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Yellow Soup

28 September

Raw Yellow Noodle SoupI love soups! Specially when I’m tired, I just want soup. But until today, I was stuck with my soup-creating ideas. All I kept making for months was my Tomato Bisque soup or my Miso soup.

On my last trip to California for Bhakti Fest 2011, we made a stop at Au Lac’s in LA for raw food. I love their Paella and soups. This time I tried a Tumeric soup that I don’t remember the correct name, but it had kelp noodles.

So today, in trying to come up with something that had noodles in it, I came up with a brand new AMAZING recipe for soup, which is now Yellow soup.

This what you’ll need:

1 handful of kelp noodles

1/2 Red Bell Pepper

3 Celery stalks

2 Medium Carrots

1 Medium  Heirloom Tomato

Cilantro (about 2 handfuls not chopped)

1 Kale Leaf

1 Chard leaf

1 handful cashews (optional)

1/4 cup Coconut Oil

1 Tea Spoon Red Miso paste

1/2 Lime

Bariani Olive Oil

2 long Green Onion (scallions), chopped

Real Salt, Tumeric, and Paprika to taste

Water

 

Start by rising the kelp noodles and then place them in a bowl. I like to cut them in half or even in quarters so that they are easy to take out the bowl while eating the soup. Sprinkle some salt and olice oil on them. Cut half of the red pepper in long strips or juliened and throw on top of the noodles. Chop 1 of the celery stalks in small pieces. I make mine tiny, like for a baby to chew because Denis and I don’t like celery otherwise. Place in the bowl with noodles and pepper.

Take the Kale and chard and cut in strips and add to bowl. Chopped half of the cilantro and  the tomato and add to the bowl as well.

Cut the carrots and place them in your vitamix or blender. Cut the rest of the celery, red bell pepper, and cilantro and add to blender as well. Add the miso paste, salt, tumeric, paprika, and coconut oil and some water to begin blending. When it becomes smooth, begin adding the cashews. Add as much water as you want. I like it on the smooth creamy side so I didn’t add more than  1 cup. Squeeze the lime before you stop blending. Leave as long as you want to warm up or not. When you feel is ready, pour over the vegetables and noodles in bowl. Mix well and let it sit for a few minutes.

Serve and sprinkle the green onion/scallions on top of each bowl of soup. Makes about 6 servings (of course Denis and I finished the entire thing!).

I also put some sprouts on the table and plantains to accompany the soup.

Hope you enjoy my Yellow Soup 🙂

 

 

 

 

3 Farmers Markets in South Florida

26 September

One of the most important parts of planning your vacation or traveling is to know where to find food and restaurants. Some people plan ahead, specially if they have specific requests for food or if they love food traveling as much as I do. As a raw vegan and eco-activist, I always plan ahead my food stops before I head out in to my destination. One of my favorites sites to help me plan is Happycow.net where I can find all the local vegetarian and vegan places to eat and shop. As a full time South Florida resident, there are several places here for my fellow vegetarians/vegans to eat and shop. So here is a list of my favorite South Florida places to shop for healthy food:

Josh’s Organic Garden & Juice Bar – Hollywood

Josh’s is probably one of the best, if not THE best, farmers market in the country. Most of the produce is organically grown locally and in Pennsylvania and treated with the utmost care. You can hear Josh scream and see him run every Sunday as he tries to keep the veggies and fruits in the best condition possible. Josh’s greens in the winter beat any store in the county. Once you eat his greens, you cannot accept anything less.

The juice bar is out of this world too! Even though you may feel the prices are high, other supermarkets charge way more for less. Josh’s Juice bar uses their own greens, veggies, and fruits right from the market to make the juices and smoothies. Nothing is processed or pasteurized.

Josh’s Organic Garden is open on Sundays from 9:30 to 5:31 pm and it’s located on Hollywood Beach’s Boardwalk on Harrison street. The Juice Bar is open Sundays 9:30am to 5:31pm, Monday to Thursday 7pm to 9pm.

 

Glaser Farms – Coconut Grove

The actual farm is located way south in Homestead, but on Saturdays Stan and Tracy bring the farm to Coconut Grove from 11am to 7pm. Located just west of the main Coco Walk center on Grand avenue, Glaser Farmer’s Market is a great place to hang out and enjoy delicious organic, vegetarian, raw food including ice cream and pies! Other vendors set up tents around the market making locals and visitors feel at home.

 

Marando Farms – Fort Lauderdale

Fairly new, Marando Farms offers great prices for mostly non-organic produce. Some are locally grown from other farmers and some from their own farm. They also offer eggs from their own chickens and sometimes you can see the chickens running around. Great for the kids! They recently open another “wing” for high quality pet foods, so now you can get your food and your pet’s food in the same place!

