Monday, February 27, 2012

30-Second Nut Milk

More like 20 seconds. This could not be simpler.

From Raw Food, Real World 
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of any raw nut butter
  • 2 cups water
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons agave nectar, or 1 packet stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon coconut butter (optional)


I made this twice, so far. Once with stevia, and the other time with agave. The agave tasted MUCH better. Stevia has a licorice-like taste and can be bitter. I didn't care for it. But the agave worked like a charm.




Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes

Raw Vegan Cupcakes, anyone?
This not a review, as I have only made these Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting from Cupcake Heaven by Natalia KW only once. I will continue to play around with Natalia's book a few more times.
But I was so scared make these! I was intrigued, yet slightly skeptical. I love raw desserts, even though I hadn't made anything in a good long while. My raw cake experience has just been 'okay.' Not fantastic, bad, or great, just okay. Mimicking cooked dough isn't easy.

But looking at Natalia's photos (repeatedly) and the reviews, I said, "Okay, what the heck." I ordered Coconut Secret Coconut Flour, which Natalia recommends. A few days later, I gave it a go.
Her cupcakes all have a fruit and coconut flour base. When I tasted the apple base (the 'wet ingredients' in baked goods lingo), I said, "She's on to something here." But the issue was that I didn't have enough coconut oil. I plowed ahead anyway.
I mixed the flour into the wet ingredients in my food processor. Once finished, it actually looked and tasted like dough. But because I didn't have enough coconut oil, the dough was crumbly, as you can see from the photos. But it was tasty. I'll even dare say 'great.' And Rom and Raymond asked me for more.

I couldn't take the wrappers off because the cupcakes would have fallen apart. But that's on me, not Natalia. I will make these again when I buy more coconut oil. Using the regular amount of ingredients yields 12 cupcakes. I cut the recipe in half, and I made nine of them.

So I'll be back with a chocolate version. :-)



Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew

Sweet Potato Lentil Stew
(GF) (V)

An easy, one pot dinner for your family.
From Alicia Silverstone's The Kind Diet.
Ingredients (Serves 4-6):
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion sliced
2 small tomatoes diced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger minced
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
sea salt
2-3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4″ cubes (you can add more if you like)
7 cups vegetable broth (or water)
1 cup brown lentils
Heat oil in large, deep pot. Add onion and stir until it starts to soften-about 2 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes and ginger. Cook for about 3 minutes.
Stir in turmeric, cumin coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and a pinch or two of sea salt
Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add more salt if necessary.
Next, add sweet potatoes, broth and lentils.
Bring to a boil over high heat.
Cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potatoes are soft.


Tart Green Juice

Just sharing a juice a made last night. The juice was spread out between this one big mason jar and two smaller ones.

3 limes
1 head of celery
1 bunch of red swiss chard
2 small bunches of broccoli
4 apples

Very green. Very tart. If you're ready for a greener juice, give it a try. If it's too bitter, add more lime, or try lemons instead.



Monday, February 20, 2012

Chia Seed Pudding

Chia Seed Pudding

It doesn't look like much does it? This lump of grayish pudding..kind of looks like lumpy gray-black jello.
But I LOVED it.
I bought a bag of chia seeds because I read Raw and Beyond: How Omega-3 Nutrition is Changing The Raw Food Paradigm by Victoria Boutenko, Elaina Love, and Chad Sarno. When I read that chia seeds were extraordinarily high in Omega-3s, I bought a bag. But what to do with it?

Here's what I did, and what I learned:

I made the 'Chia Seed Pudding' in Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis. I added raisins and chopped apples, and more almond milk after I prepared it. It took a while to get used to the gel-like seeds. But the that was amazing.

The recipe:

1 cup chia seeds
3 cups nut milk, coconut milk, or hemp milk
3-5 tablespoons agave nectar (I used 4 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional, but use it anyway)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but use it for sure)
Pinch of sea salt

Place the chia seeds, milk, agave, vanilla and cinnamon in a bowl. Stir well, so there are no clumps, and all the chia seeds are covered in milk. Let it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate. (Basically, stir and walk away. This is truly 'fast food.')

Come back.

Put some of it in a bowl, add fruit, nuts, and more milk to make it like cereal. This makes a lot of pudding.

Eat. Savor the taste.

I liked it so much I wrote Sarma on Facebook to tell her. And Raymond loved it too.

But here's the deal: Chia seeds are very high in fiber. You'll be pooping forever. And because it's so high in fiber, it's an appetite suppressant. I didn't know all of this before hand.

I suggest eating less pudding than you think, at first. It won't look like a lot, but you'll be full quickly. Add a tablespoon to your breakfast smoothies (let seeds sit in water or milk first) so you won't be so hungry by lunchtime.

And as far as Victoria, Elaina, and Chad's book goes: Part of me was disappointed. Between the three of them, there's only 33 pages of their story of why they now include cooked food in their diets.

I know they have other books. I have all of Victoria's books as well as her children Sergei & Valya's book Fresh. But Victoria is Miss "Cooked Food is an Addiction." (from 12 Steps to Raw Food) My girl was hardcore. For her to make a change is a complete paradigm shift. And there is no judgement in what I am writing. I say "to each his own." I just wanted to hear more from her, because I know there is more to her story.

It's just the whole volume felt slim. Like they were holding back. I couldn't figure out what bothered me about the book. I think that it hadn't decided what it would be: personal stories of three respected raw food pioneers or a recipe book? I think it would have been better if it were one or the other.

The best part of the book is the chart which include the ratio of omega-3s to 6s in oils, seeds, and greens. That's good information to have. I'll use Raw and Beyond as a reference tool. But that's about it.



