Monday, August 29, 2011

Raw Buckwheatie Cereal

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

But trite expressions aside, eating a raw breakfast is more important that eating any other meal raw. And I need a breakfast that I can anticipate every night. If I weren't trying to be more raw, soy yogurt with fruit and granola, oatmeal, quinoa pilafs, cereal, nut butter on bread with apple slices, or sometimes even pancakes would suffice. And sometimes I don't mind enjoying some oatmeal or soy yogurt for breakfast, still.
But this recipe satisfies any cravings for a non-raw breakfast. It's sweet, flavorful, with a slight crunch, and it's raw!

1 C buckwheat
1/4 C nuts or seeds, chopped up, more or less if you want (optional)
1/4 C raisins or other dried fruit (optional)

Soak the buckwheat for eight hours, or overnight. Drain it and rinse well. Rinse once or twice a day until you see little tails, this should take only around one or two days.
Dehydrate them until they are crispy.
Toss them with the other ingredients in an airtight jar or container.

Fill a bowl with fruit. I like to use grapes, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas, but whatever works for you.
Take a small handful of the buckwheaties cereal and toss with the fruit. Pour over some almond mylk like you would pour it on cereal, and add a drizzle of maple syrup.

It's mostly fruit, but it's pretty jazzed up for a fruit salad, and it has been my latest breakfast obsession! ☺

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Creamy Pasta with Chard

"So... what do you eat?" is a pretty common question that not only vegans, but also vegetarians, hear.
It's pretty sad that our society has become so meat-happy that, for some, the thought of losing this precious calorie source is unthinkable.
I find no lack of diversity in my diet. But I can understand that, when growing up on hotdogs, chicken nuggets, and mac and cheese, the thought of no animal products can be difficult to grasp.
I have given up many childhood meals to pursue a vegan lifestyle. 100% willingly, and 100% happily.
Although I do sometimes long for those comfort meals I would eat all the time when I was younger, the thought of eating one disgusts me.
There are, of course, a few things that I can still have. Pasta being one of them.

I remember when I was younger, my dad would make pasta once a week, every week for my sister, brother, and me. I loved it... I would saturate my pasta with olive oil, salt, and parmesian cheese.
Not quite how it is anymore, but the memories are still there.

I still love pasta with olive oil (now with garlic and broccoli instead of the cheese, though), but I love creamy pasta dishes, too. A bit more decadent, but definitely worth having ever so often!
Prior to becoming vegan and finding interest in food preparation, macaroni and cheese and the occasional fettuccine alfredo were the only creamy pasta dishes I enjoyed. Now I've learned to branch out.
Here's a tasty pasta dish that leaves me unsure where exactly to categorize it. Although it has a slight cheesy flavor, it is in no way a vegan mac and cheese attempt. It's just what it is- a pasta dish!

1lb Pasta (I prefer corkscrews, but used rotini... any will work of course :P )

1 Tbsp vegan butter
1/3 C water (Use leftover pasta water if possible)
1/3 C pasta sauce
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2 Tbsp vegan mayonnaise
1/3 C nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp garlic powder
1/2 Tbsp cumin
1/2 C soy milk (unsweetened, plain), or to preference
Salt and Pepper to taste

1/2 (or a whole one if you want) bunch chard

1.) Get the pasta cookin' :D
2.) While the pasta is boiling, mix the mustard with the mayonnaise and add pasta sauce, nutritional yeast, cumin, and garlic powder.
Get the chard washed and chopped up.
Once the pasta is finished, take the needed water before draining and add to the sauce.
3.) Return the pasta pot to the stove, and on low heat, melt the vegan butter. Return the pasta, and mix in the sauce. Add the soy milk to your preference.
4.) Add in the chard. Stirring ever few moments, let the pot sit to allow the chard to wilt.

This pasta reheats very nicely, simply add a little bit more soy milk and heat on low heat over the stove :)


Monday, August 8, 2011

Raw Carrot-Veggie Mush

I think one of the main reasons I get sick of eating raw food is that I quickly fall into a routine. Breakfast goes through cycles, spending a week or so on monkey sandwiches then to raw cereals to fruit salad to smoothies. Lunch is usually a salad consisting of kale, broccoli, carrots, raisins, and either a chopped apple or berries, all tossed with olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice. Dinner will perhaps be a little more varied, sometimes raw pasta, or raw macaroni and cheez, perhaps raw tacos... but it just gets boring.
I once tried a raw chicken salad recipe and found it so delicious, but, like many raw recipes, it required the nuts/seeds to be soaked. Sure, it makes them easier to digest, but it's so inconvenient!
This recipe was just trying to come up with some type of raw vegan meat-like food without the nuts and seeds. Not very meat-like, but still delicious, this recipe can be tossed with a salad, eaten as a little loaf, or on raw crackers or bread. I complemented it with this broccoli mash recipe, and found, with a few modifications, the cheez sauce for said recipe went very well with the carrot veggie mush. With a handful of spinach and raisins (definitely went well with the raisins!!), this was a great lunch!

Carrot Veggie Pate Loaf serves 2-3
3 Carrots
1/2 small yellow onion
3 stalks celery
2/3 C chopped bell peppers (I used red and green)
1 T raw almond butter
Pinch of paprika
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of cumin
salt and pepper to taste

Toss all the ingredients in the food processor until well combined.

Cheezy Sauce:
1 T and 1 tsp miso
2 T water
2 T olive oil
2 T nutritional yeast
2 tsp red wine vinegar

Mix the miso with the water, and mix in the remaining ingredients.

This is definitely a recipe I will make again, but for dinner tonight, I might just cook up some pasta and roast some veggies! :)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Ode to the Farmer's Market

Here’s to the Farmer’s Market
That comes once a week,
It’s hard not to love it
With produce picked at its peak

We grab the reusable bags
Out from the backseats
And soon they begin to sag
With fresh fruit and bright red beets

Purple broccoli and seeded watermelon,
Peppers, plums, and crispy, green lettuce
all the fresh food the farmers are sellin’
And it’s all local, healthy, and completely delicious!

And when the cute organic farmer flashes his smile
It’s no use trying to not splurge
and buy enough zucchini to last quite the while
And eat enough to fall into an inevitable purge

It is better for the body
And easier on the earth
To not buy is folly,
And will lead to certain dearth

Better than organic,
Healthier and Tastier
There's no need to panic
For Local is Superior!


It's been a while since I have lasted posted... between spending a week at my aunt's and uncle's, a two week vacation, my cousin and aunt practically moving in with us, and going through a knitting frenzy, I haven't been doing much experimentation in the kitchen. (well, I have, but haven't been writing anything down).

I'm going to take advantage of the fresh, local produce (and yes, there is now an organic produce stand!) and increase my raw food intake. It has been a while since my maintenance of 80% + raw, and I definitely feel the difference. I still feel great- hyper, energetic, spastic.... but not as great.
I remember reading "Nothing cooked tastes as good as raw feels." Now, I'm not so sure if this is quite true or not... And I'm definitely not ready to abandon cooking and cooked foods completely (I'm not sure if I'll ever be able to that, but of course, I never thought I would be vegan either!). Returning to to at least a 75% raw diet is something I most definitely want to do, though. So here goes!

The improvised raw lasagna I made today has inspired me to experiment further with raw food, and that is what I shall try to do!