whole foods and beyond....nourishing the body, spirit and soul

Monday, December 27, 2010

raw vegan cheezey zucchini roll ups

on the second day of "vegetablowing" chaz's super carnivorous mind,  i had to pull out all the bells and whistles. my main priority is getting him hooked on veggies but to also have him feeling full and satisfied...seeing as how he's a really big guy and can eat a lot. typically these types of men think the only way they can be full is by eating a meal loaded with steak, wings, or chaz's favorite, chicken breast. oh how glorious it was to see his satisfaction upon feasting on these cute little rolls! now for me this could have been a really filling meal, but for him this is an appetizer. so when i pulled them out of the dehydrator we just snacked on them until i was finished making the rest of the meal...which included roasted squash and easy tatziki sauce. don't miss the recipe posted in a few days!

with a creamy cheesy texture, these rolls would be great to serve to someone not used to this diet and lifestyle to basically shatter their thoughts of vegetables being boring. they would make a fabulous appetizer at any dinner party so don't be intimidated by any of the steps;)

zucchini rolls:
two thicker zucchinis, shaved into long thin slices (i used a vegetable peeler, but a mandolin would make this a lot easier)
juice of one lemon
3 tbs olive oil
pinch of sea salt

cheddar kream cheeze:
2/3 c macadamia nuts, soaked for atleast two hours
1/3 c walnuts, soaked atleast two hours
1 red pepper, roughly chopped
4 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp of sea salt
juice of half a lemon

*using your vegetable peeler or mandolin, very carefully slice the zucchini in thin long pasta like strips. place them in a bowl and add the lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt. send some love and peace through your finger tips and massage the zucchini strips. set them aside (for as long as over night in the fridge) as you prep the rest.

*next rinse and drain your nuts that have been soaking. i used the same bowl for both nuts. add them to the blender with the red pepper, garlic, sea salt and lemon juice. blend on high for a few minutes adding just enough water to keep it moving. this should come out really thick and smooth.

*now the fun part! lay your strips of zucchini lengthwise on your dehydrator trays, overlapping each other to look sort of like a lasagna noodle. take a table spoon full of the cheeze and spread it lengthwise all down the strips, leaving a half inch around all the edges. this is what it should look like:
now as amazing as this looks right now...hold yourself back devouring them all and your reward will be much greater when these little guys are finished in a few hours

*now put these long strips, unrolled, directly in your dehydrator on 110 degrees for two hours. after the two hours the zucchini and cheeze will have firmed up just enough to make it easy to roll. roll up each one from top to bottom and put back in the dehydrator for atleast another hour. i put these back in for an hour and a half and they were perfect then!

now just think of how classy you are inside and out as you savor these delicious raw hors d'heurves! the garlic and red pepper mixed together give this the perfect tang, reminiscent of cheddar that will pop in your mouth. paired with a decadent creamy texture, and the zucchini!...oh it's got this chewy pasta like texture with a bold flavor from the lemon marinade. enjoy!

stay tuned for my recipe on the roasted squash and easy tatziki!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

i'll vegetablow your mind

this miracle started to unfold just a few days ago. the story began with a phone call from my unpredictable husband while i was grocery shopping. he called and said "i need you to buy veggie burgers," which was followed by my immediate response of "WHAT?" this is quite the unusual request coming from the guy who says the way to woo him would be to cook him chicken twice everyday. he continued to press for it, so i agreed happily that i would make him homemade veggie burgers, that infact contain real vegetables and no fillers. still a little weirded out by this odd request, i finished my shopping and went back to my parent's house where were staying for the weekend.

