Friday, 31 July 2009

Simple salads

My mum is famous for her carrot salad, finely grated using the right blade in the food processor, with a jar-shaken mayonaise and olive-oil dressing. (One day I will try and re-create a raw vegan version of this dressing.) Last night she used beetroot and a little bit of corriander. I tried adding arame seaweed and it looked like this

To go with it, I made a new, really filling green salad with romaine lettuce and sprouted sunflower seeds. For the dressing, I used 1/2 an avocado, 1 tsp almond butter, the water and seeds from the inside of 1 tomato, and a bit of hemp oil, all thoroughly mixed with one of those mini egg beater things.

It was very rich, but I thought it was good and I ended up with a pretty good looking supper.

Home-grown vegetables

We have got more veg from friends. Look at the size of these onions, carrots and beetroot.

My parents saw them being pulled from the ground, a sight I have yet to see. It is weird that we don't know where our food comes from, meat or vegetables. Cutting the greens off and washing all the mud off them though makes a packet of organic carrots from the supermarket seem like a ready meal! But it is so worth the effort. And you get to juice the carrot and beetroot tops.
And how cool do these tomatoes look

Finally one of my courgettes has grown to a good size!

Apple Crumble

I am so excited. I made a *raw* apple crumble. Made it up all by myself. It was awesome. Remind me why cooking exists again??

I used soaked raw oat groats, sprouted sunflower seeds, buckwheat and agave for the topping, and apples, lemon juice, cinnamon, raisins and agave for the bottom.

I have put a picture on of the apple before I put all the topping on so you can see. Looks and smells exactly like the cooked version. I served this one chilled as I made it yesterday. The texture and mouth-feel of the apple was good but the top was a bit too crunchy as I left it in the dehydrator too long. I have ideas for how to make it more gooey, and serve it warm too. Tomorrow night will experiment with a custard sauce to go with the (small) bit I managed to save.

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Avocado and Wakame Salad

I ate a version of this for lunch every single day when I started going raw last summer, and continued with it into winter, until I fell off the wagon a bit in about November when I was in hospital with a water infection. However, the habit of green salad was ingrained by this point and I always come back to it. I used to just put all my new found raw superfoods on there - spirulina, maca, purple corn, hemp seed, flax seed - everything. Now I prefer it a bit simpler.

1/3 head of romaine lettuce, cut into medium sized pieces.
4 strips of wakame seaweed, soaked for 15-20 minutes and roughly sliced.
3 inches of cucumber, sliced not too thickly and cubed.
1/2 an avocado, cubed
sprinkle of purple corn
sprinkle of hemp seeds

For the dressing, you could use hemp-miso-lemon-agave dressing. If you use this you might want to leave out the avocado. Or for a lighter option use olive oil and apple cider vinegar. Lighter still use just vinegar or lemon juice.

Raw Dahl (2)

Dahl is fast becoming one of my favourite recipes. It is so easy to make and tastes amazing with broccoli, celery and tomato. I'm not a huge fan of raw broccoli but dip it in this and it is de-lish.

I made an adaptation of Kate Magic's version a few months ago and have made it many times since. I can throw estimated quantities of the ingredients below into the blender and it always comes out great. The new version contains green lentils which are softer than puy lentils, it does not contain sesame seeds, and there are a few substitutions of oil and seasoning.

250g sprouted green lentils
1 small white onion
2 tbsp hemp oil
1 tbsp tamari (or Bragg's liquid aminos if you don't want fermented food)
1/2 tsp cumin
juice of half a lemon
garlic optional - the idea is that the kick comes from the onion.

Blend all ingredients in the blender. Add water just until it moves easily, but no more. You want a medium consistency. Don't over-blend. Add more Bragg's/lemon juice to taste.

Alkalizing Daily Menu Plan

Here is an example alkalising menu plan, using recipes already on my blog.

First thing: Green Juice with cucumber, celery, alfalfa, spinach/kale, lemon juice

Breakfast: The Best Savoury Breakfast Ever

Lunch: Mung Bean Salad

Dinner: Tomato and Coconut curry with extra spinach, courgette/mange tout/cauliflower.

Drink lots of water with lemon in between meals.

These are all my favourite recipes at the moment because they are alkalizing, very easy to make, delicious, filling and contain loads of sprouts. I am really happy if I manage to make this my menu for the day (and try not to feel too guilty if I sneak half a banana in my breakfast!)

