Sunday, May 29, 2011

May 29, 2011

Banana Salad
serves 2 ~ $1.64 per serving

2 bananas ($.30)
1 small head romaine ($1.89)
juice of 1 lemon ($.69)
3 tablespoons agave ($.30)
pinch of salt
coconut flakes, finely shredded ($.10)

A salad for breakfast? Sure. It has the same ingredients as a smoothie! 

It's just as simple to make, too. Chop the romaine and toss with sliced bananas. In a small cup, whisk together the lemon juice, agave, and a pinch of salt and dress each salad. Sprinkle with coconut flakes.

calories: 270
fat: 2 gr
carbs: 67 gr
protein: 5 gr

Squash Blossoms
serves 2 ~ $2.12 per serving

12 - 20 squash blossoms ($2.00)
1/2 cup walnuts ($1.00)
1/2 cup water for blending
1 ripe avocado ($.88)
1 tablespoon lemon juice ($.10)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon tarragon ($.10)
1 small onion, minced ($.05)

1 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
ground flax seeds

Squash blossoms are gorgeous. They're delicious, too. These are from my own plants. They're quite fragile and don't last long. You can grow your own or get them from a farmer's market.

Gently wash the blossoms and pat dry. Allow to air dry for a half hour or so.

In a bullet type blender, puree the walnuts and water until very smooth. Add the avocado, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and tarragon and puree again until very smooth. Add more water if necessary. Once blended, mix in the minced onions and stir to combine.

This makes a creamy and cheesy like mix to put inside the blossoms. Gently spoon a tablespoon or so in each blossom.

They're beautiful like this with nothing else done to them. Or, they can be brushed with a small amount of olive oil and dusted with some finely ground flax seed and then dehydrated for a few hours for a more "fried" kind of feeling.

calories: 332
fat: 28 gr
carbs: 15 gr
protein: 7 gr

Cucumber Noodles
serves 2 ~ $2.50 per serving

2 cucumbers, noodled ($1.59)
2 tomatoes, chopped ($3.00)
1 medium onion, chopped ($.05)
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
1 tablespoon vinegar ($.10)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon dried basil ($.05)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper

This is fresh and light and perfect for a hot summer afternoon. 

Shave the cucumbers into noodles. Top with chopped tomatoes and onions.

Whisk together the remaining ingredients and drizzle over the top.

calories: 176
fat: 14 gr
carbs: 13 gr
protein: 3 gr

Chocolate Tacos
serves 4 ~ $1.19 per serving


1/2 cup ground flax seeds ($.25)
1/2 cup water
2 ripe bananas ($.30)
4 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder ($.80)
pinch salt

banana ice cream

4 bananas ($.60)
4 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder ($.80)
pinch salt

nut cream

1/2 cup nuts ($1.00)
1/4 cup water 
1 tablespoon agave ($.20)
1/2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch salt

chocolate sauce

2 tablespoons cacao or cocoa powder ($.40)
2 tablespoons agave ($.20)
2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil ($.20)

a few chopped walnuts and strawberries

These are so much fun. They really do look like little chocolate tacos with all the fixings. And ... it's chocolate, which is always a good thing.

Make the shells first. Use finely ground flax seed and soak in water for about twenty minutes, until gooey. In a food processor with an "S" blade, puree the bananas until smooth. Add in the soaked flax and salt and process briefly. Spread in eight circles on lined dehydrator trays. Let dehydrate for about an hour, until dry to the touch on the side facing up. Flip and peel the sheet away. Let dry another couple hours. Then, gently fold in half. Use a twisted piece of wax paper to make a brace to hold the taco shell slightly open. Let dry this way for another couple hours. Let cool to room temperature.

Make the banana ice cream. Combine all the ingredients in the food processor and puree until very smooth. Then put in an ice cream maker and process until like soft serve. Freeze.

The nut cream is just the ingredients pureed in a bullet type blender until smooth. Refrigerate. It will thicken some as it cools.

The chocolate sauce is just cacao powder, agave, and either olive oil or coconut oil stirred together. Coconut oil will  make a hard chocolatey shell; olive oil will stay liquid. Either way is really good.

