Thursday, April 30, 2009

Road Trip!

We'll be gone for a long weekend in Kansas City, MO, home of….? Famous for….? Ok, I don't know much about the city and neither of us have ever been there, but all I need for a good vacation is a decent hotel with a nice warm pool area and hopefully the discovery of a good local dive bar.

There's even a Whole Foods across the street from our hotel so I won't have to hunt for something decent to eat.

Until Monday,


Monday, April 27, 2009

Super Easy Yummy Stew

I found this recipe in Mark Bittman's column The Minimalist, it is incredible hearty comfort food. I used a little less water and a little more rice, plus threw in the last of a bag of lentils, and went with the garlic & cumin option at the end. Result: Thick, thick, nothing soup-like about it, yummy filling stew. I felt full after a few bites. Tomorrow I'll use it as a topping on salad greens for a lighter dish...

Here is the link to the full article.

I was so happy to come across this because carrots and spinach were about the only produce in the fridge I was afraid of going bad...we're going to Kansas City on Thurs. for a long weekend (to see Cake ! Please don't let it rain!) so it'll be an out of the ordinary food spending week. I am in the process though of looking for decent places to find food in KC if anyone has suggestions. Because I'm remembering our road trip a year ago to the badlands in South Dakota, while a fun trip, it was really hard to find fresh food and we ate at a couple horrendous places along the way.


Sunday, April 26, 2009


Today I went on my first trip to Costco, with my sister who has a membership. I don't know what to think about the place. I was overwhelmed by the large-ness of everything, and trying to calculate what items were actually a good deal in their oversized portions. I bought a few things that totaled to a significant portion of our $52 weekly limit, but these things will last much longer than a week:

-Large jar of all natural almond butter: $6.39
-5 lb. bag of frozen corn: $4.99
-2 loaves of multi-grain bread: $4.59
-Huge jar of all natural salsa: $4.99

I would never get a membership, because we don't eat a lot of the bulk frozen meats and pre-packaged dinners they sell, much less have room for them in our freezer, and the produce is sold in quantities too large for us to eat before it would go bad. I can see how it might be a good deal for large families....but....there is something that feels wrong to me about a place like that.

Maybe it's just because I associate Costco with Sam's club, which I'm pretty sure is owned by Wal-Mart, which I wouldn't want to give my money to. I haven't done any research on the company so I can't say anything for sure. All I know is I felt lost in there and longed for my little co-op with handmade signs where no one checks your receipt at the door.

Does anyone have any info or opinions on whether this place is good or bad?

On the upside, I bought a tomato plant! It was $12 and I have no idea if this was a good deal because I'm clueless when it comes to plants and growing things, even though I wish I had a huge garden, but it was worth it for me because now I don't have to go searching for one. We're keeping it inside tonight because it's supposed to get below 40 degrees. Here it is, Peeko de Guy-O (named by Nathan with 2 glasses of organic Riesling in him!)


Saturday, April 25, 2009

Weekly Spending Recap

Our total this week was $49.32 - not far under our cap of $52. This scares me because we already had some food to start with, we ate out one night, and also picked up some special snacks for Nathan's b-day on Sun. not included in the total. (We were going to see a movie, but when the auto-pay total came to $20 we just couldn't do it, so we rented from RedBox and bought gourmet "cowboy caviar" salsa, flax chips, and popcorn from Lunds. Warning: do not rent the movie Bottleshock, it's awful.)

I would just post pics of the receipts, but my co-op just lists things as "produce" so it wouldn't be very informative. Here's a rundown of what I can remember:

-3 lb. bag organic apples
-Bulk mixed salad greens
-Brussel Sprouts
-2 lb. organic carrots
-Bulk Cannellini Beans
-Bulk Coriander
-Jar of Salsa
-Package of Flour Tortillas
-Orange Juice
-Lime Juice
-Diet Tonic Water
-Bottle of Smirnoff Vodka

Some stuff we already had: Whole wheat flour, black beans, coconut, brown rice, peanut butter, walnuts, cashews, sunflower seeds, dates, raisins, eggs and cheese.

