Sunday, March 28, 2010

Raw30: Day 26, 27, & 28

The last few days have been so hectic and wild, I've been amazed if I managed to eat, let alone if I managed to eat something raw. Days like the last three would be ideal days to have a lot of things waiting for me... dehydrated crackers and snack bars and lots of raw dressings that I only need to throw handfuls of greens and sprouts in a bowl to complement.

Instead, I haven't had time to do much of anything. So it was a huge relief tonight to go to the Raw Meetup that happens once a month in Oklahoma City.

It's a great time with great people, and it gives the Husbeast and I a chance to have some really good, gourmet raw food without having to spend a ton. It's basically a raw potluck - everyone brings a dish, and we all sample each others' foods. We're supposed to bring along recipes, just so anyone who really likes the dish can make it themselves.

It was a delight to be there. Everything from salad to raw chocolate pie to a raw enchilada demonstration by one of the guests.

I made something I knew I loved (and hoped others would): Stuffed Portobella Mushroom Caps

We took the Baby Beast with us. Since I've started working, he's been especially needy and clingy, and (for the most part) I haven't minded being clung to. After all, when you spend four or five hours away from someone you're used to spending 23 hours a day with, it's kind of a shock.

He sampled most of the raw foods (he's still a cracker fiend; he went after the raw crackers on my plate and took off with one in his hand, munching away) and charmed most of the people there. I got a lot of comments on what a "good baby" he was. He's just a securely attached baby, I think. He knows everything is going to be okay, so he's comfortable in social situations (usually).

So, after eating a huge variety of really flippin' delicious raw foods, I'm feeling pretty happy. And reinvigorated! I am looking forward to making Berry Bars tomorrow, and may actually get the ingredients to make a Lentil Cup Salad again... because that was one delicious salad.

So, while the 30 days of compulsive raw are nearly done, I am still looking forward to eating a wide variety of yummy raw things. So I would call the experiment a success.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Raw30: Day 25

Occasionally, I am blown away by one of the raw recipes. Today's did just that.

Strawberry Crêpes*. The filling tastes like cream cheese. The outer shell is so chewy and delicious. And the strawberry topping is so sweet, but not CANDY sweet.

I had a hard day. My MommyJob was tiring, and then I had to go to the job that pays money... and it's still a slog. You see, the Pet Trainer who was working there before me left in the middle of the classes. Everything is an unholy mess. Trying to make sense of her old classes and all the paperwork is going to give me an ulcer, seriously.

So to come home and be able to whip together something really tasty (and really healthy!) is incredibly nice. I can't even tell you how wonderful it is.

And, hey, we even have enough for breakfast tomorrow!


Strawberry Crêpes

Crêpe Shells
5-6 RIPE bananas

1 c macadamia nuts
1 c cashews
1 large lemon, juiced
4 tsp honey
2 tsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp water

Strawberry Sauce
1 1/2 c strawberries
1-2 Tblsp raw honey

For crêpe shells:
1. Place bananas in a food processor and blend until smooth
2. Remove from processor and spread about 1/8 inch thick onto a Teflex sheet on top of a dehydrator screen.
3. Dehydrate for 14 hours** or fewer. (Begin checking the bananas a few hours before to make sure they are formed, pliable, and solid in texture, but not getting crispy)
4. Remove from dehydrator and slice into strips (about 4"x2").

For filling:
1. Place filling ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

For strawberry sauce:
Combine strawberries and honey in a good processor and blend until smooth.

To assemble:
1. Pour strawberry sauce onto plate in a thin layer so as to cover bottom of plate.
2. Place scoops of filling onto banana fruit leather strips and roll up. Place on plate with enough room in between so each crêpe is not touching.
3. Pour strawberry sauce over the rolled up crêpes.

Note: It's important to let the crêpes sit for at least a couple of hours with the strawberry sauce on top. The sauce will soften the fruit leather and make it "crêpe-like" instead of hard and chewy***. These are also great the next day!

** Mine went for about 8-9hr and they were ready to go.

*** We liked the chewy texture, although I'm sure they're just as awesome when softened by the strawberry sauce.

Raw30: Day 24

The crackers came out fantastic! I enjoyed having them... when I finally could. Today we had a regional meeting for Pet Trainers, so I had to be somewhere at 8am. What, that's not so bad? It is when you've been up nursing a baby all night!

Baby Beast had a bad night, waking me up throughout to nurse for a minute or two, just long enough to feel 'better' and doze back off (thank god we co-sleep; if i was having to go to another room for this, i wouldn't take it nearly so amicably). I think it was the small amount of dairy I had a couple days ago. While he doesn't seem to be having a full-blown reaction, he has been just a little more clingy... but then again, that might just be having me be at work for four hours.

Regardless, we had a night of poor sleep, then I had to be up and getting ready at 6:45am, a full hour before Baby Beast and I normally roll out of the family bed.

And then the clothes dryer broke. THE HITS, THEY JUST KEEP ON COMIN'!

So today was spent running from one side of the city to the other and back again, trying to accomplish all the things that needed to be accomplished.

At least I had some nummy crackers to take with me. And I ended up with three baggies full, so I might have them for several days! Now I just need to make some raw nut cheese to put on them...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Raw30: Day 23

Today was too busy to accomplish much, but I did get the Vegetable Flax Crackers mixed and into the dehydrator, and according to their schedule of readiness, we ought to be able to dig in sometime tomorrow morning.

Otherwise, I spent the day in a huff trying to deal with a lot of inner emotional turmoil. Everything that caused the huff has been cleared up, and I feel much better now... but I have a really early morning tomorrow (roughly two hours earlier than the Baby Beast and I usually rise) so I'm not even going to bother trying to do more than say, "Look, y'all, the crackers are dehydrating!"

Waiting to be broken into cracker-sized pieces tomorrow

Monday, March 22, 2010

Raw30: Day 22

Somehow, this weekend was just insane enough (thanks to the surprise-first-day-of-spring snow) that we never managed to get out of the house and shop for this week's groceries, so that was left to today. Because of the massive amount of rushing around I have to do to get everything bought (five different stores today), it left me no real time to MAKE anything. But I did set up some flax seeds and sun-dried tomatoes to soak, for use in veggie flax crackers tomorrow!

The bag contains "Pizza" Flax Snax, a flax seed cracker I was
munching on. Pretty dang delicious, especially when you haven't
had pizza in about four months.

