Monday, January 31, 2011

Welcome!

Hi everyone!

Welcome to my new blog, Fit Fun Vegan!
I have copied my posts from my previous blog, The Hungry Herbivore, so you can still find all of my old recipes and tips.  I'm still tweaking this one, so you might see some minor changes here and there. hopefully I will get the recipe tab up and running soon.
Hope you stop by again and please feel free to follow me :)

Love and arugula!
-Deni

Gluten and Sugar Free Blueberry Pecan Muffins

Here is a recipe that is perfect for Sunday mornings. Feel free to snack on these little gems throughout the day, because there is no sugar, or other processed junk, just gluten-free whole grain goodness. I personally think these kind of taste like jelly doughnuts without the powdered sugar. doughnuts are my next recipe challenge!



Gluten and Sugar free Blueberry Pecan muffins

Makes 12 muffins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients:
2 c bob's red mill gluten free flour
2.5 tsp xanthan gum
2/3 c coconut oil
1/2 c almond milk
1/2 c maple syrup
3 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 c fresh or frozen blueberries (use wild if you can find them)
1/4 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325
Line a muffin tine with 12 paper liners
Whisk together the flour, xanthan gum and salt.
Add coconut oil, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla to the dry ingredients
Stir until combined
Add in blueberries and pecans. Do no over stir. You want to create a marbled look, not blue muffins!
Pour evenly into the 12 liners
Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. the heat is very unevenly distributed in my oven, so I rotate the tray half-way through.
Stick a toothpick in the top of a few of the muffins after 15 minutes. If it comes out clean, it is done.
Place muffins on a cooling rack. Wait 5 minutes, then chow down!

* tip
If you've run out of paper muffin liners, coat the muffin tray in coconut oil. when the muffins are done, place the whole tray on a cooling rack and let sit for 20 minutes. when you let them sit, the muffins will pull away from the walls of the tray and pop out more easily. If you try and take them out right away, they will stick.

three bean warm-up chili and spinach arugula salad with herbed vegan feta

Hi everyone
I hope you've all had a wonderful week! I have been fairly busy cooking and going to he gym. Yes, that's right! I have officially joined, and I am loving it so far. I've been three days in a row so far. Everyone is very helpful and sweet. I even had a fitness test this morning. I was kind of nervous because I didn't know what to expect, and I also had a few glasses of sangria last night. . . It wasn't that bad. I was weighed and they determined by BMI and % body fat. Right now, I weight 115 lbs, BMI is 20, and body fat percentage is 17.8%. Not bad. But I was a little disappointed when I had to actually do the fitness part of it. I realized that even though I'm small, I am horribly weak! My legs are strong, but I have no arm strength. And when I say none, i mean NONE! I couldn't even do a proper push-up, and I could only hold the plank position for 35 seconds. I have some serious strength training to do. I think I'll be tested again in 3 months, and I really want my results to improve.

I've also decided that I want to run a 5 km race in the early spring, hopefully in April. I really think I can do it because I ran 3km last night on the tread mill. To be honest, I was worried that I was going to fall off because I'm not really used to the treadmill yet, but I didn't! I was watching the food network while running, so the time flew by. I was completely absorbed with Chef Michael Smith, even though he was cooking meat. I just like that he uses local ingredients and has a real family-eating-around-the-table focus.

All of this exercising has made me super hungry! and it is very cold here still, so I wanted something hearty and yummy. And when I want something warm, hearty and yummy, I make chili. When I cook with beans, I like to used dried beans and cook them myself, but I wanted my chili right away! (I can be impatient with my food sometimes) so I used canned instead. The important thing when using canned beans, is to buy brands that use BPA free cans, (I like eden organic) and to rinse, rinse, and rinse again! This removes a lot of the sodium and the hard to digest enzymes. If you have trouble digesting beans, try rinsing them. It will help.



Three bean warm-up chili

Makes one big ol' pot of chili

Ingredients:
2 tbs olive oil
2 cans of baked beans (don't rinse these. you'll want the yummy sauce)
1 can black beans
1 can chickpeas
3 tomatoes, diced (I used plum tomatoes)
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 c quartered white button and cremini mushrooms
1 large green peppers, roughly diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5-2 c water or veggie stock (add more or less depending on your desired thickness)
3 tbs chili powder
2 tbs steak seasoning
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sea salt

In a big pot (a dutch oven works great) heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add onions, garlic, green pepper, mushrooms, and sea salt. Saute until onions are translucent.
Add beans, tomatoes, spices and water.
Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cover.
Let simmer for about 20 mins, or longer if you have time. This will let the flavors develop.
Serve with grated vegan cheese on top, and if you are feeling adventurous, tortilla chips. That's how I used to eat my chili when I was a kid.

I also made a simple salad with some herbed vegan feta cheese. I cheated a bit though, because I bought herbed tofu, instead of adding the herbs myself.

If you can find this, I highly recommend it. Crumble the tofu and add a little umeboshi vinegar (not acidic to the body. It's actually alkalizing) and a sprinkle of salt. I used mine on a spinach and arugula salad, but I also want to try this on brushetta bread. LOVE bruschetta!