The Best Savoury Breakfast Ever

This recipe is inspired by the The pH Miracle, as an attempt to not always have a sweet breakfast. At the moment I think it is the best thing ever!! Really filling without weighing you down.

sprouted buckwheat
rolled oats, soaked for twenty minutes, drained and rinsed
sunflower seeds, sprouted or at least soaked overnight
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 desert spoon of hemp oil
1/2 an avocado

Mix seeds and oats in a bowl so you have what looks like a good amount to you. Don't forget the avocado will bulk it up quite a bit. Oats and avocado are the most filling things so to make it lighter have the least of these. Cut avocado in half and spoon out the flesh of one half straight into the bowl. Roughly chop and mix in with the spoon. Pour over the hemp oil and mix well.

You could add chopped fresh tomato to add something juicy and fruity. Raw coconut chips are also really nice in this.

I usually have a large portion of this about 10.30am after having had a green juice first thing. I usually take it to work with me in a container and everyone always says it looks really nice. That's coz it is!!

Time to re-focus again

I had a tomato juice last week and one at the wedding, with Lee and Perins. It turns out this contains anchovies. Oh dear. And since those potatoes I have been craving more. Jacket potato at work, some of my family's roashed smashed potatoes the other night. Jogging yesterday evening, I felt like I had put on about half a stone. Ate chips from the chip shop last night at 2.30am. And I was sober. Came home with them and discovered (before I ate it this time) that the brand of tomato ketchup in the fridge contains lactose. WHY??!

Today I couldn't be bothered to make green juice, ate loads of raisins, and am developing a tendency to just nibbling on random raw stuff in the fridge, and then thinking I am feeling hungry, and wanting to eat more. Really, I am feeling ILL, not hungry, and am just craving sugar. Looking back, I used to feel exactly the same with cooked food when I did not eat proper meals, but also between cooked meals as well. It is also boredom. Or tiredness.

And it is also discontentedness. I have been feeling a bit unhappy this week. Why do we always eat the food we know we would rather not eat when we are feeling unhappy? Because then you feel worse, and eat more. I am putting a stop to it now. Food has the power to change your mood, and your mood has the power to change your food. I have loads of great recipes ideas which I am spending the day trying out. Will keep you posted.

The Wedding

What can I say, the wedding was perfect in every way! My sister looked beautiful and I am so so happy for her and the groom!!

On the food front, I had brought with me a lovely red cool bag full of my goodies which I snacked on frequently over the three days. As I said, I took the buckwheat bread. Just mashed up avocado and a piece of tomato on one piece folded in half was sooooooo good.

In the hotel the night before the big day, I was going to have artichoke ravioli and was assured it did not contain cheese, but seconds before it was put down in front of me, the restaurant supervisor told me it did contain cheese. She apologised profusely, and made me a salad, which, I reassured her, was perfectly fine by me! It was pretty good with peas and broad beans in it - something I've not eaten since going raw.

Lunch at the wedding was a cooked vegan option of a little stack of roasted veg, tomato sauce and pine nuts, more veg and ... boiled potatoes. It was very enjoyable. I also had a glass of ... white wine ... followed by a glass of ... champagne. Two white wine spritzers later and it was on to the evening buffet. There were loads of vegetable sticks - what more could I have asked for - but no, the spicy potato wedges were too tempting. So were the ... vegetable spring rolls and various dipping sauces for them ... not knowing what was in them, what was I thinking?? By this time I looked, and felt, like I had a basketball in my stomach and found myself in quite a bad mood!

However, I would like to say that I did enjoy being a bit merry and the potatoes were great. A little more thought on speed of consumption and food combination and I would have been fine. And I felt ok the next day too. So there you have it. All in all a fantastic weekend!!

Friday, 24 July 2009

Friends, jogging and sprouts

Since I have not been blogging so much over the last couple of weeks, this has led me to think about what my blog is really about. I have decided it's about recording my raw food journey and whatever I feel about raw food at the time! This can change at any time so really not having 'an agenda' for the blog seems the most natural thing. It's about so many things: getting down thoughts, ideas, noting trends in my raw food habits; it is a way of recording any new recipes, but most of all, whatever the content is, just by writing it is what keeps me positively focussed and feeling good about what I am doing! And that is the most important thing, because it allows me to keep sharing.

