Monday, June 27, 2016

Raw Food Recipe Menu: June 26th, 2016


Strawberry Flax Smoothie
serves 2 ~ $1.28 per serving
Just two tablespoons of flax seeds, weighing in at 95 calories, contains over 140% of the daily value of omega 3 fatty acids. These fatty acids can protect against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer, and also decrease inflammation. Because the nutrients in flax seeds are better absorbed when ground ~ and a lot more palatable! ~ I've used the ground seeds in this recipe.
  • 2 bananas, frozen and sliced ($.50)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries ($1.00)
  • 4 tablespoons flax seeds, ground ($.40)
  • 1 cup almond milk ($.45) 
  • a few almonds, chopped
  • In a blender, combine all ingredients and puree until very smooth.
  • Garnish with a few chopped almonds, if desired.
nutritional information:      calories: 308      fat: 11 gr      carb: 55      protein: 7 gr    
Squash and Cauliflower Soup
serves 2 ~ $1.75 per serving
This is a light but also filling lunch or snack and cauliflower is in season right now. It's pretty low in calories and not very expensive. I've been known to eat the whole batch, is what I'm saying! I like to add some cayenne and crushed red pepper flakes, but, as is true of most things in life, heat is optional ... add as much or little as you like. 
  • 1 1/2 cup peeled and chopped zucchini and/or summer squash ($1.20)
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower ($1.00)
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped apple ($1.00)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, or any one of your favorite oils ($.20)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion ($.10)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, or to taste

  • Place all ingredients in high powered blender and process for a minute or two until very smooth and creamy. 
  • Add a drizzle of your favorite oil and some crushed red pepper flakes.

nutritional information:      calories: 390          fat: 32 gr         carbs: 54        protein: 5  
Spring Noodles
serves 2 ~ $1.98 per serving

  • 2 medium zucchini, noodled ($2.30)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped ($.05)
  • 1/2 lb baby snap peas ($.80)
  • 1 carrot, grated ($.10)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
  • 2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ($.20)
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed ($.10)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
noodled verb: to improvise, experiment, or think creatively; to make or devise freely as an exercise or experiment
I used to think breaded and fried was the only way to eat zucchini. Now, I'm totally into raw zucchini noodles. They're so easy to make and have a wonderful but mild flavor of their own, so they work well with just about everything. 
Make noodles out the zucchini with a spiralizer, grater, or with a vegetable peeler. Toss the noodles together with the whole snap peas, chopped onion, and grated carrot. In a small cup, whisk together the oil, agave, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss with the noodles until coated. 
These can be served as is, or marinated for an hour or so, or gently dehydrated for a bit.

nutritional information:      calories: 343      fat: 14 gr      carbs: 46 gr      protein: 10 gr
Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream with Strawberry Sauce
serves 2 ~ $1.10 per serving

  • 4 bananas, sliced and frozen ($.60)
  • juice and zest of one lemon ($.69)
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds ($.30)
  • 1 cup strawberries ($.45)
  • 1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts ($.15)
  • pinch salt

Banana ice cream is wonderful.  And it's amazingly simple to make with just a food processor.

The strawberry sauce should be made first and set aside. In a bullet type blender, puree the strawberries and agave until very smooth.

In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the frozen bananas and lemon juice and zest until creamy like soft serve ice cream. It can take a bit of prodding and scraping to get the bananas going in the food processor, but it's worth it. Once creamy, add the poppy seeds and give a whir or two to incorporate.

Serve with the strawberry sauce and walnuts. 
nutritional information:       calories: 345      fat: 6 gr      carbs: 77 gr      protein: 5 gr
Total cost for the day: $6.11
total calories: 1,386
total fat: 63 gr
total carb: 232 gr
total protein: 27 gr

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Chocolate Orange Smoothie: Raw Food Smoothie Recipe

Chocolate Orange Smoothie
serves 1 ~ $2.20 per serving 

You have to remind yourself this is good for you. It's so delicious it feels downright decadent. The hemp milk makes it super creamy and luscious.