I've also been eating vegan BLT's on sprouted wraps. Tempeh bacon is divine. It's definitely on my Love List.


I hope I've made you hungry! Now run off and eat something.

Lots of love and endorphins,
-Deni

February Reading

Throughout January, I've picked up some great books at new and used bookstores, and I'm very excited to read all of them.





And a few DVD's as you can see.

Green for life is all about the benefits of greens and especially green smoothies. Right up my alley, and I hope yours!

I decided to buy a yoga book and dvd focusing on the back. I don't have debilitating or severe back pain by any means, but my shoulders do ache a lot. They always feel very tense and I get lots of knots there. I'm hoping these will help. I also have bad posture (as my mother loves to tell me) and Yoga poses that focus on strengthening the back muscles will help with this. I think it's partially from years of studying and being hunched over books and my laptop.

As I've mentioned before, I'm trying to get more into meditation. I've signed up for Deepak Chopra's guided meditations, but I haven't tried any of them yet. I bought this book on meditation because I figured if I was a little more knowledgeable about the benefits of meditation, I would be more likely to do it. We'll see.

I was super excited to find Kris Car's "Crazy, Sexy, Cancer Survivor" at Chapters on the weekend. I haven't seen it anywhere before. now I have all three! I finished reading "Crazy, Sexy, Diet" and I'm working my through "Crazy, Sexy, Cancer Tips". Even though I don't have cancer, and I'm not planning on getting cancer! I'm finding it very inspiring and the health tips are really great.
I already have "Ani's Raw Food Essentials", which is really great, but I wanted here earlier book. And just by browsing through the recipes in this one, I fell like it is the better book, especially in its layout. But, I haven't actually made anything from it yet, so I'll get back to you on that.

What's on your February reading list?

Can you give me any recommendations?

I'd love to hear from fellow bookworms!

Aduki Bean Burgers


Aduki Bean Burgers

Makes 6 burger patties
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
2 c cooked aduki beans
1/4 c vital wheat gluten flour (or flour of choice. this just works nice to hold everything together)
1/2 green pepper, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tbs steak seasoning

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
Mix everything together (use your hands!). Form 6 equal sized patties. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 30 minutes, flipping burgers and rotating the tray half-way through.
Serve on a bun, or in a lettuce wrap.

I'm Back! with goodies!

Hi everyone!
Sorry I was missing for a while there. I went home to visit my mom and see her new house. We were busy most days, so I didn't get a chance to blog. The food wasn't too exciting. I still had my green juice everyday, didn't have any gluten, sugar or coffee, but I did have white rice. We were at the mall and the thai place was the only place I could get something that was vegan and gluten-free. I ended up having gluten the other day, just to test to see if I have a gluten intolerance. And I don't think I do. I'll admit that I do feel fuller (and not in a good way) and my stomach feels heavier when I eat regular bread and pasta, compared to the g-free stuff I've been eating. Maybe that is a sign of intolerance. I'm not sure. Does anyone know? Anyways, it's not that bad that I will avoid it completely, but maybe I will reduce it. I usually buy brown rice and quinoa pasta at the health food store and I can get it in bulk, and I've really come to like the brown rice bread. I found a brand I like.



I didn't write down everything I ate during my visit, but I assure you, it was cleanse approved :) I ended up making my mom my cauliflower quinoa curry and she liked it! She's not big on tofu, but I made it extra crispy for her. I also went to this amazing health food store! Next time I go (and not stuck taking the bus) I'm stocking up! Here are some of the goodies I picked up.




The all natural licorice was especially good. I love licorice, and this kind had NO sugar or corn syrup or any other funky stuff. It was sweetened with molasses and made with real raspberries. It was heaven. The chocolate covered Goji berries were also very good. I ate the whole bag to myself!

During the last couple days, I made aduki bean burgers





we had some with buns and some in lettuce wraps.

I also made a simple raw corn salad with tomato, bell pepper, red onion, garlic and a pinch of sea salt.


Another simple salad. Basically the same as this corn salad, but with spinach, mung bean sprouts, black beans, avacado, red pepper and some cumin on top. If you haven't noticed yet, cumin is one of my favourite spices. I like the smoky, spicy flavour it has, but it isn't so spicy that it burns.



For treats, I made raspberry scones from Babycakes!



This book is amazing. And now that I'm done the cleanse, I can start trying out the recipes. I will post them all too, because no herbivore should be without babycakes goodness. I was fortunate enough to try cookies from the babycakes bakery. My co-worker (who is also vegan) has a friend who started working at the babycakes location in LA, and she sent her some cookie sandwiches and brownies. Miranda, being the lovely girl that she is, brought me some! They were, hands down, the best cookies I've ever had! Including the non-vegan kind. They were two chocolate chip cookies stuff together with purple frosting. And the brownies were great too.