later in the evening when we started our trek back to our apartment, he grabbed this pile of my brother's "men's fitness magazines," (which coincidentally my sister and i were laughing earlier how ridiculous those magazines are, filled with "power foods" and "flat abs in days" articles that are clearly written by people who don't truly understand how the body works.) and said "oh i'm gonna take these with me. i read an article about a vegan body builder in here....and i want to try to go vegetarian for a few weeks to see how i feel." my jaw dropped to the floor. but i tried to act cool on the outside and said through my shock "oh that's great. i would love to help you with that." but on the inside i was jumping for joy thanking god for answering my prayers!! chaz and i have a lot of the same convictions on food, but clearly differ on a lot of issues. i've told him too many times to count the importance of vegetables and that he doesn't need meat everyday to live, nor to accomplish his goals in weight lifting. so god used the language that would resonate with chaz the greatest to start his high raw journey....a "ridiculous" men's fitness magazine.

so without further ado, let me vegetablow your mind! the next few posts will be dedicated to mouth watering, satisfying, high raw dishes to help those meat eaters in your life  add "vegetable enthusiast" to their resume.

our vegetable baby...all cleaned up and ready for company

 chaz's first day of transformation started off with a game night with our friends. i made these dips that go great with any raw veggies you have in the fridge for dipping.
                                                       SPICEY BLACK BEAN DIP
 this dip is thick and creamy, with just enough spicy kick to keep you coming back for more. it's not raw, but still a great accompniment to any raw dish you may be creating. our guests loved it...and my husband begged me to make it again the next day:)

1 can of organic black beans
1/4 c greek yogurt
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
2-3 tbs olive oil
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ceyenne pepper
a handful fresh cilantro

*heat olive oil in skillet on medium high heat. add onions and let them cook for about five minutes. add in garlic and cook for about two minutes. next add your can of drained and rinsed black beans. stir in all of your spices and let it simmer on low heat for like ten minutes. you may want to add a little bit of water to the pan for even cooking. next let this cool for a few minutes. add the bean mixture along with yogurt and cilantro to your food processor. run until you achieve a thick consistency, scraping down the bowl as needed. while running, stream in enough olive oil to keep the mixture moving.

                                                             GARLIC HUMMUS
 i love making really strong garlic hummus! it's a flavor explosion that most packaged hummus eaters are surprised by.  i kept this one a little bit milder since we were having guests over.

1 can organic chick peas
1/4 c greek yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 of a small onion
3-6 cloves garlic, depending on how daring you are
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1 bunch fresh basil
one dash of black pepper

*drain and rinse the can of chick peas. roughly chop the garlic and onion. add everything to your  processor and run until you receive a thick consistency, scraping down the bowl as needed. drizzle in olive oil while running to keep mixture moving.

                                                            CLEAN SOAPY BABY
woops....how'd that get in there? well anyways, you just need a bath of warm water, a smooth chubby baby and bath toys to create this scrumptious raw dish!

you can make your platter look as inviting as possible by adding a few touches of raw herbs or other leafy greens.

a few sprigs of rosemary
half a cucumber, sliced
5 carrots, sliced into sticks
1 red bell pepper, sliced into sticks
a handful of radishes, chopped in half
a handful of cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

*chop everything to the size of your liking. use any vegetables that you have available. arrange them nicely on a platter....serve right away or do all your prep work up to a day in advance by covering this with saran wrap and storing in the fridge.

                       the perfect center piece to keep us moving during our competitive game night!

so whether you choose to use these dips for dipping veggies, or as a condiment in a romaine wrap or even on top of cooked brown rice....remember to keep praying for your loved ones and keep eating your veggies!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

new camera, new recipes

in honor of my new camera i've been taking pictures of all the food i've been making. and of course thinking of sharing it all with you! so have some fun in the kitchen and see if you can get inspired by these easy, life giving recipes;)

                                                  MY GREEN JUICE THAT TURNED OUT
                                                    TO BE ORANGISH JUICE.....but tasted delish!

ok this is what i call a "wake up call!" this drink will fuel you through your whole morning, break up the waste from the day before, and completely recharge you to make healthful decisions all day.