I have taken up jogging and spent a lot of time with friends over the last couple of weeks, both of which I have wanted to do for a long time, so I'm really glad it is happening now! I went jogging last night and was really please with how I did!! Am still working my way through 'The pH Miracle' and am managing to mostly stick to it which is good. Still having a green juice every morning - it is part of my routine now. All the above shows that I can make time to do all the things I want, which is really good to know.

I made Russell's buckwheat bread this week which is amazing. Had some sandwiches which made a really nice change! He is dead right about the tactile aspect of it making eating it more enjoyable. I also made some homous last night to put in sandwiches and open topped sandwiches - yum.

I will be taking the rest of the bread away with me this weekend as I'll be away for three days for my sister's wedding so dehydrated provisions always come in handy!

I am eating a lot of sprouts at the moment, including:
Chick peas in homous,

Lentils in dahl - green ones are my fave as they seem so much more creamy somehow.

Mung beans - always have on hand to make a salad with cucumber, celery, tomato, avocado, basil and spring onions or shallots if you have them, olive oil and lemon juice (instant meal!)

Alfalfa sprouts in my juice (am not enjoying them in salads at the mo)

Buckwheat - so versatile mixed with oats, banana, avocado, oats, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut chips, in any combination.

Tomatoes and lemons - these are going in everything!! According to The pH Miracle, these are actually alkalizing to your body, although they are acidic outside of it. I can go along with that!

So I'm eating a lot of the same at the moment and keeping it really quick and simple, giving me time to eat well and do other things. Am loving it because it is also a lot cheaper. So if you are not already, get sprouting!!

Oh one last thing - I finally brought some olive oil which is organic, unfiltered, cold-pressed and extracted soley-by-mechanical-means! (phew!)

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Hello I'm back!

Hello, I'm back, so sorry I haven't done a post for so long!

As it's been a whole week I'll do an e-zine type summary:

Things I've made this week:
Almond milk - my first! Flavoured with cacao and fresh mint. Not too much added and no sweetener - was very refreshing.

Ice cream - I made the mixture last week using almond pulp from the almond milk I made, and added it to Kate Magic's 'Kate's Chocolate Cinnamon Bread' recipe. (I didn't dehydrate it into bread because I realised it probably wasn't a good idea to put it in the dehydrator with savoury tomato flax crackers and curry flavour crackers) so I froze it and made ice cream by pushing the frozen mixture through the juicer. It tasted ok but needed to be more sweet. I added raisins as the cinnamon gave me the idea of a rum and raisin ice cream. So an interesting experiment.

Tahini Dip - using avocado, tahini, onion, lemon juice and the tomato and cucumber pulp from the juicer.

Tomato crackers - which turned out to be good texture for wraps. Soaked flax, tomatoes and onion, blended.

Curry crackers
- Kate Magic's 'Fire Wizard' crackers with curry powder, purple corn and using soaked whole flax seed.

Vegetable juice using any variety of greens I have in. My fave remains that which includes tomato and parsley.

Favourite ingredients at the moment are:
onion - use to give a lift to many savoury things - for example my tomato and coconut curry. I think it tastes way better than to layer curry powder and spices on top of the raw ingredients.
lemon juice - also gives a lift to any savoury dish and any green juice. Getting through about two a day at the moment.

Identify your favourite easy, satisfying recipes which you find yourself making a lot. Make sure you always have their ingredients. Chances are you usually do have them if it's something you make frequently. I have am building up a good collection of easy peasy dishes which are really satisfying, quick to make, and incidently cheap and alkalizing too! Will do a separate post on my favourites soon.
Use pulp from the juicer in dips.

Other things
Jogging! Got some running shoes last Sunday which are brilliant.

Went to farmers' market Friday - they have now got a vacuum packer so I could buy a bigger order this time. I decided to get mostly groats this time. Got some info from another stall about making compost. Will see if I my dad will let me have a composting bin. By the way, he has applied for an allotment!! It's a two year waiting list apparently, but still, I was thrilled! He kept that one quiet!

I also visited Just Organics in Arundel today and stocked up on dried pulses. You can refill your own containers which is great. And they had some raw organic buckwheat which I hadn't seen before. I plan to sprout both oats groats and buckwheat to make some snack bars and possibly a crumble topping ...