Marando Farms is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 10am to 5pm; Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm; Closed on Wednesdays.

 

Other places for Organic Produce

Other places in South Florida where you can find great prices for organic produce include Green Wave Cafe in Plantation, a raw vegan restaurant. On Mondays Green Wave opens for their “Organic Market” from 8am to 2pm.

Thrive Restaurant in Miami Beach and LifeFood Gourmet in Coral Way also have Farmer’s Market days. You can visit their sites to see more information on when they offer organic produce for sale.

 

 

 

Before and Way Before

26 June

Many friends have been asking me to post pictures of Denis and I when we first began our journey in the health food path. But first, here is one of my favorite clips from the Sopranos that kinda reminds me of the pictures you will see below. I call these pictures, the pictures of when we were over weight: the Sopranos… you’ll see why.

Denis lost a total of 93 Lbs

I lost over 50 lbs.

 

Most of the weight loss came after we switched to raw vegan, but the first weight we lost was after we switched from red meat to only poultry and fish. After a few years on just fish, we lost more weight again.

I do have to confess that being only raw vegan, can also add weight. I’ve been able to keep my weight stable for 2 years and continue to stay on that weight. I have also been able to build muscle on just raw by adding vegan protein. However, the minute I stop exercising to build muscle and didn’t change my way of eating, my weight changed.

Each person is different as I always say, so we all must find what works for us.

Arugula Dandelion Dip

14 June

On the way back from the market Saturday, we were having a discussion in the car about creamy sweet dishes vs. creamy salty dishes. We all agreed we liked both. And that brought a memory of spinach dip. So I went to Josh’s Market Sunday but wasn’t able to find spinach to make it. Instead, I decided to change the recipe and get dandelions and arugula, which I very often don’t buy because I’m not a fan of them even though I know they are good for you.

Here is what you’ll need:

Arugula (abut a handful or two)
Red and Green Dandelions (about a handful)
6 leaves of basil
6 shitake mushrooms cut (as big as wanted)
4 mini sweet peppers (red and orange) chopped
4 green scallions chopped
6 stalks of broccolini chopped

For the sauce:
1/2 cup of cashews
1 TBS unpasteurized white miso paste
1 Tea spoon olive oil
1 Tea spoon sesame oil
Italian seasoning to taste
Salt to taste
water (as needed)

I like to start with the sauce so that I can let the veggies soak the flavor, so blend all the ingredients from the sauce until smooth. In a mixing bowl, add the mushrooms, peppers, broccolini and scallions and mix with some salt and oil.

Take the dandelion, basil and arugula in the food processor and pulse until obtaining the desired consistency for the dip. Ensure that the leaves do not become liquid but chopped enough for the dip. Mix in with the vegetables and pour the sauce and mix well. I let it sit there for a few minutes to soak the flavors. You can also add garlic to the sauce before mixing.

Serve with other veggies or raw crackers.

Almond Ginger Kelp Noodles

12 June

I love kelp noodles! I have them at least once a week, and this past week I made the best ones so far. So I felt I should share with the world. Plus a few friends on Facebook wanted the recipe as well. So here it is.

1 bag of kelp noodles (16oz bag I believe)
1 cup of red shredded cabbage
6 mini sweet peppers (red and orange)
1 cup of Kale sliced or shredded
4 Scallions chopped
Olive oil to taste
Salt to taste
Cilantro

For the Sauce:
2 Tbs almond butter
1 Tbs unpasteurized white miso
1 clove of garlic
1 cube of ginger (about 1 inch)
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs coconut oil
1 Tea spoon sesame oil
Thai seasoning
Salt

 

Rinse the noodles and soaked for about 10 or 15 minutes. Mixed the onions, peppers, cabbage, and cilantro in a mixing bowl and sprinkle some salt, olive oil and Thai seasoning to taste and mixed well. Leave aside and prepare the sauce.

Put the sauce ingredients in the blender and mix well until smooth. Pour about half on the mixed vegetables and let is soak in the sauce while you rinse out the noodles again. Strain the noodles and put in mixing bowl. I like to cut the noodles so that they are shorter than how they are packaged. Mix well and add remaining sauce.

Sprinkle some black sesame seeds when serving. You can also add a jalapeno pepper or any spicy pepper to the sauce to make it hot. This serves about 2 big people like Denis and I… but if you love kelp noodles, you can have it all and not share it 😉

Raw Tomato Bisque Soup

14 February

I was on my way from work to home while Denis was driving and we were talking about food. Whenever I get bored of the same thing over and over and I believe I’m done with raw food, I come up with an amazing recipe!

Tonight, I came up with a delicious and simple tomato bisque recipe. I love soups, specially for dinner on a cold night.