2 carrots
2 collard greens
1/4 of a cucumber
1 green apple
2 small cloves garlic

*run all ingredients through your juicer (if you don't have a juicer....get one! or you could blend the ingredients in a high powered blender and strain through a nut milk bag)

                                                          MALTED CHOCOLATE LATTE

this is one of my new faves! around ten am every morning i find myself doing the same song and dance with my blender again. this drink is smooth and slightly creamy, with just enough chocolatey flavor to make you think you're going against the rules.  and it's a pretty high class way to get in all your super foods;)

1 c sesame mylk
1 c coconut mylk (this gives it that silky texture and creates the foam on top)
2 dates
2 tbs cacao (cacao is the raw version of cocoa powder...i order mine at http://www.therawfoodworld.com)
1/2 tsp maca (not only will this adapt to what your body needs, it gives the drink it's malt characteristic)
1/2 tsp bee pollen
1 tbs honey

*add all ingredients to your high powered blender and blend away! it should be smooth in a minute or two at which point i like to taste and make any adjustments. add in 6-8 pieces of ice and blend until they're broken up.

                                                         MEXICAN BURRITOS

we had a friend over for dinner the other night and i had to think of something that would nourish her body, but fill her up after a long day of classes. you can stuff romaine with just about anything you can think of, and i promise it will surprise you at how filling it really is!

a few leaves of romaine lettuce (choose ones that are easy to hold and have minimal tears)
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cucumber, chopped
8 radishes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 c or so of olive oil
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
1 tsp sea salt
cooked split peas

*chop all of your veggies into bite size pieces. any raw veggies will do...these just happen to be what i had on hand that day. place them in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and then stir in the olive oil, lemon juice and chopped herbs. again, any herb you have will do, but for the mexican vibe go with cilantro. set this bowl aside and let the flavors mix. you could even let this sit up to three days in the fridge adding it to other dishes and the longer it sits, the stronger the flavors become. while your vegetables have time to get to know each other in the bowl, choose your romaine leaves and wash them. add the vegetables to any cooked grains or meat you might already have...i had cooked spit peas. so i stirred them together and then spooned them into the romaine leaves for our feast.

                                                               CHIA SEED PUDDING

when someone tries to tell you that eating healthy is too expensive, serve them a bowl of chia seed pudding.....and rock their world. chia seeds are considered a superfood, completely nourishing your body with essential fatty acids, protein, minerals and fiber. and even better than all these physical gifts, are it's price! i buy mine from our local market at about three dollars for half a pound. and in a house where things go fast, this lasts a whole month. one bowl of pudding only requires 2 tbs of chia seeds, yet will leave you feeling full, satisfied and dreamy.

1 cup water (nut mylk works fantastic)
1 banana, chopped
1 handful sunflower seeds
2 tbs chia seeds
1 1/2 tbs honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt

*place chia seeds and water in jar and shake it around so all the seeds can absorb the water. while that's partying, stir together the honey, salt and cinnamon in a bowl. next chop your banana. give the chia seeds another shake and let them know whose boss. after sitting for about ten minutes they will have completely absorbed the water and become like a pudding! add this dreamy pudding to your bowl of honey and stir it in really well. then add the banana and sunflower seeds...or anything else you might fancy;)

                                                     BANANA SUNBUTTER BOATS

now it took me a long time to even give this dish the time of day. i always read about it's different variations in raw books and such and thought it sounded disgusting. but like the annoying guy that keeps asking you out, just give it a try and be pleasantly surprised by how much you like it.

a few leaves of romaine lettuce (choose ones that are easy to hold and have minimal tears)
1 banana
a few tbs of any nut butter (mine was homemade sunflower seed butter!)

*wash the romaine leaves. spread on the nut butter from top to bottom. layer on your slices of banana. in less than minutes you'll be wrapping this treat up and savoring each bite of smooth, creamy, crispy, crunchiness.

i hope that these recipes will inspire you to get in your kitchen and be creative. i hope that the photos will inspire you to take better pictures than me. and with all of these recipes, just remember to follow your heart....these aren't set in stone, their guide lines to lead you into a blissful life of health!