I will post these recipes asap. I'm also officially joining the gym tomorrow morning. I just made the appointment. Wish me luck!
-Deni
Have any of you had the pleasure of trying something from babycakes?

Have you used their cookbook?

Mexicasa Salad with Tomato Chili Dressing


Mexicasa Salad with Tomato Chili Dressing

Serves: 1 hungry person

Ingredients:
For the Salad:
5-6 leaves of romaine (or any green of your choice)
1/2 c cooked black beans
1/4 c corn kernels
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 avocado, cubed

It's a salad, you know how to assemble!



For the dressing:
2 tomatoes (roma or vine ripened)
3 tbs olive oil
juice from 1/2 a lime
a few sprigs of fresh cilantro
1 tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt, to taste

Combine all ingredients in a blender and wiz away!

I hope you enjoy!

Deni

Adventure Cleanse Day 13-14. Bring on the exercise!

Hi everyone!
I hope you are all doing well! I'm really into my new exercise kick. I went for a longer run this morning, and stopped by the health food store and book store. Not the one I work at though. I went to our friendly competitor down the street. I wanted to pick up a new yoga dvd, but unfortunately they only had yoga for pregnancy dvds. Not useful to me! I ended up getting to pilates dvds super cheap, and a yoga ballet dvd which I thought looked interesting. I'll see how it goes. When I got home, I walked the dogs and then did 20 minutes of Vinyasa style yoga.
I'm also planning on joining the gym next week. I'm very excited! I'm not a totally newbie to gym workouts, I used to go off and on to the gym at my University. It was free which was great, but that meant that it was really crowded all the time. Plus it was weird sweating next to someone you had classes with.
I'll be joining a goodlife gym that is only 2 blocks away from my apartment, so I won't have any excuses. There are lots of group classes offered too. I've always liked those. My main goal is to increase my cardiovascular fitness, and tone up a bit. I don't really have weight to lose ( I'm 5'3" and 120 lbs), but I won't complain if the little extra flub falls off. I'm planning on going shopping this weekend so hopefully I can get some cute workout clothes to wear. I don't want to look like a bum in sweats!

I've had some good food in the last few days. Still drinking by green juice and smoothies too.

Day 13:
For breakfast I had water with lemon, green juice and 2 raw flax cookies.
For lunch I had raw collard wraps for the first time. They were really tasty, and I will definitely make them again soon. On the side I had my maple thai peanut sauce. (Instructions and recipe in later post).



For dinner, Stef and I just had leftover Cauliflower Quinoa Curry. Even better the second day!

Throughout the day I had 2 cups of green tea. I love the green tea kombucha by Yogi Organic teas. I don't think I'm getting any of the bacterial benefits from the kombucha because I add boiling water to the tea, but it still tastes good. I also had some brown rice cakes and a whole grapefruit.



For any of you living in Canada, I got these at shoppers drug mart. They are organic brown rice and sesame cakes, and I think they are under $2. They have salted and unsalted flavours, but I got the unsalted of course. The only ingredients are brown rice and sesame seeds. I love when there are only a few ingredients in packaged food, and I actually know what the ingredients are!

One part of the cleanse that I'm having a bit of difficulty with is cutting out night-time snacking. I've always been a night-time snacker, but I'm really trying to stop. If i can't hold out, I'll try to have something light like an apple or some raw kale chips. I figure those are pretty easy to digest. I know that sleep is a time for your body to restore its resources and repair itself and if you eat right before bed, your body can't do those things because it is too busy digesting all of the food you ate!

Day 14:
This morning I had a green smoothie, water with lemon and 2 pieces of gluten free garlic and herb toast. This was the best gluten free bread I've had so far. It actually tasted like bread! Except it was a bit heavier and a little chewier, but still good. I was very pleased.



For lunch I made a mexican salad with tomato chili dressing (post to follow).




I was pretty full from the salad, so I didn't really have a dinner tonight, but I did make some yummy rice cake treats!



Start with a brown rice cake, spread some peanut butter on top. Add sliced bananas, a sprinkle of cacao powder and some pumpkin seeds. YUM! you can add a drizzle of agave if you have a bit of a sweet tooth, I know I did.


Are any of you members at Goodlife? What were you experiences there?

What do you do to stay fit during the cold winter months? I'd love some tips!


Lots of love and green juice!
-Deni

Cauliflower Quinoa Curry


Cauliflower Quinoa Curry

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
2 carrots, sliced into rounds
1 c mushrooms, sliced
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 yellow onion, cut into chunks
1/2 block extra firm tofu, cut into thin squares
1 c uncooked quinoa
2 c coconut milk
2 c water
1 tbs olive oil
5 heaping tbs curry powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tbs cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne (optional). if you have a mild curry powder, you might want to add this

Place quinoa, cauliflower, carrots, onions, spices, salt, pepper, coconut milk and water in a large pot and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn down heat to a simmer and cover.
Meanwhile, saute the mushrooms and tofu in olive oil over medium heat until tofu is slightly browned.
Keep checking the cauliflower with a fork to see if it is soft.
When Cauliflower is soft, stir in tomatoes, mushrooms and tofu.
Turn off the heat and keep covered for about 5 minutes. This will allow the tomatoes to heat through and soften.

