Friday, March 30, 2012

Green Drinks

 Green Drinks! Do it! I do. All the time. Yum.
 I always have staples like greens, celery and cucumber on hand to make drinks like these. In case of a Green Emergency I also have powders like Vega and Amazing Grass for a quick fix. Here are a few examples of variations you can make once you've got a juicer and a stocked fridge. hmmm.. I wonder what kind of green drink I'll have today?!
I've been adding Rejuvelac to many of my drinks lately. You can read about my homemade Rejuvelac here. Basically its a probiotic fermented beverage made from whole grain sprouts. It adds loads of living enzymes and will also keep your green drink from oxidizing. Fabulous. 

Pineapple scraps
Tumeric & Ginger scraps


Fenugreek sprouts

Collard Greens
Yellow Beet

Sunflower microgreens
Buckwheat microgreens
Quinoa sprouts
Fenugreek sprouts

Avocolada Chia Pudding

pineapple, about 2 1/2-3 cups
coconut water, 2 cups
2 bananas, keep separate
avocado, save the pit
2T coconut butter
pinch of salt
juice of 1 lime
3T chia seeds

 Place all the ingredients, except the chia and 1 banana, into the blender and puree. Then, stir in the chia seeds, the avocado pit and the other banana sliced. The pit will help keep the avocado fresh for a few days. Place in the fridge and enjoy a few hours later.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kimchi Round 2

Stay tuned for the progress of the Kimchi! This is only day 1. The jar will sit on my counter and ferment for the next 3 days or so, then I'll stick it in the fridge. Check out my last batch of Kimchi here. I made the last batch (my first at-home batch!) last week.. and its gone already. Obviously, its time to make more. This will surely be a new staple in my home.

1 head Nappa Cabbage
1 red bell pepper
2 carrots
1 small-med Daikon radish
4 knobs of Tumeric
2 c sugar snap peas
1/2 bunch cilantro
1 bunch scallions
3 T chili powder, grown & dried by one of my best friends, Billie Hainds!!
4 cloves garlic
2 in ginger
1 T miso
2quarts water + 4T seasalt

Drying Ginger & Tumeric for Tea

By request of my very dear friend Robert Jenkins, Ill be preparing a lovely tea, of which, the main ingredients are tumeric and ginger. These are nutritional POWERHOUSES, people. Get some. Tumeric is the healthiest spice in the world. (I see the grammatical error there, but just go with it.)Renowned for its anti inflammatory properties, tumeric has been used for over 4000 years to treat a variety of conditions. Its a staple in Indian cusine... and in my home. YES! Ginger, I buy like twice a week. I put it in all my juices, many of my teas, sauces, dressings, soups.. Its great for nausea or an upset stomach, its a very warm spice, so you can add it to tea on a cold day or to a bath if you have a cold! YES!

Tumeric & Ginger
 Many chefs find the best way to peel these roots is with the back of a spoon. Its not quick, its not perfect, but it gets the job done. Use a knife, and chances are you'll lose lots of the goodness. I saved all the skins and added them to my fresh morning juice. Intense!
 Peeled tumeric & ginger roots
Once you've minced them up good, spread them out on dehydrator racks.
 Alternatively, you can dry them at the lowest setting in your oven.

raw Blueberry Dream Chia Pudding

1 pkg fresh bloobs
1 banana
3 oranges, juiced
2 T chia seeds

Toss the bloobs, banana and oj in the blender and blend on low. You dont want a perfect puree (or do you?) so leave it a little chunky. Stir in the vanilla and chia seeds. Refrigerate and enjoy a few hours later. I sprinkle a little Bee Pollen on mine.

How to Prep a Pinapple

This may seem obvious to many of you.. but there are a lot of folks 
out there who wouldn't know where to start.
And to all of those folks.. this ones for you. 

Get a sharp knife.
 Chop off the top and bottom of the pineapple, so that you have a flat surface to work with.

Slice off the skin, staying as close to the flesh as possible. Its okay if there are lots of eyes (those browinsh circular dents) hangin' around... we'll get rid of those in a minute. If you've got a juicer, juice the skin, it'll still produce quite a bit of fresh yummy juice.

