 

Umm, yes - sign me up please!

I first encountered Living Libations beautiful products and ethos at a December 2009 David Wolfe event in Toronto. As I walked into the room of the event, the most purest floral aromas took me aback as I explored their table, which featured vials of oils, beauty products, and lip balms. I purchased two of their lip balms, Hot Lover Lips and Lavender. Wowza - talk about an amazing flavor and aromatic experience!

At our last Conscious Eating Niagara potluck, we had an engaging conversation about the toxicity of mass-produced and commercial personal care products, particularly dental care products. Carin, from WOW Cafe in Guelph, mentioned how lines such as Living Libations are changing how we conceptualize personal care, particularly dental care. This conversation re-sparked my interested in their products, and as an end-of-term treat to myself, I ordered the Healthy Gum Drops and some Lavender essential oil.

Healthy Gum Drops is a revolutionary force in personal (and successful) self-dentistry. My order came with an instructive "Experience Successful Self-Dentistry" card which offers guidelines "for the healthiest gums ever." Some of the ways you can use the product is to place one drop on a dry toothbrush, or coat a piece of floss with one drop of the mixture.

When I first used the product on my toothbrush, I was thoroughly impressed with the minty feel from the peppermint, very similar to conventional toothpastes, but much more pure. I found the tea tree, peppermint, cinnamon, and oregano oils to be the most powerful ones in the blend, and worked well with the sea buckthorn, thyme, rose, and clove; all of which act as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal "anoint" for your mouth.

Overall, I really enjoy this product and find it acts as a great compliment to my emerging 'self-dentistry.' I've dabbled with natural toothpastes et al. in the past, but was never completely satisfied with the taste of the toothpastes, let alone texture. Healthy Gum Drops certainly cleanses your teeth in a gentle way without abrasive sodium lauryl sulfate foaming agents. It is perfect for establishing healthy gums as well, and many people massage the oil directly into any receding gum areas.

I would love to embark on a completely holistic self-dentistry practice, and think Living Libations is the way to go (they also offer solar-charged toothbrushes, self-dentistry kits, and other dental oils).

The Lavender Essential Oil is the purest lavender oil I have ever encountered, and I've been using a drop or two in the bath with some Epsom salts, as well as directly on my skin for instant relaxation. Pure aromatic bliss.

Their website offers a Wish List where you can select products you desire to buy - mine is getting longer by the day (definitely check out their website for descriptions and ingredients for these products):

- Best Skin Ever: Seabuckthorn/Vanilla/Chocolate/Lavish Abundance
- Yogi Tooth
- Everybody Loves the Sunshine
- Digest the Best
- and everything else....seriously!

Join the aroma-lution with Living Libations on Facebook, Twitter, and their website. For a little history of the company, check out this great video (along with their other super fun and groovy videos on YouTube):

Nadine will also be speaking about the power of essential oils at the upcoming "The First Annual Raw Vegan Festival" in Toronto on June 11th, 2011, and Ron will be leading a Chocolate Yoga class at the DWD at 6pm on the 11th as well.

Monday, May 16, 2011

my wild ride

As you might have noticed, I haven't blogged much lately; the reason being that I found myself so incredibly incapacitated early on in the week, that lifting a finger to my computer keyboard required a multitude of personal efforts. I've determined that I had an acute case of food poisoning and have never felt so incredibly crummy as I did last week.

When I first went raw/high raw over two years ago, I experienced some detox symptoms and had a few colds throughout the first year. But for the last year and a half, I have been fortunate to not have any sickness (such as colds, flu, viral, etc) cross my path.

I know what you are thinking - gross, why are we talking about this? Well, I found this week an interesting experience, because, for the most part, it was one of the first times (and illnesses) in which I found myself unable to heal quickly through food, especially raw food.

In fact, the only raw foods I ate were frozen bananas in my banana soft serve, fruit smoothies, and fruit puree posicles. Other than that, when I could muster the strength, I would have some green tea, organic vegetable broth, a little quinoa, and, get ready for it, Premium Plus Saltine Crackers. Yes, you heard right.

As I've mentioned before on the blog, I'm a strong advocate for a gluten-free lifestyle, and have not had any wheat products (bread, crackers, et al.) for almost five years (before that, very sporadically). I was tested for a wheat allergy when I was younger, which came up as sensitive, and I find I feel my best when I abstain from having wheat in my diet.