Here is what I used (makes enough soup for 2 people):

4 Skinny carrots
1 Medium red tomato
1/2 Medium red pepper
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup pine nuts (optional to make it creamy)
2 Celery stalks (cut is smaller pieces for easier blending)
1/2 cup sun dried tomato flakes (you can also use whole sun dried tomatoes)
1 Tbs miso paste
2 Tbs coconut oil
1 Tbs Italian seasoning
1 tea spoon garlic powder
Pinch of organic cumin seed powder (optional)
Sesame oil, flax seed oil, and salt to taste
1/2 cup Water

I like to put the nuts in the blender first for any recipe but you can just drop all the ingredients in your blender and blend.

Since tonight was a cold night, I wanted my soup a little warm. My vitamix is able to warm up my soup without cooking it.

You can add any herbs like cilantro, parsley, or dill to decorate when serving.

It was so good that I decided to share the recipe immediately. Enjoy!

Happy Thanksgiving & Happy Raw Anniversary!

25 November

Thanksgiving Lunch Nov. 2010

Today Denis and I celebrated Thanksgiving and our 3 year anniversary of being 100% raw vegans.  I didn’t want to put a big production as I usually do every year so we kept it to just the two of us today.

Last week, I got asked: “What are you guys doing for Thanksgiving?” and it’s been so overwhelming for us in the last month that I realized I was not planning ahead for this weekend. I answered back: “I’m just trying to get thru today!” Which was true! I’ve been so busy with my school and work and life that I’ve been just taking it one day at the time.

Oh and no, I’m still not ready to share what I’m going to school for… in case you were hoping I spilled the beans here 🙂 .

So I woke up this morning and I asked Denis what he wanted to eat. His response was: “Nori rolls!”  I smiled and got my phone to show him pictures of last year’s Thanksgiving food and even what I made for Christmas last year to see if it would inspire him to ask for something other than nori rolls. But he still wanted nori rolls and instead he said: “If you feel inspired to make something, go ahead.” And I did.

After all, I was grateful that I didn’t have to stress about having people over, clean the house, and roll out the “big carpet” as I always do for my guests. I LOVE having people over, but with all the weekends I’ve had to give up, I haven’t been able to rest. So these four days were strictly for me and Denis to rest, spend time alone, and beach! And that’s what we did!

Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Three Year Anniversary to Denis and I! Here is what I wind up “putting together” for today’s holiday:

Avocado Steaks with Sun-dried tomato gravy, cranberry sauce,  stuffing, and salad with hearts of palm and olives on the side and pumpkin pie for dessert.

Raw Thanksgiving Dinner in Islamorada, Nov. 2007

Best Gazpacho Ever

17 October

Last Full Moon, I made the best gazpacho soup ever! We fast every Full Moon and this is one of my favorite soups to make at the end of the fast since it’s liquid but has some “chunks” of veggies that are easy to eat to break the fast.

These are the ingredients needed:
4 Heirloom tomatoes (soft ones, medium size)
2 Stalks of celery
1 Clove of garlic
1/4 of a medium sweet onion
Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
1 Date (soaked for 10 to 15 minutes)
Cilantro and basil to taste
Salt and olive oil to taste
1/2 medium avocado cut in cubes

In the food processor, add 2 of the tomatoes, celery, garlic onion, lime/lemon juice, date, cilantro, basil, and salt. Pulse as many times as needed to make chunks that will be added to the base. Take everything out of the food processor into a bowl and set aside.

Take the remaining tomatoes and put them in the food processor or blender, add salt and make into the base of the soup. You can also add water if desired. I prefer mine with no water.

Pour the tomato juice into the bowl with the chunks, add olive oil, and mix with a spoon.

To make it spicy, you can add a chilli pepper or any hot pepper you can handle and blend with the base. Another option is to add cayenne pepper powder on each bowl.

Add the avocado cubes to each soup bowl and serve! It’s simple and delicious!

What Kind of Issues Can a Juice Fast bring?

30 August

Denis and I had wanted to do a green juice fast for the longest time. We do a monthly liquid fast during the full moon and it feels great. So we wanted to know what it was like to just do a green juice fast. We decided this full moon was good time to do it and planned to get all our juices from Josh’s Organic Garden.
We started on Monday and finished it on Saturday. Initially we wanted to do seven days, but I had the feeling I wouldn’t last more than two days. I thought for sure by Tuesday I would quit and go back to eating. Sure enough by day two I was ready to quit, but decided to stick with it because a lot of emotions were surfacing and I wanted to see what else would come up.
Instead of describing how each day went, I wanted to share some insights I had during my fast, not about how my body responded or all the benefits I enjoyed, but the emotions I had to deal with during the green juice fast. We followed Dr. Young’s pH Miracle Cleanse in case you’re wondering.

