30 January, 2011

Feeding Time At The Zoo

I decided I was sick of smoothies this morning. Not surprising, I’m sure.

I decided to make banana “pudding” instead. Actually, as I eat this, it’s really more like raw COCO Wheats.

This is a bowl of 3 mashed bananas, some dried, grated coconut, and about 1T of ground flax seeds. I also stirred in about a tablespoon of this amazing junk:

I may not be able to eat the whole bowl but I’m certainly going to do my best. What this yields is a sweet, toothsome mash that You could probably dehydrate into some amazing chocolate crêpes as well. I ‘m just going to eat it.

Oh, I feel I should mention, even though my week of “science” is at an end, that my skin is looking phenomenal. That alone is enough to keep me eating mostly raw. However, the mood balancing, ease of preparation, lack of guilt whilst eating “junk food”, and energy booting magnificence are also good reasons for me to keep it up. Yeay!

28 January, 2011

I Ate The Pictures

Well, not really, I just forgot to take some but, rest assured, the following raw recipes made quite a splash.

Guacamole Jicama roll-ups Serves 6

6 avocados
2 handfuls of cilantro, minced
1 handful of parsley, minced
1/4 c lime juice
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 t salt
    - mash all together
1/2 t cayenne
1T lime juice
2C julienned jicama
    - toss in a separate bowl
3 heads romaine lettuce
    -  in a leaf of romaine, place a dollop of guac and some jicama sticks, roll and eat. . .  the whole bowl.

*This recipe comes from Living Raw Food by Sarma Melngailis.

Double Mango Thai Basil Salad serves 4

1c raw brazil nuts soaked for 1hr, thinly sliced
1/3 c agave nectar
1t chili powder
sea salt
4 green mangos (I used 1 granny smith apple) peeled and thinly julienned.
2 ripe mangos, peeled
1 small red chili (I used about 1T siracha)
3-4T lime juice or coconut water
star anise
1 small handful Thai Basil leaves, thinly julienned

in a small bowl, mix the brazil nuts with the agave nectar, chili powder, and a generous pinch of salt. spread the nuts on a dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115 degrees for 24-48 hours. (I definitely cheated and tossed these on some silpat in the oven until they were toasted. I didn’t have 2 days to dehydrate these guys. if you are baking them, still buy raw nuts so they’re not TOTALLY overdone.)

place the green mangoes (apples) in a medium bowl an sprinkle with about 2t of salt toss well and lest stand for 30 min or more (I used a dash of lime juice too so the apple wouldn’t brown.)

in a blender, blend the flesh of one of the ripe mangos with the red chili and enough coconut water to make it a thin smooth consistency. Season with a pinch of salt and a pinch of star anise. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and set aside.

Julianne the flesh of the second ripe mango and add it to the bowl with the green mangos. Throw in the basil and toss to combine.

Spread some of the spicy mango sauce onto a plate, pile the mango/apple combo on top and sprinkle with the brazil nuts. Garnish with additional star anise.

Um, I should mention that I completely forgot about the star anise. . it was still great.

*this recipe comes from Raw Food Real World by Matthew Kenny and Sarma Melngailis.

Make these. Eat them. Feel awesome.

26 January, 2011

Day 5: speak of the Devil

Yesterday, some of you will remember, I mentioned that I wasn’t really feeling any of the  detox crappiness that some people talk about feeling once they go raw. . . Well, I may have spoken too soon. Nothing serious, I just had a little trouble sleeping.

This morning, though, I feel fine! I woke up only half an hour later than usual and I don’t feel like I tossed and turned all night. Ah well, that’s the main thing, right?