The eyes are in a pattern. It should be pretty easy to slice them off with some long V cuts. So, come at a row of eyes at an angle with your knife..then make another cut so that the eyes are removed in a V wedge.

Bask in your pineapple's beauty. Can't use it all up? Chop it and freeze it. Puree it with banana and make a chia pudding. Make a pineapple salsa. or a Pineapple salad dressing! Oh the places you can go...

Monday, March 26, 2012

raw Sunflower Nuggets w Asian Sticky Sauce

Well, this is one of the best meals I've eaten in a looongg time.  To the left is a photo of the nuggets with Kelp noodles and marinated veggies. YUM. I cant wait to have it again for lunch tomorrow!!
Seriously, Ive fed these nuggets to several omnivores over the last few days.. and their responses were unanimous. They all wanted more. Even my most adamantly carnivorous foodie friend raved. I'll be working on this recipe and some similar ideas in the future. ugh, I love to eat good food.
Okay, but real quick let me tell you about the Kelp noodles. Drove all over town lookin for em.Our local vegan & raw cafe, Beets, sells them for a whopping $6.99 per package. Granted, there are several servings per package and they last for a while in the fridge.. but I wasn't excited about spending $7 per package. Natural Grocer was out of em. So I found em at Wheatsville this afternoon (went there this morning but forgot my wallet! yep.) for $3.75. Excellent. I picked up three packages. They are only 6 calories per serving, they're raw, and they're made entirely out of seaweed. Right up my alley. They better have kelp noodles in Columbia, MO because I wont be able to live without em.


Sunflower Nuggets
1 1/2 c sunflower seeds, sprouted
1 1/2 c walnuts, sprouted
3/4 c sun dried tomatoes, soaked in 1 c orange juice
1 large shallot
3 cloves garlic
1 T Irish Moss powder
1 c almond flour
1 T tamari
1 T red miso
1 T sage
1 t mustard powder
1/3 t tumeric
1/2 T cumin

Soak sunflower seeds and walnuts for 2-4 hours. Soak sun dried tomatoes in orange juice for 2 hours.
Pulse the tomatoes and their soaking liquid in the food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend. Its okay if theres some chunks of seeds/nuts, but you want to blend it up pretty well. Form into patties and dehydrate for 8 hours. Dip em in the Sticky Sauce, then dehydrate another 8 hours. Heck yeah.

Sticky Sauce
3/4 coconut aminos, aged coconut sap (like soy sauce only BETTER)
1/2 c agave nectar
1/4 c coconut milk
2 cloves garlic
1 in ginger
1 T sesame oil
2 T coconut oil
2 t red pepper flakes
2T sesame seeds

Blend well. Next time Im going to add a little less agave and a little more red pepper flakes. Other than that its totally solid. I got a lot of compliments on this sauce. Ill probably be making it pretty often as it tastes soooo good on veggies.

To marinate the vegetables; I dredged them in the sticky sauce. Broccoli, red bell pepper, scallion and mushrooms. Then I dehydrated them for 2 hours to soften. Delish and nutrish. 
Sunflower nugget batter going into the dehydrator

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Home Remedy -Sore Throat

Sore or scratchy throat? Lost your voice?
Try this home remedy. Not only will it ease  your throat, but its very relaxing as well. This recipe if from Marlene, a classmate of mine, who grew up in Jamaica. She made this drink for Lynn this weekend, who lost her voice. I had her make me one too because its sounded delicious. It is!

1 c hot purified water
1 oz rum
2 T honey
juice of 1 lime
1-2 cloves minced garlic

Mochi Waffles

Mochi Waffle Breakfast Spread
Apple Cinnamon veganButter, Lavender Blueberry veganButter, Orange Almond Syrup. Maple Syrup, Raw Honey, Raw Cashew Butter 

What is Mochi?? Mochi is rice, that has been pounded into a paste, then dried into blocks/ sheets/ what have you. When you heat it, it puffs up. Puffed mochi can be used as dumplings, you can toss it into a stir fry, eat it like a snack, dip it into your favorite condiments & sauces, fill it with ice cream, drizzle honey or a sweet syrup on top, aaand you can make mochi waffles!!!
Its as simple as cutting it into tiny squares and setting it into a hot waffle iron. The inside gets chewy, but the outside crisps up and gets toasty. Perfect for waffles!

