With a new week about to begin and a fridge devoid of fresh produce, it is time to start sorting through recipes. Last week, I had a variety of ingredients on hand, and picked out some recipes the night before or morning of based on what I already had. That worked fine, but there were quite a few times when I found myself short one crucial piece from completing a yummy looking recipe, and cursing my scattered trip to the grocery store the weekend before. I’d also like to focus on diversifying my food choices, to ensure that I’m getting all of the nutrients that I need to be rawmazing and healthy. I’ve been researching Raw supplements to help out with that, but I will talk about that in my next blog.
I was always under the impression that you pronounced it as it appears – chee-yuh – but I talked with somebody this weekend who called them key-yuh seeds. Is there a right way?
This week, I’d like to experiment more with Chia seeds, especially in my morning meals. Since I haven’t quite advanced to making myown Almond or Cashew milk yet, I’ll probably be soaking them in coconut water. I read about somebody blending strawberries with coconut water to give the seeds a fruit infusion, which sounds like an easy alternative. In Eat Raw, Eat Well by Douglas McNish, he combines apples, raw whole almonds, Almond milk (I’d use coconut water for now), chopped gingerroot, cinnamon in a food processor until a purée forms, but the almonds are still chunky. Then, he mixes in apples, chia seeds, hemp seeds and salt, stirring and setting it aside so the Chia seeds can swell up.
As I was continuing through Eat Raw, Eat Well, I saw his recipe for Hemp milk, which requires only 4 cups of water and 3 tbsp of raw shelled hemp seeds . Because the seeds are small and soft, straining them is not necessary; all you need to do is mix it in the blender, which I can definitely handle. He also suggests a variation of adding 1/2 cup strawberries and 2 tsp cinnamon, which sounds like a nice mixture to soak those chia seeds in.
Hemp milk creates some new options in terms of breakfast smoothies, like the Eat Your Greens Smoothie also in Eat Raw, Eat Well: 1 cup hemp milk blended with 1/2 cup of kale and mango, 1/4 cup spinach or romaine and chopped parsley leaves, 1 banana, and 1 chopped pitted date. It sounds like a sweet way to get some green energy into the morning!
Since I don’t have a lot of time for both food prep and eating, I like to get my lunches ready in the morning, or plan quick and easy options. Simple kale salads are my go to: kale, lemon juice, olive oil, sea salt, pepper, tomato, and maybe some seeds or dried berries. I have the habit of finding a dish that is easy and that I like, and rarely going away from it, so I’d like to try a variation on a kale salad. McNish describes one in which he mixes together kale, olive oil, 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp cider vinegar, 1 tsp salt. Then in a blender, combine apple, celery, water, cashews, lemon juice, salt, vinegar. Blend until creamy, and pour over salad along with the nuts, raisins and remaining apple. He calls it a Kale Waldorf Salad, and I like it because it brings in apples and celery for a nice crunch, and a different taste in using fruit.
Last week, I had Sprouted Quinoa Tabouli for lunch a couple days, and this quinoa salad looks like another great, fresh way to mix this grain into a fresh salad. This is a cooked recipe, but we can always swap out sprouted quinoa to make it raw. I don’t have any black beans on hand, so I will likely swap them out with some lentils, though I know it won’t have quite the same taste.
In my true repetitive-eating fashion, I had zucchini noodles for three of my dinners last week, twice with a sun-dried tomato sauce; although, one night I tried my own variation on the Rawtarian’s alfredo sauce recipe, omitting the pine nuts and thyme, since I didn’t have them. I also added in some nutritional yeast for some cheesy flavor. As a former cheese-lover, any vegan version of Mac and Cheese always draws my attention. Laura-Jane also has a recipe on her site, and I plan on combining it with a recipe in Eat Raw, Eat Well that also includes tumeric, garlic, sweet potato noodles (in addition to zucchini noodles, interesting), and Almond Parmesan Cheese. Laura recommends kelp noodles, which are on my list of things to get in my kitchen. I’ll have to try it both ways and see which noodles taste the best with the sauce.
Beans and Rice
Usually, beans and rice are eaten when money is tight, but cauliflower rice and chick pea stew sounds like a filling, nutritious combo. The stew takes a little more prep because of soaking the beans, but a mixture of fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, carrot, cilantro, parsley, chopped onion, gingerroot, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, curry powder, agave, cumin, sea salt, and cayenne sounds extremely flavorful. Also, cauliflower rice is easy to make – all you need is a food processor. I made mine in my family’s Cuisinart when visiting home for the weekend because I don’t think my little 1 and 1/2 cup processor could handle it. But, you can easily store it in the freezer, (not all in a one gallon bag like I did, or else you have to de-thaw a cauliflower rock…oops) and use whenever you want! I mixed mine with a little lemon juice and olive oil, nutritional yeast, and Italian seasoning – yum!
Fruit isn’t always enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, so I like to have some kind of dessert in the fridge for after dinner. I bought some raw honey that I’ve been wanting to use, and in Judita’s book Going Raw, I found a recipe for Honey-Almond Haystacks, which uses shredded coconut, almond butter, raw honey and vanilla for a macroon-like cookie. It’s different from the sweets I made for last week, which involved a lot more nuts and cacao, so I’d like to lighten up on those so I have them for other recipes. I found a variation of it on the Rawtarian’s website that comes out like fudge, rather than cookies.
I made regular chickpea hummus last week, but I didn’t like the consistency of the soaked beans. This week, I’m going to try out a zucchini hummus recipe from Eat Raw, Eat Well that uses many typical hummus spices e.g. garlic, salt, cumin, tahini, but uses zucchini in place of the chick peas. It won’t have as much protein, but I am expecting it to have a smoother consistency.
Those recipes, in addition to a few others I didn’t include leave me with a relatively short list – from Aldis, this shouldn’t cost more than $25. Hopefully, by only buying what I need for the recipes I’m planning, I won’t have any food waste or rotten veggies to sadly feed to the trash.