Today was my mom's birthday, so once the Husbeast, Baby Beast and I were done shopping, we took her to a local German restaurant, Ingrid's Kitchen. If you're in Oklahoma and you've never been, you absolutely have to go. It's very authentic, the food is amazing and the pastries even better. And it was lovely to get out of the house and go to a nice restaurant, sit down to a delicious meal that I didn't have to make, and enjoy some adult company (namely my mom and kinda-sister-in-law, michelle; the husbeast doesn't count, because i talk to him all the time and he's only semi-adult company).

And Mondays are our days to go to The Little Gym with the Baby Beast. He absolutely loves it, running back and forth and crowing and clapping his hands. I think he probably enjoys The Little Gym more for the extra freedom we give him (never pulling him away from something 'dangerous,' as we have to do around the house despite baby-proofing) than for the organized activities. In fact, during the organized activities, he does he best to wiggle free so he can wander around doing his own thing.

So, with everything going on today, we only managed a semi-raw day. Smoothie for breakfast, and lots of raw snacks for "dinner." Tomorrow, I'm aiming at making the flax crackers and some Strawberry Crepes.... but I have to work tomorrow evening, so it's kind of up in the air on just how productive I'll be able to be.

Raw30: Day 21

Today was my day of rest... but who cares?! Health Care Reform passed!

I've been following that since I first heard about it. I've known since I was diagnosed with Lupus (when I was 15) that I had to have insurance, because if it ever, ever lapsed, I would become "uninsurable," which meant I went from my parents' insurance into COBRA, and then into insurance with my job, then into COBRA again, then into my husband's insurance, making sure I never reached the point where I did not have insurance.

Because of the House and Senate democrats, I will no longer be "uninsurable."

I'm so happy. It overwhelms everything else, even the salad I had for breakfast (which was delicious). I'm going to go snuggle the Baby Beast (who can no longer have a pre-existing condition and won't even know what that is in his lifetime) and rejoice.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Raw30: Day 20

I was called into work today - suprise! - to be introduced to the students I will soon be taking over, to meet&greet both them and their dogs. I agreed readily, and then Oklahoma got a surprise 6" of snow dumped on it (on the first day of spring. it is to laugh).

So I drove the 25min drive from my home to PetSmart with white-knuckles and enough adrenaline running through my veins that I probably could have jogged there, 28-degree weather and blowing snow be damned. Especially when an idiot in a pick-up truck whipped out of his lane and into my lane just ahead of me, fishtailed, smashed out one of his rear lights, fishtailed some more, and then continued forward. Oklahoma drivers, for the most part, get their licenses out of gumball machines.

Of course, the snowstorm caused everyone to huddle in their homes and refuse to come out, so PetSmart wound up having to cancel the training classes scheduled for today. So, instead of meet&greet, I did new hire paperwork and made up a schedule for training classes for the next three months.

As for food, I started off with a smoothie, but after freezing my tuchus off in blasting wind and ice, I microwaved another vegan meal and shared it with the Baby Beast. Then we took a nap, dozing off while nursing. Aaah, bliss. Warm baby body is the best way to feel better after being cold outside.

For dinner tonight, GrandmaBeast dived in and made a salad (to go along with the short-grain brown rice, pan-seared salmon, green beans, black-eyed peas, and beets i made). It was a wonderful dinner, the Baby Beast ate a taste of everything, and the world is a good place to be. And I had double-helpings of the salad, because it was delicious.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Raw30: Day 19

What an improved attitude I have, now that I don't feel like I have to do it one way, that I have some options. I think it was the lack of choice that chafed most, feeling that I had this very narrow window of what was and wasn't okay. For the most part, I've chosen vegan foods today... I just liked being able to say, "I think I will have some chicken on my salad" or "I am going to microwave a vegan meal" (rather than try to deal with a tired and fussy 11-month-old while chopping and mixing and flavoring). Also, a microwaved vegan meal is something I can sit down with the Baby Beast and share at his Montessori weaning table. A lot of the raw meals are either liquid... or chunky to the point where I don't feel entirely safe giving them to him.

I still ate two salads, guacamole, a smoothie, and 1/2 a pineapple today... so the majority of my intake has been raw. But I've also had a bit of chicken, some corn chips (with the guac), a few Fig Newtons, and a vegan microwave meal that, as I said, I sat down with the baby to share at his weaning table (although he mostly practiced stabbing with his fork and seeing how many times he could make rice grains fall off his fork onto the floor where the dogs were waiting.

Today's raw prep was the Kale Salad, and I really did enjoy it! It doesn't look like much, but it had avocado and salt and tomatoes... and those're things I really enjoy!

So overall, I feel pretty good about today. I'll be making another smoothie to tide me over until morning and almost certainly am going to make more Fudge Balls, but I don't feel frustrated or frantic anymore. Definitely an improvement!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Raw30: Day 18

Today was a hard day. Both the Husbeast and I have reached a point where we Just Aren't Enthusiastic anymore. He says the food still tastes great, he just isn't enjoying it as much. Personally, I'm not enjoying the taste of much of what I've made lately. Today, I tried making the Broccoli Soup... and while everyone else who tried it was rather enthusiastic about it, I found it off-putting and didn't eat much of it at all.

So instead I fell back on salad and Sunny Pate.

And since I was still hungry, I made a smoothie (using my usual smoothie recipe) and added about a Tablespoon of raw cocoa powder.

We've both been feeling deprived for the last week or so. I think the 100% raw experiment just isn't working at this point. We're both unhappy, and getting grumpy with each other for holding the other one to this diet. I think it's time to switch to a High Raw diet... or, as we jokingly say, 90% raw 100% of the time.

I'd like the freedom of a sandwich or a cup of coffee (it's true; no coffee on a 100% raw diet) now and again. I LIKE being able to have a blueberry bagel, even if I can't put cream cheese on it (because of the Baby Beast's dairy allergy).

But I also like the ability to make fascinating raw dishes and eat them. But if they don't come out appetizing (and the last three haven't), I like having the freedom to say, "That didn't work. Guess I'll pan fry a bit of chicken and make a Chicken Caesar Salad."

So, while I won't stop making fascinating raw recipes, I think it's time to bid adieu to a diet of 100% vegan raw food. At this point in our lives, it's only making us angry... and why do anything that only makes you miserable?

