Wednesday, August 29, 2012

hair product detox!

yesterday i was lamenting that my hair seemed to be greasy or heavy even right after a wash! i don't know what the deal is, i don't use or put anything on or in my hair except shampoo, but i'm grateful for stumbling across myhealthygreenfamily's post, washing my hair with baking soda.
last night, i followed her directions - 1 tablespoon baking soda mixed in 1 cup water to lather into hair and wash out and then 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar in 1 cup water for a rinse. i didn't need probably even half as much but i did the whole cup anyways.
my hair felt squeaky clean in the shower and i'm over the moon to have it super clean feeling and soft again!
i'm curious how it will feel tomorrow! it feels lighter again - in colour and weight! it's no longer dulled by shampoo build-up? it feels like when i get out of the salon chair after a wash and cut! oh and when i used to have my hair dyed - it always felt so great after that, those first couple days! (fyi, i stopped dyeing my hair a couple years ago while taking my clean sweep of chemicals out of my life)
i probably should have taken a picture of it at its weirdest and heaviest but here is today:
my happy hair!
maybe this isn't a big deal to you, but it's a huge relief to me!
i am annoyed that i still have 1/2 full bottles of my shampoo (a couple different kinds by avalon organics). can it be that i'm sick of them and so is my head? having short, fine hair like me means it takes FOREVER to go through a bottle so i think my next one(s) are going to be small bottles of super simple shampoos (organic and minus the dirty dozen, obviously) but maybe i will even start making something myself!
is there anything cleaning-related that baking soda and vinegar isn't good for? just curious!

Monday, August 27, 2012

post-yoga fruity greens with jon!

i forgot to take a photo until near the very end. i also forgot to practice yoga for 6 months!? what was i thinking? gotta get back into that routine. thank you, jon, for taking me as your birthday guest!!! i am dreaming up something indonesian-inspired for a birthday dessert for you! ^_^
anyways... this smoothie comes courtesy of 2 cups of filtered water, 6 kale leaves, 1 pear, 2 yellow plums, 2 dates, 2 dried figs and 2 frozen bananas. sweet with amazing texture!
i am currently drinking a smoothie of frozen banana, one pear (my favourite right now!), a sprinkle of mesquite and lucuma and cinnamon and a spoon of hemp seeds and spatone liquid iron with some filtered water. delicious!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

a trio of smoothies.

3 cups of water, 2 apples and 2 pears and the greens (and stems) from one bunch of beets made 3 portions of this not-so-green green smoothie!
the tops of a bunch of carrots,  3 cups of water, 1 plum and a couple handfuls of frozen plums, 1 sprig of mint and 1 apple made up this smoothie for 3! 
a few leaves of kale shy of a bunch, the juice of 4-5 oranges (about 2.5 cups) and 2 frozen bananas created 3 cups of  my favourite green smoothie this week! fresh orange juice? swoon!

Friday, August 24, 2012

chipolte coconut lettuce wraps!

tonight's dinner is a natalia kw recipe i got in a vegnews email 2 days ago:

chipolte coconut lettuce wraps!
Smoky chipotle and crispy coconut bring fresh lettuce wraps to a flavorful new level. Creamy avocado and peppercorn ranch dressing add plenty of rich satisfaction.
Serves 4
What You Need:
For the chipotle coconut:
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon tamari (we used braggs)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle
3/4 cup large coconut flakes
For the ranch dressing:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup hemp seeds
4 garlic cloves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup olive oil
For the lettuce wraps:
8 butter lettuce leaves (we used iceberg lettuce)
3 roma tomatoes, sliced
2 avocados, sliced
we definitely enjoyed the crispy coconut and creamy goodness! but for next time, we wondered about adding another dimension - my dad suggested cilantro, my mom suggested grated carrot or maybe cauliflower florets.

 What You Do:
  1. For the chipotle coconut, in a medium bowl, combine coconut oil, tamari, maple syrup, paprika, and chipotle and mix well. Add coconut flakes and toss well to evenly coat.
  2. For the ranch dressing, in a high-speed blender, combine lemon juice, water, hemp seeds, garlic, peppercorns, and salt and blend until smooth. While the blender is running, add olive oil and blend.
  3. To assemble wraps, lay lettuce leaves on plates. Top with a tablespoon of ranch dressing and layer with tomato and avocado. Divide chipotle coconut among each wrap and serve.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

picnic and a movie!

on tuesday, i went to see labyrinth for the first time (surprising, i know!) in stanley park and a bunch of us gathered for a picnic beforehand.
tony found blackberries, janna brought daiya cheese wedges (jack + jalapeno garlic havarti) with mary's crackers and a potato salad, dali brought sesame crackers and hummus, mel and mig brought zucchini brownies (babycakes-inspired), lisa brought her gluten-free brownies, phil brought gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, kip brought a $37 "whole paycheque" salad and i brought a matthew kenny "potato" salad-inspired salad.

i was craving potato salad (which made it incredibly amazing that janna made one!) and i was wanting to try another recipe from everyday raw, so i checked out page 84's "potato salad". though, in my attempt to not go grocery shopping to make sure my fridge was empty of produce before leaving the next day for a few days, i adjusted things a fair bit!

my salad is in the bottom left corner of the picnic spread ^_^

i got that massive avocado (organic!) for $2 at whole paycheque. amazing right? extra amazing is it was perfectly ripe. so i used it for this recipe!

movie picnic salad:

1 mashed big avocado
1.75 cucumbers, diced (i saved 1/4 of one for my smoothie later)
1 diced red pepper
2 sliced and halved radishes
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
a couple bunches of basil and oregano, finely sliced

mixed with a blend of:

2 tablespoons tahini
1/4 teaspoon (or more?) cumin
1 tablespoon (or more?) apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons (or more?) fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon braggs
1/4 teaspoon maple syrup
pinch sea salt
pinch chili powder

i definitely have to try matthew kenney's actual version of potato salad sometime, with jicama and green olives and celery. but this one worked for me. maybe if i did this particular version again, i would add garlic to add a bit more dimension. but really, avocado and cumin and cucumber make everything amazing!!!

everyday raw chili success!

twice in the last 5 days, i have broke into my copy of matthew kenney's everyday raw and made his raw chili. after many ani phyo delicious chilis (most recently, but also here, and here). it's been fun to find another yummy chili that is easy to make, uses "normal" ingredients and has universal appeal.

reading the reviews on amazon, there is a "not for the beginner" and a "meh" as some responses. i can slightly relate, i suppose, as some of the recipes in this book have a few too many steps, ie using (one recipe) with (other recipe) and then make ("this" recipe) for on top. i need to try more recipes from everyday raw before i can entirely disagree with the discouraging reviews, but the chili recipe on page 78 is a definite win! super easy ingredients to have on hand and it turned out beautifully!

first sampling of the chili was at lisa's birthday potluck on saturday - the first potluck i have been at in awhile that had non-vegan dishes present. gasp! it was nice that this chili fit in easily as i don't think it looks super granola-vegan-ish or much unlike a "real" chili.
i love trying new recipes for potlucks. they always seem to turn out amazing and then i also get to try other people's food creations! so much fun!
 and now, tonight, at my parents' place, we super enjoyed our delicious chili outside:
my mom cleared off the outside chairs so we could all enjoy the remaining sun of the day sans spiders. thanks mom! ^_^ 
i love that you don't even notice it's "raw". my parents said it tasted like chili and they both really enjoyed it. yay! i tried to explain why i soaked and sprouted the raw almonds but i'm not so good with such details. i figured it was the best way to make the almonds "alive" again. just like it wouldn't be so helpful to eat seeds you want to grow vegetables from and you wait until they have sprouted into plants, you soak the raw nut to make it into something nutritionally dense and easily digested. is that accurate? anyone?

Friday, August 17, 2012

green smoothie party!

tonight was the perfect mellow friday night with my lovely lady friends and green smoothies!
these ones are: 2.5 cups filtered water, half a bunch of kale, some cilantro and parsley, 2 peaches and 1 apple and a couple dates because we were date crazy! DELICIOUS!!!
this is my IDEAL friday night. someday there's gotta be a dance club open that only serves coconut water and wheatgrass shots and green smoothies to fuel the moves! the waldorf is getting there for sure with vanessa's elixir bar downstairs and the coconuts in the tiki bar but still...

Thursday, August 16, 2012

the perfect day smoothie.

today's smoothie, just before a much-desired trip to the beach (for which i packed some strawberries, radishes and cucumbers! yum!), i've blended a peach and an apple, one piece of kale, a couple mini bunches of parsley and cilantro with one cup of filtered water. THE BEST!

green bean + potato salon salad.

i've been wanting to go to my friend's wednesday night salon for what seems like a year now. so i was especially excited when i could go tonight!
i had fresh long long green beans from jon's garden and did some google searches for ideas of what to do with them for a salad to bring.
i found this one on fat-free vegan kitchen which turned out to be perfect! yay!
i'm not sure how closely i followed it - i think i added more potatoes and beans, oh and i added the carrot for a bit more colour, but yum! i guess i swoon over almost anything with fresh basil or lemon or garlic (or all of the above!) so this was a great combo. oh yeah, and the brown rice miso? oh yes!!!
and best part? it was a big hit!! green sauce for the win!!

Monday, August 13, 2012

sesame ginger creamy, for goodness shake!

this smoothie has been a daily occurrence the past couple days. having no almond milk made but a desire for a creamy smoothie, i did a spoon of sesame butter (aka tahini) with a cup of water. then i added some frozen banana, dates and ginger. YUM! 
i made this for my sister today and she was super into it too. YAY! 

green smoothie experiments.

yesterday's smoothie is the remainder of my romaine lettuce, a few red chard leaves, a peach and a plum (and 1 cup of water as it's a smoothie for one!)
i have to say i'm getting kind of tired of romaine in my smoothies and i can't even say i do it that often. 

so this next one is sans romaine and is made of the greens of one bunch of radishes, one peach, one nectarine and 1 cup of water.
it smells a bit like peach and tastes very light and fresh. a bit garden grass-ish but it blended so light like a frothy juice, it's refreshing!

i just started reading a book from the library, the 80/10/10 diet by dr. douglas n. graham, and there's a nectarine on the front (with cucumber and lettuce) - perhaps that will have to be my next green smoothie, when i'm ready to drink lettuce again! ^_^
from the beginning of "80-10-10"

first of 3 pages of reasons it makes sense to be vegetarian, according to dr. douglas n. graham

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

make-this-morning-easier smoothie

today's smoothie for paul and i (with extra for seconds for me! hehe) is 2 cups filtered water, 1 avocado, 1.5 frozen banana, 1 teaspoon(ish) spirulina, 2 plums, 1 bunch of parsley, 1 bosc pear and a nub of ginger. YUM!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

strawberry raw dairy-free yogurt-ish thing!

it kind of reminds me of yogurt, if yogurt had a mousse-ier quality. i really should have saved some to experiment with in the freezer as i bet it would make a delicious popsicle.
what is it, you may or may not ask? my strawberry yogurt-ish thing!
creamy and light and summer sweet. i wish i had sliced up some strawberries for on top! that would be perfect! maybe a garnish of mint too? ^_^

blended ingredients:
1 avocado
1/2 frozen banana
5 or so strawberries (half frozen in this case but i don't think it matters)
3/4 cup water