My first attempt at making a raw cheesecake came after I had a slice of Joanna‘s cheesecake. I will never forget it. It was a chocolate orange cheesecake and it was so creamy and chocolaty and the orange flavor so amazing… I thought to myself, I have to try and make this myself. So I asked her what recipe she used and found out it was from Sweet Gratitude Desserts. She later blogged about it and I had the privilege of being one of the few that enjoyed this cake.
Here are some pictures of my chocolate orange cheesecake
Can you say OMG.
Perfection in each dreamy mouthful.
It was soooo goood. I couldn’t believe it! It actually came out the way it was suppose to. The TG and TD’s loved it and couldn’t get enough of it. I had a huge hit on my hands and didn’t know what to follow up with.
So my next attempt was more involved than this one. My next cheesecake I picked from Sweet Gratitude: A New World of Raw Desserts by Matthew Rogers and Tiziana Alipo Tamborra’s recipe book, was the Turtle Cheesecake. Yes, you read it correctly. Turtle Cheesecake. There was much more to this than simply soaking some cashews and melting the cacao butter.
The ultimate cheesecake.
Made the pict huge so you could drool all over your screen. For those that may not be familiar with this cheesecake I will give you a description. The crusts consists of cacao with walnuts and dates. The cheesecake is made of cashews, cacao butter, and then you split this mixture into two and add cacao powder to one. Pour the white chocolate mixture over the crust and then you create the marbling affect by pouring the cacao mixture quickly with a downward motion to add the cacao layer with out having it mix together. It was a pretty straight forward technique that is explained in the book. You then wait for the cake to set, I put mine in the freezer over night as I didn’t have time to finish the cake that day.
The next day, I made the caramel sauce which has macadamia nuts and yacon syrup and it really does taste like caramel. I pulsed some pecans with a little sea salt. I finished the cake by sprinkling cacao chips, and pecans over the top and then I spread the caramel sauce this layer. Lastly I drizzled the yacon syrup over the caramel and then used a chop stick to create swirls. And there you have it! Everyone enjoyed this cheesecake!
Raw cheesecakes are really not that hard to make. Once you soak the nuts and melt the cacao it comes together pretty quickly. So, give it a try!
When I was much younger, I loved watching Martina Navratilova play tennis. And I still get to watch her now all those years later. She is an amazing athlete. Now here is what made my day, I just found out/ realized she is a strong proponent of a plant-based diet. Who knew!?? Well, I imagine a lot of people did, I’m just a little slow. I must confess I saw this on Elena’s blog Eat Healthy!!! Be Happy!!! and I just wanted to share this as well. This is just too good not to!
At one point in this video I hear Martina saying words that I am always saying. Not the part about winning the US Open mixed doubles before my 50th birthday, but the part where she states that is important to eat “au naturalle” – avoid processed food as much as possible, eat plant-based whole foods and if possible – organic. I love it!
Now, on a serious note, if you can do just two things for yourself today, watch this video and eat a piece of friut or have a salad with/ for dinner. Eat some “miracle food”.
Well, I can repeat everything she says, but I think you should just watch the video.
I hope when I turn 50, I have people asking me what my secret is.
I saw a recipe for Sunflower Seed Falafel here by Hannah Kaminsky of Bitter Sweet Blog and I had to try it. Her post was about breaking the rules and trying a raw falafel which is not really a true “falafel”. If I can eat vegan “ice cream” and vegan “cheese” then I should be able to eat raw falafel.
Yummy, tasty falafel.
Her recipe is for sunflower seed falalfel. You have to soak the sunflower seeds overnight. The best part is you place the seeds, seasonings like garlic scallions and cumin in a food processor and process until you have a crunchy peanut butter consistency. Then I used a small cookie scoop and placed the tasty balls on a teflex sheet, sprinkled with paprika and dehydrated for about 8 hours. The falafel balls are crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. So you can eat them as balls, mash them down and place in a wrap or skip the formalities and eat straight off the sheet. I should mention her recipe can be cooked in an oven or dehydrated, so you don’t need a dehydrator to enjoy these tasty morsels! Thanks Hannah. I took mine for lunch at work on a bed of greens and veggies drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette. A great way to start the week! Soooo Gooood!
A close up!
I would also like to mention that Hannah is also the author of this wonderful cookbook My Sweet Vegan: passionate about dessert A wonderful book full of recipes for desserts that will dazzle your taste buds and sweet tooth! All your friends and family vegan or not, will love anything you make from this book!