Tomorrow, I am either making a raw Potato Salad (out of jicama, oddly enough) or a Kale Salad. I'm leaning toward the kale right now... because I like kale, and I love avocados (and that's one of the main ingredients). We shall see...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Raw30: Day 17

One thing I've noticed about this raw journey... while I may not necessarily like everything I make, the Baby Beast certainly does! He never turns down a new flavor, and he usually comes back and asks for more.

Today's creation was a Pineapple Sundae.

You're picturing ice cream with warm pineapple sauce, aren't you? So was I, when I first read the title. Really, I think it ought to have its name changed. Pinapples with Apple Cream would be more appropriate, although perhaps less appealing. (then again, i found the dish not-that-appealing anyway, so i don't suppose the less appealing name would be wrong)

The layers are the Apple Cream and the pineapple/apple mixture.

So, now I have a huge lasagna pan of Pesto Lasagna and a medium-ish Tupperware container of Pineapple Sundaewith Apple Cream. And I like neither. Thank goodness I can put them in the Husbeast's lunch pail and know they will be consumed while he's at work.

One of the things we've talked about, once this 30 day journey is over, is that I'd like to make all the recipes in Alissa's book at least once. (no, this won't be a julie&julia situation... i won't be making one a day. this mommybeast needs a break from daily food prep and blogging!) But I want to sample everything in her book, and frankly, 30 days is not enough to try everything. And I will probably be re-making some of my favorite desserts. I'd like to figure out the Chocolate Turtles; I tried making those last night, but somehow I ended up with some chocolate-glazed walnuts with a big pool of honey/cocoa in the center of the Teflex sheet in the dehydrator. Sigh. I'll be licking the sheet clean later, I imagine.

So, that's it for now. Hopefully tomorrow's food experiment will be moderately better. I'm tired of big messes and big preps for food I don't even much like.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Raw30: Day 16

Today I made Pesto Lasagna. And that was it. Because it took me ALL. DAY. No, really.

This had to be the most labor-intensive recipe I've made yet. And it tastes okay... not bad. But it doesn't quite do it for me.

But it sure looks pretty!

But, as we discovered with the Sunny Pate I made a couple days back, it's not what it looks like that matters; it's what it tastes like. And I don't mind the flavor, I just don't really love it. It had a lot of layers of fairly nice things that mixed well... but the end result just doesn't thrill me.

So, I'm gonna make some Kale Chips, if I can muster the energy. Seriously, ALL. DAY. (of course, i'm also chasing a 11-month-old around, so it takes me a lot longer to do everything, but still)

The Husbeast and I have discussed it, and agreed that at this point in our lives, we just don't have the time for a 100% raw food diet. We're hoping to stay high raw (i.e. "90% raw 100% of the time"), but I accept that there will be days when I need a some chicken on my salad... or a PB&J sandwich. I like the freedom to eat "convenience" foods that don't require an hour of prep work to consume.

So, at the end of our 30 days, we'll be going to our favorite Thai restaurant for the Baby Beast's first birthday. And we'll undoubtedly enjoy it.

Raw30: Day 15

How embarrassing... I was so tired last night, I went in to nurse the Baby Beast back down and ended up passing out next to him. So the blog post I was going to write up last night is now being written up this morning. In my defense, yesterday was one HECK of a long day!

I indulge myself to one massage a month. With Lupus, it's a very good way to help with the pain... but this month I felt like I deserved something for being a MommyBeast for nearly a year (the Baby Beast's birthday will be April 1st, for anyone interested), so yesterday I had my first of two massages this month. I'm such a lucky gal.

Unfortunately, that massage was at 10am. So I got up with the Baby Beast and threw myself into the shower (no one wants to give a massage to a stinky person) and took care of my normal morning activities before I had to drive the 20 minutes to the Massage Envy I go to (in Oklahoma, driving 20-30min to get somewhere is considered normal). Then I had to hurry home to get ready for the surprise job interview for the job I didn't apply for at the store I didn't apply to.

What? Huh? Wait a second...

Before the Baby Beast, I was a dog trainer (I still technically am; I just consider him the bigger part of my life). I was a dog trainer for two years with PetSmart, which gave me a chance to use all the dog information I had spent years acquiring to help other people with their canine issues.

I was - and am - a darn good dog trainer. My clients loved me. Their dogs loved me. I had a lot of repeat business (i.e. someone would take a Puppy or Beginner class with me, and then choose to go on to the Intermediate class with me).

So, when one of the local PetSmarts lost their trainer (she walked out in the middle of a semester of classes, leaving a lot of people hanging), the first person on the Area Pet Trainer's mind was me.

I got a call on Friday from Lynne, the Area Pet Trainer, detailing a little of what was going on. After talking to her on Saturday, I knew this would work out well; I'd been wanting to do a little work outside the home - no more than 20hr a week - and this job was coming at the perfect time for that.

Long story short, I had an interview yesterday for the job and it seems like I'll be diving back in to Pet Training in a week or so.

By the time I'd finished the interview, taken the required drug test, and run down to Norman to pick up some dates, it was pushing 4pm and I was exhausted from rushing around all day.

So you'll have to excuse me if the only thing I made was more Fudge Balls. And even then, I didn't ball them up very well. The stuff is the consistency of thick brownie batter, and just as sticky... so the balls don't ball well. It's much easier to eat it right out of the food processor with a couple spoons.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Raw30: Day 14

Today was my day of rest. The only thing I made was Fudge Balls.

Allow me to say... I am a chocoholic. I love chocolate. So I HAD to eat something chocolatey before I lost my mind, and since my mom (we all cohabitate; it's cozy and convenient, except when she does things like today) just bought a whole tin of brownies, I knew I'd have to do something to avoid the temptation. (and it's dang hard, because she bought the type of brownies that don't contain milk - yes, the Baby Beast still cannot tolerate any dairy in my diet)

So, I did. And there are no pictures because I didn't make Fudge Balls... I just made squishy chocolate goo that tasted awesome. And I stood with the VitaMix container in one hand, a long-handled tea spoon in the other, and ate. And ate. And ate. I have no guilt.

And then I dipped raw strawberries in it, and ate those.

So, no picture (yes, there is some left; the Husbeast loves chocolate, too) because you don't want to see a Tupperware container of dark chocolate-colored goo.

But I will give you the recipe*.

Also? These make a fantastic breakfast. No, really.


* Fudge Balls

2 cups dates, pitted and soaked (at least 1hr)
2 cups raw almond butter
1/2 cup raw carob/cacao powder

1. In a food processor**, blend the dates to a smooth paste.
2. Add the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
3. Remove from processor and form into round balls.

