Showing posts from 2012

Eat: Best Meal Ever, Kelp Noodle Bowl

As Fall comes along and the weather gets colder, I tend to follow the "raw until dinner" rule pretty often. When I go for that option, the day is made up of fruit, green smoothies, and a few dehydrated goodies, and dinners tend to be any kind simple cooked veggies with the occasional tempeh.

I've mentioned before that I tend to get a little bit obsessed with certain foods and eat them every day for a month until I move on to something new. This month, I figured why limit myself? So I took all of my favourite meals from over the past few months and put them into one. The result was this amazing kelp noodle bowl that I created a couple days ago. It pieces together all my favourite cooked and raw foods all into one giant bowl of yummy.

On top of a flavour and texture extravaganza, it's nutrition-packed, warming, and can be made in under 20 minutes. Pure deliciousness. Given its components, I'm also sure it contains all the minerals, vitamins, healthy fats, proteins…

Eat: Post-Yoga Smoothie

How many times have I gone on and on about my on-and-off again relationship with yoga? From an ode to discovering the beauty of a Yin practice, to endless praises for the benefits of a daily 20 minute yoga practice, to my 3 month love affair with Bikram, I always wanted to commit... and finally, I've made the leap! I can now say that yoga and I have been in a steady relationship for about two and a half months. I don't know what came over me when we got back from our trip to France in mid-June, but I got home and knew it was time to nurture that relationship again. As usual, the first month or so was super emotionally taxing, releasing (or starting to release) all sorts of bizarre hang ups. Now, as much as yoga is always about clearing the mind, I know it's become more about the physical practice as well, learning to push and test my limits just that much more, and grow physically as well as mentally. So far, I've been doing a minimum of two and a half hours of hot yog…

Live: A Weekend in Food

I celebrated two stages of matrimonial bliss this weekend, all of them involving mountains of happiness and buckets of tears. Needless, to say it was an emotionally packed weekend, but I'll share its joys with you in the way I know best... through food.

The first tearjerker was the beautiful wedding of two very dear friends. They both just  looked so beautiful and so happy. If I haven't cried already at some point during the day, all you have to do is push the "first-time-the-couple-hears-the-terms-husband-and-wife" button that just really gets me going. Call me old fashion but there's something so beautifully transitional (and traditional) about that moment that's just... timeless.

But back to the food. The reception was a pot luck, and given that the bride has been a vegetarian/raw foodist/vegan, it was right up my alley. Everything I made was of course 100% organic, 100% vegan, and 100% made with love. For a main dish, I went for something that would feed…

Eat: Sinful September Treat: Vegan "Rice Crispy" Squares

Luckily, I never really had time since I went vegan to become a "junk food vegan" before choosing to go mostly raw. However, that didn't stop me from eating my share of junk food in my pre-vegan years. Thus, like most children, I remember the very specials days when we got to make Rice Crispy Squares with my babysitter. Though the occasions were rare since we didn't eat that kind of stuff too often, it was always wonderful. The smell of melting butter, the joy of making a gooey sticky mess when I added the marshmallows in and then tried to stir in the Rice Crispies, flattening the whole thing out with the white spatula I still have in our kitchen today... pure high fructose corn syrup deliciousness.

Fast-forward about fifteen years: Here I am in the natural foods store before my dance class in front of the discount shelf. And there, shining brightly in the centre of the display is Suzanne's Ricemellow Creme, a fancy vegan and gluten-free name for Marshmallow Flu…

Live: Oh where, oh where has my soap box gone...

Okay, Stanford. *rolls up sleeves* I wasn't even suppose to post today, but I couldn't wait til tomorrow to say I have three letters for you: W.T.F.

So, there's been some buzz in the blog/"news"/facebook world about Stanford's latest study nutritionally comparing organic and conventional produce. To give you a really quick summary on what the deal is, the big claim is that:

“The published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods  are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods.” 
Based on that sentence, newspapers have found a new way to restate that we are wasting our precious dollars "buying in" to some organic fantasy. Well, this girl doesn't think it's a fantasy if you don't mind, and here's why:

(Note: Though these thoughts are my own, I've also done some background research. A lot of these points are motivated by the more scientifically legit opinion of Charles Benbrook.)

