The real reason why I have not been active on Bend it Raw for the last few months is that I have actually created a vegan dating site!
Yes! Weird....I know. But it has happened, and I am all too pleased with how it is going.
So far for only being active for 2 months and it has managed to bring in a following of 700 or so members, and I am expecting more to come. Also Vegan Mojo created a video on it...which I will link later since it is sort of a surprise. Actually, the whole thing is a surprise really. It is frankly a surprise to me that I even created it! So this actually deserves a fantastic blog post later, going over all the features of the site, ect. Lets just say I have been incredibly busy.
This whole journey actually started when I got sick with pneumonia for three months and had nothing better to do then lay in bed. I couldn't really blog about food, since that actually took energy (and making food which having pneumonia, that is pretty hard to do), but I still wanted to contribute something to the vegan community, since I am always having ideas run through my head...and a vegan dating website is actually one that I could do from my own bed, while sick. Basically it involved a ton of nerding. Because when you are healthy you don't really feel like nerding much, you want to go walk in nature and eat fruit and all that. But being sick provided me the perfect opportunity to nerd my heart out without being impatient
I also wanted to provide a positive vegan community, unlike all the other vitriolic, cranky, trolling angry vegan communities online, such as the ones you would find on Facebook.
You know...the types of vegan communities where people are catty and gang up on each other? For no good reason other then ego or boredom? Those communities. Those are just terrible places to express any form of expression without being attacked, and they are in the end draining to the soul. So here enters...Sweet Earthlings. My current lovechild of everything I want in a vegan community rolled into one site. Only it isn't officially done yet...so hold on guys, it is on it's way to be one of the most popular vegan communities out there right now. Not joking. So far it has been nothing but positivity on there, so I am excited.
Anyway, this is my update. Do I love bend it raw still? Well honestly, sure. I love this being my base hub for all the things I am doing at the moment. But I also want to make it into something so much more.
Also I changed my name. My new name is actually now Caroline Awne. Awne is my faery name, from when I was young and could actually communicate with faeries. Now I try but it isn't really the same. Faeries pretty much gave me that name, it means "Own" in Old English. Not sure exactly what that represents, but if anyone knows, I would pretty much be forever grateful. Also if you are vegan and want to help me work on vegan projects, feel free to hit me up. I am kind of overwhelmed at the moment with all the vegan things I am doing, and currently looking to form a team/ posse.
xoxo Caroline Awne
Imagine you are in Paris. Not a stereotypical cafe, but an actual restaurant where the locals drink in the front on high mahogany chairs on marble and in the back there are tables covered with glass and menus long as a time. The walls a sea-green color and you are sitting there with said menu.
But you cannot think. You are too busy trying to not lose complete and utter motor control of your own body. The florescent lights up above are humming and feel like painful knives and that you pray to god that you do not pass out in front of everyone in a country where you don't know anyone. Imagine your hands are clammy, and you start losing your vision. Imagine that your body feels tiny bits of nerve pain while you steadily lose feeling in your hands and fingers. You clutch your right hand to try to gain composure. The person sitting in front of you is talking but you can't hear them, and their words stress you out to the point of feeling like you are losing all hope of maintaining even a base line of being ok.
There in the middle of Paris in fall. I told my friend sitting across from me, I was not ok. I told him I needed to go lay down. We deserted the menus and ran back to the hotel on the hill, with the beautiful flowers, and the beautiful teacups lined with gold, and the friendly white cat that came to visit you in the garden.
In the bed, I cried, "I need help. I need help. I don't know what's wrong with me. I need help."
I could remember in that modernly dressed beautiful room, that it literally surrounded me as I was drowning in air. I couldn't get oxygen to my brain, my joints hurt, my eyes numb, my chest burned, but more importantly I felt like I was struggling to just stay alive. Like every breath was an act of will to not fall unconscious. That at any second the fuzzy feeling of floating away was going to carry me off. And I had no idea why.
My friend was grown impatient though. We had been in Europe for around a month already and I have had at least 8 situations like this occur on our trip. One in Dublin...perhaps three in London....but it was getting progressively worse in Paris. Upon arriving home a week later... the symptoms didn't go away. I would be able to tell that I was going to have an episode by the feeling in my hands growing numb. Every time I felt like I was going to die or pass out. And every time the medics would come to my apartment full of everything girly in the entire world...Art.... crafts....velvet blankets... look at all my books....and then say "are you on any drugs right now?". They eventually got to know me by "that girl, who always has panic attacks".
Later that year, I started school for design. I had already done design work but I figured it would be a lovely experience. There is something inside you where you start to lose trust in yourself when you feel like you can't even keep it together in a social setting. And there have been times that I have felt like I was going to just collapse in class and I had to do everything I possibly could to just appear normal. But I didn't look normal. I would run to the sink and start guzzling water like my life depended on it. I would start slightly hyperventilating and just randomly leave the room.