Happy eating,


Friday, April 24, 2009

A plug for people and places we like

Yesterday it was so SO gorgeous here we decided to eat dinner on the patio of The Front's new restaurant. If you live in the area, check it out, it's a great place. The food is central american influenced and not very vegetarian friendly, but still good. Nathan loved his burger and my plate of rice/beans/fried plantain/cabbage salad was really good too. They have a beautiful patio, great music variety, and a couple small tv screens showing scenery of beaches, islands, and sunsets - nothing goth or fetish themed about it!

For those of you who don't live in the area - The Front is a dance club attached to Ground Zero, a sort of bondage nightclub. Actually this weekend is their annual Rubber Ball, an awesome costume/dance party/fashion show where everyone can show off their best vinyl outfits ;-).

Unfortunately it falls on the same night as our friend Ted's band's show, which we're really excited to see for the first time at the Uptown Bar. They're called Wizards Are Real, they're opening for Little Man, only $5, if you come check it out be sure to find us and say hi!

Happy Weekend,


New Discovery: Young Coconuts

Yum. Yum. Yum. Right now I'm drinking a smoothie made with the meat of the first young coconut I've ever cracked. Well, technically Nathan cracked it, because my first few whacks with our huge axe knife thing weren't strong enough.

I'd never heard of "young" coconuts before we started our raw foods experiment, but they aren't what the average person would picture. The outside looks completely different and there is no milk inside, just water and "meat".

I was amazed at the amount of water inside of the thing - about a pint glass full. The coconut water is incredibly flavorful, so much so that I'd cut it with some regular water or lots of ice, and it tasted more like hazelnut than coconut. It'd probably make an excellent drink mixer!

Then there's the meat, which is bright white thick gelatinous stuff you scrape from the inside. It can be eaten alone, used in desserts, smoothies, or dehydrated into coconut flakes. Here's the recipe for the smoothie I'm loving right now, the coconut meat adds so much depth to the flavor and makes it creamy.

Coconut Orange Banana Smoothie:
-1 banana
-1 orange
-1/2 meat of one young coconut
-4 ice cubes

Blend until smooth.

At about $1.50 per coconut that gives you 2 servings of meat and 2 servings of water, these are a pretty good deal. Go to your local asian market and see if you can find them! Here is a link about how to crack and eat coconuts.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cannellini Kale Soup and Chapatis

These are two new recipes we tried, borrowed from 30 Bucks A Week, to start off our first frugal week. They both got high approval ratings from myself & Nathan, but I especially loved making the chapatis. I'd never even heard of them before, they're pretty much like pita bread. Easy, SO cheap, and fun to make too. I felt like a real baker covering the dough and then rolling it out (with a drinking glass - I never bake!). Here is the link for the Cannellini Kale Soup.

Also, I discovered two awesome websites today:

Melomeals: $3.33 a day: Melody is a professional chef who cooks cheap healthy vegan stuff for herself & two teenage boys.

Crazy Sexy Life: An extensive holistic living website stemming from the documentary and book Crazy Sexy Cancer, which I definitely want to check out….


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

$30 A Week: Crunching Numbers

I always thought I was frugal buying food, just like with the rest of our spending. We rarely buy meat, expensive frozen meals, or pre-packaged stuff (cereal, cookies, etc.).

Admittedly, we are not incredibly frugal buying liquor. Seems like there's always something to celebrate, people coming over, or a new concoction to try. We buy mid-range brands, but never really put a cap on how MUCH we buy - hey, it's not gonna go bad, right?

I keep a close record of our monthly spending, to see where it all goes, and today I calculated that we average $425 a month ($98 a week) on food & liquor. The total over at 30 Bucks a Week doesn't include liquor, but I'm still not sure how they do it. We've spent $30 already this week on groceries and had a bunch of stuff already in the fridge and I can see we're not gonna make it. Of course there would be enough to survive on, but I'm not willing to reduce the amount of produce I want to eat for the sake of saving $$.

So here's my modification and justification: If we can save $200 a month, that'll be fantastic. $200/mo. = $2400/ yr. = price of the fabulous cruise we took in January. Essentially it gives us a guilt free big vacation every year, which I'd already decided is non-negotiable, because I will go crazy without some warmth to look forward to in the brutal MN winter.