The vegetable garden also going well. Can see my first tomatoes!! And am having the chard in morning juice. The courgettes don't seem to be getting very big before they start to shrivel ...

I am more aware now, since reading The pH Miracle, of acidity and alkalinity. Veg juice in the morning sets me up so well for the day, and I have cut down on habitual (acid) sugar intake, mostly at breakfast. However I still have sugar binges, such as fruit salad the other night and a load of raisins tonight! Hmm.

Here are some photos of things from the week:

Tomato wraps in the dehydrator; My first tomatoes; Flower on courgette plant; Mum's fruit salad;

Friday, 10 July 2009

Tomato and coconut curry (2)

Everything was good today. Things at work went well; the day flew by as I was so busy. Visited my Grannie after work and she was so pleased to see me. I really must take her some good food. Will certainly take her some raw chocolate at the weekend. Got home from hers and went jogging again. Ran about the same as last time. It was great listening to my ipod at the same time. I did feel tired when I got home though, but in a calm way which was good. Then I made a new recipe, a variation on my tomato and coconut curry. And I still had time to write on my blog (actually I haven't washed up yet - oh well - this isn't going to spoil the perfection of my day!)

Here is the recipe: it is sweet and creamy and very filling. Try it and see what you think.

For the sauce, blend:
1 avocado
1 desert spoon coconut butter
2 tomatoes
1/4 onion
1 clove garlic

Food process:
handful for spinach
1 deseeded tomato

Mix the two together in a bowl.

Then add:
1 tomato chopped into small pieces
Small handful of spinach roughly chopped
Small handful of mange tout, cut in half

The slight bitterness of the greens really balance the sweetness of the combined tomato and coconut oil.

I think next time I'll use less avocado, a bit more onion and experiment with spices.

Things that have made me feel good today:
- listening to music whilst driving to work
- making my Grannie happy by visiting her
- succeeding at jogging
- creating a new dish (and eating the new dish)
- eating raw chocolate afterwards

I have a really nice notebook I was given as a present once and I have been saving it for something. I recently decided to use it as a book to write down good things - what I like about myself, as recommended by Brian Clement, but also what I have to be grateful for, things I have appreciated and enjoyed that day, and so on. It takes a while to get into but once you get going you end up finding more and more good things you want to write down. I really think with practice it is possible to think this way all the time.

One thing I am appreciating more than anything at the moment is Michael Jackson, music and dancing. Dangerous was the first CD album I ever owned. I am only now fully appreciating how completely gorgeous he was, I was obviously too young to realise this at the time! Listening to my favourite music whilst making raw food is the ultimate feel-good combination for me.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Raw vegan family meal!

I made my parents a Russell James (The Raw Chef) dish tonight. A few things I didn't get quite right, even though I have been to the class and seen the dehydrated broccoli done by the professional himself! Was straightforward to make though which was great. It was really good and the parents said it was delicious. My dad said he thought something like this would make a good side dish with - steak and chips was the example he gave! Great. No to be fair to him he didn't miss the point of it by any means, and it was intersting to hear both of their thoughts as cooked fooders on how they felt about eating a whole meal that was raw.

I also made some raw chocolate for the first time in ages and we had that for desert. I made a bar for the friends who bring us veg, as apparently they are into good quality dark chocolate. I made up the recipe for this one, and included lots of cacao powder and not too many sweetners. I hope they like it.

Others news - went jogging last night and jogged about a mile without stopping! For the second time I've ever attempted to jog I was amazed! The first time was about a year ago - I got to the end of the road and thought I was going to die. It must be the raw food that's made the difference hehe. Will go again tomorrow I think.

Have had green juice every morning this week and am noticing the difference!! Today's had mung bean sprouts and beetroot in it. Thought the froth looked cool so I took a picture before I sieved it out. Am starting work early tomorrow so better go to bed if I want to get up in time to juice tomorrow!

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Another awesome weekend, and a terrific Tuesday!

Weekend - sister's hen do Saturday, where one of the ladies suggested I read 'The pH Miracle' by Dr Robert O. Young and Shelly Redford Young. So I tracked it down on Sunday, bought it and spent the afternoon in Inspiral Lounge reading it - it seems to be pretty good. More confirmation that juicing is the next thing for me to do. Then met up with friends briefly in the evening - didn't make it to Saf or Bonningtons as they weren't open but I will experience this one day! I was however priviledged to witness the start of a very exciting raw venture, then chatted to the very uplifting Joe whilst eating olives and drinking ginger and lemon tea until it was time to get the train home!

