Thursday, September 25, 2014

Avocado Mango and Sprout Salad: Easy Affordable Raw Recipe

Avocado Mango and Sprout Salad with
Fat-Free Sweet and Spicy Mango Dressing

This is a longtime favorite salad that, of course, had to go in Easy Affordable Raw. Sunflower sprouts add a fresh crunch, and the avocados and mushrooms add substance to this
hearty salad that is perfect for either lunch or dinner.

For the Salad
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cup (70 g) sliced mushrooms
  • 1½ cups (265 g) mango chunks
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • ½ cup (50 g) walnuts
  • 1 cup (45 g) sunflower sprouts
  • (See how-to on page 40.)
For the Dressing
  • 1 cup (175 g) chopped mango
  • ½ cup (35 g) sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in
  • water for 30 minutes (See how-to on page 44.)
  • 6 dates, soaked in water for 30 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) agave
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup (235 ml) water
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon (10 g) minced onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

To make the salad: Assemble the salad by making a bed of Romaine two salad plates and arranging the remaining salad ingredients on top.

To make the dressing: Place all the dressing ingredients in a blender and puree until very smooth. Drizzle over the salad when ready to serve.

Leftover dressing can be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a few days.


Easy Affordable Raw: How to Go Raw on $10 a Day has over 100 raw recipes made with ingredients found at most local groceries. No exotic or hard to find things! Get your own copy at the link above.

What's YOUR favorite salad? Tell me in the comments below!!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Raw Food Recipe Menu: September 21, 2014

Fruit and Cream
2 servings ~ $1.19 per serving 
1 banana ($.20)
1 mango ($.98)
2 tablespoons walnuts ($.25)
2 tablespoons raisins ($.15)
2 cups almond milk ($.80)
Fruity Pebbles, Froot Loops, Trix ... most commercial cereals try to imitate fruit. Why not just have fruit?
Any fresh or dried fruit combination would work. For this, I've used a sliced banana, diced mango, and some walnuts and raisins topped with almond milk.
calories: 345
fat: 12 gr
carbs: 62 gr
protein: 4 gr

Pea Soup
serves 2 ~ $.84 per serving
2 cups peas ($.75)
1 avocado ($.88)
1 1/2 cups water
1 small onion ($.05)
salt and pepper
I've used frozen peas for this. They're likely not raw, as most commercial produce (except for berries and some fruit) is blanched before freezing. It still made a delicious soup and would be even better with fresh peas, although they may be more expensive than what I paid for frozen.
Set aside a half cup of the peas. In a blender, puree the rest of the peas and the avocado with enough water to blend and give the desired consistency. It takes a few minutes of blending to get this really smooth in a conventional blender. Salt and pepper to taste.
Pour in bowls and top with the reserved peas and minced onion.
calories: 258
fat: 16 gr
carbs: 31 gr
protein: 10 gr 

Pad Thai
serves 2 ~ $2.28 per serving

2 medium zucchini ($1.20)
1 carrot ($.15)
1 bunch green onions, sliced ($.59)
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced ($.50)
large handful mung bean sprouts ($.75)


4 tablespoons almond butter ($.80)
1/2 in piece ginger, peeled
1 tablespoon braggs aminos or soy sauce ($.10)
1 clove garlic ($.05)
1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped cashews ($.20)

This dish made me fall in love with raw food all over again and is something I can see going over well with non raw friends and family.

Noodle the zucchini and carrot using a vegetable peeler or spiral slicer. Toss with the bell pepper, green onion, and bean sprouts.

In a bullet type blender, puree all the sauce ingredients until very creamy. Because of the high fat content of the nut butter, this can get quite hot while blending. Stop and let it cool for a minute if it becomes too hot for your personal definition of raw. Pour over noodles, toss lightly, serve.
calories: 345
fat: 23 gr
carbs: 30 gr
protein: 8 gr
Lemon Poppy Seed Ice Cream
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.
calories: 345
fat: 6 gr
carbs: 77 gr
protein: 5 gr
Total cost for the day: $5.14
total calories: 1,293
total fat: 57 gr 
total carb: 200 gr 
total protein: 27 gr

Friday, September 19, 2014

Spring Water, Yum! ... plus: How To Find A Spring!