What I did not know that I had...What I figured out.... was not "just a panic attack". I was not , "just crazy".
What this horrible thing that was happening to me, was nerve damage from undiagnosed Celiac disease.
Celiac is an autoimmune problem. Anything cross-reactive with gluten can trigger it. My trip to Europe was full of bread, sweets, beer. What was actually happening to me was my body was going into an immune reaction shock.
First celiac attacks your bones. It needs minerals, since your stomach can no longer absorb them. But then, it attacks your nervous system.
Since I have cut out gluten from my diet completely. I do not get the panic attacks that were literally debilitating and causing me much duress.
On the other hand, it is a battlefield to avoid everything cross reactive with gluten that may inflame my intestines. I notice I do not absorb vitamins and minerals as well as I used to, even though my diet is one of the healthiest, most diverse, diets that anyone can possibly dream of.
That is why I do what I do. Without thinking about my diet every day, I could go back to feeling weak, helpless and dying. I do know that cutting out animal products in addition to cutting out wheat really helped my immune system more then anything.
That is why I do what I do. Without thinking about my diet every day, I could go back to feeling weak, helpless and dying. I do know that cutting out animal products in addition to cutting out wheat really helped my immune system more then anything.
The testing for celiac is really illusive and weird. Some think it only takes a blood test. Others say a biopsy, and then others say elevated reactive gluten proteins from just a stool sample can show. Mine was so bad, my naturopath said she had never seen someone so high with reactive proteins and told me to never eat gluten again.
I am happy to find out what is wrong. I am not happy how our culture thinks gluten problems are a joke. Having a gluten issue like celiac can seriously cut your lifespan by decades, along with give you increased risk for cancer. I have obviously more blog posts to write about celiac. It is not going away in my life. Sometimes I feel the need to eat all raw foods to help heal my gut , and other times I eat regular gluten free junk foods because I enjoy actually having a life. Cealic disease really made me afraid to leave my own house. Imagine you have no control over your own body and at any random moment you can feel like you are going to die, pass out, or that your stomach will be so upset you will wish you were home. That was my life for 2 years until I found out what was happening to me.
I know where I got celiac disease. That is for another blog post. I can pinpoint exactly what caused it, when, and how. I believe I was always allergic to wheat. But the use of IV antibiotics, and black box antibiotics that I used when I had a septic MRSA infection gave me a stomach bug that usually kills people called "c-deficile" . Basically I believe c-decifile gave me Celiac. There was a point in my life where I was eating donuts everyday for breakfast and was happy as a clam. That all changed after the c-deficile.
I do not want to be an advocate against wheat. But I am an advocate against superbugs and anti-biotic resistant bugs that are caused by the meat and dairy industries overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture. I believe 100 percent, that animal agriculture is the REAL reason why I have celiac. Without the superbug that I had to battle in the first place, I would not have needed black box antibiotics which completely changed my gut and how my gut handles immunity. Immunity comes from the gut. Antibiotics and superbugs can actually change the DNA and the patterns of which things your immune system then attacks. Especially if the damage is bad enough.
When I first went to a stomach doctor and told them I was I was having stomach issues. They said I had just irritable bowl, and I just needed to take it easy. If I had just listened to that man, and not have gone out of my way to go to a naturopath, I probably would be in a sorry state today.
When I visited my naturopath, I had never seen her before. I had struggled to walk to her office, and I was feeling weak and as though I was going to pass out. I literally broke down crying and begged her to help me. I had no idea what was going on. She told me I had candida. I told her NO NO NO...something is actually wrong , please find out....maybe my dog gave me a parasite....maybe I have an infection.... So she decided then to run tests, and it was THEN that I found out I was celiac. I called my stomach doctor and told him, I actually don't have IBS. I am celiac. He was in disbelief. I was in disbelief....that a STOMACH DOCTOR couldn't even figure that out. Even with the expensive useless ultrasound he demanded I get.
Always always always ask questions. Be your own health advocate. Don't settle for what one doctor tells you. I can't stress this enough. Celiac disease will always be a thing that I have to think about. But I am at least glad, I know what is going on. So many people walk around and don't know they have it, and feel awful. When we decide as a culture and world to stop eating animals, that will be the day that we have decided that it is not worth us risking playing with these superbugs that may kill us very fast or very slowly. I anxiously await that day, and will fight until that day.
Superfoods in a decadent whipped cream desert kind of way.
Here be actually two superfood chia puddings in one!
On the bottom you have a super chilling, sweet maple chorella coconut base. In the middle a lovely mashing of soy whipped cream. Then comes the luscious sweet but cherry and goji berry pudding, that literally tastes like cherry pie. More whipped cream and you are good to go. Lunch or breakfast can taste like desert! I actually couldn't believe how good this was.