And now for something completely different!
Maggie lounging Rosie just hanging out Betty watching me play with my food.
I want to say a BIG THANK YOU to Joanna for nominating me for this award. It was such a wonderful surprise to receive this! Joanna has an amazing blog called, “Promoting the Raw Food Diet, While Debunking the Myths.” She is just finishing her 7 day raw challenge. I am participating in this challenge. She has provided all the recipes, the tips on what to do and when, plus a shopping list. I really encourage you to check it out and try it. One week, it’s only 7 days and the food is amazing. You will not starve or go with out. She has a wide range of dishes from patés to noodles with sauce, soups and salads. There are desserts like chocolate mousse and chocolate too. Try some raw dishes and have some fun!
Now, here are the award rules, copied and pasted from Joanna’s blog:
First: Copy the award image in your post.
Then, list 10 things that make you happy, try to do at least one of them today, and tag 10 bloggers that brighten your day.
For those 10 bloggers who get the award, you must link back to my blog!….the last part..only if you want too!
Where to start?!!!
10 things that make me happy:
1) Running with my dogs always makes me happy. I like to run with my canine pals early in the morning, when most people are still asleep or awake but not out-and-about. All I can hear are birds in the spring and summer or like right now there is no sound except the crunching of the snow from my shoes and the patting noise of my dogs paws. It is so tranquil and calming. This is my time to just be.
2) Playing with my horse. I love playing with my horse. If you want to learn anything about yourself, spend an hour with a horse. Just the smell of him, the softness of his hair and the kindness in his eye make all my troubles melt away. My horse is a left brain extrovert, which in natural horseman speak means he loves to play and gets bored easily. So I have to use my brain and think of fun games to play. I just can’t be a direct line predator which is what humans are. I have learned to think like a prey animal and to me that is a great thing!
3) Spending time with my husband. Even though we have been married almost 22 years, we still love spending time together. It needn’t be special time we set aside, it is simple pleasures like sitting at the table discussing current events or discussing weird topics, watching a movie together on the couch or taking time out and having coffee or lunch together.
4) Spending some quality time with my TDs. They are growing up so fast. I like to spend special time with them. Going skating, walking the dogs, hanging out and learning new card games or playing board games. It’s all fun and gives us time to talk.
5) I enjoy making others happy. If that means making a cake (I know what a sacrifice), cleaning a stall, walking a dog, helping others out when they need a helping hand (animal and human)- it’s all worth it!
6) As weird as this sounds, I enjoy challenge. I love learning new things, mentally and physically. We can get stuck in a rut and it is always good to shake it up every so often.
7) I enjoy being owner and co-founder of Sirova which provides quality, organic, raw food for your life! Working with Joanna and Matthew has been very exciting and stimulating.
8) Feeling connected to the earth – grounded makes me happy. Having calmness and feeling centered. I think that’s why I enjoy running, playing with my horse and physical exertion.
9) I enjoy a clean house. On the weekend we all chip in and clean the house. We divvy up the chores and I love when we’re all done and the house is neat and tidy for a moment or two. I have 3 dogs, 3 cats and 2 guinea pigs, plus 2 TDs and the TG. The house doesn’t stay pristine for long!
10) Books. I love to read books. Cookbooks, raw food books, books about food, mystery books, novels, fiction, non-fiction it’s all good. There is always something I can learn from a book.
So, this is a short list of what makes me happy. If asked in a year or two, I imagine this would still hold true.
Here are the 10 bloggers I have nominated for the Happy 101 Blog Award:
Hey Everyone! Guess what I have been doing. Okay don’t, but here it is:
I started this new adventure with a lovely person I met through my CSA shares “Farm to Folk” – JOANNA and her wonderful husband MATHEW. By the way you can read all about her at Promoting the Raw Food Diet While Debunking the Myths! She was interested in starting this venture as she is very serious about Attachment Parenting, and felt strongly that starting her own business would allow her to spend as much time as possible with her family. My motivation came from my desire to share my knowledge and love of food and fitness. In order to be happy and healthy it all comes back to what you eat. Starting off with quality, organic ingredients is a great start to maximum health.
Giving back to the community is important to us. As soon as possible (the more you order the faster we can achieve this goal) – we will give a percentage of our profits to communities we feel could use a little help. For example, we hope to be able to plant fruit trees around our town, and then expand to other towns/cities and states. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could enjoy fresh fruit straight from the tree or if we have enough trees, have community volunteers pick fruit that can be used by shelters with in the community.
