Thursday, August 25, 2011

and it just keeps getting better...

i am still loving ani phyo's raw chili and so does my sister. she is still asking for it when she comes over for dinner! and it was awesome to have sarah over tonight too to try it. it is a total win!!!
plus i tried this cashew sour cream to go along with the raw tacos idea and it was great! i made way more than needed so there'd be leftovers and have had several people sample it now - it's the best sour cream ever!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

goji chocolate cheesecake!

on monday night, sarah came over to help me make a goji chocolate cheesecake (from sweet gratitude, page 106 though the recipe appears to be right here!)
sarah processed the nuts and dates for the crust!
 i blended goji berries and cashews and other fun things for the filling!
 isn't it beautiful?
 i liked sarah's crust pressing technique!
 first part of the cheesecake... i remember worrying that there wouldn't be enough leftover to mix chocolate in for the swirl...
 and there ended up being like half the cheesecake in the blender... somehow more than the 2 cups i was supposed to need.
so it became a layered cheesecake rather than one with a swirl! so i'll have to try out the swirl next time! 
 i LOVE the texture and crazy taste. i have to limit how much i eat of it though because it's a real caffeine boost or SOMETHING. i'm wired after eating it! and of course it made its debut last night (a bit later than i expected! i was up so late afterwards!!!) after me, sarah, renee and kasha saw a cute (but a lil' long) thai rom/com called hello stranger. it's set in seoul which was fun like watching something filmed in vancouver. i love looking for familiar sights!
speaking of korean things (?), i found organic vegan kimchi at the farmers market at main station this afternoon! so awesome!!! i should get looking at ani phyo's korean-inspired recipes...

Friday, August 19, 2011

sandwich! YES!

with a juicer back in action, i have veggie pulp again! so... yesterday, i soaked some flax seeds and ground flax and last night i combined the pulp and flax with some braggs and a pinch of salt and spread it onto the teflex sheets in the dehydrator. this morning, i flipped the breads onto the mesh (no teflex) and now that i'm home from work (1pm), i'm able to enjoy a sandwich for lunch!
i smeared some sprouted chickpea miso on it and then cut up some lettuce, cucumber and tomato (that looks like pickle!) from the farmers market ^_^ and put some nutritional yeast and cumin and basil on top. YES! the bread is firm and almost a bit crispy on the crust but soft and chewy!
but then it was super hard to eat with everything balanced on top and i spilled some. so i added another piece of bread. i love the red colour from the beet! ^_^

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

hooray for new old juicers and local organic food and translucent lime green grasshoppers on car roofs!

i forgot to mention that while in seattle, i happened to lament that my juicer was burnt out and my friend's brother timo and his wife said i could have their juicer they were planning to sell as they just got a new one! eek!
i did carrots with beet, lettuce, parsley, cucumber, celery and added wheatgrass and spirulina and camu camu.
it's been MONTHS! maybe even 5 months! so many months!
what a glorious night because i can juice again! and now that i have all that pulp, i'm going to make crackers and bread again! YES!
okay and then today... i made a potato salad with potatoes from my friend's garden and basil, parsley and chives from my nannying job family's garden. splash of apple cider vinegar and olive oil with salt and pepper... ah, and i added sliced bits of pickles for extra kid appeal. but mostly, local and organic ingredients! love it!!! potatoes and pickles not raw but hey... works for me!
 and just before heading to the farmers market, i saw this amazing grasshopper on a car roof. isn't it amazing and cute? it didn't look real!


sunday night dinner! paul and i made zucchini lasagna (aka "italian rawzania") from ani phyo's ani's raw food kitchen - page 185.
it was my best cashew cheeze yet. the secret, as obvious as it is, is to only add water as needed. i tend to have more of a cream than a cheese. this was a great ricotta type texture. YAH! also, i processed almonds with oil and cumin and coriander (chili ground round topping style!) to layer on top (paul's idea) and this was AWESOME. plus it stayed crunchy days later.

this was yummy sunday night, but really it was best the next day and the day after! i really have to start making lasagnas more often. with 2 people at work in the kitchen, it is so easy and quick.

the benefits of eating at rooted cafe...

first... an amazing raw kale caesar salad!
 then, beautiful organic (and local whenever possible) produce!


this past weekend, sarah and i went down to seattle! my friend kirsten was celebrating her birthday and we wanted to shop for + eat lots of new or favourite things!
on saturday, we ended up in the u-district and we stumbled upon a farmers market and there were so many different kinds of cucumbers! it was amazing! i had to try the lemon cucumber. it was like biting into a crisp apple but with the refreshing, cool taste of a cuke. (and today i found them at the farmers' market at main street station! yippee!)
i started my saturday with a really green smoothie (apple and banana and greens) and a shot of wheatgrass at chaco canyon. it seemed like the drinks came quite quickly and we were on our way for shopping soon after that. a nice surprise!

