What I’m Loving Wednesday

Here we are again!   And I did it this week 🙂

This week is especially beneficial for me to focus on the good right now.  As I said last week, we are dealing with some health issues in the household right now which has been crazy making and then yesterday I woke up with some really bad back pain.  It is really the only time my back has ever hurt, barring some soreness while I was pregnant.  Anyway, it can be easy to dwell and feel sorry for myself!  So, the good!

1. The carrot cake smoothie posted in Facebook this morning by The Raw Food World.  It was incredibly delicious and when I make it again I will double or triple the recipe if it is to be shared with anyone else.  Haha, THAT good!

Carrot Cake Smoothie

I large carrot

1 cup almond milk

1 frozen banana

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp vanilla brown rice protein (like Sunwarrior, which is my fave!)

2 tsp vanilla powder or 1 tsp extract

pinch cinnamon

1 tbsp coconut oil (optional as it was not in the original recipe but hubby asked me to add some)

Add almond milk first then other ingredients into Vita-mix or other high powered blender and blend until creamy and smooth.

Serves 1 (or 2 small servings)

2. The garden!  My mother has always been proud of her yard, so this year we are just putting some things in pots as it would have been traumatic to my mom for us to rip our something for a veggie patch!  Starting out so small, but I love the things we have so far:

Here is some lavender, a stevia plant, a peppermint, a Malabar spinach plant and a poblano pepper:

lavender, stevia, peppermint, Malabar spinach, poblano pepper

Here is some more of the Malabar spinach.  It is meant to be a heat-loving perennial edible green which tastes a bit like spinach although it is extremely distantly related.
Malabar spinach

This is another poblano, a hibiscus my mother had previously and a mulberry sapling we got for free!
poblano, hibiscus and mulberry sapling

Here we have a loquat sapling, parsley and some pineapple sage that smells heavenly next to two strawberry plants and a jalapeño.

&nbloquat sapling, parsley, pineapple sageStrawberries and jalapeño

In addition to the things that we planted, we also have a satsuma tree here, a pear tree and a whole load of blackberry (or dewberry) bushes around the property.  I picked a good handful of them today.  They were tart but tasty!

Blackberry vines among the greenery
This post is getting long, so I will leave it at that.  Short list, but sweet 🙂  Have a wonderful rest of the week, y’all!

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Light Cleanse and Weekend Happenings

I have been feeling really bad physically.  On one level, I have been feeling the remnants of the flu I had- just sort of low grade symptoms- headache, sore throat, tiredness, etc.  And then on another level I have been feeling really unhealthy in other ways- I feel so overweight and out of shape.  I also feel like I have been holding on to my baby body.  I guess being pregnant and giving birth and now mothering Amethyst has meant such a significant change in my life- how I live my day-to-day, who I fundamentally am as a person, what my priorities are that I just haven’t been able to let go of this belly.  But I feel like by shedding this extra weight I can return into myself a little.  In the yogic tradition, a new baby and mother share an aura for 40 days after the birth of the baby.  During this time, baby and mama are still connected as fundamentally as when baby was still in the womb- just that this connection is more energetic in nature.  Doing this cleanse has felt a little like I am taking some power back into my body.  As I am still (somewhat) breastfeeding my daughter, I decided to do a really light version of a cleanse.  Juicing and smoothies all day and then one meal and a light snack.

Saturday-

Wild green kuice- cleaver, apple, chickweed, lime
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Smoothie-frozen blueberries, mango, kale, coconut water, vitamineral green, sunwarrior protein powder, cashews, dates

Green juice- cucumber, apple, celery, fennel, ginger, kale stalks, lemons, limes

Smoothie- blueberry, mango, sunwarrior, avocado, dates, vitamineral green, pine pollen

Green juice- more of earlier green juice

Snack- some Hail Merry chocolate tarts- mint and almond butter flavors, shared with my Dad and hubby.  Also some little chococherry energy bite things from Hawaii.

meal- cucumber, shredded carrot, celery, lettuce, quinoa, roasted potato and beet in a raw Chipotle-Sunflower Cream Sauce.

