Saturday, May 21, 2011

Wow, this is embarrassing...

It has been a month (exactly) since my last post. Eeek! Sorry, guys! 

Here's what I have been up to in the last month:

  1. School, school, school, and more school. 
  2. Moving (only down the street), but we still had to pack up all our shit. So, it counts. We are actually still in the process of finishing the new place up, but we (Adam, Lilly, and myself) love it so far! Now, Cliff is a different story. It took him a good 3 days to get his wimpy ass out from underneath our bed. Oh, and did I mention he barely ate that whole time? But, after 2+ weeks at the new he seems to be relaxing. Thank God. 
  3. Making a Local Food Film called 'Seed' for my practicum project for school. This film business turns out to be a wee bit more complicated than I naively thought...Although it is A BOATLOAD of stuff to learn and do, it is completely opening my eyes (even more) to local food and farmers' markets. So that is awesome! 
  4. I turned 25. Adam turned 25. We celebrated our 5 year anniversary, too! May is a busy month for celebrations! 
  5. Speaking of Adam, he finished his last in school year of pharmacy school! One more year of rotations, then 2 years of residency, and poof! He is a pharmacist! That merits another Thank God! 
  6. Cooking. Eating. Cooking. Eating. ANDDDD fiddling with my diet. Good results so far!
  7. Last thing, but perhaps the one I am most excited about. We started a garden!!! HELL YES! Adam and I have been toying with the idea for a few years, but our old place's balcony never got enough sun. Enter, new house with a back patio that gets the good ol' morning sun!  An innocent trip to the nursery (at 54 and Barbee) to get a tomato post thing turned into a civic-full load of new plants, soil, and pots! It all started with a friend giving me an heirloom tomato plant and some parsley. Then, at the nursery we got 4 cucumber plants (for $1.50!), 4 zucchini plants, 4 cute little ruffly lettuce plants, cilantro, basil, chives, and oregano. Plus, with the lemon thyme purchase at the Carrboro Farmers' Market, the generosity of a friend at school (a a tomato plant that has the VERY BEST tomatoes EVER), and some red pepper plant donations from the Meredith College garden, we have quite a spread! Everything seems to be thriving too. :) 
Now onto the FOOOODDDD! 
Currently, breakfast smoothies are on the back burner right now and eggs are on the front burner (literally). I have been using green garlic from the farmers' market, heirloom cherry tomatoes, and about 4 egg whites (from a farm in hillsborough-at Weaver St, these puppies were only $5 for 2 1/2 dozen! What!?! What!?!?!). Sometimes, I add a slice of Ezekiel bread for good measure. Here is the finished product: 

Next up: Lunches and Dinners! Now, I have been trying to eat mostly raw, with some non-raw recipes sprinkled in. I'll talk about Raw Recipes first, because they all turned out quite FABULOUS! 
Ambrosia (from The Raw Food Detox Diet book by Natalia Rose) 
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced into matchstick pieces (FYI-I had some carrots to burn, so I added about 5 instead of just 1)
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into matchstick pieces 
  • 1 large beet, sliced 
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup apples, sliced or diced, however you like it 
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced 
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced 
  • 1/2 cup dried, unsulfured cranberries 
  • 1/2 cup sliced sunchokes (aka Jersulem artichokes) 
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil 
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro 
As usual, mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve! Now, if you really want a SPECTACULAR dressing to go on top, make this: 
Liquid Gold Elixir (from the same book) 
  • 2 cups fresh lemon juice 
  • 3 whole cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp minced ginger
  • 3 tbsp Nama Shoyu (aka soy sauce)
  • 3 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 1/2 cups cold-pressed olive oil 
Put all ingredients except the oil in a food processor and process. Slowly add the oil, until its completed blended. Put in jars and store in the fridge for up to a week! 