Final calculation: Roughly $52/week, or $225/month is what we'll name as our food & liquor spending caps. The savings will go in a fund to put us here:


- Kelly

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Some Food Updates & A New Experiment

I found my new favorite blog the other day: 30 Bucks A Week. Tina and Phil live in NYC and spend only $30/wk on groceries. Like us, they aren't fanatics about their experiment, they still eat out occasionally and drink alcohol, which aren't included in their weekly total. They're vegetarian and the food they eat looks really yummy - just check out their recent Mac & Cheese recipe, which Nathan is begging me to make him.

So we're going to try the $30/wk experiment, for at least a month. We currently spend about $275/mo. on groceries so it would be a significant savings for us.

Onto the food updates....

We successfully replicated the Green Papaya Salad I had at Sawatdee the other week! Modifications to the posted recipe: Left out the chili, spring onions, and fish sauce. Added shredded carrots.
The ingredients were really cheap at Shaung Hur, a large Asian grocery store near us. 2 green papays were about $1.50 and was enough for at least 4 large servings. Nathan made a simple peanut sauce to pour over his instead of the dressing in the recipe:

Simple Peanut Sauce

-Peanut Butter (couple big spoonfuls)
-Soy sauce (splash)
-Rice Wine Vinegar (splash)
-Water (splash)

Whisk everything together until smooth. Sorry for the lack of specific ingredient amounts, he just threw it together and tasted as he went. There are many more complex peanut sauce recipes out there, but this can be made in just a minute from kitchen staples.

The other night it looked like the fridge was bare, but starting to think with the $30/wk. mentality, I made do with what was in there:

Orzo Pasta Mish Mash

-Orzo or whatever pasta you have around
-1/2 container of baby bella mushrooms
-1/2 onion
- 2 small tomatoes
-olive oil
-2 large cloves garlic
-lots of fresh basil (leftover from our papaya salad)


While pasta is cooking, saute onions and mushrooms with olive oil in a pan until really cooked (15 minutes?). I splashed some white cooking wine in after awhile too. During the last couple minutes, add in tomatoes and minced garlic until just cooked.

Mix with pasta and chopped basil. I'd recommend making a lot of the veggies because they cook down quite a bit, and I like to have about an equal ratio of veggies and pasta in my dish.

Very filling, Nathan loved it!


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ryan Montbleau Band

This is not food related whatsoever, but I have to post about it. We saw an effing fantastic show last night at the Cedar. I'd never heard of Ryan Montbleau Band, even though they've been touring like crazy for years. I can't believe I've never heard of them and wouldn't be surprised if they shoot into superstardom very soon.

My praise does not come lightly! I have a general dislike of live shows, especially if I don't know the band, because most of the time they come on, don't talk much, aren't very entertaining, you can't even make out the words to the songs, and it's too loud to talk to the person next to you. I only went to this show because Mark invited us and Nathan really wanted to go. (Thank you Mark, I will trust your taste in music for forever now!).

I won't even attempt to describe the music, but just check them out, go to their show, tickets are cheap, in the $10 range. Check out a great video of their music here.

Here's to compare to other great shows I've seen:

-I liked this way better than when we saw Rufus Wainwright last fall. That was a great show, but he was solo and it was in a much larger venue so that detracts from my experience.

-The only other time I can remember being absolutely, unexpectedly blown away by a band was when we caught Coach Said Not To at the 400 bar like two years ago. Unfortunately they haven't played or updated their website for a long time….

-It was probably as good as Cake, who I've only seen once a couple years ago at an outdoor festival. But I have all their CD's, it's more of a fun sing along experience, and their lead singer is more belligerent. (We're road tripping to Kansas City to see them on May 2nd again, can't wait!)

-You cannot compare to Pat McCurdy, but I can't write about live music without mentioning him. There is no performance that will ever come close to how much fun I used to have at Pat shows, and I stick to that even after seeing 50+ of his shows. He plays every Monday in Chicago, every Tuesday in Madison (where I went to college), and occasionally here in the twin cities. Check out his schedule, he plays almost every day of the year, no one should miss the opportunity to become absolutely crazy addicted to Pat… like I am ;-).


Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 13 - Raw Southern Food

I feel silly continuing to count the days of this raw foods "experiment" because this time around with Anna has not been nearly as strict as the 30 trial Nathan and I did. I've pretty much been eating whatever I want, which is naturally about 70% raw. So, enough with the countdown, I suppose this will just continue to be a general "sort of raw" food blog.

This weekend our friends had a southern themed joint b-day party at their house, complete with a feast of southern food. I wanted to bring something southern + raw so tried two new recipes: Sweet Potato Casserole and Marinated Collard Greens.


1 1/2 cups pecans or walnuts, soaked overnight, then drained (let dry a bit on a paper towel)
- 4 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup dates, soaked for about 20 minutes
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup honey


1) Put potatoes, 1/2 cup nuts, dates, cinnamon and vanilla in processor and puree till smooth.

2) Pour into a casserole dish.

3) In another bowl, mix the remaining 1 cup nuts with salt and honey, and sprinkle over the potato mixture.

When I was peeling the raw potatoes, they smelled….not good….and I was thinking how will this possibly taste good, I love roasted sweet potatoes, maybe I should just roast them and not be this crazy raw foods chick. Surprisingly, the dish turned out really good. My neighbors loved it and Nathan even gave it a "not bad".


Marinade Ingredients:
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 bunch collard greens, washed
- 1/8 cup olive oil


1) In a large bowl, combine apple cider vinegar, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, 1 teaspoon sea salt and pepper. Set aside.

2) Take several collard leaves and roll into a cylinder the shape of a fat cigar.

3) Using a knife, cut the through the collard cylinder, making strips. Repeatsteps two and three until you have cut all the collard leaves.

4) Place strips in a large bowl. Pour olive oil on collard strips and sprinkle the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Massage the oil and salt into the strips until all are well coated.

5) Transfer the collard strips to the bowl with the apple cider vinegar marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but overnight is best.

This dish turned out great, but only after a couple modifications. The marinade was way too strong for my taste, very vinegar-y. So I added a bunch of plain mixed salad greens and chopped tomato to mellow things out. Loved it!! "They" always say dark leafy greens are the healthiest food for you, and one a lot of people have trouble getting into their routine. My friend Ela (who, granted, is from Albania and shares my appreciation for fresh, whole foods - including meat and dairy) said it was her favorite dish at the party. Thanks E!

Here she is singing karoke:



Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Kelly - Day 8 - Kombucha Cocktails

I keep seeing Kombucha mentioned on raw foods sites, and have also been noticing it more in grocery stores. Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that supposedly has tons of health benefits because of all its living enzymes, etc., read details at GT's Kombucha site, the only brand I've tried.

We bought it the first time on a Valentine's Day splurge at Fresh & Natural Foods right before the official start to our raw experiment. The taste is pretty unexpected at first, it's incredibly strong, fizzy, tart, I can't describe it exactly. Not something I'd chug down. But, when we were mixing our Prairie Organic vodka (another splurge) and tonic, I poured in a bit of the grape flavored Kombucha as an experiment and, yum! It added just enough interesting flavor to take away from the tonic water flavor that I sometimes get sick of.

So last night after going straight from my regular job to volunteering 3 hours at the co-op, I bought some to have a drink when I got home. Oh, I am so healthy!



-1 part vodka (any kind)
-1 part tonic water or club soda
-1 part Kombucha (whichever flavor would meld with your vodka)

Pour over ice.


I was hungry too when I got home and really wanted some sprouted bread smeared with avocado and olive oil, but we had no avocados. I wasn't in the mood for peanut butter (which is rare, but I'd had some earlier), so I threw together the following in the Vita-mix and ended up with a pretty decent spread or dip, whatever you want to use it for:


-1/3 cup cashews
-1/3 leftover zucchini
-5 stalks asparagus
-little bit of water
-spoonful of tahini-splash of lemon juice
-garlic powder, cumin, salt & pepper

Sorry for the lack of specific measurements, I don't expect anyone to actually make this, but it just goes to show that in 5 minutes you can have something decent when you thought there was nothing in the fridge.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kelly - Day 7 - Papaya Salad and Social Situations

I work for a large company, but in a small distinct department of 14 people. They are, in general, nice, normal, professional people with standard eating habits. At work is the one place I keep my mouth shut, or at least quieter than usual, about my food opinions, but over the past year I know they've noticed that I'm "different".