The sauce was awesome on this really hearty and filling yet light (if that totally contradictory description makes sense to anyone but me!) salad.

Chipotle-Sunflower Cream Sauce

3/4 cup hulled sunflower seeds, soaked 4 hours

juice of 2 lemon

pinch salt

2 date, soaked

1 dried chipotle pepper, soaked

1/4-1/2 c spring water, if needed

Add everything to blender and blend until smooth.  Makes 1 to 1 1/2 cups dressing.

Sunday was similar foodwise-

smoothie- blueberries, Sunwarrior, dates, rainbow chard and ice

smoothie- more blubes, Sunwarrior, cashews, dates, vitamineral green and cacao powder

juice- carrot, apple, celery, beet, cilantro

snack- Bearded Bros. Maca chocolate energy bar shared with hubby while having almond milk au laits at Rhino Coffee

juice- more of above root juice

meal- kelp noodles with spinach, grated carrots, pickles and Chipotle-Sunflower Cream Sauce
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Also yesterday the hubby and I went to a sound healing session.  The woman used Tibetan singing bowls and a gong.  This was the first thing remotely like this that we have done since moving to Shreveport.  I fell asleep briefly during the session but have not been so relaxed in a reaaaaaaally long time.  I think it also helped shift me into a more positive headspace as well.  Dan enjoyed it as well and Amethyst was FINE with her grandparents while we were gone 🙂  Also, we were able to introduce ourselves to a few people and saw some other interesting looking people near to our age.  So, it at least gave us some hope for creating a nice life for ourselves during our time in Shreveport even if it is only temporary.

Today was also similar-

Green smoothie made by hubby but had mixed frozen fruits, spinach and pine pollen

Green juice- cucumber, apple, celery, cilantro, lemon, grapefruit

Wild greens- Cleaver and chickweed, grapefruit, lemon
juice makings:
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Chickweed juice

meal- Blue corn tacos with black beans, daiya vegan cheese, spinach and beet greens, grated carrot, guacamole, chickweed-cilantro pesto, and tomatillo salsa.  OMG so delicious were these!

Chickweed-Cilantro Pesto
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1/2 cup chickweed

1/2 cup cilantro

1/4 cup pine nuts

pinch salt

juice of 1/2 lemon

splash of good olive oil

Throw everything into food processor and pulse into slightly chunky paste.

Happy Thursday!

Hello there!

Well, I survived my yoga retreat weekend thankfully although I was exhausted at the end of it.  I am noticing that I sleep more and that I really have to conserve my energy much more than before.  For example, if I decide to sweep the floor AND make a meal, then I will surely need a nap after that, LOL.  For some serendipitous reason, my body has been craving much more raw food.  During the yoga retreat, we ate a mostly macrobiotic vegetarian diet with LOTS of bread!  The portions tended to be quite small, and even though I knew it wasn’t optimal for me, I partook in the bread and felt awful for it.  I guess my body is just crying out for some light detox and fresh foods.  I am not going to complain, I am really enjoying it!

To me, summer means fruit!  Just look at all this bounty!  All organic, as well, from the Maharishi Vedic Agriculture farm here in Spain!  So delicious!! Not pictured is another watermelon which I promptly ate half of and juiced the other half, a kilo of figs that had to go in the freezer immediately and about a kilo more of peaches which were really soft.

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Fuji apples, limes, lemons, cantaloupe, watermelon, cherry tomatoes, apricots, nectarines, peaches, paraguayos (donut peaches), bananas and avocados.

I want to share my breakfast yesterday.  I had a similar thing today, as I loved it so much!  Now, the idea of buckwheat porridge isn’t new to me, but I have always been partial to oats.  At the moment, oats really wreak havoc on my blood sugar (again, the joys of pregnancy!!) so I decided to give it a go.