In other news, I think I need to lay off the cashew dip. I had it last night with carrots and broccoli fir dipping and I kind of had the feeling of a rock in my belly. It was just too heavy for me to enjoy. . . .but it tastes so good! Today I’m having a salad to give myself a break.

in other other news, Mr. Crow invited some friends over for food (or something) tomorrow. Yikes! I feel like I’ve got very little time to prepare/shop for ingredients. Mr. Crow has requested some “raw-violi” from the Living Raw Food book. I’ll be gathering ingredients today and dehydrating tomorrow, I guess. The “pasta” requires young coconut flesh, as well so I’ve got to devise a good way to get into my coconuts fast! this solves that!

Now I’ve got to make a grocery list, do my push-ups and crunches, shower, drink breakfast, go to the library and pick up another recipe book (I think I’ll have every singe one out of the library when I’m done), go to the store (thank goodness it’s cold), and then head to work by 1:30. I’m pretty sure I’ve got enough time.

mood: 9
energy: 9
hours of sleep: 8.5 (time spent in bed)
Appx% of raw food consumed yesderday: 98%
notes: Skin is actually looking better!

25 January, 2011

Day four: recipes and junk

I think I’ll get the “junk” part out of the way first; and, when I say “junk”, I mean “junk food”. Check it out. The most gorgeous junk food evaaar:

Just look at that amazing frosting!

These are cupcakes I made for a New Year’s party. They were devil’s food cake with a peppermint buttercream. Once I frosted them with voluminous peaks of fluffy perfection I did the following:

You know you want it.

That’s a dark chocolate ganache, people. And, check out my cute liners! That was a Christmas gist from my in-laws-to-be! So nice!

Next up, I have a cake that I made on Sunday. It’s “my” (Baked’s) signature buttercream frosting (almond flavor) with amaretto soaked strawberries.

This is all that was left and I'm lucky I got a photo at all.

See how the amaretto-strawberry juice soaked into the cake!? This was a boxed cake, even! All you do is bake a cake from a box, while that’s baking soak some sliced strawberries in some amaretto and a bit of sugar. When the cake is cool, slice off the top to make it even, pour the strawberry amaretto juice and chopped berries onto the exposed cake, frost the other side and flip it onto the berried cake, then frost the outside for an impressive and impressively easy dessert.

What’s next? Well, it’s not exactly junk food any more but it’s not something I really liked.

stuffed peppers. not my fave.


This is from a recipe called Poivrons Farcis from Urban Vegan. I was trying to make myself like peppers but I’ve never been a big fan. This dish was no exception. The inside was great: Gimmie Lean Sausage, carrots, pepper bits, quinoa . . . I just couldn’t handle the pepper shell with it’s soft layer and the horrible, tough skin. bleck. Ah well, we froze then for Mr. Crow.

Now, on to the most recent of things. So, yesterday I said that I was making kale crisps in my dehydrator and I’d let you know how it went? Well, it went GREAT! Although this attempt was a bit salty for my taste but these were superbly munchable. Kind of like a raw Dorrito. I even passed some around at work where, after some initial trepidation, people nommed them with gusto!


Look how cute it it! I probably ate half a head of kale yesterday as a snack. mmmmm. This is definitely a staple.

Next up is a “cheese” from Sarma Melngailis’ Living Raw Food.

4c raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hrs (overnight in my case)
1/3c fresh lemon juice
2t sea salt
2t smoked paprika
2T nooch
1/4c miso (white/yellow)
1/4c tahini
1/4c filtered water, plus more as needed
1/3c minced chives (I left these out)

Blend all but the chives in a high-speed blender until smooth, adding additional water one tablespoon at a time as needed, until the cheese is think and smooth but not runny. Transfer to a bowl and fold in the chives.

put it on everything.

She uses this recipe to stuff squash blossoms in a fancy-type recipe but, in her everyday recipe section she fills bell pepper halves with it. I further deconstructed it and served it as a dip with red pepper spears and celery to make it all the more portable.

Now, I know I just wrote that I don’t like peppers, but, as I also mentioned, I’m determined to make myself like them. I made a very important discovery yesterday with this. I like, nay, I love raw peppers. When the whole thing is crunchy it’s the finest thing in the world. I ate an ENTIRE pepper for lunch. Raw food FTW.

