Tag Archives: organic local vegetables

5 Kale Salad Dressings

25 August

I don’t know about you guys, but I love eating greens. However when it comes to kale, it’s a little bit difficult to just pop in my mouth and chew it without anything on it.
One Sunday, I was being lazy and enjoying my day at the beach when I got a call that there was no green left at Josh’s market.
So Denis and I ran to the market but it was true, no lettuce was left! There was only two buckets of kale left. So I packed almost all the kale left and bought it. When I got home, I made a nice kale salad but I remembered it was always hard for me to eat it without anything. So I came up with a nice dressing for it. The next day I had the same issue, so I whipped up another dressing!

I came up with actually 5 kale salad dressings that I thought I MUST shared with the world. Spicy Sun Dried Tomato Tahini, Avocado Tahini, Ginger Miso, Sunflower Dill, and Almond Butter Coconut. They all have pretty much the same ingredients and are made the same way.

Spicy Sun Dried Tomato Tahini

5-6 sun dried tomatoes (soak for 10 to 15 minutes)
1 TBS Raw Organic Tahini (you can also switch for raw almond butter instead)
1 Red Chillie Pepper or any spicy pepper to taste
1/2 Tsp organic or natural Mexican seasoning
Salt, garlic, and olive Oil to taste

Mix in personal blender until smooth adding water if needed. Pour over kale salad and add chopped cilantro.

Avocado Tahini

1/2 ripe organic avocado
1 Tbs of Raw Organic Tahani
the juice of 1/2 grapefruit
1 Handful of cilantro
Olive Oil and salt to taste

Put all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.  Pour over Kale salad and sprinkle some black and white sesame seeds.

Ginger Miso

1 inch (cube) fresh ginger peeled
1 Tbs unpasteurized miso (I prefer brown or red)
1/2 carrot
1 Tbs raw tahini or raw almond butter
1 Date
Salt and Olive Oil to taste
(you can also add chillie peppers to make it spicy)

Put in blender and mix until smooth. If needed, add water to blend. Pour over kale and mix well.

Sunflower Dill

1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup dill loosely fit or to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
the juice of 1/2 grapefruit (or lemon)
1/2 Tbs raw organic tahini
Salt and organic cumin seed powder to taste

Mix in blender until smooth. Add more grapefruit juice if needed. Pour over kale salad and massage. Sprinkle sunflower seeds and any other seasonings.

Almond Butter Coconut

1/4 cup raw almond butter
2 teaspoon namashoyu
1 Date
1 Tbs fresh lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup raw coconut milk
1/2 chillie pepper or spicy pepper of choice
Garlic, Salt, Olive Oil, and Curry powder to taste

Mix in blender or personal blender. Add water for desired consistency and pour over kale salad. Mix red cabbage with kale for a “Pad Thai” feel. I use this recipe for my kelp noodles to make raw Pad Thai.

ENJOY!

5 Tips to Green Your Kitchen

09 August

Following with my Green Series, here are some tips to start transitioning to an environmental friendly kitchen.

Cleaners & Paper

As I mentioned in my post about green tips for your bathroom, I recommend using more natural cleaners. I make my own cleaning spray using vinegar, water, and soap.  I also use baking soda and vinegar to clean my kitchen sink or my vitamix after many green smoothies which usually leave a “yellowish” coat on my vitamix.  I avoid using paper towels to clean; instead I have a nice supply of organic cotton kitchen towels that I purchased at Target for a reasonable price. I don’t purchase paper napkins either, instead I use the small kitchen towel or cloth napkins when I have guests over. I love using cloth/cotton towels because they are reusable and very inexpensive in the long run.

Compost/Trash

Compost Bucket

One of my favorite things I do everyday is saving my kitchen scraps for my compost. Not only I avoid creating more trash, but also I use vegetable scraps for my compost which eventually go to my edible garden. In fact, since we started composting, our weekly trash is about a 3 gallon bag! Mainly the trash I have left over is the corn cups I get from Josh’s Organic Garden from my daily juice because most of the rest is recycle paper or some (very minimal) plastic containers. This is one of the biggest advantages of being a raw foodist, there is very little trash if you compost.