Note: These will keep for a long time in the refrigerator.

** Although I used my VitaMix. Seemed easier to me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Raw30: Day 13

This one will be brief... simply because I don't feel like blabbering on and on tonight (wow, what a change from the usual).

Today's prep was Sunny Pate*. And trust me: it may not look like much, but honey, it ain't what it looks like; it's what it TASTES like.

The flavor is sour, savory, biting... delicious. It's amazing! I found it pairs best with sweet vegetables, like carrot or cucumber or bell pepper.

It was delightfully easy to make, and wonderfully easy to eat. This one ranks up with the desserts and the Nori Rolls (and, of course, the Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms).

Anyway, the Baby Beast has been nursing almost non-stop this evening... so I'm going to go sit down where he can cuddle and nurse a little easier.


* Sunny Pate

3 cups sunflower seeds, soaked 8-12 hours, and sprouted 2-4 hours (they don't have to have sprouts visibly on them to be used)
1/2 - 1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/4 - 1/2 cup tahini
1/4 cup Bragg Liquid Aminos
2-4 slices red onion, cut into chunks
4-6 Tablespoons coarsely chopped parsley
2-3 medium cloves coarsely chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1-2 Tablespoons ginger juice (optional)**
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)

In a food processor, blend all ingredients until smooth.
Note: This will last at least 10-14 days in the fridge.

** I just chopped a piece of ginger root, peeled off the outside, chopped it into chunks, and tossed it in.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Raw30: Day 12

Today was a busy day of food prep! One turned out delicious, the other not-so-much (in my opinion, but the Husbeast loved it... more on that later).

The first thing we made was Nori Rolls*. I was pretty excited to make them, because I love sushi (other than the whole squick factor of eating-raw-fish-increases-the-likelihood-of-an-intestinal-parasite thing... i have this real fear of parasites. it's a lifelong phobia. they just really give me the wiggins). I usually opt for sushi without raw fish in it, but sometimes you just gotta dive in an have some.

So, eating a raw, vegan mimic of sushi was pretty exciting for me! Especially since it turned out pretty dang delicious!

Nope, that's not rice... it's cauliflower!

Yes, sheets of nori DO count as raw... when you buy the sundried (not roasted!) variety.

After adding a few delicious things to the nori and cauliflower, we had a fairly respectable lunch... although it did make me wish strongly for the little bamboo sushi rolling sheets I've seen before. Please, excuse how sloppy these Nori Rolls look... it's all about how they TASTE.

What you see in the background is Nama Shoyo, the uncooked
version of soy sauce. It really made these rolls taste like the real thing.

After eating such a delicious lunch, what I made for dinner was definitely less inspiring... Angel Hair Pasta with Marinara Sauce.

Let me just say... most of Alissa's pasta recipes call for the use of a Saladacco (a spiralizing slicer). We don't have one. Currently, we have nowhere to stuff one, were we to purchase one. This means that all my pasta is... mmm... less pasta-y than it could be. I really tried with the Angel Hair. I used a knife to pre-slice the zucchini for the pasta into thin strips, then peeled them off with a potato peeler. Labor intensive. And still not quite "pretty" enough to suit me, but enough marinara and who can tell the difference?

So, the pasta and sauce turned out looking great. And really, the marinara tasted just like the real stuff. I mean, exactly like cooked marinara... the problem? I HATE marinara! I think it tastes unpleasant, and it always makes my stomach hurt (one of the fun side-effects of having Lupus; I got IBS in some form or other).

Also, I am still having trouble getting past crunchy "pasta" noodles. And the fact that it's always cold? Yick. So I don't think raw pasta is going to be high on my list of things to make... because the two pasta-immitative dishes I've made haven't really done it for me.

But as for the Nori Rolls? I'm buying some more cauliflower tomorrow.


*Nori Rolls

4 Nori sheets
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 avocado, thinly sliced
Any of the following veggies: shredded carrot, cucumber sticks, mung bean sprouts, etc.

1. In a food processor, grind the cauliflower until grainy.
2. Remove cauliflower mixture from the food processor and place a thin laye of it on a nori sheet. Do not put cauliflower on the top few inches of the sheet.
3. Place slices of avocado and other veggies in the center of the sheet.
4. Rolls the nori sheet, pulling tight as you roll up, and seal with a few drops of water along the seam.
5. With a sharp knife, cut nori roll into inch-thick slices and turn face p on a plate side-by-side.

Serving suggestions: Place Bragg's Liquid Aminos or Nama Shoyu in a small bowl to use as a dipping sauce.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Raw30: Day 11

It may seem like I've gone salad crazy lately... I say that they're easy to throw together, very filling, and endlessly customizable. Today's salad was an example of that.

I sprouted lentils this past week to make Almost Tuna (which was not a recipe i enjoyed; both the Mock Salmon Pate and the Almost Tuna have disappointed me because i love fish, and neither one tasted like the fish i know and love), but I ended up sprouting about four or five cups of lentils, and I only needed something like 1/4 cup of sprouted lentils to make the Almost Tuna. What to do with the leftovers?

Well, the Husbeast has been eating them regularly, taking handfuls in baggies or Tupperware to munch on his breaks at work (he's such a trooper). But today I found a recipe in Alissa's book for a lentil-sprout-based salad*. It contained a lot of other veggies, and once they were all mixed together, I had a really pretty, really unusual salad mixture.

The recipe is titled "Lentil Cups," and the cup portion of it comes into play in the form of a big romaine lettuce leaf. I scooped a few heaping spoonfuls of the lentil mixture in, drizzled with the recommended dressing**, and proceeded to eat something that I probably never would've tried had I not been on a 30-days-of-raw challenge.

Today was a rather nice day, actually. There were even a few moments of downtime (a rarity around here these days). I managed to catch the Husbeast enjoying some quiet while I was putting together the Lentil Cups (his job was to make sure the Baby Beast did not kill himself while i was otherwise occupied; he was laying down on the job, but managing to keep the Baby Beast safe regardless).

Cordy, the toy poodle, decided to join him in lazing around.

Tomorrow is shaping up to be another 'big prep' day. I have two or three recipes I need to put together to call this week "finished," and Saturday morning, we'll be shopping for our Week Three ingredients.

I am still definitely looking forward to eating Thai food for the Baby Beast's birthday. I'm enjoying all these new foods, but it'll be a delight to eat something I didn't have to make myself.