Mochi squares melting into the waffle iron
Mochi Waffle with Apple Cinnamon veganButter, Cashew Butter, Banana & Maple Syrup
Mochi Waffle with Lavender Blueberry veganButter, Orange Almond Syrup & Banana

The recipes for the vegan compound butters are in a previous post, you can find those by clicking here.

 Blood Mandarin, Navel orange, Valencia Orange, and Seville Orange

Orange Almond Syrup
4 c Orange juice
1/4 c honey
1 T almond extract
1 seeded vanilla bean, just the empty pod (you should keep these stored in your freezer)
pinch of sea salt

Simmer and reduce to 1 cup. Should take about an hour.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Growing Microgreens at Home

I am so excited this is happening!! Stay tuned to see the progression as these greens grow. They were added to the soil on Thursday. I should have edible microgreens in a week. I chose to start with Sunflower and Buckwheat seeds. They're inexpensive and nutritional powerhouses. Once I have microgreens, Ill eat them as snacks, on sandwiches, salads, in smoothies and juices and in some energizing raw soups.

To get started you'll need 
3 aluminum pie pans, with a few holes poked in the bottom for drainage
organic potting soil
1/4 c buckwheat, soaked over night & sprouted for 1-2 days
1/4 c sunflower seeds, soaked overnight & sprouted 1-2 days
spray bottle, to mist with water

Sunflower Seeds- buy raw, unsalted, hulled seeds from the bulk department at your local health food store. You'll have to pick through these because there are lots of broken seeds. Broken seeds won't sprout, so you'll need to sort through and pick out all the intact seeds, then sprout those. To sprout, soak the seeds overnight. Rinse them well in the morning and sprout for 1-2 days in your sprouting device. Once a tail forms on most of the seeds, lay them on top of an inch of soil, in the aluminum pie pan, and spread them out so that they aren't piled on top of each other. Mist them well with water.

Buckwheat- buy hulled, un-toasted buckwheat from the bulk department. The soaking water from these seeds gets super thick as they produce a lot of mucous-y fluid when they release their enzyme inhibitors.So just make sure you rinse them reaalllllyyy well. Soak them over night, then sprout for 1-2 days, and set on top of an inch of organic potting soil in an aluminum pie pan. Spread them out and mist them very well with water. You'll notice pretty quickly that the buckwheat sprouts grow little tiny hairs all over them.. it looks like mold, but stay calm.. this is normal :)

Once your sprouts are on the soil, you'll need to stack the pans and keep them in a cool dark place. You stack them so that the sprouts are making contact with the soil. So, I placed an additional empty pie pan on top, with a light weight in it. They'll stay like this for about 3 days until they start to shoot up, then they get sunlight.

Sunflower sprouts in soil Day 1
Sunflower sprouts in soil Day 4
 Sunflower Microgreens Day 5
 Sunflower Microgreens Day 6
 Sunflower Microgreens Day 7
Buckwheat sprouts in soil Day 1

Buckwheat sprouts in soil day 4
 Buckwheat Microgreens Day 5
 Buckwheat Microgreens Day 6

Blending Herbal Teas at Home -Headache Relief

Herbalism is a big passion of mine. This is the next subject that I plan to dedicate myself. It exhausts me that our society is so dependent on prescriptions and pharmacies. I think that many prescriptions mask the real problem and add a ton of harmful side effects. Most people don't know that along with a healthy diet and exercise.. the answers are literally growing in your own backyard!

