Monday, August 30, 2010

August 29, 2010

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

Now I know I really should get a nine tray Excalibur dehydrator. I'd make tons of these chips with it.
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

Print Giveaway

When I'm not making and/or eating lovely raw and vegan food, I'm usually painting ... and I've been wanting to do a print giveaway here for a while.

This giveaway is for the set of two unframed 8 x 11 prints below (image size is about 6" x 8").

To be entered in the giveaway, just leave a comment below. For additional entries:

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Deadline is Sunday, September 5th at 10 pm

Question of the Week

What are you up to besides making beautiful and healthy food?

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 22, 2010


serves 2 ~ $1.84 per serving

1 cantaloupe ($1.50)
2 cups watermelon ($1.00)
1/4 cup walnuts ($1.00)
1 tablespoon coconut nectar or other liquid sweetener ($.18)

This is an easy and fresh way to start the day. Just cut the cantaloupe and watermelon into chunks. Top with chopped walnuts and a small drizzle of coconut nectar.

Coconut nectar is delicious. It has a pretty distinct flavor, almost like caramel. I keep it in the fridge so it stays thick and gooey and use it like a syrup, although it can be used in the place of any liquid sweetener.


calories: 304
fat: 10 gr
carbs: 53 gr
protein: 7 gr


Mango Watermelon Soup
serves 4 ~ $1.95 per serving

8 cups watermelon, chopped ($2.50)
2 mangoes, chopped ($3.00)
1 large cucumber, chopped ($.50)
1 jalapeno pepper, minced ($.10)
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped ($1.00)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
juice of 1 lime ($.60)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

crushed pepper flakes (see below for how-to)

It's just not summer without some kind of fruit soup, and watermelon soup is one of my favorites. I make it several time or more in a summer. I wanted to change it up just a bit but still keep the watermelon in there and this is what happened.

Chop five cups of the watermelon into small, bite sized pieces. Chop and mince the mango, cucumber, jalapeno, red bell pepper, and onion and add to a large bowl.

Put the remaining three cups of watermelon in a blender with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Blend well for a few minutes. The oil will combined with the watermelon and make a nice, creamy base for the soup. Once blended, pour over the chopped ingredients and stir. 

Serve with a squeeze of lime juice and some crushed pepper flakes (use purchased crushed red pepper flakes or see below to make your own). A small drizzle of olive oil goes well, too.

This soup can also be served in the shell of the watermelon, as shown below. Just take care when getting the flesh out. Use a spoon to scrape the inside of the shell to get most of the watermelon out .. although it doesn't have to be perfect by any means. Cut a small flat part on the bottom so it will stand up right, and wrap with a dish towel at the base if you need more stability.


calories: 357
fat: 11 gr
carbs: 68 gr
protein: 5 gr

 Crushed Pepper Flakes

It's simple to make crushed pepper flakes of your own like I've done here with some extra Jalapenos from the garden.

Just select your favorite pepper or mix of peppers. Cut off the stem end. Dry in the dehydrator for about 24 hours. Once entirely dry and brittle, put the peppers in a bag and crush with a rolling pin or something similar. These can be used in the same way as crushed red pepper flakes, although they will look just a bit different and usually be hotter. I like using just a pinch sprinkled on ... well, on just about anything.

The flakes can be stored in a bag or jar and will remain fresh for several months or more if kept cool and very dry.

Make sure to protect your hands if they're sensitive. And never touch or rub your face or eyes after working with peppers.


Zucchini Pasta with Marinara Sauce
serves 2 ~ $1.79 per serving

2 ripe tomatoes ($1.00)
6 pieces sun dried tomatoes (see below for how) ($1.50)
1 small onion
1/2 red bell pepper ($.50)
 1 tablespoon coconut nectar ($.18)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
1 teaspoon dried basil ($.10)
1 teaspoon dried oregano ($.10)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 medium zucchini, noodled and marinated ($1.00)

This marinara sauce tastes just like I remember Spaghetti-Os tasting. I haven't eaten them in many years, so excuse me if my memory isn't totally accurate. A little bit of sweetness is the trick, I think.

Puree the sauce ingredients in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade. Let process for a few minutes until very creamy (or don't process as long if you like it more chunky, but it won't be like Spaghetti-Os!).

Make noodles in your usual way from the zucchini. I marinated mine for about an hour in a tablespoon of the basil and oregano flavored olive oil from last week, with a bit of salt. Serve with the marinara sauce and a dash of basil and oregano.


calories: 286
fat: 15 gr
carbs: 62 gr
protein: 7 gr

Sun Dried Tomatoes

It's so easy to make your own "sun dried" tomatoes, and they taste so much better than what you'll find in the store.
Just cut tomatoes in half and place on a dehydrator sheet with the skin side down. Dehydrate for about 24 hours until leathery and deep red ... they need to be dry but still slightly pliable.
Because they're not entirely dry, for maximum freshness these are best stored in zip lock type bags with as much air as possible removed, in the refrigerator. The tomatoes will keep for several weeks. Check for condensation and if there is any, pop them back into the dehydrator to dry them a bit more.


Fruit Punch Pops
serves 1 ~ $1.85

1/4 watermelon, cut into chunks ($1.25)
juice of 1 lime ($.60)
1 dropper stevia (optional)
This tastes just like fruit punch to me.