So the nutritional run down. I like to put the nutrition in the recipes so you can actually feel good about what you are eating.
- 20 percent omega fatty acids
- 20 percent protein
- very high in minerals, good for bones and skin
- high in vitamin e
- almost 40 percent of your daily fiber.
For this recipe it is so incredibly simply. You will need three cups. One to soak each chia pudding and one for the final result. Time takes about 25 minutes, including soaking time. When chia puddings are done separately soaking combine them in a glass and put soy whipped cream between them. This makes them ultra luxurious. You thought you knew chia pudding before! No way...not until you have tried the true power of soy whipped cream with it. NO MORE GROSS CHIA!!
Cherry Pie Goji Chia pudding
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 4 oz cherry juice ( I used half a bottle of Cheribundi brand)
- 1/4 cup goji berries. More if chia doesn't jell enough.
- soy whipped cream
In a mug mix ingredients together. Let sit for about 20 min till jelled. Stir periodically until ready to get rid of bumps. Serve in a pretty dish or glass with soy whipped cream on top. Or add to Maple Chorella chia pudding (scroll down below).
Maple Chorella Chia Pudding
- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
- half a mug of coconut milk
- one tablespoon of maple syrup
- one heaping tea of chorella powder
- soy whipped cream for topping.
Mix all in mug and let sit for 20 min periodically stirring mixture. Put in pretty glass and add soy whipped cream or add to the cherry pie goji pudding above to make an ultimate chia pudding cup.
Hope you guys enjoyed this one!! Seriously the Cherry Pie Goji pudding is good on it's own for desert. It is pretty amazing. Let me know how you like it!
Much love , Caroline
Oh behold oh mighty potato.
The Irish practically lived for them. And it appears we may be having our own potato revival of our own.
High carb low fat, Potato fasting? potato for weight loss even?
The beauty of the potato is that it is simple. It doesn't need much to cook or make it taste good. Or fill you up. That is why this recipe is called "Two Sweet Potato Thyme Fries". It is literally 2 potatoes. No oil...no frying, just simply and elegantly... two potatoes.
I am going to confess a secret...'I eat these for breakfast...with 'Jazz Radio' playing in the background and with a vegan latte with whipped cream' (vegan latte recipe here) Best morning ritual ever, I might add. These are also amazing in a packed lunch. Nothing makes co-workers or classmates more jealous then homemade french fries!.
A strange fact about the sweet potato. No sweet potato is ever the same. They are all works of true art. Even if you buy "organic japanese sweet potatoes" from one store, I gaurantee will be different at another store entirely. Every potato is it's own adventure.
Every potato is it's own adventure.
"Two" Sweet Potato Thyme Fries
- 2 medium to large sweet potatoes
- A jar of Thyme spice
- pepper mill
- salt mill
- ketchup for afterwards
Preheat the oven to 415 degrees. Place parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Wash and cut sweet potatoes into fry shaped wedges. Arrange wedges on cookie sheet. Season heartedly with the salt, pepper and thyme. Bake in oven for around 25- 30 minutes. Allow more if you enjoy your sweet potatoes crispier.
I just adore this tea, it has something in it that is just magic.
Magic detoxification happy skinny making particles. It does actually lift my mood and it can be quite powerful. Be careful, it will make you detox fast!
Do not drink if you have low blood pressure. As this can lower blood pressure. Also do not drink if you have an already upset stomach.
Vanilla Chocolate 'Skinny' Tea
- 8 tbsp loose puer tea, organic
- 1 tbsp dandelion root ground, organic
- 1/4 tea dried vanilla bean powder
- 1 tsp rose petals
- 1 tsp chocolate powder, raw
mix all of the ingredients in a bowl. Funnel into a beautiful jar. Start out with 1 1/2 teaspoons at a time...more if your stomach can handle it, in a tea bag or metal tea strainer. The fermentation in the puer can make your stools loose and cause you to immediately want to use the restroom, so just throwing that out there , be aware :)
Going vegan in the beginning is hard!
We have all been heartbroken and burned with the mistrust of diets not working.
It certainly doesn't help when you go vegan and your first month you feel greasy, bloated, gassy, and break out. Some times you wonder what is going on and if it is even worth it. You are also hungry because you have absolutely no idea what to eat, and what will make you lose weight the fastest. I get asked pretty often, "what can I do to lose weight" and "my stomach is so bloated, is vegan diet worth it.?"
Well first let me explain; Veganism is not a diet, it is an ethical belief that animals are not inferior to humans and that their welfare matters just as much as ours. Plant Based is when you don't care about the animals and are just eating vegan for health reasons. After you watch earthlings you will most likely want to be a vegan. You wont give up on being vegan just because it isn't working for you. You will be vegan "for the animals". If you are plant based though, don't worry you will still lose weight it takes time, and I have faith that one day you will learn about the animal wellfare side. It is pretty unavoidable if you interact with people who are vegan! Just know they are passionate, for good reason, and that they mean no harm. Just trying to save the animals.