However, if you are still eating microwavable food and take out, please look for recycle containers and avoid using new plastic containers when you order food. Bring your own containers so that you can avoid making more trash. For more information on composting, there is tons of sites that are very easy to use.  Also, for trash bags, I recommend bags made of corn that will biodegrade instead of your regular plastic bags that will outlive humanity.

Food

Yes, food is a way to green your kitchen! Buy organic food and hopefully from local growers. Buy more vegetables and fruits instead of pre-packaged foods that create trash and are not healthy for you. See it all leads to being healthy… yeah you catch my drift now. I write a lot about this, so here are some posts on food and environment.

Also, start buying organic herbs and seasonings, star transitioning everything in your pantry to healthier organic foods. For example, if you eat tons of pepper, next time you run out, purchase an organic pepper (most likely) in a reusable container that you can later refill. You don’t have to invest tons of money all at once on switching to healthier foods if you start slowly as they run out.

Energy & Kitchen Appliances

Using the same principle in replacing your food, start replacing your appliances to energy saving ones or better yet, get rid of them. Starting with the microwave! Are you still using it? I mean really? Get rid of it instead of replacing it, and if you still need something to heat up snacks and food, get a small toaster oven. In addition, consider using your regular oven less times a week or use it more efficiently; for example, prepare 3 or more meals that you can save for later days all at once.

Change the settings in your refrigerator to a lower temperature. Most times they are set too high when you don’t use most of the space.  Unplug your appliances when not using them everyday. I have two surge protectors where all my appliances are plugged and before I leave for work, I turn the surge protectors off that way I don’t have to unplug each appliance. Avoid using the dishwasher if you have one, and please don’t tell me you do cause I’ll cry!

One of the biggest (my top 5) advantages of being a raw foodist is that our energy bill decreased immensely since we stopped using our stove, and now in our new apartment, we don’t even have a stove!

Utensils & Kitchen Containers

Organic Fruits & Bamboo Bowl

Avoid buying plastic; please really, I mean it! Plastic is the worst thing ever!  It’s made of oil and can’t be recycled most of the times. So no more Glad, instead buy glass and bamboo for your utensils. Again, you don’t have to give away all 100 Tupperware pieces you have (that don’t even match anymore) all at once, but as things get lost (and wind up in the ocean), replace them for more environmental friendly choices like glass and bamboo. Unless you really want to get rid of it all after reading this very inspiring post, but please don’t throw it away (there is really no throwing away, it means burying in and hoping it will decompose after 200 years), so donate it to a poor college student, goodwill, or a relative. You can post it in FreeCycle.org and someone will take it.

Ok so those are more than 5 tips for sure, but hopefully one will stay with you today and forever! If you have other “Green Kitchen” tips, please share them with us.

Green Series

22 June

When I started this blog, I decided I didn’t want to rant and be negative. However, lately I’ve been feeling absolutely fed up about people not awakening to what is happening and taking action. I know that part of my frustration is because I don’t want to “convert” people and preach, so I stay quiet and don’t express how much other people hurt me by not participating in conserving resources or protecting the environment.  So in this blog I’m actually going to complain and rant about this situation, and then offer my suggestions as to what people should be doing to contribute to the planet.  Specially raw vegans and people with children!

Warning: If this is the first blog you are reading in my site, please stop now and read everything else cause in this one I have nothing positive to say!… well maybe at the end.

Raw Vegans

Ok, so first let me start by complaining about the people who are raw vegans, and I’m referring specifically to the ones that don’t recycle, don’t re-use, don’t compost, don’t drive fuel efficient cars, and don’t simply care. I go to a farmer’s market on Saturdays and noticed that they don’t recycle at the market. So EVERYTHING becomes trash! Everyone that eats there, uses the plastic containers and utensils provided that later wind up in the trash. Every juice at the market is bottled in plastic as well, which winds up in the trash. I’ve been observing the customers of the market, and they don’t even care, and since I live in my own little “green” world, where everyone recycles and reuses, and doesn’t waste, I didn’t realize how much trash they wind up with at the end of the day.