Grab a fork and enjoy the warming sensation this dish will create throughout your entire body.

I hope you enjoy! If you give it a go, let me know how it goes!
-Deni

Days 10-12: Restoration

Hi everyone!

I hope you all like my new layout. It's cute and pink and makes you want to eat cup cakes..healthy ones of course!

I've never been happier for a Monday in all my life. I've never really had that "back to work" feeling for Mondays, because I've never had a 9-5 job-- I work almost every weekend. But I still have that restorative feeling that Monday brings. Sunday night is my chance to reflect on my weekend, and Monday morning is always a chance to start fresh.
This particular weekend did not go so well. I missed my green juice Saturday morning for the first time during this cleanse, and again on Sunday. For lunch on saturday I had a gluten-free black bean burrito from my favourite vegan cafe, but I forgot that it came with white rice. Broke the rules! And Sunday, I had a breakfast wrap from the same place, and totally forgot to ask for it to be gluten free. Saturday night Stefan and I went out to our favorite vegetarian bar and I had 2 glasses of non-organic red wine, and we split a plate of vegan nachos. Broke the rules again!
I felt like I was out of control- food wise. I did have some raw, whole foods though. I had a purple rain smoothie, an orange, and these spicy "cheddar" kale chips.



I am a potato chip and nacho fanatic. I get this from my mother. She's got quite the salt and vinegar tooth. These kale chips have replaced my chip addiction. they are crunchy and so so tasty. They can be pricey, and if you're like me and you don't have a dehydrator, then you're stuck paying $7 a bag. They are worth it though. In fact, I think I will have some now. mmm yum

Monday morning, I knew what I needed to do. I wanted to have a high raw day with some exercise thrown in. I feel like I've been going stir crazy in my apartment because it is so cold outside. So today I started my day with two glasses of green juice (sorry Stefan, I drank yours!) and a glass of warm water with lemon. I also went for a power walk/jog which I haven't done in ages. It felt really good, even though it was freezing this morning. I guess I forgot how relaxing walking can be. Usually when I go for a walk I take the dogs, and they are not the most well behaved on a leash, especially if another dog walks by.

When I got home I did some yoga and had a spinach smoothie, with banana, blueberries, ground flax seed, hemp powder and a little squirt of agave.


Some of you may add vegan milk or yogurt to your smoothies, but I always add water. I find the hemp powder gives it a yummy creamy flavor.

Lunch today was just a simple salad with romaine, shaved beets, carrots, scallions, hemp seeds, udo's dha oil and gomashio.



Don't you love my cute little eco lunch box? I got it at the health food store. It is stainless steel, and that means no evil BPA! It also came with a little cup. They call it the yogurt cup, but I call it my dressing cup.

Dinner tonight was very scumpditlyumptious! I made a Cauliflower Quinoa Curry (will post recipe after). Very warming and filling for those of you who live in a freezing snow covered area.
I had two bowls full, and I was also sneaking bites out the pot later on.

Overall I think today was much better. Eating all of that clogging food over the weekend made me appreciate all the whole, cleansing food I have been eating, and has rejuvenated my enthusiasm for my adventure cleanse. I know if Kris Carr was here right now, she would tell me to giggle and move on. And That's what I'm doing. hehehe.

Lots of love and raw veggies!
-Deni

Days 7-9. Plus 4 new yummy recipes.



The weather is crazy here! I could barely see out my window this morning for the snow! It's died down a bit now, but look at all of the pretty snow!

I've been a bit of slacker the last couple days. I haven't blogged in a couple days, and yesterday wasn't the most cleansing day. Oh well, I still followed the rules- no gluten, sugar, coffee or animal products (that part's easy since I'm vegan), but I haven't made the healthiest choices and I haven't been eating enough raw food!

Day seven was my juice fast day, but it's really more like a juice FEAST day. I think it went really well for my first fast. I thought I would feel uber hungry all day and be miserable, but I felt fine and I didn't really notice a difference in my energy level. I did feel really cold though and I had trouble warming up. It was definitely below zero that day, and the bookstore where i work is freezing! I wish I had a mini space heater to bring with me.

I had about 2 litres of green juice through out the day, and about 2 glasses of water. Even though I felt alright, I knew that I wasn't hydrated enough. Next time (day 14), I will drink more water, and maybe some tea to warm me up a bit. Around 6:30 pm I made a raw blended soup as suggested in "Crazy Sexy Diet" and I had about 3 spoonfuls, but I stopped because my stomach did not enjoy it. After about 25 hours of the juice and my three bites of raw soup, I had some grapes and went to bed.

Overall I really enjoyed the fasting day, and I'm looking forward to the next one. I think I might make 2 different kinds of green juice to drink throughout the day so I have some variation, and some tea to keep warm. Have any of you done a juice fast? What were your experiences? I"d love to hear form you!