Maybe it's that I'm often eating something with green leaves out of a tupperware, or some strange substance called hummus, or something they've never heard of something called lentils. Or, maybe it's that I don't get excited about chinese food or taco thursdays in the cafeteria.

They're the type of people who wouldn't be rude about it, but ask me sort of suspiciously if I don't eat meat, and then just sort of laugh in confusion if I were to reply that I don't. (Which I never have, because I do sometimes eat meat, just not whatever bulbous gristly greasy stuff is in the sesame chicken dish).

In short, I have not "announced" my raw food activities to my co-workers. In every raw food (or vegan) book or site I've looked at there is a section dealing with social situations, and I think it sucks that if anything this should be a roadblock to healthier eating. I've noticed that people actually seem offended that you don't care to eat the same foods as they do, even though you aren't trying to convince them of anything and what you're eating doesn't affect the situation at all. I'm sure there's been books written on the sociology of it all, but the end result for me is a slight amount of discomfort over food centric office activities.

Happily, today turned out really well. We went out to Sawatdee for an office lunch and I tried something I've never had before - Papaya Salad. I thought papaya was an melon colored fruit sort of like a mango or something, but apparently the salads are made from green papaya which isn't incredibly sweet and can be bought pre-shredded at Asian foods markets. The salad was definitely something I'd want to try at home, so I looked up some recipes and found one that looks pretty close to what I had at the restaurant. Here's the description and recipe from Thai Food. *Photo from the link, below.


This green papaya salad, known as som tam, is popular in most areas of Thailand, and when you taste it, you'll know why. The slightly tart flavor of the green papaya combines well with the spice of red chili pepper and the saltiness of shrimp paste and fish sauce, plus the sweetness of honey. Green papaya salad is a beautifully unique and flavor-filled dish that will make a great impression. It's also easy to make, low-calorie, and very nutritious. So try this Som tam recipe for dinner tonight!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 0 minutes

-1 green papaya (tip: buy your papaya at a Chinese grocer, and make sure it is labed "green papaya" )
-1/2 cup honey-roasted peanuts (or plain roasted), or glazed cashews (see recipe link below)
-1-2 cups bean sprouts
-1 to 2 tomatoes, cut into long thin strips
-1 red chili, minced (seeds removed if you prefer a milder salad)
-3 spring onions, sliced into long matchstick-like pieces
-1/2 cup fresh basil, roughly chopped if leaves are large handful of fresh coriander


1/2 tsp. shrimp paste (if vegetarian, substitute 1 Tbsp. vegetarian fish sauce, or soy sauce)
-2 Tbsp. good-tasting oil, such as olive
-1 Tbsp. fish sauce (if vegetarian, use vegetarian fish sauce - available at Vietnamese food stores)
-2 Tbsp. lime juice
-1 tsp. honey


1) prepare the dressing by mixing together all dressing ingredients together in a cup. Make sure shrimp paste dissolves fully. Set aside.

2) Peel the green papaya, then slice it in half and remove all the white seeds.

3)Using the largest grater you have, grate the papaya (or you can use a potato peeler to create thin, ribbon-like strips).

4)Place in a large bowl.

5) Add the sliced tomato, spring onion, chili, bean sprouts, and most of the basil.

6) Add the dressing, tossing to combine.

7) Add the peanuts or cashews* (you can either leave them whole, or roughly chop them).

8) Toss again, and do a taste test. If you've used sweet glazed nuts, the salad should be sweet enough (if not, add a little more honey). If not salty enough, add a little more fish sauce.

To serve, scoop salad into individual bowls or onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with remaining basil leaves plus fresh coriander. Serve immediately and ENJOY!

* To make your own glazed cashews (excellent with this salad!), see the: Easy Sweet & Spicy Glazed Cashews Recipe.

Make Ahead Tip: If you wish to make this salad ahead of time, combine all ingredients except the nuts and the dressing. You can then leave it covered in the refrigerator several hours, or overnight. Add the dressing and peanuts at the last minute, then toss and serve.


