Fall Market and Saf!

Hi again! It’s been a minute since I posted last, trying to get things going again with the business since we got back from England. I’ve made a few raw cheesecakes that I have sold at my local HFS as well as at the freshly begun Fall Farmers’ Market!
This one was Chocolate Mango. I used both fresh and dried mangos in the mango part and it tasted like caramel! So good!

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Then I made this Pumpkin Lucuma with Chocolate Drizzle Cheesecake! This one was freaking amazing! Don’t let anyone scare you out of using fresh raw pumpkin!!

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Just for fun, here’s a photo of our market stall!

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So, our last night in England we stayed in London because it was easier to get to the airport. We chose a hotel room within walking distance of the Whole Foods in Kensington because I wanted to eat at Saf. It was soooo, soooo good. We started off with a cashew cheese appetizer.

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I loved this cheese, and it inspired me to get back into making my own fermented nut cheeses.
Then I had a portobello slider. The barbecue sauce was incredibly good and I was so impressed by the attention to detail and how every single component of the plate was delicious- so assembled it was just insane!

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Dan had some kebabs that were tender and flavorful. The side dish was my favorite though!

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He also got a juice that had carrot, ginger, apple and turmeric root. It was my first time having the root fresh and it was so good. Amethyst loved it and ended up with a golden mustache. I got a smoothie with almond milk, lucuma and berries because I thought Amethyst would like it. She didn’t think much of it, and while it was good compared to the juice it was kind of just okay.
We also both ordered the tiramisu.

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Whoa, this was one heavy dessert! We could have ordered one. While I liked it much more than InSpiral’s tiramisu it still didn’t crack the code. It was clearly nut based and while it was delicious it just wasn’t the definitive raw tiramisu for me lol! I guess that just means manos a la obra for me to create my own!! All in all though, we loved Saf! I was impressed with the quality of the dishes and the rich complex flavors. We both left really full, which is rare with raw food restaurants. It is gourmet raw food, so expect to pay for it. It is worth it!!

Sunday morning

The last couple of weeks have been just absolute chaos! I’ve been writing, so I have a few posts to share with you but due to probs with the Flickr uploader, getting pics from the iPhone to ye olde blog has been problematic. Enough of that, though!

So, the week of the opening of the Shreveport Farmer’s Market (thus the opening of the Sacred Strawberry stall) we had to go to New Orleans for my hubbies immigration interview.
On the way down, we stopped in Baton Rouge to eat at a place I found online called Truly Free Bakery and Cafe. We loved if so much that we stopped to eat again on the way back up to Shreveport. They are a completely gluten-free establishment and have a ton of imaginative vegan options. The first time, I had a vegan Reuben on a collard wrap. This was amazing! Tempeh, sauerkraut, creamy tangy dressing and a *steamed* collard wrap! Sooo good! I also got a red velvet cupcake that just wow’ed the pants off of me! Dan had a burger and he loved it!
Well, the next day on our way back we decided to stop there again for lunch. This time, I took pics 😉

I had a veggie burger this time, with avocado, barbecue sauce and mushrooms I think.  Oh, and vegan cheese! This was one epic burger!
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Aaand another cupcake, this time chocolate peanut butter with a banana frosting inside! Um, yes!
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Oh, and lots of green juice all around!
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Of course, no trip to New Orleans would be complete without a whistle stop at Whole Foods to drop some cash we didn’t need to spend! Of course I got a kombucha (ginger from my fave Austin based brewer) and some raw brownie goddess bites I fell in love with in Austin! Also, Popsicle molds for the little one and yummy spices!

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On the way back after lunch, we got the news that Dan is getting his green card!!! Words cannot express how ecstatic we are to know this! Our lives here can officially begin!

In other news, I have been making epic quantities of these , among other things, for my stall:
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All in all, life is good here!  Lots of working out and gym time, nourishing foods, cuddles with babies and doggies, tending to the garden, and loving sharing my vision with the public on a larger scale!  How about where you are?