* Lentil Cups

2 cups sprouted lentils
1 cup tomato chopped
1/2 cup cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 carrot shredded
dash cayenne
sea salt and pepper to taste
6-12 Romaine or Radicchio leaves

1. In a large bowl, toss together all the ingredients except the romaine or radicchio leaves.
2. Place a scoop of this salad onto each romaine or raddicchio leaf and place on a platter.
3. Drizzle with Mrs. Ackerly's Dressing.

** Mrs. Ackerly's Dressing

1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup onion
1/4 cup red bell pepper
1 carrot
2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
dash pepper

1. Blend all ingredients well in a blender.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Raw30: Day 10

Today was a bad Lupus day. I woke up kind of stiff and achy, and it has only progressed since then. Whether this has anything to do with the cooked chicken from last night, the jury is still out on. I may try this experiment again in a week or two. Go 100% raw then try a salad with some chicken, and see if my SLE acts up the next day.

And Baby Beast seems determined to kill himself now that he's walking. He fell head-first off the back patio step. He cried over it for about 20 seconds, and then he wanted to get away from me to explore the back yard. He's a true outdoorsman. (and yes, his head is fine. bit of a lump, a little bit of concrete pattern on his scalp, but he wasn't terribly fussed by it) So, suicidal baby plus Lupus-ridden mommy made for a truly exhausting day.

Anyway, since today was so yucky, I mostly subsisted on food I'd already prepared: blueberry pie. Amazing how kind to me those pies have been.

The two things I did prep today were... another stuffed Portobella mushroom cap and more Caesar dressing! This time I doubled the liquid that the pine-nut-mix went into for the dressing, and got a much more pourable mixture. It actually forms around the salad rather than sitting in resolute lumps!

I also threw three ripe bananas into the freezer (well, two and 2/3 of a banana, since the Baby Beast saw me holding bananas and started clamoring for "bamamama") to have banana ice cream tomorrow morning. I think I get way too much joy out of eating desserts for breakfast.

So, I'm just going to close with a picture of the lovely salad I threw together for dinner tonight, and call it a day.

Just in case you're wondering, this is romaine lettuce, butterhead lettuce,
Swiss chard, bean sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and rainbow baby-cut
carrots. The bottle in the background is the new dressing.

Raw30: Day 9

Today was a salad day! I ended up eating three salads today, along with finishing the first blueberry pie this morning. You see, today's non-cooking endeavor was a Caesar salad dressing. While it didn't come out really tasting like a Caesar dressing, it DID come out tasting amazing! So I can forgive it for not living up to its name.

This is probably going to become a staple for us. I've had trouble eating big, leafy salads lately because... well, heck, what can I dress them with? Caesar has been my favorite for years, with Ranch behind that, and neither one of those is considered a "raw" condiment. Not to mention that Baby Beast's dairy allergy kind of prevents me eating any dressing with milk or cheese in it.

But with this new dressing, I can see enjoying salads again! I'm excited about it, because I DO like well-made salads (and that means more than lettuce-and-tomatoes). I think they're exciting when done correctly, and can actually be really delightful to eat.

Today I threw a lot of sprouts onto my salad. I needed to use of the last of the mung bean sprouts before they began to mushing process (i.e. when you look in the fridge and go "EEEYUCH!" and are afraid to even touch the container the food item is in to throw it away). So I threw those onto the baby spinach-romaine-butter head lettuce that I had going. Then I threw a handful or two of the lentil sprouts we have.

I needed spouted lentils for a recipe... but I only needed 1/4 cup. I made... like... four cups. So. We have lentil sprouts. Boy, do we. I could probably put 'em in soil and have lentil plants. Many of them.

After adding some tomatoes and chives to the salad, I tossed the dressing on (note for the next time I make it: it needs to be runnier. salad dressing should not land in clumps) and dug in. Obviously, it was good... I mean, hello, three salads.

It may be lumpy, but it's darn good Caesar dressing.

I DID give in and have some chicken on one of the salads... but I don't feel truly shamed by it. I have really wanted some animal protein, so now I've had some. If it improves my breastmilk for the Baby Beast, I consider it a win-win situation. Really, one salad with 1 cup of chicken after nine days of raw food? I have trouble thinking I'm a failure. Especially since I've felt SO stressed lately, worrying if I was making enough breastmilk. Having had a bit of chicken, I feel slightly comforted, and can stop turning into a little ball of tension.

The Husbeast and I went out bowling tonight with some of his co-workers. I got to know the gutter really well. And I threw the ball BEHIND me once, but it didn't hit anyone, so no worries! But it was wonderful getting to go out and hang out with people who're verbal (because I love my Baby Beast, but he has yet to manage a truly intelligible conversation, although he can sign "nurse" and "all done" and "change" when his diaper needs changing).

What will I make tomorrow? I honestly have no idea, but I bet it'll be yummy.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Raw30: Day 8

Today was a day of plenty. I started the morning with a nice cantaloupe... and somehow, I ended up eating the majority of it. You'd think a cantaloupe wouldn't go to one person, that there would be much clamouring to share it. Well, the Baby Beast did clamour, but his "bites" are smaller than the nail on my pinkie.

I made Wrap Salads again, and actually used tahini and dulse flakes. I can definitely say it now: I'm not a fan of tahini. I don't like how dusty and bitter it tastes. When it's part of a dish, I don't mind it. But as a main ingredient, I just can't stand it.

And then, because I wasn't nearly exploding enough from the Wrap Salads, I made Stuffed Portobella Mushroom Caps. YUM.

That's Bragg's Liquid Aminos it's sitting in. Mmmm, saltiness.

I've been dying to make the Blueberry Pie* in Alissa's book for about a month now... so when I saw it was coming up this week, I was definitely excited to try it out.

I won't lie; I love desserts. I mean, who doesn't? They're usually the best part of a meal. So the bigtime joy of raw desserts is that I can make them an ENTIRE meal without feeling guilty. Raw almonds, dates, blueberries, bananas, and a little bit of raw honey? I mean, c'mon, what's unhealthy about that?

So, I made the pies, let them get nice and jellied in the fridge, and dug in with both hope and trepidation. Well, I can say now, the recipe is delicious! I ate 1/4 of one by myself in a sitting. And I'm planning on having more!

The whole blueberries are a wonderful addition. I'm pretty excited
to have two of these to eat!

