Thursday, August 26, 2010

New Toys in the Kitchen

The month of August has been very good to me, as it always is, being my birthday month and all...so I thought I'd let you, my blog, in on some of the excitement! So, here it is...new toys!! YES! My lovely parents took me to Lowes while they were in town and helped me choose the most amazing birthday present that I was so uberly desperate for...a food processor! This Kitchen Aid mama has a 9-cup bowl and a mini-bowl (the selling point) for smaller jobs. It is so much quieter than the blender and it is also my (and Corey's) new best friend in the kitchen. The first night we tried it out, Corey made some amazing garlic-olive salad dressing and I ground up walnuts to sprinkle on top...divine! In this photo, I was experimenting with my first batch of hummus. It was a recipe from a book I am reading right now, "12 Steps to Raw Foods," by Victoria Boutenko (http://www.amazon.com/Steps-Raw-Foods-Dependency-ebook/dp/B001UFP6TE) and actually turned out pretty tasty, aside from being a bit too basily. I think next time I could use about half of the basil and maybe add some other flavors like sun dried tomatoes! Yummy. Also, the raw balls I mentioned in an earlier blog were 10 times easier to mix in the food processor! Corey and I's nickname for this wonderful new gadget is BAM! because you want something done and...BAM! it's done. :) I like this.

The other exciting toy I got is a spiralizer (spiral slicer)!! I found this bad boy at a thrift store/animal rescue store I was volunteering at for a possible part-time job. Anyway, I was organizing shelves in the kitchen section and saw this guy sitting, brand new, in the box with only a 10 dollar price tag! These things are usually about 40 dollars and up, so I snatched it up right away! I haven't had the privilege of making anything on it yet, but I'm hoping to make some raw zuchinni-noodle spaghetti this next week sometime on it, so I will get back with some pics when I get to it! 

This is me, at the raw food meet-up thing I went to last week, with Rawdawg Rory and his wife, Amanda, who were/are still traveling through Oregon and around the country! Amanda is walking across the country to help herself lose weight and strengthen her health and vitality...very admirable.   

 

On another foodie note, I recently made Ani Phyo's raw chili (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_m9PNr_iGE) and it turned out so freaking amazing my mouth is watering just thinking about making it again! Corey and I both looooved it and it even satisfied our meat-loving palates! This would be a great recipe to make for a dinner party with non-raw-eating people who are looking to try something a little different, but spectacular! The best part about this dish, you only need a blender to make it! I didn't have the food processor yet when I made it, and it still turned out perfect.  
Click on the link above to get the recipe and see how to make it. I was surprised, I didn't even have to add any water or anything to the blender as the tomatoes took care of the juicyness needed to run it. 

That's it for now...but coming up soon I will be talking about morning energy solutions and review some non-toxic beauty products! Until then, happy August! Enjoy this beautiful month while it lasts!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Beautiful Summer & Dairy Free Me Update!

Hello out there!!! I have been super busy and enjoying the gorgeous summer! Since the last time I posted I have had a birthday, visited beautiful new places around the city I live in, had a surprise visit from my parents!, and acquired a food processor (which is my new best friend)! This summer is going great and I am just grateful to be where I am, doing what I am doing, and working everyday to create a better and more vibrant community around myself, and for myself...and others! Whew!

Having said that, I also attended a great raw food meet-up group in my community tonight where I met some raw foodies I have seen online, as well as some people in my community who share some of the same interests as me. It was really inspiring to be in the setting I surround myself with online all the time, but also to have other people, REAL people!, there and excited and curious as myself.  

Dairy Free Me Experiment Update:

I have been successfully avoiding my long lost love (a.k.a cheese), and all other dairy, for about 3 weeks now, with only a few minor slip ups here and there, and so far so good! My skin is looking very clear these days (knock on wood) and I have had very few, if any breakouts for the past couple of weeks. Also, I have noticed that the redness and little bumpy-ness to my cheeks/chin has cleared up quite a bit. I'm not getting too excited as of yet, as the experiment is still underway, but so far so good. On a related side note, I am not so sure that soy cheese agrees with me. I have never had any problems, in the past, with soy, that I was aware of, and in general I tend to avoid it, as most soy comes from non-organic, Monsanto-distributed, Round-Up ready soy seeds...but for my birthday this past weekend, I wanted to eat at a particular restaurant. I chose this restaurant because they have a vegetarian menu made from local, organic & sustainably farmed vegetables, and they tend to be a little pricey, so we were waiting for a special occasion to try them out. Anyway, I ended up eating the Zucchini Lasagna (Ingredients from the menu: Zucchini layered with tofu ricotta, cashew cream, collard greens and kalamata olives baked with marinara sauce and cheddar cheese. Vegan option made with our own tofu cheese) and enjoying it very much, until about 30 minutes after leaving the restaurant when I noticed my stomach grumbling...omitting unpleasant details, I had terrible cramping followed by a terrible 20 minutes in the baƱo. I kept trying, all night, to figure out what had caused it...as I had also eaten a vegan, gluten-free cupcake just before the stomach ache (my "birthday cake"), which I thought may have been too much sugar for me, or something, except that the symptoms came on so soon after eating the cupcake, I more suspected the dinner. Either way, I am still unsure what the cause was. A woman I met at the meet-up tonight was telling me how soy can be mucus forming in the body as well, which is very interesting as I continue to find the cause of this unpleasant stomach ache. I will have to do a bit more research on that though, very interesting stuff. Ok, enough about that, back to raving about this beautiful summer!!

I have to say, I am so excited for each new day, as every day brings something new and wonderful into my life. That said, I hope if you are reading this that you realize how amazing and beautiful you are and that you are trying each day to be true to yourself, your heart, and the people you love. Until next time! Be well!