Review: Be Raw Food and Juice

In a previous post, I mentioned that my hubby had to be in Dallas.  After his appointment, we went to the raw food restaurant in Dallas, Be Raw Food and Juice.  As far as I know, there are other places to get raw vegan food, juice bars, Whole Foods, etc. but this is the only dedicated raw food restaurant at the moment.  When I heard that Bliss Café shut down without my ever getting a chance to try it out, I was pretty upset having just moved back to Shreveport.  So of course I was just so happy to hear of another raw foods place.  I called to make sure they were going to be open and the woman who answered the phone was very friendly and professional.  I really don’t know much at all about the layout of Dallas, but I do know that driving is notoriously stressful there.  However, finding the restaurant was not really a problem at all.  I can’t really tell you where it is, but google maps works 😉
Be Raw in Dallas
Dan and I kind of went crazy when we got there.  We each ordered a soup.  I got the corn chowder.
corn chowder
This was phenomenal.  Creamy, chunky, peppery corn goodness.  The menu said it contained coconut water and hemp seeds so if the base is made from that, then it is much more nutrient dense than a traditional raw corn chowder made with cashews.

And he got the pho.
raw vegan pho
Really, really good.  Slightly spicy, gingery and with a flavor that neither Dan nor I could put our finger on.  I love it when that happens!  I am normally really good at dissecting raw recipes and it is awesome when someone can keep you guessing!

Then he ordered the trio of pizzas
trio of pizzas
The pizzas were alright.  I liked the variety- Greek, Margherita and another one with pineapple on it.  Also the portion size was amazing for the price.  The base was really soggy though, and some of the flavors were a little bland.  I hate that I didn’t like this dish much, but maybe it was just an off day?  Or that I just reeeally like my own raw pizzas?? LOL

And I ordered the coconut kale enchiladas
coconut kale enchiladas
These babies were the BOMB!  I liked them way better than the enchiladas at Daily Juice in Austin and I thought those were great.  The enchilada wrapper just melted in your mouth, the kale was massaged with avocado and spiced to perfection and the sauces were just perfect.  Green and red salsa on the side as well!  Just about the best thing ever!!

We also ordered a brownie, the amigo wrap and a pad thai to go, not knowing what our eating situation was going to be like in Fort Worth.

The brownie was super delicious but did not want to be photographed after a long car ride.  It was expensive, but big and I liked the fact that they covered it in a fresh berry sauce.

amigo wrap
The amigo wrap was like a raw mexican burrito inside of a lettuce leaf.  We ate this as a late night snack after a dip in the pool and a soak in the hot tub at the Omni where we were staying.  This was incredibly delicious as well.  The staff at Be Raw really know how to bring in the Tex Mex flavors that the area is known for into raw food.

Last was the pad thai, which to be fair we had the next day.  I thought this was alright, but paled in comparison to the other dishes we had.  The variety of spiralized veggies was colorful and tasty, but the sauces were lacking something and there wasn’t enough of them to really coat the veggie noodles.  For my tastes, this could have done with some fresh herbs like cilantro or thai basil and the addition of more textures like crushed nuts or something.
raw pad thai

All in all, the food was stellar.  I know now what kinds of things that are more suited to my tastes and I cannot wait to try more!!

ATX in the Raw Part 3

Last up in the series is the Daily Juice.  They apparently have quite a few locations but we went to the one on Duval St.  Let me just say- I freaking love this place.  By far my favorite of the joints we tried out for raw foods in Austin.  We ended up there by accident one night.  My parents weren’t really into having raw food again that night and so we went to some food trucks (I had a dosa at Nomad Dosa, which was awesome by the way- pure vegan gluten-free goodness!).  There wasn’t anything at the food truck court for dessert, especially not for me.  I said that I had heard about the existence of a vegan ice-cream parlor and my Dad thought we should go…so I looked it up on my iphone and off we went.  Well, the ice cream place was inside of Daily Juice and I insisted we come back the next day to try out their raw food.  And we did!

So…Daily Juice.  First off, the vibe in the place is just really cool.  It is not austere in any way, very colorful and they play good music (I don’t remember exactly what was playing when we were there but it ran the gamut from drum n bass, reggae, dub, indie, trip-hop, etc.)  The only photo I have of the interior is this one with my two loves.
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I had a green smoothie, as did my hubby but we both had different ones.  They have an extensive and amazing smoothie menu.  Even my Dad had some kind of goji berry based smoothie.  My Mom went for a Kombucha.