I also made Almost Tuna... and while it tasted fine, it didn't taste like tuna. I am having a lot of trouble not having any meat this month. I was eating a mostly vegetarian diet until I got pregnant, and then I went from a little fish occasionally, some cheese now-and-then, to red steak, rare. And I've continued wanting a lot of animal protein while breastfeeding... so I am going though 30 days of healthy, healthy food and planning on adding a little bit of cooked things (and some meat) back into my diet once it's over.

Will I someday go to a 100% raw diet again? More than likely. But while I'm breastfeeding and assessing each cow we pass on the road for palatability, I think it's a good idea to eat at least some meat now and again.


Blueberry Pie (i couldn't NOT share this one)

2 cups almonds
1/2 - 1 cup dates, pitted and soaked (in water, for at least an hour)

5 cups fresh blueberries
2 bananas
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey

For crust:
1. In a food processor, grind the almonds until fine.
2. Add the dates and blend until smooth.
3. Remove from processor and pat down into a pie plate.

For filling:
1. In a food processor, combine 4 cups of blueberries, 2 bananas, and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of honey. Blend until smooth.
2. Remove from food processor and add in 1 cup of whole blueberries**.
3. Pour into crust.
4. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (this pie will solidify after a few hours in the fridge).

** I actually added about 1 1/2 cups, because blueberries are fantastic and I like the whole blueberries in the pie. They add a nice "crunch" in all the pie-filling gooey-ness.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Raw30: Day 7

And on Sunday, we rested.

Today has been spent in snacking. Banana ice cream for breakfast (shared with the Baby Beast), followed by a big green smoothie, followed by... kale chips, and salad, and grapes, and more kale chips... and snacking.

Tomorrow will be a huge food prep day... angelhair pasta and blueberry pie and various other delicious things. But today was a day of rest, snacking, and time spent with my stomping, flailing, flapping little man.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Raw30: Day 6

Today was one of those busy, busy days where I ended up feeling like there wasn't enough time to do anything but chase after myself (and the baby).

We went shopping for the ingredients for our second week of raw, which ate up most of the morning because we end up going to three separate stores to get everything we need: Native Roots Market (for most of our produce), Forward Foods (for most of our bulk raw nuts and things to sprout), and a local grocery store, Homeland (for whatever we can't find at the other two).

Native Roots is always my first choice, because they promote buying local; most of what they carry is Oklahoma-grown/made, and I love supporting my local farmers and crafters. Not to mention the store is just spiffy, and they're friendly. Plus, a spice counter where you can find just about anything, and they'll grind it for you, too! So if you need some ground yellow mustard seed for a recipe and don't want to buy a huge bottle, you can get the amount you need and call it good.

I also had a lunch date with a dear friend who is expecting her first baby in about two months. She's always fun to be around, and we're on the same whacky wavelength (we were the two who got the oddest looks from our co-workers [we met at work about three years ago] and everyone thought we'd known each other for years from the way we acted when we were around each other). Luckily, we went somewhere with a wonderful salad menu, so I was able to get a nice large salad with double helpings of guacamole on top (don't knock it, it's delicious) along with a big fruit plate. The Baby Beast helped me eat one of the cherry tomatoes and quite a few of my olives, but I forgive him (even though i like olives almost as much as avocados).

So, one thing led to another and I found myself with no spare time to make anything fancy today. Dinner tonight was a super-simple guacamole (avocado, sea salt, 1/2 a tomato, lime juice), an apple, and then the other half of the tomato sprinkled with salt.

This would be another "don't knock it 'til you've tried it" thing.

Once I was no longer hungry (and the baby was firmly settled for the night), I got started on making a second batch of Kale Chips, since the first batch went so quickly!

In between bouts of running in to nurse the baby back down to sleep, I managed to get six trays of kale chips set up, and I made my way drippily to the dehydrator.

They're currently rumbling away in there, getting nice and crispy for tomorrow. I'm thinking I'll do sweet and salty in the morning - banana ice cream (with a bit of cinnamon) and for my second course, kale chips. Raw is so much fun in the mornings.

Now I'm going to go crash next to the Baby Beast. There's a storm moving in and various and sundry points of my body are reporting in on this phenomenon, and I'd rather be unconscious than in pain. I'm weird that way.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Raw30: Day 5

Today was a serious prep day. I made Collard Rolls - which were unbelievably delicious - and Pad Thai - which tasted nothing like cooked Pad Thai but still somehow managed to be awesome - and Banana Ice Cream*. I pigged, it was good, I was happy. Even the Baby Beast sampled a few of the items, and came back to beg for more (in his typical way: "Muhmuhmuhmuh mmmmmmm." The "mmm" always comes when he sees us caving in to give him a bite)

I have said before I love avocados... and I was very excited to dig into the Collard Rolls because they had avocado. And marinated Portobello mushrooms and onions. And a weird mixture of grated carrot and zucchini.

And yet somehow, it managed to be REALLY FREAKIN' TASTY. I thought about letting the Baby Beast sample it, but it had a few too many chokables for my liking (not to mention the extreme saltiness of the marinated mushrooms/onions). But I enjoyed it enough that I'm seriously thinking of making it at least a weekly staple, hard prep work be damned!

Looks good, tastes better

Otherwise, the day was spent outside. Oklahoma is finally - finally! - starting to get some nice weather, and because we are doing a mixture of Montessori/Waldorf/unschooling, I thought it as good a time as any to start letting the Baby Beast do what he does best: wander around in nature flapping and crowing (at times, i think he's actually a Baby Bird, and there's been some mix up). And stomping in his new shoes.

Things here are going well. There are Spicy Fries dehydrating for the Husbeast right now, and I'm about to throw together a Wrap Salad before bed. Hey, when you're eating raw, there's no rule about pigging out before bed... and I like it!


* Banana Ice Cream

Surprisingly easy to make. Take three RIPE bananas. Peel them. Stick them on a plate in the freezer. Come back for them the next day. Put them in a food processor. Process until they go past the gritty/grainy stage and take on the look of soft serve ice cream. Eat. Enjoy.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Raw30: Day 4

The Husbeast ended up having a hectic morning that kept him out of the house, and without him available to help with the walking-like-a-little-drunk-man 11-month-old, I found myself unable to make much of anything impressive. I slapped together a large salad (greens and spinach and mushrooms and avocado and tomato and sprouts and cucumber) along with Alissa's Dressing, right out of her book. It was tasty and filling, but not really 'fancy,' you know?

