Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Vegan Ricotta Cheese

I made some vegan lasagna the other day and I couldn't believe how much this tasted like the real thing. I am really getting into nutritional yeast. It's got tons of protein and B12 and it has a great flavor to cook with so I've been sneaking it into everything. At first I was a little surprised at how much it costs but it really last a long time. This worked great in my lasagna. I'm sure you'll find it taste too.

Vegan Ricotta Cheese

1 block tofu
2 tsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp salt
black pepper
olive oil
1/4 c nutritional yeast

Mash up the tofu with a fork till it's a ricotta consistency. Mix with other ingredients and chill.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sticky Buns

I must admit, since I became a mom the term "sticky buns" has taken on a new meaning. Who knew babies buns could be so cute...and sticky. I experienced this recipe long before I became a mom. I went on a road trip with a college friend and her sister made these for us. They aren't exactly considered a health food but they're really yummy and great during the holidays when you want to splurge but not really splurge. Am I making any sense? We had this on for christmas breakfast and everyone loved it! I found it a bit on the sweet side but our guest didn't seem to mind. These are so great to throw together the night before and then turn the oven on in the morning and whala

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Whole pecans or walnuts
18 Rhodes frozen dinner rolls
1 box vegan vanilla pudding
1/4 c coconut oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 c. coconut sugar

Oil bunt or angel food pan, place nuts, and 1/2 package of pudding on bottom. Add 18 dinner rolls, frozen. Sprinkle with the rest of the dry pudding. Heat oil, cinnamon and brown sugar. Pour over rolls. Cover with cloth and let it sit overnight in the oven. Then bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before removing from pan.

Tuna Salad

I can't begin to tell you how many cans of tuna fish I consumed as a child. Truly, I kept half of Samoa employed at the starkist factory cranking out can after can. As a kid I loved the stuff. Forget PB&J - in my lunch box it was either sushi made with tuna fish or a tuna sandwich. I've loved tuna all my life...that was until IT happened. That fateful day still haunts my memory. It started out heavenly. My gorgeous hubby who should have tried out for Baywatch as a hunky life guard showed up on campus to bring me a surprise picnic lunch. We sat under a plumaria tree with the faint sound of waves crashing on the beach a block a way. He laid out a nice mat and pulled out some crackers, an avocado, and a can of tuna fish, what more could I want? Well, perhaps not having a worm in my can of tuna would be a good start...I haven't touched the stuff since! This salad is a sufficient substitute. I even took it to a carnivorous family gathering and the one person there who was brave enough to try it said she loved it!

Tuna Salad
1 can garbanzo beans mashed
pickle relish
 1 green onion chopped
1thingy celery chopped
dill weed

Smash your garbanzos with a fork and add the rest of the ingredients. Season with dill weed to taste. This is great as a sandwich or scoop some in the middle of an avocado and serve on mixed greens for a beautiful light dinner.

Apple Plum Pear Sweet and Sour Sauce

I'm sure I mentioned this before but Matthew and I participate in a co-op called bountiful baskets. It really is a great deal! $16 for a bunch of fruit and veggies. There's no way you could get this much produce for that much at the grocery store. A few weeks ago we started getting plums, which is great! we love plums. But after having a bunch of them for 5 weeks in a row we were plum plumed out. Not wanting to waste I searched for a way to preserve them and this recipe came up. If you've ever been to a Chinese restaurant you've probably had this plum sauce. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area so Chinese food was a regular part of my life. This is Delicious and goes great with egg rolls and any sort of meat substitute. It pretty much makes itself!

Asian Plum Sauce

lots of plums
a few apples
a couple of pears
apple cider vinegar to taste
sugar to taste
garlic to taste
onion salt to taste

Your vinegar, sugar, garlic and onion salt depend on how many plums you have so just use your best judgement and taste often while seasoning. Start by pitting your plums and coring your apples and pears. Don't worry about cutting them nice just cut out the core and throw them in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Let simmer all day till its cooked down to a saucy consistency. Now season till it's a sweet and sour sauce. This would be great to bottle or store in the freezer if you have extras

Kid Week

This post is a little old but never got posted so I thought I'd just throw it in.