I brought back all my glass containers for them to reuse and another customer asked me why I did that. My answer is: if they can reuse it and don’t have to purchase more glass containers, they may be able to reduce the price of the butters, olives, etc that are packaged in these glass containers. He was looking at me like I had giving him the best news of his life.

When I sit at the market to eat my food, for which I bring my own containers, utensils, and reusable towels for, I see people drinking juice after juice and throwing away the plastic bottles. Then these same people eat their food and throw away the utensils. Then, they order a dessert or ice cream and take a BRAND NEW PLASTIC utensil which they then throw away again! Oh and if they have another ice cream, then they get a brand new spoon and repeat!

What’s the point in being a raw vegan (of any flavor) if you still an aware ridiculous person that doesn’t care for the environment? This is why I say that food is not all that matters!

Parents

So now for the people with kids! One of the reasons why I choose not to have kids is because there is not much to leave them. Water is going to run out in a few years, if we are lucky maybe two decades. And that’s just one very important resource that I’m using as an example. So why have kids? So that they can suffer for my peers’ and my ancestors’ mistakes and laziness and greed? No thank you!

But if I was a parent, I would certainly be doing EVERYTHING in my power to leave something of substance to my children. And I don’t mean a car, a house, a trust fund; I mean clean water, clean air, stable fauna and flora, a world to live in.

How is it possible to bring a person into this world and be so unconscious and irresponsible? Driving an SUV, living in big house that waste resources, eating shitty food and feeding kids that same shitty food, not being conscious of the impact of every action. Every piece of trash, napkin, paper towel, diaper, toy, clothes, hamburgers, soda, designer coffee, bottle of water you use and consume came from somewhere possibly a natural resource, an animal, or an underpaid person/child in China or Bangladesh.  How will you explain that to your children?

Now that I’ve complained enough and probably got many people (and possibly friends) pissed off, I’m starting a “Green” series of blog posts that can help all of you zombies out there to contribute in your daily actions little by little to wake up and smell the trash you are making. So I’ll post them as I write.

This is How YOU Make Me Feel

Your actions hurt me and the world.  I cry when….

I see you grab paper towels, paper napkins, printer paper, anything paper and forget that was once a tree.

I hear you letting water run and be wasted.

I see you throwing away a recycle or reusable plastic/glass bottle.

I see you uses plastic bag for your shopping and then throwing them away in the trash.

I see you purchase a brand new plastic tupperware instead of reusing containers from other foods.

I see you feed yourself and your children garbage.

I see you contribute to companies that abuse children and workers.

I see you feel up your stupid useless hummer, your porsche cayenne, or your vw toureg‘s gas tank.

I see you water your useless lawn instead of planting food.

I see you vote for people like Sara Palin that kill animals for fun.

If you care about me, your children, your family, and your friends, please take a moment to think about how you can change one thing in your life TODAY and contribute to save resources.

Blessings,

Lina

Raw

24 May

Raw Vegan - Rebel with a Cause

“What is a raw vegan?” I get asked sometimes or why I choose to eat a raw vegan diet. So in this post I’m going to describe in my own terms what I consider my diet is.  First, I choose to do vegan diet first and foremost, before organic or before raw, I’m a VEGAN. That means no animal byproducts such as honey, eggs, cheese, etc. Raw means that I choose to eat all vegan foods uncooked or unheated.

Some people wonder what is left to eat if I don’t eat animals. Well, any vegetables, grains, fruits, nuts, seeds, sprouts and to eat them raw means no steaming, stir frying, boiling, roasting, or heating above 105 degrees.  While most people get to a supermarket and head for the frozen section, I head over to the produce and the bulk grains and nuts.

I was a vegan for about a year before I transition to 100% raw, but before I even knew what raw was, I was already eating about 70% raw for years. I started the raw vegan lifestyle inspired by a documentary by Kris Carr, Crazy Sexy Cancer, and haven’t turn to look back since then!

There are many types of raw diets, and what works best for me is a raw alkalarien diet. I use Dr. Robert Young’s pH scale and principles to do a raw alkalarian diet. He basically states that to stay balance and not create an acidic environment in one’s body, one must balance the pH in the body by consuming more alkaline foods and practicing more alkalarian ways of living. Denis and I learned about Dr. Young’s pH diet 7 years ago and before transitioning to raw, we had already been following the pH diet which made it very easy to transition to raw.

