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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Red Pepper Deli

so about those cookies....
I have been in the mood lately for cookies and looking through our cookbooks I found this gem of a recipe in The Everyday Vegan for 'Bill-Friendly' Cookies.  Dreena created this recipe for a friend who avoids sugars in his diet.  They are sweetened with orange juice and raisins and are totally unique and yummy. 

The Everyday Vegan

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'Bill-Friendly' cookies

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I love this recipe, so easy and clean.  I subbed walnuts for pecans as I don't think I've ever bought pecans...thinking I should try them!  You won't believe this , but up until about 5 years ago I did not eat nuts, I was that picky little kid who didn't eat the bread because there were walnuts in it ;)  I'm making up for it now with my love for them for sure. 

Last week after work we went out for a fabulous dinner at Red Pepper Deli, a sort of local (30 minutes away) raw organic restaurant.  I had actually bought a Groupon, like I could pass that up, hee hee.  I love to go there, Groupon or not! 

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His and Hers raw organic dinner...mmm nourishing!

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Dave ordered the raw pad Thai (we both loved this, it is phenomenal) 
It is zucchini pasta, mushrooms, red pepper, bean sprouts, snow peas in a slightly spicy almond butter sauce.  I am pretty certain that being in public was the only thing holding Dave back from licking the plate clean, this happens at home (sorry honey;)  !

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I had the Balsamic Mushroom Pasta which was delish as well.  The marinated mushrooms were the most flavorful part, I would've eaten a whole plate of them!  Love the fresh shoots on top too.
cashew ricotta, zucchini pasta, tomato, spinach topped with balsamic mushrooms

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The deli is fresh and colorful ( oh how I wished we lived a tad closer...see the Help Wanted sign??)

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and smells like freshly juiced wheatgrass, yummola  (organic Ann Arbor grown wheatgrass!)

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You know I couldn't pass up raw dessert.  We I decided on the coconut oreo pie, it was perfect.

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check out the fun floor too (and my Earth Mary Janes ;))

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When we left there were flurries coming down, but we were happy and nourished with dessert in hand.  Raw food makes you feel so good.

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pie enjoyed later at home with strawberries

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so about my love for nuts here's an ode to almond butter photo

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oh how I love thee. 

local tofu

So every so often I get a craving for tofu, like an actual craving.  I stopped into WF to pick up a carton, but they were all out of their brand in firm...I picked up this one from Rosewood.  Reading the package I see that it's handmade here in Ann Arbor, geez this is what I should be buying all the time.  Not just because it's local, but turns out the texture and flavor (yes I enjoy the flavor of poached tofu) are amazing.

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When I get this craving I will most always make an easy stir-fry of sorts.  I don't really know how to stir-fry, but this is what I do. 

cook quinoa in low sodium veggie stock while you're preparing the veggies and tofu.

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saute/sweat garlic until fragrant then add chopped/sliced veggies that you have to use.  Here I used red bell pepper and broccoli, let this cook for a minute or so.  If you have fresh ginger I like to grate that in as well, adding water if needed.  Stir in 1/2-1 tsp sea salt, pepper, and any dried herbs you want, be generous.  Here I used the giant bottle of organic Italian seasoning from Costco.  After a couple minutes stir in some crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce or paste+water) and cubed tofu.  Place the lid on and let poach for a bit adding water if you need.  I usually will turn it down to low and get a few things done around the house, so about 15-25 minutes, then you can stir in some frozen peas, sliced zucchini, a generous squirt of yellow mustard, and some nutritional yeast, heat through.  Then plate over your qunioa and enjoy.  This is an easy and economical meal and one of those that helps you use up extra vegetables.  We like it anyway.

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I have told you how we love Theo chocolate right?  The bars were on sale at WF so we thought it would be a good time to buy a case (12) and get the 10% too...behold our chocolate stash =D

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Now the goal is to not eat them too quickly...we'll see how that goes or if we just eat more chocolate ;) !

recent school lunch pic:

organic carrots, red pepper, and broccoli with raw sunflower ranch dip.  (I've been making it without the garlic and onion lately and I don't miss them at all, I should note that I LOVE dill so I really jive with this dip)

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there's also a couple of cookies in there that I will post about soon. 

recent furry ones pics:

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Marley hopes you all get to soak in the sun's warmth too.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

more awards and loves

I've been very honored to receive two more blog awards!  Thank you Antony in London =D 

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and Thank you RawkinMom!