And now, for the checklist:

mood: 9
energy: 9
hours of sleep: 8.5
Appx% of raw food consumed yesterday: 90%
notes: The buzz is gone and I’m kind of glad. I find myself hard to handle when I’m that way. I still have tons of energy as evidenced by my cooking and blogging. I’ve even been helping Mr. Crow with his chores around the apartment.

They say that you go through an uncomfortable detox period when you eat this way. Supposedly it involves things like: Headaches, nausea, depression, moodiness, nightmares, poor sleep, diarrhea, sore throat, cold/flu symptoms. I’m still waiting for it. . . (^.^)

For now, I’m ready for breakfast. Let’s go see what the cornucopia has for us today!

24 January, 2011

Day Three. I think I’m Sold.

energy: 10
hours of sleep: 9
Appx% of raw food consumed yesterday: 100%
notes: Wasn’t very hungry yesterday.

yesterday was such a nice relaxing day. I was a little lazy in the morning and, instead of having another romaine lettuce smoothie I cheated and used Amazing Meal. YEAY CHOCOLATE! Got a few things from the library (yes I went again) like the following cookbooks:

Living Raw Food - Sarma Melngailis

Raw Food – Life Force Energy by Natalia Rose

Ani’s Raw Food Kitchen - Ani Phyo

(I also got The Mice Templar but that’s another story)

Also, from looking at the cookbooks I’d gotten and some of the pictures, Mr. Crow was inspired to buy us dehydrator after all. I was against it for a little while, being that it was only day two, but we’ve got TONS of canned fruit in the pantry that will have a better chance of getting eaten if it’s in roll-up form,  soooooo . . .yeah.

Having the dehydrator allowed me to chicken out on my kale smoothie I had planned for the morning. I made Kale crisps instead! These seem to be rather popular in the raw community for when you want a crunchy/salty/cheesy thing to munch. They even package them and sell them got REDICULOUSLY high prices! WOW! I can’t believe people would pay more than $0.50 for such a small amount of dehydrated seasoned kale. It’s a total rip-off. Anyway, I made mine beginning with these directions but I used Braggs, nooch, a little sea salt, and some sesame seeds for an Asian touch inspired by some seaweed crisps that I adore. When I’m hungry I’ll find out how I did.

I’ll also be making some cashew cheese to eat with peppers; a recipe from the book Living Raw Food will show me how. There will be pictures!

Anyway, it’s time for breakfast! I’m thinking I’ll be doing this one:

"man-nana smoothie"

2 mangos

2 bananas

several handfuls of spinach


23 January, 2011

Raw Food Day Two

Literally humming with energy. Yesterday it was a struggle to get out of bed, today it was a struggle to stay in so Mr. Crow could sleep in. . . . until 8:30.

mood: 10
energy: 10
hours of sleep: 9
Appx% of raw food consumed yesterday: 95%
notes: pasta craving is gone. Not especially hungry.

The only cooked food I ate yesterday was about an ounce of leftover tempeh in my Asian coleslaw salad. I had 2 green smoothies over the course of the day (mainly because I’m lazy).

Smoothie #2:

2 pears, cored and chunked
1 banana, broken up
1c frozen mango
1/2 head romaine

Interestingly, by mid-afternoon yesterday, I noticed an improvement to my energy levels. I was bopping through the library like I’d had a cup of tea. I even picked up some light reading for my free time which I haven’t done in quite some time. (It’s a book called Petty Magic by Camille DeAngelis)

I’m surprisingly thirsty this morning. Despite that, there is an appreciable improvement in my breath. Praise be!