I knew I was so ill this week when all that was appealing to my knocked-out taste buds were the dreaded saltines - but I ate them, hand in hand with my cup of veggie broth, hoping to feel better. This combination was the only thing I found palatable for a period of time - eek.

Overall, it has taken me about a week to get back to my old self. What I've noticed is that my energy levels were completely depleted, and I'm having to ease back into my old routine, slowly but surely. As for any allergic reaction to the saltine crackers; I couldn't really tell, as I was already feeling unwell, but if anything, they helped me to eat some much needed food. I am certain that I won't be incorporating the 'dreaded saltines' into my diet on a regular basis, but a few days ago, I was very happy to have them around.

This experience really highlighted for me that there is nothing more depleting and anxious than being unwell. Our health is so incredibly vital to our livelihood, and I want to make sure I never feel like that again. Especially since I missed out on some of the most beautiful days of the Spring season (which has started about a month late here); there is nothing more tenuous than having to lay in the proverbial sickie bed while the sun is shining, and life is flowing all around you.

Does anyone else have a 
'sickie'/food story to share?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

rise above bakery and catering

There is a food revolution transpiring here in Niagara. In the last few months, I have been fortunate enough to take part in and observe some fabulous activities related to (raw) food as well as veganism. With the activism of Niagara Action for Animals (NAFA) and their monthly potlucks, Truly Organic Foods amazing selection of superfoods, Pan Cafe's delightful approach to organic fare, and the new Conscious Eating Niagara meetup group and monthly potluck, Niagara is buzzing with foodie energy.

photo credit: Natalie Zazulyk.

Another key figure in this energetic 'scene' is Kyle Paton, the proprietor of Rise Above Bakery and Catering in downtown St. Catharines. A resident of Niagara, Kyle was interested in opening a vegan restaurant here, rather than in a larger city.

Rise Above is the first and only vegan bakery to grace Niagara, and Kyle's catered fare has already pleased the mouths of people at many local events. We are all waiting with bated breath until the bakery officially opens its doors, which should be any day now!

photo credit: Natalie Zazulyk.

Kyle can also be found selling his delicious vegan fare at the St. Catharines Market Square every Saturday  from 8am-2pm. Here is a sampling of what his bakery offers each week (which, I might add, sells out so quickly, you'll want to get to the market as early as possible):

Doughnuts: Chocolate Dip, Maple Dip, Cinnamon Sugar, 
Sprinkle, Coconut, Maple Walnut

Gateau Fauxmage and Cheery Strawberry Pie 
(the jars are a wonderful touch)


Split Pea Spinach Soup and Chana Masala (not pictured)

As a musician and chef, Kyle brings an interesting and creative background to vegan cuisine. I had the opportunity to ask Mr. Paton a few questions about his restaurant and interest in veganism. Check it out:

M: How long have you been involved in the restaurant industry?

K: I've been involved in the restaurant industry since I was 14. The classic starting out as a dishwasher, and moving my way up.

M: Where does your passion for and interest in cooking come from?

K: My passion for cooking kind of came to me throughout being a cook, and it wasn't the reason I became one. The places I started working were crappy dive restaurants that were around the area. The typical first job kind of places when you're from a small town. It wasn't until I moved to St. Catharines and started working in other restaurants and around people with experience and passion that it started to form inside of me.

Being vegetarian back then forced me into doing a whole lot of cooking for myself. Learning about different ingredients that I had to research for myself, since I wasn't using them in my work place.

Putting me to the past couple years, traveling was a huge influence on my cooking. Going to restaurants around North America. Seeing what kind of food vegan restaurants were cooking. A lot of them were just vegan pub food, and don't get me wrong, I love eating that kind of stuff. But I wanted to do something bigger than that when I started Rise Above. Something that was tasty, had the comfort food vibe, but had great quality to set it apart. Within that, I wanted it to be accessible for the average person, and still fulfill the needs of those struggling vegan foodies looking for places to eat.

M: How important is using local and/or organic produce at Rise Above? Do you implement sustainable food practices as well?