I think I ate too much on day 8. In the morning I was super hungry, probably because I didn't have anything to eat the day before. I guess you have to take it slow the day after your juice fast. For breakfast I had some of yummy green juice (surprisingly not sick of this yet!) and about an hour later I had some of my Hall and Oatmeal. I didn't have any lemons that morning so I used half an orange instead. Tasty! I'm going to do that again.

As I've mentioned before, I have a lot of broccoli in my fridge because of all the stems I need! I wish I could buy a beg of stems instead. But I ended up making a yummy marinated Asian broccoli salad for lunch.



Marinated Asian Broccoli Salad:

Serves 1-2

1 head broccoli, chopped
1 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced with stems removed
1/4 red onion, sliced into half or quarter moons

Marinade:
no measurements here, folks. I just threw everything together in a bowl.
-olive oil
-apple cider vinegar
-sesame oil
-braggs liquid aminos
-1 clove garlic, grated
-pinch of sea salt
- juice from half an orange

whisk ingredients together and pour over the veggies. let sit for about 30 minutes. drain off remaining marinade, and save for another salad, a dressing, or a marinade for tofu. yum!

For dinner, I made some raw vegan "chicken salad". this recipe is inspired by Averie's Chicken salad from loveveggiesandyoga.com

you will miss not miss the mayo or chicken in this baby. I promise.



Raw, Vegan Picnic Chicken Salad

Serves 2

1/2 c raw almonds, soaked for a few hours
1/2 c raw cashews, soaked for a few hours
3 tbs pineapple juice
1/8 c water
drizzle of agave
lots of fresh black pepper

Throw all ingredients into a food processor and blend until creamy, but still a bit chunky.
I then added in:
1/4 c cucumber, finely diced
1/4 c carrot, finely diced
1/4 c celery, finely diced

Stir these in by hand. These are the veggies I used to like in chicken salad when I ate the real thing, but you can add in whatever you like.
Serve this however you would eat chicken salad- on top of a salad, on a sandwich, in a lettuce wrap, or on it's own. It's all good!

Day nine was a day full of rice-paper spring rolls. I don't eat these very often, but when I do, I love them! I had them for lunch AND dinner. Not so healthy, I know. these little wraps are made from white rice. But I made a lot, and they had to be eaten. The dogs offered to eat them for us, but we said no.

For the rolls, I made this amazing Maple Thai sauce. You have to try this! no Jokes. I wanted to eat it with a spoon.


Maple Thai Peanut Sauce

makes about 1 cup of sauce

1c. all natural chunky peanut butter (make sure the ingredients just say peanuts. no oil, sugar or salt added)
2-3 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 clove garlic, grated
juice from 1/2 lime
2-3 tbs pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp cayenne (or to taste. this stuff is spicy! wow!)

just mix it together in a bowl. No need to bring out the blender for this one.
We also had a salad with romaine, red cabbage, tomatoes, carrot and tofu, and I came up with a new dressing!



Tahini Lime Dressing:

Makes enough for one big salad for 2

1/2 c raw tahini
2 tbs olive oil
juice from 1 lime
handful of fresh cilantro
splash of water to thin it out

Combine ingredients in a blender.


Stefan and I had a nice dinner night in. I made the food, and he picked the music- frank sinatra! Overall it was a good night.


what a model.

Wishing you a great weekend!
-Deni

Fun Food Day with new recipes! Day 6 of Adventure Cleanse

Day 6 was my super fun food day because I am on a juice fast day today for day 7. I don't even feel that hungry or tired! It's great. but we'll talk about that in the next post.

I love to eat, and i do it constantly throughout the day, so I decided to make fun foods the day before the fast. Don't fret, these foods are still cleanse approved! aka, no gluten, sugar, coffee, processed junk, or white stuff. Not a whole lot of raw today though.

The goods:

Breakfast:

green juice and Mochi waffles with berry sauce and sliced bananas


If you haven't tried mochi before, try it! It is super delicious and versatile. I used the plain kind for my waffles.


Mochi is a rice cake that you can cook in different ways. I like to slice it and put it in my waffle iron for super quick, healthy, no clean-up waffles. You can also bake it in the oven or pan fry it for croutons, or just something to nibble on. The cinnamon raisin kind is really good too.

Berry Sauce:
1 cup wild blueberries ( I used frozen because they aren't in season)
1/2 cup raspberries
drizzle of agave

If using frozen berries, allow them to thaw. Mash up berries with a drizzle of agave and pour over waffles, pancakes etc.

Lunch:


homemade guacamole with raw rutabaga crackers.

ingredients:
- avocado
- 1/4 red onion, minced fine
- 1 Tbsp. cumin
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 1 clove garlic, minced fine, crushed, or grated (my favourite)
- pinch of sea salt

Mash everything together in a bowl and eat!
Great with raw veggies, crackers, tortilla chips, or on sandwiches

Spinach Salad in my super cute stainless steel eco-lunchbox.



Dinner:

I've been buying Ezekiel sprouted products for a while, but I just discovered these little gems in the freezer section of my health-food store. So, of course I had to try them!