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Raw Buckwheat Porridge

  • 1 cup sprouted buckwheat
  • 2 tbsp. lucuma powder
  • 1 tbsp. tahini
  • 6 drops vanilla stevia (or 1 tbsp. other sweetener)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or water

Place everything in a food processor and process until smooth.  Top with thawed frozen berries and bee pollen. (Today, I used sliced banana and chopped peaches and that was delicious too!

Today, I decided to break out one of my cookbooks, so I chose Raw Taste Sensations, from Unlimited Health Café and Shop in Amsterdam.  I decided on Beetroot and Apple in Ginger Sauce and Cucumbers in Creamy Dill-Mustard Sauce.  We had those two dishes for lunch along with another little side salad of beet greens, cherry tomatoes and olives in a hemp oil/lime juice dressing and some of our home-made sauerkraut and lacto-fermented pickles.  I DID have a picture of our beautifully colored plate, but my camera ate it!  😛

I’ll leave you with a picture of my ginormous belly while I go sip on some more Green Chai Yogi Tea. Yum!

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thanks for stopping by!

Matcha Fudge Covered Brownie Cake

As I mentioned the other day, I bought some matcha powder to play around with.  I don’t know if it is some sort of weird pregnancy craving or what, but I HAD to have matcha!  I’ve been dreaming about it for months but just couldn’t seem to get my paws on any of it.  Well, I went into the city to have my third trimester blood test, and on my way back to the metro, I saw a tea shop. I thought to myself- maybe?  I went in, and lo and behold there it was.  And organic to boot.  Also, the woman working was so, so nice.   She kept giving me glasses of iced vanilla rooibos and a spicy chai tea that was delicious.  It was such a change of pace from the usual level of customer service experienced here in Madrid, i.e. non-existent!

When I got home, I thought about making some brownie bites and then rolling them in the matcha powder.  Nah, too easy peasy.  I wanted something a little more spectacular and that more importantly would eat into the kilo of coconut oil I have.  Alas, these babies were born!Image

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Recipe Time!

Matcha Fudge Covered Brownie Cake

For the base:

2.25 cup walnuts

2.25 cup dates, pitted

4 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp. cacao powder

2 tbsp. carob powder

2 tsp. chaga powder (optional)

pinch of sea salt

Process walnuts until crumbly and add all other ingredients to food processor.  Process until well combined and sticky.  Add 2-3 tablespoons water if necessary.  Press dough into a round spring-form pan and set aside while you make the topping.

For the topping:

1 cup cashews, finely ground

1 tbsp. lecithin (I recommend sunflower lecithin but if all you have is soy, like me, make sure it is non-GMO!)

.5 cup + 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted

.25-.5 cup raw honey (depending on your sweet tooth.  You can also substitute agave if you wish to not use     bee products)

1 tsp. matcha powder

Blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy.  Pour topping on top of base and put in fridge to set for half an hour.  Then cut into squares and share with friends 🙂

Makes about 25 small but dense squares.

That’s it!  Now I am off to make a big fat green juice and some salt and vinegar kale chips!  

Have a great Sunday afternoon.

Licor de Madroño

I’ve never been a big drinker, and now being preggers my alcohol consumption is down to zero.  But last fall, the madroños or strawberry trees were so abundant that I just had to pick some and preserve them.  I didn’t really feel like making a jam so an easy peasy liquor was decided upon.  The method is exactly the same as making slow gin, but if you aren’t familiar with that, all you do is put your washed and dried fruit in a jar, add about half a cup of sugar* to cover the fruit and then fill the rest of the jar with alcohol.  It really needs to be at least 50% alcohol in order to really preserve the fruits and extract the flavor.

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It looks really beautiful , and it extracts into a pinkish color.  While I haven’t tried it myself, I have been pawning it off on guests, and the reaction has been very positive!

Even if you don’t drink, if you have access to ripe madroños any time of year, give it a go.  You can always add a splash to fruit salads, or make a sangria punch type drink for a party with sparking water, pomegranate or cranberry juice, chopped up fruit and a bit of madroño liquor.