K: Using local and organic products is very important to me as a cook. I think that local food is very important, but I think it's equally important to not look past ethical practices because it's local. I'll never support animal agriculture, no matter where it is, or how "ethically" they raise an animal to murder it.

All of my flours are organic and local, my sugar is organic and fair trade, etc. I think that's a really important issue for me, is that no matter what I get, no one is being taken advantage of, and no one's quality of living is being compromised.

Kyle's incredibly popular vegan doughnuts are also sold at 
The Peanut Mill, a health store in St. Catharines.

M: What attracts you most to vegan cuisine?

K: The things that drew me to vegan cuisine is deeply rooted in activism. I feel very passionately about animal rights, and I am trying to use food as a way to relay that message. Good food is good food, plain and simple. When people can sit down and have a meal void of any cruelty, and enjoy themselves, they'll start to question why animal products are necessary to begin with. Hearing people say "that's vegan??" in a shocked way about how delicious our food is, is really heart warming. I have people who come up to me all the time and ask about veganism because they've never heard of it. It's a great feeling.

M: What can people expect from your private dinner parties?

  photo credit: Natalie Zazulyk.

K: At our dinners we have a unique setup. On top of having 5 course vegan tasting menus. All of our guests sit at one big table that seats 14. It's a really nice way to go out and talk to like minded people. If you're going out in a small or large group of people, you have the option of opening the whole table up to discussion or just talking with your friends. The dynamic changes dinner to dinner depending on guests. Everyone who comes out to our dinners are incredible, enthusiastic people, who love food. It's a really enjoyable time.

[M: Kyle will also be offering raw dinner parties in the future, which I can't wait to sign up for and will be sure to share here on my blog].

M: I’ve noticed a turntable and multiple stacks of vinyl at Rise Above. Coupled with your background as a musician, do you find music, veganism, and cooking co-exist at your bakery? Is music an important part of your preparation/cooking process?

K: Music is the biggest motivator for me. Nothing like putting on your favourite record, dancing, and singing while working. Music was the first thing to turn me onto the idea of veganism. It goes hand in hand with everything I do in my life. I don't think I've gone a day without listening to music in any memory. When I played in Lemuria we made it a point to stop in a vegan restaurant in every city we played. I feel like the two most motivating things in my life are food and music.

photo credit: Krystal Peterson.

For more information on Rise Above, check out their website, like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, and read Tara Pelette's engaging article about the bakery on Just Do It Yourself.

"Good food is good food, plain and simple. 
When people can sit down and have a meal void of any cruelty, and enjoy themselves, they'll start to question why animal products are necessary to begin with" 
- Kyle Paton. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

sexy spark of life - niagara magazine article

For those of you in the Niagara region, I encourage you to check out the May/June 2011 issue of Niagara Magazine. I was asked to write an article on raw foods that discusses Kris Carr's fantastic new book, Crazy Sexy Diet, and her emphasis on the importance of living and digestive enzymes, and a balanced pH/alkaline balance for optimal health and well-being.

You can check out my article below as images, or as a .pdf file here. Note, the picture is not of me, although I've been told it does look like me lol!

Writing this article was an absolute thrill for me; not only did I get the opportunity to write about raw foods, health, and nutrition (some of my absolute passions), but I also had a chance to discuss Carr's new book. If you have not read it, pick up a copy today - her writing style and approach to health is truly inspiring.

What I found most engaging about Crazy Sexy Diet is Carr's 'no holds barred' and slightly humorous approach to discussing health. This girl talks about everything - from colonics, to living enzymes, juicing, smoothies, and most importantly, how 'diet' (using the term loosely of course) and lifestyle can be ways in which to heal ourselves and make us, to quote Carr, "wellness warriors."

The book also contains some fabulous recipes, and when I was perusing the pages of this section, I noticed some familiar names (is that you, Gena, Debbie, Lauren, and Kristen Suzanne?!). One recipe that I have made consistently since picking up the book is a modified version of the Marinated Kale Salad. Here is my version:

Marinated Kale Salad
Serves 4

1 large head of kale, washed, de-stemmed and chopped finely
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 avocados, chopped
2 tbsp hemp seeds
juice of 1/2 lemon
2 1/2 tbsp flax oil
dash of cayenne
dash of sea salt