My Triple Decker Vegan Tostadas! These are to live for. Seriously, you have to try these.


Makes 4 Tostadas

Ingredients:

1 package Ezekiel brand sprouted corn tortillas, thawed.
1 can black beans or black soy beans
1/2 cup corn kernels (frozen, or sliced off the cob)
1/2 white onion, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed, minced or grated
1 1/2 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp coriander seed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 avocado, mashed
1.5 cups salsa (homemade or store-bought)
4 romaine leaves, sliced thinly or shredded
1 cup vegan cheese (daiya is best)

To make bean mixture:
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
Add onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent.
Add beans and corn. Cook until heated through.
Add cumin and coriander, and mash the mixture.

To assemble:
Spread bean mixture over 4 tortillas. Sprinkle cheese on top.
Add another tortilla on top.
Spread avocado on top of that tortilla. Add salsa and romaine on top.
Add another tortilla on top.
Spread another dollop of salsa on top, and sprinkle with cheese.

Put the tostadas under the broiler until cheese melts.

Grab some napkins, and enjoy!

Adventure Cleanse: Days 4 & 5 Plus recipe for nut "meat"

Hi all,
Cleansing is great for your hair, well for my hair anyways. I haven't changed anything except my diet, and my hair feels super silky. loving it! Baking soda baths are great too. I have really hard water in my apartment and it makes my skin super dry. but if I add a cup of baking soda to the bath water, I don't have to moisturize. Plus it draws out toxins from the body. bonus!
Well, I'm not sick of salads yet, surprisingly. I'm trying to switch up the dressings as much as possible so they all taste different. Changing the greens helps as well. This week I've used chard, spinach and romaine. I haven't tried making a kale salad yet because i really don't like the taste of raw kale. Loving it in the juice and in smoothies with fruit, but on its own in a salad...I haven't quite made it there yet.
i had some slight detox symptoms on day 4. Just a mild headache for about an hour, and a stomach ache. Apparently this is totally normal during detox. It is just your body expelling all the junk you've accumulated.

Day 4's delicious eats:

Breakfast:
green juice, baby!

Lunch:



Salad with romaine, alfalfa sprouts, red bell pepper, cherry tomatoes and left over green goddess dressing.

I also add some raw rutabaga crackers (these are addictive1) with almond butter.

Dinner:



rice bowl
- brown rice
- raw cherry tomatoes
- raw bean sprouts
- raw sweet peas
- sauteed portabellos and broccoli (since i'm juicing broccoli stems every morning, I have a lot of broccoli hanging around in my fridge)
- braggs

Snacks:
banana
raw chocolate strawberry tart

Day 5 ALL RAW eats!

I can finally say that I have had a 100% raw food day! I'm very proud.

Breakfast:
Liquid love green juice

Lunch:

raw rutabaga crackers with raw almond butter (I told you these were addictive!)

Dinner:



I made raw zucchini noodles with my awesome spiralizer that I got from my mom for Christmas. I love it! and I use it all the time. Thanks Mom!
I also made my raw spicy tomato sauce with raw nut "meat"

Raw Nut "Meat"

serves 2

Ingredients:
1 c. raw almonds
1/2 c. raw sunflower seeds
1 tsp Braggs liquid aminos or soy sauce
1/2 tsp poultry seasoning ( or use can use a pinch of thyme, basil and marjoram)
1 tsp oil of choice
pinch of salt

Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until only slightly chunky

Snacks:

My snacks weren't so great today. I had another raw tart. (In moderation they are okay for this cleanse, but I've had quite a few. They are gone now, so I won't be tempted!) I also had some fresh pineapple. Super tasty, but pineapple has a high glycemic rating, which I should be avoiding right now.

That's all for today. Come back tomorrow to for a new recipe! Triple-decker vegan tostadas! yum, yum yum. You will love them, i promise.

Love and veggies,
-Deni

Raw Spicy Tomato Sauce

Here's another super quick and easy raw recipe. I think this took me less that 5 minutes to make. Great for quick dinners.


Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:
- 3 vine ripened tomatoes
- 3 cloves of garlic ( I like it garlicky!)
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1 1/2 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper to taste

Throw ingredients into a blender. Blend until smooth. I added some chopped cherry tomatoes to make it a little chunkier. All I can say is yum, yum, yum!

My Strawberry Chocolate raw tarts


Here is my super simple, quick raw tart recipe. I love raw desserts because they are super healthy, and just as satisfying than the regular sugar-laden baked kind. Actually, I would say they are more satisfying because you still feel great after eating them.No sugar hangover, yay!