In a blender or food processor, puree the watermelon chunks. Add the lime juice and a bit of stevia and pulse a few times. Stevia's are different as far as how sweet they are, so you'll have to experiment to find the right flavor for you.
I like this just as it is ... for a drink. But it can be frozen into popsicles for some cold treats. Just use a popsicle mold and pour in and freeze. To unmold, run the sides of the mold under hot water for a few seconds and they'll pop right out.
Also, a quarter of a watermelon will make several popsicles. I count this as one serving because I can eat a big pile of them. It's really convenient to have them in the freezer to snack on through the day.


calories: 294
fat: 2 gr
carbs: 74 gr
protein: 6 gr

Total cost for the day: $7.43
total calories: 1,241
total fat: 39 gr
total carb: 257 gr
total protein: 25 gr

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 15, 2010

Protein Flakes
serves 2 ~ $1.22 per serving

3 ripe bananas ($.45)
2 cups strawberries ($1.29)
4 tablespoons nutiva hemp protein powder ($.60)
1/2 cup buckwheat, soaked for 2 hours and rinsed well ($.10)

I have three product reviews that I'm going to cover in this post. Because my calorie intake is generally at the lower end, I can also come up slightly low in protein. The RDA for protein is about 50 gr per day; I was regularly getting about 20 - 25 gr per day. So, I was really pleased when I had the chance to try three different products ... all of which I'm going use in the recipes today.

These flakes started out as crepes that I left in the dehydrator too long. They were pretty crispy and made great "cereal" type flakes.

I'm a long time fan of Nutiva, and have used their coconut oil for many years. The Nutiva Hemp Protein Powder has its own light and nutty taste which adds additional flavor dimension to these flakes, and any other recipe. The Nutiva Hemp Protein is just slightly grainy, but that actually worked well here and in some other recipes. The nutritional information for this product comes out to 120 calories per serving, with 11 grams of protein for a cost of about $.60 per serving.

I personally like this product so much I now get it in their 3 lb bulk packages ... This works out really well, with very little packaging (excess packaging is one of my pet peeves) and the product is exceptionally fresh. I open the package right away, transfer the powder to quart canning jars and store in the freezer until needed.

To make the flakes, in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, puree all ingredients until smooth. Spread out on dehydrator trays (teflex works best for these) and dehydrate at about 115 degrees for about an hour. Peel from the teflex sheet and flip onto regular dehydrator tray and continue drying for several hours or overnight. Break apart and serve with your favorite nut milk.


calories: 337
fat: 12 gr
carbs: 67 gr
protein: 12 gr

Best Chocolate Shake
serves 1 ~ $1.70 per serving

 1 banana, sliced and frozen ($.15)
1 cup almond milk ($.30)
1 scoop Raw Protein Powder ($1.05)
1 tablespoon cacao or cocoa powder ($.20)
pinch salt

is made from organic, sprouted brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, garbano bean and other sprouts, including sunflower seed sprouts.

So, the bad news is, I'm allergic to sunflower seeds and couldn't try out the organic raw vegan Raw Protein Powder from Garden of Life.  

The good news is, my taste testers have informed me this was the "best chocolate shake ever." The Raw Protein is very fine and has almost no flavor or grittiness. It mixes into recipes like this one without changing the taste or texture much.

The Raw Protein Powder is about  $1.05 per serving which contains 18 gram protein and has 80 calories per serving.

In a blender, puree all ingredients until very smooth and creamy.

calories: 315
fat: 5 gr
carbs: 42 gr
protein: 22 gr

Tomato Raw Protein Soup
serves 2 ~  $1.35 per serving

4 ripe tomatoes ($2.00)
4 leaves kale or chard ($.20)
2 tablespoon olive oil ($.20)
2 carrots ($.10)
2 stalks celery ($.20)
 medium onion
3 tablespoons nutiva hemp seeds ($1.05)

2 teaspoons flavored oil for drizzling ($.10)

I initially made some tomato soup with the Nutiva Hemp Protein powder. It was pretty good but maybe just slightly gritty and the flavors didn't mesh well, so I made another soup with some hemp seeds on top. The nutty flavor of the seeds goes really well with the creamy tomato soup. 

Nutiva's Hemp Seeds are about $1.05 per serving with 11 grams of protein and 110 calories.

Set aside one tomato, half the onion, and the hemp seeds. In a blender, puree all the rest of the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Top with chopped tomatoes, onion, hemp seeds, and a drizzle of flavored oil (see how-to below).


To make a flavored oil, simply add the spices of your choice to some olive oil and let sit to absorb the flavors for a few days. I like it pretty intense, so I use about three tablespoons spices per every cup of olive oil, but adjust this to your liking. And experiment ... like most raw food projects, it's almost impossible to really mess this up.

Once the flavor has developed to your liking, strain the oil and put in a container and use within two weeks.


calories: 443
fat: 37 gr
carbs: 27 gr
protein: 9 gr

Melon with Cream
serves 2 ~ $2.00 per serving

1 ripe cantaloupe ($2.00)
2 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen ($.30) 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
3 tablespoons nutiva hemp seeds ($1.05)
1 cup strawberries, sliced ($.65)

Open the cantaloupe and gently scrape out the seed cavity. In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the frozen bananas and vanilla until smooth. If you like the hemp seeds more processed, add them now. I waited and added them once the bananas were almost smooth.

The mix will be like soft serve ice cream and can be divided between the cantaloupe halves and topped with sliced strawberries.


calories: 221
fat: 10 gr
carbs:  50 gr
protein: 7 gr

Total cost for the day: $6.27
total calories: 1,316
total fat: 64 gr
total carb: 188 gr
total protein: 50 gr

Products used:

Nutiva Hemp Protein Poweder
Nutiva Hemp Seeds
Raw Protein from Garden of Life

Question of the week ... Do you have any serious food allergies and, if so, how do you handle them?


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