  • 1 orange, peeled and frozen ($.50)
  • 2 bananas, peeled, sliced, and frozen ($.40)
  • 1 cup hemp milk ($1.00)
  • 3 tablespoons cacao powder ($.30) 
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange extract
  • few drops stevia (optional)
  • pinch salt
  • 6 ice cubes
  • water for blending, if necessary

  1. In a high speed blender, puree all ingredients until very smooth and creamy. 
  2. Add water if needed for ease of blender or if a thinner smoothie is desired. 

nutritional information:      calories: 339      fat: 14 gr      carbs: 43 gr       protein: 8 gr 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Fruit Stew: Raw Food Recipe

Fruit Stew
serves 2 ~ $2.48 per serving

This is surprisingly filling. You can make this entirely fat free by simply omitting the olive oil, which is something I do on occasion. 
  • 1 mango, cubed ($1.49)
  • 1 papaya, cubed ($.99)
  • 1 cucumber, chopped ($.69)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped ($.05)
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped ($.89)
  • 1 jalapeno, minced ($.20)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice ($.45)
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes

  1. In a food processor fitted with an "S blade, puree about a third of each of the mango, papaya, and cucumber and the olive oil and salt until very smooth. This is the stew base. 
  2. In a large bowl, add the remaining chopped mango, papaya, and cucumber, along with the onion, red bell pepper, and jalapeno. 
  3. Stir to mix. 
  4. Add the lime juice and stir again. 
  5. Serve with a bit of black pepper and a few crushed red pepper flakes.
  6. Most of the heat of a jalapeno is found in the seeds. I like this kind of spicy so I include most of the seeds from the jalapeno. If you prefer a bit more mild taste, just leave out most or all of the seeds.

 nutritional information       calories: 289      fat: 14 gr      carbs: 43 gr       protein: 3 gr

And want to know a few fun facts about fruit, too?

Hope you're all having a great spring! Say hello :)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Anti-Inflammatory Orange Turmeric Tea plus 10 Healthy Benefits of Turmeric

Tumeric is famously anti-inflammatory and can be enjoyed many different ways, including juiced raw. But today, I wanted to pass on this super easy tea (psst, it's not raw!).

I've been drinking it almost every morning for a couple months now and it's still delicious to me, which is a good thing. Turmeric has so many beneficial qualities ... let us count the ways (scroll below for the tea how-to).

1. Anti-inflammatory.
Turmeric, the brightly colored spice that gives curry it's intense color, contains beneficial compounds that have positive health benefits. The main compounds are the curcuminoids and the most important of these is curcumin. One of the most beneficial things curcumin can do is lessen inflammation, which is implicated in most Western diseases.

To be fair, inflammatory responses are a good thing. We wouldn't be able to wage a defense against bacteria and viruses, or injuries, for example, without a strong inflammatory response. However, too much of a good thing can cause problems. Chronic inflammation has been implicated in many diseases that plague us today, including heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's, and obesity. Curcumin can reduce inflammation as effectively as some anti-inflammatory medications, but without the side effects. One of the ways it does this is by inhibiting (NF)-kB.  
2. Antioxidant
Oxidation is a chemical reaction that produces free radicals. Free radicals have unpaired electrons. These lonely little fragments damage cells and wreak havoc and destruction wherever they go. Antioxidants, like curcumin, terminate the chain reactions that lead to unpaired electrons and, therefore, free radicals and the damage they cause. Seriously, it's the radicals, man.
3. Heart Health
Almost 50% of Americans will die prematurely from heart disease. Heart disease and chronic inflammation are so closely linked that inflammation is thought to be an atherogenic response (atherogenic means it causes atherosclerosis, aka, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and is also peripheral artery disease). It's even thought possible that the slight benefit sometimes derived from statins could be due to their anti-inflammatory properties. Reducing inflammation is a vital key to reducing heart disease.Curcumin is a potent COX-2 inhibitor, that

4. Cancer
Curcumin is being investigated as prevention and treatment for cancers such as that of the colon and pancreas. Chronic inflammation and free radicals promote cancer. Reducing those conditions can be preventive and curcumin works well at both. 
5. Arthritis
 Inflammation is an important mechanism in arthritis. Curcumin acts as a COX-2 inhibitor in the same way pharmaceutical drugs such as Celebrex do, but without the dangerous side effects. The tea below, as well as curcumin supplements can ease the pain of arthritis and rejuvenate mobility.