for a late lunch, we went to thrive where they were super busy at 2pm and the cafe's till paper machine got jammed and 45 minutes into our wait, they realized they didn't have our order. thankfully my juice had already been started so i got to drink that first... (i had the smallest size of refresh and it was perfect!)
i also had ordered something pretty easy and quick to prepare (and share) so that worked out well. i got the large thrive platter with onion cashew dip, lemon tahini (couldn't taste the lemon so wasn't sure about that name) and nacho dip. i think sarah preferred the nacho and i preferred the onion one, though i got a bit sick of the onion taste. i was grateful for wrapping this up to go to eat later as i didn't end up really having dinner!
we ended up walking into PCC, an organic grocery chain store, when we were in freemont and i couldn't resist getting earth cafe's "who's your daddy?" raw cheesecake (a super sweet carob mousse - i couldn't finish it, which is something new for me!, it seemed high in agave which gave it a nice caramel taste but super sweet taste) and sarah got "big daddy" peanut butter marshmallow chocolate from theo (which isn't vegan or raw but they do have vegan bars!). i hope sometime to do a tour at the theo factory where we had also bought some chocolate.
oh, here are the cucumbers as displayed for a table surprise! aren't they incredible? oh and i guess technically the biggest one isn't a cucumber but a melon, but i guess cukes and melons are pretty close in relation...
so this is my snack cupboard when i got home! isn't it glorious???
happy day's half moon macaroons have been the only disappointment so far. i opened them yesterday to share with paul (um, perfect! 1 cookie each!) but he said they tasted bad and then i tried and it tasted fermented. i can deal with too sweet or not sweet enough but that piercing sour aftertaste? um, no thanks! gah. so they are in the garbage. so sad!
but! the hail merry macaroons (chocolate and blonde!) i got at the whole foods down there are the best i have ever had! i generally don't like blonde macaroons but i think having the almond flour and vanilla in these just makes them so incredibly melt-in-your-mouth delicious! jodie had advised me to look out for the tart as she found it in whole foods when she was in tucson recently. seattle's WF didn't have those, but thankfully they had these! and i brought the chocolate ones to the beach yesterday when jodie and lisa were fiending for chocolate :)
the only thing i don't like is that on the list of ingredients, the chocolate ones list maple syrup first! there can't be more maple syrup than coconut can there? and it says dark cocoa. cocoa means processed chocolate - cacao is raw. super confused. but who knows.

i tried go raw's ginger super cookies (pretty good but i would prefer more ginger kick - maybe it's because they use the ground dried ginger rather than whole) and pizza flax snax (good). my favourite of go raw's line still remains the spirulina bar (with banana and sesame seeds). and i miss their old logo. is that silly?

ah and you have to see this fearless raw chocolate bar (exploding coconuts). there's a bite mark because they donate to "changemakers" suggested by their consumers.
i prefer zimt despite the cute packaging and thin bar of this one. maybe it's just because of raw cane sugar being on the ingredients list! not quite the 'raw' bar i was expecting. sure the sugar is raw, but i guess i expect raw treats to use fruit sweeteners or stevia. and now i notice it is technically labelled as rapadura and looking around on the ol' interweb, it is touted as one of the better of the manufactured sweeteners. i will have to look into it some more! how have i not heard of it before? the whole cane sugar thing just throws me off. what is the difference between it and sucanut or brown sugar or palm sugar? what is all this stuff? i guess when i don't really understand what something is or how it is made, i don't wanna eat it!!!

well, anyways, my weekend in seattle was a complete food success. and well, the best weekend i've had for awhile! i can't wait to go back to seattle again, hopefully soon!

Friday, August 12, 2011

24 hours of reading and eating and meeting

wednesday night, mel and i finally met for our book club. yep it's just us. but it was kinda perfect. we both had read the book (milan kundera's the unbearable lightness of being) several times and we both didn't make it even halfway through a more recent read before meeting to discuss it. no matter! so much to talk about! 
and of course we had to make food first. i had collard greens fresh from the ubc farm market that day. mel had garlic from a farm in abbotsford and a zucchini from a friend's garden. we blended soaked pumpkin seeds, cumin, a pinch of chili with a bit of sesame oil. then i processed almonds with a splash of braggs, cumin, coriander, olive oil and sea salt to add some texture. we cut up some dried figs and voila! we were set with a lovely textured wrap!
then last night, a few of us went out to rooted cafe at eternal abundance on the drive. 
jodie had the beet burger and lisa had the mushroom one. they were both surprised by a wasabi or something comparable in the middle of the burger? jodie said it worked on her beet burger.
we had fun playing with the word magnets. i want to share this piece at a poetry reading:
i had the spicy mexican wrap. the 'tortilla' was so perfect! i ate it with a fork and knife though. there was so much in it!!!
we stayed for a screening of "vanishing of the bees"... notice my acai cheezecake in the foreground and the cacao one in the background. mine was the best, just sayin.
the documentary is a little depressing and jodie and i vowed to stop watching these docs. it's stuff we know (stop using pesticides and screwing around with nature!!! we are killing the earth and ourselves) and it can really bring you down :( but there are so many positive things people are doing we have to focus on...