In a large bowl, combine chopped kale, tomatoes, and avocados. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, flax oil, cayenne, and sea salt until well mixed. Combine dressing with the salad ingredients, massaging the dressing and avocados into the kale leaves. Toss salad with hemp seeds. Serve immediately, or let dressing marinate the salad for a few hours. Will keep for 1-2 days in the fridge

I've also started to make green juice, using a modifying Kris' recipe for Make Juice, Not War with a blend of cucumbers, celery, pears and/or apples, kale or parsley, some romaine leaves, dash of ginger and lemon. This blend definitely helped to keep me feeling "pHabulous" during the past winter months:

Thank you to Tanya Hvilivitzky and Niagara Magazine for providing a space to discuss raw foods and health. Hope you all enjoy the article! For more on Kris Carr, check out her health 'hub' community Crazy Sexy Life and official website for Crazy Sexy Diet.

Has anyone else read Carr's book - 
what are your thoughts on her approach to health?

Thursday, May 5, 2011

conscious eating niagara second potluck

We had the absolute pleasure of hosting the second Conscious Eating Niagara potluck this past Sunday at Pan Cafe in St. Catharines. The response to the first potluck was such a success, and there was an equally impressive turnout for our second time around. There were many familiar faces, as well as new people who heard about the meetup group through friends or online; some attendees came as far as Buffalo and Oakville to our meeting.

I have been taking in my memories of the potluck for the past few days; perhaps that is why my post is a little late - trying to figure out how to encapsulate the experience in words. I think it is best done with pictures:

 Jan and Dave's Pasta with Marinated Portobello 
Mushrooms and Olives

 Marlie and Jim's flaxers (flax crackers) with "raw vegan guacamole":
(The title is a little in-joke. I made a guacamole once and called it raw vegan, 
when, generally, guacamole is always raw vegan lol). 

 Dave's Pumpkin Seed Patties, and in the background, 
a corner of my Cucumber Almondaise appetizers.

 Creamy Carrot Ginger Soup with lime (amazing flavors!)

 Raw Pad Thai

 Toni's vegetables patties with dill sauce
(these were delicious!)

The desserts for the potluck were truly amazing and raw-inspiring. The artistry and care that were put into them really came through the presentation and flavors. These were so gorgeous - please, take these in and just imagine how excited everyone was to sample such beauty:

 Toni's Kiwi-Apple Pie (forefront)

 Kelly's adorable 'love tarts'

Kristen's Chocolate Pie (adapted from a Sweet Gratitude recipe)

 Tara's Fresh Mango Cobbler (adapted from an Ani Phyo recipe)

 Audrey and Vas's Raspberry - Cherry Cheesecake adapted from a recipe 
in Susan Powers new book, and Lee and Kent's Caramel Vanilla Squares

 Tatiyana's Tiramisu (adapted from an Ani Phyo recipe)

 Our sampling of the wonderful food: 
kale chips, sprout salad, soup, cobbler.

Our guest speaker was Linda Murphy, a holistic nutritionist from the Niagara region, who discussed some of the toxins found in our homes. She spoke about Dr. Wentz's book 'Healthy Home' - it was very interesting to learn about the different toxins that permeate our everyday lives, and what we can do with our diet and lifestyle to counteract their harsh effects. 

Also, in attendance at the potluck was Carin, the proprietor and chef at WOW Raw Cafe, a raw vegan restaurant-cafe in Guelph. Carin brought the most delightful dill noodles, which featured the softest kelp noodles I have ever tried. Her presentation of the dish was complete with daffodil flowers (don't worry, we refrained from eating the flowers!).

She also brought a beautiful chocolate strawberry cheezecake which I didn't have a chance to photograph as it was gone in seconds. Lovely dishes, and it was so lovely to meet Carin - her passion is truly inspiring!

I had a chance to purchase a tray of sunflower sprouts from Audrey, and we have been enjoying them daily on our salads. I've never been able to grow these successfully, and they are hard to find in this area. When I heard that Audrey grew these sprouts, I was elated. We are already about halfway through the sprouts. Yum!

Another wonderful evening of good food, good conversation, and a beautiful raw experience. I feel so fortunate to take part in this monthly meetup group - always a delight. Thank you to everyone who made the evening a success, and I can't wait for the next one!

Also, what do you think of the new blog layout/look for  
barefoot and frolicking