Monday, April 6, 2009

Anna - Day 6

I remember a children’s story from when I was a kid that featured a family of goats that lived in a junkyard. The son was causing his parents untold suffering and worry due to the fact that all he ate was healthy food. After much conflict, the solution presents itself as sneaking in appropriate goat food (i.e. tin cans and shoelaces) with the fruits and vegetables. Pretty soon the kid was eating a uniform diet of garbage; happy ending!

Only a few weeks ago I was carrying around a list of my fruit and vegetable intake for each day, and if I was really good I might get that number up to 4. Since trying raw foods, by 2:00pm I’m sitting at 6 or 7. Not bad!

Still, going 100% raw is not something I aspire to. I’m much more a fan of raw/vegan until 6:00pm. Yesterday my menu went something like this:

Breakfast Smoothie:
- Banana
- Strawberries
- Spinach
- Swiss Chard – upon reflection, DO NOT use this in a smoothie. This is one vegetable that needs sautéing. In its raw form it takes over the entire smoothie, tastes like dirt, and will only blend into large flapping chunks (ewww)
- Strawberry-flavored Whey Protein Powder

- Carrots and hummus
- Apple slices and banana “bread” with raw cashew butter
- That chocolate-date mishmash (now with coconut!)

……………..After 6:00pm……………..

Dinner (Party at a rowing teammate’s house):
- Baguette slices with olive tapenade and feta
- Fruit salad (no dressing)
- Polenta with sautéed kale, mushrooms, garlic and bacon on top
- 2 glasses of red wine


Saturday, April 4, 2009

Day 4 - Kelly

The last couple days have been uneventful, food-wise, with the exception of a recipe I almost completely made up on my own - Carrot Coconut Ginger Soup. I don't consider myself to be much of a cook and never create recipes, but last week I sampled some cooked soup of the same name at the co-op and wanted to see if I could make a raw version. Surprisingly it turned out great, Nathan liked the taste too, although he said he'd rather dip bread in it than eat it alone. This recipe is fast, easy, cheap, and if you don't care about raw, just heat it up in the microwave, it's faster than making a traditional soup on the stove.



-7 carrots, cut into big chunks so the blender can handle them
-1 cup coconut milk
-1/3 cup water
-Fresh ginger, to taste. I didn't use much, two little 1/2" pieces broken off the main ginger root.
-1 large clove garlic
-1 tsp salt
-1 tsp paprika
-Drizzle of olive oil


Blend everything until smooth.

I haven't actually eaten any except for tasting it when I made it, I gave a bunch to Anna but haven't gotten her opinion yet. I think it'd be good with other chopped veggies mixed in for chunkiness, or over salad greens. The co-op version had cooked peppers in it.

So last night we went out with our friend Andy Dommer, who happens to be an avid juicer and maker of the most awesome halloween costume ever. Here he is as a box of Franzia wine. The wine spout actually works, you can kneel down and drink out of it, the guy is brilliant.

We went to Jimmy's, a classic neighborhood dive in NE Mpls that doesn't have a website. I think it's hard to classify as a dive if you do have a website....anyway great place. Mixed, slightly gritty crowd, frozen pizzas, cheap drinks, pull tabs, good times.

Then we went over to Dommer's place and he made us his favorite juice using a masticating Omega juicer: Celery, beets, carrots, apple, and spinach, if I remember correctly. I was skeptical, but it really was delicious. Now how's that for after-bar food? Just kidding. Fresh juice is great, but it doesn't take the place of scrambled eggs and toast, which is what Nathan made me when we got home. =)

Happy weekend everyone!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Day 2 - Anna

I made the prettiest smoothie this morning; bananas, purple kale, strawberries and spinach topped with protein powder and blended with filtered water. I like the smoothie idea; getting 4 servings of fruits and vegetables before 9am is fantastic. I'm definitely going to make a habit of this. The best part is everyone at work thinks it looks disgusting, so I don't have to share.