I’ve been looking up recipes here and there on the internet and I’m sorely discouraged to find that most of the more delectable seeming recipes require a dehydrator. Sadness! Ah well. I’m certainly not going to buy an expensive piece of equipment that I don’t necessarily need before I pass month one. Although, home-made fruit leather is quite a draw. I’ll be sticking to what I can make in my blender/food processor for now. Cashew cheese is on my list as well as some energy bars (if I can find a non-dehydrated recipe). I’ll be sharing those with you, along with more green smoothie recipes as I try them out.

Today I head to the store for supplies. I’m looking toward my future trials with green smoothies with mixed feelings. As I mentioned during my farm share experience I’m not a huge fan of greens (I don’t like bitter anything). I feel like spinach will be fine but the kale/chard/collards in my smoothie may take some getting used to, to say the least.

22 January, 2011

A new year. . . I’ve been avoiding you.

That’s not true.

Yes is it.

It’s really taken me this long to get back to normal from the holiday season. I spent most of the month of December working/traveling/eating food I wouldn't even think of eating any other day of the year. What a joyous time! I have no pictures.

Long before we decided we were finally going to get married, I had taken up a crusade of health. When the end comes, I know I will not be one of the strong so I know I must be one of the fast to survive. Heloooo treadmill. I know, I know, but it’s wintertime and I’m a beginner so cut me some slack. Then I found this website posted on a friend’s Facebook page. So I’m about to start that as well. In 2 months, if I work hard, I should be able to do everything this program says I can. I will be a beast. rawr.

On the nutrition front, I’m heading in a new direction as well, mostly for amusement and love of the scientific process. Today is the first post in a series called “Miss Crow goes raw(ish) for a while to see if all the crazy stuff people say is true”. I’ll need to come up with a better title soon but that’s good for now.

So, yeah, people DO say all kinds of crazy things about the benefits of a raw food diet:

  • excellent detoxification
  • Increased energy
  • Improved skin appearance
  • Better digestion
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced risk of heart disease
  • euphoria
  • relieves PMS/PMT
  • cures cancer

ummm. . . . Now, I’m skeptical of anything that says I can cure cancer, especially when there’s only some sketchy science backing it up but, hey, it’s a free country, you can say what you want as long as you have a disclaimer stating that it may or may not be true. (scientists have studied that eating fruits and veggies protect from free radicals and also seems to change how blood supplies are directed to pre-cancerous areas, but “cure”? I don’t know.)

However, even if half of the stuff they say comes half-way true It’s worth the experiment. I’m ready for clear skin and weight loss. Increased energy, YES! Euphoria may take some getting used to.

The only other thing that freaks me out it all the talk of “purity”. It makes them seem a little cultish. I asked Mr. Crow last night if I freaked out and got really new-agey after eating a bunch of green smoothies if he’d still love me. He said “yes”. Whew!

So, I’ve been easing myself into it for a while now by eating about 40-50% raw on most days in the forms of salads, crudité, and whatnot. Today is day one of 75% or greater. For breakfast I had a green smoothie, upon which I am totally sold:

3 clementines, peeled and split up
1 fuji apple, cored and chunked
1 kiwi, peeled and chunked
5 big leaved of romaine, washed and torn
brita water

I put the fruit in the blender and pureed it. Then I added some water and the romaine and pureed it again. It mostly tasted of apple with a romaine aftertaste which was surprisingly fresh and definitely not offensive. I’ll be going to the store today to pick up some baby spinach and kale for the rest of the week.

I’m also heading to the library to pick up some raw “cookbooks”. Can you really call it a cookbook if there’s no cooking in it? I wish the library had delivery. I REALLY don’t want to go outside in the cold.

Okay now for the science part. (Some of this is going to be somewhat subjective since I’m not going to sit and count every little blemish that’s working it’s way through my skin but I’m a sociologist so I’m okay with that.) Mood and Energy numbers are on a scale from 1-10:

mood: 4
energy: 5
hours of sleep: 10
Appx% of raw food consumed yesterday: 30%
notes: Craving noodles. Curse you wheat.

Tomorrow I’ll be back to document again.