 I'm designing a headache relief herbal tea for a friend of mine. Headaches can happen for a huge variety of reasons. Sometimes, its your body letting you know that you need to drink more water, as headaches are often a sign of dehydration. So when your head starts to pound, always reach for some H20 and start chuggin.
Recent studies have also shown that many people who experience migraines on a regular basis suffer from a food intolerance; a more subtle version of a food allergy. This is a topic many people need to look into. Finding out you have a food intolerance can make your life sooo much easier. You'll have more energy, your skin & hair will look better, you'll have an easier time sleeping and losing weight, and your mood and digestion will improve greatly. Something to think about.

I'm making 2 teas. One for the evening and one for daytime. The big difference is the yerba mate and the valerian root. The former speeds you up and the latter will slow you down, in a significant way!
You should be able to find most of these ingredients in the bulk department of your local health food store. If you're lucky like me, you may have a local store totally dedicated to Herbs!! I bought many of these at Austin's the Herb Bar.

The following plants have many medicinal properties. Ill give a short explanation of their use in today's teas.

Cinnamon Chips yum. Im a cinnamon-aholic. This bark has germicidal properties and can aid in abdominal discomfort. I'm adding it to this blend because it also improves circulation annnd its delicious. 

Dandelion Root- this is one of my favorites, so I add it to almost all of my blends. It has a long list of uses and is a good source of Vitamin A. Some of its uses are to treat skin issues, liver disease, bladder infections, hangovers and high blood pressure. Its also one of the best herbs for relief from bloating and water retention.

Feverfew- Studies have shown that feverfew has benefits for treating people who suffer from migraine headaches. Other uses include arthritis, endometriosis, hay fever, menstrual  problems and sinus infections. 

Lavender mmmm what a luxury. I'm adding lavender today because it relieves stress and anxiety and promotes relaxation.

Licorice Root - another favorite. It has lots of medicinal properties, can treat anxiety, and it adds a lingering sweetness that you can taste in the back of your throat. A welcome ingredient to any tea, especially if you don't want to add any sugar/sweetener... just add some licorice root!

Rose Hips-  I'm adding these for their tangy fruity flavor, theyre rich in vitamin C and they have anti inflammatory properties.

Skullcap - use of this herb is somewhat new to me, so I'm excited! People have been using it for centuries to treat muscle spasms, tension and headaches. It may even help to lower blood pressure.

Spearmint - I usually don't enjoy food or drink that are mainly flavored with mint. I do however like it as a subtle addition. I'm using this herb today for depth of flavor, but its uses include a digestive aid and relief from nausea.

Valerian Root - this is a staple in my home. I usually keep it in tincture form (like an extract), so that I can just take a dropper before bedtime, and I keep the dry roots on hand for tea making. Valerian is a strong sedative and relaxant. Oh, how i love valerian after a long day when I need to unwind.

Yerba Mate I'm currently off the caffeine and have been going strong for a few months now.. but if I was for some reason going to drink some.. I would choose Yerba Mate. Caffeine tends to give me anxiety and jitters. Yerba Mate does not. It can be used as an appetite suppressant, allergy relief and to improve sleep patterns.

Friday, March 23, 2012

raw Strawberry Banana Chia Pudding w Coconut Cashew Creme

A treat any time of day, garnished with Bee Pollen

Good Goddess, this was a stroke of kitchen genius. Thats what happens when you spend over 35hours a week in your own kitchen.. genius. It went something like this...
Uh oh these strawberries are gonna go bad if I don't use em soon. I'm not a huge fan of fruit smoothies.. so that's out. I dont want to just eat em on their own... thats too easy.  I want to make some strawberry fruit roll-ups in my dehydrator but cant find my "fruit roll-up trays" aaaanywheeere. Hey.. its been a while since I made a chia pudding. Theres bananas in the freezer. I bet a strawberry-banana chia pudding would rock. YES IT DOES. yep.

WHY CHIA SEEDS? Theyre a source of complete protein, iron, calcium, B vitamins and polyunsaturated fats. They're dry little seeds until you add some liquid then they plump up and soften like tapioca, only theyre more gel-ly. A good ratio to work with is 9parts liquid- 1 part chia seed. 