Wow....where do I begin? I logged on and saw that I ended on day 77 and it is now day 108. Ok, so I'm a bit behind. But I have a good excuse. As you may have noticed, this week is kid week. I'm excited to say that's because this week we got a kid. We'll we didn't actually get a kid, we've had him for four months now but this week we returned home to the states with him and now we get to announce it to the world. We are so excited to have this bundle of joy. His is the most AMAZING baby you'll ever encounter. He is such a joyful spirt and he captivates all he meets.
As you can see, he is quite "advanced" for his age. He was 20 lbs at 4 months. He has already rolled over and is mimicking sounds. He also is advanced in his eating habits, what can I say, he takes after his mom :)
When we brought him home from the hospital the doctor said to feed him 2 oz every 4 hours. After several days of him crying uncontrollably we thought we would feed him more. After a week we were feeding him 4 oz every 2 hours.....a child after my own heart.
This week we are also starting him on solid foods. We went to a farewell dinner in Amerikan Samoa where an auntie feed him taro (it's like a Samoan potato) Now we can't eat in front of him or he flips out. We have given him tastes of things like banana, papaya, apple, and lemon (I must admit, the lemon was for pure entertainment value) and he loves fruit. We have started putting rice cereal in his bottle and feeding a little with the spoon.
I must say I am quite disappointed that there are no vegan formula options out there. Even the soy based formulas are not totally vegan. But, after weighing all our options we decided to go with an organic dairy based formula that is lactose free. We are planning on weening him into a vegan diet. For those that will undoubtedly react to how we are raising our child I would be happy to  recommend you to several article. We are very aware of his nutritional need and will make sure they are met with all diligence. But look at the kid...Does he look like he's in need of nutrients?

Caught between a rock and a hard craving

Matthew and I have been...trying to be raw for several weeks now. It all started back in december. It was date night and we were starving. Pizza sounded good and I remembered seeing a flyer for Pizza Hut that all pizzas were $10! who can beat that? So we headed over and went in to order. We ordered a large veggie pizza with cheese (it's the holidays AND were on date night, so why not splurge?) I'll tell you why you don't splurge! We took the pizza home to eat and noticed the cheese tasted a little funny but we thought that since we hadn't had cheese in a long time maybe our taste buds had changed. We ate the whole pizza and the next day we were so sick! I don't mean to be to graphic but my mom rushed over to save us as Matthew and I are both up chucking and as I sat in the bathroom my hands and feet started cramping up till it looked like I had palsy. It was miserable! It took us weeks to recover and our stomachs to get back to normal. After that disaster we decided there was no reason why we shouldn't go raw and swear off eating out!

So here we are, a few weeks into it and we have found a reason not to go raw. It's called nothing to eat. Okay, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. I have LOVED a lot about being raw, less slaving in the kitchen, less stress at the store, saving a lot on our grocery bill, and no worry about family dropping in just around dinner time :) jk Plus, did I mention that I finally got over that dang weight loss hump and have dropped 2 of the 5 pounds I've been working on.

So there are A LOT of pluses to going raw but there is one draw back.... The food. I say that kind of tong in cheek (because I'm chewing on it because I'm so hungry jk) See, my humor is even better on this diet.

I've tried several raw recipes from a lot of different websites and let me tell you how elegant and appetizing they look. They are like works of art that are so beautiful you hate to eat them....for more then one reason. They make them look so delicious but one bight and you realize that looks aren't everything.

So here I am caught between a rock and a hard place. My body has officially converted to raw. I crave it, I eat it, and my body likes it...My mouth on the other hand is not so happy. Nothing I've eaten has really hit the spot yet. I'm hopping this problem will subside with time and perseverance. But what do I do till then?

The other day I had some delicious homemade french fries that satisfied my pallet  but the rest of me was pretty pissed of at my mouth for doing it. My brother-in-law explains it this way that there are mouth foods, body foods, and whole foods. I have yet to reach this paradise of wholeness...I'm still stuck somewhere between my mouth and my body.

I have to remind myself that even 10% raw is still better then no raw. Matthew and I agreed that cooked beans were needed and I don't have a problem with that. We still eat some bread but I'm getting much better at that. I just hope to find some satisfying dishes soon or we'll have a crazy woman on our hands.
But - as anyone who knows me will tell you, I am very persistent...(I'm sure they would say stubborn) and I'm not giving up. Here are some of the pictures of the food we have tried in the last few weeks but I'm not going to bother posting the recipes unless they meets a non raw's approval....I may never post again :)

Just kidding - Here are some of the best recipes we have found in the past few weeks. I must tell you - they do take some getting use to but there not all that bad. Let me know what you think!