Now to lose that Bloating...
This is a lot easier then it sounds, but it will take some time. Maybe a month up to 3 months depending on the person. I have known of people to lose the bloating in a week, so it can be done! But you must give your body time to heal and detox.
Years of eating a diet that is low on fiber, high in pesticides, hormones and most importantly antibiotics is not going to allow for a healthy gut environment. In fact your body probably does not have all the good bacteria present to break down fiber. You just never noticed before, because you probably were not eating a high fiber diet and didn't need as many probiotics in your gut. Probiotics help your body digest your food and eat some of the fibers in your food, creating almost a "slip and slide effect" allowing the food to move through your stomach very quickly and easily. When there are not enough probiotics the high fiber foods literally just sit there. Normally this wouldn't matter, but chances are you have been eating meat with antibiotics in your past and killed a large sum of good bacteria. Secondly good bacteria needs fiber to survive. Prebiotics, as opposed to probiotics... are the foods that feed the good bacteria. Many companies have caught on recently and have started adding prebiotics to their probiotics capsules. They are essentially "good bacteria food". If you do not normally eat these types of food on a regular basis, you probably need to , to start developing a healthy gut colony. These include Inulin and resistant starches, which are both prebiotics. They can be found in the following foods.
- wheat bran,
- dandelion root,
- Jerusalem artichoke,
- onions and leeks.
When your body gains more starch, inulin, fiber...and you have not eaten a vegetable in decades, or maybe never. These perfectly normally good for you foods are going to bloat and make you miserable. Not because they are bad for you, in fact they are the best foods you can eat! Resistant starch from bananas and potatoes are known to help reverse insulin sensitivity which can create belly fat! And we all want that!.... It is that adjusting to this new way of eating is going to take time.
10 ways to cut down bloating on a Vegan or Plant based Diet
First it is a great idea to decide to eat pesticide free so that you are no longer killing your gut bacteria with pesticides. Same with GMO, they are just another form of pesticide so avoid the "dirty dozen" when buying groceries.
Make a vow to make your gut bacteria a priority! It can take up to a month to get a thriving colony going after years of abuse and a diet that is bad for them.
Eat smaller meals at first while you are transitioning, for at least the first week! Eat as many small meals as possible. Give your gut bacteria a chance to catch up to the new load.
Chew your food at least 40 times. Slow down. Enjoy your meal with maybe some soft music, maybe some candles. It is proven that those that chew their food digest their food better and connect with it more.
Buy a bottle of extra strength probiotics. Currently I take Garden of Life, which also contains potato prebiotics. Take them with a banana or when eating potatoes, to make sure the bacteria are happy and being properly fed! Remember you want a happy colony!
Buy some enzyme tablets if you are in major discomfort. They will help break down the food even further helping ease gas and bloating.
Always soak your beans overnight before cooking the next day. Same with Grains. I buy sprouted brown rice which has been pre-soaked. When you soak you help get rid of the anti-nutrients in the beans and Grains that cause gas, bloating and indigestion. Un-soaked beans and grains also have inhibitors which prevent you from absorbing vitamins and minerals so to get the proper nutrition it is best to soak!
Some people say to avoid cabbage and kimchi in your diet. I would tend to agree when you are transitioning. Stick with at least a month of probiotics, and then move on to cultured foods once your stomach has adjusted. And vegan yogurt, unless homemade usually just contains a lot of sugar and no good bacteria, so don't rely on that for your gut.
Detox tea! To help get your bloating gone in the meantime! Detox tea is usually promoted these days as very expensive teas held by Instagram models...I know better. I can get it for under 10 dollars without the stimulants they put in it or weird stuff. I can even make it to taste like vanilla chocolate! Click here for my vanilla chocolate Detox tea recipe! The main ingredient in it is Puer black tea and Dandelion root. If you cannot find puer tea, sipping on black tea works just fine also, but puer is different....it is fermented!! And also has a very strong laxative effect because of the healthy fermentation. It will help keep the bloat away, but don't rely on it alone!
And last but not least, two words..."food combining". You will hear me talk about this a lot. In a nutshell food combining is at the root of how I like eating for health. The idea is that certain foods combine better then others in the belly. Food combining alone got rid of my acid reflux. I had first learned about it from my head and neck doctor, who told me if I wanted to not be on meds for my acid reflux, he recommends food combining and eating low oil. The man deserved a medal, because it worked. It is a bit confusing at first...which is why it deserves it's own page to give it the credit it deserves. It takes a while to get used to, but once you discover how much it can do for you and your body, you will never want to go back to eating before practicing food combining rules. To learn more about food combining please subscribe to my blog. I will be sending out notifications once I have completed the most beautiful food illustrated combining chart ever.