Check out our website. We have a collection of delicious raw recipes. And the collection is growing everyday. Have a recipe to share? We have a Raw Life Forum, which has Rawcipes you can view and we would for you to share your own favorite recipes. We also, have a forum to discuss fitness and raw food and an area for you to share your SUCCESSES!
SO WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR CLICK ON OVER!
Let us know if you have ideas or suggestions for the store!
We have a flat rate shipping of $7 dollars for all orders upto $149 and Free Shipping on all orders $150 and over (only in the continental US)
Saw this on VegSource.com and just had to share! Dr. Oz helped Rocco, a meat eating cowboy that never ate anything green to change his diet – to stop eating meat, dairy and eggs and to start eating vegetables, whole grains, legumes and beans. He followed Dr Oz’s advice for a 28-day vegan diet. If this cowboy can change and improve his diet so can you! Please watch this video. Think about it and make a few dietary changes. Small changes.
Small changes add up. Just eat a salad with a meal or as a meal. A piece of fruit as a snack instead of chips or a cookie (although there are some awesome vegan cookies you can buy and so many great vegan baking books out there). Make one meal a week meatless (and no dairy) and then increase it to 2, then 3 and before you know it, you’ve lost a few pounds and you notice you feel good, look good and have a big grin on your face.
Blueberry Cinnamon Scones
Mmmm gluten-free, vegan scones. From Flying Apron’s Gluten-free & Vegan Baking Book
by Jennifer Katzinger. If you are looking for a gluten-free, dairy-free and soy-free baking book this is the one! Jennifer uses uncomplicated flour substitution, and basic ingredients. This book is full of wonderful recipes and pictures for breads – loafs and quick breads, muffins, cookies, cakes, scones and many more amazing mouth watering treats. My oldest TD made these this weekend. Yummy!
Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo and Tera Warner are demystifying cleansing and detoxification. Learn more about candida, allergies, brain fog, hormonal imbalances and thyroid imbalances, ADD, depression, mood disorders and weight gain. Sign up for the FREE series of 4 teleseminars throughout the month of November. You can attend the live call or listen at your leisure to the recordings. For more information on the dates, times and content of each teleseminar – 6 Week Deep Tissue Detox.
First of all DETOX what exactly does that mean? Well Wikipedia says, “Detoxification, or detox for short is the removal of toxic substances from the body. Detoxification can also refer to the period of withdrawal during which a person’s body returns to homeostasis after long-term use of an addictive substance.” Simply put, you are weaning your body off of unhealthy/addictive eating and lifestyle choices.
Have you noticed how many blogs and forums have popped up dedicated to Candida? I never new what this was until a year ago. I was reading Ricki Heller’s blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs. She has been a long time sufferer of candida and discusses openly with her readers her struggle with this.
I have also noted many others have complaints with weight gain and water retention caused by hormone imbalances such as hypothyriodism. You talk about 6 degrees of separation, play that game with hypothyroidism.
Have you noticed how many more adults and children suffer from allergies and environmental sensitivities? I have and in fact, I am one of those individuals. I am trying to wean myself off of allergy medication by detoxing my body/system.
There are many other conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, insomnia, ADHD, brain-fog, anxiety, irritability that may be connected to nutritional deficiencies, toxins and processed foods, NOT a consequence of your family tree as some would have you believe!
I like to feel great (doesn’t everyone?). I love to exercise!
Running in the morning with my dogs is not just exercise, but it is “zen” for me. I feel so invigorated and full of life after a run. I feel grounded and centered. I know it sounds weird, but you have to wear my size 11’s to know what I mean.
I have a horse and enjoy playing with him. I love Parelli – a natural horsemanship training program. If you really want to learn a lot about yourself, spend time with a horse and you find out all the good, bad and the ugly. It is a journey that lasts a life-time. Well, I digress.
I really enjoy being outside, no matter what the weather. It makes me feel alive and invigorated!
I also enjoy yoga (increasing/maintaining my flexibility and muscle endurance training), resistance training- love Cathe‘s STS program, actually I love all her dvds. They are tough, but well worth the time. And to help me become a well rounded athlete and human being, I am now starting T’ai Chi.