Strawberry Banana Chia Pudding
1/2 c fresh apple juice
10 strawberries
1 1/2 frozen banana
2-3 T chia seeds
vanilla, a dash

Blend all of the ingredients, besides the seeds. I left my mix a little chunky for texture. Add the seeds after blending then let it sit over night. Once morning comes... dig in.  

Coconut Cashew Creme
1 c cashews, soaked 2-3 hours
3/4 c cream from can of coconut milk
vanilla, 1/2 bean seeded
maple syrup to taste

Blend all the ingredients well, until super smooth. It may be a little thin, but it will set in the fridge and get super thick, rich and creamy. The cream from the top of a can of coconut milk... isnt exactly raw, but I had it on hand and it was perfect. Alternatively you could scoop out the flesh of a young coconut and use that.

raw Balsamic Caramelized Onions

I grated these red onions on my mandoline and dehydrated them for a day. They'll go on on my raw sandwiches and snacks from now on! These would keep in my pantry for quite a while.. but they disappear pretty quickly because theyre totally delicious and rawesome.

2 red onions, sliced very thin
drizzle honey
salt, a pinch
1t thyme
balsamic vinegar, couple drops

Marinated onions prior to dehydration

Vegan Compound Butters

My finished products, ready for Mochi Waffles this sunday!

This Sunday, my classmates from culinary school and I are having a staycation! We finished the coursework portion of school back in December, so we desperately miss being in the kitchen together, sharing food and our life stories.
We have 3 meals planned out for the weekend, Tamales, Gnocchi and Mochi Waffles! Look forward to recipes and pictures from our trip. I can't wait!!

Blueberry Lemon Lavender Compound Butter
1/3 c wild frozen blueberries
1/2 t lavender, bruised by mortar & pestle
1 Meyer lemon, juice and zest
1 drop good balsamic
1 T honey

I cooked these ingredients down into a thick syrupy reduction, let it cool, then added it to the *butter.

Apple Cinnamon Raisin Compound Butter
1/2 an apple shredded
1/4 c raisins
1/2 T cinnamon
1 T honey

Mix it all up, and fold it into the *butter.

* I chose to use Earth Balance Buttery Spread, the soy free version.
Meyer Lemon, frozen wild Blueberries, and culinary Lavender
Reducing my blueberry syrup so that its thick when I mix it with the butter
Getting the apple cinnamon compound butter ready

Rejuvelac - Rye

Soaking Rye Sprouts Day 1
Close up Day 1
 Soaking Rye Sprouts Day 2
Soaking Rye Sprouts Day 3

First of all... What is Rejuvelac? A fermented probiotic drink made from sprouted grains.
It tastes fresh, crisp and tangy. I made mine from Rye berries, but you can also make this drink from wheat, kamut and quinoa. 

 Sprouting grains is super easy. It is a little intimidating at first, but once you get into it, there are no problems. 
The basic rules to sprouting are as follows
1.Soak the grain/seeds overnight
2.Drain and rinse well
3. Let the grains/seeds sit in a sprouter or tilted (well draining, so they don't mold) mason jar until they sprout.
4. Rinse them 2-3 times a day, to prevent them from drying out, until they sprout. 
5. Once they sprout you can store them in the fridge and they'll last for at least 1 week. 

Some nuts, beans, seeds, grains have longer/shorter soaking/sprouting times than others. So, if your sprouting something you've never tried before, do a couple minutes of research beforehand.

Making Rye Rejuvelac
Start by following the basic rules to sprouting, posted above, and once the sprouts are about as long as the grain, you are ready to soak them in water. 

Soak the sprouts in a mason jar filled with clean water for up to 3 days. You can drain this initial batch off, store it int he fridge, and fill the jar w sprouts back up for another batch. This 1 batch of sprouts will make 3 batches of rejuvelac, although each new batch will probably be a little less strong than the one before. 

You let the jar sit, with a mesh top, on your counter in a cool spot for three days. Over the 3 days, you'll notice that the water will get cloudy, a light foam will form at the top, and when you nudge the jar lots of tiny bubbles will shoot up. This is great! The drink is fermenting and lots of beneficial enzymes are building in there.