HERE IS A HELPFUL SHORT SHOPPING LIST FOR TRANSITIONING OR JUST STARTING OUT VEGANS
- high dose probiotics
- enzyme tablets
- pre biotic foods like potatoes and bananas.
- large bowls to soak your beans and grains
- sprouted brown rice
- Puer tea
- Dandelion root tea
So I hope you enjoyed this bit about bloating and stomach issues on a plant based diet. I hope I illustrated that there is no "bad vegan food" it is the "gut environment" which determines if you are feeling amazing or not. And remember, this takes a while to get used to and you will feel amazing in no time, I promise. Also let me know how you are doing in the comments below, and if any of these tips actually work for you. If something isn't working, maybe we can adjust things to see what will work!
Strawberries are a member of the Rosaceae family and are essentially roses.
Instead of the fruiting body of the plant being hard like a rose hip, in strawberries the fruit is soft and luscious. In magic spells, roses are used for love. When you eat of the rose body you literally become more lovely, inside and out.
Strawberries also are one of the most perfect foods out there Even while they are fragile and perishable, they contain a good amount of antioxidants, phyto-nutriants and help regulate blood sugar. They also contain 110 percent of your daily vitamin C per dose. They lower inflammation in the body and help combat aging and make one more beautiful.
When one decides to eat many strawberries throughout the day, they are literally taking on the LOVE energy of the rose family.
So ....how does one mono meal with strawberries??
So let me first explain something , I think mono island, mono meals is futile. Pointless and scientifically defunct. (I had to remove a word here...because apparently it "triggered" some very sensitive people) .The idea of mono island or mono meal, is you eat only one fruit, and one type of fruit. The reasoning behind this is to give yourself a break to detox. First of all, you are going to detox no matter what kind of raw food vegan diet you are on. Let alone... if you just go vegan. You will be detoxing.
Secondly...the is no reason to just eat strawberries, when the rose family also contains the following fruits..."Apples, pears, peaches, cherries, blackberries, strawberries, quinces, apricots, and raspberries".
Yes in one meal, you can safely eat the ENTIRE rose family and still detox and still not "confuse your stomach". The scientific difference between a strawberry and blackberry is SO SMALL, your stomach will not even know. I promise you this.
I have come to the personal conclusion that mono island is reserved for incredible bored fruitarians that are practicing puritanical vows of vegan poverty in the name of fanatical self deprecation.
I don't believe nutrition should withdraw ANYTHING expect that which HURTS YOU or HURTS OTHER CREATURES. Eating a strawberry with a cherry is not going to hurt you, it is going to make you stronger. I believe it is this sort of extremism in the vegan worlds that make it hard to people to take vegans seriously, and hurts the animals, because we need to be sane, mentally astute vegan activists.
In a way, being a crazy fruitarian CAN HURT THE ANIMALS. It honestly doesn't matter to me what you eat as long as it doesn't hurt the animals, but for heavens sake, bickering about "OH MY GOD I ATE A PEAR ON MY MONO BANANA ISLAND" just makes you look crazy...and vegans look crazy. And we can't afford to look crazy.
Health should be fun. Nutrition should be fun...Today I ate all raw fruit, and I feel great ...here is the fruit below! Notice the banana , sitting next to the orange...oh the horror.
Eating one day of the week fruitarian and all fruit can be amazing
If you do this you will notice your levels of energy go up, a long with a more calm mental attitude and lusciousness, fruit is easier to eat and more beautiful.
You will be more hydrated! Have more antioxidants! And people who regularly eat fruit live longer.
Usually citrus fruits are best with citrus, rose family fruits with other rose family...and bananas can just do their thing all by themselves. I can eat 15 bananas in one sitting easy, but I usually do not nearly need that much!
If you care about the animals, please for the love of GOD wash your hair, stop moaning about your lack of will power because you ate a mango on your "banana fast"....and encourage people to ENJOY THEIR VEGAN FOOD, not treat it like you are a slave to it.
When you have fun, other people notice and want to have fun. As personal queen of all things hedonistic, decadent, sensual and sexy. I encourage everyone to eat bananas ....SLOWLY...in front of everyone as much as possible. You never know who might want to go vegan with you...or even for you.
The Stillness of Chocolate-
When she speaks everyone is silent and in awe. As if they are in a cathedral the hush sounds of knowing...her voluptuousness is near.
She had the final word...As a dessert...
she is pagan, vernal, springtime in her earthy comforts.
chocolate listens to no one. She always has the last say. For she is beautiful.