1. For starters, another major claim …

EAT: WIAW Same old, same old...

Time for another What I Ate Wednesday post! I've only done one other before... The problem with any WIAW post of mine is that they'd all probably end up looking pretty much the same, changing up maybe only every season... conveniently, my constance means when I forget to take pictures, I can just recycle some old ones.
Breakfast: My favourite Green Smoothie
(note the obvious photo recycling thanks to the dead giveaway of the Christmas table runner)
At this point, I've probably had this smoothie over 500 times in my life considering it's been my go-to breakfast for a few years now. I would do something different, but I don't, because it's just so yummy.

Mid-Day Snack: RawGranola Crunchies
These crunchies have also become my replacement cereal option since I went raw. I now cut the liquid sweetener all together from the recipe and just used pureed dates (dates and little bit of water to make it mixable). The batch I had today were the same as the recipe I just linke…

High Raw Pumpkin Ice Cream

I actually find it really bizarre to eat certain foods out of season. I think it's my body recalling the ancestral days when we could only eat what was only readily available given the time of the year. Eating watermelon and strawberries in the winter? As much as I love them, that's just plain wrong... so is eating pumpkin in the late spring/summer.

Okay, so I know lots of you out there love pumpkin, so you might disagree and want to eat it at all hours of the day and all seasons of the year. That's totally cool, and also exactly why I busted out this high raw pumpkin ice cream recipe yesterday to make Andrew happy:

High Raw Pumpkin Ice Cream Yield: About 4 servings.

2 C cashews, soaked 1 1/2 C canned pumpkin pie mix 2 C water 1 T of coconut oil, melted 2 T maple syrup 1 inch chunk of ginger 1 teaspoon of cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon of xanthan gum (optional) 1/2 teaspoon of salt
Directions: 1. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend til smooth. 2. Place in an ice…

Pesto Kale Salad

I had a sudden urge for pesto when I saw some at the Wild Oat Bakery yesterday. I've made vegan pesto a few times before, but the way I make it, it never tastes as good nor is ever worth the hassle so I usually just buy it. Immediately after I did, I figured out that I could concoct the best thing to do with kale since I discovered the joys of my kelp noodle kale salad! Creaminess, oh yeah...
Pesto Kale Salad Yield: Serves 1 or 2.
1 head of massaged kale 1/2 to 3/4 C pesto veggies of choice (I used peppers, celery, carrots, and tomatoes)
Directions:  1. Once you've massaged your kale (click here for a how-to), stir in pesto. 2. Add in chopped veggies. 3. Eat!  Yep, it's that simple!

Have a great weekend!

Best Raw Cookies Ever Recipe

I don't know what to call these cookies, but they are by far my favourite raw cookie of all time. When it comes to my sweet tooth preferences, I've always been fairly vanilla. I'll choose the fruit pie over the decadent chocolate ganache cake any day. I'll choose the ginger snap over the chocolate chip butter pecan cookie. So for those who prefer those latter choices, this is definitely a fairly understated cookie. However, in its simplicity and elegance lies deliciousness.

My Favourite Raw Cookie Yields: 12 cookies

3 C shredded coconut 1 C fresh dates, blended into a paste 3 tablespoons of raw almond butter 1 teaspoon of salt 1.5 teaspoons of cinnamon 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract 1 tablespoon of liquid sweetener (I used maple syrup)
1. In a food processor or Vitamix dry blender, blend coconut first  until its powdered and clumping together. (for those who know, the point when it's about turning to coconut butter) 2. Scrape down the sides, and add in all the oth…

Ottawa Eats: Simply Raw Express

FINALLY! A place to get some raw eats in Ottawa! On Saturday, Natasha Kyssa's Simply Raw Express opened its doors in the Hintonburg neighbourhood (989 Wellington West to be exact). It's a welcome change from the pubs and meat joints lining up the rest of the street, except the Table Vegetarian Restaurant which was our Hintonburg haunt until now.
Whenever I check out a new place making the "healthy" claim, I'm always curious to see how far they take their ethic and Simply Raw Express definitely goes the whole mile. Aside from offering fresh and organic raw vegan foods to go, the restaurant really lives up to its claim: reclaimed wood tables and service counter, compostable to-go containers, cork lamps, eco-friendly washroom products, and more.