If there is a such thing as gourmet water, this is it ... It's from a public spring next to a delightful little lake near my house. The pipe is about 10 feet from the lake and constantly pours out the cleanest, clearest, sweetest water ever. I'm totally hooked. Any other water tastes sub par now!

What is a Spring?

A spring is a reservoir of water, underground, that makes it way to the surface naturally (as opposed to a well, which can come from the same aquifer but is pumped out). In some cases, the surrounding rock exerts enough pressure to force the water out ... which can erupt right from the ground. Or, it can be channeled through a pipe, like this one.

This particular spring is a "flowing artesian well." The pressure that causes it to flow happens because the aquifer the water comes from is higher in elevation than the spring itself. This flows constantly, and has for many years. There is no pump, only water pressure.

Is all Spring Water Good?

Not all spring water is good, clean, or even safe to drink. The water quality of springs can vary widely. Some will be very clear and clean, like this one. Others can have minerals and metals that make the water cloudy, though that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, springs can become contaminated by surrounding groundwater and runoff.

The quality and even the flavor of each spring will be unique, and can vary depending on the season and recent weather. Some spring water is naturally carbonated, like that found in Saratoga Springs, NY.

Most springs accessible by the public are monitored by local health departments for water safety, to ensure they contain no pathogens such as bacteria, and are free of common contaminants.

Finding a Spring in Your Area

Word of mouth can be a great way to find a spring in your area. That's how I found this one. Also, your local township, city, or county offices should also be able to tell you where springs are located.

Find-A-Spring is a wonderful online resource that has listings for springs all over the world.

Storing Spring Water

Once you've found a spring, you'll want to store all that sparkling goodness properly. I collected the water in glass jars (I use THESE, and would like to get some of THESE soon), but plastic containers can be convenient and lighter to transport.

Store collected water in the refrigerator. It may be clean and mostly free of pathogens, but it's still possible for water to get a bacterial or algae overgrowth when left at room temperature for very long. Keeping it cold will limit the growth of anything it may contain. 

On the way to the spring ...

... I pass by this ranch. They have "Texas Long Horn" cattle there. The mamas and the babies were in this field, enjoying each other on a beautiful and sunny day. They're lovely to look at and also surprisingly friendly. I'm happy I got to see them and that they live sort of happy lives. But, was also sad they won't live long ...


from Lisa Viger on Vimeo.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Chocolate Nut Butter Smoothie: Easy Affordable Raw Recipe

Chocolate Nut Butter Smoothie 

Chocolate and nut butter? That's win win, in my book :)

No, really. I mean it. In my book. This recipe is a favorite from my book, Easy Affordable Raw: How to Go Raw on $10 a Day.

This smoothie reminds me of a frosty peanut butter cup. It’s rich and decadent and made to be poured in two or more layers.

For the Chocolate Layer
  • 2 bananas, sliced and frozen 
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder 
  • 1 cup (235 ml) almond milk or flax milk

For the Nut Butter Layer
  • 2 bananas 
  • 1/4 cup (65 g) almond butter 
  • 1 cup (235 ml) almond milk or flax milk

  • Chopped almonds, for garnish (optional) 
  • Cacao nibs, for garnish (optional)

To make the chocolate layer: In a blender, process all the chocolate layer ingredients until very smooth. Pour half into another container and set aside. Divide the remaining smoothie mixture between two glasses.

To make the nut butter layer: Blend the nut butter layer ingredients until very smooth, and divide between the glasses. Spoon this on top of the chocolate layer, being careful not to blend the two layers too much. Then, gently add the remaining chocolate layer mixture.

This is beautiful when made in three layers, but is just as delicious if made in two.

Top with chopped almonds and/or cacao nibs, if using.