Springtime is all about beauty. You cannot deny, of all the seasons, spring is the one that is flowing, glowing and delightful to gaze at. Foods that are beautiful should be shared this time of year. Heavenly foods that remind one of cupid and poofy clouds, languid parks with light dancing through trees. The sounds of the birds. The smell of flowers, the carnal smell of chocolate. Vegans do it better...
Vegan Chocolate Ganache Pudding
ingredients- serves 4
- one 9 oz bag of vegan chocolate chips, dark preferably
- 16 oz tofu firm
- 2/3 cup soy milk
- 2 tablespoons vegan sugar
- pinch salt
- soy whipped cream
Make this the night before an event for easy desert, or whip it up the night of.
- Begin with melting the chocolate chips and soymilk in a sauce pan on low. Add more milk if need be to loosen up chips and keep it from burning but not too much more
- let cool a tiny bit and pour into a bowl.
- in a Vitamix or food processor blend tofu on high.
- fold into melted chocolate and stir in the sugar and pinch salt.
- when you are done stirring, divide between four tiny glass jars ( i believe the ones I used above were 8 oz? And keep in the fridge to harden.
- enjoy with soy whipped cream and maybe some mint tea if on hand
Ps...click on the picture below, to see the dish that compliments this lovely desert. Perfect for spring time or Easter Brunch.
What is Easter, without brunch?
Gatherings, spring flowers, roasted herbed asparagus spears, and a bit of Sundays best on...This year in my little vegan home, I do not intend to disappoint my belly or yearnings for a decadent meal.
To be shared among friends, this almost religious meal can be plated with reverence to new beginnings, without any remote hint of cruelty. Your familiar relations won't notice a difference. Including your sister from upstate who insists she is paleo. Like the secrets you keep from your family...this recipe also has secrets! Time saving secrets so that you may enjoy the afternoon or evening calmly with the children in one corner eating dairy free chocolate easter eggs, while you and your sister catch up with a glass of chardonnay.
The festive meal is comprised of the following...
Roasted Teriyaki Tofu Pilaf and Roasted Asparagus
Chocolate pudding with whipped cream
All naturally cruelty free, and of course, since it is Easter after all, a total splurge. The pudding, I must say is absolutely ganache decadence...
The idea is that you get a pot of rice going early in the morning...and all the other bits can be easily made the night before.
A dish of this sorts may be quickly dashed together the day of, with a bit of prep the night before. The idea is that you get a pot of rice going early in the morning...and all the other bits can be easily made the night before. Including the pudding! You literally smash it all together on the plate lovingly the day of and smile as you feed yourself and friends with stealth quickness. The only drawback to this is that the food might not be hot, if you like your food pretty hot... in that case I would suggest making at least the tofu the day of, since it really doesn't take that long to saute in the pan.
For now I am going to attach the Roasted Garlic Teriyaki pilaf with Roasted asparagus down below and you can find the recipe for the Chocolate Pudding here
Roasted Teriyaki Tofu Pilaf and Roasted Asparagus
To begin....The night before, or early morning that day....
This recipe will be made in parts; Rice, Marinated tofu, Asparagus with garlic.
Ingredients: 4 cups brown rice
Cook 4 cups of Brown sprouted rice the morning of, early in the morning OR the night before if you don't mind cold rice with your brunch. It is up to you. Cook according to instructions on the package and feel free to use vegetable broth if you wish.
one block tofu, organic and sprouted, and pressed of liquid
- 2 tablespoons organic tamari
- 2 tea olive oil
- 2 tea safflower oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 tea brown rice vinegar
- 4 cloves organic garlic chopped finely
- 1/4 tea cayenne pepper or more to taste
- cut the tofu in blocks, 1-2 inches wide
- combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl
- marinate the tofu in the sauce overnight or a few hours before you plan to grill the day of
- grill the tofu on medium until lightly heated and crispy on each side. Do not brown.
- set aside for the completed dish with rice! If making this the night before and don't mind cold tofu put in a airtight container and put it in the fridge.
Grilled Asparagus and roasted Garlic
- 2 bunches Asparagus, organic
- 3 bulbs garlic + 5 cloves
- olive oil
- sunflower oil
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 tablespoon chopped Basil
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
For the Garlic
- preheat oven to 375 degrees
- peel 3 bulbs of garlic cloves (less if you want less garlic, but I think more is better always..)
- in a small bowl mix 1 tbsp olive oil, with 1 tbsp sunflower oil, with 1/2 tea salt and 1/2 tea pepper
- place garlic on foil pouch on cookie sheet, pour the oil mixture over the olives and wrap pouch covering the garlic all the way.
- bake for 45-60 min in oven
- set aside when done. This step is best done the day before! Just put garlic in air-tight container in the fridge.