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Per the rules I should list 7 potentially interesting but definitely random facts about me:  So here it goes.

1.  I take my basal body temperature each morning, well this got personal quick.  Yes, for obvious reasons, we're going on 4 1/2 years trying now, but who's counting ? ;)

2.  I know what it smells like inside the Sistine Chapel.

3.  Marley cat and I take a 2 1/2 hour ride to see his holisitc vet, it's a nice ride together.  He assures me he enjoys my singing.

4.  I know that you can meet good people in bars. I married a guy I met in a bar.
5.  To me sleep is a good solution to many things.  'Take a nap, you'll feel better when you get up ;) "  It works for me.  Obviously do not take this as medical advice.

6.  I almost died when I was 19.  An emergency surgeon saved me three days after my appendix ruptured, I have a sweet scar to remember by.  Btw I'm grateful everyday and actually had a serendipitous experience running into my surgeon this week and being able to thank him again in person. 

7.  If I have free time my favorite thing to do is to be still and quiet and read.  This doesn't happen much lately, but that's ok, I'll just keep adding to my list to read at the library ;)

The bloggers I would love to pass these awards on to:  Please take your pick of either or both, you all rock, thank you for writing and sharing!


Rules to claim and share these awards:  ( I say feel free to amend them as you please as I didn't nominate 15 bloggers)


Thank and link the blogger who has given you the award.

Copy and paste the Logo in your blog.

Share 7 things about yourself.

Nominate 15 other Great Bloggers

Comment and let them know of the award

ok, back to regularly scheduled programming.  I wanted to share a couple of new things that I've been love love loving lately.  First is Kevita coconut kefir drink that is oh so yummy.  I was a little apprehensive to try it as I don't love the flavor of stevia, but the two flavors that I've had are just great and I can't discern the stevia! 

Strawberry Acai

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and the Coconut Mango

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What a great way to get organic, raw, vegan probiotics and it tastes amazing to boot. 

The other is my new Maruca bag which I think is gorgeous and functional, loving it! 

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This is my second Maruca bag, I love the quality craftsmanship, materials (no leather), and they are handmade in the US. Boulder, Colorado to be exact.  A friend of mine who travels the world turned me on to these bags and I purchased my first one before our trip to Europe, it was so perfect for travel essentials.  That bag was used non-stop for 3 years going to lots of shows, festivals, and with me everyday before the strap came apart (at a Franti show, there was lots of dancing happening =)  I still need to get her back in working order...I contacted Maruca and they don't do any restrapping or repairs unfortunately.  That bag is a darker color, so I think this new one is perfect for spring and summer!  This one I bought locally at Heavenly Metal in Ann Arbor.  Other local boutiques that I know carry them are Trend 440 in Monroe and Cobblestone Rose in Saline.  At Cobblestone Rose you can also check out the gorgeous photography decor that my world travelling friend creates. 

easy pocket for cell phone, lip balm, etc.

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and enough room inside for the essentials:  wallet, hand lotion, house keys, tea, etc.  I tend to travel pretty light as far as my purse goes, and this is perfect for me. 

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What are you all loving lately?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Crazy Sexy Diet recipes

I've recently made two delicious recipes from Crazy Sexy Diet, well one inspired by using ingredients that we have around the joint.

