Friday, April 27, 2012

Good morning blueberry pear juice

I have finally signed up for a weekly CSA box and have been getting insanely delicious organic pears. Really, I never ate pears before because there was always such a high liklihood of them being all mealy and not that great. This organic, local food box has changed my life when it comes to fruit, and especially my opinion on pears! Bosc, bartlett, the other random type they've sent! Insanely juicey and sweet, and with an amazing texture! Looking for more ways to enjoy them, I started to experiment with making a juice. Well, really more of a blended fruit drink as fibre is one of my fave characteristics of fruit and I'm not about to give that away to a juicer!  I also love that you can blend up the skin of the fruit, adding even more of a nutritional punch to this delicious and refreshing drink.

Cinnamon-spiked blueberry pear juice
1 large pear (any kind), excluding the core
1 medium apple, excluding the core
1/2c blueberries (I used frozen wild blueberries since it's not quite berry season here)
2tsp cinnamon
water to desired consistency

throw everything in your vitamix and blend, blend, blend.


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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book review: Raw & Beyond

I recently read the book Raw & Beyond, a book by three raw food “gurus” that share their personal journeys with the raw food diet and how they came to the decision to reintroduce cooked foods into their diets. The three authors, Victoria Boutenko, Elaina Love, and Chad Sarno, each do their own introduction before sharing a variety of recipes that fit with their new idea of the ultimate diet for optimal health. The book is based on a couple key premises:
  1. Eat a whole foods diet with limited processed foods (including oils and agave, as they are technically processed)
  2. Ensure your diet is high in omega 3 fatty acids, and that the ratio of those omega 3’s to omega 6’s is between 1:1 and 1:4
  3. Aim for high raw rather than 100% raw. Sometimes cooked foods are what your body needs.

Things I really liked about this book:
  • The premise is great – a whole foods diet, eating more veggies, and eating more omega 3’s are all things I stand behind 100%. I also completely support including raw foods in your diet.
  • The recipes offer exciting, creative and delicious combinations of nutritious ingredients. Most people could use help eating more veggies – myself included – and these recipes definitely do the trick.
  • Helping people to realize that eating raw does not have to be an all-or-nothing endeavour. I don’t believe in doing anything 100%. Well, ok, most things I don’t believe in doing 100%. Being super strict with yourself and being disappointed in yourself are not the keys to happiness and the stress is causes is not the key to health. I have had a lot of people say to me “I want to be vegan but could never give up cheese” to which I always respond “so don’t. eat it less and eat meat less and that’s already doing a lot for your health and for the planet.”
  • I got a serious heart on for the list of foods with their breakdown of omega 3’s and 6’s – I’ve had a hell of a time finding this information elsewhere.

Things I didn’t like so much about this book:
  • Despite claiming to be causing a "controversy" with their avant-garde thinking (which, by the way, I thought tipped the scales a bit to the arrogant/pompous side), there are really no new ideas in this book. Whole foods diet with no processed foods, tons of veggies, and a daily raw food intake…pretty much the diet that every single class I’ve taken  over the past two years has touted. That being said, it’s a great way to eat and I support it 172%, I just didn't like that they were claiming to cause a controversy.
  • The reliance on anecdotal evidence and personal experiences. Actually, I am fine with both those things, but I didn’t like how they were often packaged as facts or how they were mass generalized to entire populations. I felt that that approach resulted in some information that was a bit misleading.
  • Based on what the authors had written, it seems a bit that they were living a somewhat unhealthy raw lifestyle and then generalized that experience to say all raw people would be in a similar boat and thus a 100% raw diet wasn’t sustainable. That made me feel the way I feel when people say “oh, you’re vegan…you must be protein and iron deficient because all you eat is potato chips.” *cringe*

Here is the recipe I am most excited about (and believe me, it was hard to choose):

Avocado nori rolls
2 sheets raw or toasted nori
1 large romaine leaf, cut in half down the length of the spine
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
½ pepper, julienned
½ cucumber, peeled, seeded, julienned
1/2c raw sauerkraut
½ carrot, beet, or zucchini, shredded
1c alfalfa or fave green sprouts (I’ll be using sunflower, thank you)

Spicy miso paste (spread 1-2T on nori before stuffing and rolling)
4T unpasteurized, mellow white miso
1T sesame oil
1/4tsp cayenne

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Vegan dinner party!!!!

I've moved! Visit my new blog La Belle Vie for more recipes and healthy living tips. Don't forget to update your bookmarks <3 br="">

There are few things I love more than dinner parties. They're pretty much my favourite way to see and chill with friends - especially when it's not beach picnic weather. Here is the deliciousness that was enjoyed at one I went to the other week (all photos by Lucas Soloway).

Oven-roasted peppers, mushrooms and aubergine with a cesar salad. Salad made by the lovely Joanne of We Animals.

Lasagna in an alfredo sauce made by the amazing Lucas. The lasagna recipe is by PETA and can be found here, the alfredo sauce is by Don't Get Mad, Get Vegan. You can get gluten-free lasagna noodles at certain stores (check Kensington if you're in Toronto). If you can't find them, then make this dish with gluten-free pasta as a casserole!

The Kind Life's Candied ginger pears by Joe and my chocolate orange gluten-free biscotti (recipe below).

Chocolate Orange Gluten-free Vegan Biscotti
1 medium orange, juice and zest
1c 3Tbsp your favourite gluten-free flour mix
1/3c cocoa powder, sifted
1/2c raw sugar
1/2tsp baking powder
1/4tsp baking soda
3Tbsp ground flax
1/2c hot water

  1. Preheat over to 325F
  2. Sift drying ingredients into a large bowl
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together ground flax with hot water. It'll get gooey and thickish. The water has to be hot for this otherwise it won't thicken properly.
  4. Add the flax mixture, orange juice and zest to the dry ingredients and mix. You can add more orange juice if it's too dry.
  5. Press the dough into a 16 x 2-inch log. If it's too sticky, dust your hands with cocoa powder. Bake at 325F for 25minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes on rack.
  6. For a delicious brownie cookie, stop there and enjoy! For traditional biscotti, reduce oven to 300F, cut log into 1/2-inch thick slices, separate the slices on baking sheet standing and bake for about 20minutes until crunchy. Let cool before amazing all your friends with your unbelievable baking skills!

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