Luckily, last night's dehydrator project came out delicious. The kale (and collard) chips really didn't make it until nightfall. We munched on them all day long in intermittent bursts, and the Husbeast took a couple handfuls to work with him. They were wonderful, but I think they would've been even better if I'd actually gotten the sauce ingredients into the blender instead of the food processor. Lots of liquid in the food processor basically just means lots of liquid all over the counter.

So today, my main staples were the smoothie I made this morning, the salad, and lots and lots of kale chips* and granola.

They may not look like much, but they are really,
REALLY yummy. The granola, too.

I bought a jicama today to make Spicy Fries tomorrow (because they apparently have the look and texture of fast food french fries, and I'm down with that) but for tonight, I am done and ready to collapse. My pain hasn't been nearly as bad today, but I am flat wiped out. Moms should totally get better bonuses than the Wall Street executives - our jobs are so much harder.

* Chrissy's Goddess Chips

2 bunches kale, broken into large pieces by hand

3/4 cup sesame tahini
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water ~ more if needed
1/4 cup fresh parsley
1/4 cup nama shoyu
2 scallions
1 clove garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 t. sea salt

Place kale in a large mixing bowl. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth to get a thick consistency. You may have to add more water. Pour over kale and mix thoroughly with your hands to coat the kale. You want this mixture to be really glued onto the kale.

Place kale onto a Teflex sheet, on top of a mesh dehydrator screen, and dehydrate for 4 hours. You'll need to use two trays. Rotate kale occasionally to dry uniformly.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Raw30: Day 3

Today was what I like to call a "Bad Lupus Day." In other words, I was tired and incredibly achy for most of the day. I limped by, managing to do the daily activities of laundry, food prep, and baby care only by pushing myself through pain that would probably stop most people in their tracks.

I can only assume this is part of the detox process. I'm hoping by next week, I'll be feeling oodles better. If I'm not feeling better by this weekend, I'm definitely going to dive into the Tylenol and Advil again. I may be a rockstar, but I'm not oblivious to pain.

In happier news, I actually experienced a part of Alissa Cohen's book today. About midday, I started thinking of the green smoothies that are a part of my daily diet. I've posted the basic recipe before, and I have to say, they are delicious. But I was so busy trying to make Fettuccine Alfredo for the Husbeast to take with him to work that I never managed to get the VitaMix whirring.

About an hour or so after that, I suddenly started craving meat. Meat, meat, meat. I wanted a hamburger. I wanted roast chicken. I would've even gone for a hotdog. Luckily, I had read (just by accident, flipping through to find the Fettuccine Alfredo recipe) on that very subject earlier in the day.

David Wolfe points out in Sunfood Diet Success System, "When someone says 'I need protein,' what they really need and want is fat. Most people and nutritionists cannot distinguish between the desire for fat and the desire for protein. People can give up steak much easier than cheese, because steak if mostly protein whereas cheese is mostly fat."

I laughed when I remembered that passage, and went ahead and made a green smoothie (with an avocado, of course!) and felt immediately better.

Now, as for the Fettuccine Alfredo* that was the main meal of the day... it wasn't that bad! If you haven't been able to have dairy products for several months (which is my case, since my still-99%-breastfed-baby is allergic to dairy proteins), it tastes pretty close to the actual thing. And it looks close enough to fool someone at a glance!

Other than the green 'noodles,' it looks about right!

While the crunchiness of the noodles was a little off-putting, if you aren't worried about being a strict raw foodist, then I might recommend tossing the 'noodles' into hot-ish water for five minutes to soften them up and make them slightly less surprising when you bite down.

As a nursing mother, I've been having mild daily panic attacks about not making enough milk for my still-almost-completely-breastfed son. I'm trying to eat a lot of nuts (see Alfredo sauce) and lots of greens, since those're supposed to help pump the supply... but I still find the sound of the nursing baby pausing in his sucking to swallow a mouthful of milk to be the most reassuring sound EVER.

Okay, I'm pretty tired (and still pretty sore) so I'm going to wander away and leave the dehydrator rumbling along on its mission to dehydrate some yummy kale and collard chips. If they turn out well, expect a recipe tomorrow night.


*Fettuccine Alfredo from Alissa Cohen's "Living on Live Food"

2 zucchini
2 summer squash

1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw macadamia nuts
1 cup raw pine nuts
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons Bragg Liquid Aminos
2 Tablespoons water**

For fettuccine noodles:
1. With a vegetable peeler, peel zucchini and squash into long thick strips. These will be your 'fettuccine noodles.' Set aside in a large bowl.

For Alfredo sauce:
1. Place the Alfredo ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
2. Remove from food processor and place in bowl with 'noodles.'

To assemble:
1. With your hands, blend the sauce through the noodles. This will take a few minutes as the sauce will be thick. The water from the vegetables will help thin in out while you kneed it together with your hands.

** I personally used more than this... all things told, it was probably 1/4 cup, with a splash more of the Bragg's. Otherwise, the sauce was more clumpy, less saucy. But, with any recipe, follow the original recipe then adjust to taste/looks***. You can always add more water or salt, but you can't take it out once its in there.

*** Speaking of adjustments, use the recommended amount of zucchini/squash. I thought I'd just use one of each, since two seemed like a lot... but you'll need at LEAST that many 'noodles' to make up the difference in how much 'sauce' you make!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Raw30: Day 2

Today was one of those run-run-run days. I still have lingering nausea from the stomach flu, so I just keep telling myself, "You are a rockstar. You are a rockstar." and powering through the nausea and exhaustion and general ickiness.

We had to rush out the door this morning. The Baby Beast attends The Little Gym and we had to miss our class last week (because we all had stomach flu - what a mess! and i am filing a complaint about mommy still having to take care of daddy and baby even when she's ill... filing it as soon as i figure out where the complaint department is) so we went to our regular class Monday evening and then had to rush out an hour after waking up this morning to join the Tuesday morning class so we could make up the class we'd missed. This meant I only had time to throw a couple handfuls of raw granola (coconut, honey, cinnamon powder) into my mouth before we were out the door.

Amazingly, it stayed with me pretty well. I wasn't full-on-grumblytummy-hungry by the time we got home. My blood sugar was getting a bit low (i've always had low blood sugar issues), so I was really happy I had dehydrated some apple and peach slices a couple days back. After wolfing those down (along with some raw snap peas - MAN, those are good! even the baby thought so) I had to oomph to mix up some guacamole and toss it on a big green salad. It's not as ick as it sounds - guac makes a darn good dressing!