For those that DO drink, one thing I am dying to try is a Madroño Mimosa- some Spanish Cava and my homemade madroño liquor.  Try it and let me know how it is 😉

*ordinarily, I would never advise anyone to use processed sugar, but in a recipe like this it really is necessary.  Something like agave or honey truly would not work.  I used white sugar because we had some on hand for these types of projects but something like demarara or raw cane sugar would be a great option!

Galia Melon Smoothie / Batido de Melón Galia

Today is hot in Madrid, and I wanted something cool and refreshing.  I also had a Galia melon that needed to be used.  I started thinking about the canteloupe icees my mom used to make me when I was a kid and decided to do something similar.  The result was super yum!

You need:

  • half a Galia melon*Image
  • 2 bananas, frozen
  • half a cup ice cubes

Blend thoroughly and enjoy!  Serves 1

* A Galia melon looks like a canteloupe on the outside but like a honeydew on the inside.  The taste is more like a honeydew melon.  Feel free to substitue either of these melons if you don’t have access to galia melons.

Hoy en Madrid hace un calor tremendo y por eso me apetecía algo fresquito y refrescante.  También, tenía un melón que necesitaba usar urgentemente.  Empecé a pensar en los granizados de melón que mi madre solía hacer cuando yo era pequeña y decidí hacer algo parecido.

Batido de Melon Galia

Ingredientes:

  • un melón galia
  • 2 plátanos helados
  • media taza cubitos de hielo

Instrucciónes:

¡Batir y disfrutar! ¡Así de fácil!

Naughty Pregnant Lady Frappe

Confession-I love coffee.  I do, I adore it.  I haven’t really been drinking it during my pregnancy for a number of reasons, mainly because I’m not convinced that it is a good thing.  I have, however, had a few decaf coffees.  Which to be fair, I am not sure than isn’t worse.

I digress.  Today, Hubby came home with a pack of Oxfam fair trade coffee.  The leaded stuff, the full strength kind!  Well, considering that I have been feeling so, so tired lately, I immediately set out to brew a pot and make something delicious out of it.

Here is the resultant beverage:

Emily’s Naughty Pregnant Lady Frappe

  • 1.5-2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup ice
  • 1 dropper English Toffee stevia (or whatever liquid stevia you have around, or 2 tbsp. your favorite sweetener i.e. agave, honey, coconut sugar etc.)
  • .5 cup raw vegan whipped cream* (I had this on hand from earlier.  You could easily substitute almond or other non-dairy milk. Or hell, dairy if that is your bag! Or cream!!)
  • .5-1 cup freshly brewed coffee (depending on how strong you like it.  I went light with mine because my body is not used to the caffeine anymore)

Put all ingredients in blender and blend until creamy, thick and smooth.  Pour into a glass and enjoy!  Makes 1 large or 2 small servings.

Raw Vegan Whipped Cream

(from Cafe Gratitude)

  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • .25 cup agave or honey
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • .5 cup coconut oil, liquid
  • 1 tbsp. lecithin

Place all ingredients except for coconut oil and lecithin into blender and blend until smooth.  Add coconut oil and lecithin and blend again.  Place in fridge for at least one hour, or in freezer for 2o minutes to set.

 

Weekend Eats! (not cake)

I realized last week that pregnant or not, I’m not feeling awesome in my body right now.  I know that a lot of this comes from what is a normal and pregnancy related, like feeling bloated, heavy and gassy.  But I can’t help thinking that it is exacerbated by what I am eating- for example the Malai Kofta I had at the local Indian restaurant last Thursday.  So I decided I was going to lighten it up a little and this week it has been pretty much effortless to eat raw.

First, I made some crazy good raw Malai Kofta.  After having the cooked version I decided I wanted to finally try a raw version. You really should try it.  My husband was slightly incredulous at first but ended up thinking it was delicious!