As I mentioned, I chose to eat a raw vegan diet for health reasons. However, I now see that this lifestyle fits my beliefs. For example, being raw helps the environment which as you all know I’ve been passionate for many years. I can write a whole new post about the different ways being raw contributes to the environment. It  has also helped me improve my spiritual practice and sculpting my body.

A raw vegan diet is not for everyone and it’s not the solution to one’s issues. As always, when making any changes in my lifestyle, I made sure I monitor my health by visiting my doctors and ensure that the changes I made were beneficial to my body and mind.

In part two of this blog, I will answer the most common questions I get asked about my raw vegan lifestyle. But the most important point I would like to get across in this blog is that everyone is different and while this lifestyle works for me, it may not work for other people at this point in their lives. That’s why is critical to do research and consult a doctor before making any changes.

Here are some tips on how to transition to a vegan diet. Enjoy!

Quinoa Tabouli & Raw Chickpea Hummus

15 April

I had typed this entire blog post and lost it with a click of a key! You’d have thought WordPress could have save it but now it didn’t. So my poor mouse took a hit… It was either the mouse or the laptop.

So here I am trying to make things better with the mouse, thank the gods, goddess, universe, God, and Ganesh, it survived! And now I’m starting from scratch.

I had some funny story about mediterrenean food, but who remembers! So here is the darn recipe for tabouli and raw chickpea hummus.

Tabouli

1 cup of quinoa to sprout

1 red pepper chopped

1 green pepper chopped

1 medium onion chopped (green or red is good)

1 tomato chopped

1 Tbs. of raw tahini

1 handful curly parsley

Olive oil, unpasteurized sesame oil, salt, cilantro, lemon juice to taste

Sprout the quinoa for two days or as long as you prefer them. Rinse and drain then place in a mixing bowl. Add the vegetables, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, tahini, parsley, and cilantro. Mix well and serve with hummus and cut vegetables.

Raw Chickpea Hummus

2 cups of sprouted chickpeas

2 Tbs. raw Tahini

2 cloves of garlic

1 handful of flat parsley

1/4 cup of olive oil

1/2 lemon’s juice

1/2 Tbs. Organic Cumin Seed powder

Salt to taste

Cayenne pepper and one olive to garnish

Rinse the sprouted chickpeas and put in food processor. Add all the other ingredients and mix until smooth.

Put in a bowl, add some olive oil on top, sprinkle some cayenne pepper, and add an olive.

Oh! and now that I’m finally in a good mood, enjoy!

No animals or husbands were harmed during the retyping of this post… Well I’m sure Denis would say different! 🙂

Saturday Morning Green Delight

31 January
Saturday Morning Juice & Ganesh

Saturday Morning Juice & Ganesh

One Saturday morning I woke up waiting a green juice. So I took everything green out of the refrigerator and juice it. I usually don’t juice greens because I get a fantastic green juice at Josh’s Organic Garden called the “Thank God” five days a week. Not only does Josh have the best greens ever, but also their juicing method is out of the world.

So I have gotten used to drinking green juices five days a week and Saturdays they are not open. I washed all my greens and juiced them including two apples because my juicer is not as great as the one at the Juice Bar. And now it has become a tradition to wake up Saturday mornings and juice the greens.

Here is what I juice:

3 types of Kale (dinosaur, red, and green)

3 types of chard (red, yellow, and white)

Florida Romaine lettuce

Dandelion, Spinach, Collard Greens

Celery, Carrots, Cucumber

2 apples (optional)

I juice everything and put it in a jar, mix in about 2/3 of water, and some pH drops. I save half of that for my sweetie and he adds a lime/lemon to his juice, and I add the two juiced apples to mine.

And that’s our Saturday morning delight!

Thank God at Josh's Organic Garden

Thank God at Josh's Organic Garden

Pickled Onions

30 December

Picled Onions

Pickled Onions

When I was growing up, my grandfather used to make these pickled onions once a year. He would make about 1 two-gallon-size jar of these and share with the entire family. He would peel every little onion, wash them, and fill up the jar. These onions would be served with steak and other dishes.