For the Asparagus
- wash and lightly steam the asparagus for 4 minutes
- preheat skillet to high heat
- in a small bowl mix 1 tbsp olive oil, with 1 tbsp sunflower oil, with the chopped basil and 1/2 tea salt and 1/2 tea pepper
- marinate the asparagus with the mixture and grill over high heat for 2-3 minutes or until desired tenderness.
- The asparagus tastes best cooked the same day, with the tofu. But either can be cooked the night before
Putting it all together
I know this sounds strange, but grab a few of those 8 oz soup cups from the store...You will need it for this! Also pick up some Annie Chun's gluten free vegan Teriyaki Sauce as well.
- Allow teriyaki sauce to sit on counter at room temp
- Arrange plates on the table.
- spoon rice in four 8 oz soup containers, pushing down the rice until packed in tight.
- let the rice slide out of the containers onto the middle of each plate.
- artfully put the asparagus (cold or hot) around the rice, divided by four.
- Place desired garlic amount on top of the asparagus.
- Divide the tofu by four and place on top of the rice, it may not all fit and that is ok!
- And now, the final touch....Drench each lovely rice mound with teriyaki sauce.
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did! It goes pretty fast! This is best paired with a lively fresh pressed carrot juice in honor of Easter bunnies and then chocolate vegan pudding...which can be made the night before in cute little jars.... chocolate pudding recipe here....
Join me in making raw 30 second cashew milk in the video above!
I love putting it on top of raw granola and adding it to my tea, chia puddings, and coffee.
It foams up pretty good too and is so very cheap you will wonder why you ever bought nut milks in a box before!
What you need for this is a handful or two of raw organic cashews. Soak overnight in a jar, rinse the next morning. Add desired amount of water...for very creamy don't add as much, and for more watered down taste, add plenty. It is your milk, satisfy yourself!
Cashews contain all sorts of vitamins and minerals to nourish you inside and out, the main ones being copper, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc. Copper though, is quite abundant in cashews so be careful to go easy on the nut milks and take with zinc to balance out the copper. Copper is good for developments of bone marrow, collagen, blood vessels, and keeping hair youthful. People who have high copper usually look younger. Cashews can also help lower trigylcerides and help with diabetes. Magnesium in the copper also keeps you relaxed and happy. And all nuts believe it or not help you lose weight! In a study done in Spain, those that ate nuts were 31 percent less likely to gain weight then those not eating nuts.
Oh and always soak your nuts! <3
"This latte is in honor of Pusheen, and how much I use her emoji on facebook. You cute kitty."
I might have to confess. I love Pusheen. She is my spirit animal and foodie like I am. Only problem is that she does not eat enough vegan food. Maybe all her food emojis are actually vegan? I sure hope so. But she eats fatty vegan food if that is the case. This latte is in honor of Pusheen, and how much I use her emoji on facebook. You cute kitty.
She would want lots of whipped cream and sweet things. I am 100 percent right about this. Maple syrup and creamy things. Also extra feisty cat ingredients, like Maca. Maca will make anyone feisty. I am feisty right now from drinking this, it kicks in pretty fast. Time to take over the world now ;) If you make this, instagram tag me! I will add you back :D https://www.instagram.com/bend_it_raw/
Also if anyone wants to contribute to my buying this here lovely Pusheen toy I saw at Uwajimaya I will love you forever and ever. My dog will be so scared. No joke.
Yup...want so bad...
Maple Maca Coconut Latte
- Coconut milk
- maple syrup
- organic instant fair trade coffee
- soy whipped cream in a can
- boil some water
- put about 2 teaspoons instant coffee in cup of choice
- pour about 3 tablespoons boiling water on cofffee
- add about 1 heaping teaspoons of maca to coffee and stir good
- add 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- then pour coconut milk until you each desired latte level and finish by stirring well
- add lots of whipped cream and then pour more maple syrup.
- Go find a cozy place to sit and enjoy :)
"I thought I would never eat thanksgiving food again, let alone in the form of a salad"
I remember back when I first started attempting to go vegan I had no idea what to eat. If you needed me I you would see me going back and forth between the frozen food freezer isle and the banana section, feeling like I was missing out on something...That something was cooking! Talking to a facebook friend today made me remember that just starting out being vegan used to be so confusing. And I missed some of the old foods I was so used to eating...at times I felt I would never taste them again.
I was never big on sweet potatoes to be honest except around thanksgiving and that is when they are usually smoothered in burnt melted gooey marshmallows. I am sure you know what I am talking about..they smell like sweet campfire thanksgiving candy, all warm and toasty. I thought I would never eat thanksgiving food again...let alone in the form of a salad. I am gluten free and vegan after all..
This salad seriously tastes like toasted sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top. No joke.
For anyone just starting out going vegan I recommend the freezer section of the grocery store. I know, I know, many people do the hex sign around that area like they are a witch in a coven...only dancing magically around the periferey of the store...But I don't I step right in that lions den. What I find might amaze you.