To assemble, spoon the ice cream into the shells, add a dollop of nut cream, a few walnuts and strawberries, and a drizzle of sauce.

You can add a bit of heat to the chocolate ice cream by adding a big pinch of cayenne before processing. It adds heat without changing the flavor.

calories: 438
fat: 45 gr
carbs: 115 gr
protein: 15 gr

Total cost for the day: $7.45
total calories: 1,216
total fat: 89 gr
total carb: 210 gr
total protein: 30 gr

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 22, 2011

Coconut Cashew Cupcakes with Lilac Blossoms
serves 2 ~ $1.98 per serving

cashew cream
1/2 cup cashews ($1.00)
1 tablespoon agave ($.20)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water

1/2 cup cashews ($1.00)
1/2 cup raisins ($.75)
1/2 cup mature coconut (flaked or chunks) ($1.00)

coconut flakes
lilac blossoms

Lilacs have always been my favorite flower, and while some think they're overpowering, I LOVE how they smell. I bring arm loads in, in the spring. I even planned my wedding for when the lilacs are in bloom here. So, I was thrilled to discover my favorite flower is edible. And they taste just a bit like they smell.

When using edible flowers, make sure you know what you're picking and that it's nontoxic. Also make sure they haven't been exposed to any contaminants, such as pesticides, etc.

First, make the cashew cream. In a small bullet type blender, puree the cashews, agave, salt, and water until very smooth and creamy. This can take several minutes. Cover and store in the refrigerator until needed.

For the cupcakes, in a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the cashews, raisins, and coconut until the mixture starts to stick together. Put about a 1/4 cup of the mix into cupcake liners, and press into shape.

Spoon a small amount of cashew cream over the top, add a mound of coconut flakes, and garnish with individual lilac blooms.

calories: 368
fat: 22 gr
carbs: 47 gr
protein: 13 gr

 Just about anything is pretty with a garnish of a few lilac blossoms.

Salad with Lemon Tarragon Dressing
serves 2 ~ $2.98 per serving


1 avocado ($1.49)
1/2 large cucumber ($.69)
1/4 medium onion
juice and zest of one lemon ($.69)
1 tablespoon agave ($.10)
1 teaspoon tarragon ($.10)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1/2 -1 cup water for blending


1 head green leaf lettuce, chopped ($1.89)
1/2 large cucumber, sliced ($.69)
2 carrots, grated
3/4 medium onion, diced ($.05)
6 radishes, sliced ($.25)
salt and pepper to taste

I'm starting to really love salads to the point that they're what I picture in my head when thinking about yummy food. And lemon and tarragon is my current favorite flavor combination. Oh yeah, this is going to become a staple.

In a blender, puree all the dressing ingredients until smooth and creamy. This can be a very thick dressing or a bit thinner, depending on how much water is added. I used all the dressing on two salads, but any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to a few days.

The salad is just the salad ingredients tossed together and topped with the dressing.


calories: 315
fat: 15 gr
carbs: 43 gr
protein: 8 gr

Mushroom Burritos
serves 4 ~ $2.25 per serving

2 tablespoons oil ($.20)
18 oz sliced mushrooms ($6.87)
2 medium onions, sliced ($.20)
8 flour tortillas (see recipe below to make your own) ($1.20)
vegan mayonnaise (see recipe below to make your own) ($.20)
several lettuce leaves, chopped ($.30)
salt and pepper to taste

Nope, this isn't raw. But I've included it here because I wanted to show you how easy it is to make your own tortillas, as well as pass along a recipe for your own homemade veganaise.

Making your own tortillas is one of those "kitchen tricks," like homemade pasta, that is both satisfying and impressive, as well as amazingly easy. Use the recipe below to make your own tortillas, or use your choice of store bought.

Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the mushrooms and onions over medium high heat until the onion is translucent and the mushrooms tender. Spread about half a tablespoon of mayo on each tortilla and then fill with the mushrooms and onions and some chopped lettuce. Salt and pepper to taste.

calories: 385
fat: 23 gr
carbs: 35 gr
protein: 10 gr

makes 8 ~ $.15 each

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour ($1.00)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons olive oil ($.20)
1/2 cup water

Burrito shells are basically the same thing as chapati bread and couldn't be simpler to make. These will turn out just a bit less pliable than the packaged flour tortillas.

In a bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add the oil and stir to distribute evenly. Pour the water in a bit at a time, kneading it into the flour. On a floured surface, knead the bread for about 3 minutes. Place in a covered bowl to rest for 15-20 minutes.

Cut into eight equal pieces and roll each piece to about six inches across. Perfectly round is a good shape to aim for, but they taste just as good if they're a bit lop sided like mine.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Place a tortilla in the pan and let it heat until bubbles start forming inside the dough. Check the underside and flip when just lightly browned. There will be some darker brown spots in places. Repeat on the other side making sure the dough is cooked through in the center. There will probably be quite a few bubbles or pockets, and if the heat gets high the dough can even expand like a balloon. The bubbles will flatten out once off the heat. 

Remove to a plate and cover with a towel to retain the heat.

Vegan Mayonnaise
makes 24 tablespoons ~ $.05 per tablespoon

1 cup oil ($.59)
1/2 cup soy milk ($.30)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon paprika 
1 teaspoon agave ($.10)
1 teaspoon vinegar ($.10)

This is a flavorful version of a vegan mayonnaise. It takes all of about two minutes to make and can be customized to your own taste. Soybean oil is what is used in most commercial mayos, but any liquid oil can be used keeping in mind it will change the taste accordingly.
Place all ingredients in a bullet type blender and process for a minute or so. It will very quickly turn into a stiff mayonnaise. Stir well and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Banana Mango Ice Cream
serves 2 ~ $.97 per serving

3 ripe bananas, sliced and frozen ($.45)
1 cup frozen mango chunks ($1.49)
pinch salt

pea blossoms or other edible flowers (optional)

I never get tired of making the banana ice creams. It's one of those rare things that seem too good to be true, but isn't. And even with making this so often, I've never had the exact same recipe twice.

I used a couple pea blossoms and vines as a garnish (only use blossoms from edible pea vines, the fragrant sweet pea blossoms are poisonous). It was almost too pretty to eat ... almost.

In a food processor with an "S" blade, process all ingredients until smooth and like soft serve ice cream. It can take just a bit of scraping and adjusting to get it to process completely. Add just a tiny bit of water if needed to help blend. Serve with an edible flower garnish if desired.


calories: 225
fat: 1 gr
carbs: 53 gr
protein: 3 gr

Total cost for the day: $8.18
total calories: 1,293
total fat: 61 gr
total carb: 178 gr
total protein: 34 gr

I forgot to take photos of the garden this week, but I DO have lots of tomatoes blossoms and a few little green tomatoes! Yes, I'm totally excited!

I also wanted to take a moment to say a word about my raw goddess friend, Penni Shelton. This weekend a few raw folks paid tribute to Penni and what she does in the raw community ... like THIS video from Matt Monarch and Dave the Raw Food Trucker.
Penni is the creator of Raw Food Rehab and an inspiration and motivator to many. I've known Penni to be giving, generous, humorous, and not to mention absolutely gorgeous inside and out. She also has an impeccable code of conduct that could/should be a model for how to best interact in online communities. I'm fortunate to know her.

You can visit Penni and Raw Food Rehab at

I did a quick little painting of Penni, and the video is below.

Monday, May 16, 2011

May 15, 2011

Chia Porridge
serves 1 ~ $1.75 per serving

4 tablespoons chia ($.80)
1/2 cup water
1/2 apple, chopped ($.30)
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped ($.25)
2 tablespoons raisins ($.20)
 1 tablespoon agave ($.20)
pinch cinnamon

This is super quick and super easy, and it tastes pretty good, too.