Makes 6-7 tarts
Time: 30 mins or less

Ingredients:
1 1/2 c. dates
1 1/2 c. raw nut of your choice. (I like to use walnuts)
1 Tbsp raw coconut butter/oil (optional)
1 1/2-2 ripe avocados
1 c. frozen or fresh strawberries
5 Tbsp raw agave, divided
4 Tbsp cacao powder

Tools:
food processor
plastic wrap
muffin tin

Start by placing the nuts and dates in a food processor on high. Blend until coarsely ground. you want the mixture to form a "dough". Squeeze a bit between your fingers. If it sticks together easily, it's ready. If it isn't quite sticking together, you can add a Tbsp of raw coconut butter/oil, or you can add a few more dates. Pulse until the mixtures holds together easily. This will vary depending on what kind of dates and nuts you are using.

to prep your muffin tin, drape a sheet of plastic wrap over top. This makes the tarts super easy to get out of the tin and still hold their shape. Divide the mixture equally between 6-7 muffin holes on top of the plastic wrap. this is where your hands get a bit dirty, so roll up your sleeves! Using your fingers, press the mixture into the tin so it forms a crust. You want it to go all the way to the top of the muffin hole. Basically, just make it look like a tart.

Once your finished that, throw the strawberries and 2 Tbsp agave into the food processor. no need to wash it in between jobs. Pulse until it is smooth. Put a spoonful of this into each tart shell.

For the chocolate, combine the avocados, cacao powder and agave. I use 3 Tbsp agave, but you might need more. I find it changes every time I make these. Process until smooth. Put a spoonful of the chocolate mixture on top of the strawberries in each tart shell.

If you are using fresh strawberries, garnish each tart with half a strawberry.

I hope you all enjoy! Let me know what you think.

hugs and veggies!
-Deni

Day 3 Adventure Cleanse, Plus new raw recipes!

Day three was another great day. I've only been feeling the positive effects of detox-- high energy, clear mind, improved mood. I think it is all the raw food I've been eating, and of course the liquid love every morning, my beloved green juice. Even Stefan is drinking it and loving it. And the dogs are loving the pulp I've been adding to their food. On a side note, both of my dogs are vegan! I make their food and all three of us love it. They think they are getting people food all the time, and I can rest assured knowing that they are getting the best quality food, and not the kibble crap from a bag. In addition to the all the yummy, clean food, I've also been dry brushing before every shower and bath, and I've also been adding baking soda to my baths. It helps draw out toxins from the body, and it makes your skin feel so smooth. I'm still not exercising enough, but my 21 day yoga challenge starts tomorrow. That ought to get my tushie in gear!

Day 3 eats:

Breakfast:
you guessed it, green juice!
As well as some freshly squeezed OJ at the farmer's market

Lunch:
out for lunch again today, but this time at a not-so-vegan friendly place. I was stuck having a regular old greens salad with tomatoes, red onion, cucumber and a not so great balsamic dressing. Eating at home is way more fun!

Dinner:


I wanted something hearty, but still partially raw, so I had brown rice pasta (gluten free!) and a spicy, raw tomato sauce. I came up with this recipe on the spot, and it was very yummy, if I say so myself. (recipe to follow)

Snacks:
1 slice of brown rice (gluten free) toast with earth balance vegan butter (not very cleansing, I know)
1 banana
2 raw chocolate strawberry tarts. (recipe to follow). I freakin love these!! Again, I don't mean to toot my own horn, but this recipe I came up with is so delicious. And if consumed in moderation, can be part of my cleanse. They are lightly sweetened with agave, and have no flour or added sugar. Just raw veggies, nuts, and super-food goodness. I know i said last post that I was planning on making macaroons, but I decided to make these instead. They are tastier, in my opinion.


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I went to the health food store and picked up some gluten free grub and raw goodies. I was craving bread, so I needed something.



- Brown rice bread. (Didn't have the same texture as regular whole wheat bread, but I still really liked it)
- Brown rice pasta (Better that whole wheat! Same texture, but doesn't make you feel like you ate a truck afterward)
- raw rutabaga crackers
- raw almond butter
- raw cacao powder (who doesn't love chocolate?)
- unsweetened shredded coconut (Not sure if this was raw or not. Didn't say on the package)
- gluten free oats. I'm addicted to oatmeal. I might treat myself to a bowl of my hall and oatmeal (see earlier post) later this week.

That's all for now! See you tomorrow with day 4.
Here's something to leave you feeling relaxed and snuggly :)



Hugs and Veg,
Deni

Loving My Greens: Adventure Cleanse Day 2

I have never been excited to eat my greens before. The closest I got to adequate greens consumption was the handful of kale I threw in my purple rain smoothie (see earlier posts). It was better than nothing, but definitely not enough. I'm hooked on the chlorophyll, folks. Today is technically day three of my cleanse, but I'm posting the day after so I can include everything from that day. I'm still feeling really great, and I haven't had to eat anything other that the juice for breakfast. I'm surprised how filling it is. As I said yesterday, I'm not having too much trouble sticking to the food plan. However, the other components, like the daily affirmations, and sitting my ass on the meditation cushion isn't going so well. To be honest, it hasn't happened yet. I'm becoming more and more interested in meditation, but I just can't bring myself to try. I am kind of a scatter brain, and I know that I would benefit from the mental training and focus. Clearing my mind will by my greatest challenge. Maybe I will try tomorrow. Does anyone have any tips?