The finished product. 
Apple Raisin Dream (from the same book as above)

  • 1/2 pound romaine lettuce (its LOCAL at Weaver Street in Carrboro!)
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 fuji apple, chopped
  • 3 tbsp scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped (from the backyard garden :) )
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (or any color bell pepper you are partial to), chopped
  • 1 english cucumber, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil (from the backyard garden, again) 
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and serve. 
Quite refreshing on a summer day. 
Tomato Gazpacho (from the same book-notice a trend?) 
  • 5 large tomatoes, quartered (Local and pesticide free at Weaver Street for $1.99/lb (I think)) 
  • 1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • black pepper 
  • 1/4 cup basil 
Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until pureed. Now, the black pepper and basil were added for extra flavor, so you can modify that if you want. 
Serve cold. Unless, if you are Adam and don't know what a Gazpacho is and heat it up in the microwave. BTW, he said it was still good warm... 
Last raw recipe:
Crunchy Sprouts and Veggies (from Becoming Raw by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina)
  • 3 cups chopped Napa Cabbage, chopped (this was also Local from Weaver St)
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 1 cup lentil sprouts (I have lentils to sprout, but I didn't have them finished in time, so I omitted them from this recipe)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5 stalks of celery, cut into matchsticks
  • 15 snow peas, quartered
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • 1/2 to 1 avocado (I omitted this, too)
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts (or whatever sprouts you like, pea shoots are in season...)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix and serve. If you are using avocado set that aside, and use as a topper. 
Here it is. I packed this for Adam's lunch yesterday with some Shittake Ginger dressing (store bought, not homemade) and it got good reviews. 
On to the not so raw, but still healthy and delicious! 
Mostly Not Potato Salad (from Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson)
  • 4 small red-skinned potatoes, unpeeled, quartered
  • big handful of green beans, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp agave nectar
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill 
  • 1 leek, trimmed and chopped
  • 6 stalks of celery, trimmed and diced
  • 1 cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut into cubes
  • 6 oz extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp chives
Bring a pot to a rolling boil, add potatoes and cook until tender (about 10 mins). Add green beans to pot and cook for a super-quick 30 seconds. Drain and set aside. Make the dressing by whisking together mustard, vinegar, olive oil, sugar and salt in a bowl. In a skillet saute the dill with a splash of olive oil and stir in the leek. Saute until slightly crispy (4 minutes). In a big ass bowl, toss potatoes, green beans, celery, cucumber, tofu, chives, leek and dressing. Serve chilled or at room temperature. 
This recipe has been one of my favorites this week! 
Kale Salad (from the Super Natural Everyday by Heidi Swanson)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil (or if you are like me, spray with pam)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp Nama Shoyu
  • 3 1/2 cups Kale, stems trimmed, ribs removed (local and organic at Weaver St for $1.89-ish/bunch!!!)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened large flake coconut
  • 2 cups cooked whole grain (optional-I did not include this) 
Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, whisk the olive oil, sesame oil, and Nama Shoyu together. Put the kale and coconut in a large bowl and spray with pam to lightly coat. Then toss with the oil mixture (in my case, since I used pam I just sprinkled Nama Shoyu on top). Spread kale mixture evenly on two baking sheets and bake for 12-18 minutes, until slightly browned. You can toss the finished product with a whole grain of your choice if you want. Serve warm. 
Right: Kale. I didn't even get to try it because Adam woofed it down. Guess it's good...
Left: Arame Saute (see below)
Arame Saute (from Clean Food by Terry Walters)
  • 1 cup dried arame
  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil (C'mon, who has this? I used olive oil, and the recipe turned out fine)
  • 2 small cipollini onions (Ok, don't know what those are either, so I used these tiny onion bulbs I got from the farmers' market)
  • 4 carrots, julienned
  • 1 cup peeled and julienned jicama (I had to be a super sleuth to find this, Harris Teeter had some) 
  • 1 cup snow peas, trimmed (from farmers' market :) )
  • 2 tbsp mirin (Another mystery ingredient, so I didn't use. I just got some teriakyi sauce instead)
  • 1 tbsp brown rice syrup (see mirin comment)
  • 1 tsp Nama Shoyu
  • 1/2 tsp ume plum vinegar (see mirin comment)
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
Place arame in a bowl, cover with water and soak for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a skillet, saute onions in oil until soft. Add carrots, jicama, and snow peas and cook until al dente. Add arame and (in my case) teriakyi sauce and heat through. Remove from heat and toss with sesame seeds. 

Whew! That was a long one! Most of these recipes were made earlier in the week, so I will be cooking more today. Stay tuned! 

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