I now eat them with salads and any other raw dish we make for lunch or dinner. I have shared them with friends and even made a few jars to give as gifts for the holidays.

Here is what you’ll need to make these pickled onions:

1 glass jar or Mason jar with cover

Small red, yellow, and white onions (enough to fill up the jar)

1 small beet per jar cut in small cubes

2 garlic cloves chopped

2 Tbs. chopped cilantro

1 small jalapeño pepper or any other hot pepper sliced

Water (enough to cover onions in the jar)

Real salt (1 Tbs. per 1 cup of water)

Peel onions and wash them. Put the garlic, hot pepper, a few of the beet cubes, and half of the cilantro at the bottom of the jar and add one tbs. of Real Salt. Fill the jar half way with the onions and add the rest of the beets, garlic and cilantro. Add the rest of the onions until the jar is full. Add one cup of water and if the onions are not covered, continue to add more water one cup at the time. Add one Tbs. of salt per each cup of water added after the first.

Cover the jar and let is sit at room temperature for four days. Each night open the jar and let the gases out. Replenish the water and salt if necessary. I put a pan under the jar in case that water comes out which happens often and that way I won’t have to clean a mess.

After the four days, put the onions in the refrigerator and use in salads, dishes, etc.

Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Raw Borsch – Beet Soup

05 December
Russian Raw Borsch

Russian Raw Borsch

One of my favorite cooked dishes was Russian borsch. It was my favorite soup to make for Denis and when we became vegetarians I stopped using beef to make it. However, when we became raw, I had a hard time finding a recipe for borsch that I liked. Finally, I invented my own and liked how it came out.  The almond milk gives it a “sour cream” feeling to it.  I have actually made this soup with golden beets as well.  So I hope you enjoy it as well!

1/2 cup of raw almonds & water (or 1 cup of raw almond milk)
1 medium size tomato
2 medium size beet
2 carrots
3/4 cup shredded cabbage
Garlic and onion to taste
Salt to taste
Olive Oil
Chopped dill

Blend the almonds and water to make almond milk. Strain the milk in a nut bag or if you want to keep the pulp, don’t strain. Poor the milk back into the blender and add one beet, one carrot, and the tomato. Add some salt, garlic, onion, and olive oil and blend until smooth. Put aside in a bowl.

Shred the other carrot and beet and add to the soup base.  I use my food processor with a shredding blade to save time. Add cabbage and dill.

Pour in serving bowls and add some olive oil on the top.

Serves two hungry adults 🙂

Making the Almond Milk/Base for Borsch

Making the Almond Milk/Base for Borsch

How the Breakfast Smoothie became the Morning Soup

23 August
Morning Raw Green Soup

Morning Raw Green Soup

Once upon a time there was the green raw breakfast smoothie. Two handfuls of any greens found in my refrigerator (kale, dandelions, chard, collards, lettuce, and spinach) with two fruits (usually banana or mango) and half avocado. We loved our green smoothie for the morning and enjoyed its creamy refreshing nature that woke us up and gave us energy to start a hard day at the office.

But one day, the mango season ended! And the hand-picked bananas we used to get from our friend Tim Tye stop coming. We were left without fresh local fruit! And breakfast was never the same!

One day, I woke and looked at the refrigerator… so full of greens and no fruit. All of the sudden, I saw hidden behind some raw food leftovers, a beautiful heirloom tomato and fresh cucumbers I had bought at Josh’s Organic Garden. And that’s when it hit me!

“Who said breakfast had to be sweet!” I said aloud and reached for the tomato and cucumbers.

I put my two handfuls of greens in my Vitamix, heirloom tomato, cut cucumbers, half avocado, olive oil, and a dash of salt.

My husband woke up to the noise of the Vitamix and ran to the kitchen. “What are you making?” he said.

I opened the Vitamix and pour it in a bowl and said “Who said breakfast had to be sweet?”

He put on his glasses and tasted the green liquid I had pour in his bowl and said “hmmm nice!”

And that’s how the green morning soup was born!

What is the Difference between Conventional and Local Organic Vegetables?

04 July

Organic Fruits

Even though it is still surprising to me and most of my friends why people still need an explanation of why local organic food is better and a healthier choice, I wanted to explain my thoughts on this subject… why I choose to go with local organic foods.