7. Alzheimer's 
India has a low incidence of Alzheimer's, possibly linked to higher intake of curcumin. Because inflammation plays such a big part in most disease, including Alzheimer's, it can be protective and preventative.

8. Brain Function
Alzheimer's is not the only thing that can go awry in brain function, and again, inflammation is implicated. In this case, it's known as neuroinflammation, or inflammation specifically in the brain and reducing that can help overall brain function. 
9. Depression
Depression and anxiety are often linked to brain inflammation (this is why going gluten free can help mood, as well). It seems to offer some improvement and relief to those who have depression.

10. Gall Bladder Function 
Curcumin causes the gall bladder to contract, which stimulates bile formation and gall bladder emptying and a freely flowing gallbladder is a happy, healthy one (unless you have a stone blocking the exit, which can cause a painful gallbladder attack).

11. Pepper
I can't talk about turmeric and curcumin without also mentioning black pepper. The Piperine in black pepper increases the absorption of curcumin by 2000% (that's 20x). So, add a little bit of black pepper to whatever you make with turmeric for the greatest benefit. It tastes good, too.

*Do not use turmeric or curcumin if you are using blood thinners such as Warfarin or if you have existing gall bladder disease.

 This tea (and this salad dressing, too) are delicious ways to get a healthy dose of turmeric.

Orange Turmeric Tea
serves 3 ~ $.33 per serving

  • 1 orange, peeled and chopped ($.70)
  • 1 teaspoon powdered tumeric ($.10)
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds($10)
  • a few black peppercorns, or pinch of black pepper
  • stevia or sweetener, if desired ($.10)

  1. Place the orange, turmeric, and caraway seeds in a large saucepan with four cups water. 
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat and continue to boil for about five minutes. This will reduce any bitterness in the turmeric.
  3. Add the peppercorns or pinch of pepper and steep for a minute or two. 
  4. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into mugs and and the sweetener of your choice, if desired. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Raw Zucchini Chips: Super Easy Raw Food Recipe

Zucchini chips are an awesome/tasty alternative to convention chips, which have few nutrients and are laden with fat and salt. Not only that, but before I was raw, I always overlooked zucchini as a "buy and make it in bulk" vegetable. But, when zucchini is plentiful, this is the perfect recipe to use them up.


Zucchini season is best in mid summer, because it's a warm weather plant. Even so, zucchini can be found at most groceries through most of the year. Look for firm and glossy fruit with no marks or soft spots.

Simply wash the zucchini and then slice thinly. A mandolin would be the best choice of tool, but I did just fine with a chef's knife. If you want your zucchini chips to have lighter edges, then peel then first then slice.

Put the sliced zucchini in a lidded container and add the marinade. Shake well to coat.

Spread out in a single layer on lined dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate at around 145 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour, then reduce the temperature to 120 and dehydrate for another 12 hours or so. Overnight is a good way to time it. They're done when all the moisture has been removed. They should be pretty crispy and only a little chewy. The full recipe is below.

Raw Zucchini Chips
one large batch ~ $7.10

  • 8 cups thinly sliced zucchini rounds ($5.00)
  • 1/2 cup agave ($1.00)
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar ($.40)
  • 1/4 olive oil ($.40)
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano ($.05)
  • 2 tablespoons dried basil ($.05)
  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley ($.05)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder ($.05)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder ($.05)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes ($.05) 
  • Slice the zucchini, pat dry if needed, and place in a large, lidded container. 
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients.
  • Pour over the sliced zucchini, cover, and shake (or just stir) until zucchini is evenly coated. 
  • Spread the zucchini on lined dehydrator sheets and dry at 145 degrees for about an hour and then at 120 for about another 12 hours or overnight (dehydrating time can vary), until crispy. 
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container and pop into dehydrator for a few minutes to crisp them up again if necessary. 


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