I have been exercising, but nothing intense. Walking the dogs in the park, and working. I work at a used bookstore, so I am on my feet most of the time, carrying books and shelving them. It can tire you out. I know I need to include more cardio and yoga. I love yoga when I do it, but i find i go through stages. Some weeks I do it everyday, and other weeks not at all. I buy yoga journal every month, and this month they are having a 21 day yoga challenge. It starts on January 10th. It's all about starting the new year right, and getting back to a daily practice. If you are interested, check out their web site here. I'm excited to start. I guess January is a month of health challenges. If you have new years resolutions involving exercise and healthy eating, challenges are a good way to form new habits. Plus, there's the satisfaction of completing a challenge, and seeing how great you can feel if you just stick to it. I know that I will be having my morning green juice even after this adventure cleanse is over.

Anyways, on to the goods!

Day 2's eats:


Breakfast:

Green juice of course! This time I added a lime, instead of a lemon. BIG mistake. It did not taste good mingled with all of the other flavors. I was a little dissapointed because I love those little green guys.

Lunch:

Stefan and I went out for lunch yesterday. Our city has a very limited number of vegan friendly restaurants, let alone healthy vegan restaurants, so we decided to go with our tried and true-- Seven shores. It's a tiny little cafe that serves healthy, organic grub, well, for the most part. They also serve meat and cheese, but they have lots of vegan food too.

I had a spinach salad with apple and red pepper, and a really tasty sun-dried tomato dressing. no sugar! He showed my the label. I also had rice paper spring rolls with carrot, red pepper and scallions in them. they usually serve it with sugar-laden thai chili sauce, but I dipped mine in cashew butter instead. On the side, I had a wheat grass shot and half an apple. No photo, sorry, I ate it before I remembered my camera!

Dinner:



Big yummy chard salad with green goddess dressing(as you can tell, I have lots of chard in my fridge to use up)
- sliced chard
- red pepper
- avacado
- red onion
- hemp seeds
- sunflower seeds



dressing (from crazy sexy diet):
I don't have my book on me, but I'll give you the general idea
- fresh parsley
- fresh dill
- olive oil
- water
- raw apple cider vinegar
- garlic
- white miso

This is a must try dressing. Super flavorful, and hardly any oil, I think it was only 1/4 cup, and there is a lot of dressing. I love that if you change the dressing, an everyday salad tastes completely different.

On the side I had some cooked brown rice with a splash of Braggs, lightly steamed broccoli (still crunchy) and some sauteed portobellos. If you haven't tired braggs, and are still using soy sauce, try it! You cannot tell the difference. Please, it is gluten and alcohol free. It is basically a liquid made from soybeans, and has lots of essential amino acids). Here's a full list.


For snacks throughout the day I had a banana, peppermint tea and some dates (addicted to these). I should probably cut back because their GI rating is probably quite high. they are super sweet.

I also went to the health food store and grabbed some gluten-free goodness, and ingredients for some raw chocolate macaroons. Details tomorrow!

hugs and veggies
-Deni

Adventure Cleanse: Day 1

So my adventure cleanse has officially begun, and I have to say that I am loving it so far! I had my green juice in the morning and it was quite tasty. Although, I think I might have had a bit too much too soon because my stomach started to feel a bit queasy afterward, but it quickly passed. Overall, I didn't feel any detox symptoms, and I didn't have any cravings for coffee, sugar or wheat. yay! I really stuck to the food component of the cleanse, and I think I managed an 80% raw food intake.

Here is a list of day 1's eats:

Breakfast:
Make Juice, NOT War Juice!
- 3 leaves of kale
- 3 leaves of romaine
- 1 red pear
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 english cucumber
- 1 whole lemon (without peel)
- 1/2 inch ginger root

This juice is supposed also have a broccoli stem, but I forgot to put it in.





Lunch:

Quinoa with a splash of Braggs.

Slaw Salad with almond butter thai sauce

Salad:
- red cabbage
- chard
- carrots
- yellow pepper
- chard

Almond butter Thai sauce (from Crazy Sexy Diet)
- 1/2 c almond butter
- 1 T fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 T lemon juice
- 2 T sweetener (agave, dates, or raisins)
- 1/3 c water

add all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth

Dinner:

Raw Noodle Bowl
- zucchini noodles
- broccoli
- orange bell pepper
- avacado
- hot red pepper flakes
- left over almond butter thai sauce

Raw sweet peas with gomasio

Teriyaki tofu (adapted from "Crazy Sexy Diet"
- 3 T Braggs
- 1 T sesame oil
- 1/2 C orange juice
- 3 T mirin
- 2 T agave
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 T ginger, minced

whisk ingredients together, and let tofu marinade in it for a few hours. Lightly saute.




snacks:
1 banana
handful of raw cashews
lots of dried dates! ( I was craving something sweet, and dates are a nice healthy sweet treat)

See you tomorrow with Day 2!

hugs and veggies,
Deni