The recipe is here:

http://roshis.com/malai-kofta/

I also made a bomb ass sundried tomato pesto that I had on top of zucchini noodles with some pine nut/cashew cheese.  That was a super easy and gourmet tasting meal. If you want to try it, it went something like this:

1/2 cup soaked sundried tomato

small handful of pine nuts

3 tbsp. olive oil

a few leaves of fresh basil

salt and pepper to taste

Put everything into the food processor and mix until you have a smooth consistency.  You can always add a little of the sundried tomato soak water if you need to get things going.

Other than that, I have been having salads, green juices and smoothies and lots of fruit.

back again! and almond pulp cookie recipe!

 

Things with my pregnancy are going pretty well now.  I had a little setback after my last post where I started feeling terrible and had lots of nausea again 😦  But now I am going into week 16, which means I am in my second trimester!  I can really hardly believe it, it sounds so surreal.

Anyway, when I wasn’t feeling great, I was eating lots of less than optimal foods like boiled potatoes,gluten free pastas and spelt bread.  I am sure that didn’t help with my lack of energy or motivation to be in the kitchen preparing myself good foods that I love!

I have gotten my kitchen mojo back now, though!!

Yesterday morning I wasn’t really feeling that hungry so I had an apple and then made about half a litre of carob and lucuma almond milk.  That was delicious and then later I had the juice of two grapefruits mixed with Greener Grasses powder.

For lunch, I had raw banana ice cream with some added carob, honey and hemp oil.  I have been LOVING me some banana ice cream recently! The hardest part about it is remembering to cut up and freeze ripe bananas.

I really wanted to use up the almond milk pulp from that morning so I looked online and decided on a cookie recipe, which I will share at the end of the post 😉

For dinner, I put together some raw pizzas with a sprouted buckwheat, flax and sweet potato crust topped with sun-dried tomato marinara, pine nut cheese and veggies like cherry tomatoes, sliced onions, diced pineapple and freah basil leaves.  Oh, that was delicious.  It was the first time I have made raw pizza in months.

This morning, I started my day with some leftover raw pizza, hehe, breakfast of champions! I also had some almond milk with rooibosh tea.  Oh, and one of the cookies I made yesterday.

Right now, I am contemplating lunch.  I have a purple corn chia pudding in the fridge.  I think I will have that with a zucchini, tomato and avocado soup.

I am so happy that my body is finally craving raw foods again, and that I have the energy to make them.

ok. so here is the almond pulp cookie recipe:

RawGuru´s Fave Cookie Dough Recipe

1 1/2 cups nut milk pulp (or you can just use nut flour if you don’t have it)

5 tbsp. coconut butter

7-10 dates

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (I make my own, but you could also use half of a vanilla bean- yum!)

pinch of himalayan or celtic salt

1-2 pinches of cinnamon

pinch of nutmeg

water to moist

Process all ingredients in a food processor until mixture is well incorporated and doughy looking.  Shape into balls, flatten and dehydrate at 105 degrees for 10 hours.

 

 

 

something sweet in a bowl

I’ve been acting kind of crazy all day.  I got the wild hair that I really wanted to do some cardio exercize today and I wanted to find a video to workout with.  Well, I didn’t have much luck at all.  I ended up doing about 5 minutes of various silly line dances, and then moving on to something else.  Then I just sort of gave up and decided to go for a longish walk with my dogs.

If anybody has recommendations for fun, free online workout videos, preferably something dancy, then let me know!

After my walk, I was really hungry but we don’t have too much in the house.  I decided that I was going to make something sweet in a bowl, and here is what I had:

2 small pots soy yogurt  (I would have LOVED to use coconut or almond yogurt, but I can’t get it)

1 tbsp. rolled oats

1 tbsp. trail mix (mine has mulberries, buckwheaties, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds)

2 tbsp. raw carob

1 tbsp. tahini

1 tbsp. honey or agave

Mix together in a bowl and nom the yums!

Super simple and super quick!