Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Babaji Cabbaji - Enlightenment in a Bowl

This is a very easy one, requires zero cooking.

the basic ingredients:

-purple cabbage
-wakame (dry seaweed)
-minced ginger
-flax seeds
-hemp seeds
-sesame oil

variations in ingredients:

I also sometimes put different seeds, like sunflower seeds, or add cubes of tofu, kelp granules. If you want, try with a little agave nectar or honey mixed with the braggs and sesame oil for a different taste to the dressing. You might try adding a little flax oil to this. I don't always put the raw ginger. You can buy frozen edamame and thaw it under running water and add that for protein instead of tofu!

general benefits:

Cilantro is great for metal detoxing in the body. Flax is good for glands, and seaweed contains iodine which is beneficial in reasonable doses for your thyroid. Raw ginger always feels very cleansing, I don't peel it. Purple cabbage has great antioxidants.

...lots of options, play with it. You may be surprised how good it tastes and how good you feel. It's really a complete meal in itself when you add the right amount of protein in the form of seeds, nuts, or beans.

You can make a batch of this and keep it 3-4 days for a quick meal ready in your fridge.

Most Fantastic Avocado Smoothie

I don't like that word "smoothie" so much, but what else is one to call it? A "creamy"? A "smooth beverage of choice"? Smoothie just calls to mind a brand slogan for laxatives, not a delicious beverage made with magical fruits and fabulous milks. And stuff.
Here is how I made a most fantastic avocado smoothie.
First, I did some research in the field. This involved a trip to Chicago, whereby I found myself with time to spare and ducked in to a little Japanese smoothie shop on the Magnificent Mile to quack my order: "I would like an avocado papaya... smoothie... please. Arigato."
It was okay. A little too cold. The avocado taste not as dominant nor as avocadoey as I would like. And so, I decided I would make my own version. This, though, was not something to rush into. A thing of beauty, and tastiness, is worth the time it takes to develop a perfect plan to concoct it. Last Saturday, after the market, the heavens presented me with another opportunity to try an avocado smooth beverage of choice at Roots Vegetarian Restaurant and Juice Bar on the corner of the square in Bloomington. The menu said it would be made with apple juice. That didn't seem right to me. I chose, instead, soy milk, and in my mind decided I would make my smoothie, when the time came, with refridgerated coconut milk.
This morning was a magical morning, I woke up with only a few minutes to let out the dogs and get ready to leave for work. I decided, for my greatest good, to allocate some of those precious minutes to the making of my avocado blender drink. And so, here is how it went down.

- One frozen banana
- One perfectly ripe avocado
- 3/4- to 1-cup refridgerated vanilla coconut milk
I then fortunately remembered that I had the remainder of a very ripe fresh papaya in the fridge waiting to find its culinary calling in life.
- 3/4- to 1-cup fresh papaya pieces

BLEND THE HELL OUT OF IT! Well, actually, you do want to avoid over-blending, easy does it-- remember, smoooooth-- otherwise, we would call them runnies, and that's even more evocative of the entire line of laxative-related thinking we are trying to avoid. You want it to be the consistency where you don't know if you should drink it or eat it with a spoon, and every time you try to drink it you think you should eat it with a spoon, but every time you try to eat it with a spoon you soon revert to drinking it. This is the only frustrating thing about this smoothie. The rest is pure avocado bliss. "Blissies"!

Avocado Toast

A good time to get some extra fats in your day is breakfast in my experience because of the way fat acts as an energy source. We've all heard about "healthy fats" by now, and here's an excellent way to get some to start your day off in better balance with your earthly vessel. xo

-Hempseed toast (French meadow bakery out of Minneapolis makes this excellent bread, it's in the freezer section at our co-op in Bloomington. I keep mine in the freezer and just toast when wanted since I don't eat much bread)
-Avocado (not too squishy, not to firm...)
-Flax seed oil (found in refrigerated items at most food co-ops)
-Kelp granules (I bought mine in bulk and just refill a shaker I already have)

In this version of avocado toast, flax oil replaces butter on the bread, kelp granules replace salt. I eat a little kelp everyday as it's a great natural source for some bonus nutrients you won't find in most salts.
I accompanied my avocado toast with a couple radishes, which the French have long-indulged in as a breakfast food. I leave the stems and roots on my radish because, by gum, there's great nutrients in there too and they don't taste bad at all! Dip the radish in a little flax oil and kelp granules.
Healthy food tastes good and needn't be complicated to prepare. When you keep your food choices simple and pay attention to the amount of nutrition you get per square inch of whatever you buy, you'll find that eating healthy can be very affordable when you choose your food carefully, which is a good idea anyway! Healthy foods satisfy your body at a deep level nutritionally and so you also should find yourself craving LESS food, which saves you cash! Whoopee! Things to think about while you munch on your avocado toast and devise beautiful ways to save humanity and the planet earth.
Lots of love
(April 3, 2011)

Anne's Raw Lemon Bars

I made this off the top of my head the other day, 'tis excellent. Mostly raw if not totally... I used what I have, feel free to exclude the lime or change anything up how it feels good for you. I'm just recording my recipe as closely as to what I did Sunday!
- 1/4 c Agar agar flakes
- 1.5 c hot water
- 4 lemons, 1 lime
- 1/2 c raw agave nectar
- approx.20 macadamia nuts
- 1/4 c cashew nuts
- 1/2 c fresh coconut meat
- raw unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 c raw oats
Place the agar agar in a small glass dish with the hot water, stir just enough to dissolve flakes, cover and let set on countertop. When set, it will be highly gelatinous. Peel the lemons and lime and place them in a food processor, add the agave nectar, coconut meat, about 6 macadamia nuts and the cashews. Mince the rind of one half of lemon, add it to the food processor, save the remaining rinds. Blend this all together in the food processor for a minute or two. Once set, take the agar agar mixture and add it to the food processor with the other ingredients, blend until creamy and smoothe. Add more agave nectar to taste.
While waiting for the agar agar to set you can make the crust!
Place Macadamia nuts, 12-18 (these make the crust more "buttery" so keep that in mind as you add them, just enough to help it stick together nicely) and raw oats, blend in food processor until little buttery crumbles form. Empty this crust mixture into a glass rectangular dish (maybe 9"x9" or so), use a spatula to spread the crust evenly then use the smooth bottom of a glass to tamp the crust down and compact it.
Pour the filling over the crust, cover and set in the refridgerator. Once the filling mixture has set, in about an hour, add coconut flakes and lemon zest across the top of the bars for a nice finish!

Peanut Butter Crispy Squares

No-bake, good energy boost. A healthy alternative to a favorite childhood treat! These are vegan and gluten-free.

- 1 c. peanut butter (I prefer no salt, and only peanuts in the ingredients)
- ¾ c. agave nectar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 stick Earth Balance
- Erewhon gluten-free brown rice cereal (http://www.attunefoods.com/products/Erewhon/erewhon-crispy-brown-rice-gluten-free-cereals), or other crispy rice cereal of choice

Blend the first four ingredients in the food processor until smooth. Empty mixture with spatula into a large metal mixing bowl, incorporate the rice cereal until there’s a good balance between the peanut butter mixture and the rice cereal. I used just about one full bag of Erewhon rice cereal for this recipe. Next, press the cereal and peanut butter mixture into a glass or metal cake pan (9”x12” is a good size). You can make the bars fairly thick. Press them into the pan firmly to help the bars stick together more. Refridgerate the bars a few hours or overnight before cutting into squares and serving.