For me, incorporating green smoothies into my daily regime, along with lots of leafy greens and veggies, I feel I am getting closer to being in the best health I have ever been. It has been a slow, methodical transition from vegetarian to vegan to raw vegan food. Detox to me, was eliminating gluten, pure cane sugar, caffeine and processed fats from my diet. This meant increasing my intake from ~50% raw to 80-90% raw. And soon I hope to be 90%-100% raw or if you prefer “uncooked” food.
I won’t lie and tell you it is really easy, because it is hard. Especially with a family that doesn’t always understand why you eat the way you do and not the same food as they do. I enjoy cooking food for them, but I don’t always like eating or feel good after eating cooked food. I really enjoy a good salad and a bowl of fruit. I look forward to my green smoothies in the morning and my latest love – Kale chips. MMMMM KALE CHIPS. But I think eating as close to the source with as little processing or modification is the best I can do for me. I still eat some cooked food once in a while, but it is vegan and gluten-free.
I am inviting you if you are interested in finding out more about DETOX. What causes or aggravates many of the conditions I listed above and how to overcome these conditions. Sign up for the FREE series of 4 teleseminars throughout the month of November. You can attend the live call or listen at your leisure to the recordings. For more information on the dates, times and content of each teleseminar – 6 Week Deep Tissue Detox.
I am not there yet, but each day it gets easier and I find I don’t crave a lot of the junk I use to. I still need a cookie once in a while (but it is a raw cookie) and I do love noodles, only they are gluten-free or kelp now. I have my family eating gluten-free pasta and when I have time g-f baked goodies. They have a new found love for salads and we make our own salad dressings that taste great and are better for us. One-step at a time, little changes here and there that add up over time.
“Lead by example” is the motto I truly believe. People notice you and will ask, “how you stay so slim/trim” or “how do you have so much energy?” It is all lifestyle choices. And now you have that opportunity to make a change for yourself.
Sign up for the 4 free teleseminars 6-Week Deep Tissue Detox Also, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo and Tera Warner have a blog (here) demystifying cleansing and detoxification along with tips you can use today.
I love my KALE chips. They are crunchy, and I can have any flavor I feel like. I know what you’re thinking, but you are wrong. Kale chips taste really good. To me they are better than regular potato chips. They do not have the oil, fat or the salt of regular potatoes. Granted you could add more fat to these and still have a snack that is more nutritious than the baked potato chips. If you do a google search you will find there are many ways to make kale chips. A previous post of mine I have a video of Rene Oswald making kale chips and I included her recipe (here). I use this recipe with some modifications. I use hemp seeds and just sprinkle them on just before the trays are placed in the dehydrator. I add my own seasonings. I use cumin with chipotle chili pepper, which I love – has a little kick to it that sneaks up on you. You can add some apple cider vinegar and Himalayan salt for a salt and vinegar taste. A favorite of the TD’s is the cheese flavored kale. I added more nutritional yeast to the mix (increase to 3/4 cup) and sprinkled more on just before it went in the dehydrator. I am still working on a barbecue flavor. Any suggestions?
Here is a pictorial of how I make kale chips.
Here I have washed the kale and let it drain.
Then I destem the kale. Lacinato kale you remove the stem by pulling and tearing the kale leaf from the stem. With curly kale, which has a larger, fuller leaf, I find it easier to use a sharp knife and cut the leaf from the stem and then tear the leaf into smaller bite size pieces.
Once I have the kale ready to be coated I make my flavor dressing. Using the recipe I linked to above. I place everything but the hemp seeds in the high speed blender and blend until smooth. I taste the dressing to make sure it tastes the way I want. Add more seasonings if needed and mix briefly.
I usually have two large bowls full of kale pieces and divide the flavor dressing in half, pouring half in one bowl and the rest in the other. This is where you get your hands dirty (well make sure your hands are clean and remove your watch and any rings) spread the dressing to coat the kale using a massaging motion with you fingers. Keep massaging and rotating the kale from the bottom of the bowl to the top so that all the kale is evenly coated. I love to taste the kale to make sure it tastes the way I want it to. Don’t be afraid to taste it. It tastes so good, you can enjoy it as a kale salad and make what you don’t eat into chips.
Once the kale is evenly coated spread the kale out in a single layer onto a teflex lined dehydrator tray and I leave one tray space between trays. I usually end up with 4 -5 trays.
I can eat all of this in less than one week. A habit that is good for me.
You can make chips with collard greens. There are many different kinds of veggie chips, zucchini and sweet potato are a few of the veggies that make tasty chips.