Freezer veggies. Get them. Buy them. They don't rot.
I will say this again...Freezer veggies...don't rot.
When you are first starting out going vegan and you buy out the whole produce section, you might end moldy veggies, because veggies by themselves don't really scream out "EAT ME". So they kind of just sit there until you learn how to make them taste delicious. This is where frozen sweet potatoes come in. They have no oil. Perfect if you are trying to maintain a high carb low fat lifestyle. Also magic trick number two parchment paper. Get that and always keep some on hand. I like the french kind with no chemicals.
This really was a quick recipe. I think the best thing to remember with this is to don't over pour the maple syrup like I accedently did trying to take an action shot of the syrup being poured. But if you think about it, people probably consume more syrup in their pancakes...those darn cute fluffy sponges that they are.
Oh did I mention, you won't get fat with this salad? And maple syrup has all sorts of benefits for the body!
- low glycemic
- fights inflammation
- high in antioxidants, 24 for different kinds to be exact, most of them you have never heard of
- very high in zinc and manganese
- manganese is good for fat and carbohydrate metabolisim and zinc is good for the immune system
So okay, on second thought, pour it on...
Oh and a side note, adding white pepper to anything gives it a slightly smokey mysterious taste...almost like toasted marshmallows....
And do please let me know if you try this, if I am crazy, but this seriously tastes like pie :)
Vegan Sweet Potato Pie Salad
- Sweet potato cubes; frozen, one bag
- 3-4 handfuls of mixed dark super greens
- white pepper
- garlic tahini sauce
- maple syrup
- sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- On parchment paper and a cookie sheet spread out sweet potato cubes
- lightly dash white pepper on the sweet potato
- pour 2 tablespoons or so maple syrup on sweet potatos
- lightly dash cayenne to taste and personal spice liking
- stir all around with a fork until mostly covered
- bake for 20-25 minutes until very lightly browned
- in mean time take a large bowl and put about 3-4 handfuls of greens in the bowl
- take baked sweet potato and slide it on top of the greens.
- pour heavy amounts of garlic tahini on top of the sweet potato
- pour enough maple syrup to make it sweet but now drowning in syrup...I put about a 1/4 cup on mine
- finish with more cayenne pepper and enjoy with a cup of green tea! Smile, you seriously just made sweet potato pie salad,
It is always imperative that you have on hand, at all times something very quick, mineral rich and nourishing for when you are hungry, sick or exhausted.
That is why at all times I keep in my kitchen three things :)
- miso soup
- dried seaweed
- frozen kale
This soup is so easy to make, you can make it even when you are super sick, or when you are looking for a quick appetizer to add to an already fantastic vegan meal.
Kale Miso Soup
- 3 cups water
- 3 teaspoons miso paste (organic)
- 1/2 bag frozen kale
- 1 big peice kombu seaweed
Boil water in a pot with kombu. After done boiling pour in frozen kale, this will cool down the water (which is a good thing) and turn off the heat. Let soup sit until it is warmish, but not hot. Take out the kombu and then mix in the miso paste. Add more to taste if you desire.
This dish is good to get some minerals in, especially with the kombu for some iodine. Serve with green tea on a cold day , or chilled on a spring afternoon and enjoy!
Spring is for perfume, sundresses and more daylight hours drenching dinner tables topped with Asparagus lightly toasted with garlic and fresh lettuce with lemon soaking in the sun.
Spring is for daydreaming over lunch with radishes and tea, with startched linen tablecloths.
Spring is for me, though unfortunately not here yet, the daylight hours creep with the promise of sun, hitting my head in just the right way that might suggest a coming warmth, here in Seattle the sun is always a tease. But I know it is coming, and I am prepared. Mind, body and soul.
So food! Let us talk food and pleasure. I ate for pleasure today, and I am not ashamed of it, nor am I afraid of gaining weight. In all likely hood I will actually gain a coy smile and a pep in my step.
Allow my to explain...
Today I ate...
- Coffee with almond milk, lightly steamed with a beautiful flower design in the creama.
- A brown rice , pinto bean and guacamole bowl from Chipotle. Yes. Chipotle. (I ate it while walking down the street, basking in the sun.)
- A glass of Port wine.
- Half a bar of Theo dark chocolate
- A gigantic bowl of fresh lettuce with half a lemon squeezed, pepper, and olive oil. Lots and lots of olive oil. And a bit of cayenne pepper.
- Then two sunflower seed patties with teriyaki sauce and hot sauce.
Do I feel awesome? Yes I do. I feel like rather the arbiter of pleasure and decadence. I even danced today. I also did no cooking so I can settle down and focus on my photography things.
Tell me, what did you eat today? And did it make you feel amazing?