I finished up with some more granola and a half a tomato sprinkled with sea salt. That definitely helped the salt craving! I'm still thinking of making something "junk food-ie" (which won't be at all junky because it'll be out of raw ingredients) just because I find myself missing things like tortilla chips and french fries and nachos.

To keep me going while I went out grocery shopping for a couple of necessities, I took along a green smoothie (which does not mean it was green colored, just that it contained greens - in this case, spinach). I kept sipping on it to try and avoid feeling hungry, then realized I was actually STUFFED, and stopped sipping because I really was feeling kind of gurky by that time. Imagine, feeling stuffed eating nothing but raw vegan food!

Tonight's Big Deal Dish was Pesto Stuffed Mushrooms. On the first bite, I mostly tasted the basil I'd used as flavoring, but by my third mushroom, it was as good as anything I'd paid good money for at a restaurant. Dehydrating them gave them a nice, soft, almost-like-cooked consistency, and made the "pesto" stuffing nice and chewy and textured.

Baby Beast surprised me by indulging in a 4.5 hour "nap" with me late in the day, so now we're all up for an hour or so, munching on mushrooms and the last bit of smoothie. I'm thinking of throwing some kale in to dehydrate into kale chips for tomorrow. Make hay while the... well, the sun isn't shining, but I'm awake anyway! Might as well do something!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Raw30: Day 1

So, here we've gone through an entire day eating 100% raw and vegan. I'm feeling a little peckish still, but I'm planning on eating a little bit more before I go to bed... probably some more raw granola, simply because it's ridiculously yummy.

Today's big preps were the Mock Salmon Pate, Wrap Salad, and Date Nut Torte. The pate and torte were from Alissa's "Living on Live Food" and the salad was from Valya and Sergei Boutenko's "Eating Without Heating."

While I wasn't really impressed with the Mock Salmon Pate (it just tasted too sweet to me; more salt might've helped, but it just didn't work for me) which was why I went ahead and made the wrap salad, because putting the pate on a salad just didn't work for me.

I've made the Wrap Salad many times before, and I just love it. It blends one of my favorite things (avocado!) into a semi-easy-to-handle wrap*. I ate about three big wraps and felt much better.

Dinner tonight was the Date Nut Torte, and it was ridiculously delicious. In fact, the Husbeast and I couldn't finish it. It was rich, and decadent, and totally wonderful. And it was fun to eat a dessert for dinner, and know that I'm getting good nutrition and healthy food.

We dug in before I remembered to snap a photo of it. It
tastes immensely better than it looks.

But I am definitely on a salt-kick now. I've had so many sweet or in-between things today (snacking on raw walnuts and grapes, for example) that I'm desperate for something salty. So I think tomorrow I may go out and buy some things to make Spicy Fries, or maybe Nachos. Yes, nachos. I'll have to make that decision tomorrow.

I'm definitely feeling the effects of a day of raw, though. People always talk about raw food detox when you first start in eating 100% or high-raw, and I'm feeling it. Today I have felt gassy and miserable, but I realize that it's going to last, at most, a week (assuming i don't do something stupid, like eating mcdonald's or something). Of course, probably part of the gastrointestinal misery is due to the baby sharing his stomach flu with me... the fun, it just keeps on coming!


* Semi-easy-to-handle because you wrap the ingredients in a cabbage leaf. That holds it together, but when you bite it, half your food falls out the back. What goes in the cabbage leaf, by the way?

1-2 avocados (i always use two; i LOVE avocado)
1 tomato, diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Lemon juice to taste
Sea salt to taste
Dulse flakes (sprinkled on before wrapping in cabbage leaf)

Raw30: Day .5

Why .5? Because I'm planning another post later in the day, once I've done some food prep and actually... you know... rocked this whole raw start off.

For now, though, the Baby Beast and I have just rolled out of bed, and I'm listening to music and sucking down a raw smoothie* I made yesterday, thinking of the food prep I'm going to have to go today.

We're following Alissa Cohen's "Living on Live Food" 30-day plan, so today's food prep will consist of Fettucini Alfredo, Mock Salmon Pate, a Date Nut Torte, and Alissa's Dressing. And apparently, I'll be more-or-less done with prep until Wednesday or Thursday.

I've tried to stay ahead of the game, knowing that I would not roll out of bed and dive right into food prep. For one thing, that's nearly impossible with an 11-month-old trailing you, and the Husbeast won't get up for another hour, at least (he works afternoons/evenings/early night), so I've spent the last couple of days (in the throes of stomach flu) using the new Excalibur Dehydrator to make a variety of snacks to keep me from caving in on day one and eating leftover chicken or something. Peach rings (as chewy as the gummy candies you can buy at Hobby Lobby, and almost as sweet), apple crisps, banana chips... and, of course, raw granola** (grawnola?), which has proven to be a favorite of ours already.

Honestly, this is a fairly typical scene around here lately

So, I don't feel like I'm coming into this blind (and starving) which is probably a good thing. I'll let you know how it goes later on today, once I've actually done some work and I'm not sitting about nursing a baby.

Speaking of the baby (and here is something that is Important, as far as i'm concerned), today he is 11 months old. At the end of this raw experiment, he'll be a year. Staggers the mind.


* For those who care, here's my basic Raw Smoothie Recipe:

2-3 handfuls of raw baby spinach leaves
1-2 bananas (for sweetness)
1-2 avocados (for creaminess)
2-3 handfuls of whatever frozen fruit I choose for the day (blueberries, blackberries, stawberries, mangoes, pineapples... whatever)
Water for processing

Toss all the ingredients (usually in that order) into your blender or VitaMix (i really recommend investing in a VitaMix, even a used one) and blend until smooth.

** It's amazing how delicious the raw granola came out. I mean, it's made of all good things, but once dehydrated, the texture and flavor are surprisingly granola-esque (well, like a good granola, anyway; nothing at all like the flavorless, cardboard-esque granolas one can usually find in the store). So, here's the recipe for that.

2 coconuts, the meat of
Honey to taste (about three big squeezes)
Cinnamon powder to taste (i coated the top layer of coconut and mixed)

Drain and crack open (by smashing on the floor, in our house) the coconuts and cut the meat out. Process in a food processor until relatively fine-ish.

Squeeze honey over the mass of coconut bits. Mix with your hands. No, really, it's fun.

Pour cinnamon powder (NOT cinnamon sugar) over the mess and mix with your hands, again.

Lay out as smoothly as possible on dehydrator sheets and dehydrate roughly 7-8hr (overnight).