First up is the Vanilla Chai Tapioca Pudding that is oh so yummy and very reminiscent of the rice pudding that my Great Grandma used to make.  I love chia puddings, they are so easy to prepare, are chock full of nutrition, and really easy to travel with.  You can switch up your toppings depending on what you feel like (or eat it plain), this day was blueberries, strawberries, and a little nut butter, looks like peanut butter ;)  There was a little run of the most delicious organic blueberries and strawberries in the stores here so we were happy to get our fill =) 

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The other recipe is inspired by the Buddha Bowl and also by the bowls at Ginger Is The New Pink.  In CSD Buddha Bowls are described as fast food for the conscious eater.  I like that they are also packed with nutrition, economical, and part raw.  Also the only dishes to wash will most likely be a pot, knife, and cutting board, easy.  This is how I made ours:

Simple DD Buddha Bowl

1 1/2 cups brown rice
3 1/4 cups vegetable stock, low sodium
1 carrot, grated
handful or so fresh cilantro, chopped
4-5 large leaves collard greens, stems removed and chopped
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 bag frozen peas
1/4 bag frozen corn
olive oil
coconut aminos
raw olives, chopped (we only had 1 left, so we shared it ;)

Cook rice in the stock until done, about 35 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in the beans, peas, corn, and collards.  Top the bowls with cilantro, carrot, and olives.  Drizzle on olive oil and coconut aminos to your liking.  Easy, yes?  The leftovers are wonderful too.  There was no real theme to this combination, it was made with ingredients that we had.  The possibilites are endless, so feel free to get creative or keep it simple like this one.  You basically just want a gluten free grain, topped with raw and/or steamed vegetables and add a couple flavors and textures to the top like olives, avocado, bell pepper, carrot, etc. 

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Since these beautiful berries have been in the market lately Mom got a Raw Strawberry Cheesecake. 

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I like that the strawberry recipe makes more than will fit in the cake pan...I get a mini one too then ;)  Dad noticed that the cake was creamier than before, I figure it must have been the homemade raw almond milk!  It really is creamy and rich.  The recipe is of course from Sweet Gratitude

Have you all checked out Crazy Sexy Diet?  What are your favorite recipes/tidbits from the book? 
My favorite is that it finally got me off my butt to start juicing!  There's so much I haven't read yet too...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The dressing I can't stop making!

That says it all, I haven't gotten tired of this dressing and it's a cinch to stir together.
Ingredients:

olive oil
coconut vinegar
raw tahini
brown mustard
dried ginger
sea salt and pepper


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I don't measure, just add the amounts that you like to your bowl

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and stir it together

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and add your salad.


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I was excited to put our nut milk bag to work making silky smooth almond milk! 

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I used the instructions in Sweet Gratitude for making nut milks.  I first soaked our almonds for 24 hours, drained and rinsed them.  In the Vita-Mix I used 1 cup of the almonds and 3 cups of RO water and blended for about 2 minutes.  I then let the nuts and water steep for 20 minutes like they suggest in SG and gave it a quick spin again.   

The next part coming up is where I remembered not to cry over spilled milk...

I poured the milk into my jar lined with our nut milk bag,

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and quickly realized it was going to be a little hard to squeeze the milk without making a mess...

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I transferred to a bowl to finish

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and made the most creamy almond milk, love.

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labeled my jar with a sharpie, which I read at Kristen's Raw would wash right off, and she's right, works awesome. 

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I can give up my invention now of plant based labels that degrade in the dishwasher ;) seriously, I was trying to figure a non messy, non wasteful, non toxic solution, because I'm a date labeler!

I dried the pulp in the dehydrator on 105 degrees, I don't remember how long( helpful right?), just kept checking it to see when it was dry. 

and of course while I was soaking almonds we had to do some for snacking too!

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Once the pulp was dry I blended it in the Vita-Mix to break it down into nice flour, labeled ( I'm starting to think the title of this post should be I keep a sharpie in my kitchen ;) and packed in freezer to use later in cookies maybe.

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Our almond milk was used in smoothies and a raw cheesecake which it made them both extra creamy and rich, yum!  During my next almond milk adventure I found a better procedure:  after blending I poured the milk into a glass water/juice carafe so I could then line the Vita-Mix with the bag and pour and strain back into there where there is plenty of room for squeezing.  If at first you don't succeed try try again =)

Recent snack lovin- homemade kombucha, chocolate, raisins, and the aforementioned almonds.

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Recent packed lunch lovin-  romaine, red pepper, Bubbies, and dulse salad, avocado, mango + blueberries

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I'll leave you today with the reminder in the front of Sweet Gratitude

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You Are Loved

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