 Raw Cornmeal Pancakes
 Raw Almond Cheese Ball
 Raw "Chicken" Avocado Salad
 Raw Broccoli Beef with Cauliflower Rice
 Pickled Leaf Wraps
 Raw Oatmeal with Vegan Kefir
It was so nice I posted it twice

Friday, January 6, 2012

In The Raw: Raw Vegan Hot Dogs

Alright - With the new year comes a new format. I've found that the weekly plan ahead wasn't working very well so I'm just going to post recipes as they come. If you found the weekly posts with menus and shopping lists useful please let me know but if there not helpen' anybody then we'll just move on.

We've had some pretty great meals lately that have left me feeling even better then before. It makes so much more sense that if you want to stay alive then you eat food that is alive. That said, this recipe may not be the best one to start out with but it sure has brought a smile to my face.

The first day I was going to go raw I started out doing a bunch of research. I had a weeks worth of meals planned out and I was going full steam ahead - 100% raw freakin vegan!....that lasted until breakfast when I had to have my toast. (remember the blog about cravings and eating your neighbor?)

The next day I was talking to some friends (all carnivores) about my latest vegan fiasco. I told them about how I had made raw vegan hot dogs. My friend said, " you eat raw meat?" He still can't wrap his brain around someone not eating meat...I'm working with him.

The next day my father - in -  law (dad) was in town and I told my mother - in - law I would take him lunch. My dad is an Idaho meat and potatoes guy but he has been gracious enough to "quietly gunk down" some of my "concoctions" as to "not offend his favorite daughter - in - law" (his words, not mine) So, with raw vegan hot dog in hand I went to his work and gleefully handed it to him. He must have been really hungry because he ate it up, almost like he liked it!

So I know the suspense is killing you so without further adu, I give you, the Raw Vegan Hot Dog - who knows, maybe next we'll try raw vegan spam :)

 1 1/2 c almond meal
 1 small onion
1-2 c oats
 1 large carrot
1 cloves garlic
2 T honey
2 T soy sauce
1/2 tsp hickory smoke flavor
1 t marjoram
 ½ t celery seed
 ½ t salt
 red pepper flakes

Blend everything together in a in food processor till smooth adding the oats as needed to make a soft dough you can mold in your hands.
Form dough into hot dog shapes and dehydrate till firm but not hard.
As you can see, somone was ready to eat!

It's Alive

Yes, it's true....I am still alive, I bet most people thought I dropped off the face of the earth....and some days I think I did too. I can't believe I haven't blogged since August! It's that dang clock counter. I kept getting farther and farther behind and it has kept haunting me and then, not being told what to do I was like - " oh ya, 200 posts behind? well, I'll show you!"

But really, like most of you, life has been CRAZY! And to make matters worse a new year is here and I'm like, "ah dang, where did all that time go?" But perhaps that's just me.

2011 was a crazy year! We came home from Amerikan Samoa, adopted our son, made him part of our family for time an all eternity, and became vegans. Ya, that about sums it up.

Who knew that being a mom would take up so much of your time. I guess my mom was just super mom with working, having 3 kids, lots of church responsibilities, a husband AND loving to cook. I don't even want to think about hurts my head.

Having a very busy one year old, a self proclaimed naturalist husband, and my own sanity to keep up on I've decided somethings got to give, I hate to break it to you but I've decided to stop cooking. Really, I just can't cook any more....I'm going raw. No, not in the raw....stay with me folks, We're going raw. We've been raw for a couple of weeks now and it's the amazing feeling of going vegan all over again. I guess we're still in that dreamy newlywed phase and haven't hit one of those cravings yet where you either get what you're craving or you're going to eat the person next to you. But we'll cross that bridge when we get to it.

So now I'll be re-redoing a lot of my recipes in the raw. Kind of like buying the same Debbie Gibson music for the 3rd time for your mp3 player since your CD got scratched and you can't find a pencil to fix your tape....and you can't find a tape player for that matter.

So buckle up! Because this year your foods ALIVE! ~