If you're not a raw vegan, don't be frightened! To bring health and veggies to the Ottawa area, Simply Raw also offers some cooked vegan options including a daily soup or a quinoa bowl. If you have any questions, Na…

Current LFRV Obsession: Bananas, Apples, and Date Bowl

One month, I'll eat collard wraps for dinner every single night. Another, I'll just eat banana soft serves all day long. This week it's cinnamon sprinkled bananas, apples, dates, and granola crunchies every night. Even though I probably have bananas in some form in most of my meals, sometimes the slightest change can make the biggest difference. It's like eating starchy carbs as bread vs. pasta, same thing but big difference. The secret to this recipe? Cutting your bananas laterally instead of in slices... ooOoOOoo, wild and crazy, I know.

In my continuous pursuit to remain as LFRV as possible, this dinner combination definitely fits the mold. The granola crunchies are probably LFRV sub-par, but I need crunchy texture in my food, especially when I mostly eat blended fruits and greens... So yep, this has been my dinner for about a week now. I tend not to question what my body feels it wants to eat at this point, so I just go with it.

Banana Apple Date Bowl Yield: Serves…

Weekly Stuff I love

Just wanted to share some recent finds from our trip to DC last weekend! Our favourite health food store in Rockville, MOM's, moved to a bigger location down the road. The bonus (aside from a gorgeous new store) is that everything at their old location was 50% off. This was a serious score because MOM's is really conscious about vetting all their products to make sure they are all super healthy to both us and the environment. Essentially, you can really trust anything you buy there!

Here are some of my favourite goods:

1. Just Great Stuff's Peanut Butter Powder

With supposedly 85% less fat than peanut butter, this organic peanut butter powder just needs to be mixed with a couple tablespoons of water to turn back in its creamy original state.

That being said, this stuff is so tasty, I actually prefer to eat it by the spoonful and have been making ridiculously delicious banana soft serves with it.
It only has a few ingredients: organic peanut butter powder, organic coconut …

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oats

Yay!!! They're finally carrying organic mixed berries at the Loblaws now. We celebrated last week with this recipe. The base of these overnight oats are very similar to the chocolate-chip cookie dough flavoured ones I made a couple weeks ago, but cherry-fied and delicious:

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Overnight Oats Yields: 1 serving

For oats: 3/4 C rolled oats 2 tablespoons of chia pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract 1/2 C frozen cherries, halved 1/2 teaspoon of raw honey/maple syrup (optional) 1 and 1/4 C non-dairy chocolate milk (almond, soy, it's your pick!)  + 1/4 C of milk in the morning (depends on consistency)
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. 2. Cover and leave overnight. It might look like there's a lot of liquid, but the chia seeds will soak it right up by morning. 3. In the morning, if it's too clumpy, add another 1/4 C of your "milk." 4. Top with more cherries, bananas, candied walnuts, and more!

Jokes, Creepers, and "Apple Nachos"

Just a couple funnies before the weekend, and I'll be back with some "real" content on Monday:  So... this is what my cat does when I'm on the computer. He'll hear clicking sounds and randomly pounce, claws fully drawn, or will slowly creep his paw around the screen like so. He makes a slow grating sound against the metal... and it really creeps me out.
Hehehe... saw this on campus.
And because there has to be a food-related something,  here's the recipe to try for this weekend: Apple Nachos! (photo from Manifest Vegan)
Have a great weekend!

Ottawa Eats: Colour, Taste and Texture at La Belle Verte

Aside from feeling energetic, happy, and awesome, there's something about raw food that really just makes me smile. I've often talked about the Chinese cooking elements of taste, texture, colour, smell, and flavour. The ideal dish has all five, along with being nutritionally maximizing. Raw food is often able to hit all of those things to perfection, but I have to say, our trip to la Belle Verte across the bridge in Gatineau took that concept to a whole new level.
We've been wanting to try this place since we moved here, mostly because it's kind of the only raw vegan restaurant in the area right now. On the downside, because it's in Gatineau and we're car-free, it's a little hard to get to. However, since we had to rent a car this weekend to go help out some friends anyway, a trip to la Belle Verte became a top priority.

The food there is just so beautiful. I already love my veggies to begin with, but their platage actually made me giggle and do my little …

Mental Juicing Madness (and a recipe!)

