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stuffed_kumquatsWhile flipping through raw recipe books at Mirador, I caught a glimpse of a gorgeous and inspiring recipe in Naked Chocolate. After a quick stop for kumquats on the way home, a new dessert was born. Note for all my recipes: I seldom measure ingredients, but rather prepare foods instinctively and taste/adjust along the way.

Chocolate-Hazelnut Stuffed Kumquats

  • 1/2 C raw hazelnuts
  • 8 dates (maybe fewer – I used very moist & small barhi dates)
  • 2 T raw cacao powder
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1/4 t salt
  • splash of vanilla extract

Grind the hazelnuts into small bits in a food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and grind until well combined. Cut kumquats in half lengthwise and remove the pulp and seeds by hand. Fill with yummy chocolatey mixture. Enjoy!

Photo credit: The amazing Mark Colman

Finally, I’m getting around to writing about the most amazing meal that I made for Valentine’s Day dinner. All these dishes are best described as culinary masterpieces …. not that I’m bragging :)

raw_pad_thaiRaw Pad Thai

I consulted three raw books for Pad Thai recipes, but no single recipe sounded perfect for my taste. So I created my own version that combined my favorite elements from Raw, Raw Transformation and Raw Food Real World.

Equal amounts of the following for the “noodles”

  • Flesh from one young Thai coconut, julienned
  • Carrot, shredded or spiralized
  • Zucchini, shredded or spiralized
  • Red cabbage, shredded
  • Red bell pepper, julienned

Sauce – blend the following

  • 1/4 C almond butter
  • 1T tahini
  • 1T minced ginger
  • 2T lime juice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 C coconut water, more as needed
  • 1T tamarind paste
  • 3 dates
  • 1/2 jalapeno, more or less to taste (or red Thai chili)
  • 1T nama shoyu

Garnish

  • Cilantro
  • Spicy cashews (soaked cashews cayenne salt agave)

thai_saladThai Salad (revised recipe from Everyday Raw)

  • mixed baby salad greens
  • red bell pepper
  • tomato
  • pineapple
  • avocado
  • cilantro

Dressing

  • sesame oil
  • cashews
  • lime juice
  • agave
  • jalapeño or Thai chili
  • salt

Warm Fudge Brownie with Cherry-Chocolate-Chip Ice Cream (revised recipe from Everyday Raw)

    brownie_ice_cream

  • cashew flour
  • hazelnut flour
  • cacao powder
  • agave
  • water
  • salt
  • vanilla
  • cinnamon

Mix all ingredients by hand into a very thick batter. Pour and spread into glass baking dish lined with parchment paper and dehydrate at very low temperature overnight. Remove from dish, cut into squares, and dehydrate several hours more.

Cherry-Chip Ice Cream (revised recipe from Everyday Raw)

  • cashews
  • frozen banana
  • frozen cherries
  • water
  • coconut oil
  • agave
  • cacao nibs
  • vanilla
  • salt

Blend all except for cacao nibs in BlendTec on “ice cream” setting until smooth. Stir in cacao nibs and pour into ice cream maker or freeze as is and stir frequently.

Enjoy!

Photo credit: The amazing Mark Colman

Chocolatey, spicy, sweet, perfectly balanced and, of course, raw. These truffles are too good to keep on hand. I mean, go ahead and make a double batch — just don’t expect them to stay around twice as long. I had a hell of a time getting a certain someone to wait until dessert!

Based on recipe from @tofu666 pictured here.

Blueberry-Cardamom Truffles

  • 1/2 cup raw cacao
  • 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1/3 cup blueberries (can be frozen)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (soaked if not very moist)
  • 1 T raw, dark agave (more if mixture is too dry)
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t cardamom (maybe a smidgen more)
  • 1/4 t cayenne
  • 1/4 t vanilla powder
  • Pinch of Himalayan crystal salt
  • Coconut for rolling

Grind everything except the coconut in a food processor until fully combined and smooth, then refrigerate for a few hours. With wet hands, roll into 1-1/2″ balls, then roll in coconut. Enjoy!

Photo credit: The amazing Mark Colman

fave1My love and I have a superfood smoothie for breakfast every day, and enjoy it so much there’s no desire to partake of other raw breakfast options. This smoothie serves as the foundation of our health and raw success. It packs such a nutritional punch that one could eat less than optimally the remainder of the day, yet rest assured that an enormous variety vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, etc. have been consumed.

This recipe is my own twist on a hybrid of Matt Amsden’s recipe in RAWvolution and David Wolfe’s video. I’ve added the E3Live, green powder, chia seeds, banana and lecithin for added nutrition and creaminess, while omitting the coconut water/meat to keep cost and effort to a minimum.

To purchase superfoods or learn more about their health benefits, follow the links below. You may also be able to locate many of these ingredients at your local coop or other natural foods grocery.