Monday came and went, and today I had a very successful day food wise. A raw juice for breakfast with alfalfa sprouts, spinach, celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon juice. Unless when I get to the small print ginger and lemon turn out to be not good on the pH Miracle programme, ginger and lemon might turn out to be my new secret weapons for making juices always taste great. Anyway, surprisingly this kept me happy until lunch time! Then I had a salad with more spinach and avocado, and for supper made one of Kate Magic's recipes. I can't think of single little non-raw thing I ate today. I am not fanatical about eating 'not strictly raw' food, but this makes me very happy. I am amazed that the juice sustained me. When I get wheatgrass in it it will be even better. Plus no sugar!! (Apart from a few carrots, but I think I can forgive myself.) This is starting to sound like confessions of a raw fooder now so I'll stop!

Food of the day is raw mange tout straight from my parents' friends' garden. Perfect.

I must order some sunflower seeds and mung beans, and look into growing wheatgrass if I have time. More tomorrow. Am going to include tomato and parsley in the juice tomorrow - can't wait.

p.s. here is a photo of more veg that my parents' friends again kindly gave to us!

Monday, 6 July 2009

My vegetable garden

Thought this would warrant a post all of its own.

The garden. Herbs at the back, one or two plants in the middle and veg on the near side.

The chard

The tomato plant. Good eh?

I'd like to thank my dad for re-potting these for me and remembering to water them when I don't!! What a star he is.

Chilli photos

Photos I took of Friday night's chilli. I was feeling a bit arty and of course in awe of the colours.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Sleep on it

Having reflected a lot in my blog entry last night and then sleeping on it - my current feeling is to drink more green juice, eat more sprouts, eat less sugar, and make The Raw Chef's broccoli recipe in his latest e-zine for a meal for my parents! I will do it when I've got the day off next Thursday. This weekend I'm off to my sister's hen do in London and have been invited to Saf restaurant on Sunday night by a raw friend! It's looking to be an awesome weekend!!!

p.s. Still unable to upload photos which is annoying as I have loads of great new photos I want to share! Watch this space for when I get it sorted!

Friday, 3 July 2009

To my followers

Thank you all for your comments and for becoming followers! For some reason at the moment I am unable to comment back to thank you for each one individually! But it is so good to hear your encouragement and that I am inspiring some of you to look into raw food yourselves - you won't regret it! Love Amy x x x


Once again I have so much to report after a whole week without blogging!

It's been a really emotional week actually and I am glad I am out the other side; it's been quite draining. Looking back on the last year of my life since I finished uni, I've been so far from where I want to be, but it is all becoming clearer now as to where I want to be mentally and circumstantially. The clarity has been incredible actually. It has also brought with it an incredible amount of gratitude and appreciation for all the special people in my life who always support me - you know who you are - thank you.

This gratitude was only the beginning, as looking back on this week so many positives have happened.

This week's diet summary is a good one: following Sunday's green juice I made another one on Monday morning with beetroot leaves, including the purple stalks. The colour and taste was awful and I couldn't drink it all. Better luck next time. On the plus side I have had a sugar-free week, broken only be Kate Magic's Cheeky Chilli tonight with beetroot and carrot, and then 2 bananas and few blueberries after! I have increased my fat intake this week, not so much avocados but nuts, nut butters and oils, which only makes me crave more of this. Haven't felt bad on this by any means, in fact my energy has been good considering I haven't had an early night all week. Have also enjoyed lots of sunflower seeds which are filling and more healthy than nuts. I am happy to eat lots of green living food as well as the tasty things, it doesn't have to be one or the other by any means! I think I lost my creative focus a bit this week, which is the side that really makes me buzz. After spending the evening with the blender and my music in the kitchen tonight, I really enjoyed making and eating the chilli and felt connected again.

I have got in touch with raw food chef Chris Jenkins to volunteer to help at his raw food and yoga retreat in the Gower peninsula in August. I am so glad I did as he is happy to give me some experience and has been very encouraging! Go to

for more information.

More veg has come into my life!! My next door neighbour has given me her two courgette plants! Again my asking for an abundance of good food has been answered!

I also had an email from a friend I made on Russell's raw chef class which cheered me up no end too.

So it's all good!!!!!!!