In a bowl, stir together the ground chia seeds and water. Let stand for a few minutes so it can gel. Add the chopped apple, chopped walnut, and raisins. Top with the agave and add a pinch of cinnamon, if desired.

calories: 341
fat: 18 gr
carbs: 57 gr
protein: 7 gr
Chard Pockets
serves 2 ~ $2.62 per serving

6 chard leaves ($.90)
1 cucumber, sliced into small wedges ($.70)
1 cup mung bean sprouts ($.50)
1 carrot, shaved ($.15)
1 cup snow peas ($.80)
1 ripe avocado ($1.99)
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon agave ($.20)
1 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon salt

I wanted to make collard wraps, but the local store was fresh out of collards. Chard worked just as well. To make the "pocket" fold together smoothly, cut out the thickest part of the stem.

Stack the cucumber, mung beans, shaved carrots, and snow peas on the chard leaf. Add a dollop of avocado dressing and fold over.
To make the avocado dressing, using a bullet type blender and puree one avocado, water, agave, dill, and salt until very smooth. This will take a few minutes.

calories: 243
fat: 13 gr
carbs: 31 gr
protein: 6 gr

serves 2 ~ $3.69 per serving

12 oz mushrooms, sliced ($1.58)
1/2 pineapple, cut into chunks ($2.50)
1 medium onion, sliced into rings ($.10)

3 zucchini, cut into noodles ($1.79)

barbeque sauce

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes($.50)
5 dates, pitted ($.50)
1 tablespoons agave ($.20)
1 tablespoon olive oil ($.10)
 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar ($.10)
1 cup pineapple juice or water
1 clove garlic
 tablespoon chopped onion
1 teaspoon brown spicy mustard
 1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

This is just as thick and hearty as any barbeque ... although I wasn't sure what to call it!
First, soak the sun dried tomatoes and dates in the pineapple juice or water for about 20 minutes to soften. Juice the core of the pineapple for juice, or just use water. Then, in a bullet type blender, puree all the sauce ingredients until very smooth.

Toss the barbeque sauce with the mushrooms, pineapple, and sliced onion then pour onto a lined dehydrator tray. Dehydrate at under 118 degrees for about an hour.

Cut the zucchini into noodles. (It's optional, but you can marinate and slightly dehydrate the noodles before using.) Spoon the barbeque mixture over the top.

calories: 446
fat: 8 gr
carbs: 95 gr
protein: 10 gr

Froodles and Meatballs
serves 2 ~ $1.80

1/2 cup walnuts ($.50)
1/2 cup raisins ($.40)
1 cup strawberries ($.50)
2 tablespoons agave ($.40)
1 mango, sliced into noodles ($1.49)
1/2 cup coconut flakes ($.30)

I thought this was fun. I was going to try to make ice cream into noodles, but this seemed a lot easier!

It's probably easiest to make the meatballs first. In a food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the walnuts and raisins until the mix begins to stick together. Form into balls just slightly smaller than a tablespoon each and set aside.
In a small or bullet type blender, puree the strawberries and agave until very smooth. Slice and mango into noodles and mound on plates. Add some coconut flakes. Place the meatballs on top and pour the strawberry sauce over.

calories: 566
fat: 31 gr
carbs: 67 gr
protein: 6 gr

Total cost for the day: $9.86
total calories: 1,659
total fat: 71 gr
total carb: 251 gr
total protein: 30 gr

The lilacs are blooming! Did you know lilacs are edible? I'll have something next week using them in a recipe.

 The tomatoes have blossoms! In a colder climate like we have here in Michigan, tomatoes can be prodded into producing fruit a few weeks earlier by starting the seed in March and potting the plants up in large buckets. That way, they can be moved inside when frost hits. I've got my fingers crossed that I'll have ripe tomatoes by my birthday on June 25th. That's my tomato Holy Grail each year and sometimes I succeed. Actually, I think it may be easier to just move to Florida ... but I'm still hoping for success this year.

It's a bit late in the season, but if you're still shopping for seeds, I get a lot of my garden seeds from and have been very happy with the quality, price, and service.

Giveaway Winner!
The winner of the giveaway of Jonathan Safran Foer's book, Eating Animals, is graceunderpressure.  

Question of the Week
What are your goals and plans for this summer?


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