Superfood Breakfast Smoothie (serves two)

Unless you have a KTec or Vitamix blender, you will need to blend very well. Enjoy!

Photo credit: The amazing Mark Colman

open

Middle-Eastern flavors are simply divine: lemony and garlicky with seductively aromatic spices. My long-time Lebanese favorites are hummus and tabbouleh, but I always found falafel too heavy. Maybe because it’s, well, deep fried? Conversely, this raw falafel recipe is sublime – light yet filling.

Raw Falafel Wraps with Hummus (courtesy of the very talented Russell James)

This recipe may seem a bit daunting to uninitiated raw chef, but it’s really quite simple to put together. If you don’t have a dehydrator, I suggest skipping the wrap and either serving the falafel sans drying or “baked” at the lowest possible oven temperature with the door slightly ajar. The falafel are lovely on a salad drizzled with hummus, or inside a romaine lettuce wrap.

final_med
Tabbouleh
(modified recipe from RAWvolution)

  • hemp seeds
  • tomato
  • parsley
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • salt

Unnecessary directions: Chop it up, mix in bowl, eat!

Photo credit: The amazing Mark Colman

Down with Vilsack

I’m quite happy to have Obama in the White House and that other guy back in his village, but I really question the President’s choice for Secretary of Agriculture. Tom Vilsack has supported the über-evil Monsanto for ages, thereby advocating for GMO crops among other environmental and economical atrocities. His practices make me sad, and will make our country and developing nations really sad too. Please sign the petition to the Senate in opposition of Vilsack’s appointment to this critical cabinet position. We deserve better!

Peace.

A month ago, Vinny’s appearance and behavior was a source of great concern and bewilderment. How did he lose so much weight without me noticing? Why couldn’t he jump up on the couch anymore? When did all the muscle tone in his hind legs disappear? WTF? His body had deteriorated so quickly I didn’t realize the problem until all these signals converged.

So I took Vinny to the vet where he was diagnosed with severe osteoarthritis. Because it is a so-called degenerative joint disease, I was guaranteed a worsening condition that might be partially corrected through surgery some day. The vet prescribed pain medications and steroids — for life!

One thing you should know about me: I only take the dogs to the vet (or myself to a doctor) when there’s a broken leg involved or I need a diagnosis. So I took this diagnosis and found my own remedies, never once considering that the vet’s advice would be my chosen course of action. I went into problem solving mode immediately. I’m a project manager; it’s what I do.

On the way home from the vet, I realized that one remedy was already in my kitchen. I’d been taking MSM for two months with phenomenal results: my fingernails are stronger than ever in my life, my hair grows faster and doesn’t fall out in my brush anymore, and my skin’s looking good too. MSM is also renowned for its joint and cartilage building properties, which my little boy so desperately needed. I began adding 500mg of MSM powder to Vinny’s food daily.

A week later Vinny’s condition seemed slightly improved, but not quickly enough for me. (I’m an instant-gratification type ;) ) I read that MSM is highly effective in treating arthritis, but its properties are greatly enhanced when combined with Glucosamine and Chondroitin. Vinny regularly consumed Glucosamine-Chondroitin in tablet form for a year prior to his diagnosis and that didn’t seem to help a lot, so I continued to research and quickly found the answer: Synflex for Pets. Not only does Synflex offer human- and pet-specific products, but the potions are targeted at reversing osteoarthritis. And, I was pleased to learn that the liquid forms of Glucosamine and Chondroitin were 90% absorbable vs. approximately 25% for pill- or powder-based supplements. I ordered a bottle immediately.

Finally, my Web research delivered the final piece of the puzzle. I’ve been reading about E3Live for a while and hadn’t given it serious thought; it seemed expensive and unnecessary. I mean, wasn’t spirulina good enough? Did my algae have to be from Klamath Lake. (Really, I wanted it to be from Klamath Lake. I’m an Oregonian, after all.) When I discovered that E3Live was a known arthritis remedy for people and pets, I had to take the plunge. If you’ve balked at the idea of E3Live, I recommend giving it a chance. This stuff is fantastic!

So, that’s one week of MSM, another week with the addition of Synflex, and then a third week with E3Live included as well. Vinny is completely back to his old self now, but even better in many ways. He can jump, balance, run, play, and fight with this sister again. Muscle is building up in his hind legs (this has been really noticeable!), his coat is really soft and his eyes are bright.

And I couldn’t be happier.

If you’re concerned about your pet’s mobility, I’m available to answer questions about these products and Vinny’s overall regimen. Also, consider the same remedies for the people in your life challenged by osteoarthritis and other joint-related conditions.

Vinny’s daily dosage (he weighs ~10 lbs.)

  • MSM: 500mg
  • Synflex: 1/3 teaspoon
  • E3Live: 1/2 teaspoon

Peace.

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