Cookie Dough Truffles

Cookie Dough Truffles
(V) (GF)
These are fricking amazing. I read about them on Chef Chloe's website. I saw her for the first time on Food Network's Cupcake Wars. She's a vegan chef, and her vegan cupcakes WON! That's when I became a fan.

I made her Avocado Pesto Pasta back in August, and RAVED about it on my other blog. I've got another rave. I made this about a month ago. Once again, Chloe delivers. Think chocolate chip cookie dough encased in chocolate. Yes, it is as good as it sounds.

The original link is here:

I used gluten-free flour instead of white flour. And because I was out of parchment paper, I had to adapt. Below is the recipe.


  • ½ cup vegan margarine
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour (I used Pamela's Gluten-Free Baking Mix, also 1 1/4 cups.)
  • 1/3 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips (dairy-free)
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate (dairy-free)


Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
(Note: I was out of parchment paper, which is a natural non-stick paper. I lined the baking sheets with white, regular paper. Then I put olive oil on some plastic wrap. I used that to rub the oil into the paper. Without it, the truffles will stick to the paper. It'll be a hot mess. Keep this one simple: buy the parchment paper!)

Using a mixer, beat margarine, brown sugar, salt, vanilla, and water until combined. Add flour and beat until incorporated. Fold in mini chocolate chips. Cover dough and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Roll chilled dough into 1-inch balls with the palms of your hands. Place on prepared baking sheets.

Freeze for 15 minutes. (I froze for an hour.)

Melt the remaining 12 ounces chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Let cool to room temperature.

Remove one tray of cookie dough balls from the freezer. Dip each ball into the melted chocolate and remove using two forks. Place the coated balls back onto the baking sheet and transfer to the refrigerator.

Repeat with the second tray of cookie dough balls. Chill until the chocolate is set, about 20 minutes. (I kept them in the fridge for an hour.) Store in refrigerator until serving.

They won't keep long in your house! ◦

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Raymond's Cupcakes

Raymond made me cupcakes a few weeks ago. Mind you, this was a spontaneous and true surprise. I was upstairs getting dressed. Raymond runs upstairs, "I made you cupcakes!"
I come down to see this mound of flour, sugar, and coconut flakes in paper cupcake liners. At first, I was annoyed. I won't lie. My first instinct, was "What the hell?" Then I QUICKLY course-corrected myself. Raymond loves to help me in the kitchen. I chose to encourage him, rather than say, "Dude, you used up all my coconut flakes." (Just being real. We moms have to watch what we say to our kids.)

Instead, I said, "Okay, let's add a few things so that your cupcakes can rise in the oven." I had no idea if it would work, but I added a touch of baking soda, baking powder, and salt. We put them in the oven for 10 minutes.

I go back upstairs. Ten minutes have surely passed, but I never hear the oven beep! I come back downstairs, and my man has taken the cupcakes out of the oven, AND, get this, made a chocolate sauce from scratch!

Again, I'm annoyed because Raymond took cupcakes out of a 350 degree oven. But I'm impressed because he made the sauce. From chocolate powder and honey, by the way. I say, "I'm proud of you, but please do not take anything out of the oven or use the stove without adult supervision."
I said, "Do you want me to help you make cupcakes next time?"
Response: "No, but next time you can take the cupcakes out of the oven."


But check this out: They were not only edible, they were kind of good! Rom and I were like, "These are actually good!" They had flavor :-).

As an aside, Raymond has wanted to be a chef since he was five years old. I took this picture of him in 2007. My baby may grow up be a world famous chef!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lots Going On!

There has been so much going on lately. I wanted to write separate posts for everything. But I decided to put it all in one post.
First, Jona just had a birthday! He's seven years old now! Yea! That's him eating b-day gf cupcakes from Flavor Cupcakery (a Food Network Cupcake Wars winning bakery! Whoo Hoo!). Mommy didn't feel like making cupcakes from scratch. It's wonderful having an awesome bakery in my county that caters to GF-people and vegans.

And in a rare moment, I actually stuck myself in one of my kids photos. I decided not to hide behind the camera anymore. (More on that on my blog.) We took this self-portrait at Highlands School, where Raymond is getting one-on-one tutoring.


Here's Raymond with his tutor, Miss Heather, who spontaneously grabbed Raymond's Captain Underpants bag for the photo. I am so digging this school. We want to send Raymond there again this summer. Not only for the Social Activities Program, but the Academic side too. He wants to do his school work more independently, and that is a WONDERFUL thing.


This is Raymond with his Cranial-Sacral Therapist, Eric Sumwalt. I know Eric from my Mystickal Voyage days. I took Raymond there because I had read Cranial-Sacral Therapy was good for children with Autism and ADHD. I have to say that Raymond seemed more relaxed right after the session. I saw him relax during the hour-long session. We're seeing Eric every other week, for now.

This is Raymond with Dr. Salim, and his assistant, Tequila (yes, that is her real name) at Children's Heart Institute. Raymond had two irregular EKGs, plus a third irregular one while we were there. Dr. Salim did an echo cardiogram which looked normal, but he suggested Raymond wear a Holter device for 24-hours. Basically, it's a 24-hour EKG.

This is what part of it looked like. My poor child didn't get any sleep that night, as you can imagine. The good news is that Raymond's heart is normal!

This is the kids with their other speech therapist (they have two), Miss Amy. Looking at Jona's face, he has this nervous habit of licking around his mouth, or licking his hand then rubbing his hand around his mouth. Shea Butter knocks that out in 48-hours. So don't worry, he's fine!

And Raymond is in karate and jazz dance! Jona wants to take karate too. Now that he watches his brother, he's practicing his punches and kicks too :-).

Coming up: Raymond's homemade cupcakes.



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