Yield: about 4 cups

Easy Affordable Raw: How to Go Raw on $10 a Day has over 100 raw recipes made with ingredients found at most local groceries. No exotic or hard to find things! Get your own copy at the link above.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Raw Food Recipe Menu: September 14, 2014

Banana Watermelon Ice Cream
with Watermelon Chips
serves 4 ~ $1.60 per serving

 1 medium watermelon ($5.00)
7 bananas ($1.40)
1 dropper stevia, optional

We have an abundance of watermelon right now, so have been using it every way possible. I really liked the watermelon chips, they were even better than I expected ... very sweet. And who doesn't like ice cream for breakfast?

Use about 1/2 of the watermelon to make the chips. Cut and slice the watermelon into approximately two inch by two inch pieces that are about a quarter inch thick. There's no need to be overly precise and the rustic pieces usually turn out looking wonderful. Dehydrate for about 12-24 hours, or overnight, until the watermelon pieces are leathery but not too hard and dry.

The ice cream is just as simple to make. The night before, slice the bananas and chunk up the watermelon and then freeze overnight. In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the watermelon and bananas until soft and fluffy, like soft serve ice cream. This will probably need to be done in batches, since this recipe is for quite a bit. For a slightly sweeter ice cream, add a dropper of liquid stevia.

Serve with watermelon chips. The chips are especially good warm right from the dehydrator, but can be stored in a cool, dry place for as long as a week.


calories: 393
fat: 1 gr
carbs: 100 gr
protein: 6 gr

Blueberry Salad
serves 2 ~ $2.00 per serving

1 cup blueberries, dried ($1.00)
1 head romaine ($1.29)
handful kale ($.50)
1 medium onion, divided
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh ($.50) 
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
2 tablespoons coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener ($.40)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ($.10)
salt and pepper to taste

Blueberries dry to a wonderful raisin like texture, becoming sweeter and even more flavorful. Care must be taken to not over dry them as they get too hard. Just put a cup of blueberries in the dehydrator for several hours until dry but still chewy.

The salad is just a simple one of romaine, a bit of kale, chopped onions, and dried blueberries. Reserve a tablespoon of chopped onion to go into the dressing.

The dressing is made with the onion, a half cup of fresh blueberries, the olive oil, coconut nectar, and vinegar. Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth. This works best with a bullet type blender. Most blenders have a blade assembly that's compatible with canning jars. Just unscrew the blade assembly from the carafe and attach to a small mouth canning jar. The pint jars are perfect for small jobs like this.

 Also, a larger batch of dressing can be made, just double or triple the recipe. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.


calories: 289
fat: 14 gr
carbs: 42 gr
protein: 4 gr

Corn Chips and Green Tomato Salsa
serves 2 ~ $2.15 per serving

2 cups corn kernels ($1.30)
1 red bell pepper ($.50)
1 medium onion
1 jalapeno ($.05)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon olive oil for tray

To make, just put all ingredients in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade and process until almost smooth. Spread out about 1/8 inch thick on lined dehydrator trays that have been liberally coated with olive oil. Dry for about two hours, then flip and peel the liner off. Dry for another several hours or overnight until dry and crispy. Break into chip sized pieces.

2 ripe red tomatoes, diced ($1.00)
2 green tomatoes, diced ($1.00)
1 medium onion, minced
1 jalapeno, minced ($.05)
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, optional ($.10)
juice of one lime ($.50)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar ($.10)
 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Assemble all ingredients and stir to combine. Really, it's that easy. Serve with corn chips.


calories: 377
fat: 22 gr
carbs: 45 gr
protein: 9 gr

Watermelon Punch Slushie
serves 2 ~ $1.50 per serving

1/2 watermelon, chunked and frozen ($2.50)
juice of one lime ($.50)
1 dropper stevia
water for blending, about a cup

We had a return of wonderfully hot weather (I'm so not looking forward to winter!) and this slushie was really refreshing in the evening when it seems to get even hotter.

Freeze watermelon chunks ahead of time, then puree in a blender with the lime juice and stevia. Add water as needed for blending. Add a watermelon wedge or lime slice as garnish.


calories: 368
fat: 2 gr
carbs: 92 gr
protein: 8 gr

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Total cost for the day: $7.25
total calories: 1,427
total fat: 39 gr
total carb: 279 gr
total protein: 27 gr


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