As an environmentalist vegan raw foodist, it is pretty obvious to most of why I choose organic vegetables. However, I always think that even if I didn’t classify myself in those categories, vegan, raw foodist, environmentalist, I would choose organic vegetables for the following reasons. Organic grown vegetables don’t contain chemicals, have higher amount of nutrients as supposed to conventional, and are great for the environment.

Not Food, Chemicals!

Conventional farming uses soil that has been extracted of natural minerals and fertilized with chemicals. They are also sprayed with pesticides and herbicides. Pesticides are chemical compounds used to control insects and other organisms that may reduce agricultural productivity; most are toxic and are sprayed on our food! Herbicides are chemicals that kill weeds and plants. Conventional vegetables have to be washed with soaps and special cleaning liquids to remove residues of the pesticides sprayed on them. What is the point of eating anything if you are not getting anything good out of it? Have you ever wondered why all the tomatoes in the conventional isle of your local supermarket look the same? Like clones of each other? Well most crops are genetically engineered to grow faster, cheaper, and last longer. They have spent at least 2 weeks in the back of a truck from the moment they were picked from the farm and arrived to a distribution center where they will be dispatched to a supermarket. Most conventional vegetables are tasteless, not ripe, and go bad very quickly. Yes they are cheaper… in the short term, in the long run, you wind up paying more because they go bad sooner and they wind up in your garbage as if you were throwing money away.  Local organic vegetables last longer because they are fresh and given to you right from the farmer’s hand.

Nutrient Deficient

It is also known that most nutrients are missing in conventional vegetables, therefore causing one to get hungry faster and not prevent sickness because of missing antioxidants. When unripe vegetables are picked and packed to be transported, their growth stops. They can no longer absorb nutrients from soil even though the soil is filled with chemicals as I mentioned earlier. Nutrients are important because frankly if I would waste time and money eating something that is not giving me my ROI, I rather not eat and live on supplements! Yes taste is important too and therefore if you have ever compared organic strawberries and conventional ones, you know that organic strawberries are super tasty! Nothing compares to a wonderful organic cucumber from the farmer’s hand.

Save the Planet One Carrot at the Time!

So why do organic vegetables help the environment and conventional vegetables do not? By reducing the consumption of conventional vegetable and food, the pesticide and herbicide production decreases as well. In addition, most conventional food travels about 1,500 miles to get to a distribution center; this means a truck in using that much gas to get pesticide unripe food to your refrigerator. It also requires packing which most times is not recyclable or compostable and therefore adding to more garbage in landfills that will take more than a lifetime to decompose. Local farmers do not use packaging and most times don’t transport the vegetables to sell them. Organic farming does not use pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified seeds. The fertilizer used in organic farming is most times produced by the farmer from compost or bought from other organic farmers.

I have more reasons why local organic food is the best. It supports local farmers, and therefore supports local economies, not to mention that you know where you food came from and didn’t spend weeks in the back of a refrigerated truck. Of course, if you don’t have a local farmer’s market, the organic food at your local supermarket is probably as good as conventional minus the pesticides.

I have chosen these three reasons because they are the most common for everyone to make the choice to turn to local organic food, no pesticides and chemicals, more nutrients, and environmentally friendly production. In general I can understand why people still buy conventional food. Organic vegetables are more expensive and one has to find the right place to buy them. I consider it an investment in my health, less time at doctors and less money on pills and medicines. However, each person has to decide what is better for them. I do hope that with these words, people reading my site can get a general idea of why I chose organic over conventional.

Vote with your money!

Additional Reading and References

The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World by John Robbins

Healthy at 100: The Scientifically Proven Secrets of the World’s Healthiest and Longest-Lived Peoples by John Robbins

The Newman’s Own Organics Guide to a Good Life: Simple Measures That benefit You and the Place You Live by Nell Newman

Wake Up and Smell the Planet: The Non-Pompous, Non-Preachy Grist Guide to Greening Your Day by Grist Magazine

Living Green: A Practical Guide to Simple Sustainability by Greg Horn

Skinny Bitch by Rory Freedman