There are some foods that I am eating that are not technically raw, like the hummus tahini from Holy Land. But it has only six ingredients (chick peas, tahini, fresh garlic, lemon juice, olive oil and sea salt) and is so delicious that I end up eating more raw vegetables when using it as dip. That's my rationalization, anyway. Yesterday Kelly and I had a miscommunication about dinner, so, distraught and all alone (sniff!) I resorted to whole wheat spaghetti and organic marinara sauce from Lunds. At least when I stray, I stray vegan.

Kelly also made me the most incredible concoction of dates, walnuts, and raw cacao. Honestly, now that I have this the raw diet goes up several points in my estimation. I forced my friend Adam to try it (we are both chocolate snobs) and he was pleasantly surprised at how sweet and chocolate-y it tastes.


Pushing Kale and Day 1 Recap - Kelly

Not much to report, yesterday I ate everything we made on Tuesday night (listed in yesterday's post). It's not a challenge to "eat raw" at all when I have so much good food to look forward to.

Also, my smoothie yesterday morning was amazing. I'd been underwhelmed with them for a few days, something was missing in the taste and they weren't as thick as usual. I think the trick is using kale instead of spinach.


-1 small apple (buy organic, conventional apples have lots of pesticies) A 3 lb. bag of organic gala apples is $2.99 at my co-op.
-1 banana
-About 5 frozen mango chunks (from Trader Joe's)
-About a dozen frozen blueberries
-Big handful of curly kale.

Notice I specified curly kale - they finally had this in stock at the co-op instead of lacinato (Dinosaur) kale.

A quick rundown of COMMON KALE TYPES for everyone who's not yet an enthusiast:

Curly Kale: Lighter green than Dinosaur kale, has curly leaves.

Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale: Darker green, has flat leaves, slightly sweeter than curly kale. I swear eating a lot of this in a day (I had it in a smoothie and in a Massaged Kale salad) gave me green poo.

Purple Kale: Same as curly, but with some purple in the leaves. It is so pretty! I bought some for the first time at the co-op yesterday, don’t know if it tastes different but the World's Healthiest Foods site says it's a bit more mellow.

Kale is one of the healthiest foods out there, but is hard to eat raw. For anyone who hasn't tried it, go make a green smoothie! When was the last time you can say you ate 3 servings of fruit and a bunch of kale in one sitting?

Last night I also ate some of the food I was making Anna to get her through day 2: Raw Chocolate Cake and Eggless Egg Salad, two of my favorites, but we'll have to see what her verdict was.


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Round 2 - Day 1

No joke people, Anna and I are starting up the experiment again for at least 14 days, hopefully longer if it's agreeing with her! We'll both try to post our menus & experiences daily.

Last night I had a food prep extravaganza to get us started. We made:
- Sushi with Almond Ginger Pate
- Cauliflower Rice (This time with more soaked dates and Garam Masala - very good!)
- Zucchini Hummus Lite
- Cinnamon Raisin Flax Crackers (New Recipe - see below)


2 C flax seeds
4 C water
1 1/2 C raisins + 1/2 C raisins
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 bananas, peeled
1 tsp. sea salt


1) Soak the seeds in the water for about 2 hours, and do not strain.

2) Combine all ingredients in a food processor until smooth, stirring in additional 1/2 C raisins by hand.

3) Spread the mixture onto three solid dehydrator sheets.

4) Dehydrate for 4 hours @ 110 degrees.

5) Remove the dehydrator sheets and flip the crackers. At this time you may also score the crackers with a soft table knife.

6) Continue dehydrating until they are crisp - about 6 hours. When dry, the crackers will keep for several weeks in an air-tight container. Makes about 2 dozen crackers.

My Notes: I upped the cinnamon to 2 tsp. and also added a tsp. of vanilla because there was so much batter the seasoning didn't seem enough. We dehydrated about 9 hours total and they were still soft, but not gooey, when I took them out this morning. I only tried a few bites when they were still warm and they tasted really good, I liked the raisins a lot.


- 2 1/2 cups zucchini, chopped (peel only if you are afraid of green hummus!)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 T lemon juice
- 2 T ground sesame seeds (tahini)
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
- 2 garlic cloves
-1 tsp. paprika
-1 tsp. ground cumin
- Cayenne to taste

Instructions: Blend everything in food processor or blender.