Over the past few weeks, wednesday has become juicing day. Surprisingly, I'm still not a huge fan of juicing... it does something weird to my digestion. However, if I had to pick the most positive thing I always get out of juicing, it's always the fun mental trip it takes me on. I can't speak to what will happen this Wednesday yet, but last week, I think I might have experienced minor juicing dementia.

As I was walking to the gym after time at the dance studio, I started to physically crash. I had no energy. Half of me was ready to call it quits, go to bed, or just fall asleep on the sidewalk until Thursday. I was so lethargic, I just wanted to go home. The other half of me was a crazy hungry monkey who just needed to have a salad. Now, I cannot express how crazy this monkey was. I think it could have been willing to hurt a small child for this salad. The whole way to the gym, it kept repeating, "I want a salad. Just have a salad. It's just a salad. What's wr…

Green Cleaning: IGOZEN All-Purpose Cleaner

A few weeks ago, the lovely people from iGOZEN asked me if I wanted to try out a couple samples of some of their new products. After doing my homework, I thought their cleaning products seemed like a neat idea and definitely something I could support. That and I like supporting small green startups! Since it's Earth Day in a few days, I thought why not let you guys in on some ways you can make your home a little cleaner... why increase the toxicity in your home, in the very air you breathe, when you can use non-toxic and earth-friendly products like those made by iGOZEN!

Within just a week or so of being contacted by them, I received a sample envelope of their three latest products: their Everyday Cleaner, their Fruit/Vegetable wash, and their Meat/Fish wash, along with a spray bottle and a micro-fibre cloth. Obviously, the Everyday Cleaner will be of most use to me since I don't eat meat or fish, and since I buy organic fruits and veggies, I don't see a huge need to rins…

Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Overnight Oats

There have been a lot of delicious looking cookie dough-flavoured Overnight Oats over the last little while (like this one or this one) that were just too tempting to not try. I don't eat oats myself, but you know you're a foodie when you still want to try a recipe for something you don't necessarily partake in. Conveniently, Andrew loves them!

Looking through some existing recipes, I was wondering how it was possible that so few ingredients would turn into something cookie dough tasting, but they were pretty on the ball! I used them as an inspiration and here's what I came up with. Who says you can't have cookies for breakfast?

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Overnight Oats Yields: 1 man-sized portion

For oats: 3/4 C rolled oats 2 tablespoons of chia pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract (optional) 1/2 tablespoon of raw honey/maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener) 1 C non-dairy milk (almond, soy, it's your pick!) + 1/4 C in t…

Epic Raw Middle Eastern Plate

Given that I've posted about falafels more than once on this blog, whether they're raw or they're cooked, you might be able to safely say that I kinda sorta like them a lot... That, and I recently admitted to my secret falafel digestion pocket located somewhere in the deep confines of my stomach.
Because I've been juicing and doing green smoothies so much over the past week, my dinner-for-my-other-half creativity has been somewhat limited and perhaps less than enthusiastic, even though I love being in the kitchen (and aside from the killer vegan shepherd's pie I invented for him earlier last week, if I do say so myself). A couple days ago, I decided to go big or go home, and create for him: the epic raw Middle Eastern plate.
It started off with the classic centrepiece: Matt Amsden's Raw Falafels wrapped in romaine lettuce, and surrounded it with my raw hemp seed tabbouleh, a garden salad, and some black olives and sprouts. Speaking of which, this has just give…

My Love Hate Relationship with Yoga

Today I wanted to talk about those things in life that we know we should do but for some reason never actually end up following through with. Whether we use the "I'll start tomorrow" excuse or something similar, we always come up with all sorts of justifications as to why we shouldn't start now (none of them ever that valid). For example, how many times have I said that I should get back into yoga? Probably more than I've actually started up the practice again. Still, it's on been on my mind a lot lately. The yoga world has become such a huge thing these days (both for better and worse I'd say), but still there is such an appeal. For starters, when we think yoga, we always get inundated with these kinds of images:

Well, you often get these pictures too, but you get my point:
Pictures like those first ones show that there's suppose to be a magic to yoga, a je ne said quoi about it that will do everything from make you a better person to give you Mr. F…