Our duo of green smoothie love going on:
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Then we all had raw kale enchiladas.  Well, except for my mother who had to be a rebel and ordered a vegan frito pie.  Man, these enchiladas were uhmayzing.  We all enjoyed them!
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Of course, we had to hit up the chocolate case as well before we left!  Dan was sooo excited when he saw that they had durian chocolate in there!
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Sorry for the craptastic photo, but we can’t all be perfect 😉  I tried so hard to like it, but as it turns out, I just can’t do durian.  This was my fourth try with durian, the other three being fresh stuff and I thought ok, surely with chocolate i’ll love it.  Well, no. No, I don’t.  And I want to, I really do.  So, it pains me deeply to admit it but I FUCKING HATE DURIAN FRUIT!!!

But that’s ok cuz I got some amazing chocolates anyway and Dan went back and bought out the rest of the durian choccies so everybody was happy in the end.

The rest of our day involved hiking over this:
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and swimming in this:

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and then a beautiful drive to Luckenbach where we were blessed by an impromptu concert and a tribe of chickens.

ATX in the Raw Part 2

Our next stop on a raw foods tour of Austin took us to Beets, an all raw cafe on West 5th St. It took us a little effort to find the place but once we did it was on!

My hubby and I with our baby daughter and my parents in tow all went.  My parents are not seasoned raw foodies.  At all.  They love their meat, but even more frustrating to me is their love for all things processed and chemical laden.  I try to buy them alternatives to their favorite packaged foods, but it sometimes doesn’t work.  For example, my father just does not like maple syrup as much as he likes his maple flavored diet syrup (eeeww!)

To start, I ordered a Goji Lemonade
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Lemons, gojis and agave. Not too sweet and the gojiness was really intense.
And Dan ordered a green juice.  I can’t remember what it had in it, but it was green and had lots of ginger.

Then we ordered our mains.

I had the chalupas- a corn tortilla with sunflower beans, veggies, guac and a sour cream drizzle.  Really yummy! I got the kale salad for my side.
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Dan had the raw reuben, it had a mild sauerkraut, homemade raw vegan thousand island dressing, marinate portabello mushrooms, caramelized onions and some kind of cheese on a really nice raw bread.  He really liked this dish, and I did too.  I would absolutely order this next time.
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It came with chips and a beet salad.
My Dad had the ELT, which was an eggplant bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich.  He *said* he liked it, haha but when I offered to trade him half of his sandwich for one of my chalupas he did not protest (but this is probably a testament to how much the man loves him some Mexican food than anything else!)  I liked the sandwich and once again, I was impressed with the bread.  The texture was not at all cracker-like, not overwhelmingly flaxy either, soft and yielding to the tooth but not mushy or soggy.
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And my mother ordered the nori roll appetizer and a side of sprouted lentil salad.  These were fairly basic nori rolls but good for my mother because that is what she wanted- something familiar.  The lentil salad was okay, but I soaked red lentils are just too starchy for my taste.  Not a fault of the restaurant, just my personal tastes!
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After, we had a selection of raw chocolates from the cool case up front.  I thought the chocolate was good.  It was clearly made with coconut oil in addition to cacao as it got melty really quickly. It was also the kind of chocolate where you taste mainly the dark chocolate flavor and not the flavorings much at all.  My dad broke his tooth on a super hard goji berry though! 😦

The service was great, our waitress was very personable and commented on how well-behaved Amethyst was being (although to me she was fussy!).  There is tons of seating and I can’t imagine the place ever being full.

All in all, I would give Beets a 7.5/10

The menu had all the classics that you would expect to find- hamburgers, tacos, sandwiches, pizza, nori rolls, juices, smoothies, cheezecakes, etc.  Everything was done well, tasty, reasonably priced and well presented.  The only complaint I have is that there wasn’t anything that was really interesting or a new take on the classics.

Next in the series- locally made raw chocolate and The Daily Juice Café