anyways, every time i go to rooted, i swear i will come again soon because it is so delicious! the prices are so reasonable for what they are. everything there is organic and made with love. 
i found it funny on my way home... waiting for the skytrain and i sat beside a word:
<3 <3 <3

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

laughing giraffe organics... found in abbotsford?

i was in abbotsford's home sense/winners with my mom a few weeks back and i was so surprised to find something raw and organic and vegan on the shelf!

(i'm still waiting for radiant lives in abbotsford - maybe it's open now but i don't know what exactly is happening there yet. hoping for some raw vegan food!)

anyways... the laughing giraffe. we bought a bag of pineapple macadamia snakaroons!
and they were sooo good! i loved how big they were and chewy they managed to be. i totally want to recreate these somehow, someday. and i want to find them again! they don't seem to be in canada, yet.

zimt artisan chocolates

maybe a month ago, i was able to meet up with a friend who has started a glorious business: raw chocolate! i bought 4* kinds to try and i look forward to trying more!
dark chocolate ganache dark chocolate with a rich chocolate ganache centre

*meine minze rich dark chocolate peppermint ganache enrobed in dark chocolate

naranja rica dark chocolate with a sweet orange chocolate ganache centre

coconut crisp rich dark chocolate and crispy flaked coconut

*vanilla caramel smooth dark chocolate with a rich vanilla-caramel centre

nib'd rich dark chocolate studded with crunchy cacao bean nibs

*pfeffernib'd nib'd with a hint of peppermint 

süß orange nib nib'd with accents of sweet orange

*chocolate coconut fudge rich dark chocolate with a fudgy coconut chocolate centre

dark chocolate with roasted fair trade espresso
my favourite of the 4 i tried were the meine minze and the pfeffernib'd - they were smooth and perfectly sweet. the chocolate coconut fudge and vanilla caramel had chewy, lingering coconut inside but not in a melty, mahalo way. i need to get used to it.

anyways, mighty excited about raw vegan chocolate being available in vancouver! so far, you can get it at greens market and nice shoes.

i just heard for the first time from someone last week that cacao may not be the superfood everyone (especially david wolfe) claims. i have some carob in my cupboard now to mix so i don't overdo the cacao - i suppose it's just a reminder of 'everything in moderation'. i tend to go a bit crazy for cacao.

cacao! pow! i appreciate portlandia recognizing its hipster-status as a buzz word (or safe word, ahem) and not just a buzz-inducer!

juice truck!

i always wish for more juice options when not home and there aren't so many fresh juice places available... but now there is a mobile place! THE JUICE TRUCK!

it mostly sits itself at abbott and water, but it's been around kits for an event too. it's helpful to check the juice truck's facebook to find out how they are doing and confirm what they are doing!

last thursday, when sarah and i got to visit, they were sampling a new snack item: a raw chai brownie! they plan to gradually incorporate snack items in with their juice and smoothie menu.
i was amazed by the sweet chai taste... it was a new combo for me! hurrah! (and cacao is always a win so this brownie was great!!!)
i had the green juice (no fruit added) and then the strawberry without agave. the coconut meat flavour was a bit much in this one so i'd probably leave it out next time.
hurrah for the juice truck!!!

farmer's market delights become...

indigo food cafe!

so i'm about 2 weeks behind... but i finally got to try indigo food cafe near the choices on 16th, a couple blocks east of macdonald. so excited to have yet another option for raw food in vancouver! it's amazing! lovena has been doing catering and classes for awhile now but now we can drop in randomly for raw treats! hurrah!

i ate some of this and i can't remember what it was! it was the special that day... 
 stuffed portobello burger... expected the mushroom to be marinated but i guess this is rawest of raw.
 collard roll-ups...
 enchilada (small portion)
 chocolate ganache with raspberries (sickening amount of agave but i helped finish 2 of these off! i was wired all night!)
my friend ordered the perogies which were incredible too.  i really wish they were a raw version as that's something i really want to try do but they were super soft and delicate and deliciously vegan regardless!

small food menu but who cares! it's vegan and raw and super tasty?! eek! and in a different 'hood than the other raw places!

can't wait to go back!