Okay, I know we are all very busy and have very little free/extra time. But I find it very satisfying physically and mentally to make my own snacks. I set aside some time on the weekend or a week night and make items I like to eat or snack on. These snacks have a long shelf life of 4-6 weeks, but are usually devoured well before that. Why I like to do this? I know that the snacks I make are more nutritious and taste better. Why taste better? Because I can tweek the final product so that it suits my taste not the mass consumer. That is why I can say it tastes better. I can make it hotter, spicier and use different spices and sweeteners that I like. So in the end I enjoy what I am eating.
Here are a few things I like to make myself:
Raw crackers– Are so good and fun to make. Who knew you could take a red pepper, some onion, garlic, celery, sundried tomatoes and blend them in a high speed blender. Add this to some ground flax seed and seasonings, spread onto a teflex sheet and dehydrate for 24 hours. Et viola c’est fait – you have crackers. Here I have pizza flax crackers spread out on a teflex sheet ready to go in the dehydrator.
Raw Pizza Crackers spread out on a teflex lined tray.
You don’t need a dehydrator, you can use a cookie sheet and an oven. I use the dehydrator to get the added nutrition by eating the unbaked cracker.
Raw Granola – Another fave of mine is to make granola. I have posted about making raw granola before and you can read about it here. I made this one using a recipe from Rene Oswald’s recipe book- Raw Apple Granola. It has lots of apples, buckwheat , almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and coconut. This granola is great by itself or paired with your favorite nutmilk (which is very easy to make yourself ) or non-dairy milk.
Raw Cookies – I have a favorite I make from Kristen’s Raw, her chocolate crunch hazelnut macaroons – recipe here. I like to eat these right out of the freezer. They are soooo goood!
Here are the chocolate beauties. Heaven on a plate.
Here is another cookie I make walnut chocolate chip cookie from Rene’s recipe book I mentioned above.
These are really simple to make. They are sweetened with apple and dates, and you get a great crunch from the buckwheat, walnuts and of course cacao nibs. I like these crunchy, but they are just as good as a soft cookie.
I saw a recipe in Chef Frank Giglio’s new recipe book “Raw for All” for a raw biscotti. I love biscotti and now I can have my raw and biscotti too! This book has so many recipes I want to try. The chai tea, sprouted grain pancakes, beet and celery root slaw, quinoa tabbouleh, the sunflower herb hummus, beet pesto and the list goes on. I will give you a review coming up in one of my posts. For now here is a demo of one of his recipes for you to watch and try out from the Renegade Health Show, brought to you by Kevin and Annmarie Gianni. I am definitely going to try make this recipe! Enjoy!
This weekend I had a request from the oldest TD to make mac ‘n cheese for dinner. She didn’t care about what we had with it, just as long as there was mac ‘n cheese. After all she is a teenager and that is what they like to eat. So, to compromise, I refuse to make the other kind you buy; I made a vegan version that the TD’s really enjoy.
I have a recipe a rely on from The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook: Delicious Dairy-Free Cheeses and Classicby Jo Stepaniak. I use her “Amazing Mac ‘N Cheeze Sauce”. It is very creamy, thick and cheese-like. It has some olive oil, you can use non-dairy milk substitute or water. The non-dairy adds to the creaminess of the sauce. If you’re counting calories, then you can use water and the taste is still very good. I like to use gluten-free noodles, either made of brown rice or corn blended with quinoa. Hodgson Mills, Tinkyada are two brands I like and I have been told by friends that Trader Joe’s has its own brand too (we don’t have a Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods). Gluten-free pasta is becoming more common place in that I can purchase this at my local grocery store. So things are improving for gluten/wheat allergy sufferers and those that just want a change.
Vegan Mac 'N Cheeze with Brussels Sprouts
Just a note, I doubled the cheeze sauce recipe so the TD’s had leftovers they could take it to school for lunch (a few lunches actually).
The Brussels sprouts I had picked up from our Farm to Folk group. I simply, washed, trimmed and cut in half. Placed on a heavy cookie sheet lightly sprayed with olive oil. Then I drizzled some olive oil over the sprouts, sprinkled a little sea salt and cracked some fresh pepper. Placed them in a preheated oven at 375ºF. I let them bake for about 25 min. They were brown, but not over cooked. Yeh! (I dislike over cooked b sprouts, reminds me of when I was a kid and I was forced to eat mushy sprouts.) Then I placed them in a bowl, drizzled some balsamic vinegar over them, tossed and served. Very Tasty! You really should try these, people that don’t like them, usually enjoy them roasted.