Empty Refrigerator

Since we decided to get all the juices already made at the Josh’s Juice bar, we didn’t shop and our refrigerator was empty. I hid the truffles we had purchased during our trip to Naples and any other “goodies” I would cheat with.
Seeing the refrigerator with no greens, no food made me sad. I felt like I had nothing in life. Empty. Without a home, without love, without money. I felt like my world was ending because my refrigerator was empty. I immediately told Denis about this and he hugged me and laughed. So I started laughing too. This happened the second day of the fast and it was the reason I decided to keep going.
I don’t know exactly how my brain/mind believes that food equal the meaning of life (apparently). All I can say is that it may go back all the way to childhood but I’m not sure yet.

Not Having to Make Food

The second thing that surfaced in my mind was this. I had extra time in my hands by not having to prepare food and not going to yoga class so I was able to take time for blogging. While I was working on my blog, I kept thinking: “Oh I have to go make food, I better stop typing” and then I would remember: Oh I’m fasting no need to make food. Ten minutes later I would start panicking cause I hadn’t make food yet and it was getting late, but then I would remember I’m fasting, no need to make food. And that continue the whole night.
One of the first reasons I got sold on the “Raw” idea was cause it took less time to prepare food. I’m constantly looking to cut things out so that I can have more time to do other things. And I always feel stressed out about making food. Once this issue came right in front of me, I realized that I think making food is all I do and live for. To feed people. I don’t know exactly how to handle this information, but it was very interesting to find that deep inside I feel food is my ONLY job and purpose in life.

Variety of Food

I’ve always known this about me: I get bored with the same thing over and over. And that’s just not food. Everything. Well except for my partner in life (9 years and still not bored one bit!)… Anyways, so going into the fast I knew that having the same juice everyday wasn’t going to work for me and would probably quit by day two. But this time was worse than ever. I didn’t want to see the green juice even as hungry as I would get, I didn’t want it. Instead I wanted to keep drinking water but not the green juice. I believe one of the reasons why I’m creative in the kitchen is because I have to have variety. Even my lunch salad is different everyday.

Sticking with the green juice fast help me see that my issue with food variety is deeper than I imagined.

Dreams about Food

Going in I had the feeling I would be dreaming about food every night and eating all sorts of junk in my dreams. I actually thought that in the dreams I would want to stop my raw diet. But I was wrong.  One night I had a dream about a carnival, possibly Renaissance fest, where I had to drop off something for work. I walked through the food to where I was going, but no I didn’t stop for any food even thought I was offered a donut. That was one of the two dreams about food I had.

During the fast, I wasn’t even attracted to junk food. I didn’t even for a minute think I would run and start eating a SAD diet again, even a vegan junk cooked diet for that matter. But I did want and was tempted to eat the sun dried olives in my refrigerator, my avocados and some oil. So all doubts that I had about ever “cheating” or going back to a cooked vegan diet are no longer there. I now know that I love my raw food, even under stressful circumstances, I only want raw food.

In conclusion, and now a day after we broke the fast, I’ve got work to do with all this information I collected during this fast. I do have to say that compared to the first fast I ever did (6 years ago, water fast for three days while I was still on a vegetarian SAD diet), I did excellent. But compared to my monthly liquid fast, I did not do well at all. I complained the whole time and didn’t want to drink my juice.

Physically my body felt great, happy, healthy and grateful. I’m going to try it again, possibly the next full moon or the one after. Not having any fruits this week was amazing for my body and it let me know so.

So what’s next? Meditate on all these issues that came up.

30 Coconuts a Week

27 August

About 4 weeks ago, Denis bought 30 coconuts and we had a feast! From drinking the water to making creams, salad dressings, smoothies, soups, etc. The following week he bought 20 coconuts, and the week after that 15 coconuts.

By the end of the third week I couldn’t come up with any more coconut dishes, and Denis had made coconut cream and stored it in the refrigerator. I didn’t want to waste it, and I needed breakfast but was tired of coconut smoothies, so I made cereal!

I soaked some nuts, seeds, goji berries, and raisins in water overnight. The next morning I mixed in the coconut cream with cinnamon powder, maca, mesquite, salt, and palm sugar to taste.

I took it to work and when I got to the office all the flavors had come together rather nicely. So that night I soaked the nuts, seeds, etc but only for a short time. After I rinsed everything, I mixed them in the coconut cream with the same powders, etc and stored overnight in the refrigerator. The next morning I had an amazing breakfast! The flavors of all the nuts, seeds, dried fruit and powders had blended and made an amazing cereal!

The coconut cream was made by blending the coconut meat and water from a young fresh local coconut. You can add extra water or more coconut butter to make as smooth as desired. The water from young coconuts is very energizing and mildly alkaline.

Enjoy!