Sunday, February 28, 2010

From Desperate Housewives to My Kitchen Table

I'll be honest, I just took the culinary advice of a Desperate Housewife, and it was delicious. This month's Bon Apetit magazine featured an article about celebrity restaurateurs. In the article, Eva Longoria, who owns BESO in Los Angeles, states that she grew up on guacamole being made with fresh squeezed lemons rather than limes. She recommends that others try making it with lemons, as she can't have it any other way. So, that's exactly what I did today. I made guac with lemon juice, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, bean sprouts, red onion, garlic, salt, and a dash of hot sauce (not raw, I know). It turns out that guacamole tastes quite different this way - much lighter and fruitier. I have to say that I really like it and will probably continue to make it this way in the future. Thanks Eva!

I made some onion bread from RAWvolution and used it as a crust for Guacamole Pizzas. They were both hearty and refreshing....a nice combination, right?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Avocado Soup with Blood Orange and Mango Salsa

I've been having a major case of the winter doldrums (probably why I haven't posted in a while). I'm sick of kale, sweet potatoes, turnips, and celeriac - ditto for cold wind, slush, and air that has been robbed of any moisture by my heater. My body has been craving foods that are more vibrant, if that makes sense. I was, therefore, SO excited to see that blood oranges are in season. When I saw them at the market I knew I had to buy some, as I was confident they would cure my winter ills.

I remembered seeing a recipe in Sarma's newest, Living Raw Food, for Avocado Soup with Blood Orange and Mango Salsa. The fact that it incorporates some tropical fruits really sold me (sorry locavores). I honestly don't make soup too often because my sweetheart doesn't really understand the point of soup as an entity, and because they're often too cumbersome to make only for myself. But, this one is actually quite simple. It's just like making a smoothie and a fruit salad at the same time.

This recipe made a lot of soup. Luckily, my sweetheart devoured a bowl - afterward he looked at me with concern and asked "is this all we're having?", but I digress. I asked Sarma if it can be stored in the fridge, and she thinks it can for up to 2 days. This makes sense because the recipe calls for some lemon juice, which should stave off oxidization for a bit. I'll be having some for lunch tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Just returned from a whirlwind trip to London (I was there only 72 hours). I had a great time, but deviated majorly from the raw vegan path of righteousness. Dim Sum and Lebanese food were just too tempting.

I did, however, have one raw meal. On Saturday I met up with the lovely and talented Antony Heaven, of Antony In London ( We ventured north to grab lunch at Dragonfly, a stunning (at least by the looks of their website) raw food restaurant that we learned went out of business when we approached the vacant storefront. It was very disappointing. But, we then headed over to Camden to eat at inSpiral Lounge. It's a vegan cafe with some raw options. It was satifying enough, but just know, should you ever dine there, that you can select THREE side orders and ONE main. Aparently I didn't get this through my American head fast enough, much to the chagrin of the icy sales associate. Still, it's worth the trip if you're in the area.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wild Rice, Take 2

Just wanted to put up a better picture of my friend Debra's amazing wild rice recipe. The onions are lightly sauteed in coconut oil, but the wild rice has not been cooked. The cranberries are dehydrated and sprayed with apple juice to make them sweet. You must try this's fantastic!

Tonight we ate the wild rice with oven-roasted root veggies (sweet potatoes, red beets, golden beets, turnips, fennel, and onions) that were tossed in coconut oil, salt, and pepper. We also had an arugula salad with avocados, grape tomatoes, and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Spaghetti Squash - Vegan, but not Raw.

During these cold winter months I have been craving warm, heartier fare. And, while I don't want my cravings to pull me away from plant-based food, I'm open to some of it being cooked every now and then. Back in October I put together this baked spaghetti squash with a creamy mushroom marinara. I've honestly made it about once per week ever since. It's so simple and requires literally 3 ingredients: 1) the squash, 2) a jar of vegan organic mushroom marinara sauce, 3) Veganaise. Here's what you do:

-Take a whole spaghetti squash and prick holes in it all over (so that it doesn't explode in the oven), I use a small paring knife.
-Place on baking sheet and bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees.
-Allow to cool enough to handle it, then slice open lengthwise. Scoop out seeds and discard. Meanwhile, pour roughly 1.5 cups of marinara sauce into an oven-proof bowl and place in the oven to warm through residual heat (your oven should be off).
-Using the tines of a fork, pull 'spaghetti' strands away from the skin and transfer to a serving platter.
-Mix 2 tbsp of Veganaise into the sauce to make it rich and creamy. Pour sauce over spaghetti squash and serve.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Wild Rice Recipe That's MOSTLY Raw.

This recipe comes from my good friend, Debra, who is a fantastic holistic health counselor. We made this last month and ate it by the fireplace of her phenomenal Harlem apartment. In addition to the fabulous recipe, Debra taught me that wild rice is not actually a rice, but a grass that grows in marshes (FYI).

(Again, I'm a terrible photographer)

So, here's how you do it:
Fill a bowl with 3/4 cup wild rice. Cover the rice with water and place in the refrigerator for 4-5 days, changing the water daily.
Saute 1/2 onion (chopped) in 2 Tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil over a low flame. I add a pinch of salt. When the onions become translucent and soft, add a handful of dried cranberries*. Saute for one minute more and turn off heat. Drain wild rice and add to the onions, tossing everything together with a wooden spoon. Adding the rice off the heat will simply warm the grain, rather than cook it. Serve and say "Bon Appetite" in your best Julia Childs voice.

I served mine with beet ravioli, topped with store-bought pesto.
(better here with the camerawork, eh?)

*I like Eden Organics brand because the cranberries are sweetened with pure apple juice, rather than sugar.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Raw Hair - Shampoo and Conditioner

Just purchased a few Morrocco Method products at the recommendation of the talented and vivacious Kristen Suzanne. Morrocco Method is a company that makes hair care products which are organic, vegan, AND raw! Their ingredient lists read more like an Audobon Society forest manual than that of a typical cosmetic company. The way their system works is that you're supposed to alternate their 5 shampoos daily and finish with their Heavenly Chi Conditioner. I purchased 2 of their shampoos, the Sea Elements and the Heavenly Chi Shampoo, as well as one bottle of the Heavenly Chi Conditioner. The friendly reps at Morroco Method gave me generous sized samples of the shampoos that I didn't purchase, and I can't wait to try them out.

Let me just say that since I began using their products 3 days ago I can't stop touching my hair because it feels so nice. Seriously, I'm not exaggerating. They are phenomal products! But, before I get ahead of myself, let me just walk you through the whole Morrocco Method experience:
First, there's nothing hippy-dippy about the packaging. The bottles they come in look like any professional hair care product that you'd pick up at your favorite salon. However, what's inside the bottle is drastically different. As soon as you open the cap you get a waft of the scent, which is strong and "herby." Seriously, I don't know any other way to describe it. It certainly doesn't smell bad. In fact, I quite like the smell, but it's very different from the "detergenty" smell of most shampoos. Another important factor to note is that the texture is like grainy mustard and it doesn't lather. As a matter of fact, it doesn't rub into your hair and scalp very easily - it takes some effort. The conditioner is pretty much the same overall experience, although I must say that I could feel the olive oil in it and I actually worried that it would leave my hair looking greasy even after I washed it out, but that didn't turn out to be the case.

What I'm saying is that Morrocco Method makes highly unusual products that are not deleterious to your health or the health of the planet. They will leave your hair looking luminous, perhaps better than with traditional haircare products. However, remember to keep an open mind initially.